Weekly Real Estate

Welcome to our weekly blog, dedicated to the wild world of real estate! We've had many different adventures with our clients as we've helped them to achieve their real estate goals. Without a doubt, we've encountered some unique situations! We hope you enjoy our posts and that you will share your experiences with us, too.


Sept. 11, 2019

What's an EMD (Earnest Money Deposit)

What is the earnest money deposit anyway? It is the good faith deposit that you'll submit typically within three business days of an offer being accepted on a home. Typically this deposit is roughly 1% of the purchase price, sometimes a little bit lower, sometimes a bit higher depending on the individual situation. Generally speaking, the higher we make it, the more aggressive we're trying to be with our offer and it helps really stand out to the seller in general. Now, what happens with those earnest money deposit funds though? It's an important thought.


The point of having a deposit when we submit an offer is to safeguard the process of bidding and the time and resources spent during the process by all. If this is not done, any bidder will withdraw at any stage and the offer process would be taken much less seriously. With no such financial guarantee, the home buyer would not take the bidding process seriously in terms of time, process, offer and conditions. After the offer process is over and the contract is finalized, the home buyer also has to start working at their time frames noted in the contract. In short, an EMD is one type of guarantee that once the home buyer enters the offer process and the owner accepts the offer, the home buyer can neither withdraw nor change any terms of the contract of the bid and has to perform per the contract terms unless all parties agree.


Once the offer is finalized, escrow is opened and the funds are held by escrow. Escrow is a neutral third party. They do not work for the seller nor the buyer, they work for both. If anything were to change with the contract or anything changed with the finances, they need to have mutual instructions from both parties before they release any funds or make any changes. While they hold your deposit funds, we continue through the escrow period. If we end up canceling on the transaction and not proceeding with that home, then the deposit is actually returned back too you shortly after cancellation assigned.

Should we proceed forward with that home, let's say we put down a $5,000 deposit. You'll be required to come up with $5,000 less of your total out-of-pocket cost to purchase the home once we close. Let’s say you owe $40,000 for the out of pocket costs, you’d now bring in $35,000. All your final costs are going to be at the end. This is when you need to bring in the final funds for the home and at that time your deposit amount will be reduced from those.


If you do have questions, if you are looking to submit an offer, make sure you reach out and be happy to point in the right direction on how to best handle the deposit portion.

Posted in Weekly Real Estate
Aug. 10, 2019

How Many People

Generally speaking, when we think of buying a home, we often think of just a few people that we may talk to or work with. A few days ago, I was talking with a client and we were discussing how many people are actually involved in the real estate transaction as a whole, starting from the beginning until the end—everything from the buying side to the selling side, from the time that we start the process and the time that you get the keys.

A real estate transaction is actually quite a lengthy process to have only a few people involved in it. You can expect there will be several people included in it.. Actually, there are going to be, on average, 21 people through the entire escrow process that may only last thirty days or so. These individuals can include the buyer or seller themselves, the real estate agents, a loan officer, an insurance agent, the appraiser, inspectors, escrow companies and much more depending on the situation and type of transaction. It is pretty crazy to think there's going to be that many people involved but there really will be that many, even when you are not speaking with them all directly or at the same time.

Each of these professionals plays a different and important role in a real estate transaction and have different skills and expertise that are needed to ensure that the buying and selling transaction goes smoothly, on time, and staying within our contractual agreement. Whether you’re planning to sell or buy a property, it’s a must to be familiar with some of the people who may work directly with you or behind the scenes because each person has an important role in the transaction in order for it to be successful.

Being informed about how these professionals can help you is useful whether you are buying or selling a property. Keep in mind though that even when working with these professionals, you are still the decision-maker in your real estate transaction. These professionals are not there to make decisions for you but rather to provide you information and advice that will help you make educated decisions which will result in a more fruitful, stress-free, and satisfying real estate transaction for you.

Real estate transactions can become stressful processes that require full cooperation and due diligence from all individuals involved in the transaction to bring a successful closing. If you want to learn a little bit more about what the process is like to purchase a home and who those people are that are involved I'd be happy to help out feel free make a call and talk this out thank you.



Posted in Weekly Real Estate
July 6, 2019

Which Loan Type Is The Best Fit For You?


