Grateful For Where I Live

Last week I had my annual college reunion and we celebrated the 50th year of the Salzburg Austria program and the 35th year since 39 of my friends and I started our year in Salzburg.  We talked about all the different adventures we had gone on.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we had decided to take a tour of the eastern block countries, Czechoslovakia, East German, Berlin and Hungary.  When we were in Prague it was Russian Friendship Week.  That is the anniversary of the Chech uprising against the Russians and troops were everywhere.  6:00 pm curfews, Russian Flags lining the streets.  It was a site we are not accustomed to.  

The next morning we were walking around and there was this long line at a store so we got in.  We just knew there must have been something great at the store.  When we finally got into the store the shelves were empty and what ever they were in line for was in limited supply and they had to ask for it.  Can you imagine going into any store in the US and finding the shelves empty?  We can get anything we want every day and the stores are open until late in the evening almost every day.  

A few of our friends had actually gone out that second night and stolen several of the Russian flags with the Star and Cycle. A couple of our friends got caught, without the flags in their possession and were taken to the jail.  They were lucky they weren’t held and were just in violation of the curfew. When our bus hit the border, they randomly searched several bags.  One of the bags pulled off, had a flag on top.  Luckily that young man sweated profusely and his bag smelled so bad the guards didn’t want to search it and put all the bags back on board.

After we left the check point the story of what had gone on the night before came out and all of us were then glad that we didn’t all get arrested that day.  

The reason for telling that story is to remind us of all the freedoms we have.  We don’t have to wonder when there will be toilet paper arriving in a store, or if there will be any food in the grocery store.  We throw away more food that spoils in our refrigerators than those people had.  We don’t live in constant fear of going out at night and being arrested.  We can go for a walk, buy what ever we want and celebrate with friends.

Thank a vet for our freedoms and truly be grateful for our country while you celebrate this weekend.

Don’t Become a Victim of Mortgage Fraud

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Educate Yourself So You Don’t Become a Victim!Image

For distressed homeowners in danger of losing their home, there are already a lot of problems. The last thing a homeowner in this situation needs is to fall victim to a scam. Unfortunately, people in this situation are often the most vulnerable to a kind of fraud called “mortgage relief fraud.”

Fraudsters will prey on people who are looking for a loan modification, short sale or other foreclosure alternative because these are the most common options for distressed homeowners.

There have been legal cases brought against many, but scammers always try to stay a step ahead of law enforcement. Even though many of them have been caught, there are still people who prey on vulnerable homeowners with too-good-to-be-true promises.

In fact, in a recent example highlighted in the New York Times, con artists told homeowners that they represented the bank and that the homeowners were already approved for a loan modification. Only after the homeowners paid thousands of dollars up front did the truth come to light.

I have a report that outlines the most common forms of mortgage relief fraud. Download it for free to educate yourself, then contact me for a free confidential consultation to ensure that you or someone you know doesn’t become the next victim!

Dana Burk, Principal Broker

503-409-5861

Dana@LovelySalemHomes.com

 

Spend a Little, Get a Lot

If your stove has drip trays, replace them.  They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and improve the look of the appliance.

Clean all windowsills regularly.  A dirty windowsill will negate any benefits of a sparkling window.

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To create a feeling of space when showing the house, leave all interior doors open.

Hard water deposits on sinks and tubs can be removed with the same type of fine pumice stone used to remove mineral deposits from the side of swimming pools.

To remove old paint from ornate turnings, dip twine into paint remover, hold by both ends and pull back and forth between crevices.

To banish odors from a room, remove the source of the smell, then use room deodorizer, potpourri, carpet freshener, deodorized cat litter or cedar chips to freshen the area.

Aside

NAR Issue Brief
Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill
On January 1 both the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The bill was signed shortly thereafter by President Barack Obama.
Below are a summary of real estate related provisions in the bill.

Real Estate Tax Extenders

  • Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014.
  • Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Leasehold Improvements: 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Energy Efficiency Tax Credit: The 10% tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.

Permanent Repeal of Pease Limitations for 99% of Taxpayers
Under the agreement so called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be re-instituted for high income filers. These limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000. These thresholds have been increased and are indexed for inflation and will rise over time. Under the formula, the amount of adjusted gross income above the threshold is multiplied by 3%. That amount is then used to reduce the total value of the filer’s itemized deductions. The total amount of reduction cannot exceed 80% of the filer’s itemized deductions.
These limits were first enacted in 1990 (named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea) and continued throughout the Clinton years. They were gradually phased out as a result of the 2001 tax cuts and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012. Had we gone over the fiscal cliff, Pease limitations would have been reinstituted on all filers starting at $174,450 of adjusted gross income.

