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Are PMI Payments Obligatory?You want to buy a home but cannot afford to make a large down payment. Thankfully, potential buyers have options and may qualify for a home mortgage loan while putting down a small down payment. However, such a common situation does often come with strings attached.

Lenders want the security that comes along with borrowers investing in a home with a down payment of at least 20 percent. When this is not possible, they look for another way to protect the loans they are making. If a borrower cannot put at least 20 percent down, lenders consider these borrowers to be a higher risk. To protect this risk, lenders require borrowers to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed

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Buying New Flooring for the HomeInstalling new flooring can dramatically change the look and function of the home. With information about the five most popular types of flooring, homeowners can weigh the benefits and disadvantages and make the right choice for their homes.

1. Carpet

For people who want a budget-friendly flooring choice that is warm and can block noise, carpet is the standard option. Carpet prices range from around $1 per square foot to many times that, depending on the cut and arrangement of the fibers, the density, and the materials used. The quality of the pad underneath the carpet could significantly affect its feel and long-term durability. Carpet can be more difficult to clean and maintain, and generally lasts for a shorter time than other flooring

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Guide to Downsizing a HomeDownsizing (by buying a smaller home or condo) can be a time consuming and discouraging process for many people. Knowing what to get rid of, how to get rid of it and when to start can help make the process of downsizing a little less daunting. There are some things a homeowner who plans to move into a smaller home or condo can do to smooth the process along.

Get A Head Start

Downsizing is best done over a long period of time. With only a short time to downsize, many home buyers will either fail at it completely or will fail to do it in an organized way. Downsizing over the course of many months or even years is best. Homeowners who know that they'll be moving into a smaller home in just a few short years should start as soon as possible to

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Can You DIY or Is It Best Left to the Professionals?Many homeowners like to think that they can watch a few videos and then make any repair needed in a home. While there are many repairs that are relatively simple, other types of upgrades or changes do require the expertise of a professional. Homeowners should know when to address a repair or upgrade yourself and when to call in a professional.

Be Clear on What You Can Do

Some projects can be handled by the average homeowner, while others require more extensive knowledge. It can be better to hire a licensed contractor or electrician when mistakes can lead to potential fire hazards or fines for a homeowner. This can come into play when work on a home may change the existing structure, making it hard to sell a home with work that has not been

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Green Upgrades to Improve Home Energy EfficiencyNow more than ever, homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious both to help preserve the environment and also because green alternatives are more often less expensive than their traditional counterparts. There are many different ways homeowners can make their homes more environmentally friendly, but here are four different energy efficient upgrades that can easily find their way into any home.

1. Use LED Light Bulbs Instead of Incandescent Bulbs 

Incandescent light bulbs are the most common type of bulb used in homes because they’re widely available and often the cheapest option, sometimes costing only $1 per bulb. However, incandescent light bulbs are some of the poorest quality options out there, especially when compared to LED

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Investing in a Fixer Upper Home: Tips for Buyer SuccessBuying a fixer upper home can lead to one of two final results: buyers either get a great deal on a dwelling to live in or flip for profit, or they may end up facing a scenario where serious problems expose the home for the money pit it actually is. However, anytime is considered a ‘good time' to buy a fixer upper, regardless of current real estate market conditions. The key to success is to obtain numerous inspections on fixer uppers, which can help buyers negotiate the bottom line price while giving them a good idea of what they're getting into beforehand.

Tips for Choosing a Fixer Upper Home

While many buyers want a move-in ready dwelling, those who can see beyond a few imperfections and are not intimidated by taking on a few repairs can

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How the Right Landscaping Can Perk Up Your HomeLandscaping may sound like a fancy term reserved for fancy homes, but it's really a call to action for all homeowners. No matter how modest a property may seem, the right landscaping can make a huge difference. Not only does it make the home more livable for residents, but it's also a sign that an owner cares about how their home is perceived by others, which can be valuable when trying to boost a home's curb appeal. This subtle difference can have a chain reaction of raising property values for everyone on the street.

Choosing the Look

If homeowners don't have an exact landscaping vision, they should start with logistics. Succulents aren't just good for a drought-ridden area—they're also good for a homeowner who doesn't want to put a lot of

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Pros and Cons for Buying a CondoCondominium living has its advantages, but it is not the ideal choice for everyone. With this guide, people will understand the common benefits and concerns surrounding buying a condo.

Pro: No Exterior Maintenance

Being a homeowner often calls for more work in maintenance and upgrades than renting. For owners of single-family homes, much of that upkeep is related to the yard. Condo owners can bypass most of it. People who own condos have to pay for the management of the:

  • exterior structure
  • grounds
  • amenities and features of the property
  • building repairs

The benefit is that they are not personally obligated to provide this maintenance. Buyers who have limited time, funds, or ability to do yardwork may have an easier time

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When Is the Best Time to Buy a Home? With almost two-thirds of households owning their home, it is no wonder that more people are looking to make the leap into homeownership. Those who have never owned their home may be surprised at the financial considerations and other obligations to be prepared for prior to going for a home mortgage. Renters may want to position themselves in such a way as to get the best rates possible or wait for market conditions to change before buying. What should renters realize before buying a first home?

Preliminary Financial Expenses

Individuals who are looking to take out a conventional mortgage loan should be aware that most lenders prefer borrowers who can make a 20 percent down payment. Such individuals may be offered better terms. In addition,

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5 Ways To Sell Your Home FasterNo homeowner wants their home to sit on the market for months on end without finding the right buyer. It may seem like there is little a homeowner can do about this, but in reality there are many different things a homeowner can do to make their home more appealing to buyers, which may lead to a faster sale. Here are five different projects and strategies homeowners can use to help their home find the right buyer faster.

1. Take High Quality Pictures

These days, people almost always go online to look for homes for sale, so it’s of the utmost important that the homeowner uses the best photos possible on these listings to give buyer an accurate representation of the home. Cellphones have such high quality cameras now that it’s possible for

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