Prepare your home to sell with these fast, low-cost kitchen refresh ideas

December 10, 2019

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It is no surprise the kitchen is most often cited as the room that really sells your home. It’s the most functional space in the house and where we spend a lot of time as a family.

 

Also, kitchen trends and styles go in and out just as fast (often faster) than any other room in the home. So when you plan to list your home for sale, this is where you will want to dedicate your attention.

 

You don’t want buyers to walk into your kitchen and wince at how much work it needs!

 

That being said, renovating the kitchen is an expensive and time consuming task. Thanks to the internet, there is a nearly endless array of quick and inexpensive ideas for giving your kitchen a great facelift.

 

1.) Reface your cabinets. The thought of gutting and replacing cabinets is daunting to say the least but refacing them makes them look like new without making any major changes. You can either replace your cabinet doors, paint them, or remove them altogether for exposed shelving.

 

2.) Add a backsplash. Depending on the décor you are working with now, a simple tile or shiplap backsplash can make all the difference for a home buyer seeking a stylish kitchen. If intimidating visions of mortar and tile grout are dancing in your head, not to worry! There are plenty of beautiful designs that are really easy to install (check out these alternatives at the Home Depot).

 

3.) Install knobs or pulls. Add or upgrade pulls to your drawers and cabinets and your kitchen will instantly look polished and amazing.

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Thanksgiving drive brings in more than 200 bags of donations for struggling families

November 19, 2019

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Last weekend, generous residents, customers and friends took time out of their busy weekend to donate groceries for my annual Thanksgiving drive at Heritage Landing!

 

More than 200 bags of donations were brought in addition to palates of drinks, household cleaners, paper towels and much more (in fact, this photo was taken just halfway through the drive!)

 

All donations went straight to the Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County. The non-profit helps struggling families get back on their feet through food redistribution, clothing donations, neighborhood watch services and assistance accessing Medicaid, disability insurance and other resources. The Coalition also focuses on creating stability for the kids of its families with tutoring, after-school snacks, computer training, recreational activities and summer camps.

 

I want to thank each and every person who took the time and expense to donate!

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4 important questions to consider when upsizing your home

November 6, 2019

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At some point in our lives, most of us find the need for more space. The next logical step is to move to a home with more square footage. But there are several important questions that should be addressed before you start looking for a bigger house.

 

Why do I need more room?

 

Whether you are growing by people or acquiring more stuff (or both), your space needs will differ. Many families are growing and looking to accommodate more children. That means you need additional bedrooms, bathrooms, a larger living room and perhaps a larger yard to accommodate a swing set and trampoline.

 

Maybe an elderly family member is moving in or you have frequent guests. In that case, you may want to seek out homes with a separate suite or an apartment above the garage. Have you started a business that requires more space? Plan for another room to accommodate your office or perhaps a larger garage for your new company’s inventory.

 

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Mirtha’s donation drive aims to help ALL families have a great Thanksgiving

October 29, 2019

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Please join me in donating food, toys and household necessities to the Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County so that families with children can have a warm and happy Thanksgiving.

 

My annual Thanksgiving drive will be at the Heritage Landing amenity center parking lot on November 16 from 12 to 3 p.m. It’s easy to donate.

  1. Just add a few of the items from the list below to your next grocery list.
  2. Purchase them during your next shopping trip and keep them in a bag by your door.
  3. Head over to Heritage Landing amenity center on Nov. 16 and drop them off. Easy as that!

Past Thanksgiving drives have brought in hundreds of bags of food, supplies and toys for families in need. I’m excited to continue the tradition and would love to surpass all previous years!

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Is a Down Payment Assistance loan right for you?

October 15, 2019

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Not having enough cash to make a down payment on a home is a common concern. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the road! I recently spoke with Mark Sherman of Atlantic Trust Mortgage, who provided valuable insights on another option: a DPA (Down Payment Assistance) loan.

 

Mark said in addition to understanding the ins and outs of traditional loan products (e.g. Conventional, Jumbo, USDA, VA, FHA), mortgage brokers are also responsible for being well-versed in a variety of niche and first-time homebuyer products. This includes knowing how and when these alternative products are valuable to buyers.

 

Key among these products is the DPA loan. Though there are 3% down, 3.5% down and even 100% conventional, government and USDA financing options, some buyers still can’t cover the down payment and closing costs. However, they might have good credit and the necessary income to qualify for the monthly payment.

 

For these buyers, Mark says the DPA portion of their financing is provided as a “second” mortgage “grant” that requires no payment (or a reduced interest-only monthly payment). Then they can apply the funds from their “grant” to their down payment and closing costs. In many cases, the buyer needs no cash at closing.

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