Help Build Your Savings Account with These Simple Tips

Setting aside money each month for your savings account can often feel like a daunting and sometimes impossible commitment. Perhaps you’d like to buy a home someday or purchase a new car. Maybe, you’ve got a serious case of wanderlust and are wanting to travel the world. Either way, achieving these dreams often requires diligent planning – specifically financially.

If you constantly feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck without saving a pretty penny, don’t fret. We’ve got some simple solutions for you to help boost your savings and get you one step closer to achieving your dreams.

  1. Set Up Direct Deposit: A good rule of thumb when it comes to savings is to set it and forget it. It may seem like an obvious tip but is often overlooked. If you already have a savings account, decide on a feasible amount to add to it directly each pay period. You may notice a difference at first, but soon enough, it will become the norm and you will have started building a nice little nest egg.
  2. Unplug and Turn Off: Do you often leave your TV on all night or come home from work to find your coffee pot still on? It may not seem like it, but simply leaving a light on or electronics plugged in can substantially increase your electric bill each month. Try diligently to ensure you turn the lights off when you leave a room and unplug electronics that are not in use to save extra on bills.
  3. Sell Your Stuff: It is likely that you have extra “stuff” lying around. That is, shoes and clothing items you no longer wear, old electronics you don’t use, furniture you don’t need, books you’ve already read, etc. Why not try to sell your useless items online or have a yard sale to add some extra cash to your savings account? This will also help you declutter your space as an added bonus.
  4. Brown Bag It: Do you go out to lunch regularly? Do you make a Starbucks run every morning on the way to work? While we all enjoy a pumpkin spice latté every now and then, spending money on fast food and coffee daily can take quite the hit on your paycheck. Perhaps it’s time to start bringing your lunch and coffee from home or setting some rules regarding how many lunch outings you can really afford each week.

While these may seem like small adjustments to make, over time, it can make a big difference in your savings account. Looking for more tips and tricks on ways to save? Check out this list of 100 Ways to Save Money from Nerd Wallet!

If you’d like additional tips on saving for a down payment or if you are interested in learning more about mortgage loan options for you, please contact one of our loan officers today. We’d love to help you achieve your dreams of homeownership!

Navigating Waves of Success – Inlanta’s 2017 Sales Conference Highlights

Navigating Waves of Success

We are thrilled to announce that our Annual Inlanta Sales Conference was a smashing success! We want to thank all of our dedicated employees that attended, our trusted sponsors that participated, and our inspiring speakers that motivated our team. Not only did we learn a lot while bonding with our friends & co-workers, but we also raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute through raffle & silent auction! To learn more about the Cancer Research Institute, please visit www.cancerresearch.org.

This year’s conference, held at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, WI, offered the members of our Inlanta family the chance to connect with one another personally, celebrate this past year’s successes together, and learn new best practices to ensure success in the upcoming year.

Awards & Recognition

The conference also included a service award ceremony honoring those who have proudly served on our team for the past 5, 10, 15, and 20 years on. Congratulations to the following members of Team Inlanta on their service.

5 Year Recognition: Jill Golla, Diane Kramasz, Rosemary McCullough, Liz Labodda, Trisha Mulder Conwell, Mike Ponce, Josh Badciong, Jon Donovan, Mark Polanco, Gail Carrick, Yvette Clermont, Sherri Mayer, Kerry Heus, Mark Schulenburg, Jon Bakovka

10 Year Recognition: Gilbert Bundy, Jim Fittante, Mike Fittante, Andy Patterson

15 Year Recognition: Kent Sova, Emily Whitstone

20 Year Recognition: Dennis DeGrave and Chris Knowlton

As a special honor to our 20-year veterans, Dennis & Chris both received a gift fitting for what they love most. For Dennis – that means anything Harley-Davidson! For Chris – that means all things Buffalo Wild Wings, Pepsi, and Hershey’s Chocolate!

