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Debbie Olson
North Woods Realty, Inc
Phone: 707-218-8055

340 Highway 101 North
Crescent City, CA 95531
Email: northwoodsrealty@gmail.com
BRE# 01126988

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.

Stagetecture - Home Life Solutions

Why does your tap water suddenly look dirty?

Dirty tap water?

(A big “thank you” to Clean and Clear Water for sponsoring this post!)

Take a look at your glass before you drink the water you’ve just got from your tap. Does it look clean? It should be safe to drink, but sometimes a failure in the system will leave you holding a questionable glass of water.

An even bigger concern is when your water appears to be clean, but contains contaminants that can only be detected by testing. It’s probably always good to check with pros like those at Clean and Clear water for a filter recommendation. After all, there are several ways your water supply may be compromised.

System Maintenance Work

Perhaps the most common cause of dirty water is when the water board is completing work in your vicinity and accidentally leaves the main supply exposed. This can allow all sorts of dirt and debris into the pipes which comes out at your home.

This should be obvious if the color starts to fade after you’ve run the tap for five minutes.

Sediment

Another common problem is sediment present in water lines. This is often flakes of plastic and metal which tend to settle at the bottom of your water heater tank. Unfortunately, they can end up getting sucked into the pipes. This can cause your water to appear cloudy. It is extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to see the pieces of debris, but you will need a filter to remove them from your water.

The debris is created by the natural corrosion of the inside of your pipes and water heater. Flushing the system regularly can help to reduce corrosion buildup and extend the life of your appliances.

Change Of Water Supply

If the source of your water supply has changed then it is possible that the water will appear cloudier or dirtier than before. This should quickly pass although you may notice a taste difference in your water. (This is just one reason why it’s a good idea to have an emergency supply of clean water stored in your home.)

Chemicals

Rainwater flushes the ground, forcing any land based chemicals into the ground and then the water supply. These will include pesticides, oil from roads, and even fracking debris.

All of these elements can be washed into the water supply where they may make your water appear dirty and might just make you ill.

Dealing With Discoloration

If you find that your water has got darker it’s probably time to get your water tested. You can get a sterile cup to take a sample to a local lab or even try a home testing kit. A lab will be able to provide detailed information, including whether bacteria is present. If it is you’ll need to get a plan in place immediately to keep your water clean with a good quality filter—and to find source of the problem. It’s a good idea to also let your neighbors and local government officials know there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.

                                                     

      
 
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Will You Get Your Next Mortgage Online?

Will You Get Your Next Mortgage Online?

(A big “thank you” to habito.com for sponsoring this post!)

We are all so busy these days it’s no wonder so many of us are jumping online to pick up—or pick out—almost anything we need. Today, you can shop for almost anything online, from clothing to soulmates. If you wanted to, you could do nearly all of your shopping online. So it’s no wonder online real estate brokers have become a popular choice. But is using an online broker to purchase your home a good idea for you?

What Do Online Brokers Offer That’s Different Than Normal Brokers?

Online-only mortgage firms tend to have quirky, one-word titles, claiming to search thousands of mortgage offerings and recommend the perfect one for you. Most of the time, you will be having a conversation with a chatbot.

A report written by Guardian Money gave these online mortgage brokers a big thumbs up, stating that they’re well worth the try. A few of them offer free tools such as free mortgage and refinancing calculator to give you an idea of how much you will end up paying to get into a new home. You can also get a list of the most competitive offerings for people in your financial position.

This is an improvement from a few years ago when mortgage shoppers could visit a price comparison website and guess which deal was the best from a list of generic search results. Then, of course, there was the traditional mortgage broker—one that either charged you to research for you or gave you free advice with the hopes of getting a commission.

However, this new kind of online mortgage broker claims to employ designers, engineers, mathematicians and mortgage experts, as well as cutting-edge technology to make finding and applying for mortgages quicker and easier. Usually, these sites have a slick design to attract tech-savvy individuals. These sites get paid by the lenders whenever a borrower completes a home loan with them, just like a traditional broker.

Pros of Using an Online-Only Broker

  • Since online mortgage lenders don’t operate in the same fashion as a brick-and-mortar mortgage brokerage office, they save a lot of money on overhead. This money-saving tactic allows them to pass those savings to the lenders they work with, which in turn benefits you. In many cases, online-only brokers will save you a lot of money on closing costs.
  • Online-only mortgages carry lower fees and interest rate than brick-and-mortar brokers.
  • Filling out forms online can save you time and allows you to work on your own schedule.
  • Online-only mortgage brokers may be more flexible than in-person brokers when it comes to working with people who have lower than average credit scores.

