COVID-19 HOME CLEANING TIPS

COVID-19 HOME CLEANING TIPS

Covid-19 tips: How to clean your home The house cleaning plan largely follows guidelines from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus can live on different surfaces, some for upwards of 3 days or even longer...

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home

We’re in a changing real estate market, and life, in general, is changing too – from how we grocery shop and meal prep to the ways we can interact with our friends and neighbors. Even practices for engaging with agents, lenders, and all of the players involved in a...

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice

The angst caused by the coronavirus has most people on edge regarding both their health and financial situations. It’s at times like these when we want exact information about anything we’re doing – even the correct protocol for grocery shopping. That information...

Don’t Let Frightening Headlines Scare You

Don’t Let Frightening Headlines Scare You

There’s a lot of anxiety right now regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The health situation must be addressed quickly, and many are concerned about the impact on the economy as well. Amidst all this anxiety, anyone with a megaphone – from the main street media to a...

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home?

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home?

With interest rates hitting all-time lows over the past few weeks, many homeowners are opting to refinance. To decide if refinancing your home is the best option for you and your family, start by asking yourself these questions: Why do you want to refinance? There are...

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

Some Highlights The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown. The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th. All things considered, an economic slowdown does not equal a housing...

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

The 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals: “The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of...

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home

The residential real estate market has come roaring out of the gates in 2020. Compared to this time last year, the number of buyers looking for a home is up 20%, and the number of home sales is up almost 10%. The increase in purchasing activity has caused home price...

Confidence Is the Key to Success for Young Homebuyers

Confidence Is the Key to Success for Young Homebuyers

Buying your first home can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great information out there to help you feel more confident as you learn about the process. For those in younger generations who aspire to buy, here are three things to consider sooner rather...

Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State

Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State

Rising home prices have been in the news a lot lately, and much of the focus is on whether they’re accelerating too quickly and how sustainable the growth in prices really is. One of the often-overlooked benefits of rising prices, however, is the impact they have on a...

The Difference an Hour Makes [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Difference an Hour Makes [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 AM EST in observance of Daylight Saving Time, unless you’re a resident of Arizona or Hawaii! Every hour in the United States, 568 homes are sold and median home values rise by $1.92....

10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you’re thinking of buying a home and you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. Here’s a guide with 10 simple steps to follow in the homebuying process. Be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional to find out the specifics of...

How Much “Housing Wealth” Can You Build in a Decade?

How Much “Housing Wealth” Can You Build in a Decade?

Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a special study titled Single-Family Home Price Gains by Years of Tenure. The study estimates median home price appreciation over the last 30 years based on the length of homeownership. Below are...

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat

One thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020. Why is...

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates hovering at near historic lows, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been, and how much they’ve changed over time. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near a five-decade low. The...

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and...

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

There’s comfort in being around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as...

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

There are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into...

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: There are many benefits to love about homeownership, and they’re not all financial. Being a part of a neighborhood, driving academic achievement, and improving mental health are just a few of these advantages. Let’s get together today to determine if...

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now

The success of the U.S. residential real estate market, like any other market, is determined by supply and demand. This means we need to look at how many potential purchasers are in the market versus the number of houses that are available to buy. With early 2020...

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

Even though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory market, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale. If...

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

Rents in the United States have been skyrocketing since 2012. This has caused many renters to face a tremendous burden when juggling their housing expenses and the desire to save for a down payment at the same time. The recent stabilization of rental prices provides a...

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

A desire among many seniors is to “age in place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means, “…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community...

VALENTINE’S DAY DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

VALENTINE’S DAY DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

YIELDS: 1 PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 30 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 30 MINS INGREDIENTS CHOCOLATE CAKE 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan 2 c. sugar 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 large eggs 3 c. all-purpose flour 2/3 c. Unsweetened cocoa powder 2...

Should I Sell My House This Year?

Should I Sell My House This Year?

If one of the questions you’re asking yourself today is, “Should I sell my house this year?” the current Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) should boost your confidence as it relates to the...

2020 Homebuying Checklist

2020 Homebuying Checklist

Some Highlights: If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval. Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step. Make sure to work with a trusted real...

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home....

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

In a market where current inventory is low, it’s normal to think buyers might be willing to give up a few desirable features in their home search in order to make finding a house a little easier. Don’t be fooled, though – there’s still an interest in the market for...

Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality in 2020

Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality in 2020

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. led and inspired a powerful movement with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Through his passion and determination, he sparked interest, ambition, and courage in his audience. Today, reflecting on his message encourages many of us to...

Where Homebuyers Are Heading By Generation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Where Homebuyers Are Heading By Generation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Whether capitalizing on job opportunities, affordability, or warm-weather places to retire, Americans are making moves to these top cities to take advantage of the strength in the current housing market. A strong economy and lower mortgage rates have...

2020 Luxury Market Forecast

2020 Luxury Market Forecast

By the end of last year, many homeowners found themselves with more equity than they realized, and at the same time their wages were increasing. When those two factors unite, it can spark homeowners to think about making a move to a larger or more expensive home in...

