Bozeman MT Real Estate - Pop Culture - Health tips and Real Estate Market Updates 

May 27, 2019

Dead Cell Phone? Just Dance!

We’ve all been there. You’re at an all-day event like a music festival or work function with no way to charge your dead cell phone battery. What can you do? Try dancing! With this unique invention you can charge your phone or other small electronic devices just by moving around.  
 
Mobile phone operator Orange UK recently announced teaming up with GotWind, a firm specializing in renewable energy, to produce a charger powered by dance energy alone. According to Orange, the prototype chargers weigh the same as a phone and are about the size of a deck of cards.  
 
The charger attaches to the user’s arm and through a system of weights and magnets provides an electric current to charge a storage battery, which can then be used to recharge the phone. So now, with the help of some smooth moves, you can be back in action and connected to the world again in no time.  
 
Source: About.com

Posted in Pop Culture
May 27, 2019

Revive Your Bathroom Quickly Easily and Affordably

(ARA) - Remodeling projects have increased in popularity over the past few years as homeowners have decided to improve on what they have, rather than take a risk in the real estate market. Whether you're hoping to sell your home or create a more enjoyable living space, tackle home improvement projects that make a big impact and add value.  

One of the top return-on-investment remodeling projects is updating a bathroom. Bathroom updates even outweigh kitchen projects in terms of getting back what you spend, according to CNN Money. And, if you take a cost-conscious approach and do the project yourself, your investment return will be even better. Renting tools is a key way you can cut costs and bring new life into your bathroom.  
There are plenty of remodeling tasks that are easily accomplished by renting tools, versus the cost of buying expensive tools or hiring someone else to do the work.

 

Visit www.rentalhq.com to find an American Rental Association member rental store in your area.  
Bring new life to your bath with these tips: 

 

Replace old tile. Outdated tile is a common problem that makes bathrooms look old. Replacing it with fresh new tile that is in style will instantly give the room a modern look. Tiling is a DIY project that anyone can tackle, with the right tools. Rent the necessary items like a tile stripper, a tile saw and a mortar mixer to keep your project costs down.  

Refresh the ceiling. Ceilings can become dingy over time, and you might not suspect them as the culprit that's making your room feel dull. You'll notice a dramatic change if you live it up with fresh new texture and paint. Texture sprayers are an unusual tool for most DIY warriors to own, but you can easily rent one to make the job quick and inexpensive.  

Add personality with paint. Another simple fix that can be done is adding a new paint color. It's an easy, quick and cheap project and can totally change the look and feel of the room. Select for one of your favorite colors or scour interior design websites and magazines to find a trendy color that gets your attention.  

 

Change hardware. Some faucets and cabinet hardware clearly show their decade of origin. Switching out old hardware is relatively simple and a great way to make a dramatic change in the look of your room.  
 
These projects set the stage for creating a new feel for your bathroom. Make the revived space a reality by choosing a decorating theme and accessories that complement it. Items like window treatments, throw rugs and wall art make the room feel completer and more stylish.  
 
Source: www.rentalhq.com. 

Posted in Real Estate
May 27, 2019

What House Can You Really Afford?

What does “value” mean to you? To me, the word “value” means priceless—things money cannot buy. 
The problem with the American mentality is that we put such importance on material things and not on things that are valuable. 
I cringe when I read inspirational or financial books that encourage people to strive to buy their “dream home.” What kind of message does that send? That people can only be as happy as the size of the home they live in. That they are better parents for providing a bigger home for their children? 
 
The economic and real estate collapse we’ve recently endured should deliver a big message for those people striving to buy their “dream home.” I’m going to tell you: Do not buy your dream home. Learn what you can afford on paper, and then buy a home for half that price. 
 
I know…you’re thinking, “WHAT?” 
 
A client account I recently read about out of Austin, Texas, is a perfect example. After a couple finished school together in 2007, they decided to buy their first home. They went online to a dozen different mortgage calculators and sat down with a mortgage broker. The mortgage calculators asked about their income and any debt they had. 

They had no debt except car payments, so the average mortgage calculator said they could afford a $450,000 home. They looked online and found some very beautiful homes in that price range around the Austin area. They were excited to see they’d be able to buy a three-thousand square-foot home, with a bonus room, office, four or five bedrooms, island kitchen with granite counter tops and possibly a swimming pool. 

