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RECENT BLOG POSTS
In today's housing environment, you will most likely compete with multiple offers when you go to buy a house.  Here are two strategies you may want to consider if you’re serious about winning a bidding war:1 – Offer More Than the List PriceMoney talks.  Imagine if someone offered you an extra $5...
02/04/2019
  Here are two easy-to-remember formulas that can be very useful as you budget for retirement:   The Rule of 25 – How much “critical capital” do I need? According to this formula, if you multiply the annual income you need by 25, that’s approx. how much money you need to save in order to retire....
01/28/2019
  1: Ability to Deduct Your Mortgage Interest: If you take out a mortgage for home improvement purposes, the IRS may ask you to prove the project was a "substantial improvement" that: Adds to the value of the home, Prolongs the home’s useful life, or Adapts the home to new uses.  For example, pa...
01/21/2019
Bidding for a new home can get pretty fierce in today's market.  Here are three potential solutions to avoid getting outbid on your new home: Turn in your loan paperwork BEFORE you place an offer.  In many cases, you are bidding against cash buyers who don't need to wait for financing approvals....
01/14/2019
    Contrary to popular belief, mortgage interest is not always tax-deductible.  Here's the inside scoop: 1. Do you itemize your tax deductions? You cannot take the mortgage interest deduction if you are taking the standard deduction. In 2018, the standard deduction is $12,000 for single taxpayer...
01/07/2019
  1 – Buy and Flip This strategy involves buying a house with the intention of selling it for a short-term profit.  Typically, investors who take this approach look for homes that need improvements and renovations.  Here are three questions to ask yourself before you take the leap with this stra...
01/02/2019
  The federal government requires mortgage lenders to disclose the "annual percentage rate" (APR) whenever they advertise a loan program. But what is APR, and does it really matter to you? Here's the thing: APR lumps all your "finance charges" into your interest rate. As you can see from the list...
12/26/2018
  The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets at least eight times per year to discuss and vote on US monetary policy. The Fed controls the Fed Funds rate, which is essentially a bank's cost of money. When the Fed increases the Fed Funds rate, short-term interest rates such as the Pri...
12/17/2018
  Your balance-to-limit ratio looks at the balance you owe vs. your available credit lines.  This has a 30% impact on your score. Keeping your credit balances below 50% of your available limit is very important. Keeping your balances below 30% of your available credit is even better.For instance...
12/10/2018
  Here are four questions that can help you make a more informed decision when comparing an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) vs. a fixed rate mortgage.  1 - How do ARMs work? Most ARMs have an initial note rate that is fixed for a period of time... usually 3, 5 or 7 years.  See Figure 1 for details...
12/03/2018
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