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Quarantine Chronicles: What Home Buyers and Sellers Can Do

Hello and welcome to hands down one of the weirdest times featuring the infamous COVID-19 along with lots social distancing and quarantining with family or by yourself. Every profession is learning to adjust and transition the way we do work by moving more digitally and enhancing relationships virtually. For some real estate buyers and sellers, you may think that these quarantimes is putting everything on pause, but I don’t find that to be the case. This time can be utilized as an opportunity for reflection for buyers and preparation for sellers.

We’ve got lots of time out our hands to scroll through Facebook and binge through Netflix shows (I mean Tiger King had me SHOOK), but let’s use it for something productive as well. Whether you’re buying or selling, I’ve got a couple of items you can handle now before life hits us even faster later on.

THINKING ABOUT BUYING A HOME?

Get with your agent. Well duh! This is a great time to build a relationship with your real estate agent and let them know that you’re ready to buy. You can discuss the type of home you are looking for, wish list items and really start narrowing down what you’re wanting in a home.

Think about that money. Your agent can set you up with a great lender, so use this opportunity to see what you want your monthly mortgage payments to look like. Set up a monthly budget. This can help narrow in your price range when house hunting. It’s also a great time to speak with your agent and lender about down payments and closing costs so fees don’t hit you in the face later on.

Narrow down your wants and needs. With all this time you now have, truly figure out what you want and what you need in a home. Yes… there’s a difference! Do you need a big yard for a growing family or your cute little pup? These are priorities that you an get in line before you start looking after the quarantimes. Just be sure you’re making a list of what is a priority and what may not be.

Research areas and school districts. Hey, school districts and location may not matter to you right now, but it’s good to start researching potential schools or drive by certain areas. This can save you and your agent so much time in the long run. You doing this extra homework helps!

THINKING ABOUT SELLING A HOME?

Declutter. Take spring cleaning to a whole new level and really clean out those toy bins or junk drawers hidden throughout your home. As your agent, I want your place to look clean and make it easy for a potential buyer to see themselves living in it without jumping through mess and junk everywhere.

Landscape. No, don’t run to Lowe’s with all the other people. Get a little dirt therapy in your system and weed your flower beds or clean up around the exterior of your home. Curb appeal is EVERYTHING!

Give it another eye. Walk through your home with a new lens. Think about coming in as a first time home buyer and take note of little items that could use a little love or upgrading in your home. While it may work for you now, it probably won’t for others. I’m not saying completely repaint your whole home or replace appliances. What I’m talking about is painting over that scrape on the wall or caulking in that opening from humidity. These little projects make a big difference over time and right now all you have is time.

Keep it cute. Yes, you’re decluttering, but don’t forget that buyers like a staged home. You don’t have to go out and buy all this new decor. Use what you have! Take down those family photos, play around with furniture and make the home flow from the front door to the back of the house. You’ll want these buyers to imagine themselves in your home. Make it welcoming!

Plan for what’s next. Where are you going? Do you already have an idea of a house you want? Let your listing agent know, so they can keep an eye out. Want to build? Your agent can help you find land and a builder. Your home could sell quicker than you think, so take this time to figure out a plan for the next step.

Although we all seem to be at a pause and standstill in life right now, this is a great time to prepare. Prepare to buy, prepare to list and prepare with your agent!

Featured

Preparing for your Custom Cabinetry

New, new, new! Whether it’s a new build or a remodel, custom cabinetry is typically part of the process. When it comes to cabinetry none of it is simple but it also doesn’t have to be complicated. Seeing as I just went through this tumultuous process, I wanted to share some of my pains, tips and things you don’t want to forget!

When it comes to cabinetry you’re main priorities are fitting in your appliances and leaving a little bit of rooms for storage. Some people may want simplicity and not need much storage while others may be the entertainer of the century and need rooms for platters, decanters and more. At the end of the day, though, what really is the most important is the space you’re allotted and the creativity of you and your cabinetry company.

Creativity – This is where Pinterest became my best friend! First of all, did you know you can save folders within boards? GAME CHANGER!! I pulled different aspects that I like in kitchen cabinets and created my own little vision board to showcase specifically what I was looking for and what was a priority for me.

Cabinetry Company – You’re likely going to meet with multiple companies (I recommend a minimum of three) to get quotes and see what they can envision as well. I met with about four companies and ended up going with the one that wanted to help me create my vision. You need to find someone that finds solutions for your wants and needs in cabinetry and makes it work! For example, I really wanted a wine fridge in my cabinetry and understood it was such a tiny space… but I finally found a company that helped me make it work for my area.

Let’s think about your wants and needs when it comes to cabinetry. Some add ins and necessities to keep in mind.

What are your cabinetry needs?

  • Room for appliances 
    • Stove – Are you doing a slide in or separate package units?
    • Dishwasher – Want it close to sink!
    • Microwave – Are you doing a vent hood microwave? Lower Cabinet? Drawer?
    • Refrigerator – Is it attached to cabinetry or not?
  • Pots and pans drawers – Trust me… you need some deep drawers near your stove!
  • Flatware and Utensil Drawers – Necessary!
  • Dish towel and oven mitt drawer – Need!
  • Spice Cabinet – So many alternatives for this with a vertical pullout near the stove or a drawer style. Don’t take this for granted – it is important.

What are your cabinetry wants?

  • Soft close hinges – It’s not necessary but people do LOVE these! They can also save from scuffing up cabinets from slamming the doors shut.
  • Cookie Sheet/Cutting Board Storage – Gives easier access and is a great use of space.
  • Hidden Trash Can – Don’t care if your trash can is seen? Then forget this. But if you do, these are a fantastic way to hide your trash!
  • Under Lighting – You may want room for hidden lighting above your countertops. It can REALLY brighten up the space.
  • Upper Cabinet Space – Do you want your cabinetry to go all the way to the ceiling or do you want a display area? I personally like more storage to keep all of my entertaining pieces close or candles near.
  • Wine Rack or wine fridge – You may have room above refrigerator for a wine rack or an end corner for a wine fridge. My big thoughts on this – go ahead and add something like this in so you don’t get one year down the road, wish you would have added it and then it looks like an afterthought next to your beautiful custom cabinetry.
  • Drawers within Shelves – These are a big plus when I show homes! Being able to pull out drawers once you open up cabinetry doors help you see EVERYTHING in that cabinet.

Wanting an example for a small space with an open floor plan? Here’s a look at mine! One bit I have from my cabinetry selections was to add the shaker doors to the front facing portion (back end of cabinets). I have one hidden storage spot but didn’t want there to be one odd door, so the company matched with false shaker doors. Big fan!

