5 Ways to Use Your Refund Toward a Home

5 Ways to Use Your Refund Toward a Home

Who doesn’t love getting a tax refund?

It’s exciting to know that your bank balance will get a boost. But remember, a refund isn’t a bonus — it’s your hard-earned money, which is why you should make the most of it.

If you’re thinking of buying a new home this year — whether it’s your first home or the one you plan to retire in — financial planning is critical.

Expecting a refund? Make a bigger impact on your home purchase with these tips:

1. Lower Your Mortgage Rate: Did you know you can pay “points” up front to lower the interest rate of your mortgage? If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, this could result in significant savings over the life of your loan.

2. Pay Closing Costs: Closing costs average about 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price. Many buyers roll it into their mortgage and pay it off over the life of the loan. But you could use your refund to pay it up front and avoid paying interest.

3. Save for a Down Payment: In some cases, your refund could cover your entire down payment. Some loans only require 3 percent down, so this is more realistic than you might think.

4. Boost Your Credit Score: Paying down your debts can have a significant impact on your credit score and the mortgage rate you’ll qualify for.

5. Renovate or Update Appliances: Many buyers are tempted to open a line of credit to pay for these purchases, but that could negatively impact your mortgage loan. Using your refund is the smarter move.

Remember, a tax refund is only one factor to consider in your homebuying budget. Get in touch today for a referral to a financial planner or mortgage lender if you need help preparing your budget. Let’s work together to plan your path to homeownership.

~ Joe Bourland

Professional yet personal

Preparing for the Spring Housing Market

Preparing for the Spring Housing Market

We’re approaching spring, which means the housing market is getting ramped up.

Experts agree that the market is softening for buyers, but will it be a full-on buyer’s market? Definitely not — at least, not by springtime.

This spring, buyers will likely see fewer bidding wars, slower price growth and less competition. But sellers will still have some leverage.

Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this spring? Keep these things in mind:

1. Prices won’t skyrocket.
The last few years have seen massive jumps in home prices, especially during the busy spring buying season. This year price growth is likely to slow downa bit in most markets. We may see higher prices at the height of the buying season, but they’re unlikely to be drastically higher than those seen at the end of 2018.

2. Year-over-year inventory will likely remain stagnant.
Because mortgage rates are rising, many homeowners are staying put. New home construction continues to grow, but it still lags behind buyer demand. This means we are unlikely to see an increase in listings from previous years.

3. Bidding wars will lessen.
The days of sight-unseen offers and heated bidding wars are mostly over. Except for a few hotter markets, most buyers will enjoy a slower-paced market and a little more leverage than in years past.

4. Sellers might have to make some concessions.
As mortgage rates rise, fewer buyers are looking to get in on the market, and that means sellers will need to do more to get their attention. This could mean more concessions and more room for negotiations.

Having a knowledgeable agent on your side is crucial to effectively navigating 2019’s changing housing market. If you’re considering buying or selling this year, get in touch today for personalized advice and guidance.

Smarter Technology for a Smarter Home

How practical is smart tech for you?

Smart tech has come a long way for homeowners. With the right tools, you no longer have to get up to turn on lights or change the thermostat. Have a habit of forgetting to lock the front door or turn on your porch light at night? Smart home tech can help with that, too.

Are you thinking of installing a few smart devices in your home? Here are some of the most popular and practical options to consider:

Security Products
This includes motion-activated doorbell cameras, door locks with timers and garage doors controlled by smartphone apps. These technologies can offer peace of mind for homeowners who live alone and added independence to anyone with limited mobility.

Lighting
Motion detecting exterior lights are the most publicized in this category. However, there are also indoor sensors that control lights as you enter and exit a room or open and close pantry doors. And Wi-Fi-enabled lightbulbs allow you to customize mood lighting throughout the house. These options offer convenience while at home and added security when you’re away.

Appliances
Virtually all appliances come in smart versions today — from kitchen scales with built-in recipes to Bluetooth-enabled slow cookers to washers and dryers that let you schedule your laundry loads. These can make housework more manageable for those on a busy schedule.

Assistants
These smart home tools do more than give you traffic updates. Using IFTTT (If This, Then That) customization, they can create a truly connected home. For example, they can turn on specific lights when your TV comes on or open the garage door when you get within a certain distance of the property. And they allow you to voice-activate many of your smart tech commands.

Smart home devices are also one of the most in-demand features with today’s homebuyers. Installing them could increase your property’s long-term value and marketability.

If you’re considering a new home, or have questions about your home’s value, get in touch today.

Professional yet personal

2019’s Trendiest Colors for Your Home

Colors have the ability to evoke emotions and change our attitudes. They can inspire and motivate us to try something new and bold. They can alter our moods and appetites, or even make a room feel small and cramped.

If you plan to redecorate a few rooms in the new year, the right color choices can make all the difference in the feeling you’re trying to achieve. Better yet, it’s one of the simplest and most affordable decor changes you can make. Not sure which colors to choose? Here are 2019’s best color palettes for home interiors, according to the Pantone Color Institute:

Meanderings
This palette is a mix of leisurely, rich shades like Island Green, Aurora Red and Wild Orchid. Pulled from diverse cultures, they tell the story of world travel and are great for spaces where you’ll be entertaining guests.

Proximity
Proximity shows the connection between technology and nature and speaks to the challenges of modern life. These vivid blue-greens, green-blues and silver-grays are perfect for rooms with abundant natural light.