Are you looking to buy a home? When you begin the process and learn about different types of properties and loan options, you'll probably find that there a few different types of real estate mortgage loans available for you.

We will discuss types of loans and things to be aware of when it comes to your home search. Your final decision the type of mortgage you get will depend on your financials and the property you are buying.

FHA Loans:

The Federal Housing Administration, a government agency in the Department of Housing and Urban Development is responsible for FHA mortgages. With the FHA loans, borrowers pay for mortgage insurance built into their monthly payments and this will increase your monthly payment without a huge benefit to the borrower.

These loans are convenient because they involve smaller down payments of 3.5% of the homes price. Also, the lending standard is friendlier compared with other loans with looser requirements to qualify for the loan.

When searching for a home, if you will be getting an FHA mortgage, you will want to look for homes that are more move in ready and do not have a lot of major issues. In my experience, I most commonly see what heaters not being strapped to the wall, exposed electrical wiring and cracked/broken windows have been the main items I’ve seen these items can prevent an FHA loan from closing.


Conventional Loans:

Conventional loans are loans that are insured by the federal government and are one of the more common loan types that we see clients use. While these loans do require a higher credit score, they typically allow for lower down payment options starting at 3% of the homes price and go up. 

One benefit is that the loans are less restrictive with the home in regards to the overall condition. This will allow you to make offers on properties that need work and not have the concern of the loan being able to close.

VA Loans:

These loans are for individuals who have served our country and offer a few benefits that make these loans stand out. With the VA loans, they will have a no down payment option or low down payment if you prefer so you have less out of pocket expenses. They will also not have mortgage insurance like an FHA loan, this will decrease your overall monthly payment to make things still affordable. 

One drawback that we do see with these loans is the restrictions regarding the properties condition. They require that the home is in move in condition and will not allow structural issues with the home.


USDA Loans:

USDA loans are designed for rural homebuyers and are meant for folks that are living further out in the country compared to being closer in town. 

Getting a home is a great feeling, but considering the financial side of things is very important. When choosing a mortgage, make sure you select one that is a good fit for you and your financial future. Each loan has different benefits and drawbacks to consider but understanding these will help you make a better decision. If you have questions regarding your options, make sure to reach out!

Posted in Weekly Real Estate
June 22, 2019

What Are The Essential Features You Need In A New Home?


When buying a home, it’s important to know what are the essentials for you. One of the best things that you can do is create a list of basic features and amenities that you need in your dream home. As a real estate agent, I can help you out in scouting for such a home with your desired features, the more specific you are, the better it helps in the searches.

We will discuss the essential features you should consider when you are selecting home. Each of these features should be ranked by you based on their importance and your requirements.


The location is an essential feature to consider when you are hunting for a home because it’s the main thing you can’t change. You should search for a home close to your work, school, parks, shopping, public transportation, place of worship, family, or any other places you visit the most.

Having your home located in the right place is a massive advantage for you when it comes to the resale value. An excellent location will always be a great asset, no matter what how bad the real estate market is. As they say “location, location, location”


You can’t control the character of your neighbours, and you may find a home located in the right place with a lot of features but before buying the home, make sure to observe the environment in early in the morning and at night to find out how the people living. Observe the character of the the neighborhood, see if the neighbours keep their home in a way that would make you comfortable and make on the recent crime activity reported in such society.

Position of the lot:


A home that is on a corner may have traffic that stops or turns by your home but may allow access to the backyard for additional storage. Homes that are on a cul de sac will have a smaller front yard but a large pie lot in the back. Make sure you are looking at homes that suit you the best.


The bedrooms:

When looking at homes you’ll want to decide whether you will spend more time outdoors, in the main living areas or in the bedrooms. It’s also important to know if a den or separate living and family rooms are important. Often times the bedrooms can either be side very large or on the smaller side depending on how much furniture you have so you’ll want to observe the room sizes when viewing homes. 


The kitchen is an important thing to look out for when buying a home because it is the heart of the home and a place where food is planned for the family. You have to check if the kitchen has enough space to put your refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher. Do not buy a home with a kitchen that is not up to your taste. It can be expensive to remodel or replace countertops, cabinets, and sink.

