March 16th, 2018

Under lock and key

Posted by at 12:36 pm

Your new home doesn’t have to be a prison, but it needs to be secure! One of the most important reasons for having your own place is having a safe place for your own “stuff.” More than 2 million burglaries are reported each year in the U.S., or about one every 15 seconds. Don’t become one of these alarming statistics! The most expensive solutions, in this case, are the best. Studies show that homes with a professionally installed home security system and monitoring are far less likely to be targeted by burglars. According to security firm ADT, facial recognition locks will be standard security by 2025 – just like the movies. But the costs of these high-tech systems can be prohibitive. For those of us with less disposable cash, there are plenty of affordable actions that are nearly as effective. It’s quite...
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March 1st, 2018

Tax Refunds Can Help Bring You Home

Posted by at 12:34 pm

Are you one of the many millions receiving a refund on your 2017 tax return? Like many Americans, you may be tempted to use the refund on a mini spending spree. Easy to understand – who doesn’t like a new wardrobe, fancy dinners, or the latest electronics upgrade? But if you’re thinking about buying that first home, resist that urge to splurge! Here’s a few ways to use that small spring windfall to unleash a torrent of future wealth through home ownership: Build down-payment savings: Whether it’s a few hundred or several thousand dollars, think about depositing your refund into a down-payment savings account. The more you can put toward that initial payment, the less you have to borrow, and the lower your monthly payments. Tax refunds are relatively small for most people, so saving two or three years’ worth...
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February 23rd, 2018

A more multi-generational mindset

Posted by at 2:41 pm

Multi-generational living – defined as two or more adult generations or grandparents and grandchildren living together – has seen steep declines in the Western world – especially the U.S. Before World War II, American seniors often moved back in with adult children in their later years, or even with adult nieces or nephews. Think Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith show. Similarly, single adult children often remained at home until they were married and could get their financial feet on the ground. Researchers say 50 percent of U.S. homes were multi-generational prior to 1900. But around 1945, American ideals began shifting. The growing Social Security program gave senior citizens more freedom to choose privacy and independence. The suburban lifestyle was more suitable for two married adults and their minor children. If you weren’t on your own by age 18, you...
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Can You Really Avoid Real Estate Fraud?

Posted by at 10:30 am

Fraud is an ever growing issue in all areas where money is concerned, including real estate. These types of fraud are largely surrounded in email hacking and wire transfers. A hacker will monitor incoming and outgoing emails from real estate brokers, escrow agents and even a clients personal email account, keeping an eye on all transactions taking place. When it comes time for wire fund transfers, the hacker will intercept and impersonate the broker or escrow company by hijacking the email address of the broker or agent. They will then email the client explaining an urgent change to the initial wiring method, giving the client new instructions for the funds transfer. Another note to take is that these hackers will advice the client to NOT CALL the broker or agent directly. Washington Realtor Magazine notes that “These [new] instructions often create a sense of urgency and often explain that...
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January 9th, 2018

VA Loan Limits for 2018

Posted by at 11:47 am

The article outlines the loan limits for VA financing by county throughout Washington State. The Veteran’s Administration provides 100% home mortgage financing, both purchases and refinances, for those who are eligible. Those people include veterans, active duty personnel, reservists/National Guard members and some surviving spouses. Additionally, there is no monthly mortgage insurance charged to the borrower. Veterans can actually borrow more than this by investing 25% of every dollar over that limit as a down payment (so a $553,100 home in Skagit County, a $25K down payment on a VA loan would be required). VA does not impose a maximum amount that an eligible person may borrow using a VA-guaranteed loan. However, VA does limit its maximum guaranty amount, and the limit varies by county. Click the link below to see the 2018 VA Loan Limits for Washington State Counties. VA Home Loan Limits...
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January 8th, 2018

FHA Loan Limits for 2018

Posted by at 9:08 am

Every year, HUD re-examines the home buying landscape and determines the maximum FHA loan limit for all counties throughout the United States. For 2018, the following FHA loan limits are in place and can impact your decision on whether to use FHA or another loan program. We must be aware of the FHA loan limits when considering any FHA loan – your base loan cannot exceed the FHA loan limit under any circumstances, but the loan limit varies by county and by the number of units in the home. Click the link below to see the full FHA Loan Limits in Washington State for 2018. FHA Mortgage Limits List for 2018 Related Articles: FHA Loan Limits for 2016 What does FHA look for with an Appraisal?...
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January 2nd, 2018

The Truth About Reverse Mortgages

Posted by at 10:43 am

A reverse mortgage has been made out to be a last resort elderly people use when they are in need financially. Why a last resort? The assumption is that taking out a reverse mortgage means eventual loss of the borrower’s home but the great news is, this is not true! There are many questions behind how a reverse mortgage works. The Mortgage Professor explains, “A reverse mortgage is designed to provide an elderly homeowner with spendable funds that can be used for a variety of purposes, including home purchase. More commonly, the funds are borrowed against a home the senior already owns and occupies as a permanent residence, and used in many different ways.” Another common assumption is that taking out a reverse mortgage means the bank now owns the home and eventually be forced to leave their home. “With a HECM reverse mortgage loan, borrowers still retain ownership of...
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Top 5 Things Every Home Buyer Should Know

Posted by at 9:53 am

Buying a home can be very stressful. Whether it’s your first time or you are a seasoned real estate professional, there are things you should always keep in mind before you make the leap into home ownership. Here are my five finds for you to remember when buying a home. 1. What do you want? A lot of people know the basics of what they are looking for when considering the purchase of a home. Things that are easy to think of, like the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, but there are details some of us may not consider until after they have made the move. These oversights may be as simple as school districts, heating/cooling systems and even neighborhood stipulations which can leave buyers feeling unhappy about their purchase. An HGTV article suggests writing down your wants and putting...
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December 5th, 2017

Coach Bill Hart Interviews Top Realtor Nicole Solari on 4 Secrets to Cultivating Leads

Posted by at 3:12 pm

  When Nicole Solari got her Realtor’s license in 2014, she literally went into real estate cold. She had no database to work from, and had no referral partners. Today, this top California Realtor has 4,291 leads! In 2016, after just 3 years in the business, Nicole and her team closed 181 homes. Here are 4 big ideas Nicole uses to capture and cultivate leads. 1. Be out there when everyone else isn’t. Instead of holding one or two open houses a week at the usual time when everyone else did, she changed up the script. “I did twilight open houses, happy hour open houses and what I called Wacky Wednesdays,” she recalls. “In Solano County, school gets out at noon on Wednesdays so you have all of these moms and nannies and everybody picking their kids up at noon...
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November 22nd, 2017

Business Strategy for 2018

Posted by at 9:27 am

“It is easy to start a project, but without careful planning it is like setting off on a journey to an unknown destination without a roadmap. You might manage to make it to your destination eventually, but don’t be surprised if you get really lost on the way!”- Stefan Topfer NASDAQ With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time to consider what your business plan is for the coming year. No matter the goals you set, it is important you spend time working out that plan to keep you prepared and on task in 2018. Here are two useful downloads to a Simple Business Plan with Directions and the SWOT analysis that were mentioned in the video. These two documents will be useful tools while you’re setting up your goals for your business in 2018 If you have any questions please don’t hesitate...
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