- Melissa Kellerman
Buying or selling a home can be a stressful experience without the security of a trusted REALTOR in your corner.
Choose me to be your trusted REALTOR.
I will guide you through every step of this rewarding process with professionalism and dedication. My attention to detail, strong communication and 100% effort will deliver the results you deserve. It is my mission to build lasting relationships and earn repeat referrals. The key to this is providing my clients with personalized service before, during and after every transaction. I am here to help you with all of your real estate needs.
Feel free to call or email me anytime!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
RISMEDIA, November 30, 2010
1. Get past the advertising fluff. When selling your home and buying a new one, your mailbox becomes a sieve of solicitations—and one of the front-line offenders are homeowners’ insurance companies. Our quick scan of the latest bunch of mailings reveals quite a few boasting fancy packaging and idealistic images of beautiful homes with magazine-ready design schemes. They’re often printed on pricey paper stock and feature florid writing poetically telling you how they can help you protect your home and all the prized possessions it contains, better than any other company can. The boil-down is this: don’t just go with the first thing you see, even if it seems good.
2. Consult your state’s resources. Choosing from a huge array of large national insurance companies can be daunting; that’s why it’s a good idea to start in your state. Your state will likely have an insurance, consumer advocacy or chamber of commerce website offering homeowner’s insurance tips (just an example, find one for New York State at http://www.ins.state.ny.us/hmonindx.htm). The benefit to a state site is that it gives you a good idea as to what your insurance covers given your particular state’s weather conditions and home wear and zoning issues. These sites also give information on important state codes; it’s critical to check that the company you’re researching understands these codes extremely well. Finally, many state sites list consumer complaints against particular companies from residents in your state.
3. Make sure the coverage is not only extensive, but appropriate for you. A homeowner may come across a potential company with a good service record and reputation, but that doesn’t mean its ideal for them. Look at the details of what the company focuses on. If a company looks great overall, but they emphasize flooding and water damage in all their marketing materials, it’s not going to be right for you if you live in Arizona—no matter how great a company it is. Make sure the company’s strong points match the needs of your particular home and geographical area.
4. Familiarize yourself with the claim process. The insurance company might advertise the fact that you can make frequent claims for repairs, but many companies hike up your premium if you frequently file small claims. This isn’t necessarily unethical, as it’s often stated in the fine print, but it could definitely hurt your wallet; that’s why it’s smart to ask up front how both routine/small and catastrophic claims might affect premiums. At the most, asking will ultimately save you money, i.e., you can do a small repair yourself instead of filing a claim for it, and ultimately the money you spend on the repair might be less than the premium hike.
5. Know the condition of your home. It’s impossible to effectively choose homeowners’ insurance unless you know the condition of your home inside and out. For instance, if you have a roof that’s prone to leakiness and not in the best shape, you’ll obviously want to avoid a policy that doesn’t cover this sort of thing. The best way to learn about issues in your home is to get a home inspection of your new home by a certified, reputable home inspector. The home inspector will examine your new home for any potential faults and issues to watch for; this is incredibly powerful ammunition in choosing the right homeowners’ insurance, and can save a lot of money in the event anything goes wrong and you find yourself in the claim-filing process.
Dan Steward is president of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspections.
For more information, visit http://www.pillartopost.com/.
Friday, November 19, 2010
How is the market in Colorado Springs? This is probably THE question I am asked the most often, or at least some variation of it. Sometimes its just, how is the real estate market? Or how is business?
What is the answer? It depends, who’s asking? If you are a seller, this is market is just plain scary .We’ve had 3 months of declining sales since June. Year to date, sales are now lower than last year’s dismal conditions. This is a ‘serious sellers only’ kind of market, where if you don’t really have to sell, you probably want to wait for better times.
On the other hand, if you are are a buyer, this is probably the best market you will ever see. Prices are low. Selection is great. Interest rates are minuscule (4% ish!). For move-up buyers however, this is a confusing time, because they know it will be tough sledding for selling their existing home, but the bargains both for replacing and the low interest rates are really tempting.
