Sac County Votes – Vote Early!

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The November Election is upon us! Ballots are in the mail and Vote Centers will be open soon!

Sacramento County is one of five counties in California to implement the Voter’s Choice Act, expanding voting opportunities for all residents. We saw positive results in the June Primary and look forward to how these changes continue to make voting easier for residents in November.
Choose how, when and where you want to vote! Gone are traditional “polling places”. In their place are comprehensive Vote Centers and strategically placed Ballot Drop Boxes. These Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes are located in many convenient locations such as libraries, grocery stores, community centers and more!
Voting has never been easier!
Hours vary by location. A complete list of locations can be found online and will be provided in the Sacramento County Voter Information Guide that will be mailed out prior to the election.
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Help for First Time Homebuyers!

FTHB

Freddie Mac HomeOne Helps First Time Home Buyers Buy Their First Home.

The Freddie Mac HomeOne Mortgage will provide First Time Homebuyers, anywhere in the country, the flexibility they need to achieve the milestone of homeownership and overcome the common down payment resource hurdle.

Down Payment Challenges

  • Only 3% down payment required

Broad Access

  • No geographic or income restrictions

Getting Ready for Homeownership

  • Educational requirements support

Not Every First home looks the same

  • Eligible for single-family homes, townhouses, and condos

As always, I am happy to help with any further questions.

Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website http://www.kathleenbeck.com Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

The information in this document is not a replacement or substitute for information found in the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide and/or the terms of your Master Agreement and/or Master Commitment.

www.FreddieMac.com Pub. Number 1057 July 2018

 

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The seasons are changing and now is the time to check your fireplaces and get your chimney swept if need be.

fireplace

Don’t Ignore These Signs-

If your chimney is giving off a funny smell, it’s most likely due to the buildup of creosote along the walls. Schedule a professional chimney cleaning and invest in some commercial chimney deodorant.

Creosote (the wood and fuel that doesn’t turn to ash when burned) presents itself in several different forms, such as scales, sandy appearance, or similar to tar. If you notice this in your chimney, a chimney sweep should be called.

Here are some tips-

  • You can use less wood (and make fewer trips to the woodpile) by using hard woods like hickory or white oak. Since these woods are denser, they’ll burn longer.
  • Ash can be sprinkled on flower beds as a good source of plant nutrients.

Keep the area near the chimney clear. If you have trees that hang over the house near the chimney, make sure branches and leaves are at least 15 feet away.

Call or Email Today Kathleen Beck 916-722-0395, kathleen@wcmtg.com with any questions you might have about a refinance or a purchase of a home!

 

Be Aware Of All The Closing Costs

When you’re preparing to purchase a home, you need to be aware of the upfront closing costs you will incur during the escrow period. If you’re a first-time home buyer, these additional costs may be a bit shocking as they can include inspection fees, appraisal fees, and an earnest money deposit to open escrow.

Other fees charged in California include the country transfer tax which is $1.10 for every $1000 of the home purchase. Some cities in California also have a City Transfer Tax that varies from city to city. The recording fees are another cost you can expect to see at closing as these fees essentially pay for a government agency to make the transaction a matter of public record. Recording fees can vary slightly from county to county though.

The information that needs to be documented, and the portion of the sale that is “recorded” is the deed and it’s generally 2-3 pages while the deed of trust can be up to 25 pages. If you’re purchasing a manufactured home, there are more documents to be recorded which will obviously affect the fees you pay. However, as an estimate, plan on up to 30 pages. In El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo County, the fees are $14 for the first page and $3 for each additional page. Though Amador and Sacramento County both charge $3 for additional pages, the first page has a slightly different cost with Amador County at $12 for the first page and Sacramento charging $20. An average recording fee for California is $130 to $160 for one grant deed and deed of trust.

The latest addition to the recording fee is due to Senate Bill No. 2 (SB2). In an effort to generate funding to support the homeless, SB2 was put into effect beginning January 1, 2018 in California. Put simply, this is a $75 fee per document with a cap of $225. Half of the fees collected will go to local governments for technical assistance and local housing production, while the other half will be dispersed by the Housing and Community Development Department for the homeless community.

