Getting Your Home Garden Cold Weather Ready

The winter season is in full swing, and with it brings chillier weather and freezing condensation. These things can wreak havoc on your home garden and leave you with a mess to deal with come spring. However, taking pre-winter steps can help you achieve success during blossom season and your vegetation will thank you.

Clean things up

Cleaning up your garden beds will help keep weeds and tangled vegetation from choking the remaining plants that don’t die off from the cold weather. Removing dead/rotten plants will keep the rest of your vegetation from getting diseased and ruined.

Insulate

Layer your flower bed with mulch to suppress weeds and protect your soil. Mulch just enough to cover soil so it’s insulated and not exposed. This doesn’t keep the soil from freezing, but actually helps the roots keep cold and at an even temperature. Make sure to research which mulching materials are right for your flowers.

Snip away

Once the temperature drops below freezing, your perennials will begin to die away. This is the time to snip their stems. Make sure to make cuts within 1-2 inches to the ground and dispose of the stems as they can carry diseases that affect the plants in the spring.

Bring inside

Tender plants can make great indoor plants. Perennial or annual flowers that can’t handle even a light frost will do just fine potted and brought inside to be monitored and nourished in your home. Once the spring season gets into full swing and things warm up, these plants can go right back in the ground.

Make a cover

If you have a vegetable garden, make a garden cover or vegetation box to protect seedlings against the harsh elements. Covering with blankets and plastic when temperatures hit below 28 degrees Fahrenheit will help prevent tissue damage and freezing.

The harsh temperatures may have already arrived, with most of the country seeing snowfall already, but it’s still not too late to protect your gardens and salvage your crops! Get to work now and your spring season will be a breeze!

Credit Card Tips For 2017

When one year comes to an end and a new year begins, many people start making goals and reorganizing their lives. At the top of most goal-setter’s new year’s list (right after weight loss that is) is financial rehabilitation. That being said, making the smartest credit card decisions can set you up for a financially responsible and stable year ahead.

Check out our top four credit card tips for 2017!

1. Don’t let reward points go to waste
Did you know credit card rewards can expire? By not using your rewards points before their expiration period, you could be losing out on a ton of perks and a ton of money. A report from 2011 revealed about $16 billion in reward points went unredeemed for the year!

2. Increase your credit limit
If you’ve been holding on to a credit card with a low credit limit for a while, now is the time to negotiate a higher limit. In order to maintain or raise your credit score, you must have a low credit utilization percentage (no more than 30% of your limit). A higher limit will help bring that percentage down. This doesn’t mean you should spend more on this particular card. In fact, if your spending habits change, it should reflect less spending.

3. Pay more than the minimum
Minimum credit card payments, combined with interest, will have you paying off your debt a lot longer than you should be, and you’ll end up paying a lot more than you owe. Make a goal of how soon you want to pay down your limit, and then calculate how much you will need to pay each month to reach your goal. Then commit. Paying down debt takes discipline and strategic planning.

4. Stop missing payments
Carrying a high balance and missing payments is a surefire way to really do damage to your credit score. If you have a history of not paying your card on time, you could also miss opportunities to increase your credit card limit or receive better terms. Showing that you’re a responsible card holder will work out in your favor in the long run.
Let 2017 be your most financially stable year yet. Take control of your credit card spending habits and enjoy all of the perks that come with being a responsible card owner. Happy New Year!

The New Year Brings A Drop In The 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate!

For the first time since the presidential election, we are finally beginning to see a drop in mortgage rates. The 30- year fixed mortgage rate increased by 40 basis points in the two weeks following the election, raising the rate to 3.94%, as stated by Freddie Mac Chief Economist, Sean Becketti.

According to a report done by Freddie Mac, the 30- year fixed rate mortgage ends the week of January 5, 2017 at 4.20%; this is down from the previous week’s 4.32%. The 15- year fixed rate mortgage rate sits at 4.44%, down from last week’s 5.55%.

After a gradual increase over the past nine weeks, the decrease is a welcome break from the rising rates. With that being said, rates are still looking good for those in the market to refinance or purchase a new home, and now may be an optimal time to act!

Check out AmeriSave’s rates today, and let us serve all of your mortgage needs!

Don’t Let The Fear Of Rising Rates Take You Out Of The Race!

With a new government administration set to take office, the mortgage industry is in for some changes, which is to be expected with any new elected president. Since the election, Americans have seen an aggressive increase in mortgage rates, which are currently siting at their highest level since May 2014; that, along with the news that the federal reserve voted to raise interest rates, has borrowers wondering how the new changes will affect their lending options. However, fear of rising rates shouldn’t be a deterrent considering they are still reasonably low.

According to a survey done by Freddie Mac, last week the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.13%, this week the rate rose to 4.16%. This time last year, the average rate was 3.97%. This means, if a borrower were to put a 20% down payment on a $241,000 home today, they’d only be paying about $21 more each month compared to what they would have paid a year ago.

Right now the fear of rising rates has painted a doom and gloom picture on the mortgage industry that is far from the truth. Rates under 5% have been the norm for the last decade, and we have quite a way to go before that changes. Perspective is key when examining rates, and by historical standards, rates are still looking great for 2017. Consider this, if interest rates were to increase another 25 basis points, the change in mortgage payments would be insignificant.

If you’re in the market for a new home or considering refinancing your mortgage, now may be the time to act! Let AmeriSave serve your mortgage needs. Check out our rates today!