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This Isn’t a Bubble. It’s Simply Lack of Supply. [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 23, 2021

Some Highlights

In a recent article, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), discussed the state of today’s housing market.
When addressing whether or not today’s high buyer competition and rising home prices ar…

Don’t Be Fooled by Remarkable Real Estate Headlines

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 22, 2021

Don’t Be Fooled by Remarkable Real Estate Headlines | Simplifying The MarketDon’t be impressed by the headlines reporting year-over-year housing numbers for the next several months (data covering March, April, May, and June). The data will most likely show eye-popping one-year increases. While the year-over-year jumps will certainly be striking, consumers should take these numbers with a grain of salt, as the situation highlights a short-term […]

Planning to Move? You Can Still Secure a Low Mortgage Rate on Your Next Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 21, 2021

Planning to Move? You Can Still Secure a Low Mortgage Rate on Your Next Home | Simplifying The MarketThis year, mortgage rates have started to slowly climb above recent record-breaking lows. Many homeowners planning to move may feel like they’ve missed the chance to score a great rate on their next mortgage. In reality, there’s still time to secure a rate far below the historic norm. Here’s why. After creeping up for seven […]

82,338 Great Reasons to Buy a Home Today

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 20, 2021

82,338 Great Reasons to Buy a Home Today | Simplifying The MarketThe financial benefits of buying a home as compared to renting one are always up for debate. However, one element of the equation is often ignored – the ability to build wealth as a homeowner. Most experts are calling for home prices to continue appreciating over the next several years. The most recent Home Price […]

How Much Time Do You Need To Save for a Down Payment?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 19, 2021

How Much Time Do You Need To Save for a Down Payment? | Simplifying The MarketOne of the biggest hurdles homebuyers face is saving for a down payment. As you’re budgeting and planning for your home purchase, you’ll want to understand how much you’ll need to put down and how long it will take you to get there. The process may actually move faster than you think. Using data from […]

Home Is Where the Heart Is [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 16, 2021

Some Highlights

There’s no doubt about it: homeowners love their homes, and that feeling has become even more important over the past year.
The vast majority of homeowners say they’re emotionally attached to their home and that it has kept them safe…

Why This Is a Great Year to Sell Your Vacation Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 15, 2021

Why This Is a Great Year to Sell Your Vacation Home | Simplifying The MarketAs vaccines are administered and travel resumes, many of us are beginning to plan for those long-awaited vacations we missed out on over the past year. Some households are focusing their efforts on buying a vacation home rather than staying in a hotel, too. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports: “Second homes (i.e., […]

Trabuco Canyon Executive Home for Sale

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 15, 2021

Welcome to the gated community of Stonecliffe! Gorgeous light and bright customized home with FABULOUS MOUNTAIN VIEWS; located on a single loaded street featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and spacious loft/office. The home has exceptional curb appeal with a charming porch facing a green landscaped hillside maintained by the HOA. The interior of the […]

93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 14, 2021

93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks | Simplifying The MarketA recent Survey of Consumer Finances study released by the Federal Reserve reveals the net worth of homeowners is forty times greater than that of renters. If you’re wondering if homeownership is a good investment, the study clearly answers that question, and the answer is yes. Do Americans believe a home is a better investment […]

Some Buyers Prefer Smaller Homes

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 13, 2021

Some Buyers Prefer Smaller Homes | Simplifying The MarketOver the past year, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to reflect on what we consider most important in our lives. The place we call home is one of the biggest things many of us are reevaluating. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, shares: “The very nature of the pandemic, through the health implications, social distancing, […]

4 Major Reasons Households in Forbearance Won’t Lose Their Homes to Foreclosure

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 12, 2021

4 Major Reasons Households in Forbearance Won’t Lose Their Homes to Foreclosure | Simplifying The MarketThere has been a lot of discussion as to what will happen once the 2.3 million households currently in forbearance no longer have the protection of the program. Some assume there could potentially be millions of foreclosures ready to hit the market. However, there are four reasons that won’t happen. 1. Almost 50% Leave Forbearance […]

Multigenerational Housing Is Gaining Momentum [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 9, 2021

Some Highlights

If your house is feeling a little cramped with the addition of adult children or aging parents, it might be time to consider a move-up into a multigenerational home that better suits your changing needs.
With benefits that include a …

Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 8, 2021

Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits | Simplifying The MarketA Fannie Mae survey recently revealed some of the most highly-rated benefits of homeownership, which continue to be key drivers in today’s power-packed housing market. Here are the top four financial benefits of owning a home according to consumer respondents: 88% – a better chance of saving for retirement 87% – the best investment plan […]

Latest Jobs Report: What Does It Mean for You & the Housing Market?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 7, 2021

