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Downsizing Can Be Stressful

Downsizing Can Be Stressful

Last year a survey conducted by Trulia reported that 60% of Americans living in homes over 2000 square feet, reported that they would prefer a smaller home for their next move.  Such a move can prove to be financially and mentally a positive experience, while the actual process can be exhausting.  

The following tips were offered on the blog “Budget Dumpster” to help lessen the stress level and provide a rough roadmap for those in the throes of a downsize.

  • Take an Inventory:  Because this is one of the more daunting chores, take your time and set up a plan of attack that targets one room or zone at a time.  Decide what to keep, throw out, donate, or sell.

  • Minimize Duplicate Items:  The kitchen can be a hotbed for duplicates.  Check the multiples of spatulas, drinking glasses and silverware.  If you’re going smaller, you probably won’t be entertaining as much as you did in the past.

  • Make the Most of Storage Space:  Find “hidey-holes, such as under the bed, hanging shoe racks, or inside ottomans for that storage space you may be losing by downsizing.

  • Sell Your Belongings:  Yard sales can be a boost to your moving budget, but it is also an exhausting experience.  It does allow you to find a home for some of your things that you no longer need or that will not fit in a smaller space.  It is a good idea to measure your furniture and be certain that each piece will fit in your new home. Eyeballing does not always tell the correct story.  A decent tape measure should become one of your new best friends.

While the thought of downsizing may be nerve-wracking, think of all the good that will come from it.   You will be taking control of your possessions and learning to live with fewer encumbrances. You might even learn to enjoy life more with less!

Looking for alternative financing to purchase that next-step-home? Call Sun Pacific Mortgage today for all of your Hard Money financing needs (707) 523-2099!

Don’t Get Caught Up in the Drama du Jour – Real Estate Stability

Real Estate Stability

Lately, we have seen the financial media spouting fear, uncertainty, drama, and doubt.  Wall Street sends us on a roller coaster ride every day, while the Everyman continues to go to work, get the same paycheck, pay the bills and largely tries to ignore all the drama.  This explains why investing in Main Street has proven to be so attractive. 

While stock prices are on a dizzying ride, the real estate market offers some modicum of stability.  Real estate’s resilience isn’t invincible, just consider the pain of the 2008 market, but investors in real estate can usually react in time to avoid disaster.  These investors continue to collect their passive income and acquire equity, untouched by all the drama on Wall Street.

Watching macro-trends is still vitally important to any investor.  These provide clues about long-term patterns and warn of systemic breakdowns.  Staying abreast of market fluctuations makes for a successful investor.

The Wall Street roller-coaster ride may be exciting for the young and daring, but most folks want stability, ease, and the ability to keep ahead of real-world inflation.  This is the main reason income-producing real estate is so attractive right now. 

Renters, coming to the realization that they are paying someone else’s mortgage, not their own, are entering the home buying market in increasing numbers.  With prices stabilizing and inventory inching up, home buyers are beginning to look once again at becoming homeowners. In addition, some existing homeowners are taking the appreciation gained over the past several years and investing in a rental unit.  It behooves Realtors and Lenders to relay this to their potential clients. 

Don’t want to deal with the messy issues involved in being a landlord?  Perhaps, you might want to consider becoming a private investor in hard money loans.  In this scenario you achieve passive income on your investment but avoid the “landlord blues”.  Your money is much safer with real property and, if borrowers are vetted well, you can rest easy that your hard-earned money is safely preserved and producing more than the normal return interest for you.

Sun Pacific Mortgage is a family owned and operated hard money lending business.  We have been in business for 31 years and enjoy a sterling reputation with our investors and our borrowers.  

Brokers & Lenders, Realtors and potential Investors feel free to give us a call at 707-523-2099 to discus the various ways we can assist you in increasing your success rate or diversifying your portfolio. 

You can also find out more about what we offer and how you can work with us on our website at www.Sunpacificmortgage.com 

Thinking of Renovating? Buckle up!

