Phew!  That Typhoon Mangkhut woke many of us up from our years of complacency.  Perhaps it time to review our Homeowner’s insurance policy.  Like many of you, I first bought my homeowner’s insurance when I bought my home – and, promptly forgot about it.  Yes, the policy is the same as I had 14 years ago – no changes have been made to increase or decrease my coverage.  But, WAIT!

I bought a fixer-upper.  I’ve spent several tens of thousands to improve it and to make it habitable.  My home’s value has improved substantially from when I first bought it (and the homeowner’s insurance).  I am most certainly capped out on my homeowner’s policy.  I should increase my coverage.

What about your situation?

A good credit score is so valuable.  Credit is a way for lenders to know if you’re a reliable borrower.  The higher your credit score, the more you’ll be able to qualify for a loan – and, get a lower interest rate on your loan. A lower interest rate means lower monthly payments – and this can potentially save you hundreds of dollars each year.

So, how does one earn a HIGH credit score to benefit from all the lower interest rates and loan qualifications?  Just THREE easy steps:

  1. Keep your credit card balance low – preferably less than 30 percent of your credit limit.
  2. Pay your credit card balance in full every month.
  3. Pay all your bills on time!  Timely payment of your bills has a huge positive effect on your credit score.


What’s PMI?  It stands for Private Mortgage Insurance.  This is the insurance cost added to your mortgage payment if you purchase a home with less than 20 percent down.  PMI has made it possible for many to own homes.  It covers the lender’s risk in case you go into foreclosure.  Federal law requires banks to remove the cost of PMI under certain circumstances.  So, how do you get rid of this additional cost to your mortgage payment?

  1. Generally, you can have PMI removed when you’ve paid the loan down to 78 percent – and you must have had a good payment history and be current on your loan payments.
  2. When the appraised value of your home shows that the value of the property is now substantially high enough that your loan amount is now less than 80 percent of the value.

In the meantime and until PMI is removed, you still might be able to deduct your PMI costs from your income tax obligations.

Many of us just can’t wait to “grow up” and leave our parents’ home and into our own nest.  However, oftentimes, life happens and we need to all co-habit.  There’s this fancy term used for this – “Multi-generational living.”  In many cultures, we just call it “extended family living.”  Same-same.

There are many benefits to multi-generational living:

  1. Grandkids get to reap the benefits of having grandpa and grandma around – the stories the kids will hear of days then, learning to respect and care for the elders, grandma’s family recipes, etc..
  2. Many studies have shown that the mental and emotional health of the grandparents are so much better with young ones around.
  3. Not having to pay for old-age long-term care.  Or to pay for 2 homes – yours and your parents’.
  4. Sharing expenses, sometimes.
  5. And, let’s admit it – grandparents make great default babysitters!

With the rising costs of home prices, there are more benefits and advantages to multi-generational living than there are inconveniences.

Continuing with my train of thought on investing in REAL ESTATE, I hope to demystify real estate investment for you.  Investing in real estate is exhilarating – if done right.

  1.  Learn:  Read, Ask – and Ask some more.  You see those tshirts that say “No Fear”?  It should only be worn by babies and toddler – those that do not know better.
  2. Use a REALTOR:  Some people think they are “qualified” to be an investor after their first purchase through a REALTOR.  Well, even the super rich still call on REALTORs to help them sell and purchase real estate.  Because they know that REALTORs understand the intracies of real estate transactions and financing.

Consult me – it’s FREE!  Contact me at

Ask, Ask and Ask me – to Learn.



Every now and then I get a call from a budding real estate entrepreneur asking me to find them a “fixer-upper” to buy.  A rundown house they can buy, fix and flip.  It is easy to be tempted especially when we see on HGTV how “easy” it is to make the big bucks in flipping.  I enjoy watching those shows too.  But as an experienced and longstanding REALTOR, I watch those shows with critical-appraisal.

So, before you get all hyped up by HGTV, I want to share with you 4 quick critical-appraisals you should consider before you launch into flipping.

1.  $$$$$:  Depending on the extent of the fixing and upping needed of the house, most banks will not give you a home mortgage loan to purchase a fixer-upper.  True, you can always get a personal loan (not enough) or take a second/equity mortgage on your existing home.  So, you need to come in with cash to purchase a fixer-upper.

2.  More $$$$:  Even if you should be able to get a loan to purchase the fixer-upper, do you have the cash for the fixing and upping?  Remember, some of these houses may need serious structural, electrical and mechanical repairs.  Some of these repairs can run into the tens of thousands.

3.  Talent:  You may be quite capable of doing some of the work yourself.  Everyone says they can paint – like painting is so easy.  Try it.  So, be honest to yourself about your capabilities.

4.  Time:  You may have the Talent but, do you have the time to employ your talent fixing up the house?

So, if you do not have the Talent nor the Time, your cost will be higher now – you need to hire out the job.  Back to $$$$.

5.  Emotions:  Say you have the $$$$, Time and Talent.  But you also have a spouse – or a “business” partner in this exercise.  Renovating a property can be a toil on the emotions.  Will you be prepared for this?

For more tips and news, email me at


There’s a rapidly rising rate of female homebuyers in the housing market.   The National Association of REALTORs report that single women make up 17 percent of homebuyers in the U.S – compared to 7 percent of single men.  That’s a huge difference!

More and more women are now in professions previously dominated by the men – engineers, lawyers, physicians – and, in many cases, start their own businesses.  Ernst & Young reports that women are starting businesses at 1.5 times that rate of men.  The income gap between men and women are quickly closing, increasing the buying power that these single women now control.  And, more and more women are marrying later.

The increase in income leads to more confidence and independence.  More women now wants to own their own home – a symbol of personal and financial stability.  These women are changing the landscape of home ownership, impacting home designs, financing and location.


Tax Time!

Tax Time!
Tax Time!

Got to have humor in our life, right?

Many people make their “New Year’s” resolution – give up smoking, loss weight, visit parents more often, save $$.  And just as many break their resolve within the first 2 months.  I’ve given up making “New Year’s” resolutions.  Why must there be just that one day in a year for this?  Any time of the year, I say!  So, what better time to revive our fallen “New Year’s” resolution than April 1 – All Fools’ Day??  I like that.

So, let’s have a few Financial Resolutions laid out for the rest of this year – try to do all or pick one.

  1.  Live by a BUDGET:  I used to hate budgets.  But I see the wisdom in it.  It helps me see where and how I’m spending my money.
  2. SAVE, SAVE and SAVE again:  We always say we can’t afford to save.  Then I read this book – The Richest Man in Babylon.  Simple reading – 2 hours.  I learned the 10% rule – yes, save 10% of my GROSS income.  That’s right – the gross.  Before paying the car note, before paying the rent.  Phew, it was tough in the first 2 or 3 months – I had to learn to live lean.  But, you know what?  I soon got used to my new lifestyle and stopped feeling the pinch of saving that 10% each month.
  3. GOAL:  Set a goal for your savings.  What will you do with the money you’ve saved?  This makes it easier to save.  After a while, it’s actually very nice to see the savings goal grow.
  4. PAY DOWN debts – and pay ON TIME.  This will help you get higher credit scores.

And, if your GOAL is to purchase a home, give me a call at 671-688-6989 or email me at