Wendy Johnson - RE/MAX Professional Associates



Posted by Wendy Johnson on 12/4/2019

Do you keep tabs on your HVAC system regularly? For many people, the heating and cooling system in their homes is an out of sight out of mind item. Only when there is a problem with the system do people think about it. 


The important thing for you to remember is that you donít need to wait for an issue to arise for you to take continual care of your HVAC system. You can take action to continually have a supply of efficient, uninterrupted heating and cooling. With the right maintenance, your system will also run more efficiently as well. Keep the tips in mind below and show your HVAC system some love. 


Keep Regular Maintenance Appointments


As with most other things that we own, a little tune up from time to time helps to keep things running smoothly. You can keep a checklist of the monthly and annual tasks that you should complete for your HVAC system. You could ask your oil or gas company for some advice on regular tasks that you should complete as well. These could include everything from clearing out leaves and grass to changing air filters. Doing these things will not only help your utility bills and HVAC system performance, but can also help you to ward off allergens that may cause bothersome symptoms right inside your home.


Tame The Trees


While it can be tempting to want to disguise your outdoor units with trees and shrubs, these can do some damage. You should make a habit to trim any nearby bushes to your units as well as clear away debris. Be sure that the system isnít clogged with pollen, grass clippings, and dust. There should be at least a 2-foot clearing around the unit to prevent damage and airflow restriction.


Inspect Before Each Season


At the end of each season, you should make a point to inspect your HVAC system. See what the system looks like from the outside. Is the system doing its job as far as heating and cooling go on the inside of your home? Does the system sound extra labored while itís running? If there doesnít seem to be enough airflow or there is too much noise coming from the system, then you could have a problem with your system. You may need to call in a qualified professional to help you remove debris from your system, as leaves and branches can get into the coils of it, severely impairing the systemĎs function. A professional can also help you to learn how to properly clean the HVAC system yourself.


With a little effort, youíll save big in many ways just by paying close attention to your HVAC system.




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Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/27/2019

Before you even set out to buy a home, you may think that you need to look at a magic number of homes in order to find the house thatís right for you. Thereís always a fear among buyers that they didnít look at enough homes before settling on one. The number of homes that you look at is up to you. There is no magic number that will dictate finding the perfect home. The most important thing is to trust your own intuition. In A sellerís market, you also may not have much choice. When inventory is low, if you find a home you love, youíll need to move to make an offer on it! 


The Average Buyer


People looking at condos take between 1 and 3 months to find the property thatís right for them. Those looking for single family homes tend to take a bit longer- between 3 and 6 months to find a home. Buying a traditional house seems to spark more questions and more uncertainty, which leads buyers to take their time to find what theyíre looking for.


Know Where You Want To Live


Before you start your home search, you should have a good idea of where you want to live. Have a list of cities, towns, and neighborhoods narrowed down to make your search a bit easier from the start. Take a ride around potential neighborhoods and get a feel for them. See the stores, restaurants, and nearby parks to really understand the area. 


Match Your Lifestyles


Where you choose to live has a lot to do with your lifestyle. Think of the following:


  • Where your friends live
  • Where your family lives
  • Where you work
  • What you do for fun


Whatever you love and whatever you love to do should be a factor in your home search. If you love the beach, you donít want to be a three hour drive away if you can help it. You also donít want a 2-hour commute to work. Find the balance to make your life happier in the new space you choose.      


Make A List


It sounds simple, but making a list of what you must have, what youíd like, and what would be a bonus can really help you in your home search. This holds true whether you look at 2 homes or 50 homes. The number of homes that you look at isnít as important as your needs and wants. Buying a home is a huge investment and you need to be happy with your decision. While itís not completely advisable to buy the first house that you see, if you have a good idea of what you want in a tough market, itís best to put an offer in.





Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/6/2019

When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, itís an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you donít know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, thereís a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore. 


One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesnít seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions. 


Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that theyíre secure in the transaction.         



Whatís Strange About This House?


