Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services



Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 1/14/2020

Photo by Athitat Shinagowin via Shutterstock

Youíll often hear it stated that paying rent is throwing money down the drain. As a motivation to buy a home, however, that might not be the best idea. A rule of thumb is that if you can purchase a home for fifteen times what you currently pay annually in rent, buying makes sense. In real numbers, if your rent is $1,500 a month, your annual rent is $18,000. Fifteen times that amount is $270,000. That means if you can buy a comparable home for around $270,000, it makes sense to buy rather than to rent because youíll break even in 15 years and will accrue equity beyond that.

But even if housing prices fit that scenario, what is your personal criteria?

Is renting throwing money away?

That depends. There are multiple rent vs. buy calculators online that allow you to plug in the variables that apply to your situation. The adage that itís always better to buy may not fit into your lifestyle, career goals or plans. Donít buy just because someone tells you that youíre tossing away your life savings. After all, if you have enough for a down payment, you can invest it in something more liquid than property.

But, buying is a fantastic idea if you love the community, see yourself living there for at least five years, and want to own your home.

There are some guidelines, however, to help you determine if you are ready. These require that you keep financial considerations separate.

  • Do you still have student loans? If so, determine the impact that more debt places not just on your pocketbook, but on your psyche. If having education debt stresses you out, adding more debt to that is not a solution. Instead, before you buy a home, work with a student debt counselor to see if you can make some headway on your loans.
  • Do you have an emergency fund? For some people, if they get a flat tire or the fuel pump goes out in the car, the burden of taking care of that emergency can throw all caution to the wind. Having an emergency fund of a minimum of $1000 for short-term emergencies (car repair, flight to a family funeral, etc.) and three to six months for long-term emergencies (extended illness, job loss) protects you from disasters lurking around every corner.
  • Can you set aside money for home maintenance? If you replace your rent one-to-one with a mortgage (even including taxes, PMI, and homeownerís insurance), you still need funds for regular home maintenance. Generally, youíll want to set aside about one percent of the cost of the house minimum for annual maintenance. If you buy your home for $300,000, youíll need to set aside an extra $250 a month (3% or $750 a month is better) to cover repairs, maintenance, and upkeep of your home.

The other questions you want to answer are: How secure is your job? Could you be moving within five years? Do you qualify for a good interest rate? Buying just to escape renting is never a promising idea. But if the answer to these questions leads you to believe homeownership is right for you, in the right location, and itís the right time, find the right real estate professional to help you get there.




Tags: buyer tips   renting   New Buyers  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 1/7/2020

Most Americans dream of owning their own home. The size of that pictured house is often spacious. As the housing market gets tighter, the prices of homes go up. The bigger the home you wish to buy, the larger the price tag. Keep in mind that the bigger the house you buy is, the more everything else will cost. That means you have to look deep into your budget and far beyond the list price of a home to understand what you have to work with financially. Some things that a more prominent home might bring are:


Higher utility bills due to more space that you have to heat and cool

Increased property tax

Higher insurance premiums

More expensive repairs

More expensive renovations

Bigger yard to landscape


These are all additional costs that you should consider before you take the plunge to buy a larger home. The longer you live in the house, the more these expenses can add up. Many things like flooring, carpet, concrete, and roofing materials are priced by the square foot. While living large can be a great decision, the additional expenses can really add up.  


If You Have Kids, Reconsider


Raising children is expensive. While you may want your child to have a large room and a lot of amenities right inside their home, there are so many other things that kids need. Consider your childís hobbies. How much of your budget do you devote to those? Do your kids hope to attend college? How much extra money in your budget do you have for vacations and other activities that you may want to do as a family? Buying a bigger house could mean that you have less money in your budget for these things. Understand all the ways that you need to stretch your money before you have your eyes set on a larger home. 


Consider The Rest Of Your Needs


A more massive home means a more substantial monthly mortgage payment. That leaves less for you to save for things like retirement, rainy day funds, and other financial goals. Donít let the fact that you have your eyes set on a big house shadow the rest of your life and your needs. A large part of buying a home is planning ahead. It will be a smart decision all around for you and your family to buy a home thatís affordable.            


Buying a larger home fulfills a dream for many homebuyers, but donít let that idea become a singular goal.       





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 12/31/2019

Moving into a new home can often be a frantic, exhausting task. Matters are made worse if the house you are moving into wasnít cleaned thoroughly after the previous movers left.

 However, the best time to clean a house is before you move in. This is due to the fact that cleaning shelves is easier before theyíve been filled, and vacuuming carpets is simpler if the house doesnít yet have any furniture.

 So, in this article weíre going to show you the best way to clean your new home before you move in to avoid having to move objects around once youíve brought them inside.

 Before moving day

 The idea moment to clean your new home is before the moving truck arrives. If possible, pick a day after the previous owners have moved out that is close to your move-in date. Bring all of your cleaning supplies with you, including cloths, towels, a duster, vacuum, hardwood floor polish, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and so on.

