Building that Dream Home Today!

How to Build Your Dream Home

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1. GET REAL ABOUT YOUR BUDGET.
The primary source of conflict and melodrama in the building process is budget. Set your number, and then listen. If you have a reputable builder or contractor, trust him or her to tell you what things cost. And don’t get stuck on the cost-per-square-foot metric. “When a client comes in clutching a printout from Houzz and his estimation of what something costs per square foot, a whole education process needs to begin,” builder Michael Munir of Sharif & Munir says, “and we start with the myth of square-footage computations.” If you are building or remodeling, know what you can afford to spend. Start there, and have your builder and architect walk you through your options and explain how real-time costs are established.

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2. SELECT YOUR TEAM.
In a perfect world, you would have your architect, builder, designer, landscape architect, and lawyer* on board and in place before you’ve even selected the site of your new home. Why do you need the whole team there from the beginning? Each individual will be looking out for your needs from a different vantage point. This is crucial as you choose the property upon which you’re building. Your team will take things like sun orientation, zoning, setbacks, area-coverage restrictions, and height restrictions into consideration while you’re going on and on about how “pretty” the views are. Once you decide on a lot, your team can come together to create detailed plans. On the cost side, it is your builder who will produce and oversee your budget.

*Some people were less enthusiastic about the need for lawyer involvement at any time.

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3. GET REAL ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED.
In an age of Houzz.com and Pinterest, a list of wants versus needs can become very confusing. Those all-steel windows that “everyone” has could cost you $100,000. You might go with aluminum-clad or wood windows to save. The concrete floors that you think are so cool? Perhaps you’ll opt for something a little more user-friendly like porcelain tiles. Your old furniture could be an issue. Consider the immense size of Aunt Edna’s dining-room table or that seven-seater sofa. Art collections need lighting and wall space defined. Your team will work with you to devise a personalized plan that incorporates all of your lifestyle needs ranging from that fridge in the garage to closet space. “We have clients who come in and say, ‘We need 6,000 square feet.’ But they’re in 4,500 square feet now, and there are rooms they’re not using,” Bruce Bernbaum of Bernbaum-Magadini Architects says. “Sometimes they have a gigantic list, but their budget doesn’t allow them to have everything. So if they want a library, office, and dining room, we may have to do some combining — bookcases in the dining room, for example. We try to validate their wants, and show them how it might all work in 4,500 square feet.”

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Outdoor living spaces have become as important as the indoors. Loggias that open to full outdoor kitchens and lounging areas are the new Dallas requirement.

dream_home_6IMPORTANT: Think ahead. When planning your dream house, think five — even 10 — years down the road. How will the plan adapt to your growing children or to your retirement needs? How will it work through every season? the majority of the builders we surveyed emphasized the importance of taking the very long-term view on the spaces.

4. GET REAL ABOUT THE BUDGET AGAIN.
Have we mentioned how important it is to get real about your budget? Because sometimes, even the most business-savvy people lose their minds when it comes to building their dream homes. Don’t play games with your builder. The idea that saying, “our budget is X,” while meanwhile squirreling away Y is not smart. A smaller stated budget will not get you more for the buck. If you have a good builder, he or she will be completely transparent. Builders and architects design to a number; let your team know what your numbers are so they can design to it. And don’t forget to budget for landscape and interior furnishings. “A lot of times, those outdoor spaces cost more than your air-conditioned areas,” builder Bob Thompson of Bob Thompson Homes says.

So figure out your money situation, and be realistic about costs. Most builders have an entry level for pricing, and they can direct you to vendors who will help you stay on budget. Some costs for items like framing or foundation simply are what they are. “The house is going to cost what it costs. If you find a dramatically cheaper bid on a house, then chances are, that guy is leaving something out,” builder Mickey Munir of Sharif & Munir says. 

dream_home_7Repeat after us: you will have change orders. But the more you nail down in the planning stages, the better.

