Category Archives: Blog

Beautiful Home In Highly Desirable Area

Beautiful home on a quiet cul de sac. Evergreen tree lined fence. Lennar Homes “Next Gen” with a separate front door entrance. Separate living area with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, washer/dryer. Separate climate controls. Multi Generation living all under one roof. New Appliances, Blinds and ceiling fans. Separate 2 car garage and 1 car garage to accommodate your needs.

 

 

5 Money-Saving Green Upgrades

Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.

  1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.
  2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
  3. Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.
  4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.
  5. Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it’s a great investment.

 

Benefits of Selling a House in the Winter

Motivated buyers: 

While more buyers are looking in the spring and summer months, the buyers actively shopping for a new home in the winter are likely very motivated — often moving because of a job relocation, change in financial situation, or change in family needs.

Less seller competition:

With fewer homes on the market in winter, there’s less competition from other sellers, and a limited inventory for buyers.

 More time off work:

People tend to take time off work during the winter, and three-day weekends like MLK Day and Presidents Day can be popular home shopping days. As a seller, it also means more options for showings and open houses!

More attention from agents: 

When agents have fewer listings, sellers receive more of their undivided attention. The same goes for buyers’ agents — they have more time to arrange showings and negotiate deals.

 Tax benefits: 

Buyers looking to purchase homes before the end of the year for tax purposes find December listings ideal.

 

Article source: Zillow.com

Buying Secret: Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan

There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford. It also gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs in the loan.

Millions of Consumers Getting a Credit Score Boost

An overhaul in how several major credit reporting agencies factor in negative credit information is prompting millions of consumers’ credit scores to rise. Collection events were struck from 8 million consumers’ credit reports in the 12 months ending in June. The New York Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that consumers who had at least one collections account removed from their credit reports are seeing an 11-point increase to their scores.

Critics have long claimed such dings to scores are prone to errors or that they’ve unfairly kept many out of the borrowing market. Equifax, Experian PLC, and TransUnion have all agreed to revamp reports, which stems from a 2015 settlement with state attorneys general on the matter. In the settlement, the firms agreed to remove some non-loan related items that were sent to collection firms, such as gym memberships, library fines, and traffic tickets. They also agreed to strike medical-debt collections that have been paid by a patient’s insurance company.

The majority of consumers who benefited from the recent changes are those who had credit scores below 660 before the collection events were removed, according to the New York Fed.

This could be good news for potential home buyers, as better credit scores are a big factor lenders use in granting cheaper rates for mortgages. And relatively small shifts in scores can make a big difference on loan affordability. A recent study from LendingTree showed that consumers who can raise their credit scores from “fair” (580-669) to “very good” (740-799) could potentially save $29,106 in mortgage costs.

Source: “Overhaul Boosts Credit Scores of Millions of U.S. Consumers,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 15, 2018)

Preparing Your Home To Sell

One of the most important things about selling your home is to make it feel inviting to buyers. You want them to come in and feel welcome and want them to stay to look around. You can do this by making sure your home is clutter free, always remember less is more! Local Home Staging Resources will help you see what needs to be done to give you the maximum exposure you need to get your home sold!

With the help of professional advice, you may be able to:

• Obtain the best possible price for your home.
• Negotiate the most favorable terms.
• Secure a buyer in the shortest period of time.
• Relieve you of the stress and inconvenience that can occur when selling a home.

Curb Appeal

• First impressions go a long way
• Flowers, fresh bark dust
• Swept driveways & walkways
• Yard maintained

Interior

• De-clutter (less is more)
• Take down family photos (you want buyers looking at the home)
• Paint soft neutral colors (if needed)
• Make home light & bright (turn lights)
• Make sure curtains are open

Clean

• Carpets (if needed)
• Counters, Refrigerator, stove, ovens
• Empty garbage daily
• All Beds made
• Dirty clothes picked up and put away
• Dishes put away (do not leave dishes in sink)
• Remove pets (during showings if possible)

Article Source: realestate.columbian.com

5 THINGS YOU MUST DO BEFORE BUYING A HOME

1. IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE
A high credit score snags you the best deals. Below 660 or 680, you’re either going to have to pay sizable fees or a high down payment. 700-720 will get you a good deal and 750 and above will garner the best rates.
2. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
FHA loan – Your monthly payment can’t exceed 31% of your monthly income. Conventional home loan monthly payment should not exceed 28% of monthly income.
3. SAVE FOR DOWN PAYMENT, CLOSING COSTS
You’ll need to save between 3%-20% of the house price for a down payment.
4. BUILD A HEALTHY SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Your lender wants to know that you’re not living paycheck to paycheck.
5. GET PREAPPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
This is the #1 thing you should have in order. How do you know what you can afford if you aren’t preapproved?

Article Source: bankrate.com

Going Green

Five money-saving green upgrades

Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.

  1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.
  2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
  3. Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.
  4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.
  5. Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it’s a great investment.

What affects Property Values?

Some the features that increase property values are obvious—like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.

  1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
  2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
  3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
  4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
  5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.