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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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Top 5 Easter Egg Hunts In The Sacramento Area

Spring has definitely sprung as trees and flowers are starting to bud. And, despite the chilly days we’ve had the past few weeks, warmer weather is on the way. With the blessings of spring, comes the Easter Bunny, candy and eggs, but where can you find it all? There are plenty of locations to choose from within local and surrounding areas for both children and adults! A quick web search will lead you to many options, but here’s a few to add to your list of possibilities.

Folsom’s Spring Eggstravaganza
March 31, 2018, Vendors and activities start at 8 AM, Egg Hunt at 10 AM
Lembi Community Park; 1328 Riley Street, Folsom
https://www.folsom.ca.us/city_hall/depts/parks/events/events/spring_eggstravaganza.asp
You know it’s a big event when four sports fields are required to separate age groups! With over 25,000 eggs for the picking, this “Eggstravaganza” will be a child’s delight, but adults get to enjoy the day too with a special egg hunt for parents and grandparents. The morning starts with a Pancake Breakfast, with tickets available for purchase on site. There will also be free kiddie carnival games, vendor displays and activities.

Adult Easter Egg Hunt with Cante Ao Vinho
March 31, 2018, 12 – 3 PM
Cante Ao Vinho Tasting Room & Wine Bar; 5250 Front St., Rocklin
https://canteaovinho.com/event/adult-easter-egg-hunt/
If you’re a wine drinker, this is the Easter event for you! $15 tickets include a glass of wine and a wild egg hunt just for adults. Because ham pairs well with a variety of wines, these adult friendly eggs will be a welcome treat with the possibility of $5 bottles of wine and treats… while one lucky person will find a golden egg with an extra treat or two inside!

Kiwanis Club of Citrus Heights Annual Easter Egg Hunt
March 31, 2018, 9 AM – 12 PM
Rusch Community Park; 7301 Antelope Rd., Citrus Heights
https://www.facebook.com/chkiwanis/
The Kiwanis Club is hosting more than just an egg hunt. This free community event will have face painting, tug-o-war, sack races, fishing booths, vendors and a DJ. Always looking to do something positive for the community, the Kiwanis will also be accepting new or gently used shoes for their shoe drive. Those who make a donation will be entered to win a prize. Egg race times are as follows.
4 yrs & under: 9:30 AM and 11AM
5 – 7 yrs: 10 AM
8 – 12 yrs: 10:30 AM
5 – 12 yrs: 11:30 AM

Eggstravaganzoo!
March 31 and April 1, 2018, 10 AM – 3 PM
Sacramento Zoo; 3930 West Land Park Dr., Sacramento
https://www.saczoo.org/visit/event-calendar/eggstravaganzoo/
Up for the challenge of a scavenger hunt? Emerald green emu eggs will be hidden throughout the zoo for you to count as many as you can. Then turn your answer in to Member Services to win a prize. With your zoo admission, there also are egg hunts for children ages 12 and under. Register for your egg hunt as soon as you get to the zoo as space is limited.
2 yrs and under: 10 AM or 12:30 PM
3 – 4 yrs: 10:30 AM or 1 PM
5 – 6 yrs: 11 AM or 1:30 PM
7 – 9 yrs: 11:30 AM or 2 PM
10 – 12 yrs: 12 PM or 2:30 PM
The eggs will be turned in and children will receive a goodie bag for all their hard work. Events will also be taking place across the way at Fairytale Town across the street.

Amador Flower Farm and Nursery
April 1, 2018, Starts at 1 PM
22001 Shenandoah School Rd., Plymouth
http://www.touramador.com/easter-egg-hunt-amador-flower-farm
It’s no April Fool’s joke… this egg hunt is on April 1 and it’s rain or shine! The Amador Flower Farm is a perfect location is you’re looking to stay off the beaten path and don’t mind heading out to play on Easter Sunday. The hunt will take place in the daylily growing grounds so you may want to bring a pair of grubby shoes after all the rain and snow that hit the area lately. Toddlers to children age 13 are welcome to take part in the free egg hunt and the Easter Bunny will be there for lots of photos! Please do not bring pets, but do bring a basket and feel free to tour the gardens, enjoy a picnic or visit the gift shop before you leave.

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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Understanding Your Credit Score

The credit score is a tool mortgage lenders and other financial institutions use in determining the financial health of a prospective homebuyer.

The credit score, such as the FICO score is a financial term, and is important when mortgage lenders are pre-approving you and pricing the interest rate for your new mortgage loan.  A FICO score which is short for Fair Isaac & Co, is one of three credit scores mortgage lenders use. A credit score is a snap shot of your credit report on a specific date and time.  Your credit score measures your ability to pay your debts in a timely manner.

