Believe it or not, even after both parties sign the purchase agreement, it’s still not 100% final. Negotiations may continue for several reasons. Issues may arise during a home inspection that could change the original offer. If the seller asks for an expedited closing, you may be able to amend your offer, moving quicker to the finish line. Closing timelines and possession of the property are points of interest and impact negotiations. And let’s not forget, the appraisal results can also alter the original offer. The property’s value and/or condition affect financing options, and having several options for financing like renovation lending is helpful in these circumstances since property condition is not an issue with renovation loans. The more options you can consider when buying a home, the more likely you are to have your offer remain valid all the way through closing. Get educated. We can teach. Ask us how.

*From helping you understand our renovation loans to answering your questions, we can explain the program and how it can fit your needs. Normal restrictions and guidelines apply. Not all borrowers will qualify.

Location is probably the most important feature to consider. And yet, location is just one of many very important factors. What is the condition of the home? Carrying costs, known as maintenance and utilities, can cause undue financial hardship. Have you ever heard of a money pit? Newly renovated homes cost less. Learn about the acronym ‘OPM.’ Other People’s Money. If location is rule number one in real estate, rule number two is OPM. Borrow responsibly and avoid the burden of being nickel and dimed to death due to maintenance. You should also consider the outlook of the area. Are there new business developments? Or schools? Or revitalization of neighborhoods nearby that will increase value and your home’s appeal. Is it the right house for your lifestyle? Or your future lifestyle? Your family’s needs, a little foresight is necessary. Have a goal to buy a home? Let us help you plan, then execute the strategy – in the right location of course. Ask us how.

For most folks, renting is likely a short-term situation. In the long run, you can recoup money and build equity by owning a home. Houses typically appreciate in value as well. Neither scenario takes place while renting however. In some cases and in certain areas of our country, your mortgage payment may be cheaper than rent, like right here in Northeast Ohio. When you own a home, you do not have to worry about the landlord increasing rent costs unexpectedly. Mortgage payments and terms are fixed most of the time, changing very little at all. And with loan programs like FHA, less money is required up front at closing. You can even renovate a home and cut down on maintenance costs with an FHA loan. Want to buy a house and enjoy some easy, cheap living? Getting educated on the loan process allows you to make smarter financial decisions. Ask us how.

It is true: your debt-to-income ratio is considered when determining specific loan qualifications. However, debt by itself does not disqualify you. In fact, having a goal of being debt free will likely stifle your ability to buy sooner rather than later. And so other factors are considered to qualify: your income, your time on the job and your financial reserves all matter. The question you need to consider is: “Can you pay your existing debts and other reoccurring living expenses and a mortgage payment monthly?” We will help you prepare, and pre-approval strategy meetings will help you get comfortable. So get comfortable with debt and learn how to buy a home the right way. Ask us how.


*Not intended as legal, accounting or investment advice. Contact your financial representative for more information.

While the inspection findings can be used to request repairs or credits, and potentially even a price reduction on the home, you should realize the seller has zero obligation to fix anything. The asking price of the home may already reflect the issues and the property’s condition. Your real estate agent will help you as much as possible in negotiating repairs or credits. And we can refer good realtors; we often do. Sometimes in these situations, the seller is in no hurry to close or move. Maybe they’ve already had multiple offers on the table. Most of the time, the purchase contract will allow you to opt out of your offer if negotiations for repairs or credits do not yield the desired result. Understand and know your purchase contract fully, especially as it relates to property condition. Lean on your experienced real estate agent and your lender for quality feedback during your negotiations. Ask us how.

Property value and real estate taxes usually are directly tied to the quality of schools in the area. And even if having a family isn’t in your immediate future, schools are usually the first indicator of economic health in the community. So as the saying goes, in real estate anyways, location matters, so the quality of the schools matters as well. And it might seem odd to consider the selling situation before you even own the home, but an exit strategy, also known as a selling strategy, is somewhat important while buying. The quality of the school system will be a factor other buyers consider when you choose to sell your home. Your real estate agent will likely sing the same tune. Be smart, get educated, schools matter.

Millennial Money: Why this tech-savvy, social media, passionate generation may have difficulty saving for the future

The stereotype is millennials are lazy and entitled. But, that’s far from the truth. In fact, this group of tech gurus, social media specialists who have a knack for food and culture are driven to making a difference in the world. Our way of living and doing business has dramatically changed due to the technology inspired and developed by this largest living generation. But, when it comes to finances, millennials may experience some challenges to building a nest egg.

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Shipping containers; you seem them, a lot. From on the road to rail and water, these large steel containers appear as giant Lego blocks, packed with goods that keep us and the world moving. It brings us to the question, have you thought about what’s inside of them? Or better yet, did you ever imagine living inside of one? Okay, chances are the idea has never crossed your mind, but calling a container home is very real.

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Closing timelines are not only related to the type of loan, but also the buyer’s preparedness. A smart first step is a pre-approval strategy meeting, ensuring you will become educated about the home buying process. Being mentally and financially prepared can simplify the process, and will assuredly instill some confidence. Mortgage loan milestones differ depending on the type of loan. And while it’s not extremely common, closing loans in two weeks can happen. Recognizing our Boardman team’s efficiency, folks recently made loan application on March 2, and closed March 15. That’s 13 days – that’s fast! And that’s an understatement. Typically speaking, 30-60 days is an appropriate timeline. Organization of credit, financial documents, and simply being mentally prepared promotes efficiency. Want to close fast? Get educated. Ask us how.

Well I suppose you can compare mortgage rates, however, comparing loan programs and/or mortgage companies based on an advertised rate is quite near-sighted. One mortgage ad might say “4.5%” and another “4.25%.” But the 4.25% option is not always the better option. One might ask, “are there other fees involved?” “Is this the right mortgage person, or company, for me?” “How reliable is this lender?” Dependability of the loan program and its purpose is also important to consider. Another factor could be the condition of the home. Carrying costs, known as maintenance and utilities, account for the second largest expense in home ownership. A minor difference in rate between loan programs may afford you the ability to involve improvements or repairs within the loan. Doing so limits exposure to long-term consumer costs. And while interest rate is important, it is more important to fully research options versus going off of a single ad. Learn about mortgage money, ask us how.