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Showing posts from June, 2015

Grilling Safety

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More people grill in July than any other month. While grilling is all about good food, fun, friends and celebrations, it is important to make sure that accidents don’t interrupt your activities. Approximately half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. If you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned. Only use BBQ grills outdoors and in ventilated areas. Place the grill away from home or anything that could be flammable. Keep grill stable. Keep fire under control. Keep children away from grill. Never leave the grill unattended. The grill lid should always be open before lighting it. Grease should not be allowed to build up in the grill. Use long-handled utensils.

Gas/Propane Check the tank hose and connections for leaks before using it for the first time each year by using a light soapy water solution to see if bubbles appear. If you smell gas when the grill is lit, move away from the grill and call the fire department.…

Eliminate Mortgage Insurance

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Why would you consider refinancing if your mortgage is only two or three years old and the rate is not considerably higher than what is currently available on new loans? Because you may be able to eliminate the mortgage insurance and have significant monthly savings. Many homes have seen their values rise in the past few years. The current loan-to-value ratio may be low enough to no longer require mortgage insurance. In some cases, a homeowner might actually pay a little higher rate than they currently have but lower their monthly payment dramatically because the mortgage insurance isn’t required. A rough rule of thumb is that mortgage insurance is not needed on loans at or less than 80% of value. There could be programs available that would allow a higher LTV than 80%. Careful consideration should also be given to the fees required to refinance. Lenders differ in not only the rates they charge but also the fees associated with the loans and the process. If you’d like a recomm…

Where Are the Sellers?

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Low inventories resulting in multiple offers are contributing to what experienced agents are calling the most challenging market they’ve ever worked. While buyers with resources may find the market difficult, purchasers with minimum cash and credit are struggling to find and get into a home. First-time buyers feel the impetus to purchase because they’re renting and are concerned about being priced out of the market with rapidly appreciating prices and rising interest rates. Sellers may not feel the same urgency because they already own a home. While they might find it appealing to change homes, they may not feel a pressing motivation causing them to act. In some cases, sellers are so attached to their low interest rate mortgage that instead of selling, they’re keeping the home for a rental property. This may be a good investment for people with additional cash resources for the down payment and closing costs on the replacement property. Why now is a good time to sell: The econo…

Take Pictures Now

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Preserve the memories you’re making by taking photographs of your home now. The pictures will remind you of the role your home played with your family and life. Reminiscing is easier when scrolling through pictures to remind you of people and times. One of the least heard regrets is that we should have taken more pictures. Shots to consider: The front of the home from across the street     Times when your yard and plants looked exceptional Holiday decorations Special occasions in the homes like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.
Home improvements Major purchases for the home Times when the home looked the best and the worst Family, friends and pets in the home Your children’s height marks on a door frame The view from a favorite window From an organizational standpoint, put the pictures in a folder with your address as the name. Even if you don’t take time to name each picture, you’ll have the file date to identify when…

Make Your Offer Standout

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If a seller was looking at two offers for exactly the same price on their home, there would still be things that could make one standout more than the other. If there happens to be more than two offers, things can really get sticky for a buyer. For that reason, it is good to craft the most attractive offer possible because even if you don’t have competition now, another offer could come in during negotiations and derail all your efforts to that point. Anything that can give the seller the peace of mind that one contract will close on time and as agreed will make them more comfortable in accepting one offer over another. Buyers can consider putting up larger than customary amounts of earnest money and limiting the contingencies to only the most essential items. The closing costs could be more expensive to the seller based on the type of mortgage a buyer is obtaining. One buyer may be asking the seller to pay part or all of their acquisition costs and the other buyer is paying their…