5 Tips for homeowners to cut cost this year

Home Insurance, Mortgage Loans, Property

renovatingWe are almost two months into 2013, are you still on track to keep your New Year’s resolutions? You might be trying to trim down your waistline or trying to save some money, and we are here to help you with the second. Homeowners can actually save a lot of money, Try some of our tips below:

Refinance your home mortgage

Most likely, the biggest expense you have every month is the payment for your mortgage. We are pretty sure you share the sentiment that it will be nice to lower it by a few hundred dollars. It it possible? Well, yes. Looking at the current interest rates at the moment you can save a lot over the years.

Go for a bundled phone, internet, and cable service

Buying anything in bulk will save you some money. This is true for your digital services such as your phone, cable, and internet. Bundling these services can save you around 40% to 60% depending on the going on rates in your area. Before signing up you can negotiate for a better rate and you might be surprise with the savings that you can get. Remember that these companies are also looking forward to keep your business amid the tough economy.

Shop around for a new home insurance

Doing your homework and re-shopping your home insurance can create a big difference. This does not mean that you will go for the cheapest policy that you can find the market. Your home insurance protects your properties and you want a provider that can handle your claims efficiently and fairly.

Beef up home safety

Installing a good alarm system, storm shutters, or a new roof can help you lower the cost for your home insurance. According to studies, you can save as much as 5% on homeowners insurance when you have smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and other safety measures in place. Fire alarms and sprinkler systems can help shave off around 20% from your monthly premiums.

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Property Selling: Tips on writing a listing description


Selling real estate is a lot easier today with the help of the internet, even without hiring an agent. A lot of homeowners are more curious on how they can sell their property online. For this post, we focus on how you can make a good description when you list your property online:

Be honest

What is most important is that you should be honest when you put your property up for sale. You need to put only the correct details about your home. Any misleading information may disappoint potential buyers, make them cancel the transaction, and you will waste people’s time. Of course, any untruthful disclosure about your home may also push someone to file a lawsuit against you.

Be concise

The internet reaches to a lot of people but you need to remember that people also have shorter attention spans when looking at online ads. There are millions of choices so a long description may turn off a potential buyer. Your information should be very accurate, detailed, but not too flowery.

Be positive

If you feel that your home is a great property for other families, then by all means say what you feel. Showcase the beautiful landscape or the staircase or any other good traits of your home.

Highlight the best features

Make sure that the description of your property is eye-friendly. The reader must be able to scan through it and see the wonderful features of your home. Avoid making a big block of prose since people will not read them.

Be creative

Make a catchy headline that will make people checkout your home. You can say 365 days of sunshine and perfect weather instead of just saying where it is located. These creative punches will make your potential buyers read on through your description and maybe decide to check it out and purchase it.

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Real Estate Tips: Getting the best interest rates

Interest, Real Estate

real-estateAre you planning to buy a home or maybe refinance your current loan? The next question you need to ask is what things do you need to have under your name to get the best interest rates from lenders? If you want the best interest rates for your mortgage, it really boils down to a good financial history.

If your credit is not perfect, do not give up. Read on and learn how you can qualify for the best mortgage interest rate possible:

Great Credit

Lenders reward responsible consumers who know to pay bills on time. Pay your bills on time and there is a 100% gurantee that you have an excellent credit score. Your credit score is the most important infromation a lender needs. A very good or excellent credit score will mean favorable rates for you. In case you still need to build it up a bit, make sure you set up payment reminders so you do not miss your due dates. Use your credit cards but spend wisely and pay them back on time, too.

Sufficient income

You need to show proof that you can handle the monthly payments of your laon. You need to prove to the bank that you are a good risk to take. Ideally, lenders want to see that what you owe them plus your other liabilities are not going over 40% of what you earn every month. If you are over that line, you may want to reduce your liabilities by paying off other loans and credit cards.

Job history

In recent years, a lot of individuals experienced switching jobs or having disruptions in their employment. If you are lucky to have a very steady history of employment then you might enjoy low interest rates. If you were laid off recently, there is a very bleak chance that you can get the lowest mortgage interest rates.


Lenders also value doing business with those who are responsible savers. The bank will be willing to give you the lowest rates if you have assets such as savings accounts or reserves. You need at least six months of reserves before it would be convincing to any lender and qualify you for the best interest rates.

Make sure to get a home insurance estimate before you buy a house you're interested in. It's always important to know the full financial picture, and home insurance is an important part of that!

Make sure to get a home insurance estimate before you buy a house you're interested in. It's always important to know the full financial picture, and home insurance is an important part of that!

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Real Estate basics: Understanding home refinancing

Home Refinance, Real Estate

refinance-mortgageYour mortgage will most likely be the biggest debt you have ever to deal with your in your life. It is also quite long-term with home loans stretching between fifteen to thirty years. Along the course of this investment, as a homeowner you need to find means to maximize your equity and lower your debt. Here refinancing comes into the picture.

Reasons to do home refinancing

  1. Get a better interest rate – This is among the top reasons why homeowners wants to refinance. You basically swap a higher interest rate for a lower interest rate loan. This makes you monthly mortgage lower compared to your old one.
  1. Different type of mortgage – If you opted for an ARM or adjustable rate mortgage when you started the loan, you can expect the monthly payments to go up after some time. You can refinance and go for a fixed-rate loan so you can lock the interest rate and not be subjected to market fluctuations.
  1. Home equity – If you have improved your finances through the years, you might be more comfortable paying your mortgage. You can refinance and get a loan with a shorter term. If you do not want to refinance, you can also make additional payment every month to build the value of your home faster.
  1. Taking out cash – You can also refinance your mortgage and tap into the value that you have in your home. You can practically use this extra funds for other purposes like a home improvement, paying off other debt, or for your vacation.

