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4 Ways to Finance Your Home with a Home Mortgage Loan

When it comes to buying a home, mortgage lenders offer a wide range of options to fit the financial needs of almost every aspiring homeowner. Often, home loan products are designed to meet the needs of specific groups – such as veterans or those in a low-income bracket. But on top of everything else that goes on with purchasing and owning a home, making sure you’re receiving the best mortgage loan to suit your needs can be a challenge.

Keep reading to learn more about your options for financing your home.

home mortgage

1. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loan

With a fixed rate loan, your interest rate stays the same through the entire term of the loan. Many homebuyers like fixed rate mortgage loans because monthly payments stay the same throughout the term – even for long-term loan options like a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

2. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loan (ARM)

As you can probably guess, adjustable-rate mortgage loans feature an interest rate that changes, or “adjusts,” from time to time – typically every year after an initial fixed rate period. The different types of ARMs are denoted with a number. For example, a 7/1 ARM mortgage loan carries a fixed interest rate for the first seven years, and will begin adjusting every year. A 5/2 ARM has a fixed interest rate for the first five years of the term, and then changes every two years. Many people turn to ARMs because they initially offer a lower interest rate than fixed-rate loans at first, even though they will change later on.

Another option to consider is whether you want a government-insured loan or a conventional loan. Government-insured and conventional loans can have either a fixed interest rate or an adjustable interest rate.

3. Conventional Loan

A conventional home mortgage loan is any loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government.

4. Government-Insured Loan

Government-insured home mortgage loans include Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans. Each of these loans is designed to meet specific needs of homebuyers.

FHA loans are available to all borrowers, and allows the borrower to make a down payment as low as 3.5% of the home’s price. With an FHA loan, the government insures the mortgage lender against any potential losses from the borrower defaulting on the loan. Because of this, the borrower is required to pay for monthly home mortgage insurance on top of monthly payments.

VA loans are geared toward veterans and their families and are (like FHA loans) guaranteed by the government. Borrowers who are eligible for a VA loan can receive 100% financing on their home purchase – no down payment required.

RHS loans are available for borrowers in rural areas who also meet specific income requirements. Income is restricted to 115% of the adjusted area median income.

So, what makes most sense for you and your home-buying needs? A conventional, fixed-rate mortgage loan? A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage from the VA? If you’re still unsure, visit Call Federal Credit Union in Richmond to speak with a home mortgage consultant.

How To Find The Right Franchise To Meet Your Needs

franchise opportunityThe digital world has made finding great franchise opportunities much easier than in the past. With only a few clicks, all the key information relating to a franchise opportunity can be found. But purchasing a franchise business isn’t just about the numbers — there’s also quite a lot of emotion attached to the process. It’s important that the buyer is passionate about the brand and industry if he or she really wants it to be worth all the effort.

Recession-Resistant Industry

Go through the list of industries with franchises for sale and determine the segments that are recession or depression-proof. If none are available, look for segments that are least likely to get hurt during an economic crisis. If you’re still not sure, look into businesses such as fast food, hair cutting, senior care, or damage restoration. If you’d like to reduce your chances of failing, strike out industries that are likely to go lull during a financial meltdown. In other words — luxury goods or upscale retail shouldn’t be on your radar.

Emotional Connection

As previously mentioned, it’s important to be emotionally inclined towards the brand and how the franchise business will affect your family and friends. Once clear about these key elements, things relating to franchising and which brand to pick will become much easier. All of this must be done without losing focus on the quantitative side of things.

Keep Your Options Open

You may want to own your own doughnut business, but your preferred location or brand may not be offering an opportunity. You may even be short of capital. Therefore, open up your product or service preferences. Do not lock up your choices. Be more receptive to related opportunities. You never know — you may find another industry gem that perfectly meshes with your requirements.

Does the Brand Match Your Personal Style and Choice?

Look into your personal style and determine how well it blends with the style of the brand under consideration. Do you prefer communicating via e-mail, in-person meetings, or over the phone? Compare this with how the prospective brand interacts with its customers and other stakeholders. Similarly, the working hours, level of interaction with the public, kind of tasks involved (managerial or administrative), etc., must be analyzed so that the franchise business’s work requirements do not clash with your personal work style.

