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I want to buy a $100,000 house. I have $2,000 to put down. But my bank won’t give me the loan because I need a higher loan-to-value ratio.

Lenders can finance up to 97 percent on a conventional loan, but on a 100,000 house, you’ll need a larger down payment for a conventional loan.
But let’s talk about Loan-to-Value (LTV).

LTV is the amount of money you are borrowing as a percentage of your home’s value.
Conventional loans can have an LTV of 97 percent. These conventional loans are great for people with high credit scores.

When people have low credit situations other kinds of mortgages might work.
You might qualify for a VA loan if you are an active-duty military person or spouse. This loan will finance 100 percent of the cost of a house.

A USDA loan will finance 100 percent of LTV. These loans are rural housing loans, but are also available in some suburban areas.

Finally, the FHA loan requires a down payment of 3.5 percent. This type of loan is great for people with lower credit scores.

The FHA loan has certain credit requirements. All of your current obligations, including mortgage payment and recurring payments like credit cards, can’t exceed 43 percent of your gross effective income. A low credit score, certainly a score under 500, would make an FHA loan unlikely. If you had a foreclosure or bankruptcy within the same year as you apply for a mortgage, you will likely be denied. Generally speaking, waiting three years after one of these events gives you the best chance to get mortgage.

Other elements can cause a mortgage denial, too, but one is that the down payment is not enough. You will also need enough money in the bank to cover closing costs.

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Homestretch Preparations: 2-Weeks to Christmas

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Essential Tasks for a Smooth and Welcoming Holiday Experience.

With just two weeks until Christmas, the festive preparations are in full swing. This period is crucial for tackling those final tasks that ensure your home is ready for the celebrations. From cleaning and organizing to stocking up on essentials, this week’s to-do list is about setting the stage for a warm and inviting holiday atmosphere.

1. Home Cleaning and Decluttering: Start by focusing on the areas of your home where guests will spend most of their time. A thorough cleaning and declutter will make these spaces more inviting and easier for you to manage during the festivities. Pay special attention to the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms, creating a pleasant and comfortable environment for your guests.

2. Checking Supplies: It’s important to ensure you have enough supplies to accommodate all your guests. Do a quick inventory of dishes, chairs, and other essentials. If you’re short on anything, now is the time to arrange to borrow or rent additional items. This foresight will prevent any last-minute scrambles and make your guests feel well taken care of.

3. Stocking Up on Essentials: Ensure your home is stocked with necessities like toilet paper, hand soap, and facial tissues. These items are often overlooked but are crucial for guest comfort. Having a good supply on hand will save you from emergency store runs during your celebrations.

4. Planning Party Games: To add an element of fun to your Christmas gathering, prepare a few party games. These can range from traditional board games to interactive group activities. Planting various games will keep your guests entertained and add an extra layer of enjoyment to your holiday festivities.

The final weeks before Christmas are all about ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Completing these tasks sets you up for a relaxed and enjoyable holiday. Cleaning, organizing, and preparing your home now means you can fully embrace the joy and companionship of the season when it arrives.

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A Merry and Safe Holiday: Five Tips for a Pet-Friendly Christmas

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Ensuring the Safety and Happiness of Your Pets During the Festive Season.

The holiday season is a time of joy and festivity, not just for us but also for our beloved pets. However, the increased activity, unfamiliar guests, and festive decorations can sometimes be overwhelming and even hazardous for them. To ensure that your furry friends enjoy the holidays as much as you do, here are five essential tips for creating a pet-friendly holiday environment.

1. Maintain Routine: Pets thrive on routine, and the holiday season can disrupt their usual schedule. To minimize stress, maintain regularity in their feeding, walking, and playtime. This consistency provides a sense of normalcy and security amid the holiday chaos.

2. Create a Safe Haven: The influx of guests and the noise can be overwhelming for pets. Set aside a quiet room or space where they can retreat. Equip this area with essentials like food, water, and their bed. This safe zone allows them to escape the festivities and relax.

3. Supervise Your Pet: Keep a close eye on your pet to prevent any mischief or accidents. Decorations and holiday plants can be intriguing but dangerous if chewed or ingested. Supervision is key to preventing these potential hazards.

4. Monitor Their Diet: Holiday foods can pose risks to pets, with many traditional dishes containing ingredients toxic to animals. Ensure all human food is out of their reach and avoid deviating from their regular diet with unfamiliar treats.

5. Emergency Preparedness: In case of an emergency, such as ingestion of toxic substances, have a plan ready. Know the location and contact details of local veterinary clinics that offer emergency services. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of poisoning and the immediate actions to take if such a situation arises.

The holidays are a time to celebrate with all members of your family, including the furry ones. Following these tips ensures that your pets stay safe, stress-free, and happy throughout the festive season. Remember, a little preparation and awareness can go a long way in making the holidays enjoyable for everyone, pets included.

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Holiday Crafting: Create Your Own DIY Christmas Ornaments and Decorations

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Easy and Festive DIY Ideas to Spruce Up Your Holiday Decor.

