Bumping your credit score could save you more on your mortgage than you think

Fri, May 15th 2020 8:00 am by Tiffany Hereda Buying

It’s no secret that having a better credit score can help save you money on your mortgage. But even though you know you could cut mortgage costs by bumping up your credit score, the amount of money you may be able to save is truly astonishing.

According to a recent study from LendingTree, the average borrower with a “fair” credit score (between 580 and 649) will pay $261,076 in interest over the course of their mortgage. The average borrower with a “very good” credit score (between 740 and 799) will pay just $219,660. That means increasing your credit score from “fair” (between 580 and 649) to “very good” (between 740 and 799) could help you save a whopping $41,416.

The Takeaway:


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House Not Selling? Here’s How To Revive Your Listing

Fri, May 1st 2020 8:00 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

If your house isn’t selling as quickly as you’d hoped, now is the perfect time to reevaluate your strategy—and make your home as appealing as possible before the spring real estate boom hits in a few months.

But how, exactly, do you do that?

In a recent article on, real estate experts shared their top tips for reviving a listing, including:

  • Switch up the lighting. Improving the lighting in your home is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to feel the home feel brighter and more open—and adding new light fixtures can improve the look and feel of a room, making it more appealing to buyers.
  • Spruce up your outdoor space. Outdoor space can be a huge selling point to buyers....

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Social Distancing? Use this time to get ready to sell!

Fri, Apr 24th 2020 8:00 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

Much of the country is practicing social distancing—and doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Social distancing at home can be a challenge and limit what you can do with your time. But if you’ve been thinking about putting your property on the market, this offers the perfect opportunity to get your home ready to sell.

A recent article from Redfin outlined different ways sellers can productively use this time at extended home to get their properties ready to sell, including:

  • Clear the clutter. Have you been meaning to organize your garage, get rid of old furniture, or finally clean out your closets? Now is a great time to tackle any clutter-clearing proje...

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You Can Still Find Your Dream Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Fri, Apr 17th 2020 8:00 am by Tiffany Hereda Buying

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing is our new normal—and could continue to be the norm for the foreseeable future. But staying at home and keeping a safe distance from others isn’t preventing real estate agents from helping their clients or potential buyers from exploring and finding their dream homes—they’re just having to get creative.

Thanks to video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, virtual tours are becoming the go-to method for real estate agents to show their properties—and for would-be buyers to continue to explore homes while they’re social distancing at home. Just how popular are these video walkthroughs? According to recent data from R...

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Tips To Keep Your Home Clean and Virus-Free During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Fri, Apr 10th 2020 10:48 am by Tiffany Hereda Informational

A recent article from outlined key strategies for keeping your home germ-free during the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • Kill germs before they enter your home. Leave cleaning supplies at your front door and disinfect everything before you bring it into the house.
  • Immediately remove and wash your clothes. The coronavirus can live on fabrics. If you go out, make sure to immediately remove your clothes when you return home—and then wash them in the warmest possible water.
  • Focus on high-touch surfaces. It’s impossible to keep every inch of your home 100% clean, 100% of the time. Instead, focus on keeping high-touch surfaces (like doorknobs, light switches, and remote contro...

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Work for Yourself? Be Sure to Avoid These Mortgage Mistakes

Mon, Dec 2nd 2019 7:15 am by Tiffany Hereda Buying

There are currently over 16 million self-employed workers in the United States—and as the gig economy continues to grow, the number of self-employed individuals only stands to increase. But even though working for yourself is becoming more common, it still presents certain challenges when obtaining a mortgage—and if you want to successfully buy a home, you need to know what mistakes to avoid.

According to an article from, there are three crucial mistakes self-employed individuals need to avoid when obtaining a mortgage, including:

  • Erratic income. As a self-employed person, you’ll be required to submit at least two years of federal tax returns. This proves to your lender th...

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Selling Your Home? Don’t Overlook These Key Details

Mon, Nov 25th 2019 7:15 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

When you’re selling your home, the steps you take to get your property ready for buyers can mean the difference between a quick and profitable sale and your home sitting on the market for months. And often, the best steps you can take to sell your home are the steps that other sellers overlook.

According to a recent article from, there are a few often-overlooked steps you can take to help sell your home faster and for a higher profit, including:

  • Make the right use of your rooms. You might be using rooms in your house for a variety of things (like a bedroom as a playroom or a den as a storage area), but staging each room to reflect its original purpose can help buyers see t...