You have to consider a lot of things when thinking of refinancing. Make sure that you consider potential penalties, how long will you still be staying in your current home, taxes, monthly payments, and equity among others.


Key information, demographics, school reports, and more for all communities within the Austin real estate area.

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Best updates for your home to get big returns when you are selling


One of the secrets in remodeling your home is to keep up with the other homes in your community. Keep up with the smiths and determine whether you want to make some profit out of the enhancements or just recoup the money when you sell the property.

It is a tough decision if you will remodel or not especially during these tough times but doing these enhancements will improve the chances of attracting buyers and making it standout from other homes for sale nearby. Here are some updates you can do that will surely contribute to a successful and profitable selling:

Give your kitchen a facelift

If you have a nice, spacious kitchen, you can spruce it up prior to the sale by replacing appliances and changing the old cabinets. Improve the countertops and make sure you give the flooring an overhaul. You might spend about $20,000 but your house might sale faster compared to other properties and you can recoup as much as 80% of the cost of improvements. If you do not have the budget for it, you can give it a new character by changing the color palette of the space and making sure everything is very clean.

Re-do the Bathroom

It might be the smallest space at your home and remodeling this important spot will not have a very heavy price tag. Try to give it new tiles, medicine cabinet, fixture, flooring, and wallpaper. This might cost you around $16K with a recoup of about $12K. When total overhaul is beyond the budget, you can still improve it by reglazing your tub for about $400 and changing the shower head and faucets so it will look updated.

Window dressing

You can replace the old windows to make sure that they are beautiful and energy efficient. The total bill for this might go for around $11K and wll give a return of about 77%.

Patch of landscape

You ca n give the garden a little makeover by doing it yourself or hiring a professional landscape artist. It is an investment that will sure attract buyers and will sure return some money into your pockets.

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Renting before buying a new home when moving to a new city


If you are moving to a new city because you want a new setup, a new beginning, or forced because of work, you might want to rent a property first before buying a new home. The tendency for someone moving to a new place is to immediately check out the real estate market and see what’s up for grabs but do not hurry and shop for a year while renting. Here are the reasons why you should rent first:

Learning about the new city takes a while

When someone moves to a new city, you might stay in one part of town and feel that you like it but only to realize in the end that another place is far better. If you will be like this then you have not acted like you’re an informed buyer.

An informed buyer will know the difference between the neighborhoods including the best spots, potentially dangerous spots, weather patterns , and more. You need to spend some time to explore the different neighborhoods. You can visit each part of town and checkout their parks, groceries, schools, playgrounds, theaters, and other, points of interest.

A lot of things can happen in a year’s time

Imagine you moved to a new city and bought a new home but finds out after six months that you do not like your new job and you get an offer to go back to your old job. Or another picture will be getting a better job opportunity in another city. But what can you do when you are stuck paying for a new home?

Settling down takes time so renting a place before buying your new home is the wiser move.

Moving to another city involves a ton of stress

Transferring to another town or city involves a lot of stress. Relocating means leaving family or closest of friends behind. Goodbyes are never easy. Packing is not easy. Even hiring the right mover is stressful.

The change will be big and do not take more stress by getting a new mortgage hurriedly.

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Investing In Real Estate — How To Do It: 2


real estate investing1While researching is very, very important, you also want to make sure that you have really, really good credit, as you will need to get a loan in order to start investing in real estate.  Making sure that you credit is in tip-top shape is by far one of the most steps, as you want to ensure that you get a really good loan.

Getting a loan from the bank is difficult, especially in this economy and if you have even a few flecks on your credit, you might not be able to get a decent loan in order to jump start your real estate business, so make sure that you fix all of those defects in your credit.

Once you do that, research the market that you are interested in making a profit from, this will definitely allow you to know what you might be up against.

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Investing In Real Estate — How To Do It: 1


real_estate_investing_385x261Investing in real estate is tricky, tricky business.  It is not something that you are going to want to just get into, it is something that you are certainly going to want to know something about before you jump head first into it.  That is what we are going to talk about, how you can make the switch and get into the real estate business.

First step is researching.  Whenever you are in the real estate business, you want to make sure that you are going to be passionate about it.  You want to make sure that you have the skills to actually do it and that is where research comes into play.

This might involve talking to people who are actually currently investors, so that way you can get their input.

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Home Inspections … What Are They? 2


home-inspectionsWhile the home inspector might be someone that is very important to deal with, there are a few other details that you might want to take into consideration whenever you are looking to purchase a home.  For example, why do we do home inspections?

One of the major reasons why we should get a home inspection has got to be to ensure that home is going to be livable and that you are actually going to be making an investment.  Home inspectors are going to give you the truth and nothing but the truth.

You always want to make sure that you are buying an investment whenever you get a home and that is what a home inspector will do fro you!

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Home Inspections … What Are They?


home-inspectionWhenever you are looking to purchase a home, there are so many different things that you are going to want to take into consideration and the home inspection is one of them.  In these few blogs that are coming up, we are going to go through the choosing process and we are going to make sure that you get yourself the right home and with the right inspection.

One of the first things that you want to make sure that you are doing whenever you choose a home inspector is that the home inspector is professional and that they are experienced.  That is what is going to make sure that you get the right home and the best deal.

A good home inspector has testimonials to back up their work as well as a state license.

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