Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Closings and a Rental

As the end of March nears I'm proud to announce that this month I helped two individuals find their first homes. Congrats guys and enjoy that $8,000! I also got to help a very sweet couple find a rental for a year. :) I can help you too! Remember it's not too late to get pre-approved and get into your first home. As long as you have a ratified contract by April 30th and the home closes by June 30th you can receive the $8,000 tax credit. If you aren't a first time home owner you can still get money back, (up to $6,500), if you've owned your home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase date.

So give me a call or fill out my contact form if you have any questions or want to get pre-approved.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Safety Tips for you, your family, and your home

So, I recently received a chain email entitled, "Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You". I thought it had some valid points and wanted to share. I've added a few tips and please feel free to comment if you have any as well!

Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You: (Keep in mind these are written from the burglars perspective.)

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. Helpful Hint: If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy...

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom and your jewelry.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Helpful Hint: Burglar's almost never go into children’s rooms.

12. You’re right, I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at

14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

16. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

17. Helpful Hint: If you just bought a new TV, computer, some expensive electronic, etc. Don’t put the box to the road! It’s a dead giveaway that you have that product in your house.

18. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

21. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

22. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

23. We love large or unclipped hedges near windows and doors; it gives us excellent hiding places.

24. Keep a can of wasp spray near the door or bed. The spray typically shoots 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, spray the culprit in the eyes. The wasp spray temporarily blinds the attacker and buys you time to run or call the police. It is inexpensive, easy to find, more accurate, and more effective than mace or pepper spray.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , Kentucky , security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FHA Loan Requirements Changing

So its looks as though FHA is planning to increase their upfront mortgage insurance premium (will affect borrowers buying power) and decrease allowable seller concessions from 6% to 3% (which is going to require in most cases that you, the buyer, will have to pay out of pocket for both downpayment and potentially some closing costs. Read the article for more:

I will keep you posted as I hear more, specifically time frame for changes. In the meantime take advantage of the tax credit and this is just another reason to act fast.