5 Little Tips That Will Save You So Much Money

Saving money for a downpayment on a house is a huge task.  I know – I’m doing it.  So when I saw this article – I had to share it!

5 Little Tips That Will Save You So Much Money

By Beth

Saving money is the key to a successful life. You need to have money stashed away for a rainy day, just in case you want to take a trip, plan the wedding of a lifetime, buy a car or something unexpected happens. When you’re looking for the best way to save money quickly, it’s easy to try too hard or put too much of your income away. Like all things in life, the best way to save money fast is to do it little by little. Don’t forget the 50/20/30 rule and do the rest as you go…

1. Have a no spend weekend

You’re less likely to spend money at work, besides lunch and travel expenses. It’s during the weekend when most of us go shopping crazy. From eating out to buying new shoes, it feels good, but it’s better to have a no spend weekend once in a while. Don’t order food, don’t eat out, and plan your meals beforehand. Go out and do something that doesn’t involve spending money, and put aside what you were planning to spend on new clothes once the weekend is over!

2. Automate it

If you’re truly terrible with money, set up a direct debit from one account to another. Start small and build it up. The less you feel it coming out of your account, the easier it will be to build-up large amounts in savings. If you add up the automated payments you make to subscription services you’ll probably be surprised how much you’re spending a year.

3. Waste less food

Plan your meals on a Sunday, eat your leftovers for lunch and keep track of your food waste bin. It might not feel like you’re saving money by eating yesterday’s dinner over your desk but it’s estimated that you’ll save around $500 a year. It doesn’t feel like much but it goes a long way.

4. Learn delayed gratification

It’s something that we forget as we get older, but when you see something you really want, part of the reward of adulthood (and working hard) is that you can actually get it. But if you delay that gratification, save the money for it first and buy it at the very end of the month (before your next paycheck), you get to feel like you’ve earned it, which makes the treat much sweeter.

5. Get a financial advisor on your phone

My must have when I’m keeping track of my incomings and outgoings is Daily Budget. Career Girl Daily’s co-founder Ellen introduced me to it a while ago and I haven’t looked back. It’s come in handy when buying my first ever house, paying bills, and saving money to buy expensive coffee tables. It tells you how much you should spend a day, and how much you should save in order to reach your savings goal. Genius.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=5817666551&blog=13517561&frame_type=none

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

 

Advertisements

Check Yourself: 7 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle in September

Hello again – thought I would share this great article to get your home ready for Fall and Winter!

Check Yourself: 7 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle in September

By Holly Amaya

For most of the country, September signals the end of summer’s dog days and a return to fuzzy sweaters, chilly evenings, and, of course, pumpkin spice everything (this is America, after all).

But before those first autumn leaves begin to fall, it’s crucial to take a few steps to stave off any cold weather home breakdowns. Luckily, we’re here to make it as easy as possible for you with our handy checklist of home maintenance chores to tackle this month. These quick, relatively painless tasks can potentially save you major repair costs down the road.

1. Check walkways for cracks

“Before the grass is covered with snow, or it’s too cold to venture outside, check walkways for cracks and loose paver material,” says Ryan Williams, general manager of 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric. “Fix walkway and entryway areas before slippery weather can cause a tripping or falling accident.”

DIY: Small cracks can be fixed with simple epoxy and shouldn’t take more than a few hours.

Call in a pro: Serious cracking and concrete damage will require professional repair—expect to spend north of $1,000, although exact costs will depend on the severity of damage and cost of materials and labor in your area.

2. Clean and repair the siding

“After a long summer, siding can become dirty or mildewed,” says Chris Granger, vice president and general manager of Sears Home Services.

September is a great time to use a pressure washer to clean it up—and inspect for more serious problems before winter comes. Check first for rotten or warped areas, and inspect your caulking, which can shrink and crack over time.

DIY: You don’t necessarily have to shimmy up a ladder for a close-up of your siding; the pros we talked to recommend using a smartphone camera or drone to zoom in on problem areas. Inspect the butt joints where two pieces of siding meet and, if you spy cracks, consider tackling the job yourself.

How? A day ahead, thoroughly wash your work surface with soapy water. Once the area is completely dry, squeeze a bit of caulk into the gap in the siding, then smooth it with your finger. Wipe it once more with a damp sponge to even out your work.

