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4 Ways to Cut Spending

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
Category: Homes.

A budget is like a diet, you may hate sticking to it, but  its rewarding in the end. Unlike a diet a budget doesnt have to leave you hungry, with the right steps you can improve your finances and still splurge on a few things here and there.

1. Track Your Spending     By tracking your spending it really puts in perspective how much money you spend. Monitoring your bills and even cash for a couple weeks is a good start. The old fashion pen and paper works just fine for tracking your money, but there are also plenty of high-tech ways to do it also, you can use an excel spred sheet, or many online sites provide budgeting worksheets. By tracking your money you can realize how much you are spending on things that are not necessary. By doing little things like planning out your meals and buying at discount stores, will surprise you how much you can save.

2.  Look For Leaks    Start with variable expenses. If your spending too much on eating out at restaurants, cut out one restaurant meal a week, or grab a takeout meal instead, or pack your lunch. Doing little things like this can save you a $100 a month! Some other suggestions would be if you have more than one cell phone plan in your house hold you can consolodate them, or checking with your cable company for any deals or specials. Once you start geting your finaces in line , you can use your savings to start paying off debt starting with the one with the highest interest rate. If you have a credit card with a high interest rate you can shop around to see to see if you can get a lower interest rate. There are several online  cedit-card comparison sited such: LowCards.com, BillShirnk, or CreditCards.com.

3.  Set Goals         Once you have control of where you are leaking money, you can set priorities and savings goals  and reroute your cash.  The more trgeted your goals, the more likely you are to achieve. Put away money specifically for retirement, college or a house. One thing you should always do when setting up a budget is set aside money for an emergency. Even when the economy is good you need “just in case” money for an unexpected medical expense, furnace failure or fender bender.

4.  Be Flexible      As you start to follow your budget give yourself some wiggle room. Budgets are meant to be flexible, if you are too strict on yourself you may get frustrated and quit. The good thing is that most people over spend in 2 or 3 areas, once you get even 1 or 2 of those areas in control you will start seeing the savings. If you do chose to make a big purchase, all you have to do is cut back on a few other things that month to keep you on track.  Now that you think about it you shouldn’t think of a budget as a diet at all, think of it as exercise, any pain you feel will only make you stronger in the end.

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Saving For A Home

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 at 5:46 pm
Category: Homes.

What is the first thing you think of when you want to buy a home? It is probably weather or not you have enough lmoney saved up tp buy a home. However, you may still be able to buy a home with not much money save up!

There are lenders that have loans for as much as 95% of the purchase price of a new home and are able to spread the length of the loan out over time to reduce the mothly payments to something you can afford. The way to get this type of loan is to have a reliable,  steady job with good credit history,  then there is a good chance you can find a lender that will lend to you for most of the purchase price of the home. Typically, home laons are offered in the amounts of 80%, 90% and 95% of the price of the home and you can expect to pay the remaining amount in cash from your savings.  One reason lenders are willing to loan up to 95% of the purchase price is because buying a home is an excellent investment and that your home will be worth more in the future so they feel it is safe to invest in your home.

With home loans covering up 95% of the home price, you can also get a great interest rate and have that rate fixed at the same rate for many years. You can repay your home loan anywhere from 15 years to 30 years. If you get a shorter term, you pay a slightly lower interest rate, but your monthly payment will be much higher usually by 27% more than a 30 year loan. If you can afford this route, it would save you money in interest costs by choosing a 15 year loan.

Now that you know a little more about saving for a home, it doesn’t seem that hard does it?

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Helping Your Community During the Holidays

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 at 6:45 pm
Category: Homes.

With the current economic conditions many families in our community are struggling during this holiday season. How can you help? Since we live in such a generous, caring community there are many ways to help local families.

Grace Lutheran Church are taking donations for holiday food baskets throughout the holiday season. For more information call the church office at 760-375-9768. Ridgecrest Church of Nazarene has already helped 20 families (85 people) enjoy Thanksgiving dinner this year and are continuing to take donations to help more families for Christmas. Accepting donations at the church or for more information call 760-375-4433. Calvry Assembly of God is also taking food and/or monetary donations for holiday food baskets, 800 W. Upjohn                760-375-5014. The Woman’s Shelteris accepting donations of gifts, gift certificates to local super markets, and any other donations are appreciated, located 832 China Lake Blvd 760-375-7525.

