It's that time of year again, people are starting to prepare for New Year’s resolution! Are you planning on making a new resolution next month?
Some people want to quit smoking, other want to spend more time with family and others want to lose weight, and the list goes on. If there is something you want to change, you might want to read on. You have a much better chance of success if you turn that goal into a learning goal instead.
A learning goal is simply a commitment to learn something rather than to focus on a specific goal or result.
For example, lets say you want to get into better physical shape next year. The traditional person signs up for the gym, and the goal might be: “I’m going to work out at the gym three days a week.” A learning goal might be, I will higher a coach or fitness trainer to teach me the best workout for me. Or I will talk to a health or nutrition specialist and learn how to eat properly and more healthy.
The research has shown that and has been published in many journals, states that people who set learning goals are much more likely to achieve them. They also tend to stay motivated over a longer period of time and get better results overall. So, if you set a learning goal instead of a traditional goal in the area of fitness, you stand a much better chance of actually getting fit!
Tired of New Year’s resolutions that get broken in a few weeks and that go nowhere? Try setting a learning goal instead!
Let's make 2020 your best year ever!
P.S. Even if you do fall off the wagon, and break your resolution or goal, you don't have to wait a whole year to start "fresh" again. Get started the next month, or better yet the next Sunday or Monday! You can take control of your life and your future! Have a wonderful month!
The image that circulates around Thanksgiving each year typically includes a turkey with all the trimmings, rustic decorations in cheerful autumn hues, and endless desserts to enjoy long past the point of feeling satisfied.
However, whether your family tradition includes a formal table and multiple courses or a casual spread of food with friends and family happily enjoying the day together, the special feeling of this lovely holiday has less to do with how we set the table and more to do with what we cannot see.
We cannot see the anticipatory joy that a faraway family member feels as they leave their house to make the trip over for Thanksgiving day. We cannot see little fingerprints on the cookbooks that are passed down, nor can we see the recipes long committed to memory and taught with guiding hands to the next generation. We cannot see the footsteps of children happily running without a care in the world. We cannot see the laughter at the same stories being told and retold year after year, and we cannot see how that invisible layer of warmth will sustain a lonely parent long after the house is silent.
Most of all, we cannot see the thanks that we give although it is near-tangible in its presence, raised up with invisible gratitude.
Thanksgiving is a time for gathering! This year, as friends and family come together, wishing you all the lingering joy, love and laughter. Truly, they are more satisfying than any dish on the table, no matter how much whipped cream is involved.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Maryland Real Estate Professionals w/ REMAX Realty Plus
NEW RESEARCH SHOWS HOUSING IS AFFORDABLE FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
Home prices have been on the rise for the last seven years, leading many housing market analysts to conclude that first-time homebuyers are being shut out of the market due to affordability concerns.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports on the percentage of First-Time Home Buyers (FTHB) on a monthly and yearly basis. Their latest report shows that First time home buyers made up 33% of buyers in March, which matches their reported share in 2018.
NAR uses survey data from their members to come up with this statistic, so their results do not include every transaction completed. Rather, they only the transactions reported by members who complete the survey.
What Is A First Time Home Buyer?
The other entity that reports on first-time homebuyers share is the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The AEI uses data from mortgage applications that define an first-time homebuyers as “any borrower who did not have a mortgage for the preceding three years.
This means the AEI measurement also includes former homeowners who transitioned out of a home they previously owned and re-entered the market after at least 3 years. The latest first-time homebuyers share data from AEI shows that first-time buyers made up 57.5% of all mortgages in August 2018. NAR’s data shows a 31% share for the same time period.
New research from the New York Federal Reserve shows that these traditional reports on first-time homebuyers share have been unable to give an accurate depiction of this group’s involvement in the market.
First-time home buyers have not disappeared from the market
The NY Fed was able to take consumer credit data and identify when a mortgage payment entered a consumer’s credit report to determine when a first-time home purchase was made. Using this data, they were able to show that AEI’s reported first-time homebuyers share was consistently 10% higher. The NAR reports were right on par with their findings until 2010, when NAR’s share dropped to the 11% gap seen today.
So, what does this all mean?
First-time home buyers have not disappeared from the market as many analysts had believed. Buying a home is very much a part of the American Dream for younger generations, just like it had been for their parents and grandparents.
This also means that rising prices have not scared buyers away from the market. Many first-time buyers are making sacrifices to save their down payment and make their dream a reality.
If you are one of the many renters who is scrolling through listings on your phone every night dreaming of buying your own home, aas a first-time homebuyers, there are opportunities in every market to make that dream a reality!