Get Talking

Let’s assume that you’ve found your ideal franchise opportunity. Does this mean that you’ve found your perfect match? Non, not necessarily. Get in touch with the franchisors and learn more about their products and concepts. Go through the franchisor’s website, and all the videos and brochures they send you. This is the time when you learn more about the company. See if the material provided is up-to-date and professional. Gauge the knowledge and friendliness of the staff. Your experience interacting with the company is what you’ll most likely undergo when seeking support once your become their franchise partner.

Go Through the FDD

Every U.S. franchise business is required to provide a Franchisor Disclosure Document (FDD) to its prospective franchise partners. An FDD comprises extensive details relating to the franchisee, which includes company history, executive details, past litigations (if any), current franchise names and contact details, and franchise contract copy. Some franchisors may even include earnings details. The information provided should help you determine the business potential.

The FDD also clearly explains franchisee and franchisor responsibility. By this time, you should most likely be able to determine how financially and emotionally viable the franchise opportunity is.

Interact with Current Franchiseesfranchise success

Receiving feedback from active franchisees is critical to judging how your experience will turn out with the franchise. They’ll perhaps offer the best information about things that happen during regular business days. Get a feel of their experience and learn what they dislike and like.

Don’t collect information from just one or two franchises. Get talking with quite a few of them. You’ll receive varied opinions and be able to make a fairly accurate assessment of the brand.

Visit Franchise Headquarters

If you’ve decided to head to the franchisor’s headquarters, it means that you are extremely close to signing the dotted line. This is the time to put forward some pertinent questions and interact with people who will be assisting you in your franchise journey. Remember, this is not a formality. Things may fall apart even at this juncture.

These personal meetings should help you determine how comfortable and positive you are about the franchise. Similarly, the franchise representatives will also be closely inspecting your every move and action to find out how well you fit with their scheme of things. So, be honest and confident.

Which Level of Senior Care Makes the Most Sense

Working with a Senior to Choose the Best Living Option

With so many options for senior living, it can be difficult to choose which is best for your parent, friend, or loved one. It is impossible for us to determine what is best for an individual, as every person has a unique set of needs and preferences. That is why it is essential to consult a doctor as a first step. A senior’s gerontologist has a clear picture of what could give them the highest quality of life.

It is also crucial to take a senior’s preferences into mind and find out which option they are personally most comfortable with. Some people are purely resistant to moving out of a home that they have loved for a long period of time, and in these cases it may be in their best interest to stay put. Stress is a contributor to heart failure and other harmful medical conditions, so it is important to consider a senior’s preferences to keep them stress-free, happy, and well.

Although it should mainly be a doctor and senior’s decision for where they will reside for the next 10 years, you should also do extensive research to provide some guidance and to determine pricing.

This picture shows a range of senior care options, ranging from the lowest to highest level of care intensity.


Following is a breakdown of different senior living options that could benefit someone in need of assistance.

Non-medical in home care

Summary: Often times, non-medical in home care is more about gaining companionship and help as needed. Transportation, nutritious meals, and having a close friend to bring happiness to your life are all advantages that you can find in a senior care provider. Tapping into medical resources is unnecessary for someone who doesn’t have a serious or condition that needs professional monitoring.

For instance, the Seniors Helping Seniors franchise provides these services by matching a senior in need of help with a senior who is able to provide loving care. This match creates a friendship, and the idea is to have seniors feel more comfortable by receiving help from a peer who understands them. Check out their newest location for senior care in Omaha, NE.

Good candidates: Some examples of good candidates for non-medical home care would be someone who is in a wheel chair but not ill, someone who is recovering from surgery and needs temporary assistance, or someone who is lonely from the recent passing of a spouse.

Cost: According to Genworth Financial survey research, the average cost of non-medical home care in the United States is $44616 /year¹. This would be receiving care at $21.45 for 8 hours on week days. If you used the service for merely 1 hour on week days, you can expect an annual spend of $5,577.

Medical in home care / Home health care

Summary: Medical home care includes medical aids and nurses spending time with a senior for treatment, supervision, and special needs. In addition to providing medical care, they may also assist with the non-medical responsibilities listed in the previous section.

Good candidates: A good candidate for someone with medical needs would include a senior who needs daily medication, shots, or Diabetes glucose monitoring; seniors in need of wound care or who are recovering from intensive surgery; patients who need medical equipment in their home; and patients who going through pulmonary rehabilitation4.

Cost: You can expect costs of $45760 annually¹, which may seem like a similar price to non-medical care. Although hourly rates may be similar, most people in need of medical assistance need it round the clock. Even just a dollar more in hourly care could lead to a noticeable increase in the annual cost.

