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We are thinking of buying a larger home.  Is there a way of knowing how much house we can afford before we have you find the house we want?

As your Realtor®, my main task is to guide you through selling your existing home and finding another one that meets your family's need, both in size and budget.  You are absolutely right-one of the main steps is to determine how much you can afford before we go searching.  Today it is smart to get a lender to "pre-qualify" you for the mortgage before you start shopping.  I work with two local lenders that will do this at no charge!  I can help with these figures also in total confidentiality.  We may look at the options of whether you could remodel or build an addition or upgrade and which would be most feasible taking all factors into consideration.  As a general guideline, lenders like to see your new loan of principle, interest, taxes and insurance fit into about 25-28% of your gross income.  They also look at combining your loan with long term debt of autos, credit cards and other debt total less than 40% or so.  If you have a large amount of unstructured debt, perhaps  we could look at what a consolidation loan would go for your ratios.  I have several programs that will help look at this total picture either at the office or I could let you use your personal computer.  Either way, I can help "push the pencil" to look at the pros and cons of any scenario you may wish to examine.  Call me anytime!

Are you planning to sell your home?
It's never too early to get started . . .
Here are some basic suggestions I review with those who wish to sell: 
1.  Get an early start.  the sooner your home goes on the market the more buyers will see it.  By putting your home up for sale in the early spring you become "the early bird" for the prime selling season.
2.  Get a marketing plan.  Contact our office and we will develop a tailored marketing plan for your property.  Using a step-by-step checklist approach along with our years of experience, the plan will range from determining the market value of your home to a review of what the closing costs should be.  These specific steps include when, where and how we will advertise the property.  Our initial discussion will review 1)yard sign; 2) the local multiple listing service; 3) classified ads; 4) an open house schedule; 5) a local agents tour; 6) mailings; 7) an appropriate time schedule for showings; 8) periodic progress reports; 9) a written disclosure statement for prospective buyers and 10) targeted the most probable buyer for your property to target marketing.
3.  Prepare the home for sale.  As a part of the marketing plan, we will review what should be done to get the home ready for sale.  This may be as simple as a general clean-up and clearing away "clutter" so that any crowded look is eliminated.  Also, it may include painting, carpet replacement or minor repairs (loose knobs, squeaky hinges, leaky faucets, etc.).  If you have any questions about selling your home, please call.  It is never too early to start the marketing plan. 

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