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Welcome to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where cities and communities like Ocean Springs, d'Iberville, Biloxi and Gulfport are setting new standards in great living! Considered the "Playground of the South" these communities mix a fine blend of white sand beaches, stunning natural fauna and warm temperatures with fantastic cultural amenities and exciting residential opportunities to create a lifestyle like no other.

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Five Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender

Five Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender

Five Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender

Five Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender
By Albert Allegue, CRB, CRS

Buying a home is the largest purchase many consumers will ever make, and many will turn to a lender for financing. But finding a lender you click with can be a challenge, especially if you wait until the last minute. I have prepared Five Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender.

Buyers should start talking to lenders early in the process — before you fall in love with a home — and compare several quotes. The best way to shop for a lender with the best terms is by asking to see their Good Faith Estimate. A Good Faith Estimate is a government required form given to a prospective mortgage client reflecting how much it would cost to borrow money from that lender. Should you not know how much it would cost you to borrow a mortgage for your home? You should. Then compare lenders based on their cost to borrow the money. Otherwise, you could end up choosing a lender based on convenience and realize you may have issues with your credit.

Avoid buyer’s remorse
21% of home buyers reported buyer’s remorse over their lender, according to a recent J.D. Power study. And among first-time home buyers, that rose to 27 percent. Dissatisfied respondents cited a lack of communication, unmet promises, and feeling pressured to select a specific mortgage product.

Find the right lender
It is important to find a lender or broker who communicates well with you, and in a manner you’re comfortable with. This applies whether you’re meeting face-to-face with a lender, or working online and over the phone. Does the lender explain things well? Are they willing to spend the time? Or do they seem rushed and irritated?

To test the waters, I suggests asking these five open-ended questions:

  1. Is this the right time for me to buy?
    The lender’s answer will depend on your circumstances — such as your debt-to-income ratio, how much you plan to put down, and other factors. What’s important is that they explain your situation in a way you understand.

  1. What personal debts — like credit cards — should I pay down before closing? And how soon do I need to do that to qualify for a good rate?
    Lenders should explain what they’re looking for in your credit history and how you might improve your credit score. According to credit reporting agency Experian, on a scale ranging from 300-850, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good. A score of 800 or above is considered excellent. If you aren’t sure what to expect, you can order your free credit report online.

  1. Should I pay points to lower my interest rate?
    Your interest rate may be paired with mortgage discount points. One discount point typically amounts to 1 percent of the loan amount. So one point on a $250,000 mortgage would equal $2,500. A lender should explain the options. “The longer you plan on living in your home, the more sense it may make to pay points,” advises the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 
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  1. How much will I need to pay at closing? Do I pay by check, wire transfer, or bank check?
    Make sure you really understand how the money will be transferred when the deal closes. There’s been an uptick in scammers swiping the buyer’s closing funds during electronic transfers, according to the Federal Trade Commission
    .

  1. Who will service my loan?
    A servicer is the company that collects your mortgage payments and deals with late or missed payments. Some lenders service their own mortgages or outsource servicing. Others might sell the mortgage. While you have no say on who services your loan, this question gives lenders the opportunity to talk about the scope of their business and commitment to you.

Buying a home is an exciting time — finding a lender shouldn’t ruin the experience for you. Take it slow, ask the right questions, and you’re sure to find a great fit.

The best advice I can give you, is to rely on the expertise and experience of your real estate professional who daily works with lenders. We know who returns calls, and who doesn’t, who will personally work with you, and who will treat you like just another number.

For a list of our approved lenders, contact our team at alndee@alndee.com or (228) 374-0002. You can also visit our web site at www.alndee.com for our Preferred Service Providers.

 

Is Now Still a Good Time to Buy a Home?

Is Now Still a Good Time to Buy a Home?

With interest rates on the rise after the Federal Reserve boosted rates in December – and more increases likely on the horizon – is now still a good time to buy a home?

“In terms of the rate, yes,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for the national real estate brokerage Redfin. Since the presidential election in November, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has risen from 3.68 percent to 4.2 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s most recent weekly mortgage survey. “That’s so low relative to historical averages.”

Is Now A Good Time to Buy a Home?

Is Now A Good Time to Buy a Home?

Homebuyers leery of rising rates might need some perspective. Interest rates have been mostly below 5 percent since late 2009. The idea of paying 12 percent interest on a home mortgage sounds preposterous, but rates were above 7 percent most of the time from 1971 to 2001, rising to 18.16 in October 1981, according to Freddie Mac. Rates did not dip regularly below 6 percent until 2008.

