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10 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Larger

by Bill Nelson


No matter how large your Central Coast home may be, there’s always one room that’s just a little too small. Luckily, with some quick design tricks, any room can appear larger. Try a couple of these suggestions and watch your room magically expand.

  1. Use lighter paint colors.
  2. Paint or wallpaper the ceiling in order to make a room look taller.
  3. Install wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling bookcases to make the ceilings look higher.
  4. Pull furniture away from the walls to create a feeling of spaciousness.
  5. Hang mirrors opposite windows to reflect light and make the room seem bigger.
  6. Keep knickknacks, framed photos, books, etc., to a minimum to create a sense of spaciousness.
  7. Use furniture that doubles for something else. For example, a lidded ottoman that’s also a seat that’s also a storage unit.
  8. Keep window treatments to a minimum to expose as much of the window—and therefore, light—as possible. Think sheer, white curtains. Or better yet, nothing at all.
  9. Stay away from bold prints and colors. Stick to smaller patterns and neutrals when it comes to rugs and upholstery.
  10. Deploy stripes, either on your walls or floors, which will make the walls look taller and the floors longer.

For more tips to make small spaces appear larger than they are, contact me today.

Expert Insights: How Do You Clear up Bad Credit?

by Bill Nelson - Broker

It is not easy but certainly doable with both commitment and time.

By law, any unfavorable information in your credit file can stay there from 7 to 10 years. Today, however, a creditor must remove credit blemishes in a timely fashion if you challenge them and they turn out to be false.

The first step in any recovery plan is to get copies of your credit records. You are entitled to free copies if you have recently been turned down for credit. Otherwise, request copies for a fee from the three major credit-reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union.

If you see any incorrect information, let the credit reporting agencies know. Also contact the companies that reported the negative claims against you.

If the credit report is correct, move immediately to take care of any outstanding delinquencies, tackling a little at a time until you get back on the right track. In fact, make an effort, if at all possible, to repay your debt in full and on time for six months to a year to prove you are working hard to repair any damage.

 

Give me a call if you would like to be connected with a local SLO County Lender who helps facilitate credit repair.

(Reuters) - New U.S. single-family home sales jumped to a seven-month high in February, suggesting the housing market recovery continued to gain momentum despite the challenges of high prices and tight inventories.

Other data on Thursday showed an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week. Still, the labor market continues to tighten, which together with the strength in housing, should underpin economic growth.

The Commerce Department said new home sales increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units last month, the highest level since July 2016. Sales have now recouped the sharp drop suffered in December.

Economists had forecast new home sales, which account for about 9.7 percent of the overall market, rising 0.7 percent to a rate of 565,000 units in February. Sales were up 12.8 percent compared to the same month last year, showing the housing market's resilience. 

Last month's sales were likely partially buoyed by unseasonably warm weather. Although mortgage rates have risen and may go higher, most economists see a limited impact on housing because a tightening labor market is improving employment opportunities for young adults.

Expert Insights: When Is the Best Time to Sell a Home?

by Bill Nelson

Paso Robles CA- The best time to sell here in San Luis Obispo County is when you are ready, or when you must. That is, when you have outgrown the space in your current home, or you prefer to trade down to something smaller. Perhaps your marital status has changed, which necessitates a move, or you need to relocate for a job.

Market conditions also play a role, as do seasonal conditions. For example, your chances of getting top dollar for your home are more likely in a seller’s market, when demand outweighs supply, than in a buyer’s market.

Local and national economic factors also may dictate when to sell. If a major employer in your area is laying off workers, it may not be a good time to put your home up for sale.

People will be cautious about buying when the future seems unpredictable or bleak.

Most agents agree the best time to sell is in the spring. This is when the largest number of potential buyers hit the market. Your home is likely to sell faster and at a higher price, although sales begin to pick up as early as February and start to slack off in July, the slowest month for real estate transactions.

 

 

Understanding Private Mortgage Insurance

by Bill Nelson - Broker

Hopeful Central Coast Buyers applying for a home loan; who aren’t able to put 20 percent down upfront may be hearing their lender talk about Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI. A PMI comes into play when a buyer, unable to come up with a 20 percent down payment, is seen as a risky investment. Instead of simply blocking the borrower from taking out a loan, the lender will require Private Mortgage Insurance to protect the investors.

Typically, the PMI payment is paid monthly along with the overall mortgage payment. While this may seem bleak, for some it is the only way to secure a loan without that pesky 20 percent down payment.

However, just because you have a PMI doesn’t mean you will need to carry it the length of your loan. To get rid of the PMI on the loan, the borrower can contact their lender and ask that it be removed after they pay down enough of principal to cover the 20 percent.

