Our Blog - "H.O.P.E. To Own" your Own Home!"H.O.P.E. To Own" your Own Home!

Buy a home with bad credit

Improving Your Child’s College Education With a Home Equity Loan

26 Feb , 2015  

Love those lava lamps! Truthfully, what wouldn’t do a college student well than a home equity loan (from mom and dad)? That happens to be quite the popular choice for many families looking for extra dough to shell out just so the kid can get a quality college education. What about those government loans, though? Here’s the thing….

Families With Higher Incomes Might Not Even Qualify for Thatlava lamp college education

What does that leave some families? Perhaps the Christmas bonus can cover some of the cost of that crazy college education, but just in case good ol’ dad wants to save the Christmas bonus to invest in a new in-ground pool with water slide, you’re then in good luck: a home equity loan can do you justice.

It’s a Good Investment to Make for Your Child’s College Education

Think about it: you’re secure in this loan. It’s not like you’ll have much trouble getting it approved. A home equity loan works as long as you’re in good standing with your mortgage on the zero-down home through H.O.P.E. to Own. More importantly, though, here’s the long-term investment for all this:

That Quality College Education Will Allow Your Child to Prosper All on His/Her Own

You know what that means? Son or daughter won’t be coming back to the hen house asking for money every now and then to pay off ridiculous debts, draining your income at your old age. Yes, you love your children — but you only have so much money on hand!

You have to watch out, though, for getting that home equity loan approved for the purpose of providing a quality college education for your child, because at the time those bills for room and board need to get paid, you’re most likely on the retirement track on a fixed income. That leaves you with limited funds, and that home equity loan would certainly look good in your pocket. Not to play devil’s advocate here….

The Bottom Line….

Don’t overlook other such possibilities — like special education loans, tax write-offs and scholarships. Just in case, though, your college student needs a little more help on the financing side for textbooks and laundry detergent, go ahead and get that home equity loan. After all, a college education does matter the most in the long run.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Why Being Single or Married Will Matter to Your 2015 Tax Return

3 Feb , 2015  

There’s so much taken into account regarding your 2015 tax return, that there’s no wonder why you get such a tax return benefit with H.O.P.E. to Own in the first place. After all, it’s a service allowing you to file your 2015 tax return in only two hours, but know that because of your qualified tax preparer, you get to know just what your situation may be and what it means for your refund. First off: did you know that it makes a difference if you’re married or single?

Yes, I Did! This Is Old News to Me!tax return wedding

We’re quick, though, to assume that either way’s beneficial as far as a 2015 tax return is concerned. Don’t be too quick to judge, though. Whether or not your bachelorhood or marriage makes a difference largely depends on your income. The fact of the matter is you can file separately or jointly without penalty. It’s not like the IRS will ask you for a marriage certificate.

Why It Might Matter to Your 2015 Tax Return If You’re Married

Your income and even your age definitely matters, yes, but here’s just an example of how things can differ between person to person to couple to couple. Everybody’s financial situation’s different, and you might not have to worry about filing your 2015 tax return.

Take single taxpayers, for instance: if you happen to be 65 years old and earning less than maybe $10K, you actually won’t have to file any taxes at all. That’s something to be aware of. Likewise, married couples under the age of 65 making less than around $20K actually don’t have to file either. If you’re a dependent, as well, earning less than $6.1K, forget about your 2015 tax return; it’s not necessary.

Other Issues That Play a Role in Your 2015 Tax Return

What if you happen to be the “head of household”? Perhaps you’re widowed, or a widower? These are all “special” categories that are taken into account when filing your 2015 tax return, and they can drastically affect your refund even more. It’s pretty staggering. To learn more, you can simply contact the H.O.P.E. Program and get your 2-hour tax return managed immediately. Don’t hesitate. This is the new year — single or married, senior citizen or student, you’re going to put your best foot forward and start it off the right way.

, , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Recognizing That Your Beach House Property Isn’t That Fun

3 Feb , 2015  

Look, I get why you’re so stubborn. That beach house property of yours is a place for gods, sun-kissed and praised by mortals near and far. Olympus’s got “nuthin'” on you, and Zeus is just mad jealous at the architecture and views the best money can buy. Here’s the thing, though: you have to accept the fact that the beach house might not be all it’s cracked up to be all the time, hence you have to be okay with not being there all year round.

Sure, it may be quiet there. You might be able to get away from the city life. For sure, this particular article about beachfront homes can say that there are pluses to it. Does that, though, outweigh the beachfront real estate disadvantages as listed here? Maybe, maybe not. You’re going to have to be the judge. For starters, though, know this:

The Dynamic Lifestyle and Neighborhood of Your Beach House Property Might Go Into Hibernation During the Winterbeach real estate winter

That’s right. Yes, your beach house property mainly flourishes during the summer. Recognize that fact and come to terms with it.

That means once the sun goes down and the icicles start growing, you may just be looking at an ocean that’ll sit still and people going back to their city homes where the heat and fireplaces provide the warmth. That means less interaction with the locals, less commerce, and perhaps even less friendships and fellowships to maintain, particularly if you were thinking of living in your beach house property all year round.

Are you prepared for that? If so, good deal. If you’re not looking forward to an empty ghost of a town during the snowfall, utilize your beach house property sparingly, if you can. The topic of discussion, though, then becomes an issue of whether or not it’s a good idea to have such an expense for yourself.

Do You Want to Keep That Beach House Property or Not?

Such a tough question…. But you have to ask it. And then you have to answer it. With our help at the H.O.P.E. Program, you can contact us. We’ll zero you in on the education and determine not only if that beach house property’s beneficial, but possible.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Haunted Real Estate: Just Check the Plumbing

29 Jan , 2015  

Sure, it’s exciting to know that you might be walking into an open house thinking that this home was the site of the famous killing of Madame [insert French name], and that there are chills, bumps and moans in the night on a regular basis. Haunted real estate: it’s fun stuff, but perhaps you might be dealing with something worse than ghosts in this case. Try the plumbing as one of many scary problems with your real estate.

The Fact Is You Might Have Some Updating to Do on Such Real Estate

This is honestly why many sellers think they can pitch this sort of adventure to a buyer — there’s history behind the house,real estate Ghostbusters perhaps a ghost meandering through the walls, and it definitely provides a conversation piece for friends and family. What the seller might not be telling you is that ultimately there’s no ghost in that real estate. Merely just some bad plumbing. Don’t fall for it.

Additionally, you might have rodents. Granted, they can just be as frightening as apparitions, and in many cases, can provide things like disease to warm your heart in your abode, but you wouldn’t be calling the Ghostbusters for that, but rather just your plain ol’ exterminator to take care of the problem.

In all honesty, the bones of a house can rattle some with settling into the foundation, so don’t be surprised if you hear some of those ‘moans’ and ‘hisses’ inside the walls. Chances are you’re not dealing with spirits — you’re dealing with updates.

And updates cost money. Of course, you could balance all of that out by signing up with the H.O.P.E. Program for your zero-down home all with bad credit. That might make things better….

“Haunted Houses” Are Fun, Yes, But Not on Your Wallet

You, therefore, need to be mindful of those stories you hear from neighborhood to neighborhood. Old, nostalgic houses are fun to look at, but if you want a decent place to live, live optimized, live with updates, upgrades and new roofing. Let’s just say we wouldn’t want you to become a ghost when the roof comes crashing down on you.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Watching Out for Fake Tax Preparers in This 2015 Tax Return Season

29 Jan , 2015  

Perhaps you’re already on the lookout for those tax preparer “sharks” you’ve heard of, such as in this article, and if that’s the case, you should be all protected from the vicious bite that is such a predator. But why? Why are any of these signs actual warning signs for this 2015 tax return season? How do we know for sure that this tax shark is nothing more than Flipper? After all, they both have fins. One wants to eat you, the other just wants to play.

