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Wednesday, April 4, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

The Myths and Facts of Buying a Fixer-Upper Property

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Here are five myths people often assume about buying fixer-upper properties and the facts behind those myths. 


Myth #1: You’ll make a killing by buying a home tens of thousands of dollars below its market value, administering a little TLC to it, and then selling it. 

Fact: Home sellers price fixer-upper homes at a value that’s roughly equivalent to the amount of work that’s needed to make the necessary repairs. This means that adjusting the style of a fixer-upper or making some higher-end updates might make it difficult for you to recoup the money you put into it, because you may go overboard for what the market will bear. Sellers aren’t dumb—they won’t accept less money for their home so that you can make some updates to it. They’ll only price the home for however much it will take to make necessary repairs and bring the home ba ...

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  first time home buyer, sacrifices to buy a home

Thursday, March 22, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

The Top 6 Most Expensive Mistakes Homeowners Can Make

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Here are the six most expensive mistakes you can make while owning a home: 



1. Using incandescent light bulbs. Using incandescent light bulbs costs you about $180 for the lifespan of each bulb, whereas a CTL light bulb will only cost you $40 throughout its lifespan, and an LTE bulb will only cost you $30. Updating your light bulbs early in your homeownership tenure can definitely save you money over time. 


2. Ignoring leaky faucets. One drop per second from a leaky faucet over the course of a year equals 30,000 gallons of water wasted—the equivalent of 180 showers. Get your leaky faucets fixed, and you’d be surprised how much money you can save on water. 


3. Using incorrect or dirty air filters. A dirty or incorrectly sized air filter forces your HVAC system and/or furnace to work much harder during its lifespan. Buy some cheap air filters and jus ...

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  first time home buyer

Friday, March 9, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

5 Points to Think About If You’re Buying New Construction

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Today’s topic comes from my experience last weekend showing new home construction to an out-of-state buyer. From that, I came up with a list of five things you need to know when buying new home construction.

1. New homes aren’t always listed on the MLS. Builders really just build on their own schedule. They’ll pull lots when they have the available sources and funds, and therefore, they don’t always do their marketing the traditional way. It’s very important that you either work with a knowledgeable agent or get access to some proprietary information in order to have access to properties that are coming on the market or to beat out other buyers to the best deals when the builders release their lots
2. New homes are often sold before they’re built. Understand that builders build on their own timeline, and once the lots are released, they have a lim ...

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Friday, February 23, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

Rock-Solid Reasons to Remodel in 2018

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Today’s topic comes from a conversation I had recently with a previous client. They wanted to know if they were better off selling their home this year or if they should look at remodeling it instead. After thinking about it for a while, the answer was clear. Here are four rock-solid reasons to remodel in 2018:

1. You might have more cash. With consumer confidence high and the economy doing well, there is a good chance that you have a little bit more cash flow this year than you have in the past. It might be a good idea to invest in yourself and your future equity by remodeling now instead of trying to cash out on your current equity in a buyer’s market.

2. Interest rates on building loans are low. While rates have been going up everywhere else, building loan rates have stayed very low. Talk with a lender about what kind of rate you can lock in now. We’d be happy to ...

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Monday, February 12, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

6 Unexpected Closing Costs You Shouldn’t Forget About

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Buying a home? Search all homes for sale


There are six closing costs buyers may not know about but you definitely should if you’re getting ready to buy a home.

1. The down payment. There are various loan programs out there that can affect your down payment, but not everyone knows what they are. There are 0% down payments, low down payments, and the standard 20%-or-more down payment. If you’re a non-owner occupied buyer or an investor, sometimes you’ll need a down payment of more than 20%.

2-3. The closing costs and/or parts of the loan fee. These include things like the escrow fees and title insurance. Even the appraisal fees are paid up front. Working with a knowledgeable agent can help as far as negotiating with the seller to have them pay some of these fees.

4. Impound accounts. Oftentimes, the lender will require that you put money up front in an impound account to cover insurance costs, HOA fees ...

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