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    Did you know?

  • From 2001 to 2005, the average homeowner saw the value of his or her house jump by more than 50 percent.
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    November 24, 2015
    Asking For A Raise This Season? Read This First

    If you’ve been working at your company for a while now and have gained significant experience, it may be time to ask for a raise. But, you have to make your employer see how valuable you are and how much you contribute to them. For tips on being prepared for that important meeting, read this post by Honey Smith at the Get Rich Slowly blog:

    -Use your initial job interview to set the stage- Remember when they asked you where you wanted to be in five years? Time to go there.

    -Document your successes in a quantifiable way- show them the numbers and how you’ve improved them!

    -Keep your personal life out of it- the fact that you are saving for a home, raising a child, or going through a divorce should have nothing to do with you asking for a raise.

    Photo Credit: Samuel Mann 

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    November 23, 2015
    Getting A Cheaper Mortgage

    Your housing payment is most likely going to be your biggest expense each month. Therefore, it makes the most sense to find the cheapest mortgage you possibly can. You’ll want to find one with a low interest rate, and not get one for more than you need. Check out this post by Betsalel Cohen at for tips on getting an affordable mortgage:

    -Check online and shop around for quotes. Be aware- rates can change daily

    -Check your budget. Then check it again- make sure you KNOW how much you can afford each month.

    -Assemble all the documents necessary- and then some- to show the lender that you can repay. A better credit score and a more responsible buyer = lower interest rates for you.

    Photo Credit: Pictures of Money 

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    November 18, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Gorgeous Open Plan

    Photo from Pinterest

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    November 17, 2015
    It’s Cheaper At The Dollar Store

    I am totally addicted to the dollar store. I mean, how can you not be? Everything is only a dollar! You can find so many good deals there that you’d be crazy not to shop there– especially when it comes to these basic supplies that Karen from 365 Days of Crockpot has pointed out. They are WAY cheaper at the dollar store than they are at the supermarket, so always buy them there:

    -Pregnancy tests- just as accurate as major brands, but MUCH cheaper

    -Off brand Magic Erasers- again, they work just as well.

    -Greeting cards- you can get them for $0.50, which is WAY better than supermarket prices. ($5 for a card?? Really??)

    -Cleaning supplies

    -Foil pans for cooking

    Photo Credit: Karen T 

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    November 16, 2015
    Essential Mortgage Paperwork Explained

    They say to always read through an entire contract before signing anything, including the fine print. But, when you are obtaining a mortgage, there are hundreds and hundred of pages of legal jargon to read through if you are going to sign it. This is why it’s so important to have a Realtor representing you: they will explain the whole document, which saves you a big headache. It’s extremely crucial to know what you’re agreeing to before you sign. For starters, check out this article by Zillow at Yahoo Homes. It’s a list of the most important things you will sign:

    -The Loan Estimate/Closing Disclosure- It details loan terms, projected payments over the life of your mortgage, and line item closing costs.

    -The Promissory Note- The note is your loan contract, and contains the terms of your loan.

    -The security instrument (aka “the mortgage” or “the deed of trust”)-Both a mortgage and a deed of trust pledge the property as security for the note.

    Photo Credit: Jessica Spengler 

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    November 13, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Lower Auto Insurance Today

    Great tips to pay the lowest possible for your car insurance!


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    November 10, 2015
    Is Black Friday Worth It?

    Every year, millions of Americans flock to stores at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving. They do it in the name of saving tons on expensive Christmas gifts- and let’s face it, there are some pretty good deals out there. However, there are other ways to scoop up those great savings…without cutting your Thanksgiving short or getting trampled. Check out this post by Amy Livingston at Money Crashers for Black Friday alternatives:

    -Shop online- many retailers offer discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

    -Shop locally on Small Business Saturday

    -Shop earlier or later- often, Black Friday sales are the same discounts that the stores routinely give

    -Always be sure to comparison shop and price check beforehand to make sure that you are actually getting bargains!

    Photo Credit: DJLicious 

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    November 9, 2015
    You’ve Probably Never Heard Of These Mortgage Terms

    ..Unless you’re a Realtor. Even complete laymen probably have an understanding of the most basic of real estate terms: equity, closing, and mortgage are all fairly common words. However, when you actually get elbow-deep into the world of home buying, words often pop up that you’ve probably never heard of before: amortization, escrow, principal/interest- not to mention the plethora of actual mortgage types out there. For a great guide, check out this post by Paul Sian at CinCinKy Real Estate:

    Amortization-Is the paying off a debt (principal plus interest) in fixed payments over a set period of time.

    Escrow-An account setup by the lender to hold money for payment of home insurance and property taxes.

    P&I – Principal and Interest- P&I will be your normal monthly mortgage payment excluding escrow account payments if any.

    Photo Credit: Christopher Michel 

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    November 4, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Bridge In A Home??

    Photo from Pinterest

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    November 3, 2015
    Getting The Cheapest Mortgage

    While it’s not the ONLY important factor, the interest rate is the main thing that people look at when shopping for a mortgage. You already have to pay for your home, so what is the point of paying the bank more than you have to? For how to get the lowest interest rate possible, check out this cool trick by Kate Dore at Magnifying Money:

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) has a helpful tool to compare interest ratesfrom actual lenders who update their information daily. This enables you to often find lower rates compared to other, similar tools. Simply enter your credit score, state, home price, and down payment percentage to view a graph of lenders and the interest rates being offered in your region.

    Photo Credit: Lending Memo 

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