Money Saving Tips for Home Buyers & Owners

How to Pay Off Debt and Save For Retirement

As you age, planning for retirement becomes more important with each passing year. For those who are dedicated to having enough cash on hand to cover housing and living expenses after retiring from the workforce, saving money while employed is what builds the nest egg. But if you have outstanding debt, you may be wondering how to pay off debt and save for retirement. Fortunately, there is a way to do both at the same time using a debt consolidation mortgage.

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How Much Does It Cost to Refinance My Mortgage?

If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, typically the main consideration is the interest rate. Maybe interest rates have fallen since your loan was first approved and funded, so getting a lower rate may make sense to save on interest. Other valid reasons to refinance might be to get out of the uncertainty of an adjustable rate mortgage and into the stability of a fixed rate mortgage. Or, you might decide to refinance to a different term and change the monthly payment amount. Whatever the motivation to refinance, there will be some costs to refinance your mortgage. Understanding the costs of refinancing will help you make the best possible plans.

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What is a Direct Lender and is it Right for You?

Though the types of home loans prospective homeowners can receive are generally the same—conventional or government-backed—the lenders they may choose can vary. As you look for a home loan, you might wonder, what is a direct lender, and which is right for me? Let’s take a closer look.

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Should I Get a 15 Year Mortgage? Here's How to Tell

Buyers soon discover they’ve got more than a few decisions to make when first embarking on a new home purchase. One such consideration is your mortgage. And there are more than a few choices there, too. Homeowners may find themselves asking; Should I get a fixed rate loan or an adjustable? Should I lock in my interest rate or wait? Should I get a 15 year mortgage, 20, or 30? Let’s take a closer look.

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What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a House?

Today, almost every mortgage loan program requires a certain minimum credit score. Credit scores have been used extensively by the mortgage industry since the late 1990s, and are a key factor when a lender reviews a mortgage application. Yet there are a lot of mysteries around credit scores, including how they’re calculated and what effects your credit score can have. What credit score do you really need to buy a house? Will a better credit score make a difference? We’ll explain.

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How Millennials are Using Gift Money for Down Payments

Millennials are currently the largest demographic of home buyers in today’s marketplace, having recently replaced the Baby Boomer generation as the most populous. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors highlights some of the characteristics and some particularly interesting differences between today’s home buyers and those of previous generations. One of these differences is the how Millennials are using gift money for down payments. This trend tells us a lot about the current housing market, not only how prices have changed but also about the challenges that this generation faces.

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Homeowner Tax Credits in 2018: What Tax Reform Means for You


You probably remember the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, introduced and signed nearly a year ago, but if you don’t recall it’s because the new changes haven’t yet come into play. But when it’s time to file your 2018 income taxes next year, there are several changes that will impact your taxes, particularly homeowner tax credits. The mortgage interest deduction is one of the few remaining tax deductions you can still take, but also one of the most popular. There are some changes to this and several other homeowner tax credits in 2018.

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What to Expect in the Housing Market in 2019


With most of 2018 behind us and 2019 right around the corner, it’s time to take a peek at what’s in store for the housing market in 2019. While we don’t expect any major shake-ups in real estate, we do feel confident the market will tighten as home prices continue to hold strong. 

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How Much House Can I Afford?


If there’s something nudging you about finally becoming a homeowner, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much house you can afford. Once you start your search, it’s easy to become overwhelmed about not just the number of properties for sale but also the wide range in pricing. What is the price range you need to be looking into and how do you know how much you can qualify for? It’s a combination of income, credit, rates and loan amount.

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7 Reasons for Michigan's Housing Inventory Shortage in 2018

There is no doubt we’re right in the middle of a housing shortage in Michigan, and across the nation. And, as we know from the classic “supply and demand” axiom, less supply and greater demand pushes up prices for real estate. The housing inventory level is at the point now where even sellers who are willing and able to sell their homes are reluctant to do so because they’re not sure where they’re going to buy.

Though strong demand for housing allows sellers to command a higher asking price for their home, this also creates challenges for buying a new home. This leads many homesellers and homebuyers to ask, “Why are there so few homes to buy?” This is a complex problem and the reasons are equally complex. Here are 7 reasons why Michigan’s housing inventory is so low in 2018.

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