Las Vegas Real Estate and Community News

May 17, 2018

5 Painting Tips For Beginners

5 Must-See Painting Tips For Every HomeWhen it comes to personalizing a home, painting the walls is one of the easiest ways to do it.  However, there’s more to painting a home than just dipping a brush in a bucket of paint, and homeowners who have never painted before may not know where to start or what the best ways to go about painting are. For homeowners who need a little help and some quick advice for their painting projects, here are five tips to remember to help make the job easier—whether you're painting your home for yourself or painting as part of the home-staging process.

1. Use Painter’s Tape

Cutting in can be difficult even for people with plenty of experience painting walls. For a little extra help, try putting down painter’s tape along surfaces that need to be protected such as windowsills, floor molding, and crown molding. Not only does the tape help prevent stray drops of paint from getting places they shouldn’t, but it also helps make crisp lines after it’s removed. Painter’s tape is easy to find in just about any hardware store paint department, so be sure to grab a roll when picking up paint. 

2. Protect Floors and Furniture With Tarps

As with any messy medium like paint, accident can happen, and when they do, they can be devastating. A paint tray can be on a ladder at one moment and on the floor the next, and that can be a mess that can’t be cleaned up normally, so it’s important for homeowners to do that they can to protect their home. While it’s best to move furniture out of the room completely during painting, sometimes that just isn’t possible. In those times, homeowners should use cloth tarps to protect the furniture as well as the floors

3. Use the Best Quality Paint You Can Afford

As with many things in life, paint comes in many different qualities that are based on the retail price with cheaper paints being lower quality than more expensive paints. It’s possible to find a gallon of paint from anywhere as low as $10 to as high as $100, but homeowners shouldn’t feel pressured to buy the most expensive paint they can find. There are many different paints such as Behr and Valspar that are sold for $35-50 per gallon that do just as good a job as the expensive stuff

4. Paint Vertically

When using a roller brush to paint a wall, it’s important to paint in vertical motions. If the homeowner mixes vertical and horizontal strokes, it can be noticeable when the paint has dried, and horizontal strokes can also lead to drips falling down the wall, and if they aren’t noticed, those drips can dry and make the wall look uneven. Using vertical strokes means any drips will be caught by the brush to ensure an even coat of paint.

5. Clean the Walls Before Painting

While it may be difficult to see at times, walls can have a lot of dust and dirt on them, and this can be a problem when painting. Dusty, dirty walls can prevent paint from sticking properly, which will lead it to peeling or chipping off later on. To prevent this, the homeowner should clean the walls with a lint-free cloth and an appropriate cleaner for the job, which can be purchased at any local hardware store.

Painting a home isn’t difficult once Lunad homeowners know what to do, and by using these five tips, anyone can help themselves be more prepared for the task ahead.

Posted in Home Improvement
May 10, 2018

5 Ways To Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

5 Essential Tips For Improving Curb AppealWhen two people meet, first impressions are key to how they will view each other and the opinions that will form, and when a home buyer sees a home for the first time, it’s no different. A home’s first impression is its curb appeal, so it’s extremely important for it to be the best it can possibly be when trying to sell the home. Keeping that in mind, here are five simple strategies homeowners can easily do themselves, and use to boost their home’s curb appeal when it comes time to sell.

Mow the Lawn

Most homeowners already take care of their lawn by fertilizing and mowing it regularly, but it’s one of those things that all buyers like to see when considering a home. A full, green lawn shows buyers that the homeowners are taking care of their home and take pride in its appearance

If keeping the lawn healthy isn’t already part of the homeowner’s routine, they should consider hiring a company who can give it exactly what it needs and either teach the homeowner how to best take care of it on their own or continue to mow it regularly for them. 

Remove Personal Decorations

Many homeowners like to put small statues in their gardens or hang a wind chime from a hook on the patio. When trying to sell a home, these sorts of things can be distracting for buyers because they may spend more time looking at a funny little garden gnome than they do at the garden itself. For this reason, it’s in the homeowner’s best interest to remove these sorts of personal decorations from outside the home until after all the home showings.

