10 Tips for Finding the Perfect Home

There is a lot that goes into deciding which house to buy. Money factors in, location factors in and most of all you want to love the place you will eventually call home. Here are ten tips to help you find the perfect home!

1. Put your roots in the ground: When looking for a home you want to pick a home that you could see yourself living in for many years, at least 5-7 years ideally.

2. Leave room for growth: Because you’ll want to stay in one home for several years you want to find a place that can adapt as your life changes. For instance you might have a new baby or if your child moves back home after college. Leave options open for those family planning moments, and even if you don’t have it in the budget to get a home big enough to fit those future needs you can look for one that will allow you to build on in the future.

3. What can’t you live without: Write down the features you require in a home, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, formal dining room, family room and living room or great room, and the size of yard. These should be the items you absolutely cannot live without.

4. Check the surroundings: You aren’t just buying a home to live in when you pick a house out you are also choosing a neighborhood to live in. For instance It is preferable to buy a home that is in an up-and-coming or well-cared-for area. Homes in areas that are declining may lose value and never recover. Looking into the school systems and the crime-rate are also important factors.

5. Keep it in the budget: Understandably you want the best thing that your money can buy. However when buying a house you will need to check your finances, including looking towards current and future expenses, and don’t exceed that. It’s better to buy a home that you can easily afford than one you have to work to find money for.

6. Don’t limit yourself when looking: Make sure that you are seeing as many different homes in your price range as possible and don’t limit yourself to just old or just new, look at both.

7. Location matters: A house that is located on a busy street might be bothersome as a homeowner than one that is located inside a quiet neighborhood. Not to mention that when it comes time to re-sell your home will most likely be worth more if it’s located in a quiet area opposed to a busy one.

8. Pick your “type”: There are many different types of homes out there, so figure out which type best suites you whether it’s a single-family-home, a condo, a townhome, etc. You’ll want to pick a type that works with your lifestyle and your future plans. For instance a single-family-home will have to be maintained by the homeowner while a condo will have someone else to look over all of those needs.

9. Distinguish important from not so important: A small thing that can be fixed shouldn’t detract you from buying a perfectly good home. For instance you might go into a home and not like the paint, the cleanliness or the carpet but those are not things that are permanent so it’s something you should be able to look past. On the other hand you might be able to put a marble in the middle of the room and have it roll, you might have a slab issue and that would be something that would be something you wouldn’t want to have to deal with.

10. Look to the future: Although you want to look at your house as a home first and not an investment you should put some thought into how easy or difficult it might be to resell the home eventually.

Take these things into account as you look for a new home and remember nothing is more rewarding than finding the perfect home!

5 Ways to Make the Outside of Your Home Appear More Spacious When Selling

1. Clean out the Garage

We often think that the garage is a great place to store all the items that we rarely if ever use, reasoning that we will eventually get around to doing something about them. Well now is the time, every extra item that we place in our garage makes it look more and more cramped, so organise all those items and clear out the junk. It will leave your garage looking big and spacious. Now there will be plenty of room for the potential buyers to imagine having their car parked safely inside.

2. Organise Your Deck Area

Outdoor furniture, pots, plants, toys even items that you were planning on finding a spot for are common appearances on decks. This leaves the presentation of the house looking messy and uninviting. So get rid of the miscellaneous items and straighten the furniture. Cut back overgrown plants and arrange the pots in a way that will draw the eye to feature areas. If you have a BBQ, clear off the grease on and around it. Potential buyers can now imagine entertaining their friends and family in the well arranged outdoor living area.

3. Tidy the Lawn

Depending on the season it might not take long for our lawn to grow back after a mow, so make sure that you regularly keep it in check. Mowing the lawn the day before will leave that freshly cut grass smell lightly lingering in the air without the stickiness that comes with a recently mown lawn. All grass clippings should be moved well away and make sure any stray clippings are swept off paths and driveways. The result will be a yard that no longer looks oppressive but open, well cared for and presentable as an entrance to your home should be.

