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Year: 2016

Shopping For A Competent Tax Preparer

Coins and Pens
The IRS requires that all tax-preparers must:Register with the Federal Government Pass a competency test Take continuing education courses Obtain a federal Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)But, even if they are registered and have a PTIN number, it does not necessarily mean that they are competent. In a recent audit, the IRS had found substantial errors — overlooking com...
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The Difference Between An Appraisal & Market Analysis

Appraisal versus Market Value
What is a comparative market analysis?A CMA is an evaluation of recently sold homes that are within the area or location of the home that may be bought or sold. It’s usually performed by a real estate agent who has access to homes listed for sale or homes that have sold through their local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). It is not an appraisal.What is an appraisal?It is an estimate of ...
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Five Technology Scams To Avoid

Christmas Shopping
 Here are 5 ways to protect yourself from computer viruses and hackers…  Don’t click links within emails. Your email may look like an official one from Amazon, but unless you are absolutely sure, don’t click the link. Instead, log into your Amazon account and view the information on their website. Same for your cell phone, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. Never ope...
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Read This Before You Co-sign on a Loan

Man Signing Mortgage Documents
Avoid co-signing on someone else’s loan. A new survey shows that 38% of co-signers lost money because the borrower did not make payments (or make them on time). 28% experienced a decrease in their credit score. And 26% said that their relationship with the borrower disintegrated.In addition, credit bureaus will add the debt (of the co-signed loan) to your credit report and, in some instance...
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14 Ways To Save Money During The Holidays

Christmas Gifts in front of a blurry Christmas Tree
Tired of starting the new year with a pile of debt? Shop smart, and you can enjoy the holidays without putting yourself in the poorhouse. Here are 14 tips to help you make the most of your time and money: 1. Decide how much you can spend. "Most people go about it all wrong," says Ric Edelman, author of "Financial Security in Troubled Times." "The first thing they do is come up with a list of...
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What a Good Listing Agent Will Do for You When You Decide to Sell Your Home

Business Meeting
We wanted to let you know that since we’ve been in the mortgage business, we have worked with many real estate agents and observed how they conduct their business.There are no bad agents — but some are better than others.Our office often gets questions from people thinking of listing their home for sale, asking what they should look for in a good listing agent when it comes time to put...
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Does Color Impact Your Spending?

Color Analytics
I’m sure you’ve always suspected this, but marketing experts say that people subconsciously associate specific colors with specific “messages.” Retailers have picked up on this and carefully choose colors in an effort to get you to spend more money. Here are 9 colors may affect your purchasing habits:Blue – It’s the color of “trust” and you’ll find that financial institutions use blue in ...
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What You Didn’t Learn in School: Six Tips from the Experts!

Finances and Calculator image
What You Didn’t Learn in School: Six Tips from the Experts!Did you ever wish they had taught courses in personal money management in school? Oh, they probably touched on it in high school. Maybe a little bit in college — that is, if it was a course as part of your major!So, what we did was depend upon family, friends, and bankers and tax preparers to help direct our financial future.Here a...
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4 Reasons Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster Isn’t Always the Best Move

Paid mortgage
You’ve likely heard about the debt-free philosophy espoused by financial gurus such as Dave Ramsey. The idea of gaining financial freedom by paying off all your debts as quickly as possible — even a mortgage with a low, fixed rate — may be appealing, but it’s not always a wise strategy, some financial experts say.With rates still hovering near historic lows, mortgages are considered “cheap” de...
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