Prep Your Grilling Spot For A Weekend BBQ!

After a chilly winter and a rainy spring, many people cannot wait to break out their grills and tidy up their patios for fun weekend BBQs! Whether your barbeque hang out spot is a raised deck, your yard, an apartment rooftop, or a fully functional outdoor kitchen, these tips can help everyone make their space more inviting and enjoyable for gatherings all summer.Add weatherproof furnishings:
♦ Gone are the days when “patio furniture” means wobbly, white plastic chairs. The market has expanded to include so many weather proof options from dining sets to “zero gravity” lounge chairs. Outdoor furniture also experiences a lot more wear and tear than indoor counterparts. High-quality pieces should either be brought into a shed or garage in extreme weather or secured and covered with heavy-duty tarps.
♦ Design an inviting, natural space by hanging outdoor grade string lights overhead. Solar-powered path and garden lights also help guests avoid stepping in newly planted flowers or veggie patches once the sun goes down!

Create shade:
♦ If you want to shade a picnic table, go with a classic patio umbrella. As assortment of colors are available to match your outdoor décor. Be sure to always collapse your umbrella at the end of the party though, as these can easily blow away in a windy storm!
♦ If you want to invite shade over a larger area, opt for a rectangular or triangular “sail shade.” This unique way to cover your space can be secured to any structure, such as fences, trees, roofs, or posts, to provide shade underneath.
♦ A pergola can be a beautiful addition to a back yard or patio and, with some convenient climbing vines to block out the sun’s rays, makes a comfortable shaded area to enjoy.

Keep bugs away:
Add ambiance and keep bugs away with homemade bug-repellant luminaries. Fill an empty mason jar with a couple slices each of lemon and lime and a couple sprigs of rosemary. Fill the jar with water and top with a floating candle. Placing these luminaries around your BBQ will keep your guests happy!
Decorate with lavender and basil plants. They give off aromas that naturally repel insects.
♦ Provide bug spray options for guests to apply if the mosquitoes decide to join the party despite all your defenses!

Don’t forget the drinks:
If you don’t have a cooler large enough for your get-together, fill a wheelbarrow with ice and your favorite bottled or canned drinks!
Tap a watermelon keg! If you carve out a watermelon to fill with your favorite juice or adult beverage, you can install in a keg tap right into the rind of the melon. Consider using some of the watermelon itself to make a frosty, melon-flavored punch.Try a delicious new recipe:
Nothing beats a juicy burger or a perfectly grilled hot dog but try adding interest to your outdoor cooking with different recipes this summer:
Grilled pizza
Grilled corn on the cob (elote)
Grilled peaches and pineapple

Have fun!
♦ Lawn games such as cornhole and giant Jenga are great for kids, as well as parents. There’s nothing like a healthy competition to keep your party going into the wee hours of the night!
For a quieter evening BBQ, host an outdoor movie. Ask guests to bring blankets and lawn chairs to settle in for a single or double-feature! Tie it all together by incorporating the theme of the movie into your BBQ décor and food choices.

If you’re dreaming of a new home with the perfect backyard grilling spot, reach out to ME at 860.945.9284 y today to to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service and see how much you could qualify for. Your best summer yet could be just one conversation away with Norcom Mortgage.

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National Polar Bear Day 2019

It’s National Polar Bear Day

polar bear

Here’s Some Advice from a Polar Bear
♦  
Live Large
   ♦  Be Thick Skinned
   ♦  Sniff Out Opportunities
   ♦  Learn Good Icebreakers
   ♦  Appreciate Long Winter Nights
   ♦  Be Fearless
   ♦  Keep It Cool

Tuesday Homebuyer Mortgage Tips

TUESDAY TIPS
HOME BUYER MORTGAGE TIPS

tuesday tipsMake a list of the home features you’d like in your new home. Prioritize what you need, what you desire and what you don’t want. Talk to family and friends who own a home nearby and see what features they wish they had. Electric heat, gas or oil, central air. Wall-to-wall carpeting or wood flooring?

Then reach out to Me at 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for pre-approval-2your family and to take advantage of my FREE  Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service and be ready to make an offer on your dream home

It’s Small Business Saturday! Don’t Keep Me a Secret!

saturdayIt’s Small Business Saturday! Don’t Keep Me a Secret!

If you or your friends meet someone over the holidays who could benefit from working with a professional Mortgage Loan Officer, please reach out to Me their contact information. I will follow-up and take good care of them for you.refer a friend

Purchase or Refinance. I’m never too busy for your referrals.

