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Where Americans Are Moving: The Top Real Estate Markets

Are “For Sale” signs popping up (and coming down) all over your neighborhood? Do you see a moving van rumble past your house every few days? No, it’s not your imagination. In many places across the U.S., the real estate market is on fire. Prices have been up an average of about 6.5 percent for […]

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11 Terms to Know Before Applying for a Home Loan

So, you’ve decided to buy a home. You’ve found the perfect property and your offer was accepted. (Congratulations!) Now you’re ready to apply for a home loan. There’s just one small wrinkle: you don’t speak mortgage-ese. It’s not unusual to be confused by all the jargon, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, […]

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4 Reasons Why Homeownership Might Be Closer than You Think

Buying a home is one of the biggest milestones – and purchases – we can reach in our adult lives. It means that you’ve finally saved enough, are in control of your finances, and are ready to ‘put down roots’ – even if they’re not for forever. Looking back a few years ago, immediately following […]

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When Does It Make Sense (and Cents) to Get PMI with Your Home Loan?

“You need at least a 20 percent down payment if you want to buy a home.” Sound familiar? If you’ve been thinking about buying your first home, you’ve probably heard that bit of wisdom a time or two (or 12). But is it true? Not necessarily. It’s absolutely possible to get approved for a mortgage […]

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How You Can Think of Your Mortgage Payment as a Restaurant Check

When you go out for dinner, the amount you owe is based upon what you order off the menu. If you select a large entrée or one made with specialty ingredients and drink a cocktail or two, for instance, you’ll pay more than if you chose a couple small plates and a glass of iced […]

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4 Reasons to Consider Refinancing Your Home

Owning a home is the American Dream, and if you’re like most, your mortgage payment accounts for a significant portion of your budget. Refinancing can help lower your costs and potentially save you money, but how do you know if it’s the right move? Whether refinancing makes sense hinges on what you stand to gain. […]

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10 Things Homeowners Wish They Had Known Before Buying Their First Home

“If only I knew then what I know now.” “Hindsight is 20/20.” “I wish I would’ve thought of that back then.” If given the chance, would you go back in the past to learn more about a situation or to do something different? Turns out, first-time homeowners would answer that question with a resounding “YES!” […]

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Closing Time: The Final Countdown to Home Ownership

It’s normal to feel a jumble of emotions when you’re in the home stretch of the mortgage process. Receiving approval and closing on your new house can be exciting, daunting, and tedious all at once. This checklist will arm you with the knowledge you need to remain calm, cool, and have everything collected for the […]

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5 Ways to Increase Your Financial Fitness Before Buying a Home

Are you more of the “everything in moderation” type than an “I’ll get to it someday” kind of person when it comes to your physical health? In other words, you work out and eat a balanced diet, typically opting for a salad or roasted chicken over a burger and fries. (But of course, you’ve got […]

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How Is Your Mortgage Interest Rate Determined?

While exciting, buying a home can feel a bit overwhelming at times. After all, there are many questions that you want answered. How much can I afford? Will the property taxes increase next year? Should I avoid a house that’s part of a homeowners association? And let’s not forget one of the most important questions: […]