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We help people buy houses so they can create a home. Here we share more than mortgage finance tips (although we do that too). We aim to help you make your house a home through DIY projects, pet care, hosting tips, yard maintenance, and much more!


Renovation Loan Options: HELOC vs. 203k Loan

Many of today’s homeowners are familiar with the home equity line of credit (HELOC) which is offered by many banks as an option for financing home improvements. What some homeowners do not know is that there is a more efficient way to finance your home improvements; the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and their 203k loan program.


Want to Upgrade but Don’t Want to Move? Refinance with the 203k Loan

Many people we speak with are apprehensive to list their homes because houses are flying off the market and they are afraid they won’t be able to find something that they want to buy. So, if you find yourself ready to upgrade to a larger home or one with more amenities, consider upgrading your current home to include those features you are looking for, instead of buying a new house. This will save you the hours of house hunting, the frustration of packing, and allow you to increase the value of your current home.


What is a 203k Rehab Loan?

Rehabilitation is defined as the action of restoring something that has been damaged to its former condition. It is fitting that the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) 203k Loan is also referred to as a 203k rehab loan because, as the name suggests, you are able, through your home financing, to restore a home to its former condition.


Home Renovation Financing- How to Get Approved for a 203k Loan

For many when buying a home, their primary concern other than finding a home is financing for their home. If the homeowner is considering renovations prior to owning the house then they would find themselves concerned with not just financing of the home itself but the renovation project as well. That is where the FHA 203k Loan comes into play, this program allows homebuyers to roll the purchase price of the home and the cost of the renovations into one loan, one closing and one monthly payment. Let’s look at what the 203k loan requirements are and how to get approved.


The 203k Roadmap- What You Can Expect with a Renovation Loan

If we view the process of getting to the closing of your 203k loan as a journey, this one, which will take approximately 45 days, starts with an application. You’ll complete your loan application with the needed information, name, purchase property address, social security number, etc. as well as needed documentation (you can find a list of required loan documents here). From there, your application and all the documentation gets sent through the mortgage company’s internal parties; they are getting your credit score and verifying the information.

Was your home purchased from a catalog? The story of the Craftsman Bungalow.

Was your home purchased from a catalog? The story of the Craftsman Bungalow. Catalogs. Will our kids even know what those are? If catalogs are becoming a thing of the past, I’d say that we can say with confidence that ordering a home from a catalog is certainly something from a period we will refer to as “yesteryear”. So, while our kids may never understand the excitement of looking through the toy catalog that was released annually at the end of November, they will likely, at some point know what a Craftsman bungalow looks like. 

Wood flooring

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Refinishing Hardwood Floors It is kind of a romantic idea, isn’t it? Reviving something that was once loved but has since been regarded as old and unattractive. The thought of refinishing hardwood floors makes my heart flutter a bit (in a good way). Those floors have seen babies take their first steps and have stood the test of time for many family gatherings; to bring them back to life and make them as loved as when they were first installed, if not more is about as romantic as renovations can get! The process of refinishing hardwood floors is on the other hand not romantic at all; one of my favorite bloogers: John and Sherri from Young House Love shared their journey to refinishing their floors so I thought I’d highlight what they went through. To get the full story check out their blog here.


Piggy Bank: Keep up with Your Money

Piggy Bank: Keep up with Your Money Insufficient funds. Overdraft fees. Bounced Checks. These terms are about as scary as it gets when you start managing your own money. Not only is it embarrassing to not have money to fund the purchases you have made but it can be expensive. You see, there are fees associated with checks that bounce or debit card transactions posted to your account without the sufficient funds present. That is why it is so important to keep track of your money; put yourself in control and keep the control.

small kitchen with furniture set

The Low Down on Down Sizing

The Low Down on Down Sizing Many are downsizing. As many Americans are aging, they no longer need the large homes with multiple bedrooms and big yards. Their kids have grown and moved out and they are ready to move on. While the result would likely be very freeing—less stuff, less space to clean, less yard to maintain; the process of downsizing could feel like an ominous one. An article found on Realtor.com gives us some key downsizing moves that could be easily overlooked.

Friendly team harvesting fresh vegetables from the rooftop greenhouse garden and planning harvest season on a digital tablet

Green Grass. Green Trees. Green Roof?

Green Grass. Green Trees. Green Roof? You can likely think of a handful of items on the exterior of a home that are green but I bet a roof wasn’t included in your list. A green roof that we are discussing is more than just a roof tinted green, we are talking about a living roof, an eco-roof, a vegetate roof—whatever you call them, they are becoming a popular option, even for residential homes. This green roof fosters growth of vegetation and includes a waterproofing layer, a root barrier, a drainage system and soil or other growing medium for the vegetation.

Let us guide you home.