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The real estate market is still hot, and now, interest rates are going up again. It is more important than ever for those looking at homes to have a substantial down payment ready. (This is particularly true for new home buyers who won’t have proceeds from a house sale to start with.) Not only will this lessen the amount a buyer needs to borrow, but a good down payment makes buyers more attractive to lenders. 

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Winter is on its way and you know what that means... soon, you'll need to turn on your furnace. In fact, if you live in a colder climate, you might have already done so. Keeping your home warm while keeping your electric bill low is the goal for most homeowners. If it seems like your home is always chilly but your energy bill is high, you may be losing heat. Here are some of the most common places your home can lose heat:

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In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

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6 Tax Breaks for Pet Owners You Can Actually Get

Thursday, March 1st, 2018
Brett Murray

By Beverly Bird

You love your pet—he’s like your child, after all—but the IRS doesn’t quite see it that way. The IRS takes the position that the money you spend on Fido or Fluffy is generally a personal expense. Your pet gives you pleasure like that latte you bought on your way to work this morning, but just like your cup of coffee isn’t tax deductible, neither is your pet.

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This article explains the four most common valuation methods used for real property transactions and how and when they are used. It’s important to note that the methods below are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Lenders, servicers, investors, and other professionals use one or more of these valuation methods, depending on circumstances and the type of transaction. Often, one valuation method is used to confirm or quality-check the results of another.

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