Getting Energy Ready for Winter:

When cold weather approaches, use this checklist of simple ways to make your home more comfortable and keep those escalating energy bills at bay.

Check for Leaks

Weatherstripping and caulking is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on energy waste in the winter. Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner’s heating dollars.

Take these steps:

1.       Check around doors and windows for leaks and drafts. Add weather-stripping and caulk any holes you see that allow heat to escape.IMG_1638re

Make sure doors seal properly.

2.       If your windows leak really badly, consider replacing them with newer, more efficient ones. Keep in mind, however, that replacing windows can be expensive – it could take you quite awhile to recover your costs from the energy savings alone. But new windows also provide other benefits, such as improved appearance and comfort.

3.       Every duct, wire or pipe that penetrates the wall or ceiling or floor has the potential to waste energy. Plumbing vents can be especially bad, since they begin below the floor and go all the way through the roof.

Seal them all with caulking or weather-stripping.

4.       Electric wall plugs and switches can allow cold air in. Purchase simple-to-install, pre-cut foam gaskets that fit behind the switch plate and effectively prevent leaks.

5.       Don’t forget to close the damper on your fireplace. Of course the damper needs to be open if a fire is burning; but if the damper is open when you’re not using the fireplace, your chimney functions as a large open window that draws warm air out of the room and creates a draft. Close that damper – it’s an effective energy-saving tip that costs you nothing!

6.       Examine your house’s heating ducts for leaks. Think of your ductwork as huge hoses, bringing hot air instead of water into your house.

Mostly out of sight, ducts can leak for years without you knowing it. They can become torn or crushed and flattened. Old duct tape – the worse thing to use to seal ductwork, by the way – will dry up and fall away over time, allowing junctions and splices to open, spilling heated air into your attic or under the house. It’s wasteful. According to field research performed by the California Energy Commission, you can shave roughly 10 percent on your heating bill by preventing leaky ducts.


Check Your Insulation

1.       Insulate your attic. In an older home, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little or no insulation. As a result, large amounts of heat can be lost through walls, floors and – since heat rises – especially ceilings.

2.       How much insulation should you install? Typical framed homes now being built in California’s Central Valley must meet insulation requirements of R-38 insulation in ceilings and R-19 for walls and floors.

3.       Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door to prevent warm air from escaping out the top of your house.

4.       Seal holes in the attic that lead down into the house, such as open wall tops and duct, plumbing, or electrical runs. Any hole that leads from a basement or crawlspace to an attic is a big energy waster. Cover and seal them with spray foam and rigid foam board if necessary.


Check Your Heating System

1.       Get a routine maintenance and inspection of your heating system each autumn to make sure it is in good working order.

2.       Replace your heater’s air filter as recommended by the manufacturer. Your heating system will work less hard, use less energy and last longer as a result. Most homeowners can replace filters and do such simple tasks as cleaning and removing dust from vents or along baseboard heaters.

3.       If your heating system is old, you might consider updating it with one of the more efficient newer models. You can cut your natural gas use and your monthly bill!

4.       Use your set-back thermostat. California houses built today must have them. If you have an older home, consider installing one. A set-back thermostat allows you to automatically turn down the heat when you’re away at work or when you’re sleeping at night, and then boost the temperature to a comfortable level when you need it. Remember – it takes less energy to warm a cool home than to maintain a warm temperature all day long. Properly using your set-back thermostat could cut your heating costs from 20 to 75 percent.

5.       Reverse the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward, toward the ceiling. Ceiling fans are a great idea in the summer, when air blowing downward can improve circulation and make a room feel four degrees cooler. A cooling draft is a poor idea when it’s cold, however. By reversing the fan’s direction, the blades move air upward in winter. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms, where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.

6.       Make sure all hearing vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.


Change a Light Bulb

1.       Lighting our homes can represent 20 percent of home electricity bills and is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. If every household changed a light to an ENERGY STARR one, together we’d conserve enough energy to light 7 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 1 million cars.

