5 Tips on How to Financially Prepare for a Home Loan

Blog posted On June 28, 2024

Are you ready to purchase your first home, but overwhelmed with where to begin? The way to set yourself up for success for the home buying process is to consider preparing your finances and getting into the best financial shape possible before applying for a home loan. Let’s walk through some helpful tips to help the process go as smoothly and stress-free as possible.


Struggling to Sell Your Home? DON’T Make This Costly Mistake

Blog posted On October 19, 2023

“I’ll wait until next year...” “Maybe when rates fall…” “I can’t afford to buy right now…” High mortgage rates are pushing many people out of the home buying market. With fewer interested buyers, selling a home has become significantly harder than a couple of years ago. If you’re trying to sell now, don’t give up hope. We have ways that can help you save money and still sell your home at top price.


6 Financial Tasks to Complete by the End of the Year

Blog posted On December 21, 2022

This time of year is a whirlwind. Between preparing for the holidays, traveling, spending time with family, and hopefully squeezing in some time to relax, there’s a lot going on at the end of the year. This makes it easy to overlook some less fun, but equally important tasks like checking in on your finances. If you haven’t yet already, here are 6 things to do before the year ends to maximize your financial benefits and get ready for the new year.


5 Ways to Prepare Your Finances for a Recession

Blog posted On August 24, 2022

An economic slowdown is coming, according to countless experts. Consumers are becoming more concerned about the future state of the economy and the likelihood of another recession. Here are five ways you can financially prepare for a recession.


Home Equity and Financial Safety: Which Loan Programs Can Help You Prepare for Uncertainty?

Blog posted On July 14, 2022

Economists are watching the jobs market closely for hints of a slowdown. In times preceding economic slowdowns, the unemployment rate will typically increase, quits rate will fall, and job openings will decline. During times of uncertainty, Americans typically search for more financial safety and less risk – bonds increase, stocks fall, etc. There are several home loan options that can help increase your financial safety as well.


4 Factors to Consider When Determining Your Max Purchase Price

Blog posted On July 13, 2022

Buying a home is exciting, but it’s essential to determine how much house you can afford before starting the home buying process.

Below are important factors to consider before you begin your home search journey.


How Reverse Mortgages Can Help Retired Homeowners or Buyers

Blog posted On May 05, 2022

You’ve spent years investing into your home and now it’s time to reap the rewards of your hard-earned equity. As you get older, you might be thinking about buying a home that better suits your lifestyle. But you also are probably thinking about your retirement funds. 


Money Moves to Make Amid High Inflation

Blog posted On April 27, 2022

One of the main consequences of skyrocketing inflation is often times rising interest rates. Raising the benchmark interest rate is one financial tool that the Federal Reserve uses to help curb inflation. However, there are several other effects that can come from higher interest rates. Here’s how higher rates can affect your wallet and how you can prepare.


Benefits of Purchasing a Multifamily Home

Blog posted On March 31, 2022

Unless you’re a seasoned real estate investor, it’s likely that you haven’t considered purchasing a multifamily home. At first glance, buying a multifamily home sounds much more expensive than a typical single-family purchase. Although yes, most multifamily homes have a higher sales price than comparable single-family homes, they actually could help you save money every month.


How to Choose the Best Mortgage Fit

Blog posted On March 24, 2022

Shopping for a home is the fun part. Then comes the mortgage shopping. Conventional loans have long reined as the most popular type of home loan. But there are a few more options out there, such as FHA Loans, VA Loans, USDA Loans, Jumbo Loans, Renovation Loans, and all kinds of specialty programs. Not to mention the different loan terms and mortgage rate options. Deciding on what’s right for you may feel overwhelming, but with these five steps, you can find your perfect mortgage fit in no time.


5 Ways a Fed Rate Hike May Impact You

Blog posted On March 16, 2022

In 2008, the Federal Reserve lowered the benchmark interest rate to a level of near zero. This was the first time the benchmark rate had been this low. The second time was in March 2020. March 2022 will be only the second time that it has raised rates from near zero. So how will this jump affect you?


Halal Financing Program: Accessible Homeownership for All

Blog posted On March 10, 2022

The Halal Financing Program is a home buying solution that can offer more buyers a path to homeownership. Through our partnership with the Ijara Community Development Corporation, we are one of the only companies in the nation to offer Islamic-compliant lending.


7 Tips to Help You Maximize Wealth at Any Age

Blog posted On December 29, 2021

Regardless of where you are in life, it’s likely that you have money on your mind. Whether you’re just getting your first paycheck, or getting ready to retire, you’re probably wondering about the best places to spend, save, or invest your money. Though the best financial advice is tailored to your individual situation, a few suggestions can help you at almost any stage in life.