While you wouldnít word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if thereís anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking. 


What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?


While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. Itís helpful to know whatís been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.


Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?


Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home. 


Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?


You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the sellerís own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.

Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. Youíll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they donít need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and youíll be off to a great start in your new home.




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Posted by Wendy Johnson on 10/30/2019

Do you ever wonder why so many Americans dream of owning a home? From complete privacy to a nest egg in the future, one lesser-known but vital reason why homeownership is something everyone is longing to achieve is the tax breaks it provides. No one enjoys paying taxes so owning a home set you aside for tax breaks that renters are not able to claim So whether you are gearing up to buy a house or you are a homeowner preparing to file your taxes the season. This post will cover six significant tax breaks homeowners can enjoy.

What Are Tax Breaks?

You might think the term "Tax break" is another real estate complicated term but actually, it is not. Here is how ridiculously easy the meaning is: A Tax break means the government is providing you a reduction in your taxes. Plain and simple. Here are some common tax breaks for homeowners.

Common Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Mortgage Interest

Owning a home comes with several perks. One of them is that you can deduct the interest paid on the initial and second mortgage up to a million dollars in mortgage debt. To be eligible for a mortgage interest tax break, you must fulfill these requirements:

- You must have filed an IRS from 1040 and listed your deductions

- The mortgage must be a secured debt on a qualified home in which you are the owner.

State and Local Property Taxes

The property taxes from your city or State can be deducted from your income annually. But please note there is an exclusion to the deductible expenditure.

Rental Income

As a homeowner, when you rent out a room in your house or even the entire place will make you eligible for a 20% deduction on business income.

Equity Loan Interest

Another tax break you can enjoy as a homeowner is that you can lessen the amount of interest you pay on your home equity loans. However, there is a limit to the number of debts you add within the "home equity" scope.

Home Office Expenses

Working from home is the new norm of the 21st century, and many homeowners are taking full advantage of their space. If you work from your home, you will be able to reduce costs for the office space on your itemized deduction.

Capital Gains from a Home Sale

Not all tax breaks come from owning a home. Selling you your home often gives you a kind of tax break which is only know by a few people. If you would like to sell your home in the future, the capital gain will allow you to keep the profit you get from selling the house without paying any tax on it.

If you want to know more about tax breaks to get prepared for the next tax season, discuss with your local accountant.





Posted by Wendy Johnson on 10/23/2019

If you want to buy your dream house in the near future, you likely will need to put together a competitive offer to purchase. That way, you can boost the likelihood of receiving an immediate "Yes" from a property seller after you submit your homebuying proposal.

Ultimately, it helps to know what differentiates a competitive homebuying proposal from a lowball one. If a homebuyer understands what to offer for a residence, he or she should have no trouble purchasing the right residence at the right price.

To better understand how to acquire your dream house at the lowest-possible price, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine what to offer for a residence.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

The housing market experiences ebbs and flows. Therefore, a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. And if you fail to learn about the current state of the real estate market, you may struggle to put together a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence.

Analyze the prices of available houses in your area, the prices of recently sold houses in your preferred cities and towns and other housing market data. With this information in hand, you can find out whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market. Then, you can craft an offer to purchase your dream residence that accounts for the present state of the real estate market.

2. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Your Dream Home

No house is perfect, and even your dream home may have its fair share of flaws. Fortunately, a homebuyer who assesses the pros and cons of a house may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

If you view a house multiple times, you can learn about all aspects of this home and assess any property damage. After you obtain these home insights, you can create a competitive offer to purchase that accounts for the house's current condition.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a house at a price that matches your expectations, it generally is beneficial to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional will do everything possible to help you buy your dream home at a price that fits your budget.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate sector and can help you map out a successful homebuying strategy. He or she first will offer insights into available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Next, when you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, a real estate agent will make it easy to navigate the final steps of the homebuying journey.

Ready to streamline your quest for your ideal house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can improve your chances of acquiring your dream home at a price that you can afford.




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