Kitchen Cabinetry 1


These cabinetry necessities are just a scratch on the surface for what you may want in your kitchen. Would love to hear what you love in your cabinetry or what you wish you would have added.

 

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The Dollhouse is Looking… Livable!

Livable. The Dollhouse is looking like it is L I V A B L E! This is big because for a minute there it looked like the interior would never come to this point. The floors are pretty and stained, cabinetry painted and countertops are installed. We are getting there and I have a countdown for move in day… but we all know that number changes on the daily.

Since the last time I updated you, we were just getting ready for cabinetry and a lot has happened since then. Here’s a breakdown of the big happenings in The Dollhouse and some ups and downs that came along with it.

CABINETRY

To say I love my cabinetry is an understatement! I designed to fit everything I wanted in it from my wine fridge to a hidden trash compartment. I did the installation solo – my amazing mom and dad have come to a lot of installations with me because they’ve done this a time or two and I value their opinion more than anything else! Everything was installed perfectly, but there are some notes/tips I have for first time cabinetry peeps:

  • It won’t all align perfectly. The cabinetry people install doors and drawers but will come back after it is all painted to make sure they’re even and balanced. They know that with painters the doors and drawers will be taken off and put back on so they come back to make sure it looks perfect. I did not know such a thing and was like what is this!!!!  With a quick call to my parents they informed me this is very normal, but for most people doing this the first time it’s not so obvious. The more ya know!
  • Think about your crown molding. You may want the crown molding to line through the top cabinetry to have a flow throughout the room. This isn’t a huge ordeal, but something to think about and keep in mind.

It’s funny that I thought designing the cabinetry was the hard stuff because picking a paint color was even harder! From the beginning I have been dead set on painting my cabinetry green. Not Nolan Green (those that know my family know this is a thing – my parents have everything a particular green at the ranch), but a very jewel-toned, Wizard of Oz Emerald Green.

How did I choose? We did a couple of dry samples of papers and held them up against the cabinetry to help me really visualize the colors. This came with some picking and choosing but I went with Sherwin Williams Ivy League paint color and it DELIVERED! 

Once the color was picked, it took two full coats and some extra time to dry, but the end result was WORTH IT! Going with a bold cabinetry color was always the game plan for me and the green choice was something that I didn’t second guess for over two months (which seemed good enough for all the other back and forth decisions I’ve made). I’m so happy this was the color I went with and just see how bold it looks!

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COUNTERTOPS

Initially, I thought this would be a much simpler option than it was. After gathering bids and comparing quartz versus granite, my choices kept getting slimmer and slimmer with the budget I needed to stick around. I really had to sit and take into account that my vibrant green cabinets and future black and white floor tiles didn’t need a crazy countertop to compete with. I wanted simple and clean, but that’s not necessarily what comes to mind with granite so after lots of looking and online searching, I decided that quartz was my answer.

With some major search by Tim Fielden at Simply Floors and Lights in Gilmer (shop local, y’all!), we found the PERFECT plain, beautiful and simple white quartz countertop called Zen White. I really thought I wanted the calcutta quartz countertops or even the gray granite, but there was just too much movement going on in the countertops to give attention to all the other features I was adding in my kitchen.

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REFINISHING ORIGINAL HARDWOOD FLOORS

This was the TOUGHEST OF THEM ALL!! I am so lucky to have original hardwood floors in the majority of my home and knew from the get go that these would need to be refinished. This is basically one of the last big steps in the remodel process. The original flooring had a very multi-colored effect and you could see in other rooms where previous owners have tried to stain on top of previous stains. It was time for these floors to have a fresh start!

This all started with sanding the floors down which took about two days, picking a stain and being kicked out from peaking at those beautiful floors so they could finish for 3 days. The most challenging part of refinishing these floors for me was the stain color. I looked at an online deck and my refinishing guy put down samples to choose from. I looked at the floor stain options at night and in the daytime to see it differently with lighting.

While the pictures don’t quite do the floor the justice they deserve, I ended up choosing Walnut (middle option on bottom row). Funny enough, that’s the color I originally chose from the stain deck before event seeing it on the floor – stick with you gut kiddos!

While a lot of people will recommend to not go darker, with everything going on in my home from the green cabinets to the potential decor, there has to be dimension to break it up with the flooring.

I patiently waited over the weekend and didn’t even PEAK through windows to see the flooring. I’m so please with how they turned out, especially against my cabinetry. I wanted a very warm vibe and it’s just that!

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I really want to say thank you to everyone that has been so invested in the remodel of my little Dollhouse! I feel like people get just as excited about the littlest updates as I do and that really means the world. There’s so much more to come with finishing up my light fixtures, tile installation and closet completions. Thanks for following along!

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Bethany’s 12 Books of 2019

Another year, another opportunity to try and get back to my old bookworm ways! For 2019, I have decided to know my strengths and my weaknesses and chose to maintain the same goal from 2018 (read about it here) – which is to read 12 books throughout the year. Now when I say read… I mean listen. Ya girl over will fall asleep reading a book, so Audible has become my best friend! While it sounds like it would be simple for me to read *listen* to one book per month, that’s actually a tough one for me. I typically squeeze books in when I’m traveling or driving long distances and use that as an opportunity to dive into a book. Listening in segments on and off just doesn’t work for me.

For 2019, I am proud to say that I have completed 12 books… yes 12!! That’s big because this is accomplishing my reading goal two years in a row. It really is a big accomplishment for me to take time to lose myself in a book to help either build me professionally OR just give myself a break and enjoy a good story. When it comes to my reading selections, I try to rotate between professional and personal development and a some fun reads between.

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Below I’m breaking down some of my top reads of 2019:

The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines

Big Fixer Upper fan girl over here, but this book is so much more than a high level look at the life of Chip and Joanna. First of all, I love that they both told their story of how they got where they are now from both of their individual perspectives and what they’re proud of and not so proud of. They really dug into the struggles of buying and flipping with all the risks and how long it took them to get to the rewards. Highly recommend this read whether you’re in real estate or not!

The 10X Rules: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

It’s all about reaching extreme success! Grant Cardone is a LOT to take in when you first start following along, but he’s not just here to tell you how to reach a goals, he’s here to to tell you how to go 10X above that goal. This book dives into how to be crazy with your goals and dreams not just yearly or monthly but DAILY. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “If competition is healthy domination is elimination.” Now that one will make you think and the whole book really makes you sit back and go well okay I’m obviously not doing enough… let’s level up!

