Janet Cramb & Company/LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Janet Cramb on 1/13/2021

If buying a home is something youíre considering, you might be curious about the different types of mortgages that are available to you. After all, the interest rate on your loan could have a huge impact on your finances over time, saving you thousands of dollars.

In todayís post, Iím going to demystify the home loan by explaining the most common types of mortgages. That way, youíll be able to approach a lender with a bit of context and knowledge to help make the best mortgage decision for you and your family.

Fixed-rate mortgages

The most common types of home loans in the United States today are fixed-rate mortgages. A fixed-rate mortgage has the benefit of stability in terms of its interest rate--year after year, or the lifetime of your loan, you know exactly what percent of interest youíre going to pay.

Fixed-rate mortgages most frequently come with repayment terms of 15 or 30 years. However, some lenders offer different repayment periods.

As with any debt, paying off a mortgage in a shorter term typically amounts to paying less interest over the lifespan of the loan. For this reason, buyers who can afford higher monthly mortgage payments often opt for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

If you canít afford higher monthly payments, a 30-year loan will typically have lower mortgage payments, but at the expense of paying more interest over the life of the loan.

The 30-year option is the most often in the United States, where first-time buyers typically have too many other monthly bills to afford a high mortgage payment.

Adjustable-rate mortgages

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were once an ideal option for first-time buyers who could purchase a home at a very low interest rate and then refinancing once that rate was set to rise. However, after the housing crisis of 2007, trust in the housing market drastically declined.

In recent years, ARMs have begun to make a comeback. However, they currently still only account for around 5% of home loans.

Adjustable-rate mortgages come with one important advantage and one huge disadvantage over fixed-rate mortgages. The upside is the ability to borrow money for a home at a lower interest rate than other mortgage types. The down side? Your interest rate isnít locked in for the length of the loan, meaning your rate could, in theory, rise dramatically before you sell or pay off the home. This is exactly what happened to borrowers during the subprime mortgage crisis.

Guaranteed loans

There are a number of special loan programs that have been sponsored by the government over the years. Among them are USDA rural development loans, VA loans for veterans and their spouses, and FHA loans offered by the Federal Housing Authority.

All of these loans make it easier to buy a home with little or no down payment or a credit score thatís less than perfect. That makes these options great for first-time homeowners.




Tags: Buying a home   mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Janet Cramb on 1/6/2021

A home inspection is a vital part of every real estate transaction. Its importance is usually solidified in a purchase contract in the form of a contingency clause.

Whenever you buy or sell a home, the transaction is typically contingent upon a few things being fulfilled. Inspections help protect the buyer from purchasing a home that they believed didnít have any major issues.

For buyers, an inspection can save you thousands in the long run. For sellers, getting a preemptive inspection done (on your own dime) can be useful since it will help you avoid any surprises that could arise when a potential buyer has your home inspected.

Hiring a home inspector

Regardless of whether youíre the buyer or the seller in this instance, hiring a home inspector isnít something you should take lightly. Youíll want to confer with your agent before you pick an inspector.

Itís also a good idea to check out some online reviews and visit the inspectorís website for pricing. Typically, inspectors charge between $200 and $400 for an inspection, so feel free to shop around.

Inspectors are certified, so make sure whoever you choose has the proper licensure. You can search for inspectors in your area with this search function.

Ultimately, youíll want to choose an inspector that can give you the most unbiased assessment of the home, so that you can be assured that you know what youíre getting into when you buy or sell a home.

Preparing for an inspection

Many buyers arenít sure what to expect on inspection day. However, the process is relatively simple.

Youíll want to make sure the inspector can easily access workspaces (like around the furnace, circuit breakers, etc.). This will make the inspectorís job easier and allow them to focus on the service theyíre providing you.

If possible, itís also a good idea to provide them with records of important home maintenance and repairs. Inspectors know what red flags to look for with the home, both physically and on paper.

Finally, make sure pets, kids, and any other distractions are away from home or with someone who can attend to them.

Post inspection

After the inspection is complete, the inspector will hand you a report and be able to answer any questions you have about their findings. They will give recommendations about the timeline for repairs that need to be made soon or even years into the future.

With this report in hand, you can determine if there are repairs you want to negotiate with the seller if youíre buying a home. As a seller, this report will tip you off to issues that potential buyers will likely have and give you a chance to address them in advance.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/23/2020

Photo by Nina Garman via Pixabay

Moving into a new home can be a very exciting experience. From getting to know new people to starting a new job, it can all be a very enjoyable transition. However, there are some aspects of moving that many people don’t really enjoy. And the biggest factor of all is the money involved. From hiring movers to buying boxes, all of the expenses can add up very quickly. However, there are some tips and tricks if you want to save as much money as possible.

Donate Your Unused Goods

One tactic to save on moving costs involves getting rid of the things you never use. This strategy is especially useful if you’re hiring a moving company to help with the transition. While these professionals are typically paid by the hour, you’re going to want to downsize to prevent spending an arm and a leg for this service; the more stuff you have, the more money you'll have to fork over. Furthermore, the more belongings you bring, the bigger the truck you’ll have to rent. To save time and loads of money, do good for yourself and others by donating the items you don’t need.