Capital Gains
Capital Gains rate stays at 15% for those at the top rate of $400,000 individual and $450,000 joint return. After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20%. The $250/$500k exclusion for the sale of a principal residence remains in place.

Estate Tax

The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that, the rate will be 40%, up from 35%. The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.

This was reported in the NAR bulletin sent to Realtors on 1/3/2013.

5 Improvements NOT to do before selling your home

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You’ve made the decision to sell your home and now your mind is quickly filling with a lengthy to-do list.  Before panic begins to set in, take heart and repeat a new mantra:  “Soap and paint are my friends.”  While the home should be neat, clean and in good repair, major improvements are not necessary and cost more than usually can be recouped in the selling price.  So, give the house a thorough cleaning, a fresh painting and perhaps recarpet areas that have worn footpaths through them.  Rest assured that money spent on soap, paint and carpet will reappear in the selling price of the home.  And remember, if buyers can’t see the money you spent, you won’t recoup it…even if you tell them about it.  Resist the temptation to undertake major renovations or replacements – particularly these five costly projects.

CLOSETS
Buyers may oooh and ahhh over a large walk-in closet that could double for a well-organized bedroom, but they won’t pay you extra for it.  Adding, expanding or customizing closets can cost thousands of dollars and while they look impressive, the return on investment isn’t.  Save your money.
How to sell your home in Oregon
ROOM ADDITIONS
Unless your home is a two-bedroom/one bath in a neighborhood of four-bedroom/two bath homes, don’t waste your time, sanity or money on adding rooms.

There’s no way to predict a buyer’s preferences, so it’s best to present the home in the best way possible – using soap, paint and carpet – and leave any remodeling to the new owners.

POOL
A pool may seem like a good way to attract buyers, but many folks just don’t want the maintenance that comes with it.  A buyer who doesn’t want the upkeep of a pool won’t purchase a house that has one.  Pools and their surrounding deck areas are expensive and this cost is rarely returned in the selling price of the house.  However, someone who adores the house would be willing to put in a pool later.  Let them shoulder that expense.

NEW ROOF
Putting on a new roof isn’t a good idea for a couple of reasons.  A seller is only required to have a roof that doesn’t leak.  Leaky roofs are easily and inexpensively patched.  The money saved by patching the roof makes repair a better choice.  Also, replacing the roof involves making a subjective choice about the color, shingle style and durability of the roof.  If the buyer doesn’t care for the new roof, the cost of it could be money wasted.
MAJOR RENOVATIONS TO KITCHEN OR BATHROOM
Remember the mantra?  “Soap and paint are my friends.”  These renovations are costly and require decisions as to style, colors, brands and price.  In lieu of remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, experts suggest reducing the asking price to reflect the outdated kitchen and bathrooms and allow the purchaser to take care of these projects.

Now that we’ve dismissed most of the major projects, it’s easier to focus on cleaning, painting and carpeting.  When deciding which projects to undertake, keep in mind that you want to do the least amount of fixing up required in order to sell the house for the maximum selling price.

How to buy your first home

Getting Top Dollar when selling your home in Oregon

Here’s How To Find Out  What Homes In Any Neighborhood  Are Really Selling For

Before you consider buying another home, you need to find out how much homes are selling for in today’s market, so you can make your plans based on the most up-to-date information available.

Now you can do that for free over the phone in just a couple of minutes.

Just call or text me a call at 503-409-5861 or email me at Dana@LovelySalemHomes.com    with some basic information about the kind of house you’re looking for and areas you’d like to know about.

When we get the information, we’ll prepare a report for you that shows the most current market activity in any area you choose (including all the homes that are currently on the market – even if it’s out of town).

You’ll get your completed report in the mail in just a few days and (if you’d like) we’ll be available to go over the report by phone and answer any questions you may have…

Talk to you soon…

Dana

Get the most for selling your home.

 

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What do you do when your Realtor calls and wants to show your home in say, half an hour?  Jump for joy first, since someone wants to look at YOUR home, right?  Then, panic.  As you hang up the phone, you notice that your teenagers have been at it again…your house is CLEAN, it’s just not TIDY.  Now, what do you do?

