News to Use 4 October and beyond…

Dan Hill’s…
Service For Life! ®

Inside This Issue…

How To Save On Your Home Energy Bill…
Help A Loved One With Depression…
Fun Facts and Laughs:
Can You Predict The Weather? Websites For Job-Hunting, And
More…
Trivia Challenge:
Win 1-hour real estate investment consultation.
Real Estate Q&A:
What Factors Affect My Home’s Value?

Dan Hill
Dare To Compare Team
Century 21 New Millennium
4315 Walney Rd, Ste B
Chantilly, VA
Phone: (571) 278-7251
Email: danhillrealtor@gmail.com

Dear Friend…
Determining and addressing energy drains in your home
can save hundreds of dollars annually–and you don’t need
a professional to catch basic issues. In today’s Service For
Life!® Free consumer newsletter, you’ll learn some simple
ways to inspect and fix common energy problems with a
do-it-yourself home energy audit.
You’ll also learn how to help a loved one suffering from
depression, how to predict the weather using clues in
nature – plus fun facts, a trivia challenge, and lots more.

P.S. When you notice people talking about real estate in
the next few weeks, can you tell them about the free
consumer information I provide?
They may be people wanting to move into a smaller home.
To help them learn important tips and strategies for getting
a fast, top dollar sale, tell them about my Free Consumer
Report called, “Secrets For Selling Your Home For Top
Dollar.” Then give them my phone number – (571) 278-
7251. Or, REQUEST YOUR COPY

Today’s Brain Teaser . . .

You walk into a room with a kerosene lamp, a candle, and
a fireplace. What do you light first?
(see answer below)

How To Save A Bundle On Your
Home Energy Bill

Have you ever conducted a “Home Energy Audit” on your
home? It could save you a lot of money by lowering energy
costs. A home energy audit evaluates how much energy
your home uses. Though a professional audit is a good
idea, here’s how you can conduct a personal walk-through
assessment of your own to help cut costs.
Seek out air leaks or drafts. Look for gaps along
baseboards, on the edge of flooring, around outlets
and switches, and where walls meet the ceiling.
Anywhere two different building materials meet is a
potential place for leakage. If there are cracks or
holes, seal them (depending on where they are, use
caulk or weatherstripping. You can search
energy.gov for those products to learn how to use
them).
Evaluate insulation. Insufficient insulation
contributes to heat loss, especially in older homes,
but it’s inexpensive to fix. Find out how much
insulation is recommended for homes in your area,
then go into your attic and measure the depth of your
home’s insulation. To measure insulation in the walls,
you’ll need an infrared thermometer, which can
usually be rented from stores like Home Depot or
Lowe’s.
Assess heating and cooling features. Furnaces,
air conditioners, and other similar features should be
inspected annually or as recommended by the
manufacturer. Check and replace filters as needed,
and make a note to keep them cleaned and changed
on a regular basis (usually monthly).
Identify energy-sucking appliances and
electronics. Even if you aren’t using them, anything
that is plugged in to an outlet may be consuming
standby power. Common culprits include office
equipment like printers and kitchen appliances such
as coffee makers. Unplug these items when they
aren’t in use, or plug them into a power strip that can
be turned off.

Thinking Of Buying A Home Soon?

If you’re planning to buy a home in the next 6 months,
you’ll want a copy of my Free consumer guide, “7 Secrets
For Saving Thousands When Financing Your Next
Home.” My report will help you avoid frustrations and
costly pitfalls when buying a home. Simply call me to get a
free copy…(571) 278-7251  REQUEST YOUR COPY

Help Someone With Depression

Depression isn’t talked about often, but about 7% of adults
in the United States (nearly 16 million people) have shown
signs of being depressed in the past year. If you know
someone who shows signs of depression, here are four
tips to help your friend or loved one:
1. Recognize symptoms. Common signs include lack
of interest in things the person used to enjoy,
problems with sleeping, showing feelings of
hopelessness, and withdrawal from daily activities
and conversations.
2. Listen. Do not deny what the person has to say.
Instead, validate their feelings. Keep in mind that
speech may be slow and less coherent, so be
patient.
3. Encourage them to find help. You can provide
support and listen to their concerns, but a trained
professional should assist with long-term care. Offer
to help find information for mental health resources
or make an appointment, if necessary.
4. Enlist help from others. If they are resistant, talk to
other important people in their lives (such as family,
clergy, or healthcare professionals) to ensure they
get the help they need.
If your loved one may be suicidal, don’t assume the
situation will simply pass. Let them know you take their
feelings seriously, and offer to accompany them to the
hospital. Call their doctor or your own for advice if you
need help deciding what to do. If it’s an emergency, call
911; responders are trained to deal with mental health
crises. You can call the National Suicide Prevention hotline
24 hours a day for help and information at 800-273-TALK.
You can also chat online with someone at:

