Tamara Liggins Wishes You the Biggest Brightest 2015!

Tamara Liggins Wishes You the Biggest Brightest 2015!

2014 Holiday Wishes

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Bills are always a factor no matter of renting or owning, Right?

Find ways to make Thanksgiving light on your pockets inside your home and still be the host with the most! I know me for one want to make sure I provide a great experience for dinner but I also don’t want sticker shock when bills come the following month. Take a look at this great article, it gives 9 ways for you!

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Quick Poll about your St. Louis Home Purchase Questions

Summer has Winded Down! What are you planning to do now?

Now that Summer has winded down, many of our lives have taken on a different path.

Maybe you are settling into your home, participating in school events, start new classes of your own or hunkering down for a home organization (after Summer off time).

Whatever it is you’re doing, stop and think for a moment, is there something I wanted to do for the past 9 months that I have yet to accomplish.

Make a list, check it twice, this is the time put those action plans in place. Don’t end the year with a goal or task you’ve really wanted to do but didn’t make time to do.

I’m learning about Time Management on a larger scale that way I can now focus on the things I want or need to have done already. Fast-tracking that’s what it’s been called in the past. I’m going to make sure that everything is done by the time 12/31 appears on my calendar.

It’s not a matter of rushing and making myself do things, there things I’ve wanted to do and pushed to the wayside. For instance, I recently started looking into going back to school for my Master’s. I no longer can throw out excuses. I’ve had years to do that. Now it’s time to plan, make a course of action and implement.

What’s your one big plan that you need to accomplish? Maybe knowing that seasons change brings about action.

Found the home of your dreams! Oh no, it needs updating?

So you’ve found that home of your dreams, except you don’t like the interior design, it’s not functional or just downright unlivable in it’s current condition.
The next big question you ask yourself is, “How do I pay for the needed updates?”

If you have the money set aside having anticipating wanting a fixer-upper. Wonderful!

But if not there is a program called the FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan.

The FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan wraps the costs of renovation, materials and labor into your mortgage or if you already own refinancing. If you want to go with a simplified name just call it a home improvement loan.

A little background first…I know I know, not the boring stuff 🙂 but I promise to keep it short and simple.

First off it’s backed by the Federal Government through the FHA insured program. Meaning essentially you would have to be within FHA limits on the final cost after renovation when the final loan amount is complied and delivered from the lender.

Your cost can be as low as $5,000 on the renovation itself but there are basic requirements such as the house itself after renovation has to meet basic energy efficiency and structural standards.Minor or cosmetic repairs by themselves are unacceptable: however, they may be added to the minimum requirement.

You could do a total rebuild if you qualify, meaning you demolish the existing house and build your own right on that land as long as the existing foundation remains in place.

I know this is a dream kitchen for most of us:

Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock

Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock

There are a few things that are definitely excluded from the renovation costs such as exterior upgrades like pools or non-essential improvements in that category.

Here is a part of the list of what can be done in your renovation (courtesy of HUD.gov):

A. Structural alterations and reconstruction (e.g., additions to the
structure, finished attics, repair of termite damage and the
treatment against termite infestation, etc.)
B. Changes for improved functions and modernization (e.g., remodeled
kitchens and bathrooms).
C. Elimination of health and safety hazards (including the
resolution of defective paint surfaces and/or lead-based paint
problems on homes built prior to 1978).
D. Changes for aesthetic appeal and elimination of obsolescence
(e.g., new exterior siding).
E. Reconditioning or replacement of plumbing (including connecting
to public water and/or sewer system), heating, air conditioning
and electrical systems.
F. Roofing, gutters and downspouts.
G. Flooring, tiling and carpeting.
H. Energy conservation improvements (e.g., new double pane windows,
insulation, solar domestic hot water systems, etc.).
I. Major landscape work and site improvement, patios and terraces
that improve the value of the property equal to the dollar amount
spent on the improvements or required to preserve the property
from erosion.
J. Improvements for accessibility to the Handicapped.
K. Related fixtures such as new cooking ranges, refrigerators and other
appurtenances, as well as general painting are also eligible, however,
it must be in addition to the $5,000 requirement.

