What Makes a Good Mortgage Applicant

Came across this article and felt it was timely – being in the summer swing Real Estate Market…  

What Makes a Good Mortgage Applicant

Lenders use specific criteria to determine whether applicants qualify for a mortgage and what the terms of the loan should be. The Motley Fool highlights several metrics lenders value the most when it comes to approving borrowers for a loan.

How does your client’s income compare to the amount they want to borrow?

Many lenders believe housing costs—which also include property taxes and homeowners insurance—should be less than 28 percent of a person’s income. Lenders may allow borrowers with less debt to take on larger mortgages.

What is your client’s debt load?

Many lenders consider the maximum debt-to-income ratio to be between 36 percent and 43 percent. Lenders expect total debts—which include the cost of the mortgage, other housing expenses, and unpaid debts—not to exceed that percentage. Otherwise, a borrower may not get approved for a loan.

Does your client have good credit?

Lenders will look at your client’s credit score to determine whether they’re a responsible borrower. People with credit scores higher than 740 often get the most favorable mortgage terms. A credit score below 620, on the other hand, could result in the denial of a mortgage. Some subprime lenders may be willing to lend to a borrower at a higher interest rate. But your clients might be better off taking steps to improve their credit and qualify for a more favorable loan, experts say.

What’s your client’s employment situation?

Borrowers who have been employed for only a short time at their most recent job or who have a history of changing jobs frequently may be a red flag for lenders. Many want to see two years of steady income on a borrower’s financial record.

believe Home Ownership is key to long term financial health.  We all need a place to live and fixing that cost over the long term is so important.  Saving for the downpayment is a journey I too am going on.  Maintaining a healthy credit score, cutting down costs and increasing saving each much is part of my regular diet – so I wanted to take a moment and share this article since it was short and concise.  If you are considering a purchase, The Caton Team is happy to sit down with you and map out the way.  Contact us any time – Info@TheCatonTeam.com

– Sabrina 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/06/14/what-makes-good-mortgage-applicant?tp=i-H43-Bb-Eg-32lY-1p-EHi7-1c-31VF-kLfrQ&om_rid=725620%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=910

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Taking a Vow for a Wedding or a New Home?

Taking a Vow for a Wedding or a New Home?

Getting married and buying a home are two milestones that couples often try to achieve at the same time. But the finances involved in both of those feats can be daunting. The average wedding costs reached a record high in 2016: $35,329. That is about the equivalent of a 20 percent down payment on a $175,000 home.

“There are some people that can do both at the same time, but for most, you have to choose one [goal] and delay the other by a year or two,” says Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and founder of Brunch & Budget in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Some couples in wedding prep mode are setting up a gift registry asking for down payment assistance to help in their home purchase instead of filling their registry with traditional house gifts. Cash registries for a home or other major ticket purchases, such as a home renovation or car, are growing more popular as the average ages for brides and grooms increase, says Kristen Maxwell Cooper, executive editor of The Knot. (For example, some couples are using online sites like Deposit a Gift to set up a down payment cash registry.)

“They already have a lot of the stuff you would add to a traditional registry,” Cooper says. “Ultimately they want to make sure that if their friends and family want to give them a gift—and of course, they do—that it’s something useful.”

After all, saving enough for a wedding alone can really add up. Nearly half of couples recently surveyed say they ended up spending more than they intended on their wedding, according to The Knot.

Further, a wedding that overlaps with a home purchase can actually jeopardize closing, in some cases too. Wedding-related debt could damage a person’s credit score.

“Your mortgage qualification is going to be largely based on your income, and your credit,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage site HSH.com. “The last thing you want to do is disturb your credit in any way.”

For Silicon Valley buyers this is a true dilemma.  I loved my wedding and it was a magical day – my advise.  Be frugal at the wedding and add more to that downpayment.  Just make sure you have a great photographer!

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/03/20/taking-vow-for-wedding-or-new-home?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BY0Co2B9Zsr5UW&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

San Mateo County Farmers Markets, Events & Things to Do!

San Mateo County Farmers Markets, Events & Things to Do!

FARMERS MARKETS

Belmont
Year-round: Sun 10:00am-2:00pm
El Camino Real and O’Neill Ave

Brisbane
Year-round: Thur 2:30-6:30pm
11 Old County Road

Daly City
Year-round: Thur & Sat 9:00am-1:00pm
Serramonte Shopping Center 

Foster City
Year-Round: Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm
Sun. 2:30pm-6:30pm
791 Beach Park Blvd. 

