Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Avoid These Mistakes when Refinancing Your New Buffalo Home!

As a team of property advisors and real estate agents here at Shoreline Property Advisors, we oftentimes get questions about refinancing.  While refinancing your home can have positive outcomes, it’s important to recognize that refinancing your New Buffalo home is still a large decision that needs to be handled carefully.
Whether you’re considering refinancing your New Buffalo homes in hopes of cashing in on the currently low interest rates, or you’re facing hard times due to recent changes in your finances; we want to help you navigate through this process.  Below you’ll find five of the most common mistakes that are made when refinancing that you’ll want to be sure to avoid when refinancing your New Buffalo home.  Take a look!
1. Over-estimating the value of the home- Although home prices have fallen over the past few years, homeowners still put high value on their homes.  As a result, they receive higher-than-expected loan offers. Your New Buffalo Real Estate agent will be able to show you what comparable homes in your neighborhood are currently selling for so you can get a better idea of what your home is worth.
2. Hesitating to lock in low rates- Waiting for rates to drop even lower can be the biggest mistake as there’s no promise that rates will remain low.  Take the opportunity now to lock in these historically low rates before it’s too late.  
3. Focusing only on interest rates- While interest rates are important, those aren’t the only factors to consider when refinancing your New Buffalo home.  Lender fees, loan terms and even lender reputations will play a role in refinancing.  Using online tools, such as Mortgage Professor to run all the numbers can be useful to determine if financing is even the right choice for you. 
4. Overlooking shorter-term loans-  Although the 30-year mortgage loan is the most popular, remember that there are 20 or 15-year mortgages that may be a better option.  These shorter loans can save significant amounts of money since you’ll be reducing the amount of paid interest over time. 
5. Not knowing what documents are required to refinance- It’s important to know which documents are needed before you begin to refinance.  For those of you who haven’t taken out a mortgage or refinanced lately, you may be surprised to find there’s more documentation needed than in the past.  Pay stubs, two months of banking and other financial statements, two years of W-2’s are just some of the documents required to refinance. 
As you can see, there are refinancing mistakes that can easily be avoided.  Talking with your trusted New Buffalo Real Estate agent will help ensure you get all the information needed before proceeding with the refinancing process.   
Of course, as always, we’re here to help in any way possible!  You should never feel like you have to guess on your next move in the New Buffalo Real Estate market; we are happy to answer any questions you have about buying, selling, investing or refinancing.  Feel free to contact us today!  We look forward to working with you! 

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Get Your North Shore Home Ready to Sell This Spring!

It’s hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, which means the busy spring real estate market is soon to follow.  While it may not feel like spring quite yet, getting your Chicago North Shore home ready to sell now means you’ll have a jump start on the competition.
Our team of trusted real estate advisors and Prudential Rubloff real estate agents on Chicago’s North Shore have years of experience in dealing with both buyers and sellers along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and we want to make sure you’re fully prepared to jump into the real estate market this spring!  While it can take some extra work, the busy spring market can be the best time to get your North Shore home sold.
If you are planning on selling, you’ll want to be sure to take care of a few things before you even put your home on the North Shore Real Estate market.  Ensuring your home is in top condition could be just the thing to make it stand out from the countless other homes vying for buyers’ attention.  Take a few minutes to review these ten tips for getting your home ready to sell!
1. Examine your Front Door: North Shore winters, as well as wear and tear from use, can leave front doors looking dingy and weak. Replacing doors with a more energy efficient door looks great and saves money on heating and air. Don’t want to spend a lot? A simple paint job will give your old door an updated and refreshed look.

2. Clean Gutters: Gutters are a breeding ground for insects, mold, mildew and algae spores that can enter your attic and allow biological growths to enter your North Shore home. Scoop out debris and run water down the gutter with a hose. Invest in a gutter cap or screen. Scrub out the inside with a gutter brush.

3. Check the Foundation: Inspect the foundation of your North Shore home for large cracks and shifts in the blocks. Seal large cracks and gaps between the foundation and concrete/earth and directly on the concrete. 

4. De-Clutter: It’s easy to collect things in your home during the winter months, but spring is all about having a fresh start!  Take time to evaluate the things you really need to keep and those things that you can part with.  Then, establish an organization system.  Hardware stores offer a range of affordable shelving solutions.

5. Check the Basement: Scan everything in the basement of your North Shore home.  Check the water and sewer pipes for leaks, mold and tearing and pests. Address problems immediately either with a water vacuum, dehumidifier or new gutter drains. Drain sediment from hot water heaters and change your furnace filter.

6. Clean the Deck: Warm weather in the North Shore area means spending a lot of time outdoors on your home’s deck or patio!  You want this area of your home to really shine and reflect how you care for your home.  Remove grime, pollen, fungus and mildew by scrubbing the surface with a deck or patio cleanser.  Of course you’ll also want to brush off your outdoor furniture and create the living space that you’ll enjoy for months to come!

7. Get Rid of Mold: Examine your ceilings, attic, walls and bathrooms. If you do notice mold, you must identify the source of the mold before repainting. Ask a local contractor for help. When you are ready to repaint, use mold growth inhibitor paint made for high moisture areas.