Since we all know that the first impression is important, especially if you want to sell your home in the next decade, we have a few tips that will help you quickly hide away “stuff.”  But first, you have to know where the buyers are going to look, and ensure that these places are constantly tidy.

Places that buyers will look include the oven, any closets, kitchen drawers, laundry room, and the kitchen pantry.  Think about it; these places give them an indication, essentially, of how much storage space there is.  If they’re overflowing, the buyers will think there just isn’t enough room to store their own things, since obviously you don’t have the space.  If you need a reminder of the basics of preparing your house for sale, refer back to our book, How To Sell Your House For Top Dollar – Fast.

Don’t defeat your efforts by stashing clutter in these places at the last minute, no matter how tempting it may be!
Enough of that!  What you want to know is, at the last minute, where CAN you hide things?

salem Oregon real estate agent Dana Burk

Under the bed.  It’s spacious, easy to get to, and no one in their right mind would get down on their hands and knees to look there during their first visit.  In addition, kids are probably used to stashing things there anyway, and can help you.
In the washer and dryer.  Who hasn’t seen the commercial where a little kid has stashed a pet in there?  We don’t recommend putting your pets in there, but clothes and shoes and “stuff” can easily fit.  Although buyers like to look in the laundry to see the size and neatness, they won’t be looking to see if you actually have things in there.  Our caution is to let everyone in the family know that it’s a hiding place, and to never start the machines without checking the contents first.

In the refrigerator.  This is risky; you know your kids are going to be in and out of the fridge – and how embarrassing would it be to have a shoe fall out?  On the other hand, if you’ve just walked in from the grocery, you can certainly stash the entire grocery bag in there, until you’re ready to unpack it and put things away neatly.

Behind the couch.  That is, if the couch is against the wall.  We all know that things get trapped there anyway, so it could be a quick opportunity to drop a toy or wayward socks for a quick fix.
In the trunk of your car.  Your garage or carport needs to be tidy.  If it isn’t garbage day, yet you have bags lying around, drop them in.  Skateboards and roller blades are a hazard anyway, so drop them in, too.  Nobody has a right to check in your vehicle – take advantage of that fact!

Let me leave you with this quick story.  My mother-in-law, being a naturally organized person, has clothes closets organized by color and like items, linen closets with towels and sheets stacked by size and color, and jars in her kitchen pantry with labels facing the front like a grocery store shelf.

This may seem extreme, buy when she showed the house for sale, one buyer actually told her that he’d buy her home for the state of her closets alone!  He believed that if she paid that much attention to a closet, that she must have taken that kind of care with the rest of her home.

How to sell your home in Oregon

Before You Decide to Sell Your House, Take a Minute to Read This Letter (It Could Save You a Lot of Money)

Before You Decide to Sell Your House,
Take a Minute to Read This Letter
(It Could Save You a Lot of Money)

Did you ever wonder why some homes sit on the market unsold for what seems like forever? The most important factors that determine whether a house will sell quickly happen in the time before the house ever goes on the market. There are some simple things you can do before you put your house on the market that will give you a much better chance of selling your home quickly and for a higher price. Did you know homes that sell quickly almost always sell for more money than homes that sit on the market for several months? It’s true.  A free “Room-by-Room Review” will tell you the secrets to making sure your house will sell quickly and for a good price.

Just give me a call at 503-409-5861 or email me at Dana@LovelySalemHomes.com and we can arrange a convenient time to get together.

Talk to you soon…

Dana

How To Stop 
Wasting Money On Rent And
 Own A Home Instead



How To Buy The Home You Always Wanted…

Without All The Money You Thought You Needed

Buying a home can seem like a frightening prospect. Whether it’s your first home, or your fifth, so much is at stake — your savings, your credit rating, your financial freedom. It’s difficult to get up the courage to sign on the dotted line, even if you want that home very, very badly. How do you determine whether or not the purchase of a home makes sense?

What’s the easiest way to examine the whole picture, from emotions to economics?
I suggest that you read this entire report before you go house hunting. You’ll learn how to separate whims from true needs. You’ll discover how to prepare a game plan for your real estate venture, how to research effectively, choose wisely, finance appropriately and survive the whole procedure with your smile intact.
Seven Steps For Success:
1) Establish your needs and wants.

2) Determine how much you can afford.

3) Get prequalified or preapproved by a Lender.

4) Find a good real estate agent to help you.

