Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thank You....

Helping first time home buyers gives us greater satisfaction than probably any other type of real estate transactions we do. We recently had the pleasure of helping a young mom find and purchase her first home. We actually started the search a few years back but there wasn't anything available at the time that met her criteria so the process was put on hold.

Well, time marches on and it's hard to believe that it's been almost two years from that initial search but she gave us a call a few months ago and we started looking again. This time, we found the perfect first home and everything fell into place. We did hit a few road blocks along the way, and at one point, we even thought we would have to walk away from the deal over some things that came up that were not working in her best interests. After making some needed changes, we were able to get through them and she is now a proud home owner.

What we are most thankful for is the fact that she trusted us and knew that we would do what was right for her. Even after putting everything on hold and then starting her search again, she chose us when she could have easily chosen another agent. It is this loyalty that our clients have to us that ensures that our loyalty will always be with them. There is nothing more important to us than doing what is in our client's best interests.

We want to send out a big THANKS to all of our past clients and congratulate our newest first time home buyer on her new home!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Credit Restoration....Can It Help You?

Many times the only thing standing between a client and home ownership is their credit score. They may have everything else in place but a few bad choices in years past have come back to haunt them on their credit report. There may also be actual errors on the report that are not their fault. This is why it is very important to review your credit report at least once a year to stay on top of any inaccuracies.

So what do you do if either of these situations apply to you? You have several options....You can contact the three major credit bureaus yourself to get copies of your credit report and then you would review them for any inaccurate information. If you find any errors, you will then notify the bureaus in writing of the information you are disputing. The process can be confusing and time consuming which is why many people who start out on their own will eventually decide to use a credit restoration company, which by the way, is different from a debt management/consolidation company.

A credit restoration company works to improve your credit score by having any inaccurate information removed from your records. They notify the bureaus for you and do all the necessary legwork and follow-up for you. In many cases, a person's credit score can be improved enough to qualify for a home loan in as little as three months depending on individual situations and initial scores.

Credit restoration will cost you. Fees can be as low as $250 and possibly as high as $800. You will want to beware of any company that may have an even higher fee than mentioned above or that tells you the process may take a year or more to complete. Your best option is to have a trusted professional you know such as a real estate agent, mortgage broker or even someone in the auto industry who can refer you to a reputable credit restoration company.

If you are interested in starting your credit restoration yourself, you can get a free annual credit report from without having to contact the three bureaus individually.

Get started today on the process of cleaning up your credit's
possible that you are closer to home ownership than you ever thought!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Going Green

If you were asked what color comes to mind when you think of St. Patrick's Day, I'm pretty sure that color would be green. So, with St. Patrick's Day and Spring being right around the corner, what better time to talk about "going green" than now.

Going green is basically a concept that means living in a way where you control your environmental impact on the earth. More and more people are "going green" everyday. A lot of people will start their going green lifestyle by reducing, reusing and recycling. These are three very easy and initial steps that you can take to start your "going green" life also.

Reducing....Water conservation is one of the most important environmental concerns that comes to mind when I think about going green. Water conservation should not only be practiced inside your home, but outside as well. Along with reducing the amount of water you use, you should also think about reducing the amount of cleaning products and personal products, etc. that you use as well. With many of these products, you can easily use less and get the same results.

Reusing....You should also be reusing as many other household items as you can. Plastic bags and containers are common items and easy to reuse for various purposes. I like to reuse those sheets of paper that come out of the printer with one line at the top that I'm not going to need. I take these and use them for scratch paper or sometimes I cut them up and make little note pads. Once you get into the habit and become constantly aware of going green you will come up with all kinds of creative solutions for many things.

Recycling....Recycling has been around forever and is probably one of the most effective ways we can help our planet. I remember my first recollection of recycling came from my dad. He would save his daily newspapers until he had a truck load of them and then he would take them down to our local recycling center in town. He also recycled glass and aluminum cans. Aluminum cans are my favorite recycling item because after all, who can resist a good cause that provides a little pocket change as a bonus.

