How to Be a Successful Realtor

Some people think being a Realtor means ordering business cards, plunking a sign in someone’s front yard, and waiting for a buyer to make an offer—then picking up a commission check 30 days later. That, my friends, is not how this works. Get Licensed To be a real estate agent, you must be licensed by … Read more

The Advantages of Home Ownership in Retirement

Most of us look forward to retiring someday. If you own a home, it can be an important part of your financial future. Leverage Your Home Equity If you purchased a home 20 or 30 years ago, chances are it has appreciated during that time, making it worth more now than it was when you … Read more

How to Reduce the Stress of Home Buying

While it can be exciting to buy a home, it can also be stressful. For most people, this is the single biggest purchase they will ever make. The only way to completely eliminate stress is not to buy, but if you are committed, here are some tips to make the process go more smoothly. Prepare … Read more

The Holy Grail – An Investment Without Risk

Let me begin by saying this is more of an investment article than a real estate article, but I hope you’ll find it useful, nonetheless. If someone offers you a risk-free investment, be suspicious because by its very nature, financial investing is risky. The foundation upon which investing is based is the risk-return trade-off, which … Read more

Signs of a Good Realtor – Part 2

When choosing the person who will guide you through one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, it’s important to know what to look for. Last week, I shared some ideas on how to spot a good Realtor. Here are a few more. Find Someone Willing to Give It to You Straight Once you … Read more

Signs of a Good Realtor – Part 1

The Ukiah Valley has plenty of Realtors, so it can be hard to know who to choose. Here are some ways to figure out which Realtors can help you buy a home for the best price in the shortest time with the least inconvenience. Start with Recommendations The first thing I suggest when choosing a … Read more

Buying Homeowners Insurance in a Fire-Prone Area

Insurance companies are always trying to reduce risk to improve their bottom line and, if idealists are to be believed, to prevent the heartache associated with the problems insurance is designed to cover. A few months back, I received a little love note from my insurance company stating that if I wanted to maintain my … Read more

Predicting Mortgage Rates Part 2

Last week, I reviewed the effects of interest rates on home affordability. This week, we’ll look a bit more closely at the market factors that influence rates. After a decade of stability when mortgage rates remained relatively low, we are now faced with rising rates and far less predictability. Economic markets don’t respond well to … Read more

Predicting Mortgage Rates Part 1

For the last ten years, mortgage rates have remained relatively steady and quite low. I knew those rates couldn’t last forever, but I certainly couldn’t have predicted the global events that have brought so much uncertainty, thereby sending economic markets on a wild ride and interest rates with them. Unfortunately, these rate changes are having … Read more