13 Tips to Help Sell Your Home This Winter

Fewer Late On Mortgage Payments = Housing Strength:

The winter is usually the slowest home selling season. The main focus is on family and the holidays, not on buying a home. Most homeowners take their homes off the market for the winter.  Time to hibernate and wait for spring!

Or is it?  Columnist and Realtor Jessica Roberts suggest that you follow these simple and effective home care and staging tips to ensure your home sells this winter:

1.       Take photographs of your home outside before the snow falls. A snow-covered home may look festive, but the features of your home will be hidden.

2.       Clear the driveway, sidewalks, and steps from snow and ice. Use sand and deicers as needed to keep walking areas neat and safe for visitors.

3.       Keep holiday decorations simple and clean. Less is more.

4.       Inform buyers of town plowing schedules and upkeep of neighborhood streets.

5.       Keep scents from candles, plug-in air fresheners, and room sprays to a minimum. Use warm and gentle fragrances. Lavender and rosemary bouquets are a natural way to scent your home.

6.       Encourage showings during daylight hours for maximum lighting.

7.       Have a timer set for indoor and outdoor lights if you won’t be home before a showing.

8.       Hire a professional window cleaner for indoor and outdoor cleaning. Crystal clear windows will help maximize light in the house.

9.       Make sure the house is warm and cozy. Add blankets, throws, and area rugs to each room. Turn the thermostat up for the showing. Have a timer set if you won’t be home.

10.    Keep indoor decorations simple, green, natural, and seasonally appropriate.

11.    Show buyers you take exceptional care of your home. Request guests to take off shoes and offer paper booties.

12.    Keep shovels, snow blowers, deicing materials, and winter gear stowed away.

13.    Provide buyers with a list of local winter and seasonal activities.

Time to create a seasonal strategy and increase your chances of selling your home this winter. Seasonal opportunities, current market trends, and simple home care and staging tips will help sell your home this winter.

Best Mortgage | Nebraska | Iowa | Omaha

Basics Of The Best Mortgage Loan

 Best Mortgage Denver: Most people living in the USA have a mortgage, including those living in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska. Do you? How do you define “best mortgage”?

This article introduces you to the concept of mortgage loan and explains its basic concepts.

First, you probably know that a mortgage loan involves 2 different documents: there’s the mortgage note and the security interest. For better understanding, the mortgage note is a written promise that you will repay the money, plus an interest. You are therefore personally responsible for the repayment.

A mortgage does not necessarily refer to home loans or property loans, but because they are used in correlation with real estate, the two words have become a sort of synonyms. So when you say real estate loan, you say mortgage.

There are some restrictions which apply to those who have a mortgage:

First, they may or may not be compiled to have a home insurance or mortgage insurance. The insurance plays the role of a guarantee; the policy will compensate investors or lenders in the event of the debtor’s fail to meet their obligations (which is, pay the scheduled payments).

There are 9 main players in every mortgage file:

  1. The property
  2. The mortgage
  3. The borrower
  4. The lender
  5. The interest rate
  6. The principal
  7. The foreclosure
  8. The completion
  9. The redemption

Depending on the market, there are several other characteristics to be added to this list, but the nine elements mentioned above are the essential features of every mortgage contract. The repayment system of a mortgage loan works on a monthly basis and is thought of on the long term: you will have to pay a set amount of money each month back to the lender (which is usually a bank or a financial institution).

Bad Credit | Iowa | Omaha | Nebraska

Bad Credit Colorado: Three Promises Credit Repair Companies Can’t Keep

Bad Credit Colorado: Are you looking for bad credit repair? Are you being assaulted by companies promising you the world?

Pay attention. In most cases these companies have no idea what they’re promising and… they can’t deliver. Whenever you are looking for credit repair services and you get an offer that sounds too good to be true remember that most things which sound or seem too good to be true are usually not true.

It works the same with credit repair in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska and the rest of the world.

We put together three promises which guarantee you immediate results and instant repair, but fail to deliver:

1.       “We can erase your credit card problem 100% guaranteed”

What these companies do is they promise you something which is impossible: they give a guarantee that they will clean up your file report so that you can apply for a loan or mortgage. Well, here’s the bad news: once you pay them your hard earned money, they do absolutely nothing to help you. They simply disappear. And you end up having lost more than your good credit score, but also your money.