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

A little disappointed I haven’t jumped on the Gary Vaynerchuk train until right now. Like get it together, BETHANY! I’ve always seen his videos and TikToks here and there but didn’t realize that he is a wealth of knowledge and seriously gives it out basically for free online and gives great guides on how to be successful in both of his books (both are FANTASTIC reads). I read these out of order, but both books are insanely useful. This specific book is more of a high level look at his success and what he did to get there. What I love the most is that it doesn’t matter what you want to do, he will open your mind and eyes to create a way to be the best at it. Want to do garage sales and flip items? He’s got you covered! Follow him on all of his social channels because he’s seriously just throwing out advice to make you a success. Quick and easy read!

The Altman Close: Million-Dollar Negotiating Tactics from America’s Top-Selling Real Estate Agent by Josh Altman

This book is Josh Altman’s most recent release that came out in 2019. I’ve always enjoyed watching him on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and always find it useful to learn from other real estate agents that are on such a level as his. What I liked to learn about was his beginning was very calculated even when he thought it wasn’t. He started in mortgage lending while his brother in talent management for sports that eventually led them to real estate and high end clients from previous careers.

I also enjoy his confidence. There’s a certain fine line between being confident and arrogant and he crosses them all the time, but he uses these at his advantage in real estate. It’s a good read… but I do wish he would have done the narrations in the audiobook. Could have followed along a little easier!

Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

So I kind of did this one backwards, but I love a good book that transforms into a movie! Honestly, it was just a really good read and fascinating story to follow along, but there were still some little takeaways. What I loved about this book is Molly Bloom’s character and let me tell you… this lady is LOYAL! She’s always thinking ahead to the next step and respects her clientele enough to never reveal any information and still to this day hasn’t!   

The other books I read in 2019 include:


 

If you’re more of an Audible reader like me, I’m giving you a special promo for an Audible membership here. You may think getting a membership is overrated, but I love it because it holds me accountable each month to use my book credit and purchase a book to read along. It does roll over with credits each month if you don’t use it as well!

Looking forward at my 2020 goals specifically around reading, I’m pushing myself to up my goal from 12 books to 20. I plan to read 20 books in 2020! Have any books you loved or are excited to read? Share with me and I’ll add it to my list!

 

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Common Misconceptions of First Time Home Buyers

Daunting, overwhelming and terrifying. Exciting, thrilling and blood-tingling! That’s exactly what home buying can feel like for a first time home buyer. It can be a roller coaster of emotions throughout the process of purchasing or even thinking to purchase. I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt to live and tell the tale. I’ve also help a LOT of first time home buyers in this process as well and I have heard all the questions and misconceptions of home buying. One thing I always try to emphasize to my buyers is that no questions is stupid. Not one!

As always, I want to be a resource for my sweet first time home buyers, but I also think it’s important for anyone thinking about buying to know what is even possible!  I’ve pulled together common misconceptions that first time home buyers to help you or even a close friend or family member to see what’s possible with first time buyers.

Real Estate Home Selling Social Media Graphic

Common Misconceptions for First Time Home Buyers

I can’t afford to buy a house!

You don’t know that yet! This is why it’s great to meet with a mortgage loan officer or your local bank to explore ALL options. You may actually be ready or they can help create a timeline and program to get you on track whether it’s increasing cash flow/assets or building credit.

I’ll save more money if I rent. 

Want to hear something W I L D? ! A lot of first time homebuyers end up having mortgages that are LESS than what their rent was costing them. Crazy! While you’re thinking you save on repairs and upkeep on the home, you’re still toward someone else home and not you own. Why not pay toward your own dream? I need to have a 20% in cash for a downpayment! 

No one is asking you to liquidate all your cash monayyy! There are so many great loan programs like FHA and USDA loans that require very little (like 3.5% down) or zero down if you’re in a rural area. FHA loans are fantastic for first time home buyers and great lenders can also find grants to help assist in closing costs.

If you’re in the military or a veteran, you can also look into VA loans where they will take 0 down. There are programs for E V E R Y O N E!

I need to have perfect credit! 

Your credit needs to be good, yes. But it doesn’t have to be PERFECT! While credit scores can effect your interest rate, there are many ways that lenders can find the right loan program or ways to build up your credit quickly to prepare you to purchase YOUR own home.

I need to have a job for 2 years before I can buy a home! 

Not going to lie, I always thought this as well. While this does pertain for self-employed people to show a complete history, salaried people have a different set of rules. Sometimes all you need is a letter from your workplace with your salary and some pay stubs.

I can’t afford repairs. 

Ever heard of a home warranty? I try to always get my buyers a home warranty that covers repairs on AC units and other appliances in their home. While home warranties don’t cover everything, they do help pay toward some larger expenses. All you have to do with a home warranty with pay an upfront fee that could range from $60-75 per visit from contractor sent to repair items. These home warranties can basically pay for themselves over time.

I don’t bring in enough money. 

You don’t have to be raking in the dough to buy a home, you just need to be consistently making money! You Realtor and lender will help guide you on budgeting and staying within your limits on what you can afford, but never assume what you cannot do.

I need to find the home before I get approved for a loan. 

WRONG!!! I typically won’t even show a client a home until they’re approved for their loan. Here’s why: I hate to take a client into a home, they fall in love and then come to find out… they can’t get approved for a loan to purchase the property. That’s a bummer and then the buyer is stuck on that one home and it really sours the rest of the house hunting experience. Getting with a Realtor first is a great game plan and we can then guide you to the right lender for what you’re needing. After you get all your ducks in a row with the lender, it is then time to find the home!

I need to purchase a price at the high end of what I am approved for.

Not quite. You need to purchase a property that keeps you living within your means! This is why it’s important to start the home buying process with a budget in mind – you need to know what you can afford in a mortgage and utility payments. Just because you’re told you’re approved for a $400,000 loan, it doesn’t mean you have to go near there. No one wants to be house poor.


Buying a home has enough what ifs, so don’t let all of these misconceptions scare you away from pushing toward your dream of home ownership. As always, a handy perfect Realtor like me is a great FIRST STEP in the home buying process. I help guide you on all of the next steps and how we make YOU a HOME OWNER!

Featured

Nolan Earns Luxury Home Designation

In everything I’ve done, I’ve always put education at the forefront. To me, knowledge is POWER! From obtaining a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) in Agricultural Communications and Journalism to a Master of Science from Texas Tech University in Agricultural Communications, I’ve always pushed myself to be an expert in my field and that in doing so means continually learning. I made a goal at the beginning of this year to obtain up to two designations in 2019 in order to expand my knowledge in the real estate world. Last January, I received the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) to help make me your ultimate home buying expert, but I didn’t stop there!

Earlier this fall, I decided to better my understanding and expertise for my luxury clientele and received the Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) Designation. I am now among the elite agents in not just the state of Texas, but the county that specialize in the luxury real estate market.