It might be tempting to just start scrubbing as soon as youíre inside, but first take a moment to walk through the house and make a list of all the cleaning tasks you would like to accomplish before moving in.

Not only will your list help you determine how long youíll need to clean, but it will also give some organization to your day and keep you on track.

On or after moving day

You donít always have the luxury of being able to clean your new home beforehand. If youíre moving across states or are on a tight move-in/move-out schedule, you might have to clean your house as you move in.

In this case, the best solution is to organize your boxes and furniture by room. Then, when moving them inside, put them in the corner of a room in a neat pile. This will leave access to most of the room so that you can clean before putting things away.

Make sure you and your family are on the same page in terms of organizing items on moving day. If you have family members who start unpacking boxes, let them know they could be more helpful by picking up a duster or cleaning some windows rather than putting items in their future places.

Room by room cleaning

There are some rooms in your house that require special attention. Letís start with the kitchen.

When it comes to cleaning your appliances (refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc.), itís a good idea to spray on some degreaser or baking soda/vinegar solutions in advance to let them soak and loosen up any debris before you start scrubbing them. Soaking them all at once will help you save time cleaning.

The bathroom poses a challenge when moving in for two reasons. Since bathrooms tend to be small and crowded, it can be hard to work inside of them if there are boxes in the way. To avoid this, stack all of your bathroom items outside in the hallway or in the bathroom closet while you clean.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 12/24/2019

Selling a home may seem exceedingly difficult, particularly for those who are adding a residence to the housing market for the first time. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to streamline the home selling process.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become an expert home seller.

1. Examine Housing Market Trends

The current state of the real estate market may play an important role in your ability to maximize the value of your residence.

For example, a buyer's market may feature a shortage of property buyers. When this happens, home sellers may compete against one another for property buyers' attention more than ever before, leading to below-average home prices.

It is essential to consider how a seller's market works too.

In a seller's market, there is a shortage of home sellers. This means you may be in a great position to optimize the value of your residence, particularly if you have maintained a high-quality property. In fact, you may wind up receiving multiple offers on your home as soon as it reaches a seller's market.

To find out whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market, you'll need to study the real estate sector closely.

Look at the prices of recently sold homes and find out how long these properties were available before they were purchased. Also, you should check out the prices of comparable homes that are currently available to find out how your house stacks up against the competition.

2. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective

How will a homebuyer feel when he or she sees your residence for the first time? Ultimately, the first impression may dictate whether a homebuyer moves forward with your home or decides to pursue other properties.

Allocate plenty of time and resources to enhance your home's curb appeal Ė you'll be glad you did. Completing home maintenance tasks like mowing the lawn and clearing exterior walkways may help your house stand out in a competitive real estate landscape.

Don't forget to declutter your home's interior as well. By doing so, you can make it simple for homebuyers to imagine what life would be like if they purchase your house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Becoming an expert home seller rarely, if ever, happens overnight. Instead, you may need additional help along the way.

Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to teach you about the intricacies of selling a home.

A real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time. He or she can offer guidance throughout the home selling journey and ensure you can get the best results possible.

When it comes to selling your home, it is important to do everything you can to optimize the value of your property. And with extra support from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence.

Use these tips, and you can become an expert home seller in no time at all.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 12/17/2019

If you receive an offer to purchase your home, you may have only a limited amount of time to decide whether to accept this proposal. As such, there are several factors you'll want to consider to determine whether to approve an offer to purchase your home. These factors include:

1. The Price of Your Home

If you established a competitive initial asking price for your home, you should have no trouble determining whether an offer to purchase falls in line with your expectations. Thus, if an offer to purchase your home is at or above your residence's initial asking price, you may want to accept a buyer's proposal and move forward with a house sale.

Of course, if an offer to purchase your house falls below your residence's initial asking price, you should still evaluate the proposal closely. If you feel the offer to purchase is the best proposal you might receive, you may want to accept it.

2. The Current State of the Local Housing Market

Examine the current state of the local housing market Ė you'll be glad you did. If you discover you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, you can assess an offer to purchase your home accordingly.

If you find a buyer's market is in place, you may be more inclined than ever before to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home. Because in this market, the number of sellers exceeds the number of buyers, and rejecting a homebuying proposal does not guarantee you will receive better offers to purchase in the near future.

Comparatively, if a seller's market is in place, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to any offers to purchase your residence. In this market, the number of buyers exceeds the number of quality houses available. As a result, you may receive dozens of offers to acquire your residence if you wait for the local housing market to develop.

3. Your Home Selling Goals

You should feel good about accepting an offer to purchase your house. Therefore, if an offer to purchase enables you to achieve your home selling goals, you may want to accept it sooner rather than later. By doing so, you can take the next step to finalize your house sale.

As you debate how to proceed with an offer to purchase your house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional may be able to offer housing market insights that you won't find anywhere else. Plus, he or she can provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ultimately decide to accept an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can guide you along the final stages of the property selling journey.

There is no reason to settle for a subpar offer to purchase your house. But if you consider the aforementioned factors, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.







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