Inlanta also honored Katrina Cole, Business Development/Marketing for our Grand Rapids, MI branch, with the second annual Brand Spirit Award! Katrina was proudly recognized as an individual that has grown the basic footprint of marketing and assisted in setting the foundation of the Grand Rapids branch for future growth. She consistently comes up with exceptional marketing ideas and reaches out to Inlanta’s corporate marketing team to ensure that brand standards and guidelines are met. Katrina has also received the following awards or has obtained a seat on the following boards: National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 50 Most Connected Mortgage Professionals; Mortgage Professional America Magazine’s Elite Women in Mortgage; Vice President of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association West Chapter; Co-Chair of the Western Michigan Women’s Council of Realtors; and Board Member of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association.

Additional Highlights

The event also included a Top Producers Panel where Inlanta’s best divulged their keys to success, a number of breakout sessions featuring LOS system best practices and an Underwriting Panel, exciting company news and announcements, excellent motivational speakers, and continuing education for our Loan Officers.

On the second day of the conference, attendees experienced an excellent presentation by Garth Graham from the STRATMOR group on customer satisfaction in the mortgage industry. One of the most interesting takeaways was that satisfaction and net promoter scores were highest in the Third-Party Originations channel, proving TPO can lead to more happy clients through increased product offerings and competitive rates as well as leveraging the TPO provider’s technology platform.

Another highlight of the event included the presentation of the Customer Service Superstar Awards presented by Craig Pollack from Social Survey. Congratulations to Craig March, Dee Cayo, Yvette Clermont, Herb Lessmiller, and Jason Kupka for having the top customer satisfaction ratings in the company.

Inlanta was also excited to announce the destination of our 2017 rewards trip to beautiful Cap Cana, Dominican Republic!

Last, as the sun set on another great #TeamInlanta conference, we closed with excitement for the future – our upcoming 25th anniversary!

To see more from our Sales Conference, click here to watch a fun slideshow!

Mortgage Professional Spotlight with Dennis DeGrave

Obtaining a mortgage loan can often sound like a foreign concept to those who have not undergone the process before. The work of a mortgage professional, or a Loan Officer, can sound even more foreign to the unfamiliar. That is why we are diving in to the life of a mortgage pro with an up close and personal interview with one of our top experienced Loan Officers, Dennis DeGrave!

Check out our interview below to read what Dennis had to say about his career in the mortgage industry.

Inlanta Mortgage: Tell me about yourself… how many years have you been in the industry and what made you become an LO?

Dennis DeGrave: I have been with Inlanta for 20 years as you know, prior to this I had been doing lending for the previous 8 years with a finance company and a credit union.  One of the things I loved the best was being able to help people out financially when they needed it, so working for the finance company allowed me to help out those people with challenging credit or financial situations, however, we were typically working with pretty high-interest rates.  When the finance company was going out of business, I then was offered a job at a credit union.  The credit union gave me the opportunity to do the same thing, however now I was able to do that with great low rates to the members of the credit union.  The biggest draw for me when I then had the opportunity to work at Inlanta Mortgage, is that I now could help people of all financial statuses buy homes and experience the pride of homeownership or better their financial situations by refinancing their existing mortgages.

IM: You have been in the industry a long time – what makes you successful?

DD: Always doing what is right for my clients’ financial future.  I love to educate my clients on what options they have available and solving problems. If there is a way to help them out, I believe I can find the best solution for them to accomplish their goal.

IM: What does a typical day look like for you?

DD: A great day is when I have numerous conversations or meetings with clients and referral partners to discuss financing options.  Typical days involve reviewing applications, putting together financing options, discussing or meeting with clients to review those options, and getting loans approved and/or going to closings.

IM: What is your favorite thing about your job?

DD: Definitely attending my closings with first-time homebuyers, getting to share in their excitement of finally getting the keys to their first home and knowing that I had something to do with that historic day for them is the best.

IM: What piece of advice would you give to first-time homebuyers?

DD: Make sure they are working with a lender that explains the whole home buying process and is attentive to their questions and needs.  Buying your first home is a big deal and can be pretty stressful.  The better understanding the buyer has of how the process works and what the payments and money needed at closing are, before they start looking at homes and writing an offer, the better they will feel about the whole experience.

Special thanks to Dennis DeGrave from our Pewaukee, WI branch for giving us an inside look at the life of a mortgage industry professional!

