Breakdown All Mortgage Pricing Before You Sign

Buy a house and you probably just made the largest purchase of your life, a decision that will impact you daily. Buy the right house and you can finally start to feel rooted, as if you found the place where you feel balanced and centered. You can make this house your own, hanging original art pieces and pictures on the walls and filling the space with furniture and knick knacks that showcase your remarkable personality, your amazing style.

Stop guessing how much house you can afford

If you let yourself develop your creative muscle, there’s a strong likelihood that you created those original art pieces yourself. Clearly, buying a house is about more than the base price of the house. It’s about stepping into new experiences. Allow those experiences to be rewarding, certainly financially stress free. But, that won’t happen like magic. It takes thought, action and understanding. You can do it.

You must know everything that you’ll be responsible to pay for before you buy a house. It could keep you out of foreclosure should you or your spouse get laid off. It could keep you from taking on debt that will put your finances in a gripping headlock. Specific fees that you may incur when you buy a house vary, depending on the lender. However, general fees and costs you can expect to be responsible for include:

  • Base price of the house (It’s easy to think that the base mortgage is all you’ll have to repay when you buy a house. But, although it’s the largest chunk of what goes into a mortgage, the base price or principal of a house is only one piece of the costs.)
  • Interest or adjustable rate mortgage (Adjustable interest rates may start lower, but they can shift upwards and put your mortgage out of reach. Research lenders. Make sure you’re not working with a predatory lender.)
  • Property taxes
  • Down payment (The bigger the down payment you can put on your new house, the better. It can lower your monthly mortgage payments significantly.)
  • Closing costs (Try to negotiate a deal that splits closing costs with sellers. You might even get a deal where house sellers pay all of the closing costs.)
  • Homeowner’s association fees
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Homeowners insurance (This is separate from the mortgage insurance. Homeowners insurance covers the costs of damages the house may incur during natural and human-made disasters. This insurance is similar to car insurance.)
  • House inspection fees

Eliminating mortgage fee surprises helps you enjoy your home

There is more than one way to become a homeowner. Options include rent-to-own, a newly built house and buying an old house that you restore. Housing communities also vary, giving you the chance to move into communal housing neighborhoods, single family homes, tiny houses, mobile homes and elegant Victorian houses. You could also make the land more a priority than your living space, especially if you aim to start a farm or another outdoor business.

Go with the housing option that best matches your personal needs. You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time in your new home. But, don’t just fall in love with your house. Set yourself up for financial success. Be aware of all costs that go into your mortgage before you buy a house. Also, understand additional costs that you are responsible for paying a lender that aren’t built into your monthly mortgage payments. Shop for and buy a house with your eyes wide open.

6 Essential Spices to Have in the Home

Americans spend hundreds of dollars each month on take out and restaurant food. Think of all the things you could spend your money on if you weren’t buying all of that food? Stay home and cook dinner with friends or family and save that money. Here are six essential spices to have in the home to cook flavorful dinner each night.

Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is a kitchen staple. It is not the same as using fresh garlic but it still does the trick. Garlic powder pairs well with all foods that you are looking to add that garlicky flavor to including chicken, pasta, steak, rice, potatoes, and much more. Use it alone or add it with other spices and sauces to create rubs and marinades. 

Ground Cumin: Cumin has an intense flavor that is both nutty and earthy but also slightly spicy. It pairs well with chicken, potatoes, beans, etc. Cumin also pairs well with other spices such as garlic powder, which can be used as a dry rub or added to a marinade.

Onion Powder: Onion powder provides the flavor of onion without the actual onion. It goes well with anything that you are trying to add onion flavor to. It’s best used with other seasonings rather then as a standalone seasoning such as in sauces and spice blends.

Cajun Seasoning: Cajun seasoning has a bit of heat with bold flavor. It’s a combination of paprika, black pepper, onion, cayenne, thyme, white pepper, garlic and sage. It’s often used in jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice, and Andouille, but can also be used in much less intricate dishes. This includes fish, chicken, and steak.

Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes are perfect for adding heat to dishes before, during and after being cooked. Red pepper flakes go great on pizza, pasta, chicken, and anything else you’d like to add heat to.

Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning is a combination of multiple spices including rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme. Adding Italian seasoning to dishes is a simple way to add flavor. It goes well with chicken, potatoes, green beans, and much more.

These are just a few of the essential spices and spices blends that you should have in your home. You can create simple or intricate dishes and endless of flavor with these different spices.