“We’re dealing with a whole generation of homebuyers who’ve never seen a rate above 5 percent,” Richardson says.

Analysts expect rates to rise this year, but probably not by more than one-half to three-quarters of a percent, which means rates are predicted to stay below 5 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan.

“I do think that rates will be more volatile,” Richardson says. But, “when I say volatility, I don’t mean huge swings.”

That means that a home mortgage will still be a good deal for most homebuyers this year.

One reason rates remain low is because the Federal Reserve has been buying significant amounts of mortgage-backed securities since 2009, and that’s likely to continue. “When they stop, obviously interest rates have to go up,” says Casey Fleming, author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage” and a mortgage professional in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Fed also has said it plans to raise the federal funds rate – the rate at which banks loan to each other – several times in 2017. But that in itself does not raise mortgage rates, though it does affect the overall economy.

What could cause a significant change in mortgage rates is a big unforeseen event such as a major shift in U.S. economic policy, a terrorist attack or an international crisis.

“Any unexpected disruption in the market will cause rates to jump,” Rodriguez says. “There are always factors beyond the normal economic indicators.”

A small change in rates often means a small change in mortgage payments. For a $200,000 mortgage with a 30-year fixed rate at 4 percent interest, the monthly payment would be $954.83. At 4.5 percent, the payment goes to $1,013.37, and at 5 percent you would pay $1,073.64. Just for comparison’s sake, at 12 percent, the payment would jump to $2,057.23.

The effect of higher rates is often felt most by those who are stretching their budgets to buy or those who have other debt and are struggling to qualify for a loan. Rising home prices could have a greater impact. The median home sale price rose 5.5 percent last year, and Redfin predicts a 5.3 percent increase in home prices this year.

“The problem for first-time buyers: It’s not just the rates, it’s the rate plus the price increases,” Richardson says. “It’s the combination of the two that’s the problem.”

Fleming advises homebuyers to consider paying points upfront to get a lower rate. Essentially, you are paying cash to buy down the interest rate to a lower point. But the payment amount is not the only number of importance. The other key number is how much principal you will have paid down by the time you sell.

“The lower the interest rate, the more of your money that goes to principal,” Fleming says. “The question to ask is, what is the upfront cost [for points] vs. the interest cost?”

“The easiest way to get your interest rate down if interest rates are rising is to pay points,” he adds. “If you have the cash, this is the best thing you can possibly do is pay points and get that interest rate down.”

No one has a crystal ball, but the chances are that 2017’s mortgage rates will be lower than future rates. “Eventually rates are going to go up,” Rodriguez says. “When is eventually? No one has any idea.”

Here are five factors that can have more impact on your mortgage payment than interest rates

Credit score. How good is your credit? Those with higher scores get better rates, and you need a score of at least 740 to get the best rates from most lenders. If you are not at that level, you may want to start making improvements to boost your credit score.

Down payment. You don’t need to put 20 percent down to buy a home, but if you do, you won’t have the private mortgage insurance, which protects the lender if you default. That can add $30 to $70 for every $100,000 borrowed to your monthly payment. Some lenders offer 80/10/10 piggyback loans, which allows you to get an 80 percent firs mortgage and a 10 percent second mortgage, with no PMI required. Then you would pay 10 percent down.

Points. You can pay cash upfront, called points, to lower your mortgage rates. It’s important to do the math for your situation to determine whether that makes financial sense, but it can for many homebuyers.

Closing costs. Not all lenders and not all closing agents charge the same amount. Shop around for the best deal on closing costs. many fees are negotiable, and they can vary significantly.

Home price. A more expensive home obviously means a bigger payment. One of the simplest way to lower your monthly payments is to choose a less expensive home, even if it means giving up some of the amenities you want.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

For help finding the right mortgage lender and our FREE report, “Buying a Home”, contact The Al & Dee Real Estate Group at (228) 374-0002 of by email at alndee@alndee.com

Mississippi Gulf Coast Real Estate Market Pulse for March 2017

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Mississippi Gulf Coast Real Estate Market Pulse for March 2017

By Albert Allegue, CRB, CRS
Broker/Owner

Are we in a Seller’s Market or a Buyer’s Market? Understand that a Buyer’s Market is when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers. Subsequently, a Seller’s Market is when there are more home buyers than there are homes for sale. As you can see in the charts below, we continue to experience a BUYER’S MARKET.

