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Home Buying Costs

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Hurricane Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Hurricane season in the U.S. typically runs from June through November, often peaking in September. Every year, meteorologists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast the anticipated number of hurricanes and tropical storms for the upcoming season. The current prediction for 2022 is 13 storms with 3 major events. Luckily, most hurricanes...

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What Is a Homestead Exemption?

After you buy a home, the first thing that probably comes to mind is how much it’s going to cost you every month. There’s the monthly mortgage payment, insurance, repairs, maintenance, utilities, etc. And don’t forget the taxes. Regardless of where you live, you will owe property taxes. Fortunately, most states offer an easy way...

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What Is Cash to Close?

During your home buying process, you might have heard the term cash to close. While cash to close might evoke images of showing up to closing with a duffle bag full of cash, that idea can be misleading since virtually no one uses paper money for cash to close. Though your down payment and mortgage...

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A MoneyTips Guide To Home Loans For People With Disabilities

Buying a home is often the most significant purchase you’ll make and one of the tenets of the American Dream. Though some people might assume that a disability can make it difficult or impossible to get a home loan, individuals with disabilities have plenty of options for getting a mortgage.  Even if your sole source...

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Dry Closing: What It Is and How It Differs From Wet Funding

When a deal is signed in real estate, it usually means everything has been agreed to and completed. That’s the rule – but every rule has its exception. In the case of closing on a home, the exception is a dry closing. A dry closing happens when the seller and buyer agree to complete a...

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What Are Prepaid Costs When Buying a Home?

We’d be surprised if you never heard anyone say that a home is the biggest investment you may ever make. It would be surprising given the validity of this widespread notion. Most home buyers begin their real estate journey parting with a sizable chunk of their savings and then taking out a mortgage to pay...

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What Does Being “House Poor” Mean and What To Do About It

Home equity in a primary residence is the largest source of wealth for families across the nation, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, many people see homeownership as a sure path to building their nest egg – and in many cases, this can be true.  But the heart is not...

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Vacant Home Insurance: Do I Need It?

When it comes to standard home insurance policies, the coverage when you’re going away for a few days isn’t the same level of coverage you’ll need if your house is empty for an extended period of time. Whether you’re waiting for your house to sell or looking for the right tenant, a vacant property generally...

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How Much Does It Cost To Build a Deck?

A deck is one of those home improvements that keeps on giving. While you’re living in your home, it expands your living space and makes it more comfortable to enjoy the great outdoors. When you’re ready to sell, a deck can increase your home’s property value and bring in a bigger profit. If you’re thinking...

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How To Get a Loan for Flipping Houses

Let’s say you’ve found the perfect fixer-upper, and you think you can turn it around with a few months of work. All you need is money – money to acquire the property, invest in supplies and pay contractors to make the repairs and upgrades you can’t make on your own. While you may have gotten...

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Can I Use My 401(k) To Buy a House?

A major barrier to homeownership is coming up with enough cash for a down payment. Though prospective buyers can potentially secure a loan with as little as 3% down for a conventional mortgage, 20% down is ideal to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).  If you’re saving up for a down payment, you may have wondered...

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Is Property Tax Included in My Mortgage or Should I Pay Another Way?

Property taxes are payments you make to help fund your local, city and state governments so that they can provide you with public services.  And that’s important. Ask yourself where you would be without vital community services like fire, police, schools, sanitation and, of course, local parks and recreation facilities. You may be wondering how...

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