(Pro tip: Be sure to never caulk the underside of your siding, which could prevent the boards from expanding and contracting during changing weather.) Once you’ve fixed any problem areas, let everything set for a few days. Then follow up with a good pressure wash (you can rent a machine for around $35).

Call in a pro: If your siding has seen better days (think missing, bent, or cracked pieces), consider replacing it. As a general rule, fiber cement siding is priciest, followed by wood, aluminum, and vinyl. Replacing vinyl siding on an average 2,200-square-foot home will set you back more than $6,500 (in addition to the cost of removing existing materials). If you choose wood or fiber cement siding, you’ll likely spend twice that. For an expert pressure washing, expect to spend $100 to $300.

3. Check and repair leaky faucets

“Before the temperatures start to dip, examine leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room locations,” Williams says. “Most likely, whatever time and money you spend now will be considerably less than a broken pipe in the dead of winter.”

DIY: Just turn on the faucet, turn it off, and watch for any telltale dripping. Your fix might be as easy as replacing the washers on the faucet’s knobs, or you might have a worn cam washer, valve seat, or spring. We have you covered with our step-by-step guide to fixing a leaky faucet.

Call in a pro: If you’d rather not deal with it yourself, you can always hire a plumber. Estimates for fixing leaks vary, but expect to spend at least $100.

4. Make sure windows are sealed tight

All double- or triple-pane windows should have a tight seal around their perimeter that separates the individual panes of glass and traps inert gas between them, providing a break between the temps inside and outside your home. If you notice that your windows are frequently foggy, that’s likely a sign of a failed seal.

DIY: Try cashing in on your windows’ warranty first; many companies will cover failed seals for a decade or longer.   

Call in the pros: If your warranty won’t cover a total replacement, check out a professional window defogging company. These pros will reseal the window’s perimeter and replace the gas between the panes for an average of $300 (depending on location and the number of windows).

5. Sweep the chimney

When temperatures finally fall, you’ll want to be ready to light your fireplace. But before your first toasty blaze of the season, make sure your chimney has been cleaned.

“Built-up soot in your chimney can increase your risk of a chimney fire, and a clogged chimney can also increase the presence of carbon monoxide in your home by not allowing it to escape when you have a fire burning in the fireplace,” says Lindsey Pasieka of ConsumerSafety.org.

Call in the pros: No DIY here—leave this (dirty) job to a pro, who’ll charge an average of $225 for an inspection and sweep.

6. Change the air filters and tune up the furnace

This one really should be a maintenance task you do every month, Granger says. Dirty air filters can lead to higher energy bills and irreparably damage your HVAC system.

DIY: Changing your air filter is a fairly straightforward task—just be sure to check the size of your existing filter before you hit the hardware store. Pros also recommend removing all vent covers and vacuuming pet dander, hair, and other debris that can accumulate and gunk up your HVAC system.

Call in the pros: Take things a step further by hiring a professional to tune up your unit before winter arrives. A good contractor will ensure your thermostat is working properly, fix loose electrical connections and gas connections, and check your unit’s blower motor and heat exchanger. Expect to spend $80 to $150.

7. Service the yard equipment

Autumn—not spring—is actually the best time to show some love to your lawn equipment before you put it away for winter.

“It’s harmful for equipment to sit all winter long with old oil in the case and dirt on the other components,” says Lisa Turner, author of “House Keys: Tips and Tricks From a Female Home Inspector.”

DIY: Change your oil and filter, replace air and gas filters, and install new blades if necessary. Then perform the lubrication and adjustment maintenance required by your equipment’s manual. But you don’t want to drain the gas tank completely, Turner says. Instead use a premium gasoline without ethanol but with a gas preservative. Just before you store it, fill the tank with this mix.

Call in the pros: If your unit won’t start or turn over, the cost for a lawn mower repair pro will run about $35 to $115. If your lawn mower’s engine needs to be replaced, you could shell out $800 to $900 for a new engine.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/home-maintenance-checklist-september/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0908_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0908-WeeklyNL-blog_2_homemaintenancechecklist-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 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

5 Mistakes People Make When Buying Home Goods Online

5 Mistakes People Make When Buying Home Goods Online

By ALLISON MCCARTHY |

The internet makes shopping for everything in life so easy. And while there are no major surprises when purchasing toilet paper or cleaning supplies, buying furniture and home decor online can prove a bit tricky. Is that sofa more of a cream, taupe or oatmeal? Will those barstools really fit under the counter? So we asked Michele Hofherr, co-founder of the online-only home goods consignment shop Previously Owned by a Gay Man, to weigh in with her tips about what not to do. Here’s what she has to say.

