Don’t Forget These Costs When Buying a Home

No matter how many numbers you crunch, how many estimates you complete and how many mortgage calculators you figure, some numbers hide. There are always additional expenses waiting to derail the most conscientious of plans. Don’t let them ruin yours. shares some not-so-obvious expenses to remember when buying a home:





Size Matters: 10 Things To Consider in Starter Homes 

When it comes to starter homes, think Goldilocks. Too big or too small and you’ll end up with regrets. In real estate, bigger isn’t always better and too small equals frustration. Before making an offer, consider more than what pleases your eye. House size matters and offers these 10 thought provokers to find your fit:


Help Selling Your Home Faster - And Maybe For More

Prep work is key in the real estate market. Working with a Realtor and following a few steps before putting your house on the market can help you sell faster and for the best possible price. Learn where to begin and what tasks are worth the money. Taking the time to prepare your home before putting it on the market can help it fetch a higher price and increase buyer interest, making for a quicker sale



31 Ways To Make An Awesome Summer Backyard 

They might not all stand up to Nebraska winds, but these are still some of the coolest backyard DIY ideas we've ever seen. These DIY'ers make miracles with marbles, sheets, empty bottles, tires, pallets, chalkboards and more, dreaming up spaces both kids and adults will love. Which projects would make your backyard awesome?



Is It Your Time to Buy a Home? The (Emotional) Transition From Renter to Owner

Bad news. There is no formula to calculate when a renter is ready to become a buyer. That’s because buying a home is partly a decision you’ll make with your heart. Additionally, finances and the variability of the market complicate the equation. But here’s what you can do. Focus on finding a city, a town, or a neighborhood in which you want to live. Make sure buying a home is actually possible for you. And then answer the fundamental question: Is this what I really want? To get your head and your heart in the right place to make this significant decision, suggests the following:




What Should I Do to Prepare to Buy a Home?

QUESTION: I am looking to buy my first home by July 2014. I have started working on my credit and saving money for my down payment. What else should I be doing or what are the next steps I should be taking?


ANSWER: It’s great that you recognize that you need to be prepared well in advance when you want to buy a home. In particular, getting in the habit of saving money will help. If you have an idea of what you think you can afford for a mortgage payment, you should try to save the difference between your current rent and that mortgage payment every month. For instance, if your rent is $1,000 and you think your mortgage payment will be about $1,500, in February start saving an extra $500 each month. By July, you’ll have an extra $2,500, you’ll be accustomed to your new housing payment, and you’ll show a lender that you can save money and afford a higher payment. Read more in’s ‘Ask Michelle’ columns:


First-Time Homebuyer? Be Prepared for Closing Costs

Be prepared. When you finance a home purchase rather than pay cash, along with your first monthly mortgage payment there generally comes some initial fees. If you are purchasing a newly built home, sometimes the builder will cover some of these costs as an incentive. Resale buyers are also sometimes able to negotiate with the sellers to pay some closing costs.


When you arrange your financing with a lender you should receive an explanation of anticipated closing costs and a Good Faith Estimate. In general, the fees associated with a home purchase include closing costs, loan discount points and prepaid items. Read on to learn what closing costs include and other helpful info from


To Rent or Buy? 8 Questions To Resolve The Dilemma

Buying or renting is often one of the first big life decisions we make. A survey by the National Association of Realtors showed that 80 percent of consumers believe buying a home is a good financial decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to know when it’s time to take the leap.


Read on to learn their recommended factors in the decision whether to enter the real estate market or remain a renter:

Our Locations

Fortify Group - Geneva

209 S. 10th St. PO Box 424
Geneva, NE 68361
Main office: 402-759-3300

Fortify Group - Shickley

207 N. Market St. PO Box 193
Shickley, NE 68436
Main office: 402-627-2055

Our Providers


At a big company what you don't get is that feeling of home; that feeling someone is taking care of you. That has been really nice here.
Dave H.
Thank you,Karla! I really appreciated your knowledge and expertise during this home buying experience! So glad we have you in Geneva!
Shelbi P.
I enjoy our conversations, Karla. You are fun to be around and so authentic. I appreciate that and you! Now go eat some football snacks and relax!
Barbara S.
Fortify has always been there for us and put us with the experts that have taken care of us.
Terry H.