Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/15/2019

Volunteering is a great way to begin to engage with your new community. It is also a great way to get your kids involved in their neighborhood, and it provides an excellent teaching and growth opportunity for you and your children. You can start teaching your kids empathy and instill care for their community and world early in life. Even if your little ones are toddlers or elementary students, they can absolutely get involved. So, what options are the best for you and your young children?

  • Adopt more grandparents: Establish a weekly or bi-weekly trip with your kids visiting a retirement community in your area. Teach your kids to make friends and engage with elderly residents. Bring games to play with their newly adopted grandparents and make cards or draw pictures at home to bring on each visit.
  • Adopt a family or child: During back-to-school time or over the holidays adopt a family or child with your kids. Inform them about the reason the family is in need and what you and your children can do to help. Bring them with you to the store and let them select the notebooks, mechanical pencils, toys and necessities to support the family.
  • Community clean up: Your kids can participate in keeping their community beautiful from an early age. From your street to your neighborhood, local park or community wildlife center itís easy to start teaching your kids to preserve their environment with simple trash pickup.
  • Serve meals or donate food: For holidays, or any day of the year, take your kids with you to a shelter or soup kitchen and teach them to give service to those less fortunate. Take your kids to the store to select necessities and canned goods to donate to a food pantry or deliver to homeless you see on the street. By interacting with those in need and offering your services, you can teach your kids compassion and understanding by introducing them to different walks of life.
  • Walk for charity: Make a plan with your kids to join a walk for charity. There are many opportunities for your family participate in charitable walks so start by brainstorming with your kids to determine what charity they want to support. Help them prepare paperwork to ask for donations and practice their requests, then help them learn to follow through by walking with them on the day of the charity walk.
  • Bring joy to a childrenís ward: Commit to a weekly or monthly hospital visit youíre your kids to visit other sick children. Make get-well-soon cards, bring games to play or give out candy and gifts at Halloween, Christmas, Valentineís and Easter. Visiting children in need will teach gratitude and empathy to your kids.
  • Community garden: Teach your kids skills and give them the means to contribute to their community by helping plant and cultivate your local community garden. Work with them to learn which plants will work best in the environment, which will most benefit the neighborhood, and how to care for the plants over time.
  • Visit an animal shelter: Volunteer to walk dogs or play with cats or rabbits with your kids. Sign up for a pet adoption day and have your kids help introduce other kids to new animals for their family. You can even make no-sew toys for cats and dogs at home, using old t-shirts or jeans, and bring the toys to the shelter to donate.
  • Random acts of kindness: Teach your kids to engage in random acts of kindness to show them how to recognize goodness and need in the world and establish in them the habit of always looking for in-the-moment opportunities to do something nice for others. Make sweet little cards at home with candy inside that say "Thank you!" or "Have a great day!." Have them pay attention during errand outings for cashiers, sales clerks or random people in the store that might need a pick-me-up or just for someone to recognize them. Teach them to help their neighbors by offering to help unload groceries, rake the lawn or walk the dog.

There are many ways to start getting your kids involved in and concerned about bettering their community and the world at large early in life. Start when theyíre young and continue instilling in them an ongoing desire to contribute.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/8/2019

For the most part, itís safe to say we all know to come prepared when buying an older home. But did you know that the buying process of a new construction home comes with its own quirks? The customization and relationship with the builder through the process makes for a unique experience when buying a new construction home.

Hereís what you need to know:

Some developments have site registration policies. This means that they require you to come with your agent for at least the first couple visits. Donít be caught off guard. When planning your viewings be prepared to work with your agent's schedule as well as your own.

Instead of asking to lower the cost ask when negotiating ask the builder to pay closing costs or to include upgrades. Youíll have an easier time getting a yes to these requests as builders donít like to lower costs and gain a reputation for doing so in the process.

New construction homes arenít a final product when purchasing. Because of this, itís critical to get details on paper to protect yourself during the buying process. Details to include are how the home will be finished, any and all timelines, and what will happen if, for whatever reason, the home is not finished in time. Get all of this in writing to create a binding contract.

Ask questions! When touring the model house be sure to ask what comes standard and what is an upgrade. Get costs of upgrades that catch your eye so that you can plan your budget. When planning this budget you will also want to leave wiggle room as this will be a quote and not final cost. Your agent can help you create a list of common features that are standard and/or upgradable as well as ballpark costs.

Budget Tip: When deciding on upgrades know which are easier to have done during construction. Prioritize those over those that can easily be done after. Think upgrades that include wiring or getting into walls and ceiling for whatever reason.

New construction homes often come with a warranty. Itís important to know what this covers and what it doesnít. Understand your cancellation rights and hire a real estate lawyer to review contracts and any important documents.  

Research the builder and if possible talk to other residents in the neighborhood. Ask them about their experience both during the buying process and living in the development afterward.

One thing that often catches home buyers off guard is when the builder requires you to get pre-approved by their lender even if you use your own lender. This is to safeguard themselves by ensuring you pass their lenders requirements for a safe investment. Itís also important to keep in mind that you may even get better rates and fees from the builder's lender.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/1/2019

Buying a house is arguably the most expensive purchase most people will make in their lives. With real estate prices steadily rising year after year, many Americans are finding ways to save on housing.