MAKING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT SIZE AND SCALE

It is virtually impossible to look at a chair online and know if it will fit with a table or desk in your home. That’s why a measuring tape is essential. Look carefully at the dimensions listed online and then physically measure them out at home to make sure the piece is the right size for your space before clicking purchase. And if you are buying a chair to fit with a desk, don’t forget to check the arm measurements to make sure they’ll fit under the desk comfortably.

FORGETTING TO CHECK ON QUALITY

That distressed leather loveseat you’ve got your eyes on may look like the perfect piece for your home, but just because it looks good online doesn’t mean it will necessarily live up to expectations in person. As the saying goes, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Do your due diligence: Research the manufacturer (the company one keeps can be very revealing) and look for material content. Make sure the item that looks like wood is indeed made from real wood, or that a rug that appears to be wool isn’t actually made from man-made fibers.

IGNORING SHIPPING AND RETURN POLICIES

It’s easy to get caught up in the price of shipping and forget to ask or look into how an item will be shipped. This is especially important with large, heavy or awkwardly shaped items. Ask how long shipping will take (if not explained on the site), and, for large items, if white-glove delivery is available. When dealing with an individual seller, it might also be wise to ask who is liable should any damage occur in transit.

MISJUDGE COLOR ACCURACY IN ONLINE IMAGES

This is a tricky one. Colors can appear very different online because of lighting, camera flash or photo editing. If possible, request a color swatch that you can hold up in your own space, or look for additional shots of the item elsewhere online.

FAIL TO FIND OUT WHETHER ANY ASSEMBLY IS REQUIRED

Very often, a piece of furniture may look like it would come in one piece, but when you read the fine print, you see two sometimes-scary words: assembly required. Rather than leave it up to surprise, try calling and talking to a customer service representative who can provide specific details about what work you’ll need to do on your end. Pro tip: Consider buying previously owned or vintage pieces because you’ll rarely need to assemble a thing.

I read this article at: https://www.purewow.com/home/online-furniture-shopping-mistakes?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sf&utm_campaign=24424&utm_content=Home_and_Garden_editorial

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

Real Eats – San Carlos – The Wine Project

REAL EATS

The beat on where to eat!

Hello!  Thank you for reading my next installment of REAL EATS, the beat on where to eat.  Where I combine my love of  great food with my passion for Real Estate.

When I first met Eric, the owner of The Wine Project I totally enjoyed his vibe.  He had a vision – a nice glass of wine, a little something to eat – enjoy life.  It is what we all need – to slow down a little and savor the finer things.

You have options at the Wine Project – you can be very scientific with the awesome wine menu – learn a great deal about delicious wine, or you can order some bar favorites that mesh so well with the meun.

I’ve enjoyed Brunch, Dinner and Dessert at the bar.  Each moment was tasty and fun.  The Bacon Benedict still makes my mouth water – and that’s not the Mimosas talking.  For dinner I cleaned my plate of his newest addition – a savior pesto pasta with roasted peppers, peas, fresh tomatoes, and toast walnuts.  It was magnificent.  But my absolute favorite treat, aside from French Wine and Champagne – is the Zeppole Dessert.  A pillow of heaven – I mean – Deep Fried Ricotta Dough served withe Chocolate…. I don’t need to go on – do I?

Occasionally The Wine Bar hosts live acoustic guitars.

JOIN US WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 AT 7PM!  (Yes, this is a shameless plug for my husband and friend.)  But also an excellent excuse for Zeppole and Champagne.  

Eric just updated the menu, kept some classics and added – what is sure to be – new favorites to the menu.  I had every intention of snapping photos of my meals to share with you – but they looked too delicious to do anything but enjoy.  I did manage to snap a photo of the Zeppole!  It took me about four orders to snap this photo.  Hard  work –  I do what I can.

The Wine Project is in Downtown San Carlos 663 Laurel Street.  Hours, Menu and more information can be found here:  https://www.thewineprojectbar.com

Curious how about the real estate within 2 miles of the Wine Project in San Carlos California – click here for details:  http://thecatonteam.com/SanCarlosRealEstate

~*~

Photos of this delicious dessert are on Instagram #onlyinSanCarlos

https://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Find The Wine Project on YELP: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-wine-project-san-carlos

My reviews of The Wine Project on Yelp:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-wine-project-san-carlos?hrid=17uik_40KCuisdtkbb59wg&utm_campaign=www_review_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)

~*~

Please follow my Real Estate Blog – The Real BeatKeeping a Pulse on the SF Peninsula Market 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

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?

