Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When is it a good time to make a good first impression?

Always.  In this market many homeowners are anxious to sell their homes.  Like most people, they too want to get top dollar for their home. 

Buying a home is an emotional time for many buyers, especially 1st time homebuyers.  When they walk into a house, they want it to feel like a "home" - their home.  Therefore, it is very important for sellers to prepare their home to grab the attention/emotion of the buyers.  If done right, it can have a very positive result.

It starts with decluttering, rearranging and cleaning.  Every detail should be addressed.  You will be surprised at the difference this will make.  If you have a budget that can afford it, you should bring in a stager or decorator.  You may be able to get someone for a few hours to give you advise on colors or furniture arrangements.  This will be money well spent.  You will sell your house faster and probably get closer to asking price if it shows well.

Remember, you need to have a good first impression and then build from there.

Call me if you are interested in this type of marketing approach.  I have people I work with that can help us get you on the road to selling your home.

Servicing Medford, Jacksonville, Central Point, White City, Phoenix, Talent, Eagle Point and Sams Valley Oregon.

Cheryl Malone

Monday, March 14, 2011

Investment Property - It's A Great Deal - Invest In Your Future

If you are thinking about investing in rental property... now is the time.  In addition to purchasing a home for your primary residence, one should consider purchasing a rental property too.  It is not as scary as it might seem. 

Once you have decided that this might be an option, you should contact a local realtor in your area to find out what kind of property would best suit your needs.  Some people prefer an apartment building (2+ units) and some prefer a single family residence.  After deciding on which type of property you feel most comfortable with (they each have an advantage), ask your realtor to refer you to a property management company that is reliable.  Set up an appointment and interview several to get a feel for what services they offer.

Single family homes are nice because you have only one tenant to deal with.  These tenants seem to have a sense of "pride of ownership" and may take better care of your property (although that is not always the case!).  Multifamily units (2 or more units) can have more of a turnover, but when you do have a tenant move, the loss of rent is a fraction of what it would be on a single family home.  Ask your property managerand Realtor what they have experienced in your area.

According to AXIOMetrics, an apartment market research firm in Dallas, said last year was one of the best periods for landlords over the past 15 years and may mark a turning point in the short term.  With supply in demand, rental properties are a good investment.

You can manage the property yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so... keep in mind that you must know the local rental laws and codes in your area.  If you prefer, you can hire a property management company and they will handle everything for you for a monthly fee.

I have had many, many years managing rental property for myself and others.  It can be a very rewarding experience, if handled right.  Other advantages include tax deductions and appreciation on the value of the property.

If you have any questions or think you would like to take the plunge... give me a call.

Cheryl Malone


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

How much down payment do I need to buy a home?

If you want to buy a home you may not need a down paymentDown payments usually vary from zero to 20% of the purchase price.

If you are a veteran or are buying a rural property, you may very well need no money down.  This is a good thing for some people, as they certainly can affort the monthly house payment, but don't have the funds for a down payment.

There is FHA finanincing which allows for a small down payment, usually 3.5% of the purchase price.  Most people fall into this catagory.

If you would like to reduce your monthly payment amount, you can put more money down or pay additional points to buy down the interest rate.

Most investors are required to put 20%-25% down in today's market.

There are many different loan programs out there, so the best thing to do is call a loan officerto see which one best fits your circumstance.  Keep in mind some of the ads you see on the Internet are "teaser rates" and you need to be aware that those rates usually increase at some point.  I personally like the the "fixed rate" loans, then there are no surprises.

So, the first step is to call a loan officer... I know two great ones in my area.  David and Micah DuBeau work for Sterling Savings Bank in Medford, Oregon, they are the best.  They can prequalify you over the phone.  You will be surprised at what you might qualify for.

Then once you know how much you can spend on a home, give your realtor a call... I know a great one in Medford Oregon... me.  I can then guide you through the process of buying a home... you will be glad you did.

We both serve Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Central Point, Jacksonville, Talen, Phoenix, Sams Valley, Eagle Point, White City, Shady Cove, Rogue River and the surrounding areas.

Look forward to talking with you !

Cheryl Malone


If you are thinking about buying a home, NOW is the time.  If you are on the fence, it's time to get off and jump into the backyard of your new home !  With real estate prices being as low as they are today and the interest rates being at a historical low you will be amazed at what what you can afford.

You will get so much more for your money right now.  If you wait much longer, the prices will go up and/or the interest rates will go up.  If either one of those things happens, you will have lost thousands of dollars... you know why - a penny saved is a penny earned.  If you buy now you get in on the ground floor, then when prices increase - guess what - you just made thousands of dollars.

People don't realize that when the interest rates go up, you end up paying thousands and thousands of more dollars in interest over the life of the loan.  Every little bit of a percent that they go up and every month/year that there is appreciation in the real estate market is money that can or cannot be benefiting you.

So, if you want to buy a house in Medford, Jacksonville, Central Point, Eagle Point, Talent, Phoenix, Sams Valley or White City Oregon - then give me a call. 

We can get you off the fence and into a home with a nice backyard!

