Money Saving Tips for Home Buyers & Owners

4 Strategies to Use When Making an Offer on a House


In markets where demand is high and inventory is low sellers have the upper hand as it relates to negotiations. Sellers can be confident they’ll get a full price offer and will be reluctant to do much negotiating. This leaves the buyers at a disadvantage when making an offer as the sellers stand firm while at the same time you’re competing with other buyers. The best way to get your offer accepted even though your offer might be lower than what the sellers are asking for? Pay cash. An all-cash offer means the sellers don’t have to worry about the deal falling through due to some problems with the buyer’s loan approval or the property has some appraisal or physical issues. But unless you’ve got a few hundred thousand sitting in your bank account to use for a home purchase, you’ll need a home loan. And even in a tight real estate market, there are ways you can have your offer stand out.

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Who Pays Closing Costs? Negotiating With Your Lender and Seller

Home buyers know there will be closing costs associated with getting a mortgage. Buyers save up money for a down payment but also must consider the various closing costs involved. You can get a general idea on what types of costs you can expect on a typical home purchase by speaking with your loan officer over the phone or requesting a cost estimate. However you get these numbers, there are indeed costs involved. But there are definite strategies to eliminate or negotiate on who pays closing costs.

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Variable vs Fixed Rate Mortgages: Which is the Better Choice?

When researching mortgage options, consumers soon discover there’s a lot of information out there. There are so many choices when it comes to the type of home loan used when buying a home or refinancing an existing home loan. The most common decision might be whether to take a 30 year or a 15 year term. A 30 year rate will provide a lower monthly payment while on the other hand the 15 year term will result in less interest paid over the life of the loan. And let’s then say someone picks out a 30 year term and is then presented with a range of rates for the selected program. The next question might be how long the chosen interest rate needs to be guaranteed with a rate lock. There’s no shortage of decisions to be made when it comes to mortgages. Another common question is: Should I take a variable or a fixed rate loan?

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How Low are Current Home Loan Interest Rates?

Have you been checking out interest rates lately? Maybe you’re getting closer to refinancing your current mortgage and you want to get a pulse on where rates stand right now and if you should go ahead and lock something in or wait? If so, you’re not alone. It’s relatively easy to see what interest rates are doing with a few clicks on the keyboard. The problem with that approach is you never know who’s on the other end quoting those rates and if those rates are good or not. We understand that completely. It’s a guessing game trying to peer into a crystal ball and see what rates might be doing in a few weeks, a few months or even into next year. 

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How Does Debt Consolidation Work, Exactly?

Are there more than a few bills this month than you saw just a few months ago? You’re certainly not alone. It’s that time of year when home owners start getting their credit card statements and they soon realize they probably spent more than they had planned over the holidays. But pay they must and many do so by taking out a debt consolidation loan. How does a debt consolidation loan work?

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4 Mortgage Refinance Options for Consolidating Debt


When comparing interest rates on home loans with other types of consumer debt such as credit cards or automobile loans it becomes immediately clear there’s quite a bit of difference. Why the disparity? Home loans are secured by real estate while credit cards are not. Other installment debt such as an automobile loan can also carry higher rates compared to a home loan. Consumers can always renegotiate the interest rate on a credit card or other types of debt but even then the rates are still higher than what is offered for a mortgage. That said, home owners can replace those higher rates with a lower one by refinancing an existing mortgage, pulling out extra cash during the process and paying off those high interest rate accounts. How? Here are four mortgage refinance options for consolidating debt.

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The Best Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

pay off credit card debt

If they haven’t hit already, they soon will. What are we talking about? Credit card bills. During the months of November and December credit card activity begins to rise as holiday shopping and entertainment is high on most everyone’s list. From plane tickets to grandmother’s house to bringing the kids home from school to extended shopping excursions, that credit card sure comes in handy. But as the holiday memories begin to fade the realities begin to take over and it’s time to take care of that credit card debt, even though you may not have realized how quickly those credit card balances can rise. But there are some strategies that can not only help you get those balances paid down but increase your monthly cash flow each month at the same time.

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How to Choose a Realtor: 5 Do's and Don'ts

How to Choose a Realtor

If you walk by any real estate office and pick up a business card from one of the agents or visit an agent’s website you’d think that all of the real estate agents out there are multi-million dollar producers. Of course, even if that were true, being a multi-million dollar producer in Beverly Hills means something completely different in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The personal promotion is almost to be expected. There are a lot of real estate agents out there and they’re all competing for your business whether you’re about to sell your home, you’re getting ready to buy one or do both. But how do you look beyond the clutter of self-promotion? How do you find the best real estate agent out there, one that addresses your specific needs? And, do you really even need a real estate agent in the first place?

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Topics: Insider

How To Know When To Lock In Your Mortgage Rate


Whether you are a first-time homebuyer looking for a home or a seasoned home-buying veteran, you probably know how important it is to get the best mortgage possible, and much of that importance is placed upon the interest rate associated with the loan. Mortgage lenders compete with one another for your business and one of the primary ways they do so is to be competitive in both terms of rate as well as service and deliverability. But rates are an important factor. There is no shortage of information available about mortgage rates in general, how they act and what makes them move up, down or stay the same. So how do you know when to lock in your mortgage rate?

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Should I Use My Realtor's Preferred Lender?

Real estate agents are asked a lot of questions. They typically juggle multiple parties and services, and provide referrals since most buyers don’t have the specialized contacts that the realtor does. A real estate agent has a list of experts such as inspectors, loan officers, or attorneys that they can recommend when needed. When it comes to your mortgage lender, it’s good to ask questions. Ask yourself; is the realtor’s preferred lender best for me or best for the realtor?

Let’s pull back the curtains a bit and understand how and why real estate agents refer mortgage lenders to their clients.

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