Home


Forward to a friend | Share on Facebook

Thanks to all of my clients and friends who support my
practice and graciously referred me to your friends and
neighbors. Rather than pester people with unwanted calls
and visits, I build my business based on the positive
comments and referrals from people just like you. I couldn’t
do it without you!
THANK YOU! Working by referral is how I roll. If
there’s somebody out there that needs a real estate
pro just let me know — I’ll be there. THANK YOU!

Fun Facts and Laughs

Can You Predict the Weather?
With a smartphone in hand, you always have the weather
forecast at your fingertips. But how can you tell if it will be
sunny, rainy, or stormy without this handy device?
Observe animals. Animal behavior often reflects a change
in air pressure, which is often a sign of upcoming rain.
Bees and butterflies disappear, and insect-eating birds fly
lower to the ground.
Watch the moon. If you see a halo around the moon, it’s
because ice crystals from high-altitude cirrus clouds are
reflecting light. These clouds are a sign that a low-pressure
warm front – and a storm – is on its way.
Time the thunder. Because light travels faster than sound,
you can tell how far away a storm is – and whether it’s
moving toward or away from you – by counting the
seconds between seeing a flash of lightning and hearing
the thunder. Divide the number of seconds by five, and
that tells you the approximate distance of the storm.
Forward to a friend | Share on Facebook
Rain-Ready Proverbs. . .
Remember these time-tested proverbs and you’ll be ready
the next time it’s going to rain.
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning,
sailors take warning.”
“A ring around the sun or moon means rain or snow
coming soon.”
“When clouds appear like rocks and towers, the Earth’s
refreshed by frequent showers.”
Forward to a friend | Share on Facebook

Job-Hunting Websites . . .

Looking for a new job? Start here first.
www.LinkedIn.com – Create a resume and search for
opportunities on this social networking site.
www.GlassDoor.com – Employee reviews of hundreds of
employers.
www.Indeed.com – A search engine that aggregates job
listings from a number of sources.

Common Travel Scams. . .

Keep your eyes open for these scams when you visit a
new destination.
Street magicians work with people dressed as
tourists watching the magic act. When you move in to
watch as well, the accomplices pick your pocket.
A cashier very slowly counts through your change,
hoping you’ll just accept the change without it being
fully counted out, but it is not the full amount you are
owed.
Scammers make fake takeout menus and tuck them
under motel doors. When you call to order, you never
receive the food, but your credit card information is
stolen.
A street seller offers your wife/girlfriend a rose, asks
you to pay an outlandish price for it, then makes you
feel guilty if you refuse.

Would You Like To Know How Much Your
Neighbor’s Home Listed Or Sold For?

Maybe you’re just curious. Or maybe you want to know
how much your home is worth. Either way, I can help…with
no “sales pitches” or run-arounds. Call me at (571) 278-
7251 and I’ll give you all the facts.

Trivia Challenge for the Month…

“Who Else Wants To Win 1-hour real
estate investment consultation.?”
Guess who won last month’s Trivia Question? I’m pleased
to announce the lucky winner of last month’s quiz. And the
winner is, drum roll please: Mike Fallon was the first
person to correctly answer my quiz question.
On what day did the show ER’s pilot episode
supposedly take place?
a) Christmas
b) New Year’s
c) St. Patrick’s Day
d) Valentine’s Day
The answer is c) St. Patrick’s Day. The long-running show
premiered in 1994, and the pilot episode “24 Hours” took
place over 24 hours on St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s move on to
this month’s trivia question.
What does “M&M’s” stand for?
a) Mickey & Minnie
b) Mars & Mercury
c) Mr. & Mrs.
d) Mars & Murrie
And You Could Be One Of My Next Winners! Call Me At
(571) 278-7251 OR EMAIL ME YOUR ANSWER
Brain Teaser Answer:
Light the match first.

Real Estate Q & A . . .

