September 2011 Newsletter

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Better Judgements eZine
Terria Judge, Realtor
CRS, ABR, GRI, Broker Associate
Better Judgements is a newsletter on home matters, from Terria Judge, your Garden City, KS real estate agent!
Contact Terria Judge at 620-271-2129!
Terria Judge
Home Town Real Estate P.A.
1135 College Dr. Suite A
Garden City, KS 67846
Subscription Management at end of newsletter.
Thanks for your subscription to Better Judgements, the newsletter from your Garden City Kansas Realtor, Terria Judge.
In this Issue
1. Article: Save Money By Making Your House Energy Friendly!
2. Featured & New Listings
3. Article: Secured Home Improvement Loans: Its Like Building A Second Home
4. Article: How to Use Home Staging to Sell a Home
Save Money By Making Your House Energy Friendly! Get An
Energy-Efficient Mortgage!
By John R. Blakefield
Did you know that you can save money by having an energy
efficient house? And you can facilitate this by getting a loan
to improve the energy usage of the house. It is known as an
Energy-Efficient Mortgage or EEM and many lenders offer them to
home buyers with energy conservation in mind. You can check with
banks and other institutions who can help guide you in the right
direction in finding this great opportunity.
In order to qualify for an EEM, you must have your house rated
for its energy usage. This energy rating evaluates the entire
structure as a whole and does not consider who is living in it,
meaning the assessment is not based on personal behavior. The
energy rating literally assesses the amount of energy used based
on the type windows that are installed in the home, the amount
and type of insulation, as well as the appliances your home
uses. It even looks at the type and quality of major energy
users such as cooling and heating systems. The better quality
the structure and the least amount of air leakage in ducts, the
better the energy rating the house will get.
Before you get your house rated for energy usage, be sure to
ask the lender what type of energy rating they want to you to
get. A very common rating is the Home Energy Rating System or
HERS, and you can find companies or individuals who can diagnose
a house and give it this rating. The person who does the rating
is either a certified rater or energy auditor who uses
information gathered from the house, inputs it in a computer
program, and then produces a report. This report is used to rate
the house and give it a score from 1-100. There is then a scale
of 5 stars that correspond to the amount of points the house has
Not only does this report assess the current energy uses of the
house, but will also give suggestions on ways to improve the
energy usage of the home by making the necessary improvements on
the house. It can go as far as to detail the estimated cost,
savings, and break even point for each improvement.
The lender, however, may prefer you to use alternative energy
audits that will determine the same type of information that the
lender will use to assess the amount and terms of the EEM.
In order to qualify for an energy improvement through an EEM,
the improvement must be cost-effective which means that the
monthly savings on the utility bills that are generated by the
improvement must be greater than the added monthly cost of the
energy mortgage. Also, your total savings must be greater than
your total costs.
What the EEM is achieving is the ability for a home owner to
take out a loan in order to make the necessary home improvements
that will save more money than the loan costs itself. There will
be considerable long term savings as well, after the loan costs
and savings break even.
Actually getting the EEM is like getting a normal mortgage,
just there is some additional paperwork and of course
information used to determine the loan amount and terms. A
facilitator can assist you with making the EEM process run
smoothly, making sure everything is completed and filed in a
timely manner and taking some of the work off the shoulders of
both the home owner and lender.
The home owner has between about 90 and 180 days to have the
improvements made to the home. The loan amount, usually about
150% of the total cost of improvements, is placed into an escrow
account by the lender and the lender pays the contracting
company directly if so requested. This leaves the home owner out
of the transaction so he or she will not be responsible for the
transaction itself.
An EEM is not only environmentally friendly, but pocket book
friendly as well. At the same time that a home owner is saving
money, energy is being conserved that could be used elsewhere.
The government is in full support of the EEM and will even help
finance the energy audit up to $200. This energy audit that
determines the house energy rating can cost anywhere from $100
to $350, $200 being the average.
So you think your home could be more energy efficient? And that
your energy bills could be much lower than what they are?
Consider an Energy-Efficient Mortgage and begin taking steps to
getting your home retrofitted for a new life of energy
conservation and more money in the wallet. Not only that, you
get to experience a more efficient and comfortable home after
all the necessary improvements are complete.
About the Author: John R Blakefield is a mortgage and real
estate specialist. For more information, articles, news, tools
and valuable resources on home mortgages or investment loans,
refinancing, debt solutions, visit this site:
Permanent Link:
Active Listings:
Featured Property:
Secured Home Improvement Loans: Its Like Building A Second Home
– So Weigh Your Options!
By Marsha Claire
With Christmas around the corner, I’m all set to get my
Christmas cards and decorations, but looking at things here, I
think I could use a good decorator to enhance the whole
Christmas scene. I’m sure many of you reading this may take a
look around and think of changing things a little bit too.
Painting, redecorating, repairs, renovations and other such home
improvements can only be financed if you’ve saved enough over
the year or have other such sufficient financial reserves to
rely on. But wait a minute there’s another option you could
consider – Secured Home Improvement Loans.