The bathroom:

Before purchasing a home determine how many bathrooms you need. Commonly older homes have one or two bathrooms and newer homes often have two or more bathrooms. Do you a bathroom with a shower, bath or jacuzzi. It’s important to look at those items when viewing homes or see if it would be a good set up to install one.

The age of the home:

When choosing a home that meets your needs, age is an essential factor you must give a significant consideration because the older home needs, more upgrade, and repairs it may need in the near future. 

Purchase price:


Home buying is a huge investment, you’ll want to ensure that your monthly payment and the overall mortgage is within your budget. Often times clients want to extend their budgets but you’ll want to ensure you are comfortable with the payments over the long term.




Buying an older home may require that you repair or replace some items in the house. Doing so will add to your overall costs for the home though. Ensuring a home has been well maintained by the previous homeowner and doing proper inspections, you’ll have a much better chance at keeping your maintenance costs going forward, much lower.

HOA dues, taxes and fees:

If you buy a home in a community with a homeowner association, you should also consider budgeting for the monthly or annual fee and dues collected. If a property is in a newer community it may have additional taxes that will increase your monthly payment. These will also affect your mortgage approval and purchasing power. 

Whenever you are searching for your dream home, you have to devote time and effort to look for a home that’s a good fit for you and your family. You may also seek the knowledge and help of real estate agent to guide you through your search. When you are ready to start your home search, we are happy to help!

Posted in Weekly Real Estate
June 4, 2019

Credit report information, what it entails?



A lot of us have had the question come up, “What’s your credit score?”. Well what exactly is a credit report anyway? A credit report is a detailed record of individual credit history prepared by a credit bureau that includes information about you including your identity, your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and probably your employment information. It also gives information about court judgment against you, it indicates any bankruptcy filed for you or by you and any tax lien against you. It gives well-detailed information about your outstanding debt, such as a mortgage, student loan, car loans. One item it also show are credit inquiries which is a list of individuals and companies that requested a copy of your credit report.

But why is a credit report that important anyway?

Generally speaking your mortgage lenders, insurers, banks, and sometimes employers obtain your credit report to know how you meet your financial responsibilities. For instance, your lender uses your history to determine whether you are qualified for a mortgage or not, and your lender can as well use the account to assess your loan pricing and know if you’ll be able to meet your mortgage fee.

With the credit report, credit bureaus gather and keep your credit information that is in your report. There are three credit bureaus that we look at – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These credit bureaus provide your credit information as a report and credit bureaus also get your credit information from your creditors such as credit card issuer, lender, and bank. Public records are another source where credit bureaus gather their information about court and property record.

Most people also do not realize that you are entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the credit bureaus like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can do this by contacting (877)322-8228 or by visiting the website www.annualcreditreport.com. By using either of these methods, you will be requested to give certain information to access the report. A credit report generated from one of the bureaus may not adequate; hence, you may need to apply for your credit from the three bureaus at a time. 

With the actual credit scores themselves, the rating companies grades for your credit report helps your lender to predict how likely you are to repay your loan and make payment at due time. The lender uses your credit score to determine whether to grant you and the rate you will pay the mortgage. The score is calculated by the total amount of your outstanding debt, whether you settle your bills on time, whether there is any collection action against you, the type and number of the account you operate (mortgage, student loans, credit cards) and your account age.


What can change my credit score?

Your credit score is calculated based on your credit report. A change to your credit report will bring change to your credit score. For example, if you pay less on your outstanding debt or pay your utility bills late, your credit score goes down. However, if you settle your utility bills on time, and make a sizeable down payment on your mortgage, pay your outstanding debt or correct errors on your credit report, your credit score will increase.

How can I build a good credit score?

When building your credit score, you should consider the following

Establish a credit report

For you to create a good credit report, you must have an active credit account. Go to your bank or credit union to get your first credit account or activate your account.

Adhere strictly to the presented payment terms and conditions

Make sure you make a minimum payment due on time. A payment that does not meet up to the minimum contractual amount could harm your credit report or credit score.

Keep your balances low

Keeping a low balance as compared to your available loan limit gives proper finance management. It shows clearly enough that you are financially responsible and shows your lender that you are likely to repay the loan. A key component to credit score is your utilization rate that is your balance to limit ratio.

Apply for credit wisely

Do not apply for multiple credits in a short time and be sure to be truthful with applying.