Though there are greater fees during the closing of a real estate transaction, the little stuff adds up and recording fees can cost you as much as $300-$500 so plan your budget accordingly. Of course, keep in mind that like most things in real estate, there is always the option to negotiate… even recording fees, which can be paid by either the buyer or seller.

Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website http://www.kathleenbeck.com Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

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Wow! Mather Airport Celebrates 100 Years!!

Overdue visit
The 13th annual California Capital Airshow, presented by Sacramento County, flies into town this weekend, Sept. 21 – 23. This year’s show will soar to new heights as Mather Airport celebrates 100 years with the Airshow After Dark on Friday, Sept. 21.
Mather was established Feb. 21, 1918. Born from America’s need to train aviators for WWI, Mather Airport has sat sentinel in the Sacramento County community for nearly a century. Overnight, the base transformed a domain of cattle and vineyards into a facility where pilots were taught to fly. Although re-adapted during interwar periods for fire control and mail delivery, Mather stood strong and useful over the decades and continued to inspire crowds by hosting aerial exhibitions that captivated guests from near and far.
Through two world wars and the tense years of the Cold War, this magnificent airport has stood the test of time and served as a training center for every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, NATO, and our Allies. Mather closed its gates for the last time as a military facility on Sept. 30, 1993 under the leadership of Wing Commander, Colonel Robert Martinelli. This historic military facility has changed along with the times to today’s mixed-use combination of aviation and business in the shadow of California’s Capitol.
Join us this weekend as we celebrate Mather Airport, our region’s rich military history, and pay our respects to the many local veterans who have served our country. Airshow After Dark gates are open 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. on Friday, with flying performances from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and ‘Wonder Bread 5’ concert from 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Airshow gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, flying performances are 11:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day.
Discounted tickets are still available; all ticket prices increase this Friday, Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m. For more information about the performers, tickets and more, visit the California Capital Airshow website.​
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It’s Apple Hill Season

It is finally Apple Hill season! What is Apple Hill season you ask? Well, it has become a family tradition for thousands of people who live in the Sacramento region, as well as for those who travel from afar to enjoy this beautiful and tasty reminder that fall is almost upon us!

Apple Hill is located just outside of Placerville, in Camino, CA. off Highway 50, about 50 minutes from Sacramento. It is a collection of family farms, breweries, wineries, Christmas tree farms and pumpkin patches that beckon visitors to linger and enjoy the cooler temperatures with a warm cup of apple cider and a slice of warm apple pie or a tasty apple donut.

Many of the farms are multi-generational and are being run by the grand kids of the original owners. For example, Delfino Farms, which used to be called Kid’s Inc has been serving up fresh apple pie since 1964. Currently managed by grand-daughter Christine Noonan Delfino, the farm offers everything from pumpkins to hard apple cider!

Most of the farms have music and crafts people on hand on Saturdays and Sundays, along with their own offerings. Handcrafted jewelry, woodwork, art, pet accessories and clothing are just some of the things you can find at any of the craft fairs set up at the various farms.

High Hill Ranch is one of the larger farms and is a true destination. Not only do they have the apple pies, which the Caramel Apple Crunch is their signature pie, but they have lunch items and apple wine tasting too. For the kids, there is a whole lot of things to keep them occupied, from trout fishing in the pond, to pony rides, to hayrides through the orchard. There is also face painting and of course a whole choice of snacks to enjoy.

For adults only, Apple Hill can be a fantastic day trip and you don’t even need to pack a picnic. Stop at one of the farms, like Boa Vista, for example and grab a tri tip sandwich with all the fixings. Then head to one of the local wineries and do a tasting. You can buy a bottle of wine to go with your lunch and relax at the picnic areas provided by the winery! There are over 15 wineries located in Camino and each one is unique in what they offer. If wine is not your thing, some of the farms will have hard ciders to sample, and there is always Jack Russell Brewery who offers ales, ciders and mead!

The best time to visit Apple Hill is the month of September, as the crowds are usually lighter. Many people like to wait til the weather changes to cooler temperatures, and of course, til the pumpkins are available at the various pumpkin patches. If you do come up in October, just try to get there early, as the crowds will be less, and you will be able to see more. Most of the farms that are a part of the Apple Hill Growers Association will have a handy map so you will be able to navigate the beautiful, wooded back roads that gives Apple Hill is country charm.

Resources:
http://applehill.com/
http://www.carsonroadwineries.com/
http://delfinofarms.com/
https://www.highhillranch.com/
http://jackrussellbrewery.com/

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Fireworks Shows And Local Restrictions

The Fourth of July holiday is coming up and many counties in the Sacramento region offer families the opportunity to purchase and use fireworks at home. Plus there are some great fireworks shows around the region, but one local county has strict ordinances regarding the use and possession of fireworks and people who have recently bought homes there should know the rules. El Dorado County continues to maintain regulations against fireworks on personal or private properties, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fireworks festivities in our general area. Here’s what’s up and coming…

June 30 – Cameron Park Lake
With the 4th of July falling on a typical work night, Cameron Park’s Summer Spectacular gives many families a chance to enjoy the holiday without staying up late and having to get up early for work the next morning. Starting at 2 PM, there will be a kids’ carnival, swimming in the lagoon, food and craft vendors and a fabulous fireworks display to finish off the evening. If you don’t want to battle parking, there is a free shuttle to the lake with stops at Green Valley School, Marshall Medical Center, Light of the Hills Church and the Cameron Park Community Center. The last day for advanced tickets is June 29 at 4:30 PM. Entrance to the event is $4 for ages seven and up or $6 the day of the event. Should you wait to purchase your ticket the day of, please be aware it will be cash only. Small, six-can coolers will be allowed, but no alcohol is permitted. Kids’ carnival wristbands are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event. Tickets are available at Cameron Park Bel-Air, Cameron Park Shingle Springs Chamber of Commerce, and the Cameron Park CSD office. For more information call 530-677-2231.
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July 3 – El Dorado Hills Town Center
Like Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills has opted to select a day other than the official 4th of July holiday to have their fireworks display. So if you truly love fireworks, this is your opportunity to see two shows in one week! The El Dorado Hills Town Center is holding their event on July 3 so perhaps you can take in another show on the 4th. The fun begins at 6 pm when the Kids Zone opens up. There will be bounce houses, face painting and a balloon artist, with pre-sale tickets available at the California Welcome Center. Kids Zone will close at 9:30 PM so everyone can direct their attention to the fireworks. For the adults, there will be live music from 6-11 PM at several locations within the Town Center. You won’t be able to bring in BBQs or tables, but there will be food vendors and beer and wine will be available for purchase.

July 4 – El Dorado County Fairgrounds
Starting at 4 PM, the El Dorado County Fairgrounds is helping make 4th of July more than just a fireworks display. This year there will be carnival rides, live music from 6-10 PM, and free games and contests for the kids. Once it’s dark, the fireworks display will begin. Guests are welcome to bring their own BBQs, footballs or Corn Hole games, but glass containers and pets are not permitted. Outside alcohol is not allowed, but will be available for purchase at the fairgrounds along with food options. Admission is just $3 per person, but children ages six and under are free. Wristbands for rides are $10 if preordered, $15 the day of the event or $3 per ride. Parking is $6 and RVs can stay for the night for $50. Should you just want to see the fireworks, there are several locations around the fairgrounds where you can see the show. Some of the fireworks are visible from the Park and Ride off Missouri Flat Rd. and on Placerville Dr. where businesses are closed for the evening. Call 621-5860 for more information.