Thinking Of Renovating Buckle Up Hard Money

Renovations have been known to lead to many unforeseen disasters, but it doesn’t need to be that way.  With the proper preparation and due diligence, pretty much anything can be avoided. We have all heard the horror stories of living a totally upended life during a renovation, and of timelines being ignored by professional contractors.  If you are contemplating a renovation, the suggestions listed below may save your “mental health” and your wallet:

Make Living Arrangements Well In Advance:  For larger renovations the ideal solution would be to check into an extended stay hotel or move in with family or friends for the duration.  If that is not feasible, or the reno is smaller, find a space out of the way of the construction to make your meals and/or “hide” for your sanity.  Take-out sources may become your new BFF during this time if you have a kitchen reno on your list.

Protect Yourself With A Detailed Contract:  If you go into renovation with a contractor without a specific and detailed contract, you risk finding the project stalled or worse.  This contract should include the address, a start date, a completion date, and details of what is and is not going to be done. As an additional incentive, you might add penalties for not meeting required deadlines.

Keep All Your Receipts:  Hold on to every receipt related to the reno in case you need to return the item.  These receipts will come in handy at tax time or at the time of resale.

Organize And Remove Items: Box and store items from the cabinets and closets.  Labeling will save you from hunting for things during the reno and help you to unpack later.

Save Décor Ideas In A File:  While some of your décor items may still be useable in the new space, you may want to freshen-up the visuals with a new look.  Gather any idea or picture that offers an inspiration for your “new look” and keep them in a file.

Protect Against Dust, Debris, and Damage:  Take down or cover any items you cannot move with a protective tarp or sheeting.  Do your own damage control, don’t depend on your contractor.

Following these few steps and advice hopefully saves you time and your sanity, during one of the most stressful experiences homeowners live through.

Four Things Parents Should Consider Before Buying a Home

Four Things Parents Should Consider Before Buying A Home

Parents shopping for a home have different considerations than other demographics.  As parents, their primary concern is the safety and well-being of their children, at the same time, they are also concerned with the happiness of the entire family.  

Most buyers start their home search with a list of “must-haves”.  When children are a concern, there are some additional factors to be considered.  While they may seem obvious, it is tempting to forget them when under pressure to find a home quickly, or when you discover a fantastic feature in a home that you “can’t live without”.  The following are some of suggestions to keep in mind as you look for your next family nest:

  1. Placement of the bedrooms:  Depending on the age of the children, you might want them on the same floor as your master bedroom, or if you have older children, you might opt for more separation.
  2. Yard placement:  Most parents want the visibility to observe their children at play in the yard.
  3. Walking distance to amenities:  Life will be easier if you can avoid or shorten car trips to deliver children to their activities and their schools.
  4. Neighbors:  This is a vital part of any parent’s concern.  It makes sense to check out the neighbors who live nearby.  There are helpful websites to access, like Megan’s Law, and simply meeting the neighbors before purchasing, may be reassuring.

When all is said and done, life will be less stressful after the move if these considerations are part of the decision making.

The 2 R’s: Real Estate and Retirement

Real Estate And Retirement

More and more baby boomers are arriving at retirement age and are facing the question: “To sell or to stay?”.  A wise step to take at this juncture is to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your retirement needs. Below are some of the factors that a National Board of Realtors have suggested:

  • Affordability:  Would moving to a property with HOA dues offset the overhead of maintaining your own home?  Would your taxes go up or down? Would your monthly retirement income be enough?
  • Equity:  The equity in your present home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little or no mortgage.
  • Maintenance:  As we age, we have less tolerance and stamina to handle the day to day maintenance a home requires.  Perhaps a condo with an HOA fee would be worth the peace of mind.
  • Security:  As we age, we are more concerned than ever about our security.  Having a gated community with 24-hour security can be a great comfort.  An extra set of eyes looking out for you can provide a much-appreciated sense of well-being.
  • Pets:  More and more rentals ban our pets.  This is another reason to own in retirement.  Consider your furry friend when making the decision about where to live.
  • Mobility:  While you may still be agile and active when you make this decision to move, keep in mind that down the road you might need assistance.  We hate to think of ourselves needing accommodations for our fragility, but it will make sense if the time comes. Consider the home layout and be certain it can adapt to your possible future needs.
  • Convenience:  How close do you want to be to family and friends?  The amenities you use most often should be near enough to make it convenient to access them without difficulty.

