Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Calculate How Much You Qualify For

© 2021 Affiliated Mortgage, LLC. NMLS #14211: AZ NMLS#0947858. All Rights Reserved. Affiliated Mortgage, LLC is a Division of Lend Smart Mortgage NMLS #4474

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Monday, June 14, 2021

Nominate us for the Best of Black Hills 2021

Thank you for voting us best of the Black Hills in 2020. Your love and support keep us motivated every single day to provide our clients the best services.

We would love to have your nomination for the best mortgage lender of the Black Hills in 2021.

Nominate us today, click here.
Scroll to the bottom until you see Affiliated Mortgage under “Mortgage Lender” and hit nominate. Thank you!

© 2021 Affiliated Mortgage, LLC. NMLS #14211: AZ NMLS#0947858. All Rights Reserved. Affiliated Mortgage, LLC is a Division of Lend Smart Mortgage NMLS #4474

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

How to Know If a House is Right for You

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or are looking to invest in a new property, there are a lot of terms going around associated with house styles and structures. Understanding these terminologies can help you narrow down your search, and find the home you are looking for quicker.

Types of Houses – Structure


Single-family homes

The primary feature of a single-family home is that it is completely detached from its surrounding properties, unlike condos, apartments, and townhomes. Single-family homes are more popular in suburbs and smaller cities compared to the big cities. 

The majority of housing units in the U.S. are single-family homes. These are preferred by most homebuyers as they offer more privacy and security compared to other types of housing units. 


  • More security, privacy, and freedom


  • Costs more
  • Difficult to maintain 



If you like the amenities that come with an apartment but want to own one, then a Condo is a perfect housing option for you. With a condo, you are in charge of every repair and maintenance instead of relying on a building manager or a landlord. 

Condos are very suitable housing units for millennials who want a residence in big cities closer to their workplace but at an affordable cost. The senior citizens who want to own their residence but can’t keep up with all the maintenance that comes with single-family homes can also opt for condos. 


  • Lesser maintenance costs
  • Lesser upkeep required


  • Less privacy



A townhome is an individually-owned residence that shares at least one wall with the neighboring house. All the townhomes have their separate entrance from the street. 

Townhomes are more common in big cities where space is limited. 

These houses make use of the vertical space by having multiple stories in a house but save horizontal space by having shared walls. Sometimes amenities are also shared among a group of townhomes.


  • More affordable


  • Less privacy, and less freedom 


Tiny Homes

The idea of ‘tiny homes’ is in the market for some time now. But their popularity has recently boomed further after a huge spike in the average home prices. As the name suggests, tiny homes have smaller square feet of area ranging from 60 – 400 square feet.

These tiny homes are usually custom-built now. They are particularly popular among younger homebuyers who want more financial and physical freedom. These homes are typically mobile, meaning they can be moved anywhere.


  • More privacy and freedom
  • Can be moved anywhere
  • More affordable


  • Smaller space
  • Not suitable for a family



A Co-op is a very different kind of housing unit compared to others. It is also known as a housing co-operative. When you buy a co-op property, you are basically buying a share of the company that owns that co-op building and not the actual property you are living on. 

The number of shares you have purchased correlates to the space you are afforded in the co-op. Once you are accepted in the co-op and have bought the shares, you will get to vote on common spaces and you will also share costs for maintenance with other shareholders. 


  • More affordable
  • Great family neighborhood


  • Not available in every state

Different Styles of Homes



Classical homes are symmetrical buildings with 2 or more stories and a front door under the entryway portico. Classical homes were most famous in the 1700s and 1800s and were also knows as Colonial, Georgian, and Federal-style homes. 

These homes are mostly made of bricks but in the north, you will also find classical homes made with clapboards. One of the distinct features of classical homes is that they have a central chimney or 2 0r 4 chimneys on either side of the house. 


