Amanda Hill's Blog Posts

More Comfortable, Convenient and Secure

Smart home technology promises to make your home more comfortable, convenient and secure.  It may not be the home from the Jetson's but artificial intelligence is the hope to make it the home

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Another Type of Financing Concession

Price, condition and terms are factors that any owner must consider when marketing their home.  Price is usually the easiest to adjust to compensate for shortcomings in location or

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44 Times More Than a Renter

The Federal Reserve Board's Triennial Survey of Consumer Finances recently revealed the net worth of a homeowner was $231,400 compared to $5,200 for a renter.  The net worth of homeowners

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Gift of Equity

There is a little-known mortgage program that could provide the vehicle for the right person to get into a home.  If a person sells their home to another for less than the fair market value,

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Do You Know the Way?

It may be natural for first-time buyers to be unsure of the process of buying a home because they haven't been through it before but even repeat buyers need to know changes that have taken place

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Roll the Repairs into the Mortgage

It's been said that if you can find a home that has most of what you want, you should go ahead and purchase it.  Many first-time buyers are using everything they have for a down payment

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Getting the "Right" Home

Finding the right home is still the biggest challenge buyers are faced with in today's market as is shown in the latest Confidence Index Survey.  Assuming the buyers find the "right" home

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Start Early and Live Happily Ever-after

As storybooks go, the character is introduced, they meet their love interest, a villain thwarts their intentions, true love overcomes, they marry and live happily ever-after.  It's a very

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Grand Junction used to be a place young people fled. Now, millennial entrepreneurs are flocking there for opportunity.

“A lot of things are going right in this area now. I am seeing more young people coming to the valley,” Daly said. “I think the Grand Junction area will exceed Boulder. Boulder is

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ATM Safety Tips

During the holidays as throughout the year, getting cash from an ATM is normal for many people. ATM’s are available 24 hours a day and they’re located in bank branches, convenience,

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Surprise When Renting Your Home

Planning to go to the Masters next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay. Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in

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How to Increase Your Home's Value

Looking to Increase Your Home's Value? Here are some examples of projects (average cost recouped, national) according to Realtor Magazine:Minor kitchen remodel (88%)Bathroom remodel (85%

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Protect Your Investment

It’s much easier to play a game when you know the rules so you can avoid mistakes that may keep you from winning. Homeownership isn’t a game but there are some rules that will protect

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Pre-approval is Good for Everyone

Buyer’s mortgage pre-approval is good for everyone in the transaction. It saves time, money and removes the uncertainty of knowing whether the buyer will be qualified after negotiating a

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Risk Rate Relationship

Regardless of what a lender quotes on mortgage rates, the actual rate a borrower pays is based on a number of variables. Lenders determine whether to loan money and at what rate based on the risk

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Indecision is Not a Decision

There could be some legitimate reasons for not buying a home but indecision is not one of them. Indecision is rooted in not having enough information to move forward to own a home or continue.

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Debt Relief May Trigger Tax

The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, originally passed in 2007, was extended three times to protect homeowners from paying income tax on debt that was relieved due to foreclosure, short

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How to Actually Afford to Buy A Home in America

Home buyers today face tough challenges—housing prices have soared, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it once did and rent is more expensive than the past. How are people today making such a

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Holiday Travels

The last thing you want if you’re traveling these holidays is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this check list to add some peace of mind while you’re out of town.- Ask

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FHA Mortgages - is it right for you?

FHA insured mortgages serve a sector of the market that is not necessarily being met by other loan programs.Securing an 80% conventional mortgage that doesn’t require mortgage insurance may be

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Don't Pat Yourself on the Back Just Yet

You’ve got $500,000 in liquid assets for your retirement and you’re still 15 years away. All your bills are paid; you have a small mortgage on your home; cars are paid for and great

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Eleventh Hour Gifts Without Shopping

If you’re beginning to feel the pressure of running out of time to find the perfect gift, here are a few suggestions that may not be on their “list” but will certainly be

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Prevent False Home Security Alarms

Some police departments report as high as 98% of calls are false alarms. Not only is this an incredible waste of police resources that could be available for legitimate emergencies, it annoys

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Homeowner Tax Changes

The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some

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Balancing Risk and Deductibles

The benefit of insurance is to transfer the risk of loss to a company in exchange for a premium. The deductible is an amount the insured pays out of pocket before the insurance starts covering the

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Ready for Retirement

It can be shocking to hear how many people spend more time planning their vacation or next mobile phone purchase than planning for retirement. It is hard to imagine that they are expecting Social

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Lower Your Expenses without PMI

Mortgage loans for more than 80% loan-to-value typically require private mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance reimburses the lender if a borrower defaults on a loan. PMI is expensive, and

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Convincing Advantages with Standard Deduction

The new tax law doubles the standard deduction and it is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to use it. However, even without considering tax benefits, homeownership has convincing

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Tips for draining your Irrigation system

Here are tips and guidelines to winterize irrigation systems. STEP 1:  Shut off the water source to the irrigation system STEP 2:  Drain the system 1. 

