How Much Is A Good Down Payment?

How Much Is A Good Down Payment?How Much Is A Good Down Payment?

A lot of people say that buying a home is one of the biggest decisions in their lives. I would happen to agree. I love being able to find people exactly what they’re looking for and seeing them happy and settled.

However, looking for a home isn’t all butterflies and flowers. There’s a lot that goes into the decision, and a down payment is something buyers should think about before they’re ready to pounce.

How much should your down payment be though? Is there such thing as a good down payment? I’ll go over questions and answers regarding down payments and how much money you should look to put down.

First of all, what is a down payment? A down payment is a percentage of your home’s overall cost that you’re putting down to reduce your payments over the life of your home loan. You can also look at the down payment as your initial investment into the home.

How much is a good amount to put down? According to Bank of America, a good amount to put down for a down payment depends on a couple things:

  1. The purchase price of the home
  2. Your loan program. Different loan programs require different percentages ranging from 5% to 20% down payment.

There is also an easier way to calculate the down payment of your home. You can use this easy to use mortgage calculator. With it, you can specify the amount of your home, the area your home is in as well as the status of your credit. It will also then show you what percentage down you placed for the loan and the timeline for the loan such as 15 year or 30 year.

For many people, saving a down payment can be a big obstacle. But, there’s good news! According to this article from, there are thousands of programs that can help with down payment assistance. For these programs there are qualifications and exclusions, so make sure you ask your realtor what they are and if you qualify.


How Much Is A Good Down Payment?

Can More Light Really Sell A House Faster?

08.31In the ancient days, the sun was thought to be a god. Now, we realize that the sun is still powerful, but just to light up the sky.

Many people up north complain of being depressed and having little drive when the winters come along because there is very little sunlight. So, can this be the same as trying to sell your house? Can more light in your home really make it sell faster?

According to this article, a well-lit house can indeed help it sell. It states that there should be layers of light coming within the house, and the outside should be well lit as well. It also shares that many people make a snap judgement by the outside of the house before they even decide whether or not they want to go inside. By making the house well lit at night and in the evening, it entices people and shows that it is a “happy” house and is automatically thought of as being more inviting.

Also, according to this blog, they say to keep the blinds open to let in lots of natural lights. By letting in natural light, it also makes the room look larger.

From those two articles, we can come to the conclusion that a well-lit house makes people feel more comfortable and makes the house seem more inviting. However, are there other small tricks that you can do to make your house sell faster? Yes. Here’s a quick list for you:

  1. Put away the family photos. People like to see themselves in the house; they have a hard time doing that if others photos are visible.
  2. Clean, clean, clean! A clean house is more aesthetically pleasing than a dirty one. Many people can’t overlook the dirt and may not consider the house.
  3. Hide kid’s toys. This ties in with number one. People want to envision their families within the house. By hiding toys, it’s easier for them to see themselves in the house.

For more information on how to sell your home successfully, call us today!

Can More Light Really Sell A House Faster?

Home Staging: Why Your House Needs It To Sell

Home Staging: Why Your House Needs It To SellEveryone’s heard of staging a home. And, if you haven’t, here are the quick details. Basically, when potential buyers come in to see your home, they want to envision themselves living in the home. The staging helps that happen.

By staging your home, you allow all of your personal belongings to be hidden and you allow professionals to come in and place their furniture in the best locations. Here are a couple tips the next time you’re looking to sell from a staging expert.

1. Clean up the clutter. Don’t leave things lingering and make sure everything is put away. Buyers want to see themselves within the house, they don’t want to see your things in the house.

2. Make it less personalized. Don’t leave family photos or pictures of your kids out. Home buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the house. With your family in there, they will have a harder time of this.

3. Bring in the light. Everyone tends to like things if they’re happy, this is the same with houses. Make sure lamps and lights are turned on and make sure the blinds and window treatments are open.

4. Put in some fresh details. Adding fresh flowers and fluffy towels can really help your home stand out. It will also make it more inviting.

5. Clean Up. A clean house is a good house. People don’t want to walk into your mess, and you wouldn’t want to walk into someone else’s mess. Make sure the food splatters are cleaned up and the floors are mopped.

6. Bake a fresh batch of cookies. This is one of the oldest tricks to selling a home. However, this is a great one at the same time. Cookies can remind people of home cooking and the smell is inviting as well.