Download our FREE Real Estate App:

http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website where you can search for property at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM THECATONETAMhttp://instagram.com/thecatonteam

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

Yelp The Caton Team business page with testimonials at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp Sabrina Caton:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

All restaurant reviews are unsolicited and unpaid.  Photos of dishes are my own iphone snaps.

A Walk Among the Ruins

A Walk Among the Ruins

It’s always fun to explore new areas with clients.  Today we ventured off into the Santa Cruz mountains to see a piece of land.  Let me just say – as a married woman – this must be what it is like to online date.  The photo and the description did not match in person.  :/

We were so excited as we turned onto the road, meandered through the canopy of trees where shadow and light danced and.  As we fast approached the address, the creek came into view, then the for sale sign at the end of the road.  I grabbed my backpack and camera, tightened up the shoes – I was ready to survey the land.  Then we realized we were looking at it.  The useable lot was no bigger than a family room.  Most of thee land was up hill – to say the least.  It wasn’t what we expected.  We found what once was the foundation of a home long before.  Now complete ruins.  Made me feel a bit like Indiana Jones – standing there – looking at what just 30 years can do to a piece of land and wonder – what the heck was that?

So – this isn’t the piece of land we’re looking for – but it did make for a fun adventure.  It’s the best part of the journey – exploring new areas with trusted clients.  As Susan and I always say – have pen will travel – it’s a Reatlor Life – someone has got to do it.

Check out my photos from today’s adventure on my Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/thecatonteam/ or Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/TheCatonTeam/

I wrote this…

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

Is Mortgage Insurance Really Worth It?

Is Mortgage Insurance Really Worth It?

If you’re considering a low down payment mortgage—less than 20%–you may have heard you’ll need to pay mortgage insurance (also known as MI, private mortgage insurance or PMI, and mortgage insurance premium or MIP) in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. While it adds another monthly payment to your mortgage, it may also help you get in a home sooner. Let’s look at your options and some hidden benefits of MI.

What is mortgage insurance?

MI helps manage risk for your lender and protect them if you fail to repay the mortgage, making the loan safer for investors. Investors have set parameters that loans must meet before they are purchased. One key parameter is that the mortgage has a loan-to-value ratio of at least 80%, meaning that the borrowers have made a 20% down payment.

MI was created to help more buyers get over that hurdle and afford to buy a home. With MI, you can put down less than 20% and still become a homeowner.

But, is MI really worth it or should you wait until you have 20% down?

Benefits of mortgage insurance

Before you write off mortgage insurance, let’s look at how it may provide valuable opportunities and options to you as a homebuyer.

Increased buying power. Say you’ve saved $20,000. You can use that cash to put 20% down on a $100,000 home OR you could make a smaller down payment on a more expensive home — for example, 10% down on a $200,000 home.

Expanded cash-flow options. Using MI to finance your mortgage, you can elect to put less money down and still have funds for home-related purchases and repairs or investments. For example, rather than putting 20% down ($40,000) on a $200,000 home, you could put down 10% ($20,000) and use the other $20,000 to remodel.

Lower monthly payments. If you have good credit, you may be eligible for lower borrower paid MI rates.

Predictable monthly payments. A fixed-rate mortgage with MI provides you with a locked-in monthly payment that will not increase and that will be reduced when MI coverage is cancelled.

Mortgage insurance may be cancelled. On most loans with MI, coverage must automatically be cancelled by the lender when the loan reaches 78% of original value through amortization. MI also may be cancelled when extra payments bring the loan below 80% of original value. Contact your loan servicer for a full description of cancellation requirements.

FHA or Conventional loan?

FHA is known for their low down payments for first-time homebuyers, but consider all your options. Many conventional fixed rate loans offer lower than FHA’s 3.5% down. Plus, when you use a fixed rate loan and borrower paid MI, you can cancel your mortgage insurance when you reach 20% equity in your home. With FHA, you must continue to pay MI for the life of the loan.

Down payment programs can give you a boost

Don’t overlook the homeownership programs available in every community. These programs offer grants and loans that can fund your closing costs and down payments, helping supplement your down payment savings and get you closer to that 20% threshold faster. Find out what programs may be in your area.

