Monday, January 8, 2018

How Your Mortgage Can Be a Surefire Investment


Paying down your mortgage is a great investment. Find out how to do it fast right here.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

Today, we’re going to talk about how your mortgage can be a surefire investment.

Paying down a mortgage has long been viewed as a reliable investment. It reduces debt, helps home equity grow faster, and provides a guaranteed return equal to the mortgage rate—usually more than someone can make in bank savings, bonds, or other comparable investments.

One of the things I recommend to buyers when it comes to making additional payments is to make one to two extra payments of what their principal and interest on their home is.

For example, if your total payment with principal, interest, taxes, and insurance is $1,300, where $600 of that is just the taxes and insurance and $700 is the actual principal and interest portion, then you will make one additional payment of that every year for the life of the loan consistently. You’ll reduce the amount of time you pay by five or six years. By making two additional payments every year for the life of the loan, you can reduce your mortgage by 10 to 12 years.

The key is to do it every year without fail.

The key is to do it every year without fail. Any more than that doesn’t make as much of a difference, unless you’re dropping huge chunks of money. Remember, you can break it up throughout the year on a monthly basis.

Using the earlier example of the two extra payments of $700, if you broke up that $1,400 up on a monthly basis, the dollar amount per month would be $116, which would mean a world of savings over the lifetime of the loan. As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Should you have any additional questions about buying or selling real estate in today’s market, feel free to contact me. I’m always happy to help.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

5 Energy Efficient Tips for Winter


Today, I have five tips to help your home be more energy efficient this winter.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

Here are a few tips to help your home be more energy efficient during the winter: 

1. Use earth’s natural heater—the sun. In the summer, it’s all about drawing the blinds and curtains to keep the sun out. In the cooler months, you can use the power of the sun to warm your home and keep heating costs down. Open curtains in any south windows to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.  

2. Insulate the windows. Light, gauzy curtains may look great but they can make your home colder and waste energy, especially if the window does not receive direct sunlight. If you’ve addressed all the leaks around the windows and the room is still cold, insulated drapes should help. 


Schedule a checkup for your heating system.


3. Check your heating system. Dirt and neglect are the top causes of heating system failures. Now is a good time to schedule a checkup with a licensed contractor. It’s also important to regularly check and change the air filters. 

4. Turn down the thermostat. By turning the heat down 10 or 15 degrees while you are asleep or out of the house, you can save about 10% each year. Use programmable thermostats or thermostats that connect to a mobile app to adjust the temperature when everyone is out of the house. 

5. Don’t heat unused spaces. If you’re not using certain rooms all the time, close the vents and shut the doors. It’s more efficient for your heating system to push air only to the space where you need it.

If you have any other questions about being more energy efficient or about real estate in general, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

4 Costs Homebuyers Often Forget About


Today, I’d like to go over four costs you may have forgotten about when making your home buying budget.

Selling in the greater Houston area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the greater Houston area? Get full MLS access

It isn’t cheap to buy a home these days, and I’m not just talking about the price of the home itself. Unexpected out-of-pocket costs can pop up during the process.


It isn’t cheap to buy a home.


Today, I’d like to go over four costs you may have forgotten about when making your home buying budget.

1. The inspection. After you’ve made an offer on a property, you’ll usually need to pay an inspector to take a look at the home. This can run you a few hundred dollars. But, if there are any structural or safety issues, you may have to pay another professional to look specifically at the problem area.

2. Extra costs at the closing table. Beyond the closing costs themselves, there are a few additional expenses that buyers sometimes forget about at the closing table. Many lenders require you to pay a year’s taxes and mortgage up front. If the seller prepaid any of the taxes or fees, you’ll pay a prorated amount for the next of the year.

3. The move. Unless you’ve got some family members who can take care of most of this work for you, moving can be an expensive process. Costs will vary greatly depending on how much you’re moving, how far away you’re moving, where you live, and more. In any case, expect to pay a few thousand dollars.

4. Immediate costs. You may be able to put off new furniture purchases and renovations, but there are a few different expenses to expect right away. For example, you’ll need to hire a locksmith to change the locks in your new home. There could also be deposits or fees associated with setting up or transferring your utilities. Also, remember to plan for both routine and unexpected maintenance costs. Most real estate professionals will tell you that something in your new home is going to break down within the first year. So, set up an emergency savings account with at least six months’ worth of living expenses.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.