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Home Maintenance Tasks You Need To Tackle This Fall

Mon, Nov 18th 2019 1:57 pm by Tiffany Hereda Informational

Fall is officially upon us. And while it’s important to take the time to enjoy the changing leaves, mild temperatures, and all-things-pumpkin-flavored, it’s also important to keep in mind that winter is right around the corner.

Fall is the perfect time to tackle the home maintenance tasks that will protect your home when the temperatures dip into freezing territory. According to a recent article from, there are six maintenance tasks homeowners should plan to tackle in the fall to prepare their homes for the winter, including:

  • Properly store your yard equipment. You won’t be mowing your lawn in the snow—so before it gets too cold, make sure to properly store your lawn equip...

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It’s Time We Had A Realistic Discussion About Your Home’s Value

Tue, Nov 5th 2019 7:30 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

When you go to sell your house, there’s a good chance you’re not going to agree with what a real estate agent suggests for a list price.

It’s one of the most common issues real estate agents deal with, and help homeowners understand.

Problem is… many homeowners don’t necessarily see it as agents trying to help them, so much as convince them to do something they don’t want to do.

Naturally, you want as much as you can get for your home. And, you’ll certainly have your own opinion on the value of your home. You’re totally entitled to your opinion. And it’s totally your call to ignore the agent’s advice, and list your house for as much as you like… if the agent is still willing to work wi...

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8 Issues Sellers Should Address BEFORE The Home Inspector Does

Tue, Oct 29th 2019 7:00 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

You’ve received an offer on your home and you’re thrilled at the prospect of getting the deal done. But first you need to make it through the next hurdle: the home inspection. In most real estate contracts, a home inspection contingency is in place, allowing the buyer a chance to back out should significant mechanical or structural issues come to light during the inspection.

While you may think your home will pass with flying colors, it’s at this stage that many deals fall through. With so much at stake, it makes sense that sellers would want to do as much as they can in advance to get their home in the best possible shape before this top-to-bottom review. By addressing any problems, s...

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3 Ways Real Estate Agents Actually SAVE You Money During Your Home Sale

Tue, Oct 22nd 2019 7:15 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

One of the main gripes that people have with real estate agents is their commission. Many homeowners (mistakenly) think, “Why should I pay a real estate agent to do something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself?”

The reason people avoid working with agents is because they think it’s going to cost them money. But in reality, working with a qualified real estate agent is worth far more than what you’ll pay in commission. In fact, working with a real estate agent can actually make the process of selling your home less stressful, less time consuming, and less expensive.

Here are three ways real estate agents more than earn their commission — and can actually save you money — during your...

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The Ten Commandments Of Selling A Home

Tue, Oct 15th 2019 7:30 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

So your home’s on the market — are you jazzed about getting it sold? Good. But there are a few things you need to know. More specifically, ten things. They’re called “The Ten Commandments of Selling a Home.”

Read them. Absorb them. Emblazon them to memory, because one tiny mis-step can make your dream of moving on to your next home come crashing down like a sandcastle at high tide.

(See below for text transcription)

The Ten Commandments of Selling a Home

  1. Thou shalt vacate the house for all showings.
  2. Thou shalt assume every day is a showing day. Keep it clean and clutter free, with pets properly secured.
  3. Thou shalt not turn off utilities before closing.
  4. Thou shalt fill out pro...

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Do You Need A Real Estate Agent When Buying New Construction?

Tue, Oct 8th 2019 7:45 am by Tiffany Hereda Buying

If you consider buying a new construction home, there’s a good chance you’ll question whether or not you even need to use a real estate agent.

You might even wonder if there’s an advantage to not using a real estate agent…perhaps thinking you can get a lower price, or more upgrades thrown in, if the builder isn’t paying a real estate agent their commission.

Or, you just might not give it any thought whatsoever, and stumble into buying your new construction home, without having your own real estate agent to represent you.

So, do you need to use a real estate agent when buying new construction?

Technically? No.

Should you? Yes.

Beyond Just Signing A Little Paperwork

One reason people...

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A Simplified Guide to Your Home Inspection – Part II

Tue, Oct 1st 2019 7:30 am by Tiffany Hereda Buying

If you have recently gone under contract to buy a home, you may be planning for your physical inspection. A lot of information will be thrown at you in a very short period of time, and a large amount of it is confusing. Hopefully, this will simplify your process. Part I of this article covered roofs, foundation, plumbing and electrical systems. Here, we will cover windows, landscaping, and termites.