2.       “We can remove liens, bad loans and bankruptcies from your credit file forever”

Credit repair cannot be done overnight. But this is not something that a company will tell you loud and clear. Instead, they promise to remove any negative information from your credit report… but honestly, no one can really do that.

3.       “You can create a new credit identity easy and within the law”

Now this is the most outrageous credit repair promise to come across. In a way, the company admits that you are at a loss with your existing credit. So they somehow tell you there’s nothing you can do. But wait, there is something: create a different identity. And since when is this legal? We wonder.

Existing Home Sales Rise to 6 1/2 Year High

existing home salesThe national median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,200 in September, up 11.7 percent from September 2012. This is the 10th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases.

Existing Home Sales for September were better than expected according to this morning’s report from the National Association of Realtors.  Existing Home Sales (homes that have been previously occupied) fell 1.9 percent but the consensus estimates were for a decrease of 2.7 percent, so this data was better than expected.

The September report showed an annualized rate of 5.29 million units which is a slight pull back from the August reading of 5.39 million units but it is still better than any reading from January 2011 through June 2013.

FHA Loan | Home Loan | Iowa | Omaha | Nebraska

FHA Loan Colorado: Ways To Benefit From An FHA Loan

FHA Loan Colorado: Dating way back to 1934, the FHA loan Denver has a history of helping people buy their homes faster and easier. Also known as the Federal Housing Administration, it focuses its entire attention on three main aspects of the home buying process:

–          Low down payments

–          Low closing costs

–          Easy credit qualifying

However, the FHA is not all about costs and credits. It is also focusing on helping people buy their first home, helping seniors financially, and offering financing for mobile homes and manufactured houses. Let’s see what some of the other aspects of the home buying process the FHA looks upon:

1.       The FHA helps you renovate your house

If you have just bought a house and are thinking about giving it a fresh look (or if you want to personalize it to fit your personality) then the FHA might be what you need. Did you know you can include the costs of renovation in the overall loan cost?

2.       An FHA loan encourages people to make their homes more energy efficient

Just as with the above-mentioned service, the FHA also allows you to make your home more energy efficient. You can include the costs of such a procedure in what is known as an FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage.

3.       The FHA encourages young families to buy their own homes

If you live in either of these areas, then your down payment can be as low as 3.5%of the purchase price: Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska. The offer is available for 1-4 unit properties and most of the closing fees can be included in the loan.

All in all, don’t forget that the FHA only insures the loan, so the lender can offer you a better deal…

House Mortgage | Mortgage Lending | Iowa | Nebraska | Omaha

House Mortgage Colorado: The Best 3 Tips to Help You Choose A Mortgage Lender

House Mortgage Colorado: If you live in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska and are looking for mortgage lending company, there are a few things you will have to consider prior to making a final decision.

We’ve put together a list of what we consider to be the three most important things you should look for in a mortgage lender. Keep reading if you want to find out what these things are…

1.       Ask for recommendations

Word of mouth advertising is one of the most powerful advertising tools one can have. No matter what business you are in, if someone recommends your services it means you’ve done a good job and have one satisfied customer who can bring by lots of new clients.

If you are looking for house mortgage lending professionals, ask around and see “who’s who in the zoo”.

2.       Check out the reviews

If you don’t have any acquaintances who needed mortgage lending, then start surfing the web and reading reviews about the various companies available. Don’t go to their websites where you will find only positive testimonials; search on forums, social media platforms, etc. They are more accurate in terms of customer service quality.

3.       Analyze responsiveness, price and behavior

Pricing is an important factor for everyone; after all, you are looking for lending, right? But other things are equally important. Analyze the responsiveness of the lender when you first contact them. How fast do they reply? What tone do they use when talking to you?

These are all factors which can help you decide whether or not you want to work with a lender. Don’t forget that, while money is important, there are other things which in this situation are even more important than the bill.

