30 05, 2015

House Hunting with Children

2021-09-28T16:57:02+00:00May 30th, 2015|Blog, Buying a home, Tips & Advice|


iStock_000055091618_FullSearching for a new home can a very exciting time in a family’s life and including your children in the process is very important. Nearly 17 percent of Americans move homes every year. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that of that 17 percent, 13 million children are among those who are moving. Whether you are moving down the street or across the country it can be stressful for your little ones. Including them in the new home search may help to alleviate any anxiety they might have but you need to make sure that you have a plan in tact before starting the house hunt.

Make Safety a Priority

If you have teens or even tweens they are able to detect unsafe situations much easier than a toddler or young child. It is important to know how your kid behaves when in unfamiliar surroundings. When taking your children to look at a home make sure that they are aware of any dangers within the home. If they are not, it is important that you keep them by your side. There may be a loose handrail along the stairs or steps that are steeper than normal which could cause accidents. If your little one is an explorer it may be best to find a sitter while you search to avoid any such accidents.

Think ‘Outside the House’ 

For many children, moving can be a very anxious time. They are uprooting their lives, leaving their friends, their school, and any extracurricular activities that they may be involved in. You want to make sure your kids can see what the new surroundings could provide for them. Work with your realtor to ensure that the house hunt includes stops at local parks, schools, churches, dance studios, sports fields, playgrounds, and […]

23 05, 2015

Considerations to Make Before Converting Your Current Home Into a Rental Property

2021-09-28T16:57:05+00:00May 23rd, 2015|Blog, General, Tips & Advice|


A home is being rented during tough economic times. A home is being rented during tough economic times.

Outgrowing your home is something that happens often with many families. Whether you have decided to have more children, you have a hobby or business that requires more space to be used in your home, or you just feel like its too small, it requires some serious decision making as to whether you sell or rent your current home before moving. For many home buyers, particularly those with a great deal of equity in the current home, it presents the question: “Do I have to sell in order to buy?” Since real estate is meant to be a long term investment it is actually a good idea to keep your current home while purchasing another if you can do so. If this is the route you are looking to take there are a few steps you will need to take. First determine if it is financially feasible for you to own two homes.

Determine your purchasing power

If you were to sell your home and take out the equity, how much could you afford to spend on a purchase and what type of home would that get you? If  you choose to keep the old home as a rental property, you may not want to use all of the equity from your old home. You have to decide if this is a route you want to take. Keep in mind that renting out your current home can be very lucrative, especially since apartment renting is in high demand.

Understand monthly income and expenses

Next step is to run the numbers and get an understanding on your new financial reality. First you want to research the rental market and see what […]

16 05, 2015

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing and What You Need to Know

2019-12-30T15:30:07+00:00May 16th, 2015|Blog, Buying a home, Tips & Advice|

Real Estate investing can be a very lucrative business, especially since home values are rising 3.9 percent year-over-year. If you have extra money that you are looking to invest, this might be a smart way to go when thinking about investing. It is important that if you choose to invest in real estate that you start off on the right foot. Here are some steps you will want to follow when entering into the real estate market.

Assess your Finances

In an ideal situation the buyer would likely want to put all the money upfront for the home purchase. This however is not always realistic. In this case it is a good idea if the buyer can put at least 20% down on the loan. Putting this much down on a home loan usually helps with a lower rate and helps to avoid having to pay mortgage insurance. Most of the time real estate investors will search out properties that are foreclosed on because they are typically listed below the market values. If you do need to obtain a mortgage for your real estate property it might be smart live in your investment property while you are remodeling, or fixing it up so you could take advantage of owner-occupancy rates. Lenders typically require one year of residency to lock in the lower rate for the remainder of the loan.

 Determine Your Cash Flow

Flipping a home is what most people intend to do with the investment home when they purchase it but typically home owners don’t profit when they sell shortly after they close on the home. Major renovations on the investment property can increase the odds of a good short-term profit but those upgrades are going to cost you! You have to be experienced in large-scale home improvements in order to benefit immediately. Most […]

9 05, 2015

Wondering Why Your Home Insurance Went Up?

2021-09-28T16:57:08+00:00May 9th, 2015|Blog, Tips & Advice|


Beautiful home exterior during late spring season with clean landscape

It is never fun when you go to open your home insurance premium only to find that it has gone up. With the cost of everything else around us rising it can be frustrating. If this has happened to you and you would like to know why before you make the call to your home insurance provider lets first take a look at some factors that may cause such increases.

Your Credit Score Changed

Believe it or not, your credit score has a lot to do with how your home insurance premium is decided. In states where it is permitted, insurance providers examine your credit report for factors that they believe predict the likelihood of filing a claim. In theory, if you have a lower credit score it is believed that your are more likely to file a claim. They consider homeowners with a higher credit score less to be a safer risk and less likely file a claim.

You Run a Home Business 

When you run a home business you usually need a lot of additional items/materials such as computers, filing cabinets, phones, and other office supplies. In order to cover these products in case of a disaster, your premium may be adjusted. If you run a business where there are clients coming in and out of your house, the premium may increase as well. Lets say a client is in your home and slips and falls. Your normal home owners insurance will probably not cover it and you should look into adding business coverage.

You Own a Unique Species for a Pet

If you own a certain breed of dog or an exotic pet this will most likely drive your home insurance costs up because you will need […]

2 05, 2015

How to Write a Home Listing That Buyers Will Love

2021-09-28T16:57:12+00:00May 2nd, 2015|Blog, Tips & Advice|

Maybe your family has outgrown the home you currently live in or you are relocating for a new job. Whatever the reason may be, you likely have a home you are currently looking to sell. For most people it is not financially possible to take on two mortgages at one time so in order to buy their new home they must first sell their old home. And we know that there is a lot of competition out there in the housing market so we thought we would give some tips on writing up a home listing that buyers will love.

Tip#1- Less is More

This goes without saying that in certain instances writing less is always better, except a book, that should be long! As much as you would love to tell potential buyers all the great stories and details that make your lovely home so amazing, the home listing should not be that place. As much as you would love to share every detail of your home, buyers will not likely read the whole listing. A good rule of thumb would be to keep your home listing under 250 words. Like any good writer knows, giving small pieces to a great story, or shall we say a listing, will keep the buyers interested and wanting to know more.

Tip #2- Use Bullet Points

Like any buyer looking to buy a specific product they want to know as many details upfront as possible. Naturally readers’ eyes move towards bullet points or highlighted text. A perfect way to make specific or important details stand out in your home listing is to complement the information in your listing with bullet points or Highlights. Notice how you focused right in on that? It works! Here are some bullet points that are important to highlight in your home listing.

  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • Location
  • […]