Wilson Wolfe Real Estate



Posted by Wilson Wolfe Real Estate on 5/19/2019

Buying a home is a big financial endeavor that takes planning and saving. Aside from a down payment, hopeful homeowners will also need to save for closing costs and moving expenses.

When it comes to the down payment amount youíll need to save, many of us have often heard 20%, the magic number. However, there are a number of different types of mortgages that have different down payment requirements.

To complicate matters, mortgages vary somewhat between lenders and can change over time, with the ebb and flow of the housing market.

So, the best way to approach the process of saving for a down payment is to think about your needs in a home, and reach out to lenders to start comparing rates.

However, there are a few constants when it comes to down payments that are worth considering when shopping for a mortgage.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about some characteristics of down payments, discuss where the 20% number comes from, and give you some tips on finding the best mortgage for you.

Do I need 20% saved for a down payment?

With the median home prices in America sitting around $200,000 and many areas averaging much higher, it may seem like 20% is an unattainable savings goal.

The good news is that many Americans hoping to buy their first home have several options that donít involve savings $40,000 or more.

So, where does that number come from?

Most mortgage lenders will want to be sure that lending to would be a smart investment. In other words, they want to know that theyíll earn back the amount they lend you plus interest. They determine how risky it is to lend to you by considering a number of factors.

First and foremost is your credit score. Lenders want to see that youíre paying your bills on time and arenít overwhelmed by debt. Second, they will ask you for verification of your income to determine how much you can realistically hope to pay each month. And, finally, theyíll consider the amount youíre putting down.

If you have less than 20% of the mortgage amount saved for your down payment, youíll have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extra fee must be paid in addition to your interest each month.

First-time buyers rarely put 20% or more down

Thanks to FHA loans guaranteed by the federal government, as well as other loan assistance programs like USDA loans and mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, buying a home is usually within reach even if you donít have several thousands saved.

On average, first-time buyers put closer to 6% down on their mortgage. However, they will have to pay PMI until theyíve paid off 20% of their home.


So, if youíre hoping to buy a home in the near future, saving should be a priority. But, donít worry too much if you donít think you can save the full 20% in advance.




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Posted by Wilson Wolfe Real Estate on 5/12/2019

When it comes to interior decorating, there are many great ideas out there for you to try out at home. With some simple and affordable plans, you can give your home an instant refresh. Try out the following home decor ideas for your home: 

Wallpaper

If you have a work-space and you own some floating shelves, you can easily give this area a breath of fresh air just by installing wallpaper. Cover the shelves with colorful wallpaper and your work-space will look brand new.

Potted plants

Place little pots of houseplants, herbs, and even grass to make your window areas more attractive. This simple idea needs some small pots and basic plants that you may already have in your garden. Just review at what you already own and adapt your plans from there. 

Home-made Shelves

How about creating shelves where you can display some of your favorite things? You can stack a few sturdy wooden boxes to get instant shelves. You can purchase these plain crates and stack them up wherever you need them. 

Framed artworks

Another idea is to use the sheltered enclosure of the shelves as a backdrop to small works of art. Frame little postcards or small reproductions in inexpensive frames and place them on your shelves. Interesting scenes will surprise your guests and serve as conversation starters.

Glass mirrors

How about dressing up your coffee tables? Placing a glass mirror on the surface of the tabletop creates a dazzling effect. It hides any imperfections of the tabletop, like gouges or scratches, and reflects light which will give your living room an upscale look. 

DIY picture frames

Did you know that those colorful little-dried seeds can look good on your photo frames? Get some dried seeds and glue them tightly together onto wooden frames. Random frames look like they belong in a designer set with these seeds around them.

More frame ideas

Speaking of walls and frames, consider another way to make your decorative works of art. Use this simple technique for your home: Cut out some snowflakes or whatever lacy design you fancy from colored paper, then glue this design into a neat arrangement onto a contrasting colored paper. Frame it for an instant work of art. 

Decorating your home and giving it a new look is simple and enjoyable to do. Try out some of the above home decoration ideas, and you will soon find your creativity soar.




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Posted by Wilson Wolfe Real Estate on 5/5/2019

Gardens can be quite difficult to maintain sometime with so many things that can go wrong. The weather is a primary factor; there will be slugs when it's wet, greenfly when it's dry, frost damage when it's cold and red spider mite when it's hot. So, both expert and novice gardeners can expect problems.

The big difference is that the expert knows what to look for and steps to take when there are garden troubles. Here are some ways to ensure a well-tended garden:

Pruning properly

It is necessary for guaranteeing fruit and flower production, but it is also crucial in the war against pests and diseases. Cut out dead wood. Remove overcrowded branches to provide adequate ventilation. 

Choose wisely when buying plants

Reject soft bulbs, lanky bedding plants, old seeds, unhealthy looking shrubs, and disease-ridden perennials.

Plan carefully

Make sure that the plant is suited to the site. Avoid sun lovers if the shade is a problem, avoid tender plants if the garden is exposed and prone to frost. Rotation of plants is essential for many vegetables so be sure to understand a plantís nuances before choosing it.

Spray to prevent disease

Fungicides tend to be protectants rather than cures. So you should spray as soon as you see the rust spots. In some cases (e.g., black spot, peach leaf curl) you must spray before visible signs of the disease. 

Remove dead plants, rubbish, and weeds

Rotting plants can often be a source of infection, and some attract pests to the garden. Boxes, old flower pots, etc. are a breeding ground for slugs and woodlice. Weeds rob plants of food, water, light, and space. Hoe or pull them out - take care if you use a weedkiller.

Feed the plants regularly and adequately 

Shortages of nutrients can lead to many problems, weak growth, small blooms, lowered disease resistance and discolored leaves. But take care, overfeeding can cause scorch and unbalanced feeding with too much nitrogen can result in lots of leaves and few flowers.

Prepare the ground thoroughly

A strong-growing plant is more likely to withstand pest or disease attack than a weak specimen. Water logging due to insufficient soil preparation is the underlying cause of failure in heavy soils. Add a humus maker when digging. Remove perennial weed roots. Add suitable chemicals to the earth if pests have gnawed roots elsewhere in the garden. 

Talk to a landscaping company in your area for more gardening tips today.




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Posted by Wilson Wolfe Real Estate on 4/28/2019

In a competitive selling market, itís vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.

Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if youíre on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in todayís sellerís market.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.

1. Paint the front door ($30)

One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.

2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)

Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.

3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)

They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.

For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.

4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)

Whether itís the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.

Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.

5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)

Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.

6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)

Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.

7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)

Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.

8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)

Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isnít all that easy to clean.

You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.





Posted by Wilson Wolfe Real Estate on 4/21/2019

Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if youíre savvy with the rental process.

What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure youíll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.

In todayís blog post, weíre going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.

1.  Location is Key

When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you wonít be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.

The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.

Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.

2. Try before you buy

If your ideal vacation home is in an area youíre not totally familiar with, itís a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.

This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you arenít using it, youíll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.

3. Earning income from your vacation home

Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but youíll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.

First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.

Finally, there are local and state-level laws youíll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.

4. Making an offer

Youíve been here before. Once youíve decided on a home, itís time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the sellerís agent.

However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses youíll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if itís the right home for your budget.

Youíll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.


Now that you know the steps youíll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, youíll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your familyís future.







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