3 Simple Tips for Boosting Your FICO Credit Score Before Applying for a Mortgage

There are a variety of factors that are involved in getting your mortgage approved, but few things will have more of an impact than your FICO score and the credit history that goes along with it. Instead of leaving your score up to chance when submitting your application, here are a few ways that you can boost your financial wellbeing and leave your credit score better off than it was before. Put More On Your Card It’s important to put purchases on your credit card that you can afford to pay off consistently, but many people are not aware that how much debt you owe can actually positively contribute to your credit score. While it’s good to use up to 30% of your available debt...

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3 Key Reasons Why Buying Your First Home Is Like Planning a Wedding

You may not see the connection right away, but buying a home and planning a wedding are two experiences that require certain skills and challenge you in similar ways. Check out the three key similarities below! 1. Budget Whether you’re buying your first home or planning a wedding, you are likely facing one of the biggest financial obligations of your life. That’s why, in both cases, it is essential that you pick a realistic budget and stay within it. Sounds simple, but in either case it can be difficult! Unexpected obstacles may force you to spend more than you planned, or you may find yourself wanting to overspend as you find things that would be “just perfect” additions even though they don’t fit your budget....

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 5, 2016

Last week’s economic news was plentiful with releases on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and pending home sales. Readings on government and private sector jobs created, the national unemployment rate and weekly readings on new jobless claims and Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates survey were also released. Case–Shiller: Western Cities Dominate Home Price Growth Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index reported that Seattle Washington topped year-over-year home price growth with an increase of 11.00 percent. Portland, Oregon followed closely with a reading of 10.90 percent, and Denver Colorado held third place with year-over-year home price gains of 8.70 percent. San Francisco, California, which had posted high home price gains in recent years, posted a month-to-month reading of -0.40 percent and a year-over-year gain of 5.70 percent. Analysts said...

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Should You Pay Your Mortgage Bi-weekly or Monthly? Let’s Take a Look

Most homeowners look at their monthly mortgage payment as their largest cost per month, and something they must do to maintain a good credit history. However, you may have heard of bi-weekly mortgage payments and their ability to lower your debt load and help you pay off your mortgage more quickly. If you’re wondering if bi-weekly payments are too good to be true, here’s some information worth consideration. What Difference Does Bi-Weekly Make? Making a bi-weekly mortgage payment may seem to mean that your interest will be automatically reduced, but because the lender is not necessarily receiving that payment until the end of the month, this is not necessarily the case. However, while a typical monthly payment will equate to 12 mortgage payments per year,...

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Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Mixed for September

September’s 20-City Housing Market Index from Case-Shiller showed signs that rapidly rising home prices in some metro areas may be losing momentum. San Francisco, California, posted a month-to-month reading of -0.40 percent and a year-over-year reading of 5.70 percent. Home prices stayed flat in Seattle Washington from August to September, but posted the highest home price gain of 11.00 percent year-over-year. Slowing home price growth in high-demand areas suggest that affordability concerns are impacting rapid gains in home prices seen in recent years. Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index achieved its highest gain with a reading of 5.50 percent as compared to August’s reading of 5.10 percent. Year–over–Year: Western U.S. Holds Highest Gains in Home Prices In addition to Seattle’s year-over-year home price growth rate of...

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Let’s Talk Basements: How to Finish Your Basement so It Adds Value to Your Home

Are you on the hunt for home renovations that will boost usability and value? Look no further than that unfinished basement. In this article, we’ll show you how to turn that dusty cave into an amazing new living space. Note: finishing a basement isn’t the easiest job. For most basements, it’s a lot more than a weekend do-it-yourself project. If you’re not comfortable with construction be sure to enlist the help of a professional. Step 1: Plan Everything Out The first step is to plan out how you’re going to use the space. Are you going to make an office? A full suite? Is there any plumbing or wiring involved? Will you need to create full walls? Map out how you plan to use the...

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