As you begin your evaluation, start with your current house and consider its ability to adapt as you age.  Then decide what course of action makes the most sense regarding your living situation in retirement. If you need help with financing, Sun Pacific Mortgage is here with alternative programs to assist you in purchasing or refinancing your dream retirement home.  Feel free to call us at 707-523-2099 with your questions and scenarios. We are happy to support you as you make this momentous decision.

Increase Your Wealth While Paying Your Mortgage

Increase Your Wealth While Paying Your Mortgage

Home ownership is a unique opportunity to use housing costs to build wealth over time.  

The NAR (National Association of Realtors) recently published a report which broke down the equity gained from appreciation and principal payments.  According to this report, homeowners who purchased their home five years ago realized an 80% gain in appreciation alone. In California that amounts to a significant growth in one’s financial well-being.

Your home is one of the only investments you can live in as you pay it off.  Recently, we have seen significant growth in equity wealth. Even though this phenomenon may be slowing somewhat, especially in California it remains one of the easiest ways to accumulate and gain financial security.  

In 2006, we saw that people unwisely used their homes as ATMs.  They purchased new cars, boats, and lavish vacations. We saw how that ended, and it appears that we have learned our lesson.  Today cashed-out equity is being used for less frivolous reasons, like consolidating debt or for college tuition. Most of us are counting on this wealth to supplement our retirement income.

If you have been hesitant about refinancing your home or getting into real estate investments because of qualifying concerns, there is hope for you!  Hard money loans may just be the answer you are seeking. Sun Pacific Mortgage offers several programs which can benefit your investment issues and allow you to start on your journey toward wealth and financial stability.  Call us at 707-523-2099 to discuss your first steps.

Let’s Garden! Spring Has Arrived!

Let’s Garden Spring Has Arrived

After one of the worst winters in a decade, Californians are looking forward to a warmer, drier Spring.   Warmer weather tends to bring out the farmer or gardener in many of us…but where to begin? I for one love to garden and each week you can find me doing something to make my garden more full, better, more prolific.

There are many available sources outlining the best approach to initiate Spring planting efforts. One of the most well-respected informational resources is Sunset Magazine.  Before you dig into that first shovelful of soil, consulting theirs or another local trusted website, might be beneficial.  

It takes the Spring warmth and longer days to bring out the best in flowers.  In the North Bay, the peak blooming moment is sometime in May, but April is the month to get your garden ready to shine.  The gentle rain of Spring collects nitrogen from the atmosphere, and the warmth of the soil transforms it into bacteria that the plants use to thrive.  Unlike Winter, foliage takes a step back in the garden’s design, and instead, flowers reign supreme.

There are several maintenance tasks that should not be overlooked while you prep for new blooms.  You should tend to your azalea and camellia plants, even though they are finished blooming.  Pinch back the branch tips to keep them dense and promote more flowers next year. After the last blossom drops, you will want to feed them with a specifically formulated food through October.  Another advisable maintenance task is pruning lavender plants by cutting off 1/3 of the new growth to keep the plant from getting too woody.

April is a great month to plant just about anything…shade trees, shrubs, vines, annuals, perennials, groundcover and lawn.  There is just one warning to keep in mind: watch out for aphids, because they love new growth! You can find many organic products on the market to help control these hungry pests.

A little planning and preparation in April can bring great rewards in May and beyond for your inspirational garden!

As always, if you are looking for special financing or a hard money loan for one of your properties, Sun Pacific Mortgage & Real Estate is here. Maybe you need to make some BIG landscape changes, give us a call today for a free consultation and see if we can help with your financing! (707) 523-2099

Spring Is in The Air For Housing

Spring Is In The Air For Housing

As Spring arrives, the housing market is looking considerably more buyer-friendly compared to a year ago.  The inventory shortage of homes we have witnessed has decreased, and higher inventories are driving price cuts.  

