Monday, February 28, 2011

Craigslist and eBay - How To Get Rid Of Stuff.

Do you know how to get rid of all that stuff you don't want to take with you when you move?  These days the answer could be only a click away.

Craiglist is great for finding a home for the larger items around your house.  It is very easy to post something on this site, all you need is an email address.  It is helpful if you take pictures of your items, as most people want to see what they are buying before they make a trip out to your house.  You can attach up to four pictures of your item. 

Remember when taking pictures for the Internet, don't make the picture size to large.  It will take to long to load them and some files will not be transferred at all.  You can set your camera to a smaller pixel size or resize them once you load them on your computer.

eBay is another great place to sell smaller items.  It is easy once you set up your account and it is helpful if you have a Paypal account too.  You canset up an auction for your item or just set a fixed price with a "Buy It Now".  You are charged a fee to list the item and then if it sells they charge you another fee.  But, it is worth it.  You would be amazed at what people are looking for and buy on eBay. 

You can actually set up an account with the shipping companies and do all of your shipping from home.  You can use UPS, FEDEX, and United States Post Office.  All you need is a scale and some sticky labels.  This is the best part, you don't have to go down to the post office to mail something that you sold for $5, you just do it from your house and drop it off in the mail box at the corner.  How easy is that.

So, if you are thinking about moving or just want to clean out your "stuff" (everyone has stuff) then consider these options.  You will be surprised at how the $$$$ add up.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Want To Sell Your Home Fast? What You Can Do To Help.

What can I do to sell my home faster?  This is a question that most sellers should be asking their agents and themselves.  Besides pricing it competitively, there are several things that the seller can do to increase their chances of a fast sale.   You have to remember - you market your home differently than you live in your home.   
With so many homes for buyers to choose from right now, you have to make your home stand out from the rest. There are many ways to do this.

1-    You can hire someone to come in and “Stage” your home.  This entails rearranging your furniture to make the home look more spacious, de-cluttering, putting away personal items, changing lighting, art and paint as needed.  The Staging concept has been very effective in most cases.  This service could run anywhere from $500 on up depending on what is needed.

2-    If you can’t afford someone to Stage your home, then there are several low cost things you can do to help.  The most important is de-cluttering.  You are planning on moving, so go ahead and start packing up what you don’t need right now.  They say you should pack up about half of your belongings and store them in the garage.  If you have a lot of stuff in the closets and on shelves, etc. it gives the appearance that there is not enough storage in the home.

3-    Another thing you should do is put away most/all of your family pictures and personal items on your desk, dresser, counters and bathroom sink.  When buyers walk in they start looking at all your stuff (its human nature) and don’t really visualize themselves living in the house.

4-    Paint is a wonderful thing… it’s not too expensive and is easy to do.  It really makes a difference in the appearance of a “well kept house”.

5-    Cleaning is one of the most overlooked things that should be done.  Clean your mini blinds, ceiling fan blades, light switch covers, baseboards, etc.  A good spring cleaning any time of the year is a must.  The only thing it costs is some “elbow grease” and you will really notice the difference.

These are only a few things you can do.  If you have some larger items you don’t want, try posting them on Craigslist – it is free.  Everyone is using the internet these days, so take advantage of it and put a few bucks in your pocket too.  The smaller items can be sold on eBay.  I have sold many things on eBay, so the possibilities are endless on what you can get rid of.  If you need help with eBay, let me know I can get you set up – it is pretty easy once you know how.
So, if you want to list your house for sale, give me a call and I can help get you get started on preparing your home for sale and getting top dollar.  Remember, you have to do something different then the rest to grab these buyers attention.  Make your house feel like a home and have an advantage over these distressed properties that are vacant and cold.  There are a lot of buyers that want to just move right in and your home could be the one for them!

Cheryl 541-951-1960

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Invest In Your Future Now ... Will Social Security Be There For You?

Are you relying on Social Security as a source of income in your "golden years"?  Most people are expecting their Social Security to support them or help support them when they are ready to retire. 

I am looking at my Social Security Statement from February 2010 right now and there is a very interesting part of this statement that I am not sure you are aware of.

It states: "Your estimated benefits are based on current law.  Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time.  The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2037, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 76 percent of scheduled benefits"

Well, what does that mean exactly... not sure, but I don't think I can really count on Social Security being there for me.  Gee, congress can make changes to the law any time - that is reassuring. 

So lets say you were suppose to get $1,000 a month, now you are getting $760... hmmm I could have done a lot with that extra $240.

I feel that real estate is a very good investment, if you look at it long term.  If you are renting now, you should buy yourself a little home - just to get your foot in the door.  If you currently own a home you can buy yourself a little house to rent out - over the years it would go up in value and your loan balance will decrease.  When you need some additional income to live on in 25 years, it will be almost paid off.  This could be your nest egg. You can refinance and pull your money out or just sell it. 