July 4 – South Lake Tahoe
The Tahoe fireworks display has been rated as one of the country’s top five displays in the nation. The show will begin at 9:45 PM and are visible all over town, but there are some recommended locations for the best view. Watching the show from the lake itself is listed as the most spectacular view, along with the view across the lake to the West Shore and Desolation Wilderness. Nevada Beach on Elk Point Rd is an excellent location for a family BBQ and another great view, while the M.S. Dixie Paddle Wheeler and Tahoe Cruises both offer a view from the water and more extravagant affair. Many other locations are recommended, just search “Lake Tahoe Fireworks” on-line for more options. While you’re at the show, tune your radio to FM 93.9 or AM 1490 for synchronized music.

July 4 – @ the Grounds in Placer County
The city of Roseville is hosting a celebration that will include live music from the Halie O’Ryan band, concessionaires, a mechanical bull, pony rides, air jumpers and, of course, a spectacular fireworks show to conclude the evening! The entrance to the fairgrounds is free, and parking is $5 per vehicle. Food, ice cream and beer will be available for purchase. The gates open at 5:00pm and the fireworks are expected to start at 9:30!

July 4 – Sacramento
Celebrate Independence Day 2018 at Raley Field with the 4th on the Field celebration. Enjoy food trucks, fireworks and family fun – there are several different ticket packages available. Click here for all of the details. If you are looking for an adventure on the river, consider a Hornblower River Cruise. You will have a perfect view of the fireworks over the Tower Street Bridge while enjoying a one-hour cruise on the Sacramento River. Seating is first come, first served. You can book your tickets here.

Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website http://www.kathleenbeck.com Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

 

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Ways To Boost Curb Appeal On A Budget

If you’re preparing to sell your home, refinance, or get a line of credit, you’ll want to showcase your house for buyers or an appraisal so you can sell high, or benefit from the equity. Obviously, people stage the interior, but often times forget the first thing someone will see; the exterior. This means picking up the trash, pulling the weeds, mowing the lawn, and decluttering the yard. However, there are few easy tricks to the trade that anyone can do to add value and curb appeal to your home for as little as $500.

Update Address Numbers

One of the quickest ways to improve the look of your home is to add new address numbers to your exterior. Since there are a variety of sizes and fonts, and you can add your address virtually anywhere for as little as $4 a number, while making an artistic mark. Perhaps you can add your number to the side of the house, or you can add a dramatic planter, with the numbers attached to it and add a punch of color with plants inside. If you’re artistic, or a fan or Pinterest, there are lots of creative ways to add your address to wine bottles, planters or other eye-catching features. Simply search pinterest.com with “address numbers” and you’ll discover a variety of ways to display your address.

Freshen up Your Front Door

The first thing a person will see when they come to your door, is the door. For a while, there was a huge fad to paint a front door red because not only was a fresh coat of paint involved, but also an eye popping color; something to make the home memorable. Though you don’t have to paint your door red, giving the front door a clean new look with a fresh coat of paint is still recommended as long as the color compliments the home. And, you can do that for as little as $35 for a gallon of quality paint. However, you don’t have to stop at paint. Habitat for Humanity stores have plenty of used, but gorgeous doors. You may have to keep an eye out for one that fits the style of your home, but you’ll pay a fraction of the cost with $100 options compared to a brand new door for as much as $1000 or more. Even Craig’s List has used doors available.

Patio Perfection

If you’re going to paint the door, consider a fresh new look for your patio too. Concrete stains cost around $25 a gallon while wood stains cost just a bit more. If you’re able to spend a little more, a five gallon bucket of concrete stain with texture runs about $200. This not only improves the look of the concrete with a pebbled look, but it increases the safety too with a slip-resistant finish. When staining concrete, there are even two part systems that allow you to spray one color and then another to create a mottled look… quickly transforming the concrete from drab to fab!