According to Realtor.com, inventories have increased by an average of 6% year over year. Markets with some of most impressive numbers include:

  • San Jose up 125%,
  • San Francisco up 53%,
  • San Diego up 36%,
  • Los Angeles up 26%,  
  • Sacramento up 16%.

The median list price rose 7% year over year in February, but prices are showing signs of cooling.  Thirty-nine of fifty largest housing markets saw an increase in price cuts in February. In California, San Jose with 9% and San Francisco with 5% led the way in price reductions.

All in all, this information bodes well for buyers looking to invest in real estate in 2019.  It appears that the real estate market has begun to turn the corner from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market.

If you would like to participate in this wealth generating opportunity, but cannot qualify for a conventional loan, give us a call at 707-523-2099.  We are here to help with poor credit, fast loans, big loans, and everything in between.

What’s New in Home Design for 2019?

What’s New In Home Design For 2019

A recent article based on the remodeling and design platform, Houzz, forecast some trends to look for in the coming year.  With HGTV shows continuing to capture our imaginations and wallets, we might want to know that we are in step with the design world.

Here are some examples of the forecasted changes:

  • Full-height backsplashes extending all the way to the ceiling behind open shelving and range hoods is one of the newer concepts being adopted in kitchen design.
  • Although Living Coral was chosen to be Pantone’s color of the year, the experts see moodier colors, like navy and forest green, as the shade of choice for homeowners.  People are becoming more comfortable experimenting with rich or darker colors.
  • Open spa-like bathrooms are making up 80% of the remodels according to Houzz.  Soaking tubs was the most popular option even if it meant stealing space from the closet or bedroom.
  • Moving from white to black kitchens is another popular choice for 2019.  White kitchens have made it difficult to keep clean if you have children and/or dogs, so remodelers are opting for the “tuxedo” kitchen with contrasting black cabinets and white walls.
  • Free-standing padded dining benches have replaced the built-in, more expensive benches of the past.  These new benches can provide flexible seating and hidden storage.
  • A four-wall accent color is replacing the bold-colored feature wall.  It even includes the trim and molding. This trend seems to be happening in smaller rooms, like a bedroom, study or media room.

These six examples of home remodeling choices are some of the possible options you may want to experiment with in the new year.  If you need funds to finance your DIY efforts, and if you do not qualify for a conventional loan, Sun Pacific Mortgage is here with a Hard Money loan to support your artistic endeavors.


Winter Brings Out The Serious Buyers

Winter Brings Out The Serious Buyers

If someone is out looking for homes in the winter season, it is usually a sign that they mean business.  So how do you, as the Seller, take advantage of this available market?

Start by making sure that the exterior of you home is as warm and inviting as the interior.  Bare trees make for a more exposed home, so freshen up the outside of your home by keeping the gutters clean and sprucing up the yard.  Keep those leaves raked and the lawn alive.

Price your home to sell.  Rather than gradually making small price reductions, which could make you look desperate, get with your local & experienced Realtor and properly price your home before you list.  This strategy encourages multiple offers! It’s far better to have your buyers competing over your property than having you going back-and-forth over the purchase price, with your prospective buyer.

Remove most or all (if possible) of your personal décor.  Staging is one time when the maxim “less is more” should be the watch word.  If your living room area is a small space, arrange your furniture so that there is ample room to maneuver through and around the room.  Group your furniture into conversational zones to make your home feel cozy and inviting. Don’t be stingy with the heat during showings.  A warm, pleasant smelling house can go a long way toward influencing your prospective buyers. Crank up the heat, bake some yummy cookies, play soft music, burn scented candles, etc. to set an ambiance that makes your buyer want to move in.

As “Winter Sellers” you enjoy an enthusiastic audience with “Winter Buyers”. These prospective clients would not be trudging around in the rain, cold and wind if they were not ready and willing to make an offer on the right property!  Make your home the property they want by listing now and following the suggestions above on presenting your home in the best possible winter light.

Hope this helps get you that fast sale!

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