Friday, May 3, 2013

Downsizing...Next Trend in Housing

As the market is recovering we are seeing nationwide the trend toward downsizing…or the term we prefer…”right sizing.”

Some areas in the US are having a micro-dwelling…new concept for homes that are being built throughout the US.  The most common factor is the size…some homes tend to be less than 500 square feet of living space. And some areas near San Francisco and New York are planning some apartments as small as 300 square feet.

Not sure we Midwesterners could do this but very interesting.

Some of the tiny single-family homes are even portable…hmmm.

Reasons for this shift were given as:

A lower Price tag…cost is significantly less than the standard home which means no large mortgage for 30 years.

More free time…smaller house, less cleaning and wouldn’t that be nice.

Less clutter… if only 500 square feet you will need to get rid of everything (not sure I am there yet, still like my stuff).

Mobility…many tiny homes can have wheels put on or put on trailer, so moving is no longer stressful and expensive…Close the door and go!

Smaller is greener…yes with the energy consumption concern today you automatically reduce energy and you will save money and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What is a Short Sale?

Short Sales Are Usually Long

You've heard the term short sale but what does it really mean?

Short sales occur when a lender agrees to accept less than what is owed by the homeowner to pay off the mortgage.  A short sale will ding the seller's credit but not as hard as a foreclosure would.

Banks have been encouraged by the federal government to approve more short sales in order for sellers to avoid foreclosure, but in reality the lenders drag their feet, causing the sale to take up to 6 months to get to closing.  Many potential buyers get tires of waiting and move on to a different home.

If you're interested in short sales, either as a buyer or a seller, give me a call.  I'm CDPE certified, that's a Certified Distressed Property Expert!  No really, there is a program for that.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Here's a Tip on Home Warranty Benefits

Please enjoy the real estate tip included below. If you have any questions about this tip - or any other tips you may have heard elsewhere - please ask! There is no obligation and you'll hear back quickly!

Real Estate Tip:  Home Warranty Benefits
Home warranty policies are available to both homebuyers and sellers. What are the advantages of purchasing one?

As the buyer, a home warranty can save you money. If the refrigerator stops working during a hot spell shortly after you move in, it will be fixed or replaced under the warranty at a fraction of the cost of buying a new refrigerator. If you are buying an older home, you might ask the seller to provide a one-year warranty as an incentive. The warranty will protect you from major expense if the plumbing suddenly fails or the roof starts leaking.

As the seller of an older home, you can understand how the warranty can make your home more attractive if you put yourself in the buyer's shoes. The warranty relieves the buyer of concern that they will have to spend thousands to repair a major system that breaks down unexpectedly. It also relieves you of anxiety that the buyer will sue you for failing to disclose a material defect. The warranty only costs a few hundred dollars and can be paid for when the transaction closes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Making The Grade...

Making the Grade
(As in your foundation)

Our dry summer and fall of 2012 may have created problems for your foundation.  Check to see if you have depressions in the soil surrounding your home.  If so this is a problem that needs to be corrected to prevent water from pooling around your concrete causing cracking in your basement.

 The slope around your house should be 1” per foot for 6’ out.  This puts the rainwater out away from your home.  A simple job that you can do on the weekend or if you need a handyman, call me.  I’m not a handyman but I know some good ones!

Friday, April 5, 2013

What does your front door say?

Front Doors Talk, They say, "Come Inside or Don't Bother.

" With lots of homes to choose from buyers may be skipping over your house if the first exterior shot they see is not inviting. The curb appeal of a home says alot about the condition of the home itself. If your front door is updated with new paint and hardware, your landscaping is trimmed and there are no dead bushes, buyers will assume you take good care of the inside too. 

Weather permitting plant some flowers around the entrance, paint the shutters and edge the sidewalk. Need more ideas on curb appeal or a handyman who can help you get your house ready to sell? Give me a call, I've got lots of suggestions and phone numbers too!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How to Be Richer, Smarter and Better Looking Than Your Parents

How to Be Richer, Smarter and Better Looking Than Your Parents

Now that's quite a claim but coming from Zac Bissonnette, he can probably help you in at least some of these catagories.  In this book Zac provides detours around the many financial traps that catch so many new college grads as they morph into the real world.  Financial stuff I wish I had known about when I was young.

Bissonnett is also the author of Debt-Free U, a book showing how to pay for a college education without going into student loan debt.

We all know someone, (like our kids), that would benefit from reading one of these books.  I found them, used, on Amazon for under $10 each which included shipping.

If you have a favorite financial book let me know about it.  I love to read.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Do you know where to get your credit report?

