Tiny House Movement Q & A

In today’s fast-paced, complicated life many look for ways to simplify. Some even advocate that moving into a smacanstockphoto10371016ller home means having a bigger life.

So what is tiny living?

In a nutshell, the tiny house movement is a way of life. People adjust to smaller spaces and fewer possessions in order to save money while focusing on building relationships and lasting experiences.

What is a tiny house?

The average home size in 2016 ranged from 2,400 to 2,600 square feet. Tiny homes typically offer anywhere from 65 to 400 square feet.

How much do they cost?

A relatively high-end tiny house costs around $20,000 to $30,000 to build yourself. These numbers include buying a brand new trailer, professional construction plans, appliances and other brand new materials.

How to build for less?

  • Use recycled materials
  • Use less expensive materials and appliances that are still reliable of course
  • Complete all labor yourself with the help of family and friends
  • Avoid costly mistakes by doing your due diligence when researching and designing
  • Be patient and find a good deal on the perfect trailer instead of purchasing a new one

Benefits of a tiny home?

  • Less time cleaning
  • Less time spent maintaining
  • No clutter means it’s easier to find your belongings
  • Monthly bills are cheaper
  • Cozy and easy to manage living space
  • Better for the environment

 

Do you want to know more about accommodating families with tiny home living? Check out this blog from TinyHouseTalk.com

How to Hang Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are already coming up! I cannot tell you how surprised I am that it is that time of year again. Where has 2014 gone? Hanging Christmas lights is a huge tradition for many people during the holiday season.SMChristmasLights

Choose what lights you want to use. In this day and age, there are so many types of lights to choose from. Do you want LED, solar, string or icicle lights? Each has their own beauty and knowing which kind of light you want to use can add a different element to your light design.

Have the necessary clips and other equipment needed to hang your lights. Depending on the structure of your roof and lighting choice, there are many clips to choose from. Check out this in depth chart to help you navigate which clips are best suited for your decor.

Stay safe while putting up your lights. Remember to never hang lights while they are plugged in, never cut the electric cord while the lights are plugged in, along with these other tips.

3 Things That May Deter Buyers From Making An Offer

Selling a home can be a challenge. However, with the right real estate agent, the whole process can go a little smoother. As you move forward with putting your home on the market, there are a few more things that may surprise you that deter potential home buyers. If you have some of these don’t get discouraged, there are other things you can do to showcase and highlight the stunning aspects of your home. empty-863118_640

So, what are some things that can turn buyers off? Here are 3 to be aware of:

  1. Swimming pool. If you live in a warmer climate, an in-ground pool could be a great addition to your home. However, if you live in a colder area, a pool can be a huge disadvantage and can detract from the home.
  1. Big or small backyard. You might love your huge backyard, but some buyers may be turned off with the extra maintenance a big yard brings. On the other side, a backyard that is extremely small is a turnoff because it limits privacy and entertaining guests.
  1. Tile flooring. Because this is one of the hardest types of flooring to remove, tile can turn some buyers away. Depending on the type of tile (i.e. white tile) can really date your home and dis-way potential buyers from making an offer.

Learn more about cool features that can deter buyers at Realtor.com.

Important Real Estate Terms You Should Know

savings-440782_1280Regardless if you decide to hire a real estate agent to help you buy/sell your home or not, there are some key terms to know when it comes to real estate. Out of those key points, here are 3 real estate terms to know as you move forward in your home buying/selling process.

Pre-approval Letter.  Even before you start your search, you should speak with your bank, credit union, or a mortgage lender to find out what kind of home loan you qualify for. This information can help you and your real estate agent (if you choose to hire one) understand how much of a home you can afford. Another important issue you need to talk with you loan officer or mortgage lender about is closing costs and other fees to make sure they will be covered in your loan.

Fixed rate vs. Adjustable mortgage rate. As it sounds, a fixed mortgage rate is unmovable whereas an adjustable mortgage rate is subject to change throughout the course of the loan. Talk with your bank, loan officer, or credit union to find out which option is the best fit for you.

Buyers agent vs. Real estate agent. Real estate agents, also known as sales agents, are licensed to advise people on real estate issues. Most states require a real estate agent to complete a real estate course and pass a state and federal exam.

If you are interested in becoming a licensed sales agent in Utah please check out Utah Department of Commerce: Division of Real Estate for the necessary requirements and for further education check out the available courses for new agents.

Broker’s, on the other hand, are required to have more education and pass the brokers exam. Brokers are more liable and legally responsible for any mistakes made by agents or salespeople who work for them. If you are interested in becoming a broker in Utah visit Broker Registration site on the Utah Department of Commerce: Division of Real Estate page.

Is Utah the Best Place to Live?

Small slcHave you heard? Utah is one of the happiest places to live. A recent study released by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research studied which states are the happiest and Provo made the list as one of the happiest metropolitan areas. Find out what other states made the list.

According to Forbes, Utah is #8 for the best places for business and careers. As of April 2015, the NCSL ranked Utah’s unemployment rate at 3.4% (one of the lowest in the country).