 They said it was like a giant carrot was dangling in front of them. The couple spent their weekends driving by these homes and imagined living in one of them very soon. But one thing puzzled them. Each time they “crunched some numbers” and saw what their new budget would be, they never had enough money (or they were stretching their budget too thin). They asked each other, “Why do these mortgage calculators tell us we can afford a $450,000 home when our own calculator tells us otherwise?” 
 

Mortgage calculators don’t ask you about the valuable and priceless things you want and need to do for your family. If you buy a home at the maximum you qualify for (which most Americans do), then you’ll have very little left for the most valuable things in life, or you’ll pay for the valuable things anyway and end up in credit card debt. 
 

Here’s an example list of valuable expenses that may be of importance that the mortgage calculator never asked about:  
 
Preschool for 2 children: $10,000 per year 
College fund for both kids: $233 per month 

Posted in Real Estate
May 27, 2019

Tech to Find the Right Home

According to the 2018 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 52% of buyers want help to find the right home to purchase.  Physically locating the home is certainly part of what buyers want from their agent but finding the right home at the right price and terms is also crucial. 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. Slightly more than half of buyers were referred to their real estate professional by/or is a friend or relative or had used the agent previously to buy or sell a home. 

There are tech tools that can be used together with the expertise and experience of your real estate professional to make the home buying process efficient and effective. 

Listing Alert ... while this service is called by other names, the buyer identifies the specifics about the home they want, and it will notify them directly when a new listing comes on the market that matches their needs. 

Real estate smartphone apps ... imagine driving a neighborhood, seeing a sign and immediately being able to know the price and specifics about the home; very convenient.  There are a variety of different apps available such as Homesnap, and others, ask your agent for their recommendation before installing one. 

Digital documents ... companies like DocuSign have revolutionized real estate negotiations by doing everything digitally so that you're not going back and forth between the parties signing and initialing changes.  It is safe and secure, and your agent will handle this end of it for you. 

ColorSnap Visualizer ... this Sherwin Williams app for iPad allows you to paint walls on a picture, match photos to find paint colors and other things before you commit to a color. 

Google maps ... plug in an address on Google Maps and you see street view of the home, satellite view, surrounding businesses, traffic speed and other things. 

Sex Offender Registry ... NSOPW, the National Sex Offender Public Website is a safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide. 

Financial Calculators ... fill in the blank applications that can illustrate the benefits of renting vs. owning, Equity Accelerator, Adjustable Rate Comparison, Cost of Waiting to Buy and many other homeowner situations. 

Free Public Records Directory - OnlineSearches provides access to public record sources like deeds and assessor and property tax records.  While this service is free, some state and county agencies may charge fees for accessing public records. 

Virtual open house ... an alternative to physically viewing a home is to look at the multiple photos online.  If the property is interesting, you can schedule a physical showing with your agent. 

Check your credit ... Order free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion each once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. 

The final recommendation is your phone.  When you have a question, contact your agent.  Calling another agent may seem like an expedient way to get an answer, especially if you cannot get a hold of your agent but it could inadvertently, cause issues. 

 

Your real estate professional can assist you with these and other tools to help you find the right home.  If you have any questions, feel free to text us at. 

Posted in Real Estate
May 24, 2019

Should I Buy a Vacation Home?

A: The second home market has more ebbs and flows than the primary home market. Sales are iffy in a bad economy except, perhaps, on the high-end. That said, there is a growing trend toward the purchase of vacation homes. They are being bought for investment purposes, enjoyment, as well as retirement. In the latter instance, some people are buying with the idea of turning a vacation home into a permanent retirement haven down the road, a move that puts them ahead of the game now. 
 
Some of the tax benefits mirror those for a primary residence. Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible, which helps to offset the cost of the home payment. And if you treat your second home as a rental property, you can fully depreciate it as well. But you are only allowed to occupy it for two weeks a year, or 10 percent of the total rented time, whichever is less. 
 
Before taking the leap, ask yourself if you can afford to carry two mortgages, maintain two households, and pay the extra utilities and maintenance costs. Also, learn about financing requirements and options, which can differ slightly from those on a primary residence. 

Posted in Real Estate
May 24, 2019

Legal Matters: Purchasing a Timeshare

Numerous factors should be taken into account prior to purchasing a timeshare. A review of the background of the seller, developer, and management company, along with a review of the current maintenance budget, will assist the prospective seller in making an informed decision. Local real estate agents, Better Business Bureaus, and consumer protection offices also are good sources of information. While many reputable builders do exist, purchasing an undeveloped property carries additional risks. One means of protection is to hold money in an escrow account in case the developer defaults. The commitment from the seller that the facilities will be finished as promised should be written into the purchase contract with a date certain.

