Here’s What Real Estate And Independence Day Have In Common

What’s the first thing you think of when you think 4th of July?

Probably fireworks, right?

Okay, maybe you think about barbeques, pool parties, or parades first.

The point is, the first thought for most people isn’t about the nitty-gritty that we’re actually celebrating — our independence as a nation.

Deep down, we all know that’s what it’s all about. And we respect it. But, we’re also human. Who can blame us for enjoying our freedom watching fireworks, without giving all that much thought about everything our founding fathers did to get us here?

So it is in real estate…

There’s a lot of focus on the “fireworks” in real estate. The big, glorious, flashy, exciting moments. Like…

  • The moment your house first hits the market.
  • Seeing the pictures of your house all over the Internet.
  • Throngs of people walking through your first open house.
  • Receiving offers from buyers…maybe even multiple offers.
  • Going under contract.
  • Walking into “the” house, and falling in love with it.
  • Making an offer on the house you love, and having it accepted.
  • Closing on the sale or purchase of your home.

All really exciting “firework” moments.

But they’re not the full story. There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes in order to get to those fun, celebratory moments. A lot of thought, knowledge, skill, and work… Not necessarily fun, or sexy stuff. But it’s all important. It’s all necessary to get to those exciting “fireworks” moments.

Not that the behind the scenes stuff should be something you think about. As a consumer, you should enjoy the glorious moments. Leave the nitty-gritty to your agent.

Just know that there’s more to it than the “fireworks” you want to see when you buy or sell a house.

What’s The Difference Between Mortgage Forbearance and Mortgage Deferment?

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a lot of Americans under serious financial strain—and in an effort to relieve some of that strain, homeowners across the country are looking for mortgage relief. And for those homeowners, there are a few different options available—namely mortgage forbearance and mortgage deferment.

But what, exactly, is the difference?

recent article from realtor.com outlined the key differences between mortgage forbearance and mortgage deferment. According to the article, while both strategies allow homeowners to suspend mortgage payments for a period of time, the main difference is what happens at the end of that suspension period.

With mortgage forbearance, any payments that were missed are due in a lump sum at the end of the forbearance period. With mortgage deferment, lenders allow borrowers to either pay back the owed money over time or add the missed payments to the end of their loan.

If you’re concerned about your ability to make your mortgage payments, the most important thing to do is to talk to your lender. In the midst of the pandemic, most lenders are working with their borrowers to find solutions and offering more flexible forbearance and deferment programs—so get in touch, explain your situation, and find out what your options are. But do make sure you understand the terms they are offering you, and when and how the money you owe will need to be paid back.

Living Room A Mess? These Organization Tips Can Help You Clear The Clutter

Your living room is probably one of the most high-traffic rooms in your home—and, as such, it’s also one of the rooms most prone to accumulating mess and clutter.

recent article from Realtor.com outlined key tips you can use to clear the clutter and get your living room organized in 2020. While the new year is a fine time to assess the mess in your living room and get organized once and for all, these tips can be applied at any time of the year:

  • Stop using the coffee table as a mailbox. If your coffee table is currently cluttered with bills, letters, and offers you’ll never open, it’s time to get organized. First, sort your mail and toss anything you don’t need. Then, create a designated spot for important mail that’s out of sight (and off your coffee table)—and make sure to stay on top of incoming mail and sort or toss immediately.
  • Get rid of any non-living room items. If there are any items that don’t belong in your living room (like your bathrobe, slippers, or children’s toys), get rid of them and put them in their appropriate spots. Keep a clear bin or basket in the living room to toss any non-living room items throughout the day—and make it a habit to return any items to their rightful spot in your house every night before bed.
  • Revamp your pillows and blankets. A few accent pillows and a throw blanket can make your couch look chic and cozy—but too many and your couch will look like it’s drowning in fabric and plush. Take stock of your blankets and pillows; if there’s anything that doesn’t match your current decor, has any signs of wear-and-tear, or makes your couch and living room look covered, stash it in a closet.

With a little time, effort, and these helpful tips, you’ll have your living room back under control, and be able to sit down, relax, and enjoy the space!

No Sew Face Masks

The CDC is now recommending everyone wears a mask when they are out in public. 

Meghan Pachas and the girls have made a tutorial video for you to make a no-sew mask at home out of easy to find materials

These instructions can also be found on the CDC website, we make no guarantees these masks will protect you from anything, but they certainly can’t hurt

 

The CDC now recommends everyone wear cloth masks while in public. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help keep you and your family safe.

DO
– wear a mask when running essential errands
– practice social distancing, even with the mask on in public
– take the mask off by the ear elastic when you get home and wash it as soon possible
– wash your hands for 20 seconds after removing the mask and on a regular basis

DON’T
– touch the mask without washing your hands
– play with the mask while wearing it
– take the mask off by grabbing the center fabric near your mouth and nose
– share masks with others in your household without washing them first

FACTS – Cloth masks are not 100% effective in blocking the spread of COVID-19 and are not a replacement for social distancing or washing hands. It is believed these masks may help individuals who have the virus but are not yet symptomatic from unintentionally spreading the virus. Please do not use N95 or surgical masks as there is a critical shortage of these items for our healthcare workers and first responders.

Learn more from the CDC (including how to make a mask) here