Blog - Month: January 2020

Month: January 2020

How to Save for a House Without Really Trying

How to Save for a House Without Really Trying

Posted By Andrea Robinson
January 29, 2020 Category: General

Buying a house is a huge milestone. For most families in the U.S., it’s the largest purchase they will ever make — it all starts with building up enough savings for a mortgage down payment.   Last year, 13 percent of all homebuyers said that saving for the initial down payment on a house was the most difficult part of the purchasing process — duh, right?   What’s important to remember here is that 2020 will be a peak year for millennial homebuyers who also have the highest levels of student debt ever. That means America's largest segment of homebuyers will also have the hardest time saving up enough money for that 20% down payment on a mortgage.   So, what’s a millennial homebuyer to do?   Smart saving habits aren’t a new concept, and with the burden of student debt, young homebuyers are going to have to get smarter about how they save. Below are a few concepts to help make smart savings habits easier to manage.   Know the Goal The first step to saving for a house is understanding exactly how much you really need to save. 20 percent is the magic number for most down payments, but that’s a recommended minimum.   If that 20 percent is still too high, you do have a couple options — start shopping cheaper houses or consider an FHA loan. Whatever route you take, having a set goal is the first step to actually saving.   Automate Your Savings It’s 2020 — money can sav

Upcycled Décor: Four Ideas for DIY Furniture and More

Upcycled Décor: Four Ideas for DIY Furniture and More

Posted By Andrea Robinson
January 22, 2020 Category: General

Did you know that millions of tons of furniture wind up in the trash each year? According to the EPA, 9.69 million tons of old furniture and decor were thrown away in 2015, and that number has only grown over the past five years.   The worst part?   Most of the furniture that’s being bought today is pretty disposable. The popularity of particleboard, DIY assembly pieces has exploded in recent years, and that means it’s easier than ever to buy new furniture that will only be thrown away.   So, what’s the solution? It’s time to start upcycling! The next time you’re looking to replace a bookshelf or side table, consider making something unique and brand new yourself instead. With these four easy upcycling projects, you can help chip away at the millions of tons of trashed furniture.   Re-Upholster Something Fresh fabric can add new life to just about anything — especially old dining room sets. Between tools and fabric costs, a re-upholstering project like this can cost as little as $50 and will leave you with a totally unique furniture piece.   Not sure how to get started? Check out this guide to reupholstering old furniture.   Paint It! Worn-out wood furniture looks more shabby than sheik, but a faded wardrobe or vanity can become a vintage masterpiece with the right coat of paint. In 2020, matte finishes in neutral and pastel colors are on-trend and can be matched with other décor items like

How to Calculate Accurate Home Equity Instantly

How to Calculate Accurate Home Equity Instantly

Posted By Andrea Robinson
January 15, 2020 Category: General

One of the core benefits of choosing to buy a house is that you actually own the value of the property. Even if you’re making payments on a mortgage, over time, you’re actually building up equity with each payment — the amount of property value that belongs to you vs. how much you owe the bank.   Calculating equity may sound complicated or difficult, but it’s actually a pretty simple equation. Here’s the basics formula:   Home Equity = Home Value – Loan Balance   Pretty simple, right? Finding the right values is for this formula can be simple, too. Here are a few resources to help you calculate home equity quickly and accurately.   How to Find Your Home’s Current Value Home value is essentially determined by how much your home could sell for on the market right now. Hour property’s selling price can change a lot from the time you first had your property appraised as market conditions and seasonality can have a big impact on home sales at any given time.   The quickest way to get an accurate estimate is with the infamous, instant Zestimate tool. Simply plug in an address, and Zillow.com will calculate your approximate home value based on public records and their own database.   Notice a big drop on Zestimate? Don’t panic! There are two important things to consider when you use this tool: 1.     The valuation in this tool is a quick guess based on current sales trends

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