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January 14th, 2020
Dispelling Refinancing Myths



"Refinancing" is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn't be the case for you. For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

NOT TOO LATE.
For years now, we've been hearing that interest rates will be on the rise, and although there have been some small increases, you're still in a great position to drastically lower your interest rate. The general rule is if your mortgage interest rate is more than one percent above the current market rate, you should consider refinancing.

IT'S NOT TOO TIME CONSUMING.
Don't brush off refinancing just because it seems like a long and daunting process. An informational call with a lender to see how rates compare will only take a few minutes. There are also some programs for streamlining the application process. And besides, isn't the amount of money you could save worth the time and effort?

ARMS CAN BE REFINANCED, TOO.
Seeing your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increase after the introductory period can be incredibly stressful and place a squeeze on your budget. Many people assume they're stuck, but ARMs can be refinanced, just like fixed-rate mortgages. You can even switch to a shorter term fixed-rate mortgage, such as 15 or 23 years. The longer you're planning to stay in the home, the more sense it makes to look into refinancing.
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Brandi Thomas DRR#02060365 Cell: 979-272-6348 | Village Properties 55278 North Circle Drive Idyllwild, Ca 92549 |

#Idyllwild #IdyllwildProperties #YourIdyllwildAgent  #BrandiThomas
 
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December 1st, 2019
Top Tips for House Hunting Online


      Top Tips for House Hunting Online

Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.

1.)Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.

2.) Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.

3.) See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

Brandi Thomas
979-272-6348

Village Properties
54278 North Circle Drive Idyllwild, Ca 92549


Host of HomeTalk Newsletter
My hashtags are #IdyllwildProperties #YourIdyllwildAgent

 
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October 16th, 2019 By Brandi Thomas
5 Negotiation Tactics That Kill A Sale
5 Negotiating Tactics That Kill A Sale

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:
 

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer. Shop in your pre-approved price range.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it just know your limits and offer respectfully.
  4. Getting picky after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. If they wanted to repair every single thing wrong with the house they would have before it went on the market. Keep in mind you will be personalizing your new home for years to come. Focus of negotiation for repairs being the required safety and/or health hazards.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

Buying with a local Realtor benefits you more than you know, plus the seller pays the buyers agent commission so give me a call when you are ready.
Be mindful with your negotiations and treat the seller how you would want to be treated selling a home.
Brandi Thomas | DRR#02060365 | Village Properties | 00607760 | 54278 North Circle Drive Idyllwild, Ca 92549 |
Office: 951-659-2114 | Cell: 979-272-6348
YourIdyllwildAgent.com

Hashtag #IdyllwildProperties
Host of HomeTalk Newsletter
Certified Mountain Specialist
National Association of Realtor Certified Short Sale an Foreclosure Realtor
Your Idyllwild Agent
Brandi Thomas

 
#Idyllwild # IdyllwildProperties #IdyllwildRealEstate #BrandiThomas #YourIdyllwildAgent.
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September 16th, 2019 By Brandi Thomas
WHICH DOWN PAYMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
WHICH DOWN PAYMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?



You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment — as low as three percent — rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.

THE DOWNSIDE
The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.

THE UPSIDE
The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.

THE HAPPY MEDIUM
Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment. Your trusted real estate professional can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.
 
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September 1st, 2019 By Brandi Thomas
HomeTalk September 2019

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September 1st, 2019 By Brandi Thomas
Real Estate Corner September 2019
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May 24th, 2019 By Brandi Thomas
Priority Tasks For Your Move In
PRIORITY TASKS FOR YOUR MOVE IN
 

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks
Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets
It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors if they are not new before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner — your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator
Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home. Ideally you would have received a credit for pest if the inspection identified any. Do not delay this step.

Clean out the kitchen
If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.
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