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: On January 10th of each year, “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day” encourages consumers to reduce their overall energy costs by improving home efficiency. According to Freddie Mac, a typical U.S. family spends $2,200 per year on energy bills. By...

Big Demand for Small Homes

Big Demand for Small Homes

Movies, tv shows, and celebrities often have us dreaming of owning large homes, but the reality for most people is quite different. Since 2015, the square footage of newly built houses has been shrinking, according to Yahoo Finances. This is not projected to change as...

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

Outside of a strong economy, low unemployment, and higher wages, there are three more great reasons why you may want to consider buying your dream home this year instead of waiting. 1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment Several reports indicate that real estate is...

COOKIE CHEESECAKE BITES

COOKIE CHEESECAKE BITES

Ingredients 12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 packages), at room temperature 3 tbsp. sugar 1 c. heavy cream, cold 20 chocolate sandwich cookies Mini chocolate sandwich cookies, for topping Directions 1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. 2....

MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS STICK!

MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS STICK!

New Year, New Me, right? The start of not only a new year but a new decade is the perfect time to set goals and strive to reach them each day. I know for some people it can be hard to stick to the goals that they set with so much ambition back in January. John C....

Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you’re planning on selling your house in 2020, these are the top renovations that will give you the highest Return on your Investment. Regardless of how long you’re planning on staying in your current home, it’s smart to be aware of which home...

Why You Shouldn’t “For Sale By Owner”

Why You Shouldn’t “For Sale By Owner”

Rising home prices coupled with the current inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their homes on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might be hard to execute well for the vast majority of...

Year-Over-Year Rental Prices on the Rise

Year-Over-Year Rental Prices on the Rise

Looking ahead, 2020 is projected to be a strong year for homeownership. According to the Freddie Mac Forecast, “We expect rates to remain low, falling to a yearly average of 3.8% in 2020.” If you’re currently renting, 2020 may be a great time to think about making a...

When a House Becomes a Happy Home

When a House Becomes a Happy Home

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership. No matter the size or shape of a living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether...

5,300 Reasons to Be Happy You’re a Homeowner

5,300 Reasons to Be Happy You’re a Homeowner

Studies have shown that, in many cases, the largest asset a family owns is the house they live in. Over the last twelve months, that asset has gained substantial value. CoreLogic just released their 2019 3rd Quarter Homeowner Equity Insights Report. The report...

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020

It’s exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces, but we can have deep sentimental attachments to the homes we’re leaving behind, too. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale, depending on how we manage them. When it...

Get Your House Ready To Sell This Winter

Get Your House Ready To Sell This Winter

Some Highlights Winter is a great time to list a house, since inventory is traditionally low, and most sellers are holding off until spring to put their homes on the market. Waiting for warmer weather when more competition is on the market will only put your house up...

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home. The good news is, it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your needs. According to...

A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership

A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership

Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point. This is a great driver for homeownership, as today’s low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here’s a look at three of them: Refinance: If you already own a home, you...

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Saving for a down payment is a key step in the homebuying process, and it’s not the only piece you need to include in your budget. Another factor that’s important to plan for is the closing costs required to obtain a mortgage. What Are Closing Costs? According...

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS: 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened 3/4 c. packed brown sugar 1/2 c. granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 3/4 tsp. kosher salt 2 c. chocolate chips 3/4 c. chopped maraschino cherries...

Is A Bigger House Within Your Budget?

Is A Bigger House Within Your Budget?

At this time of year, many families come together to celebrate the season. It’s also the time when many realize their homes are just not quite big enough to host all of their guests and loved ones. Are you one of those homeowners dreaming for a larger space to call...

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

Did you know that each year in the United States, we celebrate “National Roof Over Your Head Day” on December 3rd? As noted on the National Calendar, it was “created as a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head. There are many...

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

Below are five compelling reasons to list your house this winter. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are...

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

When selling your house, there are a few key things you can prioritize to have the greatest impact for a faster sale: 1. Make Buyers Feel at Home Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make buyers feel like...

The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

There are great advantages to owning a home, yet many people continue to rent. The financial benefits are just some of the reasons why homeownership has been a part of the long-standing American dream. Realtor.com reported that: “Buying remains the more attractive...

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates around 3.66%, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been over the past few decades. Comparatively, they’re pretty low! According to Freddie Mac, rates are projected to increase to 3.9% by this time next year. The impact...

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Success is something often worth repeating, and Brent Sutherland, a Certified Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor, has certainly made his way in a momentum-driving direction. Here are 3 tips he shares from a recent piece in Business Insider on the benefits of...

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

In a recent article, First American shared how millennials are not really any different from previous generations when it comes to the goal of homeownership; it is still a huge part of their American Dream. The piece, however, also reveals,  “Saving for a down payment...

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country. According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index, “Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally...

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

Today, on Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice. This year marks the 75th anniversary of VA Home Loan Benefit offerings through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill....

VA Home Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

VA Home Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The Veterans Administration (VA) Home Loan is a benefit that is available to more than 22 million veterans and 2 million active duty service members to help them achieve the dream of homeownership. In 2018, $161 billion was loaned to veterans and...

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING THANKSGIVING DINNER