Tend the Gardens

If left to their own devices, gardens have a tendency to look more like jungles than flowerbeds. When cleaning up the yard, homeowners should also take a look at the gardens and keep an eye out for dead or overgrown plants. Both of these things can take away from gardens and make them look cluttered or like the homeowners don’t spend enough time maintaining their home

This doesn’t mean Legacy homeowners have to fill their garden to the brim with flowers, though. Just a few nice plants and a layer of fresh mulch can make a garden look great without demanding too much time and money.

Paint the Front Door

When someone visits the home, more than likely, they’re going to enter through the front door. A good way to improve curb appeal for the front door is simply to give it a fresh coat of paint. If it’s been a few years since its last time it got any updates, it may look dirty, faded, or possibly even beaten up from all the different weather its had to endure. Painting the front door can be a good way to make the front door look fresh and inviting for the buyers who come to visit. 

Power Wash the Walkways

When it comes to getting dirty, the home’s driveway and walkways are always on the front lines collecting dirt and grime. So while spending time trying to improve the home’s curb appeal, go the extra mile and buy a pressure washer or hire a service to come pressure wash the ground. Pressure washing can take years off of a home’s appearance and really make it look shiny and new, and the home itself may even benefit from a good pressure washing to get the grime off.

By using these five strategies, homeowners can help boost their home’s curb appeal so it can make the best first impressions possible. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 3, 2018

5 Home Smart Technologies that Will Save You Money

Smart Technology for the Home with the Best ReturnsThe word 'smart' is not an official label that companies have to pass multiple measured tests to achieve. So it's easy for homeowners to ignore products on the market that are all simultaneously being hailed as the biggest technological breakthrough in history. But there are certain products that won't just make a homeowner's life a lot easier in terms of effort—it can also save a homeowner money over time. Here are five items worth checking out.

Smart Thermostats

A smart thermostat can monitor the most popular rooms in the home, so each location is getting as much (or as little) conditioned air as possible. Once it has a general pattern established of the family's schedule, it can lower a family's heating bills by 12% and their air conditioning bills by 15%, making it one of the most popular energy efficient upgrades. Some systems will even geolocate where the homeowner is so the home will be the perfect temperature when they get back! Homeowners control the functions from their smartphones, so they can customize the system however they'd like.

Smart Moisture Sensors

Mold is caused by excess moisture in the air, but its destruction often goes unnoticed for months. When the cost of mold removal can easily add up to $5,000 or more, it helps for homeowners to take the right preventative steps. A smart moisture sensor works with the existing Wi-Fi network to alert homeowners of leaks or excess moisture immediately, which can give a homeowner the chance to perform simple mold removal (without having to pay for a pro.) There are even moisture sensors that will float in the case of a severe leak.

Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Today, homeowners don't need a separate carbon monoxide detector if they purchase the right smoke detector. These devices can send immediate notifications to the owner if there's a potential hazard—whether they're at home or not. This extra warning can ensure the safety of the people inside and potentially even the safety of the structure. These devices are so trusted that insurance companies may give homeowners a discount just for buying one. Plus, these smoke detectors won't be triggered by false alarms (e.g., cooking smoke, humidity, etc.)

Smart Sprinklers

Most sprinklers can be easily programmed to operate according to the homeowner's wishes, but a smart sprinkler takes this convenience a few steps forward. Not only does it work to deliver the precise amount of water the soil needs to thrive, but it can also check the weather forecast so homeowners won't swamp the yard with their sprinklers after a major rainstorm. These systems can't potentially save homeowners 30% or more on their water bills!

Smart Plugs

Smart plugs let homeowners connect to their Lake Las Vegas home no matter where they are. So if they happen to be in Europe when they realize they forgot to shut off their bedroom light, they don't have to waste electricity when they're out of the country. These systems are hardly brand new, but they can save a homeowner money who might not always be consistent when turning their appliances on and off.

Finding smart technology with the best returns is all about taking an honest look at the current state of the home. If there are currently no steps being taken to prevent mold or to save water, then a moisture sensor or smart sprinkler could potentially save hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars. Homeowners should determine their priorities first before deciding which device is worth it.

