4 Things You’ll Learn After Buying a Home

When you move into home ownership, there are some things you might not expect. Here are 4 things you’ll learn after you buy a home.


  1. Recycling & Trash. Not all cities or counties provide trash and recycling which means you’ll have to pay the government or hire a private service to pick up your trash. This service is usually not too expensive, but it may lawnmower-384589_640
  2. be an expense you hadn’t anticipated.
  1. Air filters. If you’ve lived in an apartment before buying your first home, your landlord probably changed out your air filters in both your heating and cooling systems. Filters need to be changed every 4 to 6 weeks.
  1. Yard maintenance. Many first time home buyers dream of having a big back yard, but many forget to consider the maintenance that goes into the upkeep. You have to mow the lawn, weed, trim bushes, rake leaves, and everything else that goes into yard maintenance.
  1. Furniture overload. One mistake many new homeowners make when they first move into their new home is overextend themselves on buying tons of furniture and going into credit card debt. Before you give into the urge to buy, buy, buy, take some time to live in the space. Once things have settled down you can better determine what furniture you want and what pieces you can wait on.

Homeowners, tell us below about some of unexpected things you learned after buying your first home.

4 Important Payment Programs to Know

document-428338_640To buy a home, there is a lot that goes into the process. Before you start hunting for your dream home, it is important to speak with your loan officer to find out what you can afford. However, there is more that goes into applying for a home loan.

As you move towards buying your first home, here are 4 low-down payment programs you should know about.

  • GSE-backed loans. Government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are backed by loan-to-value loans and help to drive the mortgage market.
  • FHA. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides 3.5% down payment mortgages for those who qualify. Due to this, these types of loans are easier for those who qualify to have lower mortgage rates.
  • VA. These types of loans are available by the Veterans Administration (VA) to help veterans and those on active duty (along with their families) buy a home with no down payment or mortgage insurance.
  • USDA. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (ISDA) offers lower rates and 100% financing to those living in rural and suburban areas.

You can learn more about these types of loans by talking with your loan officer to see if you qualify for any of these low down payment loans. They can best direct you on which financial options are best for you.

Ready to buy a home? Give us a call today and let us help you make the move from renting to owning.

4 Rookie Mistakes To Watch Out For When Buying A Home

houses-336436_1280Getting ready to buy your first home? This can be an exciting time, but it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed. While you’re searching for your dream home, here are 4 rookie mistakes to avoid which could end up costing you a lot of money.

  1. Getting too emotionally attached. Buying a home is a huge investment. Because of that, take some time to look at several homes that you love so if one falls through there are other choices.
  1. Assuming you have no rules to follow as a homeowner. Some homes have deed restrictions that come with conditions. Take some time read and understand the restrictions before signing any paperwork.
  1. Not saving enough money. Saving up enough money for a down payment is a big deal, but you should also save a few months worth of mortgage payments in reserve. Putting money aside is also a great idea for any household essentials you may want to get once you’ve moved into your new home.
  1. Not getting preapproved for a loan. You’ve probably crunched the numbers and know how much you can afford, but if you want your offer to be taken seriously by the seller, get a proof of income and assets from your lender. This can be a simple pre-approval letter to show the lender your trustworthy.

If you need to apply for a home loan, getting pre-approved before approaching a real estate agent (or searching for your dream home) is a smart move.

Want to learn what other rookie mistakes to avoid? Check out this article by Home Value Plus.

4 Easy Tips To Help Your Home Sell Faster

When it comes to selling your home, the key is to create something visually appealing that potential home buyers are going to fall in love. The moment they walk in the door, you want them to be able to visualize themselves living there. garden-gardening-1290908_640

One thing that can turn potential home buyers away faster than anything is walking into a home that hasn’t been kept up. Take some time now to do these 4 easy things around your home and keep buyers interested in making an offer

  1. Repair scratched linoleum. Scratched linoleum can turn potential homebuyers away. Take a moment to repair your linoleum—skipping the repairman—by warming up the scratched area with your hairdryer then filling the scratch up with superglue or epoxy putty.
  1. Replace your old front door knob. Because curb appeal is so important, replacing old, ratty door knobs can help boost your home’s appeal and make potential home buyers more interested in making an offer. When choosing a new door knob, pick something that is sturdy and has a lock and handle combo.
  1. Clean your stained tub. Your stained bathtub is not doing you any favors. Before you start showing potential homebuyers you’re home, take some time to clean the ring around your bathtub by creating a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice.
  1. Spruce up your front yard. As mentioned above, curb appeal is a huge deal when it comes to attracting potential home buyers. Rake up leaves, remove dead plants and shrubs, mow your lawn, and clean any debris off your pathways.

