Top 3 Reasons To Consider Buying A New Home During The Holidays

Holiday gifts, dinners and traveling are the typical money guzzling purchases families expect, and plan for, during this time of year, but maybe they should add buying a new house to the list.

The holiday season may turn off many from purchasing a new home, but should it? It turns out, buying a new home during the holiday season can come with a few benefits.

1. Deals

For many homeowners looking to sell their homes this time of year, there is usually a sense of urgency as they want to sell quickly. With the winter months being notoriously known as the real estate slow season, sellers may be more willing to negotiate.

2. Use your holiday vacation time

Before you buy a new house you have to find one first. The house hunting process can be time consuming. Use your time off to go visit homes you might not have time to see otherwise. A little extra time goes a long way in the home purchasing process!

3. It’s a savvy financial move

As the feds prepare to raise mortgage rates, now’s a great time to shop and lock-in a great rate. Consult a financial advisor, but under certain conditions, homeowners are allowed to itemize and deduct interest paid on their mortgage

Saving Money During The Holidays

The most wonderful time of year can also be the most stressful. Between making holiday travel plans, and finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, saving money can feel impossible. However, putting aside money and taking care of holiday expenses is still doable with a bit of preparation and serious discipline. Check out our 10 tips on putting aside extra cash during the chaos of the holidays.

1. Set a spending limit

This is the key to not overspend when doing your holiday shopping. Sales tags and great deals can fool you into thinking you’re actually saving money, but after adding up your holiday haul, you may be shocked at just how much money you’ve spent.

2. Create a gift list

Between family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. you may feel like your gift list is endless. Sit down and write out a list of everyone you want to give a gift to this season, and then, with your budget in mind, start making cuts. This may sound harsh, but you might not be able to realistically buy gifts for everyone on your list, and that’s ok.

3. Grab Some Cash

After creating your budget, take out the amount of cash you will need to purchase gifts. This prevents you from overspending. Once the money is gone, the holiday shopping is over!

4. Put away the credit cards

Many individuals tend to get swipe happy around the holiday shopping season, and before they know it, they’ve racked up a bill that seriously sets them back. Stick to your budget and say no to the plastic.

5. Avoid express shipping costs; buy gifts early

We’ve all been in the unfortunate situation where Christmas is around the corner, and you’re scrambling to purchase gifts that you’ve put off buying. Around the holidays, those express shipping costs are extremely high. Make your purchases now, and use regular business shipping.

6. Consider baking

The way to just about anyone’s heart is through their stomachs. Skip out on buying expensive holiday presents this year, and give the gift of baked goods! Holiday specific goodies are not only festive, but they are pretty frugal option when trying to save money.

7. Teach kids financial boundaries

Your kids have probably been inundated by commercials selling them all the latest toys and gadgets. Instead of buying them every toy on their wish list, explain to them that gifts cost money and money doesn’t grow on trees. Even Santa has a Christmas budget to adhere to.

8. Pay attention to sales

Discounts are everywhere during this time of the year. Hit them up and save a small chunk of change. Nothing wrong with purchasing last year’s hot ticket item at a discount!

9. Hit up holiday freebies

There are plenty of things to do around the holidays. Get creative and meet up with friends for ice skating, or take your family on a drive to see Christmas lights. Not everything worth doing cost money.

10. Remember the spirit of the holidays

Savings Tips For Black Friday Shopping

The holidays are some of the most festive and financially stressful times of the year. Between travelling, purchasing gifts, and feeding a ton of hungry family members, you may find yourself strapped for cash.

Have no fear, Black Friday is here. OK, you may be wondering why would I mention savings and the biggest holiday shopping day of the year in the same blog post?

Well as hectic, and expensive, as the holiday season is, there is one place we know you can save some serious cash: your holiday shopping list!

Getting the most out of your Black Friday Shopping day takes strategic planning. Unfortunately, many store offers and “deals” aren’t deals at all. A study done by Nerd Wallet found that many major department stores have been running the same ads for the past 3 years. However, if you’re in the market for videogames and technology, black Friday, as well as Cyber Monday, are truly the best times of year to score big!

For years shoppers have been flocking to major retailers in search of the latest technologies for the best prices. TVs, cameras, video games and systems, laptops, phones and tablets have consistently topped the list when it comes to the best sales, and this year is no exception.

If you want to have holiday shopping success this Black Friday, then follow our list of shopping strategies to make the most of your time and money.