Ways To Save Money When Getting A Loan!
t pays to do your homework when shopping for a home loan! Your knowledge about home financing can mean the difference between making or losing tens of thousands of dollars. Here are seven simple strategies (I call them “secrets” because so many people disregard them when buying a home) you should consider when financing your home:
Secret #1: Clearly Understand How Much Home You Can Afford
Secret #2: Be Financially Prepared – Ahead of Time!
Before you start looking for a home…
Secret #3: Understand The Basics of Home Financing.
Secret #4: Know The “Insider Secrets” Mortgage Lenders Use To Take Money Out Of YOUR Pocket!
Here’s the secret: Many of the fees and costs are negotiable.
Secret #5: Questions You MUST Ask A Mortgage Lender
When you meet with a lender, be prepared to ask questions. You have a right to this information and a lender will answer them without hesitation.
Secret #6: Work Out A Cost Comparison On Several Lenders To Locate The Perfect Loan!
Take time to evaluate one program against another.
Secret #7: How To Save You Tens Of Thousands On Mortgage Interest
You can save thousands of dollars in interest by making one extra mortgage payment every year! Lenders frequently promote “Bi-Weekly” payment programs (which help minimize the interest you’ll pay by increasing payment frequency) because they make money administering the program.
Finally A BONUS TIP:
An experienced Home Buyer Representative can save you time and money with buying a home by:
Helping you find the perfect home at the right price… so you don’t have to worry you bought the wrong home or paid too much.
Providing you with direction and contacts to get pre-approved for a home loan… so you’re never lost trying to find the most affordable financing for your situation.
Negotiating the best deal with the sellers… so you avoid costly traps and pitfalls. You don't make money when you sell a home, you make money when you buy it!
Coordinating all inspections, appraisals, escrow and title services, with the very best companies… so you feel confident and can focus on other tasks with your move.
To read the full report go to www.LendersRevealed.com and have instant access to the full report!
Buying A Home... Where To Begin
If your tired of paying rent every month, and helping someone else build their equity, instead of building your own equity, it might be time to make the first step and buy your own home! Home buying appears difficult, but really it's a matter of taking that first step!
There are alot of advantages to home buying and owning your own home... but taking that first step can be intimadating. Let's see if we can make this a little easier on you with some basic home buying guidance.
The first thing you want to do when home buying, is build a team of professionals to help you with your home purchase. It's important to pick these people carefully, as they will be helping you and guiding you with the most expensive purchase most people will ever make.
And it's important to remember, you don't make money when you sell your home... you make money when you buy it. In other words, you want to make sure you buy as low a purchase price as you can, so when it comes time to sell, you can attempt to sell high and make a good profit.
Your Professional Team Is Important When Buying A Home!
Your Professional Buyers Agent - This is the quarterback for your home buying team. In Maryland, you have agents that work for and represent the buyer. What's amazing about this is that you shouldn't have to pay your buyers agent, they are actually paid by the seller! This works out great for you as a home buyer, but you want to make sure that the person you hire as your professional buyers agent is a professional! There are alot of agents in Maryland that have a license, but only work part time. They may not have the experience to guide you wisely with your home buying, or the knowledge to the where with all to represent you 100%. Why does this matter?
They may be to timid or hungry to advise you to negoiate a lower price. They may encourage you to pay a higher price, so they don't have to drive around as much looking at more homes, or afraid of insulting the seller and losing the deal. You should want an agent with years of experience negoiating with other realtors and helping hundreds of other home buyers with their home buying. When you work with Maryland Real Estate Professionals w/ REMAX Realty Plus, we have that experience, and our only concern is making sure you get the best deal possible.
Why? Because, if we get you the best deal possible, and your excited about the money you saved on your new home... You will tell others. That is how we generate most of our home buyers, by word of mouth. Our experience and concern for our home buyers (who we treat like family!) has generated us more business for the last 10 years then most of our advertising and marketing.
Once you decide on your professional Realtor, they should be able to help you build the rest of your home buying team.
The Rest Of Your Home Buying Team
The other people you will want to include on your home buying team are the lender, the home inspector, the appraiser and the closing company (attorney)
The lender you work with will be the person that is going to dig deep into your financials. This is not something to be afraid of, a good lender will look at your finances and guide you on how to get pre-approved, and get the correct home loan.
There are so many different types of loans, and interest rate is not the only thing you should be considering when looking for a home loan. You also want to look at closing points (Cost of the loan), how much sellers help they will allow, if it will allow you to finance your rehab work, etc... We can talk about this more when you are ready to start moving forward with your home purchase.
