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Does retirement seem so far away? Or maybe not far enough? Do you wonder whether your forever home could really BE your FOREVER HOME? Here's a few thoughts to ponder on:

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As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.1

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think

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  • By Steve Rockefeller 

The most recent National Association of Realtors profile shows that 40 percent of repeat buyers and 66 percent of first-time homebuyers are putting less than 10 percent down. Understanding all of your low-down-payment mortgage options may aid you in obtaining a mortgage while helping to save money.

Different types of mortgages can be tailored to purchase a home. If you’re looking to use a conventional loan and you made a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home’s value, you’re probably going to need mortgage insurance, commonly known as PMI. If using, for example, a government FHA loan, you’re going to need mortgage insurance, known as MIP. Confusing I know.

With the lowest of

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You've probably thought about these things before, but we'll pull them all together in this quick list for you.

Spring is right around the corner, so if you're planning on having one, now's the time to start planning!

So here goes...

6 FANTASTIC TIPS For Your Garage/Yard Sale:

1.) Make sure ALL of your signs LOOK the same! Obviously, the arrow may change, but if a prospective shopper is driving around your neighborhood LOOKING to find your house, they are subliminally looking for the SAME sign--- thus one is neon, make them all neon. If you put a balloon on one, put a balloon on ALL of them. That way, as they are driving through a neighborhood and trying to find the "next" sign marker, your next sign will stick out to them. Remember... the

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Tis' the season for porch deliveries... and thieves!

Thank you to our friends at VECTOR for this fantastic write up on tips to protect your home deliveries.

How to Protect Your Home Deliveries

Packages and deliveries are often left during the day while homeowners are out. These easy snags are almost too good to be true for thieves.

Below are tips to protect your package from being taken from your doorstep.

Give Extra Instructions

Specify delivery instructions when you place your order to prevent your package from being left alone.

  • Send your package to a friend, your workplace or a UPS access point for safe keeping until you can bring it home.
  • Require a signature for an item to be delivered. This way you can ensure your package won’t be left alone.
  • Add a
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Wait. That has to be a typo, right?

Ha. No, it's not! As usual, our friend over at Keeping Current Matters came up with an excellent piece on this reality that so many aren't even aware of. Read more, then let us know what you think! 

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There is no doubt that it is easier to sell your house when using the services of a local real estate professional. The agent will provide:

  • Greater exposure to more buyers
  • The skills of a professional negotiator
  • A layer of protection from possible legal liabilities
  • Professional guidance in navigating any pitfalls that may arise
  • A level of safety while showing the home

There is no doubt that these services are valuable to any family that decides to sell. The only question is – how

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Do you or someone you know have a change in lifestyle looming on the horizon? It's a huge step, but one that can come with some ease if you may be willing to try a few of these great tips from 55Living:

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We can all agree that change is hard. Even when we’re making a change for the better – such as moving to a carefree senior living community – nervousness, sadness about leaving your old home, and feeling out of place can make it difficult to transition smoothly into your new lifestyle. However, with a bit of perseverance and a positive attitude, you can start to feel at home in your senior living community in no time.

TRANSITIONING FROM ONE HOME TO ANOTHER 

By the time we reach retirement age, most of us have

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Everyone seems to have an interest in something.

This often leads to collecting, a past time of what seems like generations past, but is actually still prevalent!

But is what you are keeping a collection, or just keeping some clutter?

Marie Kondo, a #1 New York Times best-selling author of both Spark Joy and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up , approaches whether or not items give you joy, in deciding whether to keep them or send them on to another place in their life. 

Some items in your home may truly bring you joy; others, you may have forgotten the reason of why you have them in your home.

Some may have been gifts you accepted on a memorable holiday, others may be something that was passed down by someone else who had a hard time

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"It's a tug of war, we expected more"... Tug of War, Paul McCartney
  Home loan rates bounced around this week, due to volatility in the U.S. Bond market, but went into the weekend still near three-month lows.

There are push/pull items that continue to limit how low and high rates can go. Here is what home shoppers should know:

Factors currently limiting how low rates can go:
 
  1. Tight U.S. labor market.
  2. Rising wages, fastest pace in a decade.
  3. Soaring business and consumer confidence.
  4. Solid economic growth.
  5. Tough technical barriers.
Factors currently limiting how high rates can go:
  1. Slowing economic conditions around the globe.
  2. Low global bond yields – German 10-year Bund yield is 0.28% and the U.S. 10-year Note yield is
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We always love when great information lands in our inbox, that we can in turn share with our community here on the blog. Thank you so much to Patrick Steele, one of our trusted "mortgage dudes" for sending this one our way! :)

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Mortgage rates technically hit their lowest levels in exactly 2 months yesterday.  Today merely takes them deeper into that territory.  The size of the improvement is less impressive and less meaningful compared to that "lowest in more than 2 months" talking point.   That said, taken in conjunction with the last 4 business days, the average lender is roughly an eighth of a percentage point lower.  That comes out to $7/mo for every $100k financed (or $21/mo on a $300k loan).

On a somewhat frustrating note,

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We love it when our mortgage guys send us great info. Check out the latest info from Patrick Steele!

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Mortgage rates held on to their recent improvements today after the important Employment Situation (the big "jobs report") showed November job creation was lower than expected.  In general, weaker job creation is good for interest rates because it speaks to slower economic growth and inflation (both of which are enemies of rates).  This report was particularly important because a strong result would have cast doubt on several speeches from members of the Federal Reserve.  Those speeches have warned about slower economic growth in 2019 and the potential for fewer rate hikes than previously anticipated.  

There were no clear

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