1.     Pay off any debts to qualify for loan approval - When starting the home buying process your lender will primarily look at this aspect of your finances. Having outstanding debts can interfere with the process as lenders focus on your debt to income ratio. Any chance given to pay them off can better your chances of approval.


2.     Pay off credit cards for higher credit scores -  Paying off your debts can help to raise your credit score and make it easier for you to get new credit, such as a mortgage loan. Consult with a mortgage lender to get a clear understanding of which debts to pay off to better increase your score.


3.     Can be used as a down payment – Depending on…

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  1. Maintain your property - Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it’s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Shoveling your walkways to clear them of snow and debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.

  2. Know your neighbors - Many people don’t really know their neighbors; it’s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time…

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1. Tidy up

One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter. Each year most of us acquire a mountain of stuff. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most. (All that clutter also makes your house look dated, designers say.) This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don't use, wear or love and donate it to charity. After that, think twice about what you bring in.

2. Shrink your bills

The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:

  • Switch off the lights when you…

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