Tips for Choosing the Right Mortgage Lender

For most, choosing to purchase a home is a big decision. Choosing the right mortgage lender to help you smoothly along the process, one you can entrust with all of your sensitive financial information who can educate you on the proper loan options based on your specific financial situation is key to a successful transaction.

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, we want you to know we have your back every step of the way. While we want to assist you with all of your mortgage lending needs, we also want to provide you with the tools necessary to choose the right lender for your particular needs and circumstances. Here are some tips on how to choose the right mortgage lender.

Do Your Research

The market is changing every day. That’s why it is wise to shop around and talk to a few local lenders in your area to learn more about the types of loan programs offered and current market rates. This will also give you the chance to explain any unique financial needs you may have to see if they have dealt with borrowers like you in the past. While it may be tempting to want to choose a loan officer that advertises the “best rate,” it is important to take into account customer satisfaction, knowledge, experience, and more.

Referrals and Testimonials 

You can learn a lot about a lender based on real online reviews and testimonials from real clients they have had in the past. Successful transactions produce successful reviews and can provide social proof of happy peers in your area that are now homeowners with the help of their trusted lender. Visit your lender’s website, Google+, Yelp, or Facebook page to get an inside look at former client experiences.

Communication

Communication is key during the mortgage process, so having a lender that will stay in touch with you and keep you up to date on the status of your loan while providing you with honest feedback is important. When researching lenders, inquire with them about their communication styles and if applicable, ask to meet their team prior to conducting business with them to learn how it all works. It is important for you to not feel afraid to ask questions. Open communication with your loan officer will help ease any worries you have throughout the process.

Knowledge and Experience

Strong knowledge of the loan process, loan programs, and mortgage products available along with knowledge of the market is important when choosing the right lender. With knowledge comes experience. Working with an experienced lender who has successfully helped many homeowners achieve the American dream may help give you peace of mind during the process. Whether you are new to the process or are a seasoned homeowner, your loan officer should be able to speak with you on the process and provide you with the education and guidance needed based on your level of experience.

If you’d like to get in touch with one of our mortgage professionals today, click here to find a local lender within your area or contact us today for more information.

Preparing Financially for the Mortgage Process

Purchasing a home is exciting and adventurous. Home buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, typically don’t know a lot about the process of financing a home. To avoid making mistakes, you need to know what you should expect. It is important to consider the state of your credit, the additional costs besides just the down payment, and the important questions dealing with the future.

 

The Credit Aspect

Your credit score is one of the first things a lender will look at when you apply for a mortgage. To cut through all that confusion, here are five tips you can act on right now:

  • Check your credit reports for free once a year through the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Why all three? Because the information in each of the three bureaus’ reports can differ. If one or all of the reports include mistakes, your credit score may be negatively affected, and you may need to address the errors before going house shopping.
  • Be strategic with credit card use. The percentage of your credit limit that you use every month can affect your score. Make sure your balance doesn’t come too close to your limit.
  • The simplest and most important tip? Pay off your balance each month. To maintain a healthy score, pay off the balance before the due date. Anything after 30 days past the due date can spell very bad news for your score.
  • Be consistent. Good credit behavior over the long term will keep your score high.
  • Don’t take on more credit. If you apply for several different credit cards, you’re sending a message that you may have maxed out your other accounts

 

Save enough for the down payment and other additional fees

You should plan to make a down payment of 3.5% – 5% at the very least when you are determining affordability. It is important to consider that down payments are not the only costs associated with the purchase of a home. Your lender should be able to provide you with a breakdown of your costs that you will be paying upfront and on a monthly basis. Here are some basic tips to help you save for the costs associated with buying a home:

  • Start a budget: Making a budget allows you to see your expenses, how much money is coming in, and what is left over to save or pay off debts. When you have a savings goal it, helps prioritize your money by eliminating or cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
  • Automate: Once you have created a budget and figured out how much you can comfortably save each month or paycheck, set up a specific amount or percentage of your paycheck to go to savings automatically. For some, it helps to open up an entirely separate savings account for their home’s down payment and expenses. This method allows you to see how much you are saving specifically for the home buying process and keeps you from accidentally spending this money on something other than your new home.
  • Increase your income: If you are worried about cutting back expenses, or just want to save for your down payment faster, consider finding ways to increase your income. Some ideas include working overtime, getting a second job, or finding alternative ways to making money such as selling items online.
  • Save any unexpected money: When you get a large sum of money, such as a bonus or your tax refund, itis all too easy to take on the extra cash and purchase that one expensive thing you’ve had your eye on for months. Instead of going on a shopping spree, take that money and put it into your savings right away to help you achieve your dream of homeownership sooner.

