Should You Pay Additional Principal on Your Mortgage? 5 Things to Consider First

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/18/17 10:15 AM

You’ve likely dreamed of the day that you would own your home free and clear. If you want to see that day sooner rather than later, you know that making additional principal payments is your route to mortgage freedom. While there are several benefits of paying additional principal on your mortgage, there are several variables that determine whether it's the right choice for your financial situation right now.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: Iowa Baseball Museum of Norway

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/17/17 10:00 AM

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime, and no matter where you go in the country, you can find a little piece of baseball history.  While it may not feel like it outside, spring training is just around the corner, which means soon, baseball is back!

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Out and About with Compass: Aurora Regional Fire Museum

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/17/17 9:30 AM

The Aurora Regional Fire Museum is a non-profit, educational center which focuses on sharing the history of fire-fighting, from a local and national level, through artifacts, exhibits, hands-on activities, and special events. If you have a history enthusiast, or a child who’s interested in fire trucks or firefighting, a visit to this museum is a must!

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9 Tasks You Should Start Doing If You Want to Sell Your Home This Spring

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/16/17 10:15 AM

Spring is one of the best times of year to sell your home, according to a 2016 Zillow study. Homes that were listed between May 1st and May 15th sold around 18.5 days faster and for 1 percent more than the average listing. Though May might seem ages away, preparing to sell your home takes as much preparation as purchasing a home. Here’s our list of items you should start to take care of now.

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Why Location Matters & How to Scout Out the Best Spot When Buying Your First Home

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/15/17 10:25 AM

“Location, location, location” wouldn’t be the real estate industry’s catchphrase if it didn’t hold any weight. Nevertheless, the slogan is right. You can change a home but you can’t change its location. Here’s why location matters when it comes to a potential home purchase and how to scout out the best neighborhood to buy in.

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8 Ways to Enhance Your Home's Winter Curb Appeal

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/14/17 10:00 AM

Short days, dreary skies and mucky streets; it’s no wonder keeping your home’s exterior appearance is such a task come wintertime. Whether you’re looking to list your home this winter or just want a more pleasant exterior to come to, here are several ways to up your winter curb appeal.

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Weekly Economic Review: Mortgage Rates Fall for Second Week in a Row

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/13/17 10:15 AM

This week’s biggest economic news stories centered on mortgage rates and job openings and hiring. Mortgage rates experienced their first decline last week after a 9-week climb and fell yet again this week.

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Out and About with Compass: Iowa Edition: National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/12/17 10:00 AM

The Mighty Mississippi, which runs almost directly through the middle of our nation, was, and still is, a critical part of American commerce and agriculture. As one of America’s longest rivers, it’s been an important part of people’s lives, since before the land was even settled. Today, we still recognize the importance of this resource, and as a way to honor the history and educate about the future, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium exists!

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Out and About with Compass:  The Art Institute of Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration

Posted by Emma Johnson on 1/12/17 9:30 AM

The Art Institute, located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, is a showcase for some of the most brilliant masterpieces in the world! For four years in a row, it’s been voted one of the top museums in all the world! It’s a fantastic place to browse as a relaxing weekend activity, and as a place to learn if you want to delve into the world of art history.

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7 Ways to Build Mortgage-Ready Credit in 2017

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/11/17 9:00 AM

Preparing to buy a home should start long before walking through a potential home to purchase, so if buying a home is one of your 2017 resolutions, you will find these tips helpful for building a healthy credit score. Your first official step to buying a home should always be meeting with a lender for a pre-approval, but your credit is a mortgage factor you should be continually working on when you're wanting to achieve home financing.

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