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It's Not Just the Tax Benefits

When the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly was increased from $12,700 to $24,000 for 2018, there was some speculation that the bloom was off the rose of homeownership.  

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The "Right" Agent and the "Right" Home

Some buyers think that finding the right home is the critical part of the buying process and that is how they determine which agent to use. While it is important, there may be a broader skill set to

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Historical Perspective

In 1968, mortgage rates were 8.5%. The next year, rates went down to 7%. Homeowners could buy a 15-20% larger home for the same payments if they could find someone to assume their mortgage.FHA and

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Fair Skies on Horizon

Buyers who have been concerned about what might happen to the tax laws affecting home ownership should feel more comfortable about moving forward with their decision to purchase. The 2017 Tax Cut

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Your Refund Could be the Difference

One of the silver linings to filing your income tax return is finding out that you are going to receive a refund. If you happen to be one of these fortunate taxpayers, your next decision is what to

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Inventory Continues to be a Challenge

In any given market, inventories fluctuate based on supply and demand considering area and price range. The National Association of REALTORS considers a balanced market to be a six-month supply of

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Standard or Itemized

Taxpayers can decide each year whether to take the standard deduction or their itemized deductions when filing their personal income tax returns. Roughly, 75% of households with more than $75,000

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FHA Advantages

The Federal Housing Administration, operating under HUD, offers affordable mortgages for tens of thousands of buyers who may not qualify for other types of programs. They are popular with both first

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HELOCs Becoming More Expensive

In September, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time in 2018 and they're expected to go up one more time this year and three times next year.  If you have a Home Equity

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Case Study - Housing Decision During Retirement

Case Study - Housing Decision During Retirement - 4/16/2018 A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are

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Assumptions May be an Alternative

For the last 25 years, most buyers have gotten a new mortgage or paid cash when purchasing a home. For a practical reason, owner-occupant buyers have another alternative: assuming a lower interest

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A Home for Tomorrow

As people near or enter retirement, one of the decisions that typically comes up is whether to sell their "big" home and buy a smaller one. If you know anyone who has been faced with that situation,

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Second Guessing Price

Imagine a homeowner consulting with their agent about the price to place on their home. The agent suggests that the market data indicates that $200,000 to 210,000 would produce a quick sale by

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Flag Protocol

The American flag is obviously a symbol of our country but it has come to remind us of every man and woman who has fought for the freedom that we enjoy. The emotions that are stirred by images of

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When Neighbors Don't Seem to Care

When Neighbors Don't Seem to Care - 6/4/2018 A home that isn't being maintained like others in the neighborhood can negatively affect your visual sense of appeal and in some extreme

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The Tax Difference in Second Homes -

A principal residence and a second home have some similar benefits, but they have some key tax differences. A principal residence is the primary home where you live and a second home is used mainly

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Cost of Waiting to Buy

An economist responded when asked how interest rates would change: “They may fall some and then, rise and after that, they’ll fluctuate.”Just because interest rates have been low

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Don't Let a Killer In

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer you don't want in your home but because it is colorless and odorless; you may not even be aware the deadly condition exists. The Center for Disease Control says

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Unexpected Expenses

It's common for Sellers to consider offering a home warranty or protection plan to make their home more marketable. A growing number of homeowners are now purchasing this type of protection for

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A Word Homeowners Need to Understand

Acquisition Debt is the amount of money borrowed used to buy, build or improve a principal residence or second home. Under the new tax law, mortgages taken after 12/14/17 are limited to a

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Owning Makes More Sense

When comparing the cost of owning a home to renting, there is more than the difference in house payment against the rent currently being paid. It very well could be lower than the rent but when you

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Before You Leave Town...

Along with all the planning of what you're going to do and where you're going to stay, consider this checklist to make you feel more comfortable while you're away from home.*Ask a trusted friend to

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Replace it anyways

f it's not broken, why would a homeowner consider replacing something as expensive as a toilet when there may be other things in the home to replace that provide more aesthetic appeal. Don't be too

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Rising Rates Affect the Cost Too

Mortgage rates have risen 0.5% in 2018 on 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and experts expect them to continue to increase. Buyers paying attention to the market understand the relationship

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Mortgage Prices

t’s understandable; you’re excited; you’ve found the right home, negotiated a contract, made a loan application and inspections.  Closing is not that far away, and you

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Moisture & Mold

Moisture is mold's best friend and it thrives between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit which is why it is commonly found in homes.  Mold spores float in the air and can grow on virtually any

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Consumer Protection and Mortgage Practices

Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 in response to the mortgage crisis that led to America's Great Recession.  The two parts that apply closely to homebuyers are the Ability-to

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Quick Plumbing Inspection

No one wants to waste water or money.  For that reason, take a few minutes every other month to do the following inspections:Check to see if cutoff valves on sinks and toilets are working

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How to Clean Gutters

The gutters and downspouts on your home are intended to channel rainwater away from your home and its foundation.  When they're blocked and not functioning properly they can lead to the

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Mortgage Rates Surge to 7-Year High After Fed Hike

Mortgage rates surged to their highest averages since 2011 following the Federal Reserve’s announcement Wednesday that it is raising its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point. The 30

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