Reducing, reusing and recycling are all so easy to do and everyone should do any or all of these in saving our planet. We need to teach our children so that they can teach their children. We need to do it for all future generations. Choose one thing today that you can easily do and get started. Once you get use to these simple changes in your life you'll be ready to branch out and go green in many more ways, some of which you can discover by clicking the link below or giving us a call.

Click here to visit the Going Green At Home website for more information.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Can I Really Afford That House?

Just because you may be pre-approved for a certain amount for a house doesn't always mean you can really afford that much. This is why one of the most important things that you can do once you've decided you are ready for home ownership is to set up a budget.

Your bank may be saying you can afford a certain amount based on your income and debt, but there is much more to what you can really afford. Only you can determine your exact living expenses which may include child care, hobbies, yearly vacations and your list could go on and on. You have a certain lifestyle that you are accustomed to and these expenses are not calculated into the amount the bank gave you. This is why so many people wind up "house poor". They wanted the biggest and best house the bank said they could have and never gave a second thought to what they could really afford.

So, before you even go to a bank for pre-approval, get a handle on your personal budget and determine for yourself how much of a mortgage payment you can comfortably afford and still be able to maintain the lifestyle that you want to live. You may decide that you can live without a few things to get the house of your dreams so this is just one more reason why knowing your budget is so important.

You can find a ton of help and different form styles to help you figure out your budget if you google "cash flow statements". It may seem overwhelming at first but it will be the best thing you can do for yourself now to make sure that YOU don't wind up "house poor" later on down the road.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action

When preparing to sell your home, we feel that staging your home is one of the most important things that you can do to appeal to a variety of buyers. Your Realtor will have many helpful ideas on staging or you may hire a professional stager if you prefer. Either way, you will want to make sure the focus is on the features that your home has to offer while downplaying any shortcomings.

The very first step in staging your home is removing clutter and unnecessary or personal items. Staging may also involve moving or rearranging furniture, redefining a room's purpose, or possibly changing color tones. The purpose is to make your home seem larger and more appealing. Buyers want to walk into a home and imagine it as theirs.

If you choose to stage your home yourself, you should make sure that you at least get some tips and ideas from other people. Sometimes, we become so use to the way our home looks and works for us, that we may not realize what actually needs to change for it to appeal to others.

HGTV's website is a great source with lots of information and ideas. Here is a link for 15 Secrets of Home Staging on their site.

Friday, November 11, 2011

First Impressions and Second Chances

We've all heard the old saying that "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."  and research has shown that it only takes seconds for people to form a set opinion about a person they've just met.  The same goes for your home and property.  Potential buyers will usually form their first impression of your home/property immediately upon driving up.

Curb appeal can make or break the first impression of potential buyers.  It is so important for you to make sure that your yard and outside property is as neat and clean as possible.  If you do not have the time or ability to do this yourself, it will be well worth your while to hire someone to do it for you.  You do not need to have professional landscaping, be extravagant or spend a fortune.  It just needs to be clean and orderly.  If the outside of your property looks a mess and unkept then a potential buyer is gong to think that you did not properly maintain the inside either.

If you're lucky enough to have a potential buyer overlook an unkept yard, then you may be given a second chance to make up for it when they enter your home.  With one strike already against you, your home is going to have to really shine to overcome any negative first impressions already formed by the buyer.  One of the first things buyers may find repulsive are offensive odors.  You will want to make sure your home is free of any pet odors, strong perfume smells or other strong odors (cigarettes, etc.) that might turn away a potential buyer.

Although we live in a society where most people believe in second chances, most will find it very hard to get past or overlook their first impression when looking at homes and properties.  Clean your property up, fix all those small things you've been putting off, and listen to the advice of your Realtor so that your home and property will be sure to make a great first impression.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Should Sell My House Myself...

Chances are that if you've ever needed to sell your home, you have probably thought this to yourself.  And while it's true that it can be done, many who have been through the process will likely never do it again if the need arises.  There are many things that can happen along the way that you may not be prepared to handle.  Having an agent there for you to move the transaction along from beginning to end could save you financially and emotionally in the end.

Brandon Cornett has experienced selling a home both ways and sums up those experiences in the following article:
5 Good Reasons To Use An Agent When Selling Your Home