The greatest home selling tip!

If you asked a professional home stager if you could do just one thing to help your home sell, they would likely respond with one word: neutralize. The one thing you want is for potential buyers to see your home as if it were theirs. But unfortunately, family preferences often get in the way: a bathroom is hot pink, a bedroom is black and red, and another has striped wallpaper.

So put away the velvet Elvis paintings, posters, pet and personal items. Yes, they are you and yours, but try to make it their place. The more you create a blank canvas, the easier it will be for your buyers to paint themselves in your home!

By | 2018-02-06T09:48:26+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|

How can you improve your credit score?

Here’s a general rule of thumb for credit scores: the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. It really does pay to work hard to improve your credit score.  Just follow these four rules:

  1. Always pay all of your bills on time
  2. Check your credit reports (all 3) for errors and correct them
  3. Don’t close old credit accounts – leave them open; the longer you have established credit, the better
  4. Stay away from your credit limits

If you are solid with the first three, focus on the last one. The lower your total debt is as a percentage of your total available credit limit, the higher your potential score. So if you qualify, ask your creditor to raise your limit! That can help quickly raise your credit score.

By | 2018-02-06T09:46:20+00:00 February 16th, 2018|

Why it’s easier to get a mortgage today

After the housing crisis, it became very hard to get a mortgage. The pendulum swung so far that even former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was turned down for a home loan! The good news is that the pendulum is finally starting to swing the other way. Why? Competition.

Fannie Mae reports that lenders are easing credit standards to gain more customers. Plus, Fannie Mae is helping too. The financial giant, which helps set the underwriting standards for mortgages that are sold to investors, raised its total debt-to income ratio threshold. This means that more borrowers will qualify for home loans. This could be very good news for Millennials that have student loans. Student debt has been keeping many out of the housing market, but this move might help some Millennials jump in.

By | 2018-02-06T09:43:43+00:00 February 6th, 2018|

Why is it risky to do a ‘For Sale by Owner’?

It may be tempting to try and sell your home on your own, but only if you actually save money. Unfortunately, the research says otherwise. Homes sold by owners sell for an average of 16% less than homes sold by sellers who work with a real estate agent. But there’s an even bigger risk. Without the representation of a licensed real estate agent, the owner assumes all the liability. If the owner reports the home has “double pane” windows, but they are actually single pane, the buyer can sue. The remedy: the seller could end up replacing all the windows after the sale on their own dime!That’s one more reason to hire a professional to sell your home.

By | 2018-01-09T08:27:56+00:00 January 31st, 2018|

Live Music Thursdays at The Bridge: The Wildwoods Duo

SchillingBridge Cork & Tap House is hosting The Wildwoods Duo on Thursday, January 25.  Stop by The Bridge located in the Town Center of Fallbrook in Lincoln, NE for live music from 6-10pm.  Enjoy a great dinner, glass of your favorite wine, craft beer or cocktail while relaxing and enjoying great company by your side.

The Wildwoods bring a pioneering sound to Americana Roots Music. Their heartwarming lyrics and vocals are rich in love and happiness, wrapped in a style of music that is like no other with influences from old time country masters and today’s Indie/Folk sound. People of all ages are drawn to their music.

Upcoming Live Music Thursdays at SchillingBridge Cork & Tap House:

  • January 25: The Wildwoods Duo
  • February 1: Derek Dibbern
  • February 8: Lloyd McCarter
  • February 15: The Shineys
  • February 22: Evan Bartels
By | 2018-01-23T16:51:11+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|

Does an online home valuation really work?

It’s so easy to go to a popular real estate website, enter your home address, click on a button and then bam! In an instant, a webpage appears with your “home value”. Today, there’s a plethora of online home valuations. It almost feels like an ice cream store, because they come in so many different flavors.

But do these online home valuations really work? Short answer: no. They are never as accurate as an estimate from a real estate professional who knows your local market and your home. Studies have show even the best ones can be off by 30% or more.

Just ask Zillow’s CEO. He sold his home in Seattle for $1.05 million. The Zestimate on his home: $1.75 million.

By | 2018-01-09T08:26:38+00:00 January 20th, 2018|

Live Music Thursdays at The Bridge: Evan Bartels

SchillingBridge Cork & Tap House is hosting Evan Bartels on Thursday, January 11.  Stop by The Bridge located in the Town Center of Fallbrook in Lincoln, NE for live music from 7-10pm.  Enjoy a great dinner, glass of your favorite wine, craft beer or cocktail while relaxing and enjoying great company by your side.

Evan Bartels is a lot of things, but above all else he is a story teller.  He has dedicated his life to living in a way that encompasses all facets of the human experience and capturing those feelings and emotions in his songwriting.  The words that you can’t find when you wish only to know someone has felt what you are feeling…that’s what is put into his songs and they grab you and resonate in your bones.

Upcoming Live Music Thursdays at SchillingBridge Cork & Tap House:

  • January 18: Ro Hempel
  • January 25: The Wildwoods Duo
  • February 1: Derek Dibbern
  • February 8: Lloyd McCarter
  • February 15: The Shineys
  • February 22: Evan Bartels
By | 2018-01-10T09:52:49+00:00 January 10th, 2018|

Millennial Mythbuster: They really want to be home buyers

Millennials are often labeled the renter generation. It turns out that’s a myth. Researchers have found that Millennials want to own a home. Today, more than one-third of Millennials are already homeowners, says the National Association of Realtors.Compared to previous generations, Fannie Mae research shows that while fewer Millennials are initially buying homes, they are accelerating their purchase activity as they get older. In fact, not only do Millennials want to own a home, they want to own multiple homes throughout their lifetimes. One study found that more than two-thirds of Millennials see their current home as just one step towards the home they eventually want. Millennials might just become the greatest home-owning generation of the last 100 years.

By | 2018-01-09T08:24:52+00:00 January 9th, 2018|

Why Do You Need Title Insurance?

The vast majority of home buyers secure a mortgage to purchase a home. What you get when you buy a home is a title to that property, a legal document that gives you the right to possess that property.

To protect their investment – the mortgage – lenders require title insurance. Like any insurance, it’s designed to protect an investment from loss. Loss can be caused by a “defect” with the title, which means there could be an issue with who really owns the property you purchased.

Homeowners themselves are protected by an Owner’s Title Policy, which insures your equity in the property. Title insurance makes sure that you don’t lose money because of a defect.

While title defects are rare and might not show up for months or years, they can result in the loss of the property or an expensive lawsuit. Title experts say defects can include forged deeds or wills, undisclosed missing heirs, errors in public records or tax reports, mistakes in recording legal documents, and more.

Title insurance is designed to give both lenders and home buyers long-term piece of mind. Like any insurance policy, you hope you never have to use it. But if you ever do, you’ll be glad you were insured.

By | 2017-12-12T08:46:35+00:00 December 27th, 2017|

How Does a Home Warranty Program Work?

A home warranty program protects your home by replacing or repairing items that are not covered by your homeowners insurance. When a home’s mechanical systems fail – such as the central air conditioning or heating system – or major appliances break down, a home warranty limits your maximum out-of-pocket expenses for each repair.

When a breakdown occurs, you simply contact the home warranty firm and they contract a local services firm. The local services firm will arrange an appointment to provide either a repair or replacement.

There are two payment components to a home warranty protection plan: an annual flat fee (differs by state, but ranges from $300 to $500 a year), plus a small service fee (typically about $75-$125) for each reported repair. Home warranty plans and their coverage will differ, so read the contract terms carefully to avoid future surprises.

By | 2017-12-12T08:43:57+00:00 December 19th, 2017|