Fabulous Front Yard

Whoever is standing in your front yard will take in the whole picture and since first impressions are everything, you have to update the whole front yard. Try adding new life to your front yard simply by changing out that rusty mailbox with an elegant one and adding plants or flowers at the base, all for under $100. If you have a winding path that leads to your door, consider adding some slate slabs for stepping stones hedged with lights. Since solar pathway lights are available in a range of styles and pricing, not only can you find a light that goes well with your house and budget, there’s no electrical involved so anyone can do it! Plus, these lights cost just $12-$50 for a set of six.

If you’re really a go-getter though and want more ideas, check out HGTV or DIY tv shows and web-sites. With warmer weather here, it’s the perfect time to work in the yard!

 

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5 Farmers Markets You Should Visit In Our Region

As America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento definitely has it’s share of incredible Farmer’s Markets to visit. With delicious foods, colorful displays of fresh produce, aromatic florals and unique hand-crafted goods it can be difficult to choose which market to visit. Well, we’ve eliminated some of the guess work by providing you with our selection for the top five Farmer’s Markets in the Sacramento area.

  1. Sacramento Central Farmer’s Market

Conveniently located beneath the Freeway of 8th and W this market is open Sundays year-round from 8 am till noon.  With over 125 vendors it is one of the largest in the area and offers an incredible array of fresh produce, fish, meats, oils, nuts and other unique delicacies you won’t find anywhere else! You’ll also want to check out the coffee and pastry area – a great way to kickstart the day as you make the rounds.  Be sure to get there early because it’s typically packed by 9 am.  8th and W Streets, Sacramento www.california-grown.com

  1. Davis Farmers’ Market

This local market is open Saturday’s year – round between 8am and 1 pm, and then adds “Picnic in the Park” every Wednesday evening from mid-March through mid-October.  In addition to the wide-variety of certified organic produce, meats, wine, local eggs and the “Picnic in the Park” features live music, a beer and wine garden and international food fair.  Bring the kids along too, they can enjoy the bicycle-powered carousel, face-painting and bounce houses! Central Park. 4th and C Streets, Davis www.davisfarmersmarket.org

  1. Historic Folsom Farmer’s Market

Although not as large as some of the others on our list, the Folsom Farmer’s Market is not to be missed. With it’s quaint location, around the historic railroad turntable and public plaza in Historic Folsom, you can easily spend a fun Saturday touring the unique shops and restaurants in the area. The market itself features fresh local produce, eggs, baked-goods and several unique hand-crafted goods. The best part is the friendly atmosphere and vibe set by the live music. The market is open Saturdays, year-round from 8 am – 1pm. 915 Sutter St. Folsom. www.historicfolsom.org

  1. Midtown Sacramento Farmers’ Market

Grab your bike and ride over to the Midtown Sacramento Farmer’s Market and take advantage of their free bike valet service. While there you will enjoy a bounty of prepared foods, teas, coffees as well as numerous locally-grown produce stands, flowers and crafts. Located under of beautiful canopy of big shady trees, the market offers other activities such as cooking demonstrations and child-friendly farm tours. Visit year-round on Saturdays between 8 am and 1 pm. 20th Street between K and J www.midtownfarmersmarketsac.com

  1. El Dorado County Certified Farmers Market Association

This is not just one market but five!  The El Dorado County Certified Farmers’ Market Association (EDCCFMA) is incorporated as a non-profit, participates in the California Certified Farmers’ Markets and is dedicated to the farmers in El Dorado County. To that end, EDCCFMA has created five markets in El Dorado County…Friday and Saturday in Placerville, Sunday in El Dorado Hills at Town Center, Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe, Wednesday in Cameron Park.  At all those markets local, just picked produce is sold by the farmers which is nutritionally superior unlike store produce which was picked days ago and miles away.  At the same time, you can meet the farmers and learn about their dedication to growing and harvesting, their farming practices and special preparation suggestions…and therefore a friendship is formed.  You will learn what will be harvested soon and make plans and swap recipes with your community neighbors.  http://eldoradofarmersmarket.com/

Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website www.kathleenbeck.com   Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

 

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When was the Last Time you Checked your Credit?

credit score

When was the last time you checked your credit? Was it the last time you bought a car? The last time you refinanced or purchased your home? Or years ago, or so far back you’re not even sure?

