5 Tips for Buying a new Home

1 Shop for a loan!

There are lots of options out there to get a loan for buying a home.  Don’t settle for the first thing that comes your way. Take time to test the waters and find the best option for you.


2 Set a realistic budget

Take the time to sit down and write down a budget that will be manageable and non-stressful. It’s easy to become over whelmed when taking the leap of buying a home. Set a realistic budget to avoid becoming over whelmed.


3 Start preparing early

There are things you can do to prepare your wallet for the process of buying a home. Work on improving your credit so you can get a better loan. Budget your income so you’re able to save money.  Its never too early to prepare yourself for buying a new home.


4 Hire a Realtor

Buying a home can be complicated when you try to do it alone. Hiring an experienced and licensed Realtor will save you a lot stress and confusion. Find a Realtor that fits your needs, someone that you feel a connection with who will guide you through this process. Its worth it!


5 Be Patient!

The majority of the time, you wont find your dream home during the 1st or even 2nd showings that you do. Be patient while finding the perfect home for you. It can be a long process.

3 Helpful Cleaning Hacks

With winter quickly approaching, I know dirt, mud, and snow is bound to get tracked all through the home. If you’ve got children its going to be even more so. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite cleaning hacks for you today in hopes that it will help your home feel fresh and clean all through these fall and winter seasons.

-Window Tracks-

window tracks

I’m sure we’ve all seen how grimy our window tracks can get through out the year. Well here is a simple and quick trick to help clean those up for you.

What you need:

  • Old tooth brush
  • White vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Rag
  • Butter knife


  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the worst parts
  2. Add a small amount of vinegar. It will bubble and that is exactly what you want!
  3. Let the baking soda/ vinegar mixture set for 5-10 minutes
  4. When you come back, use the old toothbrush to pull the grime away from the corners and the hard to reach spots
  5. Use a wet rag to clean the excess grime left in the tracks
  6. Use the butter knife wrapped in the wet rag to get the hard to reach spots!
  7. (Some times a q-tip may be helpful as well!)


-Carpet Stains-

This one is a personal favorite. I have older carpets that seem to always look stained. This trick requires very little time and effort and works wonders!!

What you need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • A rag
  • A vacuum


  1. Spray/pour a small amount of vinegar onto the stain
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on top of the vinegar and let sit and bubble
  3. Rub away the stain with a course rag
  4. Let dry and then vacuum
  5. Enjoy!


-Baseboard Dirt-


As time goes on it seems that dirt builds up in our floor boards. I know in the past I have tried to use different cleaning agents and always ended up pealing the paint off the walls. This is the first solution I have found that doesn’t pull the paint away and gives a beautifully clean end result.

What you need:

  • Brand new scrubby dish pad (to use only with the cleaning chemicals)
  • Scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner
  • A dry rag
  • Qtip (optional)


  1. Spray the Scrubbing Bubbles along the baseboards and let sit for 5 minutes
  2. Gently scrub the grime and dirt with the dish pad
  3. Use the dry rag to wipe off excess soap and dirt
  4. Use a qtip to get into the corners


Written by Sam Hale

Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon

Are you looking to get into that Autumn Alaskan spirit? Well we have just the right recipe for you. Its fishing season here in the great north and we are always looking for new and exciting recipes to make use of our fruit of the sea.





Prep time: 2 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 17 min
Serves: 4-6



1 salmon filet, about 2 pounds, left whole
Parmesan Herb Crust:
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425º F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easiest cleanup.
Place salmon, skin side down, onto lined baking sheet. Cover salmon with another piece of parchment paper. Bake salmon for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove top piece of parchment paper. Top with garlic, Parmesan and parsley mixture. Return to oven uncovered and allow to bake until registers 135º F when checked with an internal thermometer probe. The Parmesan cheese should have melted and lightly browned..
Allow to rest about 5 minutes and serve

Enjoy this wonderful salmon and let us know what you think!!

Transitioning from Renting to Buying: A Mid-Twenties Guide

Graduation, getting a salary job, and buying a home are some of the monumental landmarks of becoming a real adult in our modern society. These things create a sense of permanency and establishment in our young lives: from the feeling of a first “real” paycheck, finally investing in something big, to the experience of putting down more permanent roots, or just having a piece of somewhere that you can mark as your own; buying a house is a statement to the world and to yourself that you’ve arrived into full-fledged adulthood. Although the prospects of buying a home are exciting, colossal, and exhilarating, it is also a scary challenge that you need to prepare for. Here are some tips that can help you as you are in a transitional phrase so you’re prepared when the time comes to buy a home and when you take the leap into becoming a first time home owner.

Here are some key steps to take during your transition years in order to prepare successfully to buy a home:

Credit- Credit represents how much the bank or a stranger can trust you. If you have a bad credit score or no credit you may not be eligible to buy a home or you’re going to have a high interest rate. A main factor in your credit score is how long you’ve been buying on credit, so if you’re thinking about buying a home in the future, start now to build your credit.

Be a Good Renter- There are lots of things you can learn from your landlord as far as making repairs, managing your apartment, and about the general parts of a house. Take notes and learn from your landlord about how to shut off the water, how to maintain the grounds, and how to fix things when they break. Their experience can save you hundreds of dollars in the future if you take the time to learn from them.

When buying your first home:

Down Payment- I know how tight a budget is while in college, it’s hard to get by let alone save money! A down payment on a house is a huge part of making an offer on a new home. If you save up cash and make a high down payment your mortgage for the next thirty years will be lower and you can potentially get the seller to lower their price because you are offering them more cash up front. Taking an extra year to save up cash for a down payment can make a huge difference in the long run.

Home Inspection- Sometimes a home inspection is referred to as an engineer’s report. This is where a professional who is certified in industry standards and knowledgeable about every aspect of a home’s inner workings comes and looks over every inch of your potential new home. This is a valuable and easy way to find out about your new home. Ask questions here and make sure you take notes! You can ask how to service and maintain your boilers, plumbing systems, electrical, and heating/ cooling systems. You can use this report as a negotiating tool when closing a deal and you can see if there are any problems with the home. This is strongly recommended.

Range of salary you can use towards mortgage- When you’re getting a loan for a home a bank will usually let you use up to 35% of your income before taxes toward a mortgage payment. While this sounds great at the outset- you can get a larger home right now- you have to think that this bill will be looming over your head for the next 30 years. I know a lot can change in my life pretty quickly- family situations, job/ career path, and life goals- going for a smaller payment of 20%-25% of your income after taxes, is a much safer investment.

Dream home does not equal first home- You can buy your dream home eventually but that probably isn’t going to be your first home. Work your way up to it.

Equity- Home equity is the market value of your home. Most times, you get out what you put into your home. Investing in some paint, new carpets, a roof, or maybe even adding onto your home are investments that will pay off in the long run. It makes it a more enjoyable place to live in for you, and it adds equity into the overall value of your home. Just remember, if you don’t know how to do it, Youtube it! Getting your hands dirty and watching a demonstration on Youtube are two of the most convenient, effective, and cheapest ways to learn.

Remember that buying a home is an investment which means you buy it with the hopes of getting more out of it at the end of the day. An investment is something you can put your heart behind and use your brain to improve, so be confident, prepare now, and go out and put your roots down.


Written by Kody George