8. Exterior Paint: Carefully scrape, prime and paint peeling spots on trim or woodwork. You'll protect wood against summer's heat and moisture and prevent a more difficult paint job come fall.

9. Reseal: Caulk and other sealants safeguard your home against rain and snow at vulnerable points such as cracks and open joints. Winter can rip caulk apart. Scrape out old caulk using a painter's five-in-one tool. Clean and disinfect with one-part liquid chlorine bleach in three parts warm water.

10. Add some green: The first thing guests notice when approaching your North Shore home is color, light and symmetry. When adding new shrubbery, keep it symmetrical. Change outdoor light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. It is amazing what some flowers, light and fresh paint can accomplish in your home on the North Shore
Selling your North Shore home can seem overwhelming at first, but having a North Shore Real Estate agent by your side each step of the way and taking the time to prep your home for sale can bring about great results!  While some of these tips may seem like minor things to do; they can pay off as buyers notice your meticulous attention to detail.  They’ll feel that you’ve cared for your home well and that it’s move in ready!
If you have questions about selling your North Shore home this spring, or you’re ready to get started; we’d love to hear from you!  Our clients are our top priority and we always strive for excellence in meeting their real estate needs.
We would enjoy the opportunity to work with you and get your North Shore home sold!
Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Miss These Events in Harbor Country This Weekend!

With the holiday season coming to a close and Valentine’s Day behind us, those of you living in Harbor Country you may be wondering how you’ll fill your time.  While we all patiently anticipate the beginning of Spring, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy life in Harbor Country!  In fact, the year round festivals and events, along with the excellent quality of life, are why many choose to settle down in this vibrant community.
As the Shoreline Property Advisors team, our goal is to be your resource for living in beautiful Harbor Country.  We not only seek to give expert guidance for those entering the Harbor Country Real Estate market, but want to provide information on how to best enjoy the Harbor Country lifestyle.  
Today, we thought we’d showcase some of the ways you can get out and enjoy Harbor Country and the surrounding area this weekend!  While you may thoroughly enjoy your Harbor Country home, you’ll want to take advantage of some of the upcoming opportunities to get out, meet neighbors and stay clear of those winter blues.  Take a look at what’s going on!
North Mississippi Allstars
Acorn Theater
107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks
Friday, February 17 from 8pm to 10pm
- Founded in 1996 by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, NMA Allstars brings Southern rock/blues jam band music direct from Hernando, MS.  This will be a fun evening filled with great music! 
Chocolate Classic
Harbor Country
Chocolate Classic brochure
February 1 - 29, 2012
- This sweet celebration takes place all month long at varying locations throughout Harbor Country!  There will be a variety of contests, classes and tastings that you won’t want to miss!  Here are a few of the Chocolate Classic events taking place this weekend. 
Chocolate Classic Delicacy Bake Competition & Raffle!
Sawyer Garden Center
5865 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer
Saturday, February 18 from 2pm to 5pm
- Stop by the Sawyer Garden Center and sample from four area entrants for the baking competition. Vote for the best tasting and enter our raffle to win great prizes!  Throughout February, the Sawyer Garden Center will also be featuring fabulous chocolate and wine pairings!
Tasty Trifecta: Beer, Chocolate & Wine
Bentwood Tavern
600 West Water St, New Buffalo

Saturday February 18 from 4pm to 5pm
- Enjoy premium chocolates paired with craft beer and wine while beverage experts talk you through the tasting notes. Part of the Saturday Seminar Series, it's a truly yummy way to spend an hour on a winter weekend. Admission is $6, please call 269.469.9900 for reservations.

Chocolate pairings with Art!
Craig Smith Gallery at Gordon Beach Inn
16220 Lakeshore Rd, Union Pier
Saturday, February 18 from 6pm to 11pm
- This evening highlights fine pairings....chocolate martinis and chocolate wine paired with cake pops, chocolate fondue! Enjoy while perusing a beautiful array of art!
Great Backyard Bird Count
Fernwood Botanical
13988 Range Line Road, Niles
Saturday, February 18 from 1pm to 4pm
- For those of you who love bird watching, you won’t want to miss this exciting opportunity!  Organized by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual event to engage people from across America in citizen-science. By counting the birds you see and submitting the data, scientists can have a real-time picture of bird populations and habitats. Stop by the Nature Center to learn how to identify our common winter birds (1:00 pm) and how to feed them (3:00 pm). In between, help tally the birds at Fernwood’s feeders. 
As you can see, there are a number of ways to enjoy Harbor Country this coming weekend!  Whether you’re seeking out an evening of live music, a chance to soak in the beauty of nature or are craving chocolate; you’ll enjoy getting out and about in Harbor Country!
For those of you interested in learning more about living in Harbor Country or are interested in the current Harbor Country Real Estate market, we’re here to help!  We would love to answer any questions you have or help you navigate through the Harbor Country Real Estate market as your Harbor Country Real Estate agent.
Feel free to contact us anytime to get started! 

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff