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Explore our blog for insights on buying, financing, remodeling, and taking care of your home.

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Foreclosed Home Renovations: Don't Bust Your Budget

lenderly-loan-options-04Home foreclosures are, unfortunately, happening in every part of the country due to the economy but this provides an excellent opportunity for many. Buying a home foreclosure can save you a great deal of money. A foreclosure can come to you in excellent condition or may be in need of repairs. If the home you are interested in "needs repairs," there are many things you can do to renovate and repair without busting your budget.

Paint -- Simply painting the home can dramatically change the looks and appearances. Paint as much as you can yourself for additional costs savings.


Thrift Stores -- You may be amazed at what you can find at local thrift stores, Goodwills, and other resale shops. People donate items of very good quality. You may need to visit the stores several times to find the items you need but the cost savings will be so worth it. Keep and eye out for items that may have small damage or need a coat of paint but that can be spruced up easily and quickly. In larger population areas, many of the thrift stores have 1/2 price days for additional savings.


Yard Sales -- Again, people often sell items at a fraction of new costs and it is worth looking into. Look for community sales to find large numbers of people selling at a time.

Do It Yourself -- Make a list of the renovations you want to do and how many you can do yourself, learn how to do or know a friend who can help you. You'd be surprised at how many tasks seem to be something you can't do but with a little internet research, you may feel confident taking on the task. Be cautions with renovations tasks that require expertise and real skill such as electrical and drywalling.


Habitat for Humanity ReStore -- Check the surplus stores for remodeling supplies at a greatly reduced price. You can find a wide range of items available from doors, trim, sinks, showers, tile, counter tops and more.


Home foreclosures offer an excellent opportunity to start off in a home with equity. Don't be afraid of a little hard work to improve the quality of the home as well as the value. By doing a little homework and shopping, you can find excellent, cost savings ways to greatly improve your home and save even more money. Renovating can be fun and doesn't have to break the bank. Ultimate Guide to Renovation Loans

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Tips to Save on Your Homeowner's Insurance

Home insurance premiums can make up a big chunk of the annual expenses of a family.  Insurance rates change every year, and in many cases the premiums go up. We all know that there are several variables that determine which banks will lend us money, how much insurance companies will charge us for coverage, and what qualifies a buyer. There are four main variables that may affect your home insurance rate:

Home Maintenance Tips for Winter

Sure, spring cleaning sounds great.  However, in reality, tackling a long home maintenance checklist all at once can be overwhelming. Rather than letting it all add up, what if you tackled home maintenance a little each season? Here are some ideas for taking care of your home during the winter months.

Tips for Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster

There are several ways to pay off your mortgage faster and save on interest payments. Even better, not all methods require spending a lot of extra money! Take a look at the list below: Make extra principal payments.  You can pay extra money toward your mortgage balance each month or make a larger, lump sum payment on your principal each year. This reduces the amount due on the mortgage as well as reducing the amount of interest that will accrue. Extra money can also be added to the principal payment from bonuses, gifts, savings and extra earnings. Just remember to make a note on the check for the money to go towards the principal! Make one extra mortgage payment per year. One of the easiest ways to make an extra payment each year is to pay half your mortgage payment every other week instead of paying the full amount once a month, otherwise known as “bi-weekly payments.” With these payments, an extra payment is made so that the total number of payments that one makes adds up to 13 payments in a year rather than the 12 that would have been made with monthly payments. This adds up to significant interest savings over the duration of a mortgage. You also want to make sure that if your lender accepts this kind of payment they will not charge you a prepayment penalty. Also verify that the bi-weekly payments are being applied to the principal amount and not the interest. Otherwise, you won't notice the savings. Reduce your balance with a lump-sum payment. Have you inherited money, earned a bonus or commission, or sold a large item? You could apply that amount to your mortgage’s principal balance. Another option is any time you have a month where you have that third paycheck, apply that to the principal on your mortgage. This will happen twice a year, adding an extra principal payment to your mortgage loan. While paying down a large debt is nice, it's not a requirement. Consider making sure you have enough to work toward other financial goals, such as an emergency fund, before paying more on your mortgage. However, there are many options you can explore that best fit your budget. You can learn more about buying your first home with our Get Mortgage Ready Guide below.


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