How do you pay for MI?

Talk to your lender about MI plans available. There are borrower paid and lender paid plans. If you have a higher credit score, you may get a reduced rate with a borrower paid plan. With lender paid plans, the MI premium is usually built into the mortgage interest rate or the origination fee. If a lender says they have a “no MI” option, look at all the fees and ask how MI is calculated.

Should you buy now or wait?

Take some time to evaluate your personal situation. Interview multiple lenders and shop your loan. It’s important to get your financing locked down before you begin shopping for homes. MGIC, a mortgage insurance provider, offers a calculator that can help you assess whether you should buy now or wait.

Contact The Caton Team any time with all your Real Estate questions.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://downpaymentresource.com/mortgage-insurance-really-worth/

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 Caton Team Testimonials

Testimonials From Our Clients

Sabrina and Sue are a wonderful team. I never once felt ignored or at a loss. They held my hand the entire time and I’m so grateful for their help and knowledge in making this process so easy.

– Brittany

 

To future clients of The Caton Team,

The Caton Team is made up of Susan Caton and Sabrina Caton, or as I like to refer to them as the Dynamic Duo of Real Estate. They are trustworthy, honest, straight-forward, and experts in the real estate business. I might be a little biased, because of my friendship with them, but nothing will test a friendship more than the process of buying and selling a home. As everyone knows when you sell your home you want the most money for the least amount of effort and you want the process to be quick and smooth. The Caton Team will make sure you have all of the necessary information and knowledge to understand how to stage your home and what the process will be along with a realistic timeline of what you can expect. If you follow their directions and listen to what they say, your home selling experience will be painless and quick. For us this ended up being less than a week with our home selling for more than what we expected. The entire process from filling out the required paperwork to negotiating went smoothly and was overall painless on our end. At the end of the day we got more than what we wanted and were in a great position to start hunting for a new home.

This brings me to how The Caton Team helped us buy a new home for what we wanted, while making sure that we got the home that we wanted. Since we had already bought and sold our first home with The Caton Team, using them again to buy another house did not require much thought, actually required no thought. We went into the process wanting the best of the best in the best location, because who does not want that for themselves? They were kind enough to listen to our wants and desires and showed us what we could afford in the areas we were looking. It took a few homes to realize that our expectations were not in sync with the market, because currently in early 2015 homes are going like hot cakes and for more than what they are listed at by a fair amount.

This is when we sat down again and started looking at other areas that were just as nice, but we had ignored initially. The important part here is while they mentioned this information early on, they allowed us to realize it on our own that we needed to look outside of our ideal areas if we wanted our dream house. Once we realized what they were saying we expanded our search and found the home that we wanted. After our initial open house we contacted The Caton Team and informed them that we found the home that we wanted. This is when The Caton Team sprang into action, they immediately started requesting all of the disclosures from the seller’s agent and contacted the seller’s agent to gain any additional knowledge that might not be in the supplied paperwork. They then shared this information openly with us, as one would expect, and started laying down the groundwork of what we would need to do if we truly wanted this house. They supplied us with the tools necessary to make an informed decision and provided us with comparable sales (COMPS) in that particular area, so that we would have an idea of what houses were selling for and where the market was heading (spoiler alert, market was only going upwards). Their attention to detail and understanding of the market allowed us to make the best offer we could, while not overbidding or underbidding and making sure that we would have our offer accepted. As you have already guessed, our offer was accepted almost immediately and we are now homeowners of a home that we wanted in an area that is ideal.

If you have made it this far, then you realize why The Caton Team is really The Dynamic Duo of Real Estate. They make sure you are provided with the proper tools and information to make the best decision for yourself. They will work tirelessly with you and will not be a 9-5 agent, they will be honest, trustworthy, and straight-forward. You will not feel like you are getting the short-end of the deal and at the end of the day you will feel great about your decision to work with The Caton Team.

-The Liere Family

 

“Sabrina and Susan of Berkshire Hathaway, were the perfect real estate agents for me. As a first-time buyer, I had very little knowledge of how the process of purchasing a home actually worked. They are friendly, approachable, patient, strategic and persistent. Sabrina maintained great communication throughout the entire experience. They always got back to me quickly and they were willing to meet or discuss potential condos that I selected as potential buys. She even recommended a lending agent in the area, which I ended up using. Without them edging me along, I’m fairly certain I would have given up, thinking this whole “buying a house” ordeal was not for me. It’s simply too difficult for a working person to complete on their own.

