Journey of Homeownership

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Emma Marie is a mother, wife, avid reader, educator and Team Neal client. She has lived in and loved four different houses since beginning her journey into home ownership. One ended in foreclosure (and a divorce), one was a fixer-upper, one was a total renovation (and almost ended in a second divorce), and her current one is perfect just the way it is. Along the way, Emma has learned a little bit about the mortgage process and her goal in writing this blog is to give others a better understanding of the complicated but rewarding process of purchasing and financing a home.

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Four Steps to Create the Home Inventory You Need If Disaster Strikes

Posted on 22 January, 2018 at 19:35 Comments comments (3823)

Four Steps to Create the Home Inventory You Need If Disaster Strikes

After a fire, flood or other disaster, your insurance claim needs to list all items that are lost or damaged. Having a home inventory makes this easy—and speeds up the process.

Step 1. Decide between photos and video.

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Contracts & New Lines of Credit

Posted on 19 December, 2017 at 14:10 Comments comments (743)

Ever heard of credit card churning? It’s when a person opens a credit card to take advantage of an offered bonus savings and then closes the account instead of using it long-term. The savings you get from that first purchase (or the free travel miles, or whatever offer) is tempting. Who wouldn’t want to save 20% or get 10,000 bonus travel miles? The onl...

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Ten Things You Need for Home Repair Emergencies

Posted on 6 December, 2017 at 21:55 Comments comments (1134)

10 things you need for home repair emergencies

Fire Extinguishers. By the time firefighters arrive, it’s usually too late to save things. Fire extinguishers can prevent fires from spreading, saving property and even lives. Put one in the kitchen, garage and on every floor.

Lights with Fresh Batteries. Keep flashlights and lanterns...

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Moving Time!

Posted on 29 November, 2017 at 21:50 Comments comments (421)

Moving is no fun. I’ve heard that a person can truly find out who their real friends are on moving day. For all the excitement that comes with finding and closing on a new house, moving into that house offers the opposite. It is stressful and hard work. It is a time to evaluate your possessions and decide whether or not you even need them. It ...

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5 Practical Steps to Save for a Down Payment

Posted on 10 November, 2017 at 8:20 Comments comments (643)

Five Practical Steps to Save for a Down Payment

Determine how much you’ll need. Down payments generally range from 3% to 20% of your home’s purchase price, and the rest is your mortgage amount. So, contact us to find out the mortgage amount you qualify for. We’ll then explain your down payment options, so you can decide which option best fits your needs.

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Understanding the Process

Posted on 23 October, 2017 at 22:00 Comments comments (858)

The mortgage process is complex. There are many pieces that must come together when securing finances to purchase a house: income, insurance, appraisals, inspections, credit scores, to name just a few. Each piece comes together like a jigsaw puzzle to complete a home loan. And, like a puzzle, if just one piece is missing, the entire process is incomplete.


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Posted on 4 October, 2017 at 22:40 Comments comments (28686)

Acronyms are everywhere and in every profession. I’ve worked as an educator for nearly fifteen years and every school year we get brand new, cleverly-abbreviated terms: STAAR, TAKS, NCLB, TAAS (I bet you remember that one if you went to school in Texas in the 90s). The mortgage process is no different. When you begin to discuss loan types and options with your mortgage team, you...

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12 Tips to Dial Up Your Online Security

Posted on 4 October, 2017 at 21:55 Comments comments (559)

12 Tips to Dial Up Your Online Security

1.  Install updates immediately. They often patch the latest viruses.

2.  Get anti-virus software for all devices.

3. Watch devices. Hackers can install spyware in under 30 seconds.

4. Strengthen passwords.Use caps and lower case, numbers, punctuation marks. Write in an address book. If hacked, change passwords....

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Professional and Confidential

Posted on 22 September, 2017 at 14:25 Comments comments (15191)

What do a priest, therapist, and mortgage professional all have in common? Confidentiality. You can tell your priest and therapist anything (except that you are going to hurt someone or yourself) and they are ethically bound to keep it between you and them.

When you apply for a mortgage, it feels like you are getting very personal with your len...

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24 Preventive Maintenance Must-Do's

Posted on 21 September, 2017 at 11:35 Comments comments (964)

24 Preventive Maintenance Must-Do's


Smoke, Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Check operation, replace batteries.

Fire Extinguishers. Make sure they’re accessible and have adequate pressure.

Dryer Vent. Clear out lint that could catch fire.

Wires. Replace frayed cords.

Railings, Steps, Walkways. Fix unsafe conditions.


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