The holiday season is a time for creativity and warmth, and what better way to embrace this spirit than by crafting your own Christmas decorations? Making your own ornaments and decorations personalizes your holiday decor and brings a unique sense of joy and nostalgia to your celebrations. Here are three simple yet delightful DIY Christmas decoration ideas to try with your family.

1. Hand-Painted Wooden Ornaments: Start with plain wooden craft ornaments, available at any craft store, and gather some acrylic paints and brushes. Unleash your creativity by painting festive designs such as snowflakes, holly, reindeer, or Santa Claus. Add a personalized touch by inscribing your family members’ names on them. These ornaments can add a homemade charm to your Christmas tree or become cherished keepsakes.

2. Festive Mason Jar Lanterns: Transform ordinary Mason jars into enchanting lanterns. Coat the jars with glue and sprinkle glitter for a snowy effect. Insert small LED candles or string lights to create a warm, twinkling glow. These lanterns can beautify any space, from your mantle to your dining table, adding a cozy and inviting ambiance.

3. Felted Snowflake Garland: Craft a charming snowflake garland using white and light blue felt. Cut out snowflake shapes and stitch them together, embellishing them with silver beads or sequins for a bit of sparkle. This garland can be draped along banisters, walls, or doorways, adding a festive flair to your home.

DIY Christmas decorations are a fun and meaningful way to engage in the holiday spirit. They enhance your home’s festive atmosphere and offer a memorable crafting experience with your family. So, head to your local craft store, gather your supplies, and start creating your own holiday magic.

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Splendor in Gifting: Elevate the Festive Season with Luxury Presents

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Indulging Loved Ones with High-End Gifts This Holiday Season.

The holiday season transforms the world into a shimmering display of lights and colors, setting the perfect stage for giving gifts that sparkle with luxury and elegance. If you’re looking to make a grand gesture this festive season, indulging in luxury gifts for your loved ones could be the way to go. Whether for a partner, parent, or child, high-quality luxury items can become cherished tokens of affection and appreciation.

The Essence of Luxury: Luxury gifts stand out for their association with prestigious brands and unmatched quality. These gifts often come with a higher price tag, but the value lies in their ability to leave a lasting impression. The key is choosing items that resonate with the recipient’s tastes and preferences, ensuring that the gift is meaningful and exquisite.

Gift Ideas for the Discerning Recipient: To help you in your search for the perfect luxury gift, consider these top-of-the-range products that are sure to enchant:

  1. Elegant Watches: Timepieces from renowned brands that combine functionality with sophisticated design.
  2. Exquisite Jewelry: Pieces like necklaces, bracelets, or earrings that add a touch of glamour to any ensemble.
  3. Designer Handbags: High-quality handbags that offer both style and utility.
  4. Premium Lighters: Sophisticated lighters that blend craftsmanship with elegance.
  5. Stylish Sunglasses: Luxury sunglasses that provide a chic and practical accessory.
  6. Fine Kitchen Knives: Exceptional knives that blend precision with culinary artistry.
  7. Exclusive Perfumes: Designer fragrances that leave a memorable scent.
  8. Aged Spirits: Premium spirits like 25-year-old Scotch for the connoisseur.
  9. High-end Coffee Machines: For the coffee aficionado, a machine that delivers barista-quality brews at home.
  10. Works of Art: Invest in art pieces that can beautify a home and become a topic of conversation.
  11. Luxurious Pens: Pens that offer an unparalleled writing experience, perfect for the avid writer.

Presentation Matters: Enhance the luxury of your gift with elegant wrapping. Use high-quality wrapping paper, lustrous fabric ribbons, or even reusable wooden boxes to add an extra layer of sophistication.

Luxury gifts are more than mere objects; they are experiences wrapped in elegance and grandeur. This holiday season, elevate your gift-giving with items that dazzle and convey the depth of your appreciation and love. Whether it’s a timeless piece of jewelry, a bottle of aged Scotch, or a designer perfume, choose a luxury gift that will be treasured for years to come.

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Final Preparations: 3-Weeks to Christmas

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Tackling the Key Tasks for a Seamless Holiday Celebration.

With Christmas just three weeks away, the festive season is reaching its peak. This is the time to focus on finalizing preparations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable holiday. From confirming guest attendance to choosing the perfect party outfit, the tasks this week are all about fine-tuning the details of your holiday celebration.

1. Finalize Guest Confirmations: Reach out to everyone you’ve invited to your Christmas gathering to confirm their attendance. This step is crucial for finalizing catering counts, seating arrangements, and other accommodations. It’s also an opportunity to answer any questions your guests might have and to communicate any important details about the event.

2. Choosing Your Festive Outfit: Your Christmas party is an occasion to dress up and enjoy the festivities in style. Visit local boutiques or formalwear rental outlets to find an outfit that makes you feel festive and fabulous. Whether you opt for a classic look or something more contemporary, remember that comfort is key to enjoying the night.

