Inspection vs. Appraisal – What’s the Difference?

Posted by Micah Abraham on Jan 31, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Throughout the real estate process, you’ll find yourself coming across critically important terms you may not yet be familiar with. Two terms that can be especially confusing are “inspection” and “appraisal.”

Both of these are similar, in that an expert walks through a property in order to spot trouble areas, but they both play very different roles in the home purchasing process.

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Six Easy Tips to Save Money Around The House

Posted by Justin Tuttle on Jan 30, 2017 6:00:00 AM

As we move into February, many of us are still following our new year’s resolutions and goals. One of best resolutions (or goal for any time period) is improving our finances. Open Mortgage provided some financial resolution tips and strategies in a recent blog post.

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How to Get a Mortgage Approval if You're an Identity Theft Victim

Posted by Justin Tuttle on Jan 26, 2017 6:00:00 AM

As discussed in part one and part two in our identity theft blog series, everyone is at risk of  identity theft. But by learning how identity theft occurs, and staying alert for signs that it happened, you can create strategies that help prevent it.

Unfortunately, there is no one single tool or action (or combined strategy) that is 100% guaranteed to prevent identity theft.

Should you learn you’re an identity theft victim, immediately report it through the IdentityTheft.Gov website and follow their checklist of steps to limit and repair the damage.  

You can still obtain a mortgage if you’re an identity theft victim
Mortgage lenders are aware that identity theft can occur to all of us, and have guidelines to work with customers who are identity theft victims.

While the good news is identity theft doesn’t usually prevent you from gaining homeownership, the bad news is it makes the process harder. Here are steps you can take and things you can expect if you’re an identity theft victim:

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How to Get a Mortgage if you’re Self-employed

Posted by Justin Tuttle on Jan 25, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Are you self-employed? If so, you’re part of a rapidly growing segment of the US economy. In fact, an October 2016 study found that America’s freelancing economy has grown to 55 million people, or 35% of the entire workforce.

Getting a mortgage can be harder and more expensive if you’re self employed, but there are still mortgages available to you, as well as strategies to make yourself a more attractive candidate.

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How Much Retirement Savings Do You Need?

Posted by Micah Abraham on Jan 24, 2017 6:00:00 AM

A recent study estimates that as many as 33% of Americans have $0 saved away for retirement, and over half have “less than $10,000.” Fewer employers offer any form of retirement package, and given the financial demands of the modern household, it’s no wonder that so few workers are able to save for the future.

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Is it a Good Idea to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Posted by Justin Tuttle on Jan 23, 2017 6:00:00 AM

If you’re considering applying for a mortgage to purchase a home, you can expect a long-term commitment. A 2015 survey found that despite 15-year mortgages being available, 86% of mortgage applicants opted for 30-year loans.

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Is Your Identity Safe? Eight Tips to Help You Prevent Identity Theft

Posted by Justin Tuttle on Jan 19, 2017 6:00:00 AM

If you’re a prospective homebuyer, having a good credit rating is an important part of the mortgage process. And while there are a range of strategies for building and maintaining good credit, identity theft can damage your efforts and rapidly lower your credit score.

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How to Talk to Your Kids About a Reverse Mortgage

Posted by Micah Abraham on Jan 18, 2017 6:00:00 AM

It is estimated that senior property owners are sitting on more equity than at any time in history – over $6 trillion. This has led to more seniors into considering a reverse mortgage.

If you’re thinking about getting a reverse mortgage, we strongly advise talking with your adult kids about your reasons. Here are some tips that can help guide this conversation:

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Six Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor When Buying a Home

Posted by Micah Abraham on Jan 17, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Buying a property is both an investment, and your chance to have a home for you and your family. It is a financial decision that is not to be taken lightly, and throughout the process it is important to ask questions, stay informed, and make sure that you are making the best choice for your financial future.

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Homeowners Insurance: Why it’s a Good Thing

Posted by Justin Tuttle on Jan 16, 2017 6:00:00 AM

If you’re considering buying a home, you’ve probably heard about homeowners insuranceand you might have groaned about being required to pay for it.

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