Latest Jobs Report: What Does It Mean for You & the Housing Market? | Simplifying The MarketLast Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a very encouraging jobs report. The economy gained 916,000 jobs in March – well above expert projections of 650,000 to 675,000. The unemployment rate fell again and is now at 6%. What does this mean for you? Our lives are deeply impacted by our nation’s economy. The […]

Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ Market

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 6, 2021

Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ Market | Simplifying The MarketIn a sellers’ market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with a trusted real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up […]

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 5, 2021

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | Simplifying The MarketIf you’re planning to buy a home this year, saving for a down payment is one of the most important steps in the process. One of the best ways to jumpstart your savings is by starting with the help of your tax refund. Using data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it’s estimated that Americans […]

Buyer Competition Is Good News for Sellers [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 2, 2021

Some Highlights

With so many buyers looking for homes to purchase and so few houses available today, there’s a substantial increase in bidding wars, and homes are selling fast.
According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the Nation…

There’s No Reason To Panic Over Today’s Lending Standards

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | April 1, 2021

There’s No Reason To Panic Over Today's Lending Standards | Simplifying The MarketToday, some are afraid the real estate market is starting to look a lot like it did in 2006, just prior to the housing crash. One of the factors they’re pointing to is the availability of mortgage money. Recent articles about the availability of low down payment loans and down payment assistance programs are causing […]

Is Homeownership Still Considered Part of the American Dream?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 31, 2021

Is Homeownership Still Considered Part of the American Dream? | Simplifying The MarketSince the birth of our nation, homeownership has always been considered a major piece of the American Dream. As Frederick Peters reports in Forbes: “The idea of a place of one’s own drives the American story. We became a nation out of a desire to slip the bonds of Europe, which was still in many […]

How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 30, 2021

How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget | Simplifying The MarketMortgage rates are on the rise this year, but they’re still incredibly low compared to the historic average. However, anytime there’s a change in the mortgage rate, it affects what you can afford to borrow when you’re buying a home. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, shares: “Since January, mortgage rates have increased […]

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 29, 2021

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | Simplifying The MarketIf you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to […]

2021 Real Estate Myth Buster [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 26, 2021

Some Highlights

There are a lot of misconceptions about buying or selling a home today, making it challenging to know exactly how to navigate the current real estate landscape.
Here’s a little clarity when it comes to 5 common myths about the 2021 h…

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 25, 2021

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market | Simplifying The MarketRight now, the housing market is full of outstanding opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Whether you’re thinking of buying your first home, moving up to a bigger one, or selling so you can downsize this spring, there are perks today that are powering big moves for people across the country. Here are the top two to […]

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 25, 2021

Buyer & Seller Perks in Today’s Housing Market | Simplifying The MarketRight now, the housing market is full of outstanding opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Whether you’re thinking of buying your first home, moving up to a bigger one, or selling so you can downsize this spring, there are perks today that are powering big moves for people across the country. Here are the top two to […]

Why You Should Think About Listing Prices Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 24, 2021

Why You Should Think About Listing Prices Like an Auction’s Reserve Price | Simplifying The MarketFor generations, the homebuying process never really changed. The seller would try to estimate the market value of the home and tack on a little extra to give themselves some negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price of the house. Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price […]

Should We Fear the Surge in Cash-Out Refinances?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 23, 2021

Should We Fear the Surge in Cash-Out Refinances? | Simplifying The MarketFreddie Mac recently released their Quarterly Refinance Statistics report which covers refinances through 2020. The report explains that the dollar amount of cash-out refinances was greater in 2020 than in recent years. A cash-out refinance, as defined by Investopia, is: “a mortgage refinancing option in which an old mortgage is replaced for a new one […]

What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 22, 2021

What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage? | Simplifying The MarketAccording to data from the most recent Origination Insight Report by Ellie Mae, the average FICO® score on closed loans reached 753 in February. As lending standards have tightened recently, many are concerned over whether or not their credit score is strong enough to qualify for a mortgage. While stricter lending standards could be a challenge for […]

Americans See Major Home Equity Gains [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 19, 2021

Some Highlights

Today’s home price appreciation is driving equity higher throughout the country.
If your needs are changing and you’re ready for a new home, your equity may be a great asset to power your next move.
Now is a great time to put your eq…

To Renovate or Not To Renovate Before You Sell

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 18, 2021

To Renovate or Not To Renovate Before You Sell | Simplifying The MarketWhen thinking about selling, homeowners often feel they need to get their house ready with some remodeling to make it more appealing to buyers. However, with so many buyers competing for available homes right now, renovations may not be as vital as they would be in a more normal market. Here are two things to […]