Cheryl Malone

Habitat For Humanity - How You Can Help

You might have heard of Habitat for Humanity before so I have included a link to their site. They raise money to build homes. As a realtor, I feel that homeownership is very important.

This is what it says on their website...

"Habitat for Humanity International is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat and its homeowner families have built or rehabilitated more than 400,000 houses. A nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing ministry, Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build together in partnership." I have been volunteering for them and it is a really great organization.

There are several different ways you can help.

* You can help build the homes... even if you have no construction experience, there are things for you to help with - so don't let that stop you.

* You can volunteer in their "ReStore"... which is where they sell new and used donated building supplies to raise money for their projects.

* You can donate money... which is always needed.

It is a great way to help people in your community... give it a try.

Here is the link to their website.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Want to buy a home with no money down?

If you want to buy a house with no money down, you have come to the right place.  Luckily, there are programs out there that allow 100% financing.

Many people today have lost their retirement investments or equity in their homes, but still make enough money to afford a house payment.  There are many benefits to owing a home like tax deductions, pride of ownership and appreciation in value.  With todays interest rates and low home prices, it is a great time to take advantage of these 100% financing programs.

If you are a veteran you may qualify for a 100% financed VA loan.  There is also a 100% financing USDA program for rurual properties.  Both of these programs allow for the seller to pay a portion of your closing costs.  How much better can that get?

So, give me a call and we can see if you can fit into one of these programs.  A new home is just a phone call away !

Cheryl Malone

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What To Look For In A Property Manager.

Are you thinking of hiring a property management company to handle your rental property?  How do you pick a good property manager?

I have had rental property most of my life.  I had worked as a property manager for many years.  Here are 10 things that one should consider when hiring a property manager.

1-Do they return your calls in a timely manner?
2-Do they give you copies of workorders and receipts for repairs?
3-Do they get more than one estimate on repairs?
4-Do they use a handyman whenever necessary instead of a contractor?
5-Do they do routine inspections or drivebys?
6-Do they check for hazards, leaves on the roof, unkept yards, or potential problems?
7-Will they take a picture of the property and send it to you?
8-How/where do they advertise your vacancy?
9-Are they raising the rents to keep up with the market?
10-Are they notifiing you if the rent is not collected on time?

These are all important aspects of property management.  These items should be part of their monthly serive fee.  Don't let them collect their fee and then charge you for inspections & time getting work done - those should be part of their job.

A good property manager can make or break your investment.  Don't be afraid to ask questions or check on what services they are providing.

Veterans Helping Veterans - First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit - VA Loans

I had this article published in one of our local papers today...

Exciting News For Veterans

Windermere Investors Marketplace in Medford and Jacksonville has teamed up with David and Micah DuBeau of Sterling Savings Bank to let the veterans know that many of them may still be eligible for the $8,000 or $6,500 First Time Home Buyer tax credit.

These credits have been extended to members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside of the U.S. on qualified extended duty service for at least 90 days during the period beginning after December 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010. However, to take advantage of these credits, an eligible taxpayer must purchase, or enter into a binding contract to purchase, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011.  The eligible taxpayer then has until June 30, 2011 to close on the purchase.

This is an enormous benefit to our veterans! We do not feel there has been enough media coverage which is why we are trying to get the word out as the window of opportunity is about to close.

There are many financing options available to eligible veterans including 100% loans.  They are easy to apply for and the process has been streamlined.  Often eligibility can be determined within 48 hours, it's easy.  No DD-214 is required.  David and Micah are veterans, having recently served in Iraq themselves and they take pride in serving their fellow veterans.

When you combine a 100% VA loan, a Realtor that negotiates the seller paying their closing costs, a low priced foreclosure home, and an $8,000 tax credit - things get exciting.  Interest rates are at a historical low... it's a great time to buy.  We want all the veterans to experience The American Dream, homeownership.   We would like every eligible veteran to have the chance to take advantage of this great opportunity.  Veterans should check with their tax advisor regarding eligibility.


Cheryl Malone  541-951-1960
Windermere Investors Marketplace

David DuBeau  541-608-1800
Micah DuBeau  541-608-2161
Sterling Savings Bank

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are You Looking Out And Saving For Your Future?

When most people think about that question, they usually think about how much money they have in their savings or retirement account.  I think it is really hard for people to put money in the bank and leave it alone.  It is very hard to "save" for the future that way.

There is a better way to save, which still requires some restraint.  Buying a home... and NOT REFINANCING.  Once you buy your home, leave it alone... let the equity build.  You are going to need it one day, when you are old/older.  Is social security going to be there for you?  If so, is it enough?  Probably not. 

My way is a simple and easy way to save - if you keep your hands out of the pot!  Another thing people don't think about doing is paying an additional $100 per month towards the principle on their mortgage.  Don't put that $100 in the bank... include it with your mortgage payment as principle only and at the end of 10 years you will have brought your loan balance down by $12,000.  Wow, that is money in the bank - that you can't touch until you REALLY need it.  How many of you can have $12,000 in the bank and not touch it?  Be honest... not that many.

Food for thought - money in the bank actually!

If you want to buy a house... give me a call - you will be glad you did.

Cheryl Malone