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Can you own your dream house with student debt?

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

Did you know you can buy your dream home while paying off student loan debt? 

It’s true and even quite common. While student loans are factored into your debt-to-income ratio, they shouldn’t prevent you from becoming a homeowner. 

And fortunately, there are many programs and options available to prospective buyers, some you may not be familiar with. Here are four ways people with student loans achieve their homeownership goals: 

1. Co-buying With Friends or Family
Purchasing a home with a roommate, significant other or sibling allows you to combine multiple incomes to qualify for a better mortgage rate. This can help lower your monthly payment and make home maintenance more affordable.

2. Receiving Financial Gifts From Family 
You can also accept gift money from your parents, grandparents or other family members to put toward your home purchase. Some loan programs have a cap on how much gift money can be used, so make sure you know the limits first. 

3. Choosing Low (or No) Down Payment Loans 
There are many low down payment options, including FHA, HomeReady and Home Possible loans. For loans with no down payment, VA loans may be available to veterans and military members as well as USDA loans for those purchasing in rural areas. 

4. Using Assistance Programs 
Down payment assistance programs can cover some or all of your down payment costs if you qualify. These programs vary by location, so talk with a lender to learn about potential options. 

Working on your credit can also help you buy a home. Pay your credit card bills on time every month, aim to pay down your debts and never let an account go into collections. It also helps to get preapproved for a mortgage so you know how much you qualify for. 

If you’re ready to make homeownership a reality or would like a referral to a trusted lender, get in touch today.

Hot Home Trends You Can’t Miss

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

 

I love getting caught up on the latest trends - especially when it comes to trends in home technology and design. These trends are great if you’re trying to freshen up the look of your home or give your home a tech update. Regardless of when you’re thinking about selling, these updates could be attractive to future buyers. Plus, you’ll love living with them.
 

Vintage Lighting 

A quick, modern update to the lighting in your home can be relatively easy and inexpensive. Retro lighting like sconces, lanterns, pendants, and chandeliers can add character and style points to many homes.

Air Quality Detectors

We all know smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have been around for years. Now, there’s one smart air quality detector that can alert you of smoke, radon, carbon dioxide, and organic compounds via an app. You can get instant stats on the quality of the air you live in - not just when dinner is getting overcooked. 

Colorful Kitchens 

Kitchens are generally the busiest room in a house. Another hot trend is to give kitchens a boost of color. Warm wood colors like mahogany along with blues and grays are making their way onto kitchen walls.

3 Ways a Real Estate Agent Helps With Selling a Home

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

3 Ways a Real Estate Agent Helps With Selling a Home, Anchorage, Alaska 

If you're preparing to sell a house, you may have a long to-do list to finish before it's ready to hit the market. At the top of that should be hiring a qualified Realtor® to give you the most profit. Here are a few ways working with a real estate agent will benefit you. 

How a Real Estate Agent Assists With the Home Selling Process


1. Set a Realistic Price

One of the most important aspects of selling a home is choosing a realistic price. By setting it too high, buyers are likely to not even consider your home as an option. On the other hand, if you set the price too low, you risk losing money on your investment. A real estate agent will use their experience, knowledge, and market analysis tools to determine the right price for your property. 

2. Be Competitive

3 Ways a Real Estate Agent Can Help With Selling Your Home | Mehner Weiser Real Estate in Anchorage, AKAn agent also helps make your home more competitive. They're immersed in the local real estate market, which gives them unique insight into what buyers want. They will utilize this knowledge to advise you on which upgrades to make to entice buyers and how to effectively stage your home. 

3. Reach Buyers

For both traditional and new media formats, agents understand what aspects of the home need to be highlighted to attract buyers for a viewing. They also have a built-in audience from their previous work within the community, which gives your home's marketing efforts a wider reach than advertising on your own. 


Are you on top of your home maintenance tasks?

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

Your home is an investment that requires ongoing maintenance to stay in tiptop shape. If you neglect annual and quarterly tasks, however, you risk overlooking potential issues that could lead to expensive repairs down the road. Stay on top of preventive maintenance tasks with a seasonal checklist and the reminders below. 