So, what does it even take to receive this designation? I completed coursework that focused on luxury clientele and marketing of unique high end properties. I also had to meet a minimum sales requirement showing that I had sold multiple properties that were double the median price range for the East Texas area,  In a nutshell that means that if the median price in East Texas for homes was close to $200,000, my sales of luxury homes would qualify as $400,000 and above. Being a part of the Luxury Home Council is also a major benefit of gaining this designation, as it gives me access to luxury and exclusive listings for buyers and the ability feature my seller’s properties on their websites, as well as an extensive of list serves on top of all of the marketing a typical agent does.

Here’s what I gained from this designation:

  • Local and global marketing of upscale properties.
  • Understanding special demands of affluent clients.
  • Training and expertise in the luxury home marketplace.

I am proud and honored to join this elite group of real estate agents and strive to continually serve my clientele with my understanding of the demands of luxury buyers and sellers. Your home  is special, shouldn’t your agent be? 

The next time you’re looking to buy or sell a home, know that I am your trusted agent! You can always contact me at bethanybreannenolan@gmail.com or (903) 738-8858.

ALHS

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2019 Cyber Monday: Homeowner Edition

Christmas is HERE! The trees are up, I’ve got Mariah Carey blaring in the background and it’s time to get a little shopppppping done. If you read my 2019 Black Friday: Homeowners Edition blog, there were lots of great deals in-store, but now it’s all about what you can get online and dropped off right at your doorstep!

As I’ve previously noted, I’m trying to fill up a new house with just about everything! On Black Friday I purchased my iRobot vacuum, TVs, mounts and more – so all the BIG STUFF! For Cyber Monday, it’s time for me to find all the little goodies from wine glasses to smart home accessories. I’m on another level this year with lists and Pinterest boards to keep me on track. For all of you out shopping for Cyber Monday goodies, I’m going to make this easy and pull all the top finds and codes so you can purchase at the click of a finger with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand! Happy shopping!

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||AMAZON||

81ilNbqaGWL._SL1500_-2  51CgKGfMelL._SL1000_  71TzCLRzYAL._SL1500_  51wdEx4mFkL._SL1000_  81DcDxh0yfL._SL1500_  61LsIsx9kFL._SL1000_  Instant Pot  Ring lighting GUEST_a755f810-5a36-461a-9102-2e981f79543b


|| BATH & BODY WORKS||

40% OFF SITEWIDE PLUS FREE SHIPPING ON $40 PURCHASES

Stocking up on all of my Bath & Body Works favorites for my new place! Big fan of the Champagne Toast 3 Wicks candles and Stress Free Aromatherapy lotion. Also love buying all of the wallflowers to have for days!!

USE THE CODE: CYBERDAY


|| POTTERY BARN||

25% OFF PLUS FREE SHIPPING

UP TO 70% OFF SITEWIDE

cozy-pom-pom-throw-1-o mango-wood-handled-cheese-board-paddle-o white-marble-glass-domed-cheese-board-o  velvet-tufted-quilt-shams-stormy-blue-o

USE CODE: CYBER


|| CRATE & BARREL||

20% OFF SITEWIDE  & 30% OFF HOLIDAY + FREE SHIPPING

images.crateandbarrel.com camille nesting marbles

USE CODE: SAVE20


|| BED BATH & BEYOND||

SPEND $300 ONLINE AND RECEIVE $100 IN MY FUND REWARDS

116523161083295p  81DcDxh0yfL._SL1500_  306580260800343p


|| OVERSTOCK||

70% OFF THOUSANDS OF ITEMS

EXTRA 20% OFF SELECT FURNITURE, RUGS, DECOR AND MORE!

 Desk  Carson-Carrington-Bodo-Mid-century-Modern-2-drawer-Nightstand-f7a3cc16-f0f9-4aa2-bc2e-8e02aa1fffc1_1000Simple-Living-Margo-Mid-Century-3-Shelf-Bookshelf-59.5-h-x-36-w-x-11.8-d-082c277d-e7a5-4546-9dc7-291c5c05f0dc_600  


|| WILLIAMS SONOMA||

10% OFF $50 OR MORE

15% OFF $100 OR MORE

20% OFF $200 OR MORE

25% OFF $500 OR MORE

  • Coravin – 30% off of products. These are rarely at a discounted price and are great for the wine connoisseurs!
  • Goldtouch NonStick Bakeware Set – Always loved these sets of bakeware and great price for a 15 piece set at $224.96 for ones that LAST!
  • Le Crueset Dutch Oven – Love the set in white. Great deal for a discount on fantastic cookware.

caroavin gold touch le c 

USE CODE: SAVEMORE


||TARGET||

  • 6 QT Instant Pot – $49.99 at lowest price I’ve seen! Other stores are price matching, too!
  • KitchenAid Mixer – Larger mixer with $100+ off at $239.
  • 2 QT Air Fryer– Just bought this air fryer during Black Friday! Only $40 for this this healthy alternative.

6833115d-5c6d-4682-9f26-f2fa67a4438b_2.a2bad59a8c23e099cf04c31f7ee6b162 KitchenAidair fryer  


||JOSS AND MAIN||

UP TO 80% OFF RUGS, CHAIRS AND MORE

I’ve been eyeing this recessed medicine cabinet and this gold exterior light fixture. Lots of great choices!

Cotswald+16+x+25+Recessed+Frameless+Medicine+Cabinet+with+3+Adjustable+Shelves  Kaylie+Elroy+Outdoor+Wall+Lantern


 

Happy shopping!!

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2019 Best of Black Friday Sales: Homeowner Edition

Today is a day to give thanks and gratitude! It’s also a day when people go CRAZAYYY for some deals and steals on what we all call Black Friday. Here’s the honest truth, I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper. Rushing to grab an item and the thrill of the shopping just never appealed to me, but now it does. Being a new homeowner means I need to fill up my home with lots of goodies like TVs, vacuums and lots of cooking utensils and appliances. So you can say that this year, I’m going to be a part of the Black Friday craziness!

There are a lot of great posts with overviews on Black Friday shopping, but I’m narrowing this down with the homeowner in mind. Whether you’ve recently bought a home, have been a homeowner for a minute or are just thinking about purchasing a home, these are ALL good finds!

|| WALMART ||

  • iRobot Vaccum – It’s under $200!! This is my number one buy!
  • Instant Pot – B E S T   F I N D!! It’s $49 and you better grab it before it’s gone because it doesn’t get much lower than that!
  • Samsung Smart TVs (up to $50 in savings) – I’ll be purchasing the 50″ Smart TV to put in my home – it’s only $277!
  • TV Mount – Not your typical Black Friday find, but gotta save where you can!
  • Arlo Security Cameras– Saving $70 on a three camera system. My parents LOVE their Arlos and can pull up the system from an app on their phone with email alerts.
  • Keurig – Another low price at $40 and perfect for you coffee lovers!

