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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