Your inspector may recommend new windows. If you are happy with your old windows, they function well, and the casings are in good shape, that is great. But installing new windows is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. New windows are not inexpensive, though. Your window ins...

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A Simplified Guide to Your Home Inspection – Part 1

Mon, Sep 23rd 2019 1:32 pm by Tiffany Hereda Buying

If you are under contract to purchase a home, congratulations! Of course, you are excited and a little nervous, too. Your physical inspection can be especially nerve-wracking. In a short amount of time, you will receive more information than you can process, and it will all seem very serious. And confusing. And potentially expensive. In order to calm your nerves, here is a breakdown of the inspection’s most important home components and priorities. (Homes and condos are constructed differently across the U.S.; this will deal with structures that are mostly wood and not brick, and homes that are not new.)

Your home’s most important elements are its roof, foundation, plumbing, and electr...

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8 Ways A Great Real Estate Agent Can Change Your Life

Tue, Aug 27th 2019 10:15 am by Tiffany Hereda Informational

A real estate transaction can be an exciting thing to experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking and stressful. Your experience will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding your transaction and, perhaps more importantly, the agent you’re working with.

A great agent will not only get you over the finish line to the best of their ability, but they can also change your life for the better. Here are eight ways:

1. They’ll show you they care

In today’s fast-paced world, it seems like everyone’s attention is in short supply. A great real estate agent will show you that’s not always the case, by listening and caring about you and your needs. Not only will being a good listener he...

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Should You Buy A Home On A Main Road?

Tue, Aug 20th 2019 10:49 am by Tiffany Hereda Buying

Everyone’s heard that the three most important things to consider when buying real estate are “location, location, location”…

It’s true enough. Location matters.

Location affects the value. Location affects how easy it is to re-sell. Location affects the enjoyment of the property (depending on a person’s tolerance levels).

In a perfect world, everyone would live on a quiet, dead-end street, with professionally landscaped yards, and friendly neighbors.

But that’s just not the case…

There are homes on main roads. And people buy them and live in them.

Yet, pretty much anyone you ask will say, “You shouldn’t buy a house on a main road.”

But, maybe you should…

Where Do You Draw The L...

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3 Things Real Estate Apps Commonly Get Wrong

Wed, Jul 31st 2019 1:41 pm by Tiffany Hereda Informational

Listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Craigslist have become the go-to source for many buyers and sellers (particularly people attempting to buy or sell property on their own) to get information about the market, view properties, and connect with property owners.

But while most people believe these listing sites are a reliable source of information, there’s actually quite a bit of misinformation that can throw a wrench in your home search or sale.

Here are the three things real estate apps commonly get wrong (and how you can avoid them while selling or buying your home):

1. Not all postings are real


One of the biggest problems on most real estate apps is that the...

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Seller Optimism Jumps An Impressive 12% in Q2

Tue, Jul 16th 2019 10:33 am by Tiffany Hereda Selling

Before you list your home, you want to feel confident in the market and the opportunity to sell your property at a competitive price. And in Q2 2019, it looks like that confidence is on the rise.

According to the most recent Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey from the National Association of REALTORS®, nearly ¾ of people—73 percent—believe that now is a good time to sell a home. That’s up from 65 percent last quarter (Q1 2019), a jump of 12 percent. The percentage of people who are strongly optimistic that now is a good time to sell is also on the rise, increasing from 37 percent to 46 percent.

The Takeaway

The jump in optimism points to favorable market co...

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10 Ways To Add Curb Appeal With… Color!

Wed, Jul 3rd 2019 2:44 pm by Tiffany Hereda Selling

We’ve had tasteful greys, farmhouse whites, and classic beiges up and down the street for so darn long… It’s no wonder people are going cuckoo for color these days!

Just think, with these projects, you can brighten up your life AND add to your house’s curb appeal in a weekend or less.

Front Door

This one seems like a no-brainer, and yet, so many people are afraid to try it out! The reason why? They’re afraid they’ll choose the wrong color or paint.

That’s understandable. No one likes to get stuck with a do-over, and no one wants to live with a Shrek green mistake on the front of their home.

The easy solution? Go with what you know. Pick a color from the existing palette of your hom...

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