  • More durable
  • Higher ceilings, large windows
  • More privacy


  • Repairs can be expensive
  • High maintenance costs



Ranch-style homes first appeared in the 1930s, but they became more famous in the 1950s. Ranch home is a single-story home but it has a wider rectangular footprint. These homes feature large windows, sliding glass doors, attached garage door, larger backyard, and plenty of open space. 

Ranch homes come in a variety of iterations including California, storybook, split-book, and raised ranch. All of these iterations have different defining features, for example, California-style ranch homes are in a ‘U’ or ‘L’ shape. 


  • Suited for a family-living as everything is on one level
  • Consumes less energy to heat and cool
  • Large open spaces for outdoor activities


  • Requires more land to build a ranch style home
  • Less privacy because of its large front windows
  • More expensive


Farm House

As the name suggests, a farmhouse is a home on a farm. The features of a farmhouse are more inspired by its functions rather than following a traditional style. Its typical features include a front porch, tall ceilings, a rectangular layout, and a central lounge with a fireplace. 

Another distinct feature of a farmhouse is an open-air mudroom which is used by the residents to remove their dirty boots. The roof of the farmhouse is typically decorated with gables and dormers. 


  • Plenty of space to raise your kids in the privacy
  • Allows residents to enjoy a lot of outdoor sports and activities
  • Provides the option to raise your own animals


  • Usually a bit far from the city
  • You may have to deal with some utility challenges 
  • A bit expensive to maintain a farmhouse



Cabin and Cottages have been around for a long time now but back then they were only called houses. They were very common in the largely-populated areas among people who couldn’t afford large classical villas. 

Nowadays, compact old-fashioned homes that are typically built away from the city, closer to mountains or beaches, are called cabins or cottages. Today, homebuyers buy these houses as vacation homes, but many still use them as the primary residence. They typically feature wood siding (sometimes also made of stone or brick siding), a cozy fireplace, a brick or gravel front walkway, and a beautiful bright exterior.


  • Costs less to buy
  • Allows cozy-living closer to nature
  • Easier to maintain


  • Unexpected maintenance issues
  • Less security
  • Smaller space



As the name suggests, Victorian houses are named after the “Queen Victoria”, emerged in the 1830s, but are still very popular. The Victorian home is one of the most popular styles of architecture, thanks to its ornate design that incorporates a variety of different elements like decorative trim and large windows. 

The Victorian-style originated in England and was later adopted across the Atlantic in the United States. This house has all of the necessary elements, from decorative wood fences to towers and bay windows. In addition, its brightly colored facade represents the colorful ornamentation characteristic of Victorian homes.

The features that characterize these homes include details such as overlapping gables and numerous decorative elements like front porches, turrets, and intricate trim work.


  • Excellent curb-appeal
  • Have thick walls which makes it almost sound-proof
  • Usually built in a row that provides a good community feel


  • Maintenance costs are high as victorian-houses have delicate woodwork and ornaments
  • The structure, wiring, and other amenities may not be up-to-date
  • Foundation may need to be re-done


Art Deco

Art Deco style homes tend to be 2-4 level units with bay windows, barrel-style roofs, wide overhangs, horizontal lines, and an overall vertical emphasis. You’re also likely to find flat roofs,  glass brick, neon, chrome, mirrors, smooth stucco walls with rounded corners, bold exterior, high-gloss finishes, and opaque glass panels.

Art Deco style homes are the crown of old cities. 


  • Stylish exterior and interior
  • Often located closer to downtown city
  • Easy to maintain and renovate


  • Less open spaces
  • Lesser privacy


Modern / Contemporary 

For those looking for a simple, straightforward approach to design, look no further than Contemporary homes. Inspired by the surrounding landscape and architectural traditions, these elegant homes reflect the best of Modern and Contemporary architecture. Designed for a variety of climates, these homes blend in with their surroundings and take advantage of natural light with large, plate glass windows.

Loftier than ranch-style houses with their prominent gables, houses built in the contemporary style have a lean and elongated look that can be somewhat deceiving. Rather than appearing massive and bulky, many styles use sleek lines and angles to give their design a cohesive appearance. 