Menlo Park
Year-round: Sun. 9:00am-1:00pm
1050 Chestnut St. 

Millbrae
Year-round: Sat. 8:00am-1:00pm
200 Broadway, Millbrae

Redwood City
Multiple Venues and Times – see link

San Mateo
Year-round: Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm
College of San Mateo

San Carlos
Year-round: Sun. 10:00am-2:00pm
700 Block Laurel Street

Events

Community Day in the Park
June 4, 2017
12:00pm-5:00pm
San Bruno City Park

Summer Foodfest
June 24, 2017
12:00pm
Facebook Headquarters

Biggest Little Airshow
June 3, 2017
10:00am
Hiller Aviation Museum
San Carlos

cityFEST
June 2-4, 2017
5:00pm
Leo Ryan Park
Foster City

Summer Concert Series – Beatles Tribute
June 14, 2017
6:30pm-8:00pm
Fremont Park
Menlo Park

Free First Fridays
June 2, 2017
10:00am-4:00pm
San Mateo County History Museum
Redwood City

Movies on the Square – Hidden Figures
June 1, 2017
8:45pm-11:00pm
Courthouse Square
Redwood City

St. Pius Festival
June 3-4, 2017
1:00pm-10:00pm
St. Pius Church
Redwood City

First Fridays
June 2, 2017
10:16am
Barracuda Japanese Restaurant
Burlingame

San Mateo County Fair
June 10-18, 2017
10:00am
San Mateo County Event Center

 

THINGS TO DO

Planet Granite Belmont
Crystal Springs Regional Trail 
San Bruno Mountain State Park
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Peninsula Museum of Art 
Hiller Aviation Museum 
San Mateo County History Museum
Filoli
Bay Area Ski Bus
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
Bel Mateo Bowl 
Half Moon Bay State Beach 
Poplar Creek Golf Course
Half Moon Bay Golf Links
CuriOdyssey
S
anchez Adobe
M
emorial Park  
Club Fox
U
nleashed Art Gallery 
Museum of PEZ Memorabilia
GoKart Racer

 

MOVIES COMING SOON

Friday, June 2, 2017
Wonder Woman
Captain Underpants
Churchill

Friday, June 9, 2017
The Mummy
The Hero

Friday, June 16, 2017
Cars 3
Rough Night
Resident Evil: Vendetta

Friday, June 23, 2017
Transformers: The Last Knight
The Beguiled

Friday, June 30, 2017
Despicable Me 3
The House

 

Courtesy of Chicago Title Company
17 Father’s Day Activities: Source.

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Big Down Payment Myth

The Big Down Payment Myth

 

Having the spare capital to put 20 percent down on a home purchase is great, but it’s certainly not the norm. Still, many people think it is and that belief may be holding some would-be home buyers back, particularly young adults.

Indeed, 39 percent of non-owners say they believe they need more than 20 percent for a down payment on a home purchase. Twenty-six percent believe they need to put down 15 to 20 percent, and 22 percent say they need a down payment of 10 percent to 14 percent to buy, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile report.

But now for the reality: The average down payment on a purchase mortgage was just 11 percent in 2016. And that’s just the average; often times down payments are much lower. For borrowers under the age of 35, the average down payment was just under 8 percent, according to NAR’s survey.

As such, “aspiring first-time buyers think it takes twice as much to buy a home than it really does,” writes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist, in his latest column.

How much a person truly needs for a down payment depends on their situation. Their financial circumstances, home location, and the price of the home are important factors.

But there are many mortgage options that offer the opportunity to make low or even no down payments. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer no-money down loans to those who are eligible. In 2016, 16 percent of buyers under the age of 35 put no money down on their home purchase.

Further, the largest share of loans for buyers under age 35 last year were for people putting down less than 5 percent on a home purchase (or about $3,500). The 3 percent down payment programs backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the 3.5 percent FHA mortgage that primarily targets first-time buyers, are both helpful programs to consider. These loan programs don’t require unblemished credit either. The average FICO score was 713, but realtor.com® notes borrowers with a 639 were still getting approved.

As such, Smoke says the millennial dreaming about homeownership needs to get this message: They need a FICO score of at least 639 and enough for a 5 percent down payment (that is, if they don’t qualify for the other programs with lower payment options). In that case, they’ll need to save about $3,500 to buy in the typical American town.

