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homebuying basics

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Financing & Insuring

How to Manage Your Credit Score During the Holidays

December 4, 2018

The holidays are a tempting time to splurge, but if you’re planning on purchasing a home in the near future, keep a close eye on your bills. ‘Tis the season for spending, but the five tips below will help keep your credit score in great shape. Check in Forget making a list and checking it twice—check your credit score instead! It can be easy to forget where you’re at, and keeping your score top of mind is a great way to prioritize your credit goals…

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Buying a Home

4 Things to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

October 12, 2018

1. Listening skills. It’s no accident that listening skills top this list! Effective communication is key to the buyer/agent relationship and listening is at least half of that equation. You need to find a real estate agent who pays attention to your wants and needs and customizes your home search to suit your wish list. When you tell your agent what you’re looking for in a home, does he or she take notes? If not, this could be your first red flag. If you say…

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Financing & Insuring

How to Save Money for a Down Payment: 7 Strategies

September 14, 2018
House with coins and dollars

Saving for a down payment on a new home might feel daunting, but small daily changes can make a big difference when it comes to setting aside money for a large purchase. We rounded up seven strategies that make it simple to streamline your spending and save up for your dream home—and it’s a lot easier than you think! Shop smart It’s tempting to toss anything that looks good into your grocery cart, but the price of all those products adds up quickly. Instead, plan…

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Buying a Home

Cost Comparison: Rent or Buy

August 30, 2018
Couple calculating finances

There are many benefits to being a homeowner. From a purely financial perspective, there are tools to help determine the cost of renting versus buying a home. Comparing the cost of renting to buying usually depends on key factors, such as budgeted monthly rent, target home price, the length of time you plan to live in the home and what your mortgage rate would be. Estimating these values can help determine if buying is financially advantageous. In addition to the actual buying costs, it is…

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Buying a Home

What is an Inventory Home?

August 16, 2018

You might imagine the experience of buying your dream home as starting with an empty lot, picking every feature from the layout of the floor plan to the color of the drapes, and then settling in to wait while your home is built completely from scratch. It’s a time-honored process that works wonders for many, but what if you don’t have months to spare waiting for ground-up construction on your new home? Easy! Buy an inventory home. Also known as quick move-in homes or spec…

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