Tag Archive: Sellers


Down Payment Tips

Many people dream of owning a home but don’t think it’s possible because they lack the resources for a down payment and closing costs. Here are tips for securing that down payment.

1) Borrow from your retirement account: Many people have been investing in a 401(k) plan or traditional IRA for years and first-time homebuyers may borrow up to $10,000 for their down payment without incurring a penalty. For those self-employed or if your employer allows it, you also can borrow up to $50,000 from your current 401(k) and pay yourself back over five years at a low interest rate.

2) Ask family: Sure, you may be too proud to ask for money, but if relatives can help you and your family move into that dream home, isn’t it worth it? If you do get help from a family member, the lender will ask you to sign a gift-letter form, attesting to the relationship. The lender may also require your relatives to explain where they got the money and prove that they are financially able to make such a gift.

3) Look for down payment assistance grants: Down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs offer affordable housing opportunities to first-time homebuyers, low-income and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to own a home.

4) Come to a lease/purchase agreement: Homeowners who can’t sell their homes in this market may consider a lease/purchase agreement, where you rent the home you want to buy and a percentage of your rent is applied toward the down payment. If you go this route, make sure you get a contract outlining all the details so both parties are protected.

5) Add it to the wedding registry: Several mortgage companies allow those getting married to set up a down payment registry. This is a great way to celebrate the joining of two people in matrimony.

6) Cut back and save: If none of the other ways will work for you, there’s always the old-fashioned “saving for a rainy day.” Try putting aside 10% of each paycheck and make your meals instead of going out for them. If you’re married, save the money you would spend on birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents and put it toward your house. You also may need to forget that vacation this year.

These sacrifices may seem significant but they will be worth it once you’re inside your own home.

Prudential Showcase Properties is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

The Smell of Success

Home sellers do everything they can to make their house look as beautiful as possible, yet appealing to home buyers’ other senses can be just as important —  especially when it comes to the sense of smell.

While you may not think your home has a smell to it, freshening the air and filling the home with sweet aromas can do wonders in making a favorable impression.

Most people know the old trick of baking bread or cookies to entice the noses of those looking around a home. That fresh bread smell is achieved by slicing open a large loaf of bread, dropping in vanilla essence and popping the loaf into the oven at medium heat for a half-hour before the showing.

REALTORS® also recommend the smell of cinnamon, French vanilla, butter cream or coffee filling the air to perk up those looking around.

“Scent impacts the atmosphere,” said Michelle Bardwell, an aroma therapist in Dallas, Texas. “You can create a delightful but subtle, aromatic space by using therapeutic grade essential oils.”

Bardwell recommends using cardamom essential oil in the kitchen to create a sense of warmth, lavender essential oil for the bedroom to evoke thoughts of relaxation, and a combination of eucalyptus and ravintsara for the bathroom.

“This will give the bathroom a fresh, clean aroma, and simultaneously kill bacteria and viruses on surfaces and in the air,” she said. “Put several drops directly on surfaces and wipe down, and you can even put a few drops on the shower floor and in the toilet.”

Scented candles are another way to achieve a fragrant aroma in the air, but there’s not always time to let them burn before a home showing. Electrical plug-in products with fragrance and potpourri pots also are effective.

Of course, pets odors must be addressed and be sure to check for smells coming from your refrigerator and garbage cans.

“You want to send a positive image about every aspect of your home,” Bardwell said. “Kitchen trash does not send a positive message.”

Scents register in our brain and frequently remind us of our own experiences. Create pleasant aromas throughout the house to help the homebuyer make a positive connection and a faster sale.

Prudential Showcase Properties is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

J Mangham Photo cropped and websizedInvestment Seminar with Starker Services, Inc.
Represented by John Mangham, CPA
Presented by Prudential Showcase Properties

Friday, April 26th 10am-2pm
Wiregrass Museum of Art
Great Hall 126 Museum Ave.
Cost of Seminar $20
Lunch will be provided
RSVP by April 24th to 334.792.7474

Click Here to RSVP today!

The Foreclosure phenomenon: Competing with Hedge funds in Today’s Market

Part 1: Seven Secrets to Successful Investing— Why everyone is interested in buying houses today and hedge fund’s impact on the market. This segment reviews and explains investor objectives and offers rules of thumb used by successful investors.

Part 2: Life on the Courthouse Steps— The nuts and bolts of foreclosures and how we got where we are today in the frothy foreclosure arena. This segment covers the foreclosure process from inception of a mortgage through the crying of foreclosure sale.

Both segments include strategies used by successful investors
both large and small. Don’t miss this opportunity to join a seasoned investor as John Mangham walks you through lessons learned from investing in residential real estate for over 3 decades. During the past several years John and his partners have purchased over 200 foreclosure properties, have raised millions in private equity, assembled two buy and hold funds, and have resold over 150 properties in one of the most challenging markets we’ve ever seen.

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