Why homeownership is important to Americans

Fallbrook News

Nearly every survey over the last 50 years shows that the vast majority of Americans consider homeownership to be part of the American Dream. It’s still true today. A recent National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) survey found 87% of consumers said homeownership is part of their American Dream.

Homeownership remains the greatest source of wealth among Americans. Economists tell us that for every two homes sold, one job is created in the U.S. Every home purchased generates as much as $60,000 in economic activity over time.

Also, Fannie Mae research shows that:

  • Homeownership creates safer, more stable neighborhoods.
  • Homeowners vote more often than renters, and they are happier and more satisfied then renters.
  • Children of homeowners do better in school, with higher test scores and lower anti-social behaviors.

The bottom line: in America, homeownership matters.

By |2018-08-08T08:11:12+00:00August 8th, 2018|

Why robots will never replace real estate agents

Fallbrook News

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking may worry about robots advancing beyond humans, but real estate is one industry where you won’t see robots replacing workers.

The real estate industry remains a relationship-driven business, involving the biggest purchase decision in most people’s lives. Human involvement, empathy, and intuition are incredibly important components in delivering a good experience for those searching for their first, second—or even fifth—home.

That’s not to say technology isn’t valuable. Technology is making agents even smarter, allowing them to gather information, communicate, and deliver answers faster for their clients.

By |2018-07-11T08:19:11+00:00July 29th, 2018|

How you can help your kids buy a home

Fallbrook News

Have you ever wondered if there’s a straightforward way to help your kids buy a home? Well, there is, and it’s one of the oldest programs available: An FHA loan.

Your best bet is to work with a local mortgage lender to walk you through the specifics, but here’s how it generally works:

A parent and child can be co-borrowers on a FHA loan, even though the parent won’t live in the home. Normally, FHA would require a 25% down payment for what is called a “non-occupying co-borrower” loan. Together, co-borrowers who are related by blood, law, or marriage are eligible for 100% of the maximum FHA loan they qualify for with the low-down payment features of the FHA loan.

By |2018-07-11T08:19:04+00:00July 20th, 2018|

The biggest disadvantage to renting

Fallbrook News

If you’re a Millennial—or have a son or daughter who is a Millennial—you’ve probably had a discussion about renting or buying a home. It can be a hard question to answer, especially with the steadily-rising prices of houses.

However, there are clear disadvantages to renting:

  • Someone else controls all the rules, not you (such as whether you can have a pet).
  • You’ll see a steady increase in rent over time.
  • Zero tax advantages.
  • You have no say if your landlord wants to move into your place or sell to someone else.

The biggest disadvantage: You give away your money. Renting means you never will have the chance to build equity in a home. Instead, you give that opportunity to your landlord.

By |2018-07-11T08:18:56+00:00July 11th, 2018|

Disaster preparedness: Do you have a plan?

Every family needs to have a disaster preparedness plan. Being ready will give you and your family peace of mind before something happens, and can make the difference if and when something does.

The America Red Cross suggests that planning can be as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Meet as a family or with everyone in your household. Discuss how you are going to respond to different emergencies that are likely to occur where you live, learn, work and play.
  • Assign responsibilities: how you will work together as a team and select a centralized meeting site away from home, work and school.
  • Practice as many elements of your plan as you can.

To get started, download the Red Cross smartphone app with Emergency Alerts for disasters. It’s free and available for most devices.

By |2018-06-05T08:23:27+00:00June 27th, 2018|

This could be the most dangerous appliance in your home

Believe it or not, one of the most important appliances in your home – your water heater – also has the potential to be the most dangerous. That’s why it’s so important to make sure it is well maintained.

Water heaters have a thermostat designed to monitor and prevent super-heating. If the thermostat fails, a temperature and pressure relief valve (TPRV) is installed to relieve the pressure. The TPRV is that little metal lever you see on top of your water heater.

A water heater can accumulate more than 85,000 pounds of pressure. If the tank ruptures with super-heated water inside, and there’s no TPRV, the result is a severe explosion. So protect your home. Double check to make sure your water heater has a TPRV.

By |2018-06-05T08:22:11+00:00June 22nd, 2018|

Fallbrook Farmer’s Market – Starts Thursday!

The Fallbrook Farmers’ Market is “Lincoln’s Most Family-Friendly Farmers’ Market”, and we strive to expose young people to fresh, local healthy foods and give them an opportunity to engage with local farmers. Our poster not only highlights our SNAP, Market Match and Double Up Food Bucks programs, but also highlights the weekly themes of each market. These themes are used to drive families to experience the market in a fun and inviting atmosphere.

By |2018-06-05T08:34:31+00:00June 18th, 2018|

Did you know you have multiple credit scores?

Every buyer wonders, “What is my credit score?” But the correct question is “What are my credit scores?” When you apply for a mortgage to buy a home, your lender will pull three credit scores, not just one.

You have credit scores from three different credit firms: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. And none of these three credit scores are likely to be the same.

Each credit firm bases its score on its own formula that, while similar, are not exactly the same. They may also have different information. It’s therefore important to pull a credit report from each one and fix any errors before you apply for a home. Remember, if there are errors, you will need to fix them with each credit firm separately.

By |2018-06-05T08:21:04+00:00June 11th, 2018|

Have you taken an insurance inventory of your home lately?

It’s the one thing that every homeowner has and hopes they never need: insurance. To make sure you are always prepared, experts recommend that you keep on hand a complete home inventory.

State Farm says that a home inventory can help expedite an insurance claim after theft, damage, or loss. It not only helps in the settlement of a loss or claim, but may also help verify tax-deductible property losses.

Most insurance companies provide some handy online Home Inventory Checklists. But the fastest, easiest way is a video walkthrough of your home. Document everything with your smartphone. Then upload the video to the cloud, such as Apple iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox, so it’s stored remotely. Supplement your video with documentation. Take photos of receipts, credit card statements, appraisals and other documents. Upload these to the Internet too.

By |2018-05-14T15:26:23+00:00June 4th, 2018|

The dangers of overpricing a property

It’s said you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s especially true when it comes to pricing your home for sale. One mistake you don’t want to make: overpricing it.

What are the dangers of overpricing a home? Pricing a home too high can stall your sale. The greatest amount of traffic occurs within the first couple of weeks that your home is listed for sale. Visitor traffic trails off dramatically after that. So even if you drop your price later, you have potentially lost buyers who have found other properties, or who are no longer considering your home, as they left with the impression that it was priced too high.

The best strategy is to work with your agent to price your home right to reach the greatest number of potential buyers with the right first impression.

By |2018-05-14T15:25:27+00:00May 26th, 2018|