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/02/15/big-down-payment-myth?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BYpJckB9YecvKz&om_ntype=RMODaily

 

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Consumer Confidence in Housing Hits All-Time High

Consumer Confidence in Housing Hits All-Time High

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, a new all-time high. Five of the six components that comprise the HPSI were up, and three hit record highs. The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy rose 11 percentage points, while the net share who believe that now is a good time to sell rose 7 percentage points. Consumers also demonstrated greater confidence about not losing their jobs, with the net share rising 9 percentage points. On net, the share of respondents reporting that their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 4 percentage points. Additionally, more Americans expect home prices to go up, with the net share rising 3 percentage points. The net share of those who think mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months remained unchanged for the third consecutive month.

“The latest post-election surge in optimism puts the HPSI at its highest level since its starting point in 2011. Millennials showed especially strong increases in job confidence and income gains, a necessary precursor for increased housing demand from first-time homebuyers,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Preliminary research results from our team find that millennials are accelerating the rate at which they move out of their parents’ homes and form new households. However, continued slow supply growth implies continued strong price appreciation and affordability constraints facing millennials and first-time buyers in many markets.”

HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX – COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS

Fannie Mae’s 2017 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in February by 5.6 percentage points to 88.3. The HPSI is also up 5.6 percentage points compared with the same time last year.

  • The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a house rose 11 percentage points to 40%, rebounding strongly from last month’s survey low.
  • The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell increased by 7 percentage points to 22%, reaching a new survey high.
  • The net share of Americans who say that home prices will go up increased by 3 percentage points in February to 45%.
  • The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next twelve months remained constant for the third consecutive month at -55%.
  • The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job rose 9 percentage points to a new survey high of 78%.
  • The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 19% in February, continuing the increase from January and reaching a new survey high.

ABOUT FANNIE MAE’S HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX

The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) distills information about consumers’ home purchase sentiment from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey® (NHS) into a single number. The HPSI reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions and complements existing data sources to inform housing-related analysis and decision making. The HPSI is constructed from answers to six NHS questions that solicit consumers’ evaluations of housing market conditions and address topics that are related to their home purchase decisions. The questions ask consumers whether they think that it is a good or bad time to buy or to sell a house, what direction they expect home prices and mortgage interest rates to move, how concerned they are about losing their jobs, and whether their incomes are higher than they were a year earlier.

ABOUT FANNIE MAE’S NATIONAL HOUSING SURVEY

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey (NHS) polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts, six of which are used to construct the HPSI (findings are compared with the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). As cell phones have become common and many households no longer have landline phones, the NHS contacts 60 percent of respondents via their cell phones (as of October 2014). For more information, please see the Technical Notes. Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future. The February 2017 National Housing Survey was conducted between February 1, 2017 and February 21, 2017. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

DETAILED HPSI & NHS FINDINGS

For detailed findings from the February 2017 Home Purchase Sentiment Index and National Housing Survey, as well as a brief HPSI overview and detailed white paper, technical notes on the NHS methodology, and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Surveys page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth special topic studies, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies of NHS results.

 

I read this article at: http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/corporate-news/2017/february-home-purchase-sentiment-index-6527.html

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

9 Genius Hiding Places for All Your Valuables

9 Genius Hiding Places for All Your Valuables

By Holly Amaya

 

Just in case you haven’t had your fill of troubling news lately, try this: Today’s thieves are smarter—and more brazen—than ever. More than half of them strike during daylight hours, and an astonishing 34% go in right through your front door!

(Happened on our street at High Noon and NO ONE NOTICED!)

So whether you’re on vacation or just away at work, the chances are depressingly high that your not-so-friendly neighborhood thieves are watching. If you keep valuables in the house and not in a safe deposit box, you’ll need to think about how to take your home security system to the next level. And while no security system is foolproof, a little clever thinking and a few stealthy hiding places can go a long way in safeguarding your stuff.

Take a look at these nine brilliant hacks for hiding your precious belongings from the bad guys.

  1. Inside boxes in the garage

Home security experts tend to agree: When it comes to stashing the good stuff, you can’t get much better than the garage, which thieves are far less likely to explore. Try tucking valuables inside boxes innocently marked with labels such as “Winter Clothes” or “Christmas Ornaments,” the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends. The more boxes you have, the longer an intruder will have to search—and the more likely he is to be caught.

Garages also offer a plethora of in-plain-sight spots to hide your goodies: Consider placing small items at the bottom of tool boxes (just use box inserts to separate them from your tools). Or nab one of these diversion safe cans to hide cash. If your house is anything like mine, you likely have a bunch of half-used cans of paint hanging around shelves. Put those cans to work for you by cleaning them thoroughly and hiding your valuables inside.

