Home Buying Tips Archives

Category: Home Buying Tips

Leaving City Limit sign

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Living Outside City Limits

So, apparently I don't actually live in Springfield. Despite our mailing address including Springfield and part of our backyard likely falling under the city's jurisdiction, technically, we just live in Greene County, Missouri. This is something we only confirmed yesterday — although I had my suspicions before that. When we first came to tour this house, we were surprised to see a "Leaving City Limits" sign just before our street....
illustration of a hand off of a home

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: The Problem with Appraisal Gaps

Amazingly, when my wife and I recently purchased our very first home, the process couldn't have gone smoother. Alas, that was not the case for our sister and brother-in-law. A day after they told us that their offer had been accepted on a house, they hit us back to say that the acceptance had since been rescinded as the owner feared an appraisal gap. Now, you may be thinking 1)...
electric lawnmower on grass

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: How We Saved on Our First "Major" Purchase as Homeowners

Being a new homeowner after years of renting means that there are several items we are now in the market for that I wouldn't have even thought of before. What's more, these items are often on the pricey side, pushing them into the category of "major purchases." For example, this past week, we bought ourselves a lawnmower. Knowing that we didn't want to "cheap out" but also didn't want to...
snowed in house

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Surviving Our First Winter

One major difference between Springfield, Missouri and my previous city of residence (Glendale, California) is that, here, we have these things called "seasons." Furthermore, unlike a California winter where you might have to put on a sweater when it dips into the 40s, we do see snow, ice, and occasional sub-zero temperatures here in the Midwest. In turn, when we bought our home in whirlwind fashion, I knew we'd immediately...
woman starring at a model home

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Prioritizing New Projects

So far in this series, I've gone through some of the expenses that come with buying and owning a home. However, in addition to some required costs, homeowners may also face self-imposed spending in the form of projects. Obviously, these can range in size and price based on the condition of your home when you bought the place. In our case, when we decided to buy, we knew there'd be...
real estate agent and a happy couple

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Letting Professionals Do the Heavy Lifting

When buying our first home, I was afraid that I'd quickly feel as though I was in over my head. Thankfully, though, that didn't really happen. Then again, that's undoubtedly because we surrounded ourselves with professionals who were able to do a lot of the leg work for us as well as "hold our hands" during each step of the journey. Rather than dive into the pros and cons of...
piggy bank and a house

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Mortgage Payments vs. Monthly Payment

Even if you've never owned a home, you're probably aware that there are several regular expenses you'll need to concern yourself with. Yet, something you might not realize is that what's often referred to as your "mortgage payment" typically encompasses more than your interest and principal. So what's the difference between a mortgage payment and your actual monthly payment? Let's take a quick look. What's the Difference Between a Mortgage...
Apple Card and iPhone

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: How an Apple Card Can Affect Your Mortgage Application

Buying my first home was quite an experience. For the most part, it was a positive one — yet there were moments where I was completely dumbstruck and, to quote Will Ferell, felt like I was taking crazy pills. One such moment happened as we were looking to secure pre-approval for our mortgage. As I'll share in a future installment of this series, gaining approval while being self-employed includes lots...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories: Amazon.com, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...