Resources to Protect Your Interests

 |  Financial, Resources to Hire Professionals

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has free information for you to protect your interests.

  1. National Do Not Call Registry or call 888-382-1222
  2. To learn more about credit, loans and mortgages:
  3. Get a free copy of your credit report: or call 877-322-8228
  4. Report ID theft:
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Specialty Mortgages: Risks and Rewards

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

In high-priced housing markets, it can be difficult to afford a home. That’s why a growing number of home buyers are forgoing traditional fixed-rate mortgages and standard adjustable-rate mortgages and instead opting for a specialty mortgage that lets them “stretch” their income so they can qualify for a larger loan.

But before you choose one of these mortgages, make sure you understand the risks and how they work.

Specialty mortgages often begin with a low introductory interest rate or payment plan — a “teaser”— but the monthly mortgage payments are likely to in...

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Getting Your Finances In Order

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home

Financial issues are in the news constantly.  Below are two resources reprinted with permission from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® for your reference when considering your own personal finances.


Get Your Finances in Order: To-Do List

1. Develop a household budget. Instead of creating a budget of what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget that reflects your actual spending habits over the last several months. This approach will factor in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs...

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What is Appraised Value?

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals, Selling a Home

The subject of appraisals has been in the news recently.  Here is information for you to help clarify the topic.


  • Appraisals provide an objective opinion of value, but it’s not an exact science so appraisals may differ.


  • For buying and selling purposes, appraisals are usually based on market value — what the property could probably be sold for. Other types of value include insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.


  • Appraised value is not a...
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Five Factors That Determine Your Credit Score

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home

The following is reprinted with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

  1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history.
  2. How much you owe. If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate ...
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Five Tips For First Time Home Buyers

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

It is a great time to purchase a first home home!  If you are considering buying a new home, use this short checklist for your reference to make sure you end up with the property that you really want.

  1. Find the right agent who’s willing to help you through the home buying process ~ no matter how long this process takes.
  2. Ask your lender a variety of questions so you don’t end up missing out on the best deal.
  3. Carpe Diem – When you make your decision to buy a home do not delay before someone else buys the house.
  4. Make sur...
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What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home


What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit 

Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be.  So keep your credit score high by doing the following:

  • Check for and correct any errors in your credit report.  Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else’s poor financial management.
  • Pay down credit card bills.  If possible, pay off the entire balance every month.  Transfe...
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