Bill Hoey - RE/MAX Renaissance Inc.



Posted by Bill Hoey on 2/14/2018

If you were to look at a photo of a suburban neighborhood from the 1950s and one from today, you would notice many similarities. The houses have gotten much larger, but they still have perfectly manicured lawns and milky white fences. American culture has come a long way since the days of nuclear families. An emphasis on conservation and environmentalism has added recycling bins to many of our homes. But by and large our backyards remain mostly unchanged. Some people are electing to deviate from those norms to make their homes and yard more eco-friendly. Part of that change has been to adapt natural landscaping techniques that make your backyard seem less chiseled-out and more a part of its natural environment. With proper planning and care, natural landscaping can give your yard both a modern and natural look, and it won't look messy or overgrown. Here are some tips to get you started on natural landscaping in your backyard.

Native planting

A big part of natural landscaping is understanding your local plant life. Planting flora that is native to your area is not only helping your yard look more natural but also helping your local plant and wildlife. Often we bring in "exotic" plants and flowers without understanding the ecological issues that can arise from invasive species, both on other plants as well as on the local animals. So what are some ways you could alter your yard to house more local plant life? That depends entirely on your taste and on your local flora. If you live in a coastal, warm area, you might choose a sand or shell path in your yard that leads through tall grasses. If you live inland it might make more sense to choose stones or pebbles for your walkway and a variety of shrubs, flowers, and grasses for around the yard.

Lawn dividers

You won't find any white picket fences naturally occurring in the woods. But nature has its own barriers that can be adapted for use around your property. Vines, trees, bushes, and even rocks can all be used as natural barriers. People have used rock walls to mark of their property for centuries, and for good reason: they last forever (with some occasional maintenance) and they compliment the natural environment of your yard.

Make your lawn livable

Your lawn should be hospitable for your plants, your local wildlife, and for you. Using natural wooden benches, tree swings, and maintained paths will make your backyard look like the walkthrough gardens that we see in old English manor houses. But you should also keep in mind the birds, bugs, and other animals that will frequent your yard. By not using chemical insecticides or weed killers you're already helping your local wildlife thrive. But you can attract even more birds by setting inconspicuous feeders in the trees around your yard.

What's to gain from natural landscaping?

Aside from looking nice, natural landscaping has countless other benefits. When you're growing plants native to your area you know the plants are predisposed to grow well in your yard. That means less maintenance, watering, and less money spent buying replacements for dead plants. You'll be helping the local wildlife fit in, and you'll be helping yourself by giving your yard a refreshing, natural look.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 2/7/2018

Before buying a home, you may have a number in mind as to how many houses you think that you should look at before you find the house that's right for you. You may wonder if you’ve looked too much or not enough while you’re in the process of searching for a home. The fact of the matter is that how many homes you look at is completely up to you. It’s a very personal preference. If you feel comfortable after looking at one house, you’re probably right. Trust your own intuition!


The average condo buyer takes between 1 to 3 months to find the right property. House buyers take a bit longer, averaging between 3 and 6 months of searching. The home buying process seems to entail a few more questions and a bit of a learning curve, which tends to take more time. This is obviously why first time buyers tend to take more time searching.


How To Have A Successful House Hunt:


Map Out Your Potential Neighborhoods


Before you even get in touch with your realtor, you should have an idea of the neighborhoods you’d like to look for a home in. Drive around your potential towns and hang out there. Go to local restaurants, see the downtown area and check out the grocery store. See how you feel being there, and if you’d like it to be part of what you call “home.” 


Know Your Lifestyle


Where your friends live, where you work and what you like to do for fun all have an impact on the type of neighborhood that you’ll choose to search for a home in. If you love to golf, and the nearest course is more than 30 miles away, maybe you should reconsider where you’re searching. Of course, you want your commute time to and from work to be as short as possible.   


Decide What You Need


Make a list of everything that you absolutely need to have in your home and neighborhood. Narrow down your wish-list to that of “must-haves.” Then, understand your own budget for a home purchase. Knowing your finances will also give you a better idea of where you should focus your search. Once your focus is narrowed, you’ll be able to work with your realtor more freely. Being able to tell your realtor what you want and what you can afford is a great step in the right direction during the home search process.


Taking the time to know what you want out of where you want to live can help you to search for the right home. So, while there’s no magic number of homes to look at before you buy, it’s a better idea to understand your wants and needs and go from there.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 1/31/2018

Going through the process of applying for a mortgage only for your application to get denied can be a frustrating and confusing time. If you’re hoping to buy your own home in the near future, it’s vital to secure financing or you risk missing out on a home that you may have been depending on getting.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about what happens when your mortgage application is denied and what you can do to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

Determine the Cause of Denial

If your application is denied, priority number one needs to be to understand what happened. Since lenders are required to provide denied applicants with a letter explaining why they were denied, this just means reading the letter and making sure you understand all of the reasons listed.

There are a few common reasons that an application may be denied. Some of them are simple fixes, while others might require time and effort on your part that may delay your house hunt for a while.

