Category Archives: Finances

Low, low rates!

In case you were wondering if rates have finally come up…they have not!


WOW! Rates are even LOWER???

According to MSNBC…

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its lowest level on records dating to 1971.

Five years ago, the average 30-year fixed rate was near 6.5 percent. In 2000, it exceeded 8 percent.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage, which is popular for refinancing, fell to 3.36 percent, also a record low.

The average for one-year adjustable-rate loans fell to 2.86 percent, the lowest on records going back to 1984.


First-Time Homebuyers Get More for Their Money!

It’s a fact; it is a buyer’s market out there!  It’s  amazing what first-time homebuyers can get for their money compared to a few years ago!  Combining lower home prices and historically low interest rates adds up to more buying power for first-time buyers.  First-time buyers, or buyers that have owned before but are now renting, also have the luxury of not having to sell a home before buying another.  Check out Rachel Louise Ensign’s article for The Wall Street Journal, First-time homebuyers can dream bigger, for why it is a great idea for those considering purchasing their first home  to get busy!  She also gives advice on how to get started on your quest for home ownership, even if you have to improve your credit scores first.

To owning your own place~                                                                                            Rosemary, Atkinson-Thompson Group

Tips for Securing a Mortgage

No, getting a mortgage, or refinancing one, is not what it was five years ago!  Since the subprime-mortgage conflagration, the bar has been raised on qualifying for a mortgage…higher credit scores, lower debt-to-income ratios, etc.!  But, people are getting mortgages every day, so it certainly can be done!  Check out Holden Lewis’s slide show for, 10 tips to snag a mortgage in 2011 If there is a category in which you are not up to snuff, start working on it now, and before you know it, you will qualify for a mortgage! And remember, you don’t need a 740 credit score to get a mortgage…trust me!  If your biggest problem is your credit scores, check out our past blogs on how to raise yours.  A  loan officer is also a terrific source of advice on how to get where you want to be, and we can recommend numerous terrific, honest loan officers.



Home Inspection Nightmares

Okay, one of the things I love about being a Realtor is hearing horror stories from home inspectors.  Most of them  deliver their stories very humorously, and you often need a good laugh in this business, especially when it comes to home inspections and subsequent negotiations!  I figured we could all use a good laugh on a Friday, and a reminder of WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HIRE A HOME INSPECTOR WHEN PURCHASING A HOME, so check out Home-inspection nightmares by This Old House.  Laugh…and learn why a home inspector is often your best friend when purchasing a home!

To  knowing what you are buying (or walking away from!)~                       Rosemary, Atkinson-Thompson Group                               

Homemade Weed Killers…Save the Environment & Money!

“Tis the season…for weeds!  They invade your lawn, mulched beds, and every little crack in your concrete, stone, brick, and asphalt!  Amazing how resourceful weeds can be!  Of course, that is why they have survived for millenniums!  Are you like me, tired of resorting to toxic, tough-on-the-environment weed killers every week, walking the lawn and your garden beds, stalking those pesky weeds (and feeling a little guilty about what you are unleashing on the environment, including your kids and pets)?

Check out Jeff Yeager’s article for The Daily Green, 10 homemade weed killers, for some innovative ideas on ridding your yard, garden beds, patio, driveway, and walkways of those tiresome weeds without having to resort to commercial weed killers (although you can purchase some environmentally-friendly ones, but at a high price!).  I can attest to  the newspaper-under-the-mulch idea working!  Another benefit of homemade weed killers?  All of Jeff’s suggestions are cheap!    

To winning the weed battle…naturally~                                                                  Rosemary, Atkinson-Thompson Group

Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

In our current economic climate, many property owners are interested in paying off their mortgage early.  They want the comfort and security of owning their home free and clear.  Is it for you?  If you have been thinking about it, take a peek at Sally Herigstad’s article for, How to pay off your mortgage early, for four suggestions on how to go about getting that mortgage paid off.

To doing what works for you~                                                                                     Rosemary, Atkinson-Thompson Group