first-time homebuyer mistakes

Key Takeaways:

  • First-time homebuyer mistakes can leave you with a difficult financial situation
  • Start with finding a trustworthy real estate agent

Shopping for your first home? That’s fantastic! No doubt you’ve already thought about what your dream home will include and scouted out some neighborhoods and school districts.

But it’s important to remember that finding the perfect home is about more than curb appeal and modern features. And while there’s plenty of advice out there on what to do during the home buying process, there are some common first-time homebuyer mistakes that can trip you up along the way. Here is a quick rundown of what not to do. Continue reading

Six Ways to Improve Your Office’s Creative Thinking

Key takeaways:

  • Creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in unique situations
  • An inability to adapt and think creatively can cost you clients and referrals
  • There are simple ways to strengthen your office’s creative thinking

If you have a problem to solve, you need to be able to think creatively to formulate the best possible solution.

This is especially true when it comes to real estate. Each buyer or seller presents a unique situation and an agent must be able to adapt quickly. Failure to adapt usually means an unhappy client, which in turn means no referral. Not a great way to earn a positive reputation in the community.

In 2010, Newsweek published the results from a recent study into creativity. The study shows that since 1990, while IQ scores may be increasing, creativity has been inching downward. Further research into the decline shows that people in general are less creative as they get older.

Now more than ever, creative thinking is crucial to productivity. Think of your career. Has there ever been a time when your ‘job title’ hasn’t evolved to adapt to changes in your industry? Have you had to think ‘outside of the box’ to get an edge over your competition?

If you answered those questions with anything other than “every day,” then you have some catching up to do. Continue reading

Check Out What One Family Did With the FHA 203k Renovation Loan

Key Takeaways:

  • FHA 203k loans require lower down payments than Traditional
  • A lower down payment frees up money for other uses
  • Two-Step Strategy – refinancing an FHA 203k loan into a Traditional Conventional mortgage
John and Lauren DeSantis recently finished renovations on their new home and they love it. They found a house that had potential, but needed some TLC. Continue reading

Realtors Should Really Care About Instagram Stories

instagram-stories

Key takeaways:

  • Instagram Stories are engaging and interactive
  • Streamline specific pictures and video directly to your followers
  • Pairing with a Facebook ad lets you target the viewers
  • The catch…Stories are live for 24 hours. So make them count!

I know what you’re thinking. “What the heck are Instagram Stories and why should I care?”

Great question. First, I’ll tell you what I know about them, and then I’ll explain why I think Instagram Stories can be a great tool for agents who are listing houses. Continue reading

How will a ‘retail apocalypse’ affect your property investment?

Key takeaways

  • Online shopping is forcing retailers to cut jobs
  • Retail is one of the nations’ biggest employers
  • Closing stores may impact desirable locations

Retail Apocalypse store close

Believe it or not, Nordstrom dropping the Ivanka Trump product line isn’t the biggest headline coming out of the retail industry.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or refuse to shop online), you’ve probably seen a shift in the retail industry. There’s be a lot of talk of a retail apocalypse as some of the biggest retailers in our nation close hundreds of stores. Retailers like HHGregg, JC Penney, Macy’s, Sears, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Gap have been closing multiple locations. And while some retailers, like Dillard’s, have embraced a different approach to business, it’s difficult to escape the impact of online shopping.

“So, what’s it to me?” you might be asking.

If you own rental properties, the a retail apocalypse could have an impact. You might not feel it right away, but it’s something to bear in mind. Continue reading

Explaining how mortgage money works is a great way to alleviate any stress a buyer might be feeling during the home-buying process.

Sticker shock is one of the biggest reasons why people are anxious when buying a home. However, once they know how mortgage money works, they likely realize that their buying power is stronger than they thought.

All because they’re using other people’s money.

Key takeaways

  • Trying to save to purchase a home with cash takes much longer
  • Mortgages free up cash for repairs and renovations
  • There is such a thing as good debt

mortgage vs cash

Financing a Home Purchase with a Mortgage isn’t as Scary as you Think

When first-time homebuyers hear the word “mortgage,” they immediately think about the debt that comes with it. And since smart money says today’s first-time homebuyer is probably carrying substantial debt already (credit cards, student loans, car loan, etc.), adding more to the pile isn’t that appealing.

Naturally, purchasing a home outright with cash, or at least plunking down a huge down payment to avoid as much mortgage debt as possible, can seem like the best choice.

However, there’s a lot more to think about when deciding to purchase a home with cash versus a mortgage loan. And while it would feel really good to own the home outright, there are some long-term detriments to not seeking mortgage financing. Continue reading

Key takeaways

  • Separate what you need from what you want
  • Do your homework on what the market wants
  • Budget, budget, budget!

tax return home investment

Boost Your Home’s Value with a Little Investment

Nice big tax return this year? Lucky you! If you have a nice, strong savings account, you might want to think about putting some of that tax return into your home.

And no. We’re not talking about installing an in-ground swimming pool or adding a new air hockey table in the basement. Investing in your home is about putting money toward what you need, not what you want. Not everybody likes air hockey, but everybody loves a roof that doesn’t leak!

The first step is getting online and checking out some real estate websites to see what’s hot. Nowadays, smart homes are the hot topic. But unless you’re pulling in buckets of money, stick with these tried and true renovations to add value to your home. Continue reading