Some Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants!
As the temperatures start to warm up, the critters also start to wake up and show up. Even in a fairly new house, you'll start to see ants and other insects making theirselves at home in your home. Ants seem to the the most determined to move into a house and take up residence. They can start to came in through an electrical outlet, then move onto the kids bathroom, maybe to drink some water to finish off their meal from the dining room. Is there are simple way to evict this unwanted guests and encourage them to make a home somewhere else?
I've done some research and trying out a couple natural methods to get rid of ants, my house is currently ant-free. Below is a list of some of the methods you can try, and see which method makes that best eviction enforcer for you and your home. This is wonderful, since you can avoid spraying around harmful toxins in your home, I hope you find the list helpful. Let me know if you know of any other remedies.
Keep it Natural and Healthy!
Fill a spray bottle with 2 tablespoons dish soap and 1/2 cup water. It kills ants and destroys the pheromone trail. It only works when wet, so you'll need to reapply for a few days.
Put some distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and sprayed the entrance points. I also sprayed vinegar along the trail to destroy their pheromone trail. Once the vinegar dried, a few ants came back to check out the situation. After reapplying the vinegar a few more times, they got the hint they weren't welcome and moved on.
Here are some essential oils that ants are known to dislike: eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and citrus oils. I put about 10 drops of cinnamon essential oil and water into a small squirt bottle. Then I sprayed entrance points and along trails. I had to reapply a few more times after it dried. I thought vinegar worked better, but maybe I needed more essential oil and less water. Amanda at Easy Peasy Organic swears by eucalyptus oil. She used a ratio of 50/50 eucalyptus oil and water. You can find essential oils at health food stores, Amazon, and Mountain Rose Herbs.
Dab lemon juice at entrance points or areas they visit.
In a spray bottle, add 1 part rubbing alcohol or tequila to 1 part water. Spray at entrance points or trails. Reapply for a few days.
Some Other Methods To Try To Remove Ants
Ants won't cross chalk lines. Draw lines with chalk at their entrance points or to block their trails. Amanda at Easy Peasy Organic had good results with this method.
Sprinkle baby powder at entrance points or to block their trails. They won't walk across it.
Citrus or Cucumber Peels
They are toxic to the kind of fungi ants feed on. Leave peels at entrance points. Replace every other day. Or puree peels in a blender, add water, and smear at entrance points or along trails.
If you don't have essential oils, you can sprinkle powdered cinnamon, clove, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, mint or bay leaves at entrance points.
Ants don't like the smell of coffee. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the perimeter of your house or at entrance points.
Baking Soda & Powdered Sugar
The powdered sugar will attract ants and the baking soda will kill them when they eat it. Mix together 1 part baking soda and 1 part powdered sugar. Leave where you see ants.
Borax & Sugar Mixture
Tip Nut has some different recipes to try. The ants take it back to the nest and it kills the colony. Keep where children and pets can't get to it. You can find Borax at Walmart or Target in the laundry aisle.
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Doesn't this sound like something from Lord of the Rings? From what I've read, it's an all-natural dust made from tiny fossilized water plants. It is lethal to insects because of its microscopic razor sharp edges. You can sprinkle it around the perimeter of your house and it will kill bugs that touch it. It won't harm warm-blooded animals, birds, or earthworms. You should be able to find it at home and garden stores, nurseries or online.
Have an amazing and ant free day!
Home Buyers Can Face Multiple Offers!
We are moving into the spring market and things are starting to pick up for home sellers and home buyers. There is currently still a lack of inventory on the market, making it more competitive for home buyers to make an offer an the home that they want to purchase. Just this past week, I wrote an offer for my home buyers and within 12 hours, we heard from the seller that there were multiple offers. The seller utlimately went with the highest and best offer.
If you're a home buyer in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, you are already at a handicap, since you will be bidding against investors, who can normally pay cash for homes in this price range. Cash isn't always king, but if your neck and neck in a bidding war, it does give the investor the upper hand.
What Are Some Things Home Buyers Can Do?
Sellers love bidding wars and will welcome them, in hopes that the bids will go over the list price, and they can net more money. As a home buyer they can be frustrating. Especially if you keep getting out bid several times, on homes that you written offers on.
Bidding wars add an extra layer of complexity to an already complex and sometime overwhelming process. As a home buyer this is where hiring an experienced MDREPros Professional Buyers agent with superior negoiation skilles can make all of the difference! Here are some things you can think about when you are making an offer, that might help them stand out and be more appealing to home sellers.
