• 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.

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  • Summer has arrived! Keeping your kids occupied and off the couch can be a difficult task. Here are five lifesaving backyard activities that are easy and fun for everyone!

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  • In recent months, my wife and I have been on the hunt for a house. Fortunately the search is over, but in the course of looking for our dream home, we were treated to a few – shall we say – interesting approaches to decorating. These screaming, shrieking examples of what NOT to do,...

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Market Update: Mixed Releases Today

Market Update: Mixed Releases Today

Today’s economic calendar is fairly full despite the early market close. The releases so far have been mixed. Weekly jobless claims were fairly unchanged while durable goods orders fell more than expected, which was still an improvement from the decline seen in October. Personal income rose slightly more than expected while personal spending came in slightly lower than economists forecast.

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VA Loan Eligibility – Refinance

VA Loan Eligibility – Refinance

Millions of veterans and military service members have been able to refinance their dream homes with the aid of VA loans. The loan has a great many advantages, one of which is a no-down payment requirement. However, keep in mind that a VA Loan is only eligible for a primary residence. You can’t use a VA Loan for an investment property. So how do you know if you’re eligible for such a great loan? The VA-backed loan has some distinct guidelines for eligibility. To receive a VA Loan, you must be a: Veteran Active duty personnel Reservist or National Guard member A surviving spouse of a veteran or service member who has died in service or due to a service-related disability. If you meet the above requirements, you must complete a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility and submit it with a proof of military service. If you don’t have proof of military service, the VA may be able to establish eligibility for you. Some lenders have access to the Certificate of Eligibility for you through the Web LGY system. However, it’s important to note that not all cases can be processed through Web LGY and it’s important to talk to your lender about this method for more advice. Guidelines for proof of military service depend on your unique situation Regular active duty – current – You must have an original statement of service signed by the adjutant, personnel officer or commander of your unit. This statement must…

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VA Loan Eligibility – Home Buying

VA Loan Eligibility – Home Buying

Millions of veterans and military service members have been able to buy the home of their dreams with the aid of VA loans. The loan has a great many advantages, one of which is a no-down payment requirement. However, keep in mind that a VA Loan is only eligible for a primary residence. You can’t use a VA Loan for an investment property. So how do you know if you’re eligible for such a great loan? The VA-backed loan has some distinct guidelines for eligibility. To receive a VA Loan, you must be a: Veteran Active duty personnel Reservist or National Guard member A surviving spouse of a veteran or service member who has died in service or due to a service-related disability. If you meet the above requirements, you must complete a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility and submit it with a proof of military service. If you don’t have proof of military service, the VA may be able to establish eligibility for you. Some lenders have access to the Certificate of Eligibility for you through the Web LGY system. However, it’s important to note that not all cases can be processed through Web LGY and it’s important to talk to your lender about this method for more advice. Guidelines for proof of military service depend on your unique situation Regular active duty – current – You must have an original statement of service signed by the adjutant, personnel officer or commander of your unit. This…

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Cash Out Refinance and 2nd Mortgages

Cash Out Refinance and 2nd Mortgages

It’s the age old dilemma. Cash-out refinance or home equity loan – which one should you use to pay off your debt? First of all, if you need cash you probably want it pretty fast. Technology has made that extremely possible in this day and age of instant financial transactions and online purchasing. Second, you have equity in your home because you bought wisely, spent a little bit to update your “castle” and now it’s worth more than you owe. That was smart of you. Good job! Third, you want to borrow at a low rate and you want the possibility of tax-deductible interest. Who doesn’t, right? So, you investigate and compare a cash-out refinance against an old-fashioned home equity loan or line of credit. Without getting into too many specifics here, more often than not, a cash-out refinance will cost less and make more financial sense (keep in mind, lots of stuff influences final mortgage numbers so you’ll need to have a mortgage professional review your situation to make absolutely sure). Here’s why. Why choose a Cash-Out Refinance? A home equity loan or home equity line of credit are usually second mortgages. In other words, they are mortgages that you take out on top of the first, or main, mortgage that you have on your home. This makes them second liens against your property and therefore they are more risky and expensive for both you and your mortgage company. A cash-out refinance is not a second loan; it is…

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