Posted in Home Improvement
April 19, 2018

What Homeowners Should Know About New Construction Techniques

Home Building Technologies on the HorizonNew construction technology has become truly mind-blowing for those in the industry, and yet most people don't know very much about the new advances. The building trades have been sharing more ideas and adapting new materials and electronics to fit their needs. While some of this may seem like science fiction, these construction methods may be coming sooner than people think to a neighborhood near them. See which techniques are making headlines, and why it matters to anyone who may want their own property one day.

Scouting Technology

Construction companies have more options than ever before to scout out the best sites for building. Large swaths of land take a lot of time, energy, and money to visit and assess. Plus, it can be difficult to keep everything straight when people have to look at the land in individual sections. But a drone gives people the chance to view the grounds as a whole, which can allow them to quickly decide whether or not it's right for them.

A 3D scanner in conjunction with a drone can make it even easier by showing company leaders any obstacles that may get in the way when building. So if there's a stockpile or a rock formation on the property, a drone will only be able to show that these things exist. A 3D scanner will be able to measure the dimensions to within 2 millimeters of accuracy!

Homes that Make Themselves

A 3D printer may still not have a lot of uses inside the home (besides novelty), but it's proven itself to an asset to the home in ways people may never have expected. Imagine a printer that can manufacture a home in as little as 24 hours. Start-up corporations like Apis Cor have found a way to print homes for as low as $10,000.

They've already made dwellings that are move-in ready on test sites, and they continue to work bringing this technology to more people across the world (particularly those in need.) It's truly incredible to watch the process occur, as a building site goes from empty to ready for people in practically no time. These homes are all entirely up to code, even if the architecture itself is simplistic in nature.

Shape-Memory Polymers

For anyone who's ever crashed a car or broken a cell phone screen, it's easy to wish the technology in question could magically heal itself without having to pay the money for repairs. But it's not really a wish anymore when it comes to certain building materials. Self-healing concrete contains shape-memory polymers that can force the concrete to return to its original state after it's been damaged. Most often discussed as a way to save taxpayers on repairs for roads and bridges, this technology can be adapted so homes can withstand anything from blunt trauma to general degradation over time.

Faster Brick-Laying

A human can lay about 75 bricks in an hour, but a robot can potentially lay more than 400 bricks in the same amount of time. This technology has been steadily improving to the point that robots can even account for potential hiccups in the architectural plans, which means less wasted time on human intervention. While controversial in nature, it should be noted that there are fewer and fewer people entering the construction industry, and more and more people retiring by the day. These robots cannot work with complicated designs, but they're perfect for simpler homes and buildings in Inspirada or elsewhere. It should be noted that humans will need to load the materials as the robot works to lay the bricks.

A New Frontier

These technologies have a way of shifting how both investors and the public see real estate. If a drone can save weeks of time when scouting out locations, it translates into more savings on the part of the homeowner and more opportunities for investors to make homes the public can both afford and enjoy. Self-healing concrete means homeowners spend less time and money fixing their home, so they can put their money toward home upgrades they actually want.

There's also been new technology in timber, meaning future home buyers may see wood come back as a popular material. New laminating techniques in timber make it easier to prevent fire or water damage, and there's been increasing demand for the material in recent years.

The construction industry may not be a popular choice of conversation, but all of these new ideas can have a significant impact on the types of homes we all buy and the price we buy them for. Keeping up with what's going on is a smart way to stay ahead of the major shifts in public demand. Whether it's a new material or a brick-laying robot, the possibilities of how to implement the technology are endless.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 12, 2018

What Future Homeowners Need To Know More About Sustainable Construction

What Everyone Should Know About Sustainable ConstructionIncreasing prices for traditional fuels and a desire to be more environmentally-conscious are factors supporting the growth in sustainable construction. Green or sustainable construction incorporates many different elements and some of its precursors to this trend may be seen in groups of people in the past who used local and sustainable materials to passively heat or cool their homes.

Various ideas in sustainability have come together in the past few decades to provide homeowners and those in the construction industry with the means to build sustainably and retrofit existing homes utilizing best practices and clear standards. For those who are unaware of this important trend in construction, it is now time to learn more as it can benefit both existing and future homeowners, property owners, investors and developers.