Here a couple of thoughts on the ‘move-up’ conundrum
The lower interest rates can really make the difference between the old house and the new house a lot less. If you are going to have a mortgage anyway, before refinancing, make it for the right house.
Using a low down payment loan such as FHA or VA may allow you to get buy without selling the old house, or selling it for less than you thought you ‘had’ to get. While everyone likes to have as much equity as possible in their new home, if you can borrow at 4% or so, going in with a low down payment can be a lot smarter than waiting until your old house goes up in value enough to make that possible. VA is zero down to $417,000, and FHA is 3.5% down to $325,000 here.
If you are in the home of your dreams, congratulations! But more often than not, I am finding that people have another house they really want to get into. Waiting out the storm may be a long time, and when the old house has come back in value, interest rates and the price of the new one may make it even more difficult to achieve your goals and dreams.
Friday, November 12, 2010
RISMEDIA, November 11, 2010--Home defects come in all shapes and sizes. From structural problems to air flow and ventilation issues, a lot of things can go wrong with your home. Whether you're buying or selling your home or simply staying put, you should be aware of some of the common home defects that abound so you can fix them quickly and easily before they become catastrophes.
Poor Drainage According to Elsa Home Inspections, poor drainage is the most common problem found by home inspectors. To improve your drainage, you may have to install a new system of eaves, troughs and downspouts to better aim water away from the house. Inadequate drainage can be a devastating defect. Water can damage basements, garages and crawl spaces, compromising the foundation of the home and creating mold. Taking care of this issue is of dire importance, and buyers should avoid purchasing homes that may have drainage problems.
Rotted Wood Another important defect to watch out for is rotted wood, both inside and outside the home. Wood exposed to excess moisture is bound to rot. This can happen in bathrooms, on flooring or even in the kitchen. The Home Team Inspection Service recommends finding these problem areas in your home and protecting them with a special paint or finish. Don't forget to check your deck and outside trim as well.
Bad Roofing Always be attentive of a structure's roof. Damaged shingles or improperly installed flashing are severe warning signs that trouble lurks ahead. Check for leaky ceilings as a sign of a damaged roof. Repairing the roof is crucial in order to prevent further damage later. Although it may be an expensive repair, it's always best to take care of it before it affects other parts of the home.
Inadequate Ventilation Without proper ventilation, a build up of moisture can attack a home's interior walls and structural components, says Elsa Home Inspections. Ventilation fans are a good idea for bathrooms without windows, and opening all of the home's windows during bouts of good weather also helps keep the air moving. Doing so can help prevent drywall replacements or other more expensive structural replacements. Find out the best way to keep your house ventilated and keep that air flowing.
Poor Overall Maintenance Has the house been properly maintained over the years? How confident are you in the previous owner's repair skills? Sometimes improper maintenance can affect many parts of the home, such as the plumbing and electrical systems. Scope out any makeshift repairs and have a professional take a look, if necessary. Faulty wiring jobs and plumbing situations are not cases to be taken lightly. If a house doesn't look well-kept, this may be reason enough to send buyers running.
With the proper maintenance, any home defect can be righted to ensure a safe living environment for any family. For sellers, make sure major problems with the home are taken care of before listing the home. This is a great way to make sure you get the most money from your investment. Buyers should ask questions regarding these common red flags and if a house has too many defects, they may want to walk away. For current homeowners, fixing these issues now will not only ensure safety for all of the home's inhabitants, but it will also help increase your home's value when it comes to selling time.
If you need a referral for a great Home Inspector, let me know. I work closely with a few that I would love to recommend.
Colorado Springs Business Journal
Published: November 12,2010
Time posted: 8:39 am
Forbes ranks Colorado Springs #6
Both Colorado Springs and Denver made the Forbes list of top ten housing markets for investors.
Colorado Springs is No. 6 on the list, and Denver is No. 8.
According to this Realtyguide analysis, Colorado Springs is benefitting from low home prices, a healthy job market, a diverse economy and population growth.
The Forbes top ten:
1.Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
3.Austin-Round Rock, Texas
5.San Antonio, Texas
6.Colorado Springs, Colorado
7.Albuquerque, New Mexico