2015 Tax Return Point to Keep in Mind: Where Your Money Goes Matterstax return flipper

Additionally, how much money a certain tax preparer will charge you could lend some clues as to whether or not this person’s honest and professional. Forget the fact that there might be a PTIN, certifications and other credentials. If by chance this person expects you to have the IRS directly deposit your 2015 tax return into not your bank account, but the tax preparer’s account, we smell blood in the water.

In no way should the IRS do such a thing. They wouldn’t know any different, though; that means you have to know. Just like you have to know that this press release about 2-hour tax returns could really make it easier on you this season, so be in the know and get things started right. Additionally, though….

Other Warning Signs to Watch Out For This 2015 Tax Return Season

Be careful about just how much a tax preparer will charge. Why? Certain laws are in place to ensure that tax professionals are, well, in fact, professional with your hard-earned money. Typically the legitimate tax preparers out there will charge a simple flat fee regardless of the amount on your tax return, so be sure to watch out for that.

Or else you’ll get bitten hard. Possibly lose a leg or two.

Other Services Available for Your 2015 Tax Return

Aside from the necessary precautions, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the many opportunities and services available here. Get started with your 2-hour tax return here, for one thing. Not only are you solidifying a definite as far as legitimacy, honesty and lawful compliance, but you’re maximizing every chance you have in getting the best tax return possible.

Flipper would be proud!

, , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Fixing the Bad Credit Card Target for Your Student: Son, Let’s Sit Down

28 Jan , 2015  

“When I was your age…. We didn’t have Facebooks, MySpaces and Tweeters. All we had were notebooks and calculators, and we were forced to look people in the face and say HI. Those were tough times. But it definitely prepared us for the greatest temptation of them all: the credit card. Let me tell you somethin’, son….”

(Prepare for the lecture. It’s coming. It’s going to hit you on the head, and you’ll get a bump the size of a unicorn horn on your skull.) “But Dad….”

“Wait, wait, wait — did you just call me “butt dad”? That’s not nice….”


You’re thinking you’re smart, aren’t you? You’re like Conan the Destroyer venturing out into the wasteland of opportunity withcredit card transformer broadsword in hand and big muscles. Cue in the Michael Bay music and lets see some mighty Transformers in the mix, because this is epic: yes, you’re going to college. And no one’s going to stop you. Let’s roll out….

Let the H.O.P.E. Program educate you right now, though, as you sign up for services, because you’re obviously not going to fully listen to your “butt dad” about what it means to have a credit card in hand. That dangerous piece of plastic. It’s a harsh world out there, particularly when you get into college —

Credit Card Education Before You Get Into College Is Crucial

I know it’s hard; but listen to your “butt dad.” Seriously. He’s got a lot of good stuff to say to you. For one thing, while he may sound like he’s lecturing you about credit cards, he’s actually giving you some trade secrets on how to manage your credit effectively without having it get out of hand.

You can get your credit repaired quite easily through Lexington Law, but you also don’t want to face the situation where you have no idea what’s going on while ‘someone else helps you.’ Be in the know. Your parents will educate you on things like….

  • The ‘Finance Charge’
  • The ‘Grace Period’
  • The ‘Minimum Payment Trap’

credit card treadmillThat finance charge and grace period may already sound familiar, but the “minimum payment trap”? Ever run on a treadmill and not go anywhere? That’s what that tempting minimum payment on a credit card is like. Sure, you’re making your payments, but due to interest piling up, you’re not getting as far as you’d like to paying off your entire balance. In essence, you’re paying more money than what you actually had bought in the first place. That doesn’t sound fair, does it?

It Doesn’t. But That’s Life, Son.

The truth is education isn’t education without real application and experience with credit cards as detailed here. You definitely can’t get it any better than with parents, parents who had used credit cards before as well, and they know exactly what not to do and what you should do.

So listen. Listen up good. There will be a test later, Optimus.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Using Your Credit History to Your Advantage in Credit Repair 101

23 Jan , 2015  

Admit it: you hate looking at your credit history, and sadly that’s largely why your credit score’s so bad. You might think these credit repair techniques won’t work with the dim outlook of a measly 500 credit score, but guess what: you can even use a spotty credit history to your advantage. But how?