Now that you have a better picture of how the FHA 203(k) Program could work in your favor, it might put getting the home you want within reach and at a cheaper cost than buying a completely finished, updated and upgraded home straight from the market.

If you have questions or want to know what’s on the market, click here to start your search St. Louis Real Estate

Feel free to call me Tamara Liggins @ 314.677.6104

Most importantly make sure you are choosing a lender that knows the program and can guarantee you results on financing.

To Visit an Open House or Not!

Tamara Liggins Open HouseYou may be wondering should you visit an open house just announced?

My best guess is you should and I’ll explain why! Sometimes you drive past a home that may have been on the market or just coming onto the market and you’re genuinely curious what the home has to offer.  Sure you’ve looked at the pictures online likely on several different websites, but really a picture does minimal justice for most homes. Most of us are visual by nature, so the up close and personal feel of an open house can satisfy that.
You may walk in after being greeted by the REALTOR® and immediately you’re drawn to different things or rooms that you may not have gotten a good feel for in the original pictures.
I see tons of homes through my MLS connected website Real Estate St. Louis Now and most of them leave me wanting a little bit more and plus previewing homes is a thing that let’s me know what’s on the market and what might suit a client’s needs or wants.
The first thing I find myself doing is checking to see if the home is available for an immediate viewing or if there is an upcoming open house and from there I schedule an appointment for me to view the home in person or grab my phone and put in an event reminder for the open house coming up.
Will you find your dream home visiting open houses? Likely not, but you would be more in tune with what it is you want and don’t want, floor plans such as open or walls to separate space. Let’s be frank, it takes a lifetime for some of us to find that proverbial “dream home” but you may find your next or first home.
For Sellers, an open house can open up ideals and show you just what homes your home is competing against in your neighborhood or if homes are moving quickly in a certain area and not because it’s a highly desired area, go and check out the open houses. Why? Because you will likely see remodeling, updates or renovations that the current owner has done that made the house list for a top price or  selling for a lower price, find out why. Did the owner take the time to update the bathrooms, paint, refresh the carpeting or put in new flooring or add granite countertops? These are most certainly things that would aid in knowing how to get your house sold quick and for a possibly higher sale price.
Did you know that lot’s of REALTORS® host what’s known as an Agent Open House. It gives them time to get honest feedback from their peers and often times helps the sellers know what changes to make or if an attending agent has a potential buyer already waiting for a similar home, it could very well get the home sold quickly.
Looking for an upcoming open house in and around St. Louis? Look no more, visit your next open house this week.

Vivint Cameras and Accessories

I thought this would be a great article for current and future homeowners. Nothing like automating the security of your home. And with recent updates circa this article was written in 2011. I have the Vivint Sky control panel and I love being able to control my thermostat, get notifications when I’ve left my doors unlocked and also the ability to arm my doors and the whole alarm right from my iPhone.

For most people leaving things plugged in and turned on is a regular life event and we hate to start off to work and turn around to turn things off or hope someone comes home in time to shut things down. TADA!!! Home automation has changed that old worry.
I also went with the automated door controls, now my family has codes so that I can see who comes and goes and bring up my cameras to make sure everyone is behaving.

MathLea

Vivint provides home automation, home monitoring service and even in-home tornado warnings.

Vivint is a full service – from installation of equipment to subsequent monitoring of the sensors. But, you can also choose to add accessories on your own – IP cameras, sensors and z-wave devices. The z-wave devices are controlled via Vivint’s control panel.

Check a review of Vivint including Vivint prices to see if it is right for you.

Vivint serves over 170,000 customers and has an interesting background, from its start as a Terminix pest control affiliate in 1992 to its present service providing home monitoring and automation.

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