Karin Torrice - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


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For most people, buying a house is the biggest investment they will make. Unless you are paying cash, the transaction could become complicated. Not that many people can pay cash for a house – and for those that can, it often makes more sense to borrow than to use up cash reserves, especially if interest rates are low. Whether this is your first home purchase or a subsequent home purchase, you might consider going with as much home as you can afford. In some cases, such as when the elderly want to downsize, smaller is better, but in most other cases, larger is better.

Better Value

When you do go to sell your home to downsize or because you get a job transfer, you’ll get more money for a larger home. Most people want at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Those houses tend to sell easier than homes with fewer bedrooms and bathrooms.

Growing Family

If you are newly married, planning on getting married or moving in with your significant other, or if you are older, but plan to have one of your children move in with you, you might want to start with a larger home so that you won’t have to go through the hassle of selling to upgrade. Even if you are single, if you plan on having a family, you might want to buy a larger house now. If you change your mind about the family, you can always sell it later on – and get more for a house that will be easier to sell.

Entertaining

When you entertain, you won’t be stuck sleeping on the floor or on the sofa if you have extra bedrooms. Your guests can have the privacy of their own room when you buy a bigger house. The more bedrooms you have, the more people you can have stay over. If you have just one person or family stay over, you might prefer just one extra bedroom, but if there’s a possibility that two friends stay, go for two or more extra bedrooms.

Single-Use Rooms

If you have hobbies, the extra rooms are great for decreasing the clutter around your house. A hobby that takes up tons of space is reading. If you’re an avid book collector, line the walls of an extra bedroom with bookcases – from floor to ceiling – to store all of your books. If the room has a good view, build a window seat in the room for a comfortable and quiet reading space.

And, if you need a home office, you can convert an extra bedroom into an office. You’ll have a quiet space to work, plus you’ll be able to lock up confidential information, whether you use a filing cabinet or install a hidden safe in the room.


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Once the floor plan has been finalized and construction work begins, you can start looking ahead to the interior design of your new home. When you take advantage of the styles that are trending today, you will be able to enjoy a fresh, contemporary look in every room of your house for years to come. 

Here are the interior design trends for 2021 that you simply need to take note of:

The Surprising Rise of Wallpaper

Wallpaper may have been something that your grandmother loved, and perhaps she chose a different pattern for every room in the house. But for years, homeowners have shunned the idea of wallpaper — especially because of the work it took to apply and, subsequently, remove. 

Today, however, modern homeowners are loving the idea of wallpaper once again. For starters, peel-and-stick wallpaper makes it easy to add a touch of texture or color to a room without enduring the mess of wallpaper glue and adhesive. In addition, the latest wallpaper patterns complement the other interior trends that are taking shape right now. Wallpaper is particularly popular in rooms that have personal uses, such as a bathroom, bedroom or home office.

The Entrance of Colorful Cabinets

Over the last several years, it seemed like anyone who was renovating their kitchen opted for sleek neutral cabinets in shades of white, gray or brown. However, in 2021, interior design experts anticipate that more people will be adding a burst of color to their kitchen by way of their cabinets. You may opt for a soft green shade, which will allow you to enjoy the color while complementing the rest of the kitchen with neutral decor. You also may consider country blue or daffodil yellow, which also are increasing in popularity.

The Need for Cozy Yet Functional Corners

If you are building a new home that has a quaint nook or a multi-purpose room, then you will want to take advantage of the interior design trends that utilize these spaces best. Even without a dedicated room, you can use a breakfast nook or a loft area as a home office. If you do not need a remote work space, then these flexible areas make ideal play spaces, study rooms or reading nooks. With so much of life happening within the walls of our homes right now, it's more important than ever to make the most of all functional and comfortable spaces.

As opposed to the lot that you select for your new construction home or the floor plan that you design with your builder, your interior design plan can be flexible. It's okay to opt for fashionable colors or accents that may not be popular in a couple of years — it is easy to switch up the color of the room or add in new furniture when needed. As you imagine the interior design of your home, have fun and be creative. This is your space to live in, and you should enjoy it.


If you encounter home selling challenges, there is no need to worry. In fact, if you know how to approach potential house selling hurdles, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you hone your approach to home selling challenges.

1. Remain Calm

A home selling challenge may seem like the end of the world. But it is important to remember that home sellers like yourself likely have faced similar problems in the past. And as such, there is probably a viable solution to address any home selling challenge, at any time.

When a home selling challenge presents itself, it often helps to take a deep breath. Then, you should try to remain calm, cool and collected and approach the challenge from an objective point of view. By doing so, you may be able to find a way to resolve this challenge in no time at all.

2. Be Persistent

Let's face it – no one said selling a house would be easy. But for those who are persistent, even the toughest home selling challenges can be overcome.