Well, just like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist, getting your oil changed, and filing your taxes, you should be checking your credit report carefully at regular periods.

However, studies show that 42% of Americans don’t regularly check their credit!

So, unless you’re apply for new credit accounts, or trying to improve your score for a big purchase like a home loan, or see evidence of identity theft, do you really need to go through the trouble of looking up your FICO?

Why should you check your credit regularly?

Your credit may have errors:

Did you know that your credit report may have errors? A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that more than 1 in 5 credit reports (21%) contain errors.  Even worse, 5% of consumers suffer through errors so serious that they are continuously overcharged for credit card debts, auto loans, insurance policies and other payments.

Over time, these errors may cause serious damage – not only to your credit score, but to your finances and by extension to your life. In fact, credit report errors may result in a lower credit score and a higher interest rate on a mortgage, a turn down on a zero-interest credit card, lower loan limits on an auto or student loan, higher insurance rates, and in some cases even cost you that dream job.

The good news is that 79% of consumers who disputed credit report errors were successful in removing them

Hacks, breaches, and ID theft:

I’m sure you’ve heard the news about the massive data breach at Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting bureaus. It’s expected that up to 143 million Americans – or just about half of all adults in the U.S.- had their data or sensitive financial information stolen.

It’s quite possible that your information was stolen, too, and that very well could mean ID theft or financial fraud is coming your way.

Consider that:

  • Last year, there were an estimated 15.4 million victims of ID theft and fraud, costing the victims more than $16 billion!
  • A new study by Bankrate.com found that at least 41 million Americans have already been a victim of ID theft, about one in six adults. Additionally, 50% know someone who has had their ID stolen.
  • About 50% of all victims realize that their identity has been stolen within three months.
  • But about 15% don’t learn of their ID theft for four years or longer!
  • 64% of ID theft improprieties and fraud involve stolen credit card accounts.
  • 34% involve misuses of bank accounts and debit cards.

If a cybercriminal gets a hold of your data, passwords, or even basic information like name, address, birthdate, etc., it’s easy for them to sell your info on the dark web or open new credit card or bank accounts. But all of this can be identified and taken care of very early, before the damage is done, just by checking your credit regularly.

Here is when you should check your credit:

In advance of a loan or big purchase

If you plan on refinancing your home, buying a home with a mortgage, applying for a new credit card, business loan, or student loans, etc. you should check your credit scores at least a few months ahead of time. Not only will you be able to research what rates and terms available to you based on your credit scores this practice will help you to become a smarter consumer, and hopefully you’ll be able to identify and update any issues on your credit report ahead of time.

Annually

Just like paying your taxes, your annual doctor’s visit, or spring cleaning, it’s recommended that you give your credit report a thorough review once a year.  Each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian and TransUnion and Equifax), will give you your credit report for free once a year. If you stagger your requests for those reports every four months with a different bureau, you’ll have a full survey of your activity over time.  Remember that these bureaus act independently, and so a credit issue may not be discovered for many months if the credit issue is not on the credit bureau you pull.

Monthly

These days, wise consumers conduct at least a quick once-over of their credit every single month. The best way to do this is by looking at your credit card statement, which should provide an updated credit score. While these scores may not be consistent across all reports and bureaus, they will give you a good indicator of general trends and what’s going on with your credit.

Here is where you can check your credit and all three scores without the credit check showing up as an inquiry on your report:

www.CreditKarma.com , www.MyFico.com and www.AnnulaCreditreport.com

Also, you may check your credit and credit scores at each bureau individually at:

www.Experian.com , www.Transunion.com , www.Equifax.com   

With these different periodic checks, you should feel confident that your credit is being watched sufficiently and you’re well protected! Contact me if you have more questions regarding your credit!

Purchase-Refinance-Conventional, VA, FHA & Jumbo Loans

Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website www.kathleenbeck.com   Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

 

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