Financing & Insuring

3 Ways to Make Today’s Interest Rates Work for You

November 2, 2011

1: Take advantage of lower monthly payments. If you’re considering buying a new home in the coming months, there’s one benefit to today’s low rates that can’t be ignored: lower monthly mortgage payments. To help show you the significance of current rates, let’s look at an example. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in September 2002 had a 6.26% interest rate (HSH.com). Nine years later, in September of this year, the average 30-year fixed rate was at 4.09%. CNN reported that, according to mortgage giant Freddie…

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Local Stories

Best Places to Live: Jacksonville, FL

October 20, 2011

Maybe it’s the 80,000 acres of parkland and nature preserves, the miles of sun-drenched beaches or the outstanding air quality. Maybe it’s the world-class performing arts, the 40+ museums or the pro sports. However you slice it, Jacksonville’s unique blend of outdoor adventure and urban vitality puts it on our list of best places to live. We’re not the first to spot Jacksonville’s star qualities. The coastal metropolis was ranked one of “America’s 50 Best Cities” by Bloomberg Businessweek, #3 in Forbes‘ “Happiest Cities to…

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Buying a Home

Energy Wise Spotlight: Low-e Windows

October 9, 2011

“I have to draw blackout curtains in the summer to keep the heat out.”   “My windows are ice-cold and drafty in winter.”   “The carpet and upholstery near my windows and sliding glass doors are fading.”   If this sounds familiar, you may be throwing money out the window. Hot spots in summer, drafts in winter and sun bleaching are telltale signs that your glass lacks the low-emissivity engineering found in newer windows and doors—a difference that could cost you much more than your…

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Packing & Moving

A Moving Checklist for Your Kids

September 26, 2011

Make moving a stress-free experience for you and a fun one for your kids! Involve them in the process with our 6-week moving checklist for kids 10 and under. 6 weeks before the move: If you are moving to a new city or state, do some research with your kids. Get some simple books or magazines about the area and have your children list the things that they like about the new city, state or neighborhood. Start a list of fun things you want to…

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Buying a Home

Energy Wise Spotlight: HVAC Revamp

September 24, 2011

Did you know the way your HVAC is installed can save you money…or cost you? The truth is, calculating how much heating and cooling is needed for each room hasn’t been an exact science in the past. Builders would make rough estimates based on the number of windows and square footage, but the process was hardly precise. Technology is changing all that. With the help of new software, forward-thinking builders like Richmond American are able to make more accurate heat loss and gain calculations. Through…

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