Q. What factors affect the value of my home when I
sell it?
A. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the
market, here are some of the most important factors
affecting its value:
Comparable homes in the area that sold in the
past 30-90 days. If some of the recent sales were
short sales or foreclosures, it may affect the value of
your home. Also, the more homes currently available
for sale, the lower the value your home may have.
Your location. Access to highways or public
transportation, the quality of your school district, and
too few (or too many) commercial or residential
developments can have an effect on a home’s value.
Major home systems. If your water heater,
electrical, or heating and air-conditioning systems
aren’t working properly it can have a significant affect
on the price a buyer pays for your home.
Want to learn more? Ask for my Free Consumer Report
called “6 Steps For Selling Your Home For TOP
DOLLAR.” I’ll send a copy right over to you.
Do you have a real estate question you want answered?
Feel free to call me at (571) 278-7251 or email me.
Perhaps I’ll feature it in my next issue!
EMAIL ME YOUR QUESTION

Disclaimer: The information contained in this email is intended for
informational purposes. It should not substitute as legal, accounting,
investment, medical or other professional services advice. Always seek a competent professional for answers to your specific questions.

Century 21 New Millennium 703-818-0111
4315 Walney Rd
Suite B
Chantilly, Virginia 20151
US

How To…Start Your House Hunting

House Hunting is a Process.

How to start your house hunting. Wow. Where to begin? You want to buy a house. OK. Now what? So many things to consider. Where? When? How much can you afford? How big? What kind? Are schools important? What about neighborhood amenities? Commuting choices. Proximity to shopping, entertainment, worship, social events. What about lifestyle? Do you want a yard? Do you want to entertain guests? What about…?

Phew! Do you still want to buy a house? Don’t worry. The real estate industry has been around for a long, long time and each of the components — brokerage, lending, title examination and settlement services — exist to assist you in accomplishing your goal.

The place to start your house hunting is with a trusted real estate professional buyer’s agent. More than just a counselor, mentor and advocate, the professional real estate agent has a duty to protect your best interest and represent you as you go through the house buying process. Just as lawyers are engaged to represent the various sides in a courtroom, so too are real estate agents engaged to represent either the buyer or the seller in a real estate transaction. Are you required to use a professional agent? No. Are you required to hire a lawyer to represent you in a courtroom? No. The reason most people elect to do so is because buying a house (or being in a courtroom) is not an everyday experience. Maybe you’ve purchased houses in the past but laws and real estate markets change rapidly and frequently making house hunting easier and more complicated at the same time. Your agent will guide you through the necessary gates and wickets and educate you along the way to enable you to make informed decisions.

Expect your agent to invite you to come into the office. Most offices are warm and inviting “no-threat” places that have all the necessary technologies and expertise to get you started in your house hunting quest. A full-service brokerage office may even have an on-site loan officer to answer any mortgage related questions. Getting to know your agent — and letting your agent get to know you — is critical to establishing the kind of trusted relationship you want. Your agent will want to know such things as: why are you looking now, how soon do you need to be in your new place, what location is most appealing to you, how much of a house do you need or want and, most important, how much house can you afford? Some folks are able to pay cash for their house but most home buyers will get a mortgage loan (sometimes called a deed of trust). This is when a nearby loan officer comes in handy because you’ll need a mortgage loan “Pre-Approval Letter” before you start house hunting. The letter can come from any valid lender. The letter is necessary for two reasons: first, you’ll want to know how much money a mortgage company is willing to lend to you based on your financial situation. You might even be surprised to learn you qualify for more than you need! Second, when you find a house that you want, you and your agent will put together a purchase offer that will include your pre-approval letter. Sellers want to know that you are qualified to make an offer and will rarely accept just your assurance. A third-party objective review of your ability to pay is a requirement in today’s real estate market.

Is this the only way to start your house hunting? Absolutely not. It’s the way I’m recommending. You can search online for houses and loans and submit an offer sight unseen for the house of your dreams. And hope the seller is as honest, competent and motivated as you are. Good luck with that.

Please comment below and let us know what you think. Do it now, you know you want to!

Please SHARE and LIKE my Post.

Till next time…slainte.

Home Buying to Home Ownership

Are You i-Homeowner Material?

home buying
Nice house

Everybody needs a place to live, right?  Park bench, tent in woods, Mom and Dad’s basement, even rental roommates in the extended version of the college dorm (ew!) are all realistic examples of where people live.  But you’ve decided…or someone has decided for you…that now is the time to venture out into the world of home ownership.  Most people in the United States would say that buying a house is a good thing.  The American Dream even.  So, let’s take a peek under the hood and try to figure out if home ownership is right for YOU.  Buying a house without a Realtor is possible; so is representing yourself in a courtroom.  Neither is recommended.