What a great community we live with so many opportunities to help our local families. We wish all a safe and happy holiday season!

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Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Category: Homes.

Mistake #1 — Pricing Your Property Too High

The best way to get the most out of your home is NOT to list your product at an excessively high price! A high listing price will cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.

Mistake #2 — Mistaking Re-finance Appraisals for the Market Value

Unfortunately, a re-finance appraisal may have been stated at an untruthfully high price. Often, lenders estimate the value of your property to be higher than it actually is in order to encourage re-financing. Your best bet is to ask your REALTOR® for the most recent information regarding property sales in your community. This will give you an up-to-date and factually accurate estimate of your property value.

Mistake #3 — Forgetting to “Showcase Your Home”

When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in need of repairs will surely lower the selling price of your property and will even turn away some buyers.

Mistake #4 — Trying to “Hard Sell” While Showing

You should try to allow prospective buyers to comfortably examine your property. Don’t try haggling or forcefully selling. Instead, be friendly and hospitable. A good idea would be to point out any subtle amenities and be receptive to questions.

Mistake #5 — Trying to Sell to “Looky-Loos”

A prospective buyer who shows interest because of a “for sale” sign he saw may not really be interested in your property. Often buyers who do not come through a REALTOR® are a good 6-9 months away from buying, and they are more interested in seeing what is out there than in actually making a purchase. They may still have to sell their house, or may not be able to afford a house yet. They may still even be unsure as to whether or not they want to relocate. Your REALTOR® should be able to distinguish realistic potential buyers from mere lookers.

Mistake #6 — Not Knowing Your Rights & Responsibilities

It is extremely important that you are well-informed of the details in your real estate contract. Real estate contracts are legally binding documents, and they can often be complex and confusing. Know what you are responsible for before signing the contract. Can the property be sold “as is”? How will deed restrictions and local zoning laws affect your transaction? Not knowing the answers to these kinds of questions could end up costing you a considerable amount of money.

Mistake #7 — Limiting the Marketing and Advertising of the Property

Your REALTOR® should be committed to selling your property; he or she should be available for every phone call from a prospective buyer. Most calls are received, and open houses are scheduled, during business hours, so make sure that your REALTOR® is working on selling your home during these hours. Chances are that you have a job, too, so you may not be able to get in touch with many potential buyers.

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Ridgerest Homes Are Still Selling….

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 5:11 pm
Category: Homes.

…We are so fortunate here in Ridgecrest  CA. Our base is growing and that means more jobs and more home sales.

Great news! Congress has just extented and expanded tax credits for home buyers– and not just for those buying for the first time…

  • First time buyers can now recieve an $8,000 tax credit through April 30, 2010.
  • Home buyers who have lived in their residences for five years may now recieve a credit of $6,500.
  • The tax credit is now available to individuals earning up to $125,000 or $250,000 for couples.
  • Call me for more information on these requirements 760-371-5723. 

Even though our market is strong here in Ridgecrest, CA we get to take advantage of the governments’s efforts to increase home sales…

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Conforming Loan Limits to Extend Through 2010…

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 at 1:24 pm
Category: Homes.

 Yippy Congress passed conforming loan limits of $417,000 for our area. What does that mean for consumers: Lower interest rates on higher priced homes.  President Obama is expected to sign the resolution today or tomorrow as part of a broader piece of budgetary legislation that will prevent a government shutdown.

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) and the National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.) have long advocated making permanent higher conforming loan limits. C.A.R.’s and N.A.R.’s efforts a provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act 2008 including temporaily raising the conforming loan limits through 2009. Yesterdays actions effectivly extend the conforming loan limits for Frannie, Freddie, and FHA loans through 2010.

The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or “guarante.” Non-conforming or “jumbo loans” typically carry higher mortgage interest rates than conforming loans, increasing monthly payments and hampering the ability of families in California to purchase homes by making them less affordable.

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Halloween Events in Ridgecrest…

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 4:57 pm
Category: Homes.

The weather is beautiful this Halloween weekend, so what will you do? Well there is lots of fun stuff  going on in Ridgecrest this weekend for all to enjoy.