Want to some more tips for giving your home a facelift without spending a ton of money? Check out these extra ideas from Move.org.

If you’re ready to sell your home, a real estate agent can help you better decide what else you can do to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Make 2016 Your Year To Buy A Home

If you’ve been considering buying a home, now is the time to do it. According to Builder.com, Utah’s strong economy and affordable housing market has even appealed to millennials, those between 25 and 35, who are moving closer to home ownership. In the same report by Builder.com, millennials have already purchased an estimated 39.8% of new homes. real-estate-516768_640

Entering into home ownership, especially for first time home buyers, can be an intimidating experience. As you move forward in the process of becoming a homeowner, take a moment to ask yourself some important questions to ensure you’re ready to make this move. If you’re not properly prepared, home ownership can stretch you a little too thin financially.

Once you’ve decided you still want to make the move towards owning a home, talk with your bank, credit union, or mortgage officer about getting pre-approved. This is something you’ll want to do before you start looking for your dream home so you’ll know how much you can afford. This will prevent you from getting discouraged if you’re looking at homes outside of your price range. During this time, keep in mind of any additional costs and taxes which may come up.

After you have a clear idea of how much you can afford, now is the time to hire a real estate agent to assist you in finding your perfect home. Before you hire an agent, make sure you’re hiring the best, most qualified, agent for you. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers who’ve they’ve used in the past and if they’d use them again. Don’t be afraid to ask the real estate agent questions and ask for references. Home ownership is a huge investment so you want to make sure you do your due diligence.

If you’re ready to buy a home, we are here to answer your questions. Give us a call today and let us show you want we can do for you. 

3 Important Factors To Consider When Deciding To Buy A Home

Are you ready to buy a home, but are unsure how much of a home loan you can handle? When it comes to buying a home, there is a lot that goes into the home owning process. Between applying for a loan, finding the perfect home, and navigating through the twists and turns of the entire process. 04-04-21-891_640

Before applying for a home loan, review your FICO score. Depending where your FICO score falls, will determine if you qualify for a loan, how much you’ll get, and what your interest rate will be. To find out what you qualify for, speak with your loan officer at your bank or credit union or a mortgage lender to find out where your score falls.

Another important term to know when deciding if you qualify for a home loan is your debt-to-income ratio. A general rule of thumb, when it comes to mortgage loans, is to avoid dedicating more than 28% of your monthly take-home income.

While you’re calculating your debt to income ratio and finding out how much of a home you can afford, take a moment to consider future expenses. Don’t stress yourself more than stretching yourself too thin where you’re struggling to pay your bills or save for retirement.

After you’ve weighed all the factors and decided you’re ready to move forward towards home ownership, a real estate agent can help you find the perfect home.

Give us a call today and let us help you find a place to call home.

4 Sounds You Don’t Want To Hear From Your Home

When it comes to home ownership, doing repairs around your home comes with the territory. Things happen and need to be fixed, or your home makes some strange sounds. However, when it comes to strange noises, there are a few you don’t want to hear from your home. If you hear any of these 4 sounds, you may want to bring in a professional. plumbing-840835_640

  1. Squealing air conditioner. With the summer months around the corner, now is the time to take some time to ensure everything is in working order. If you haven’t already, change your filter to keep your machine working efficiently and unclogged from any dirt and debris.
  1. Scratching from gutters. Many people mistake gutter sounds for a bird chilling out, but this is not always the case. If this persists, the simple fact may be the sound you’re hearing are the scratching from rodents in your walls. If you suspect this to be true, call a professional to come and check it out.
  1. Screeching dryer. If you’re hearing a screeching noise from your dryer, it may be due to a belt issue. If you’ve recently purchased your dryer, the shipping bolts might have been left on. Try removing them and seeing if that stops the noise.
  1. Hissing and gas odors. A hissing sound, mixed with a gas smell, may indicate a gas leak. If this happens, immediately leave your home and don’t touch anything electrical (including light switches). Once out of your home, walk—you’ll want to leave your car behind too—call 911. You should also advise your neighbors to vacate their homes until the police have checked it out.

