Smoke Alarm Safety

by Mary Shea Wilson on October 22, 2014

Did you know that according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 84 percent of all fire deaths occur in the home?  Fires and burns continue to be a major cause of unintentional injury deaths at home. Statistics show that having working smoke detectors in use can more than double one’s chance of surviving a fire. Here are some alarm safety tips:

Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home.

Make sure to have smoke alarms outside of sleeping areas.

Do not install smoke alarms near windows or doors that could interfere with their operation.

Test your smoke alarms monthly.

Change the smoke alarm’s batteries twice a year or when you hear the chirping noise that indicates a low battery.

Do not remove batteries from a smoke alarm.

Vacuum and clean around smoke alarms to remove dust and debris.

Replace your smoke alarm every ten years.

Plan and practice an escape route so everyone in your family knows what to do in case of an emergency.

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How to Get a Mortgage When You Are Self-Employed

by Mary Shea Wilson on October 15, 2014

Getting a mortgage these days can be tough and it is even tougher for small-business owners. Potential self-employed borrowers usually have variability in their income streams. Today, banks are requiring more financial documentation from all buyers, and self-employed borrowers tend to face more scrutiny.

Small-business owners may have a smaller income because they are typically knowledgeable about tax deductions and credits. This often reduces the amount of taxable income they have. Reducing the amount of taxable income on your tax returns means to the lender there is less income to qualify for a loan.

There are ways self-employed borrowers can increase their chances of getting a home loan, however. Here are a few tips:

What is the lenders history?

Find out if the lender has a history of working with self-employed borrowers. Self-employed borrowers should focus more on finding a lender that will understand their situation rather than shop the loan rate. There are individual loan officers who will be able to think out of the box or come up with solutions. The lender you choose is key.

Consider portfolio lenders.

Portfolio lenders have more flexibility in originating loans because they don’t have to sell the loan to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Portfolio lenders hold their own loans. That makes a big difference in their ability to loan. Another option may to consider credit unions. Many credit unions also keep a good portion of loans on their books.

Boost your income.

Show you make as much money as possible on your tax return. You might need to amend your tax returns. Some lenders will look at a loan application again if they have sent in amended returns to the government. Sometimes by rethinking deductions and credits on income taxes, a borrower can increase his qualifying income. Of course, with this strategy, the borrower would also face a new tax bill.

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Why You Can’t Sell Your Own Home

10.08.2014

Did you know that home sellers that use a real estate professional on average get 16% more in the sale of their home? In rare instances, some people are able to sell their own homes without the services of a real estate agent but for most it is tricky business. Here are a few reasons […]

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Do I Need a Home Inspection?

10.01.2014

When you are buying a home the costs really add up and you may start thinking about where you can save money. One question that many buyers ask is do I need a home inspection? Most often the answer to the question is yes! A home inspection is an objective examination of the home and […]

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How to Fake a Clean House

09.24.2014

One of the toughest tasks around the house is keeping it clean. So when you are busy with work, the kids, and short on time, this task is almost impossible. Here are some tips on how to have your home appear to be clean all the times: -While you are walking around the house think […]

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It’s Time to Clean the Gutters

09.17.2014

It is fall and that means it’s time to clean the gutters on your home. Removing the leaves that have fallen will keep your gutters flowing freely. This will help prevent ice dams or buildup of ice in your gutters and will help prevent expensive repairs. Here are some tips on proper gutter maintenance. Dress […]

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How to Remove a Tax Lien

09.10.2014

With the tax deadline come and gone it is important to know that not paying your taxes can have significant repercussions. Tax laws and even worse the fallout from not paying your taxes can be a complicated mess. You could get stuck with a tax lien, if this happens to you here are tips on […]

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Must Do Repairs Before You Sell Your Home

09.03.2014

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you’ve always meant to […]

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