Really trying to avoid that PMI? You could also take out a smaller loan to cover the amount of the 20 percent down, although this usually comes at a higher interest rate.

Understanding the Debt-to-Income Ratio

When applying for a mortgage, your lender will be looking closely at your debt-to-income ratio, also known as a DTI. But what is your DTI? It’s a calculation, and to get it, your lender will be dividing your monthly debt by your monthly income. Let’s look closer.

To start, first add up what you spend each month on the following: mortgage or rent, minimum credit card payments, car loan, student loans, alimony/child support payments, and other loans you may owe. The total amount is what you spend each month on debt.

Next, calculate your monthly income by adding up your yearly: gross income, bonus or overtime, alimony/child support, and any other income. Once you have this amount then divide your yearly income by 12 to determine your monthly income. Now all that’s left is to divide your monthly debt by your monthly income. While the base line changes, the typical ratio of what’s considered to be the healthiest debt load for the majority of people is 43 percent or less.

It’s also important to note that there are two types of DTI ratios: front end and back end. The front end DTI includes your housing-related debts. The back end DTI includes housing-related debts as well as other recurring debt payments (things like student loans, credit cards, child support, etc.).

 

If you would like to be connected to one of our team of lenders simply call us at (805) 462-3700.

Buying a Home When Your Spouse Has Poor Credit

by Bill Nelson

Buying a Central Coast home on two incomes can be difficult enough, and it can be even more demanding if one spouse has poor credit.

A poor credit score can make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage and can lead to a higher interest rate on a home loan. A spouse with poor credit could be left off the loan application entirely, requiring the other person to have a high credit score and a high enough income to afford the loan on their own.

If a spouse with poor credit does qualify for a loan, the lender could require a bigger down payment on the house.

FHA loans, for example, which are backed by the federal government, require a 10 percent down payment with a FICO credit score lower than 580, while a credit score above 580 only requires a 3.5 percent down payment.

A credit score is just part of the financial background a lender looks into. Income and a debt-to-income ratio are also considered, though a high income by itself won’t overcome a poor credit score.

Credit scores range from 500 to 850. A low score of 650 can be a predictor of making late loan payments, while a 550 score means you’re not likely to pay at all.

A couple’s credit scores aren’t averaged together in a home loan application. Lenders will use the lower of the two credit scores. If a husband has a 620 score and the wife has 700, then the lower score will be used in the mortgage application and an interest rate of three-eighths to half a point higher will be charged.

Options for those with poor credit

There are ways to get around one spouse having a low credit score. In the above example, the wife with the 700 credit score can get a home loan if she qualifies on her own.

Both spouses should be listed on the home’s title or deed, but only she would be listed as the borrower. The husband’s name could be added to the deed later when his credit score improves.

Buying a home on one income, however, can be difficult. The best solution is to improve the lower credit score, something that should be done months before applying for a loan.

Just a 10-point credit score improvement by paying down credit cards could be enough to get a better interest rate and can be done quickly.

Even minor credit improvements can take 30 days or more to fix, such as closing all but one credit card. Most fixes can take three to four months to show up on a credit report, so repairs should be made before applying for a loan.

For more information and connection with a Central Coast Lender Call Bill Nelson at (805) 610-8552.

Outdoor Redo Projects Both Valuable Now, and Later

by Bill Nelson- Past President NCAOR®

Remodeling your SLO County home? Add an outdoor redo to the project.

According to a report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), an outdoor renovation can add significant value to a home come resale. The most valuable updates, per the report, are:

• Seeding the Lawn (Reaps 417 percent of its cost)
• Implementing a Standard Lawn Care Program (303 percent)
• Sodding (143 percent)

An outdoor renovation can also up the enjoyment factor—the “Joy Score,” according to the report. The highest project on the Joy Score scale? A pool, though it is one of the least profitable at a 50 percent return-on-investment.

The most appealing projects following a pool, the report found, are an overall landscape upgrade and a new wood deck.

“Realtors® know first hand the importance of curb appeal because when it is time to sell, a home's exterior is its first impression to potential buyers,” says North County Association of Realtors ® Past President Bill Nelson. “Realtors® also know that these projects—from flower beds to fire pits—can bring homeowners who have no plans to sell even more enjoyment and satisfaction in their home.

"Homeowners looking spend money on large, expensive outdoor projects should do it for themselves, for the enjoyment they and their family will gain from the finished results, and not only to improve the value of their home for when they sell,” Nelson cautions. “Smaller projects will bring potential sellers the most value back upon resale—and have the benefit of costing less up front.”

“Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations—whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, rehauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features like patios and exterior fireplaces—can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment,” adds Nelson “Further, that investment is coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7