Weekly Marketing Tip

Get More Clicks

  • Catchy titles that drive people to click are going to be key this year.
  • It is expected that Google is going to better rank pages with titles that get more clicks.
  • When creating content for blogs, social media or your site, create compact content that can catch the eye and create action.

 

FREE App of the Week

IFTTT – (If This Then That) This app allows users to create chains of simple statements called “applets” which are triggered based on changes to other popular apps.  If an event happens (this) in one application, it will trigger an action (that) within another one.  For instance, if someone comments on your WordPress blog you can thank them automatically with an email. If every time you post an image on Instagram it can be automatically uploaded as a Tumblr post. If every time you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, it will automatically save the photo to your iOS Photos.

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Virginia Beach Homes 

 

Buying a Home in Virginia Beach? Do You Know the Lingo?

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? | Keeping Current Matters

Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process. To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.

Freddie Mac has compiled a more exhaustive glossary of terms in their “My Home” section of their website.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is a broader measure of your cost for borrowing money. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay. Because these costs are rolled in, the APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

Appraisal – A professional analysis used to estimate the value of the property. This includes examples of sales of similar properties. This is a necessary step in getting your financing secured as it validates the home’s worth to you and your lender.

Closing Costs – The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.

Credit Score – A number ranging from 350-800, that is based on an analysis of your credit history. Your credit score plays a significant role when securing a mortgage as it helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. The higher your score, the better, but many buyers believe they need at least a 780 score to qualify when, in actuality, over 55% of approved loans had a score below 750.

Discount Points – A point equals 1% of your loan (1 point on a $200,000 loan = $2,000). You can pay points to buy down your mortgage interest rate. It’s essentially an upfront interest payment to lock in a lower rate for your mortgage.

Down Payment – This is a portion of the cost of your home that you pay upfront to secure the purchase of the property. Down payments are typically 3 to 20% of the purchase price of the home. There are zero-down programs available through VA loans for Veterans, as well as USDA loans for rural areas of the country. Eighty percent of first-time buyers put less than 20% down last month.

Escrow – The holding of money or documents by a neutral third party before closing. It can also be an account held by the lender (or servicer) into which a homeowner pays money for taxes and insurance.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages – A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change for the entire term of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are typically 15 or 30 years.

Home Inspection – A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. The inspection should include an evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation and pest infestation.

Mortgage Rate – The interest rate you pay to borrow money to buy your house. The lower the rate, the better. Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have hovered between 4 and 4.25% for most of 2017.

Pre-Approval Letter – A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer. Having a pre-approval letter in hand while shopping for homes can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.

Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If you make a down payment lower than 20% on your conventional loan, your lender will require PMI, typically at a rate of .51%. PMI serves as an added insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage and can be cancelled from your payment once you reach 20% equity in your home. For more information on how PMI can impact your monthly housing cost, click here.

Real Estate Professional – An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. Real estate professionals are there to help you through the confusing paperwork, to help you find your dream home, to negotiate any of the details that come up, and to help make sure that you know exactly what’s going on in the housing market. Real estate professionals can refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers along with other specialists that you will need throughout the home-buying process.

Source

Virginia Beach Homes

5 Frightfully Fast Halloween Decorations

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Between planning Halloween costumes and buying candy for trick-or-treaters, it can be tough to squeeze the creation of super crafty Halloween décor into your schedule, too. Don’t be scared of winding up with the least decorated house on the block – we’ve got you covered!

Here are five no-hassle Halloween decorations you can make in five minutes flat:

1. No-Carve Mummy Pumpkin

Materials: medical gauze, googly eyes, scissors and spray adhesive

This year, skip the knives and transform your pumpkin into an easy-to-make mummy. Wrap gauze (cheesecloth or toilet paper work, too) around your pumpkin, pop some googly eyes on it, and that’s it! Tip: To help the gauze stick, give the pumpkin a quick coating with the spray adhesive between each mummy layer.

2. Acorn Pumpkins

Materials: acorns, orange acrylic paint, paint brushes and a fine-tipped permanent marker

This project is great for kids! Send your little ones out into your yard to gather acorns. Once you have a nice collection of acorns, remove all of the tops. Now it’s pumpkin time! First, paint the acorns orange and let them dry completely. Then, use the marker to draw jack-o-lantern faces on the acorns. You’re done! Place them throughout your home for some finishing touches on a Halloween display.

