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5 Fall Lawn Care Tips to Keep Green Grass All Through Autumn

Fall has the ideal conditions for your lawn: warm days and cool nights, morning dew, and more rainfall. But even with these forces in Mother Nature working together, there are still things you need to do to recover your grass from summer damage and supply it with the nutrients it needs for growth.

Know Your Grass

There are two types of turf: cool-season grasses, like Kentucky blue grass, which thrives in cool weather and warm-season grasses, like Bermuda grass, which grow during the spring and summer months. Before you map out your fall lawn care schedule, you need to know which one you’re working with.

Cool-season grasses

  • Need enough water to keep growing all winter long
  • Apply 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet

Warm season-grasses

  • Avoid fertilizing in the fall
  • Overseed with annual winter ryegrass

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Posted by: Erin Everhart on December 3rd, 2012 under Guest Bloggers


Is It the Right Time to Refinance Your FHA Loan?

The FHA’s new mortgage insurance premium rates went into effect in mid-June, the second change this year and the fifth in four years. As the FHA works to balance the viability of the insurance program and the projected losses on bad loans, they are making it clear that not all FHA-insured loans are created equal. And that is a good thing – for some homeowners.

The FHA changed the MIP schedule on April 9 and again on June 11, creating tiered rates for existing FHA mortgage holders and home buyers looking to secure an FHA mortgage. With the new schedule, first-time buyers or recent loan-holders are now subject to higher monthly premiums (both upfront and annual) to take advantage of low FHA interest rates.

However, the new schedule rewards existing mortgage-holders by offering significantly lower rates and reduced fees in an effort to get stable homeowners spending more money in the economy. In recent years, existing mortgage-holders may have found it difficult to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance due to steadily rising insurance premiums. Streamline Refinancing requires a 5 percent reduction in total mortgage payment for refinancing, a hurdle that many homeowners found difficult to clear.

With the new rates, the FHA has significantly lowered the bar for refinancing to homeowners who have held an FHA mortgage for more than 3 years. This is great news, with USA Today reporting that mortgage rates are continuing to drop to record lows.

What do these changes mean to you?

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Posted by: Erin Everhart on July 2nd, 2012 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans


Which Home Loan is Right For You

The steady uptick in temperature ushers in more than just pool-side cocktails and barbeques. It’s the start of real estate season, and people are hitting the MLS and local Realtors in search of For Sale signs to lead them to their perfect home.

But before you move from hunter to homeowner, the mortgage industry must be conquered, and you’ll have to get a home loan. The good news is that interest rates on mortgages are dropping, with CNN Money reporting 15-year mortgages with an average rate of 3.11%. The bad news is there are so many loan options available, you may have a hard time figuring out which one is right for your situation.

These short questions can help point you in the right direction instead of taking a stab in the dark. If you’d rather view visuals, New American Funding created an infographic quiz that can help you find the right home loan though a series of short questions.

How’s your credit score?

  • More than 640: Conventional Loans are your best bet because you can take advantage of the low interest rates and flexible payments
  • Less Than 640: FHA Loans provide easier qualifying guidelines if you’re credit score isn’t great or you can’t afford a large down payment.

How big is the home you’re buying/refinancing?

  • Less than 3 bedrooms: If your home is more than $417,000, double check your county’s maximum loan limits. For a lot of house, High Balance Loans or Jumbo Loans are your best option.
  • 3+ bedrooms: If your home is less than $417,000, you’ll fall into the amounts of FHA or Conventional Loan limits.

Would you consider yourself a risk taker?

  • Absolutely: Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) give you a lower interest rate for the first 3-10 years, but it will adjust based on the market so if you can stomach the fluctuations, go for it and then go skydiving.
  • No way: Nothing wrong with being conservative. Secure yourself with a Fixed Rate Mortgage so you know how much you’ll be paying each and every month.

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Posted by: Erin Everhart on May 1st, 2012 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans


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