4. Clean the Windows

Free flowing light lifts the mood of the house and opens up even small spaces. But dirty windows can restrict the flow of light and dull the atmosphere. Windows are easy to clean with the right tools. A little bit of dish washing liquid can help lift oil marks that may have been left on the windows by pets or wandering hands. After washing the window, squeegee off in one fluid move to ensure that minimal streaks are left and then wipe the edges of the glass with a clean cloth. Make sure the seals, frames and flyscreens are wiped clean as well. This will make a huge difference at opening the home up and joining your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

5. Clear the Entrance Door

If you have a path leading up to the front door, either from the front fence or the driveway then keep it clean and clear. Line the path with some well placed plants and fix any unstable pavers or rickety steps. Keep the entrance door free of obstacles and unnecessary items. Additionally if the age of the door is evident just from looking at it then a fresh coat of paint will make it feel welcoming.

The Top Investment Tactics for Buying Ontario Income Property

Ontario is likely one of the best places in Canada for investing in income property. Not only are housing prices more reasonable than places like British Columbia or Alberta, but employment opportunities make Ontario an attractive place to live. There are a variety of ways to get into real estate investment in Ontario, each offering varying levels of complexity, risk, and ease. Let’s take some time to consider the most common investment strategies in Ontario: buy-and-hold, flip, hybrid, and joint venture.

This strategy essentially refers to buying a rental property that is somewhat below market value and holding it until its value increases. You would aim to have rental income cover your mortgage so that you ultimately have a mortgage-free property on which you can continue to collect rental income indefinitely. This is a popular strategy for Ontario real estate investors because it is simple and straight-forward. Most of the risk involved revolves around getting high value tenants – those that pay their rent, stay for the long term, and adequately care for the property.

You’re probably familiar with this investment strategy as it’s becoming increasingly common and popularized in media. The goal here is to get a great deal on a “fixer upper,” renovate it, and sell it for a profit. Ontario is an old province, so these types of properties are plentiful, but not always appropriate. It can be difficult to assess how much work a property will require, so it can actually take you quite a long time to find the right fit. You also need to have the time and resources to renovate – and if anything unexpected comes up, you may diminish your profit margin. Still, with the right property, the potential for profit can be significant. Moreover, you won’t derive any income from these types of property until you sell, so it can be more difficult to get financing.

Buy-Hold/Flip Hybrid
This third investment strategy is a combination of the buy-and-hold and flip strategies. First, you purchase a property that is undervalued because it requires some updating. You then make the necessary upgrades so that you can rent it in order to cover your mortgage payments. Eventually, when the market is in your favour, you can sell this property for a profit. With this type of investment, you just need to be clear about your financing needs as well as long-term goals.

Joint Venture
As the strategy name suggests, a joint venture involves investing as a team. Especially if you haven’t got the funds to invest independently, this is a great option. Pool some partners together and invest in a property together. You’ll need to be carefully to get everything in writing including responsibilities for maintenance, tenant selection and management, and selling and profit distribution. While the joint venture is somewhat more complicated, it’s a good choice for those with limited capital who are also interested in real estate investment.

Investing In Real Estate The Right Way

You are here because you are considering getting started as a real estate investor. You’re probably also thinking that it seems rather overwhelming when you look at the whole picture. Well, never fear because you’re about to learn a few things, and the more you know the easier everything will seem.

Before making an investment in real estate, analyze the current market and do your research. Investigate as many as 100 individual properties in that area; track your notes with a spreadsheet or database. Things to list include current pricing, projected rent earnings, and repair budgets. This information will help you find the best deal.

Make sure that you set realistic goals based on the budget that you have. You should not set a goal to buy ten houses in the span of a month if you only have a hundred thousand dollars to your name. Set reasonable expectations to avoid setbacks at all costs.

Marketing will be crucial to your success. Marketing is what generates your leads. Without solid leads, you are not going to find good deals on properties. Therefore, if something is not working in your investment plan, turn to your marketing strategy first to see what is going on and what can be adjusted.

Create an LLC if you’re positive that you’re getting into real estate. This creates a layer of protection for both yourself and your investments going into the future. There are possible tax benefits to incorporating your business as well.