If you approach a home selling challenge with persistence, you'll be ready to explore every potential solution to address this issue. As a result, you may be able to quickly identify the right solutions to various home selling challenges and move one step closer to achieving your property selling goals.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who face a home selling challenge, it generally is a good idea to seek out expert guidance. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to help you address any home selling challenges head-on.

Typically, a real estate agent offers plenty of support throughout the property selling journey. He or she first will learn about your home selling goals and provide a personalized home selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it.

A real estate agent is prepared to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have during the home selling process too. If you are unsure about how to price your home, for example, a real estate agent can offer housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price. Or, if you face a time crunch to sell your residence, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you sell your house as quickly as possible.

There is no reason to let home selling challenges get the best of you after you list your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, however, you can boost your home selling confidence and determine the best course of action to resolve any house selling challenges.



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There are a variety of different terms that you must become familiar with as you purchase a new home. You have to pay an application fee, underwriting fees, titles fees and more. But one that seems to leave many buyers scratching their heads is the recording fee. A recording fee is a normal part of the closing costs due when purchasing a home and may be paid by you or the seller.

What is a Recording Fee?

Recording fees are charged by a government agency whenever you need to register or record a real estate purchase. These fees allow the purchase to become part of the public record and are typically charged by the county in which the home was purchased, as this is where all records of property purchases and sales are maintained. Recording fees can vary greatly from county to county.

How Are Recording Fees Determined?

Different agencies can issue their own guideline for submitting documents and recording fees based on each document type. While the recording fee may be $10 in one county, it could be $16 in another neighboring area. Some agencies may charge a recording fee based on the size of the document submitted. For example, you may be charged $30 for the first page of the document, plus an additional $3 for each page that follows. In addition to the title for a property, your local county will also record any mortgages and liens against your home. Therefore, the final cost of recording fees required by the county will depend on the type and overall complexity of the real estate deal.

When a property is sold, a recording fee is usually included as part of the closing costs. Depending on how the sale of your home is structured, these closing costs may be the responsibility of the seller, or they could fall on you to cover before you get the keys. However, it is very common for the buyer to pay for the recording fees so their new mortgage and deed can be entered into the legal records.

Try Not to Stress Over Closing Costs

If you’re having a conversation about closing costs, that means you’re close to finally owning your new home. There are many costs associated with purchasing a home, but at the end of the day, a recording fee shouldn’t be something to be too stressed over.


Applying for a mortgage can be a lengthy and difficult process. Lenders want to know that they are going to get a return on their investment.

To ensure that they’ll see that positive return they will take a number of things into consideration, such as your income, credit score, employment history, and financial capital.

First-time homeowners often struggle when it comes to these prerequisites since they have fewer years of numbers for lenders to consider. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry--you can still purchase a home.

First-time homeowner loans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. government, and a number of private loans enable people to borrow money for a home without paying a huge down payment or having a vast credit history.

One downfall of said loans is private mortgage insurance, or “PMI.”

In this article, we’re going to talk about what private mortgage insurance is, how to avoid it, and how to get rid of it. 

What is PMI?

If you make a down payment on a mortgage that is less than 20% of the loan amount, you will most likely have to pay private mortgage insurance.

PMI exists as a way for lenders to help guarantee they won’t lose money off of your loan. If you make a down payment of 20% or more, then lenders are typically satisfied that they won’t lose money from doing business with you.

PMI is not to be confused with home insurance, which protects you against damage and theft. Rather, it is an additional fee you’ll pay to your lender each month that is added to your mortgage payment.

PMI is calculated based on a few considerations. Lenders will take into account your down payment amount, the value of the mortgage, and your credit score.

In terms of costs, PMI typically costs between .5 and 1% of the total mortgage amount each year.

Avoiding PMI

Naturally, it’s best to avoid paying private mortgage insurance altogether. Private mortgage insurance has no future value for you and your family since it doesn’t count towards building equity and doesn’t protect you from any potential financial harm (your lender is the sole beneficiary of PMI).

Saving for a down payment can take time, and sometimes you’ll need to rent or cut costs while you save. However, if you do take on a loan with PMI, you can still cancel it at a later point.

Canceling your private mortgage insurance

The first thing you should know about canceling PMI is that it usually isn’t easy. You’ll need pay off at least 20% of the home, write a letter to your lender, and wait for an appraisal of the home. Once you’ve done this, you still have to wait while your lender considers your request. In all, this process could take months--months that you’re still required to pay PMI.

Once common way to get out of PMI is to refinance. If the value of your home has increased since the time of you taking on the loan, the new lender likely won’t require PMI. However, you’ll want to make sure that refinancing will get you a lower interest rate and cover the costs of refinancing. 




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