Why Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage is Important

Benchmark - April 7, 2014 - Uncategorized

While plenty of people pick out the house they want and then go to the lender for a mortgage, this is actually quite backwards. If you are hoping to purchase a home soon, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be the first item on your list. Here are some reasons why this will make buying […]

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Top 10 Mortgage Tips

Top 10 Mortgage Tips

Benchmark - March 31, 2014 - Buying a Home

When getting a mortgage, you should do your research and know how to proceed wisely. For most inexperienced buyers, this is hard. However, if you can follow these top 10 mortgage tips for borrowers, you will land the best mortgage at the lowest APR. 1. Document Above all else, when you want to borrow a […]

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mortgage loan contract

New Rules for Home Loans: How Will They Affect You?

Benchmark - March 25, 2014 - News, Think About It

In January, 2014, new home mortgage lending rules aimed at strengthening protections for consumers went into effect in the United States. Created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a federal agency responsible for regulating financial protection for consumers — the new rules come in the wake of the banking crisis that left millions of […]

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Credit Card Myths Uncovered

Credit Card Myths Uncovered

Benchmark - March 11, 2014 - Credit Tips

Advice can be helpful in many cases, but following misguided or erroneous advice, even when well-intended, can have a devastating impact. The same is true of advice on bolstering your credit score. Unfortunately, there is a variety of mistaken credit advice floating around that can actually make yours worse. Here are some common myths that […]

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Spring Break

Fun Family Spring Break Activities

Benchmark - March 10, 2014 - Vacation

With cold weather lifting and warm weather on the horizon, families are preparing for an exciting spring break. Instead of being surprised with bored faces on the first vacation day, plan your entire week with fun ideas that explore your neighborhood or just entertain you at home. Any budget works with simple ideas that are […]

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Feng Shui

Make Your House a Home – Top 10 Feng Shui Tips

Benchmark - March 5, 2014 - Family Ideas, Home Maintenance Tips

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art designed to balance the energy in a space while making it more inviting and cohesive. Here are a few suggestions to enhance your home and inspire you as well. 1. Clean Up Your Clutter One of the most important Feng Shui principles is to clear away any unnecessary […]

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Building a House

Top 10 Tips When Building A New Home

Benchmark - March 5, 2014 - Buying a Home

Top 10 Tips When Building A New Home A lot of people don’t want to buy a house that’s on the market. They want their house to truly be their own. In some of these cases, these people will probably look into building their own home. This is an option that some people may not […]

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house and money

How much cash do I need to buy a house?

Benchmark - February 20, 2014 - Buying a Home

One of the first questions potential home buyers ask is “how much cash do I need to buy a house?” Most of the time, some cash will be needed for a down payment and closing costs. The exact amount of cash will depend on several factors, including the type of loan. Conventional loans A conventional […]

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Winter houses

Simple Tips to Winterize Your Home

Benchmark - February 17, 2014 - Home Maintenance Tips

When winter’s cold blast approaches and the warmth of summer is a distant memory, it’s time to winterize your home to ensure you keep heating and other costs at bay. Here are some simple tips on how to winterize your home this season. Seal up Windows and Doors Nothing acts more like a beacon to […]

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Tax Tips for Home Office Deductions

Tax Tips for Homeowners Claiming a Home Office Deduction

Benchmark - February 14, 2014 - Tax Tips

A recent survey by the Small Business Administration indicates that nearly half of all businesses are based in American homes. These home-based businesses for the self-employed run the gamut from accounting services to providing medical care. American professionals surveyed by Telework Research Network indicate that the number is expected to grow in the next five […]

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