Assisted living communities

Summary: These communities include either apartment or neighborhood style housing options with additional care provided. Typically, laundry, lawn maintenance, meals, and transportation are all included in a monthly fee. One of the primary benefits of assisted living communities is that they promote social opportunities. A central building usually provides meals, entertainment, and events where seniors can mingle with their peers and keep busy.

Good candidates:

The following factors comprise a good candidate for assisted living:

  • Seniors who want to stay socially active
  • Seniors who are partial to the idea of leaving their current residence
  • Seniors who aren’t afraid of a higher price
  • Seniors who value upscale or luxury options

Cost:  The average $43,200 annually¹ can be a little misleading. Because real estate is factored into the prices of assisted living communities, they fluctuate largely due to geography. For instance, you may pay $2,500 a month for a community in Nebraska as opposed to $5,000 for a similar community in Connecticut².

Prices also largely depend on whether you select a simple apartment style community or a luxurious area with premium amenities. Some units, for instance, may cost up to $300,000+ annually¹. For example, Trilogy at Encanterra is an Arizona senior community offering properties closer to $700,000³. This neighborhood includes:

  • events and fun activities
  • onsite dining
  • the state of the art Mossa Athletic Club
  • a complete spa
  • 24-hour service
  • beautiful pools and architecture

When price is not a barrier, seniors can live even better than the rest of us!

Often times, it is best to move people into assisted living residences while they are still younger and are not in dire need of the extensive services. Waiting until the last minute means a second move to the nursing home may be in the near future. Many assisted living communities are for people ages 60+, so early sixties may be the best time to consider this option, depending on overall health and lifestyle.

Nursing homes

Summary: A nursing home provides round the clock medical care for those with extreme conditions and physical impairments. This is the most expensive option because nursing homes include a high degree of medical expertise and quick access to prescription medicine and additional treatment.

Good candidates: Someone who is suffering a life-threatening illness, in need of 24 hour care and constant medication, is immobile, or has a complex medical condition should move into a nursing home.

Cost: You can expect to spend around $80,000 or more annually¹ for a nursing home. Prices depend on having a private room, location of the home, and the reputation of the doctors on staff. Because they are so expensive and offer little to no privacy, many people hold off on considering nursing homes until urgent care is needed.

Although this overview gives a general breakdown of price and basic pros and cons, remember that (1) consulting a medical professional and (2) having a conversation with your family member about their preferences are key. Best of luck with your search!






Increasing Online Visibility for Franchises

For franchises attempting to build brand recognition and generate valuable leads, increasing their business’s visibility on the internet can be a struggle. On the one hand, franchisors want to ensure consistency with their brand and to appeal to a wide array of markets as well as potential franchisees. On the other hand, franchisees want to have control over their own marketing and advertising, beat their local competition, and see leads turn into results. But how can a franchisor and a franchisee reconcile their often at-odds goals so that the visibility and power of both the brand and the individual location can increase? The solution is online marketing for franchises.

Though many franchisees already have their own websites, they are often restricted in terms of their website’s design and content. Franchisors that impose strict brand guidelines can often discourage franchisees from entering the realm of digital marketing, as they want to avoid stepping on any corporate toes. But online marketing in the hands of an experienced specialist can produce a variety of benefits for both franchisees and franchisors.

online marketingIncreased Visibility for the Franchisee, Within Brand Guidelines

Online marketing aims to improve a business’s presence on organic searches, as well as paid advertising. This is especially important for small businesses such as franchisees who are trying to get a leg up over local competition. When a consumer searches for a product or service in your location, that you offer, you want to be sure that your business’s name is the first thing they see. A digital marketing agency will help to improve search rankings through optimization of your website — while working together with the franchisor to ensure that the campaign is operating within brand guidelines.

More Time to Focus on Other Marketing Efforts

If you hand over the digital marketing work to an agency that you can trust and rely on, you’ll be better able to give more focus to other marketing efforts vital to your business, such as print, radio, and television advertising.

Improved Overall Brand Strength for the Franchise

The better that consumers can locate nearby services through organic search, the stronger your overall brand will become. If the consumer sees one of your franchisees at the top of a search engine ranking page (SERP), they will consider it a reliable source for the product or service they are seeking. And if they are satisfied with the product or brand, they will hopefully recommend your brand to their friends and family.

Better Visibility for Potential Franchisees

Franchisees aren’t the only ones trying to sell a product. Franchisors looking to sell their franchise also need significant online presence in order to market their business to potential franchisees who will in turn help to build brand strength.