Cravings
These culinary-inspired hues call to mind delicious tastes and exotic cuisines with colors like Cappuccino, Chili Pepper and Cayenne. This sensory experience is ideal for dining rooms or quiet spaces like reading nooks.

Cherish
These soothing pastels evoke calm and serenity and are the epitome of comfort. The soft, nostalgic floral tones would be great in a powder room or master bedroom.

Are you planning a new look for your home? Think of these palettes as a focused road map for capturing your desired style.

If you’d like some guidance for a more substantial home renovation, or you’re interested in finding a new home this year, please reach out today.

Joe Bourland

Joe Bourland | RE/MAX Professionals
Team Leader JoeArizona.com
joe@joearizona.com
10320 W. McDowell Road
Suite B2005
Avondale, AZ 85392
Phone: 623-322-8588

RE/MAX Professionals

Open House Thursday is Here! Sept 13th, 2018

Buckeye Ranch for Sale
22137 W. Watkins Street, Buckeye

OPEN HOUSE THURSDAY SEPT 13TH FROM 6PM – 7:30PM

Remodeled Ranch in Rancho Sunora. Over an acre lot. Three bedrooms. Both baths have been updated with all new fixtures. Anderson energy
efficient windows. Custom kitchen with large prep island, double convection ovens, induction glass cooktop, under-mount sink under cabinet lighting. All appliances stay. Crown molding. Diagonal 20” tiles in living, dining, kitchen. huge master bedroom with walk-in closet, dressing area and custom steam shower with multiple
body sprays. Newer roof and exterior paint. Dual AC units keep the house cool and energy efficient. Kinetico water softener.

***  Horses, RV Parking and NO HOA  ***

More information at https://www.facebook.com/joearizonahomes/

Buckeye Ranch for Sale
Additional Patio Out Back

Things I learned about sales from watching my boys in sports:

1)      When you give it all you have and it still isn’t enough, it’s ok to shed a tear.

2)      Just because they had more points, doesn’t mean they are better. 

3)      I would rather lose with my ‘brothers’, then win alone.

4)      Hard work feels good.

5)      Never let fear stop you.

6)      And when the sun comes up in the morning, shake it off, go to IHOP, hit the gym and Thank the Lord we get to do it all over again.

Could your house use a makeover?

Affordable Ways to Update Your Home

AFFORDABLE WAYS TO UPDATE YOUR HOME

Tired of your home looking off-trend and out of touch?  Or investing in an older home and want to update it?  You don’t need deep pockets to do either.  In fact, upgrading your home can be quite affordable with the right projects.

Here are five ways to make a big impact without spending a lot:

REPAINT.  Paint trends come and go, so if your walls are still the same color or have the same wallpaper from 1950, they’re likely out of date.  Consider giving the walls a new look with a more modern tone.

CHANGE LIGHT FIXTURES.  It’s time to kick out-of-style light fixtures to the curb.  Pendant lighting, Edison bulbs and simple recessed lighting are what’s hot with today’s designers and buyers.

UPDATE YOUR HARDWARE.  You’d be surprised at how easily doorknobs, drawer pulls, locks and handles can start to look aged.  Take a good look at your existing hardware, and consider upgrading to newer models.  And don’t forget the hinges.

REFACE YOUR APPLIANCES.  Have an old, yellowing appliance but don’t want to replace what’s not broken?  Just use peel-and-stick stainless steel or marble contact paper, and  reface those appliances instantly.

INSTALL  A KICKPLATE.  If you want to upgrade your curb appeal but can’t afford a new door, consider installing a kickplate.  It’s an instant, affordable way to add visual appeal to any existing entryway.

These upgrades may seem minor, but when done properly, they can have a serious impact on your home’s aesthetic.

If you’re considering more extensive updates, let’s get together to discuss ways to increase your home’s marketability and long-term value.

Joe Bourland

RE/MAX Professionals

4 Famous American Estates That Inspire

4 Famous American Estates That Inspire

It’s never too early to dream up your next vacation. Whether you’re interested in a fun, educational destination or you’re on the hunt for home inspiration, visiting these famous estates may pique your imagination.

Architectural Icon
A tour through the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio just outside of Chicago is like peering into the creative mind of one of America’s most iconic architects. Constructed in 1889 for $5,000, this Oak Park house served as the family home for Wright, his wife and their six kids. Bold, geometric shapes on the exterior and the interior’s high, barrel-vaulted ceiling make this visit a must for architecture enthusiasts.

Literary Cats 
One home of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway is tucked away in the heart of Old Town in Key West, Florida. The estate boasts Spanish colonial architecture and lush grounds; however, the Hemingway home is also well-known for its current occupants. No less than 40 polydactyl (six-toed) cats, descendants of those owned by Hemingway himself, still live on-site.

Presidential Family Estate
Get a historical perspective with a visit to Hildene, a 1905 Georgian Revival mansion in Manchester, Vermont, that belonged to Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Guests can take year-round tours of the home’s 24-room interior, stroll down approximately 12 miles of walking trails and visit the working farm.

As Seen on TV
Popularized by more than 70 feature films and television shows, including “Full House,” San Francisco’s Painted Ladies are a staple of the city’s skyline. This row of quintessential Victorian homes, also known as the Seven Sisters, ascends one of the city’s hilly neighborhoods. Snap a gorgeous photo from the famous Alamo Square Park across the street.