First-Time Homebuyer FAQ: How Is a Home Appraisal Calculated?

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/8/17 9:30 AM

You’ve been pre-approved for home financing, found a home and settled on a purchase agreement; now what? Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing your mortgage, the value of the property in question needs to be determined through a home appraisal. So how do appraisers attach value? Here are few first-time homebuyer FAQ’s about home appraisals and the answers.


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What's the Best Long-Term Investment? Americans Say Real Estate.

Posted by Laine Smith on 5/20/16 8:00 AM

Real estate has been Americans’ top pick for “best long-term investment” for the past two years, according to an April 2016 Gallup poll. This year, real estate took a significant lead against stocks, mutual funds, gold, savings, CD’s and bonds with 35% of polled Americans saying that real estate is the better long-term investment.


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Mortgage 101: Home Financing Terms All First-Time Homebuyers Should Understand

Posted by Laine Smith on 5/15/16 10:00 AM

Buying a home, especially your first home, can sometimes be a confusing process. With new terms like earnest money and title search jumping out at you from purchase contracts and mortgage documents, you may find your head spinning. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the common home financing terms you should understand when purchasing a home.

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8 Home Renovations That Can Decrease Your Home Value

Posted by Laine Smith on 4/23/16 10:00 AM

The ability to personalize your home to meet your personal style and needs is a huge perk of homeownership, but when it comes to home renovations, not all boost home value. Certain home renovations, additions and amenities can devalue your abode.

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The Top 8 Value-Adding Projects for Home Sellers

Posted by Laine Smith on 4/16/16 2:48 PM

Getting your home in the best shape to sell doesn’t have to mean pouring a huge investment into it. Simple fixes can up the overall appearance of your home, lessen its time on the market, and potentially increase a buyer's offered purchase price.

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10 Home Features the Millennial Homebuyer Wants in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 4/8/16 11:03 AM

Ever wonder why Millennials receive so much attention, especially in the housing market? Millennials are the largest generation in American history, and in 2015, they made up the largest generational share of homebuyers (35%).

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Mortgage Goals: Tips for Scouting the Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home

Posted by Laine Smith on 3/14/16 4:21 PM

With mortgage rates near historic lows and the continued appreciation of home values, the purchases of second homes or vacation homes have skyrocketed in the past few years. In 2014, vacation home sales boomed to a peak estimated 1.13 million, up from 717,000 in 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors.

While you’re relaxing at your spring break destination this year and find yourself entertaining the idea of purchasing a vacation home in the future, here are some considerations for choosing a good second home investment.

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The 10 Best Remodeling Projects to Boost Home Value in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/11/16 5:44 PM

Curb appeal, energy efficiency and higher-cost remodeling and renovation projects topped the list of Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report. For the 30 projects reviewed, the average cost and average resale return was 64.4%, the second-highest return in the past eight years. If you’re thinking of making home improvements to improve resale value, here’s what the report found to be the greatest remodeling, renovation and home improvement projects for cost recoupment.

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Exterior Home Renovations: Homeowners & REALTORS Weigh In on the Best Projects

Posted by Laine Smith on 12/21/15 6:34 PM

Want to update your curb appeal, add energy efficiency or thinking of selling your home soon? Not all exterior home renovations will recoup your investment. According to the National Association of REALTORS ® 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, Americans spent over $300 billion on remodeling projects in 2015.

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6 Reasons You Should Buy a Home in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 12/20/15 4:02 PM

If you’ve been sitting on the fence between homebuying and renting, 2016 is shaping up to be the optimal time to purchase a home. Changes in home prices, mortgage rates, loan options and the loan process could be just what you need to get off the homebuying sidelines.

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