5) Find a home that meets your needs.

6) Make an offer to buy a home.

7) Save as much as you can on the purchase.
A Lender can let you know what specific loan programs would be best for you. They can also help you understand what it takes to qualify for the loan that you want.
By taking a look at your financial situation and looking at your credit history, a Lender can usually give you a good idea if you can qualify for the loan that you want.
Many Lenders call this “Prequalifying a Buyer.” If you would like to be certain that you can be approved for a loan, you may want to ask to be preapproved. In the approval process, all of your documentation is completed and submitted to an underwriter.
The preapproval you get back is an actual loan commitment from a Lender. This means that you definitely qualify for a loan. Talk to your Lender about the costs and time involved, as they are different for each Lender.
The next step is finding a home that also qualifies for the loan.
By the time you’ve done your homework and completed the suggestions in this report, you will have an excellent overview of how to find and buy your dream home. And you’ll have plenty of confidence to back up your decision to buy that special home, too.
Step One: Establish Your Needs And Wants
Begin your search for a perfect home by making a careful assessment of the kind of a home you need and want.
I recommend that you take the time to do this in writing.
Take time, right now, to be as specific as you can about your particular requirements.
Step Two: Determine How Much You Can Afford
Set up a budget for yourself. Decide how much you can really afford to invest monthly for your house payment.
Be realistic here. Most Lenders want your payment to be no more than 28% of your total monthly income.
Step Three: Get Prequalified Or Preapproved By A Lender
You can save yourself a lot of time and heartache by meeting with a Lender before you start your search for a home.
Step Four: Find A Good Real Estate Agent To Help You
You can learn a lot about an agent by just letting them “agent talk” to you about how they help buyers. Within a few minutes, you will probably be able to determine if their style is compatible with yours.
Questions for agents:
1) Are you knowledgeable about the area of town and price range that we are interested in? (Some agents specialize in only one area or one price range.)
2) Do you have the time to work with us? (This is especially important if you’re on a tight deadline.) What procedure will the agent follow in working with you? How often will they update you with new property listings?
3) Can you represent me as my buyer’s broker? Ask as many questions as you can upfront. By finding a good agent, you will save yourself huge amounts of time and effort.
Step Five: Find A Home That Meets Your Needs
Five Tips for Successful House Hunting:
1) Keep an organized record of all your research data. Write down comments about the homes that you see. Keep track of your likes and dislikes.
2) Make sure your agent is aware of your time schedule and expectations. Do you like to look at one or two homes in a session? Four? Eight? Discuss this with your agent.
3) Tell your agent about any homes you see that interest you and that you’d like to know more about.
This includes homes you’ve “discovered” as you’ve explored the area yourself, or those advertised in the newspaper.
4) If you like to spend time driving around by yourself looking at homes, ask your agent for a list of drive-bys — homes to consider first from the outside.
Your agent can make appointments later to show you the interior of those that appeal to you.
5) Express your likes and dislikes to your agent after you look at a home. Honest communication is essential.
Many buyers are shy and afraid to tell an agent what they really think of a house. They think the agent might take it personally. Remember, the homes don’t belong to the agent!
You must be straightforward about your likes and dislikes in order for the agent to do the best job for you.
Step Six: Make An Offer To Buy A Home
Your real estate agent can help you make an offer to buy the home that you want. It is important to know beforehand whom your agent represents.
Some agents work only for the seller. In this case the agent may not be able to advise you what a fair offer to make is.
By looking at what homes are selling for in the area and how long they are taking to sell, you should be able to get a good idea of value.
Step Seven: Save As Much As You Can On The Purchase
There are only two major investments to consider when buying a home. These are the initial investment, which includes down payment and closing costs, and the monthly payment, which includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
Here are six ways to save on your initial investment:
1) Choose a low down payment loan. You do not necessarily have to put 20% or even 10% down. You can pay 5% or even 3% down on some loans.
2) Have someone give you money to pay closing costs. A blood relative, church or nonprofit organization can give you money for closing costs.
3) Ask the seller to pay some of your closing costs as part of your offer. Sellers are usually allowed to contribute to a buyer’s closing costs.
4) Do not pay too much insurance at closing. Some tenders want 14 months hazard insurance paid at closing. Others want 15 months.
What happens to that extra money? It sits in your escrow account until you sell the house. It is safe here, but it often earns no interest.
5) Shop around for your home insurance. A little shopping can save you money.
6) You can deduct money paid for discount points from your gross income before computing your tax. See a CPA for more information.
Here are four ways to keep you monthly payments low:
1) Get a loan that doesn’t have monthly mortgage insurance premiums. You may be able to reduce or eliminate them by paying a little more at closing. By putting 20% or more down, you can eliminate them entirely.
2) Take advantage of rate lock programs that are currently available. You can lock in a low interest rate 30-45 days in advance.
3) Remember that interest payments on a primary residential mortgage are fully deductible in most circumstances. Your property taxes may also be deductible. Tax rates definitely favor homeowners.
4) Choose an adjustable rate mortgage. Adjustable rate mortgages (or ARMs) can be up to 3% lower than fixed rates.
Now that you have finished this report, it’s time to go out and find the home of your dreams!
Make sure that you cover all of the steps in this report in the proper order. See a Lender first. He or she will help you decide how much of a loan you qualify for.
Then find a good agent to work with. If you don’t have one, ask your friends and work associates for a referral.