The Home Buying Profile…

You might have a home buying profile if:

a) you are financially independent (aka filthy rich)

or

b) you have had a good job for a while and make at least the average wage in your community.

c) you have good credit.  AKA you pay your bills on time!

d) you have a good relationship with a local mortgage lender who agrees with b and c.

Are You a Serious Tire-Kicker or Are You Just Serious?

Homeowners take their responsibility seriously.  At least they should.  Wannabe homeowners should too.  Buying a place to live involves commitment and endurance.  However, if you’re in love with the idea of falling in love then forget it…you’re just a tire-kicker.  Shopping for a home to buy can be fun but shopping is the easy part.  A serious home buyer/wannabe homeowner understands that the competition can be fierce and they have to be prepared if they’re gonna make it.  Anybody can drive around to Open Houses every Sunday and claim to be house hunting.  It’s fun to visit new home developments and stroll through the models and get decorating ideas.  But that’s not serious house hunting and won’t get you very close to being a Homeowner.  You’ll need a supporting staff of professionals to guide you and provide the assurances you’ll need to make the tough decisions that every home buyer makes.  Ask a Realtor®!

home buying - decide already
Decision Maker

Stay  Tuned…

9749-3d-illustration-of-people-shaking-hands-while-standing-on-other-shoulder-pv
Teamwork

So starts a series of posts to help you in your quest for home ownership.  Putting together your team is easier than you might think but I’ll put together some ideas and food for thought in the next few weeks as we get into the flurry of the Spring home buying season.

Meanwhile, be sure to add to the commentary below and Like me on all the social media sites.  Contact me directly if you have any questions about real estate.

The Ideal Home Buying Experience

THE IDEAL HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just snap your fingers and move into the home of your dreams?  No muss, no fuss.  Shop.  Buy.  Move.  You’re done!  Well, as any experienced home buyer will tell you — that ain’t how it works.  It could, of course, but it’s as likely as falling in love with your lifelong soul-mate on your first blind date.  Possible?  Yes.  Likely?  No.  However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of an ideal home buying experience.

 brownstone

KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS

How much house can you afford?  How will you pay for the house?  Will you be an all cash buyer?  Will you need to borrow the money from a mortgage lender?  Do you have enough for a down payment?  What about closing costs?  What?  What are closing costs you ask?   And what about reserve requirements?  Huh?   So, unless you have a very big bank account you will need to talk to a professional mortgage lender.  Start here:

Pre-Approval Button

Getting to know your lender ( and vice versa ) is the very first step that you can make towards that IDEAL HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE.  Work with a reputable  ( someone with a good reputation and references ) local lender.  Home buying is not a contact sport but it is competitive and knowing how much house you can afford and where the money will come from will give you a leg up.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Can you buy a house without a real estate professional?  Of course.  Can you defend yourself in a courtroom without an attorney?  Of course.  Can you paint your own house?  Of course.  However, unless you are a Realtor®, an attorney or a professional house painter you might not get the result you are looking for.  As a home buyer there is every reason to let a real estate professional represent you.  The cost is usually paid for by the seller.  Your agent represents your best interests and maintains any confidential information for life.  Your agent will negotiate on your behalf and guide you through the various legal documents, contract requirements, inspections and milestones to get you to the settlement table.  Every real estate transaction is unique and there will be bumps along the way but the professional will be able to guide you to that IDEAL HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE.

 

GET STARTED TODAY!

Click the button above to get started with one of the best mortgage lenders in Northern Virginia: Bill Burnett of Homestead Mortgage.  Then call me @ 571-278-7251 and we’ll get started!

 Be sure to LIKE my post and share.  START TODAY!

5 SECRETS to Buying the Best House for Your Money

Discover the 5 Secrets to Buying the Best House for Your Money

1. Get “Pre-Approved” – Not “Pre-Qualified!”

Do you want to get the best property you can for the least amount of money?  Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating position possible. Price is only one element in the negotiations, and not necessarily the most important one.   Often other terms, such as the strength of the buyer or the length of escrow, are critical to a seller. In years past, I always recommended that buyers get “pre-qualified” by a lender.  This means that you spend a few minutes on the phone with a lender who asks you a few questions. Based on the answers, the lender pronounces you “pre-qualified” and issues a certificate that you can show to a seller.  Sellers are aware that such certificates are WORTHLESS, and here’s why!  None of the information has been verified!  Many times unknown problems can come to the surface!  Some of the problems I’ve seen include recorded judgments, alimony payments due, glitches on the credit report due to any number of reasons both accurately and inaccurately, down payments that have not been in the clients’ bank account long enough, etc.  So the way to make the strongest offer today is to get “pre-approved“.  This happens AFTER all information has been checked and verified.  You are actually APPROVED for the loan and the only loose end is the appraisal on the property.  This process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on your situation. It’s VERY POWERFUL and a weapon I recommend all my clients have in their negotiating arsenal.

