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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!

close up photo of a new washing machine

Wash Your Washing Machine

Wash Your Washing Machine We invested in a front-loading washing machine about a year ago and while I love it, I really do love it, I’ve noticed an odd smell over the last month or so. Luckily my clothes still smell fresh but I do use dryer sheets and those scent boosting beads so who knows what they’d smell like if I didn’t… eww. I didn’t consider the need to wash a washing machine—after all, every time I use it, water and soap get all sloshed around in there. But as it turns out, these front-loaders tend to harbor mold and other unpleasant smells, according to an article on Popsugar. They go on to recommend cleaning the washing machine once a month. 


The Piggy Bank: Haunting Debt

The Piggy Bank: Haunting Debt Do you know what the two largest consumer debt amounts are comprised of? If you have been paying attention to these Piggy Bank blog posts over the last couple weeks you can likely guess one of them. Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans, according to Consumer Reports. They go onto tell us that, it’s “the second largest consumer debt, surpassed only by mortgages”. While a college education can cost as much as a mortgage they vary in ability to manage. 


Bathroom Mirror And Our 203k Loans

Simple to Stunning: Bathroom Mirror One of these days I am going to do this. Framing my bathroom mirror has been on my list of things to do in the last two places we’ve lived and now again in my current home. It is easy, inexpensive and makes a huge impact on the space! Follow along as I recount Shanty 2 Chic’s steps in updating the boring, builder-grade mirror that can be found in bathrooms everywhere. The best part is, this tutorial uses materials that won’t damage the mirror and aren’t permanent so it works even in rentals- or if you aren’t sure you will love the result. (But how could you not?)

Old rusted shovel in the snow outside a garage port

Home Maintenance Checklist: February

Home Maintenance Checklist: February Man! We are busy, as a society! I often feel like I don’t have time to take a breath and then I look at friends of mine and think, “seriously, where do they find the time to____?”. More often than not, the blank in that question is filled in with some sort of deep cleaning or home maintenance activity. But let’s be honest with one another, to be a good homeowner and to save us money and headaches in the future we should be performing preventative maintenance on our homes. When I used to work in hotels, we made sure that all of the guestrooms received preventative maintenance on a consistent basis to catch maintenance issues before they happened. If hotels do that for the complete strangers that stay with them, shouldn’t we for our families?

Wooden house with hole in the form of heart with little heart on

Fall In Love With Your Home

Fall in Love with Your Home Does anyone else develop crushes on homes? As you stroll through the established neighborhood with its stately homes and towering trees, do you day dream about living in one of these with its squeaky staircase and wooden floors? For me, the charm of an older home and the character it possesses can make my head spin into a fantasy that is miles away from reality. I picture myself lounging in front of the big bay windows, taking in the sun and sipping lemonade. But the reality of the situation is I would likely have the curtains drawn, trying to keep the heat out helping the AC do its best to keep up in a drafty old home. 


The Piggy Bank: College Talk

The Piggy Bank: College Talk Discussion of which college is the right fit is often an emotional quest for the student and parents alike. There are so many options, liberal arts school, large research university, small school close to home—guidance counselors talk about finding a school that offers an atmosphere that fits the student and suits their academic pursuits. One aspect of selecting a college that can sometimes be overlooked or kept as more of an afterthought is, how will the costs be covered? Losing sight of the financial consequences of their decisions can leave families of college-bound students scrambling to figure out how they will pay for it all. 


203k Loans, Simple to Stunning: Bold Walls

Simple to Stunning: Bold Walls I have oddly fallen in love with wallpaper. It feels a little like a forbidden love. I grew up in a home where we flipped houses on the weekends which means removing layers of wallpaper and paint from many walls! But the wallpaper that I have a love affair with is not the boring repeated pattern wallpapers, but instead the bold, amazing, glamorous papers that can turn a boring wall into one of art! Let me show you some examples:


Stockton Grows Its Southern Roots

Stockton Grows Its Southern Roots  “North is a direction. The South is a lifestyle.” If that is true, Stockton Mortgage just got a little more southern. At the end of 2017, we added a branch in Maryville, TN, giving us a total of four offices in the state of Tennessee. The folks working at this office nestled in a city flanked by the college town of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains, have embraced their community and its southern style. 

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