All posts by schatzi

Home Buyers Now is the Time to Buy a House

I have been watching homes listings and sales in the Inland Empire, specifically Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, very closely.

What I have noticed is that since about the first of this year, a number of homes have been staying on the market a minimum of about 2 months, therefore giving you as a buyer more homes to choose from in any given area.

At this particular point in time, there are many, many homes for sale in all different price ranges, ages, and types.

It appears that the price of homes has stabilized quite a bit, plus many sellers are offering help with some of buyers closing costs.

You, as a buyer are being given more choices in the types of homes you can buy as well.

There are many properties listed for the first time buyer and can be found under the $400,000 mark.

This is beneficial to a buyer because the maximum amount of a new loan for a conforming interest rate is $417,000.

Loans over $417,000 are considered Jumbo loans and are subject to slightly higher interest rates together with a few different conditions.

Interest rates for conforming loan amounts are still good. If you purchase a home at or under the $417,000 amount you would still have a great interest rate even if you felt it necessary to use 100% financing options.

This alone means that you would not have to put a down payment and if the seller is willing to pay part of your closing costs, you could purchase that new home for very little out-of-pocket money. Some restrictions do apply and any new loan is subject to underwriter final approval and any conditions necessary to close the loan.

There are many, many different options for new loans from Pay Option ARMS to typical fixed 30 year loans.

One thing you, as a buyer, should remember is that you will want to employ a real estate agent of your own to represent you in the purchase of a home.

There is so much involved today with the purchase of a home that you really need someone to watch over you.

The agent who has the listing on a property you choose is not really the agent you want to represent you. That agent represents the Seller. You need your own representation.

Disclosures alone have become a huge responsibility for the buyer and seller. There are several new disclosures that must be completed and given to the buyer.

You as the buyer should make sure you have a physical inspection done of the home you choose to purchase, even if it is a newer home, as you never know what repairs may be needed.

With the help of your own personal real estate agent, that agent will make sure that everything is completed properly and that on the day of the closing your escrow you are excited to be moving into your new home.

If you are a renter, you might be surprised to find how easy it is to buy a home.

From what I have heard, renting can be very expensive so why would you want to continue to pay your landlords house payment when you can be paying your own house payment and gaining net worth at the same time.

If you are worried about your credit score, not to worry, there are so many loan programs out there, that most folks can truly buy a house.

Patti Schopper

My views and comments are based on my personal research and should not be construed and anything else. Contact me with any questions:

Cheap House Insurance Quotes: Tips for Increasing Your Chance of Getting Affordable Home Insurance

Are you a new homeowner? Or do you wish to have cheaper insurance? Finding cheap house insurance quotes online isn’t difficult. You just need to weed out the good offers from the bad. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can in all likelihood get a good deal.

Here are a few tips you can use to help you get cheap quotes and choose the one that is right for you:

1. You’ll need the right amount of coverage in addition to the right policy. The amount of money you paid for your house is not going to be the same amount that it would cost to rebuild the house in the event it is badly damaged. There is always the potential for disaster occurring on the property around the house as well. Keep this in mind when determining the amount of coverage you should have. Also, carefully read over each and every policy for which you are provided a quote, including the terms and exclusions.

2. You can increase your chances of obtaining a cheaper quote if you “disaster-proof” your home. There is at least some potential hazard, no matter where you live. Even if you don’t have to worry about earthquakes, tornados, or hurricanes, there is always fire to worry about. You never know when a big hail storm might cause damage to your roof. A small stream of water can potentially turn into a raging river if the rain is heavy enough. Adding reinforcements, such as storm shutters, can help you save on home insurance.

More Tips for Cheap House Insurance Quotes

3. Don’t forget about security threats. Another way to get cheap house insurance quotes is to increase your home’s security. You can do this in a number of ways, such as installing deadbolts, having an alarm system, off-site monitoring, and so forth.

4. Look for third party discounts, if possible. If the insurer is a senior citizen and member of certain clubs, for instance, discounts are available. You might qualify for a discount if you belong to a specific occupational organization, or through your homeowners associations.

5. Your credit score plays a role in the home insurance quotes you get. It is imperative for a any reason to maintain a good credit score. If you have poor credit or no credit at all, look for ways to make improvements or establish a line of credit. Make sure your credit reports are all up to date and contain no errors.

As long as you keep these factors in mind, you should be able to obtain cheap house insurance quotes. Begin your search for a good policy and coverage from Lemonade, which is a very reputable organization.

Make Your Own Doll House at Home Without Frustration – 5 Tips

Making your own doll house is a great way to spend some quality time with your children and to encourage their own creativity. It’s also a great way to teach them the value of reuse. Actually making the doll house, though, can be frustrating when you’re not sure how to go about it.

Here are 5 helpful tips for making your own doll house without the frustration.

1. Plan Your Doll House

Most of us aren’t blessed with the ability to play it by ear on a large project and have everything turn out. You should have a good idea what you want the finished product to be, and how everything will fit together. Know where you need to cut, why, and clearly mark “this side up” where needed to keep yourself oriented. There’s nothing worse that getting most of the way done, only to realize that one of the pieces won’t fit because it was upside down!

If you do wing it, keep detailed notes about what you did so that you can repeat the process when your neighbor wants one for their kids.

2. Involve Your Children

Unless the doll house is being made as a gift for one of the children, it’s best to involve them in the entire process. The act of making something from scratch, of constructing it and seeing it take form is very healthy for a child and encourages their own creativity and confidence. While it’s tempting to think that it would be faster to just do it yourself, involve your kids and enjoy the experience, no matter how long it takes.

Do be safe, and keep track of the scissors and exacto knife at all times!

3. Make It Durable

Doll houses are made for playing, so focus on making it durable. You can also make it fancy if you and your kids want, but durable should come first. They’ll have much more fun with a doll house that lasts years, rather than one that falls apart after a couple of play sessions.

Cardboard is a convenient and inexpensive building material, but isn’t known for being durable. The edges of cardboard are danger spots, as young arms might reach over a wall into a doll house. You can reinforce the edges with wood scraps from any other projects you might have going on to create an edge that will hold up to abuse.

4. Use What You Have

It’s tempting to go to the craft store and buy everything you need for a doll house new. But it sends a better message to your children, and is cheaper, to use materials you already have around the house.

An empty paper towel tube, for example, can become a dining room chair or a painted column. Be prepared to learn from experience what works and what doesn’t. For example, old popsicle sticks might work as the surface and legs of a dining room table, or the sides of a stroller. But craft sticks are cheap enough and far more durable.

5. Accept What Comes

The chances are good that something won’t go according to plan. Rather than fume about it, just accept it as something new in the plan and continue on as best as you can. If the window isn’t exactly where you wanted it, well the view’s probably better from the new location anyway.

House Plans in 3D – A Market Strategy For Home Builders and Residential Developers

With the economy still forecast to be gloomy and an uncertain road ahead, many residential developments and their builders have put the brakes on new construction projects. For builders and developers in the speculative home building market the strategies for earning a living from what they do best and remaining solvent while doing so are limited and challenging.

Many have resorted to building smaller homes using value engineered construction plans, emphasizing quality not quantity. Much more effort has gone into making a home energy-efficient and utilizing the latest green technologies available today. Also, more affordable homes are being built using less expensive, more standardized materials.

Builders have sharpened their pencils to shrink profit margins, incorporated more productive methods to reduce operating costs and upgraded to the latest technologies to streamline project efficiency. Some have even regrouped, combining resources and developing partnerships with others in their field.

But cost saving tactics can only go so far, especially with bank financing for builders and developers remaining problematic. Creative, private financing has been the alternative for some, however, that is not without its own drawbacks. High interest rates and larger upfront contributing costs required of builders and developers can significantly eat into profit margins.

Many home building companies realizing that future success will depend not only on fresh business practices and sleeker operational models that continually produce less expensive, noticeably better homes are now innovating; stressing more creative approaches to buyer’s needs. The option of marketing their speculative homes via 3D virtual house plans is fast becoming the preferred innovative sales tool.

Today’s buyers want things their way. And they expect a say in what they get. For example, many are more interested in practical and reasonably attractive function than simply fancy form. Small efficient floor plans with flexible space are more relevant than grandiose entrances with huge staircases. Instead of guessing what to build and hoping they will come, listen to prospective homeowners, and give them a chance to personalize each project.

That is why many open-minded builders, thinking outside the box, have been pre-selling semi-customized versions of model homes, through computer modeling of 3D house plans. By providing several base floor plans with full computer generated 3D color views of both the interior and exterior of the proposed new home plan, builders and developers are able to market their projects with the least amount of upfront costs and preparations.

This relatively inexpensive, cost-effective market strategy is a win-win situation worth considering. Builders don’t have to spend a dime in advance on home construction materials or labor costs without knowing the end results. Their sales team and physical presence can be significantly reduced – think virtual office. Actual site visits to model homes would not be encumbered by bad weather or scheduling hassles. Virtual tours would be available on the company website featuring all 3D imagery of the home plans and accompanied by detailed lot information, pricing options and customizations or upgrades.