  • Space is used efficiently, the overall design is sleek and modern
  • Tend to be more energy efficient
  • These houses encourage open plan living


  • More expensive
  • Costs more to maintain and upgrade
  • Less privacy because of its large front windows



Mediterranean-style houses look like they’re in an artist’s painting, with their thick stucco walls, ceramic tiles, and red-tiled roofs. They feature arched windows and doors and balconies with simple metal railings. Outdoor spaces are just as important as indoor areas when it comes to Mediterranean-style living, so you’ll find sunrooms, patios, and courtyards outside, too.

They also boast some spectacular architectural elements, including arches, balconies, and intricate metalwork. Mediterranean-style homes are suited to climates with mild winters and hot summers. This style is popular in California and Florida, where the climate is best suited for them.


  • Designed to maintain a moderate temperature inside the house
  • Stay breezy in summers
  • Easier to upgrade


  • Difficult to maintain and upgrade
  • Seems old-school

Looking to purchase your dream home? Affiliated Mortgage has a team of highly qualified realtors and mortgage brokers, who can help you purchase your dream home at the best available rates. Contact us now to get started!

Contact us at (605) 718-9820 or schedule a call and let our mortgage experts help you with your home loan.


© 2021 Affiliated Mortgage, LLC. NMLS #14211: AZ NMLS#0947858. All Rights Reserved. Affiliated Mortgage, LLC is a Division of Lend Smart Mortgage NMLS #4474

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Tips on how to prepare for the moving day

Moving day is just about the most hectic day you can have. Between packing, planning, taking care of things around the house, and the professional movers trying to get everything moved in before they have to head out, it can be a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. 

But if you know what to expect, and get a bit of organizing in the final days before the moving day, then the move will go easier. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for your moving day so that it goes as smoothly as it possibly can.

  • Keep a list of things that needs to be done on the moving day

The Moving Day List helps you remember those overflowing trash bags, the scum in the shower, and all of those other small but important moving tasks that inevitably get shoved aside—things like putting away kitchen supplies, pulling furniture out from tight spaces, and leaving a welcome note for the new folks. And especially things like taking trash bags and newspapers to the street.

Keeping a running list of remaining tasks to complete on moving day can help you finish packing in a calm, organized manner and leave you feeling more prepared as you hit the road. It helps to have an idea of exactly what needs to get done before the movers arrive at your door, and how long those tasks will take you.

  • Wake up early on the moving day and be ready for the movers

Make sure that you’re not still in bed when your moving crew comes knocking. Instead, be up and out of the bed, enjoy a relaxing breakfast before you start your day. The last thing that you want to be that day is a sleepyhead! 

Saying goodbye to your old home can be hard for some people, especially if it has been their primary residence for a long time. But your moving crew will appreciate being able to get in and start working as early as possible. Moreover, being onsite early means the crew has more time to pack and load everything up before they head off to the destination.

The best way to wake up early on the moving day is to set your alarm the night before. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, and you will be fresh and ready to meet the movers before they arrive at your doorstep. Once they are onsite, let them know where all of your furniture is, and box up or start packing any items that won’t fit in the truck. The movers will do the heavy lifting from there.

  • Make sure your electronic devices are charged

Whether you are driving cross-country or relocating to a new apartment in the same city, all your valuable electronic devices need to be charged and ready to go. This is especially true when you need to coordinate with family members on the placement of furniture and other items at your destination. 

A cell phone can be life-saving during a move, and even though you may not be able to use it on moving day, it’s always nice to know that if there is an emergency you are ready to contact family or your mover.

  • Don’t forget to pack your first night bag

When hoping for a smooth transition from one residence to another, putting together a first night bag is important and can help make a stressful move more manageable.

Make sure to pack up a few essentials for your first night such as pajamas, toiletries bag, charger for any electronics, a change of clothes, paper plates, and plastic utensils. This will save you time so that you can focus on getting everything ready for moving day.