The Value of Repairs, Improvements and Additions to Your Home

The Value of Repairs, Improvements and Additions to Your Home

Anyone who has owned a home for any length of time can attest to the ongoing maintenance required to keep a home in good condition, not to mention the time and expense involved in updating and improving. Over those years, it’s not unusual for some of the “little maintenance jobs” to have been overlooked or even forgotten. As a result, features and systems in homes vary considerably in age and condition. In many cases, the fact that these features have not been replaced or improved can present a substantial negative when it’s time to sell.
The purpose of this report is to separate the different types of home maintenance and improvement tasks that you may encounter, and how they may affect the market value of your home. The nature of the task will in large part determine the return-on-investment potential you can expect, but never underestimate the importance of aesthetics. The details of any project can make or break it. A poor execution can leave an expensive project looking shoddy, and a great execution can make an inexpensive one look great. The return-on-investment potential can be divided into three categories:
Repairs/Routine Maintenance: Fixing or replacing those items or areas of the home that have fallen below the standard level of acceptability in today’s real estate market. Replacing rotten boards on soffits, or tuck pointing the bricks on the chimney that have eroded through are both examples of repairs. Repairs should be considered routine maintenance – those things required by you, the homeowner, to keep your home in good condition.
Additional areas in this category include furnace, roof, driveway, siding, tuck pointing, and even new windows. These repairs will usually return only a fraction of their cost if you sold your home immediately after completing one or more of these projects. But, if you do not make these kinds of repairs, they may cost you even more money if they become an issue down the road during negotiation with a buyer. A home requiring many repairs would likely be viewed as a “fixer-upper,” often selling for far less than other homes of the same size.
Improvements: Updating kitchens, baths, painting, replacing older carpeting, adding premium roof shingles, replacing an asphalt driveway with concrete, or replacing a concrete driveway with paver bricks are examples of improvements. The return-on-investment potential for these projects can vary from 25% (concrete driveway) to well over 500% (painting). Updating kitchens and baths has a reputation of returning a high percentage of the investment, but don’t “over-expect.” There are not many new $20,000 kitchens that add anywhere near $20,000 to the home’s value. Expecting a buyer to pay retail price for a kitchen or bath that you designed, selected and enjoyed is unrealistic. Like a car, the minute you take it home, its value is reduced.
Additions: Additions are improvements with added square footage or functionality. Room additions, adding a second bath, and replacing a one-car garage with a two-car garage are all examples of additions. Care must be taken with these projects. They can be very expensive, and often require time for the home to appreciate and absorb the expense. Due to the expense of such projects, return on investment will likely be poor upon completion of the project, but will increase as the home has an opportunity to “appreciate” into it.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid such projects unless you plan to stay in the home a minimum of three to five years after completing large, expensive projects. If you plan on doing much of the work yourself, or have friends in the trades that can save you money, you may fare better and ultimately recoup more of your cost. Keep in mind that the finished product must look professional if you expect maximum return on investment. It is important to know that any addition, improvement or even repair can be very subjective. If a simple repair makes a substantial visual improvement, then it will likely be worth much more than the investment. Inversely, if an expensive family room addition is built onto a home but doesn’t “flow” with the home or varies from conventional standards for such a room, its value can be greatly diminished in terms of return on investment. In other words, “The best addition is an addition that doesn’t look like an addition.”
You will occasionally see a newspaper or magazine article quote the return-on-investment percentages that you can expect from various home improvement projects. In theory, these figures are wonderful, but theory and reality are often strangers. These estimates can vary greatly from one corner of the U.S. to another. Knowing the reasonable market value of your home prior to your proposed project is a good place to start. This cannot be determined by simply keeping your eye on the home sales published in the newspaper, or by making a reasonable assumption. Remember that similar homes can vary greatly in condition and appearance, resulting in wide ranges in market value. A close comparison of your home to neighboring homes like yours that have sold in the recent past is the best way to determine your home’s current value. This is where a Realtor can be invaluable. The Realtor should be familiar with your area’s homes, both inside and out. A “Before & After” evaluation of your home will give you both the current, reasonable market value of your home as well as an estimate of your home’s value after the proposed addition. This will, of course, be a speculation, but may shed additional light on the entire project.
A good question to ask yourself when making improvements is, “Will this project give me more than I have now?” If yes, then the project has the potential for a good return on investment. If the answer is, “It won’t give me more, but it will be better, nicer, etc.,” then be careful not to over-expect.
Try to fight off the urge to buy top-of-the-line fixtures. As a rule, anything you spend above the “slightly above average” price range should be spent for your own personal enjoyment. Excessive luxury adds little value (except in ultra-expensive homes).
A point that cannot be overstressed is neutral decorating. If you have plans of selling someday, keep things simple. White, off-white, or light beige are the paint and appliance colors to use. Benjamin Moore Navajo White is the most widely recommended brand and color of paint. Kitchens and baths fall under the same white/beige rule. If replacing wood cabinets, the wood should be light or natural in color. Painting wooden cabinets is a popular and inexpensive alternative (white/off-white).
Be careful with bold colors. Magazines are filled with many beautiful kitchens and baths that use bold colors effectively, but most of those homes are very expensive, where decorator touches are expected. New carpeting should also be light and neutral. If you have hardwood floors, consider exposing them or partially covering them with area rugs.
Keep wallpaper to a minimum. Painted walls can easily be repainted if the buyer doesn’t like your colors, but wallpaper is tedious and time-consuming to remove.
Ask your friends and family what they think of your project (and ask them to be honest with you). You may not agree with them, but it’s their opinion and worth noting. The person who someday buys your home will also have an opinion uninfluenced by your opinion. If you’ve spent many hours working out your plan, you will quickly become biased. Also, architects, builders or service people may have an inflated opinion of how much value their service or product will add. Opinions from disinterested third parties, if considered, can help keep your thinking realistic.
Over-improving your home can also be risky. Your home’s value is affected by the price of surrounding homes. Turning your home into the biggest and best home in the neighborhood will usually result in a lower sale price than if it were nestled among other similar homes.
Of course, with something as personal as a home, exceptions exist. Many unusual improvement plans have a surprisingly good effect on the home. Other, seemingly mainstream projects fall short of their intended effect and yield a less-than-expected result. Your preconstruction research and homework will still be your best bet for home improvement success.
– Courtesy of Alan & Dana Burk, John L. Scott Real Estate, Salem, OR

