Blue Horizon Realty



Posted by Blue Horizon Realty on 12/13/2018

Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if you’re savvy with the rental process.

What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure you’ll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.

In today’s blog post, we’re going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.

1.  Location is Key

When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you won’t be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.

The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.

Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.

2. Try before you buy

If your ideal vacation home is in an area you’re not totally familiar with, it’s a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.

This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you aren’t using it, you’ll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.

3. Earning income from your vacation home

Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but you’ll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.

First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.

Finally, there are local and state-level laws you’ll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.

4. Making an offer

You’ve been here before. Once you’ve decided on a home, it’s time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the seller’s agent.

However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses you’ll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if it’s the right home for your budget.

You’ll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.


Now that you know the steps you’ll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your family’s future.





Posted by Blue Horizon Realty on 12/6/2018

While buying a home is a huge decision that should entail a lot of planning and preparation, applying for a mortgage can be surprisingly easy. Just like with other lenders and creditors, a mortgage lender will want to know that letting you borrow money will be a safe investment. Applying for a mortgage is all about ensuring just that.

In today’s post, we’re going to breakdown the home loan application process to help you have the best chances at a smooth and successful mortgage approval. We’ll also define some of the common terms used in mortgages that might leave you scratching your head so you have a better idea of what your options are.

Prequalification and Preapproval

Getting prequalified and preapproved for a mortgaged can both be helpful steps toward securing your home loan. The two terms mean two entirely different things, however.

In order to be prequalified for a mortgage, you typically need to only fill out a simple form (sometimes directly through a lender’s website). On this form, you won’t need to provide specifics or official documents.

Why is this process so simple? Well, that’s because getting prequalified for a loan doesn’t ensure that you’ll actually receive one. Rather, it is simply the first step toward finding out what type of mortgage and interest rates you could receive.

The next step after prequalification is preapproval. To get preapproved, you’ll have to fill out an official mortgage application. Your lender of choice will request a few pieces of information from you, including tax returns, proof of employment for the last two years, and a list of your debts. The lender will also perform a credit check to determine your loan eligibility.

Credit report

At this phase, lenders will also run your credit report. This is a type of “hard credit inquiry” that details your payment history, the number of accounts you have open, and other factors that help make up your credit score.

To secure the lowest interest rate possible, it helps to have a high credit score. So, in the years and months leading up to your mortgage application, focusing on building credit will pay off.

To increase your credit score, you’ll need to focus on paying your bills on time each month. You should also avoid opening new accounts within a few months of applying for a mortgage because this will count as a new credit inquiry. New credit inquiries--including applying for a mortgage--lower your score temporarily, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.

Additional paperwork required for mortgage applications

Not every mortgage application will be the same. Depending on the type of income you receive, you may need to provide different forms of income verification.

Each person will also have to claim different debts and assets. When buying a home with a spouse or partner, it’s important to consider your debts, assets, and credit scores to determine if it’s better to apply jointly or separately.





Posted by Blue Horizon Realty on 11/29/2018

Adding your residence to the housing market can be tricky. And for those who are unprepared for the potential pitfalls of the real estate market, it may be difficult to get the best results from the home selling journey.

Fortunately, we're here to teach you about the housing market so you can understand what it takes to optimize the value of your home.

To better understand the ins and outs of the real estate market, let's take a look at three common misconceptions that are frequently associated with selling a house.

1. Your home has increased in value since you initially purchased it.

What you paid for your house a few years ago is unlikely to match what it is worth today. As such, it is important for a home seller to understand the current state of the real estate so he or she can price a residence accordingly.

A home seller should look at the prices of comparable residences before adding his or her home to the housing market. By doing so, this home seller can see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and price it based on the current housing market's conditions.

Also, a home seller should complete a property appraisal. This evaluation allows a home seller to receive expert insights into a house's pros and cons. Plus, a home appraisal ensures a property seller can prioritize myriad home improvement projects to help boost a house's value.

2. You should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your house.

Although a home seller enjoys his or her residence, there is no guarantee that homebuyers will feel the same way. Therefore, a home seller should allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance a property's appearance both inside and out.

Completing simple home exterior improvement projects like mowing the front lawn and clearing dirt and debris from the walkways can make a world of difference in homebuyers' eyes. These home exterior improvements will help you bolster your house's curb appeal and boosts your residence's chances of making a positive first impression on homebuyers.

In addition, don't forget to declutter your residence's interior as much as possible. This will make it easy for homebuyers to imagine what life may be like if they purchase your home.

3. You don't need support from a real estate agent.

When it comes to selling your residence, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With a real estate agent at your side, you may be able to accelerate the home selling process and improve your chances of maximizing the value of your house.

