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Buying a House?
Buying a house is a big financial decision. The process can be overwhelming and stressful. Here are a few tips that can make things easier:
1. Start off by checking your credit score. This is an important first step. When you go to get a mortgage, that is the first thing the financial institution is going to do. Please note that you are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You may have to strengthen your credit score before you buy a house.
2. Figure out what you can afford and the area you are interested in living. Lenders will generally recommend the house not cost you more than three to five times your annual income if you plan to make a 20% down payment. Make this determination by including all of your other debt.
3. Get preapproved for your mortgage. This will give you an idea of what you can actually spend. Check with your mortgage company about what financial information is required to do this. This will tell you how much they will be able to lend you.
4. Start your research. Sign up for home listing alerts, find a real estate listing service to see what listing are in your area, and the price range you are looking for. There are many real estate listing services. You only need to sign up for one as most of the homes are listed in the Multiple Listing Price (MLS) database. Make a note of the homes you like and see how long they stay on the market. Check the asking price as this will give you an idea of the housing trend in that area.
5. Find the right real estate agent. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that aren’t readily available to the public. It would be helpful to know their level of knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity of the area that you want to live in before signing on with your real estate agent.
Recipe Of The Month!
CROISSANT FRENCH TOAST
10 croissants, cubed
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup pecans, chopped
¼ cup butter, diced
Warmed maple syrup
Why is Sleep is
Sleep is essential to your overall health. With busy schedules and the demands of family, work and community, people are frequently putting sleep on the back burner. Getting enough quality sleep can protect your mental health, physical health and quality of life. Sleep helps your brain function properly as well.
Take a look at your sleep routine and see if you are getting enough sleep. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you get at least seven hours of sleep each night? 7 to 8 hours is a good baseline for most adults to be rested.
2. Do you go to bed and wake up the same time every day? It is better to stay consistent with your sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
3. Are you drinking caffeine in the afternoon/evenings? Caffeine stimulates your brain. Caffeinated drinks can take three to seven hours to metabolize. Know when the best cut off time is for you to get a good night’s sleep.
4. Do you turn off electronics before going to bed? The blue lights in electronic screens can be disruptive to sleep. Avoid using electronics a few hours before going to bed.
5. Do you get regular exercise? Exercise can help you sleep better. Do moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day. However, working out too close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep. Try to plan your exercise routine several hours before going to bed.
6. Are you eating or drinking before going to bed? Eating too close to bedtime can make you uncomfortable and be disruptive to your sleep. It’s a good idea to stop eating two to three hours before bedtime. It is also a good idea to limit how much you drink before bedtime to limit the times you wake up to go to the bathroom throughout the night.
7. Can a nap help or hurt a good night’s sleep? That depends. A nap can help improve your alertness in the short-term, but it can disrupt sleep if taken too long or too late in the day. A short 20-30 minute nap in the day can rejuvenate you during the day without causing trouble sleeping at night. Do not take a nap later than 3:00 p.m. to interfere with your regular sleep pattern.