10 Ways To Give Back This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 5During this season of thankfulness, many of us want to show gratitude and give back. Whether your donation is time or money, you can make a difference in your community. Here are 10 ideas of ways to give back:
1. Many grocery stores have programs that allow you to buy a turkey or an entire Thanksgiving dinner to donate to a family in need. You can also donate many non-perishable Thanksgiving staples, such as canned green beans or cranberries, to your local food pantry.
2. This season also marks a drop in temperature in many parts of our country, which can be dangerous for people who are currently homeless. Go through your closets and storage areas to find gently worn shoes/boots, sweaters, coats, and other winter gear to donate to a local shelter. Also, consider contributing bulk packs of new socks, as this is an oft needed but forgotten donation.
3. Make time to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Whether it is on Thanksgiving Day or not, helping prepare and serve healthy meals is a great way to help those in your community who would otherwise be hungry.
4. Donate blood and help save a life! Go to the American Red Cross website to find out where and when in your community you can donate.
5. Don’t forget about helping the pets in your community! Contact your local shelter to see if you can spend a couple hours volunteering with their cats and dogs.
6. Run in a charity 5k or 10k race. What better way to start your Thanksgiving Day than a brisk run! See if your city or town is having a “turkey trot” or other road race to raise money for a local cause.
7. Invite someone to join your family Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe a coworker whose family lives out of state, or an elderly neighbor. Your meal will taste even better knowing that you have shared it with someone in need!
8. Help clean up your town or city. Show your appreciation for the place you call home by spending a couple hours picking up litter in public spaces or clearing leaves and fallen branches off walkways.
9. Send thank-you or thinking-of-you notes to your loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail that isn’t bills or ads!
10. If you don’t have the time to donate, consider making a reoccurring, online contribution to a cause near and dear to your heart.

Lastly …Don’t Keep Me a Secret! If you meet someone over the holidays who could benefit from working with a professional Mortgage Loan Officer, please message me their contact information. I will follow-up and take good care of them for you.
They’ll be thankful you did!

The FHA 203(k) Loan–Turning “Fixer-Uppers”into Dream Homes

The purchase of a house that needs repair is often a catch-22 situation. The bank won’t lend the money to buy the house until the repairs are complete, and the repairs can’t be done until the house has been purchased.

203k 2The FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan Program can help you with this dilemma. It allows you to purchase a property plus include in the loan the cost of making the repairs and improvements with a single mortgage. It is available to persons wanting to purchase or who own a 1-4 family owner-occupied property.

The total amount of your mortgage will be based on the projected value of your home after the renovation is complete, taking into account the cost of the work to be done. A portion of the loan is used to buy the new home, or in the case of a refinance, to pay-off any existing debt. The remainder of the loan proceeds are placed in an account for your benefit and released in stages as the rehabilitation work is completed.

Here are the Steps to a Successful Closing of a FHA 203(k) Loan:

• A potential homebuyer locates a fixer-upper and executes a sales contract after doing a feasibility analysis of the property with their Realtor. The contract should state that the buyer is seeking a 203(k) loan and that the contract is contingent on loan approval based on additional required repairs by the FHA or the lender.
• Within 7 to 10 days of signing the purchase agreement. the buyer should obtain an inspection of the property by a professional Home Inspector, a termite company and a well/septic inspector (when applicable) to make sure there are no unseen problems with the property.
• The buyer is also required to work with an  FHA Approved Consultant who will inspect the property along with the borrower to determine what repairs are needed to meet minimum FHA requirements. The borrower will also indicate any additional work they wish to have done to the property.
The Consultant will provide the buyer with a Work Write-up/Specification of Repairs which includes the Consultant’s cost estimate for completion of the project.
• The buyer will then select a contractor to perform the work. All rehab work must be performed by an experienced, licensed contractor and satisfy all lender requirements. All subcontractors must be licensed as well. FHA does not allow borrowers to use relatives as their contractor. “Self-Help” is not allowed either.
• A Homeowner/Contractor Agreement is executed between the borrowers and the contractor to ensure that a contractor is in place who will be able to complete the work for the loan amount.
The Homeowner/Contractor Agreement will include a detailed proposal (Plans and Specs) from the contractor showing the scope of the work to be done and including a detailed cost estimate on each repair of improvement of the project. This estimate must ultimately match $ for $ with the Consultant’s Work Write-up/Specification of Repairs. All work must be completed within 6 months of closing the loan.
• The Buyer is then ready to submit a formal application to the lender. The loan amount will include the agreed on purchase price for the property plus the estimated cost to rehab the property. The amount of the loan could also include a contingency reserve of 10% to 20% of the total remodeling costs and would be used to cover any extra work not included in the original proposal. It can also include up to 6 months of mortgage payments if the borrower is not going to live in the property during construction.
♦ The total loan cannot exceed FHA’s maximum mortgage limit for the        area.
♦  The 203k loan requires a minimum 3.5% down payment based on    the total amount of the home’s purchase price plus the cost of repairs.
• An “After Improved” Appraisal is ordered to determine the value of the property after the project is completed as compared to similar properties in the neighborhood.
• When the borrower passes the lender’s credit-worthiness test and the project meets FHA Guidelines, the loan closes for an amount that will cover the purchase or refinance cost of the property, the remodeling costs and the allowable closing costs.
• At closing, the seller of the property is paid off and the remaining funds are put in an escrow account to pay for the repairs and improvements during the rehabilitation period.
• The mortgage payments and remodeling begin after the loan closes. The borrower can decide to have up to six mortgage payments (PITI) put into the cost of rehabilitation if the property is not going to be occupied during construction, but it cannot exceed the length of time it is estimated to complete the rehab.
• Escrowed funds are released to the contractor during construction through a series of draw requests for completed work. To ensure completion of the job, 10% of each draw is held back; this money is paid after the lender determines there will be no liens on the property.