A real estate agent will help you manage challenges throughout the home selling process. He or she will show you how to list your residence and promote it to the right groups of homebuyers, along with provide comprehensive responses to your home selling questions.

Employ a real estate agent to guide you along the home selling process – you'll be happy you did. A real estate agent will do everything possible to ensure you can sell your residence quickly and effortlessly.





Posted by Blue Horizon Realty on 11/15/2018

Ready to take your home to the next level? Here are upscale tech upgrades to make your home smarter than a Furby, cooler than drone and safer than Gringott’s. That last one might seem like a stretch but if three kids could break in how locked down was it really? Anyways,  

The Dyson 360 Eye is an upgraded Roomba. It can be scheduled and operated by phone your phone from anywhere. Which means if you have an impromptu dinner party or the In-Laws are planning to stop by you can start cleaning with a quick tap of your finger. Or you can just set a schedule for it to run a few times a week while you’re at work so you come home to a tidy room.

August Smart Lock is a keyless lock for your home. Instead use your phone as a key which, let’s be honest you always have on you. The best part, however, is that you don’t need to replace your lock and you can still use your key at any time. You can double check to make sure your door is locked and closed on those harried days rushing the kids to the car. entry to home and control who enters home

Upgrade to a curved tv. The curve may seem unusual but it allows for better view no matter where you are in the room. When sitting directly in front of the tv you have the illusion of a wider viewing range as it mimics the curve of our natural sight. Create an immersive experience paired up with a surround sound system.

The Thermasol Microtouch brings the “smart” experience to your shower. Program your preferred settings to have the perfect shower every time. With a heat sensor, you can control the steam shower temperature. And of course, the device comes in several styles and finishes to match the existing hardware in your bathroom

The Dyson 360 Eye is pretty cool but what if you could have a smart lawn mower? Well, the team at Worx built the Landroid just for you. Program the cut height, lawn terrain and even to go back “home” when it’s about to rain. No more running to the gas station to fill up a jug, the Landroid runs off of electricity. It also has safety features to turn off if tipped and pin code access only if stolen.


Upgrade your home tech to upgrade your lifestyle. Spend more time with your family and doing the things you love instead of maintaining your home. Ensure your home is secure and locked up tight for those days you don’t even remember the ride to work. And create a luxury view experience for your home family.




Tags: upscale   AI   technology  
Categories: upscale   technology   AI  


Posted by Blue Horizon Realty on 11/8/2018

If your budget allows for it, hiring a good housekeeper is well worth the money. If you're like most professional couples, you probably already feel "maxed out" after you've put in 40 to 60 hours at your jobs . When you add parenting responsibilities into the mix, there's not too much time and energy left for cleaning the house! While certain basic house cleaning tasks are unavoidable on a daily basis, it's a relief to know that a paid house cleaner will be coming in to do a thorough job soon.

Finding a reliable housekeeper with whom you feel comfortable can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can get referrals from family, friends, and others you know, then your search should put you on the right track.

The Selection Process

Since the main reason you're hiring a cleaning person is to make your life easier, the last thing you want to deal with is dependability problems or substandard work. That's why it's important to get referrals from people you know and trust. It often pays to interview more than one prospective cleaning person because you want to find someone who is the best match for your budget and needs. When you have two or three prospects to choose from, you'll be in a better position to choose the one with the best attitude, top references, and the most agreeable personality.

Unless a cleaning person was referred to you by someone you know well, it's a good idea to request references and contact a couple of them before making any final decisions. Calling at least two of their current customers (or past bosses) should give you some helpful insights into their work habits, punctuality, and willingness to follow directions.

Although most customers will probably try to be complimentary, if you ask the right questions and look for "red flags" in their answers, you'll be surprised at what you can learn. While it may be too blunt to ask if their cleaning person is honest, a lot can be inferred from their responses to other questions. For example, if a housekeeper has been working for the same customer for several years and cleans their house while the costumer is at their office or other place of employment, then there's a good chance the cleaner does excellent (or at least satisfactory) work and can be trusted. One direct question that generally needs to be asked when talking with references is "Would you personally recommend this person?" Asking how their housekeeper responds to special requests, suggestions, or constructive criticism may also provide revealing answers.

When getting a quote from a cleaning person or house cleaning service, it's useful to get an itemized list of what chores or services would be covered in the price. There are two advantages to this. First of all, you'll be able to compare "apples to apples". Secondly, you'll be able to gauge your expectations to what was initially promised and agreed to. While there may be other issues to consider, like possible background checks and insurance coverages they carry, once you've found a house cleaner you like and trust, you've cleared the biggest hurdle in your search!