Category Archives: Tips


Did you know that when you go to sell your house, chances are great that you will have to treat for termites?  If there is any evidence of termites, even if they are not active right now, and no treatment is found, you MUST treat.  It is part of the real estate contract and it is not negotiable.  All loans require a termite inspection and those pesky termites are everywhere! does a great job with treatment and they are one of the least expensive out there that I have found.  Check them out here if you want to be proactive and treat or you know you already have those nasty wood eaters in your house!


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.



3 Ways to Save on Home Costs

CNN Money has a few tips on saving money on home repair costs.  There are some interesting tips on how contractors will come down on price! Check it out here.

~Betsy, 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

Young Adults: Don’t Get Caught in the Credit Card Trap!!

Young adults, watch your credit card habits, because ruining your credit while young can involve a long road back to good credit!  Luckily, new legislation prevents credit card vendors from handing out credit cards like candy on college campuses; they no longer can approach a student under 21!  Thank goodness, because college is where a lot of young adults begin their credit score downfall! 

Avoid the major ways that many young adults (and many older adults) ruin their credit.  It takes quite a while to rebuild your credit, so don’t go there!  Credit card use is so tempting, but temper it!  Check out’s article, 5 ways young adults ruin their credit, so you can avoid ruining yours!  That way you will be able to get loans that you want in the future, like school loans, car loans, home loans, business loans, etc!

Read & heed~                                                                                                                                         Rosemary, Atkinson-Thompson Group