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 17, 2021

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy? | Simplifying The MarketLast year started off with a bang. Unemployment was under 4%, forecasters were giddy with their projections for the economy, and the residential housing market had the strongest January and February activity in over a decade. Then came the announcement on March 11, 2020, from the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Two […]

What Is the #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 16, 2021

What Is the #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership? | Simplifying The MarketThere are many financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership, and the greatest financial one is wealth creation. Homeownership has always been the first rung on the ladder that leads to forming household wealth. As Freddie Mac explains: “Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is […]

How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 15, 2021

How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home | Simplifying The MarketToday’s homebuyers are faced with a strong sellers’ market, which means there are a lot of active buyers competing for a relatively low number of available homes. As a result, it’s essential to understand how to make a confident and competitive offer on your dream home. Here are five tips for success in this critical […]

How to Be a Competitive Buyer in Today’s Housing Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 12, 2021

Some Highlights

With so few houses for sale today, it’s important to be prepared when you’re ready to buy a home.
Meeting with your lender early, knowing your must-haves and nice-to-haves, preparing for a bidding war, and keeping your emotions in ch…

Will the Housing Market Bloom This Spring?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 11, 2021

Will the Housing Market Bloom This Spring? | Simplifying The MarketSpring is almost here, and many are wondering what it will bring for the housing market. Even though the pandemic continues on, it’s certain to be very different from the spring we experienced at this time last year. Here’s what a few industry experts have to say about the housing market and how it will […]

6 Simple Graphs Proving This Is Nothing Like Last Time

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 10, 2021

6 Simple Graphs Proving This Is Nothing Like Last Time | Simplifying The MarketLast March, many involved in the residential housing industry feared the market would be crushed under the pressure of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Instead, real estate had one of its best years ever. Home sales and prices were both up substantially over the year before. 2020 was so strong that many now fear the market’s exuberance […]

How Upset Should You Be about 3% Mortgage Rates?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 9, 2021

How Upset Should You Be about 3% Mortgage Rates? | Simplifying The MarketLast Thursday, Freddie Mac announced that their 30-year fixed mortgage rate was over 3% (3.02%) for the first time since last July. That news dominated real estate headlines that day and the next. Articles talked about the “negative impact” it may have on the housing market. However, we should realize two things: 1. The bump-up […]

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 8, 2021

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring | Simplifying The MarketWhen selling a house, most homeowners hope for a quick and profitable transaction that puts them in a position to make a great move. If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring. Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to […]

How to Prepare Your House for a Winning Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 5, 2021

Some Highlights

With so few homes available to buy today, houses are in high demand, and they’re selling fast.
That means it’s a great time to sell if you’re ready to make a move.
Let’s connect to make sure your house is ready for a top-dollar sale …

Is It a Good Time to Sell My House?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 4, 2021

Is It a Good Time to Sell My House? | Simplifying The MarketLast year, many homeowners thought twice about selling their houses due to the onset of the health crisis. This year, however, homeowners are beginning to regain their confidence when it comes to selling safely. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae shows that 57% of consumers believe now is a good time […]

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 3, 2021

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today? | Simplifying The MarketWhether you’re buying your first home or selling your current house, if your needs are changing and you think you need to move, the decision can be complicated. You may have to take personal or professional considerations into account, and only you can judge what impact those factors should have on your desire to move. […]

Home Prices: What Happened in 2020? What Will Happen This Year?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 2, 2021

Home Prices: What Happened in 2020? What Will Happen This Year? | Simplifying The MarketThe real estate market was on fire during the second half of 2020. Buyer demand was way up, and the supply of homes available for sale hit record lows. The price of anything is determined by the supply and demand ratio, so home prices skyrocketed last year. Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Federal […]

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | March 1, 2021

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment? | Simplifying The MarketIf you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you may be wondering how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people may think it’s 20% of the loan to secure a mortgage. While there are plenty of lower down payment options available for qualified buyers who don’t want […]

It’s a Sellers’ Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 26, 2021

Some Highlights

Over the past year, homeowners have gained an unprecedented opportunity to sell with great success while buyer demand is soaring.
With homes selling twice as fast as they did last year at this time, getting multiple offers, and risin…

Are There Going to Be More Homes to Buy This Year?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 25, 2021

Are There Going to Be More Homes to Buy This Year? | Simplifying The MarketIf you’re looking for a home to purchase right now and having trouble finding one, you’re not alone. At a time like this when there are so few houses for sale, it’s normal to wonder if you’ll actually find one to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, inventory of […]

How Much Leverage Do Today’s House Sellers Have?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 24, 2021

How Much Leverage Do Today's House Sellers Have? | Simplifying The MarketThe housing market has been scorching hot over the last twelve months. Buyers and their high demand have far outnumbered sellers and a short supply of houses. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales are up 23.7% from the same time last year while the inventory […]

