Lynn Gardner Homes Blog

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Consider this New Year Resolution December 28, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 9:29 pm

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest on Your Mortgage

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest on Your Mortgage | MyKCM

One of the most common loans you can get to buy a home is a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. If the thought of paying for your home over the course of 30-years seems daunting, here are some easy ways to shorten that term which will actually end up saving you money over the life of your loan.

Any additional payments to the principal amount (the original sum of money borrowed in a loan), helps to cut down the amount of interest that you will pay over the life of your loan and can also help to shave years off the loan as well.

When you make ‘extra’ payments toward your loan, the key is to let your lender/bank know that you want the extra funds to go toward your principal balance as they will not automatically do this for you.

You don’t have to double your mortgage payment to make a big difference either!

If you have a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home ($250,000) with a 5% interest rate, you’ll be responsible for a $1,342.05 monthly principal and interest payment. Over the course of the loan, if you pay your exact monthly payment, you will have paid $233,133.89 in interest alone!

Paying a Little Extra Can Pay Off Big

1. Pay an additional 1/12th of your mortgage payment every month

Benefit: In the example above, adding $111.84 to your monthly mortgage payment might not seem like a lot, but each year you will have paid one extra month’s worth of payments which will shorten the term of your loan by 4 years and 8 months, all while saving you $42,000 in interest!

2. Pay an additional $50 per month towards your mortgage

Benefit: Fifty dollars might not seem like enough to make a difference on the term of your loan, but that small amount will save you over $21,000 in interest and will take over 2 years off the end of your loan. Twenty-eight years from now, you’ll be happy to pay off your loan that much sooner!

3. Make one-time lump sum payments when you can

Benefit: If you find yourself with a little extra money after a yearly bonus, a tax return, or from investment dividends, paying that money towards the principal can cut your costs. This option, however, is less predictable than the extra monthly payments.

If you have higher interest debts, like credit cards, consider using any extra funds you have to pay those debts down before applying that money towards your mortgage. Also, if you do not plan on staying in your home for more than 10 years, paying extra toward your mortgage might not make sense.

Bottom Line

If you’re wondering what strategies would work best for you to shorten the term of your loan, let’s get together to answer your questions.

 

Put your attention on to the Real Estate Market December 27, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 7:30 pm

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market | MyKCM

This year started strong for real estate, but then the market began to soften. Home inventory in the starter and move-up categories dwindled to almost nothing, mortgage rates were projected to rise, and home sales had decreased for several months in a row.

To many, the outlook heading into 2019 appeared dim… at best.

Then, in a 24-hour window last week, things seemed to change. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) revealed in their Existing Homes Sales Report that home sales had INCREASED for the second consecutive month. The next day, NAR’s economic research team announced that the percentage of first-time buyers in the market was higher than last month and even higher than a year ago.

What happened to turn around the downward momentum in the market? 

You only needed to wait a few hours to find out. On the heels of NAR’s revelations, Zillow released their November Real Estate Market Report that explained:

“After nearly four years of annual declines in inventory, the number of homes for sale has now increased year-over-year for three straight months…”

Ending 2018, we now know two things:

  1. Listing inventory increased over the last three months
  2. Home sales increased over the last two months

Maybe a lack of inventory was the major challenge all along.

But, what about those pesky interest rates?

Last Thursday (the day after all of the above news), Freddie Mac announcedthat mortgage rates did not increase but instead decreased…again. From their release:

“The response to the recent decline in mortgage rates is already being felt in the housing market. After declining for six consecutive months, existing home sales finally rose in October and November and are essentially at the same level as during the summer months.

This modest rebound in sales indicates that homebuyers are very sensitive to mortgage rate changes – and given the further drop in rates we’ve seen this month, we expect to see a modest rebound in home sales as well.”

Bottom Line

Will 2019 start out better than many have predicted? Perhaps, but we’ll have to wait and see. Things do look much better today, though, than they did just a month ago.

 

Auctioning on Everything BUT the HOUSE October 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 2:01 pm

Join the Movement

 

Invitation to Purge and Experience Minimalism August 11, 2017

Filed under: Customer Service,Downsizing,Home Staging,Real Estate Tips,Recycle,Selling a Home — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 6:32 pm

Do you feel overwhelmed and unmotivated to sort and purge?
Are you emotionally attached to the past?
Are you wrapped around a mindset that you might need it in the future?
If this rings any truth for you or someone you know – Check this out?