ELIGIBLE 203K IMPROVEMENTS
FHA 203k loans are offered only on 1-4 family owner-occupied properties. A full FHA 203k allows for complete renovations and rehabs of properties where the improvement cost exceeds $35,000. A Streamline FHA 203k may be used when the cost of the project ranges from $5,000 to $35,000.
The types of Improvements that borrowers may make using full FHA 203k financing include:

• Structural alterations and reconstruction
• Repair or replacing well and/or septic system
• Roofing, siding and gutters
• Major Landscape work and site improvements
• Enhancing accessibility for a disabled person
• Additions
• Kitchen and Bathroom renovations home repair 2
• Replace/Upgrade existing HVAC systems
• Replacement windows and doors
• Finish Basements and Waterproofing
• Plumbing and Electrical upgrade
• Appliances, Floor and Wall covering
• Elimination of health and safety hazards
Luxury Items that do not become permanent Part of the property are not eligible for improvements include; swimming pools, tennis/basketball courts, and hot tubs.

If you want to buy a home that needs repairs, FHA’s 203(k) may be a good option for you.Get Pre-Approved
Reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have about the program and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval

 

 

 

Tips on Hosting a Successful Cookout in Your New Home.

bbqSummer is here and you’ve finally moved into your First Home. It’s time to kick back and relax a bit. Cookouts are an awesome way  to begin making great memories with family and friends in your New Home. Here are some tips to a successful cookout that will keep guests wanting to come back for more. Which ones work best for you?

Lawn Games
kids-croquet
Lawn games are an essential addition to a successful cookout. They help to break the ice between guests who may not know each other, and can also create some great memories. Croquet, ring toss and badminton are fun games for all ages that can be played as teams or individually. They are also great to help pass the time while food is on the grill!

Beverages
Requesting that your guests bring their own beverages can ensure everyone has exactly what they want to drink. It can also lower the amount you’re spending and lower the chance of running out of drinks before the party is over. Remember to get plenty of ice to keep all of those beverages nice and cold in a cooler.

Music
Music always helps get the party started. Try making a playlist ahead of time, or finding the right playlist on Spotify or Pandora, to help set the tone for the evening! Pop music, or throwback songs are always a great go-to.

Don’t Light the Grill Too Lategrillin
Lighting the grill too late could mean hungry house guests. Have the grill started just as the guests are arriving, giving them time to settle in and relax. A charcoal grill takes much more time to heat up than a gas grill does, so allow at least a 45-minute window for when you wish to start cooking.

Menu
When most people think of cookouts, they think of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Don’t be afraid to spice things up! Adding a few chicken legs with barbecue sauce to the menu is a great choice that people are sure to enjoy if they aren’t in the mood for the standard cookout foods. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Hosting a party is stressful enough without having to worry about preparing all of the food. Ask your guests to bring a few different desserts or sides for dinner. They’ll be flattered you asked for their favorite recipe.

Remember the whole idea is to have fun in your New home. Enjoy!