Ask Your Appraiser

Prior to jumping the broom and saying “I do,” some couples decide to have a contract set in place that protects themselves and their assets. Though normally associated with the wealthy, these documents are now reaching couples across the financial latter establishing a more precautionary future. In order to prevent an unfair or unenforceable agreement, follow these 4 steps when constructing a contract with your attorney (which, by the way, you both need separately.) 

1. Negotiate Terms 
If your partner asks you to sign a prenup, keep in mind that this is not a “take it or leave it” type of situation. You have the right to make changes and ask for compromises so that it reflects the interests of both parties.

2. Ask Questions
Raising questions is an indication that a person has read the document, which prevents any uncertainty about the contract. It’s best to be extremely transparent about the terms of the clause. This understanding, in turn, promotes positivity within the marriage.

3. Have Your Valuables Appraised
As stated, a prenup is most commonly designed to protect the spouse with greater assets from losing an unfair part of wealth in the event of a divorce. Therefore, disclosing real estate and any other valuable items when meeting with your attorney will assist in preserving what’s actually yours.

4. Read The Contract Carefully
We’re sure you’ve heard that a person should never sign a document without properly reading it over. One may end up agreeing to things they dislike, or even fail to realize what they could potentially be giving up. 


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Posted by on March 14th, 2016 1:37 PMLeave a Comment

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June 5th, 2015 11:16 AM

With beautiful weather in season, we think convincing people to spend more time outdoors, getting a little gardening work done won’t be hard right? Well not exactly. But what most don’t know or might not think about is how good it is for the body and mind to spend some time outside in the sun. According to an article written on Yahoo, there was a study that found that a person that spent 30 minutes gardening had lower stress levels than that of a person who spent 30 minutes indoors. Gardening can even help put you in a more positive frame of mind.

If this doesn’t motivate you enough to step outside & smell the roses, maybe a couple of the following reasons can help:

It helps you stay fit. Pulling weeds, digging, and trimming burns calories.

There is no minimum space limit. You can garden in almost any space. Big gardens, small gardens, pots etc.

Your life won’t stop. Luckily gardening does not request as much time from you as people may think. Gardens, for the most part, are pretty low maintenance.

May improve the value of your home. There is nothing better than catching a buyer’s attention with great curb appeal. A buyer will walk into your home, already partially in love with the place.

 

Now I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t think of a better stress reliever than this. 


Posted by Michael Anthony on June 5th, 2015 11:16 AMLeave a Comment

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May 13th, 2015 2:20 PM
If you have kids or planning on starting a family in the future, consider picking a school to be as important as it is to pick the perfect home. It is up to you to do the research and determine what schools are "good" in the area you are planing on buying a home. Due to fair housing laws agents and property managers cant offer their opinions on schools. Once you have decided on the school district of your choice you can then have your agent search for homes in that area. 

Stick to the facts Find out what the reputation of the school is. What do the test score say about the level of education at the school? Its best to prepare questions before heading out to school districts to do your research.

Posted by Michael Anthony on May 13th, 2015 2:20 PMLeave a Comment

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The process of buying a home generally starts with determining your buying power. Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the next step is to find the properties that most nearly fit your needs. This is the time to choose a realtor. Your realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining financing begins. Your realtor can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

The Lending Process

  • Borrower interviews lenders to select one with which to proceed.
  • Borrower contacts the selected lender to get price and perhaps other information bearing on whether or not to proceed further with the particular lender. The typical borrower wants a price quote. The lender wants the borrower to provide enough information to permit a preliminary judgment regarding whether the borrower will qualify, and what the price will be. The borrower will respond, using telephone or email, by providing undocumented information covering credit, income, assets  and property.
  • Lender assesses preliminary information and reports favorable results back to the borrower with a request to move ahead. If the borrower assents, the lender requests the borrower's social security number so that the borrower's credit record can be accessed and also ask for income and asset documentation.
  • Borrower provides the information required to move to the next stage. At this stage if not done earlier, borrower and lender agree on the type of loan that best suits the borrower.
  • Lender assesses the borrower's credit report and documentation, completes the borrower's written application form, and prepares a packed of documents including a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Truth in Lending (TIL) disclosures. These disclosures contain the terms of the loan being offered.

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Posted by Michael Nix (A) on August 20th, 2014 1:38 PMLeave a Comment

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August 20th, 2014 12:55 PM

 

One common thread that runs through homeowners is that they typically think their home is the nicest in the development. Whether or not you own the nicest home on the block, when it comes time to refinance or sell it, getting a high home appraisal cost is crucial. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to assure that you receive credit for all the ways you think your house is worth maximum dollars.

1. Clear Away Clutter

Although clutter may be evidence of a busy family, it can also lead an appraiser to question if the homeowner can maintain the entire home if they can't even keep their countertops and other surfaces free of junk.

Some quick de-cluttering tips:

  • Box up and store excess items in the home.
  • Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathroom. If what's sitting on the counter is frequently used, hide it away in a cupboard so that your counters are free of anything that isn't decorative.
  • If all else fails, or you don't have enough time to property clean, shove your clutter into boxes and store it briefly in your car or storage unit.

2. Clean the House

While this seems like an obvious step, many homeowners are busy with jobs and family concerns and overlook the obvious fact that a clean home is desirable home.

3. Make an Investment

  • Paint the interior a neutral color. For the price of a few cans of paint and some elbow grease, you can actually add value to the home.
  • Get rid of vinyl flooring. Replacing it with ceramic tile, wood or even laminate flooring.
  • Update countertops. Laminate countertops should be replaced with ceramic tile or, preferably, granite.

4. Reseed and patch the Lawn

Investing $100 in grass seed to reseed or at least patch bare spots in your lawn can really pay off.

5. Patch Sidewalks and Driveways

Few things in life are certain, but if you see a small crack in your home's sidewalk or driveway, you can know with 100% certainty that it will only get worse if left unattended. Ready-to-use sealant for patching cracks in concrete is sold in tubes (about $5 for a 10-ounce tube) and applied with a simple caulking gun, while asphalt repair products are even less expensive.

6. Upgrade your Mailbox

Whether it's a roadside mailbox or one mounted by the floor door, the mailbox is one of the first things visitors to your home notice, but something you probably take for granted. Shop carefully and $100 could buy an attractive new mailbox and maybe even a new post to mount it on. You could also just invest in some fresh paint for an easy and affordable spruce up. Plant a perennial, like ornamental grass or a climbing vine, near your rehabbed mailbox for added appeal. 

7. Power Wash Decks and Patios

Buying a quality power washer to pressure hose decks, patios and other outdoor surfaces will likely set you back way more than a hundred bucks. But fro about $50, you can probably rent for a day from a home improvement store and scrub down pretty much everything that needs washing.

8. Paint your Shutters

    Step 1- Clean your shutters with soapy water. If you need a ladder, position it where appropriate. Scrub all surfaces that need painting; dirt and dust will prevent your paint from adhering properly.

    Step 2- Place old newspapers under each shutter and around your doors.

    Step 3- Use the painters tape to cover the house around the shutter to protect against accidents

    Step 4- Get your buckets ready and put your vinyl gloves on. Pour primer into the first bucket.

    Step5- Paint at the top of the shutter and work your way down. Make sure to get in between the slats. Use light pressure to eliminate brush strokes.

    Step 6- Once your primer dries, repeat the steps for your paint in the second bucket.

    Step 7- Some colors require two coats to achieve a richer shade. Be sure to let each coat dry before you start on the next coat.

9. Solar Landscaping Lights

Solar landscape lights are a cheaper, greener and easier alternative than having a complicated lighting system installed in your yard. Simply place the lights around your yard, let them drink in the sunshine for power and enjoy your newly lit yard at night.

10. Freshen up the Front Door

Consider repainting the door in a contrasting color that really pops, polishing or replacing weatherworn hardware and maybe springing for a new set of house numbers.

As you tour your home deciding what changes to make, keep an eye out for maintenance problems such as torn window screens, dripping faucets, running toilets, missing trim and broken door handles. These should be fixed prior to the appraiser's arrival.


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Posted by Michael Nix (A) on August 20th, 2014 12:55 PMLeave a Comment

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