COVID-19 vaccines at VA We’re working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans and VA health care personnel. We know you have a lot of questions, and information is changing quickly. Please check back often for updates. We’ll continue to update this page as we have new information to offer. Stay informed about getting a COVID-19 vaccine Sign up for an easy way to stay informed about getting a COVID-19 vaccine at VA. When you sign up, we’ll also ask about your vaccine plans. Your local VA health facility may use this information to determine when to contact you once your risk group becomes eligible.
The milder weather is magnificent motivation to make your garden more hummingbird friendly. And SAWS WaterSaver Landscape Coupons can help you provide the perfect habitat for these mini flying acrobats.Did you know that planting nectar sources for animals such as hummingbirds is an incredibly effective tool for attracting them? That’s right folks, you can avoid the daily feeder maintenance if you have the right species planted in your yard.
Hummingbirds are attracted to tube-shaped flowers and knowing which species benefit them is key to a successful hummingbird garden. SAWS can help you provide the habitat for these iridescent critters with the WaterSaver Landscape Coupon.
Turks Cap, red yucca, Mexican firebush, various salvias, flame acanthus, Mexican honeysuckle, shrimp plant, Esperanza, rosemary and cenizo are all hummingbird magnets — and they’re all included in the coupon program!Conventional methods of attracting hummingbirds involve hanging feeders and, most importantly, diligent maintenance of these feeders. Feeder maintenance is of utmost importance to ensure the health of these majestic acrobats, especially during the hot months in Texas.
Hummingbird feeders can potentially harbor pathogens, if not cared for properly, as they attract large numbers of birds. For example, if an unhealthy bird uses the feeder, there may be a transfer of either viruses or bacteria to other birds using that feeder. Think of this from a human perspective. Would you want to share a water bottle with everyone in your neighborhood
The benefits of feeding wildlife with their natural nectar sources are myriad:
Use the cooler weather as motivation to make your garden more hummingbird friendly and let SAWS help offset the cost with the WaterSaver Landscape Coupon!
Crisp autumn air is a welcome relief after a long, hot summer — unless you’ve been overwatering your lawn. Cooler temperatures and increased moisture make your grass susceptible to fungal disease.Cooler temperatures and increased rainfall multiply the chances of disease problems in local lawns. Bermuda, zoysia and St. Augustine grasses can be susceptible to fungal diseases if the following conditions are present: overwatering or high soil moisture, high soil pH, poor soil fertility or improper mowing height.
Let’s take a look at the common fungal turf diseases that are possible in San Antonio.
For green healthy lawns, always follow the dictum, “Less is best.” Less water, less fertilizer and less compaction.
Understanding Earnest Money
An important part of the home buying process that you may never have heard of could help you land the home of your dreams. Here’s an explanation of how earnest money works in a real estate transaction.
What is Earnest Money?
Earnest money is an amount agreed to in the real estate contract that you will pay soon after entering into a contract as a show of “good faith” that you intend to purchase the property. If the deal closes, the earnest money is typically credited toward your home purchase.
How Much Earnest Money is Enough?
Choosing the right amount can show a seller you’re a serious buyer. A larger deposit might be one way to make your offer stand out among other offers, but you want to choose an amount you are comfortable with. Your Texas REALTOR® can help you make an informed decision about how much earnest money to include with your offer.
Who Holds onto the Earnest Money?
It usually goes to an escrow agent—an impartial third party, such as a title company—who holds it until the transaction closes.
Who Gets the Earnest Money if the Transaction Doesn’t Close?
If the transaction doesn’t close, the terms of the contract determine who receives the earnest money. For instance, the earnest money is typically returned to the buyer if the buyer exercises his right to terminate during the option period. If the buyer and seller can’t agree on who is entitled to the earnest money, things can get messy, sometimes even ending up in court.
1. Clean Up Your Yard for Curb Appeal
Walk out front and look at your home with fresh eyes. Are there weeds in the yard or driveway? Are there children’s toys or other clutter on the lawn? These are all minor issues you can take care of rather quickly.
Tidying up can help improve the value of your home and can help make it appear larger.
Create a home appraisal checklist in the weeks leading up to your appointment. Then do a few projects or repeat some tasks each week.
Leading up to your home appraisal, consider watering your outdoor plants a bit more. Don’t have time for that? Then maybe adding a few new plants in pots or the ground can bring some new life to your home’s exterior.
Be sure to check for any chipping paint that you could touch up if you have the supplies. Cleaning your windows’ exterior can make a difference. As well as, sweeping or hosing down any sidewalks or driveways is a great added touch.
Keep some of these minor touch ups in mind for the interior of your home too.
And remember a decluttered and clean home will feel more expensive.
2. Make the Appraiser’s Visit a Pleasant One
Make sure the appraiser feels comfortable. Is it a hot or cold day? Make sure to set your air conditioning or heater to a comfortable temperature. Even turning on some fans can make a difference.
While candles are nice, be wary since everyone prefers different scents and some have allergies. Perhaps light a candle or two and make sure to blow it out an hour or two before your appraiser arrives so the scent is more subtle.
If you have pets, make sure to leash them or see if a friend can watch them for a few hours.
Don’t go over the top, but doing the simple things, like the above, will make them feel more comfortable.
3. The $500 Rule is Real
The home appraisal process doesn’t have a hard rule on how much a home’s price increases or decreases in value.
However, appraisers often measure home value in $500 increments. If your home needs some relativity-minor repairs, they’ll hurt your appraisal. Fix or replace all non-functioning door latches or handles, torn window screens, and even worn out carpet. Also, make sure basic plumbing and light fixtures function correctly.
While appraisers don’t fully inspect plumping they’ll note if there are issues found during their visit.
