The Benefits of Vacationing at Home

The word “staycation” is kind of obnoxious, but the idea is actually great. Travel costs often make up a huge portion of your vacation expense pie chart. If you can eliminate travel costs, it leaves more budget for fun activities, or creates an opportunity to help you save money. Sometimes, if you absolutely have to have an incredible island getaway with beachside cocktails, there may not be a way to recreate this experience where you live. But in many cases, there are a vacation’s-worth of awesome outings right outside your door. Here are some of the benefits of vacationing at home. (more…)

Can You Sell a Home in a Bad Location?

“Location” is the most popular and important word when it comes to the real estate business. That’s because a home’s location is often the first factor that prospective buyers consider when making a decision. If you’re selling your home and it’s in a desirable location, you probably won’t have to wait long for an offer. However, if your home isn’t fortunate enough to have a prime location, can you still sell it? Of course! There’s a buyer for every home. It’s simply a matter of knowing how to present your home to prospective buyers. (more…)

Are You Grocery Shopping the Smart Way?

“Smart grocery shopping” isn’t a reference to ordering apps or self-driving carts, but rather to the savviness with which you approach your weekly shopping list. Groceries are a necessity, and choosing to buy groceries and prepare food at home is a great way to save yourself money on a monthly basis. The truly smart grocery shoppers know how to trim dollars and unnecessary buys from their receipt, helping them save money for other expenses. Are you grocery shopping the smart way? Here are some helpful tips to keep your grocery budget down each month.

Don’t Just Sell Your Home, Sell Your Neighborhood

To move your home from the market quickly and get a great price for it, you need to put your best foot forward. Often, that means focusing on what makes your home exceptional. It helps to have a third-party evaluate your home listing to see if you’ve forgotten to list any features that someone might want in a home. However, if you get too wrapped up in selling your home, you might also forget another important selling point: your neighborhood. There’s a reason location is such an important factor in people’s home-buying decision. Don’t forget to emphasize this factor! (more…)

What Does Your Real Estate Agent Do for You?

When the time comes for you to purchase a home, you’ll probably first search for a real estate agent. Real estate agents help you understand the housing market, find homes that suit your lifestyle needs and budget, and connect you with other professionals — like home loan officers — that can help you during the homebuying process. When you set out to find that person, you’ll most likely rely on Internet research and recommendations from friends and family. As you compile your research, it will be helpful to know what you actually want from your real estate agent. Here’s a quick rundown of what your real estate agent should be doing for you. (more…)

Common For Sale by Owner Pitfalls

In a seller’s housing market, you may see signs in front yards that read “for sale by owner.” When you sell your own home, you don’t have to pay a commission to a real estate agent, and you handle the entire process on your own timeline. It can sound liberating and potentially lucrative, but it’s not always that easy. If you choose to sell your own home, you’ll have to make sure your listing price is right, you’ll need to do all of the marketing, and you could even run into legal issues when setting up the contracts. In some cases, selling your own home may make sense, but here are some common for sale by owner pitfalls to consider. (more…)

What Factors Determine What Kind of Mortgage You Get?

When you wade (or in some cases, cannonball) into the world of homebuying, you’ll almost certainly start by getting preapproved for a mortgage. You should know that not all mortgages are made equal. There are a number of factors that determine what kind of mortgage you can receive, and what kind of mortgage will work best for you. When you work with the right home loan officer, you’ll be connected with a person who can work in your best interest and help answer all of your questions about the process. Until you arrive at that moment, here’s a little help to get you started. (more…)

Buying a Home? Answer These Questions First

When you decide to finally dive in and purchase your first home, it’s an exciting moment! You’re taking the next step on your journey toward becoming a homeowner. You’re about to purchase a place that’s going to become a home for not only your stuff, but your memories. This is a special time. It’s also a huge financial commitment, and a decision that you want to make sure you get right. So, when you decide that you’re ready to buy a home, make sure you answer these questions first. They’ll help point you in the right direction and make sure you have a great experience. (more…)

Make a Home Maintenance Checklist

Buying a home is a process, and certainly a big financial commitment. Once you’ve purchased a home, moved in and gotten settled, it’s time to start caring for your investment. That means keeping up with regular maintenance to prevent wear and tear. You may be surprised by how some simple steps taken on a monthly or seasonal basis can prevent you from paying for significant damage or issues down the line. You should make a home maintenance checklist that you can easily follow to keep in your home in great working shape. (more…)

Don’t Forget These Things When Selling Your Home

There are many different reasons why you might decide to sell your home, and those different reasons can lead to different selling timelines. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the next couple of years, that can leave you with plenty of time to get your ducks in a row. If you need to sell your home next month, it can create a stressful couple of weeks. No matter how quickly you need to sell your home, there are certain steps that you should take regardless. Here are some crucial things you shouldn’t forget when selling your home! (more…)