Sonja Rankin's Blog Posts

FEES TO BE AWARE OF WHEN PURCHASING A HOME

Purchasing a home is arguably one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, don't forget there will be other costs associated with your purchase then

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24 Great Tips For PCSing

1. Wait to start planning… nope. Once you have orders in hand, legit, tangible, orders, THEN you can start planning. There’s no use in creating stress when it can be delayed.2.

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GETTING READY FOR RETIREMENT

HOW TO GET READY FOR RETIREMENTFor most people, retirement feels like a long way off. But, if you don’t start preparing as early as possible, you may find yourself in a place of financial

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CONSIDER THIS: WHEN TO REFINANCE

Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that

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Benefits Of Working With Me, A Military Relocation Professional

Benefits for ClientsA REALTOR® with the MRP certification understands that when military staff and their families relocate, the services of a real estate professional who understands their

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Debt-to-income Ratios

The debt-to-income ratio is, simply, the way that mortgage lenders decide how much money you can comfortably afford to borrow. It is the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that

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Set the Right Price On Your Rental

The best place to start is by checking your Sunday newspaper for the range of rent prices in your area. In trendy areas, there is a constant demand for rentals. Still, if your property is in such an

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An Energy Efficient Home Is a Happy One

Did you know that making your home energy efficient increases its value? According to one study, making no cost/low cost changes can boost your home’s value $18,000. Why not implement some of

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What Are Points, Anyway?

There are two types of points. Discount points are prepaid interest on your mortgage loan—you’re basically paying finance charges in advance. Discount Points are used to "buy" your

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Get In On The "Fix and Flip" Market in 5 Steps

1.Order a dumpster for the next ten days and get your demolition man to throw out everything including the kitchen sink. In other words, clear the decks. 2.After the house is cleared of debris,

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Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn. Reseed any sparse areas.Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees. Cut back overgrown shrubbery.Reseal cracks in foundation, steps, walkways, walls

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Energy Efficient Mortgages

 EEM Eligibility requirements.The borrower is eligible for maximum FHA financing, using standard underwriting procedures. The borrower must make a 3-percent cash investment in the property

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Interest Rate Buydowns

An interest-rate buydown is a tool to help you qualify for a larger loan and purchase a higher-priced house than you could under normal circumstances. A buydown allows you to pay extra (tax

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Conforming vs. Non-conforming Loans

Who decides what’s conforming and what’s non-conforming? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two stockholder-owned corporations that purchase mortgage loans from lending institutions. They

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Should You Get An ARM?

An  ARM may be for you if you 1. are looking to minimize your monthly payment 2. are seeking to lower your interest rate and monthly cash flow 3. want to take advantage of the equity in your

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Closing Costs

A general list of some fees that may be charged at closing.1. Administration fee2.Appraisal fee 3.Appraisal review fee (Required for some loans)4.Closing/escrow/settlement fee5. Courier fee

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Home Inspections

A home inspection is a visual exam of the structure and systems of a house. It details problems with the property and if they’re serious enough to prevent a sale. The three main points of an

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How to Increase Your Home's Value

Project (average cost recouped, national) according to Realtor Magazine:Minor kitchen remodel (88%)Bathroom remodel (85%)Major kitchen remodel (81%)Family room addition (80%)Deck addition (77%

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Dispelling Refinancing Myths

The article below is for real estate professionals to use on their own blog or website copyright free.“Refinancing” is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case

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Home Equity: How to Use It

A refinance pays off your current mortgage and gives you cash based on your equity. These are good for:1.Lowering or locking in your mortgage interest rate2.Getting large sums of money ($30,000 or

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Condo, PUD, Co-op: What's the Difference?

Condo, PUD, Co-op: What's the Difference? Condos: Walls, floors, and ceilings owned by all residents; HOA dues; covenants, conditions, and restrictions; value depends on the desirability of entire

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Get Pre-Approved!

Pre-approval, as opposed to pre-qualification, signifies that the loan application has been taken through a rigorous procedure. Here's why pre-approved buyers are ahead in the home buying game: If

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