With online marketing, both parties involved in the franchise win, and are better able to succeed in reaching their individual goals. A digital marketing agency that can help take some of the burden of marketing off of a business owner’s hands and work as an intermediary between franchisor and franchisee will help to build brand strength and increase the number of conversions across the board.

When to Save Money or Hire a Professional

Most homeowners have a budget that they know they can’t exceed every month if they are going to be able to pay basic expenses like mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries, gas, and rent. CalculatorAnd for those that aren’t as disciplined in knowing the exact figures that they can’t exceed, it is usually case that money is still tight. For that reason, no one likes dealing with unexpected repairs. It can even make some people have to decide what basic necessities are going to be sacrificed in a given month. When things like plumbing breaks, and there’s no way around fixing it, it is almost always the case that you will need to call in a professional plumber. There are, however, a few DIY plumbing repairs that you will be more than equipped to handle on your own. Here is our maintenance tip of the day.

It is a good idea for everyone in the family to know where the main water shut off valve is located in case you need to turn off the water supply to the whole house in an emergency. In the kitchen, many home owners complain about unpleasant odors coming from kitchen sink drains. Food particles trapped in the disposal are the most likely cause. Run the water, then turn on the disposal. Pour in some ice cubes with half a cup of baking soda or lemon juice to eliminate most odors.

Some leaks beneath sinks are caused by a loose connection on the sprayer handle. A simple twist to tighten might be all that is required to stop the leak. More serious leaks around the base of the faucet probably require a rebuild kit requiring new O rings from the faucet manufacturer.

If you are taking on DIY plumbing problems around the house in Long Beach. Know your limits and be careful. Some jobs are best left to the professionals.

Electrical Contractors in Tropical Heat Waves

Summer is just getting started, but the days of intense heat have not been shy in making their presence known. Just yesterday it the temperature reached 90 degrees which was enough to shock my system into serious levels of perspiration. You think you’d be safe in the comfort of your own home, but if you are like me and have no central air conditioning system, there is no place to hide. What made things worse was my ceiling fan creeping to an unsolicited hault 2 weeks ago.

Imagine sleeping in a room that is just as hot as the scorching pavement radiating heat outside with air that is sitting perfectly still. When there is no circulation from a fan, just the humid oxygen in the room feels like a second wool blanket coaxing your body into dangerous levels of dehydration throughout the course of the night.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t wait a day before calling an electrician to fix or install a new ceiling fan. More than recessed lighting, circuit breakers, and security systems, ceiling fans are actually an electricians most performed service. They know how to install these life saving, air stirring units like the back of their hand. Just go to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s to pick out a fan before the electrician comes so he has everything he needs to get the job done.

Importance of Auto Insurance In the United States

In 2010 there were recorded one billion drivers worldwide and many of these drivers have insurance protection while some don’t. The government have certain requirements in order to drive a car  can vary from country to country and some don’t have any regulations on driving vehicles. In the United States it is required that you have a driver’s license and are able to prove that you have some sort of auto insurance. While some states have different laws pertaining to the operation of the vehicle and age requirements all states require these two factors in order to operate a car legally. This is why it is very important that you find the right automotive insurance so that you can be fully protected.

If you are driving a car and get into an accident without proper insurance coverage then you could end up paying for this accident the rest of your life. Choosing the best car or motorcycle insurance is very important in protecting your property and the selection of this insurance should be thought through very carefully. Many, if not all, states have the Department of Motor Vehicles which monitors the licensing and private sales of motor vehicles. They also provide great resources for drivers to find and compare insurance companies to find the best coverage and price for their driving situation. By visiting the DMV you could do a local search to find Insurance companies in your geographical area that can assist in finding the right auto insurance.

For example, you could plug in the zip code for the capital of Virginia and have a list of Insurance companies in that area that provides cheap car insurance policies in Richmond. From there you can select the one that best fits your criteria for price and policy coverage. If you are ever visiting the United States from another country make sure that you are aware of the driving laws and requirements to operate a vehicle. With proper coverage you will be insured for a certain amount of money for causing the accident or for covering the cost of your own vehicle.

With the Department of Motor Vehicles assisting drivers in finding the best insurance companies it makes it very easy for all drivers to be protected. If a driver were to be driving without insurance and get into an incident they could be looking at legal charges on top of having to repair the cost of the accident out of pocket. Remember to only drive if you are licensed and are fully covered for the type of motor vehicle that you are operating.