Resource Articles

5 Things You Need to Know About VA Loans

As an Active-Duty Service-member, Veteran, or surviving spouse, you may be eligible to qualify for a VA loan and Guardian is here to help you through the entire process.

Spring Cleaning Your Mortgage

As winter comes to a rest and spring begins to bloom, cleaning is on everyone’s mind. Probably even more so than years past, in fact.

Use Your New Year’s Resolution to Achieve Your 2024 Homeownership Goals

As the calendar turns to 2024, new year’s resolutions move closer to the forefront of our thoughts and conversations. In fact, over 37% of U.S. Adults started 2023 with a goal or resolution they wanted to accomplish, according to a December 2022 YouGov study.

Make Your House Feel Like Home for the Holidays

You just closed on your dream home. Or your first home. Or the home that’s perfect for this chapter of your life. No matter which home you find yourself in, closing this close to the holidays can feel extra stressful. But we have some tips...

How To Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared for Winter

We’re already into cold weather season, but it’s never too late to ensure that your house is protected in winter temperatures. We’ve pulled together some helpful tips to help you prepare for freezes, snowstorms, or other adverse conditions.

First-Time Homebuyer’s Steps to Success

Buying a home is no small task. In fact, it’s one of the biggest endeavors many folks will take on. Throw in the fact that you’re a first-time homebuyer, and it can feel daunting. But fear not. If you’re prepared and know what to expect, you can avoid a lot of stress and confusion.

5 Tips for Homeownership in a Challenging Market

June is National Homeownership Month and we’re joining the nation in recognizing the importance housing plays in the lives of our community members.

Why are Some Loans Not Serviced by My Mortgage Lender?

The complexity of the mortgage process can make searching for and securing a loan difficult and confusing. There are many considerations to be made by both the lender and the borrower and finding a match can be difficult.

Will a Home Bar Raise Your Home’s Value?

There are many benefits to having a home bar. A home bar provides versatility for entertaining at home. Entertaining at home has numerous benefits. Some of these benefits include:

What to Know About a Home Inspection When Buying a Home

Obtaining a home inspection is one of the most important steps of buying a home. We discuss what’s included, how long it takes and what happens with the results.

Afford Your Dream Home With Down Payment Assistance

Down payment assistance programs help you buy a home at a price you can afford. We’re discussing DPA programs… what they are, how to qualify, and what options exist.

Tips to Make Your 4th of July Party Easy, Fun, and Safe

As Independence Day approaches, you may be preparing to host a barbecue or cookout to celebrate the holiday. After all, it’s a great opportunity to spend time in the sun with friends and family, eat good food, and enjoy some time away from your usual routine.

9 Dos and Don’ts For Avoiding Common Mortgage Mistakes

The mortgage process can be confusing with multiple twists and turns to navigate. Avoid common mortgage mistakes with this list of mortgage process dos and don’ts.

Counter Inflation with Summer Savings

If inflation is taking a toll on your summer plans and wallet, we can help. Counter inflation with these tips to trade down for less expensive options, save this summer and earn additional income.

Evaluating Your Summer Pool Options

A swimming pool can be a source of fun and entertainment for household members of all ages. Additionally, many people swim laps as a form of exercise, which has numerous benefits. We’re here to help you assess your swimming pool options and make the best choice for your needs.

How to Keep Your Kids Occupied While Working From Home

Summer is here and kids spend more time at home. We’re sharing a variety of tips to keep kids of all ages occupied while you work from home this summer.

Home Security: Keep Your House Safe This Vacation Season

Keeping your home safe while on vacation isn’t an exact science. Following these tips helps. With a little work up front, you’ll gain peace of mind while you’re away.

10 DIY Project Ideas for Your Outdoor Living Space

No matter the size of your outdoor plans, we’re sharing outdoor DIY project ideas to get your wheels spinning. From DIY decks to yard games, we’ve got you covered.

Bathroom Renovation & Bathroom Remodeling: Roadmap to Success

If you’re considering the possibility of starting of a bathroom renovation or bathroom remodel, it is likely that the bathroom in question has some sort of flaw. Regardless of the primary and additional reasons for starting a bathroom renovation or full-scale bathroom remodeling, we’re here to help you ensure that this process is a more positive experience.

The Secret to A Successful Moving Day… Preparation!