Various Aspects of Building Green

There are a number of considerations when it comes to building a green or sustainable construction. Green building is when a structure is created and one or more processes are used that are considered to be resource-efficient and environmentally responsible. Such practices often complement classic designs of building when it comes to utility, economy, durability and comfort.

Sustainable buildings support both the needs of humans and that of the environment by their reduction of pollution, waste and environmental degradation, protection of occupant health, and efficient usage of water, energy and other resources. The ideas of passive solar design and the use of renewable materials in building construction can date back some time when considering how some villages in the Southwest were constructed to receive solar heat during winter months. In the 60s and 70s, early experimentation with what is thought of to be contemporary green building came to pass. There have been many milestones and advances since then.

Standards, Certification and More

It is possible for builders and owners to integrate sustainable practices and apply them to new or existing structures. LEED for home provides valuable advice and guidance on applying best practices and current standards for sustainable structures. Special financing options and certification through the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program is available for those who want to meet outlined standards.

This certification may be useful for builders and contractors dedicated to working with individuals and developers interested in more sustainable construction and related practices. In addition to the LEED program, another popular program offering certification is the Energy Star Qualified Homes program. Those who need an entry point into more sustainable techniques and practices may want to look into the National Green Building Standard.

More Reasons to Explore Sustainable Construction

There are homebuyers willing to pay more for a green or sustainable Hillsboro home. Such buyers see the benefits in paying more for those homes that are built in a way or incorporate features that reduce energy costs. They also appreciate that some upgrades, such as attic insulation, new energy-efficient windows, and low flow shower heads, will minimize energy costs without negatively impacting their personal comfort. Green homes may be sold for more than surrounding traditional comps, according to recent research.

It pays to work with an agent who understand how to sell sustainable features to potential homebuyers when it comes time to list a home. The benefits of residential solar panels, attic insulation and more may not be immediately obvious and an experienced agent can showcase the advantages to prospective buyers. Some markets may demonstrate Millennials showing great interest in buying a sustainable home or one in which there have been a number of environmentally-friendly upgrades.

In a competitive market, it can help to stand out and invest in trends that reduce long-term energy costs. Practical upgrades which have been successfully incorporated include:

  • New energy efficient appliances;
  • The addition of attic insulation; and
  • The installation of residential solar panels.

Some green projects may provide homeowners with a significant ROI. Affordable ways homeowners may want to invest in environmentally-friendly technologies is by upgrading to energy efficient appliances and LED lighting. Homebuyers are also known to appreciate these upgrades. It has become more affordable to increase the energy-efficiency of a home as there are a number of incentives available to offset initial costs. It is possible to benefit from available federal and state tax credits or special incentives for sustainable home improvements, including the purchase of a residential solar panel system.

Why Learn About Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable building is a trend and practice of growing interest to homeowners and the construction industry. The government incentives, certifications and best practices developed are making it easier for those that are late to the game to start incorporating sustainable design, materials and advances in energy-efficient technology. Many people not only appreciate feeling good about living in a home that reflects their values and reduces their energy costs, but they appreciate incorporating upgrades that may boost their home's value.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 5, 2018

When Is It Time To Replace Your Roof? 5 Signs Your Roof Needs Upgrade

When Is It Time To Replace Your Roof?Among one of the biggest challenges of homeownership is maintaining the overall condition of a home. A home's roof can be one of the biggest challenges of all that a homeowner will face. When a roof goes bad, however, there are often warning signs. Homeowners who know those signs can contact roofing contractors as soon as they realize there is a problem. These five signs are all indications that a roof needs to be replaced.

Leaky Roof

A roof is meant to protect the house and its occupants from rain, snow, sleet and other forms of precipitation. A roof that leaks frequently, or that must be repaired on a regular basis, is a roof that is no longer reliable. This is often one of the first signs that a roof needs to be replaced. How can a homeowner tell that a roof is leaking? There are many signs:

  • Bubbling paint on the walls or ceilings.
  • Large spreading stains on the ceilings.
  • Presence of mold in a particular spot on the wall.
  • Mysterious puddles of water on the floor.

