Steven Melchor a.k.a. Melch

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Three New Yearís Homebuyer Resolutions

2/20/2017

This is the year you become a homeowner! To make the most of this most important step in your life, make these three New Year’s home buying resolutions now.

1. I will check and repair my credit. Before you start shopping for homes, make sure you have no errors or unresolved credit issues that could prevent you from getting a good loan.
 
The three credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Transunion and Equifax, don’t share data, nor do they correct errors without evidence. Order a full credit report from all three bureaus here. If you find an error, contact the appropriate bureau and mail copies of your payment, release of lien or other proof.
2. I will get preapproved for a mortgage loan. Take two to four months of bank statements, pay stubs, and an account of your monthly debts and expenses to your lender. The lender calculates how much money you can safely borrow and at what interest rate.
 
Preapproval also means a lot to sellers. It show’s that you’re serious about buying a home and that the closing process will be quicker and smoother because you already have a lender.
3. I will buy within my means. It’s sensible to buy the most home you can afford, and your lender will help you get there, but it’s not wise to get a risky adjustable rate mortgage so you can buy more house. Being “house poor” means having no money available for other things in life, so stick to conforming loan guidelines to be safer financially.

Clutter-free Countertops

2/13/2017

Today's kitchens are filled with all kinds of gastronomical gadgets, but if you want to show your kitchen to its fullest advantage, here are five ways to keep clutter down:

  1. Store unused equipment. Which appliances do you use the most? Chances are they’re not vegetable curlers or pasta makers. Store those appliances somewhere else, such as a butler’s pantry, food pantry or the garage.
  2. Build an appliance garage. Many cabinetmakers offer an appliance garage that can be closed when not in use. You can also customize an appliance garage to extend the length of the counter.
  3. Update appliances. If you need a microwave, get one that’s also a convection oven. Commercial-grade mixers have attachments that can make pasta and knead bread. The newest coffee machines can make tea, hot chocolate and all kinds of coffee shop specialty brews.
  4. Mount what you can. Under cabinet mounting is easy to install. Paper towel racks, electric can openers, and task lighting can all be mounted under the cabinets to free up counter space. Throw out smelly dishrags and sponges, and store fresh cleaning aids in caddies under the sink.
  5. Invest in organizers. Corner cabinets can be better utilized with swing out organizers. Drawers on rollers allow better access to all your storage. One charging station should serve multiple devices. Try installing one in the hall or utility room.

Once your kitchen is better organized, you’ll find it easier to prepare for showings and buyers will have an easier time seeing the kitchen’s best features.

Should You Pay Discount Points?

2/6/2017

The low mortgage interest rates that you find online or in the newspaper aren’t necessarily what you’ll pay when you apply for a loan. Why? Because banks will charge you “discount” points to get the best rate, which adds to the cost of the loan.

Points, or discount points, are expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. The point "discounts" the interest rate, that's why it's referred to as a discount point. If your mortgage is $300,000, then one "point" is $3,000. For each point you pay, your interest rate should be reduced by about ¼ percent.

On a 30-year mortgage loan at $300,000 and 5.00%, the monthly payment works to $1,610 without any points.Paying one point ($3,000) would reduce the rate to 4.75%, making your discounted payment $1,564 per month.

That's a reduction of $46.00 per month. Now weigh the cost of $3,000. To get that, divide $46 into $3000. The result is 65. It will take you 65 payments to break even, nearly 5 ½ years. It’s worth it if you’re planning to stay in your home for 5 to 10 years or longer. If not, you’re far better off using the $3,000 to pay down your loan principal or buying furniture for your home.

There’s another way to get the best mortgage interest rate – that’s to have the best credit scores possible. Those with near or perfect credit are considered low risk by banks. As always, consult your financial advisor for more information about home loans.

Countertop Pros And Cons: What To Choose And Why

2/2/2017

Wondering how to choose a countertop for your kitchen? With so much to pick from, it can be challenging - especially with changing trends and so many options that are at similar price points. This pro and con list should help.

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Houzz TV: Letís Go Island Hopping

2/1/2017

Always a popular gathering space, the kitchen island plays a vital role for many households. From stools to countertops to lighting above, the possible combinations are endless. Here’s a collection of some of our favorite kitchen islands with plenty of decorating inspiration.

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Market Watch

1/31/2017

The charts below show how the market is doing in Fenton, Grand Blanc, and Holly. If you are interested in knowing about another area, contact me at 810.513.1561 or melch@stevenmelchorgroup.com

Winter Showing Tips

1/30/2017

You may think that wintertime isn’t the best time to show your home, but you’d be surprised. Yes, winter days offer fewer hours of daylight for buyers to see your home. Sleet and snow make it harder for buyers to house-hunt. Even warm regions have challenges – the weather may be gray or rainy.

But winter has a unique appeal - gathering with friends and loved ones by a crackling fire, winter sports played in the backyard, walks on the beach without all the summertime tourists. So play up what’s great about your home.

Make sure the drive-up appeal is strong. Keep driveways and walkways clear of snow and slush. Put a nice, new welcome mat out for buyers and their agents to wipe their feet.

Leave all the lights on for showings and open the drapes to let in more light. Closed homes tend to hold odors, so open the windows for an occasional airing, and run the fans after cooking meals. Bake some cookies or bread. Boil some cinnamon and spices for a natural, wintry fragrance.

If you have a fireplace, turn it on, but low. Stage the scene with a comfy, holiday-themed throw blanket. Put some big fluffy pillows on the floor.

Don’t hesitate to contact me for more winter-selling tips!

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