How an Appraisal Contingency Can Protect You

Buying a home can be an expensive and risky proposition. You may not be familiar with the market in the area, or home values there can be hit or miss. Once you’ve made an offer and it’s accepted by the seller, you’re both bound to the contract. As the buyer, if you back out for a reason not allowed by …

Taxes: How to Maximize Your Deductions

Ah, tax season. It’s the most wonderful time – or not. Besides organizing receipts and gathering all the required paperwork to file, you’re probably most curious on how to maximize deductions. With all the changes from the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017, filing your tax returns for 2018 is sure to be a befuddling year. In turn, you …

Denied a Checking Account? Here’s What to Do Now

With all the advertising banks do, it seems as though they are ever eager for customers. So it can feel even worse when they tell you that yes, bank accounts are available, but no, you can’t have one. Unfortunately it can happen for a number of reasons; in fact, the 2017 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households finds …

How to Evaluate School Districts When House Hunting

If you have a family or are planning on starting one, finding a home with a good school district may be top of mind. It makes sense considering you want to ensure that your children have the best chances of success when it comes to their education.  Before you start looking at homes, it’s important to consider everything you want …

How to Style Your Home like an Interior Designer

Have you ever seen a picture of a perfectly styled room online and thought, “Why can’t my home look like that?” The truth is, designing that Pinterest-perfect room was no easy feat. It took time, money and, quite possibly, a trained interior designer. Interior designers make styling a home look so simple, but in reality they’re using a strategy – …

7 Steps to Handling Hefty Hospital Bills

It’s no secret that medical bills often contribute to personal bankruptcies declared in America. What you might not know is that many of those who file for that reason actually have health insurance. According to the news release announcing the results of a 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times survey, “62 percent of those who had medical bill problems say …

How Much Wedding Can You Afford? How to Set a Big-Day Budget

You’re engaged! You’re preparing to marry the love of your life, your best friend, your partner – and you have to figure out how to afford it. Between Pinterest and the coverage around every celebrity wedding, the pressure to have a five-star, luxury wedding can feel overwhelming – and kind of intimidating. When you start getting quotes from vendors and …

Government Shutdown Avoided, Consumer Sentiment Jumps – Market Update

I hope everyone had a great weekend! A bunch of family I hadn’t seen in a while was in town, and the cherry on top was that my basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak heading into their matchup with their crosstown rivals this coming Saturday. I’m feeling pretty good for a Monday. There’s also reason for optimism in the …

Changes to Your 2018 Tax Filing and the Effects on Your Mortgage Application

It’s tax season, meaning that somewhere out there at this very moment an accountant is smiling. The IRS has made some changes to its personal income tax returns (1040s), the form most Americans use to file their taxes. The goal was to simplify a form that was several pages long. Whether they accomplished this goal might depend on who you …

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

It’s a big question. If you’ve never owned a home before, you might be wondering when and if you will ever be able to. With so many factors going into the mortgage approval process, many people – especially younger, first-time home buyers – might think that homeownership is too steep a hill to climb. However, while there are hurdles to …