Of course, many of these signs can also be indications of a plumbing problem. Green Valley South homeowners who cannot tell whether or not they have a plumbing problem or a roof leak should contact appropriate contractors to diagnose the problem.

Wear and Tear

Wear and tear can take different forms depending on the type of roofing material used. For example, wear and tear on on an asphalt shingle roof may involve missing shingles, cracks in the shingles and shingles with curly edges. Wear and tear on a clay roof may involve missing and broken clay tiles, or even a section of the roof that has sunken in from the weight of the tiles.

Homeowners can identify these problems by having their roof inspected on a regular basis and looking for changes to the structure and appearance of the roof. Getting up close to the roof may reveal changes and problems that are not visible from a distance, so homeowners must be willing to stand on a ladder and put their face level with the lower part of the roof.

Mold Inside the Home

Presence of mold, whether on the walls, ceiling or floors, is an indication that there is too much moisture inside the house. Mold can occur because of high humidity, a tight building envelop, a plumbing leak or a roof leak. Homeowners who have mold in their home and are unsure of the source can have a roofing contractor inspect the property to look for a potential leak. Sometimes mold occurs when there is not enough ventilation in the attic, so this is another problem that can be repaired by a roofing contractor.

Just an Old Roof

Like other building materials, roofing materials have an expected service life. Shingles last for approximately 20 years. Wooden shingles can last for 30 years if they're properly maintained. Metal roofs can last up to 80 years and slate or clay tiles can last over 100 years. In fact, some types of slate tiles can last as long as two centuries!

Once the roof starts to reach the end of its service life, homeowners should start planning for its replacement, so they'll be ready when the time comes. A roof replacement can be costly, so being ready can help make the project easier to manage.

Warped, Sagging Areas

One of the most serious problems that a roof can experience is structural instability. A sagging or warped roof usually happens after a long-term leak has rotted the sheathing underneath the roofing material. Rooftops that are sagging and warped are dangerous to walk upon and hard to repair. Homeowners who notice this problem must contact a roofer as soon as possible.

For more information about the warning signs that your roof needs to be replaced, contact a reputable roofer in your area. Your roofer can help you determine what needs to be done to ensure your roof works properly.

Posted in Home Improvement
March 29, 2018

Using Funds Wisely: Understanding Real Estate Needs for Small Businesses

What Goes Into A Small Business BudgetWhile living "from paycheck to paycheck" may be the reality for some individuals, it can represent a path to disaster for a startup business. Basic business management skills typically include an introduction to budgeting, record keeping and basic accounting. Trying to run a business without a realistic budget and a sense of what funds are needed and how, when and in what ways to spend is a sure path to ruin. However, for a startup or a young real estate investment firm, are there best practices to determine answers to basic questions?

Making a Plan

Just as important as knowing where the funds go, however, is learning about ways to maximize existing reserves, plan for growth, and take advantage of the best ways to acquire and preserve assets, whether they are people, ideas, equipment or real estate. Although there are few real formulas to guide a business, there are many ways to assess needs, analyze options, and predict outcomes. A detailed budget and realistic income projections are at the heart of any successful business venture.

More importantly, a serious lender or potential investor will want to see the business financials. Records that are incomplete or based on scanty and misleading information are simply not acceptable. The basic reasons and methods for creating a budget rest firmly in the notion that while it may be integral to the survival of the business, it is not difficult to lay out exactly what is needed.

Prioritizing Needs

Just as learning how to postpone gratification is important for a child, learning how to prioritize needs and work toward goals is a business advantage. Goal-setting and constant analysis go hand in hand. It is impossible to grow a business without ongoing adjustments based on actual facts and figures. A budget will help any successful owner see the relationship between fixed expenses and variable expenses, which in turn is the basis for knowing when it's feasible or advantageous to expand operations or cut back on spending.

The same is true in terms of looking at potential return when considering the purchase of a new computer, a company vehicle or an office condo. By knowing the relative merits and effects of owning vs leasing, a business owner can avoid the mistakes that contribute to business failures. Helpful advice on buying or leasing is widely available, and it's always important to discuss specifics with a personal attorney and financial adviser.