 

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Walmart’s Black Friday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day at 6PM in stores.


|| SAM’S CLUB ||

  • Bamboo Pillows – Save $4 on already low priced pillow sets! They’re only $10.
  • Gas Fire Table – Great for backyard to keep you warm in the winter and $50 in savings.
  • Serta Mattress – Savings of up to $100 on Full/Queen Mattress or savings of up to $200 for King/California King.
  • Ninja Blender and Cups – Great blender for under $100.

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Sam’s Club Black Friday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day at 7AM in stores and last through December 1.


||TARGET||

  • Google Home Mini – Only $19, so that a $30 SAVING! 
  • Amazon Echo – You’re getting about 40% in savings on this bad boy.
  • Serta Air Mattress – These are just good to have for extra guests… always! Only $50.
  • 12 LB Weighted Blanket – This just sounds amazing and I’ve had my eye on it for a minute! Love the ivory choice.
  • Nest Thermostat– ON MY LIST!! These never go on sale and I love that I can control the AC from my cell phone!
  • Rubbermaid Storage Containers – We all could use more storage containers and these are the best. They’re $7.99 Y’ALL!

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Target’s Black Friday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day at 5PM in stores and doors close at 1AM on Friday and reopen at 7AM Friday. 


|| BEST BUY||

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Best Buy’s Black Friday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day at 5PM in stores and doors close at 1AM on Friday and reopen at 8AM Friday. 


|| BED, BATH & BEYOND||

Big deal of the day is 25% OFF in-store all day!

I’ll probably be buying some sheets and bathroom necessities like mats and more with that discount!

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Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Black Friday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day at 5PM in stores and doors close at Midnight. 


|| AMAZON||

  • Amazon Smart Plug – $4.99 bundled with purchases. I try to buy these overtime I see them $20 off. Great for Christmas trees, lamps or outdoor lights!
  • Echo Dot – Drops down to $22 for Black Friday. Love listening to my podcasts and making notes on my phone while I get ready with mine!
  • Schlage Smart Deadbolt– Big fan of this at my parent’s AirBNB! You can control it with your phone AND it’s compatible with Alexa.
  • Fire TV Stick – Great to take along with you when traveling and easy to hook up to TVs.
  • Ring Peephole Cam with Echo Show 5– New product that pairs perfectly with Ring Doorbell. Super cool!

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Happy shopping to you! Let me know what you’re buying this Black Friday! 

Featured

Progress Is…. Progress!

I’m going to say the understatement of the year and it’s that my family has been just a littttttle busy this fall! From having the most beautiful Yamboree Queen (my little sister) at our hometown festival and then running all over for events with our Hereford Association to Fighting Texas Aggie football games, my weekends that are typically my open time to work on my home have been BOOKED! 

Since the last time you had an opportunity to look at my little Dollhouse, it was just vacant and ready for DEMO!! Now we’ve completely gutted the place, changed my ideas here and there and have gotten moving with lots of different things! It was so fun to tear down all the fabric wallpaper and old walls to find all of the wood planks hidden behind. I know a TON of people would leave those wood planks raw and show them to the world but they’re just too wide for my taste and I promise the end result with be worth it! Ya girl over here needs her home to have some insulation and that has to go behind those planks.

So what have we done since the gut job? Here’s a little lowdown:

Foundation: When I bought this cutie of a home I knew that it wasn’t the most level space so getting my pier and beam foundation leveled was priority numero uno before I had any big work done. Luckily, this was an easy fix and Benchmark Foundation came in while I was booked during Yamboree to get it DONE! 

Carpentry: A little carpentry work has made its way in. After the wall between the kitchen and dining was destroyed we waited for the carpenters to come in to install a beam between those rooms and frame up my master closet and the refrigerator area. It was my lucky day when they came because I didn’t need a beam so now it feels like one OPEN space!! The carpenters still came in, though, to frame up room in my closet, close in one of my FIVE exterior doors that was in my master bedroom and more.

Plumbing: Plumbers came in and replaced cast iron and have moved my lines for my refrigerator  (was in where the original kitchen wall was and is now on a separate wall) and washer/dryer combo (was in the kitchen and is now in my master closet). They’ve also been busy, busy taking out all o the cast iron plumbing and replacing it throughout my kitchen and bathroom area.

Electricity: My electrician’s crew is in the works on putting some updates throughout my home – I am very lucky and a majority of the electrical work was updated before I moved in which is not typical for most 1930s homes… that’s what I thought. They actually had to come in and replace just about everything due to it not being correct with different sized wires. People – this is why you do it right from the beginning and hire the professionals! Since it is an older home, I’m also moving around some light switches (they’re in the oddest places) and plugs throughout the home. Most of the plugs are in my baseboards and we are replacing all of those, so the plugs are being pushed up a little and some will even have the USB capability.

Cabinetry: With what seems like it’s been an eternity, we have FINALIZED my cabinetry. I mean I knew I was picky, but WOW! Since I’m working with such a small space, I wanted to ensure I was utilizing every space I could with the cabinetry I am putting in my kitchen. After quite a bit of back and forth we are done and it will be built in the next 2-3 weeks. I’ve realized that what I thought was necessary in cabinetry sometimes isn’t, but I’m still getting room for my wine fridge and trash compartment because those are the little things that make me happy!

Insulation: Once the electrical was complete, insulation was inserted between the wooden boards and brick on all the the exterior walls and throughout my attic area. This will ensure I am warm in the winter and cool in the summers and is SO WORTH IT to get done while I’m down with the bare bones of the house.

Drywall: After insulation was put in, my drywall came in and now I have walls!! It was such an odd experience to walk in the house from being used to the wooden walls to having actual walls and seeing my vision of the home come to life. Big fan!!

A lot has already been completed, but here’s whats next on my list for December: 

  • Tape, bed and texture: I’ll have some guys come in to tape, bed and texture the walls in the home. Once this is complete, it will be paint time!
  • Base boards: The carpenter will add in my new baseboard (trying to keep the original sizes).
  • Paint: Planning to paint the interior of the home with a light gray on the walls and white on all of my trim and the exterior of the home white.
  • Cabinetry: Installation of cabinetry for my kitchen, pantry and bathroom will be put into place. They will then be painted a super fun and funky green color. I promise it’s going to look GREAT!
  • Refinishing hardwoods: My original hardwoods are BEAUTIFUL and I could not be more excited to have them in my home. Unfortunately, they’re all a semi-different color in each room so we plan to refinish those as well to make it uniform. I mean – might as well while we’re working on it!

