Best of 2014 – Kitchen Storage Ideas

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I am hoping to redo my kitchen/make a great room in the next year or two. My favorite ideas are the pull out knife drawer – keeps things simple and off the counters; the pantry cabinet for those who can’t do a walk in; and the cookie sheet cubbies!

What is your favorite idea?

~Kristin

 
“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”  Buddha

Home Equity Line of Credit (H.E.L.O.C.)

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Home Equity Line of Credit (H.E.L.O.C.) are popular once again, because borrowers have now more equity in their homes. They also come into play for buyers with 80/10/10 financing, which allows borrowers to put 10% down and avoid paying PMI. That happens because they have an 80% loan-to-value (LTV) first mortgage and a 10% combined LTV HELOC or 2nd mortgage.

How dos it Work? Here it is:
– Rate: Prime +1.99%
– Payment: Interest only for 10 years – but you can pay it off sooner
– Draw Period: 10 years
– Repay Period: 20 years

Here is why I like them – if it is a small amount, (i.e. similar to a car purchase), it can be paid off in a relatively short time – especially if someone gets bonuses, their income is steadily increasing or they are stock rich & cash poor (IPO). It avoids paying mortgage insurance, and if you pay it off, you can use it down the road for remodeling.

The only concern is they are not a fixed rate and are tied to the prime can climb significantly and we all expect rates to rise, however we as an industry thought that would have already happened. It might just be a great option one buyer, but it isn’t for everybody.

I like to have these discussions with my buyers so that they are informed and can make the best decision for their needs & situation. Options are a beautiful thing….

~Kristin

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Tips of the Trade – Common Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Home

I am not a big fan of things stated in the negative, so I will translate each point to a positive Do.

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1. Do understand the local real estate market to determine pricing and location options – go to open houses, look at Zillow & Trulia for ideas on prices and what you get;

2. Narrow your search to what is available in your price range – having said that, it is best to get a pre-approval upfront so you know what you qualify to purchase and what your monthly payment will be. Give me a call if you would like a reference for some great lenders;

3. Do obtain a proper home inspection to identify problem areas that could prove expensive – everything is negotiable until you remove contingencies, know what you are buying;

4. Do identify all available financing options based on your monetary situation – the lending environment has loosened up ever so slightly and you can now get a conventional loan for as little as 3% down. Know your options;

5. Look for the best home for your family’s needs – The “perfect” home does not really exist. If your agent has not sat down with you to discuss what you are looking for in lifestyle, commute, future and top 3 most important features, then it may take you longer to sort that stuff out. A good agent helps navigate that process;

6. Familiarizing yourself with local schools, shops and other neighborhood amenities – school borders can be tricky, consult your agent and ask where you can verify the information. I have seen out of area agents note a home is in the Walnut Creek School District when it isn’t, but they make the assumption because the house is in Walnut Creek;

7. Consult your lender before making a major purchase or changing jobs – moving money around or purchasing a new car could affect your credit rating or ability to purchase the home; &

8. Do buy with resale in mind.

Call or email me to learn more about how I can help you with a home purchase.

~Kristin

Congratulations to Scott & Shenine!

After a long search and some soul searching on what was important, they found a very cute 2 bedroom 1 bath Craftsman Bungalow built in 1916.

What a great starter home for a young couple!!

No HOA dues, a yard and when the time comes, if they plan accordingly, they can buy up, keep this home and use it as rental income – now that is the way to build wealth!

If you are a first time home buyer or a parent who would like to help get their child into a home and would like more information, give me a call!

Signing final documents to close – very excited!

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SOLD! Their first home.

Scott and Shenine post

 

~Kristin

And The Color Of The Year 2015 Is…

Marsala – yes, like the wine!

The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or, I like it as a strong accent to many other colors. It can add to any room by incorporating the hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint.

Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture. Here is another article on Marsala that my stager Cathy Lee shared with me. What do you think about this color and how would you use it?

Use the new ‘it‘ color on your Furniture,

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On your House Accessories,

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Or simply paint a strategic Wall!

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Here are more tips on how to use this beautiful color

~Kristin

 

Wanna Cozy Up Your Home?

So, Reclaimed Wood is Totally In!!!

From Horizontal Gardens to your Bedroom wall, it’s just the right way to go when the idea is to add a stylish and yet ‘Home Sweet Home’ feel to a room.

It creates a warm environment with an unique and unsettling sophistication to wherever it’s installed. There are vendors at the Alameda Antique Fair who create furniture from reclaimed redwood that is absolutely gorgeous.

Check some of these Great Ideas:

Horizontal Garden

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Garden Pathways

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Bedroom Walls

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Living Room Wall Panel Style

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Did You Absolutely Love it?? So, dive deeper into the subject by checking this great Houzz post!

~Kristin

 

Christmas Caroling in Parkmead Neighborhood

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Saturday, December 20th 7:00-8:30 – Starting at 1701 Lilac, ending at 190 Arlene Dr. Please, note the different starting place!!

All are welcome to come along and sing holiday songs. Make sure to dress warmly, wear your festive apparel and be ready to sing and meet your neighbors.!

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Lyric sheets can be printed at www.parkmead.org.

Hot chocolate & cookies will be involved 🙂

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The event will be on regardless of rain

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Organized jointly by the PCA Board & neighborhood youth.