Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows. Could They Fall Even Further?

One of the few bright spots for home buyers and owners in 2020—a year marred by a pandemic, economic recession, social unrest, wildfires, hurricanes, and a highly polarized presidential election—has been rock-bottom mortgage interest rates. Mortgage rates have been tumbling since COVID-19 disrupted the nation’s economy, achieving what many experts had believed was impossible: They […]

Interest Rate Buy Down

An interest buy-down is a real estate financing option that Buyers can use to offer list price AND retain an affordable mortgage. By providing a credit to the Buyers, it allows Sellers to get their List Price from a qualified deal. It’s a win-win for both parties. If you have questions, please let me know […]

Achieve Morning Person Status!

Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

  1. Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do.
  2. Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light.
  3. Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake.
  4. Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction.
  5. Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing daily meditation, or setting intentions.

Negotiations That Will Kill A Sale

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

Lakeside Living – In West Sacramento!

This 3BR / 2BA West Sacramento Home home is the epidomy of Sophisticated Style. Step out your front door and enjoy a beautiful view of a shaded lawn overlooking Touchstone Lake. All for YOUR enjoyment. Gorgeous hand-scraped laminate flooring. Downstairs Master En-Suite. Beautiful exposed brick and soaring ceilings. All for an incredible value. If you LOVE style and value – this is the one for you. You won’t find a more attractive offering when searching West Sacramento Real Estate.011 (002)

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Five Apps for Easy Home Decorating

One of the most enjoyable perks of being real estate agents is the opportunity to see the creative side of our clients, and the changes they make to their new homes. It’s inspiring, touching and shows us another side of who they are. A new home is so exciting, especially when you put your own unique stamp on it. And today we have such easy access to the latest trends, our tastes have become much more sophisticated. But let’s face it, not everyone has a knack for design or the resources to replicate those designs in our everyday lives, or do we…

Technology has made it easier than ever to bring your home decor ideas to reality. We found some great smartphone apps to help you plan your space or do some valuable comparative shopping and make the vision for your home a reality.

Here are five apps that you can use on your next decorating project. Most are available on both iOS and Android devices:

  1. Color Capture: Ever see a color that would make for a perfect paint scheme? Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture app allows you to take a photo of anything and instantly get a matching paint color.
  2. iHandyLevel: Hanging photos and artwork? Rather than searching through your toolbox for a level, you can use something that’s already in your pocket: Your phone. The iHandyLevel app functions just as well as a dedicated level, turning your phone into the ultimate picture-hanging companion.
  3. LikeThatDecor: Let’s say you see the perfect Chesterfield sofa in a coffee shop, and you want to see where you could get one of your own. Use the LikeThatDecor app to take a photo of furniture and instantly see similar items from dozens of retailers.
  4. IKEA Catalog: Forget about the nightmare of navigating the parking garage, showroom, and warehouse at your nearest IKEA. The IKEA Catalog app allows you to virtually place furniture in a room. If only there was an app for easy IKEA assembly!
  5. DesignSponge: DesignSponge is one of the best DIY and home decor websites out there. Now there’s an app that makes it easy to access all of their awesome content on your smartphone.*sponge/id871962196?mt=8

Do you have a special design trick or piece of advice that helped you? Please share, we’d love to know!



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That Most Wonderful Time of the Year…tax time

Yes folks, it’s that most wonderful time of the year, birds are singing, trees are budding, the grass is greener, the sky is brighter and…it’s tax time! We’re right there with you. Taxes may not be our favorite spring time activity, BUT there are several advantages to homeownership that can help you keep more money in your “pocket” this year. One of the many perks of homeownership is big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks! Here’s just a few:

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Before buying a home, a standard deduction may have made the most sense when you prepared your taxes. But homeowners can deduct the interest portion of their mortgage payments, and the earlier you are in your mortgage, the greater the percentage of each payment that goes toward interest, so take advantage right away!

Deductions for Refinancing, Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit: There’s additional tax breaks beyond your home’s first mortgage too! Did you refinance this year, receive a home equity loan or line of credit? Ask your tax advisor how you can take advantage of the deductibles related to equity debts.

Multiple Properties: Mortgage interest on a second home can also be deductible. This can be true even for a boat or RV that has the comforts of home: cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. Even if you rent out your second property part of the year you may still be able to take advantage of mortgage interest tax deductions depending upon the amount of time you spend there.

Home Office: There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home office has to be used specifically for business purposes. Check with a tax professional to see if your home office qualifies for a deduction—it’s a little extra work, but can make a big difference in your tax responsibility.

That’s the beauty of homeownership. It’s not only your sanctuary and a place where memories are made, but a great investment that can provide year round benefits, including tax time!!

Money Tree

The post That Most Wonderful Time of the Year…tax time appeared first on Montalvo-Rivers Team.

Which is the best digital assistant: Siri, Cortana, Alexa or Google Now?

” I’m hiring a new assistant. Requirements: must handle scheduling, take dictation, have flexible hours, be able learn on the job, and lack any corporeal presence.”   @heatherkelly


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