Location is very important in real estate. Property conditions and other issues can be fixed. Investing in a property that is located in a bad neighborhood will probably lead to failure. When looking to purchase real estate, always make sure you investigate the area and its property value.

See if there are all of the stores and schools that you’ll need around the real estate that you’re thinking of getting for your family. You don’t want to move to an area where you’re not near anywhere that you need to go to. It would cost you a lot in traveling expenses, so keep that in mind when you move anywhere.

How does it feel knowing you’re getting serious about investing in real estate? You never know, you might just be the next Donald Trump. Of course, make the investment decisions that are right for you, and always be aware of the risk and reward. You are going to do just fine.

These best American cities to live have the most affordable housing markets

Despite numerous surveys carried out by financial institutions and real estate corporations comparing property prices in different countries and proclaiming the U.S. as the country with the most favorable major market housing affordability, every American, who’s ever thought about buying a house or purchased their own place, knows that the U.S. housing market is not typically known for affordability.

After its post-recession recovery, the market stepped back onto its habitual affordability decline trail. The prices are continuously going up while the inventory keeps on falling and the mortgage rates, according to the expert presumptions and thanks to new administration’s policy, are expected to rise during the next few years. At the same time, Americans face another complication related to the renting affordability.

Daren Blomquist, who’s a senior vice president at one of the largest real estate companies, explained that the growing real estate prices provoked a rise in demand for rental accommodations, which subsequently led to vicious increase of renting rates. That made renting just as expensive as buying, if not pricier. Therefore, more and more people found buying more reasonable and decided to commit to mortgage and invest in their own roofs over the head instead of throwing monthly rent payments down the drain.

As these real estate market development trends are accompanied by the relatively insignificant growth of the potential homebuyer’s purchasing power, Americans, who’re more or less confident in their financial stability and feel ready to settle down, look for affordable locations and properties to do so. Unfortunately, most American housing markets remain moderately unfavorable while 1/3 of them range from seriously to severely unfavorable. The fact that a lot of general contractors haven’t restored their confidence in the market and remain quite hesitant when it comes to building more ready-to-buy homes contributes to the aforementioned low inventory, one of the driving factors of rising housing prices. Consequently, affordable housing choice opportunities are not that wide, and the towns/neighborhoods homebuyers on a budget may target aren’t always the most comfortable and desirable areas to live. The quality of construction, the jobs’ availability, the level of infrastructure development, the absence of family-friendly attractions or career perspectives, the cost of living and many other factors may also ruin the taste of the housing affordability cake certain towns/cities are able to offer.

Thus, prospective homebuyers searching for budget-friendly properties should aim at locations, which are commonly recognized as the ones that managed to maintain a steady balance between reasonable cost of living, relatively inexpensive housing, substantial wages, neat neighborhoods and appealing level of job availability. These are the most affordable housing markets and most inexpensive places to live out of last year’s 100 Best places to live Ranking.  Get ready to pack your bags and call the movers, as these are definitely dream cities/towns for those who’re willing to fulfill their home ownership mission without breaking the budget and falling into the mortgage bondage.

5 most affordable American housing markets that double as the best places to live

5. Charlotte, North Carolina

Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 15

Population: 2,298,915

Average home price: $184,600

Average annual salary: $48,290

While being the least affordable housing market on this list, Charlotte definitely scores an extra point for being one of the rapidly growing metropolitan area with the lowest cost of living (residents spend about 29% of their incomes on housing/living), highly developed infrastructure and affordable services (like house cleaning or remodelling). Charlotte is the second largest banking center in the U.S., the home to the major energy-oriented businesses, one of the best places for business and careers according to Forbes’s ratings.

Due to the fact that Charlotte attracts a lot of those who’re willing to combine living in one of the U.S. major cities with house affordability and seek new job opportunities, Charlotte’s housing market, as most affordable real estate markets discovered by interested audience, is expected to experience a rise in home prices.

