March 29, 2021

Why take out 3 loans? Finance the land, construction & mortgage all in one

If you want to build a home from the ground up, you typically need to secure and purchase a lot and then construct a home on it. That would normally entail getting one loan for the land and construction and a second loan for the mortgage on the finished residence.

But you can save time and money by pursuing a construction-to-permanent loan. This option simplifies the financing process by providing one loan and one closing. Caveats apply, however. You may pay a higher interest rate. A larger down payment may be required. And your lender may have additional requirements and restrictions.

Determine if a construction-to-permanent loan is right for you by learning more about what’s involved. For more information, read my latest article for NextAdvisor, Time Magazine’s new website featuring personal finance content and tips, available here.

March 22, 2021

All signs point to a strong spring homebuying season well underway

While it doesn’t have an official kickoff date and every market is different, spring homebuying season often initiates once temperatures start rising and prospective purchasers emerge from their winter cocoons, eager to claim a property – which is usually about now in many areas of the country.

But recent industry data, coupled with the observations of experts in the field, indicate that the spring market began far earlier than normal in many metros and areas across the nation. Some even say buyer interest and activity have barely waned since last spring.

Learn more by reading my newest news article for Bankrate on this topic, available here.

March 15, 2021

Fargo turns 25? You betcha!

For Cineversary podcast episode #33, host Erik Martin heads to the Upper Midwest to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Coen brothers' Fargo, which first hit theaters in March 1996. Joining him for this installment is Minneapolis StarTribune film critic Chris Hewitt, who's been singing the praises of this film for a quarter century. Together, they explore why Fargo is worth honoring all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the film in 2021, how it has remained virtually ageless, and more. 
Chris Hewitt

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at and email show comments or suggestions to

March 8, 2021

Stock your trunk with these safety essentials

Whether you’re about to drive 5 miles or 500 miles, there’s always a risk you may end up stranded far from home and safety. From a dead battery to a flat tire, these unpleasant incidents are not just frustrating and inconvenient; they can be serious if you find yourself off the grid and unable to summon help, particularly during inclement weather.

That’s why it’s smart to equip your automobile with important accessories and practical products designed to make driving less stressful. Having a handful of "just-in-case" items in your car could improve a negative situation or, in the most extreme cases, quite literally save your life, say the experts.

Learn more by reading my newest article for The Costco Connection magazine, available here.