Planning for Future Growth

Anyone who starts a Green Valley Ranch business has a goal in mind, even if it isn't well defined at the outset. Over time, successful business firms refine and redefine those goals, make them specific, and develop timelines for achievement and for resource allocation. Targets may be the dollar value of annual income, a specific number of sales, or a minimum production level. It's a proven method for both sole proprietors and Fortune 500 corporations.

By tracking those specific achievements, it is possible to project future growth and development and chart additional actions, like hiring more employees, expanding the physical plant or opening an affiliate office. Without a plan, a budget and the ability to track achievement and recognize shortcomings, everything is only a guess or a dream.

Posted in Buying a Home
March 22, 2018

5 Tips for Handling the Paperwork and Taxes for Your Vacation Home

Taxes and Paperwork on a Second Home Vs. a Primary ResidenceA vacation home is considered a luxury by the government, which means the rules and the expectations will be different than they are for the owner who scraped together every last dime they had for their down payment. This means that there will be fewer benefits to take advantage of when it comes to what homeowners can write off. Whether purchasing a basic cabin or a five-story beach home, here are a few tips for handling the legal requirements of a vacation home.

Check the Tax Code Changes

The tax code was recently changed, making it more difficult for people to write off the mortgage interest on their second home. Whereas people could once write off up to seven-figures worth of debt on their combined properties, the amount was changed to $750,000. So if an owner owes $500,000 on their first home and $300,000 on their second home, then they won't be able to write off $50,000 worth of mortgage interest.

Plan Out the Year

A homeowner should roughly know how much time they're planning to stay in their vacation home as opposed to how many days they're planning to rent it out. Second homeowners are allowed to rent out their property for up to 14 days without reporting this to the IRS. When it comes to this rule, it's the days that count—not the amount of money charged. Homeowners can charge five-figures a night if the market allows it. However, anything over 14 days will count as standard income and will be taxed according to the owner's bracket. (Please note this income may push the owner from one bracket to the next.)

Check the City Rental Rules

As websites like Airbnb continue to challenge standard rental rules and liability questions, homeowners should check with their city to see how these questions are being answered by the local officials. Some cities may have more stringent rules that can have an effect on taxes or required paperwork. Some cities are even looking to eliminate the vast majority of rental homes, so homeowners should make sure they know which way the political winds are blowing if planning to rent it out.

Consult a Tax Attorney

Homeowners who plan to rent out their home for roughly 50 weeks out of the year or more are typically entitled to write off nearly every expense associated with the home, but those who plan to split their time more evenly will not have this luxury. To make sure the paperwork is all filled out correctly (and that homeowners don't leave off a crucial write-off), a tax attorney will make it easier to button up all the expenses, so there's no confusion.

Watch the Market

Vacation homes can sometimes be incredible investment opportunities, especially considering that it only takes one major event to boost tourism numbers to new heights. However, the sale of a property that has significantly risen in value is typically subject to capital gains. While there are plenty of deductions that can be used to offset this tax, capital gains can eat up to 20 percent of the total appreciation cost (depending on the owner's income bracket), which can make the sale far less profitable than it seems.

Taxes and paperwork on a second home are similar to the first home, except there are far fewer breaks on the homeowner. There's also less room for error because the expectations are higher. Having the right consultant can make it far easier to handle the ins and outs of each transaction, whether you're selling a home in Green Valley or elsewhere.

Posted in Buying a Home
March 15, 2018

Which VA Loan is Right For You?

Which VA Home Loan is Right For You?When it comes to buying and moving into a new home, veterans of the United States Armed Forces have quite a few options for financial aid. However, many veterans don’t realize just how many options they have because Veteran’s Affairs (VA) loans are often all lumped together under the same name. To help prevent confusion and help veterans select the loan that’s best for their needs, here are the different types of VA loans and how they can help veterans.

VA Purchase Loans

When all the different VA loans get lumped together, this is typically the loan that acts as their face. With a VA purchase loan, veterans can purchase a home without a down payment, and they don’t have to worry about paying closing costs, either. Because of this, home buyers will typically have to pay a VA Funding Fee, which will help put money back into the program so it can continue to help veterans in the future. Some buyers may not have to pay the fee if they have a service-related disability or another specific requirement, though.

