• Are you having a baby? Here’s a handy, downloadable PDF with a list of 50 essential items you’ll need for your new baby. Whether you’re sorting through your baby shower gifts or drafting your shopping list, these tips may help you figure out what you need most.

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  • Although vacationing during the cold winter months is exciting, it’s important to take care of all the mundane details before leaving your home for a significant amount of time. Nobody wants to worry about the safety of their home while vacationing, and you won’t have to if you take these steps.

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  • 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...

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Refinance Your Mortgage: 5 Really Good Reasons

Refinance Your Mortgage: 5 Really Good Reasons

There are times when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage. It’s important to have a clear financial objective in mind so that you’re more able to choose the most appropriate loan. Ultimately, the decision is up to you to decide when it’s best for you to refinance, based on your individual financial situation. Refinance from an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) to a Fixed-Rate It’s important to consider what mortgage rates are doing. Are mortgage rates rising or falling? If you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), it may adjust to a rate that’s higher than a fixed-rate mortgage. Now might be a good time to consider refinancing to a fixed-rate loan. However, you must also consider the amount of time you plan on being in your home. If you’re only going to be in your home for a few more years, it may make sense not to refinance out of your ARM. If you’re going to be in your home longer than seven years, it might be a smart move to refinance to a fixed-rate mortgage. Refinance from a Fixed-Rate Mortgage to an ARM Again, you need to consider how long you plan on being in your home. Many people move within nine years so it may not make sense to pay a higher interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage when you’re not going to be in the home that long. Doing so may be costing you money. Consider refinancing to an ARM instead – you’ll get a…

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Important Information You Should Know Regarding Appraisals

Important Information You Should Know Regarding Appraisals

You are ready to move forward with your home purchase. You’re taking advantage of the best buyer’s market in decade. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced buyer moving to a new home, this is the time to do it. Prices are lower than they’ve been in years and you are cashing in on the opportunity. Maybe you’re even a property investor, scooping up homes at record lows to turn a profit later. Whatever the reason, you know that now is the time to buy a home! You have found the home of your dreams, the paper work has been processed and a closing date set. The next step is to order an appraisal to gauge the true value of the home. There are several questions surrounding the appraisal process and what to expect. The appraisal is ultimately your safeguard against spending more on your home than it’s worth. It’s also a safeguard for your mortgage company to not lend out more on a property than it’s currently worth. Appraisers are always 3rd parties in the mortgage process (it’s illegal for the appraiser to work directly with or for the mortgage company) and they have only one purpose – to realistically judge a property for its actual worth at the time of the appraisal. Watch our Real Estate Appraisal Video Series on YouTube. We’ll walk you through an entire appraisal in this six-part video series, which will certainly answer any questions you may have about appraisal inspections. If you…

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The Truth About Adjustable Rate Mortgages

The Truth About Adjustable Rate Mortgages

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is “a loan with interest rates that are adjusted periodically based on changes in a pre-selected index after a set fixed-rate period. As a result, the interest rate on your loan will rise and fall with increases and decreases in overall interest rates.” There you have it. The official definition of an ARM. What’s that? You still have questions? Ok, let’s start at the beginning. What’s an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Anyway? First of all, an ARM is a home loan that has an interest rate that can adjust over the term of your loan, although it can only adjust up and down a set amount during your loan period. And that, of course is after the fixed-rate period (which with Quicken Loans is always 3, 5, or 7 years). You see, most ARMs come with an interest rate cap, which limits the amount by which the interest rate can change (again, both up and down). Make sure you insist on an interest rate cap when you consider an ARM. You may regret it if you don’t. Next, you might be asking “why would I ever want an ARM as opposed to a fixed-rate mortgage? Although it’s true that ARMs do have the potential to raise your monthly payments if the rate adjusts upward, an adjustable-rate mortgage can make a big difference in lowering your monthly payments, too. The reason is simple. ARMs almost always offer a lower rate during the fixed-rate period than other loans. A lower…

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Types of Homes You’ll Find While House Hunting

Types of Homes You’ll Find While House Hunting

Looking for a home but not sure what all of the names mean? Cape Cod? Bungalow? While there are many types of homes and many variations of those types in America, there are a handful of common styles that you should be familiar with when searching for the perfect house. While we’ve covered a few styles before, there are additional designs to consider. Whether you are looking for a starter home, a long-term residence or a place to accommodate a growing family, check out the following five types of homes and their features before you embark on your house hunting journey.

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Myths about HARP and Loan Modifications

Myths about HARP and Loan Modifications

Editors note: We have some great news! Quicken Loans allows refinances of up to 200% of your home’s value on mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the HARP Program.  In order to participate in HARP, either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own your loan.  See if you qualify for HARP or call today (800) 251-9080 to find out how much you could save. And finally, the Federal Government has extended HARP until the end of 2015. Myth: Everyone can qualify for HARP or for a loan modification – regardless of their ability to pay their existing mortgage or their previous pay history. Fact: Loan modifications are intended to prevent foreclosures for borrowers who are in default or are in imminent danger of default. If you qualify for a refinance now, you will NOT qualify for a loan modification. There are very specific, stringent guidelines you must meet in order to qualify for a loan modification under the plan. A homeowner must prove financial hardship due to job loss, change in income, mounting debt, adjusting interest rate, etc. An official document must be signed certifying you can no longer afford your mortgage payment. Myth: The government is able to drive interest rates lower in the future to help all borrowers. Fact: The government has been attempting to drive rates down for the past three months. Though the Federal Reserve has been continually lowering the Fed Funds rate, this action or other action by the government cannot completely control the…

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