How much is too much?

RCE Slider 1AYou need to consider two numbers when shopping for a home.

The first one is the monthly payment you’re most comfortable with, given your financial situation. The second is the maximum monthly payment you could afford if your dream home was available. Anything over that second number is off the board.

Mike, from Eagle Home Mortgage can help you determine these numbers, based on your income and other expenses. And once you have them in hand, you’ll know what price range will work for you. Mike & I have cool tools to help you with these questions and concerns.

Find our cool tools here!

As we begin your home search together, we’ll have a great idea of what to look at. We’ll know what the sweet spot is, and how far you’d be able to reach if we come across your dream home.

Ready to start? Mike & I are here to help you every step of the way. We are committed to seeing you home.

It All Comes Down to One Thing

FullSizeRender11Communication. It’s the single most important thing in any real estate transaction. That means communication between you and me, communication with your lender, and communication with the seller and the seller’s agent.

Here’s my promise: You’ll be able to reach me when you need me, and so will everyone else. It’s the hallmark of my success. Communication builds trust, and trust results in a successful transaction.

I’ll know I’ve succeeded when you tell your friends and family that I did a spectacular job.

I’ll be there for you – and you can count on me to help you make an informed decision.

The Number 1 Reason Home Buyers Need an Agent

Cynthia Soderstrom Real Estate Broker Licensed State of IL National Association of Realtors

Negotiating: it’s arguably the hardest part of the buying process. It’s also the number one reason a home buyer needs a professional real estate agent.

The forms are daunting. The liabilities are huge. But there’s a big difference between making an offer and making the right offer.

I can handle your negotiations for you. Let me show you how I can help. Please send me an email or give me a call.

Renting vs Buying

FullSizeRender11Sooner or later, it hits almost every renter: the pain of dealing with a landlord, or seeing your monthly payments vanish, or realizing you don’t have control over your living space. Sound familiar? It might be time to start thinking about buying a home of your own.

Do you realize that renting prepares you for buying?

It helps you figure out what you want.

With every move, you discover things: the neighborhoods you like, the sorts of kitchens you prefer, and the fact that popcorn ceilings drive you crazy. You’re in a great position to buy. You know what you want, what you don’t want, and what you’d love to have.

Do you remember why you rented in the first place? Did you think your rent payment would be less than your mortgage payment? Did you want to call your landlord to fix things when they broke? Were you unsure where you wanted to live? Did you make less money than you do now?

Is all this still true?

If not, maybe you’re ready to buy.

Things change. People change. Life changes.

Now’s a great time to buy, and you might be a lot closer to home ownership than you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Are You Prepared?

You’ve worked hard for your home – carefully saving, responsibly spending, and constantly keeping it maintained.

But do you have a home emergency plan to protect you and your household when the unexpected happens?

Here are three easy must-dos:

1. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy.
2. Set up a central meeting place, in case members of your household are separated during an emergency (the closest library or park, perhaps).
3. Invest in an emergency kit (typically less than $50). Most big-box or local hardware stores have various options.

As your local RE/MAX agent, I understand there’s no place like home. Know that I’m here to help with your real estate questions and needs.

Fast & Easy Updates to Help a Home Sell

10515304_10204672042711186_1152899578990389745_oIn the mid-west, the home buying season tends to slow down towards the end of August, and while some properties are off the market before they’re even on it, others haven’t had such luck. A great way to boost your home’s selling power is to make small and affordable updates throughout the home. These quick updates and fixes won’t break the bank or a budget, and they will help make your home more inviting to potential buyers and a potential sale.

Spruce Up the Front Door

The front door is one of the first things potential buyers see when viewing your home. Spruce up the front door by touching up paint (either paint over chipped or fading paint, or change the color completely), adding a kick plate, changing out the hardware, or you can replace the door completely. A new front door can add energy efficiency and additional security if you choose a metal door. Making the front door pop not only adds a special touch to your curb appeal, but potential buyers definitely notice a door that’s been taken care of.

Freshen Up the Kitchen

Kitchens appeal to so many buyers. If you don’t have the budget or time to overhaul your kitchen, don’t panic. If you have nice wood cabinets and don’t have the budget to update them, consider adding a coat of paint to freshen them up. You can also add new hardware (knobs, handles or pulls) to help give cabinets a younger look. You can also change out any outdated counter tops, and adding a new faucet to the sink is another way to give a kitchen a new vibe. If you have the time and the budget, consider changing any flooring that is chipped, cracked or broken. Vinyl flooring is economical and affordable, and it’s available in a number of types and styles to suit any kitchen design.

Update Porch Columns

Porch columns are another item buyers see immediately; if you have columns that have chipped paint, are decaying, or don’t match the style of the home, consider updating or replacing them completely. Sand and paint over chips, or update the look with vinyl wraps. If you have the budget to replace the columns, consider fiberglass, which is weather resistant and helps support the weight of the porch roof.