Four Reasons Dogs Are Not For Everybody

There are several compelling reasons to have a dog as a family pet. They give their owners unconditional love, their protective instinct helps keep your family and home safe, and they’re great walking or jogging companions. If you love dogs, then your home probably does not feel complete without one. However, dog ownership is not for everyone, and careful thought should be given to the pros and cons of bringing a dog into the family. Here’s an overview of some of the issues to weigh when your kids are begging you to buy them a puppy.

  • Is your family’s lifestyle compatible with dog ownership? Dogs are very social animals, so if everyone is too busy to train, walk, and play with a new pet, then your pooch might not receive the attention they need to thrive and be happy. Dogs that are frequently bored or lonely tend to acquire some undesirable habits, such as chewing on furniture or barking incessantly. Dogs also need to be groomed regularly, taken to the vet’s for periodic shots and checkups, and given preventative medicine for ticks, fleas, and other parasites. Some dog breeds are considered to be higher maintenance than others, so it pays to do your research before deciding whether to take on the responsibility of dog ownership.
  • Does anyone in your family have allergies to dogs or cats? Roughly one in ten people in the U.S. do have pet allergies, so it could be a potential problem. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, dogs produce allergens that are found in their hair, dander, saliva, and urine. Symptoms of a dog or cat allergy can include sneezing, running nose, coughing, wheezing, hives, rashes, or watery, itchy, red eyes. If might be impractical to have a dog living in your house if a member of your family has a pet allergy. The good news is that there are some dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions than others, including the following breeds: Bichon Frise, Maltese, Poodle, Schnauzer, Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, Afghan Hound, several types of terriers, and a handful of other family-friendly dogs. The American Kennel Club is a good source of information on dogs, including ones that have non-shedding coats and produce less dander.
  • Dogs that were bred in less-than-humane conditions and were removed from their mother prematurely may be fearful, neurotic, and have behavioral problems. Buying puppies through reputable, local breeders rather than pet stores that may be associated with large-scale “puppy mills” is usually a wiser approach to adopting a dog. There are plenty of pet stores that sell healthy, well adjusted puppies, but it’s always good to shop around and make informed decisions.
  • Large, rambunctious dogs can be playful and friendly, but aren’t aware of the effect they can have on their human friends. If you have very young children or elderly relatives in the house, an overly exuberant, large dog might not be the best match for your family. If you do have a big dog, one of the first orders of business would be to teach them not to jump on people.

While dogs can be a wonderful addition to the family, dog ownership is a commitment that has one thing in common with marriage: It shouldn’t be entered into lightly!

Establish a Realistic Asking Price for Your Home

Many home sellers face a dilemma. In most instances, it is important to set a competitive price for your property to stir up plenty of interest in it. Conversely, it is essential to explore ways to maximize the value of your residence.

For home sellers, establishing the right price for your house is key. By doing so, you can set a price for your home that meets your needs as well as homebuyers’.

What does it take to establish the right price for your residence? Here are three tips to ensure home sellers are equipped to do just that.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

The housing market fluctuates constantly. As such, what your home was worth yesterday may not be what it is worth today.

If you study the housing market closely, you can price your residence based on the current real estate sector’s conditions. Thus, you’ll be better equipped than other home sellers to garner attention from homebuyers and accelerate the home selling process.

Examine the prices of comparable houses in your area, along with the prices of recently sold houses similar to your own. This will make it easy for you to establish “fair market value” for your property and price it accordingly.

Also, don’t forget to conduct a home appraisal before you add your home to the real estate market. With a home appraisal, you’ll be able to receive comprehensive insights into your home’s condition and complete home repairs to boost its value.

2. Set Home Selling Goals

Do you want to sell your house as quickly as possible? Or are you looking to optimize the value of your home, regardless of how long it remains on the real estate market?

Set home selling goals prior to adding your house to the real estate market, and you can establish a fair price for your residence.

For example, if you want to sell your house so you can relocate quickly, you may want to price your residence competitively. On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient, you can always wait out a buyer’s market to maximize the value of your residence.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent will play a key role in your ability to sell your house and get the best price for it. And if you employ an experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble accomplishing your home selling goals.

With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive extensive support throughout the home selling process. This real estate professional will offer expert tips and advice to help you get your property ready for the real estate market. In addition, he or she can offer guidance about how to price your home competitively, whether to accept or reject a homebuyer’s offer and more.

Collaborate with an experienced real estate agent, and ultimately, you can simplify the process of selling your home.