3 Credit Card Resolutions for Next Year

Blog posted On December 22, 2021

Your credit score is one of the most important factors when it comes to applying for loans, leases, or even cell phone plans. When determining whether or not to provide you a loan or lease, most lenders will assess your credit score and credit history. The best time to try and boost your credit score is well before you plan on making any important financial moves. So, to help you prepare for next year, here are three important habits that can help boost your credit score.


How Home Equity Can Increase Your Financial Safety

Blog posted On December 16, 2021

While many home buyers dream of the day they can paint their own walls, have their own yard, and finally have a place to call home, they might be forgetting about the most beneficial perk of all. Home equity is one of the most valuable assets for many homeowners. Not only does it boost your net worth and increase your financial freedom, but it also can strengthen your financial safety net.


10 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

Blog posted On December 15, 2021

The third most popular New Year’s resolution is saving money. Though New Year’s Eve is still a few weeks away, we wanted to help you start the year off on the right foot. Here are ten tips to help you boost your personal finance next year.


5 Questions to Ask Before Paying Off Your Mortgage

Blog posted On December 09, 2021

Entering retirement without any debt sounds ideal but rushing to pay off your mortgage might set you back more than you think. Before you rush to pay off your mortgage, ask yourself these five questions.


The Cost of Aging in Place

Blog posted On December 01, 2021

When you approach retirement, you’ll be faced with the decision of whether to stay in your home or move.  Many retirees choose to downsize or move from a single-family home to a townhouse or condo.  Others choose to renovate their current home to accommodate expected life changes.  If you’re considering whether you’re going to stay in your home or move when you retire, make sure to account for all the expected costs.


How to Save Money While Aging in Place

Blog posted On November 03, 2021

Many working-age people dream of the day that they can someday retire on a sunny beach. But as we get older, it seems that our preferences and priorities change. According to AARP, more than 75% of adults aged 50 and above prefer to stay in their current home. It’s natural to want to stay in an area close to family and friends. However, maintaining a home in retirement can be a difficult and costly endeavor. Luckily, there are ways you can prepare for these financial adjustments.


How to Budget for Your First Home Purchase

Blog posted On October 21, 2021

A lot goes into buying your first home. At first, it can be an intimidating process, but with the right guidance it can go by smoothly. If you’re considering buying your first home, there are a few things you should keep in mind when making your home budget.


Retirees and Inflation: How to Retire When Prices Are High

Blog posted On October 20, 2021

In the mid-1960s, it cost $1 to buy a movie ticket, $.30 for a gallon of gas, and $20,000 to buy a home. Today, it costs around $10 - $20 to buy a movie ticket, an average of $3.27 for a gallon of gas, and approximately $357,000 to buy a home of median value. To some extent, rising prices are a natural part of a progressing economy. Everything stabilizes when wages keep up with the increased cost of living. But what happens if you’re not receiving wages at all? For some people, rising inflation costs might be less concerning; but for those who are retired or planning to retire soon, it can be slightly more worrisome.   


How to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime

Blog posted On October 06, 2021

Every year, Americans lose billions of dollars to cybercrime. In 2020, cyber criminals stole over $210 million from home buyers alone. Real estate wire fraud is one of the fastest growing schemes in the United States. Hackers often target people transferring large amounts of money like down payments. But don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that your transaction isn’t safe. It just means that you need to take a few extra precautions along the way.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Downsizing as a Retiree

Blog posted On September 23, 2021

Change can be hard – whether you’re a first-time home buyer adjusting to home maintenance or a retired homeowner moving to a smaller place. Going from what you’ve known to something new isn’t always easy – especially if it’s what you’ve known most of your life. Downsizing homes as a retiree can almost feel like you’re a first-time home buyer all over again. But in a few simple steps, you can go from experienced homeowner to successful home seller in no time.


How to Buy a House While Paying Off Student Loans

Blog posted On September 02, 2021

Millennials have been the generation with the most home buyers since 2014, followed by Gen X. As of 2021, Gen X has been the generation with the most student loan debt, followed by Millennials. Many people sitting on the home buying sideline might think that they can’t purchase a home because of their student debt. However, the two generations with the most debt are also the two generations that purchase the most homes. While having student loans might make the home buying process slightly more challenging, it certainly shouldn’t prevent you from applying. By taking some of the following steps, you can increase your chances of mortgage approval and better prepare for your home purchase. 


Best Money Moves to Make During August

Blog posted On August 11, 2021

As summer break starts to wind down, back to school planning starts to rev up. For many, it’s time to swap out the flip flops and pool bags for sneakers and backpacks. The month of August is a big month for shopping and spending, but it also has many great opportunities to save. From discounts to sales to tax breaks, there are many smart ways you can spend (or save) your money this month.


Seller Concessions: What Are They and How Can They Help?

Blog posted On August 05, 2021

Many buyers look at one number when shopping for a home – the number on the price tag. While a home’s sales price plays a large role in the cost of your future payments and how much your mortgage loan will be, it’s not the only cost you should be considering in your budget. Aside from interest rates and your down payment, another important home buying factor is your closing costs.