5. GET REAL ABOUT THE TIMELINE.
Nobody loves reality television more than we do, but HGTV has done a disservice when it comes to our expectations about how long it takes to get things done on a construction site. Spoiler alert: Your house is not going to be built in three days. Your backyard will not be done in an afternoon. “People have preconceived ideas about how simple and easy everything will flow. They think, ‘Oh, it’s not difficult.’ But it’s always a process,” landscape architect Glenn Bonick of Bonick Landscaping says.

Bottom line, no matter what you see on Property Brothers, with construction comes delays. If you’re dead set on putting in that basement, you’re going to add time (and money and headaches due to probable problems with soil depending on your neighborhood). If you insist on limestone walls, be mindful that you’re at the mercy of that quarry down in Granbury. If production shuts down for some reason, then there’s nothing to load on the truck to head your way. Even acts of God like weather can put you behind. If you know to expect delays and a few momentary setbacks, your experience will be smoother and saner throughout.

dream_home_8People like to tell their builders that they know a guy who knows a guy who’s a builder, and that guy said it can be done cheaper. Don’t do that. Trust your team and communicate with them accordingly.

6. COMMUNICATE ABOUT EVERYTHING.
You have selected people who are knowledgeable and great listeners. It is up to you to stay engaged and in the loop. Establish communication patterns. Attend team meetings on a regular, predetermined basis. Ask questions. Utilize technology—many builders have special websites or apps that outline the plan and keep track of progress. Text and e-mail your builder as necessary; it’s great for quick decisions and creates a record of your interaction. Insist on transparency. Look at the invoices and keep track of costs. Also, if you’re a person who lives by the credo of William James—“If you can change your mind, you can change your life”—good for you. But in the home-construction realm, that mindset is also going to change your bottom line. “Every time you make a change, you’re going to want to see the new price and how the schedule will change,” builder Mark Danuser of Tatum Brown Custom Homes says. Planning well and carefully is key.

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7. MEET THE PRESS.
Once you and your team have completed a project that has surpassed your every dream and expectation, sing its praises from your stylish lanai. Shout about your new rooftop from your new rooftop. And then invite the editors of D Home over so we can see your lovely and amazing new home. We like to sing and shout, too.

 

Help us here at team dembowski by commenting if you found this article helpful, or if you have a topic that you have questions on and want us to cover. 

 

Website Link;

Should You Buy A Bigger House?

Should You Buy A Bigger House?

Even though many people are buying less expensive housing these days, you might be very tempted to buy a bigger house. I can understand that. Interest rates are ridiculously low and real estate prices seem to be just bottoming out. I recently wrote a post explaining that most people are far better off buying real estate rather than renting. I believe that with every cell of my body. If that is true, wouldn’t it also be true that owning more real estate (in the form of a larger house) is better than owning less? The argument has merit.

But before you whip out your check book and call Moshe’s Movers, chill out. Even ifyou can af ford the new house, I suggest you pause. While there are a few good reasons to move into larger digs, there are plenty of reasons why you should maintain as small a footprint as possible.

Reasons to Move to a Larger Home

There are only three good reasons to move into a larger home:

1. Current Home Way too Small

One of the worst decisions I ever made was to buy a house that was really affordable but way too small for our family. My wife tried to tell me this before we bought the house. But of course the financial advisor expert in me took over and prevailed. Within a year we all agreed that we better move before one of us ends up on the 5 o’clock news.

That was very expensive because real estate prices had increased over that year and of course we had to pay the commissions and the movers and all that fun stuff. Drag. If you are in a house that doesn’t fit your family and you can afford a bigger house, I suggest you do it. Now is a great time for you to upgrade.

2. Current Home Way too Far

Just like living in a cramped space, living in a bad location can be a downer. If you are moving anyway, why not trade up a little? Again, assuming you can afford the upgrade, go for it. No reason why you shouldn’t.

3. Extra Costs of New Home Are Irrelevant

If you want a bigger home because you want a bigger home and you can easily pay the higher freight, it might be OK to go for it. This can be really tricky however.

