If you are thinking about buying a new home you are probably hoping to get the best value for your money on a house, but what about your home loan? The rate and terms of your mortgage can have a big impact on your wallet. This is why it is so important to shop for just the right home loan. There are two main factors to consider when shopping for a loan: the type of loan and the terms of the loan.

Do your homework before looking at home loans. Even one half of a percentage point makes a big difference over the full term of the loan. A 30 year loan of $200,000 at a 5% fixed-rate, will cost you about $22,000 more in interest than if the interest rate was set at 4.5%.

Other things to look at when shopping for a home loan are closing costs. Mortgage companies charge additional fees such as origination fees, title charges, appraisals and even credit checks. Make sure to consider these additional expenses when shopping for a home loan.

You can also save money by not maxing out your budget. Just because you are pre-qualified for a loan doesn’t mean you should spend the maximum loan amount on a home. Don’t allow your total house payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) to exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.

If there was ever a time to purchase real estate it is now. A unique combination of circumstances makes buying a home a no-brainer.

Here are five reasons why you should buy a home NOW…

 

1. Houses are more affordable

2. Historically low mortgage rates

3. Prices are stable

4. Home ownership is the path to independence and wealth

5. Owning a home gives you pride of ownership

Call today to find out what homes are available in your price range or do a quick search to look for homes and create a profile on this site to save your favorites.

Furniture can be very expensive so of course you want yours to last for as long as possible. If your furniture is starting to show distress there are some quick and natural fixes to get it looking as good as new. Scratches in wood are one of the most common furniture problems. Repairing scratches can be easy.

Here are a few ways to fix your furniture flaws without using chemicals:

Tea
Brew a cup of tea (use black tea). Make sure to let the tea bag steep for 2 to 3 minutes. If your wood is dark you will want to let the bag steep longer because the longer it steeps, the darker it will be. Dab the tea onto the scratches with a cotton swab. Be careful to wipe away the excess as the tea can also color the wood around the scratches. Depending on the color of the wood you may need to do more than one application.

Iodine
Use a cotton swab to apply iodine to the scratch. Use the same method as the tea remembering to wipe away the excess iodine so it doesn’t stain the wood around the scratch.

Instant Coffee                                                                                                                                       Instant coffee can be use to cover a scratch. Make a thick paste with the coffee granules and water, and rub the paste into the scratch.

Walnut Meat
Crack open a walnut and rub the walnut meat into the scratch. The oil from a walnut will conceal a surface scratch in wooden furniture. Polish the scratched area with a soft cloth.

 

Parenting has become more and more complicated and adding the internet to the mix makes it scary. Social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have parents scrambling with what to do. Social media sites are advancing so quickly that it often seems impossible for parents to keep up.

Here are some hints on how to parent kids when it comes to technology:

1. Almost all social media sites have age requirements; follow and enforce them with your children. Most sites require children to be 13 to sign up, while other like Vine require users to be 17.

2. Just because the minimum age requirement is 13 or 17 your child should be mature and responsible enough to use good judgment offline before becoming active online.

3. Use social media. As a parent become active on social media sites. Join the same sites your children are using and learn how they work. Follow, friend, like them or do whatever the site requires for you to monitor their activity. Don’t embarrass them by commenting on their posts just be there.

4. Review and implement privacy settings on social media accounts with your children. Remind your children not to share personal information about themselves, their family or their friends online. All profiles should be set to private. Kids should only accept friends or followers that they know in real life.

5. Stress manners. Remind children that interactions on social media are just like the “real world”. Practice respect, good judgement, kindness, and always use proper language.

6. Social media is a privilege. If your children are misusing social media take the privilege away.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.