3. Bleeding Candles

Materials: a set of tall, white candlesticks, and one small, red candlestick

Cast a creepy glow over any room with this twist on regular candles. With a little red wax, you can give the illusion that your candlesticks are dripping blood. Place the white candlesticks in holders, and light the red candle. As the red candle wax begins to melt, tip it over the white candles. When the red “blood” will drip down the sides of the white candlesticks. Tip: Prevent a Halloween disaster by doing this over a kitchen sink or outside, and be careful not to burn yourself!

4. Glow-in-the-Dark Ghosts

Materials: white balloons, a permanent marker and a few green glow sticks

Want a last-minute, frightfully fun door decoration? First, crack and shake a few green glow sticks so they’re lit up, and then put them inside of the white balloons. Blow up the balloons and tie them closed. Then, carefully draw ghost faces with your permanent marker. Attach the glowing ghosts to your front door or tie the ends with a string to hang them from your porch railing.

5. Candy Corn Centerpiece

Materials: one glass jar or vase, flowers or lollipops and a bag of candy corn

Is something missing from your dinner table – say perhaps, a perfect (and effortless) Halloween centerpiece? Dump the candy corn into the jar or vase, then add fall flowers or lollipops to the candy to secure them in place. Tip: You don’t have to use candy corn for this! Ghost-shaped Peeps, black licorice and gumballs all work well.

Source

Virginia Beach Real Estate

 

Weekly Marketing Tip

Twitter Tips

  • Tweet tips about moving and selling
  • Tweet local news and follow local companies/news channels to get more content to tweet or retweet
  • Tweet questions and use relevant hashtags to get noticed:

What’s the best thing about moving to a new home? #moving #newhome #virginiabeach

What would your ideal kitchen look like? #kitchens #dreamhome #newhome

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FREE App of the Week

Work Time- Not just a clock, Work Time is your second screen. The time, date, calendar, your schedule of upcoming events, and current weather conditions all at one glance. Insanely easy to use and great for the busy agent.

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Virginia Beach Homes

The Top 5 Causes of Clutter (And How to Prevent It)

Fact: A cluttered home means a messy home. Even worse, clutter can significantly contribute to our overall stress levels. As Peter Walsh, a professional organizer and writer, once said, “Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.”

But what exactly creates clutter in the first place, and what can we do to prevent it?

Here are five common causes of clutter, paired with easy solutions for change:

1. Recreational Shopping

We’ve all been guilty of buying a thing or two we don’t need – so much so, that this habit is the number one culprit of clutter in the home!

Solution: Stay out of stores and shopping malls unless you absolutely need to buy something. Before you go, look through your closet to remind yourself of what you already own. Do you really need another gray cardigan or pair of black flats?

2. “Clutter Creep” Throughout the Week

You start Monday morning with a clean house, only to be left with a messy disaster on Friday afternoon.

Solution: Don’t go to sleep during the week with a cluttered home. Before bed each night, pick up at least five things and put them in their place. By the end of the week, your home will be a lot more organized.

3. Emotional Attachment

Some items – like priceless family photos – should be cherished and held onto forever. Other items – like that surfboard keychain from Mexico – could be causing clutter in your home.

Solution: We’re not saying you should toss everything from your beach vacation in Mexico ten years ago, but there are likely a few things in your home you may be unnecessarily holding onto for sentimental reasons.

How can you decide what to keep? Ask yourself this question: “If I lost it by mistake, would I really care, or could I even possibly be glad?”

4. Letting Junk Mail Linger

It’s all too easy to bring in the mail only to open it, set it aside, and leave it in a messy pile for the next week.

Solution: Take care of mail as soon as you bring it in. Recycle anything that needs to be recycled, and file any bills immediately. Use PaperKarma to stop junk mail for good. Then, create a fun mail holder with a basket or upcycled coffee can so it always has a place to go.

5. Keeping What You Never Use

Whether it’s that kitchen gadget you ordered from a late night infomercial or that label maker from 1995, it’s easy to collect useless items year after year. It’s time to start letting them go!

Solution: Do a monthly purge of 15 unwanted or unused items. Go throughout your entire house and choose 15 things that you no longer use or want. If you haven’t used the belonging in the past year or if it is no longer functional, toss or donate it.

Source

Virginia Beach Homes

How Do Rising Prices Impact Your Home Equity?

Over the next five years, home prices will appreciate 3.5% per year on average, and cumulatively will grow by around 18%.

So what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

For example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January of this year. If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity would they earn over the next 5 years?

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Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.5% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained over $11,000 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by over $46,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Source

Virginia Beach Homes