Nail By Nail– How To Build A New Home

Nail By Nail– How To Build A New Home


We’ll help you investigate and learn about a home loan:
The best home loan programs for new homes.
The lowest closing costs and lowest interest rates on new home loans.
The best construction loans.
You’ll learn exactly how home loans work and how much you can afford.
You’ll be “pre-approved” for a new home loan by the lender of your choice.
How much do I want to allocate to land and the home itself?
Example: If you qualify for a $210,000 home including lot, you might choose to allocate $75,000 for a lot and $135,000 to the home.
We will then provide you with all of the information on every lot available for $75,000 and under in the areas that you want to live.
Then, it’s on to floor plans. Here’s what’s next:
We’ll provide you with access to sample floor plans to stimulate your imagination.
We’ll help you narrow down the general style and size of home to fit your budget.
We’ll get preliminary quotes from builders to give you a general idea of the cost of the plans you like.
Securing the land: when you tell us which building site that you like, we’ll:
Help you prepare an offer that will allow you to “tie-up” the land you want.
Present the offer to the owner on your behalf.
Negotiate in your best interests to help you get the best buy.
Fit your house to your land – we’ll help you:
Customize the final plans of your new home to fit your land.
Obtain final bids from the builder.
Obtain final loan approval for your construction loan and permanent home loan.
Prepare and sign the home construction contract with your builder.
Begin Construction!!