4. Omaha, Nebraska

Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 18

Population: 886,157

Average home price: $139,000

Average annual salary: $43,330

Omaha’s housing market is one of the most affordable metropolitan real estate markets, as average homes are sold for $80,000 less than nationwide. A steadily growing job market with decent wages and surprisingly low cost of living (residents spend less than 28% of their income on living expenses), exclusive location and technologically-oriented economy turn Omaha into one of the best and least expensive cities to live.

3. Indianapolis

Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 43

Population: 1,931,182

Average home price: $130,200

Average annual salary: $45,580

While affordable housing, low cost of living (average citizens manage to keep up to 73% of their income after paying their living expenses), advanced transportation system, busy cultural life and favorable business environment make Indianapolis sound like a decent Midwest city to move to, the 7% sales tax rate destroys the whole picture.

2. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 13

Population: 1,007,329

Average home price: $149,475

Average annual salary: $41,350

Low utilities, affordable rent and low mortgage costs make Grand Rapids one of the most affordable megacities in the U.S. Residents spend about 28% of their income on housing and living needs, as well as enjoy the benefits of short and comfortable commutes, the high quality of life, the overall safety proven by low crime rates, stunning landmarks.  Grand Rapids, also Known as Gerald Ford’s hometown, is an economically diverse metro area, as it hosts the offices of leading American furniture companies and health care institutions. The city features well-developed consumer goods manufacturing, automotive and information technology industries.

1.Fayetteville, Arkansas

Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 3

Population: 483,396

Average home price: $177,200

Average annual salary: $42,410

Fayetteville made it to the pedestal of the Best Places to Live Ranking while remaining a relatively inexpensive city to live. Its citizens enjoy the benefits of living in a moderately large metro area, as well as better homeownership opportunities and lower cost of living (if compared with the nationwide rates) due to the inexpensive utilities and low rent. It’s reported that average individuals spend less than 24% of their income on housing and living costs.

Fayetteville is also the home to the state’s largest university, the University of Arkansas, the city that features a free bus system developed to connect the University’s campus with the major city’s destinations, the 24th-best American city for business and careers (according to Forbes) and one of the best places to visit in the South.


Being one of the most affordable and the most comfortable areas to live, the city turned into the fastest growing one in the state, thus the housing prices are expected to go up.

Very Best Way to Find a Contractor

When you have had a variety of projects all over house that you’d like to find done, (or just one), on the other hand shouldn’t have the right moment or knowledge To Play them yourself, you should have to use a contractor. Sure, you will have a friend of relative who claims they can complete the task themselves, yet when push comes to shove, signing on with contractor could very well be the easiest, and the best kinds the cheapest path.

Precisely why Employing a General contractor considerably better

In general, if a venture merely too difficult or confusing when you accomplish for the, also, it is will be too hard for use in your good friends members. Available on the market have in all probability good intentions, (of assisting in you out), the fact is that hiring neighbors or relatives is actually a lot more headache therefore it may additionally are priced at more money in the end. When they end up in a jam and be sure to realize they cannot finish the project with their own, or whether they complete the venture but accomplish that incorrectly or badly, you will likely want to employ a General Contractor also. And lots contractors usually cost you extra after they would like to tidy up a person’s mess before they even can commence function.

Guidelines on how to Hire the best Contractor.

The first thing is, perform some research. Make note of so what on earth you need done. If you want the responsibility completed in a certain quantity of the time, write that down at the same time. Next, search the on-line world, yellow pages, and get your friends for contact information for contractors. Call or not contact your narrow your search of companies and be sure to request quotes of the work you will want completed, in a very time frame you really have decided upon.

After you have the quotes, talk to the BBB for only a issues in the companies. Also check the web for reports or feedback located on the companies. Try on the lookout for the contractor’s name then followed with “review”.

More advice for Hiring the right General contractor.

Ask enquiries! Given that you’ve established a limited companies you would imagine may do all assignments, call to inquire about them a limited queries. You would need to ask what jobs they need performed newly. You should consider asking for photos of jobs they may of completed, as given upon their previous work.

License Check – Do not forget to make sure all of the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured. Insurance is crucial in case someone is hurt while working at your residence. Given that a bonded contractor leaves a job incomplete or they now a horrible job, you might be that can file a complaint within their bond and enjoy the job finished correctly.

