Wendy Johnson - RE/MAX Professional Associates



Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/24/2021

There are a lot of real estate agents out there to choose from. It might be hard to tell one from another. Thereís so many ways to find an agent these days including recommendations from friends and family to simple online searches. You want an agent that understands your needs from the neighborhoods that youíre looking to buy a home in, to the layout of the market that youíre selling in. Each agent has different specialties from relocation needs to foreign languages to FHA approved property searches. Below, youíll find some tips to help you find the perfect realtor for you. 


Pick Someone Who You Can Have Straight Talk With


Youíll need to like the person you pick as your realtor, but youíll also need someone who you can talk business with. You donít want a family member who you donít feel comfortable knowing your financial picture, or someone who wonít understand your desire for a certain location or neighborhood. 


Match Your Personality


Youíll be in touch with and will be spending a lot of time with your realtor. You want to find a realtor who can work well with you. Match your personality with theirs. Do you like someone who is a bit aggressive? Would you rather have a realtor who is a bit more easy-going? How often do you want to be in touch with your agent? Just remember that if you donít like your agent, thereís a good chance that other people may not like your agent either! 


The Choice Is Yours


Remember that the choice is yours when youíre looking for a realtor. You want to find a realtor who you know youíll work well with. You also want to know that your realtor will work for you. Itís important that your realtor be ethical, communicative, and be a part of your team throughout the process of buying and selling. Hereís some questions that you should ask your realtor in order to help you understand if theyíre a good fit for you:


  • Will I be working with you exclusively?
  • Are you a full or a part-time agent?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • What broker do you work for?
  • Have you closed homes in this neighborhood before?
  • Do you work with any lenders or have a seasoned team to help us through this process?

  • Asking these questions can help you to get a better understanding of who your realtor is and how they can help you to buy your dream home or sell your current property. This way, youíll have a better idea of what to expect throughout the process.





Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/17/2021

Contingency clauses in a real estate contract typically come from the buyer. However, there are some contingencies sellers can use in a sale negotiation as well. While theyíre less common, knowing the basics can help in selling your home. Here are the main contingencies every seller should know:

Kick-Out Clause

A kick-out clause is a useful balance to a buyerís home sale contingency clause. If a buyer adds a contingency stating that they need to sell their current property before being able to buy the new one, it puts a more strict time limit on the deal. Unfortunately for sellers, this means that the buyer can back out of the purchase if they donít sell their existing home in time. It also means that for all the time spent waiting for the buyerís sale to go through you havenít been able to market the home.

By using a kick-out clause a seller can continue to market the listing even while the deal is pending. If you get a better offer during the home sale contingency period, you can give the original buyer 72 hours to secure funds to complete the purchase. If they donít, you can move ahead with the new offer. This levels the playing field for sellers and helps reduce the risk of losing time and money if a deal falls through.

Rent-Back Contingency

If youíre selling your home while trying to buy a new one, a rent-back contingency is a great option to have. This type of contingency helps you if you sell your home before finding a new one. While normally this would mean moving into a temporary living situation for the in-between time, a rent-back contingency will let you rent your sold property back from the new buyer. You can keep living in the home you sold for an agreed time period.

Home of Choice Contingency

A home of choice contingency is like a rent-back contingency because it helps sellers avoid awkward gaps in residence. If you find a buyer for your home before you find a new home for yourself, you can use a home of choice contingency to continue looking for a new home for a set amount of time. This basically delays the entire sale process by an agreed-upon number of days and lets the seller back out of the deal if they donít find a new place in time. Like a rent-back contingency, this can save sellers money, time and hassle in trying to find temporary housing between homes.

Seller contingencies are uncommon in most real estate transactions but are still important to know. Sellers should consider these contingencies and whether they can use them to help their selling situation.





Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/10/2021

If buying a home is something youíre considering, you might be curious about the different types of mortgages that are available to you. After all, the interest rate on your loan could have a huge impact on your finances over time, saving you thousands of dollars.

In todayís post, Iím going to demystify the home loan by explaining the most common types of mortgages. That way, youíll be able to approach a lender with a bit of context and knowledge to help make the best mortgage decision for you and your family.

Fixed-rate mortgages

The most common types of home loans in the United States today are fixed-rate mortgages. A fixed-rate mortgage has the benefit of stability in terms of its interest rate--year after year, or the lifetime of your loan, you know exactly what percent of interest youíre going to pay.

Fixed-rate mortgages most frequently come with repayment terms of 15 or 30 years. However, some lenders offer different repayment periods.

As with any debt, paying off a mortgage in a shorter term typically amounts to paying less interest over the lifespan of the loan. For this reason, buyers who can afford higher monthly mortgage payments often opt for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

If you canít afford higher monthly payments, a 30-year loan will typically have lower mortgage payments, but at the expense of paying more interest over the life of the loan.

The 30-year option is the most often in the United States, where first-time buyers typically have too many other monthly bills to afford a high mortgage payment.

Adjustable-rate mortgages

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were once an ideal option for first-time buyers who could purchase a home at a very low interest rate and then refinancing once that rate was set to rise. However, after the housing crisis of 2007, trust in the housing market drastically declined.

In recent years, ARMs have begun to make a comeback. However, they currently still only account for around 5% of home loans.

Adjustable-rate mortgages come with one important advantage and one huge disadvantage over fixed-rate mortgages. The upside is the ability to borrow money for a home at a lower interest rate than other mortgage types. The down side? Your interest rate isnít locked in for the length of the loan, meaning your rate could, in theory, rise dramatically before you sell or pay off the home. This is exactly what happened to borrowers during the subprime mortgage crisis.

Guaranteed loans

There are a number of special loan programs that have been sponsored by the government over the years. Among them are USDA rural development loans, VA loans for veterans and their spouses, and FHA loans offered by the Federal Housing Authority.

All of these loans make it easier to buy a home with little or no down payment or a credit score thatís less than perfect. That makes these options great for first-time homeowners.




Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 10/13/2021

When rain, bugs and other issues have you avoiding your open porch, a screened-in porch might be the answer. Screened-in porches offer shelter from the elements and stop bugs from getting in. These porches can also make it safer for pets to sit outside with you, since they can’t run off. If you’re planning to turn an existing porch into a screened-in one or build a whole new one, it’s important to keep these helpful tips in mind.

Screen Material

The type of material you use for your screened-in porch is one of the biggest decisions to make. Screens are available in different materials, such as hand-stretched screens and fiberglass screens. Compare the pros and cons of each screen material to make sure you choose one that offers durability. Otherwise, you could end up replacing your porch screens much sooner than you expected. When choosing screens, you should also keep in mind that certain screen tints help reduce glare from the sun. For example, gray-tinted screens can help block sunlight.

Porch Material

The screens are only one part of your screened-in porch. You’ll also need to choose materials for other components, such as interior trim, flooring and framing. Several materials are available, such as vinyl, pressure-treated wood and cedar. Choose materials that give your screened-in porch the look you want while also offering a high level of durability. You can also add decorative features inside your porch, including beadboard, for added visual appeal.

Porch Doors

Screened-in porches often have a door that makes it easy to get out to the yard, as well as a door that leads into the house. The doors for your screened-in porch should be made of sturdy material, such as aluminum, that can withstand wear and tear. When you choose doors for your screened-in porch, you should also consider their placement. Porch doors shouldn’t block any traffic coming from inside your house when they open and close.

Electrical Equipment

Your open porch might have nothing other than an outlet as far as electrical equipment, but a screened-in porch is different. Screened-in porches can have ceiling fans, light fixtures and even flat-screen TVs. When planning your screened-in porch, you’ll need to factor in your electrical needs, such as making sure you have the right wiring and enough outlets.

Porch Roof

The roof on your screened-in porch can enhance its appearance and provide shelter from rain. Choose a roof style that complements the rest of your home exterior, so your screened-in porch won’t clash. You’ll also need to consider the amount of natural light you want in your porch when choosing a roof for it. Some screened-in porch roofs allow more light compared to others.




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Posted by Wendy Johnson on 10/6/2021

Photo by Halfpoint via Shutterstock

When it comes to conserving energy, homeowners wanting to go green often spare no expense. Here are a few ways to upgrade your home without lightening your wallet.

Smart Thermostat

A powerful method to control your power use while saving money on your air conditioning bills in the summer and heating bills each winter is by installing a smart thermostat. Utilizing a system that monitors the indoor and outdoor humidity and temperatures to adjust your system keeps your home on an even keel and your bills steady. Choose one with multiple sensors so that you donít end up with hot spots or cold rooms around your home. You can adjust your thermostat manually, but the best way to make it smart is to connect it to a smartphone or voice-controlled device.

Motion Sensing Dimmers

You try your best, but thereís always one room where it seems the lights get left on more often than youíd like. The challenge is, itís the same room thatís often empty most of the day, so no one even notices the lights burning. To combat this issue, replace the standard light switch with a sensing dimmer switch. That way, if someoneís in the room, the light turns on, but when thereís no one moving around, off it goes. And, when daylight comes in the windows, the sensor knows to keep the light off.

If youíre retrofitting an older home, replace pull-chain lights in basements and utility rooms with a motion-sensing light so that you never have to stumble around waving your arms in front of you trying to grab the string to the pull-chain.

Adjustable LEDs

On the subject of lights, Take it up (or down) a notch with a 3-way LED. The equivalent of a 60-watt bulb can adjust from soft, warm light to bright, daylight with built-in wireless technology at the sound of your voice when connected to your smartphone or smart home.

If youíre looking for ways to make your home appeal to a more energy-conscious set of buyers, try utilizing these inexpensive, smart home technologies.




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