A suitcase will keep your luggage neat and organized, while an overnighter bag allows you to spend your first night comfortably in your new home without having to go through boxes looking for items. 

  • Pack a cooler for food and drinks

Packing a cooler for your moving day is an easy way to ensure that you’re eating and drinking enough. Proper hydration is essential during a move since it’s often combined with the heavy lifting — which in turn requires a great deal of energy. Snacks are also important for the same reason: proper nutrition.

We recommend filling the cooler with high-protein, low-mess foods like bags of nuts, shakes, pre-made sandwiches, and tuna packets. This way, there’s no excuse to skip a meal—and your back won’t pull you down!

It’s also a great idea to pack some extra water and snacks for your movers when they start to become tired and hungry. Moving can be tiring work—but having some extra food around will help fuel your crew, and a stocked cooler will give everyone something to drink and eat as they work

  • Keep important valuables/documents with you

For every move, it is important to keep the documents and valuables that are most important to you separate from all the other things you are hauling. Even after un-boxing, these papers can get lost in the pile of boxes. By keeping them with you during your journey and during your initial unpacking you will never lose track of them.

Smaller documents and valuables can be easily misplaced or lost during unpacking. By taking these items with you, you know where they are and don’t have to worry about misplacing them.

  • Have some cash to tip your movers

If you plan to use a moving company to relocate, be sure that you have a little bit of cash on hand to tip your movers. 

While most movers will happily help you with your heavy boxes and furniture, it’s a good idea to have extra cash on hand for them if they really go above and beyond. 

It’s nice to know that the tip is optional, but many workers view tips as a kind of payment for services above and beyond the typical job requirements. When determining how much to tip your movers, remember that they are professionals on the clock and not friends who just happened to offer to help out.

We recommend you keep $50 in small bills on hand for tipping your movers when they are finished with heavy lifting. 

  • Set aside some basic cleaning supplies

As you prepare for your move, make sure to set aside cleaning supplies to handle the dirt and dust left after the moving truck has come and gone. You want to be able to get your home cleaned up quickly, without making a special trip to the store.

Make sure to set aside some of the cleaning supplies that you need during your move, so that when you need a broom, or a duster, or a trash bag you can find them immediately. It’s in moments like these that you’ll be glad that these items were put into a central location.

  • Do one last walk-through of your home

Sometimes people don’t find out that they’ve left something behind until after the moving truck has come and gone. Do a quick walk-through of your home to make sure you have everything.

The last walk-through before moving is something of a scramble. You need to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything behind. So, check all of your cabinets and closets one last time to make sure that you have packed everything that you intend to take with you. 


The best way to prepare for moving day is to start preparing in advance. There are things that you can do to get ready a few weeks before you move out, so don’t wait until all the last-minute rush. Start sorting through your things, and donating or getting rid of unwanted items.

Prepping ahead of time for your move is something that everyone should do. The last thing anyone wants when they’re in the middle of a move is to be stressed and worried about what happens if they don’t have what they need. Making sure that you have everything together before your move is the best way to prevent disaster from happening.

Contact us at (605) 718-9820 or schedule a call and let our mortgage experts help you with your home loan.


© 2021 Affiliated Mortgage, LLC. NMLS #14211: AZ NMLS#0947858. All Rights Reserved. Affiliated Mortgage, LLC is a Division of Lend Smart Mortgage NMLS #4474

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Friday, June 4, 2021

The most important questions to ask when buying a house

The 8 most important questions to ask when buying a house

Purchasing a home is probably one of the most expensive financial transactions you will ever be involved in, and it’s likely something that will happen only once in your life. Given this, there are many things to keep in mind when buying your house. 

If you’re not an experienced home buyer, chances are you aren’t aware of everything that should go into your home buying decision. Here are some commonly overlooked questions to ask when buying a house. 

  • What’s My Total Budget?

The first thing you need to do is understand how much house you can afford. When it comes to buying a home, the sales price is not the only factor that determines how much house you can afford. You must also consider the costs associated with homeownership such as property taxes, homeowners association dues, homeowners insurance, and any renovations you want to do in near future.