Practical Factors 

Timeshares provide the convenience of prearranged vacation facilities, but keep in mind that future circumstances may alter future planning ability. Timeshare plans typically do not include recession provisions for poor health or job loss. Vacationing tastes and favored activities may also change over time. These factors should be considered in evaluating a purchase.

Investment Potential 

Timeshare resales usually are difficult and often sold at a loss to the seller. Therefore, timeshares are typically not considered an investment as a second or vacation home might be. There are many investment options in the property area, but investment should not be a major factor when purchasing a timeshare. Renting is also difficult and many time-share owners pay advance fees to rental agencies, which may not be able to find any renters for a given time frame.

Total Costs 
Total costs include mortgage payments and expenses, as well as travel costs, annual maintenance fees and taxes, closing costs, broker commissions, and finance charges. Annual timeshare maintenance fees can be high depending on the amenities of the resort. The larger and more upscale the resort, the higher the fees. These fees cover all of the costs of operation but are typically several hundred dollars a year. These fees can and do rise over time. All of these expenses should be incorporated when determining the overall cost of purchasing a timeshare.

Document Review 

Purchase documents for any type of real estate transaction are binding legal contracts and should be reviewed by an attorney. The contract may provide for -- and some states require -- a set "cooling-off" period during which the timeshare purchaser may cancel the contract and obtain a refund. The contract may include a non-disturbance clause and/or a non-performance clause. A non-disturbance provision ensures continued use of the unit in the event of default and subsequent third party claims against the developer or management firm. A non-performance protection clause allows the purchaser to retain ownership rights, even if a third party is required to buy out the contract. All promises made by the salesperson should be written into the contract. If not, such provisions will almost certainly be unenforceable in a court of law.

Foreign Properties 

Timeshares and vacation club memberships in foreign countries are subject to the law of the jurisdiction in which the timeshare is located. A contract outside the United States for a timeshare located in another country will not be protected under U. S. (federal) or state contract property laws.

Source: Findlaw.com

Posted in Healthy Tips
May 24, 2019

Pet-Proofing Your Home in 4 Steps

There are many perks to owning a pet, but a show-ready home isn’t one of them. Just like kids (and maybe your in-laws), pets can wreak havoc on your household – and more often than not, it happens just after you’ve cleaned up shop. To manage the mess, consider adopting one of these pet-proof tricks.

Pet Dander Be Gone – Cleaning up pet hair is the never-ending chore for pet owners. To help stave off shedding, brush your companion more often. And, designate an area for them to call home with a washable blanket that can be tossed in the washing machine in a snap.

Clean Up the Collar – When bathing your pet, take a few extra minutes to clean the collar – it can carry a wealth of bacteria that may be neglected when grooming. After soaking it in hot water and pet shampoo, rub it together to loosen any deep-down dirt or odor and hang to dry.

Eliminate Pet Pollution – When it comes to pet odors, the best offense is a good defense. If you haven’t changed your HVAC filter in over a year, replace it as soon as possible to mitigate indoor air pollution. Alternatively, consider installing a supplemental air filtration system.

Pet-Proof Your Yard
 – If your pet spends time outdoors, dirt indoors is inevitable. To avoid a muddy mess, consider outfitting your yard with sod – your pet will get dirty less and your home will stay clean longer. If your pet likes to dig for “toys,” store playthings outside, unburied, to break them of the habit.

Resourcehttp://newshub.rismedia.com/article/12920/75961

Posted in Pop Culture
May 7, 2019

Best Bozeman Bites

In My Opinion, The Corx is one of  the best bozeman bites.

I Will Present The Corx Winery As A "Wine Bar", Even Though They Also Serve Delicious Food, The Wine Flavor Is What Keeps Bringing Us Back Over And Over Again. According To One Of The Waitress, You Can Taste Or Purchase Any Of The 1 Of A Kind Handmade Wines, And They Are Local-Produced; Which Is A Big Deal B/C The Locals Need The Business! AND The Wines Are DELICIOUS!