Now that I have purchased my condo, I’m happy to see that Sabrina is still involved. She has collected my new keys and mail, answered my escrow questions and will do the final walk through. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or use them again.”

– Ashley

 

“I worked with Sabrina and Sue a few years back and they were so professional. I was going thru a divorce and had to sell my condo. I was beyond upset. (Not because of the divorce but selling the condo) haha… Thru this difficult time they were so amazing and made me feel at ease. The housing market at that time was not the best but they did their best to make sure I got a good deal.  The condo wasn’t on the market for too long and I was able to sell it for a decent price. Thank you to both for making that transition in my life a little easier. Definitely will be using them again if and ever I can buy again.”

-Elena

 

“We had a great experience buying a house through the Caton team. Sabrina and Susan were patient in answering our many questions, and helped guide us in the offer process to help win a bid on our second offer even in this crazy market! They are easy to get in touch with over email, text, or phone, and detail oriented to make sure nothing fell through the cracks. We’d highly recommend them!”

-Katherine

 

Hi Susan and Sabrina,

I just thought I’d take a moment to write you both to say how much of a pleasure it has been to once again have had another successful property transaction come to fruition with you both at the helm (yay, three now)!

I can’t say enough how Victor and I have been so happy you’ve been our representatives in both our buying and selling transactions, and that your dedication and hard work, creativity and professionalism have always made a world of difference all throughout the process of buying and selling our homes. From the smallest details like your fantastic web page ads and captioning to your weekly and continuous updates and presence at the property for showings and repairs. You’ve left nothing to chance!

It’s clear that experience counts, and your research and broad-based knowledge of the local real estate and larger markets in general, have always provided us with a solid backdrop from which we could make our decisions. You’ve always provided us with good information, solid recommendations, and I’m grateful that we had you both as our representatives.

Additionally, I want to say on a personal note, that you are both so considerate and thoughtful, and I always feel that we are in good hands when you’re on the job.  Thank you again for this recent and very successful sale of our property, and we look forward to our continued relationship with you in future transactions.

I did not have your Broker’s contact information, but if you would please forward him/her this e-mail, I’d appreciate it, because I’d like them to know that you have permanent fans!

Thanks again,  Helen and Victor

 

“Susan and Sabrina, The Caton (Dream)Team –

Thirteen years ago, we met Susan Caton who so kindly helped us find our first home in the Bay Area.  She was mindful of our budget and attentive to our wish list.  We landed a great starter home fit to our needs and close to work.  In 2012, when it came time to relocate into a neighborhood with great schools, we once again called upon Susan, who now was partner with her daughter-in-law, Sabrina, to find the right house for our growing family.  First, Susan and Sabrina helped sell our house within 2 weeks time at a price within our expectations.  Then, they delivered BIG by helping us find our next dream home in a competitive market with little time to spare knowing Facebook millionaires would soon bring stiff competition to the housing market.  All along, even when our first two offers fell through, Susan and Sabrina helped us keep our focus and always had our best interest in mind.  Settling for less than our hearts desired was not the answer, and our patience combined with our trust in Susan and Sabrina paid off when we stumbled upon our dream home.  We can honestly say that working with The Caton Dream Team has been a true pleasure as it has enabled us to find a wonderful place to call home, not only once, but twice.  When the time comes, we will gladly call upon their services again, and we highly recommend them to anyone looking to find their first or next dream home.”

– Fredric and Heather R.

 

“I recently worked with The Caton team (Sabrina and Sue) to purchase my first home. I was referred to the team by a co-worker who had just purchased a condo with them. He had a great experience, and recommended them for their honesty, responsiveness and availability (even at night and weekends). I found this assessment to be 100% true.

I first met Sabrina and Sue when I was interviewing realtors. They recommended I come to their office for the interview. They were the only ones to recommend this, which already set them apart in my mind. During the interview they shared their process and approach and how our relationship would work. I decided to work with the Caton team for several reasons. 1) A great referral 2) Their open and honest personalities 3) Their sincere concern that I find exactly what I am looking for 3) Their combined years of experience and specialization in the peninsula.

After our first meeting, they set up their home search for the criteria we discussed. Part way through the search, my criteria changed, and they updated the search for the new criteria. Periodically, they would check in to see if I saw anything that I liked. We narrowed the search by going through what I liked and disliked about each listing that I reviewed online.