For many of us, the word ‘loans’ still screams ‘beware.’ But
instead of running away from it all the time, let’s take a look
at the opportunity loans can create for us – in this case,
Secured Home Improvement Loans. Secured Home Improvement Loans
provide you with that handy cash you are in need of to make
necessary home improvements. When we talk about such specific
loans, the purpose of your loan has to be very clear – home
improvements. Home improvements here, are not the simple
temporary repairs that we usually talk about, instead they are
those that make a permanent modification to your property. Home
improvements could therefore be changes like complete
home-makeovers, redecorations, addition of an entire storey to
your home, a new sit-out, an added garden or backyard, etc.
Secured Home Improvement Loans are very essential because in
addition to helping fund that renovation, these loans help raise
the value of your property. Modifications like those mentioned
above besides adding capital value to your property, also add to
it’s aesthetic value.
To get yourself a Home Improvement Loans that is rather
affordable, you should stick to the secured options, because
they are more cost-effective. When you take a Secured Home
Improvement Loan, it is essential that you offer collateral of
significant value. Lenders grant loan amounts, depending on the
value of your collateral – equity in your home, your automobile
value, bank account balance and your financial credibility.
Collateral of greater value helps you get more money to make
more significant modifications. Usually Secured Home Improvement
Loans are approved for amounts ranging between £5000 and
£75,000, however, this amount does vary with the collateral
value and your credit history.
For Secured Home Improvement Loans, your credit history does
make a big difference. A good credit history helps lower the
interest rate of the loan. This is because a lender is assured
of your repaying the loan when you have a credible financial
past. He therefore, freely lowers costs, reduces lender fees,
documentation charges, raises the gettable loan amount,
stretches the loan term and offers you all kinds of flexible
repayment options. At the same time, a bad credit history will
not stop you from getting a Secured Home Improvement Loan,
however, it will not lower costs as much as it did for those
with good statements.
All the small points make a difference at the end because all
you all know that interest rates decide the cost of the entire
loan. Longer terms stretch your instalments making your monthly
repayments smaller. Getting yourself up-to-date on all the
requisite information is necessary no doubt, but getting it from
the right lender also matters just as much. This is why it pays
to take your time and visit various lenders before finalising on
any agreement. Looking for lenders online is more helpful
because of the time you save and the paperwork you avoid. At the
end, getting yourself a cheap Secured Home Improvement Loan and
getting it from the right lender is vital. Better your home by
bettering your options and better your options by bettering your
About the Author: Marsha Claire is offering loan advice for
quite some time. To find Secured Auto Loans, Secured home
improvement loans, Unsecured debt consolidation loans, Secured
loan uk please visit
Permanent Link:
How to Use Home Staging to Sell a Home
By Adriana Noton
Home staging can be a great way for a homeowner to sell their
house. The process will allow more people to see the house as it
is, instead of being overwhelmed with someone’s style. When a
person has decorated their unit with items that they have
collected over many years, it can sometimes take away from the
way the style really looks. In order to quickly sell a listing,
some people will hire a professional staging crew to get the
place ready.
The first thing a staging crew will do when they come into a
unit, is begin packing small items up in boxes. They will have
their own boxes and crates, bubble wrap, paper and tape. Each
item will be carefully placed in a box and tucked away in a
storage unit. Labels will be placed on each box for careful
Once small items have been cleared away, the workers will take
a look at the larger furnishings. There may be ways to take away
furniture or move them around to make more space. Clutter can
sometimes build up in a home over time. People who live in the
house may not notice the build up of furnishings. Experts will
know what items to take away and which ones to leave.
When furnishings are outdated or too big for the space, clutter
experts may remove all of the items from the space and bring in
loaner items. These items may consist of couch sets, small
tables and large dining tables. These companies will have an
assortment of furniture that is designed for certain spaces.
They may have a large couch set for large over sized living
rooms, and small condo style units for tight spaces.
As well as loaner furniture there will also be a selection of
accent pieces that are brought in. Staging companies will have
lots of accent items in various shades and patterns. They may
bring in a few pieces to finish off each room. When accent
patterns are added to a space, they can help the house look
lived in and well taken care of.
Creating the look of more space and adding modern furniture can
be two great ways to sell a listing. People with older styles
and outdated colors could turn off perspective buyers. Clutter
can remove space from a room, creating a smaller home than it
actually is.
Professional staging people will know how to create modern
color trends, accent pieces and appropriate furniture pieces.
They are experts in design, color and furniture arranging.
Appropriate furniture that is modern will appeal to a wider
range of people. A professionally styled room will attract
people instead of repel them.
Home staging can improve the chances of a house selling and it
can increase the time line. A well staged unit will make a good
impression on new buyers. It will maximize the size available
and it will remove any evidence of the owner’s current styling
taste. A great company will work fast, have their own supplies
and be experienced in the process.
About the Author: Prior to buy a real estate property, you need
to do the research about the area, your finance situation as
well as the traffic in the area.
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This newsletter is compiled and published by Mitone Cooke,
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