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Debt, Credit & Paperwork

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What Home Buyers Need To Know About Appraisal Gaps

Home buyers today are navigating one of the most competitive real estate markets in history. With home values rising over 17% year over year, home buyers have learned they need to come in with their best offer if they want a chance at winning a home. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as making an offer...

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What Is a Lease Purchase Agreement and How To Structure It?

There are many possible paths to becoming a homeowner. In some cases, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer, you might consider a “rent to own” program, often referred to as a lease purchase agreement. Depending on your current financial and personal situation, a lease purchase agreement might help you eventually buy a home that...

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Is Your Home Office Tax Deductible?

If, like more and more Americans, you’ve embraced working from home, you may be wondering if you can write off your home office on your taxes.  The answer depends on a lot of factors, including how you use your home for work, whether you have a dedicated space for your home office and whether you...

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What Is Chain of Title in Real Estate?

Chain of title is the history of ownership of any real property. Each time a property is sold or transferred from one owner to the next, the title, or ownership, of that property is transferred. The record of all those transfers establishes a chain of title. The concept of chain of title is also used...

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Brick two story home

What Is Fee Simple in Real Estate?

The home buying process may have you wading through unfamiliar waters, including the navigation of legalese. And one of the terms you may come across during this process is “fee simple.” Whether you’re deep into your buyer’s journey or have only gotten as far as casually scrolling through real estate websites, it’s helpful to know...

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What Does ‘Under Contract’ Mean in Real Estate?

You’ve found it – the perfect home. From the molding to the skylights, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted. Just as you’re getting ready to put in an offer, the listing changes. Now it’s listed as “under contract.” Is this the end of your real estate romance, or is there a chance you and your dream...

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

If you’ve been saving up money in your 401(k) for years and you want to purchase a home, you might be wondering if you can use your retirement savings to buy your dream home. Yes, you can use your 401(k) to help fund the purchase of a home, but it’s a strategy that comes with...

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Deed vs. Title

“Title” and “deed” are the Fred and George Weasley of the real estate world (we see you, “Harry Potter” hive). And like the identical twin wizards, “title” and “deed” get notoriously mixed up all the time.  You wouldn’t be at fault if you thought that title and deed are the same thing. Both are related...

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Gold bars

Using Investment Assets for a Mortgage Application

Investments are a valuable way to plan for your future. And if you’re planning on buying a house, they can be particularly valuable assets now. You can use these assets for a mortgage application. If your main source of income isn’t enough to qualify for a mortgage loan or you’re wondering if you can qualify...

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Navigating Seller’s Disclosures: What You Need To Know

Picture this: You’ve settled into bed in your new home, only to be woken up at 2:00 a.m. by the persistent drip of water on your forehead. After investigating, you discover that the roof has major, long-standing defects that will cost a lot of money to fix.  A Seller’s Disclosure – sometimes referred to as...

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hand holding lots of credit cards for topic credit score to buy a house

Do You Have the Credit Score To Buy a House?

Ready to buy a house? Well, besides finding a property you like, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the mortgage process so you can get a good home loan. One of the first things a mortgage lender will ask you at the start of the preapproval process is, “What is your credit score?” It’s an...

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What a Credit Score Is and Why it Matters

You may be done with school, but you’re still getting graded. Say hello to your credit score! It’s the financial world’s way of grading how reliable you are with the money you borrow. If you’re looking to buy a car, apply for a credit card or buy a home, you’ll want to make sure your...

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Buying a House After Bankruptcy: When and How Can You Do It?

If you’ve gone through bankruptcy and aspire to own a home, you are likely wondering if you’ll be able to get your finances back on track and fulfill your homeownership dreams. In this regard, you’re not alone. In 2020, more than 500,000 people filed for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So, while bankruptcy can...

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A man is signing a purchase agreement for a house while drinking coffee

Signing a Purchase Agreement on a House: What To Decode Before the Ink Dries

Although we set out looking for the perfect house to buy, we may come to realize that ours just isn’t out there – yet.  That’s why, as a home buyer, it’s so important to make sure you work out a real estate purchase agreement that lands you the best deal you can swing with the...

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planners with pen to work out how long to buy a house

How Long Does It Take To Buy a House?

No pain, no gain. To turn a house you love into your very own home, you’re going to have to put in some serious time and effort to get it. It’s usually a faster process for first-time home buyers because they don’t have to sell a house while they’re trying to buy their next one....

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couple at computer with credit card looking to buy a house online

How To Buy a House Online

You can go online right now and buy a car – boom, done – so why not buy a house online, too? More people than ever are buying homes online. Sure, there’s more involved in the home buying process than there is for a car. But if you know what you’re looking for in a...

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lady with red hair signing a contract reflecting concept buy a house with student loan debt

How To Buy a House With Student Loan Debt

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ll need to do some serious research before you make any major decisions – especially if you have federal or private student loan debt. Before you hit the panic button, we want you to know that student loan debt doesn’t have to be an obstacle to buying a...

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4 Reasons Not To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Learn why paying extra on your monthly mortgage payments and reducing your principal early may not be a good idea.

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4 Reasons Borrowers Lose Pre-Approval Status

Buyers are taken much more seriously when they are pre-approved. Learn how that pre-approval status can be lost so that you can prevent it from happening to you.

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