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homebuying basics

Financing & Insuring

Deciding on a Conventional vs. FHA Home Loan

May 21, 2018

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and conventional (or conforming) home loans have long been the most common mortgage options on the market. But which one is right for you? First, it’s important to clear up a major misconception that an FHA home loan is only for first-time homebuyers. While that’s a myth, it is true is that FHA loans have historically been more attractive to first-time homebuyers due to lower down payment requirements and interest rates. But as you’ll see, the differences between FHA and conventional…

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Buying a Home

The Advantages of a Spec Home

May 4, 2018

If you’ve been in the market for a brand-new home, you might have heard something about spec homes—or perhaps inventory homes, move-in ready homes or homes under construction. Our personal favorite is quick move-in homes, but they all refer to the same thing: new homes that builders begin construction on before they’re under contract to a buyer. This enables new communities to keep a steady flow of homes for prospective homeowners. It also provides you, the homebuyer, with some special advantages. Read on for how…

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Buying a Home

Why Great Schools Matter (Even if You’re Not a Parent)

April 24, 2018

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new home, and whether or not you have children, the quality of area schools is definitely one of them. Buying a home in a highly ranked school district might cost you more up front, but the potential benefits can be significant. The cost of good schools According to Redfin, buyers pay an average of $50 more per square foot for homes in top-ranked school zones. A 2016 Realtor.com study found that homes in school districts ranked…

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Local Stories

Multi-generational Living in Vineyard, CA

March 27, 2018
Caroline floor plan in Sacramento, CA

Multiple generations living under a single roof. It’s become increasingly common in recent years. In fact, over 60 million Americans reside in multi-generational households, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center analysis. Whether it’s an aging in-law in need of housing, a college student saving on room and board or a recent graduate returning to the nest, there are numerous reasons to consider this popular—and remarkably practical—living arrangement. For example, let’s take a look at the eye-catching Caroline floor plan, available at Greyhawk Point in…

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Financing & Insuring

5 Ways to Help Maintain (or Improve) Your Credit Score

March 3, 2018

Keeping a spotless credit history can be tough, but if you’re hoping to buy a home, maintaining or improving your credit score is well worth the effort. Factors like your FICO® score help lenders determine your creditworthiness, which in turn affects what mortgage rates, loan amounts and terms they can offer you. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do for your credit health. 1. Check your credit regularly and report any errors. Before you can improve your credit, you’ll need to know where you…

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