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McConnell Hits Back At Steve Bannon: 'Winners Make Policy, Losers Go Home'WASHINGTON ― Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday responded to reports that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is recruiting candidates to challenge GOP incumbents in next year’s midterm elections as a way to better advance the president’s agenda.


10/16/2017 1:27:23 PM

Top Republicans, Business Leaders Come Out Against TrumpWithout the subsidies, insurance companies will be forced to raise rates on everyone else who buys Obamacare coverage. Analysts say many middle-class Americans could see their premiums jump by 30 to 60 percent.


10/15/2017 9:49:47 AM

In A First, Scientists Spot Light Amid Gravitational Waves Emitted By Colliding StarsScientists for the first time have detected both gravitational waves and light from the collision of two dead, incredibly dense neutron stars.


10/16/2017 2:43:43 PM

Harrowing viral footage shows 3-year-old riding a 20-foot pythonShocking footage that shows a little boy riding a 20-foot python in the streets of northern Vietnam is quickly making its way around the internet. 


10/16/2017 9:56:07 AM

Deadly truck bombing in Mogadishu, SomaliaHundreds of dead or injured from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia's capital, making it the deadliest single attack ever in this Horn of Africa nation.


10/15/2017 10:00:31 AM

Kasich: 'I Just Don't Think There's Any Policy Here' on Health, International Allies and TradeIn an exclusive inventive, Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) tells Chuck Todd that the White House is "weakening" long-standing international alliance and allowing authoritarian governments to rise.


10/15/2017 12:50:47 AM

Terrifying Body Cam Footage Shows Deputy Driving Through Raging California WildfireAs a wildfire closed in and thick smoke clogged the air, the sky an angry red, the sheriff’s deputy told a dispatcher that the road he was on had become “nearly impassable.”


10/15/2017 8:59:24 AM

Toddler Drowns in Grease Pit at Ice Cream ShopA family in Alabama mourns the loss of a 3-year-old girl after she tragically died at an ice cream shop. Susana Victoria Perez (@susana_vp) has more.


10/16/2017 7:12:54 AM

Photos show the true toll of California wildfires on firefightersCalifornia's firefighters have been struggling for a week now to put out the wildfires which have swept through the state. Images of exhausted firefighters sleeping on the ground, using rocks as pillows and facing raging fires have been widely shared as the blazes take their toll. More than 100,000 people have been displaced in what California’s governor, Jerry Brown, has described as “one of the greatest tragedies” to ever affect the state, according to the BBC.


10/15/2017 10:45:05 AM

‘Art Of The Deal’ ghostwriter predicts President Trump will not finish his first year in officeTony Schwartz, co-author of Donald Trump’s ‘The Art of the Deal,’ still says that President Trump will not finish his first year in office.


10/15/2017 7:13:40 AM

Thinking About Buying Your First Home?


Thinking about purchasing a home of your own? Keep these critical considerations in mind:

How long you plan to live in the home.
If you purchase a home and get a job transfer or decide to move after only a short time, you may end up paying money in order to sell it. The value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs that you paid to buy the home and the costs that it would take you to sell your home.

HappyPeople03.jpgThe length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors in the area of the home. Most parts of the country have an average of 5% appreciation per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs. If the area you buy your home in experiences an economic up turn, the length of the time to cover these costs could be shortened, and the opposite is also true.

How long the home will meet your needs.
What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Depending on how long you plan to stay in your home, you'll need to ensure that the home has the amenities that you'll need. For example, a two-bedroom dwelling may be perfect for a young couple with no children. However, if they start a family, they could quickly outgrow the space. Therefore, they should consider a home with room to grow. Could the basement be turned into a den and extra bedrooms? Could the attic be turned into a master suite? Having an idea of what you'll need will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.

Your financial health - your credit and home affordability.
Is now the right time financially for you to buy a home? Would you rate your financial picture as healthy? Is your credit good? While you can always find a lender to lend you money, solid lenders are more skeptical if your credit history is not good. Generally, a couple of blemishes on a credit report will make you a good credit risk and could qualify you for the lowest interest rates. If you have more than a couple of blemishes on your report, lenders like Quicken Loans may still provide you with a loan, but you may just have to pay a higher interest rate and fees.

Some say that you should refrain from borrowing as much as you qualify for because it is wiser not to stretch your financial boundaries. The other school of thought says you should stretch to buy as much home as you can afford, because with regular pay raises and increased earning potential, the big payment today will seem like less of a payment tomorrow. This is a decision only you can make. Are you in a position where you expect to make more money soon? Would you rather be conservative and fairly certain that you can make your payment without stretching financially? Make sure that whatever you do, it's within your comfort zone.

To determine how much home you can afford, talk to a lender or go online and use a "home affordability" calculator. Good calculators will give you a range of what you may qualify for. Then call a lender. While some may say that the "28/36" rule applies, in today's home mortgage market, lenders are making loans customized to a particular person's situation. The "28/36" rule means that your monthly housing costs can't exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can't exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income. Depending on your assets, credit history, job potential and other factors, lenders can push the ratios up to 40-60% or higher. While we're not advocating you purchase a home utilizing the higher ratios, its important for you to know your options.

Where the money for the transaction will come from.
Typically homebuyers will need some money for a down payment and closing costs. However, with today's broad range of loan options, having a lot of money saved for a down payment is not always necessary - if you can prove that you are a good financial risk to a lender. If your credit isn't stellar but you have managed to save 10-20% for a down payment, you will still appear to be a very good financial risk to a lender.

The ongoing costs of home ownership.
Maintenance, improvements, taxes and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. If you buy a condominium, townhouse or in certain communities, a monthly homeowner's association fee might be required. If these additional costs are a concern, you can make choices to lower or avoid these fees. Be sure to make your realtor and your lender aware of your desire to limit these costs.

If you are still unsure if you should buy a home after making these considerations, you may want to consult with an accountant or financial planner to help you assess how a home purchase fits into your overall financial goals.

5 Things Everyone Needs to Know Before Purchasing Their First Home
You’re going to buy a home. You’re going to invest in your future (instead of investing in your landlord’s future!). You’re going to own a little piece of your city and have a place to truly call your own.
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Tom Jeser (915)-525-8812 Email Tom