New Year, Fresh Start

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As 2016 came to an end, it was time to consider New Year Resolutions. The infamous saying “new year, new me” automatically popped into my head, as society has drilled this concept into my mind for as long as I could remember. But aren’t you so tired of hearing this phrase? Every year, over and over, people claim that they will make resolutions and change areas of their lives, only to let it fall through just a few weeks later.

Let’s vow to make this year different! This year, do not quit on your resolution. Let 2017 be the year of positivity and gratefulness, savings, health, prosperity and accomplishments:

  1. Positivity & Gratefulness: Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes. This year, let’s try to work on letting stress go! Focus on the happiness of waking up for another day. Whether succeeding or failing in a project, focus on the experience you gained while trying. Take a moment each day and appreciate everything around you – the beauty in nature, the smile of a coworker, a good cup of coffee – anything that you are grateful to have in your life. Say thank you more often. Enjoy a meal with family or friends. Avoid complaining or judging others, or yourself. Focus on the law of attraction, and do what you can to boost your attitude of gratitude!
  2. Savings: 2017 will be the year of saving! Whether you are saving money, or working to save your credit, let 2017 be the year you accomplish this goal! Work smarter, not harder! Open a savings account (if you do not have one already) and anytime you can, put money in it. Even if it is only five dollars, no pressure. If you save one dollar a day, that is 365 saved in a year, five dollars a day saves $1,825, and so on. Make sure to pay bills on time or ahead of time if you can. Keep the balances on your credit cards low, and pay off debts rather than transferring them around. Do not close any open accounts, even if you are not using the credit card, and do not open credit accounts that you do not need.
  3. Health: Work on your overall health for 2017, and no, this does not mean lose 50 pounds. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, as a way to let go of some of the stressors from your day. Eat Breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it gives you energy, which leads to productivity. Meditate before bed, and reflect on calming your thoughts. Take a vacation to a destination that you have never been before. Explore your roots by going to visit the place where your ancestors lived. Grow as a person by taking a volunteer trip, or take a “staycation,” and just stay home and watch movies all day long, resting and relaxing.
  4. Prosperity and Accomplishments: 2017 is the year you will accomplishment your goals! Make a commitment and stick to it. Keep track of your progress, and if you fail for a moment, keep going. Ask for help when you need it. Focus on being consistent. Whether your goal is to purchase your first home, start a family, open a business, buy a car, etc. Do not stop working until you achieve it.

Make 2017 YOUR year.

New Year, Fresh Start- to be a better version of yourself.

Person silhouette standing in 2017 on the hill at sunset


Fix Potential Home Disasters With Simple Repairs

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Fires are one of the most expensive catastrophes that a homeowner can face. And water damage caused by leaks or plumbing issues is among the most common reason insurance claims are filed.

A recent post on CNN Money shares some the most common problems in the home that could lead to disaster, along with home repairs that can keep trouble at bay.

1. Take care of your roof. Fixing leaks and keeping your attic insulated can prevent costly water damage, as well as keep your home’s temperature regulated.

2. Repair old pipes. A cracked pipe can leak over 200 gallons a day. Keeping your pipes in good condition can not only prevent water disasters in your home, it also helps keep your water bill low.

3. Dump the old dryer. Lint buildup and faulty components in your dryer can cause dangerous fires. Replace outdated appliances and wiring with ones and keep your family and home safe.

Read the entire article at

If you’re a homeowner, refinancing your existing mortgage could save you money to later use on home remodeling and repair. Home Financing Center can help you find a program that’s right for you.

The Golden Rule of Home Remodeling

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You’ve been planning on remodeling for years, and now you’re finally ready. Maybe you’re using a generous tax return or maybe you’ve refinanced your mortgage to take on the home renovation project.

Photo courtesy of basykes vis Flickr.

However you got to this exciting moment in homeownership, there’s one golden rule to follow before cutting that old bathroom or laying down that new deck.

Future-proof your home.

That’s right, we all have our own styles when it comes to what our dream home looks like, but keeping future buyers in mind–even if you don’t plan to sell your home for years to come–will ensure your home will sell quickly when the time eventually comes.

A recent article on MSN.COM shared several must-do renovations to future-proof your home. Here are the top three:

1. Improve Your Home’s Insulation.

2. Use formaldehyde-free cabinets for kitchen upgrades. 

3. Consider a tankless or solar-powered water heater. 

For more on these and other home remodeling tips, read the full article here.

Vacation Home Purchases on the Rise

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If you’ve ever thought of purchasing an investment or vacation property, now may be a good time. According to the National Association of Realtors, investment property and vacation home sales sky rocketed last year, with many investors taking advantage of low sales prices.

Pictured: Waterfront home in Miami Beach courtesy of miamismvia Flickr.

Vacation home buyers also came out in larger numbers, according to NAR, with sales growing 7% year-over-year to 502,000.