Show good credit habits over a long period.

Demonstrate a good credit management habit over a long period to help achieve a good credit score by paying your credit cards regularly.


Why is proper credit management critical?

Having good credit plays a crucial role in your financial life. It does not only makes you qualify for a loan or credit but can also secure you a job. Proper credit management will make you eligible for lower interest rates and fees. It can also increase your savings, which can be set aside to meet emergencies and smaller unexpected expenses.

 Getting yourself a good credit score is not hard. Follow the five principles on which you can build your credit score discussed in this blog. Try as much as possible based on your capacity to reduce your credit applications over a short period. Getting a good credit report does not only assist your lender in deciding whether to grant you a loan or not but can also increase the possibility of you securing employment.

Posted in Weekly Real Estate
May 21, 2019

How To Make Homeownership Affordable


A new home is a dream place for many people. Many of us want to have a house we can call our own, but it's unfortunate to say that not everybody can achieve this dream. Just like the adage, "all fingers are not equal", it also applies to this scenario of owning a home. It is important to note that in discussing topics like this, many points come to one's thought. None can be taken as irrelevant, but we have to take points we feel more relevant to us and what applies best. To make homeownership more affordable:


Consider your budget when determining the kind of home you want

The size of your budget goes a long way in determining the type of home one can buy, putting in mind that the bigger the house, the higher the cost. From the information obtained when viewing different homes, a clear picture of how we want our home to look would have been formed. Ask yourself some questions, what kind of home are you aiming for? Is it a place that will accommodate only you and your immediate family or a place that can accommodate lots of people often? Are we looking at a bungalow, duplex, mansion, semi-detached house or a condo? Making use of low aesthetics helps in cost reduction while considering the budget. Why not go for ordinary flooring instead of being adamant on making use of tiles?

Get a right real estate agent with lots of experience

An experienced real estate agent is essential in your goal towards having a home of our own. They must be reasonable and be good listeners. Talking with a few agents and choosing the one that suits you best is truly the way to go. After making a decision on which to go with, ensure that they understand your budget and why you may need certain accommodations. Many first time home buyers also do not understand that the agent you are working with, can either make your home buying process very smooth or can make it a tough situation at every turn. Make sure you feel confident in the agent you hire!


Partake in work yourself:


Nobody is at all a jack of all trades, but the willingness to do some of the work saves a lot of money that would have been spent on hiring professionals. There are little things that could be done ourselves, but the main thing is knowing the skill, having the knowledge of how to do that kind of work. Doing the job without having an idea about the expertise or knowing how to do such a task could only cost us more and would jeopardize our aim of saving money. When doing such work, it must be to the best standard that will be required from a hired professional.

Preserve some materials for reuse:

Preserving materials entails keeping materials that were previously used in the home. Some materials might be needed later on during other construction works as well. Construction works create material wastes that can be beneficial in other areas. Do whatever you can within your capacity to make sure you get these materials. Do not allow any contractor mislead you into discarding any of these materials if they can be salvaged. If those materials cannot be kept, it can be sold. Sell them and make use of the money in buying other things needed.

In conclusion, homeownership can be quite affordable. Being a conserver is a great way to save money and also reuse materials. When constructing your home, it's fine to be a conserver but does not always need to go to an extreme. Everybody wants to enjoy the comfort of living in a house of their own, but if one does not live within one's budget, has it really been achieved?

Posted in Weekly Real Estate
May 7, 2019

Pros And Cons Of Homeownership


Do you intend to own your house? If yes! You will find this helpful. Owning a house to most people in society is a dream come true since acquiring a home is expensive and can be viewed as a status symbol. Before owning a house, you should take a look at the pros and cons of owning a home.


Let’s look at the pros and cons of owning a home versus renting. You should consider the pros and cons of homeownership before deciding what's best for yourself of course.


Some pros of homeownership include:




 Financial Stability

Owning a house with a reasonable mortgage will cost less than renting an apartment and paying your landlord every month over the long run. The rent paid is a wasted the expense that cannot help in building one's financial status. When you own your house and move into it, you can use that higher rent payment towards other expenses.


Home Equity



Over the years that you own your home, you will historically see the value increase and create equity in your home for you. You can use this to do a refinance, reverse mortgage and have other options that renting simply does not provide.



