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4 Tips to Make Your Next Move a Breeze


I have four tips that you can use to make your impending move much simpler.

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Sometimes, listing your home can be a daunting process. You might have been living in your home for 10 or 15 years, and now, you’re ready to make that next move. What are some simple things you can do to simplify your next move?

1. Start sorting your belongings. Put them into piles according to the things you plan to give away or discard, things you might keep, and things that you are for sure going to keep. If you start this process of purging, I promise that it will make your move so much easier.

2. Give yourself plenty of time. It can be a long process to sort through a decade’s worth of stuff. Be patient with yourself and give yourself plenty of time to do it.

Starting today just means that your home will get on the market sooner.

3. Store your belongings in clear plastic bins. When you move to your next home, you’ll want to be able to see what’s in each box. This will make unpacking easy since you’ll know exactly what’s in each bin.

4. Do it now! Starting today just means that your home will get on the market sooner, meaning that you’ll be on to your next home that much quicker.

If you have any questions or you need any help, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help you in any way we can.

3 Things to Think About When It Comes to Insurance


Today, I have special guest Brett Dyer with me to discuss three topics about assessing your insurance needs this year.

Selling in the Austin area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

Today I have a special guest with me, Brett Dyer of Greenway Insurance, to talk about assessing your insurance needs for the year. Brett is actually my own personal insurance agent who we recommend here on the Smith Team.

Since we’ve had a lot of floods in the US this year, I thought it would be a good idea to cover the topic of flood insurance first. 

Especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you can never be too careful when it comes to flooding, regardless of whether you’re in a flood zone or not. I recommend that all my clients purchase a flood insurance package, which comes at a state-regulated rate of $450 per year. There is a 30-day grace period from the time you pay.

I recently contacted Brett about replacement costs on my home. What exactly are replacement costs?

A lot of insurance companies are starting to veer away from insuring homes with roofs that are older than 15 years.

A replacement cost is the amount that the insurance company will reimburse you in the event that you sustain a loss. For example, if you were unfortunate enough to go through a house fire after which you were forced to rebuild some or all of your home, you would need to find a builder and a team of construction workers. Depending on the amount of damage and the type of coverage you had, you would be reimbursed some or all of the amount needed to fix it. This is why it’s so important to regularly reassess the value for which you’re insured.

Lastly, how important is the roof of a home?

It’s important to know how old the roof of a home is, so make sure that you work with an inspector to determine the exact age of your roof, because a lot of insurance companies are starting to veer away from insuring homes with roofs that are older than 15 years. If you can’t get insurance, then you can’t get a mortgage, either.

If you have any further questions about insurance, please contact me and we can get you in touch with Brett. For any questions about real estate in general, feel free to reach out to me as well. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you with your real estate needs.

5 Signs That It’s Time to Buy Your First Home


Is it time to stop paying your landlord’s mortgage and go find your first home? I have five things you should consider before you make the leap into homeownership.

Selling in the Austin area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

Is it time to stop renting and buy your first home? 

If you’re tired of paying your landlord’s mortgage and building their wealth, now may be the time to consider buying your first home. Before you make the jump from leasing to owning, there are a few things you should consider: 

1. Are you financially prepared to buy a home? Are you ready to make a down payment? A down payment can be anywhere from 3.5% to 20% of the sales price, or more if you want. Make sure that you have the cash you’ll need for the down payment, as well as your closing costs. 

2. Are you ready to make some compromises on where you could potentially live? You may need to compromise on location or size of the home in order to start building your wealth. Your first home may not be your absolute dream home. However, consult with a mortgage lender, hire a Realtor, and find out where those compromises can happen in order to get the best first home possible. 

Owning a home is a big responsibility.

3. Are you emotionally ready to own a home? It’s a pretty big responsibility. When you lease a home and your fridge goes out, all you have to do is call your landlord and they’ll fix it. Just think of the steps homeowners have to take. Consider what the responsibilities will be after you own the home and ask yourself if you are really ready. 

4. Will owning a home pay off in the long run? Depending on where you buy and how much you put down, you can often pay less for a monthly mortgage payment than you are paying in rent. While you’re doing that, you build wealth for yourself. Your home price may increase, causing equity to build even faster. Owning a home can be a great way to build wealth. 

5. Has your lifestyle outgrown renting? Things change. Maybe you recently got married or had a baby and it’s time to enter the world of homeownership. Maybe you need to get a bigger place, a place where you can plant your roots and build your new life.

If you are interested in buying your first home and have questions about how to start the process, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!