Turn Back Time


As the expression goes, "if I could turn back time", maybe you’d would do some things differently. If you’re wanting to buy a home, the regret may come from not getting a mortgage when rates were half of what they are today. There may not be a way to literally "turn back time" but you may still be able to get a mortgage with last years’ rates.

Let’s say a home was sold in the fall of 2021 for $350,000 with a 3% FHA loan. Today, winter of 2023, the home is on the market for sale at $400,000. There are buyers who have $40,000 for a down payment, who like the home, and want to purchase it.

At today’s mortgage rate of 6.42%, the $360,000, 30-year mortgage payment would be $2,2565.54 for the principal and interest. They have been looking for a year and in the past 12 months, the mortgage rates have doubled which will stretch their finances along with all the other inflationary pressures.

Their incredibly savvy agent has learned that the underlying mortgage is an FHA mortgage at 3.00% with a little less than 29 years remaining. This loan could be assumed by an owner occupant at the current rate which would save the buyer a considerable amount of interest.

The problem is that the buyers do not have enough cash to buy the equity. The unpaid balance is $328,902 which makes the equity about $71,000 which is more than the $40,000 they have available.

The agent believes that with the buyer using the $40,000, they should be able to get a second mortgage for the difference of $31,000. While it may not be possible to get a 30-year term on the second, it may be possible to get a 30-year amortization on the payment and have the second loan due in ten years.

Sources for the second loan could be the borrower’s local bank, a credit union, a relative or other investor not happy with what they’re earning on cash in the current market.

This could save the buyer over $600 a month. In addition to a lower payment, assumptions on FHA loans have lower closing costs, they’re easier to qualify for, and the lower mortgage rates allow them to amortize faster than a higher rate mortgage.

Buyer Scenario #1 … New Mortgage
Purchase Price $400,000
10% Down Payment $40,000
Mortgage at 6.42% for 30 years $360,000
Principal & Interest Payment $2,256.54
Future Value at 3% Appreciation in 7 years $493,342
Future Unpaid Balance $325,062
Future Equity $168,280
Buyer Scenario #2 … Assumption
Purchase Price $400,000
10% Down Payment $40,000
Assume Existing Mortgage at 3% for 28.8 Remaining Years $328,871
Assume Principal & Interest Payment $1,386.66
New Second Mortgage at 6.5% for 30 years $31,098
Payment on Second Mortgage $247.32
Total Monthly Payments $1,633.94
Monthly Savings $622.55
Future Value at 3% Appreciation in 7 years $493,342
Unpaid Balance on 1st Mortgage in 7 years $266,313
Unpaid Balance on 2nd Mortgage in 7 years $35,379
Future Equity in 7 years $191,649
Increased Equity Over New Mortgage $23,369

In the early 1980s, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac added "due on sale" and escalation of interest rate clauses to the standard verbiage on notes and mortgages. From a practical standpoint, this ended assumptions of most conventional mortgages.

FHA and VA continued to be assumable by anyone, regardless of credit, until 12/1/86 and 3/1/88 respectively. At that time, an owner-occupant could assume the existing interest rate but had to qualify to do so. Mortgage rates went down over the next three decades with only some temporary increases until January 2022 when they began to increase dramatically.

If a buyer had to qualify to assume a mortgage, especially if it was higher than the current rates, there was no compelling reason to put more money down for an existing mortgage. Now, in 2023, this environment has changed.

Many buyers who purchased using an FHA or VA mortgage in the past two to three years, benefitted from some of the lowest rates in over 50 years. The equities in these properties are still within reason to either assume cash to equity or consider a second mortgage for part of the equity.

If you’d like to learn more about how to assume FHA, VA, or USDA mortgages at lower rates than currently available on new mortgages, contact your real estate professional. Unfortunately, some agents are not aware of how assumptions work. Give us a call and we can walk you through the process and even have a spreadsheet that will analyze the comparison for you.

Buy Now, Refinance Later


The dilemma facing would-be buyers today is to wait until things settle down or move ahead in this unsettling economic environment. More specifically, the question should be, what are you waiting to settle down: mortgage rates, or prices or both?

Mortgage rates haven’t been this high since 2002, so it could be considered plausible that the high rates are temporary. That leads to the question of how long before they do start coming down. If we look back further, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, dating back to April 1971 is 7.81%, so the current rate is lower than the 50-year average.

The other variable is waiting for prices to come down. That one is probably not as likely to happen. We have seen some softening of prices for homes on the market which is due to a decline in sales based on affordability and the resulting increase in inventory.

Sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million in November which is down 35.4% from one year ago, conversely, inventory has increased to 3.3 months from 2.1 months one year ago according to the NAR Housing Snapshot of Existing Home Sales.

While listing prices may be coming down, sales prices are still rising from the same month a year ago. The National Association of REALTORS� reported the median sales price for November 2022 is up 3.5% from November 2021.

Homes are expected to continue to appreciate and not come down in value albeit at a much lower rate than was seen in 2021, and even currently in 2022. Historically, homes have appreciated at 4% annually on a national basis.

Nationally, the NAR reports 42% of homes are selling at or above list price while 58% of homes are selling for less than list price.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS� at their recent annual conference, forecast home price appreciation for 2022 at +10%, for 2023 at +1% and 2024 at +5%.

Some experts are calling for a decrease in prices. Ivy Zelman, of Zelman & Associates, expects national home prices to fall 4% in 2023 and 5% in 2024. Goldman Sachs is expecting a 5-10% decrease in home prices from its peak. Fannie Mae is expecting a 1.5% drop in home prices for 2023. Freddie Mac predicts a 0.2% decrease in values.

Some consumers are anticipating another wave of foreclosures like the Housing Crisis in the Great Recession of 2008. While the number has increased, it is not expected to reach anywhere near those previous levels.

Homeowners facing difficulties with the labor market and affordability have a significant advantage over those during the housing crisis over a decade ago. Homeowners currently have record amounts of equity which give them options to borrow against the equity or to sell the home for more than is owed.

Returning to the dilemma facing many would-be buyers, "Wait until things settle down or forge ahead now?" Being able to afford a mortgage at today’s rates certainly factors into the decision. If inflation is brought under control and rates do return to "normal", or at least the new normal, a buyer would be able to refinance the home at the then, current rates.

Home price appreciation has been close or beaten inflation in each of the past five decades.

Decade Home Prices Consumer Prices
70’s 9.9% 7.2%
80’s 5.5% 5.6%
90’s 4.1% 3.0%
00’s 2.3% 2.6%
10’s 4.9% 1.8%
20 + 21 12% 3%
Source … NAR & Bureau of Labor Statistics

First time homebuyers represent 26% of sales in 2022 down from 50%, its high in 2009. This is the lowest it has been since NAR started the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in 1981. Desire to own a home is the prevalent reason 62% of first-time buyers cited.

Holding onto cash during high inflationary times is not good because the purchasing power of the cash dwindles because the same dollar is able to buy less. Moving money into hard assets, like real estate, allows the person to benefit from the inflation on a large asset. The leverage from using borrowed funds to finance the purchase creates leverage that additionally works in favor of the buyer.

Download our updated Buyers Guide and connect with your agent to discuss your options.

Does high inflation discourage your from buying a home?


Inflation devalues the purchasing power of money and the interest earned on savings is almost always less than inflation. Tangible assets like your home consistently become more valuable over time. In inflationary periods, a home is a good investment and a hedge against inflation.

Borrowing money at fixed rates during times of inflation can be very advantageous…like buying a home. The rate stays the same over the term of the mortgage and so does the payment instead of going up at the rate of inflation.

In September 2022, rents rose by 7.2% according to NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun and "rents are accelerating to higher figures with each passing month." The annualized rate for this year is 10.6%. Buying a home allows you to avoid rent increases while enjoying property appreciation.

The housing shortage that is fueling the price appreciation, as well as increases in rent, is something that has existed for over ten years, yet American home building has not kept pace with population growth.

When you are repaying the mortgage, you are using dollars that are worth less and less due to inflation. Home Price Appreciation has been close or beaten inflation in each of the past five decades.

Decade Home Prices

Average Annual Increase

Consumer Prices

Average Annual Increase

70’s 9.9% 7.2%
80’s 5.5% 5.6%
90’s 4.1% 3.0%
00’s 2.3% 2.6%
10’s 4.9% 1.8%
20 + 21 12% 3%
22 13.4%* 8.2%

*Revised predictions for 2022 home price appreciation are: Fannie Mae estimating 16%; Freddie Mac 12.8%; NAR 11.5%. Average of three projections is 13.4%

The funds for the down payment and closing costs that are sitting idle in a bank, while an otherwise qualified buyer waits to see what happens in the market, are having their value eroded by inflation. At the current rate of inflation, $48,000 would be worth $39,073 in three years. In seven years, it would be worth $29,697.