In most cases applicants with a higher credit scores are considered better risks and receive better interest rates while individuals with lower credit scores may receive a slightly higher interest mortgage.

Credit Scores and Mortgage Rates

Most credit scores range from 300-850. For example, a credit score of 760 and above indicates a better credit worthiness than a credit score of 679 which suggests the loan may be a little risky and may command a higher interest rate.

Factors Affecting Credit Scores

Your credit score is based on a credit report compiled by one of three licensed credit bureaus in the United States Experian, TransUnion and Equifax called a Residential Credit Report. Due to the differing reports provided by these credit bureaus, one person may have three completely different credit scores.

Although the model used in determining your credit score from your credit report is not made public, Fair Isaac and Company have listed the following factors as having the most bearing on the generation of your credit score:

Payment History

A history of late payments, bankruptcy, foreclosures and other negative actions lead to lower credit scores.

High Credit Balances to Credit Limits

Credit scores consider your existing debt and the available balance in your accounts.  In most cases your credit score will be affective if you carry balances on your credit cards or 30% of the high balance limit.

Length of Credit History

How long your accounts have been created is accounted for when generating a credit score.  This factor rewards an account with a proven history of sustained credit.

Type of Credit

A diversification of different accounts of credit is sometimes rewarded. People who have lines of credit in different types of accounts such as credit cards, retail store cards, consumer finance and mortgage may be a benefit to their credit scores.

Recent Credit Requests

Multiple requests for credit in a short period of time (90 to 120 days) may be considered a risk and thus reduce your credit scores.

In short, your credit report and credit scores serve as representation of what your credit worthiness is to mortgage lenders.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions regarding credit scores.

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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Fixed Rate Loan vs. Adjustable Rate Loan

Fixed Rate Mortgages and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) are two loan options for homeowners and homebuyers. While the growing marketplace offers so many varieties within these two categories of loans, the right selection of the mortgage for your needs can be little difficult. To choose the best option for your new home purchase or refinance, it is good to find out a few details about both these loan options in advance.

Fixed Rate Loans:

The fixed rate loan is a set interest rate that is fixed at the time of loan approval and stays same throughout the lifetime of the loan. Fixed rate loans are generally more stable than adjustable rate loans.  Most people like the fixed rate loan because they know what to expect when it comes to budgeting.  A fixed rate loan is generally 1% to 1.5% higher than the start rate on an adjustable loan.

Advantages:

  • Irrespective of the changes that happen in the broader economy, the payments and rate for fixed-rate loans stays constant.
  • The stability of these loans provides easy budgeting solution to homeowners.
  • The terms and conditions are easier to understand, and they are suitable for both home buyers and refinances.

Disadvantages:

  • If a homeowner wants to lower the interest rate, the fixed rate loan holder needs to refinance.
  • You do not have a lower start rate.
  • Most of the fixed rate loans cannot be customized.

Adjustable Rate Loans:

As the name implies, in this case, the interest rate is adjustable. The initial interest rate of the Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is generally below the fixed rate.  After the initial, start rate period most ARMs adjust annual on the anniversary of the first payment.  The new adjustable interest rate is set 45 days ahead of that date.  However, there are ARMs that adjust as frequently as every month!

Advantages:

  • It features lower interest rates, so people may qualify to buy larger homes than they otherwise could.
  • The adjustable-rate loans allow borrowers to take advantage of falling interest rates without refinancing.
  • It can help loan borrowers to invest more money with the savings they see on their monthly payment.
  • These mortgages offer a lower start rate for borrowers who move often.

Disadvantages:

  • The payments and interest rates may rise significantly throughout the life of the loan.
  • The terms and conditions involved in the ARM are quite difficult to understand. Sometimes borrowers get trapped by shady loan companies.

Many variables play an essential role in the final decision between the ARM (adjustable rate loan) and fixed rate loan. Please feel free to give me a call with any questions and allow me the opportunity to help you find the perfect loan for your situation!

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 To Talk To A Mortgage Professional

Pre-Approval for Peace of Mind!

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make.  The question of when to speak to a mortgage professional sometimes doesn’t occur to new home buyers until they find a home they are interested in and then it is too late!

The first step in the house hunting process should be a conversation with me. This is called a Pre-Approval.  I will help you figure out how much of a monthly payment you feel comfortable with and can afford.  I will do this by looking at your income and debt structure, where you currently work and live and how much you have available for a down payment, closing costs and other expenses associated with buying a home.

Once I have reviewed all your loan documentation I will present you with a Pre-Approval Letter you can give your Realtor. The Realtor may call it a “Pre-Qual.”  The letter states you have been PREAPPROVED for a home loan under our BUYER READY PROGRAM.  This puts you in the best position to expedite closing of your loan. Your file has been conditionally approved based upon the review of an acceptable credit report, verified bank statements with sufficient cash to close, a completed loan application, verified employment and/or income as of the date of this letter.