 

Affordability now and in the future

Regardless of the level of income you have today, you need to figure out what the future may hold before you sign on the dotted line. For example, if you’re planning to have kids sometime down the road, how will these happy additions impact your family income? What effect will job changes have on your current income level? And have you planned for monthly payments into your rainy day savings account?

Everyone who looks to buy a home will have a payment amount that is affordable today, but in the face of your answers to the questions above, will that number still work for you down the road? These are some questions to consider as you think about homeownership.

 

Feel free to talk with a loan officer in your area to determine if homeownership is the right path for you!

Automating Your Home

Automating Your Home with Smart Technology

With the advancements that have been made in technology in just the past decade, there are many new ways to incorporate faster, more efficient, and cost-effective solutions to everyday tasks and problems. One big trend that we are seeing right now is home automation, or “smart homes.” With the help of technology, today you can make the functions in your home almost entirely automated or controllable from a smartphone or tablet.

What exactly are the benefits of home automation?

  • Those with home automation save an average of 20% on home insurance
  • You can save around 15% on your energy bill
  • Based on national averages, you could save around $1,352 each year by automating your home
  • Better security and peace of mind
  • Control over almost all functions in your home from one tablet or smartphone

What are the capabilities of a smart home?

Thermostat: You can have the ability to control your thermostat even when you are not home. By adjusting the temperature when you are not home, you save on heating and cooling costs.

Security: With a smart home, you won’t need to be paranoid about whether you remembered to lock the doors to your home. Your smart home system can tell you if your doors are locked or unlocked. Also, with some advanced systems, you can trigger lights and television sets to turn on while you are out of town to give the appearance that someone is home.

Lighting: Some smart home systems have an “all off” button to help easily turn off every light in your home at once. Sensors can also trigger lights to turn on when motion is detected outside of your home.

Television: You can combine all of your remotes into one by using your smart home app on your tablet or phone. You can even set a sequence to dim the lights, adjust the room temperature, and start a movie with one click of a button.

Communication: You can send messages room-to-room through the television or to visitors through a touch screen outside of your home. You can also get notified if there is a leak in your basement or even when the kids make it home from school.

There are many options and benefits to making your home smarter and even the smallest steps could save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. Here are some of the best smart home devices you can implement in your home.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-smart-home-devices-2015-12

 

 

Sources

https://www.control4.com/blog

https://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/06/home-automation-benefits-infographic/

7 Tips to Growing Your Own Produce

7 Tips to Growing Your Own Produce

April is National Gardening Month and what better way to get into the gardening spirit than planting your own veggie and herb garden? Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs has many benefits:
Cost. Growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs will help you save money at the grocery store.
Nutrition. Produce from a store can lack in nutrients because of the journey it had to take to get there. Growing your own produce means you will be eating it when it’s the freshest and at its full nutritional value.
Organic. Having your own garden means you have full control over the amount and type of pesticides used. If you’d like, you can make it completely organic (natural pesticides or completely pesticide-free), which makes your produce healthier.
Healthy children. When children are involved in the gardening process, it can make them feel excited to eat their fruits and veggies knowing they had a hand in growing them. This helps them build healthy eating habits while they’re young and ensures they are getting the nutrition they need for healthy growth.

These are just some of the benefits of growing your own produce. Here are some tips for starting/maintaining your garden.

1.) When laying down soil, give your plants a significant amount of space to grow in and absorb nutrients from. Create raised garden beds out of wood to ensure there is enough fertile soil to give your plants nutrients. A raised bed should be rich in organic matter like aged manure, compost, or vermicomposting. If the soil does not drain well, add perlite or sand.

Via: Balcony Garden Web

 

2.) Consider spiral or U-Shape gardening. These types of beds are great if you have limited space to plant your fruits, veggies, or herbs!