  1. Your kitchen

There are lots of diversion safes that look like common kitchen or household items, making them far more likely to be passed over during a burglary. Cash in the salt shaker! Antique diamond rings in your canned goods! The possibilities are truly endless.

If you’d prefer not to spend money on fake food items, create a hiding spot out of used condiment bottles. Clean them thoroughly, and then spray-paint the inside before tucking in your valuables. And don’t forget the freezer: Consider stashing important documents or cash there in a plastic container covered with foil.

  1. Fake pipes, vents, wall outlet plates, etc.

By now you might be thinking, “Isn’t this what safes are for?” But it turns out, a safe’s not always so safe—bad guys can easily snag it in a quick smash-and-grab burglary (unless you cleverly hide it and/or securely bolt it to a wall).

Home experts will tell you that storing your valuables in fake versions of home fixtures provides great alternative ways to foil robbers. Think: PVC pipes, air vents, closet lights, thermostats, and behind wall outlets (à la our favorite antihero Walter White). You’ll want to use fake versions in case, heaven forbid, there’s a fire, or you forget your entire emergency fund is in the vent that your HVAC guy just crawled into.

Sure, it takes a little elbow grease (and, depending on the extent of the project and your temperament, a load of patience), but if you’re at all creatively inclined, these projects can pay off in spades for a fraction of the cost of professional security solutions.

  1. A bookcase box

Feeling crafty? Create a secret bookcase box to store larger valuables. Gather your supplies: cardboard box, painter’s tape, table saw, white glue, E-6000 glue, box cutter, sandpaper, and measuring tape.

Remove the top flaps from the box and gather as many hardcover books as possible. Wrap the books with painter’s tape and then cut off their spines using the table saw.  Apply white glue to the surfaces you just cut, remove the painter’s tape from the spines, and glue the spines one by one to the front of the box. (Use sandpaper if the box is glossy; this will ensure the glue sticks better.) Once everything dries, you’re set.

If you’d rather make your box out of something sturdier, this video offers a great primer.

  1. An old vacuum

Scour yard scales for an old canister-style vacuum cleaner. You can remove the bag and easily stash things such as birth certificates and other sensitive documents inside. (Just be sure to either clean the bag or place your docs in a plastic bag first. And, um, don’t forget they’re in there.)

  1. Inside your child’s room

Thieves typically spend the 8 to 12 minutes they’re inside your home searching the master bedroom for jewelry and cash, or the home office for laptops and other electronics, according to home security expert Robert Siciliano.

They’re way less likely to enter a child’s room, so hiding valuables in the mess of a kid’s space (whether in plain sight amid the chaos, barely concealed in a bookcase, or in a bolted-down safe or other container) is statistically safer than stashing those same goods elsewhere.

  1.  Behind some cleverly placed art

We love this one: Replace the mirror from a medicine cabinet with some wall art. Then, hang it wherever you’d like (preferably in an unexpected spot such as a hallway, dining room, or kitchen).

8. Inside your dresser

This one will make you feel a little like James Bond: You can create a secret compartment at the bottom of your dresser drawers. All you need is a thin piece of plywood, measuring tape, sandpaper, and box cutter or saw. The goal is to create a space for your valuables below a “false bottom” in the drawer. Easy!

  1. Inside your doors

The experts at The Family Handyman offer this genius tip: Drill a hole at the top of any interior door (taking care to stay close to the outside edges if working with a hollow-core door), and use the tiny space to stash spare cash.

And now that this has been blogged – find a totally different place to stash your goods!

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/genius-hiding-places-for-valuables/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0224_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Appliance Shopping? READ THIS FIRST!

12 Money-Saving Secrets Appliance Stores Don’t Want You to Know

By Lisa Gordon

 

Let’s face it: Shopping for appliances is rarely as fun as, say, a weekend in Vegas. Has anyone ever experienced any kind of high-roller exhilaration from splurging on a washing machine?

Of course not! That’s because home appliance shopping usually happens when one of your workhorses is on its last legs or, heaven forbid, completely busted. And, if you’re not careful, a savvy salesperson will spot that sweat of desperation. Suddenly, you’re leaving the store not just with a new appliance but also a sad, empty wallet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re buying an appliance in a store or online, we know a few tricks of the trade to keep money in your pocket.

  1. Look beyond advertised prices

Have you noticed that when you shop for appliances online or look at store circulars, all the prices are pretty much the same? That’s because big manufacturers dictate the minimum prices stores can advertise. But that doesn’t mean the actual cost is the same across the board.