Tidy Up a Bathroom

Bathrooms are another large selling feature of properties, and outdated bathrooms are a top sale killer. Update within reason of your budget and time: replacing the vanity, counter, sink and faucet can be a quick fix that is also budget friendly (some home improvement stores have entire kits available for this). If this doesn’t fit your budget, consider painting the vanity and replacing the hardware and faucet. Other updates that can be done in the bathroom: change out a toilet (you can usually find energy efficient toilets at a local big box store for under $200), update a shower head, and replace any vanity or overhead lighting for more modern and energy efficient options.

Update a Staircase

Many staircases are located just as you enter a home, which means they are a focal point and something buyers look at and judge the moment they walk into a property. If your staircase has seen better days, take the time to do some small updates. Fix any broken or loose steps and evaluate the railing; refinish a wood staircase, replace a broken railing, change outdated balusters, and, if the stairs are carpeted, clean or replace the carpet.

Jazz Up a Fireplace

Whether it’s gas or wood, many homes have fireplaces, and many buyers love them for their purpose and as focal points. An updated fireplace can say loads about your home, and a great looking fireplace can help a sale. You can paint and transform outdated brick or add ceramic tiles to add color. You also have the option of adding budget-friendly artificial stone veneer or natural stone (if you have the time and money). Mantels are a large part of fireplaces – add, update or replace a mantel with wood, stone or marble. An updated fireplace and mantel can help any home sale.

Light Up the Yard

Lighting can take the exterior of a home from drab to fab. Dark homes don’t pop to buyers, and outdoor lighting can add a ton of appeal. Update any outdated outdoor lighting fixtures, especially those that no longer work or are broken. If you have some extra money to put toward projects, consider adding additional outdoor lighting in the way of a lamppost or path lights, and if you live in a sunny climate you also have the option of solar lights.

Organize a Closet

Buyers will go through cupboards and closets, and a cramped bedroom closet can be an issue with some buyers. A quick and budget-friendly fix is a closet organizer. Organizers come in a variety of options, from wood and plastic-laminate to wire, and most are DIY, which cuts down any installation costs. If your closets are stuffed or poorly organized, buyers will see this and could potentially be turned off by it.

Make an Attic More Usable

Most homes have some kind of attic, whether it be a small crawlspace that’s barely accessible or a large attic area accessed by a staircase. Make sure your attic area is accessible: if it’s not, add a ladder and insulate the door for better energy efficiency. If your attic area is just studs, add a plywood floor to make it more accessible and ready for storage. By adding a couple extra things to an attic area, you’re adding usable space and making your home more marketable to potential buyers.

These fixes are relatively easy, and most shouldn’t break the bank. If you can afford to do some, go for it, but do what is in reason of your time and budget. You want to sell your house, and you don’t want to spend a fortune updating it. Small fixes can be the ticket to a quick sell, or they can help a home that’s been sitting for a while finally get some movement.




The next wave…

Red Carpet Enterprises Blog Statistically speaking, the next wave of buyers with the most buying power are the Millennials.  They like applications that can be downloaded to their phone quickly and easily.  I make all of my cool tools available to everyone.  Short code text;  YourTeam  to  87804 to begin and let me know what you need.

Best Home Deals

RCE Slider 1ANo doubt, today’s housing market is still dominated by the buyer. All shapes, sizes, location and condition of homes continue to be bought and sold. However, with that being said, the market remains a bit sluggish and buyers continue to grind on the sale price rather than recognizing that interest rates are still very low. I’ll be the first one to be sure that my buyers get a good deal.

If you remember the movie, “Wall Street” (1987), the Realtor bragged to the character, Bud Fox, that she thought she could lock in a loan interest rate of 18%. WOW. In 2006, ’07, ’08 & ’09, home owners were scrambling to get a re-fi at 6.75%. Today, the rates are hovering around 4.25%. If more 1st time home buyers would recognize this aspect, it it likely that they would take advantage of this. It is doubtful that these rates will ever be this low again.

As always, I am here to help guide you in the right direction. I welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Mobile Business Card

Good morning, if you are looking for a really easy and visual way to get my business contact info or that of my Mortgage partner Mike, go ahead and text the single word YourTeam to 87804. Watch the magic in 10 seconds when my reply comes through. You also have the opportunity to click the link to my new HBM Home Scouting Report mobile app for home searching, it makes looking for a new home in any area of your choice super easy. It’s just one of the Cool Tools in my tool belt. Check it out!

Mobile Technology

It is estimated that 64% of all adults in the U.S. own a smartphone. Results show that 92% of all home buyers start their search on line and 70% hire the first agent they call. Today, house hunting is a cross platform activity. I am a big believer in using Cool Tools to help my clients search and find what they want. Tell me what you are looking for and we’ll find it together!

1st Blog Post

This is our first post. It is special, so we hope you like it. Follow us for interesting information, tips on selling your home, and tips for listing your home. We have a lot to share, we hope you will come along for the ride.


Your RCE Team