  • What Is The Risk Of Natural Disaster?

If you’re buying a new home, then you might also need to consider—natural disasters. While these are not necessarily common in all areas, they do exist and can become reality if you buy an older home. These disasters range from earthquakes to hurricanes, wildfires, and even tornadoes. 

Therefore, it’s important that you factor in the insurance costs of your potential new home. Depending on the location and the age of your new home, you might need homeowners insurance that covers natural disasters. This is particularly important for homes near fault lines and flood zones. 

If you are buying your new home in an area where there is no such requirement, make sure that you assess the risk of a major disaster. 

  • Why is the seller leaving?

If you’re buying a house, it’s important to understand why the seller is moving. Is he just relocating as a result of a major life event? Downsizing? Hitting the big time with a recent promotion and moving to a swanky new pad? There’s a good chance you won’t know the answer until you ask.

Finding out why is important information as it may give you some insight into exactly how motivated they are to sell and at what price point. A motivated seller who’s in a rush to move or whose house has been on market for long is more likely to negotiate the asking price with you as compared to the seller who’s not in rush to sell the house.

  • What’s included in the sale?

If you’re purchasing a house, it’s important to know what is and isn’t included in the sale of the home. While anything that’s considered a fixture such as faucets, cabinets, and lights are typically included in the sale but that’s not always the case. The listing description often describes any exclusions that the seller is not selling.

But, it’s better that you ask this question in your offer. If you really like something in the house, ask if the seller can throw that item in the deal or not. 

  • How old is the roof?

After you’ve gotten your home inspected you’ll have a good idea of what work is needed to make it a home. But the most important aspect of the inspection will be whether or not you need a new roof. Most home inspectors will look at your roof and give you a range of years left in its life span based on recent leaks, build quality, and wear and tear. 

If the roof needs repairing, you may be able to get the asking price down or have the seller repair the roof as a contingency to the sale.

  • Are all the major appliances in good condition?

There’s no denying it; major appliances can be a significant expense not only because they cost a lot but also because they don’t last forever. Knowing the age of existing appliances — and how likely they are to break down — is a good way to have your bases covered.

The major appliances in a home are a water heater, HVAC, washers, and air conditioning. If these systems are old in your potential new home, you will want to know early on so you can negotiate the asking price or ask the seller to get them repaired/replaced.

  • Were there any major renovations?

Whether it was a kitchen, bathroom, or perhaps even structural improvements to the foundation, you’ll want to know what work has been done? While most sellers will provide this information in their property information forms, it’s always a good idea to ask them about it during your initial property tour. Request the original manufacturer warranties on any appliances or systems that have been replaced. 

Knowing the home’s improvement history will help you better understand the worth of the property and the seller’s asking price before the deal is closed. 

  • How much have similar homes sold for in the neighborhood?

If you are thinking about buying a home, you will want to know if the asking price is in line with the market price of similar properties in your neighborhood. As a basis for comparison, your real estate agent can pull the comparable listing data for similar houses in your neighborhood that are currently on the market or have been sold in the last six months or so.

  • How long has the house been on the market?

The longer a house has been on the market, the more eager the seller is to sell his property. This means that the seller is probably more willing to negotiate the asking price and you will find flexibilities in contingencies and terms.

Most homes languish on the market for a while if they’re priced too high at first. A listing that shows multiple price cuts and has been sitting on the market for too long may give buyers an impression that something is wrong with it, which gives you a prime opportunity to negotiate for a deal.

Ready to finance your next home? Contact one of our professional loan officers now to explore your mortgage options!

Contact us at (605) 718-9820 or schedule a call and let our mortgage experts help you with your home loan.


© 2021 Affiliated Mortgage, LLC. NMLS #14211: AZ NMLS#0947858. All Rights Reserved. Affiliated Mortgage, LLC is a Division of Lend Smart Mortgage NMLS #4474

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