I like to think of this type of thing as "the investment that keeps on giving".  If you refinance and take some money out to live on, you still have the property... you can then leave it to your kids when you pass away or you can refinance several times throughout the years.  Hence, the investment that keeps on giving.

This type of small investment is easy to manage.  There are many options.  I have years of experience with property management and can help guide you through the process.  Think about your future, Social Security isn't.

Call me and I can get you started.

Cheryl Malone

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Friday, February 25, 2011

So You Want To Own A Rental ? Why Not Buy A House For A Rental?

Buying rental property is a great idea, especially in this market... the prices are great and with the super low interest rates it can be very affordable.  In the past with the higher housing prices it was hard to get the rent to cover the payment/expenses.  This has changed in many areas with the prices being as low as they are right now, it can work out to be a very sweet deal. 

Many people are looking to rent a house because they have lost theirs to foreclosure or a short sale.  So, the demand for rental homes is good right now.  I bought my first house with the intention of living there, but then figured out that I could rent it out for pretty close to the payment.  This was a good thing... it has turned out to be a wonderful investment.  I still own that same rental house 27 years later. 

I always felt that buying a house as an investment was better than buying an apartment building.  You only have to deal with one tenant and a lot of tenants who rent homes, seem to want to take good care of it.  Especially, if they were homeowners before.

Anyway, food for thought... maybe you can invest in your future too and buy a rental house !

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How many people have a Facebook or should I ask how many people don't?  Facebook has been very good to me.  I have reconnected with some of my old friends from school, which has been a lot of fun to see where their lives have taken them.  It is definitely a way to feel connected to people on a regular basis, without feeling like you are intruding into their life.  They post what they want you to know and it takes off from there into some interesting places !

It is nice that you can select who you want to be "friends" with and share only what you want to share with others.  Overall, it is fun to have.  Now in saying that, you can have too much fun if you get addicted to the games they have like Farmville and Cafe World.  I use to plan my whole day around when my "Farmville" crops were going to be ready to harvest.  Ain't that a hoot !  Luckily that only lasted for a few months and then I wised up and quit playing, cold turkey.  My farmhouse and crops have probably turned to dust and tumbleweeds by now... I don't dare go and check.

I just made a Facebook page for my business, I have not put anything on it yet.  Hopefully it will be a fun and informative place for my clients to check out.  We will see how that develops.  Happy Facebooking !

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Rent vs Own - Should I Buy A House In Today's Market?

Over the last several years many people have asked if they should buy a house in today's marketWhen is a good time to buy a home?  It is hard for some tenants to make the leap into homeownership, to begin with.  It can be a scary and an exciting time for most 1st Time Homebuyers.

The benefits of owning your home are terrific: from tax deductions to building equity and the plain old pride of owning the place where you live.  If you have to pay to live somewhere, why not have that money work for you.  For example:  if your monthly rent is $1,100 per month you can figure that after 10 years you would have spent $132,000 on housing.  Yes, believe it or not that figure is correct.  That money is gone and you will not be able to recoup any of it.

In today's market some buyers can purchase a home with 100% financing with payments at $1,100 (or less) per month.  You are still paying the same monthly amount, but now you are putting that money to work for you.  Each month you are paying down the principal on your loan, earning a tax right off, and best of all gaining equity in your home.  When the real estate market picks up and home values increase each year, your equity continues to build.

Don't be afraid to buy a home in this market.   Actually, now is the best time to buy a house... interest rates are low, housing prices are low and funding is available.  So this is a shout out to all those tenants out there, let's see what you can afford and experience "The American Dream" - homeownership.

If you live in Medford, Jacksonville, Eagle Point, Central Point, Talent, Phoenix, White City, Rogue River, Gold Hill or Sams Valley, Oregon then I have some great loan officers that can help get you get qualified.  It is easy and just takes a phone call - yep - just a phone call.  Call David or Micah Dubeau from Sterling Savings Bank at 541-292-9663,  they will take good care of you, I promise !

My other blogs that may interest you:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is Spring A Good Time To Sell My Home? When Is A Good Time To Sell My House?

Many people wonder if spring is a good time to sell their house?  Spring time sounds like a great time to sell your home because the clouds have lifted, the grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the trees are full of leaves.  The place looks great.  And now that most people have recovered from the holidays, the hope is that the fresh air and breeze with blow a buyer in to their yard.  Well, this could very well happen -- but there are advantages in putting your home on the market before spring arrives.

There is usually influx of houses coming on the market in March & April each year.  Putting your home on the market before spring and even during the winter months can give you a better chance of getting an offer.  There is less competition at that time of the year and a lot of buyers who are out looking during the winter months are very serious buyers... not just out for decorating ideas!

So, those of you who are still on the fence and are waiting for the flowers to bloom to list your house, maybe you might want to spring into action now before the competition arrives.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Money Down or 100% Financing Options in Medford, Oregon

It might be surprising to know that in today's market you CAN BUY A HOUSE WITH NO MONEY DOWN.  There is 100% FINANCING AVAILABLE with competitive rates.  I have noticed that there is not much mention of the 100% FINANCING AVAILABLE to Veterans in the local postings of financing options.  This is a benefit to many of our servicemen and I think it should be talked about more. 