To learn more about which sounds you don’t want to hear from your home, check out this complete list from House Beautiful.

The Best (And Useful (Kinda)) YouTube Videos To Check Out

Looking to sell your home fast, but aren’t sure what staging ideas would work best? When it comes getting your home sold quickly, staging can play a huge role in appealing to potential home buyers. Curb appeal and other factors are equally important, but as you show your home, you want to create a space people can visualize themselves living in. youtube-1158693_640

To help you create a space which is both warm and inviting, yet not too detailed, here are some great YouTube videos to check out.

When it comes to selling your home and hiring the best agent for you—which can be a stressful time—you should also look for the humor in things. Need a laugh? Here are some funny videos about real estate.

And who can resist some of the best Superbowl commercials…

Do you have a favorite Superbowl commercial or another YouTube video you found most helpful? Share them with us below.

Become A Homeowner In 2016

Many people dream of owning their own home and, with the New Year here, perhaps this is one of your goals for 2016. As a first time homebuyer the idea of buying a home can be a little intimidating. There is a lot that goes into finding a home, getting pre-approved, and everything else that goes with buying a home. As you move forward with becoming a homeowner, here a 3 things to keep in mind. SMflowerpots-house-window-2539

  1. Pick a home you can grow into. As you search for your dream home, keep your future in mind. Where do you plan to be in 10 years? 30 years? Choose a home that you can grow into by having an idea where you expect to be in the future.
  1. Pay attention to natural light. When you are looking for a home, keep in mind the resale value. One thing people care about when searching for a home is how much natural light comes into the home. Boost your resale value by choosing place with great light.
  1. Hire an agent. An agent can be an excellent resource for helping you navigate the home buying process and find your dream home. Real estate agents have a great understanding on the housing market, which neighborhoods are the best, and can answer all your questions. Also, if you end up relocating to another city or state, an agent may know some other agents in other areas to recommend.

Ready to make your home owning dream  come true? Give us a call today and let us help you find your new home.

5 Ways To Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

Brrr…can you believe how cold it’s been? Now that the holidays are over, now is the time many will be hunkering down in their homes and dreaming of warmer weather. Even for those who love the snow, the biting cold might send you back inside.winter-690395_640

While you’re enjoying spending time at home, here are 5 tips for keeping your home warm without breaking the bank.

  1. Block the wind. Winter drafts can drop the temperature by 100%.  Stay warm this winter by making sure doors and windows are well sealed. Curtains are another great way to keep those cold drafts out of your home. When choosing a curtain, a lined curtain is the best setup for blocking any cold air. If lined curtains aren’t available, you can use towels, floor mats, or clothes—just make sure to layer it.
  1. Wear layers. When dealing with frigid temperatures, an extra layer of clothing can help to keep you warm. Runner’s leggings or tights are perfect for keeping the cold off your skin. Add a thick sweater or fleece for additional warmth.
  1. Get moving. Another great way to warm yourself up is to put on an exercise tape or blast your favorite song and get your body moving. Not only will you warm up, but your waistline will shrink.
  1. Close doors to unused rooms. Closed doors will prevent cold air from circulating around the whole house. The heat will be easier to contain and generate in a smaller area, which will also save you money in the long run.
  1. Cook up something. Who doesn’t love a tasty treat from the oven and, with the warmth of the oven, you can warm up your home. After you’ve turned off the oven, open the oven door a little and let the heat from oven warm the air in your home. Also, spicy foods can also help warm you up so cook something up with some cardamom, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, or even cinnamon.

There are various ways to stay warm this winter without going broke. What are some things you do to stay warm without running up the heating bill?