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Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of this day, I'm sharing a favorite guacamole recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Mash avocados in a bowl until creamy.

2. Mix tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and jalapeno pepper into mashed avocado until well combined; season with salt and black pepper.

Enjoy!! 

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https://www.realtor.com/homemade/five-steps-for-selling-your-home-during-a-pandemic/

Selling a home is a difficult and multifaceted process which can often take months from start to finish even in the best of times. To make matters more difficult, add a healthy portion of global pandemic with a side of stay at home orders and you might be asking yourself what now?

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of hitting pause on selling their home. Regardless of a global pandemic, the world is still spinning and life, while looking completely different from just a few short months ago, must continue forward. And if you fall into that category, we can help. So grab a pen, flip to a new page in your quarantine journal and get ready to take some notes,

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Spring has sprung and we all know what that means...it's time to bust out the cleaning supplies and get cleaning! The Mary Cox Team has compiled a checklist for you to complete as you clean out each room in your home.

Every Room:

  • Wash windows
  • Vacuum, sweep and mop floors
  • Wipe down doors and door knobs
  • Wash walls and baseboards
  • Dust furniture
  • Declutter
  • Install screens on windows

Kitchen:

  • Clean out fridge and shelves
  • Wipe down kitchen appliances
  • Organize pantry
  • Wipe down cabinets and drawers
  • Descale coffee maker

Living Room:

  • Spot clean furniture
  • Sweep out fireplace
  • Wash pillow covers and throw blankets

Bathrooms:

  • Wipe down counters and sinks
  • Clean mirrors
  • Pour drain
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The process of buying a home can be different based on the price range and whether a mortgage is needed. While some things are different, others are similar regardless of price, financing or local customs.

Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® surveys buyers and sellers who have purchased or sold in the previous twelve months in order to identify the process and steps taken. It provides a lot of information for the people who will be going through the process now and in the near future.

44% of all buyers looked online for properties for sale. This might be considered a logical first step to determine the prices of homes in certain areas and what features they offered.

17% of all buyers stated that their next step was to contact a

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Equity build-up could be one of the biggest advantages to buying a home. There are two distinct dynamics that take place to make this happen: each house payment applies an amount to reduce the mortgage owed and appreciation causes the value of the home to go up.

It is easy to make a projection based on the type of mortgage you get and your estimation of appreciation over the time you expect to own the home. Even conservative estimates can produce impressive results.

Let's look at an example of a home with a $270,000 mortgage at 4.5% for 30 years and a total payment of $2,047.55 payment including principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The average monthly principal reduction for the first year is $362.98. If you assume a 3% appreciation on the

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35% of respondents, in a recent annual Gallup poll that dates back to 2002, identified real estate as the best long-term investment option compared to 27% who identified stocks.

The top choices included real estate, stocks, savings accounts and gold. Even with the remarkable prices of the different U.S. stock indices recorded in 2019 through April and May, homes have the highest confidence in the minds of the respondents.

This seems to be based on the stability of the housing market and the expectation that home prices will continue to rise. Homeowners build equity from both appreciation as well as reducing principal with each payment made. These same factors exist for investors of rental homes in predominantly owner-occupied neighborhoods.

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The Internal Revenue Service considers four different types of real estate. Specific types of properties have benefits based on their classification. The determination does not depend on the property itself as much as it depends on how the property is used and what the owner's intentions are.

Principal Residence ... a principal residence is the place a person lives or expects to return if they are temporarily away from it. It could be a single family, detached home or condominium or a duplex, tri-plex or four-unit. The owner(s) can deduct the qualified mortgage interest and property taxes on the schedule A of their tax return. There is a capital gains exclusion on profit of up to $250,000 for a single taxpayer and up to $500,000 for a married

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Leverage is an investment term that describes the use of borrowed funds to control an asset; sometimes referred to as using other people's money. Borrowed funds can affect the investment in your home positively.

For instance, if you had a $100,000 rental property, collected the rents and paid the expenses and had $10,000 left, you would earn a 10% return (divide the $10,000 by the $100,000.) With no loan on the property, there is no leverage.

If you decided to get an 80% mortgage at 8%, you would owe an additional $6,400 in expenses leaving you only $3,600 net. However, your return would grow to 18% because your investment is now $20,000 in cash (divide the $3,600 by $20,000.)

Leverage, the use of borrowed funds, causes the return to increase

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Two things can happen when the mortgage rates go up before you’ve found a home or locked-in your mortgage. You’ll either pay the current mortgage rate which means a higher payment, or you’ll have to increase your down payment to keep the monthly payment at the same level.

If the rate were to go up by ½%, the payment on a $275,000 mortgage would increase by $82.87 per month for the entire 30-year term. That would increase the cost of the home by $29,835.

Some people are purchasing the maximum home that they can qualify for. In that case, they cannot qualify for a higher payment and the only way to buy the same price home is to put more money down which may not be a possibility. The other alternative is to buy a lower price home which may not be

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Square footage is commonly used to determine if a home will fit a buyer's needs. The price per square foot can be used to compare the costs of different homes and even, determine the value of a property.

The challenge is what is the source of the square footage measurement and how was it done.

County records use square footage to determine assessed value for property tax purposes. They are assumed to be reliable but there can be inaccuracies in their tax rolls. Another source of square footage could be from the house plans but the problem there is that the builder may have made modifications, or a subsequent owner could have made additions.

Appraisers are required to measure the home to determine square footage and they generally, adhere to a

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