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In a Seller’s Market: Is it Time to Downsize?

20160517-KCM-ShareA study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future are planning to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller’s market.

In a recent blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less... Read More

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Real Estate Investing – Single Family Home vs. Condo

real-estate-investing-12-1If you’re considering getting into the landlord game, you might wonder whether it’s best to buy a single family home or a condominium. Many people believe it best to stay away from condominiums because of all the issues with homeowners associations, and they have a point. However, single family homes have many issues, too, so don’t make up your mind so quickly. Consider these things:

Investment returns When you’re buying an investment property, the first thing you should do is pencil out your real estate deal to see if it has fair cash-on-cash investment returns. As a general rule, you’ll find that single family homes typically have lower cash-on-cash returns than condominium properties. So a fair deal on a single family home might be a cash-on-cash return of 3 to 5 percent, while a condominium might have 4 to 7% returns. The condominium will probably take this round, but every property is different, so you need to pencil out your specific deal to understand the returns.

Tenant turnover Every time your tenants leave, you’ll need to re-rent the property. And it’s a lot of work! You have to advertise, take calls and emails, show the property, draft a lease, do a credit check, move the old tenant out,... Read More

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29 Ways It Pays To Work with a Realtor®

If you’re preparing to buy a home or wanting to sell yours, you’ve had to consider this question: Should I use a realtor? A lot of home buyers and sellers on the market prefer to go at it alone, wary of the fees and cuts realtors charge. In theory, sellers especially can make more money on their home by selling themselves, but the truth is, a realtor can save both time and money. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to use a realtor, consider these benefits:

29 Ways it Pays to Work with a Realtor                       Thinking about buying or selling a home? Think about all the steps you'll personally have to complete:
  1. Determine how much you can afford.
  2. Price existing home without the input of a market expert.
  3. Check credit report.
  4. Put existing house on market.
  5. Decide where to advertise to reach best potential buyers.
  6. Host open houses to sell existing home.
  7. Schedule appointments to show current home or to see new ones.
  8. Find new home with all the features you want
  9. Investigate school system.
  10. Research neighborhoods and local amenities.
  11. Analyze comparable home sales and make offer on new home.
  12. Consider offers for current home.
  13. Review homeowner's association documents for new home.
  14. Meet home and pest inspectors for review of current home.
  15. Arrange home and pest inspections on new home.
  16. Negotiate terms... Read More

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Hurricane Preparedness Week 2015

With the Atlantic Hurricane Season quickly approaching, June 1st-November 30th, now is the time for Indian River County residents to make or review Hurricane Checklists and Evacuation Plans. Below is a short list of items you may want to include while preparing:

  1. Water (1 gallon per person/pet per day, plan for 3 days)
  2. Medications (2 week supply)
  3. First Aid Kit
  4. Battery Operated Radio
  5. Flashlight / Lantern
  6. Batteries
  7. Non-perishable food
  8. Tarps
  9. Coolers for Food and Ice
  10. Propane for Gas Grills
  11. Fill Vehicle Gas Tanks & Cans
  12. If you have a Generator, check it to make sure it is in working order before a storm approaches.
  13. Pet Supplies (food, meds)

 

Have a plan in place with family members as to where you will go in the event you are ordered to evacuate for a storm. This is particularly important since cellular communication immediately after a hurricane is limited to first responders/emergency services and landlines are often not working in the affected areas. If you plan to evacuate to a shelter and have pets or special needs, be sure to make these arrangements well ahead of time as shelters for these services may have limited capacity.

Get cash ahead of time. ATM’s will likely be down as power may be out for days and/or businesses closed.  Credit/Debit cards won’t work for the same reasons.

For insurance purposes, take interior... Read More

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The Cost of Waiting…

Should you buy now or wait? Estimated cost differences on three mortgages; $250,000, $500,000, $1,000,0000.                      ... Read More

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Still Waiting to Buy?

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4 Tell Tale Signs You Have Termites!

Termites leave signs of activity but by the time they do, your house may already be infested.

The following are warning signs that you may have a termite problem.
  1. Swarmers and/or Discarded Wings: More than likely, the only time you will see live termites is when they "swarm". Subterranean termites usually swarm in the spring while drywood termites tend to swarm in the summer months. You can almost be sure your home is infested if a large number of winged termites (swarmers) or discarded wings are found inside the home. Swarmers are often confused with flying ants so be sure to verify which you have.
  2. Mud Tubes and/or Tunnels: Because dark, moist conditions are preferred, foraging termites construct mud tubes as protective runways from the soil to the wood inside a home. Look for mud "tubes" along the foundation of your home, around doors and windows and also on wood posts.
  3. Small Holes in Wood or Drywall / Blistered Paint: Small exit holes are created when termites swarm inside your home. Because they... Read More

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Applying for a mortgage? Avoid these mistakes!

Mortgage rates are at all time lows and it's a great time to buy a home!! But before you apply for that low rate mortgage, read the list below of what NOT to do once you have made application. Though some items may seem like common sense, many people have been turned down for a mortgage for doing them! DON'T quit your job! DON'T make any unusually large deposits into your checking/savings accounts DON'T make any changes to the purchase contract without consulting your lender DON'T make any large purchases (car,boat,jewelry, trips, etc) DON'T apply for a new credit card (even if it says you're pre-approved) DON'T open a new credit card DON'T transfer balances from one account to another (without consulting your lender first) DON'T payoff charge offs without talking to your mortgage lender first DON'T payoff collections without talking to your mortgage lender first DON'T buy any furniture DON'T close credit card accounts DON'T change bank accounts DON'T max out or over charge credit card accounts DON'T consolidate debt DON'T take out a new loan DON'T start any home improvement projects DON'T finance any elective medical procedures DON'T open a new cellular phone account DON'T join a new fitness club DON'T pay off loans or credit cards without consulting with your lender first The above items are listed because at some point or another, they prevented a client from closing on a property.  If you have a question about anything... Read More

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Flood Insurance 101

Those of us who have been through a hurricane can somewhat relate to the events unfolding in the Northeast with the landfall of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.  Hopefully we will never experience this degree of flooding, but it's good to be prepared. MyFloodZone.com is a very informative site about all things flood insurance.... Read More

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Hurricane Preparedness ….

Power Outages Learn what to do when the power goes out. •    Consider a generator: These will make your life much easier during a storm, but understand the carbon monoxide risks and that your neighbors might get angry if you won’t share. •    Connect via Twitter and Facebook on your phone: Most local news stations will send updates via FB and Twitter, which you can access on your phone if the power goes out. •    Keep numbers of energy companies handy: Write down or store in your phone the numbers of energy providers so that you can notify them of an outage. •    Know which foods are safe to eat: This guide explains which foods you can thaw and refreeze, how long they’ll last in your refrigerator without power, and which to throw out. •    Use grills and pressure washers outside: Gas grills and generators carry a carbon monoxide risk. •    Stay away from downed power lines: Let trained workers clean up the damage. •    Have a realistic understanding of restoration times: Here you can read estimates of expected restoration times according to the strength of a hurricane. •    Drink lots of water: When it’s hot and you don’t have A/C, drink water to stay cool and hydrated. •    Get your vaccines early: If you’re planning on getting a vaccine soon, do it before the storm, since power outages may... Read More

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