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Top 20 Things to Recycle in Your Home

November 15th is “America Recycles Day!” In honor of this sustainable celebration, we have made a list of common household items that we can all recycle to help conserve resources and protect our environment. Kitchen Food Boxes cereal boxes, frozen meal boxes, crackers, pasta, etc Food Cans canned foods, canned drinks, canned sauces, etc Plastic …

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Purchasing or Refinancing with the HomeStyle Renovation Program

The HomeStyle Renovation Program is available to borrowers who are looking to make Renovations, Repairs, or Improvements to a home with a single loan, rather than with a second mortgage, or home equity line of credit. At Benchmark, we know how important it is to make a house your own. Your Benchmark loan originator can …

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Benchmark Memo: When Disaster Strikes, You Have Options

In the aftermath of the historic flooding in  South Texas, and in anticipation of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, you should be aware of your financial options in the wake of devastation. The FHA 203(h) is a ZERO down program, and is available to homeowners and renters alike.   At Benchmark, we know how important …

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Under 35 Homeownership Rate Increases

The Rate of Homeownership has increased from 34.3% to 35.3% from first Quarter 2017 to Second Quarter 2017 for those under 35 years of age, according to a report from the United States Census Bureau. While popular media seems to portray Millennials as a generation of renters, a whitepaper from First American lists six reasons …

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Why Buying Is Investing

If you are thinking about becoming a homeowner, it is important to see your house as an investment. A home is an asset with the potential to  increase your financial stability over time. Unlike renting, where you pay your landlord’s mortgage without seeing any return yourself, homeownership works to broaden your financial worth. After purchasing …

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Summer Water Conservation Tips For Your Home and Garden

Being our most important natural resource, conservation of fresh water is a universal responsibility. Here are four simple ways that you may be able to reduce your fresh water footprint and save on your water bill.   Use Less On Lawn Care Did you know that nearly 60% of a person’s water consumption may be used on lawn and garden …

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What Pet Owners Should Know Right Now About Buying A Home

What Role Do Pets Play? 61% of U.S. households have a pet or have future plans to get one. 99% of owners feel that their pet is part of the family. 81% of Americans say that their pets play a role in their housing decision. 19% of Americans say they would consider moving for their pet.* 12% percent …

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Millionaire Tells Millennials To Buy A Home

CNN recently ran an article explaining why self-made millionaire David Bach has said, “The fact is, you aren’t really in the game of building wealth until you own some real estate.” In his book, “The Automatic Millionaire” Bach writes, “As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over …

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Buying Still Cheaper Than Renting

Even in light of rising home prices, Trulia‘s October 2016 “Rent vs. Buy Report” successfully argues that owning your home with a conventional 30-year fixed rate mortgage costs less than renting in major US metros, even in high priced areas like Honolulu, HI (which sees 17.4% cost reduction over renting). The highest difference was 53.2% in Miami, FL …

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Why Rising Home Prices Are Good News!

Most agree that home prices have risen, and are still on the rise. We have written about why this is not like the housing bubble that we saw nearly ten years ago. In some areas, there are not enough homes for sale to meet the demands of home buyers, and prices are driven up organically. see – Low …

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