License Check – Be certain that the General Contractor applies for and receives any essential permits before they begin focus on a position. You are able call the code compliance office to your localized government with the intention to be sure all permits were already accredited.

Be victimized on paper – Finally, ask the General Contractor at a whole plan on paper. The payment plan must include understanding of what precisely has to be accomplished as well as period of time for indicating the optimum. The blueprint might also want to the particular worth of the task.

Adding Pictures to your Home Inspection Report

Clients love having pictures in their home inspection reports because it makes it easy for them to see the issues that were found, even days after the inspection. The picture gives them a visual of exactly what the home inspector saw, and is referencing in the written part of the report. This makes it easier for the client to understand the report and can ultimately cut down on the number of calls home inspectors will receive from clients looking for clarification on something in the report. Here are a few ways that home inspectors can go about adding pictures to their reports.

Adding Pictures on a Smartphone or Tablet

With more and more inspectors starting to use a smartphone or tablet in the field for their inspections, it is important that they can to add pictures to reports that they create on these devices. Having the ability to use one device to create the report and take pictures can be a huge time-saver. Now that these types of devices have quality cameras, home inspectors are able to complete their inspection report in the field with pictures on one device. To add a picture on a smartphone or tablet, the home inspector will need to be in their home inspection app. Here they should have the option to press a button and have their camera automatically pop up. They can then take their picture and it will be added right to the line item that they are currently inspecting. They can then move onto the next item and add as many pictures as needed, when needed.

Adding Pictures on a Desktop, Laptop, or Netbook

Adding pictures on a desktop or laptop is also a very popular option with home inspectors. This allows them to use a high quality digital camera in the field to take their inspection photos. Although, the cameras in smartphones and tablets are getting better and better, they will most likely always pale in comparison to a high quality digital camera. Separate, digit cameras also will also have higher quality features/options such as flash and zoom. To add pictures to their reports on a desktop, laptop, or netbook, the inspector will first need to load the photos from their camera to their computer. Once the pictures are on their computer, they are ready to be added into the inspection report. How the pictures are inserted will depend on the home inspection software the inspector is using, but the process should be pretty seamless.

Adding Pictures on a Pocket PC

A pocket pc is a great option for home inspectors because it is small and portable, and allows them to take their home inspection software in the field with them. Inspectors using a pocket pc have the ability to add their pictures in the field and then print from the handheld in the field. To add pictures to a pocket pc, a home inspector can simply take out the SD card in their camera and insert it into the handheld. Then they will go into their home inspection software and add an image to the report. Here they should be able to choose which pictures they want to add from the SD card, and to which lines they want to add them to. Once the pictures are added, depending on the software, the inspector will have the option to make any markings on the pictures that are needed.

Home inspectors have several options to choose from in regards to what hardware they are using to complete their inspection reports and this will be a big factor in determining how they will add pictures. Whether they are using a digital camera and then adding pictures to a pocket pc or laptop or they are using their smartphone to take pictures and complete their report, home inspectors are able to easily add pictures to their reports.

Barrie Real Estate Investor’s Buying Barrie Real Estate

Spring Presents Great Time to Start Investing in Real Estate

With the warmth of spring creeping back and the last of the snow melting, there is a renewed energy and positive mood in the air. The return of spring also means an influx of houses, condos, townhomes, and more to the real estate market. Investing in real estate is often a very safe way of investing your hard earned money, either as a first time home buyer, or looking for a second property to rent. Let’s look into each situation as each provides a different type of investment strategy.

Investing in Real Estate as a First Time Home Buyer

You’ve been paying rent for the last couple of years and while you enjoy the house or apartment you are renting; how much return on that money have you seen? Zero, maybe a small increase on your tax refund, all in all not a whole lot. An average basement apartment in Barrie rents out for between $800 to $1100 per month; while an average house rents for $1400 to $1800 per month, plus your own utilities. That’s a lot of money that you’ll never see again.