One of my friends bought a huge house overlooking the valley when he was at the peak of his career. He spent a ton of money on a huge mansion and was very happy there – for a while.

Eventually he decided that he wanted to change his lifestyle. He realized that if he downsized, he could actually retire early and live very comfortably. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to realize his dream. The house is worth much less now than when he bought it. As a result, he’s stuck with the larger house, the very high upkeep and a lifestyle he’s dying to change.

To summarize, there are only 3 reasons you should buy a bigger home. Notice that I didn’t include buying a larger estate as a way to increase your real estate investments. While I do think it’s generally a good time to invest in property, the best way to do this is by owning rentals in the right market. Rentals provide income. Your residence doesn’t. Buying a bigger house as an investment might work out for you but it’s far riskier than buying good rentals.

Why You Should Not Buy a Bigger Home

1. You Can’t Afford It

Never buy a house you can’t easily afford. With the uncertain financial times we live in, it’s not unheard of to suffer big financial reversals. If heaven forbid you encounter such a situation (such as losing your job), the last thing you want to do is to lose your house too. People underestimate what it really costs to own a home. When you upgrade to a larger house all of the following bills go up substantially:

a. Mortgage Payments (duh)
b. Insurance
c. Taxes
d. Utilities
e. Upkeep
f. Décor and Furnishings (You’ll probably have to buy all new furniture when you move. At the very least, you’ll have to buy more furniture to fill up that castle you just bought).
g. Landscaping and grounds

Even if you think you can afford the new house please confirm it. Take a few minutes and crunch the numbers to be sure.

2. Risk

As I mentioned above, once you commit to real estate – especially if it’s your residence – it’s difficult and expensive to make a change. Consider how your circumstances might change over the years ahead.

Think of my friend who wanted to reinvent his life but couldn’t because he was trapped by the large home he owned and couldn’t sell.

My wife and I bought a pretty nice house in LA when our kids were younger. Before we knew it, 2 of them were in college and out of the house. We really don’t need that big house any more. I’m not saying it was a mistake to buy the house originally (12 years ago) but it would be a mistake for us to buy a bigger house now.

This is true even though it would be easier for us to afford a larger home now that two of the kids are almost done with college. There is no reason for us to buy a larger home so we aren’t doing so. Having a very affordable home gives us lots of freedom and peace of mind.

3. Opportunity Cost

If you tie up lots of money in your residence you incur an opportunity cost. The money you put in as a down payment is money you can’t invest elsewhere. Maybe there are better alternatives that you can’t take advantage of because you haven’t got the scratch. And remember that more of your monthly income goes towards the house payment. That’s money you can’t invest for your retirement. It’s also money you can’t use to travel or have fun doing other things with.

Real estate presents a wonderful opportunity right now. I’m a big fan. If you are thinking of taking advantage of the present circumstances to buy a larger home, it could be a really smart move. Just make sure you do this with your eyes wide open and do it for the right reasons.

Are you thinking of buying a larger home now? Why or why not?

Flying Tomato Festival

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THIS IS HAPPENING! Flying Tomato Festival is officially on Tour and is so stoked to be in Pacific View Mall on Feb 27th, 2016. DON'T MISS THIS!!! This will be the event everyone is talking about this year. Grab everyone you know and LET'S DO THIS!
Flying Tomato Festival™ is the World's Sauciest Party™. Inspired by huge tomato fights from Europe - Tomato Festival combines an amazing concert with a huge Food Fight - and then sprays you down in the Rinse Cycle before you head home. It is pure adrenaline, and crazy fun! Tomato Festival started just trying to create an amazing event but was soon swept into a conversation about food waste and feeding the hungry. Tomato Festival donates meals and funds to Action Against Hunger at every event, and is fighting hunger by conducting local food drives as well as supporting several local non-profits. Visit our website for more details!
http://www.tomatofestival.com/
Participants receive the best swag in the business: a Terry Headband, Aviator Sunglasses, a classy Moustache, cool event T-shirt, terry sweatbands, fun fake tattoos and all the tomatoes you can throw.
Flying Tomato Festival is for people of all ages and children ages 11 and younger may attend for FREE when supervised by a paying adult. Tickets are on sale now. Prices increase soon so don't wait! Don't forget to like us on Facebook or Follow us on Instagram!
https://www.facebook.com/thetomatofestival/
https://www.instagram.com/tomatofestival/

Credit Vc Star

Farmers Market

-Oxnard

Every Thursday,

Open year round, the market offers an enormous variety of freshest local fruits and produce available as well as freshly prepared items such as bread, dried fruits, nuts, and more.