Hope you’re enjoying following along! A lot of work has been done but there’s still more to come!

Featured

A Little Before Action

It’s flippin’ happening! Get it?! Ha! Demo is in full swing and no time is being wasted on my watch! I closed on a Tuesday and from there I’ve been rocking and rolling. Over the next week, up until last Sunday, I did walkthroughs with family and friends to show everyone what the home looked like and to ensure I knew EXACTLY what changes I wanted to make in my little dollhouse. My Nanny and her friend Norma came over and awed over the little characteristics that this 1930s home has and my Grandpapa came over later on in the day and was just so excited about the neighborhood and backyard.

After letting my grandparents in the home, I took ALLLL of the before photos and have them in a slide show for YOU! It is a goal of mine to keep track of all of the progress from beginning to end so I want to document it on my blog and Instagram. I hope you love the character and charm that this home gives and love what I plan to do over time!

 

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Last Sunday we had a full on clean out! The sweet little lady that owned the home before me had lots of books, some pretty neat National Geographic Journals (like up to the 1940s), furniture and random trinkets throughout. After clearing out all cabinets from the kitchen to closets my Dad, mother and older sister Ilissa came over to start covering up those original hardwood floors. We got builders paper and taped it throughout every room to make sure that it doesn’t get ruined and scratched up during demo. We’ve already started tearing down the walls and insulation because I’ll get new insulation and drywall along with updated electrical throughout where it is needed.

After protecting my precious floors, my Dad decided to get a little adventurous and we started checking out what was behind those walls and it’s just a whole lot of wood planking. Nothing too fabulous but neat nonetheless. So far we have demoed out FOUR full rooms and that’s my living room, dining room and guest bedroom. It’s been a family affair and I’m so thankful for everyone that has helped me get this thing rolling including my dad, mom and sisters! It’s so fun seeing the small changes over time that I know will be BIG in the end! Hope you enjoy and follow along!

 

Featured

An Insider’s Look at Being A First Time Home Buyer

Being a first time home buyer is stressful, overwhelming, exciting, emotional and about a million other things bundled together! It can be a simple process or difficult depending on what type of shopper you are, REALTOR you have and lender you’re working with. Being a REALTOR, I’ve been through this process many a times but it’s a little different when looking for your own home.

I’ve never minded picky buyers that wanted to see a little bit of everything to help them make up their minds because… hey, ya never know! With me and my thought process though, I was all over the place. It’s tough because I help people all the time and I go from luxury home to smaller townhouses to everything in between. I mean I went from wanting one specific location to wanting older homes to think well the market is so hot and things are moving so quickly that maybe I should just build a home. Talk about hot mess express! With my Dad in tow, I had us all over town looking at polar opposite homes not knowing quite what I was feeling and vibing yet. I even told my dad that I would have fired myself as a client as a REALTOR. I was wearing myself OUT!

One day when I was fed up with my own crazy process, I decided to make a drive down the neighborhood I grew up in and low and behold there was a sign in front of the CUTEST 1930s Dollhouse. I mean I was in love! I got in the house before the house hit the market, made an offer and got it accepted! This home was about as far from everything I thought I wanted but it just felt right! My Dad kept telling me that when I walk in a home it’ll just hit me and I’ll know it’s the one and it did! It makes me think of the show Say Yes to the Dress and how the bride has that good feeling when she finds the ONE! Now I get it when I tell my clients the same thing!

The process after finding the home was pretty straight forward… get all paperwork to my lender, choose an insurance agent, schedule my inspection and start working with the title company. With a clear to close in 21 days thanks to my amazing lender Jordan Johnson with GUILD Mortgage, we were moving and grooving! I could have gone with a local bank or offered different types of loans but I really wanted to go through the whole mortgage process with the lender since I always refer them to my clients. It was easy breezy but only because I did my homework like your REALTOR typically tells you to – have all tax documents, bank statements and sign/review items as SOON as the lender sent it because time is of the essence. I was also patient – I waited two year to have two tax returns because I’m self-employed and really pulled numbers together to see what type of monthly payment made the most sense for me. I’m self-employed and commission-based so it’s difficult to sit down and think of what I make each month when it ebbs and flows. Really makes ya think!

The week of closing was exciting and a little stressful because you’ve got to remember to get those utilities switched over – some can’t be switched over like water and sewer until you close. Final walkthroughs ensue as you make sure the home wasn’t left in shambles and you’re ready to take it over and then I mean it’s time to sign your name away to 30 years on a mortgage! The to-do lists start piling and honestly I don’t think they really stop after – but HEY that’s okay!

Closing day a fun one, though! Now I’ve gone to quite a few closings with clients, but I legit think I lost my head that day – literally a REALTOR’s worst nightmare. I may or may not have LEFT, yes I said left my wallet in my workout bag and showed up to my closing without my driver’s license. Here I am the REALTOR that always reminds her clients to bring their cashier’s check and driver’s license and I don’t even have mine! Odd enough, though, I had my passport in my work bag (because I guess I’m just ready to jet off just in case?) and that thankfully works as an ID. Do as I say, not as I do sometimes, people!

Im thankful, though, to have the sweetest group of ladies at Central Title Company in Longview that made closing day so special and fun and acted like it was their own closing day! They all gave me big hugs, champagne and took all the stress away!

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My amazing Central Title Ladies – Shannon, Lindsay and Christina! 

 

My Dad and mortgage lender were there in tow to make sure everything went smoothly (sweet momma was there in spirit as she was at work). I cut a big ole hefty check and then I was CLOSED on my first home!

I have to admit, it’s kind of fun and empowering buying a home on your own. Not that it officially made me feel like an adult but it’s something I have on my own and in MY name! There’s a lot of work that goes toward being a home owner – saving money, building credit and on and on – and it makes you feel excited and proud to make this new property your home! 

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In front of my little 1930s Dollhouse on Closing Day! 

I’m so appreciative of EVERYONE that helped me become a home owner from my super supportive parents to my encouraging friends that built me up when I was ready to give up to my sweet sisters that are already decorating their rooms in their heads. I won’t be moving in immediately because this 1930s Dollhouse is getting a facelift, but get ready because you can follow along with the whole process on my Instagram and some upcoming blog posts!