Typically, when paying rent you are paying down your landlord’s mortgage on the property and covering the cost of the home insurance on the property; and possibly even putting a little extra cash directly into the landlord’s pocket. Seems like a pretty one-sided deal. Why not invest in a home of your own, so you pay down your own mortgage and build equity. That equity can help you do a lot of things, such as providing a down payment on the next house once your family grows out of this one or can help you pay off other debts when you refinance at the end of your term.

A mortgage is often going to be less per month than you would pay in rent, of course that is dependent on purchasing a similar house to what you are renting. Another great reason to look at investing in a home is mortgage rates are still very low, meaning you can get a great rate and be able to pay down the principle of your mortgage even faster.

If you’re worried that your credit score or lack of a down payment may hinder you from being approved for a mortgage there is always options available such as co-signers, rent-to-own, and zero-down mortgages. Don’t give up on the dream of investing in a home before you’ve even explored all of your options.

There’s also the plus of being able to do renovations to the house that will help increase the property value, eventually putting money back in your pocket when you go to sell, but also turn the house into a home while you are living there.

Investing in Real Estate for Renting

You’ve already made the smart move of investing in your home but now want to look at real estate as another investing tool to help you make the most of your money. Purchasing a second property to rent can be a solid investment strategy if done right. The first thing you should consider is location of the property and will renters find this a positive area to be in? The obvious choice to purchase a second property in Barrie is around Georgian College or a property in close proximity to Base Borden. These two areas have high turnover rates due to the nature of being a student or in the military. You might have to put in a bit of extra work renting it out every year or two, but the number of renters looking will be much higher.

Once you’ve found the property, it’s time to establish a rental rate. The goal here whether you choose to rent the entire property or rent out rooms individually is to make sure you charge enough to cover your mortgage and home insurance for the property. It’s also good to look into landlord insurance as added protection. If you do decide to charge more than the mortgage and home insurance to put some quick cash in your pocket, make sure to set some of it into a savings account for when repairs are needed at the property. Don’t forget general repairs are your responsibility to fix as the landlord.

So what’s the value of a second property? Well once you look past your responsibilities as a landlord, you have somebody else paying down your mortgage for you. This means you are growing your equity with someone else’s money, sounds good doesn’t it? The key to investing in a second property is to make sure that you be a great landlord. Renter satisfaction increases if they have a landlord who is responsive and helpful when needed but is not intrusive. Also do your research and make sure your tenants will be respectful of your property while they live there. If your property isn’t taken care of you’re not helping the tenants or yourself in the long run.

Flipping Properties

Investing in a property to flip and sell is a risky venture and far less stable than investing in a property to rent. There are no guarantees that you will be able to flip the property quickly and you may be stuck holding onto a property you can’t afford. There’s also the high investment level of cash that is needed to improve the property quickly. Even if you plan on renovating yourself it will still be expensive and time consuming.

If you want to start flipping properties, do your research and invest wisely. Never try this method of investing in a property on a whim, it will never end well. With that said if done well you can sometimes, the keyword is sometimes, turn a quick profit from a property.

Quick Recap of Items to Consider When Using Real Estate for Investing

•Carrying a mortgage is often less than what you’ll pay for rent
•Options like rent-to-own, zero down mortgage options can help you achieve home ownership faster
•Find the right location for a second property that will consistently be able to find new renters
•Be a good landlord and you’ll get good renters
•Flipping properties is risky but profitable, only try this after doing your research and making a plan

Types of Home Loans

Buying a home is a major life decision. Most regular people resort to mortgage loans when considering a real estate purchase. The mortgage loan scene may differ across countries – particularly in terms of the types of loans available, their features, loan contract terms, etc. In the United States, when people talk home loans, they are probably talking conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and/or Veteran Affairs (VA) loans though there are a few other types as well. These loans can be availed at all banks and similar approved lenders; however, they have certain differentiating aspects.

Conventional Loan

A conventional loan, unlike an FHA or VA loan, isn’t federal government-backed. In other words, the government doesn’t guarantee or insure the loan’s performance. The guidelines for this loan is set by Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). These loans can be availed by all citizens; however, qualifying for the same can be quite difficult, especially when compared to FHA and VA loans.