7. Clean the fridge. The exterior of the fridge can be one area that people forget about. Make sure you take the kid’s pictures down and only leave a couple of tasteful magnets on it.

Those are just a couple of things that you can do in order to make your house a little more appealing. For more information and to get in contact with a realtor to sell your house, contact us here.

Home Staging: Why Your House Needs It To Sell

Can Doing Feng Shui Really Help Sell Your House?

Feng ShuiFeng Shui is the Chinese practice of things coming together in harmony and balance. Feng Shui means “wind” and “water.” This is a practice that has been around for thousands of years. But how does it relate to houses?

Feng Shui is simply the balance of things within the room, such as furniture. Feng Shui is looking at the layout of the home and taking into account the decorations and furniture, changing it, and making it more appealing and balanced. Here are some tips to help your house be more welcoming.

Make sure your furniture is facing the door. Have you ever walked into a room and everyone’s backs are facing you? It’s not very inviting. This is the principle in the first tip. This idea is the same with furniture. Make sure the furniture is facing the door, or at least some. Make sure too that there are chairs that come together so you could sit down with a couple people and talk. Chairs that are isolated and non-inviting. They don’t promote conversation and can make the room feel cold.

Make sure the traffic flows. This isn’t just the case for the highway, it needs to work within your house too. People need to be able to walk around freely without running into something. You want to have a house feel open and comfortable, not cramped and cluttered.

Make sure the bedroom is calming. This is a place of rest for everyone. Pictures should be calming and not of dramatic events or bright colors. Photos of nature are a great option within the bedroom. When selling your home too, make sure you put away the family photos and religious icons. You want the home to be able to sell by the potential buyer seeing their family within it, and that’s hard with your family photos. Religious icons can be the same thing, people may not have the same religious views as you so they can’t see themselves in the house.

Close the lid to the toilet. Many realtors also recommend this, but in Feng Shui it’s for a different reason. Water represents money and the toilet is one place where water/ money escapes. Instead close, the lid to the toilet and place plants around the corners of the other rooms; This will enliven the room and create harmony.

For more information and tips on selling your home, contact us here.

**Article came from snippets of


Can Doing Feng Shui Really Help Sell Your House?

Are Online Real Estate Apps Better Than A Local Realtor?

Are Online Real Estate Apps Better Than A Local Realtor?Smartphones are in everyone’s purse, pocket and hands. They are everywhere. Along with the smartphone came the smartphone apps. With these you can message someone, play a game or even touch up a photo; the options are limitless.

Smartphones can be a blessing and a curse. But, how do those smartphone apps hold up against a local realtor when looking to buy or sell? Do you really need a realtor now? Let’s look it over and weigh out the pro’s and con’s of an app v. a local realtor.

The App:
Comes with GPS so you can look at houses around the address you type in
Shows you pictures of the property and house, inside and out
Allows you to see the price right away
Has lots of different features showing you what the house comes with and an overview of the community

The Realtor:
Gives you a more personal experience
Shows you houses in person
Can understand needs past bedroom and bathroom count
Knows which neighborhoods your family feels comfortable in
Shares their opinion as well as asking yours about the house to better understand what you’re looking for

When you take into account that the real estate app cannot give you the personal touch a realtor can, you may consider having both of them at your disposal. How? Well, you can browse the real estate app as well as use a realtor. It’s the same way some people go shopping. They look for what they want, so they limit the time they spend out looking at houses they’re not interested in. The app can come in handy letting the person looking to buy or sell peruse the options and then telling the realtor what they did or didn’t like about the houses they saw.

Some of the sites that are more popular are Zillow, Houzz, and Realtor. These sites can help you find the dream home you’re looking for. However, only a realtor can understand you on a more personal note.

For more information on using one of our realtors, call us today!

Are Online Real Estate Apps Better Than A Local Realtor?

5 Best Kept Secrets To Selling Your Home

5 Best Kept Secrets To Selling Your HomeEveryone wants in on secrets, especially if they’re juicy gossip secrets. Okay, maybe not everyone, and maybe not gossip, but most people want to know how someone made themselves successful, or ran 100 miles or even, how their neighbor sold their house in a week. (I’d like to know that). The secret is, it’s not such a secret. You have to be strategic in how you place things and how you do things. We’ve compiled a list of the 7 best kept secrets in selling your home. Here they are… but don’t tell!