  • Calvary Chapel is having its annual Family Fall Festival From 5pm-9pm on Saturday October 31 at 210 E. Springer Ave. There will be free game booths inside and inflatable rides outside. Free hot dogs, hamburgers and cotton candy will be available. For a nominal price you can purchase Tri-tip sandwiches, chili, Indian Fry Bread, and hot and cold beverages. For more Info call the church office at 1- 760-375-3133.
  • Immanuel Baptist Church  is having its Harvest Festival at the Immanuel Ministry Center 1201 N. China Lk. Blvd. There will be bounce houses, game booths, candy, live music, and door prizes, admission is free. Food and soft drinks will be available to purchase.  For more info call the church at 1-760-446-4531.
  • CLOTA’s Spook House will be open Oct. 30 and 31 from 6 to 11pm at the USO Building, 230 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. There is also a slightly less scary kids matinee from 11am to 3pm on Saturday. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for 11 and under. For more info call 1-760-446-2411.
  • The Ridgecrest Police Dept. C.H.A.M.P.S. and Explorers program presents a Haunted House fund-raiser an the Desert Empire Fair Grounds Friday and Saturday staring at 6pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.
  • Trona Elks is hosting a Halloween party for children on Saturday from 4 to 6pm at the Elks Lodge. Admission is free and the party is open to all children.

With plenty to do it should be a great weekend. We wish all a safe and happy Halloween weekend!

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Tax Credit Almost Expired!

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Monday, October 19th, 2009 at 3:06 pm
Category: Homes.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorizes a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence. This tax credit expires December1, 2009. It is a tax credit of the lesser of either 10% of the cost of the home or a maximum of $8,000. As opposed to the old tax credit there is no repayment, and if you do not sale your home within three years and is your primary residence the credit will not be recaptured. The income limits remain the same, $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers. This is a great opportunity for first time home buyers! This is opportunity will expire December 1, 2009 which means your house must be closed by Novemer 30, 2009, there is still time but dont wait and miss out on this great opportunity!

For any questions about the first time home buyers tax credit or any of your real estate needs please feel free to conact me! tameraroulund@hotmail.com

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Advantages of Renting Your Home

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 12:08 pm
Category: Homes.

It’s no secret that the real estate market can be temperamental. When homeowners find themselves unable to sell their home, many turn to the renting as a way of cutting the costs while waiting for the market to pick back up. Depending on your current situation, renting your home out may be a reasonable option. Here are some advantages to renting:

 When you decide to rent calculate the numbers to see if the rent will cover the mortgage and other rental expenses. Landlords also gain tax advantages in addition to the regular deductions of mortgage interest and taxes, talk to your CPA for more information. 

Renting your home until the market turns around or until you are ready to sell can be a good financial move.  To help you qualify for a new loan, lenders on average count 75% of the rent payments as long as you have a one-year lease. So when considering renting or selling feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.- Tamera Roulund   tameraroulund@hotmail.com

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Tips For Home Buyers

Posted by Tamera Roulund | on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 7:27 pm
Category: Homes.

Do You Know What You Want?

Even if your not a first time home buyer you still need to ask yourself why you want to buy. Whatever your answer, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to effectively define your goals. It may be helpful to go over these questions then discuss them when you meet with your realtor: Are you planning to move to a new community due to a lifestyle change or is buying an option not a requirement? What would you like in terms of  real estate that you do not have now? Do you have a purchasing time frame?

Why should you use a realtor?

It may seem easy at first but when looking at homes no two homes are the same. Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing cost. No two transactions are the same either. In the chaos of buying a home it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more.        What should you expect from your realtor?                                                                                                                                Once you select an agent you will want to establish a proper business relationship. Your agent will explain the options available, describe how they typically work with their clients and will provide your with complete agency disclosures as required in your state. Once hired, your agent will provide you with information detailing the current market conditions, financing options and negotiating issues that might apply to your situation. During your time in the marketplace your agent will keep you informed, updated,  and alert you to through each step of the transaction process.

What Kind of Loan Should You Get?

There are alot of different loans available from a variety of lenders, but in general, the mortgage you choose will likely be determined by at least some of these key factors:   How much down? How’s your credit? Are you a first time buyer? To obtain a loan you must complete a written loan application and provide supporting documentation. After you are approved and have chosen a home your real estate agent will help with the transaction  process and in no time you will be a proud home owner!

These and many more important factors are involved in your new home transaction, let your agent help take the load off your shoulders. For all your real estate needs please feel free to contact me. tameraroulund@hotmail.com

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Market Recap

  • Avg. Sales Price: $195,000

  • Avg. Days on Market: 126

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