Buying and affording a home is becoming a little bit easier for military families with the help of PenFed Foundation’s Dream Makers program. The Dream Makers program is funded by private donations from individuals and corporations and awards grants to military families to help them buy a new home. The program awarded its first grant in 2007 and today hopes to award a total of $1 million in grants.

To be eligible for a grant you must:

  • be a member of the PenFed Foundation (Pentagon Federal Credit Union)
  • be a member of a military branch of service, including the Coast Guard (widows are also eligible)
  • be a first-time home buyer
  • have a gross annual income of $55,000 or less, or 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size
  • The program does more than just help military families buy homes it also provides emergency financial assistance and child care to wounded warriors and their families through its Military Heroes Fund and interest-free loans to service members through its Asset Recovery Kit program.

    If you would like to donate to the program or apply for a Dream Makers grant click here for more information.

Getting healthy can seem like such a big task. Getting healthy doesn’t have to be hard, making small changes can make a big difference.

Here are some simple things you can do everyday to get healthy:

1. Walk more-Walking has shown to help people lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking and a total of 10,000 steps per day. If you are unsure of how much you need to walk wear a pedometer, research shows people who wear a pedometer walk more.

2. Eat more fish-Evidence shows that darker types of fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring) are good for your heart and brain. They have also shown to lower the risk of cancer.

3. Drink more water-Water is an essential for good health. Water  helps maintain the balance of body fluids, reduces caloric intake and helps your organs function properly.

4. Get enough sleep-You really do need at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep has many benefits: you will feel better, it decreases the risk for cardiovascular disease, and boosts memory.

5. Reduce sugar in your diet-Decreasing your sugar will actually increase your energy. Sugary foods create highs and lows in your energy levels.

There are many more steps you can take to get healthy but these few tips are things you can implement without making major changes to your life.

 

You’ve been thinking about buying your first home and it is a very big decision. It is typically not a decision you make overnight instead you need to take the time prepare yourself.  Here are the basic steps that you should follow when it is time to buy a home.

  1. Ask are you ready? Home ownership is quite different than renting. It is a lot more expensive than renting. You will have added expenses and responsibility. There will be expenses like repairs, added utility costs, such as garbage and water, plus taxes and insurance related to your home. You will want to make sure to have an emergency fund, before you purchase your first home.
  2. Shop for a loan. Your first step will be to get preapproved. Knowing how much you can afford will help you to look for homes within your price range.
  3. Figure out how much you can afford. Just because you are preapproved for a certain loan doesn’t mean you can afford that in the real world. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage along with your taxes and insurance between twenty five and thirty percent of your income. You don’t want to be house poor.
  4. Use a real estate professional you can trust.  A good real estate professional will listen to your wants and needs carefully. It is important that you are also educated on the process of buying a home. A good real estate professional will help meet your needs while navigating you through the process and advocating for your best interests.

Everyone is on a budget nowadays so redecorating your house can seem like its impossible. Yet, with some small, inexpensive updates, you can transform the look of your house.

The most basic way to update the look of a room is color. A new paint color on the walls can transfer a dull room to a stunning room. With a gallon of paint around $25, you can repaint a room for under $75. Top it off with a chair rail (around $9 for a 8ft piece) and you have a completely different room. Not in the mood to paint? How about some throw pillows on the couch? Or a new comforter? A little splash of color can go a long way.

Now let’s get creative – have plain knobs or handles on your kitchen cabinets or none at all? Get some decorative knobs for around $1.00 a knob and you have yourself updated cabinets. (Try this on any cabinet in your house!) Add some drama to your dining room or entry way with a new chandelier. For as low as $50.00 you can add a focal point that will wow. And how about that bathroom? Adding a new shower curtain and bath mat can really change the whole look of the room for under $50!

No matter what room you are looking to update, house gutting renovations are not needed. With a little imagination, the smallest updates can create a whole new look for a room. Need some ideas? Take a walk around your local home improvement center and see what catches your eye. You never know what you might find that sparks an idea for a inexpensive update!

Ceiling Fans

On February 22, 2015 By Sankey Real Estate
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