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Is it Time To “UPGRADE” Your Home

Your children are getting older and you need more space.  The commute to the office is getting unbearable.  Congratulations…you just got the promotion you have earned through years of hard work.  Now it’s time to buy that new home that you have been dreaming about.  What should I do next to turn this dream into a reality? Many people jump in their cars or start searching the internet to look for that new home.  STOP!  Here are three important steps that will help you avoid wasted time and potentially give you an advantage throughout the buying process. How is your credit? Your ability to qualify for a mortgage will primarily be based on your income and your credit standing.  We all think we pretty much know what is on our credit report and our FICO scores.  Surprise!  That’s not always the case.  Many credit reports have inaccuracies that will hurt your chances to qualify for a loan so they need ...

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Student Loans: Use Your Cash Or Take The Loan?

At Your Smart Money Moves, we get questions that we get from clients, through the website, or others that I see on the internet.   Here is a great one I recently came across around student loans. Q: I have about $40,000 saved up with an additional $6,000 in liquid assets that I am using as my emergency fund.  I’m attending graduate school, which will cost me about $50,000 by the time it’s over.  I will be working full time for the years of graduate school, so I believe that I will be able to save the extra $10,000 by the time I need to pay for it.    Should I pay the tuition out of pocket, or take out a low interest student loan at 5%?   I may be wanting to put a down payment on a house in the next five years, but I don’t want to begin accruing interest on student loans that I don’t necessarily have to incur. ...

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Single in the City

Today’s housing environment has more single home buyers entering the real estate market than ever before. With inventory levels high, interest rates near record lows and affordability up in many areas across the country, many people who may have never considered buying a home in the past are recognizing that a mortgage payment on a house can actually be the same or less than what they would spend on renting an apartment or home. For most people, buying a home is the most significant financial investment they will ever make, and perhaps even more so for singles who are making the transition on their own.  There are a few key strategies to employ when making that purchase. Keep an eye on the future – A family of one is much more likely to upsize rather than downsize. Some day someone who is single may add a significant other to their family and possibly even children. Though additional space may not be ...

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Feeling Confused About Investing? It’s fight or flight

One of the worst feelings you could possibly have as a consumer is that notion of being confused about where you're going to invest your money, what type of insurance you're going to buy, or just making a major purchase to your house. It seems the more information you get, the more confused you can become about what is the right decision. Most people say a confused mind says no. ...

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