Consider This: No Credit History Is Actually Worse!

That’s the one thing probably worse than a bad credit score; it’s no credit score at all. At the very least, you could potentially have a chance in obtaining a car loan or a zero-down home with bad credit with some assistance from Lexington Law professionals; but they won’t be able to help you if there are no negatives to fix, and a lender certainly won’t be able to approve you if there’s no data to gauge you on!

In other words, you have to do the impossible, perhaps, as a budding college student: get a credit card! Scary, right? Slam dunk? You might break the glass backboard. At the very least, you’ll do the one thing you, as a future professional in our employment market, have to do — you have to build your credit.

Things You Can Do in Building a Credit Historycredit repair slam dunk

Don’t go crazy, of course. Start small.

  • Buy candy bars on credit
  • Buy gas every once in awhile on credit
  • Buy your books on credit
  • More importantly, pay the balance back immediately!

It’s the payback that’ll get your credit rating to go sky high. It shows lenders that you’re responsible. You could have dozens of accounts on your credit report, and it won’t really show anything negative if you’re paying on all of them on time.

Hitting the 3-Pointer of Credit Repair

Don’t take my word for it, though. Try it. Let’s say you already have a pretty stained credit history from way back. Some accounts got closed out and others were settled, but the fact of the matter is this — lenders will look at what you’re currently doing. If you have just one loan or credit out that’s active, and you’re paying on it, then you’re golden.

One thing’s for sure: that’s better than having no credit history at all. Score!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Negotiating Needs for Your “House Party”: Why Negotiation’s a Big Deal With Credit Repair

21 Jan , 2015  

If you’ve ever thrown a house party before, you’d know that one of the biggest deals and headaches in the world to monopolize your attention is the fact that you have to figure out the funds and logistics for all the equipment, catering and other materials to make your guests happy. Sometimes it’s just not fun, hence why event planners and coordinators seem to make a boatload of money doing what they do (because we don’t want to do it!)

In a way, credit repair’s very much similar. However, practice makes perfect. And even if you’re not an event planner or caterer by profession, you can be a proficient one by practice and choice and save some money in the process. (Have I taken this metaphor too far?)

In Reality, Credit Repair’s All About Working With Creditors and Banks

You have to get used to it. If you don’t, you’ll just be saddled with the debts for the rest of your life until you somehow pay off those amounts and get them erased from your credit report. You can, though, renegotiate with creditors as well as make your payments regularly and possibly settle for a smaller amount, saving you money and time and getting the best benefit of all: a cleaner credit report and a better credit score.

The same can be said for any high school graduate wondering where to get the money (from allowance or that part-time job at Subway) to pay for everything for the party:credit repair money

  • Drinks
  • Food
  • Music
  • DJ
  • Linens
  • Balloons
  • Video
  • Etc., Etc.

It’s a huge expense. But if you can cut down the expenditures some, do it.

Working With Creditors Will Only Benefit You and Your Credit Repair Goals

It’s not uncommon for a bank or finance company to negotiate with you some sort of a deal to make a partial payment and wipe the slate clean. If you ever get that option, take it. You won’t get it, though, unless you take that first step and approach a creditor about it.

Don’t worry, though, about it not being an actual full payment either, because any lender won’t see it as a negative given the fact that it shows you were taking a proactive initiative to repair your own credit. It certainly says a lot about your character. And your ability to throw a great house party, by the way!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Why Beach Real Estate Can Benefit Your Health

20 Jan , 2015  

Aside from the fact that there are practical positive points to owning a renting beach real estate, believe it or not but living by the beach can actually do your body some good! And not just in the emotional stress-free way. Actual science backs this up, so before you set aside the prospect of beach real etate, check this out. This may enlighten you:

Take One Look at the Sun and Sand, and Right Away You’ll Know That Some Beach Real Estate’s Like an Antidote to Disease

Don’t call me crazy, and just hear me out. Ever heard of Vitamin D? Magnesium? These are two of many essential vitamins and minerals, and would you believe it — these two in particular actually exist in what we commonly associate with beach real estate:beach real estate sand surf

The sun, sand and ocean. That’s no joke.