Native American Direct Loans

This is the only type of VA loan that is dependent on the applicant’s race. If the veteran is a Native American and holds a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), they may use one of these loans to purchase either a home or property on Native Trust Land. Likes VA purchase loans, these loans don’t require the home buyer to have a down payment, though unlike purchase loans, they will still have to pay reduced closing costs.

Cash-Out Refinance Loans

This type of loan is the most unique of all the different VA loans because these loans can be used for more than just buying homes and property. A cash-out refinance loan allows users to take cash directly from their home’s equity to be used for anything from paying off student loans to doing home improvement projects. If necessary, this type of loan can also be used to refinance a normal loan into a VA loan, and lenders can’t charge a fee if the loan is payed off early.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL)

This type of loan can be useful for homeowners who want to refinance a VA loan that they already have as it can be used to refinance an adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed rate mortgage. However, homeowners interested in doing this should know that doing so may cause an increase in interest rates. IRRRL loans typically don’t require very much waiting and are the least complex of all the VA loans because applicants must already have another type of VA loan before they can apply for this one. Like the aforementioned purchase loans, IRRRL loans will require the applicant pay a VA Funding Fee if they don’t meet certain exclusionary requirements.

Construction Loans

For veterans who don’t want to purchase someone else’s home, construction loans allow users to build a home from the ground up or modify an existing home, which can be appealing for someone who has special needs that makes their current home inaccessible. There are two different types of construction loans:  Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grants and Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grants. The two are quite similar, but the main difference is that SHA Grants can only be used to buy or modify existing Foothills at MacDonald homes, while SAH Grants can be used to build a brand new home in addition to what SHA Grants allow.

These are the different types of VA loans, and each of them can be useful to different people. When choosing a VA loan, be sure to do research to make sure it’s the best one available for the situation.

Posted in Buying a Home
March 8, 2018

Best Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Now

Staging Your Home To SellStaging is an important part of selling a home. Staging makes a property look more appealing to buyers and can even lead to bigger offers. Home sellers who are thinking about putting their home up for sale in the next several weeks can follow these tips to stage their property and get the most from their home sale.

Open Up Your Home By Removing Clutter

Decluttering makes a home look more open, airy and spacious. When decluttering, throw away or organize everything that takes up space on counters, shelves and floors. Clutter can take many forms, including old bills, piles of magazines, knick-knacks, stacks of books, old toys and too many shoes. Many home sellers purchase modular storage, attractive baskets and other storage systems when decluttering, just to give themselves a good place to put their old stuff.

Make Simple Repairs

Little problems can make a big difference when buyers come to see a property. Take care of deferred maintenance before listing a property for sale. These repairs might be small, like replacing a broken door knob or repainting a peeling window pane, or they might be more significant. With each repair, determine which work is DIY and which is best for a professional.

Clean Everything

Cleanliness is one of the most important factors in selling a home. For home buyers, this is certainly true. Dirt in the home can make a home seem dark, cluttered and unpleasant. Cleaning everything before listing the home can help make a good first impression on home buyers.

Start by deep scouring parts of the property that don't normally get cleaned. For example:

  • Remove stains from carpeting.
  • Dust the back of furniture and your curtains.
  • Clean corners where the ceiling meets the wall.
  • Wash down every dish and items on an open shelving system.

Once the deep cleaning is done, finish with surface-level cleaning. For example, mop floors, wipe down counters, dust shelves and vacuum. Deep-cleaning combined with surface level cleaning ensures that the Champion Village home will be in prime condition when buyers come to see it.

Update The Home's Paint

Scuffed paint and paint of unusual colors can be off-putting to some buyers. The best way to avoid problems is by repainting rooms as needed. When choosing paint colors, look for neutral shades, because these shades usually appeal most to buyers.

Contact Your Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can help you prepare your home to be seen by buyers. Before listing your home on the market, contact an experienced real estate agent in your area. Your real estate professional can give you advice that will help you make your home more attractive.

Posted in Selling Your Home