 The Night We're There We Have The Pinot Noir Grand Cielo Produced In 2017, If You Like Red Wine This One Is To Live For! Taste "Suave" And Go Really Well With Pizza, Haha. Least

The Pizza Flavor Was Absolutely Perfect For The Occasion. Sweet And Salty, My Fav! The chef Is Italian And He Knows His Business!

May 7, 2019

Buying a Home: Prepare by Getting your Finances in Order

(ARA) - For those considering buying a home, the current real estate market presents some unique opportunities. One of the side effects of the economic roller coaster ride of the past few years is that home prices have gone down and more homes have gone on the market. For buyers, that means more choices and better deals. However, those same tumultuous years can also teach buyers a lesson: Make smart buying decisions and be wise with your finances. 

Impulsive buying is never a good idea when it comes to a purchase as significant as a home, but it was something of a trend at the height of the mid-2000s. Now, with banks lending far more cautiously, you need to be absolutely certain that your finances are in order - and healthy - to be able to get the best deal on your purchase. 

There are a number of steps you can take to get ready to buy a home, and you might need to work on them simultaneously. Consider that you'll need to start saving, if you haven't already, but you'll also need to review your credit score and do what you can to either maintain it or work toward healthier credit. Both of these tasks will help make the home-buying process better for you. 

Your credit is an important factor in determining the terms under which you can get a mortgage. Broadly speaking, the better your credit is, the more positively you'll be viewed by lenders - and that can lead to better interest rates. And because you'll be paying off your home for years to come, it's important to get the best rate possible. 

Start by checking your credit report. You're entitled to one free check of your report, from several credit reporting agencies every year. As much as you need to check your report to find out what shape your credit is in, it's also essential to review it for inaccuracies or fraudulent activity, both of which can have a negative impact on your score. 

If your credit health needs some work, start taking action immediately. Paying bills on time, reducing your overall debt and limiting new credit inquiries can all help to build your credit - but be patient as it can take time for your positive actions to take effect. Nevertheless, the sooner you make the effort, the sooner you'll see results. 

Making a prudent decision about buying a house comes down to an honest assessment of what you can afford. Keep in mind that you might be approved for a loan that's larger than what is practical for you to afford. While it may be tempting to buy a pricier house, the stress of struggling to make payments could diminish your enjoyment of your new home and even put you at financial risk. One rule of thumb is that most borrowers can afford a home loan that runs about two and a half times their annual salary. 

Buying a home is a complex process, but one that is ultimately very rewarding when done right. By organizing your finances well in advance, you'll help set yourself up for success. 

Source: www.transunion.com.

Posted in Real Estate
May 7, 2019

Increasing Property Value with Stylish Landscape Designs

A gorgeous landscape design can increase the value of your home by at least 5 to 11 percent—and maybe more. Landscaping is one of the most valuable home improvements you can make, and it’s also one of the easiest. If you’re wondering how to turn your landscape into one of your home’s most valuable assets, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Match Landscape to Your Home’s Style


The best way to get an excellent return on investment with landscaping is to make sure it fits with your home’s style. For instance, if you own a Victorian home, a Japanese garden will be sorely out of place and may even lower your home’s value rather than add to it. In this instance, you’re much better off with a country or cottage-style landscape that blends in with the old-fashioned formality of your home.

2. Design with a Strategy in Mind

You’ll need to have a good strategy. That means you shouldn’t clutter the entire yard with various high-maintenance plantings, but you also shouldn’t have plain grass with no landscaping. A study by the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture found that a good foundation planting along with a couple of well-designed points of interest can increase your home’s value by up to 42 percent. The ideal landscape has a good mixture of shrubs and perennials, but it doesn’t have one of every kind of plant that you can find at the garden center.

3. Achieve Seasonal Balance

A profusion of spring blooms won’t interest potential buyers who look at your home during other parts of the year. Think about ways to make your landscape attractive all year — blooming bulbs for spring, annual beds around the house during the summer, shrubs with brightly colored leaves in the fall, and evergreens for the winter. 

4. Plant Trees

A few simple trees can make an enormous difference to the sale price of your home. In one study, simply living on a tree-lined street added between 10 to 15 percent to the sale price compared to neighborhoods with fewer trees. So why are trees worth so much? Trees remove carbon dioxide and pollution from the air, so people view them as an eco-friendly option. The shade helps keep neighborhoods and homes cooler and more pleasant, which in turn cuts air conditioning costs. Trees are also a stress reliever — people enjoy relaxing in the shade or gazing at the leafy view.

Posted in Real Estate