Mortgage Broker vs. Direct Lenders: Which Is Best?

If you’re in the market for a home and have found the perfect place, your next step is securing a mortgage. For many people, this is the stressful part. You have get your finances in shape: verify your income, go over your credit report and make sure everything points to you're being a worthy borrower. Then the next step is figuring out where to get a loan. You have two options: mortgage brokers and direct lenders. There are several differences between the two. Read below to learn Read more [...]

Medicare Part D Could Drain Your Retirement Savings

Medicare Part D risks happen because, although enrolling in the program is meant to alleviate the drain increasing drug costs can be on your retirement savings, it’s not a perfect solution. For some retirees who develop serious health conditions, it could be more of a harm than a help. If you’re newly retired or approaching retirement, here’s what you need to know about how Medicare Part D can affect your net worth. ​Medicare Part D Risk: It May Not Cover Every Drug Healthcare can Read more [...]

The Best Toilet Plunger You Can Buy (Because Brown Friday Is Coming)

Owning the best toilet plunger doesn't really seem that relevant—that is, until you actually need it. With a clogged toilet just centimeters from spilling over, the last thing you'll want to do is run to the hardware store, especially on Brown Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, a.k.a. the busiest day of the year for plumbers).That's why you need to keep a reliable plunger stashed away."Having the proper equipment makes all the difference when tackling a dreaded clogged toilet," Read more [...]

How to Clean Stainless-Steel Appliances and Surfaces in Your Home

"How do you clean stainless steel?" That might sound like a ridiculous question; after all, it can't be stained, right? Wrong. Your appliances, range, or countertop may be stainless steel but that doesn't mean it shouldn't get any less of a cleaning than other surfaces in your kitchen. So let's take a look at why it's important to keep your stainless-steel appliances in tiptop shape and how easy maintaining them actually is.What is stainless steel?Stainless steel is a steel alloy that Read more [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know a VA Loan Could Do for You

Because of the bravery and sacrifices of veterans and active military, the rest of the country’s civilians can live the American dream in safety. As one tangible way to say "thank you for your service," current and former members of the military have access to Veterans Affairs home loans. These unique mortgage options allow veterans and those still serving to own a piece of the American dream by potentially qualifying for homes they might have thought were out of reach.Veterans, Read more [...]

Home-Selling Checklist: 12 Things to Do Before Selling Your House

Getting ready to sell your house? Then it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! Selling a home, after all, entails a whole lot more than just planting a "For Sale" sign on your front lawn or uploading a few random photos of your place—especially if you’re angling for the most cash. (And, honestly, who isn’t?)So before you put your house on the market, peruse this checklist of things you must do in preparation. Some of these tips are surprisingly easy, while others Read more [...]

How Much Is My House Worth? Tools to Help You Determine Your Sale Price

If you've been considering selling your home, one of your first questions will be: "How much is my house worth?" Maybe you've been inspired by those "Sold" signs in your neighborhood; maybe you're just ready for a change of scenery. Whatever the case, a great way to get an idea of how much your home is worth is to look at the recent sale prices of other homes in your neighborhood.Comps can help determine how much your house is worthBy identifying the sale prices of similar properties Read more [...]

How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection: Haggling Tips for Buyers

If you're buying a home, you'll want to know how to negotiate repairs after a home inspection. After all, odds are even the dreamiest house will have problems, and sellers might be quite receptive to the notion of fixing a few flaws to sweeten their end of the deal.So once your trusty home inspector scrutinizes this potential purchase and hands you his report, what should you say to the sellers from there? Look no further than this handy haggling guide for home buyers on how to Read more [...]

8 Frightening Things in Sellers’ Homes That Can Scare Buyers Silly

No matter how gorgeous your home is, it could contain an item or two that happens to scare the pants off anyone who walks through your door. That might not be a problem if you don't like guests, but it could very well be a big problem if you're trying to sell your place!The reality is that it doesn't take much to scare off home buyers—with so much on the line, even the smallest detail can give them a shiver or icky feeling they can't shake. So, in case you want to make 100% Read more [...]

‘Our Home Was Renovated on a Reality Show’: What It’s Really Like, Warts and All

If you've ever watched "Fixer Upper," "Flip or Flop," or "Property Brothers," you've probably wondered what it's like to have your home renovated on a reality TV show. Alex Shaw, a casting producer in Los Angeles, had pondered that same question. So when she heard that TLC's "Nate and Jeremiah by Design" was looking for applicants last November, she applied—and was picked!At first, Shaw was beyond excited, knowing that Nate Berkus had gained fame designing Oprah's home and Read more [...]