Mortgage Rates: Home Prices Push Past Rising Rates

Despite rising interest rates, home prices continue to surge higher. The latest read shows values, including distressed properties, up 12.4 percent in July, year over year, according to a monthly CoreLogic report. That’s higher than both May and June’s annual increases.

This is the 17th consecutive month of annual gains for home values nationally. Prices were up 1.8 percent month over month, according to the report.

Mortgage rates are about a full percentage point higher today than they were at the beginning of March. The average rate on the 30-year fixed hit 4.80 percent by the middle of last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That is the highest since April 2011.

Rates have been trending higher on expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to taper its investments in mortgage-backed securities.

Home prices are also trending higher in part due to the fact that there are fewer distressed properties for sale. Excluding distressed sales, prices were up 11.4 percent year over year. Distressed properties have seen big price jumps in the past year, as investors fight to get the remaining deals.

Mortgage Company | Mortgage Refinance |

Mortgage Company Colorado Etiquette: The Best Gadgets Every Mortgage Company Denver Should Offer Its Employees

Mortgage Company Colorado. Are you a real estate broker (or any kind of broker)? Are you employed in a mortgage company Denver in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha or Nebraska?

Perhaps you were wondering about the best tools you can use in your daily activity at work. Well, the news is good: technology is making advancements in all fields, and it is not ignoring yours.

Here is a list of the best gadgets you can use if you are a broker:

  1. EyeSee 360’s GoPano Micro – Admit it, photos taken with a traditional camera are often not enough to convince a client, right? Every mortgage refinance Colorado company should have the EyeSee gadget – it can take 360 degrees pictures and all you need is your smartphone!
  2. DeLorme inReach – how many times did you visit a building in an area where there was no cell phone coverage? This small gadget allows you to transform your Android phone into a satellite device. Even though it does not provide you with the full functionality of cell phone coverage, you will be able to use text messaging, remote tracking and SOS emergencies.
  3. Xerox Mobile Scanner – when you are on the run or you want to know that you can keep all your important files at hand. With the mobile scanner you can multiply documents in an instant – while you’re out on the field, meeting with clients! Cool, huh?
  4. Synchronized apps – They make your life so much easier! And there are lots of free apps that perfectly sync with your PC, tablet or laptop. Evernote in particular is a brainy tool that you can use to stay organised. Other apps that you might find useful include Trello, Google Docs, or any other app where you can store information about your clients, or various photos.

FHA Home Loans | Iowa | Omaha | Nebraska

FHA Home Loans – A Very Quick Guide


An FHA Home Loan in Colorado, a FHA Home Loan in Denver, a FHA Home Loan in Iowa, a FHA Home Loan in Omaha, and  FHA Home Loans in Nebraska are valuable assets when you are looking to streamline the process of  buying a home. However, not all people know what this is or what it means. If you want to find out more about  FHA home loans and home mortgages, read on – this article provides you with a brief explanation.

What does FHA stand for?

It means Federal Housing Authority.

When do you need an FHA?

Whenever you are looking to purchase a house and you want to lessen the process by obtaining less-rigid borrower requirements. However, not everyone can qualify for a Colorado FHA home loan; it heavily depends on the credit loan history or the applicant, their income and employment, the mortgage amount, the down payment, as well as other criteria.

In addition to that, not all buildings are FHA eligible. How can you make sure you can benefit from the FHA? Look for buildings (dwellings) which were built within an FHA approved condo project – all these buildings are eligible for FHA financing.


The most important thing you must understand is that the FHA does not make loans. Rather, they are insuring private lenders loans.

How can you get a FHA home loan in Omaha?

The first thing you need to do is find an FHA-approved mortgage broker or lender. Pay attention, though; only those who are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are “the real deal”.

Once you found a trustworthy broker or lender, they will explain what you need to do in order to get hold of the Denver FHA home loan.

Should you choose a FHA home loan in Iowa?

If you can, then definitely yes! It offers you a lot of flexibility and financial strengths that you would otherwise not be entitled to.