For a buyer, who can now “shop” from the convenience of his or her home, an initial “walk-through” doesn’t waste either party’s time. With virtual 3D modeling of floor plans future homeowners can see what the proposed residence will look like and get a good impression of spatial relationships within the layout. They can view color options and material choices with respect to exterior siding, trim details and interior finishes.

Buyers still crave customized spaces that look and feel more like unique personal expressions. Starting from the pre-designed computer generated floor plans; buyers would be able to interact with pre-packaged upgrades, color and material choices and other customizable options. All material and finish details such as lighting, fixtures, hardware, appliances, flooring, paint color and exterior siding can then easily be selected and pre-priced. Contracts could be finalized with the least amount of effort.

The marketing strategy of pre-selling new home construction with 3D house plans is an effective method not only for large developments but is especially beneficial for small builders with very little capital and no sales team. A number of our small builder clients with one or two building lots in their inventory have chosen to pre-sell with 3D house plans rather than start risky construction projects on speculation. The money invested in architectural design work pales in comparison to the financing of building construction. And the peace of mind gained from knowing that the project is paid for works wonders on reducing job stress.

Marketing speculative home construction through pre-designed customizable house plans and computer generated 3D modeling is fast becoming the new norm. We have seen this trend both locally and nationwide where future homeowners have a say in the design and construction of their new home and builders have found a new niche for maintaining a profitable business.

House Beautiful Magazine – For Latest Home Decor Ideas

A house feels like a home only when you have given it your own, very special touch. Thus, it is very important that you take some steps to make it look beautiful. You can do so in your own special style – you don’t have to copy someone else’s. The issue with getting interior decorators to do this is that they firstly charge a lot of money, and secondly, it will not be something which you have done by yourself. In order to make a house look like your home, you have to do something by yourself. Each and every part of the house must look like it’s a reflection of who you are.

For Beginners

Now it is perfectly understandable if you have no idea how to do this. You can however, get a House beautiful magazine subscription which can tell you what you should do. This magazine contains some of the best tips of home decoration. You can know all about the latest styles, and tips on home decoration so that every part of your home looks decent and well cared for. There are some excellent articles from renowned experts on how to get the right home decor articles, and where you can keep what kind of stuff.

Useful Information

There are also some excellent ideas on how you can use the natural lighting from the windows of your home for much better look. You can read up stuff on Feng Shui, which will tell you how to draw in positive energies from various natural elements into your home. You can also get some exciting discount coupons from various stores, and be the first one to know where the hottest sales are happening in the city. Using all of this, you will find that you are able to furnish your home very well with the best quality materials and furniture, and in a very inexpensive way. It will be great fun, and you can never get enough of this magazine.

Interviews and Much More

With house beautiful magazine, you can also read up the interviews of well known decorators who will give you some great tips on rearranging furniture. Thus, if you are expecting guests, and would like to have a little more space in your home, you could use these tips to realign your furniture which would give you plenty of space to work on. If you love a particular celebrity, you will be very pleased to find that this magazine also covers the way they decorate their homes. You can thus, make your home one of the most respected and admired one in your neighbourhood. People would love to come over, and you would never stop receiving complements from them for your skills of home decoration.

House Insurance Coverage Summary: The Importance of Insuring Your Home and Property

If you’re looking for house insurance coverage, it’s important to have a good understanding of what it is. This type of insurance typically provides coverage for your private home, and in the event it is damaged or loss, compensates you. How much of the property that is covered, and how much compensation money you can receive, depends on the insurance company itself as well as the policy, deductible, and what is exactly covered in the policy.

Property damage can be covered in your policy if you want to protect the property itself, including the yard and any items of value other than the house, such as the storage building, gazebo, or garage. There is also home contents insurance that protects your valuables from loss or theft.

Your geographical location and local weather play a role in the type of policy you get. Most places require fire and flood insurance, even if you just live close to a stream. It does happen sometimes – streams can turn into raging rivers if there is enough rain. Those living in coastal areas are usually required to have hurricane property.

Optional House Insurance Coverage

Some house insurance coverage is optional and not required. If you feel that some of your neighbors are untrustworthy, for instance, you might extra theft damage or even some type of medical care coverage. It’s possible to save money and get discounts for taking extra safety precautions. Remove all objects on the property someone could possibly trip over. Have security alarms and cameras installed around the property to reduce the risk of being robbed. Working smoke detectors are always essential for not only safety, but for increasing the overall safety of your property.