Sabrina and Sue answered all of my questions along the process. They came to the home inspection and to sign papers at title company. The title company representative that I signed papers with commented on how lucky I was to have my realtors there, looking out for my best interests, as a lot of first time buyers come alone, signing papers they don’t understand.

After receiving keys to my new home, the Caton team continued to support me. They referred me to painters their colleagues had worked with and found multiple contractors who would do the work I needed.

Sabrina and Sue are really easy to work with. It’s like talking with friends when I reach out to them. They are very approachable, trust worthy and hard working. They always answer questions I have or research to find the answers if they do not have them right away. I highly recommend them and will use them again for future real estate needs.”

– CJ T.

 

“The Caton team is awesome! Susan and Sabrina were an awesome fit for my husband and I as first-time homebuyers, but I highly recommend them for anyone at any stage of buying a home. They went above and beyond to help us locate a wonderful home and took us step by step through the often confusing short sale process. It felt less like we were working with realtors and more like we were working with good friends or family! Thank you, thank you, Sabrina and Susan!”

-Marie B.

 

“If anyone can get it done quickly it would be you two. By far the best Realtors west of the Mississippi.”

– Josh L.

 

“The Caton Team is A-Number-One in our book.  Susan and Sabrina are consummate Pros.  They do exhaustive research, they know how to price a home in today’s competitive market, and they know how to stage a home for maximum buyer appeal.  They’ve sold two homes for us, and we’re completely satisfied with everything they do.  You go, girls!”

-Russ & Elena H.

 

“I met Sabrina and Susan during our recent rental home search.  As we were not prepared for a move (current homeowners informed us that they were selling the house after 1 year of listing the home as a rental) we needed to act quickly and diligently to find our new home.  My initial communications were with Sabrina as she was hosting an open house.  Her emails were prompt and friendly and I got to know her a bit through email.  When I met up with her for the open house, she was just as friendly in person as was her partner, Susan.  They were welcoming throughout the process and provided wonderful thorough follow up on behalf of the homeowner.  Susan made herself available on a Saturday morning for the signing of the lease and has been in contact with us as we prepare for the move-in.  We have very much enjoyed working with the Caton Team and would recommend them for rental guidance and hopefully in the near future, home ownership!”

– Angela J.

 

“The Caton team has helped me find my perfect condo within a month of looking! And then later found me great tenants to rent it out. They work quickly and are very professional. Plus, these are just a pair of wonderful women to be around. They are very trustworthy and have their Clients’ best interest in mind. I will be using them again for all my real estate needs, and I recommend them to everyone else! Thank you so much!”

-Caitlin G.

 

“The Caton Team are the best. They are very easy to work with and know what they are doing. Made a very stressful time much easier! I would recommend them to all. First time buyers and people that have sold many times will enjoy working with these wonderful ladies!”

-Chris & Gary C.

 

“The Caton Team has helped us many times. Susan and Sabrina are wonderful and we will use them again when the time comes. They know everything about the bay area and never pressure you about making decisions. We couldn’t ask for a better team.”

-Elisa D.

 

“I’m pretty sure without The Caton Team we wouldn’t have been able to buy our house. We started looking right before the housing market crashed and was going back and forth on qualifying for a loan.   They made it happen-it’s a long story and I can make short and sweet. Please use The Caton Team for you house buying needs!  Really!”

– Nisi C.

 

“I can’t say enough about what an incredibly professional job Sabrina did; she went above and beyond the call of duty! We would not be in our house today were it not for her tireless efforts. She’s so knowledgeable and works tenaciously for her clients. 
Thank you Sabrina!

-
Rip R.

 

“Great working with you guys!”

-Aaron B.

 

“I have worked with many realtors during my 15 years as a mortgage broker and Sabrina Caton is by far one of the best real estate agents I have ever had the pleasure of working with on a number of purchase transactions over the years. She is upbeat and personable with a great sense of humor. She consistently works with her clients best interests in mind and is not afraid to tackle the tough deals. I have personally seen her negotiate to lower the purchase price by $25,000 after the contract was already signed when the buyers’ appraisal came in below the purchase price. You can count on Sabrina for high energy, professional real estate services!”

-Melanie Flynn – Windsor Capital

 

“Susan & Sabrina did an excellent job, I am very happy.  I highly recommend them.”

– Heidi & Robert M.