Moving into a new home can be exhilarating and stress-inducing. We’ve compiled a list of moving day tips to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

Build Equity with Sustainable, Renewable Energy for Your Home

As the cost to install sustainable energy systems continues to drop, more and more Americans are expected to go green with home energy. If you’re curious about how sustainable, renewable energy can power your home, or about how it could benefit your wallet in the long run, we’re here to help.

At-Home Easter Egg Hunt Ideas for 2022

Are you hosting an Easter egg hunt at home this year? Here are our top at-home Easter egg hunt ideas for creating a memorable easter egg hunt for you and your little ones.

How to Dispute Your Property Taxes and Lower Your Mortgage Payment

Lowering your property value could decrease your taxes and your mortgage payment. This tax season, we’re describing how you may dispute your property taxes and save money.

How to Become a Mortgage Loan Originator

Are you interested in becoming a Mortgage Loan Originator, but not sure what it takes? As a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO), you serve as an educator and advocate for your clients, helping them find the best financial option for their home loan. A career as an MLO can be both personally and financially rewarding.

3 Mortgage Myths, Debunked

It seems like everyone who’s already been through these processes has a story or a warning they want to share, making everything more intimidating. We’re here to make sense of some topics that are commonly misunderstood, so you can make informed choices about getting a mortgage.

4 Essentials for Your Ideal Game Room

Creating a room designed exclusively for fun and enjoyment, often with family and friends, holds a lot of appeal. It’s no wonder the game room is one household amenity growing in popularity.

5 Questions to Ask When Seeking a Home Loan

If you’re beginning your home buying journey, you may feel like you don’t know what you don’t know. Guardian Mortgage is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask mortgage lenders as you search for a lending partner. This list will help you get the ball rolling and keep you on track.

The ABCs of Homeowners Insurance

There are several universal truths about homeowners insurance that will help you navigate the buying process. Knowing the ABCs of home insurance will go a long way in finding the right policy for your needs. We’re here to help.

Your Lease is Expiring – Should You Rent or Buy?

If you’re a renter, you might find yourself considering whether you should buy a home instead – especially when your lease is about to expire. But it’s not always as simple as paying rent versus paying a mortgage. When you’re thinking about making the leap to homeownership, consider some of the factors that might come into play…

6 Neighborhood Traits To Consider When Purchasing a Home

There are many things to consider during the homebuying process. Finding the right neighborhood to meet your needs is an important piece of any homebuying decision. Don’t let neighborhood-fit fall to the back of your mind. Use the following guide to help you determine where you’d like to live.

Date Night at Home: Your Guide to a Memorable Valentine’s Day

As we near February 14, preparations for Valentine’s Day are underway. Whether it’s pandemic-, money-, or schedule-related, many people will opt for at-home Valentine’s Day celebrations this year. We’re here to help you make meaningful memories at home with your loved one.

What Should I Do if My Mortgage Application Is Denied?

Having your mortgage application denied can be crushing. You’ve done all the hard work and found a home you want to live in … and now you’ve been told it’s not possible. What next?

Credit Reports and Credit Scores: A Basic Primer

Financial institutions that lend money and provide credit utilize credit reports and credit scores to make lending and credit decisions. Consumers often have questions about credit reports and credit scores. This basic guide is intended to clarify some of the mysteries that surround these topics.

Divorce and Your Home, What Happens Next?

There’s no way around it, divorce is complex. After building a life together, you and your spouse are working to build lives apart sometimes amicably, sometimes contentiously. On top of a mountain of difficult emotions and conversations taking place, the act and aftermath of dividing assets add to an already intense amount of stress.

5 Tips To Create a Home That Promotes Mental Health

While many people are not able to work from home based on their job requirements or office policies, the growing number of individuals interested in remote work means an increased number of people will spend more time at home than anywhere else.

New Year’s Resolution Success: Achieve Your 2022 Home Goals

As the calendar turns to a new year, resolutions on self-improvement launch to the forefront of our minds. If your 2022 goals include home maintenance, home improvement, or movement, we’ve got you covered.

Get Fit In the New Year With a Home Gym

In 2021 the most popular New Year’s resolution was “doing more exercise or improving my fitness.” With so many people starting the year out strong with new resolutions to improve their bodies and their health, gyms can get overcrowded. A home gym can be a great alternative for those looking for less competition for prime equipment and a quieter exercise environment.