When you acquire your home, you can turn it into your home with your taste, which you cannot do in a rented apartment. You can decide to create a garden, remodel your interiors, keep pets, have a pool and many other personal touches as well as the pride of ownership.


Control Of Your Property

As a homeowner, you have total control of your house. When you are paying rent, your landlord is in control. This can put you in a position of being afraid of getting you and your family kicked out by your landlord.


 Social Benefit


Owning a house also creates social benefits that include neighbor relationships to community involvement and educational opportunities for children.


Personal Wealth

Owning a home offers a long term benefit of potential growth in your wealth. Your mortgage payment is shared between the principal and the interest paid on the money borrowed. Every dollar you spend towards principal is a dollar paid for ownership. Your home can also serve as a source of emergency money if financial and health issues arise unexpectedly with any equity you’ve built.


Tax Benefit

The interest and property tax portion of your mortgage payment is a tax deduction.


 There are also some factors to consider while shopping for a home and owning your home. Owning a house to the majority of people is one of the most significant financial decisions you could make in your life. Before owning such a home, you should take into consideration the following factors before owning your home.


Whenever you are buying a home, you look at the location and general area. A great location will be an excellent asset for you in the future, no matter how much the real estate market fluctuates in the future. It is also great to own a home near your work and family, which will save you time and transportation cost.


The Neighbourhood

Before owning such a home, you should review the community to find out whether the city is friendly towards the activities you plan to do. Whether you are looking for more recreational activities or plan to stay home more often, it’s important to know the area.


Home Inspection

Checking the house critically before buying is a must. You have to check out if the house will require renovation and maintenance cost that is not expected. These must be calculated and considered because these will be costs you will have down the road sooner or later.



Whether you decide to buy or rent, you are making a significant decision

It affects both the money you have left at the end of the month as well as your lifestyle and the money you acquire over the years. Considering the discussed pros of owning your own home, it generally makes sense to become a homeowner!


Posted in Weekly Real Estate
April 23, 2019

Pros and Cons of House Flipping

House flipping sounds good, right? Transform a home and give it that fresh new feel, but how would you know that you are gaining and not wasting your money? You might notice in some TV shows where they show “house flipping” and thought “I can do that, it's so simple and easy”. These programs often show one side of the story and not the whole story of house flipping. For example, the person working behind the scene are professionals with big budgets and the audiences including you rarely see the dirty work.


If you are planning to buy a home to flip, you might want to keep in mind the pros and cons of house flipping.


Beware of money pits when buying the home! That’s the main reason why most folks are into real estate flipping. Even some companies and individuals find flipping homes a profit-making venture and if done correctly the returns might be achieved in a very short period of time.

The experience you gain! Although house flipping might take a lot of time and money, there is a lot of valuable experience you can learn throughout the process such as subcontracting to help you advance your negotiating skills. You will not also learn about construction and real estate investing through the process of balancing a budget and ensuring a project is still profitable.


House Flipping is Gratifying, especially seeing the project to the end. Although your main intent in flipping houses is to make a profit, you’ll also learn that there are many things you can gain in flipping houses and not just money. When you rehabilitate and sell an old home, you’re not just selling it but also giving it a new life. You take all the unnecessary stuff and change it into something new for the new family to make new memories in. That is the most gratifying reward you might ever receive.


There is, of course, the other side of house flipping. There can definitely be risks and stress involved in the process and it’s not a 9-5 job. Here are some risks or disadvantages of house flipping.

You can be putting your money at stake. You can’t achieve something big without taking the risk. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to making a property flop instead of flip. One of the contributors to this loss is the unexpected expenses, even with careful caution and planning, with just a small cracked foundation, need of new plumbing, contractor delays, change of weather, and unplanned materials that you didn’t expect. All of these will quickly add up and may consume the potential profit. A change in the real estate market is also a problem in flipping a house. If you’re not able to sell the home ( assuming that there’s a mortgage on the property) you will have to pay the mortgage, taxes, and insurance. This will also take a huge part of the budget, after the renovation and the property is ready to sell, the longer the property is in your hands, the more money you lose.


There will be stress involved! You can’t run and hide from it, especially if your business is flipping houses. You will get stress with things like delays, the plan didn’t go as to what you expect it to happen, overdue deadline, finding the right property, contractors, buyers and etc. But the bright side is, the more things like this you run into, the more experience you have and the wiser you will be on the next project.