Liability coverage is definitely the most essential part of homeowners insurance. If a visitor winds up getting injured while on your property or in your home, you might end up having to pay compensation. If you are sued, you’ll have to hire a lawyer, and that could potentially cost thousands of dollars.

It will also be very costly if your house is utterly destroyed and you have to have it rebuilt. Some insurance coverage will pay for a hotel or other living arrangement while it is being repaired or rebuilt. Consider the rebuilding costs of the home versus its actual value when purchasing house insurance coverage.

Since home / property insurance can be so complicated, first take the time to research it further. The best place to find information about house insurance coverage, and to get a reliable quote, is Lemonade Insurance. It’s highly-rated and very affordable in many states.

What Is My House Worth? Tips to Appraise Your Own Home

Are you always thinking how much your house is now worth? Many instances, you’ve heard that appraising property values are best handled by professionals. Despite the strong urge to hire their services you have always reservations within that hiring them is pricy. If you’re caught with this dilemma, why not appraise your house yourself. Is this possible? Of course. By knowing several indicators, you can have a hint of how much your house is priced. Here are some tips.

Market Approach and Value Reconciliation

Do you know that the best indicators are available in the market? If there are several home sales happening in your neighborhood or even within your area, chances are you can have a huge hint on how much your house is worth. Find homes that are similar in area and place and you can already provide rough estimates. Reconcile this with the number of bathrooms, bedrooms and other features which are similar to the home that was sold. And you’re on the right track of determining its price.

Use of Online Home Appraisal Applications

Technology is fast-becoming relevant in many industries. Real estate is no different. There are numerous applications which are now used by the industry professionals to make their work easier. Some also offer the use of these applications for free in their official websites. Capitalizing on these facts, you can have readily made instruments to provide appraisal calculations based on information you will provide.

As the current homeowner, you should be in-the-know of the home’s square footage including gross area and floor area, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car ports, and even accessibility to roads and important locations. With this bunch of information, the online applications and even those which you can download to your smartphones will prove to be beneficial.

It is in a few clicks that you will already know the current price of your house.

The estimates provided by the market indicators as well that those reflected by the applications always stay as estimates. They are not exact figures. If you really want to know exact appraisal values, it is always better to have professionals do the job for you.

If you are worried of the service charges, there is always the negotiation time to help you lower down the service rates. Remember that real estate professionals including property appraisers are always ready to be of service to those who need their expert services and expert advises.

House and Home Insurance: A Guide to Evaluating the Worth of Your Home and Belongings

You know that you have to get home insurance of some kind to protect your dwelling, but there are so many options that you might feel overwhelmed. It’s important to determine just how much insurance you’ll need to adequately protect your home, property, and contents. Don’t forget about the items inside your home, either. Some basic insurance policies only include coverage for the property itself. It’s ideal that you search for house and home insurance that covers everything, including walls, furniture, appliances, carpet, jewelry, electronics, and so forth.

At the minimum, make sure you get insurance that covers the property itself, contents, legal liability should anyone become injured on the property, and loss of use so that you’ll be able to pay for temporary housing while the house gets repaired. If you want money for the actual REPAIRS, you’ll need additional coverage such as flood, fire, windstorm, and so forth. Depending on where you live, flood and hurricane insurance might be required anyway.

Think about how much it will cost to rebuild the home, and how much money you’ll need to replace all of the belongings that you lost. House and home insurance is designed to help you plan for the absolute worst, whatever it may be. Don’t just simply consider the cost of rebuilding, there are going to be market fluctuations to consider as well. Plus, the value of many of your belongings is likely to go down over the years. If you’ve done any remodeling or added new features, that will affect the overall value of the home.

House and Home Insurance for Worst-Case Scenario

How much will it cost to rebuild and replace in a worst-case-scenario? This is something you might want to work with an agent with, as well as the contractors who helped with the renovation.

Is a broader policy right for you or do you want specific add-ons? Is there anything you want to exclude? If you live in an area that experiences freezing cold temperatures during winter months, you might want to consider a policy that includes protection against freezing pipes. If you live down in a valley and could potentially lose your home to mudslides, or have room damage from falling rocks, consider a policy that includes protection from falling objects.

As for the contents of the home itself, go around room to room taking inventory. In addition to approximating the costs of valuables such as jewelry and electronics, you should also remember to include furniture, goods, appliances, wall art, and so forth.

Start looking into plans offered by companies such as Lemonade. With its helpful tools such as an artificial intelligence bot, you can get an estimate for house and home insurance in just 90 seconds. Lemonade discounts are among the best in the industry, and the company is very transparent.