Three Hot Trends in Today’s Real Estate Market

Whether you are buying, selling, or remodeling, knowing what’s hot in real estate trends can help you make the best decisions for your home. Real estate trends constantly ebb and flow, but it’s important to know what’s trending during these key milestones on your homeownership journey.

A Day in the Life of an MLO

When you apply for a mortgage or other home loan with Guardian Mortgage, your Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) serves as your primary point of contact in the process. For this article, multiple MLOs provided details regarding typical days in their lives, so you can better understand how they spend their time. 

How Credit Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

When seeking a loan, one of the most important factors taken into consideration is your credit score. Many things can affect your credit score, including your credit history, the amount you owe, and your mix of credit.

10 Conversation Starters for Your Thanksgiving Table

It’s great to gather the family together for the holidays, especially after a long time apart. For many, the heart of any home is the dining table. It’s where some of the best conversations take place. Regardless of whether you haven’t seen family members for a long time or saw them last week, there may be moments when the conversation dies down and an awkward silence befalls the table.

Four Money Saving Tips for Winter

As fall turns to winter, the crisp air and dropping temperatures may tempt you to turn up the thermostat and nestle in for a long winter’s nap. But don’t let chilly weather lead you to higher bills.

3 Tips for Singles Buying a New Home

There is a stereotypical idea in our society that homeownership is reserved for married couples and families. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Marriage is not a requirement of homeownership. If someone meets the necessary criteria for a home loan, they can be well on their way to purchasing the home of their dreams.

What You Can Do To Prevent a Home Fire

Experiencing a home fire will likely impact your ability to peacefully enjoy your home. It is our hope that you never have to undergo a home fire, which is why we’re offering these helpful tips …

Don’t Let Owning a Home Scare You

Vampires, witches, and ghouls that go bump in the night may have you shivering with fright. But don’t let owning a home top your list of blood-curdling terrors this Halloween. Guardian Mortgage is here to lessen your fears and ease the panic that may come with homeownership.

Improve Your Home’s Resale Value | 4 Areas To Upgrade

When you take a look around your home, you might find yourself considering a variety of home improvements and renovations. These ideas often serve two purposes: increase your enjoyment of your home and raise the property value for when it’s time to sell.

Post-Closing: What To Expect After You’re Given the Key

Post-closing is one of the most overlooked steps of the loan process for homebuyers, and it’s no wonder why. A good mortgage lender and title company will work behind the scenes to seamlessly complete the needed transfers and documentation. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. By knowing what to expect after your home mortgage loan closes, you can take the necessary next steps to save money down the road.

Beyond the Mortgage: How Much Does Owning a Home Cost?

The benefits of owning your own home are significant. For many, the idea of holding equity in their home, being able to renovate as they please, and a likely increase in square footage acts as a siren’s call luring them to homeownership.

Buying a House in a Seller’s Market

Right now, there are more people searching for a home than there are people selling a home. That means that home inventory levels are low. A classic principle of Economics is that when something is scarce, its value rises. This is a simple explanation of why the current real estate market is a market favoring sellers.

Don’t Wait To Sell Your House

For some time now, the real estate market has been a “seller’s market.” But market conditions inevitably come and go. So, what does this mean for you?

5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know When Making an Offer

The homebuying process can be daunting. Whether it’s your first, second, or even fourth home, the process never gets less complicated. And all the complexity involved can tend to create some anxiety, especially when it comes to making an offer on your absolute dream home.

The Difference Between Fixed-Rate and Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

In simplest terms, the difference between a fixed-rate and an adjustable-rate mortgage is just that – a rate that doesn’t change versus a rate that can change.

What You Need To Know About Government-Backed Loans

Government-backed loans are normally more affordable, come with lower interest rates, and are easier to qualify for. Because of that, government-backed loans tend to be more popular, as they make homeownership more attainable.

How to Build or Purchase Your Home in a Tight Market

If you are in the market for a home, you don’t need us to tell you that the real estate market is as tight as it’s ever been. Demand is sky-high and inventory is low. But that doesn’t mean buying your dream home right now is entirely out of the question.

2020 Taxes: What You Need To Know

For most of us, 2020 put into perspective how important some things are compared to others. Including, but certainly not limited to, our finances. Throw in that we're also in the middle of tax season, and it's the perfect time to take a fresh look at what you need to know about potential changes for your taxes this year.