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 23, 2021

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You | Simplifying The MarketWe’re currently experiencing historically low mortgage rates. Over the last fifty years, the average on a Freddie Mac 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been 7.76%. Today, that rate is 2.81%. Flocks of homebuyers have been taking advantage of these remarkably low rates over the last twelve months. However, there’s no guarantee rates will remain this low […]

Where Have All the Houses Gone?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 22, 2021

Where Have All the Houses Gone? | Simplifying The MarketIn today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of record-low mortgage […]

Where Have All the Houses Gone?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 22, 2021

Where Have All the Houses Gone? | Simplifying The MarketIn today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of record-low mortgage […]

Home Mortgage Rates by Decade [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 19, 2021

Some Highlights

Mortgage interest rates have dropped considerably over the past year, and compared to what we’ve seen in recent decades, it’s a great time to buy a home.
Locking in a low rate today could save you thousands of dollars over the lifeti…

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 18, 2021

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021? | Simplifying The MarketWith mortgage interest rates hitting record lows so many times recently, some are wondering if we’ll see low rates continue throughout 2021, or if they’ll start to rise. Recently, Freddie Mac released their quarterly forecast, noting: “The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low over a dozen times in 2020 and the low interest […]

3 Ways Home Equity Can Have a Major Impact on Your Life

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 17, 2021

3 Ways Home Equity Can Have a Major Impact on Your Life | Simplifying The MarketThere have been a lot of headlines reporting on how homeowner equity (the difference between the current market value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage) has dramatically increased over the past few years. CoreLogic indicated that equity increased for the average homeowner by $17,000 in the last year alone. ATTOM […]

Millennials: Is It Time to Buy a Bigger Home?

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 16, 2021

Millennials: Is It Time to Buy a Bigger Home? | Simplifying The MarketIn today’s housing market, all eyes are on millennials. Not only are millennials the largest generation, but they’re also currently between 25 and 40 years old. These are often considered prime homebuying years when many people begin to form their own households and invest in real estate. If you’re like many millennials who are spending […]

3 Ways You’ll Win When You Buy a Home This Year

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 15, 2021

3 Ways You’ll Win When You Buy a Home This Year | Simplifying The MarketThere are so many great reasons to purchase a home, and over the past year, we’ve realized more of them than we ever thought possible. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, having a home of your own can give you a greater sense of security and accomplishment in a time that’s largely uncertain. If you’re a […]

Why It’s Easy to Fall in Love with Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 12, 2021

Some Highlights

Homeownership provides comfort, stability, and security, and it makes you feel more connected to your community.
Your home is something to be proud of and is uniquely yours, so you can customize it to your heart’s desire.
If you’re r…

47% of New Buyers Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 11, 2021

47% of New Buyers Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today | Simplifying The MarketHeadlines matter. Right now, it’s hard to read about real estate without seeing a headline that suggests homes have become unaffordable for most Americans. In reality, there’s hard evidence that shows how owning a home is more affordable than renting in most parts of the country, as record-low interest rates are keeping monthly mortgage payments […]

The Luxury Market Is Attracting Buyers in 2021

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 10, 2021

The Luxury Market Is Attracting Buyers in 2021 | Simplifying The MarketAs more people continue to identify their changing needs this year, some are turning to the upscale housing sector for more space or finer features. In their most recent Luxury Market Report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) shares: “In a snapshot of 2020, despite the devasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the luxury […]

3 Reasons We’re Definitely Not in a Housing Bubble

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 9, 2021

3 Reasons We’re Definitely Not in a Housing Bubble | Simplifying The MarketHome values appreciated by about ten percent in 2020, and they’re forecast to appreciate by about five percent this year. This has some voicing concern that we may be in another housing bubble like the one we experienced a little over a decade ago. Here are three reasons why this market is totally different. 1. […]

6 Foundational Benefits of Homeownership Today

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 8, 2021

6 Foundational Benefits of Homeownership Today | Simplifying The MarketOver the past year, our homes have become an integral part of our lives more than ever. They’re much more than the houses we live in. They’re our workplaces, virtual schools, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection through the evolving health crisis. Today, 65.8% of Americans are fortunate enough to call their […]

Thinking about Building a New Home? Your Agent Is Critical. [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 5, 2021

Some Highlights

A real estate professional is an expert who can advocate on your behalf throughout the process when building a home.
Agents help you understand key steps, like choosing upgrades and managing negotiations, while staying within your bu…

Thinking about Building a New Home? Your Agent Is Critical. [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Marie Miller and Vera Jacques | February 5, 2021

Some Highlights

A real estate professional is an expert who can advocate on your behalf throughout the process when building a home.
Agents help you understand key steps, like choosing upgrades and managing negotiations, while staying within your bu…