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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Marble Countertops

The Good The Bad And The Ugly Of Marble Countertops

When building or remodeling, owners are faced with a myriad of confusing choices, not the least of which is what material to use for their kitchen counters.  Among the many preferred options are: granite, solid surface material, butcher block, concrete, and marble, specifically Carrara marble.

Marble is gorgeous both from a distance and up close, but unless you are familiar with and ready to maintain it, it also has some drawbacks.  Let’s examine a few:

  1. It won’t stay pristine for long:  Marble is easily scratched and stained.  You can’t chop vegetables directly on it as acidic liquids will stain the surface permanently.  Marble is more porous than natural stones or solid concrete.
  2. It can be seriously tricky to clean:  Acidic liquids of any kind, including organic cleaning products, are bad for marble.  Cleaning requires a special kind of cleaner which can cost at least $10 for 16 ounces.
  3. It requires extra work to protect it:  A seal can help protect your countertops, but it requires regular maintenance.  The recommended resealing process is every 3 – 6 months to maintain the luster and prevent staining.
  4. It can be bad for resale:  In five to ten years this product is likely to look very different and be less appealing to a prospective buyer than any other stones, which may age better with less maintenance.

Some lifestyles present additional reasons to resist the urge to install marble, for instance:   if you use the kitchen heavily, if you have children who will be eating or playing on the surface, or if you don’t have the interest/time for the maintenance it requires.

If you are a fan of HGTV shows, you would think that Carrara is the “go-to” for every project, and they do look beautiful when they are first installed.  What you don’t get a chance to view is what Carrara looks like after the family has lived in the house for any length of time. With all the other options out there, maybe foregoing Carrara isn’t such a difficult decision.

The moral of this article is: Study up on your preferred material for countertops before you buy them. You want to make sure you’ll be happy with it for years to come, as it is your home!

If you’re doing renovations or interested in alternative financing for your home or rental, call us today (707) 523-2099!

What Is a Bridge Loan – And How Is It Beneficial?

Real estate agents, investors, home buyers and home sellers are always interested in utilizing smart home buying strategies.

A bridge loan is a type of creative financing that falls into the category of “smart home buying strategies”.  It is a short term loan, 12 to 18 months only.  It gets paid off with longer-term financing sometime in the near future,  or from the sale of the property.  As the name implies,  it  provides a bridge from one transaction to the next.

The Benefits:

#1. A Bridge loan is sometimes considered a cash purchase by Listing Agents.

#2. The Buyer does not need a contingency clause in the purchase offer of their new    home.

#3.  A home owner can buy a new house now and sell their present home later.

#4. There is no fear of losing their dream home because they have not sold their present home.

#5. Your buyer can buy a fixer, renovate it and have their dream home.  Hard money bridge loans are often the solution for less than perfect properties.

#6. Speed.  These loans can usually close in less than a week.

The Requirements:

  • It must be a 12 month loan.
  • There will be 3 months of guaranteed interest minimally.
  • 20% down payment required on a purchase.
  • On a refinance there must be lendable equity.

 

The Uses:

Typically, bridge loans are sought when another sale is pending and the funds are needed to close the final deal.   At other times,  a buyer may be in a “fire sale” situation,  where the seller on the other end of the transaction must close a deal within a specified period of time.

Some instances when you might use a Bridge Loan are:

  • Pulling some cash out of the equity in your current home to secure a down payment to purchase another home. This allows you more time to sell your present home.
  • Refinancing the property you are selling to pay cash for the new home.

 

The Costs:

Rates and costs for Bridge Loans can vary by Lender.   Rates range between *9-12% and are usually interest only.  Rates depend on the amount of the down payment so the bigger the down, the lower the interest rate.

How We Can Help You:

We are licensed for the state of California and have been in business for 29 years.

Call our office at 707-523-2099 and within just a few minutes, we can let you know what we can do for you!

 

We hope this has helped you understand more about what a Bridge loan is and how we can be of assistance.

INVESTORS AND “HARD MONEY” LOANS

 

LENDER’S VIEWPOINT

By Forest Tardibuono

There was a really good article in the Wall Street Journal last week about Hard Money loans. It was informational to borrowers and investors alike. It spoke of the fact that Hard Money loans will account for 1% of the 5.5 million home loans originated this year, up sharply from prior years.

The Article features a Dallas attorney who has doing Hard Money loans as a “side business”.

He believes that originating home loans in the current environment, when many economists believe housing is at or near the bottom, is less risky than putting money in the “volatile stock market or opaque bond market.”

He states further “I can’t drive by and look at those stocks and bonds.” Plus, he says, investing in residential real estate earns “passive income that doesn’t require much work from me.”

The interest rate paid on these investments can be anywhere from 9% to 14% with 12% being fairly typical. They can be a first or second mortgage ranging in size from $30,000 to $1,000,000 or larger with a term of from 6 months to 7 years or more. These loans are secured by land, 1 to 4 unit residential, 5+ unit residential (deemed commercial), office buildings, strip centers, large commercial, etc.

The main qualification for a borrower is: 1. Equity or a good down payment and 2. Ability to repay the loan. If they do not make payments, they could forfeit the property that was the security for the loan to the investor.

Check out our website for further details.

Forest Tardibuono is a CA DRE Broker with over 23 years experience in real estate and lending. His number is (707) 523-2099. See website @ sunpacmortgage.com.

Investors Are Buying An Ever Increasing Number Of Homes

LENDER’S VIEWPOINT

By Forest Tardibuono, Guy In The White Hat

Investors Are Buying An Ever Increasing Number Of Homes

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGFisHIVFJE&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

 

See why it IS the time to buy a home!

I feel like it is my calling to promote home ownership in America. You might think I have an inherent conflict of interest as I currently own a mortgage and real estate company and have been in the business for more than 23 years doing just that. And that is absolutely true. Unless someone in my vicinity is buying, selling or financing a home, I don’t make a living.

So when faced with the above conflict, don’t buy into my enthusiasm for the American Dream but look at the facts and decide for yourself. I mean really look at the facts and what they mean. That really is what I do as a professional in this field is give people facts, the good the bad and the ugly and let them make an informed decision.

By the way, a gloomy headline in your local newspaper or on the radio or internet is not a fact. Someone, usually not an expert in the field they are reporting in, gathers information about a topic of interest and writes an article. They then look it over, and create a headline for it that is anywhere from alarming to horribly bad. They do that in the hopes that you will read it.

If you are stopped at all from buying a home even though you know you should, stop reading the darn press! Stop listening to the news. Bad news sells newspapers – a fact. I read a recent article that the worse the world events, the more people read the newspaper. They are trying to keep abreast of what is going on and the most widespread mediums they are looking to for information deal in bad news! It stifles you!

Onto the really good news: The above headline is an absolutely key indicator of why you should buy a home right now. In any area you may live, the rough gauge of investor buying is all cash deals. Not all cash deals are by investors but like I say, it is a rough gauge.

In March 2011 in Sonoma County California where I live, all cash transactions accounted for 28% of the homes sold. All cash purchases have accounted for about 10% of the sales over the last decade, but became more common as home prices declined. What do investors know that keep them buying in spite of the bad news? They are probably cheering all the bad news because it keeps competition for these rock bottom home prices to a minimum. They know to buy because the homes bought today can cash-flow. They are buying today because the homes, in my County for instance, are at 50 cents on the dollar from 5 years ago and there will likely not be an opportunity like this again!

So follow their lead. Investors are investors for a reason. Very key indicator.

Forest Tardibuono- the Guy in the White Hat – is a CA DRE Broker with more than 23 years of experience in real estate and lending.  His phone number is (707) 523-2099.  Email is Forest@sunpacmortgage.com.  See website @ www.sunpacmortgage.com. DRE#01464899/NMLS #360993

The Guy In The White Hat Comes To Homebuyers’ Rescue!

The Guy In The White Hat Comes To Homebuyers’ Rescue!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3eFWtb6pz0&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

 

Ever since we opened our doors in Sonoma County in 1988, we’ve given extra care to round up people who have been “Turned Down Elsewhere?” – because of credit, income, the property or a combinations of these.

We are the local Hard Money Lender who can help rescue your deal…and get your Buyer into that Home!

Here are some Hard Money Buyers recently rescued…

Home Purchase Purchase price $237,000. Buyers had a friend who loaned them the down payment of 20% as a 2nd mortgage. Purchase money first of $189,600. 100% combined loan to value!

Flipper 80% Loan to Value (LTV) in Santa Rosa. Loan amount $315,000 on a fixer upper. 12% interest only for 12 months. This loan was done in 4 days!!

Owner Occupied Principal Residence Purchase – A conventional lender denied this loan due to a foreclosure. 50% Down. Loan amount $90,000 at 12% interest only. 10 days from application to recording!

Loan approval is based on just 2 criteria:

1. Good Down Payment

2. Ability to Repay

  • FAST Private Money for purchasing in Sonoma County and contiguous Counties
  • FICO is not a factor
  • Up to 75% loan-to-value – Case by case basis
  • Loan amounts from $75,000 to $400,000
  • Owner Occupied and Investor Loans

SPECIAL NOTE: WE CAN DO A LOAN FOR SOMEONE FRESH OUT OF FORECLOSURE, BANKRUPTCY OR SHORT SALE!

CALL FOREST at 523-2099

Or email him at forest@sunpacmortgage.com

Visit us @ www.sunpacmortgage.com

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