If you are looking to buy HORSE PROPERTY in the rural area of White City, Central Point, Eagle Point, Sams Valley, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Talent, Shady Cove, or Gold Hill the property may qualify for a 100% LOAN from USDA.  This is available to anyone who can qualify for the loan, you do not have to be a veteran for this type of loan.

You can get your foot in the door with these types of loans in today's market.  As you build some equity, you trade up to a larger or better house.  There is no better time then today - to knock on that door !

Want to see if you qualify for these types of loans?  It's easy - I repeat - it's easy... give me a call at 541-951-1960 and I can put you in touch with the best loan officers... DAVID AND MICAH DUBEAU.  They are veterans themselves and take great pride in helping their fellow veterans.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oregon Real Estate Transfer Tax - We Need Your Help - No More Tax !

I just cut and paste this email I received... lets not let this happen... check out the website below and sign the petition.  Thanks in advance for your help...

Home ownership has long been the cornerstone of the American Dream. A real estate transfer tax pushes this dream a little farther out of reach for families. Unfortunately, most areas of Oregon already have the dubious distinction of being some of the least affordable housing markets in the country. A tax on the sale or transfer of real estate would make it even more unaffordable.

Consider the first time homebuyer: After several years a young family finally saves up enough money for a down payment to purchase their first house. Imagine if they also had to come up with a 1.97 percent tax on their $200,000 home. This would add an additional $3,940 in closing costs. As most of you know, this could easily be the difference that forces them to walk away.

What is a real estate transfer tax? This is a tax imposed by a state, county, or city when ownership of property (agricultural, commercial or residential) is sold or transferred. In simple terms, it is a sales tax on your home or property. Real estate transfer taxes are usually one-time fees paid at the time of closing and are usually a percentage of the selling price (rates typically vary from .1% to 4%) of the property value. This could result in multiple layers of taxation on a single transaction and is imposed whether or not you make any profit on the sale.

Lets keep the American Dream alive for the First Time Homebuyer, young and old alike. 

You can help prevent this tax from being imposed in Oregon.

Visit   to get involved and protect the dream of home ownership for all Oregonians.

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Monday, February 21, 2011


So, you want to buy a home in Medford, Oregon ?  The process of buying a home can be easy, if you are prequalified and teamed up with the right professionals.  The first step in buying a home is talking with a lender.  It is important that you know how much you can afford, before you go out "shopping" for a new home.  Once you know what fits your budget, the rest should be easy

Working with the right lender - loan officer is one of the most important things you can do.  If they can't get your loan approved, the deal won't close - then everyone is disappointed.  Try and use a local lender and one that your realtor knows can deliever. 

There are many different loan programs available right now. A good loan officer will pick the best one for you.   There is 100% financing available through the USDA and VA programs.  They even have extended the First Time Homebuyer's Credit of $8,000 for some VA buyers for a limited time only (call David and Micah Dubeau for details). 

Getting prequalified can be done over the phone or in person.  It is easier then most people think and with the low interest rates many are surprised that they qualify for more than they thought !

IF YOU WANT TO BUY A HOME IN MEDFORD, OREGON then give me a call at 541-951-1960 or contact David and Micah DuBeau the BEST LENDERS IN MEDFORD FROM STERLING SAVINGS BANK at 541-292-9663... we will get the job done - you won't be disappointed !

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY REAL ESTATE - That IS the question !

Wow, what a question.  Will property values fall any lower?  Will there be more foreclosures & short sales?  Can I get a better deal on a home if I wait longer?  How long will it take for the market to fully recover?  THESE ARE GOOD QUESTIONS TOO.  I guess nobody really knows the answers to these questions, but what I do know is that a real estate investment can be a very, very good thing... if you think long term.  There is NO QUESTION about that. 

Real Estate has been very good to me... want to hear my story... give me a call 541-951-1960 Cheryl

Friday, February 18, 2011

100% Financing Available On Real Estate --- Let's Go Shopping !

I talked with David and Micah Dubeau from Sterling Savings Bank again today regarding financing options.  They are always so excited to talk with potential buyers, because there are so many great loan programs available right now.  These guys are great, very creative and think outside the box to get you qualified and get the deal closed. With historical low interest rates and lots of great homes on the market to choose from, we all agree that NOW IS THE TIME - to GO SHOPPING for your DREAM HOME !  

They have extended the First Time Homebuyers $8000 tax credit to qualifing veterans for a limited time only.  David and Micah are veterans themselves and they love helping fellow vets. There is 100% financing available to many veterans and 100% USDA financing available to non-veterans on many homes in Jackson County. 

It is SO EASY to see if you qualify... just give me a call at 541-951-1960 anytime and we will get you started.