Why It's Called A House HUNT?

We often refer to the process, of looking for a home, as house – hunting! Why is this search, and action, referred to, as a HUNT ? Since, for most people, the value of their residence, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, and, home ownership is often, considered the American Dream, does it make sense, to proceed, in the finest, well – considered manner? If there was a way, to proceed, forward, in the best possible manner, and, simplify the process of finding the right home, for you, wouldn't it make sense, to become a better hunter, and do so? With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, how to transform one's hunt, to the happiest experience, possible.

1. Happiness / happy; heating system; human issues; helpful: If a place does not provide one, with some degree of additional happiness, it's not for you! Examine areas, which might affect your happy, comfortable enjoyment, of the house, such as various aspects, regarding the heating system. Some people prefer specific forms, and some, are too dry, for certain people. The costs should be considered, in terms of the energy source, as well as maintenance and repair – related issues! Don't ignore your personal, human issues, and whether, a particular property, seems to be helpful, towards better enjoying your overall life!

2. Uses; usual / unusual; urges / urgent; useful: How do you, envision, using and enjoying, your home? Does it meet, and exceed, your needs, goals, and prioritizes, and have you considered, a variety of options, and uses? Consider, both your usual, as well as unusual, affected, and know, which is most urgent, and useful, to you!

3. Needs; niche; nuances; neighborhood: Consider, clearly, both the needs, of your specific house, as well as the neighborhood! What about your specific needs, etc, may be, addressed by, specific nuances, of this property? Does it fully address the niche, you seek?

4. Taxes; time (how long?); trends; types: How high are the real estate taxes, and, can you afford, these costs, when added to the other expenses of home ownership? How long you plan, to reside there, is a significant factor, in what to examine, and demand! Are there specific trends, you wish, your home, to possess? Which type of house, is best suited to you, and your family? If you have issues with steps, for example, focus on ranch – houses! Know what each style of house offers, and the advantages and disadvantages, of each type!

When a home buyer, focuses, clearly, from the onset, his HUNT becomes a simpler one! Be an aware, informed buyer, so you can make the wisest decision, for your specific needs!

House Insurance Online Guide: 5 Mistakes You MUST Avoid When Buying Home Insurance

Home insurance is something that most people require. While it is very easy to search for house insurance online, it's not as easy to actually select a policy. There are plenty of mistakes that people make when selecting coverage. Just one mistake can cost you dearly.

Since it's probably one of – if not THE – most valuable asset you own, it's essential that you buy the correct type of insurance for your house.

Here are some huge mistakes you'll want to avoid when purchasing house insurance online:

Mistake # 1: Underinsuring your home

Many people go with the lowest price thinking they will save money every month. They buy only enough insurance to cover the mortgage, or only insure the house for its real estate value, in the gamble that the house won't burn to the ground or get flooded out.

But that shouldn't be a gamble you take. What you should do is buy enough coverage so that you will easily be able to rebuild the home. Building a house usually costs more than what it is worth – especially considering the increase in construction prices.

Mistake # 2: Not buying contents insurance

Don't forget about the actual contents INSIDE the home when shopping around for house insurance. Make sure the policy includes your personal belongings. What are you going to do if your favorite, expensive piece of jewelry is stolen? Or all of the furniture, floors, and appliances on the first floor and basement are destroyed in a flood?

Mistake # 3: Overestimating your amount of coverage

Don't just assume that because the monthly payment is high that it covers everything. You must know all of the details of the policy. You could end up filing a claim for nothing. Before making any agreements with an insurance company, make sure you understand what is covered, what is not covered, when you will be allowed to make a claim, and for how much.

Mistake # 4: Not setting your deductible correctly

Another common mistake many people make when buying house insurance online is setting their deductible either too too low or too high. With too high of a deductible, you could end up with large premium payments. With it too low, you will wind up paying more out of the pocket when something goes wrong.

Mistake # 5: Ignoring certain types of weather coverage

Whether you live at a high elevation and don't think you'll need flood coverage, or live outside of an area prone to earthquakes and don't think you'll need earthquake coverage, you are mistaken. Anything can cause a flood, including a plumbing disaster. Even if it's not your entire property, you'll still have some damages to worry about. As for an earthquake, there are states other than California, HI, and Alaska to worry about. There are Faults in other parts of North America as well.

Keep these factors in mind when searching for house insurance online . The best place to start is with Lemonade. It offers a variety of affordable policies for homeowners and renters, and even covers contents. If you're lucky, you might even be able to find Lemoande sales and coupon offers.