Sometimes all we need is a little push, company of others and a good challenge to get us started. SO BEGINS a supportive meet-up.
“PURGE to Move OUT & Move ON”.

It will be informative, fun and supportive and if your “ALL IN” you will get rid of all that STUFF that’s holding you back from Moving ON to a smaller space or place.

HERE IS THE WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE AND HOW:
1. Me, myself and I will be facilitating along with guest experts & OF COURSE IT WILL BE FUN!
2. Informative with “challenge” shares, “idea” exchanges, and funny show and tell.
3. Each will pick an area of the house to work on for two weeks, showing before and after photos at the following meet-up.
4. Two session times to CHOOSE – AM or PM. Both sessions will be identical.
5. 24 Annapolis, St., Annapolis, MD 21401 – Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate office.
6. Cost per session is a DONATION each week or FREE.

MARK YOUR CALENDERS
Both sessions will be the same so CHOOSE
9/11 – Mon. 6:30 -7:30 pm
9/12 – Tues. 9:30 – 10:30 am
9/25 – Mon. 6:30 -7:30 pm
9/26 – Tues. 9:30 – 10:30 am
10/2 – Mon. 6:30 -7:30 pm
10/3 – Tues. 9:30 – 10:30 am
10/16 – Mon. 6:30 -7:30 pm
10/17 – Tues. 9:30 – 10:30 am
10/30 – Mon. 6:30 -7:30 pm
10/31 – Tues. 9:30 – 10:30 am                                                                                                                 11/13 – Mon. 6:30 – 7:30 pm                                                                                                           11/14 – Tues.  9:30 – 10:30 am

Sign-Up Here

I will send a PayPal invoice upon your sign-up

Invitation to Purge

 

LEEDing Tips – Costs of selling a home September 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 6:51 pm
Tags:

If you bought your home for $300,000, and it sells for $400,000, you’ve made a $100,000 profit, right? Well, not necessarily.

Selling your home includes certain expenses – including taxes and other costs as described. Please note that every situation may vary depending on where your home is located, as well as other factors. If you’re planning to use the proceeds from the sale of your home to make a down payment on your new home, it’s especially important to consider sales costs.

Sellers Closing Costs (Settlement)

When you get your total amount of closing costs, including your loan payoff – first mortg, subtract the total amount of cost from the sales price to determine what amount you will walk away with. This should give you a good estimate of what it will cost to sell your home. There are a few other factors that you will need to deduct.

  • Once you get an acceptable offer, you need to add the expense of Buyer’s Closing costs if you have agreed to pay the Buyer’s Closing Costs your contract.  First time home buyers have a maximum so      the seller may have to contribute.
  • If you sell your home, and it closes and funds before the 15th of the month, you will have to pay that month’s portion of the tax payment.
  • Real Estate fees are the sellers responsibility and worth 6-7% of the sales price.
  • A Home Warranty is a good investment to attract buyers to purchase your home.
  • At settlement fees for the seller are minimal and generally include the termite inspection which is a requirement of the seller.

Check your status as it relates to capital gains tax. Depending on the amount of income you made on the house, your ownership and tenure of the home, you may have to pay capital gains tax, especially if you do not purchase another home within a year.

Repairs and improvements
Prior to putting your home up for sale, you might want to spend some money making repairs and improvements. Some improvements can help increase your sale price or even decrease the taxes you pay on the profit you make.

Even if you don’t make major improvements, you should consider making smaller cosmetic changes to improve your home’s visual or curb appeal. Planting flowers, mowing the lawn, and repainting can all help make your home more appealing to prospective buyer’s.

Real Estate Agent – Staging
A real estate agent charges a sales commission that varies depending on where you live and the sales price of the property. An agent is well worth the commission when helping to establish a fair sales price with a competitive market analysis, procuring the needed marketing support, and saving you time with already established process and procedure of listing a house; all of this shortening days on the market. Additional costs over and above the agent might be a professional organizer and/or stager to work on your home so that is shows at its very best.

Remember, an agent’s commission covers all the expenses of advertising listings, signage, marketing materials. An agent makes sure it is properly listed in the multiple list serves to find motivated buyers.   That’s in addition to the effort of showing the home and conducting negotiations on your behalf according to the real estate laws and the code of ethics in Maryland. A real estate brokerage represents the seller in the legal aspects of selling a home and wise choice and expense in the ever changing legalities of real estate purchase.  

Professional Inspection
Buyers will usually have their own inspection done, but it’s useful for you to pay for an inspection before you put your house on the market. It can help you uncover any defects so that you know what exactly what you’re selling and have time to make any repairs.