Home Equity

Owning a home comes with the benefit of growing equity in your home. The more equity you have, the more financially flexible you’ll be when the time comes to sell, or when you’re ready to make a major renovation.

Closing

Closing can be exciting, and yet nerve-wracking at the same time, because it's always the last thing standing between you and your house. After all, nothing in real-estate is over until the file is closed. But, as long as you've done everything right and you are working with a great agent and mortgage provider, closing should be a breeze.

FHA vs. Conventional Loans – What is the Difference?

One of the most common questions from first-time buyers pertains to the difference between an FHA and a conventional loan, and which one is best for them. We'll clearly define each one and go into further detail about which one might be best for you in your pursuit of purchasing a home.

What You Should Know About Escrow, Mortgage Insurance & Homeowners Insurance

When purchasing your home, whether it’s your first, second, third, or so on, there are always new terms to learn or relearn, and that’s only to be expected. Let’s focus specifically on the following trifecta of terms – PMI, Homeowners Insurance, and Escrow – and help you gain a better understanding of the three.

Mortgage Tax Deductions

When it comes to mortgage tax deductions, mortgage interest is the only deduction you can claim. But the details can get a little complicated, so we’re breaking it down for you with information that will hopefully be of help this tax season. 

Tips From Guardian: Mortgage And Divorce

There’s no need to sugarcoat things – divorce can be messy. It ranks as one of the most stressful events a person can go through, affecting every aspect of daily life. If you’re in the midst of a divorce and have a mortgage, that mortgage will play a significant role in the proceedings.

Important Questions to Ask Your Lender

We want to make sure that, as you look for a lender to work with, you’re asking the right questions to help you narrow down your list of lenders to choose from. Here is a solid list to get you started …

Top 5 Home Loans That Don’t Require a 20% Down Payment

Homeownership. It's a pillar of the American Dream, and a sure sign that you've made it on your own. But when you have decided you are ready to purchase a home, saving for your down payment can be challenging. And if, like many, you’ve heard the rule of thumb is 20% for that down payment, the idea of saving that much might be an intimidating prospect – especially with rent payments on the rise.

Six Satisfyingly Simple Steps for Loan Pre-Qualification

We’ve never shied away from acknowledging the complexity of the home buying process, especially when it comes to applying and getting approved for a mortgage. And it all starts with pre-qualification for a loan.

What is the Difference between a Co-borrower and Non-occupying Co-borrower?

No matter how many times you’ve purchased a home, the decision to do so is always a monumental one, and should never be taken lightly. So before you make that decision, you need to ensure your financial situation is up to par, to avoid any potential obstacles with your mortgage application.

Buying and Selling a House all at Once

Just buying a house can be stressful enough, but throw in the fact that many buyers are also trying to sell a house at the same time, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for losing one’s mind. Ok, maybe that’s a tad bit dramatic, but the point is, buying and selling a house at the same time is a complicated, and even tense, experience.

Options For Non-Standard Homebuyers

For many, owning a home is the pinnacle of what is considered the American Dream. You graduate high school, then attend college or a vocational training, and eventually set off into a career. And whether that career is white- or- blue-collar, you know you have really “made it” when you own your own home

What To Know About Buying a Vacation Home

If you’re like many Americans, your vacation plans have gone belly-up this spring and summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone whose 2020 overall is going according to plan.

Helpful Tips for Negotiation

If we mentioned it once, we’ll mention it a thousand more times: Residential real estate transactions are complex and time-consuming. So now the time has come – you’ve gone through all the open-houses and showings, and finally found “the one.”

The Benefits of an Efficient Home

Summer weather has already turned up the heat. And as we all know, the hotter it gets, the more energy your home is going to use to try and keep things cool.

What are Mortgage Points?

The mortgage process is full of unfamiliar terms for most buyers. Closing. PMI. Appraisal. Underwriting. The list goes on and each, unfortunately, does require a bit of explaining to better understand. In fact, we have done another blog on Mortgage Jargon.

New VA Loan Benefits

2020 saw big changes to the VA Loan Program. The short of it: veterans will have more borrowing power but will also pay slightly higher fees.