A 90% mortgage at 6.3% for 30-years on a $400,000 home that appreciates at 4% a year will have an estimated equity of $202,000 in seven years due to appreciation and amortization. That is a 22.8% annual rate of return on the down payment plus $8,000 closing costs. That is a significant hedge against a current inflation of 7.1%.

The borrowed funds in the mortgage produce leverage for the homeowner to enjoy the benefits as the value of the home goes up while the unpaid balance goes down with each payment made due to amortization.

Every day, a renter, who is otherwise qualified to purchase a home, is faced with a decision to continue renting or buy a home. Renters will ultimately be facing an increase in their rent, feeling an erosion of the purchasing power of their funds, and experiencing an opportunity cost by not benefitting from the appreciation and amortization benefits of buying a home.

Let’s connect and talk about what opportunities are available now and options that could benefit you, even considering the volatile economic atmosphere we’re all facing.

Did you know this about your credit?


Credit scores are used to assess risk and determine whether a borrower is approved or declined for a mortgage, credit card or some other type of credit. The score is a numerical value ranging from a low of zero to a high of 850 or 900 depending on the credit bureau.

The higher the score, the more likely the lender will be repaid in a timely manner.

  1. A higher credit score could help you get a lower interest rate
  2. You can get a free credit report from all three major bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
  3. Your credit score doesn’t have to be perfect to get a loan … most lenders want buyers to have a minimum of 620 but FHA will consider as low as 500
  4. Credit utilization, the percentage of credit used compared to what is available, should be kept below 30%; amounts higher could negatively affect your credit score.
  5. There is a difference between a soft and a hard credit pull. The former doesn’t hurt your score, but the latter can lower it a few points. Try to avoid multiple hard inquiries.
  6. Credit cards, bank loans, car loans and home loans are considered "good credit" and a mixture of different types is helpful compared to only a car loan.
  7. Opening new credit accounts after you apply for a mortgage can hurt or even prevent you from being approved on the mortgage.

There are five components to making up a credit score. 35% of the weighted average is determined by payment history like paying on time. The next highest item is the amount owed and counts for 30% of your score. This component deals with credit utilization which is expressed as a percentage of what you owe divided by what is available.

The length of time you have had credit established accounts for 15% of the score. New credit and the types of credit accounts are weighted at 10% each. Opening several accounts in a relatively close period will negatively affect your score. While it isn’t necessary to have all types of credit like credit cards, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans, the types of credit in the mix are evaluated.

If you need help increasing your score, a trusted lender that provides your pre-approval can also make suggestions that would improve your credit. Contact your real estate professional to get a personal recommendation of a trusted mortgage lender.

Waiting for the Mortgage Rates to Come Down


Waiting for the mortgage rates to come down before you buy a home may not be a good decision.

If you are correct, and the rates do come down by two percent, the savings you benefit from a lower rate will most likely be devoured by the appreciated price increase.

As of 12/8/22, the 30-year fixed-rate was at 6.33% which is close to the highest level since mid-2008. If the rate drops to 4.7% in three years but the price increases by 5% a year, a $400,000 home today, will cost $463,050 three years from now.

An increasingly, popular option that more buyers are considering is to purchase the home today with an adjustable-rate mortgage that could give them a 5.00% rate for five years. Then, refinance to a fixed rate when rates come down.

Not only will the buyer have lower payments with the ARM, but the buyer will also own the home, and benefit from the appreciated prices which will build equity in the home and increase their net worth.

Mortgage rates have increased over 3% in the first three quarters of this year. Some would-be buyers are wishing they had a do-over so they could get into a home at a lower rate. The current differential between the fixed and adjustable rates could lower the monthly payment.

The lower adjustable-rate could save a buyer $300 a month during the first period of five years. At any point during that period, they could refinance at a better interest rate should it become available. However, if the rates do start trending down, the homeowner might decide not to refinance because the rate on the ARM would have to go down at the next adjustment period to reflect the lower of rates in the market.

Mortgage rates have been low since the housing crisis that caused the Great Recession. The government kept them low to build the economy. Then, the Pandemic threatened the economy, and the government spent a tremendous amount of money to bolster it which led to inflation which is what is causing the rates to increase currently.

When inflation is under control and back to acceptable levels, the rates should lower.

Home prices are a different situation. The recent rise in mortgage rates has caused home prices to moderate because it affects affordability. Inventories are still low and there is a pent-up demand for housing from purchasers unable to buy during the pandemic.

