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  • Tips & Tricks Blog

    Friday, April 1, 2022   /   by Vanessa Bloomer

    50 Real Estate Terms Every Home Buyer Should Know

    Whether you're ready to buy your first home or just need an acronym refresher, keep this glossary handy. You don’t need a real estate license to find your dream home, but it does help to become familiar with real estate jargon you might encounter during the process. When searching for a home or applying for a mortgage, you may hear your real estate agent or lender use any of the terms or acronyms below. Keep this four-part guide handy — you’ll be fluent in the language of home buying before you know it.

    When you’re searching for a home

    Approved for short sale: A term that indicates that a homeowner’s bank has approved a reduced listing price on a home, and the home is ready for resale.

    Buyers market: Market conditions that exist when homes for sale outnumber buyers. Homes sit on the market a long time, and prices drop.

    Comparative market analysis (CMA): An in-depth analysis, prepared by a real estate agent, that determines the ...

    Wednesday, March 16, 2022   /   by Vanessa Bloomer

    First-Time Buyer Advice

    If you’ve never purchased a house before, you may have no idea where to begin when preparing to become a homeowner. You may be on the fence about buying, or you may feel like you are ready to buy a home today. Either way, these tips can help anyone feel a little more prepared for their first home purchase!


    It is easy to begin scrolling through beautiful homes on the market without considering your budget. Sale postings can be all over your social media feeds, tempting you to just take a peek. While looking can be fun and exciting, you should prepare financially before you start eyeing any homes. It is much better to know what your price range is so you don’t fall in love with a house you just can’t afford (for now!)


    While you need to be realistic and recognize that you likely are not going to find a home with every single thing you wish to have in a house, making a list of the things th ...

    Friday, February 25, 2022   /   by Vanessa Bloomer

    5 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage

    6 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage

    Getting a mortgage is, by general consensus, the most treacherous part of buying a home. Many homebuyers said they found the mortgage experience stressful and complicated. Even lenders agree that it’s often a struggle. If you’re out to buy a home, you have to be vigilant. To clue you into the pitfalls, here are six of the most common ways people mess up getting a mortgage.
    Waiting until you can make a 20% down payment
    A 20% down payment is the golden number when applying for a conventional home loan, since it enables you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), an extra monthly fee of 0.3% to 1.15% of your total loan amount. But with mortgage rates where they are today—in a word, low—waiting for that magic 20% could be a huge mistake, since the more time passes, the higher mortgage rates and home prices may go!
    All of which means it may be worth discussing your home-buying prospects with lenders righ ...


    Friday, February 25, 2022   /   by Vanessa Bloomer

    7 Questions to Ask at an Open House That Uncover the Truth

    7 Questions to Ask at an Open House That Uncover the Truth

    Open houses are undeniably a fun way to fantasize over property that could be yours. Still, once you’re done staring up at those high ceilings and peeking into walk-in closets, you should also try to get beyond the surface appearance of the place and take the golden opportunity to gather some valuable information.

    In case you’re stumped on what to say, here’s a list of smart questions to ask at an open house. Whether you’re querying the listing agent or the home seller who happens to be on site, these topics will help you deduce whether the place is truly right for you.

    Can you tell me more about the house?
    This is a great way to break the ice and get the conversation going with owners or agents on site. This may seem like a vague question, but that is the point. Pay attention to what is mentioned first, and more importantly, what is not said, which could be a weakness. 
    What shap ...

    Friday, February 25, 2022   /   by Vanessa Bloomer

    Shopping For Homeowners Insurance? Here Are 6 Questions To Ask An Agent

    Shopping For Homeowners Insurance? Here Are 6 Questions To Ask An Agent

    If you are on the market for homeowners insurance, you are probably wondering what questions you need to be asking - especially if this is your first time buying a home. You may not know what constitutes the right type or amount of coverage you need for your home - and that’s okay. Experts in the field are there to help you, and these are some of the basic questions you should ask them.

    1.     How much would it cost to rebuild my home in its current location in the event of a total loss?

    Your homeowners insurance policy should cover the cost of building a new home completely from scratch. Your agent will have knowledge to accurately calculate this cost. Generally, homeowners policies cover partial or total damages caused by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or any other disaster listed in your policy. Keep in mind that flood and earthquake-related losses must be insured separately ...