Free Credit Reports

Did you know you can get a free credit report once a year from the 3 credit bureaus:  Experian, Equifax and Transunion?  This does not give you your credit score, just the report.  You should check your report once a year to monitor the activity, making sure there are no mistakes.  For your free credit report go to: , or and follow the prompts. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Is the Housing Market Out of ER and in Recovery?

Is the Housing Market Out of ER and in Recovery?

Area realtors are reporting an increase in activity across the board, new construction, sales and listings.  KC leads the metro area in new housing starts for 2012.  The area of Kansas City that is in the Northland accounts for most of this growth in permits.  Homebuilders had an overall growth of 43% increase compared to 2011.  No need to call the doctor anymore, call me!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time for Spring Cleaning

Well it is that time of the year again....calling it "spring cleaning" or just a time to find what is in all the drawers and closets that make them so ugly....I love to clean out drawers for the mere delight in finding things I have lost....or misplaced....or someone took it....But it is always fun... Here is a great article on organizing you might like... Read More.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New App for Homebuyers

New APP for Homebuyers

Sitegeist is a new app for both home buyers and real estate agents.  A map pops up for you to select a location then it pulls data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2010 American Community Survery (whatever that is).  Info given includes median age of people living in the selected area, average number of kids per household, average incomes and % of renters vs. homeowners.

Interesting info to use as you look for a home to buy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What is an FHA loan?

What is An FHA Loan?

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. government.  The FHA was created to help homebuyers with less than perfect credit or those who don't have a lot of cash for a down payment.

A conventional loan typically requires a 10% down payment where an FHA loan is 3 1/2% down.  You can see why these have become very popular, especially with first time buyers.  Other requirements are usually easier to meet also.

Give me a call and I'll give you some names of lenders who can determine if an FHA or other type of loan program is the best fit for you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Are You A Procrastinator?

Quote of the Day:

  “Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until
            You get the bill.”
                 Christopher Parker, (b. 1983) English actor

Ever have a problem with procrastination?  Often when I look at how hard I am “working” I realize there is nothing getting done….so decided to try some tips I have heard over the years..
  • <!--[if !supportLists]-->       <!--[endif]-->Make the task bite-size…easier to complete small portions of job…
  • <!--[if !supportLists]-->       <!--[endif]--> Decide to do the task or ditch it..
  • <!--[if !supportLists]-->       <!--[endif]--> get more info as may make the job easier and
  • <!--[if !supportLists]-->       <!--[endif]-->Promise someone you will get the job finished as we always hate to disappoint others….
  • See if any of this works for you……. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kids Rule


Homeowners are always trying to make their homes more kid friendly so their kids and/or grandkids will enjoy being with them.  These homeowners have taken this philosophy to the extreme in building their new homes.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Housing Crisis Turns Some Ex-Homeowners Into Lifelong Renters

Housing Crisis Turns Some Ex-Homeowners Into Lifelong Renters

You couldn't pay Mark Williams to own a home again.

"Give me the money for it," he said. "I'm still not buying a house."

It's not that he always felt this way. Williams (pictured at left) did profit handsomely from the housing market's boom years, selling a Sacramento home in 2005 for more than twice as much as he purchased it for in 2001. He also bought, rehabbed and sold several homes with his friends.

"We literally flipped a crack house for a $40,000 profit before the first mortgage payment," he said.

But after he lost his job as host of a political talk show in 2006, the conservative activist began to struggle to pay the mortgage on a McMansion that he moved into that same year in Lincoln, Calif. Three years later, Williams and his wife, Holly, filed for bankruptcy and sold the house in a short sale for $260,000, he said, adding that he had paid $564,000 to build it. Now Williams, who had a controversial tenure as spokesman for the Tea Party Express, leases a condo in Sacramento.

Williams is just one person in a group of homeowners-turned-renters who have emerged from the wreckage of the housing crisis: People who have sworn off home ownership -- forever.

"We stupidly played by the rules," Williams said. "We wiped out our retirement and everything trying to keep this thing afloat."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What is MY House Worth?

What's MY House Worth?

You've probably been on websites that show your home's estimated value listed.  Did you know most realtors never go on those sites?  While interesting they are not always accurate and up-to-date.  The information we use to give you a true market analysis is updated daily.  Our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has strict guidelines on how home info is entered.

The value of your home also depends on:  the condition, updates and even the smell.  Factors those websites can't calculate.  When you're ready to sell you home or even if you're just curious about your home's value, call me.

I'll come give it a sniff!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Welcome to My Blog

Hi.  Welcome to Your House Hunter.  I hope you enjoy checking in, having a laugh, being inspired and maybe learning something about buying and selling homes along the way.  That's secondary though.  For now I will be publishing on MWF, don't want to overwhelm myself.
Please email me with contributions, suggestions, pictures for "Jack's Jollies" or questions you have about real estate.