Pre-Qualified Vs. Pre-Approved – What's The Difference?

The future belongs to those who prepare for it, American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. Sage advice for homebuyers. Unfortunately, without proper preparation, many buyers get lulled into the mistaken notion that if a lender pre-qualifies them for a mortgage, it means that they have been pre-approved for the home loan. There's a world of difference between these two terms. If you've ever been confused by the two, we'll bring you up to speed on how they differ – and why a misunderstanding can mean disaster for borrowers. The Skinny on Pre-Qualified Getting pre-qualified is the initial step in the mortgage process, and it's generally fairly simple. You supply a bank or lender with your

Essential Home Staging Tips

The practice of staging homes for sale has evolved over the past decade. Some ideas have changed, while others remain the same. The following is a list of current staging tips from the pros: REDUCE CLUTTER Long considered one of the most vital aspects of preparing a home for sale, it may be more important than ever to tidy up and sell, store, donate or dispose of unnecessary goods. CLEAN OUT CLOSETS The advice to declutter extends to your closets. Having space to spare makes them look larger. A NEW COAT OF PAINT It makes a place look clean and fresh. Meridith Baer, a stager, said it’s the best money you can spend on staging. EMBRACE THE ACCENT WALL While most walls should be painted neutral

8 Reasons to Sell Your Home with an Agent

The “For sale by owner” (FSBO) method seems a great way to save thousands of dollars when you sell your home. Afterall, the standard real-estate agent's commission is 6% – that's $15,000 on a $250,000 home. Given the size of this fee, you may think that acting as your own seller's agent will surely be worth the savings. Here are eight reasons you should think again. 1. Buyers' agents may not want to show your property to their clients. In a for-sale-by-owner deal, the buyer’s agent knows there won't be a professional colleague on the other end of the transaction. Even if a client insists on seeing your home, the agent might discourage making an offer, citing the hassles and risks of trying t

Moving with your Dog: 23 Ways to Help Pets Adjust to a New Home

Moving is almost always stressful, and not just for humans—it’s tough on dogs, too. If you’re moving with your dog and wondering how to help your dog adjust to a new home, we’ve got your answers. You can make the process a little less painful by following these expert tips before, during, and after your move. Plan ahead to avoid surprises Check the local laws: Find out if you need a new license, what the leash laws are, and whether there are breed bans in place. Your new landlord might be fine with a Rottweiler but some local governments, neighborhood associations, and insurance companies do not allow certain breeds. Find a new vet: Don’t wait until your dog gets injured or sick. Do some res

Home Buying Tips In Your 20s, 30s, And 40s

What you need as a 20-something homebuyer doesn’t always match up when you’re in your 30s or 40s. Find out what you need to know at each stage with this expert guidance. What you need from your home will change as your life changes. While no one can predict life’s curveballs, you can get great advice from veterans of the real estate industry. To find out how your real estate and mortgage considerations should change in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, we went straight to the source. These expert tips can help you make informed decisions, whether you’re a first-time buyer or ready for something different. Real estate advice for 20-somethings Make a broad plan. “My advice: Pay yourself first, then pay

New Year: How to Prepare For Buying A House

Considering making a move to a new house this year? Let us help get you prepared with these easy steps… Determine what area you want to move to Where are you now? Are you in an apartment and want to buy your first place? Have you outgrown your small house and want to make room for your growing family? Or are you someone who would like to downsize to a more manageable property? It’s important to figure out what your goal is before shopping for your ideal home. Making a move is a big decision and it will help the home shopping process if you first define what specific reasons you need to leave your current location. What do you like about where you currently live? Is it the neighborhood or the

Why You Should Buy a Home In The Winter

Over the years quite a few people have asked me if they should buy a home in the winter. The question is usually “is there any advantage to buying a home in the winter”? When it comes to shopping for a home, winter is not the most popular season. Cold, the wind, snow and short days all make hunkering down and staying inside appealing. Real estate sales slow down, fewer homes are on the market, and many people wait to buy or sell till spring hits. But as a home buyer, you may benefit from going against the grain and looking for a home in the winter. There are some perks to home shopping at this time – advantages that may make the buying process easier and more productive. Keep in mind many se

Find out the Best Time of Year to Buy Furniture

In the market for new or used furniture, and wondering when to shop for the best deal? Here's the scoop on the best time to buy everything from sofas to patio furniture. Best Months to Buy New Indoor Furniture: January or July New furniture styles hit the showroom floor twice a year (in February and August). Since stores need to make room for all those new arrivals, you can expect to see drastic price cuts on all remaining inventory. This includes floor models, so be sure to ask about sample pieces, if you don't see them priced. Most furniture stores are willing to haggle, so don't hesitate to ask them to sweeten the deal further with a discount or freebie. Best Months for Buying New Outdoor

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