2. Sell Your Property First, Then Buy the House

If you have a house to sell, sell it before selecting a house to buy! Contingency sales aren’t nearly as strong as one that comes in with a ready, willing and able buyer.  Consider this scenario: You’ve found the perfect house – now you have to go make an offer to the seller. You want the seller to reduce the price and wait until you sell your house.  The seller figures that this is a risky deal, since he might pass up a buyer who DOESN’T have to sell a house while he’s waiting for you.  So he says OK, he’ll do the contingency but it has to be a full price offer!  You have now paid more for the house than you could have because of the contingency, and you have to sell your existing house in a hurry!  Otherwise you lose the house!  So to sell quickly you might take an offer that’s lower than if you had more time.  The bottom line is that buying before selling might cost you THOUSANDS of dollars.  If you’re concerned that there is not a house on the market for you, then go on a window shopping trip.  You can identify possible houses and locations without falling in love with a specific house.  If you feel confident after that then put your house on the market. Another tactic is to make the sale “subject to seller finding suitable housing”.  Adding this phrase to the listing means that WHEN YOU DO FIND A BUYER, you will have some time to find the new place.  If you don’t find anything to your liking, you don’t have to sell your present home.

3. Play the Game of Nines

Before house hunting, make a list of things you want in the new place. Then make a list of the things you don’t want.  You can use this list as a guide to rate each property that you see.  The one with the biggest score wins!  This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in perspective when you’re comparing dozens of homes.   When house hunting, keep in mind the difference between “STYLE AND SUBSTANCE”.  The SUBSTANCE is the set of things that cannot be changed such as the location, view, size of lot, noise in the area, school district, and floor plan.  The STYLE represents easily changed surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and window coverings. Buy the house with good SUBSTANCE, because the STYLE can always be changed to match your tastes.  I always recommend that you imagine each house as if it were vacant.   Consider each house on its underlying merits, not the seller’s decorating skills.

4. Don’t Be Pushed Into Any House

Your agent should show you everything available that meets your requirements.  Don’t make a decision on a house until you feel that you’ve seen enough to pick the best one.   A decade ago, homes were selling quickly, usually a few days after listing.  In that kind of market, agents advised their clients to make an offer ON THE SPOT if they liked the house.  That was good advice at the time.  Today there isn’t always this urgency, unless a home is drastically under priced, and you’ll know if it is.  Don’t forget to check into the SCHOOL DISTRICTS of the area you’re considering. Information is available on every school; such as class sizes, % of students that go on to college, SAT scores, etc.  You can get this information from this website: http://www.greatschools.org

5. Stop Calling Ads!

Please note – ads are sometimes created to make the phone ring! Many of the homes have some drawback that’s not mentioned in the ad, such as traffic noise, power lines, or litigation in the community. What’s not mentioned in the ad is usually more important than what is.  For this reason, I want you to be very careful when reading ads. Remember that the person writing the ad is representing the seller and not you!  The most important thing you can do is have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. Your own agent will critique the property with an eye towards how well it meets your needs and will point out any drawbacks you should know about.  So whether you decide to work with me or not, pick an agent you feel comfortable with and enlist the services of that agent as a buyer’s broker.  Then you become a client with all the rights, benefits, and privileges created by this agency relationship, and you’re no longer just a shopper.  Did you know that many homes are sold WITHOUT A SIGN ever going up or an AD EVER BEING PUT IN THE PAPER? These “great deals” go to those people who are committed to working with one agent.  When an agent hears of a great buy, who do you think he’s going to call? His client, who he has a legal obligation to work hard for you, or someone who just called on the phone and said “keep your eyes open”?  So to get the best buy on a property, I always recommend that you hire your own agent and stick with him or her.

Thanks for visiting!

P.S. – CALL ME NOW – LET’S GET STARTED
571-278-7251