If you are considering flipping homes, make sure you reach out and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction with properties!

Posted in Weekly Real Estate
April 15, 2019

The Top 3 Things To Do On Social Media for New Homeowners


In today’s generation, we just can’t help but share some exciting news on social media, especially when you have your own new house! Who wouldn’t want to share that kind of achievement on social media?! Buying a new home is a huge deal for anyone, particularly first-time homeowners. The feeling of satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment is riled up inside and you just can’t wait to tell everyone about it. Before clicking the share button and sharing your home with everyone, we have some information for when and how to use social media wisely.


Share all the great photos of your new place. You don’t have to be a professional photographer when capturing your favorite spot of the house. Keep it simple and beautiful at the same time. Maybe show off some of your home’s unique and cool features.


Use Pinterest, Houzz, Google or any other creative sites for some photo inspiration. If you want your home to turn out amazing with your personalization, you can look for inspiration on the internet. From cute arrangements to what angle is best for the final photo are small details that make a huge difference when showcasing your new digs. Just don’t get too attached in the perfect arrangement you see online and get disappointed thinking about why yours is not the same as the one on the image. It’s good to see amazing homes and how they are set up but it’s also amazing to put your own unique spin on it. Remember that decorating your home is a story you want to write and tell people about it. 


Name your house! Yes, you read that correctly. Naming your house is not a weird thing to do. House naming is a normal thing these days and if you want to sell your house in the future a great name for it might even help you sell it. House names, for example, can be a name of your favorite movie star, a unique catchphrase, or after your favorite vacation place, it doesn’t matter because it’s yours!


Make sure you have fun on social media but also make sure you are using it to your advantage once you have your new home. It can be a fun place to express yourself and also share your new space with friends and family!


Posted in Weekly Real Estate
March 6, 2019

Phone vs Professional Photos

Hi there! I just want to share some useful information for all my homeowners out there that are thinking about possibly selling their home in the future.

As a realtor, I scroll through Metro list all day to look at homes and I go see them in person. The interesting thing that I notice is that the photos of the homes for sale leave the biggest impact to the buyers.

When buyers look online for the homes they want to buy, the first thing that they will see are the photographs of the different homes in which only the most appealing leave a great first impression to the buyer. And in this business, first impressions are very important because it can ultimately lead to deals being created between the buyer and seller. Photos of the homes that are posted in the market can be a buyer’s only basis in assessing about a home and can potentially encourage them to look at in person.  They are the second most important part of selling your home after picking the right price. Therefore, when folks seem like they are just driving around the neighbourhood, they are most likely looking online and trying to find out if the homes they see are actually for sale. With that being said the photos are going to stand out for them in a huge way. 

Most sellers or listing agent are tempted to use their mobile phones in taking the photos of their homes because of course it’s easy and almost everybody has one. However, using it is not very suited for your marketing piece. This is because when compared to professional photos, phone pictures can have a lower quality especially when used by an amateur. I often see a good portion of photos that are done on cell phones come out blurry, too dark or too light. You'll see a lot of different common issues on them. So one thing that we could do to prevent this from happening to your home and to really make sure that your home is marketed in the best light that we possibly can is to hire a professional photographer. 

A professional photographer is someone that does the best job in producing photographs that will best represent the greatest qualities of your home. They will come spend a couple hours in your home to capture multiple photos in multiple angles. They will then edit them for several hours to make sure that your home really stands out from the other homes on the block. I also attend these photo sessions to ensure they come out just right and to help adjust things. When it comes down to the actual marketing of your home, the photos are going to really help us to get a home sold! Using professional photos can draw more attention to your home and result in more potential buyers viewing your home. Although more potential buyers are seeing it, this does not guarantee a sale. Reaching more buyers with your home betters your chance of finding the right buyer. 

With all of the competition on the market, it is important to have professional photos especially if you will list the home is listed in a higher price bracket.

I always ensure and pay for professional photos for my clients to ensure they get the best marketing possible. If you do have questions, please feel free to reach out. I just wanted to share this bit of useful information for all my homeowners out there. I look forward talk with you soon. Thank you



Posted in Weekly Real Estate