 

“Susan & Sabrina were great, very helpful, and understanding.  They were never pushy and made sure we were making the right choices at all times.  We would use them again for our next property purchase.”

– Anthony D. & Elisa L.

 

“Susan & Sabrina did a wonderful job, they are easy to communicate with, they were willing to put in extra time and work in getting our house ready to sell.”

– Kathy & Rodney H.

 

“I knew I wanted to work with Susan   immediately because she actually         listened to our needs, and gave sound, practical advice and information without a sales pitch. I would recommend her to anyone. She was absolutely helpful and made the whole thing easy and painless. I didn’t worry about anything as long as she was working on it.”

– Alicia S. and John G.

 

“Sabrina did an excellent job, she went above and beyond from the beginning to the end of the transaction making sure we understood every detail. She made things very easy on us – we appreciate all her hard work. We used them for both our real estate deals.”

– Kathy & Rodney H.

 

“When we need to sale our home – we definitely will call them again!”

– Loyda C. & Carol J.

 

“We loved working with Susan. I feel I have gained a new friendship. She was totally honest and trustworthy. She made selling our home a pleasant                   experience.”

– Ken & Elain S.

 

“Susan went above and beyond what she had to do. She was the only help I had getting my parents home cleaned and emptied so I could sell. I live in           Sacramento and didn’t have the time to get down to San Carlos. She truly was a “God Send”. She is FABULOUS! I can’t say enough about her! Please know you have one hell of a woman working for Prudential. Please make sure she receives kudos for a job well done!”

– Andrew R.

 

“Susan was always available to us, providing information and assurance during the selling process of our home. Thank You!

– Leo & Carlotta O.

 

“We felt very relaxed and trusted their personality.”

– William & Helen G.

 

“They did an excellent job and we would recommend them!

– Steve & Stacy G.

 

“Thank you – Flawless Service!”

– Danielle C. & Thomas G.

 

“Very honest.”

– Fredric & Heather R.

 

“I will recommend them to all my friends and family.”

– Diane S.

 

“We wanted to work with Sabrina. She was wonderful. She put up with lots of emotions / family dynamic around the sale of this home, as it was our families house. I appreciated her sensitivity and solid knowledge. We would be happy to work with her again and pass along any new clients as well.

– Nancy R.

 

“I highly recommend them!”

– Derek H.

 

“Susan helped us so much. She       advised us and “rode” with us though the entire ordeal. She is a very “real” person and shares concerns. She        advises and makes one feel extremely comfortable. I would recommend her to another person unconditionally. She is an excellent agent who goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

– Russ & Elena H.

 

“They were great. They made the     entire process as fun and easy as it could be. Thank you!”

– Matthew S.

 

“Susan was extremely helpful in   making our first move in 44 years painless. It was a major undertaking. Thank you!”

– Betty C.

 

“Very thorough. Informed me of the newest listings. Made intelligent     recommendations and opinions on listings without being pushy. The attention given to me made me feel as if I were the only client. I am extremely satisfied with the service.”

– Toshinari K.

 

“They were very professional and helpful. We could not complete the   transaction without them.”

– Takeshi & Nana M.

 

“We selected Susan over two other agents because we liked her better.”

– Daniel S.

 

“EXCELLENT JOB! Lots of support throughout the process! Great             personalities and professionalism! Very responsive to our concerns during the sale – thank you!”

– Mike & Lynn A.

 

“Sabrina is a highly effective real-estate agent. She has in-depth of knowledge of the market, strong negotiation skills and provides highly personalized service…she really listens to the needs of her client and delivers based on those needs.”

– Elif S.

 

“I was impressed with the attention to detail throughout the sale process. True Professionals!

– John K.

 

“We were very happy with Susan as she helped us through a difficult situation. Thanks is just not enough to say for what she did!”

– Donald & Roseanna M.

 

“Definitely an asset to your company!”

– Rosemary P.

 

“They are such real / genuine people. I felt I could lean and trust them               particularly with some very important but difficult to understand questions. They are WONDERFUL!”

– Patricia P.

 

“Susan has impeccable integrity, what a great individual. Thank you for a         wonderful transaction.”

– Pamela G.

 

“What a great experience. I live 4 hours away and shopping for rentals is not easy. The Caton Team made my shopping experience less stressful. Always ready to answer any questions I had, anytime I had them. I highly recommend this Team.”

– Julienne E.