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Friday, April 25, 2014

Interest rates and buying power

 To help you understand how interest rates affect buying power, below is a table for explanation.

For example, say you qualify for a $300,000 loan with an interest rate of 4.5%. If interest rates rise to 5.5% you'd now only be qualified for a loan of $267,705. That one percent change in interest rates equals a $32,295 reduction in buying power. In other words, if prices drop by $10,000 and interest rates rise 1%, you've lost $20,000 by waiting.

While home prices are a very important consideration, interests rates have a large say in how much you can afford. If you're waiting to buy while interest rates are rising, you may end up paying more.

Use the table below to see how interest changes affect loan amounts

At a 4.5% fixed rate loan, you could qualify for a loan amount of:
The loan amount would you qualify for based upon a higher fixed rate of:
(4.665% APR)
(5.679% APR)
(6.694% APR)

This document is not intended as an offer to extend credit nor a commitment to lend. The loan interest rates, fees and terms presented here are for illustrating purposes only and may not be currently available. The document was prepared to assist real estate professionals in illustrating some of the financial options available.

*courtesy of

Monday, April 21, 2014


Advance Notice – Limited Time Offer
Please be advised the Housing Finance Commission expects to announce funding for a below-market House Key Opportunity Program on or about May 1, 2014.  A formal announcement will go out upon program launch.
The total amount of funds for this proposed program is dependent on housing revenue bond market conditions and the program may be withdrawn at any time after funding availability is announced.
We anticipate a potential pool of funds up to $25 million, but this too can increase or decrease based on market conditions.
Proposed Interest Rates:

3.50% - 1% origination for FHA, VA

3.75% - 1% origination for Conventional loans


90 days – existing construction (through loan purchase)

120 days – new construction (through loan purchase)

·    No Waiting List will be taken once the program is terminated. 


·   Funds are expected to go quickly.

Loan Term:

30 years fixed

If you are interested, please contact me immediately so I can put you in contact with the best lender to  pre-qualify you and have you complete the required home buyer education (can complete class online).  These funds will go VERY quickly so we would need to move fast once the funds are available on or about May 1st.  Income and purchase price limits apply.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Buying vs. Renting

Buying a home vs. renting is a big decision that takes careful consideration, as consumers, real estate agents and mortgage consultants will agree. But the rewards of home ownership are great. For many years, purchasing real estate has been considered an extremely profitable investment. It is an achievement that offers a sense of pride, financial stability and potential tax advantages.

Yes, there are certain responsibilities associated with owning a home. Landlords will often argue the benefits of renting, and for obvious reason. If you are renting, you’re helping them make their mortgage payment.

The numbers are staggering if you look at it this way. If you are paying $1,000 per month for an apartment, and you know your rent will increase 5% every year, then over the next five years you will pay your landlord $66,309. If you are currently renting a house, you may be paying much more than that each month. Either way, you gain no equity by shelling out this monthly housing expense and you certainly won’t benefit when the property value goes up!

However, if you were to purchase your own home or condominium, you would be on your way toward building equity. By choosing a fixed-rate loan program, you can have the comfort of knowing that your monthly principal and interest mortgage payment will never go up. In fact, you would have the option of refinancing to a lower interest rate at some point in the future should interest rates drop lower than the rate you’d currently be locked in at, and this would cause your monthly mortgage commitment to go down.

And not only would your own home give you added space, your own back yard and overall privacy—home ownership would also give you some tax advantages. Depending on your tax bracket, owning a home is often less expensive than renting after taxes. Interest payments on a mortgage below $1 million are tax-deductible, and your mortgage consultant should help you evaluate the tax advantages of various loan scenarios, and share this information with your tax consultant to glean feedback on your behalf.

There are many different types of loan programs available, including "low" down payment mortgage programs. Gift funds are also allowed on most low down payment programs.  Sellers are still willing to pay for closing costs if the offer price is acceptable in most areas. 

Don't miss this opportunity to become a homeowner today.  Message me and I'll align you with the best lender for your needs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Three Little Fixes You Can Make When Prepping a Home for Sale

3 Little Fixes

For Sale (Almost)
Homeowners make a lot of memories in their houses, and there's no doubt it's emotional for them to say goodbye to their well-loved kitchens and family rooms when they put their homes on the market. Unfortunately, potential buyers will not be charmed by that "lived-in look." As a realtor, you know that they will only see details that need TLC...ASAP.