Location: Plaza park, 500 S. C St.,

Information: 805.247.0197

download

Readers Choice 2016

Have You voted yet? Go vote now for your favorite things about Ventura. Help us at Berkshire Hathaway be the top voted Real estate Brokerage  In ventura! Thank you all for making Ventura such a wonderful place to live!

Readers Choice

 

 

691 Aliso st. New Price!

             Hillside retreat just blocks from the ocean! Spacious single level home with 4 bedrooms and almost 2,700 square feet. Large living room with grand fireplace. Remodeled kitchen with open concept family room complete with fireplace and wet bar! Formal dining room leads out to the private patio. Master suite has 2 closets, sunken spa tub, separate shower and private patio. The only steps are to the garage and indoor laundry room. This home is centrally located close to downtown Ventura and the beach. Don't miss this opportunity to live in such an exclusive hillside neighborhood!

The Dream Home
The Dream Home

7 Must-Knows About FHA Loans

 

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Do you know what an FHA loan is? To put it simply, an FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), which is a government agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Essentially, the federal government insures loans for FHA-approved lenders in order to reduce their risk of loss if a borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.

Check out these seven facts all buyers should know about FHA loans: realestate.msn.com

It’s Tax Time! Don’t Forget about These Breaks for Homeowners

 

There are various home-related expenses that

you can deduct. Whether you own a single-family home, townhouse, condo or floating home, don't forget to consider all the ways to minimize your tax liability.

Learn about special homeowner tax breaks

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at www.zillow.com!

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

Now that the real estate market is picking up again, many people are looking to sell their homes at last. But when you sell, you have to move somewhere — which usually means buying another home. Buying and selling at the same time brings up a whole new set of challenges, but those who plan well in advance can make it happen smoothly.

 

Here are five ways to successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

1. Prepare to be stressed

Buying a home is stressful. Selling a home is stressful. When you do both at the same time, the experience is super stressful, not to mention emotional and difficult on many levels. You’re potentially carrying two mortgages or trying to time the purchase with the sale. There will be a lot of sleepless nights, worrying over finances and pressure to make a decision. It’s enough to ignite a family war.

 

Accepting upfront that this process will be extremely stressful will help in the long run. Know that most homeowners go through this, and there is success at the end of the long, dark tunnel. Plan everything as much as possible in advance. Do your homework. And take care of yourself. You’re going to be busier than usual.

2. Meet with your agent early on

Owners often believe their home is worth less than what the current market will bear. That’s why it’s important to meet with your real estate agent early on, even months before you plan to buy or sell.

 

Researching online valuation tools or doing basic research will help to guide you. But a local agent will help you understand your home’s true current market value and marketability. A good agent is in the trenches daily and knows your neighborhood and market inside and out.

3. Learn the market where you want to purchase

After getting some hard numbers for your home’s sale you need to do the same on the purchase side. What’s on your wish list? What are your priorities? Determine your needs and understand what you will get for your money on the purchase side. You need to know this to factor in how

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financing will work with the buy/sell.

 

Also, understand that market. Is it more or less competitive than where you live now? How long can you expect to search for a home? This will factor into your sale timing. If you’re moving within the city or town where you

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live, your listing agent will likely serve as your buying agent. If you’re moving just outside your area, you may need to ask your agent to refer you to an agent knowledgeable about that area.

4. Know your numbers

Once you understand the numbers on both the purchase and the sale, you need to know your financing options. Many people today don’t have a strong-enough financial foundation to purchase another home before selling their own, so knowing this upfront can help you plan more appropriately.

