Understanding Residual Income for VA Loans

A VA loan is a type of mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and is available to current service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses. VA loans offer several advantages, including no private mortgage insurance (PMI) and no down payment required. When qualifying for a VA purchase or refinance, you need to meet certain minimum residual income requirements based on your requested loan amount, where you will be buying, and how many people will live in the home. Here’s how it works: Read More “Understanding Residual Income for VA Loans”

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Important Tips To Avoid Wire Transfer Fraud

As you work through the homebuying and loan application process, be aware that large financial transactions, such as a home purchase, can make you a target for fraud. It’s important to know how to protect yourself against identity theft and other types of fraud. Scammers may pose as third-party companies and attempt to appear as though they are involved with your transaction. Here are some recommendations to keep your information safe when transferring funds for a large real estate purchase: Read More “Important Tips To Avoid Wire Transfer Fraud”

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What International Buyers Need to Know About U.S. Real Estate

As the U.S. economy continues to show signs of recovery and improvement, it’s no surprise that buyers from outside the country are increasingly eyeing U.S. real estate as a good investment. Real estate is a tangible asset that may increase in value over time and can provide a positive rate of return with less volatility than the stock market. There are potential tax advantages as well. Whether you are a professional relocating for work, an international investor, or a first generation immigrant living in the U.S., there are home purchase and financing options available to resident and non-resident buyers. Here’s some insight into the basics – from the home search to securing financing:
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What Does Stock Market Volatility Mean for the Housing Market?

Is a real estate bubble to blame for sudden drops in the stock market? Does stock market volatility indicate that a housing crash and recession are imminent? Probably not. Although there are some correlations between stock market activity and the health of the housing market, there isn’t a direct, consistent cause and effect relationship between the two. There are always other factors at work that help to complete the big picture. Here’s some insight into how rates, the housing market and the stock market are intertwined, but still need to be considered separately. Read More “What Does Stock Market Volatility Mean for the Housing Market?”

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Paperwork Homeowners Need To Prepare For Tax Time

Taxes. No one likes them but everyone pays them. And the beginning of a new year means it’s time once again to gather documents and receipts in preparation for the April tax filing deadline! For homeowners this means being prepared with some specific documents in addition to the usual tax statements from employers, banks and stockbrokers. Keep an eye out for the items below in your mailbox (or email inbox if you opted for electronic statements) and set them aside for your tax preparer! Read More “Paperwork Homeowners Need To Prepare For Tax Time”

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DIY Home Improvement Safety Tips

One of the best things about owning a house, is making it your own – making it your home. This often means upgrading, repairing and doing home improvements with your own two hands. Doing it on your own has a strong appeal that has helped make Do It Yourself (DIY) a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry! In addition to potential cost savings, doing it yourself brings with it a sense of creativity, pride and satisfaction. But, before you break out the tools, make sure safety is part of your DIY plan!

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Simple Steps to Organize Your Finances

A new year is upon us bringing with it the promise of a fresh start. People everywhere will be setting new goals and swearing off old vices. If some of your goals (or vices) are financial in nature, now is the time to get organized and put realistic plans in place for spending and saving. Whether your financial management habits need a total overhaul or just a few tweaks, here are some tips for getting started:
stack of paperwork Read More “Simple Steps to Organize Your Finances”

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Holiday Energy Savings At Home

party lights‘Tis the season of gathering and giving! During the holidays Americans spend billions each year on gifts, decorations and entertaining. There’s something appealing about being “home for the holidays” and this often leads to higher home energy costs throughout the fall and winter. It all adds up to an expensive time of year! So, here are some tips to reduce energy use and limit the stress on you, your budget, and the environment. Read More “Holiday Energy Savings At Home”

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