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Real Estate Blog

Hiring a Real Estate Agent? Five Red Flags You Need to KnowWhen buying or selling a home, hiring a real estate is essential for making sure the process runs smoothly. Not only do real estate agents help find homes to buy and make for-sale homes easy for buyers to find, but they can also negotiate prices to make sure their client is getting the best deal possible. However it can be difficult for buyers and sellers to know what to look for when hiring an agent, so here are five red flags to keep an eye out for to help prevent accidentally hiring someone who may hurt more than help.

The Agent Has Few References

When it comes to finding out if an agent is quality, one of the easiest ways to do so is to look at reviews from past clients to see how well they have been received. Most agents will keep their

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5 Essential Tips For Improving Curb AppealWhen selling a home, first impressions are everything, and a home’s first impression is its exterior appearance. When selling a home, the first thing buyers are going to see is the home’s exterior either through photos online or in person while heading to a showing, and if the home’s appearance leaves something to be desired, it’s going to affect how the buyer sees the rest of the home. Here are five easy curb appeal mistakes homeowners make and how to avoid them. 

1. Dead or Overgrown Lawn

Lawn care might not be one of the easiest household chores, but when it comes to selling a home, it’s a necessity. Having a healthy green lawn shows buyers that the homeowners care about the state of their home and how it looks, so it’s especially

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Popular Home Improvements to Appeal to BuyersWho doesn't want a home to increase in value while owning it? Determining which of the hundreds of home improvement options are the best investments often generates lots of questions from owners. Most homeowners want to know which improvements are the most popular when homes resell, what each is likely to cost, and which offer the best return on investment. Here are six projects that are sure bets.

Adding a Smart Doorbell

This is one improvement homeowners will enjoy long before listing their homes for sale. Smart technology has brought relatively inexpensive smart doorbells to the marketplace. These devices allow a resident to both see and talk with someone at the door. Most models run less than $200. Prospective buyers will view a smart

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Down Payment Options for HomebuyersProspective homebuyers may be interested in knowing that they may not have to put 20 percent down when buying a home. When it comes to a conventional mortgage loan, lenders prefer homebuyers put down up to 20 percent, but it is possible to buy a home with less. First-time homebuyers should realize that there are multiple options when it comes to a down payment on a home.

Understand more about down payments and a few mortgage alternatives to putting 20 percent down today.

Your Down Payment and Equity

Lenders prefer that an applicant put down a large down payment. Applicants for home mortgage loans who can put down 20 percent can create some initial equity as part of their home purchase and get a lower interest rate, as well as avoid paying

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The Possibilities of Home Automation and Smart TechnologyAutomation is the the future, even in your home. Now with the invention of smart phones, controlling home automation is even easier. Slowly but surely, home automation is creeping into everyday life, from answering the door to turning on the lights. Homeowners wondering what type of automation is available, and where home automation might be going in the future, can check out these exciting up-and-coming products and apps for homeowners. The personal technology renaissance has been going on for some time – what gadgets will work best for your needs?

Smart Lights

Smart lights learn your lighting habits so they can turn on when you need them. Smart lights work when you're not even home to make your home look occupied. Best of all, you can

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Home Improvement Projects That Pay OffThere are plenty of home improvement projects that can be undertaken, either by the homeowner or by hiring a contractor. In some cases, there are options for homeowners to finance their improvement projects through a 203k loan. But not all projects that make the home better are worth doing. Sometimes the improvement looks great, but it doesn't benefit the homeowner in that it doesn't give them at least the majority of their money back when they decide to sell. Whether they are making improvements to the house because they want to live in a place they like better, or they are changing things in order to get the house ready to be sold, some home improvement projects are well worth the time, effort, and money. Others are a poor choice for any kind of

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How To Buy Your First HomeWhen it comes time to buy a new home, it can be a confusing process for someone who’s never done it before, and may people may not even be sure where to start. Fortunately, the home buying process can easily be broken down into a series of easily followable steps, and here they are.

1. Get Preapproved For a Loan

Getting preapproved is an easy step to miss, especially for those who are unfamiliar with real estate. By selecting an appropriate mortgage and getting preapproved, buyers will be able to show sellers that they have already been approved to take out a loan when it comes time to put in an offer on a home. This can be an incentive for the homeowner to accept the buyer’s offer because it means not having to wait any longer for the buyer

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Your 203k Home Loan GuideAre you planning a major home improvement or renovation? It can be difficult to finance important repairs and upgrades out-of-pocket. Homeowners and nonprofits may want to make it less stressful to come up with funds by taking out a 203k home loan on a property requiring rehab. A range of projects may be covered under this loan. Homeowners who are interested in purchasing new appliances, replacing a deck or repair a roof may want to use this loan to reach their goals. Individuals intending to rehab a distressed property may also want to apply for a 203k home loan.

Learn more about the 203k loan, eligibility requirements and more today.

203k Loans and Home Renovations

This type of home loan helps homeowners make necessary upgrades to a

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7 Painting Tools You Should Be UsingWhile it might seem like there’s nothing more to painting than dipping a brush in a can of paint and then putting it on the wall, the process is a little more involved. There are many different tools on the market that can help homeowners get a professionally painted look, even if they’ve never painted before. Here are seven essential painting tools and what they can do that makes them worth their price tag.

1. Painter’s Tape

For painters who aren’t confident in their ability to do edges freehand, painter’s tape is a must. Just put it on the wall, paint, and peel it off. The tape leaves crisp lines that look like they were professionally done. There are quite a few different brands of painter’s tape on the market, and they’re usually either

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What You Need to Know to Get a VA LoanVA loans offer premium benefits over traditional loans for our military members and their loved ones, so it's important for eligible individuals to understand how they work before they apply. Terms can vary based on a number of factors, such as location and military background. See how it works before getting started.

VA Loan Requirements

To qualify for a VA loan, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force members needs to have served 181 days during peacetime or 90 days during an active war. If the applicant is in the National Guard or the Reserves, they're eligible for a VA loan after six years of service. VA loans may be granted to the spouses of members who passed away during active duty. Applicants are normally expected to have a

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