Author: Ashley Bryant

14 Sep 2017

Buying a home? Learn about your down payment options now

If you’re in the market to buy your first home, you’ve likely heard about the down payment you’ll be required to come to the table with. If, upon hearing this, your first thought was to plot a scheme to rob the nearest bank, don’t do that— I hear that’s frowned upon in many social circles. Instead, why don’t you take a breath and read through your options. Because you’ve certainly got options, and lots of them, when it comes to down payments. Conventional loans Available through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these government-backed loans offer borrowers some pretty appealing mortgage options. Qualified buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3 percent down thanks to the good folks at Fannie...
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8 Sep 2017

7 Ways to inexpensively update your bathroom

Have a 1950’s era bathroom but don’t have a chunk of change lying around to help bring the bathroom into the modern age? No problem— here are seven inexpensive ways to bring that pink tile-laden space into the 21st century. Tile Tile— whether you’re using it for floors or walls— can add up pretty quickly. Luckily, there’s a couple ways you can have your cake and eat it too with this more expensive material. Try shopping at big-box retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s for tile. Hitting up these supercenters as opposed to shopping for custom tile can save you a pretty penny. If you have to go with custom tile, consider using it just as a border. Beadboard has recently...
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24 Aug 2017

5 ways to improve your credit score

When I was young and naive, I thought having a credit card was synonymous with being a mature adult. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for the retailers I frequented (I’m looking at you, Target), I was just a little too naive to handle the responsibility of actually having one. Fast-forward to purchasing a car on my own after college and realizing that credit cards (and how you treat them) will come back to haunt you. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but when you go to buy a car or even a house, you can bet your less-than-positive credit habits will show up in the form of increased interest and more conditions. Have a sneaking feeling you might need to help your...
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10 Aug 2017

7 Ways to save for a down payment

Remember when Mom used to say “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” Well, when it comes to saving money, Mom was actually wrong— it’s the small stuff that really makes a big difference. And if you’re buying a home, you’ll need some cash. Just how much dough you’ll need to come up with, though, depends on how much you want to put down. Today’s mortgages offer qualified buyers the option to put down from as little as zero to 20 percent. Never been a self-proclaimed penny pincher? No problem! Here are some easy (and painless) ways to save a buck or two. Set a budget This is priority numero uno. Without a budget, your finances have control over you instead of the other way around....
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8 Aug 2017

Realtor tell all: What I wish my sellers knew

Let’s face it: Selling your home is no cakewalk. And you know what makes this endeavor even more challenging? When a seller doesn’t want to take the advice of a Realtor. Want in on all the things your Realtor wishes you knew when it comes to selling your home? Stick around, because we’ve got the experts’ top pain points and how you can help to position your home to sell fast. Price your home to sell Yes, your home is the backdrop for life’s best moments, so naturally potential buyers will be willing to pay what you’d like for it, right? Wrong. “List the house at market value and get quick offers with the possibility to receive multiple offers for more than you...
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27 Jul 2017

How much can you afford?

Shopping for homes before realistically evaluating your monthly capacity to service a mortgage is like falling in love with a golden retriever puppy before you’ve read the rental property contract clause about pet ownership. And that’s no fun, my friends. “Many times we see buyers falling head-over-heels in love with a home only to realize it’s way over their budget," says Vice President of Loan Origination for Allen Tate Mortgage, Lisa Green. So for all of us who’ve been told not once, but maybe more than a few times that we have champagne dreams on a beer budget, this process is for you. Don’t hit the panic button just yet— here’s how to make sure your new home doesn’t break...
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13 Jul 2017

Is now the time to buy?

Roommates driving you nuts? Tired of trying to decipher what in the world your upstairs neighbors are doing to make so much noise? (Surely they’re bowling, right?!) Maybe it’s time to stop renting and start looking for your first home. Most first-time home buyers are surprised at just how easy it is to afford a home— you may even be paying less for your mortgage each month than your monthly rent...
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22 Jun 2017

Staged to sell

A common question Realtors often get asked is, “Do I have to stage my house to sell in a seller’s market?” The answer is yes, even in a seller’s market, staging your home to sell is necessary. Today’s buyers are looking for move-in-ready, functional living spaces. If your home is crammed with clutter, has too much furniture or features loud paint colors, you can forget buyers falling in love with your home. “When your home is on the market, it becomes less about you and your style/taste and more about appealing to the masses. You can never go wrong with following the design principle less is more,” says Jessica Fields, Realtor with Allen Tate Realtors. Putting your home on the market?...
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16 May 2017

Go from patio to party-o

Looking for ways to turn your backyard into the entertainment area you’ve dreamed of? Keep reading to create the perfect patio. Or should I say party-o?   Turn up the heat Add some warmth to your space with an outdoor fireplace. Hit up your local hardware store or scan the internet for a wide variety of options, or if you’re up for a challenge and you’d like to save some cash, go the DIY route. Don’t worry about not being too handy to make this fire pit— it’s designed for beginners and yields a beautiful result. You’re one step closer to enjoying s’mores this weekend! Pack a punch with pavers Updating a concrete patio slab with pavers is a relatively inexpensive way to add...
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4 May 2017

Throw the best garden party!

Maybe you’d like to show off your new patio or maybe you just bought a huge fancy hat that you’re dying to wear or maybe, you’ll look for any excuse to throw a party— whatever the reason may be, there’s no better time than early spring to host the perfect garden party. First things first, some of you are probably wondering what a garden party even is; if that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up all the tips and tricks to help you successfully throw your first garden party gathering. Set a theme What’s a party without a theme? Picking a theme helps give your gathering a cohesive feeling, and it helps you with decisions. What should you...
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