Interested in buying your first home? The process can be difficult to navigate, but we’re here to help with a simple step-by-step walkthrough of the home buying process.
Step 1 – Understand if you’re ready
Start by asking yourself “Are you ready to buy a home?” Here we list out a simple list of 6 things to check before jumping into the home buying process. This basic look at your personal finances will help you understand if you’re in good shape to get pre-approved for a loan.Read More
New home checklist
Kitchen Essentials Checklist
Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or you’re moving to a new house, the kitchen will be an important part of your new home. Our checklist of kitchen essentials has all of the tools, utensils, cookware, and gadgets you’ll need to whip up some delicious meals. Below we’ll cover the necessities you should have for your first kitchen as well as some nice-to-haves that will help expand your cooking repertoire.
Best Wi-fi and Programmable Thermostats
Buying a new thermostat is not like buying other home appliances like a vacuum or a pressure cooker. There are many things to consider before buying a smart thermostat – what type of HVAC system you’re running, what features you need, whether you’re looking for energy savings, convenience, or both, etc. One of the most important questions is whether it is worth upgrading from a traditional thermostat to a new, Wi-Fi or programmable thermostat.
Best Smart Door Locks
Smart locks one of the most vital aspect of every connected home of today. These locks don’t just let you come and go as you please. They can temporarily grant access to friends, family, and the delivery man. They lock the door behind you when you leave in case you (or one of your children) forget. And they can monitor who enters and leaves your home while you are away. Some smart locks can even be activated through the use of voice commands or triggers coming from other home automation services and devices.
Smart locks will change the way you think about securing your home, and connecting them to larger smart home systems can make your life so much easier. In this guide we review the best smart dead bolt locks, cover the pros and cons of each, and share our top pick.
Best Home Security Camera System
Surveillance must be an integral aspect of any home protection system. Home surveillance systems provide the ultimate peace of mind to homeowners and parents by allowing you to keep an eye on things even if you are not physically present. There is a new wave of smart cameras on the market that come with varying levels of complexity, capability and price tags. In this buying guide, you will learn more about the best home surveillance system and how to get the best home security camera system for your particular situation.
From the blog...
10 Hot Tub Enclosure Ideas
Once you purchase a new hot tub you need to find a home for it, and in some cases, a hot tub enclosure is the answer. Arguably the best and most challenging thing about hot tub enclosures is how you're going to decorate it. There are so many factors to take into account: how beautiful does it look? Does it help you relax? What will your friends and family think of it when they [...]
Step by Step Process of Buying a House
Interested in buying your first home? The process can be difficult to navigate, but we're here to help with a simple step-by-step walkthrough of the home buying process. Step 1 - Understand if you're ready Start by asking yourself "Are you ready to buy a home?" Here we list out a simple list of 6 things to check before jumping into the home buying process. This basic look at [...]
What is the PITI payment?
When it comes to buying a home everything revolves around your mortgage payment. Whether you're buying a new home or refinancing an existing loan, mortgage lenders are going to calculate the monthly payment for your new loan and try to understand if you can afford it based on your debt-to-income ratio. When going through the underwriting process mortgage lenders look at the PIT [...]
What credit score do I need to buy a house?
Mortgage companies take a lot of things into account when you apply for a home loan. A major factor in qualifying is your credit score. But what credit score is needed to buy a house?This question actually breaks down into two parts:What is the minimum credit score to buy a house? How does your credit score affect your mortgage?[...]
How does a reverse mortgage work?
Reverse mortgages, also called Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), solve a large problem for seniors. They convert a portion of their home’s equity to cash - allowing the home owner to access their equity without creating a new monthly payment or forcing the sale of the home. That all sounds great - but how does a reverse mortgage work? And more importantly what are the [...]
What is a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage, also called a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), is a tool that helps retired seniors borrower money against the value of their home. Reverse mortgages are designed to secure a comfortable living situation for retirees, help cover major expenses (like health care costs) and potentially generate monthly cash for the borrower. Retiring is hard work Peop [...]
Reverse mortgage pros and cons
A reverse mortgage can be a great tool for retirees - they can also cause a number of issues. There are a number of pros and cons with reverse mortgages, also called home equity conversion mortgages (HECM loans), all of which you should consider before applying for the loan. It’s important to know exactly what you are signing up for - educating yourself now can help you avoid [...]
17 reverse mortgage facts you should know
Baby Boomers are not prepared for retirement. Business Insider does a good job of describing the problem: few seniors have enough savings for retirement, and that’s consistent across generational groups, race, and political affiliation.However, when looking at data from the 2013 American Housing Survey, one thing is clear - America’s seniors own homes. According to the [...]
Where is the best place to put a carbon monoxide detector?
Carbon monoxide poisoning kills thousands of people and is easily preventable! Maybe you're moving into a new home, or you've gone through our review of the best carbon monoxide detectors and bought yourself a new unit. The next logical question is where is the best place to put a carbon monoxide detector? You want to find a place that will make sure the carbon monoxide detect [...]
Mortgage Interest Rate vs APR – What is the difference?
If you've ever taken a loan or applied for a credit card, you've probably seen the term annual percentage rate or APR. When it comes to mortgages the APR is a percentage, it's usually right next to the interest rate and looks awfully similar. You might find yourself thinking "what's the difference between the mortgage interest rate and APR?" You've come to the right place, we'r [...]
Debt to Income Ratio | Mortgage Process Explained
When underwriting a mortgage, lenders try to understand whether or not you'll be able to afford your new mortgage payment. They care more about your monthly debt payments than they do your total amount of debt. To understand your ability to repay your debt, lenders will check your debt-to-income ratio. Debt-to-income ratio defined Also known as a DTI ratio, this is a monthly [...]
Cash to Close | Mortgage Process Explained
When it comes to saving for a home most people focus on saving for a down payment. While your down payment is a big part of determining your home affordability, it’s not the only component. Between closing costs, fees & taxes you can expect to pay an additional 2-5% of your home price at the closing table. In many cases, some or all of these closing costs must be paid at [...]
Underwriting Your Property | Mortgage Process Explained
The type of property you choose can affect your home affordability, the interest rate you qualify for, and what loan products are available to you as a borrower. Underwriting the property is just as important and underwriting the borrower applying for a home loan. When trying to understand if a property is the right fit for a particular mortgage there are three major considerat [...]
Home Appraisal | Mortgage Process Explained
After you give the lender your intent to proceed they’ll order your home appraisal. This is a critical (and potentially frustrating) step in the home buying process. Let’s break down the entire home appraisal process, why it matters for the mortgage lender, and what it means for the home buyer and seller. [...]
How to put an offer on a house
Maybe you fell in love with the first home you saw. Maybe it took you months, but your patience was rewarded with a beautiful house that hit all the sweet spots. However long it took, you’ve now reached the moment of truth - you’re ready to make an offer on a house.You knew this time would come, but what does “make an offer on a house” really mean?[...]
Pre-qualify vs Pre-approval: What’s the difference?
Before you start looking for a home in earnest, though, you should get pre-qualified for a loan. Ideally you’ll get pre-approved. To do that, you’re going to need to talk to a loan officer. What's the difference between a pre-qualification letter and a pre-approval letter? And how can you find a good mortgage lender or loan officer to work with? Let’s break it down. [...]