Berkshire Broadcast

If you want to get a second mortgage so you can make renovations to your home, it can be difficult if you have poor credit.

A second mortgage can use a home’s equity as collateral for a second home loan, allowing up to 80 percent of a home’s value to be borrowed. However, getting a second mortgage through a home equity loan or line of credit can be difficult if you don’t have a credit score of 680 or better.

While high home equity will make a second mortgage less risky and may compensate for poor credit, there are other options:

Cash-Out Refinance
Instead of getting an additional loan on your home, the cash you need is refinanced into one loan with one payment.

Even if you have bad credit, a cash-out refi is less risky for the lender

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Regardless of how much time you spend cleaning, there are likely to be a few places you overlook. Below are five frequently missed spaces that may need a little elbow grease.

Baseboards. While cleaning, look down. The baseboards running along the floor may likely need a little TLC, as they commonly pick up dust and debris throughout the year. Give them a scrub at least twice annually.

Doors. When is the last time you washed the surface of your doors? How about the door jambs? Doors get a ton of traffic, especially to high-use places like the bathroom. Give them a wash at least twice a year to remove fingerprints, dust and grime.

Behind appliances. Pull out the fridge and stove and take a look at what’s lurking back there. In addition to dust,

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As a young parent, you may just be learning about all the responsibilities parenthood requires. When it comes to financial planning, setting your sight on the future can help immensely.

Demolish debt. Slaying your own debt will positively impact your family’s financial future. While it may take years to pay off those student loans or credit card debt, creating a plan can help. Tackle your lowest balance first to gain momentum then take on the next smallest. Additionally, pay attention to higher interest rates that are costing you a lot of money.

Build a budget. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be hard. There are many budgeting apps available on the market to help you track your expenses, or you can try the trusty envelope system with monthly

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A somewhat unexpected trend this past year has been an increased interest in owning houseplants. Decades ago, our parents’ homes were filled with pots of ferns, flowers, and even trees. This décor element is back! No longer are plants relegated to the herb pot in the kitchen. As we strive to use more natural décor products, homes are once again filled with living design features.

But have you gone too far?

10 Signs You Have Too Many Houseplants

1. You live in a jungle – Boho designs often include plants, but if you’re pushing aside leaves to walk around your home, you’ve gone too far.

2. You panic when you see a dead leaf – Remember, leaves do die to make room for new growth.

3. You have “plant babies” – Do you hire a plant-sitter for

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One of the biggest responsibilities a child—or a family—can take on is adopting a dog as a pet.

Feeding, walking, grooming and cleaning up after a dog are daily responsibilities that everyone can do, and will also help teach children how to take care of something they love. For parents, however, there’s the extra task of paying for all the costs associated with the dog.

Here are some of the primary expenses of owning a dog that a family should consider before bringing one home:

Upfront Fees
Adoption fees are the first costs you’ll incur, whether from a pet store, private breeder or animal shelter.

Animal shelters will be the least expensive, though they’ll likely require your dog to be spayed or neutered at a cost of up to $200 or

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We all know the type. The person who just says “yes” to anything, never challenging or questioning an opinion or strategy. These people-pleasers agree with anything suggested; while they may be nice friends, in real estate a yes-man or yes-woman can actually cost you money. Often a lot of money.

No one likes to leave money on the table, but having an agent who doesn’t challenge unrealistic expectations is not serving the client. So, how can you spot these yes-agents?

These yes-agents can take many forms. On the seller side, they could be the agent that lists a home at an unrealistic price. Well-priced homes are selling quickly, but that does not mean that a seller can add 10% or more to recent sales and expect to sell the home. Over-pricing a

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It can be disturbing to realize that the beautiful home you’ve fallen in love with is in a flood zone. While it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, there are some serious considerations to understand before moving forward.

Flood zones are defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are categorized according to the level of risk. A high-risk area is defined as having a 1+% chance of annual flooding, whereas a low-to-moderate location has a 0.2% or less chance of annual flooding.

FEMA maintains a flood map center where you can research the classification of the location and the level of concern. Zones labeled A and V are the highest risk zones. These are areas that are either coastal or riverside communities. These Special Flood

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While no one ever wants to imagine their home filling with water, for many areas of the country, flooding is a scary reality for many homeowners. Whether a natural disaster is on the way or you simply want to be aware of how to protect your home when flash flood warnings sound, we have five steps to preparing your home for flooding.

Clear gutters. If flooding is predicted in your area, help your home out by clearing all gutters, downspouts and drains so your home can battle the rising water.

Elevate outdoor electric units. Outdoor generators, fuel tanks and air-conditioning units should not be left on ground level outdoors. Elevate them as best you can and securely anchor them so they don’t float away if flooding occurs.

Power down. Shut off

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You just bought a new dishwasher, TV, tablet, refrigerator or other big-ticket item you’ve been wanting for months. The salesperson, or maybe even the cashier, asks if you’d like to add an extended warranty for a few dollars more.

Is it a worthwhile extra expense? Our cars, appliances, gadgets and almost anything electrical have complicated parts that can break and make repairs more expensive — sometimes more costly than buying another new item. An extended warranty would cover such repairs, we’re told, and give us peace of mind.

But don’t buy one so fast. For one thing, they’re almost an impulse buy and are sold without giving you much time to think about them or read the fine print of the contract.

They can also be repetitive. Most new

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If you’re a fan of that rustic look, or just love to feature beautiful wood in your space, then your home may already be covered with hardwood floors below, exposed beams above and wood furniture throughout. But if you’re looking to add even more wood to your interior scheme, consider a few of the following.

Countertops. While real wood countertops may be more difficult to maintain, their gorgeous look in your space may make them worth it. Shop around with your local counter conveyor, or hire someone to create a custom job.

Ceilings. Wood ceiling panels or planks can be a great way to add a rustic, farmhouse touch from above.

Art. From wall hangings to sculptures, there is no shortage of wood art. Hit up Google to find a few pieces, or for

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