Cons of Using an Online-Only Broker

  • Since you’re filling out forms on your own, you may make a mistake here and there, or misunderstand a question or two. This could lead to problems further on into the process—problems that could cost you lots of money. That means you need to pay attention and take full advantage of the site’s contact options such as a 1-800 number.
  • While some online-only mortgage firms are legitimate, others require consumers to pay up front for preapprovals and quotes. This is a sign that they are scams. It’s normal for there to be fees for appraisals, credit checks, among other things, but you’ll pay them when the services are received or at closing. (Something to look out for is misleading rates. This usually comes in the form of offering appealing, low prices only to claim you don’t qualify after they say they’ve checked your credit score.)

Are you on the market for a new home? We’d love to hear about the challenges and questions you’re facing in this process. Feel free to comment below!

      
 
 

Is it Time to Sell Your House?

Time to Sell?

(A big thank you to scottunderwood.com for sponsoring this post!)

Is it a good time to put your house on the market?

It’s not an easy question to answer. There are bits of conventional wisdom that you can apply, like putting up the first “for sale” sign in the spring.  However, your housing market has its own unique quirks.

Once you’re sure you want to sell your home, it’s a good idea to find the right agent. According to Scott Underwood, a real estate agent in Long Beach, a professional brings “comprehensive market knowledge, exceptional hands-on personal service and superior negotiation skills.”

Peak Selling Time

Your goal is to maximize your potential profit. That means showing your home to the highest number of potential buyers possible. Obviously, putting your home on the market when nobody’s buying or prices are uncharacteristically low is a bad idea.

Nationally, the best time to list your home is on a Saturday in the middle of May. However, there are deviations. You can look up sales statistics in your area. For instance, Zillow reports that homes in New York City sell faster when they’re put on the market at the end of April.

There are several reasons the real estate market tends to heat up in the spring: it’s easier to move during nice weather, tax refunds are lining many bank accounts, and the school year is wrapping up for kids.

You Have Equity

It’s also a good idea to estimate the value of your home. You want to make sure your home is worth more than you owe on it. A short sale is only a good deal for the buyer—and an absolute worst-case option for the home owner. Even if your home is worth more than what you owe, you’ll also want to look at what it will cost to move into your next home.

 

Figuring out how much equity you have is easy. Simply subtract your mortgage balance from your home’s value. You can contact the bank that holds your mortgage for the exact payoff amount.

You’re Ready to Move

If you hate the idea of moving, you might not be ready to move to a new property. Sometimes, the itch to sell your home is really just a desire for change. You might just be able to satisfy your family’s needs by renovating important rooms.

In addition to being emotionally ready for the move, you need to be financially prepared as well. Moving is expensive. Don’t allow yourself to be too stretched out. If you can’t afford to cover your moving costs, wait to sell your home. You’ll build equity and grow your nest egg at the same time.

You Have Cash in the Bank

You don’t want to be pressured into accepting a bad mortgage deal. You’ll morph into a homebuyer again after you sell your property. If you’re broke, it’ll affect your negotiations.

Buying a new home will be a lot easier if you’re financially secure.

You Need a Change

Perhaps your kids have gone off to start their own lives and you don’t need as much space. Don’t saddle yourself with a large, expensive home if you don’t need one.

Or maybe you’re thinking about expanding your family and you actually need more space. Life has many different stages and it’s possible that your home won’t fit neatly into any of them.

Selling a home that you’ve outgrown and paying for a property that you love in cash is the ultimate dream.

It’s a Seller’s Market

The economy is bouncing back into shape after the last recession. Across the country rent and home prices are rising. In many areas, it’s absolutely a seller’s market. That means it’s a good time to get value from your property. Buyers are willing to pay more when the market is hot.

If you’re seriously interested in selling it’s a good idea to discuss the potential value of your property with a real estate agent. Tax records and property estimates from services like Zillow often don’t accurately reflect your home’s current market value. Your home may actually be worth more than you think. At any rate, you need accurate information to make an informed decision.

Your Renovations are Complete

If you have any lingering home improvement projects, wrap them up before putting your home on the market. It’s a good idea to opt for neutral paint colors and ensure the home is in good repair. Once an offer is made and accepted on your home, it’s likely the potential buyers will have a home inspection clause. If your home isn’t in good condition, the contract may offer the buyers a chance to back out of their commitment and leave you to start over again with the selling process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      
 
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