This coupled with millennials reaching household formation age and insufficient home building to keep up with demand for the last decade, prices are expected to continue to rise. The rate of appreciation could even increase when rates come down which would also affect affordability and demand.

Buyers who feel they missed a window of opportunity to buy before rates started increasing should investigate financing alternatives.

Downsizing Options


Opportunities exist for a subset of homeowners, possibly in their 60’s to 70’s, who want to downsize to smaller homes for convenience, less maintenance, change of lifestyle, or to save money. These homeowners are more likely to have large equities and will not feel the same constraints that are keeping younger owners in their homes due to the substantial increase in mortgage rates in the past year.

In some cases, there may be enough equity in their relinquished home to pay cash for the replacement. In other situations, the loan-to-value may be so low that even with higher mortgage rates, it won’t be as expensive as purchasing with a minimum down payment.

Some downsizers may be moving from a high-cost area to a lower-cost area where they can get more home for the dollar and may even be able to free up cash for investment or special projects.

It is more likely that older homeowners are living in a property above the median price. If a seller has a $750,000 home with no mortgage and they’re wanting to downsize to a $400,000 home, 7% mortgage rates are probably no concern at all because they’re going to pay cash. In a situation like that, even considering sales costs on the relinquished home and acquisition costs on the replacement home, there will be cash proceeds available.

If you’re considering downsizing, or possibly, have parents in this situation, feel confident that you have different options than first-time buyers becoming a homeowner. Your equity and the fact that you’re buying a smaller home can help you achieve your objectives even in a volatile market.

Let’s connect and explore the different options that are available.

Concessions Make Your Home More Marketable


Sellers offer concessions as an incentive to encourage buyers to purchase their home. The concessions, paid for by the seller, benefit the buyer in ways that may be more appealing than possibly, being able to purchase the home for a lower price.

In some situations, buyers have good income, credit, and even the down payment to purchase a home but not necessarily enough cash reserves to pay their closing costs. Another possibility is that there could be a feature in the home that the buyer wants replaced but can’t afford to do it themselves. If the seller agrees to make that improvement, it could cause the buyer to act favorably.

Concessions could include paying the buyer’s closing costs, buying down the interest rate, or any possible combination of physical improvements or upgrades to the property.

Sellers, occasionally, question why they should provide concessions to a buyer. It should be obvious; it improves the marketability of the home. With less than the normal number of homes on the market, it may appear that the seller has the advantage and may not need to offer concessions.

Today’s market is different. The decreasing number of sales and increased days on the market are resulting from a smaller than normal pool of buyers. Interest rates have more than doubled in 2022 which has made houses less affordable. Buyers who qualified last year but couldn’t find a home to buy, may be able to find a home today but their debt-to-income ratio has increased significantly, causing them to qualify for smaller mortgages.

Most buyers, especially in lower priced range homes, can’t afford to put more money down and human nature tends to discourage them from considering a smaller home. For that reason, they are forced out of the market until rates come down.

To counteract this dilemma, sellers are willing to consider making concessions, something that builders have successfully used for years to sell their inventory without lowering their prices that will have a direct impact on comparable sales which affects appraisals.

Concessions can take on different forms. A seller could offer to pay the buyer’s closing costs or pay points for the buyer to get an FHA or VA loan. Another option would be to pay for a 2/1 buydown that would lower the buyer’s payments in the first two years of the mortgage.

Any number of improvements could be offered to the buyer like appliances, floor covering, countertops, roof, fence, etc.

Typically, these would be included in the listing agreement and promoted in the listing description through MLS and other public media. When a sales contract is written, it needs to be included so that there is no misunderstanding between the parties and that the lender is completely aware of the concessions.

To avoid possible disputes, it is also recommended that a dollar limit is attached to the concession. For instance, "Seller to pay up to 3% of the sales price in buyer’s financing concessions" or "Seller to escrow up to $5,000 for appliances at buyer’s discretion."

Concessions have not been used much in the past fifteen years, but changing times requires us to use different methods to be successful. Sellers can offer concessions and buyers can ask sellers to make concessions in the purchase agreement.

If your agent is not familiar with concessions, it may be that they have never used them before. They are commonplace and legal, within limits, if they are disclosed. The benefit is that concessions can improve marketability of a home and put a transaction together between parties that would not be possible otherwise.

Building Your Home Buying Team


There are a lot of professionals involved in the homebuying process. And when these people can function as a team, the buyer is much more likely to end up where they want to be…in their new home.