Think of it this way, if you spend around $500 or less to do some of these simple fixes it increases the value of your home because a well-maintained home holds more worth. Possibly even more than the amount you spent.
4. Double Check the Basics
Having lights, doors, or windows not working can affect your home’s effective age. Basically, if elements in your home are in disrepair, its perceived age will be higher. Then it’s put into a category with older homes and loses value.
It’s much better to have your home grouped with newer homes as the value will increase.
Think of these small repairs as the tipping point. If the appraiser sees lights or doors not functioning properly, they may wonder if the homeowner has kept up with larger home repairs.
5. Keep a List of Repairs and Upgrades
Organizing a list of repairs and upgrades is something you should do whether you’re thinking about an appraisal or not – you can point them out, along with any other special features of your home, to the appraiser.
Enclosed garages, fireplaces, pools, and things of the like increase the value of a home.
Plus by showing the appraiser your list of repairs, it makes it easy for them to see the time and care you’ve put into your home.
Check this list for common repairs such as:
6. Safety Equipment is Installed and Working
Make sure to check your safety devices. Like the batteries in your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or home security alarm.
Remember to check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher, too.
7. Change What Will Add the Most Value
The kitchen and bathroom hold the biggest opportunity for return on investment.
In a study conducted by G. Stacy Sirmans, a professor of real estate at Florida State University, where he reviewed 150 variables that affect home value. It was sponsored by the National Association of Realtors.
The kitchen and bathroom held the most weight toward a higher home value.
Some other elements that greatly increased the home worth are wood floors, landscaping, and an enclosed garage.
8. Basement vs. Attic – Which has a bigger return?
Wondering how to increase home value? Maybe you’re considering remodeling a basement or attic?
One important thing to remember is that anything below the grade, basically the ground or foundation, aren’t factored into square footage. Therefore an updated basement won’t be factored into an appraisal the same as a re-purposed attic.
A study found a basement had a 66% return on a remodel whereas an attic has 73%.
However, potential buyers may like the idea of a fun game room, man cave, or guest room in a basement. It just won’t help much for your home appraisal.
9. Don’t Hover
During the home appraisal, don’t follow the appraiser around too much. Some appraisers have said it can make them think there is something wrong with the home. Be available to answer questions but allow them to do their job.
If you can’t watch them the whole time, what do appraisers look for?
Appraisers are looking for the overall structure of the home to gauge the quality of the build. The size of the property will be factored into the total value. Also, the upkeep of the interior and exterior features helps tell the story of the home.
10. Remember Your Neighborhood
It’s important that your surrounding area is factored into your appraisal.
What improvements have happened since you moved in? Was a new school, restaurant, or community park built? Note if your roads have been recently re-paved.
What is within 10 miles of your home? A luxury shopping center, university, or sports stadium can all affect the perceived value of your home.
Facts About a Property Appraisal Property Inspection Waiver, PIW
PIW is, “an offer to waive the appraisal for eligible transactions.” Through Fannie Mae, a Property Inspection Waiver can be issued. First, the lender submits the application to DU (Desktop Underwriter). DU has a database of over 26 million appraisal reports and property analytics. This data helps determine the value for homes without the appraisal. The second step would be an offer issued by DU to waive the appraisal.
Third, the lender would then accept. Fourth, the lender gives the loan, and all documents need to Fannie Mae.
PIW may not work for all home-buyers.
Mortgage Insurance Premium, MIP
If you have less than 20% equity in your home, it’s likely that you pay a Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). One way to help lessen or get rid of your MIP is to get a new appraisal. “Some lenders will consider a new appraisal instead of the original sales price or appraised value when deciding whether you meet the 20 percent equity threshold.” Talk to an Rankin Mortgage Consultant to see if this may work for your loan situation.
If you’re wondering how to get your house appraised, don’t worry. Your lender will help coordinate that. They can help answer questions about appraisal cost or something like, “how long does a home appraisal take?” Talk with one of our Mortgage Consultants to learn more.
The bottom line for home appraisals is to make your house as appealing as possible, but don’t stress about it too much. Appraisers are trained to be careful and fair in their evaluations.
As always, you’re welcome to contact one of our Mortgage Consultants if you have any questions.
This material is provided for information and educational purposes only. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness, and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
Mortgage Questions Call Paul D Rankin - Rankin Mortgage 210 396 0183
There’s nothing more Texan than burgers and barbecue on a summer day. Follow these tips to make sure your cookout is a safe one.
1 Grill in a safe location Propane and charcoal grills should be used only outdoors. The grill should be placed well away from the home and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Don’t grill or barbecue in a windy area.
Thanks to popular renovation shows and our low interest rate climate, house flipping and renovation investment is on the increase, with buyers careful to choose properties that will offer worthwhile returns for the least amount of effort and cost.
So what makes a perfect flip or renovation investment property and how do you market the qualities that will attract these buyers?
Desirable locationA desirable neighbourhood is the most critical box to tick when buying a house to flip or renovate to invest. A desirable location could be a hot spot with rising or steady real estate sales, or simply somewhere people want to live – a nice street, close to good schools, within easy access to public transport, or situated in a safe family-friendly environment.
Here are some phrase examples for a listing that ticks the ‘desirable location’ box (extracted from The Copy Cat Real Estate Phrase Finder):
Here are some phrase examples for a listing that ticks the ‘structurally sound’ box:
Here are some non-specific phrase examples that relate to a listing’s potential:
Here are some phrase examples for a listing that ticks the ‘suitable block’ box:
Here are some phrase examples for a listing that ticks the ‘versatile layout’ box:
Here are some phrase examples for a listing that ticks the ‘good value’ box: