Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/24/2018

Your living room is one of the most used rooms of the house. Itís where the family gathers and company comes to chat. If the furniture in your living room is not arranged comfortably, then you may not enjoy the space as much as you should. Heed the tips below in order to get the furniture in the living room is arranged for comfort and practicality.  


See How Conversations Will Play Out


You want your living room to be a place where face-to-face conversation actually thrives. Even in the age of the smartphone, people still like a certain kind of connection with one another. Make sure that food and drinks will be in easy reach and that the seating is arranged in a way that allows everyone to be involved with a conversation. 


Use Dividing Factors


If you have a large living room, youíll need to divide the space with either a room separation apparatus or a piece of furniture. Using furniture actually keeps the room cozy and free from feeling stuffy. If the living room bleeds into another room with an open floor plan, this becomes especially important. Use a sofa, and allow it to face away from the dining area in order to divide the conversation spaces and keep your homeís interior design flowing. 


Use A Focal Point


Most living rooms have a TV or a fireplace, or both. You can keep both on the same wall, or create separate spaces for both activities in order to have some division in the room. There are many different strategies that can be used in order to keep both the fireplace and the television in the same space without making a dizzying focal point.


Think Outside The Box


By arranging your furniture at a diagonal, or different angle than simple straight lines, youíll be able to give your living room some flavor. First, set the sofa and the coffee table, then create the rest of the space around these establishing angles. This will make the room feel bigger and give it a sense of symmetry with flavor.          


Matching Furniture Gives Flow


By getting matching sofas, chairs, and side tables, youíll be able to create a sense of symmetry in the room. The way you arrange the furniture ultimately depends on your needs and tastes, but youíll have a few anchoring pieces to work with that will allow you to make the living room your canvas and your furniture your subjects. Have fun playing with the layout and design of the room. Thereís really no right or wrong answers, just simply what will make you happy and what looks good in the space.




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Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/17/2018

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who donít have the luxury of equity for a down payment, it can be difficult to find a way to finance your home without taking on a huge interest rate and mortgage insurance.

Fortunately, loan programs like those offered by the U.S. Veterans Affairs can be a godsend. However, there is a great deal of confusion around who is eligible for VA loans and how to acquire them.

So, in todayís post, weíre going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not itís a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans arenít just for veterans. Most members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members can apply. Additionally, spouses of service members who died from a service-related disability and those who died on active duty can apply as well.

How long do you have to service to be eligible?

The VA defines eligibility as having served no less than 90 days of service during wartime and 181 days of continuous service during peacetime.

Who are VA Loans offered by?

Like any other loan, VA loans are offered by private lenders. The difference is that VA loans are guaranteed by the government. That means that the federal government takes on some of the risk of lending to you, therefore making it possible to secure a loan with little or no down payment.

Should I make a down payment on a VA loan?

If you have the means, making a down payment will almost certainly save you money in the long run. If you can put down 10% of your total mortgage amount, you can also significantly reduce the VA Funding Fee.

Will I have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is something that borrowers pay on top of their mortgage payments and interest. This additional insurance helps borrowers buy a home with a small down payment. VA loans allow you to secure a mortgage without PMI.

Are VA loans different for active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve members?

Each type of service member is eligible for a VA loan. However, there are some minor differences regarding the VA Funding Fee. With no down payment, an active duty member would pay 2.15% of the loan amount in fees. National Guard and Army Reserve members pay around 2.40% with no down payment.

What does my credit score need to be to get a VA loan?

The VA doesnít have a set minimum credit score. However, the private lenders that offer the loan do. On average, the lowest credit score that you can secure a VA loan with is around 620. That being said, a higher score will secure you a lower interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of your loan.




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Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/10/2018

One of the most important factors that many home buyers face is that of their credit score. You have the right to get one free credit report per year. There are also many different apps and websites that keep you updated on your credit score and any changes in your credit report. These programs even guide you in how to improve your score. 


Why Do We Have Credit Scores? 


A credit score is a number that shows how creditworthy a person is. Lenders look at this score in order to assess how risky a person may be to lend to. This lessens the potential risks that the lender may face, keeping people who may be at high risk for defaulting from securing a loan in the first place. 