Some fun facts about Utah:

  • Per Webster’s, although “Utahans” is the grammatically correct way to pronounce a Utah resident, most people from Utah refer (stubbornly) to themselves as “Utahns.”
  • Lagoon is the oldest amusement park in the American West, and its original white roller coaster (named “Old Woodie”) is the 3rd oldest in the country.
  • Salt Lake City is the nation’s leading manufacturer of rubber chickens.

Pool and Spa Care: 101

Now is the season many people are spending time in their pools and spas. Both are excellent for exercise, relaxing after a long day and can be fun for the whole family. Although enjoyable, maintaining your pool and/or spa can be time-consuming if you don’t keep up with the care.

Here are some simple tips to keep your pool clean without wasting your time: small pool side

Invest in a cover. Leaves and all sort of debris can find their way into your spa or pool. Help keep your pool clean by putting your cover over your pool when it’s not in use.

Clean your filters. You should clean the filters in your hot tub regularly to keep them from getting too dirty and making your water foggy. With pools. check your pH levels regularly and shock (super chlorinate your pool to kill bacteria) your pool. Talk to a pool professional for exact tips on shocking your pool.

Vacuum your pool. Remove debris from the bottom of the pool floor by suctioning the stuff up with your own vacuum system. If you have a lot of debris on the bottom, consider hiring a professional to do a power vacuum to protect your equipment from getting damaged.

Are You Spending Too Much on Groceries?

small groceriesWe are always looking for ways to save money and one of those places in when you are grocery shopping. One of the best ways to save on your grocery bill is to go prepared with a list and a full stomach. With a list, you are less likely to pick up things you don’t need.

Be sure to watch the scanner when you are checking out. Sometimes store registers aren’t current with the sale prices, so you may end up paying full price on something you thought was on sale. Each year Americans lose up to 3 billion dollars because they are being overcharged and not realizing it. Also, check your bank statement every month to verify you haven’t been charged for something you didn’t buy.

Coupons are another great way to save money. Groupon and other sites can help you find the best deals for all sorts of great products and upcoming events.

Share some of your tips with us on Facebook.

Understand Your Mortgage

When it comes to buying a home, do you know how much loan you can handle? For most people who are looking to buy a home, applying for a loanrow-of-homes-san-francisco is not new, but navigating the financial world can be kind of tricky.

Before you apply for a home loan, taking time to check your FICO score is important. Depending where your credit score is can have a huge impact on the kind of loan you get and if you
even qualify for one. Any credit score above 720 usually qualifies for good rates. Talk to your loan officer about what your credit score qualifies for you.

Another important term to understand is debt-to-income ratios.When it comes to mortgage loans, the general rule of thumb is avoid dedicating more than 28% of your monthly take-home income. In mathematical terms, if you are taking home $50,000, you should avoid paying more than $1,166 per month toward your home (i.e. $50,000 x 0.28 = around $1,166). Again, if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your mortgage lender who will be able to answer all your questions.

As you move forward with buying a home, remember to consider future expenses. Don’t spread yourself too thin where you can’t pay your bills or save for your retirement. Talking with your loan officer and real estate agent to help you find the right home for you at the right price.

Give me a call today and let me help you find your dream home today.

4 Steps to Overcome Procrastination

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Sometimes you have the best of intentions, but you still get sucked in the vortex of procrastination. When it comes to procrastination sometimes the best thing to do is just push through and get the project(s) done. In Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog!, he gives some good suggestions on how to complete projects you don’t want to do.

For some other tips on overcoming procrastination, try these:

Commit to an assignment. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete for the day and make a commitment to crossing them all off. If you are having problems following through, why not reward yourself with something? Find whatever it is that will motivate you to finish.

Work in a productive environment. Avoid distractions by working in a place that will allow you to think clearly and efficiently. This is also a great way to stay focused on your task without any interruptions.

Be realistic. When you are setting your tasks for the day, be reasonable in your daily goals and keep them measurable. If you set tasks and goals are too big or unrealistic, you will just set yourself up to fail and be more likely to procrastinate.

Positive self-talk. Be kind and don’t put yourself down. If you are negative and hard on yourself, you will sabotage your success and will most likely procrastinate, or never start in the first place.

For more tips on overcoming procrastination, check out this great infographic.

Homeowner Trends for 2015

Are you considering a remodel? Do you want to make your home more trendy? Are you looking to buy a home that is more up to style? Just curious to know what is popular? Wherever you stand on the topic, there are a lot of fun thing going on in real estate.

The first thing, and not surprising, is a home with storage space. Homeowners are looking for specialized storage in their homes where they can store things in a more. Walk-in closets and large pantries are other popular aspects to have in your home for maximized storage.

Having open spaces in your home is another growing trend especially among the younger crowd. People like having more room to socialize and entertain in their homes. Not ready to start knocking down walls? There are many tips and tricks to open up any space.

Include a fireplace or fire-pit into your home or landscaping design for is great to add warmth, ambiance, and romance. If you are trying to decide between a wood burning or electric fireplace, here are some pros and cons to consider.

In the end, no matter what the recent trends are, pick a home that you love and fits your lifestyle. What are some aspects in your home that are important to you? What do you love? What do you hate? Having a clear idea on what you are looking for, can help make the home-buying process a little easier.

Ready to buy or sell? Give me a call today and let me help you find your next dream home.