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

It’s a question as old as the real estate business. But it’s not asked as often as you might think, because most people do use a real estate agent. In fact, a study conducted in 2018 found that 90% of consumers use an agent when selling or buying a home.

Springing Up Your Yard and Home’s Value

Spring 2020 is already in the running for the longest season ever. And, seeing as none of us have anywhere to go, now is the perfect time to spring up your yard and your home’s value.

How Much is My House Worth?

With the blooming of Spring, the housing market is about to be back in full swing. Whether you’re looking to downsize, need room to grow, or you’re ready to find your dream home, now could be the best time to sell your house.

What Does Your Client’s Processor Do?

Guardian Mortgage is dedicated to providing unparalleled customer service to every one of our clients – buyer, seller, or agent. We aim to make the transaction as painless and effortless as possible.

Becoming a Homeowner in 2020

Every year brings its own goals. And one of your goals for 2020 may be to finally become a homeowner. If so, you’re reading the right blog. Homeownership is a big deal and once you have the keys to your first home, or your dream home, it’s one of the most exciting moments in your life.

The Benefits of Relationship Lending

You know the old saying, it pays to have friends? Well, in the world of home mortgages, it pays to be friends with your bank. Specifically, Sunflower Bank or First National 1870.

Building with the Right Lender

Building a new home is exciting. And there are a lot of decisions to be made during the process. Most of which are about how your home is going to look when it’s completed. But one of the more important decisions you’ll need to make is what lender you’ll use.

Building a new home? What to upgrade now and what can wait until later?

When buying a newly constructed home, unless you are doing a custom build, it’s likely for most of the home finishes you’ll get builder’s grade quality unless you choose to upgrade for a higher cost. As a result, many homeowners choose a mixture of builder’s grade and custom options based on their personal preferences.

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) Explained

Every industry has its own library of jargon and acronyms that few customers truly understand. And when it comes to mortgages and real estate, it is no different. But knowing, and understanding, common terms can be the difference between a good or bad experience with buying and selling a home.

Hosting the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you’re the one doing the hosting, it can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. And it shouldn’t be. After all, few things are better than being with the people you love.

Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

Winter is coming. And we’re not talking about a new season of that show with the dragons. We’re talking about wind chills, frosted windshields, early sunsets, snow, and plenty of hot chocolate.

Mortgage Jargon Explained

Bad questions? Too many questions? There’s no such thing when it comes to home loans. And certainly not for first time homebuyers.

Three Advantages of FHA Loans

You may have heard good things about the FHA loan program, but is it something you should pursue? The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) has provided mortgage insurance on certain loans since 1934.

Benefits of FHA Loans

Since its creation in 1934, the U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has insured over 47.5 million mortgages, enabling mortgage lenders to offer loans to individuals who may not have qualified for financing otherwise.

Simplify New Construction with a One-Time-Close Loan

Choosing each detail. Selecting thoughtful touches. Having a vision and seeing it come to life.

1-Hour Curb Appeal

Whether you’re looking to put your house on the market or you just want to add freshness to your home’s exterior, here are some of the easiest ways to enhance curb appeal this summer.

What Does “Approved with Conditions” Mean for My Loan?

When you find the right home and your offer is accepted, it’s exciting! In most cases, though, there’s still a lot that must happen to get to the closing table.

Should I Renovate or Move?

Your home is where you go to feel comfort, have fun, and spend time with the people and pets you love. But life changes, and there may come a time when you find yourself wondering if your current house or condo is still a good fit.

3 Reasons to Refinance this Summer

Did you know that refinancing is a powerful tool?  Aside from interest rates, other reasons to refi include improving your term or getting cash out of your home’s equity.

Understanding the Debt-to-Income Ratio

Making smart financial decisions can be easier than you think. By understanding a few key concepts about debt, you can successfully manage your income, your budget, and your expectations.

Understanding Mortgage Lingo

Bad questions? Too many questions? There’s no such thing when it comes to home loans. And certainly not for first time homebuyers.

What is a HomeStyle® Loan?

Do you see potential behind that paneling? Possibilities for that plumbing?

Top 5 Fall Home Improvement Projects

It’s the time of year for pumpkin-flavored drinks, football season, and those projects that get your house looking great and ready for winter. Whether you tackle these yourself or hire someone to help, they’ll save you money and could possibly add equity. Get started today!