 

Engage a local mortgage broker or lender and understand what kind of down payment you’ll need to make a purchase, given the price point and type of home you seek to buy. How much equity do you have in your current home, and is the equity available? Do you have enough of a down payment liquid and would a lender allow you to make the purchase before selling the home? Find out by going through the loan pre-approval process. A good, local mortgage professional is as valuable as a good real estate agent.

5. Make a plan

Now that you know your numbers, it’s time to come up with a plan and execute. The plan can vary greatly, depending upon any number of conditions. Some examples:

  • Buying in a competitive market? Adding a contingency that your current home must sell before you buy probably won’t work.
  • Selling in a competitive market? You may be able to negotiate with the buyer for a longer escrow or even a rent back. This would buy you time on the purchase side.
  • Selling in a slow market and buying in a competitive market? Need the sales proceeds in order to do the purchase? Unfortunately, you’re in the worst-case scenario. Consider the option of selling your home first and moving into temporary housing. While not the most physically convenient, it could be less stressful.
  • Need temporary housing? Start researching those options now well in advance

Understanding the variables

There are so many variables that can come into play when buying or selling. Each one may affect your decision-making process. Identifying and planning for the variables as much as possible early on will help you avoid sleepless nights, stressful days, or fights with your spouse or partner.

 

Source: zillowblog.com

What Do You Do If You Get Behind on Mortgage Payments?

When times are tough, we often have to think about where to cut back. If you are in the uncomfortable position of needing to select which bills to prioritize, you might wonder what happens if you skip your mortgage payment for just one month.

The consequences vary depending on how late you are. If you are simply a little late, perhaps a week or two, your credit will not be affected, as long as your lender gets your payment before the 30-day mark. If your payment is due on the 1st and you pay it after the 15th, you will need to pay a penalty, but the credit bureaus will not be informed.

If you are more than 30 days late, it’s important to talk to your

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lender. If you miss a payment or are more than 30 days late, your credit score may be impacted. Be honest with your lender about the situation and whether it was a temporary lapse or you are experiencing financial trouble that

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could lead to more missed payments. Life changes such as job loss or divorce can leave home owners overextended. Be sure to keep notes of your conversation with your lender and note down when you called.

Once you are facing mortgage trouble, you have a few different options, including deciding to put the home on the market. If you have enough equity in your home, you may be able to refinance to obtain a lower monthly payment. Another option is a home equity loan or HELOC (home-equity line of credit), but this may make the home harder to sell. For these options, you can’t wait until you have missed a payment.

If you decide to sell but want to avoid foreclosure, the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program may be able to help. HAFA provides two options for transitioning out of your mortgage: a short sale or a Deed-in-Lieu (DIL) of foreclosure. In a short sale, the mortgage company lets you sell your house for

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an amount that falls “short” of the amount you still owe. In a DIL, the mortgage company lets you give the title back, transferring ownership back to it. HAFA provides free advice from HUD-approved housing counselors and licensed real estate professionals. A HAFA short sale completely releases you from your mortgage debt after selling the property. This means you will no longer be responsible for the amount that falls “short” of the amount you still owe. HAFA has a less negative effect on your credit score than foreclosure or conventional short sales. Your lender can advise you about your eligibility for this program.

You may also attempt a loan modification. A loan modification changes the terms of your existing mortgage and can include lowering the interest rate, reducing the principal amount or extending the amortization period. Loan modifications are generally done only if the home owner can prove a hardship such as job loss, divorce, illness, relocation or other life-changing event. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) may help lower your payments through a variety of programs with different eligibility requirements. If you are unemployed, the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP) may reduce your mortgage payments to 31 percent of your income or suspend them altogether for 12 months or more.

Although it can be tempting to just hope things will work themselves out, it’s vital to face the situation head on. By connecting with your lender early, you can resolve problems so that you get the outcome you desire and you can preserve your credit score and be better prepared for your future.

Source: realtor.com