At the same time, rent prices too are increasing, especially around metro areas where many young Americans are entering the workforce. With costs rising and wages stagnating, it can be hard to find an affordable place to live while still building equity that can be used later on down the road.

One option that many Americans are considering is the fixer-upper route. However, it takes know-how and a lot of hard work to make this method a good choice to save you money. In this article, weíll tell you how to make certain buying a fixer upper is a good idea and what costs you can expect along the way.

Adding up the costs

Buying a house that needs work means youíll need to spend a good amount of time calculating costs and getting quotes from professionals. Even if youíre familiar with several home maintenance tasks, there are some jobs that are safer if left to the pros. This isnít only a matter of physical safety, however. If you start a job that you arenít qualified to finish you could end up paying much more than if you had just hired a licensed professional to do the job in the first place.

When estimating costs for reparations and renovations, aim high. Itís better to plan for it to be more expensive and have more left over than to underestimate your projects and go over budget.

Get an inspection report

If you arenít sure whether or not you want to go through with a deal, make sure you have an inspection contingency clause in your contract. This will enable you to back out if the home inspector makes you aware of any costs that you werenít told about by the seller.

Donít forget added costs

There are several closing costs youíll be responsible for as a buyer. Make sure you keep tabs on how much you can expect to spend closing on the home. If youíre going through a mortgage lender, they are required to give you an estimate of closing costs.

Once you know the purchase price of the home and the closing costs, make sure you account for other aspects of your renovations, such as getting required permits.

Borrow wisely

If you do plan on taking out a loan to cover the cost of renovations, be smart with how you get and pay back that money. One option is the FHA 203(k) loan or renovation loan.

Renovation loans help you save on closing costs and simplify the lending process by giving you one loan that accounts for the cost of the renovations and of the home itself.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/24/2019

Believe it or not, your credit score can make a world of difference as you get ready to search for your ideal house. If you have an excellent credit score, you likely will have no trouble obtaining home financing. On the other hand, if you have a bad credit score, you may struggle to get the financing you need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should try to boost your credit score before you purchase a home, and these include:

1. You can simplify the homebuying process.

Purchasing a home can be challenging, particularly for property buyers who fail to get pre-approved for financing. Luckily, if you request copies of your credit reports, you can find out your credit score and identify ways to improve it. Perhaps most important, you can explore ways to bolster your credit score before you submit a mortgage application and increase the likelihood that you can receive pre-approval for a mortgage.

It usually is a good idea to review your credit reports before you enter the housing market. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you request a copy of your credit report from the three reporting bureaus, you can learn your credit score and plan accordingly.

2. You may qualify for a low interest rate on a mortgage.

An excellent credit score may help you get a low interest rate on a mortgage. Thus, if you have an excellent credit score, you may wind up reducing your monthly mortgage payments.

Of course, a low interest rate on a mortgage may allow you to invest in your home as well. If you use the money that you save on your mortgage to complete home improvements, you could upgrade your residence and increase its value over time.

3. You can select the right mortgage option based on your individual needs.

With an outstanding credit score, there likely will be no shortage of lenders that are willing to work with you. As such, you can review a broad range of mortgage options and choose one that matches your expectations.

If you need to improve your credit score, there's no need to worry. Typically, paying off outstanding debt will help you boost your credit score prior to buying a house.

Furthermore, if you receive a credit report and identify errors on it, contact the bureau that provided the report. This will enable you to make any corrections right away.

And if you need help as you get ready to pursue your dream house, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent too. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top lenders in your area and make it easy to obtain home financing. Plus, this housing market professional will enable you to evaluate residences in your preferred cities and towns and find one that you can enjoy for an extended period of time.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/17/2019

To succeed in the real estate market, a home seller must understand what it takes to promote his or her residence to potential homebuyers consistently. However, transforming this dream into a reality can be exceedingly difficult, particularly for a home seller who is listing a house for the first time.

So what does it take for a home seller to succeed in any housing market, at any time? To find out, let's consider the home seller's perspective and look at three steps that home sellers can take to get the best results during the property selling journey.

1. Examine the Housing Market

Today's housing market may change tomorrow. As such, an informed home seller must go above and beyond the call of duty to understand real estate market trends. By doing so, a home seller can map out his or her property selling journey accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of available homes that are similar to your own. That way, you can better understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Don't forget to check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town as well. With this housing market data, you can find out whether you're preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Perform a Home Appraisal

You might think that your home will sell just days after it reaches the real estate market. Conversely, most homebuyers might disagree, especially if you failed to maintain your house's interior and exterior over the years.

Ultimately, a home appraisal allows you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This appraisal enables a property inspector to review your home's interior and exterior. Then, the inspector will provide you with a report that you can use to see whether your residence is housing market-ready.

If you find that your home is in need of serious improvement, there is no need to worry. Instead, you can dedicate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your residence's interior and exterior before you list your house.

On the other hand, if a property inspector gives your home positive marks across the board, you may be ready to add your residence to the real estate market right away.

3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent

No home seller should be forced to enter the housing market alone. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to guide you along each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any housing market Ė without exception. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. As a result, you can streamline the process of getting the best price for your residence.

Want to add your house to the real estate market? Now that you know all about the home seller's perspective, you should have no trouble optimizing the value of your home.




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