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.

What Season is the Best Time to Sell?

 27470db8-2e06-4d3a-a134-055ac1b281c1Living in Utah there is a lot of beauty to the every changing seasons. No matter  the time of year, Utah has a variety of family friendly and fun things to do. However, choosing which season is best to sale your home is another matter. Many would probably argue that spring is the ideal time, but a recent Redfin study might change your mind.

According to the study, 39% of the homes listed in the spring went under contract in the last 30 days and 15% sold for more than the list price. Whereas 38% of homes listed in the winter sold within 30 days and saw 14% of those homes sold for more that list price.

If you are ready to sell your home, give us a call and let us assist your find your next dream home.

 

Benefits of Working with an Agent

Spring is right around the corner and with the warmer weather, people more inclined to buy a new home.

What some people don’t realize is when working with an agent, most clients actually end up with more money in their pockets and have less stress during the whole home buying experience.

Hiring a Realtor is free for home-buyers since sellers are the ones who pay their commission. For some people, there is an appeal of going it alone but there are a lot of benefits of working with an agent. One of those perks, when you work with an agent you will have more exposure on your home which can lead to more offers and more money.

To help market your home, Realtors use a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which allows them to view homes right as they go on the market. With various fields, agents are able to narrow down on exactly what you are looking for to help you find your dream home before someone else does.

Home-buyers aren’t the only ones who benefit from working with an agent. Sellers also have an advantage to using a broker. In 2013, 18% of sellers reported the most difficult task was performing and understanding the paperwork; 14% said it was difficult to know if they were getting the right price for their home.

On average, a home sold for $230,000 with an agent compared to $184,000 when selling directly by owner.

Why not give us a call today and find out what we can do for you. We are committed to making sure you get everything you deserve.

Pack Away Christmas with These Easy Tips

There nothing more fun than the holiday season but after the festivities are over it is nice to start the New Year with a fresh start. One way my family likes to start the New Year is with having all our Christmas decor packed up. As you pack up your holiday decor, make it easy on yourself by checking out these tips.

smXmasTreecatAs you pack up your decor, break them into categories. Separate your outdoor decor from your indoor decor, your Christmas tree ornaments and your decorative items, your holiday cards and your linens. This is also a great time to go through the items you no longer love or are broken and give or throw them away.

Once you have these items categorized, pack them away in their appropriate boxes. Egg cartons are an excellent way to store small, special ornaments and protect them from getting broken. For larger ornaments, wrap them protectively in paper towel and, if you want, place them in paper cups to keep them organized. Once your boxes are packed, label your boxes to remind yourself what is in them for next year.

With your outdoor decorations, as you take down your Christmas lights, go through your lights and throw away any tangled or unusable lights. Lighting professionals recommend you should replace Christmas lights every 3-4 years.

Is Your Home in the Right Shape to Sell?

RE/MAX Fit to Sell Video – Painting Your Home.BuyingAndSelling2

Selling your home today requires thought and expertise. Your agent can help you make sure your home looks its best. One of the simplest things you can do to prepare your home for sell is paint.

When it comes to painting your home for sell, neutral colors are key. If your home is painted in bright or unusual colors it can deter potential buyers or negotiate on the price. Selecting the right color can help the potential buyers visualize themselves and an emotional connection with the home.

Here are some additional questions to consider when preparing to sell your home:

  • When was the last time you painted? If it’s been more than 5 years, giving your home a fresh coat of paint can show buyers the home has been well maintained,
  • Do you have wallpaper? If so, you may want to consider removing it.
  • What shape are your doors and trims in? 
  • What about your ceiling? A fresh coat of paint to these areas can brighten and make a home look new.

You want to create an environment that appeals to as many buyers as possible to quickly sell your home.

What are some of the first things you notice when touring a home?

Secrets of Luxury Home Buying

4588573211_a0c25366fb_oAre you in the market for a luxury home? There are a lot to be said about owning a luxury home and the additional comforts it brings. However, sometimes finding a the right luxury home is not always easy…especially if you are going about it without a real estate agent.
Hiring a qualified agent who specializes in the luxury homes is an asset when it comes to finding your dream home. With inside information about listings, usually before it even hits the open market, your agent can put you on the fast track of owning your own home.

Before contacting an agent, it is crucial you know how much you can afford (realistically). It makes the home search a lot easier when you know your price range. As you begin this process of the home buying experience, you will want to speak with a mortgage lender about when type of loan would be best for you. By working with a mortgage lender, they will be able to answer any questions you have and help you through the loan process. It is highly recommended you have financial approval early on in the home buying process.

Another tip, be clear on what you are looking for and do your research. Take the time to tour various properties to gain insight and clarity on what is the right fit for you. It is also important to properly inspect the luxury home you are serious about before making the purchase.

What features are important to you in a home? What are some of your favorite aspects in your current home? What attributes do you dislike?

How to Decorate for October

I love the autumn! Not only do you have the leaves changing colors but it is a fun time to decorate your home… changed it up. Already many homes in my area have begun to display their Halloween decor. With Zombies climbing out of the dirt, skeletons hanging from trees, and jack-o-lanterns smiling on the front step it brings you more into the mood of the season.

If you are not a huge decorator when it comes it the holidays, no worries. There are a lot of little things you can do to add some decoration around your home without breaking the bank.

Pumpkins are a simple statement. There are a variety of sizes and colors to incorporatepumpkin-display-1381981105Zege throughout your home and entryway. I love adding various gourds of green and yellow, and white, if I can find it, to pepper my decor with another element.

Carve a simple face into your pumpkins to greet people as they come to your door. Or if you are feeling more elaborate, choose a stencil (the stores have all sorts of kits and patterns) to turn your pumpkin into a masterpiece! Just remember to use these safety tips when carving your pumpkins.

Not much of a carver? No problem! Add paint, ribbon, flowers or glitter to your pumpkin’s for a different and beautiful look. There are so many ideas to choose or create.

What are some of your ideas when it comes to decorating your home? What do you love best about the autumn?

Things to Consider When Adding Luxury to Your Home

Landscaping isn’t what is used to be. Today, home buyers are interested in the luxury items of a home, like a fire pit or a fountain, spa or maybe an outdoor kitchen. The possibilities are endless but while you decide which outdoor features you want in your next home, here are some things to consider:

paper-boats-and-vase-1390044230gtWWhere will you place it? Do you have the space? It’s all about location. Where is the best spot for your fountain? Does your fire pit have a secure cement pad to sit on?

How much do you want to spend? Have a set budget about what you are willing to spend for these little niceties that can turn your home into your dream home.

How does it affect your homeowners insurance? Never hurts to touch basis with your insurance company to make sure you are covered if anything happens.

What are the local ordinances? Each city or state has regulations, this is especially worth checking out when looking to put a permanent fire pit in your backyard.

Do you have a fire pit or hot tub in your backyard? What is something you wish you’d known before putting them in?