Here are a few simple DIY projects that you can pass on to your clients. These little fixes will rejuvenate some common trouble areas and make homes more appealing to fussy buyers...something your clients definitely can get behind!

1) Busted tiles are not classy.
Oops. Did an anvil drop on that tile countertop? Tile holds up almost indefinitely to all kinds of wear-but sadly, as you may have seen in your years on the job, tile cracks if something heavy is dropped on it.

What your clients can do
It's relatively simple to replace broken tile: remove the grout, mask the surrounding tiles with tape, loosen the tile, chisel out the pieces, set the new tile, fill the perimeter with new grout and allow the grout to dry. Goodbye, shabby tile.

2) Scratches and dings and gouges, oh my!
We know your client's brother-in-law didn't mean to run into the built-in bookshelves drawer with the recliner. While a droll family memory, there's no value-add for the prospective home buyer, so it's probably best the seller get rid of any and all visible scratches, dings and gouges.

What your clients can do
Minor scratches can be wiped clean with mineral oil, lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper and sealed with polyurethane. Scratches that penetrate the finish can be filled with a like-colored furniture repair stick. The product consists of wax and putty, and is easy to apply. Follow with a coat of polyurethane.

Not quite a gouge, but deeper than a scratch? Use wood putty in a matching color. Gouges also can be treated with wood putty. Make the repair, let it dry and apply the polyurethane.

3) Counter intelligence?
Bags of groceries, stubborn food stains and the occasional misfire with a kitchen knife are all to blame for clients' laminate or Corian counter surfaces looking scuffed and sad. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that won't leave home sellers with an empty wallet.

What your clients can do
Laminate is a repair-friendly surface: a color-matched repair pen or paste will camouflage most scratches. Be careful not to overfill, and gently sand the excess when dry. The remnants of past meals can be removed using a paste made from baking soda and water. Leave the paste for a few hours and wipe away. No need to rub or scrub.

Minor scratches on Corian can be treated by using a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge, rubbing over the scratch in small, overlapping circular motions, and rinsing with clean water. Encourage clients to wipe the surface completely dry, and repeat if the blemish is still visible. Deeper scratches should be treated following the manufacturer's instructions.

That was easy, wasn't it? With a little elbow grease and a modest investment of time and money, your clients can bring the sexy back to worn surfaces

Brendan Marchant


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kim’s Delicious Carrot Cake

2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
3 cups grated carrots (about 7 medium sized carrots)
8-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil and flour a 9-1/2 inch tube pan.

In a medium-size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a large-size bowl beat together the sugar, oil and eggs until well blended.  Add the carrot, pineapple and pecans.

Beat in the dry into the wet ingredients until well blended.  Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 70 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cake for 10 minutes, and then remove the cake from the pan by inverting it onto a plate. 

I normally use a tube pan (bundt cake pan) as the recipe indicates, but if you use a sheet cake pan it takes less time to bake, so make sure to start checking it at around 30 minutes.

When making cupcakes it will easily make 24, and I prefer to bake only 12 at a time.  I start checking for them at about 17 minutes and take them out if the tester comes out clean.  Make sure to put them on a cooling rack to cool so the bottoms don’t get soggy.  19 minutes seems to work well in my oven!

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. cardamom
1 box of sifted confectioners' sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk, or even better is Vanilla Coffee Creamer

To make the icing:  With an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cardamom until well blended.  Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth and then add the milk to reach the desired level of fluffy.

Cardamom has a flavor and fragrance all its own, but if you don't have any on hand, this cardamom substitute is a decent stand in:
·        Cinnamon
·        Nutmeg


Mix together equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg, and use in place of the cardamom called for in your recipe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

RE/MAX - Fit To Sell - Turning Family Home into Model Home

Turn your home into a model home by depersonalizing, decluttering, making necessary repairs and showcasing your property's best features to attract the right buyer. Potential buyers will form an opinion of your home within seconds of seeing it, so making a lasting first impression is important.