  1. Do your Research – If you’re not following your favorite stores on social media, now’s the time. Retailers will begin posting their deals on their Facebook and Twitter, to create buzz and hype around their products. Also, pick up a local newspaper the day before and scope the sales ads. Websites such as blackfriday.com are also great sources of information for insider tips on special promotions.
  2. Have a Plan in Mind – Black Friday isn’t really the time to wander the aisles aimlessly hoping to stumble upon something interesting. It happens, but for the most part, everyone shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year has a purpose, and really great deals can be sold out within a blink of an eye!
  3. Scope Out the Playing Field – The night before sales, take a trip to the store. Many businesses begin setting up and taping off aisles where in demand products will be staged. A quick walk through of the store will help you know exactly where the inventory you’re after will be located, so that you can make a bee-line directly to those items.
  4. Be on Time – As a seasoned Black Friday shopper, I can attest to the craziness and frenzy surrounding a highly anticipated sale. Shoppers will begin lining up outside of stores hours, and even days, before the sale even begins. Prioritize which items and stores you will hit up first and stay on your timeline.
  5. Stay at Home – Ok, I know I’m calling an audible here, but give me a chance to explain. Stores have created an unsavory trend of starting sales on Thanksgiving day, and as great as some Black Friday deals are, spending time with family is even more important, so stay at home during family time. Plus, its 2016 and we’re in the age of technology. Skip the lines and do your shopping on Cyber Monday!
tips for thanksgiving

Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Thanksgiving!

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here and many homeowners are preparing to host friends and family. This can often make homeowners feel as though they must do a thorough deep cleaning of their home, but we think the holiday season is already stressful enough. Check out our list of 5 easy ways to get your home ready for guests without turning into Cinderella (before her fairy godmother worked her magic).

1) Make the bathroom sparkle If you can only focus on your attention on one room in your home, make it the bathroom. It receives the most traffic and will be judged by your grandmother and aunts the harshest. Give it a good scrub and light a candle before guest arrive.

2) Vacuum the main areas Hallways, dining rooms, guest rooms, wherever guests will be spending time – quickly run a vacuum over the floors.

3) Fluff the living room pillows Make the couch look inviting for everyone to gather and mingle and watch the game.

4) Use natural light and lamps Overhead lights may shine focus on your little secret that you didn’t have time to deep clean. Turn on the lamps, open the blinds, and light candles and everyone will be commenting on how cozy your home feels.

5) Turn on some holiday music and relax Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and family. Don’t stress the small details. Enjoy time with family and focus on making memories.

6 Easy Landscaping Projects to get your Lawn Fall Ready

6 Easy Landscaping Projects To Get Your Lawn Fall Ready!

The cooler weather season is the perfect time to show off the beauty of all things fall in your home’s landscaping. It can be tough preparing your yard for autumn, but the payoffs are great and staying active in your yard can feel very rewarding once your home is the standout on your block.

Get your home fall ready with these 6 landscaping projects!

1. Spread Mulch

Spreading mulch in your yard is a great way to add color! Not to mention, mulch can fend off weeds and lock in moisture to keep your plants healthier than ever as the cold weather arrives.

2. Pull Weeds

Protect your vegetation. Weeds are invasive pests that not only affect the look of your garden and lawn but can cause damage to your flowers.

3. Plant Flowers

Update your garden with a splash of fall colors! Replace your dead summer plants with bright mums or pansies or any other autumn flower. Fall is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs!

4. Throw Out Some Seed

Sections of your lawn may have been damaged due to summer heat. Combat the issue by over-seeding the damaged patch.

5. Keep on Mowing

Although your grass will grow slower in cooler temperature, you still shouldn’t neglect to mow. Remember, when cutting in cooler months, you don’t want to leave it too long or cut it too short. The ideal height is 2.5 to 3 inches in height.

6. Add a Little Fall Décor!

Add a simple wreath of fall florals to your front door, or go all out with an entire autumn themed look. Remember, pumpkins are the perfect fall staple!

AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation Named Top 10 Customer Satisfaction By LendingTree For Q3 2017

Atlanta, Georgia – November 1, 2017 – AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation was listed on LendingTree’s Top Ten Customer-Rated Lenders for Q3 2017, which was announced on November 1, 2017. AmeriSave was rated on mortgage rates, fees and closing costs, responsiveness, customer service and overall experience.

“Once again AmeriSave has been recognized by LendingTree as one of their top lenders,” said Bob Smith, President of AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation. “I want to recognize the efforts of every team member, from loan origination to closing and beyond, who have played a part in this achievement. We will continue striving to retain a permanent spot on the LendingTree Top Ten.”

The quarterly “Top Ten” list is based on a weighted average of review rating and volume of customer reviews on the LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) website. This is AmeriSave’s tenth appearance on the list in the past four years.

Halloween Tips For A Safe Evening

No matter your age, Halloween is a festive time of year. Decorating your home with spooky jack-o-lanterns and haunted displays add to the fun.

October 31st gives individuals many great excuses to dress up as their favorite characters, and eat as many sweet treats as they’d like, so you wouldn’t want your evening tainted by a Halloween mishap.