“They can sell it for less, but they can’t advertise it for less,” says Kevin Brasler, executive editor of consumer watchdog Checkbook. That means if you just do something—such as click a button online or approach a sales associate in a store—you can often buy the product for less cash. Sometimes a lot less.

  1. Time your purchase right

The right time to buy appliances can vary depending on whether you’re buying online or in store. But there’s one common denominator: The best time to shop is when retailers need your money more than you need that appliance. Let’s break it down:

If you’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, these are the best times to buy:

  • September, October, and January, when manufacturers roll out new appliance models and retailers are desperate to get rid of last year’s fare
  • The end of each month, when stores are trying to meet monthly quotas
  • Holiday weekends (No, retailers aren’t tricking you with bargain prices—they promote heavily and stock for greater sales during those periods. But different holidays are better for different deals.)
  • Off-season (For instance, force yourself to think about buying an outdoor grill in January or an electric fireplace in July.)

If you’re shopping online, these are the best times to buy:

  • November
  • Thursdays (the day retailers are twice as likely to reduce prices)
  • The fourth or fifth day of the month, when buyers are flush with paycheck money
  • 3 p.m. (Yes, 3 p.m.)
  1. Use a shopping cart—and then walk away

We’re talking about the online kind. If you’ve had your eye on an appliance but wish it were just a smidgen cheaper, try putting it in your cart. Then walk away (so to speak). If you leave it there for a few days, a retailer might send you a coupon to entice you to close the deal.

  1. Decode the price tag

According to the folks at Lifehacker, some price tags have a secret code that can help you determine how much a store is discounting an item—and whether there’s room for a bigger cut.

They put together a handy chart that reveals what certain numbers and symbols mean at several major retailers, including Home Depot, Costco, and Target. If this looks like information overload, remember this: If a price ends in any number other than 9 or 99, you’ll know you’re getting less than full retail price.

  1. Embrace your inner snoop

You can’t always get to a store during a big sale. But if you peek into the metal price stand next to an item, you might be able to preview the cards behind the one displaying the current price—cards that might reveal the date and price of the next sale.

  1. Ask repair people for bargains

When a repairman arrives to fix a busted appliance, ask if he knows of warehouses selling almost-new appliances for deep discounts. This is what we call insider info! When my oven broke, my repairman pointed me to a family warehouse filled with slightly dented appliances. I got half off a returned wall oven with a tiny dent on the side that nobody will ever see.

  1. Combine discounts

Think of how much you can save if you shop for appliances during a Black Friday sale, pay with a gift card you bought online for a discount, and add a 20% coupon to the mix. The dollars simply melt away.

  1. Don’t be afraid to haggle

Never be afraid to ask salespeople, cashiers, and store managers if they can do a little better on the price. In fact, Consumer Reports says that nearly all people who haggle over appliances are successful at least once—and save an average $200.

Brasler advises consumers to call stores in advance and say, “I’m shopping around for this appliance and will buy from the place that gives me the lowest price. What’s the best price, including delivery and install, you can give me?”

“Independent stores, rather than chains, are really set up for this,” he adds.

  1. Re-evaluate the extended warranty

Extended warranties can be a good idea. But if you’re not careful, they can also drain your bank account unnecessarily. Consumer experts say extended warranties often cost more than they’re worth—in other words, you’ll spend less on a potential repair than you will shelling out for the warranty in the first place. We won’t tell you to skip it, but you should do the math and proceed with caution.

  1. Sell your old one for scrap

Even an old, broken appliance is usually worth something. You can try selling a busted unit for parts on Craigslist or eBay, or at a local scrap yard that purchases metal based on weight. You can often earn $10 to $50 per 100 pounds, depending on the type of metal and the scrap yard. That means a 150-pound dryer could net you $15 to $75 dollars. Apply that to a new $300 dryer, and you’ve suddenly got a discount. Score!

  1. Consider white

If you’re not picky about colors and finishes, you can often buy white appliances for hundreds less than stainless steel, black, or the color of the moment.

  1. Send in your rebate

We know it’s a pain to keep track of your receipt and send it to a manufacturer or store. But isn’t it worth five minutes of your time to get a bargain? Keep receipts in one place, and put together your rebates while you’re bingeing on Netflix.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/appliance-stores-money-saving-secrets/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0224_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0224-WeeklyNL-blog_6_movingsavingsecretsappliancestores-blogs_trends

 

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008