The lender is an integral part of the team unless you are going to be paying cash. Trust is very important when selecting this person because they are going to qualify you for the mortgage you need. The interest rate and fees should be fair based on your credit, income, and the market.

You’ll want someone who can close at the rate and terms that were quoted. In a rising market, you may want to consider locking in the rate so that it doesn’t go up before you close.

The appraiser is hired indirectly by the lender to determine the value of the home as part of the loan approval process. During the financial crisis of 2008, a process was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act to limit direct contact between borrowers, lenders, and appraisers.

This requirement protects appraisers from being influenced by a lender. Sometimes, an Appraisal Management Companies, AMC, may assign an appraiser who may not be familiar with a particular area or type of property. The real estate agent can act as a liaison to provide additional information about the property and area that the appraiser would not necessarily know about initially.

Once a contract has been fully agreed upon, one of the first steps is for the buyer to have a home inspection made by a professional. While most states require these professionals to be licensed, 14 states do not require one to perform inspections.

In addition to being licensed, some inspectors belong to professional organizations that provide specialized education and suggest levels of performance. Recommendations from friends who have recently purchased a home would be helpful. Your agent may give you several names of inspectors and you can ask for the buyer’s contact information who used them recently to verify their results.

Pest control is not usually included in the normal home inspection. These are also licensed specialists who are concerned about termites, other insects, and vermin. If you do not have experience with a pest control company, recommendations from friends and your agent can give you a place to start.

Property casualty insurance is required by the mortgage holder but even if you were paying cash for a home, it would be prudent to have insurance. A homeowners’ policy provides the broadest coverage with fire and other named perils including burglary for both the dwelling and the contents. Liability is packaged with the other coverage to protect you if someone is hurt while on your property.

Deciding based on policy price may not present a complete comparison. Another consideration is how the company handles claims in both time and settlement.

The title insurance provider is usually named in the sales contract. There are two different policies that are usually offered simultaneously but paid for separately. The owner’s title policy guarantees the buyer they are getting a clear and marketable title while the mortgagee’s title policy guarantees the lender that they have an enforceable lien.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act gives the buyer the right to determine the provider.

Surveys are commonly required when new mortgages are established to make sure there are not encroachments on the property lines. Even in a cash purchase, a buyer may want to get a survey for the same reason. In some cases, lenders might accept a seller’s previously obtained survey.

The title company usually order’s the survey based on instructions from the contract or lender.

A real estate attorney is required in some states to be involved in all transactions. In other situations, a real estate attorney may be involved to draw the legal documents but in no way is representing the interests of a specific person.

A buyer or seller can consult an attorney and have them represent their interests in the transaction. Once a buyer understands if an attorney is not required in a real estate transaction, they are free to decide if they want legal representation.

The listing agent is hired by the seller when they place their home on the market for sale. In many cases, the listing agent has a fiduciary duty to put the seller’s interest above their own. These duties include loyalty, confidentiality, disclosure, obedience, reasonable care and diligence and accounting.

The buyer’s agent will interface with the listing agent in the various negotiations that will take place beginning with showing the property, offer, acceptance, and all the other steps that will lead to the settlement of the sale.

Agency describes a legal relationship and can apply to seller’s and buyer’s agents and is created once an agreement is signed; a few states have provisions for oral agreements. Members of the National Association of REALTORS� subscribe to a code of ethics that describes their practice and behavior to clients and the public.

There are many professionals involved in the purchase of a home. From a buyers’ standpoint, it is helpful to have one person who is familiar with the process to be coordinating the efforts of the different parties to finish with a settlement and possession.

There are a lot of steps and even if a buyer has been through the process before, they may not have the experience to anticipate difficulties and solve issues that could derail the transaction. The role of a third-party negotiator is a valuable role that the buyer’s agent plays. While the buyer is in control, the buyer’s agent can provide information and background necessary for sound decisions.

The purchase of a home is the largest investment most people make. Like it takes a village to raise a child, it helps to have a team to buy a home. Finding an agent to keep your best interests at heart is the first team member you need to select. From there, your agent can help you find the other team members.

For more information, download the Buyers Guide and make an appointment, in-person or virtually, to find out how they can put together your Homebuying Team. In that appointment, ask the agent to explain agency and its benefits to you in your upcoming transaction.

Securing Your Retirement


Social Security was established, on August 14, 1935, to take care of the country’s elderly in their retirement years. Today, about 65 million or 1/6 of Americans collect benefits and the average monthly retirement amount received in January 2022 was $1,614 per month or about $19,370 per year.