Build A Relationship:
This doesn't always help, but it can't hurt. Sometimes offering the most money isn't the most important thing to the home seller. They might be more concerend with someone taking care of this place that they love and have called home. As a home buyer you can write a personal letter to the seller and explain how much you and your loved ones like their home, and how much it would mean to you all if this was your new home. Sometimes, this can give you a slight edge over the competiton. You could even include a picture of you and your loved ones, so the home seller can see the "faces" behind the bid.
Other Ideas to help home buyers win a bidding war!
We haven't seen a lot of escalation clauses lately, but they will be making a comeback soon. You can have your Maryland Real Estate Professional Realtor add this addendum to the offer you are writing. Let's say you make an offer of $200,000 for a home (But you know that you are willing to go up to $220,000). The esculation clause could be a simple as saying you will go $1,000 over the highest bidder... all the way up to $220,000. So if the highest offer that comes in is $211,000, you would automatically offer $212,000. This could potentially save you $8,000 on your home, and win you the bid. Be aware, not all sellers will accept an escalation clause. (i.e. bank owned properties, short sales, etc...) So be sure and discuss with your Realtor and see if this is a good option for you.
Most offers on homes involve alot of contingencies. Before you ask your Realtor to add every contingency in the book in the offer, see what their expert opinion is on what to include and what can be excluded in writing an offer. Alot of contingencies can be wrapped into the home inspection, it just might take some well timed planning and quick scheduling. Sellers want to see the minimal number of contingencies when they are looking at and comparing offers.
An Experienced Realtor CAn Save Your Thousands
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when making an offer on a home. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. As a home buyer want to make sure the Realtor you are using has the experience and knowledge on how to negoiate the best deal on your behalf and to be able to out negoiate the other home buyers realtors.
Remember, when you work with Maryland Real Estate Professionals w/ REMAX Realty Plus...
Hakuna Matata - It means no worries for all of your Real Estate Days.
Let us represent you when you are ready to buy your next home. It's FREE to you, and we could save you thousands!
Have a Great Week!!
Simple Steps To Attract Buyers!
If you are thinking of selling your home, or you are committed and planning to sell your home this spring, there are some simple things that you can do to attract buyers.
The first thing you want to do is think like a home buyer. 99% of all home buyers today, begin on the internet. They go to REMAX.com, Realtor.com, SearchForMarylandHome.com, or one of the other thousands of home searched and start looking for homes. So you want to make sure your home looks amazing online when you are selling your home.
There are some pretty basic things homes buyers start with and look for when starting a home search. Some you can control and some you can't. You want to make sure when selling your home, that you make it as appealing to the buyer as you can, to attract their attention.
1) Area - They search a certain area. It can be a neighborhood, a city or even a county.
2) Price - The buyer will put in the price points that they are looking for. This is normally in $25,000 increments, meaning they would search for homes, priced from $200,000 to $225,000 or maybe from $225,000 to $250,000.
3) Bedrooms and Bath - They will search for a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Normally it will be 3+ bedrooms or 2+ bathrooms.
This is home most home buyers begin their home search. You can control the price when your selling your home, so make sure that you price your home correctly, or the buyers you want, won't see your home.
The Home Search Playing Field Has been leveled!
The reality of the situation is that all search engines (Realtor.com, Zillow, Truilia, REMAX.com, SearchForMarylandHome.com, etc...) all pull from the same source, the Multiple List. So it's critial that everything is entered into the MLS carefully and properly. This means you want to hire a Professional Realtor who will take the care needed to make sure your home looks the best, no matter what search engine a buyer will use. It has to look good online, when your selling your home!
If you want to attract buyers today, you need to do it online!
1) Make sure the first picture is the buyer sees, catches their eyes. You want it to be impressive enough to stop the scroll.
2) Make sure all the pictures are bright and clean (It's amazing how many realtors post dark and cluttered pictures of homes). If your serious about selling your home, then make sure it is clean and decluttered, especially when the photographer is taking the pictures! Remember, a pictures says a thousand words!
3) Make sure the description is well written and easy to understand. There is less and less constrants on how many characters a desciption can have, so make sure your Realtor writes away
4) Make it easy for the buyer. There is no need for vague appreviations these days. Write it out. Show pictures that make it easy for the buyer to see home, and entice them to come and tour the home.
5) Make the home accessible! It's alot harder today to get people out from behind their computer and out touring homes. (I hear it all the time... "I don't "see" anything I like!" So the agents haven't done their job, making your home look good.) So if your serious about selling your home, let the buyers come and look at it!!!