  1. Price it right. You would think that this is a no-brainer, however, a lot of people just go with what someone says without evidence backing it. Your real estate agent should be able to do an industry analysis to see where your house sits as far as location, popularity and multiple other factors. This will help determine an accurate price for your home.
  2. Use correct lighting. Make sure the lighting in your house is used to its fullest potential. People love to see a home that is bright and cheery. Don’t forget to clean the fans, windows, blinds and shudders to make it look more inviting.
  3. Use an informed real estate agent. Using the right agent is key to selling your home. Make sure they have experience in what you’re selling and that they are up-to-date with all of the laws and paperwork. Asking questions before you agree to hire a broker is key in making sure the relationship is a great fit.
  4. Keep the upgrades to a minimum. Everyone likes seeing things upgraded and current. However, make sure you don’t over upgrade. Instead of doing huge updates, do little things like a fresh coat of paint and possibly redo the grout in your tile.
  5. De-Personalize your home. Take all of your personal photos out and any family memorabilia. When your house is personalized, it’s hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves in it.

These are just a couple things you can do to help your house sell better. There are many other options, and of course each house is a different story. For more information on this article, see it here. Also, contact us with any information about buying or selling your home.


5 Best Kept Secrets To Selling Your Home

6 Things To Do When Looking To Rent

6 Things To Do When Looking To RentRenting is a common theme among many people for many reasons. For some, it’s easier, for others, they move too often to settle down in a home. Either way, renting can get complicated, as can anything. We know that over time, it can get overwhelming and exciting when looking for your next home. So, we put together 6 things to do when looking to rent. We’ll go through what to look for and what to ask when looking at your next home.

  1. Don’t rush. All great things take time, and that’s the same with a rental property. Not only is this a rental property, but for some, it’s their home for the next couple of years.
  2. Drive around. Driving around the potential community gives a lot of insight into what it’s like. Drive in the morning and at night to get a better understanding of how everyone who lives there operates. See if the school bus comes for kids, if they have community events, or if the neighborhood turns into something you weren’t expecting at night.
  3. Ask questions. There are many things you need to ask when moving into a new place. Ask things like: Who pays for the water, sewer, electric? Who takes care of the lawn? If something breaks, who do I call? These questions are imperative when looking to rent a new place.
  4. Research the property. Just like the landlord is interviewing you to see if you’re a great fit for the property, you need to make sure the property is a great fit for you. You can simply type in the property name to see if there’s anything fishy or if everything about the community looks great.
  5. Make sure everything you need is close. You need to know if the things you care about most are close to your new home. Make sure you know where the schools, grocery stores, gas stations and churches are around your community. Also, make sure it has everything you need.
  6. Ask around about local’s opinions. Moving to a new location is hard, so if you’re not familiar with it, it can be hard to get a feel for what it has to offer. Your realtor should be familiar with the area and they will give you advice on whether the neighborhood is a fit for you and your family.

Overall, renting or purchasing a home can be a tedious task. Having a realtor really cuts down on the time it takes to find a property to purchase or rent. For questions or to speak with a realtor, contact us here.

6 Things To Do When Looking To Rent

Crazy Things People Did When Selling Their House

St. Patrick’s Day is today. That means a lot of green, a lot of celebrations and a lot of fun. But, how can you have fun when you’re worried about selling or buying a house? There are a lot of things that a home buyer should look for in a new house, and a lot of things a seller shouldn’t do. Since this is a fun holiday, we figured we’d let you in on a couple funny stories of people trying to buy or sell a house.

House Not HauntedStory 1: Make sure your realtor doesn’t place a sign in the yard saying, “House Not Haunted.” Well this is what happened and this is a huge red flag for the buyer and it brings the wrong attention to the house. A yard sign should showcase how spectacular your house is. Stating that your house is “not haunted” attracts the wrong audience and may deter people from looking at it because they might think it is in fact haunted. The bottom line is that negative attention should be avoided when selling your house.

Story 2: The mess makers. Have you ever been to an open house and the house is a mess? No, probably not. Well, in this case, the house was a mess and the family didn’t bother to clean it up. Having a messy house distracts from what the home buyers can see. They’re looking at the mess rather than looking at all the house has to offer.