Here’s what I learned from being a First Time Home Buyer:

  • Patience, young grasshopper. Don’t rush it and you’ll know when it’s the right house. Looks at all areas and do drive-bys to ensure you like the location before dragging your REALTOR out there, like seriously just check it out.
  • Pull yourself together! Seriously, get it together! Check that credit score, shop for lenders and insurance agents and know your budget and what you want that monthly payment to be close to. You may need to wait another year to buy and that’s okay!
  • Listen carefully. Everyone is going to share their two cents with you and that’s family, friends, colleagues, your teller at the bank and everyone in between. Remember that they ALL want what’s best for you and are on your team – remember that! BUT, this is YOUR home so do what is going to bring you happiness at the end of the day because you’re coming home to this and they may visit once or twice.
  • Celebrate the little things. Did your offer get accepted? Inspection went well? Just feeling excited that you found a home?! Celebrate that! Go out or cheers to yourself at home. This is a big step and you should be SO PROUD of that so acknowledge this accomplishment and moment in your life! BE EXCITED and don’t downgrade such a big thing!

Thanks for listening in and I truly hope this helps! I enjoyed the process and know that it all led me to my cute little dollhouse! There’s a process and gut feeling and you have to trust it!

Featured

Labor Day Sales: Home Edition

First of all, how is it ALMOST September? Talk about a whirlwind of a summer! We’ve got football season and a little more fun in the sun that follows up with Labor Day Weekend. But what’s even better than fun in the sun is all of the SALES!!! You’ve got mattresses, furniture, decor and more! Keeping it short and sweet, I’ve pulled together top sales by their specific products.

Instagram Post - Labor Day Sales

MATTRESSES

Mattress Firm: Save up to $600! King for the price of a queen and queen for the price of a twin PLUS a free adjustable base. Ends Monday. Best deal I found was a memory foam mattress for a guest bedroom that’s 50% off!

Serta: Cutting prices on all iComfort and iComfort Hybrid mattresses. Up to $200 off on some prices with this iComfort Foam Blue 100 CT Gentle Firm mattress being the best find.

TEMPUR-Pedic: Save up to $700 on select power base mattress sets. Their TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt mattress is $300 off.

Mattress Firm  serta  Snip 2019-08-30 09.03.07

 

FURNITURE AND HOME

Crate&Barrel: 15% off entertaining, decor, bedding and kitchen through September 2. Use code save15. I personally will be stocking up on the Camille Wine Glasses and marble serve ware.

Overstock: Extra 20% off select items + free shipping. Loving this round coffee table and this gold industrial chandelier. Really great decor items and furniture to peruse through. I’ll be stalking the site throughout the day!

Pier1: Save 25% off on sale and regular price. Use code LABORDAY. Time to stock up on that fall decor because Pier1 has the cutest pumpkins and quirky furniture to fill up the home.

Sur La Table: Up to 60% off kitchen basics and appliances. Love this place and they even have a set of All-Clad skillets for $60.

Wayfair: Up to 65% off on outdoor furniture and 75% off bedding. Big fan of this outdoor sectional and great deal on this down duvet insert for $37.99.

Joss & Main: Up to 80% off rugs and 65% off chandeliers. Wanting this single globe pendant in my kitchen area and this canopy bed is only wish list!

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ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES

Best Buy: Up to 40% off  of appliances and 65″ and larger TVs as low as $399.99. Eyeing this Samsung Smart TV and looking at investing in some stackable washer and dryer.

Home Depot: Up to 40% off special appliances and great deals on power tools.  Adding this built-in Winter 18-Bottle Wine Fridge to my kitchen.

Lowe’s: Up to 40% off appliances. I’ve been on the hunt for a dishwasher and there are great savings on their stainless steel dishwashers specifically this Samsung dishwasher.

Walmart: Some electronic are up to $100 off  and they have a George Foreman Grill on sale.

Amazon:  Up to $30 off a home security camera system.

 6325561_sd.jpg;maxHeight=200;maxWidth=300  6181273_sd.jpg;maxHeight=640;maxWidth=550  stainless-steel-whynter-wine-coolers-bwr-18sd-64_1000.jpg Snip 2019-08-30 10.34.00


 

Happy shopping! Cheers to a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend!

Featured

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

It’s simple buying a home, right? No prepping, no money, no worries. WRONG! There’s a lot that goes into the process, but let’s start with what you should think about before you even consider looking…. are you even ready to buy a home?

Going through this process myself and with many other clients, it’s good to have a little checklist of priority items you need completed before even considering to look at homes.

MONEY ON HAND

Got that money in the bank? I’m not saying you need to have tens of thousands of dollars in the bank but you need to have some cash on hand for a downpayment, inspection, earnest money and any other upfront expenses of items you may want to repair in the home. There are now so many great loan programs that either require zero down or just 3.5% but don’t get stuck on that. The more money that you can put down is sometimes better. It can lower your monthly payments and even lessen some closing expenses.

FHA Loans – 3.5% down payment and have great first-time home buyer programs

Conventional Loans – Minimum of 3% down payment

USDA/VA Loans – No downpayment loans are offered

Jumbo Loans – 15% down payment

Here’s how I prepped: I have a completely separate savings account that is JUST for my home savings and that is where I allocate anything and everything that I pull out for a property and put into it with repairs, etc. It helps me keep track of my cash on hand and stay organized.

GET YOUR CREDIT IN CHECK

Do you have credit cards or loans? Are you paying everything on time or in full? This will ALLLLLL come up at the end of the day when your lender pulls your credit to loan you money. Those two missed cable bills will come to haunt you so stay on top of all of those bills so the lender feels confident lending money to you.

There are also fantastic credit repair companies that can help you bump it up to where you want. I utilized my credit cards to build credit and a history for myself. I recommend stalking The Points Guy on where you can start. There’s truly a wealth of information on their site from which cards you can take advantage of at certain times of your life to how to better manage credit card points. BIG FAN!

BUDGET AND BUDGET WISELY

It’s important to know what you’re willing to spend per month when it comes to mortgage payments. This not only helps narrow down the types of properties you’ll be looking at with your real estate agent but also give you an idea of budgeting and knowing what your pocketbook can handle. 

LOOKING AT YOUR FUTURE

How long do you plan to stay around the area you’re looking at buying? Are we talking six months, three years or 10 years? It takes a minimum of three to five years to recoup the closing costs of your home. Basically, if you don’t think you’re sticking around the area for long then renting is in your best interest. Buying a home is an investment and you want equity in your home when you sell not to be in the hole.

Keep job stability in mind with your future as well. If you think there’s a possibility of relocation or promotions that require moving, it may be better to rent unless you know the company has a fantastic relocation program. Some companies do, some companies don’t.


If you have every last one of these items checked then congratulations! It’s time for you to get with a lender and real estate agent to make your home buying dream a reality. If not, utilize this list and make it your homework!

Featured

5 Apps for the Home Buyer

Yes it’s true, we are GLUED to our cell phones. From Facebook to podcasts, we use our phone to keep up with friends and expand our knowledge. Being a millennial myself, I love the tools and resources that apps bring to my phone. When I look at the tools that  app provide, it’s not just calendar reminders and social media, there are also a lot of great tools to help with home buying. Pretty handy, right?