3. Curating the Perfect Party Playlist: Music sets the mood for any party. Spend some time creating playlists that complement each phase of your event. A softer, mellow playlist is ideal for cocktail hour and mealtime, while upbeat tunes are perfect for dancing and celebrating. Tailoring your music to the flow of the evening will enhance the overall experience for you and your guests.

4. Gift Wrapping: Dedicate some time to wrapping the presents you’ve so thoughtfully chosen. Creative and thoughtful wrapping can make your gifts even more special. Consider setting up a wrapping station with all the necessary materials – paper, ribbons, tags, and decorations – to make the process efficient and enjoyable.

As Christmas draws near, completing these tasks can significantly reduce last-minute stress, fully immersing yourself in the joy of the season. This week’s efforts in finalizing details, from guest confirmations to wrapping presents, pave the way for a festive and memorable holiday celebration.

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Crafting Love: 15 Handmade Gift Ideas for a Thoughtful Christmas

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Personalize Your Holiday Giving with Creative, Handcrafted Presents.

As the festive season approaches, the quest for the perfect Christmas gifts begins. In an era where online shopping reigns supreme, handmade gifts offer a deeply personal touch. Creating a gift with your hands is an expression of creativity and a testament to the love and thought you put into each present.

Here are 15 heartwarming and creative handmade gift ideas that cater to a range of skills, from crafting to cooking, ensuring there’s something special for everyone on your list:

  1. Knitted Accessories: Craft cozy knitted items like throws, scarves, or slippers – perfect for keeping your loved ones warm during the winter.
  2. Homemade Alcohol: Brew your own gin, beer, or wine, adding a personal touch to a classic gift.
  3. Handcrafted Jewelry: Design unique bracelets, rings, or necklaces, making a fashionable and memorable present.
  4. Bath Bombs: Create soothing bath bombs for a relaxing spa experience at home.
  5. Scented Candles: Make candles with delightful fragrances to add a cozy ambiance to any room.
  6. Decorative Picture Frames: Craft personalized picture frames to preserve cherished memories.
  7. Jams and Spreads: Prepare homemade jams or spreads, perfect for foodies.
  8. Christmas Decorations: Create festive decorations like wreaths or baubles to add holiday cheer.
  9. Tasty Marinades: Mix up flavorful marinades – a great gift for grilling enthusiasts.
  10. Custom Spice Mixes: Blend your own spice mixes tailored to your recipient’s taste preferences.
  11. Clay Pots: Fashion clay pots for plant lovers to showcase their greenery.
  12. Potpourri: Blend a fragrant potpourri as a delightful sensory gift.
  13. Fancy Soaps: Make artisanal soaps with unique scents and ingredients.
  14. Homemade Body Care Products: Create creams or exfoliants for a luxury skincare touch.
  15. Cork Drink Coasters: Craft stylish drink coasters from Cork for a practical and chic gift.

Handmade gifts are not just items; they are a showcase of time, effort, and personal attention. This Christmas, embrace the joy of making and giving something unique. These gifts will bring smiles to your loved ones’ faces and support local shops where you can buy all the necessary materials. Get creative, spread joy, and make this holiday season one to remember with your heartfelt creations.

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Blake and Co. Hair Spa

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Blue Ridge Education

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Card My Yard

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G&M Auto Sales Inc

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Front Royal, VA
39°
Partly Cloudy
7:21 am4:50 pm EST
Feels like: 34°F
Wind: 9mph W
Humidity: 54%
Pressure: 30.17"Hg
UV index: 0
TueWedThu
50°F / 28°F
46°F / 25°F
43°F / 25°F

Upcoming Events

Dec
12
Tue
7:30 pm American Legion Community Band C... @ Boggs Chapel at R-MA
American Legion Community Band C... @ Boggs Chapel at R-MA
Dec 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
American Legion Community Band Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel at R-MA
The American Legion Community Band, located in Front Royal, Virginia, was formed in 1986 and has been playing concerts in the area ever since. The conductors and band members are all volunteer musicians from the local[...]
Dec
13
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 13 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
16
Sat
7:00 am Pancake Breakfast @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Pancake Breakfast @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Dec 16 @ 7:00 am – 10:00 am
Pancake Breakfast @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Join us for pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, and juice/coffee! All are invited for this FREE event. Offering will be accepted.
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 16 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
11:00 am Goodie Fest @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Goodie Fest @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 16 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Goodie Fest @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
The Front Royal United Women of Faith is hosting a Goodie Fest on Saturday, December 16th, from 11am to 2pm, in the Front Royal United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Cakes, cookies, candy, muffins, breads, pies[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker @ Skyline High School
Dec 16 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Nutcracker @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of The Nutcracker, a Christmas classic to be enjoyed by the whole family! When: Saturday, December 16th at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM Where:[...]
Dec
17
Sun
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 17 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
Dec
20
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 20 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
27
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 27 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jan
1
Mon
5:30 am First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jan 1 @ 5:30 am – 1:00 pm
First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: While the American tradition of celebrating the New Year occurs at midnight on New Year’s Eve, other cultures celebrate by enjoying the sunrise on New Year’s Day. As part of the continuing American[...]