Whatís A Good Score?


Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the highest score that you can get. A credit score of 700 or above is considered good. A credit score above 800 is seen as excellent. The bottom line is that the better your credit score is, the more reliable of a borrower you will be seen as by lenders. 


If your credit score is less than stellar, however, you need to get to work so that you will be able to get loans in the near future. Hereís some steps that you can take to improve your credit:


Pay Off Outstanding Debt 


If you owe anything on medical collection accounts, credit cards, legal judgements; basically any debt that will show up on your credit report, you need to pay these off. Getting rid of debt can help you to increase your credit score more quickly. 


Rebuild Your Credit


Youíll need to keep up any accounts that you have with good payment history and maintain the good work. You should be diligent to maintain those on-time payments for an increased good payment history. Even if you have accounts that have had late payments previously, you can still work to get the accounts back in good order. 


If you donít happen to have any existing credit accounts, youíll need to get one in order to begin establishing credit. A good way to do this is to apply for a credit card and only charge what you can afford each month in order to help establish a credit history.     

Look At Your Whole Financial Picture


Aside from your credit score, youíll need to take a look at your bigger financial picture. Everything from the amount of savings that you have available to how much of a home youíll be able to afford is important. You need sufficient income so that youíll be able to buy a home and provide a down payment along with money to pay closing costs. 


Once you start investigating your credit score and how to improve it, youíll be on your way to better financial health.





Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/3/2018

Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.

While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.

In todayís post, weíre going to do just that. Weíll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.

1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood

Itís easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesnít drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.

2. Getting pressured into making a decision

Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.

Itís when weíre under pressure that we can make choices that we arenít happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you donít make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like youíre being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, thereís a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.

3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home

Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you donít plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.

This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that wonít appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.

4. Didnít consider all financing options

There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.

While there may not be one ďrightĒ decision when it comes to financing your home, itís a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.

Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.




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Posted by Sandra Tessier on 3/27/2018

Proper hydration on moving day is paramount. Because without the proper hydration, your moving day team risks wearing down quickly. Perhaps even worse, moving day team members may feel exhausted as they lift large, heavy items Ė something that may prove to be disastrous.

Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee that your entire moving day team stays hydrated Ė here are three tips that you need to know.

1. Pick Up Lots of Beverages

Learn about your moving day team and the drinks they like Ė you'll be glad you did. If you learn your moving day team's drink preferences, you can pick up beverages that you'll know they'll enjoy on moving day.

When in doubt, it pays to purchase lots of water and sports drinks. These beverages help cleanse the body and will allow your moving team to maintain its energy levels throughout the day.

If possible, you may want to avoid purchasing caffeinated beverages as well. Caffeinated beverages may actually cause an individual to become dehydrated over time. Thus, you may want to provide only a limited amount of caffeinated beverages on moving day.

2. Store Your Drinks in a Cooler That Is Easy to Access

If your refrigerator has already been moved out of your house, there is no need to worry. Purchase a water cooler and lots of ice, and you can provide your moving team with cool, refreshing beverages at any time.

Keep this cooler in a central location and tell your moving team members exactly where they can find it. That way, if a moving team member starts to feel sluggish, he or she can stop, grab a drink and immediately start to revitalize the body.

3. Plan Plenty of Breaks

On moving day, give your moving team plenty of opportunities to stay hydrated. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of dropped items, injuries and other moving day problems.

Schedule at least one break per hour, with the break lasting a minimum of 10 minutes. Also, after a few hours, you may want to provide your moving team with an extended lunch break that gives all team members a chance to stop and grab a bite to eat.

If you need additional assistance planning for moving day, you may want to contact a professional moving company as well. This business hires courteous, professionally training moving specialists who will make it simple for you to take all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.

Lastly, a real estate agent may help you find the best moving companies in your area. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a residence, as well as put you in touch with the top moving companies in any city or town, at any time.

Ready to transform an ordinary moving day into a successful one? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can guarantee that your entire team can stay hydrated as your moving day progresses.




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