Home Buyers Care ABout the price!
In the age of Uber, Lyft, VRBO, AirBNB, etc... the internet has changed the way people shop. Why are these websites so popular? Because the users are "getting A deal", they feel like they are getting a discount or a substantial savings over the traditional ways of renting a car, getting a hotel, etc. However there are still cab companies, they are still building hotels.
Travelocity, HotWire, Expedia have all changed the way that travel is done. However, there are still travel agents and they are still helping people plan trips.
When you are selling your home, your most valuable asset, do you really want a discount Realtor, usually an agent with no experience... representing and negoiating for you? I am always stunned by some of the blunders that I see agents make that can cost home sellers thousands of dollars.
The internet has made it easy to see all the homes on the market. I think that this is amazing. But you still want an experienced Realtor to help you market your home with a powerful description, stunning pictures, and the ability to negoiation and the experience to know how to get you the most money possible for your home.
Contact Maryland Real Estate Professionals when you want to discuss selling your home, we have the experience, we have the negoiation skills, we have the marketing experience and knowlegde to make your home stand out from the rest. Go to www.MDHomesValues.com and sign up for a FREE home valuation.
We also offer FREE drone footage and pictures with our the homes that we represent. We also create FREE marketing videos, that make your home stand out from the standard "slide show".
Maryland Real Estate Professionals, it's the experience that counts. Hundreds of Maryland home sellers and home buyers have trusted myself and the Maryland Real Estate Professionals team with thier most valuable negoiations... their homes! We look forward to earning your trust as well. Have a great week!
Should You Wait For Values To Go Up, Before You Sell Your Home?
THAT'S A GREAT IDEA, IF YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF EVER OWNING ANOTHER HOUSE
If you want to move up to a larger, more expensive home, but are waiting for the value of your current property to increase before initiating the move, you may be making a mistake. Please keep in mind that as the value of your present home increases so does the cost of the one you want to buy. In fact, more expensive homes increase in cost at a greater rate than do lesser expensive houses.
As you can see from the above comparisons, a homeowner who currently chooses to sell a $200,000 home and purchase a $400,000 property would pay a differential cost of $200,000. If that same homeowner waits until values inflate 30% before selling, he would sell his current residence at $260,000 and would then have to pay $520,000 for his new house, a difference of $260,000. By waiting for the value of his present home to increase, he has, in essence, cost himself an extra $60,000 to make the move.
IF YOUR GOAL IS TO OWN A LARGER, MORE VALUABLE HOME, YOU MAY SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BY MAKING THE MOVE RIGHT NOW!
Simple Advice For Buying A HOme
There are some very simple things you should pay attention to and rules to follow as you prepare to buy a home. It will make getting a mortgage easier to help you buy a home, and they will give you more options to financing when you want to buy a home.
The first and should be the most obvious rule would be to pay your bills on time. This is the best and easiest way to boost your credit score. And as we all know the better your credit score the better your options to finding a solid loan.
The next step you should think about when you want to buy a home is what are your loan options? Again, the better your credit score the better you loan options. Keep in mind however, you don't have to have perfect credit. Even though you might get the best interest rate, buying a home still might be a better investment then paying rent. So research your options.
Watch Your Purchases When Buying A Home!
Another important thing to keep in mind when buying a home is to avoid big purchases. You want to throw off your debt to income ratio. Get your mortage first when you buy a home, and then, after that make your big purchases. That includes appliances for the house! Wait until after settlement to make those purchases on credit.
Keep at least 3 lines of credit open, but all paid up. Lenders want to see that you can balance multiple payments and keep everything up to date. Could be 3 credit cards with small or zero balances. Or a car loan, student loan, etc...
You can buy a home with as little a $0 dollars down, however on the norm these days is about 3.5 % down. However, if you can save more than that for a downpayment, it will be easier to get the mortgage (loan) for your home.
Save Money When Buying A HOme!
Talk to your lender about credit card usage when you are thinking of buying a home. I have had some lenders tell me that people should stop checking their credit score 6 months before the home purchase and stop using the credit cards 2 months before you buy a home. Not all lenders agree. So make sure you are on the same page with your lender.
At Maryland Real Estate Professionals, we have several excellent lenders that we work with. If you need help with finding an excellent lender so you can buy a home, let us know and we can connect you with the lenders so you can talk to them.
At Maryland Real Estate Professionals (MDREPros) we have helped hundreds of home sellers and home buyers with their most valuable negoiations, their homes. We look forward to earning your trust as well.
Hakuna Matata - It means no worries for all of your real estate days!
Have a wonderful week.