Don’t Move During Peak Season

While this is sometimes out of your control due to a job or another reason, you should always try to move during the off-peak season. People tend to move from May until September, so try your best to schedule a move between October and April.

Do the Move Yourself

Many people decide to hire a moving company when they’re moving to a new home. However, this can cost thousands of dollars. If you want to save, consider renting a truck and moving everything yourself. While it may take a lot of time and energy, you can experience tons of savings. Try to find family members or friends that are willing to help, then you can have the whole process done quickly. Not only can this lead to a great deal of savings, but you can also get some quality time with loved ones and a solid workout in the meantime. However, if you have large items and are not comfortable moving them, utilize a professional service once you've reached your destination.

Rent a Moving Container

Another beneficial option is to rent a moving container. These still can be expensive, but it is far cheaper compared to hiring a moving company. In addition, these containers are becoming far more common nowadays, which has really dropped the price of this service. It’s best to choose a container if you have a larger time window for the move, and especially if you’re doing most of the work yourself.

Moving can be expensive and stressful, but by focusing on the tips mentioned above, you can save hundreds of dollars as you’re making this important life transition.




Tags: moving   buying   moving expenses  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/16/2020

You may take your front door for granted. Maybe you only use your front door occasionally when company comes or you have a gathering at your home. Itís amazing how much more curb appeal you can give to your home with a properly lit front door. Below, youíll find some tips to help you brighten your front door and the overall appeal of your home. 


Make Your Front Door Shine Through The Night


If you want your home to have curb appeal, you may think of the daylight hours. Sure, you want your home to look good during the day, but there are 24 hours! You can find plenty of ways that you can add nighttime curb appeal to your home with correct types of landscape lighting. Some ideas to help you highlight your front door can be found below:


Put a spotlight on the entryway


Using bold lighting like this can help you to enhance the features that are already present on the front of your home.     


Use sconce lighting

This type of lighting is easily mounted onto the side of walls or the side of your home. You can use these types of lights to add to the style of your home as they come in many different kinds from the stately to the fun and whimsical. These lights also provide quite a welcoming touch to the home.


Consider Lighting Your House Number


Wherever your house number is present, you should try to light it. This way, after daylight hours, guests can clearly see what house number is yours. You can do this with a lamp post or a spotlight depending on where you have your house numbers mounted. 


Use Lighting Variations


Just as you would on the inside of your home, the outside of your home should use variations of lighting. Use sconces for overhead lighting. Think of the lighting on the outside of your home based on the main types of lighting: task, decorative, ambient, and accent lighting. Using these basic design principles can help you to find where the need for light is in your yard.


Highlight Your Landscape


Your hard efforts at landscaping arenít just for the daylight hours. Use lighting in your yard as a way to highlight the beauty of your yard the whole day and night through. If you have particularly unique trees or bushes, or a nice statue in your yard, use lights to brighten the space and show off the best features that your yard has to offer.

When thinking of lighting your yard keep safety as your first priority and design as your second for a great outdoor lighting scheme.    





Tags: home design   lighting  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/9/2020

Image by Andrey_Popov from Shutterstock

Burglary is one of the more common types of crimes in the US today. Every day, many homeowners wake up or get back from work to discover their homes robbed. Given the financial, psychological, and physical damage that can happen, protecting your home is always ideal. You donít have to be a victim. Put a security system in place to protect your home.

A range of home security systems are available. Deciding on which one could be a daunting task. To save you time and stress, here are some tips on how to select a security monitoring system for your residence.

Survey your home.

The first thing you need to do is to survey your home and assess its security needs. Start by counting the doors, windows, and other entry points. Check the distance of the doors and windows from where you intend to install the controls. Knowing this is essential as it will help you know the coverage of the wireless system or the length of the wires needed.

Know where to place the controls.

Place the controls somewhere only you will have quick access to. Many people prefer the control pads close to the main door. But that's not a promising idea because others can easily find it. According to security experts, it is best to place the control pads in an area that guests will not have easy access. A good example is your bedroom. 

Consider the people who live with you.

If you intend to go with motion detectors, consider movement in your home during the night. If you have kids or older parents that move around at night or you have pets that pace the house at odd hours, it is highly likely that they might trigger the alarm and cause a disturbance. Triggering the alarm system that alerts the police department may cause them to respond to a false alarm from your home.

Research the Security company.

Reputation is key. Although there are security systems that you can install yourself, working with a licensed and trustworthy security company is an optimal consideration. They will recommend the perfect system for your home and even give you useful tips to protect better protect your home. 

Be sure to ask the following questions;

How long have they been operating?

What services do they offer?

Do they carry out background checks on their employees?

Do they lease or sell their security systems?

Do they offer a warranty?

Finding the perfect home security system is vital because it assures you that your home is well protected. To get more information about the types of home security systems available, and how installing one can help you gain peace of mind, ask your agent for a recommendation for a reputable security service.