Vitamin D actually exists in the very rays of the sun, through trans-dermal contact. It’s a small dosage, but definitely a consistent one, as long as you keep stocked up on the sunblock. Even more so, one walk on the sand and a dip in the sea water (or lake water, for that matter) could easily give you healthy doses of Magnesium, an essential mineral responsible for over 300 reactions in your body.

Is It Any Wonder That People at the Beach Look so Healthy?

Seriously, just look at the hair, the skin, the smiles. It’s infectious. It’s no secret that a beach and perhaps a sunset could do such wonders. Given the fact that locales seem to quarantine away from the electromagnetism, Wi-Fi and other types of seemingly benign radiation, you can consider your beachfront home away from home a sort of digital detox (although I don’t deny many still bring their smartphones and Facebooks with them).

It’s quite the reward after finding that zero-down home (by the beach) with bad credit, feeling the joy and grabbing the keys as you head out to the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, or right in your own backyard at Holland State Park in Michigan, if you like! The energy you put into your profession earns you the right to pamper yourself, your health, your well-being, returning you to good form regularly.

Don’t deny yourself that. Yes, that beach real estate you’ve purchased will do you some real good!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a home with bad credit

Belknap Lookout’s Community Voice in Grand Rapids, Michigan

19 Jan , 2015  

Many might’ve already read about this story, but here’s another way of looking at a vintage community in the Grand Rapids area and looking at what it means for an old neighborhood to break out of the mold and stigma of a supposed rundown apartment: Belknap Lookout, one of downtown’s oldest neighborhoods and quite possibly the future of the working class on the Medical Mile across the freeway of Grand Rapids. How so?

Redevelopment: That’s What It’s All About for Belknap Lookout

It’s a key piece of real estate and community, so much so that I’m going to get a bit personal here, not nearly as personal as this lip dub video: I know of one father who’s child goes to the community Grand Rapids Public School, Coit Creative Arts, and he’s at a crossroads about what to do regarding transportation. Car broke down, and now there’s a big question mark about whether or not to transfer out. It’s such a big question, and here’s why:

The community there at Belknap Lookout is so rich with culture. So defined. So real. So much history there, as well as a community caring enough to know the kids walking down those cobblestone streets built back in the mid-to-late 19th century right on Trowbridge. That father even walked off the city bus with his daughter down the bridge for two years just to get her to school and had her place some chewing gum on the pole one day.

That chewing gum’s actually still there — as a testament of a father who cared enough to bring his child to and from school via the Rapid.

Times Change, Jobs Show Up, Families Relocate — Community Stays the Same

It would only last so long before schedules wouldn’t work out, and the only way to get this honor student to and from is by vehicle. As typical, even vehicles can break down, and because there’s no school bus available, the family’s left with a question: what to do?

Belknap Lookout holds a lot of memories, not just of something underneath, lingering as a way to remember the walk toward the school playground, or running up and down the hill of the Coit park. Even back in 1963 when I-196 was constructed and the eroded hillside presented a problem, a remarkable “Earthwork” project known as “X” by one Robert Morris in 1974 ended up creating the first piece of artwork not done by canvas, paint or sculpture.

In effect, Belknap Lookout became the canvas, a masterpiece funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the first project of its kind supported by the government, all just to preserve the integrity of the neighborhood. That memory’s carried on by the fact that a family is seriously considering the emotional ramification of letting go of a testament to education, community, or even prospects of moving into a new home.

Belknap Lookout Will Always Be Remembered

Never overlook the vintage homes and neighborhoods, in other words. They’re up and coming. You can read about the new housing projects for Belknap Lookout all you want, and know that Grand Valley State University’s forking over the millions to bring up a community soaked in so much history.

You don’t know those neighborhoods until you look at the history behind them. The children who lived there. Those children who walk up and down those streets. When you do, you’ve witnessed the true history and can fully appreciate what is to come in the future. The power a community has can even affect just one family. That’s enough to make history, in my opinion.