June is National Pet Preparedness Month And Hurricane Season is 6/1-11/30

Cute dog

 

Hurricane season starts June 1st and goes through the end of November.

Living in Jacksonville we know first hand how to prepare (stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, make sure you have a full tank of gas, fill the tub with water) but have you thought about your pets?

June is National Pet Preparedness Month and where we live one of the best ways to be prepared for our pets is to have a hurricane plan for our pets as well as ourselves.

Consider downloading the FEMA app on your phone https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.   This app will give you up to date weather alerts and safety tips.

Whether you are taking your pet with you or leave them at a shelter, you do not want to just leave it behind. Don’t forget to take food and water for your pet too.

A great website is for good tips on preparing is www.ready.gov/caring-animals – some of the tips they suggest include:

  • Keep any medicine your pet takes readily in the event you need to evacuate. Also, make sure you have a full prescription in case the pharmacy is closed for a couple of days
  • Built a Pet-owners’ emergency kit. Some things to include are food, water, collar, ID tag, sanitation bags, pet carrier and any other familiar items that will make your pet feel safe
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped. For more information on pet microchips, talk to your vet
  • If you are considering leaving your pet at a shelter or boarding your pet, be aware that most veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pets’ medical records

 

Happy Ali

Hi, I’m Ali….

 Like most of you, my pet is a part of my family. Ali has been with Allen and me for 5 years now and I can’t imagine not being able to provide for her and take care of her.

Let’s celebrate National Pet Preparedness Month together as we plan to keep our pets safe during the hurricane season.

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June is National Pet Preparedness Month And Hurricane Season is 6/1-11/30

Cute dog

Hurricane season starts June 1st and goes through the end of November.

Living in Jacksonville we know first hand how to prepare (stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, make sure you have a full tank of gas, fill the tub with water) but have you thought about your pets?

June is National Pet Preparedness Month and where we live one of the best ways to be prepared for our pets is to have a hurricane plan for our pets as well as ourselves.

Consider downloading the FEMA app on your phone https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.   This app will give you up to date weather alerts and safety tips.

Whether you are taking your pet with you or leave them at a shelter, you do not want to just leave it behind. Don’t forget to take food and water for your pet too.

A great website is for good tips on preparing is www.ready.gov/caring-animals – some of the tips they suggest include:

  • Keep any medicine your pet takes readily in the event you need to evacuate. Also, make sure you have a full prescription in case the pharmacy is closed for a couple of days
  • Built a Pet-owners’ emergency kit. Some things to include are food, water, collar, ID tag, sanitation bags, pet carrier and any other familiar items that will make your pet feel safe
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped. For more information on pet microchips, talk to your vet
  • If you are considering leaving your pet at a shelter or boarding your pet, be aware that most veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pets’ medical records

Happy Ali  Hi, I’m Ali….

Like most of you, my pet is a part of my family. Ali has been with Allen and I for 5 years now and I can’t imagine not being able to provide for her and take care of her.

Let’s celebrate National Pet Preparedness Month together as we plan to keep our pets safe during the hurricane season.

 

Did you Know That Your FICO Score Consists of These 5 Things?

 

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We all know without good credit you cannot buy a home. Below are the 5 things that actually “make up” your score

  1. Payment history – 35% of your score is determined by how you have paid your debts in the past. The more recent payments are given more weight than past payments. This shows your ability to repay your debts.
  2. Debt utilization – 30% of the score is based on the amount of outstanding debt with all combined creditors.
  3. Credit history – 15% of your score is determined on how long you as a borrower have been a credit user. The longer the history the better if you have made your payments on time.
  4. Recent credit searches – 10% of your score is determined by very recent history and if you as a borrower are actively seeking loans or credit in the past months.
  5. Types of credit – 10% of your score is determined by a mixture of credit that you hold – this includes car loans, leases, house payments, credit cards.

Purchasing a home is still the American dream and protecting your credit is an essential part of helping you realize it.

 

If you would like to know more about this topic call me today at 904-463-2877. I can put you in touch with a loan professional that can help you navigate through the process of knowing what you score is and credit score improvement.

Renters Want to be Home Owners Too!

A recent article by the National Association of Realtors shared recent survey results, that “most renters want to own a home… lifestyle changes are the top motivation to buy a home, followed by improvements in their financial situation [that] outweigh seeing their rent increase as the main motivators for deciding to buy a home.”

Renters Want to be Homeowners Too

What does this mean for those thinking of selling their home in the next year?

  • If a potential buyer is currently a renter offering to pay buyer closing costs may be a huge incentive
  • Lifestyle changes can be the addition of a child or a dog. Both need room to roam. As you are looking at what you need to do to get your home market ready think about inside space and outside space and what you can do to make it appealing to buyers.
  • Just remember these…renters might be looking for a more affordable home to buy, but the people that are looking to sell their (affordable) home need to move up. This is good news for everyone!

Reference article: https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/most-renters-want-to-own-a-home-lifestyle-changes-are-top-motivation-to-buy

Top 10 Things to Ask Your Realtor if You are Buying or Selling a Home

1. How do you represent me?

  • There are a lot of agents to choose from. Any of them can pull information up online. You want an agent that really knows the area. You want an agent that represents a buyer or a seller not both as a Single Agent because, in Florida, real estate agents cannot represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction.

2. How do you get paid?

  • Typically the seller pays the commission from the sale of the home. However, a buyer may pay also, i.e. a buyer wants to purchase a “for sale by owner” and they are not offering to pay a commission, the buyer can pay the Realtor. This option is not allowable on VA loans.

3. What is the first step in the buying process?

  • The first step is a pre-qualification. This is determined by your loan professional. It takes into consideration your income and your debts. An experienced Realtor will be able to refer you to several loan professionals that can help you with this process.

4. What is your experience? Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.

  • How long have you been in business? You want an experienced and successful Realtor who has been in business at least 2 years.
  • How many houses did you sell last year?

Look for agents with double-digit sales.

  • What percentage of your listings do you sell?

Ideally you want an agent who has sold an average of 60% to 80%

  • What is the average list price to actual sell price ratio for your listings?

Although it can fluctuate by market, you should still look for high numbers.

  • How do you educate yourself on important matters in the industry?
    • Being an active member of the local and national Realtor & Builder Associations is a good start.
    • Subscribing to industry briefs to stay on top of trends in the industry and market.
    • Specialty designations such as the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), and Military Relocation Professional (MRP) let you know the Realtor is continuing their education and has current knowledge in the areas of designation.

5. You want to assess their marketing skills. Ask the following:

  • How will you market my home?

Here you are looking for a Realtor who will at least showcase your listing on a                     professional website, brokerage site, and possibly a national listing.

6. How will you use Social Media?

  • Facebook? Twitter? At a minimum Facebook and they get bonus points if they are photos on Instagram.
  • What offline materials do you use?
  • Most marketing is done online however, a Realtor will still use tried and true methods such as fliers, yard signs, and brochures, especially with an open house.

7. Do you have references I can call?

  • A Realtor should have references on their website and people you can call to get a reference on working with them.

8. Should I consider a short sale or a foreclosure?

  • That depends mostly on your time frame for closing. There really isn’t a lot of “short” in a “short sale”. The lender holding the current mortgage on the home must approve the short sale so that can be a lengthy process. You can purchase and close on a foreclosure property i.e. bank owned, Real Estate Owned (REO) usually within 30-60 days.

9. How do I know if the home is in good condition?

  • By having a professional home inspection and a Wood Destroying Organism Report (WDO) AKA Termite Report.

10. What is today’s market like and can I get a deal?

  • In some areas of some markets, there are no deals because there is more demand than supply.