While there are plenty of house hunting apps like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia, you don’t want to overlook all of the other useful apps that help out homebuyers. I’m sharing my top five apps that help home buyers during their purchasing process.

5 APPS FOR THE HOME BUYER

  • Mortgage Calculator Plus: A quick and simple way to calculate your potential monthly payments for a home. It gives you the opportunity to plug in the customized purchase price of home, downpayment, insurance costs and even potential HOA fees. Is this the MOST accurate? No! That’s what your mortgage lender is there for, but it can get you pretty close.
  • Mint: Get your finances in check! I love, love, LOVE this app. It let’s me have all of my checking and savings accounts, cards and even 401K savings in ONE SPOT. This one provides a great overview of finances and the app even tracks monthly/weekly spending and normal spending behavior and alerts you when you’ve gone a little crazy on that shopping spree last week (HA!).
  • DocuSign: Talk about a handy app! You can easily sign documents on the go for contracts or amendments for your agent or lender. It’s a quick click of a button and the document is SIGNED without needing to open up a computer. You can’t finish the document until you’ve signed everything that your agent or lender asked you to.
  • Houzz: Design your home right from the phone. Open floor plan stressing you out? This app is for you! Love, love Houzz because it helps you get a better idea of where to place different pieces of furniture. Super useful and perfect for the visual person.
  • Evernote: This is not only helpful for you but for your agent! You’re likely going to look at quite a few homes and they’re all going to start blending together. You think it won’t happen, but it does! This app if fantastic for keep your pros and cons for each home and organizing it by property address. You can then simply send it on to your agent and review at your leisure.

There are plenty of other apps that people find useful in the home buying process, but these are some that you may not have thought about downloading. Hope this helps make the home buying process a little less stressful. Happy hunting!

Featured

Home Buyers: Here’s Why I’m YOUR Expert!

Buying a home is one of the biggest and likely most $$EXPENSIVE$$ purchases you will make in your life. As a REALTOR®, I do NOT take that lightly and want to ensure that I can represent my clients in the best way possible by being knowledgable and experienced. To ensure that I can be YOUR home buying expert, I completed a designation course to become an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®). In order to become an ABR®, a REALTOR® must complete training that is specialized in understanding a home buyer’s perspective and promoting and protecting the buyer’s interest. 

While through experience and time as a REALTOR® you learn the ins and outs of representing a home buyer, this ABR® designation teaches you so much more. I joined a network of ABR® designees across the nation and we worked in groups on scenarios and how to better help our home buyers. I also took an additional course on New Home Construction to help assist my buyers that are looking to possibly build instead of buy and learned building process from beginning to end. I am here to help my buyers make informed decisions! 

So what can I do for you as an ABR®? I can assist you…

  • With needs and wants, and locate properties appropriate for buyer’s specifications
  • Help determine budget (pre-qualify)
  • Accompany in showing properties
  • Assisting in creating offer
  • Negotiation strategy for home buying
  • Vendor referrals (inspector, lenders, etc.)
  • Buying process from beginning to end in transaction – to closing and after!

All buyer’s representatives are NOT EQUAL! With my knowledge as an experience agent and as an agent that has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation, I have made the extra effort to raise the bar with additional training and education. I am confident that you’ll receive the HIGHEST level of buyer representation because I have taken the time to expand my knowledge in real estate and the home buying process.

If you’re  interested in buying a home, I would LOVE to help guide you in the process. Feel free to email me at bethanybreannenolan@gmail.com or call at (903) 738-8858.

Featured

Closing Costs: Here’s Your Breakdown

Home buying… it can be fun, it can be stressful and it can be overwhelming! There are so many steps and processes and costs involved in the process, and as a Realtor it is my job to have answers to all of my client’s questions and concerns. While I always get asked about negotiations, inspections and more, one of the main questions I receive from my buyers is…

“What will my closing costs look like…?”

Honestly, it’s important to have a nice breakdown to show where all of your money is going and possible costs that seem hidden to the first time home buyer. This is likely BIGGEST purchase a person will make during their life, so people need to know what it’s going to cost and where their money is going. It can get complicated on whether the buyer or seller is paying for certain portions of closing costs, but that’s where your handy-dandy Realtor swoops in to guide you in the negotiating process!

So first of all… what are closing costs? Closing costs are fees associated with the purchase of your property/home that are paid at the closing of your real estate transaction. A closing is when the title of the property purchased is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Closing costs are incurred by either the seller or the buyer, these CAN be negotiated.

Now that we understand the high level description of closings costs, let’s break it down. While there is a rather large list of items that can go into closings costs, what I’m going to do is break down the biggest costs first and dwindle it down to other associated costs.

CLOSING COSTS

Title Company Fees (Cost Ranges Follow the Descriptions)

  • Appraisal: Paid to appraisal company to ensure fair market value of purchased home. Cost: Ranges are ~$500. 
  • Flood Certification: Pulled by third-party, determines if property is located in a flood zone. Cost: Ranges close to $10-$15. 
  • Postage or Courier Fees: Cost for transfer of documents. Cost: Ranges close to $40.
  • Recording Fee: Recording of public land records. Cost: Typically around $130-$150.
  • Settlement Fees: The title company is paid for handling the closing. Cost: Ranges from $200-$300.
  • Survey: Goes to a survey company to verify property lines. This is not always necessary as some sellers already have a survey on file. Cost: Ranges around $650 for a normal lot.
  • Tax Services: This includes transfer taxes, property taxes that will either be prorated or handled at the closing table. Cost: Ranges close to $100. 
  • Title Search: The title company is paid for their search of the property’s records. They check on the deed of the home and ensure there are no liens, etc.

Lender Fees (These fees vary, so depend on lender for guidance with your situation)

  • Credit Report: Pulled by lender, grabs credit history for loan approval.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance: You’re typically paying your first year of insurance at closing. Simple as it sounds, it’s insurance and covers any potential damages to the home.
  • Origination Fee: Covers lender’s research and administrative costs. Typically 1 percent of loan.  
  • Owner’s Title Insurance Fees: Can be optional, but protects you in the event that there are challenges to the ownership of your home.
  • Underwriting and Processing Fee: Goes to lender and pulls history/researches buyer for loan approval.

A great estimate that I like to give my buyers on their potential closing costs would be to vary it from 2 to 4 percent of the overall purchase price of the property. So if you’re purchase a $200,000 home, you can think ~$8,000 on the very high end and ~$4,000 on the low end. I find it better to give my clients an estimate that near a number than nothing at all. It gives my buyers and sellers a little piece of mind.