Via: recycledawblog.blogspot.com

Via: brittanystager.com

 

3.) If you are planting peas, build trellises (like these teepee-shaped structures) to make harvesting and maintaining your peas easier.

Via: lillbutton2.blogspot.com

 

4.) Lay sheets of newspaper around plants before putting down mulch. The newspaper will help ensure that weeds and grass can’t come up.

Via: The Common Milkweed

 

5.) When picking a spot to start your garden, choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Photo Via: Country living

 

6.) The sooner you start planting your garden the sooner you will have a garden full of vegetables and fruit. Spring is an optimal time for starting, but the weather isn’t always the best. Start by planting indoors and then transplant them to your garden when the weather improves. Use this growth calendar to help create your planting timeline.

Produce Growth Calendar

Photo Via: Grow a Good Life 

 

7.) The most efficient way of watering plants in the garden is by using soaker hoses and drip lines. These watering systems deliver water directly to where it is needed and allows time for roots to absorb water. Generally, one inch of water per week, including rainfall, is sufficient for most vegetables, depending on the type of soil, weather, and plant.

Via: ericarascon.com 

partial content via: Balcony Garden Web 

 

 

Announcing New Doctor Loans Program!

photo of male doctor with Doctor Loans text

New Doctor Loans Program!

We are excited to announce our new Doctor Loans program! It is no secret that doctors take on a lot of student loan debt to pay for medical school. If you are one of these everyday superheroes, you may be experiencing difficulty achieving your dream of homeownership as a result. Have no fear – Inlanta is here to help! We now have two loan options for qualified borrowers through our Doctor Loans program, designed with your unique needs in mind.

What kinds of doctors are eligible?

You must have one of the following designations in order to be eligible for this program:

  • Medical Resident
  • Medical Doctor (MD)
  • Doctor of Dental Science (DDS)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine or Surgeon (DMD)
  • Doctor of Ophthalmology (MD)
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

What do these options have in common?

Highlights of both Doctor Loan options:

  • Income-based repayment or other limited payment options may be used in qualification ratios
  • Student loan payments deferred greater than 12 months may be excluded from qualification ratios
  • If employment start date is within 60 days of closing, we may be able to use your new employment contract to qualify

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Available for primary residences only (condos, PUD’s, or single-family residences)
  • Purchase or no cash-out (rate/term) refinances only
  • Minimum credit score varies by loan option, but typically the minimum credit score range is 680 to 720
  •  Mortgage insurance (MI) is required (consult your loan officer for MI options)

What are the differences between the two options?

Doctor Loan Option 1 Highlights

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM’s) only
  • As low as 3% down payment on loans up to $650,0001
  • As low as 10% down payment on loans up to $850,0002
  • Must have 3 months in cash reserves
  • At least 3% of down payment must come from your own funds, but the rest may come from a gift

Option 1 Conditions: Maximum debt-to-income ratio is 43%. 14.649% APR calculated based on $200,000 loan with 3% down adjustable rate mortgage after 5 years, closing fees $1,185 plus 1/2 point. 24.558% APR calculated based on $200,000 loan with 5% down fixed for 30 years, closing fees $1,185.

Doctor Loan Option 2 Highlights

  • Fixed rate or ARM options
  • As low as 5% down payment on loans up to $636,1503
  • Minimum credit score of 680 is required (if excluding student loan deferments from qualification ratios, minimum credit score is 720)
  • Does not require specific amount of cash reserves
  • May allow gift funds to fully fund down payment

Option 2 Conditions: No maximum debt-to-income ratio. 3$636,150 loan amounts only available in certain High-Cost Areas of the country. All other areas have a maximum loan amount of $424,100. 4.666% APR calculated based on $200,000 loan with 5% down fixed for 30 years, closing fees $1,185.

Which option is right for you?

Your Inlanta Mortgage loan officer will be able to answer all of your questions. Every person’s financial situation is different and program terms & conditions are always subject to change. Your loan officer will take a look at your unique situation and best advise you on which program is right for you. Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer nearest you.

Welcome New Branch Employees!

Welcome New Branch Employees!

Here at Inlanta we have been expanding on the branch level and are pleased to welcome new branches and employees to our growing family.