Winter -- To prevent pipes from bursting, drain and insulate exposed outdoor pipes and leave the water dripping inside on cold nights. Also check your boiler's water level every now and again to make sure it doesn't get too low.

Spring -- Winter can leave a layer of grit on your home's exterior. Get it ready for spring by cleaning windows, doors and siding with a garden hose or power washer. And while the weather is mild, have your HVAC systems serviced by a professional to keep them running at optimal efficiency.

Summer -- Inspect your sprinkler system for clogs or malfunctioning heads. Keep an eye out for damaged pipes or pooling water to avoid a larger issue. Review or establish your family emergency plan and restock your disaster supply kit if necessary.

Fall -- Get ahead of winter by having your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly and have fresh batteries. And keep your gutters clear of leaves and debris to protect your roof and foundation.

These are just a few maintenance items to stay on top of around the house. Keep up with all of your annual, monthly and seasonal to-do's to preserve the value of your home and avoid potential headaches down the line. You'll be glad you did!

Preparing Your Home for an Emergency

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

Emergency situations such as fire, extreme weather and power outages can happen without warning. By taking the time to prepare for a possible disaster now, you and your family will be equipped to handle a crisis if one ever occurs. 

Fire Escape Route and Meeting Spot
It can take a mere five minutes for a fire to engulf your entire home. This is one reason having an escape plan is so important. Include at least two exit routes in your plan in case one is blocked, and designate a safe location for everyone in your household to meet. Identifying a secondary location outside your neighborhood is good to have in the event it's not safe to return or you're asked to evacuate.

List of Emergency Contacts
Make laminated cards with a list of important phone numbers for each family member. This might include contact information for the local authorities and emergency services as well as your nearest relatives.

Home Safety Items
Be prepared in case an emergency does occur by having these home safety items

  • Fire Extinguisher -- Keep one on each floor, and check them annually to make sure they're functioning properly.
  • First-Aid Kit -- Store it in a central location, such as the kitchen, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors -- Install detectors in each room and test them once a month. Use long-life lithium batteries to cut back on replacements.
  • Food and Water -- Put together a three-day supply of nonperishable foods and at least three gallons of water for each member of your household.

 

There's often very little time to react in a crisis. But with a little planning and prep work, you can be well-equipped and ready to respond accordingly.

7 Tips for Energy Awareness Month

by Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC.

October isn't just about pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween celebrations; it's also Energy Awareness Month. Find out how you can reduce your household's energy consumption this fall while preparing for the seasons ahead.

Reducing Home Energy Use

The average U.S. household consumes tens of thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity each year, and much of it is completely unnecessary. Making changes as simple as adding a few energy-efficient appliances and turning off gadgets when you're not using them can save you a significant amount of money while also reducing your carbon footprint.

Don't fret if new Energy Star-labeled appliances aren't in the budget. Instead, try working in a few small changes from this Home Energy Checklist to help you save throughout the year. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Unplug electronics, gaming consoles and chargers when not in use.
  • Insulate your water heater with a blanket and turn the temperature down to at least 120 degrees.
  • Replace bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs and turn them off anytime you leave a room.
  • Schedule an energy audit and replace your thermostat with a programmable unit.

 

Prepping Your Home for the Cold

During cooler months you can save additional money and energy with simple, inexpensive fixes like:

  • Using insulating drapes to help diffuse winter chill. Just make sure to open any south-facing drapes to take advantage of the sun's natural heating capabilities.
  • Finding and sealing air leaks. Check your windows, doors and pipes, and use weather stripping or caulk to stop cool air from seeping in.
  • Closing fireplace dampers when not in use. You can also have the entire flume completely sealed off if you use your home's heating system exclusively.

 

Reducing your energy consumption not only makes a positive contribution to our planet, it also leaves money on the table for fun fall pastimes. With just a few of these small changes, you can get more from your energy budget.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Contact Information

Photo of Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC Real Estate
Mehner Weiser Real Estate, LLC
RE/MAX Dynamic Properties
3350 Midtown Place
Anchorage AK 99503
Bethany (907) 223-1632
Bonnie (907) 223-0005