Homeside Financial - April 2018

Gardening: Bringing Family Together Why You Should Consider Investing in a Family Garden

After spending a winter cooped up inside with your family, there might be a little tension between everyone. Fortunately, it’s spring, and the warm weather, melting snow, and blooming flowers offer a good way to ease restlessness. This season, why not bring your family closer together by starting a family garden? A Learning Experience Nearly every step in the gardening process can be a learning experience for kids and parents alike. Begin by discussing where you should start and why, what supplies you’ll need, and the types of plants you want to grow. Gardening also offers opportunities to learn about science, ecology, and nutrition. Collaboration

not quality time. Working in a group to create and maintain a garden is a hands- on experience for everyone. It’s a chance to get the whole family involved with a single project, and you can literally share the fruits of your labor. Deciding on Plants

When it comes to deciding which plants you want in your garden, there are many variables to consider. Do you want to grow edible plants, ones that have magnificent blossoms, or ones that are easy to care for? Flowers are a good start if you want a plant that grows a little faster; plus, they lend a pop of color to your garden. Growing vegetables is also rewarding, as the kids will take great pleasure in eating what they’ve grown. Other possibilities include sunflowers, blackberries, peas, and lettuce. You might be surprised at how willingly children eat their greens when they’ve had a hand in growing them.

Gardening gives your family a chance to collaborate. When you’re stuck inside for long periods, you may be spending time together, but it’s usually

What Type of Loan Is Right for Me? 3 Major Loans for Your Home Purchase

All the recent talk about mortgage rates has many Americans scrambling to figure out what all the rhetoric means. When I discuss this topic with people, I’ve noticed that many future homeowners are unaware of the different types of loans available. This is why I wanted to present you with some basic information about the three major loans almost every lender works with. Conventional These are your straight-up traditional home loans that take basic factors into account in order to qualify you for financing. Considerations include your credit score, your down payment, and your debt-to-income ratio. These are ideal loans for those who qualify, because they are usually easy to draft and quick to approve. The only downfall with this is that in order to qualify, you’ll need a solid credit score. FHA Federal Housing Administration mortgages operate a little differently than conventional loans. These are for home seekers whose house payments are going to be a bigger chunk of take-home pay. Generally, an FHA loan will allow borrowers to spend up to 56 percent of their income on debt obligations. In contrast, conventional mortgages are capped at 43 percent. In this same vein, FHA will help borrowers with a lower credit score. This requires a few more obstacles and a different premium, but it’s still a great option for home seekers. VA

Veterans Affairs mortgages are much more specialized loans that are designed for active-duty military and veterans. They provide a great avenue for those who have served their country to own a home, but VA loans aren’t always the best option. Many who fit in this category may actually benefit from a conventional or FHA mortgage. There are many factors at play with this decision, but this loan is still a rock-solid option for those who meet the requirements. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lending. If you have more questions on these loans or other potential options, reach out to me today. I’m happy to provide you with the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.

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jharrington@gohomeside.com

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