When to Not Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Blog posted On July 01, 2021

If you had to choose between paying a mortgage and being mortgage-free, most of us would opt for the latter. Being free of monthly mortgage payments sounds ideal, but there are a few factors to consider before you start making extra payments.


When to Not Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Blog posted On July 01, 2021

If you had to choose between paying a mortgage and being mortgage-free, most of us would opt for the latter. Being free of monthly mortgage payments sounds ideal, but there are a few factors to consider before you start making extra payments.


Don’t Make This Common Home Buying Mistake

Blog posted On June 02, 2021

If you’re buying a home, you’re probably focused on the upfront costs: your down payment, interest rate, and purchase price. These costs will dictate how much you pay upfront and how much your monthly mortgage payments will be going forward. To aid your home search, you might create a budget around the estimated monthly mortgage payments you will be able to afford. While this is a good start to your purchase preparation, you won’t want to stop there. Making a home buying budget strictly based on the estimated monthly mortgage payments you can afford might put yourself in a difficult financial position down the road.


4 Money Moves to Make Before the End of May

Blog posted On May 26, 2021

By now, you’ve likely filed your taxes. The hard part is over. But as May comes to a close, there are still a few key deadlines to be aware of that can help you maximize your savings, increase profits on your investment, and make other beneficial money moves.


Money Moves to Make When Interest Rates Are Low

Blog posted On May 05, 2021

Last week the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to leave the benchmark interest rate near zero. Consequently, the cost of borrowing will remain relatively favorable for consumers. If you’re thinking about how to take advantage of low rates, now is the time. Don’t know where to start? Here are two ways you can take advantage of interest rates while they’re still low.


Home Buying Tips from a Financial Planner

Blog posted On April 14, 2021

“How much can I spend?” is a common question asked when buying a home. For Eric Roberge, CFP of Beyond Your Hammock, this is the top financial priority for many of his clients. Roberge specializes in helping 30- to 40-year-old professionals manage their finances, and a popular goal for this age range is buying a home. To guide buyers in their home search and prepare their finances for a purchase, Roberge offers two main tips.


How to Spend Your Stimulus Money Wisely

Blog posted On March 24, 2021

Last week, the third round of stimulus checks were sent to qualifying citizens. The checks – equaling up to $1,400 per person – were quickly processed by the IRS and U.S. Treasury in an effort to stimulate the economy amidst the continued coronavirus pandemic. If you were one of the stimulus check recipients, it may be tempting to splurge on that new PlayStation 5 or the necklace that you’ve wanted. However, here are five smarter ways you can spend your stimulus money.


How to Determine if You’re Financially Ready to Buy a Home

Blog posted On February 24, 2021

When many home buyers are preparing to purchase a home, they can picture it all – the perfect house, the perfect family, and the perfect renovations they’re already planning in their heads. While buying a house is definitely an exciting investment, it’s important that your financial preparedness matches (or surpasses) your emotional preparedness to buy as well. In order to to help determine if you’re financially ready to buy a home, here are 5 questions to answer.


Answer These Questions BEFORE You Buy a Home

Blog posted On February 18, 2021

Mortgage rates have been breaking record lows for the past several months – making home buyer demand surge. And while low mortgage rates present a great opportunity for potential home buyers, there are many factors that you should consider, besides your mortgage rate, before you buy a home.


5 Benefits of Mobile Banking

Blog posted On February 17, 2021

It’s hard to imagine getting through the day without using your phone. How would you get directions? How would you stay connected during quarantine? How would order a chicken sandwich from the comfort of your couch? In modern days almost anything is accessible on your phone – even banking. Mobile banking apps have become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason. If you haven’t tried using your bank’s mobile app to manage your finances, here are five factors to consider.


Why Buying a Home is a Smart Investment

Blog posted On January 13, 2021

When people think of investments, they normally think Wall Street and stockbrokers. And while stocks can be a great investment, many experts recommend diversifying your investment portfolio to reduce risk and maximize returns.


How to Finance a Home in Retirement

Blog posted On November 19, 2020

You’ve finished working, paid off your debt, and finally gotten the kids out of the house – now, it’s time to retire and relax. However, relaxing can be hard when you’re still responsible for keeping up a family-sized home. If you’re tired of maintaining a large house, but still want the benefits of owning a home, it might be time to downsize. Unfortunately, downsizing to a smaller home requires you to apply and qualify for another mortgage – which can be unfamiliar when you don’t have a salary.


Should you make an extra mortgage payment?

Blog posted On December 27, 2018

If you are a homeowner wondering how to responsibly spend a holiday bonus or upcoming tax return, consider paying it into your home.  When your budget allows, making an extra payment toward your mortgage can be beneficial.  You can reduce interest costs and lower your overall debt.  Making extra payments is not the right move for every financial situation, so consult a mortgage professional or financial advisor before making a decision.