iowahomeloans

Originally posted on Amy's House:

With the spring market underway, my days have been long…working from sun up to past sundown, each morning passing a quickly accumulating pile of laundry as I walk out the door, and coming home at the end of long days with my personal to do’s left undone. I’ve not been out with friends, or gone to the show in quite a long time. There’s an ebb and flow to working in real estate…this is a “flow” time of year. So for now at least, it seems that “work” is all I do.

And yet, I’m happy. I won’t go as far as to say, as the expression goes, find a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life.  It’s work, but I do love my job.

Most people have long days, and work really really, hard and yet not everyone has a job they love, not everyone…

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iowahomeloans:

great words of Wisdom! Thanks Kim and Congratulations on your new blog!! :)

Originally posted on A High-Heeled Perspective:


2015 has been a year of goals for me. While everyone was writing their list of resolutions I sat down and created a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year. What I’ve learned since January is that as I check one thing off this list another is added. This list has grown from personal goals that I want to achieve to professional challenges I want to overcome. But what I find even more exciting is the idea that the list is always changing-it is a working list. So what have I accomplished thus far? Well…I work out twice a week with a personal trainer; I’ve purchased a set of golf clubs and am actively learning to golf; I stepped outside of my box and successfully wrote a guest blog for my dear friend Danny Beyer’s website (and now starting my own blog); and just this past weekend I…

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iowahomeloans:

Powerful

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

funeral tieSoon I Will be Gone Forever, but That’s Okay as Long as Someone Reads This.

I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral (above) a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.

The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.

Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned…

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Winter snow removal is an unpleasant task for people in many parts of the country. But winter snow removal can also be hazardous for your health; a recent study showed that the risk of heart attach increases drastically among certain demographics while shoveling snow. Don’t take any risks with your health; consider these tips to make your winter snow removal easier.

Shovel More Often

It seems counterintuitive – if shoveling snow puts you at the risk of a heart attack, why do it more often? But it may be the right call; shoveling more often means you’re shoveling a smaller amount of snow, and thats less cardiovascular work. Instead of waiting for a few inches of snow to pile up, shovel every inch or so, when it’s easy to just push the shovel along to make a path in the snow. It’s lifting the big shovels full of heavy, wet snow that is particularly dangerous. Putting salt or other ice-melt down after you clear the snow can also help prevent forming a layer of ice from the ground’s moisture, and can help prevent snow from piling back up again immediately.

Consider Investing in a Snow-Blower

If you’ve got a large area where you shovel, such as a wide or long driveway, or a lengthy walkway, consider investing in a snow-blower. A good snow blower isn’t cheap, but spending a few hundred dollars is far better than risking a heart attack. If you have neighbors who don’t own a snow blower, you may also be able to amortize that cost by clearing their snow, too, for a few bucks.

Hire Someone for Snow Removal

If you live somewhere you only get a few snowstorms a year, a better investment might be hiring someone to do your snow removal. Hiring someone is the most expensive route on an individual basis, but if you only have to hire someone to come out three times a year, that’s a lot cheaper than buying a snow blower – and it eliminates your risk of heart-attack. Ask for referrals from friends and neighbors, and if you do hire someone, make sure you book early – snow removal professionals get really busy in the right season, and you don’t want to miss your chance to get an appointment.

If you already own a home, you probably already know that having a home mortgage can reduce your tax liability. But first-time buyers or people who have never owned a home typically have no idea that this deduction is available! If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, it’s too late to make an impact on your taxes this year, but you can buy now to see a big reduction in next year’s tax liability. How do you get money back just by owning a home?

 

How it Works

Homeowners are eligible to deduct the interest that they pay on first and second mortgages up to $1,000,000 in mortgage debt. People who are married and filing separately can deduct up to $500,000. You can also deduct home equity loans up to $100,000, or up to the amount of equity that you currently have in your home. The math can get complicated, but it’s calculated using an annual effective interest rate. These deductions can reduce your tax liability, which means you’ll owe less in taxes – and you’ll get a bigger refund at the end of the year!

 

Maintain a Mortgage to Take Advantage of This Deduction

In order to qualify for this tax deduction, you must maintain a mortgage on your home. Some people work to pay down mortgages early in order to eliminate a monthly payment. However, most financial advisors will recommend that you actually maintain a mortgage because the reduction in tax liability typically surpasses the amount you pay in interest. In other words, the tax advantages of maintaining a mortgage are valuable enough that you shouldn’t try too hard to pay it down early, but should instead use extra cash to make other investments that can help your long-term financial goals. The second you pay off your mortgage, you lose your tax deduction!

Around the country, real estate sales are increasing. Depending on where you live, sales may be up anywhere from 7 percent to 27 percent – or more. As sales increase and inventory shrinks, more people are coming quickly off the sidelines to snap up a home before they miss out on a great deal. If you’ve been waiting for the ideal time to buy, it’s now – before the best deals are gone.

 

Shrinking Inventory Motivates Buyers

Many buyers have been watching the housing market for the past couple of years, waiting to see signs that the housing market is rebounding before they buy. People have been reluctant to buy for fear that the housing market hadn’t hit bottom yet, and they might end up underwater on their mortgages. Unfortunately, people who have been waiting may have already waited too long to get the best deals – and people are finally waking up to realize that now is the time to buy.

 

The shrinking home inventory around the country is motivating buyers to jump into the arena before all the deals are gone. Home buyers are making offers faster on the best homes, and the best deals are going quickly. With more buyers in the arena, that translates to two things: more competition, and rising prices.

 

Prices are Rising in Many Areas

Homes sell at prices that the housing market will bear. When the housing market is good and inventory is selling quickly, prices rise – homeowners can charge more because buyers are more eager to buy. With the uptick in activity in the housing market, buyers are also finding that home prices are rising in many areas. If prices are going up near you, now is the time to buy – before you miss out on the best deals. If you live in a part of the country where prices aren’t yet rising, or where they’re rising only modestly, you should still consider buying now to be ahead of the curve. Being in a proactive position is best for buyers – when you get reactive, you only end up paying even more for your home.

The Spring Market is in full gear right now, and many people are using this opportunity to view a ton of homes and make offers on the most desirable. Spring market is a great time to shop for homes, because buyers have a ton of options available and can get the home that comes closest to their dream home. But the best homes go quickly in the spring market, and desirable spots or well-priced homes can quickly spawn a bidding war as multiple buyers attempt to win their dream home. How can you avoid a bidding war in the spring market?

 

Find More than One Property

It can be difficult to be objective when you find your dream home, but one of the best strategies you can employ to avoid a bidding war is to be willing to walk away from the home you want. Find multiple homes that could work for you, and try not to get too attached to any of them. Think about the things you like best about your favorite home, and ponder whether you can make modifications to your “back up” homes to make them just as good as your top pick. It may be cheaper to re-paint some walls, re-floor an area or even remodel a kitchen or bathroom than to bid up the price of a desirable home $15,000 or $20,000.

Have a back-up option, and be willing to walk away when the price rises above your ceiling.

 

Make a Compelling Offer

The other way to avoid a bidding war completely is to make a compelling offer. You may start out offering more than a seller is asking, offering extremely favorable terms or concessions to the seller, or demonstrating that you’re ready to close by having a big down-payment and mortgage pre-approval. These things can be more valuable to sellers than a few thousand dollars extra, and they can make the difference between a quick acceptance and a costly, drawn-out bidding war.

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