When it comes to purchasing power, the three most important factors are your income, debts and down payment. Any one of these can greatly impact the amount of mortgage you qualify for. Lenders are primarily concerned that housing expenses not exceed a certain percentage (28% - 32%) of the homeowner's gross monthly income. Housing expenses include monthly mortgage principal, interest payments, property taxes, condo fees, utilities and homeowner’s insurance.

Here's some solutions to some common debt and down payment problems:


  • Consolidate your debts by taking out one loan and paying off your bills with the money.
  • Pay off long-term debts by using some of your cash and making a lower down payment.
  • Pay off long-term debt by selling…

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May is BBQ Month, and the weather looks perfect for the weekend and the near future. The sun is out, the weekend is here and it's great for grilling!

If you haven't already, it's time to get your patio or deck ready for sun and grilling with family and friends! Here's some quick tips for cleaning your patio.

For Wood Patios:

  • Clean off debris from your deck
  • Inspect for damages: loose boards, nails or rough spots
  • Replace boards if necessary
  • Replace or fix protruding nails
  • Smooth/sand out any rough spots (may need to repaint or restain these spots)
  • Use a deck cleaner (available at hardware stores, ask about the best type for your material)
  • Wear protection when using the cleaner, and hose off patio with water after 20 minutes

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