Lenders are at a higher risk when issuing conventional loans because if the borrower falters with the repayment, the lender has no remedial measures to fall back on. As a result, the income and credit requirements for a conventional loan applicant are stricter. Individuals with a good credit history, steady income, and ability to pay the down payment are likely to get a conventional loan.

Conventional loan amounts need private mortgage insurance cover too until the borrower’s home equity share is at least 20 percent. Also, sellers cannot contribute to the loan’s closing costs in excess of 3 percent.

FHA Loan

An FHA loan is a more secured loan vehicle, from the lender’s perspective. If the borrower defaults with the payments, the FHA then has to clear the lender’s dues. As a result, lenders are more forthcoming with FHA loans, willing to offer attractive terms to borrowers – including low down payment, and low financing and closing expenses. The down payment can be as small as 3.5 percent of the total loan sum. Also, the seller’s contribution to closing costs is comparatively high at 6 percent.

It’s much easier to qualify and get approved for an FHA loan. However, there’s a limit to the maximum amount of funds you can loan out. And this ceiling amount could vary across states, based on the particular region’s average housing costs. Also, FHA loans need PMI, but not to the score of a conventional loan.

VA Loan

The VA loan, as the name indicates, has the backing of the Veterans Administration. This loan can only be accessed by specific borrower groups via VA-approved lenders. Again, the VA offers to clear the lenders outstanding loan amount in case the borrower fails to oblige. A VA loan is more of a niche setup since it is available only to a current American armed forces’ member, national guard member or reservist, veteran, and the spouse of a deceased armed forces personnel.

There are some major benefits to VA loans. For example, borrowers with an active VA loan and who meet specific criteria have the option to refinance at a reduced rate of interest whenever the fresh rate becomes valid in the market. Also, the old loan’s closing costs can be rolled into the new loan. There are no income restrictions or PMI or down payment requirements. This makes the loan an ideal option for people with zero cash reserves, limited income and a lower or average credit score.

5 Stress-Free Tips for Moving with Kids

The time has finally come! You found a new home to move into with your family and you’re about to start the moving process. While you may be excited to get settled into your new home, there may be an obstacle standing in your way before you pack up: the kids! Moving with children is a VERY different experience than moving by yourself because you have to still parent and get everything packed. How will you manage? Before panic mode sets in, check out these five stress-free tips to make the move easier when children are involved!

1. Tell Your Children

Moving can be an emotional journey for anyone and that’s especially true with children. Prepare your kids by telling them about the move well in advance so you can help them cope with the news if they take it too hard. This will give them plenty of time to mentally prepare and it’ll reduce the chances of them throwing a temper tantrum when moving day arrives (fingers crossed).

2. Spread Out The Move

It goes without saying that moving in one day can be exhausting…and you can imagine how grueling it could be when grumpy toddlers are added into the mix. Instead of moving everything in one big swoop, try to spread out the move over a few days because you’ll definitely save yourself from stress. Your little ones will need your care which means you have to make time for meals, naps, playtime, bathing and more. With a few buffer days, the kids will be content and you’ll be able to balance parenting with packing.

3. Give Them A Job

Depending on the age of your children, try to get them involved with the packing process. Give them a sense of responsibility with something as simple as putting some toys in a box. While you may have to re-arrange and re-pack the box later, it’ll keep them occupied as you focus on everything else.

4. Pack While They Sleep

Whether you are putting them down for bed or a nap, take this opportunity to de-clutter some of their unneeded belongings. All those old blankets and toys they no longer use with can be donated or trashed but if they see you hauling it away, you can bet they will be upset. Instead, collect these items when they catch some Z’s to avoid little meltdowns.

5. Emergency Box

Grab an empty box and write ‘emergency’ on it because it’ll be your saving grace! Fill this box with juice boxes, snacks, their favorite blanky and some toys. This lifesaver will come in handy when the kids need a quick fix and be sure it makes it into your car and not the moving truck. When the time comes for the Roseville movers to fill the truck, tell them the special box cannot be stowed away for added assurance. Another safeguard for the emergency box is to wrap the box with colored duct tape to make it easier to identify.