Miscellaneous / Additional fees
You may also need to pay additional fees for items including:

  • Appraisal — You may      want to get your own professional appraisal to help you estimate your      home’s value and set a reasonable price.
  • Legal fees — You      will have a title lawyer overseeing and processing the settlement that
  • Prepayment      penalty — You may      need to pay off the mortgage on the home you’re selling, which may involve      a prepayment penalty. Review your mortgage or ask your current lender for      details. This includes any equity loans on the property.
  • Moving      costs — You may      need to pay for packing supplies, van rental or movers, and more. Make      sure you have enough cash for these expenses.

Time is money
It takes some effort to sell a home, and you should be prepared to invest time as well as money.

  • Open houses — Whether you’re in charge of showing your home or your agent/brokerage is, house      tours may demand your time and affect your daily schedule.
  • Cleaning your house — You want your home to look its best for prospective buyers. Cleaning doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money, but it does take time and effort.

I am committed to helping you to wisely manage your most important asset — your home.

 

Costs of Selling a Home

Filed under: Real Estate Tips — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 6:28 pm
Tags:

St. Michaels HouseIf you bought your home for $300,000, and it sells for $400,000, you’ve made a $100,000 profit, right? Well, not necessarily.

Selling your home includes certain expenses – including taxes and other costs as described. Please note that every situation may vary depending on where your home is located, as well as other factors. If you’re planning to use the proceeds from the sale of your home to make a down payment on your new home, it’s especially important to consider sales costs.

Sellers Closing Costs (Settlement)

When you get your total amount of closing costs, including your loan payoff – first mortgage, subtract the total amount of cost from the sales price to determine what amount you will walk away with. This should give you a good estimate of what it will cost to sell your home. There are a few other factors that you will need to deduct.
◾Once you get an acceptable offer, you need to add the expense of Buyer’s Closing costs if you have agreed to pay the Buyer’s Closing Costs your contract. First time home buyers have a maximum so the seller may have to contribute.
◾If you sell your home, and it closes and funds before the 15th of the month, you will have to pay that month’s portion of the tax payment.
◾Real Estate fees are the sellers responsibility and worth 6-7% of the sales price.
◾A Home Warranty is a good investment to attract buyers to purchase your home.
◾At settlement fees for the seller are minimal and generally include the termite inspection which is a requirement of the seller.

Check your status as it relates to capital gains tax. Depending on the amount of income you made on the house, your ownership and tenure of the home, you may have to pay capital gains tax, especially if you do not purchase another home within a year.

Repairs and improvements
Prior to putting your home up for sale, you might want to spend some money making repairs and improvements. Some improvements can help increase your sale price or even decrease the taxes you pay on the profit you make.

Even if you don’t make major improvements, you should consider making smaller cosmetic changes to improve your home’s visual or curb appeal. Planting flowers, mowing the lawn, and repainting can all help make your home more appealing to prospective buyer’s.

Real Estate Agent – Staging
A real estate agent charges a sales commission that varies depending on where you live and the sales price of the property. An agent is well worth the commission when helping to establish a fair sales price with a competitive market analysis, procuring the needed marketing support, and saving you time with already established process and procedure of listing a house; all of this shortening days on the market. Additional costs over and above the agent might be a professional organizer and/or stager to work on your home so that is shows at its very best.

Remember, an agent’s commission covers all the expenses of advertising listings, signage, marketing materials. An agent makes sure it is properly listed in the multiple list serves to find motivated buyers. That’s in addition to the effort of showing the home and conducting negotiations on your behalf according to the real estate laws and the code of ethics in Maryland. A real estate brokerage represents the seller in the legal aspects of selling a home and wise choice and expense in the ever changing legalities of real estate purchase.

Professional Inspection
Buyers will usually have their own inspection done, but it’s useful for you to pay for an inspection before you put your house on the market. It can help you uncover any defects so that you know what exactly what you’re selling and have time to make any repairs.

Miscellaneous / Additional fees
You may also need to pay additional fees for items including:
◾Appraisal — You may want to get your own professional appraisal to help you estimate your home’s value and set a reasonable price.
◾Legal fees — You will have a title lawyer overseeing and processing the settlement that
◾Prepayment penalty — You may need to pay off the mortgage on the home you’re selling, which may involve a prepayment penalty. Review your mortgage or ask your current lender for details. This includes any equity loans on the property.
◾Moving costs — You may need to pay for packing supplies, van rental or movers, and more. Make sure you have enough cash for these expenses.

