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Home Costs

vacancy sign

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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Woman on deck with dog

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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Woman sitting with her laptop drinking coffee

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

If you’re faced with the prospect of having to pay private mortgage insurance, it’s natural to feel hesitant about an extra cost on top of your monthly mortgage payment, but PMI isn’t good or bad – it’s a tool. For home buyers, particularly first-time buyers, PMI can be the tool that gets you into a...

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A chair and side table.

What Is a Mortgage Insurance Premium?

You’re here to answer the million-dollar question: What is mortgage insurance? Or maybe you’re here to learn the difference between mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) and private mortgage insurance (PMI). Either way, you’ve come to the right place.  Rule number one: To differentiate between MIP and PMI, you’ll need to know the different types of mortgage...

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Four rows of hammers on a teal background.

Using a Construction Loan To Build a House

House hunting can be both exhilarating and exhausting – you’re all swept up looking at other people’s interpretation of a dream home.  While there might be that one property that could tick all your boxes, it’s not a guarantee. So, what if you had the opportunity to build your own dream house?  A construction loan...

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Some of the tools used to build a house arranged artistically

Is It Cheaper To Buy or Build a House? Which Costs Less (and Other Need-to-Knows)

Traditionally, a lot of home buyers have seen building a brand new home as the ultimate homeowner experience to aspire to. That’s still true, but nowadays, older homes are gaining a lot more interest (just ask the producers over at HGTV). And despite the renewed interest in historic homes and remodels, building a house from...

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Tools on red background

How Much Does It Cost To Build a House?

If you’re planning on becoming a homeowner right now, you may be feeling frustrated. Home prices are on the rise and available housing stock is getting snatched up every day. That may leave you wondering if you’ll end up paying more for a house that isn’t even the home of your dreams. What if –...

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many keys pointing to a lock to introduce when to lock your mortgage rate

When To Lock Your Mortgage Rate

It would be a major bummer if the interest rates set by the Federal Reserve shot up during closing and your payments for your dream home became unaffordable. With interest rates being very unpredictable, even the slightest bump in rates could impact your final purchase price, even if you started the home buying process a...

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several lifebuoys reflecting safety net concept of mortgage insurance

What Is Mortgage Insurance? MIP vs. PMI

A mortgage is a big commitment. When you’re buying a home, your lender wants to know you’re in it for the long haul, and capable of paying for it. For the mortgage lender, a client can show that by making a 20% down payment on the home. Even when 20% down isn’t possible, lenders are...

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