• Characterized by bright colors, woven fabrics and handcrafted pieces, southwestern-style decorating takes influences from Native American, Spanish and Mexican art. Whether you live out west and want your home to reflect your surroundings, or you simply want to incorporate colorful or handmade items into your existing decor, here are some tips to help you...

    + -
  • A new phenomenon is affecting the mortgage and real estate industries. People who bought a home or refinanced in the last few years have such a ridiculously low mortgage rate that they don’t want to move and have to accept a new mortgage with a higher rate. But the reality is that these people...

    + -
  • This post is for all the gardeners out there! This time of year, we’re excited about combining our love of gardens with our love of prize giveaways. Whether you’re new to the gardening game or have years of experience in the backyard, this contest is for you.

    + -

Bonds Drop Following Decline in Job Claims Report – Market Update

Bonds Drop Following Decline in Job Claims Report – Market Update

Bonds opened relatively unchanged this morning and then subsequently dropped following a decline in the initial job claims report. In other news, the European Central Bank raised their rates by .25 percent in an effort to curb inflation. That decision came not long after Portugal put in a request for a bailout, which estimates say could reach $130 billion, and also at a time when many countries are in need of capital.

Continue Reading
It’s the Right Time to Buy a Home

It’s the Right Time to Buy a Home

Fortune Magazine published a great article this week talking about how the real estate market is on its way back to recovery and wanted to share it. Signs of Housing Recovery We think it’s a compelling article that supports our belief that it is a great time to purchase a home due to low home prices and historic low mortgage interest rates. While gold or stock options may be appealing, take another look at housing – it may just be the most attractive asset in the American portfolio today.  Here’s why: Home inventory is starting to decline Buying a home is affordable Home Inventory is Starting to Decline According to a three-decade tracking study done by Metrostudy, soon there will be a shortage of homes. Subsequently, there will also be a boost in home prices.  For decades, Metrostudy had inspectors literally drive through 45,000 subdivisions from Baltimore to Sacramento to record whether each lot contained a finished house, one that’s under construction or one that had been sold. They covered 65% of the U.S. housing market. The two most important metrics Metrostudy used to determine whether there is a surplus or shortage are the number of homes that are vacant and for sale in each city, and the number of months it takes to sell them. The results show that there is a reversal of the new-home explosion that caused the housing price decline a few years ago.   There are two factors that are helping the recovery in residential…

Continue Reading
Need To Improve Your Credit Score? Is Your Credit Score Holding You Back? Get Your Quizzle On!

Need To Improve Your Credit Score? Is Your Credit Score Holding You Back? Get Your Quizzle On!

If you thought about buying a home and during the loan application process you realized that your credit score was holding you back – don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact, below-average credit scores are one of the most common reasons why mortgage applications are denied. A Good Way to Raise Your Credit Score:  Dispute and Remove Errors! According to a survey done by the US Public Interest Research Groups, 8 out of 10 credit reports contain some kind of mistake and some of these mistakes are serious. You can often raise your credit score by disputing and fixing mistakes in your credit report by contacting the three main credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A Good Way to Monitor Your Credit Score:  Use Quizzle! One way to easily start monitoring your credit score is by creating a profile at Quizzle.com. What is Quizzle, you ask? It’s a free personal finance site that helps you get a better understanding of your credit and an easy way to manage your home, money and credit in one spot. You basically answer a few questions about your financial status and BOOM- you get your free instant credit report plus much more. Quizzle also gives your credit score a grade, shows you how many points you could improve your credit by (based on your credit report) and offers tips and tools to help you raise your credit score. They help you create a budget and come up with a plan to pay off debt…

Continue Reading