Time is money
It takes some effort to sell a home, and you should be prepared to invest time as well as money.
◾Open houses — Whether you’re in charge of showing your home or your agent/brokerage is, house tours may demand your time and affect your daily schedule.
◾Cleaning your house — You want your home to look its best for prospective buyers. Cleaning doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money, but it does take time and effort.

I am committed to helping you to wisely manage your most important asset — your home.

 

LEEDING Tips for Selling Homes September 7, 2013

Filed under: Real Estate Tips — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 4:58 pm

Curb Appeal is Crucial
You only have one chance to make a first impression, right? And the moment a prospective buyer drives up to your house, they are forming an opinion so make it good!
• Rake leaves.
• Prune shrubs and trees.
• Plant fall flowers.
• Pull persistent weeds.
• Mow your lawn.
• Clear bikes and toys from your door area.
• Put a festive, fall wreath on your door.
• If snow is an issue, clear walkways and stairs… especially if they are icy.
Fall Can Be Messy
• Make sure your walkway is free of leaves and debris.
• Place an attractive door mat so people may wipe their feet, especially in the rain.
• Place a good door mat where your family and pets enter the house the most. This will help reduce daily debris and cut down on your pre-showing cleaning.
• Make sure gutters are clean and draining properly.

Smell Is Everything
How your home smells deserves a line-item all by itself. Imagine your home has the perfect location, beautiful curb-appeal, and a beautiful fall wreath on the door. Then a potential buyer opens the door and all they can smell is the cat box. YIKES! Yes, they may like your home, but they are forming a negative opinion based on the first thing they notice when they enter… THE SMELL. Why give a buyer any reason NOT to buy your home? So… a few tips:
• Clean or remove pet boxes. PERIOD.
• Take out your trash no matter how empty it is. You never know what little Johnny put in there when you weren’t looking.
• Do all of the laundry (and put it away). If any of you have teen aged boys, you know what I’m talking about.
• Give your home a cozy smell. Cinnamon, spiced cider, fresh baked cookies, pumpkin pie. These are all familiar smells that any buyer will find familiar and, well, cozy.

Let’s Go Further Inside
• Lighting!! Weather is getting dreary and days are getting shorter. Open all of the blinds and turn on lights, even if you’re not home. You want the house to appear bright and sunny in this darkening season.
• Heat. Nobody wants to enter a cold house. Turn the heat up a little, even if you’re not there. It will help make the house a little cozier.
• Windows. Clean windows will allow every little bit of outdoor light to come through.
• Fall Decor. A table centerpiece, a door mat, or a pot of Mums next to your home’s information flyer. You don’t have to go overboard, just a hint of the season will do.
• Touch-Up Paint. Now is a great time to get to that touch-up paint you’ve been meaning to tackle. Consider a fresh coat in the entire room. My Father used to say, “Paint covers a multitude of sins.”
• De-Clutter. This applies to selling your home any time of the year. A buyer wants to imagine their family in the space. Help them by clearing away your personal items, clearing countertops and cleaning out closets.

 

Residents get Credits in Anne Arundel County for Stormwater Management July 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 6:21 pm

Residents get Credits in Anne Arundel County for Stormwater Management

So does city of Annapolis for a another.

http://www.ci.annapolis.md.us/government/city-departments/neighborhood-environmental/stormwater-management

Your Rain Barrel can be partially paid for including the installation.

.

 

Rain Barrel Credits in Anne Arundel County

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 5:40 pm

Rain Barrel Credits in Anne Arundel County

Yes – there is a credit for you when you buy and install a rain barrel!

 

Intel on Wind Power May 3, 2013

Filed under: Energy Supply and De-regulation,Green Sustainable,Green training,Renewables,Solar and Wind — Lynn Gardner Home, LEED AP REALTOR @ 5:09 pm
Tags:

Sharing information on wind power and why it is important for businesses!

Governor Martin O’Malley today issued the following statement on the final passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013:
“Offshore wind is a potential win-win-win for Maryland. Today’s vote positions our State for greater job creation and opportunity, while moving us forward toward securing a more sustainable energy future. By advancing this promising green technology, together, we have also chosen to do the right thing for our planet; every megawatt-hour of energy we generate from clean wind power, is a megawatt-hour of energy we are not burning into our atmosphere through dirty fossil fuels.
http://www.bizmdosw.org/

Check out these frequently asked questions to be in the know.http://www.bizmdosw.org/maryland-offshore-wind-faq/