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9 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

9 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Flickr: Wonderlane/Creative Commons

1. Stay a While

If you don’t want to stay in your home for an extended period of time, you may not be ready for home ownership. If you can’t commit to a long term relationship with the house that includes maintenance, repairs, and improvements re-evaluate your motivation for buying a home.

2. Get to Know the Neighborhood

Schools, access to public transportation, proximity to restaurants, and traffic noise effect the resell value of the home and quality of life. If you are near a fire station or train tracks, know that there will be a lot of noise and consider whether or not that is a deal breaker for you.

3. Get a Home Inspection

No house is perfect, especially if you are looking at an older house with good bones. If the inspector finds issues with the house, you may be able to negotiate the price down. Also, don’t be afraid to ask probing questions about the maintenance history. If you find out that the basement flooded five years ago, the house may be vulnerable to flooding. Furnish the basement appropriately knowing that you may need to be able to move furniture on short notice.

Things to Consider When Buying a Home

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4. Credit Score

Be aware of your credit score and how it will effect the interest rate of your mortgage. Make sure all of the information is correct so that you get a fair rate. There is nothing worse than finding out there was an error in your credit score that adversely effected your interest rate.

5. Don’t Buy More Than You Can Afford

Get preapproved so that you only look at homes that are in your price range. Use a mortgage calculator to find out what you can really afford. Don’t look to buy a house that is too big or has more than you need. Even if you are thinking about starting a family after you buy your next home think about how you can use the space efficiently. Do you really need that extra room and the steam room? You don’t want to end up paying too much in utilities for spaces that you do not use.

6. Hire Professionals

You’re an amateur. Don’t take it personally, but you need a professional realtor to take the lead in this process. As the full time liaison between the buyer and the seller, the real estate agent will be able to connect you with homes that meet your criteria. As the liason the realtor also serve as a negotiator who can express your concerns and act in your best interest without bad blood between the buyer and the seller.

Wikipedia Commons

Things to Consider When Buying a Home

7. Fixer Uppers are Not Easy

Don’t plan for renovations to stay within budget or be on time. Be realistic about what you can do and how long it will take. It may take a few years before you can afford to finish the basement and that is ok.

8. Research Everything

Find out what houses in the neighborhood are selling for. Is it trending up or down? Your bid will be based off of these trends. Is there a microblog that covers the neighborhood? Read it everyday to see what is happening in your town. If possible, talk to neighbors to get a feel for the neighborhood and any issues that may arise. Is there a neighborhood association? Get your hands on a newsletter to learn about the area. If possible find out what work has been done on the house in the last few years. When was the last time it was repainted? Did they have the roof replaced? How much did it cost?

9. Think Long Term

Customize the house to your liking but be aware that it may take longer than you would like. Think about the lifestyle you want to have in five or ten years and how you can add value to your house while enhancing your current lifestyle. Is there enough space in the backyard for that pool that you have always wanted? Keep an eye out for opportunities to maximize the value you can add to your home.

Related Links

Tips For Buying a House

Five Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Bought My House

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

A Special Bond


It started with a handshake and ended with a flag. The relationship between Kenneth Walker and Edith Anaya was a special bond. After meeting through USMHAF, their friendship blossomed so quickly that over the course of a little less than a year that he called her his best friend. But it ended abruptly and far too soon.

11 Powerful Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

11 Powerful Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr was an American hero who used nonviolent strategies to fight for justice, peace, and equality. The civil rights leader was the first African American named man of the year by Time Magazine, the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35, and became a symbolic figure for non violent protest. In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day here are 11 powerful Martin Luther King Jr Quotes.

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

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1. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

2. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects on directly, affects all indirectly.”

3. “If we are to have a peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”

4. “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

5. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

Wikipedia Commons

6. “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

7. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

8. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

9. “The reason I can’t follow the old eye-for-an-eye philosophy is what it ends up leaving everyone blind.”

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

Wikipedia Commons

10. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

11. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Related Links

25 Best Army Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr

What is an ARM Mortgage?

What is an ARM Mortgage?

What is an ARM Mortgage? Flickr: USDAgov/Creative Commons

An ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) is a type of mortgage where the interest rate fluctuates based on an index (often the 1-year treasury bill, LIBOR, or COFI). Why would anyone be interested in a relatively unpredictable payment plan? Because you can save money in the short-term. Typically, ARM mortgages in the United States are hybrid mortgages. They are structured so that there is an introductory fixed rate for an agreed upon number of years, while the rate on the remainder of the loan is adjusted periodically. This is attractive for some because the initial interest rate is lower than that of a FRM (Fixed Rate Mortgage) for a predetermined period of time before it is altered regularly for the remainder of the mortgage.

Is an ARM For Me?

An ARM may not be a bad option if you are only looking to live in your home for a short period of time or have a guaranteed increase in income over the next few years. ARMs are considered to be riskier than traditional FRMs because they are susceptible to market volatility. It is best to consult your financial advisor before deciding if an ARM is right for you.

Related Links

What is an ARM?

Military Ranks

The Army’s 25 Best Pictures of 2013

Every year, the Army releases the best pictures of the year. The Best pictures of 2013 are out and they are winners. Below, we’ve list our top 25 favorite out of a couple hundred images, including our USMHAF’s pick for the Best Picture 2013. Enjoy!

Best Picture 2013

Best Picture 2013 Pick

“An M1A2SEP Abrams tank from Company D, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment “Desert Rogues, ” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, sits ready at Red Cloud Range, Dec. 6, 2013, at Fort Stewart, Ga. The Rogue company is currently conducting Gunnery Table V, the practice phase before the final qualification phase, Gunnery Table VI. Table V is very similar to Table VI and consists of numerous targets and maneuvers, where the crew attempts to qualify on the vehicle.” -Army.Mil

Photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley

Best Pictures of 2013

2. Photo by Tech. Sgt. John R. Nimmo Sr.

Soldier & Dog

3. Photo by John Pennell

Best Picture of The Year 2013 Posts

4. Photo by Sasha Moen

Best Picture 2013

5. Photo by Sgt. Jon Heinrich

2013 Year in Photos

6. Photo by Spc. Adam Hoppe

Soldiers in Desert

7. Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.

Best Pictures of 2013

8. Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.

Soldier at Unmarked Graves

9. Photo by Sgt. Keith Rogers

Best Pictures of 2013

10. Photo by Justin Connaher

Army Soldiers Drop In

11. Photo by John Pennell

Best Pictures of 2013

12. Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Best Picture 2013

13. Photo by Cpl. Chris Moore

Army Parachute

14. Photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann

Army Soldiers

15. Photo by Lt. Chad A. Dulac

Blackhawk Landing

16. Photo by Sgt. Justin Moeller

Army Horse

17. Photo by Sgt. Joseph Guenther

The Warrior Army

18. Photo by Staff Sgt. Warren Wright

Santa Army Parachute

19. Photo by Sgt. Ken Scar

Best Photo 2013

20. Photo by 1st Lt. Cory Titus

Photo of The Year 2013

21. Photo by Staff Sgt. Todd A. Christopherson

army welder

22. Photo by Robert Shields

Purple Heart Medal

23. Photo by Sgt. Margaret Taylor

Best Picture Of The Year 2013

24. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Ford

soldier skydive session

25. Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson. Once more unto the breach, dear friends…

Once More Unto The Breach