When you find your dream home, having a Pre-Approved Home Loan gives you and your Realtor a certain amount of confidence and a definite edge in the market place.  First it will help your Realtor focus on homes within your budget and your ability to finance.  Secondly it will give a seller the confidence that you are Pre-Approved and serious about buying their home.  Many times, sellers look closely at the Pre-Approval and the lender behind the Pre-Approval when considering multiple offers on their home, after all, you are ready to buy a home.  My website has a Pre-Qualification form you can easily fill out and transmit to me electronically. 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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How Much Home Can I Afford?

This is a common question asked by people who are thinking about buying a home. Generally, lenders will use the 36% as a general guideline when determining how much home you can afford as a borrower. To figure out how much you can afford, take your monthly income and multiply it by 36%, this will give you an idea of the mortgage you can afford.

For example, if you earn $50,000.00 a year, that is about $4,166.00 a month. With that average household income, you can afford $1,500.00 in total monthly payments, according to the 36% rule.

Key factors in calculating affordability are 1) your monthly income and stable employment for the last two years; 2) available funds to cover your down payment and closing costs; 3) your monthly expenses; 4) your credit profile.

  • Income – Money that you receive on a regular basis, such as your salary or income from investments. Your income helps establish a baseline for what you can afford to pay every month. Most lenders will use a two-year average if your income fluctuates month to month.
  • Funds available – This is the amount of cash you have available to put down and to cover closing costs. You can use your savings, investments or other sources.
  • Debt and expenses – It’s important to take into consideration other monthly obligations you may have, such as credit cards, car payments, student loans, groceries, utilities, insurance, etc.
  • Credit profile – Your credit score and the amount of debt you owe influence a lender’s view of you as a borrower. Those factors will help determine how much money you can borrow and what interest rate you’ll be charged.

Further considerations when buying a home should also include how much of a down payment you will need to secure your loan! Also, it is a good idea to have at least three months total monthly expenses in reserve to cover you in the event of an emergency. For more questions about buying your first home, please call me with any questions!

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3 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home in 2018

New Year's Resolution Calendar

#1 Streamline Your Stuff

Every year we get a lot more stuff, some stuff is for use personally, and other stuff is for the home. Take this time at the New Year to go room by room, closet by closet, and get rid of the stuff you don’t use or need anymore.
Any clothes that have not been worn since before last New Year can be donated. Clutter and nick knacks that seem to have been a part of the home since before you can remember is probably a good candidate of things that have to go. Head to your favorite store and pick up some new and clutter free storage ideas for those out of control places, such as the shoes at the front door, back packs and brief cases in the front room, remote controls and gaming controls near the tv, and laundry that collects on the floor of all the rooms with humans!
The garage is also a candidate to go through and remove and donate, dispose of or recycle anything that seems to just take up space but gets little or no use anymore. These things may have some kind of emotional value, or “what if I need it” mentality, but once they are gone you will hardly miss that stuff!

#2 Make Your House Safe and Sound

This is something many people just don’t even think about. It’s like changing the batteries in your home smoke detectors when the time changes twice a year. But other parts of your home need attention too!
Be sure to check your dryer vents behind the dryer need to be cleaned out because dryer lint is so combustible. Clean the vent and any ducts you can access. Check your batteries in your radon detector too, wait what? You don’t have a radon detector? This odorless gas is deadly and every home should have one of these along with your smoke detectors!
This is a good time to check that all your vents from the attic are all clear too. Critters can get in there and damage the vents or they become blocked, which means your house cannot breathe and is susceptible to mold. Finally, this could be a good time to test your home for lead or asbestos for homes remodeled or built prior to 1978.

#3 Keep It Clean With A New Plan

Having a solid plan to keep the house clean and clutter free will help you enjoy your home on a daily basis, because who doesn’t like a nice clean home?
First make a schedule for the daily cleaning chores, such as dishes, laundry, wiping down the shower, taking trash out and cleaning up clutter from the bedrooms. Having different family members responsible for these chores will help ensure no one person has to do it all and everyone is invested in the plan.
Next have Weekly chores such as mopping, vacuuming, dusting, garbage day and sweeping and cleaning the entry ways to the house. Anything not needed to be done on a daily basis would be perfect for this plan.
Finally, make a plan for the monthly chores or to dos. Maybe it is clean the closets, take a load to the thrift store, and dust the blinds, house fans and curtains. Walk the house and replace burned out lights, vacuum the furniture and do a clutter walk, to make sure nothing is popping up at those trouble spots!
These three New Year’s Resolutions should make for a happier and cleaner home, adding to everyone’s enjoyment and comfort! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and feel free to call me at (916) 722-0395 with any questions regarding your mortgage or refinancing!

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