This is why it’s important for homeowners to take precautions on All Hallows’ Eve to ensure that their home, and all of their little trick-or-treaters, have a safe evening.

1) Before heading out of the house on your trick-or-treating adventures, make sure to go over a safety game plan with your kids. Inform them to stay in well-lit driveways and pay attention to street traffic.

2) Candles are Halloween staples as homeowners often use them to create a spooky glow on their homes by lining them along their walkways. This same effect can be achieved with LED lights. Candles pose a risk as lots of little feet will be walking around your home, and they can be knocked over and cause harm to your property or to an individual.

3) If you have a loose porch step or railing you’ve been meaning to fix, now is the perfect time. Your front door will be inhabited by tiny ballerinas and ghouls for the evening, so making sure all dangerous or hazardous conditions are repaired will be important to ensure safety.

4) Don’t forget your pets. Unfortunately, a fun spooky Halloween for you can be an actual terror for many pets. Create a safe environment for your pets as the constant doorbell ringing and stream of visitors can spook them right out of the front door. A confined space like a crate or small room they feel they can guard and protect may be more comfortable for your pet.

5) Halloween is also an optimal time to look over your home’s insurance coverage. As visitors come to and from your home, you are opening yourself up to potential lawsuits, so making sure you are sufficiently covered is important.

Now that you’ve taken the proper measures to safeguard your home from any catastrophes, you’re ready to enjoy a fun family filled evening!

Get Your Home Fall Ready!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves are changing and the weather’s getting chillier. That can only mean one thing; fall is here!

In order to get in the spirit of the season and prepare for cooler weather, we’ve compiled a list of fall prep must dos. Check off each of our home ready tips, and you’ll be sipping a pumpkin spice latte snuggled by your fire place in no time!

1. Get Cozy

Blankets make life more comfy. Pull out your down comforters and fluffy blankets and get your bed ready to go for the cold nights ahead.

2. Clean Things Up

Who says deep cleaning your home is an activity just for spring. Fall cleaning can help get your house prepped and decluttered for cooler weather. Make sure there’s no clutter stored near heaters, furnaces or other heating appliances.

3. Let There be Fire

You may want to hire a chimney sweep to get your fireplace in tip top shape for the cold weather season. Unfortunately, fires are more likely during the fall and winter. Keep your home and family safe by taking necessary safety precautions with your chimney and fireplace.

4. Fill in the Gaps

Make sure all gaps around windows and doors are sealed up. Weather-stripping and caulk can help, so that your home stays insulated and warm during the cold months ahead; don’t make your furnace work harder than it has to.

5. Perform an Appliance Checkup

As temperature drop, it’s important to be able to keep your home warm and comfortable. Check your boiler or furnace and replace filters. Also, test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices. Safety is key!

Are Mortgage Rates on the Rise

Are Mortgage Rates On The Rise?

Mortgage rates change daily, but by historical standards, rates are still looking pretty good. However, according to the Federal Reserve’s September minutes, rates are expected to increase, and some experts believe a rate hike is on the horizon.

According to data from Bankrate, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose minimally to 4.07% from 4.06%; this time last year it was 3.62%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.33% from 3.32%, and the adjustable-rate mortgage declined to 3.54% from 3.55%.

If you’re in the market for a new home or a refi, now may be an optimal time to act. Although rates have increased slightly, they are still alluring. Head over to amerisave.com and take advantage of our great rates today!

Don’t Forget Curb Appeal

Don’t Forget Curb Appeal

When updating and putting work into their house, homeowners spend a great deal of time and money on the inside. However, while a home with a beautiful interior is important, don’t forget about its exterior. Just like when meeting new people, first impressions matter. Spending time improving your home’s curb appeal can increase your home’s value just like a kitchen update would. In fact, the National Association of Realtors report that a $330 lawn investment could increase the value of your home by $1000.

Check out our tips on boosting your curb appeal and put even more value into your home!

Tip #1 Pressure wash

Over time, your home collects dirt that can make it look old and uninviting. A good deck and sidewalk pressure wash can get it back to looking as good as new.

Tip #2 Update and accessorize

There are many front porch accessories that can make your home look inviting and new. Standard home address numbers, light fixtures and mailboxes could make your home look outdated, and now may be the time for an overhaul.

Tip #3 The front door

Want to give your home a pop of color? How about painting the front door as an inexpensive fix, or if you  have room in your budget, replace the old door with something a little more modern. Don’t forget to clean and polish the door knob. Beauty is in the details!

Tip# 4 Plant flowers

Nothing makes a home feel more homey than a beautiful garden. Plant flowers, plants and trees and increase your home’s beauty as well as its energy efficiency!

 Tip #5 Get rid of the garbage

Trashcans are important, but they are an eyesore. Hide them around the back of the home instead of parking them out front or install a fence to camouflage them.