BathroomStory 3: Having a bathroom that’s a bit out there. The prime example is this photo below. The bathroom is in the kitchen. There’s really no privacy there and that’s a huge, huge deterrent from the house. Trying to get someone to by the house will be a hard feat considering it’s not an every day thing.

All of these stories and things people have done are a bit silly, but at the end of the day, your objective is to find your dream home or to sell your home. Your realtor should be someone who can help you understand what works and what doesn’t work.

**All photos are from

Crazy Things People Did When Selling Their House

Don’t Forget About These Important Things When Looking To Move

Don't Forget About These Important Things When Looking To MoveMoving is a stressful and exciting time. It’s basically picking up your life and redirecting it to another town, city or even state. When you’re moving it can be stressful, but the fun part is picking out your house and neighborhood. Maybe even living in your dream home soon!
There are a couple things that people may forget to think about when looking for a house. They’re not how old the house is or who the next door neighbors are, they’re a bit more important. We’ve complied a list of the impotant things that you can’t forget to look for when you’re moving:
1. Schools. Millions of families move every year. They have small children, or even kids in high school. One thing to make sure is that there is a school nearby and the school’s ranking system. Is it an A school, B school and so on.
2. Look at the churches. Many people are people of faith and they like going where they feel they belong. It’s always a good idea to visit your potential churches to see how they are and where they’re located.
3. Parks and trails. Everyone loves being outside, especially with young kids. Parks are a great way to tire them out and to get a little exercise. Looking for parks close to your new home is a great idea.
4. Grocery stores. This is a huge one that should not be overlooked. Unless you grow everything yourself or if you get farm fresh meat, grocery stores are a must. Different states call them different things, and in Florida, they’re noramlly referred to as Publix. Luckily here, they’re in every major community. The distance to the grocery store is important just as important as the school.
This list is compiled of smaller thing to remember, but they’re still very important. These are embedded in some of our habits and they’re essentials to life. If you have any questions about what else to look for when searching for your dream home, contact us here.
Don’t Forget About These Important Things When Looking To Move

6 Questions You Can’t Forget To Ask Before Closing

6 Questions You Can't Forget To Ask Before Closing6 Questions You Can’t Forget To Ask Before Closing
When people get ready to buy a house, they’re excited, overwhelmed and sometimes, don’t think about the things they should ask before closing on a house. There are several important questions you should ask yourself and others when you’re buying your first house. Some questions you can’t forget to ask before closing. Lucky for you, I will outline the six most important questions for new homeowners. A house, after all, will more than likely be the largest purchase of                                                                                     your lifetime.
When you’re buying a car, you get it checked out by a mechanic. You should think about a house in the same sense. A house is a huge, long-term investment. A house needs to be inspected and looked at by the correct professionals to make sure it’s up-to-date and nothing is severely wrong with it before closing. It is also important that you ask these 6 questions before closing:
1. At what time should I expect the home inspection? Asking your realtor when the home inspection will take place is the first major question you should ask before closing on a new home. You want to ensure that you or your representative are present at the home inspection to ensure that your new home does not have any hidden defects.
2. Who should be at the inspection? This is an important question. Most people want to walk through the house and watch the home inspection first-hand. Always have your realtor with you, as a professional, your realtor has the experience to handle several home purchase issues that might arise before closing.
3. What are the closing costs? Your lender and realtor should have these details; however, it is important to know for yourself. Knowing the exact amount of closing costs will allow you to budget for the future.
4. What do I need to bring to closing? This question is also important, and one that people often forget. You should bring your driver’s license and form of payment. Typically, money is wired, so a check is unnecessary, but speak with your lender to make sure.
5. Where are the keys? In most circumstances, the first thing you will change on your new home are the locks. However, many new home buyers find themselves locked outside of their new home because they failed to get the keys at closing. You will also need to ask for any garage openers, community keys, and mailbox keys.
6. What does the surrounding neighborhood have to offer? When looking for a house, it is important that the surrounding neighborhood meets your needs.  Before you close on a house, make sure that your new neighborhood conveniently fits all your needs.
If you have your own closing question or wish to schedule an appointment, please click here.
6 Questions You Can’t Forget To Ask Before Closing