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Education Articles

Whether you're simply financially curious or have a specific goal in mind, you've come to the right place. Check out the most recent articles just below or filter by category using the dropdown.

Education Articles

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How to Spot (and Stop) Mortgage Junk Mail

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar You get the keys to your new home. There’s a stack of junk mail at your new house addressed to “Current Resident”—advertisements for home remodeling, pest control, lawn care services, etc. Then, before you can even settle on a living room layout, you start getting a different type of junk mail. Offers for...
Owning a Home Protecting Your Information

Is It a Good Time to Take the Homebuying Plunge?

Home prices continue to climb at precipitous rates, fueled by competitive bidding wars and a demand that far exceeds supply. On top of that, mortgage interest rates are on the rise again as well. Does it even make sense to buy a home these days? As with any housing market, that depends on your situation, and the answers to these questions: Are y...
Planning Your Future Owning a Home

The 3 Signs You're Ready to Buy Your First Home

Despite those mental (and financial) hurdles, there are plenty of reasons to become a homeowner. Homeownership can build wealth over time and grant tax deductions you’d never see as a renter. Also, interest shrinks as a mortgage is paid off, while rent costs tend to grow. 

Planning Your Future Owning a Home

10 Tips for Finding the Right Contractor

The pool of independent contractors is deep, so do your homework for a good fit. The time has come. You just can’t look at your outdated kitchen with mismatched appliances, countertops, and cabinets any longer. You’ve watched endless YouTube videos on kitchen remodels. Do you  hire a professional or do it yourself ? Will you need a  home equity...
Owning a Home

Priced Out of An Upgrade? Rising Home Values Mean You Have Options

Home values continue to skyrocket in the United States, especially in Oregon. On the surface, this is great news for existing homeowners (who can argue with extra equity?). But if you’re a homeowner stretched for space, this also means purchasing a new home may be out of the question. While higher-than-ever listing prices can push upgrading to a...
Owning a Home

Understanding VA Loans

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers many financial benefits to military veterans. One of the more significant benefits is a VA mortgage loan. How does a VA loan work? And how is it different from a conventional mortgage? At its base level, a VA loan allows veterans and their families to purchase a home at a lower interest rate...
Planning Your Future Owning a Home Knowing Your Payment Options

Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?

Many of us have been there: You stare at your old and tired tiled/carpeted floors and think, “I wonder if I could put in new hardwood floors.” Or maybe you’re house hunting and find THE ONE, but it could use a serious upgrade inside and out. Again, can you make any of those improvements yourself? (Side note:  Fall  or  winter  can be great times...
Owning a Home

Knowing Your Home Improvement Options

As spring turns to summer, Oregon's natural beauty is in full view. Is it time to spruce up your home to match that splendor? Depending on the scope of the project, home improvements can be both time-consuming and costly. And many use their home’s equity to acquire the funds needed to complete the project. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs),...
Planning Your Future Owning a Home Knowing Your Payment Options

Buying a Home During Winter

Spring and summer are the most popular seasons for house-hunting. But winter has its upsides. But that shouldn’t stop you from looking for your dream home as the temperatures drop. Though icy driveways and snowed-out open houses can be less than thrilling, there might be some surprising benefits to purchasing a home during the coldest time of...
Planning Your Future Owning a Home

Is Now the Time to Refinance?

The benefits of refinancing locally could make the difference. Interest rates on home mortgages have plunged to historic lows. But if you’ve been following  mortgage rates  of late, you likely have noticed that they seemingly rise and fall in a blink of an eye, fluctuating as much as half a percent in a single day. The lows make for a prime...
Planning Your Future Owning a Home
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