This annual Social Security benefits exceed the 2022 Federal poverty level of $13,590 for individuals and $18, 310 for a family of two but from a practical level, it is nowhere near enough to be comfortable in your "Golden Years."

Every adult in the work force, can go to SSA.gov to find out what to expect to receive based on their planned retirement age. Since it probably won’t be the amount you need to retire comfortably, at least you’ll know how short you’ll be so that you can devise an investment plan.

There’s a quick formula to estimate the investable assets needed by retirement to generate a certain income. The target annual income is divided by a safe, conservative yield to determine the investable assets needed.

A person wanting $100,000 annual income generated from a 5% investment would need investable assets of $2,000,000. If a person had $500,000 now, they would need to accumulate $1.5 million more by the time they retire. A 50 year old wanting to retire at 65 would need to save about $100,000 a year for 15 years.

If trying to save an extra $100,000 a year seems impossible, consider the leveraged growth available in rental real estate. The use of borrowed funds can contribute to the yield earned by the investment. By reinvesting the positive cash flows from the rental to retire the mortgage, the home could be paid for by retirement, providing more cash flow when it is needed the most.

One of the bright spots in investments is rental real estate which is also open to self-directed retirement savings. Single-family homes offer high loan-to-value mortgages at fixed interest for long terms on appreciating assets with tax advantages and reasonable control. Price appreciation alone has outpaced inflation for the last fifty years.

Many Americans have participated in Individual Retirement Accounts, SEPs, 401(k)s or other types of retirement that would supplement the Social Security benefits. Many of these are invested in mutual funds which have lost about 20% in value in 2022. With inflation at a 40-year high, many retirees and future retirees are concerned about their income from these investments.

Retirees want a safe and secure investment whose income will not be eroded by inflation. Single-family homes, in predominantly owner-occupied neighborhoods, meets those requirements. Home prices have experienced double-digit appreciation in the past two years and around 5% for the last five decades.

Decade Home Prices

Average Annual Increase

Consumer Prices

Average Annual Increase

70’s 9.9% 7.2%
80’s 5.5% 5.6%
90’s 4.1% 3.0%
00’s 2.3% 2.6%
10’s 4.9% 1.8%
20 + 21 12% 3%
Source: NAR & Bureau of Labor Statistics

Increased mortgage rates coupled with rising home prices have sidelined many would-be purchasers who want to be in a home. Since they cannot buy at this time, the next best alternative is to rent a home. This has added to the increased demand for single-family homes in good neighborhoods which have resulted in increased rents. While this isn’t good news for tenants, it is for investors.

Investing in rental real estate could be a way for you to increase your retirement income and grow your net worth while avoiding the volatility of the stock market. Current homeowners already are aware of the value of homes as well as the maintenance they require.

To get more information about single-family homes for rentals, download our Rental Income Properties guide. You can also schedule a time with me to get answers for any questions you may have and find out about what is available now.

Homeowners Need Resources


Managing an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is a responsibility that requires attention to details such as timely payment of the mortgage, home repairs and maintenance, upkeep, and oversight on financial issues including taxes, insurance, and other things.

Depending on how long you’ve been a homeowner, you may have faced some of the decisions common to homeownership. Occasionally, there could be something new that you haven’t had to deal with in the past. This is where having a resource you can rely on becomes valuable.

During the buying or selling process, it is natural to turn to your agent for information and advice but during those periods in between where do you go for counsel? Sure, you can turn to the Internet but that may not be the best place to get advice for your situation.

We encourage you to think of us as your "source of real estate information"; someone you’re comfortable with asking a question and confident that you’ll get good advice. We not only want to be there for you when you buy or sell, but all the years in between.

By helping you with the day-to-day decisions of homeownership, we believe we can develop relationships that will lead to future sales when you move again, as well as recommendations to your friends who need the services of a trusted real estate professional.

Whether you simply need the recommendation of service provider, a trustworthy mortgage professional, an estimate of your current market value, or advice on what kind of improvements are best to consider, we’re happy to share that information with you.

Just a few of the kind of questions we get almost every week:

  • Can you recommend a good (plumber, painter, handyman, etc.)
  • What is the current value of my home?
  • How do I challenge a property tax assessment?
  • When should a homeowner refinance?
  • How often should we update our personal home inventory?

We want to be your "Go-To" person for everything to do with real estate. If you have a real estate question, please call us at (512) 487-0284. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll find it for you or at least, point you in the right direction.