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You’re in Luck: Your Guide to Saving Your Green this St. Patrick’s Day

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Today on St. Patrick’s Day,
Two leprechauns sat by the bay,
One turned to the other,
And said to his brother,
“A loan for my home I do pray!”

St Patricks Day dog

We’re seeing green today! And I don’t mean beer. You don’t have to give up your St. Patty’s celebrations to save money for your home loan. You can still celebrate without spending your entire pot of gold. Here are a few tips to save your green this holiday, and get you one step closer to buying your dream home!

  1. Celebrate St. Patty’s Day at home: Instead of going out and spending all your green at the Irish pub, try hosting your own St. Patty’s Day Celebration instead. Invite your closest friends over for some green-themed fun and follow these low-budget party ideas.
    1. Green Beer: The easiest recipe you will ever follow! You will need a pint, beer and some green food coloring (McCormick $3.14). Simply place a few drops of food coloring into the pint, pour the beer over the drops, and watch your beer change colors. Ps. this recipe can be followed for any beverage of your choice.
    2. Leprechaun Cupcakes: Simple and delicious! Throw some of your green food coloring into vanilla frosting, and mix it until it is fully green. Bake some cupcakes, frost with your newly made “Luck of the Irish” inspired frosting, and top with some shamrock sprinkles (Walmart $5.99). Cheap, easy, and Leprechaun approved!
    3. Reach the pot of gold: Gold Oreos that is! Simply spray a pack of Oreos with edible gold spray (Wilton Color Mist $3.50). Place your gold coins (oreos) in a big black bowl and let your guests enjoy the lucky pot of gold!
  2. Don’t want to stay home? If its part of your tradition to go out on St. Patty’s Day, save money by doing some research before you go.
    1. The best trick to saving your money when going out for a night on the town is to set yourself a budget! Calculate an amount of money that you are comfortable spending, and take it out in cash. Do not over spend the cash that you took with you! For example, if you have $100 of disposable income to spend tonight, then take it out in cash and go home once you have spent it! Limit yourself and your wallet will thank you later!
    2. Stick to the deals! Do some research and find out which restaurants/bars are offering the biggest bang for your buck, and do not steer away from the St. Patty’s deals!

You are luckier than the Leprechauns this St. Patty’s Day, because you are one step closer to getting that loan for your dream house!

Its Valentine’s Day: Give Yourself the Gift of Lower Mortgage Payments!

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Its Valentine’s Day, and its definitely time to celebrate — YOU! Whether you have a special someone, you are spending the night with friends, or enjoying a relaxing evening alone, you can be saving tons of money on your mortgage payment! So, this Valentine’s Day, while everyone is spending all their money on chocolates, flowers, and balloons, save yours by reading these three reasons to refinance:

  1. Debt Free is Where I Want to be
    Most credit cards have high interest rates between 15 and 20 percent; where as mortgage rates are generally much lower than that. By taking the equity out of your house you gain the ability to liquidate your debts, and pay off the revolving debt of high rate cards. This can save you quite a lot of money spent on interest in the long run!
  2. Less Money – Less Problems!
    Interest rates are still at a record setting low, and who knows for how long. What does this mean for us? Now is a great time to refinance! By lowering your interest rate and mortgage payment, there are endless possibilities on what you can do with your savings. Need some ideas? Now is your chance to remodel that kitchen you’ve been dreaming of, or build that pool you’ve always wanted!
  3. Peace Out Mortgage! Its Time to Travel
    Refinancing your current mortgage can mean shortening your term from 30 years to 20 or 15 years. That is 10-15 years LESS of slaving to those mortgage payments. You do the math! Here’s a quick tip: Save all that money previously spent on your mortgage, and create a travel fund. Once your beautiful home is paid off, spend that V-Day traveling the world.

No matter what your plans are tonight – give yourself the gift of savings this Valentine’s Day & enjoy the holiday!

Piggy bank with heart sunglasses standing on red backgroundimage by istock photo

Tourism and Real Estate: How They Benefit Each Other

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Real estate trends usually revolve around a number of different factors, which can prove to be major influence. Tourism has proven time and time again to be one of those contributors. Miami is no stranger to record-high tourism, which easily explains the constant renovation and reconstruction of Dade County. In 2013 alone, Miami tourism continued its streak of record-breaking numbers with a whopping 14.2 million visitors overnight, most of which were classified as luxury visitors.

The tourism-real estate trend isn’t just limited to the South Florida area, however. When looking on a national scale, other areas are reaping the benefits, as well. Nashville, for example, has seen a massive increase in the commercial real estate industry all thanks to the booming tourism numbers. Nashville, Tennessee was named one of the top travel destinations of 2014. As a result, new developments are constantly springing up in the area that range from retail to restaurant to a new music center which contributed millions to the economy during its first year.

Miami not only boasts massive tourism numbers, but immigration numbers to boot. Just last month, the World Cup influenced a major influx of Hispanic visitors to show off their pride in one of the nations top Hispanic travel destinations. As a result, the Hispanic population has ultimately witnessed an increase after events like the World Cup all due to the tourism experience. This eventually segues into a much larger growth in real estate; it also affects the overall cultural experience of South Florida. Commercial and residential real estate growth becomes evident when you take a look around and take notice of all the reconstruction, sky-high construction cranes, and growth in business. All the signs point to the fact that the effects of tourism are positively influencing real estate.

Tourism and Real Estate

Winning a Real Estate Bidding War

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The low supply of homes for sale in many markets means buyers must be prepared for bidding wars. Buyers should be strategic in how they present their offers, and avoid paying too high a premium for their “perfect” property.

Obtaining written confirmation of preapproval for a mortgage is a must, real estate agents say. Sellers looking over multiple offers will likely discard those on which financing is not assured.

In highly competitive markets like New York City, where bidding wars are now the norm, buyers should look in a price range slightly below their maximum in case they have to bid up, said Gea Elika, the principal broker at Elika Associates in Manhattan. “Today, you usually have to overpay to get something that you like,” he said. “The question is: How much do you overpay and how quickly will you recoup that premium?”

Making that calculation can be difficult, but at the very least, Mr. Elika advises buyers not to overpay by much if they plan to stay in a property for only a few years. He usually strikes a verbal agreement with the seller’s broker that his clients will be given a chance to counter in the event of a competing offer. But buyers in many markets are formally inserting that option into their offers in the form of what is known as an escalation clause, said Don Frommeyer, the president of the NAMB, the Association of Mortgage Professionals (formerly the National Association of Mortgage Brokers).

Read more about real estate bidding here.

Real Estate Prices Rise Again in Miami

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Miami is still proving to be one of the hottest property markets in the United States, as median sale prices were up for condominiums and single-family homes in March. The market is continuing to be popular with overseas buyers and investors.

MiamiBeach

Last month the median sales price for single-family homes rose by 4.4%, up from $225,000 in March last year to $235,000 for March 2014. Prices have now risen for 28 consecutive months, according to figures from the Miami Association of Realtors. The average sales price for a single-family home rose by 17.8%, increasing from $389,847 in March last year, to $459,102 for March 2014. The article in Propertywire points out that Miami is still attracting worldwide investors, and demand continues to be strong this year. However inventory levels are rising, creating a more balanced market.

To read more, click here.