 

In the last quarter, we have welcomed three new branches in Ames, Iowa; Marshfield, Wisconsin; and Indianapolis, Indiana. At our new Ames, Iowa branch, we welcome Jayme & Jason Kupka, Branch Managers; Brianna Schwind, Processor; and Marianne Molina, Loan Officer Assistant. We also welcome Angela Faber as the Branch Manager at the new Marshfield, Wisconsin branch. Further, Inlanta welcomes back Chad Arnold, Branch Manager, and Kathie McElroy, Administrative Assistant, to our Indianapolis, Indiana branch.

 

Our current branches have also welcomed new employees. Lisa Durand joins the Lakewood Ranch, Florida team as a Loan Officer. Processor Kristen Ferris, Loan Officer Assistant Katie Bond, and Marketing Assistant Leah Kneisler join our Overland Park, Kansas branch. Karen Spriggs joins the Grand Rapids office, and Heather Darling joins our Kentwood Michigan office, both as a Loan Officer Assistants. Amanda Steuer, Processor, joins our Madison, Wisconsin office located on Marketplace Drive.

 

Inlanta continues to expand, now operating 17 offices in the state of Wisconsin alone. For more information on Inlanta branch partnerships, contact our Branch Development Team at 262-439-4260 or email partners@inlanta.com.

 

 

5 Ways to Love Your Home

5 Ways to Love Your Home

So, you’ve found your dream home – or at least the one with the potential to be your dream home. However, you may be feeling like something is “missing” or that your house just doesn’t feel like a home yet. Like any good relationship, the feelings you have about your home will ebb and flow, but you don’t have to abandon ship if you’re not feeling the love right now! We’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can put some love back into your home and fall in love with it all over again.

 

Make it personal.

Display photos of your favorite memories with family, friends, and/or your significant other. Paint an accent wall in your favorite color, or use that color in your accessories. Create an art gallery to display your kids’ artwork in a creative fashion. Showcase your Star Wars lightsaber collection (or any of your other favorite collectibles). Whatever makes you, you, give it its own special place in your home where you will see it regularly. Adding a personal touch goes a long way in making your home feel like your own.

 

Add natural beauty.

Buy a plant or flowers to add a touch of nature to your home.  Many living plants are air purifiers, bringing an actual breath of fresh air into your home. Don’t have a green thumb? These plants are low maintenance and air purifying (win-win)! Plants and flowers also boost your mood when you see them, which can be especially helpful during the cold and dreary winter months and you’re dreaming about spring & summer (Wisconsin, we’re looking at you!) Simply indulging in the occasional flower bouquet from your local grocery store can make you, and your home, feel special.

 

Create a Zen area.

Create an area in your home that is dedicated to peace and relaxation. Whether it’s a special reading nook for you to cozy up with your favorite book in or a space dedicated to meditation, prayer, or yoga, find a place in your home (or your garden) where you can retreat when you need time to re-connect with yourself and re-focus your mind.

 

Clean, de-clutter, and organize.

Seeing a mess can stress you out, so keeping your home clean, organized, and de-cluttered can help you enjoy your home more. Take some time to de-clutter and organize your house. Before you purchase any new items, find 10 items and either donate (if they’re in good condition) or throw them away (if they’re broken). Purchase some inexpensive storage containers at the Dollar Store or your local thrift shop. You can even turn cleaning and de-cluttering into a game: set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can de-clutter and organize before the timer runs out. If you live with someone, challenge each other to get the most cleaned and organized before the timer runs out – winner gets to decide what the reward is!

 

Have an attitude of gratitude.

It can be easy to focus on all of the areas that your home lacks – maybe it’s a fixer-upper and you haven’t been able to make those improvements yet (if you need financing, we can help). Or, perhaps it’s a little on the small side, needs more bathrooms, or the décor doesn’t reflect your style yet. While making sure your home fits your needs and tastes is important, you likely chose the home for a specific reason. Take time to remember the reasons you said “yes” to this home in the first place. If you look closely, you will find that there is plenty to be grateful for (like the fact that you own a house! Many people haven’t achieved that dream yet). Practice gratitude and give thanks for all that your house has been able to provide you. When you count your blessings instead of your shortcomings, you instantly feel happier and more satisfied.