One issue that many mortgage applicants have to handle is when their employer won’t provide proof of income to a mortgage lender. Since income verification is vital to the mortgage application process, it’s important to make sure you can provide all of your income details from the last 2 years to the lender.

Sometimes there are issues with contacting employers, such as when your former place of employment goes out of business. Or, you may be a freelance or contract worker with atypical forms of income verification. Regardless, make sure you are clear with your loan officer regarding your employment history.

Other common causes for denial of an application include problems with your down payment (such as not meeting the required down payment amount) and credit history issues, such as having a lower score than you thought.

Credit score lower than expected

It’s not uncommon for a lender to run a credit check and come up with a score that is lower than you anticipated. Since scores change on a monthly basis, and since there are differences between the scores provided by the three major credit bureaus, you might find that your lender found a score slightly lower than what thought.

If the score is drastically different, however, this could be a sign of two things. First, make sure that you haven’t recently made multiple credit inquiries (such as applying to several lenders who perform credit checks) or by opening new credit cards or loans. These inquiries temporarily lower your credit score.

If you haven’t recently made any inquiries (other than applying for a mortgage with your lender of choice), then it’s a good idea to get a detailed credit report and scrutinize it for errors. Inaccuracies on your credit report can be disputed and resolved and can give your score the boost you need to be competitive on your mortgage application.  

Choosing a different lender

While most lenders use similar criteria in determining your borrowing eligibility, there are some differences between lenders.

For example, some lenders might take on more risk by lending to someone with a lower credit score. However, they will also likely require a higher interest rate in exchange for the added risk they’ve acquired.


Now that you know your options for what to do when an application is denied, you’re well-equipped to start tackling the issue and getting back on track to becoming a homeowner.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 1/24/2018

If you plan to sell your house, you should be proactive. Because, in most cases, a proactive home seller is a successful home seller.

With a proactive approach, a home seller can find unique ways to differentiate his or her house from the competition. That way, this home seller can boost his or her chances of a quick, profitable home sale.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices for proactive home sellers.

1. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior

Ensure your house looks great both inside and out. By doing so, you can guarantee your residence will make a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.

When it comes to improving your home's interior, it pays to mop the floors, wipe down the walls and ceilings and perform assorted home interior maintenance. If you need extra help along the way, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company as well.

To upgrade your home's exterior, you should mow the lawn, remove dirt and debris from walkways and perform any necessary home siding repairs. Remember, your house only gets one chance to make a positive first impression. And if your home's exterior dazzles, it will increase the likelihood that a buyer will want to set up a home showing.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

What you paid for your house a few years ago is unlikely to match your home's value today. Luckily, a home appraisal can help you set a competitive price for your residence from day one.

During a home appraisal, a professional appraiser will examine your home's interior and exterior. He or she also will evaluate assorted housing market data and use all of this information to provide a property valuation.

After you receive a home appraisal report, you should review the report findings closely. By leveraging all of the report data, you should have no trouble establishing a competitive price for your residence.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to be a proactive home seller, you need to work with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you accelerate the home selling process and ensure you can get the best price for your house.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home and will teach you about the home selling journey. Plus, he or she will learn about your home selling goals and guarantee you can accomplish your aspirations.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to potential buyers and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you have home selling questions, a real estate agent is happy to answer them.

There is no need to take a wait-and-see approach to selling your home. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a proactive home seller.





Posted by Bill Hoey on 1/17/2018

Tiny houses are all the rage. There are even multiple shows on HGTV based solely on tiny houses. So why is there so much hype around this type of home? And is it just a fad or are tiny homes here to stay? A tiny house is somewhere between 100 and 400 square feet. Some tiny homes have a loft bedroom while some keep it on the main floor. For added living space, some tiny homes have an outdoor shower and toilet. They also contain a small kitchen and living room area. There is very minimal storage in tiny homes (obviously). Tiny houses are on wheels so you can travel with your home or buy/rent a plot of land to keep it on. Let’s take a look at why tiny homes are so popular. Simplistic life: As detailed above, tiny homes are, as the name suggests, tiny. And with that comes a simplistic life. You cannot have bounds of ‘things’ as there is just not enough storage. Therefore, tiny homes bring you back to the basics, just the necessities. This is often an important reason why many are transitioning to tiny homes. So many live too large with too much stuff and at some point it just becomes too much. More money for experiences: There are countless people living paycheck to paycheck and a large majority of that has to do with their mortgage. Even the smallest homes can cost between $100,000 to $150,000, but many tiny homes range between $35,000 and $75,000. Purchasing a tiny home will leave you with a smaller mortgage and therefore more disposable income to spend on life experiences or even saving for retirement. Who doesn’t want to travel to world rather than sitting in your home for the rest of your life because all of your money went to paying for it? More free time: With a drastically smaller space than normal homes that leaves you with less cleaning and maintenance. Therefore, leaving you with more time in life to do other things. Also, since you have a much smaller mortgage you may not need to work that 60-hour corporate job anymore. You can take a much less demanding job or career, working fewer hours and making less money, but having the additional time to really experience life. So what do you think? Do you think you could see yourself living in a tiny home?




Tags: Buying a home   home   tiny houses  
Categories: Buying a Home   Home