Ocean Spring March Graphs

In Ocean Springs the inventory of homes continues to be more than there are buyers, but we see a smaller inventory than October 2016. As predicted in November 2016, December and January continued to be the best month to sell a home as the inventory drops and more homes are sold. The average sales price did jump a bit in February 2017 when compared to the last six months. However, homes stayed on the market for sale longer than the previous six months.

 

Biloxi Market Graph March 2017

In Biloxi sale of homes declined since Oct 2016 while the inventory of homes remain about the same. The same holds true for the Average Sales Price taking a drop in January of this year but raising back to the average price of about $175,000. Good news is that homes sell faster at an average of about 80 days.

Gulfport Market Graph March 2017

Gulfport real estate market continues to remain steady even though there was a reduction in the inventory of about 70 homes since Oct 2016. Average Sales Price maintain their average of about $122,000 and homes stay on the market for sale for about 100 days.

d'Iberville Market Graph March 2017

Although d’Iberville stayed steady in homes inventory, there continues to be a noticeable decrease in sales since January of this year to the lowest yet in February. But the good news is that the Average Sales Price of the homes sold increased to a new high of $228,040, but they stayed on the market an average of 160 days. Off all the cities tracked in this report, homes in d’Iberville stayed on the market longest.

(Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service, Feb 26, 2017)

Ready to buy a home? Start your search here.

Ready to sell your home? Visit our Seller’s Page for more information

 

Rent growth for lower-priced rental homes continues strong.

Rents on lower-priced rental homes, between $700 and $1,000 a month, increased by 5.4 percent, up from 5 percent in October 2015, while rents on higher-priced rental homes increased 2.5 percent, down from 3.4 percent in October 2015. In contrast, new construction tends to be high-end units, and the additional supply has caused rent growth for higher-priced rental homes to moderate.

(https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/compsusintenta.pdf)

 Ready to rent a home? Contact us

Appraisal-related loan denials are below the national average

In a November 2016 CoreLogic report, appraisal related home denials in Mississippi were 7.8 percent as compared to the average U.S. of 11.3 percent. In view of its underlying sales comparison approach, the quality and accuracy of home appraisals can only be as good as the availability and quality of the comparable transactions used for the appraisal. Although the availability of a pool of similar homes sold is important, other factors, such as local market sales activity, market distress, whether the appraisal is an REO or short sale property, or whether it is a higher – or lower-priced property – influence the appraisal quality. Of course, let’s not forget that the experience of the appraiser is just as important.

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, d’Iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

6 Things Smart Home Owners Do in March

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6 Things Smart Home Owners Do in March.

Monthly and seasonal maintenance not only helps to keep your home running smoothly they also help to protect your investments and avoid costly repairs. Below you will find 6 Things Smart Home Owners Do in March.

 

1. March 10th Daylight Savings time begins.

Remember to replace batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors.

 

2. Tune-up your air conditioner.

Last year we broke 80 degrees in March and by April 16th it was a balmy 88 degrees. Why wait? Need a great HVAC company? Call us for a referrals.

 

3. Change your filter in your heating system.

Thirty days is the longest you should wait, especially during peak usage months.

 

4. Check the contents of your medicine cabinet.

They will have expiration dates, but since most of them are relatively low in cost, it is advisable to replace any expired meds. Any medicines you have that you no longer use, donate them to the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy in Biloxi. Tell them Al & Dee sent you.

 

5. Clean the refrigerator

Clean the refrigerator inside and out, with mild detergent. Remove all trays and shelves. Make sure to allow everything to dry thoroughly before replacing them.

 

6. Plant indoor seeds now.

Now it’s the perfect time to plant seeds in small containers and keep them inside the home or in a sun room. They will be ready to enjoy in Spring.

 

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, d’Iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at (228) 374-0002.

Do you believe in the 13th?

Do you believe in 13th? Do you believe in the 13th?

Do you believe in the 13th?

As many apartment dwellers know, most buildings skip the 13th (and sometimes fourth and 44th!) floor. In fact, a whopping 80% of high rises omit the unlucky ordinal just on tradition alone. But for those of us who live closer to the ground, there’s plenty of bad omens lingering around at home. Do you believe in the 13th?

Most superstitions are hundreds of years old, stemming from the human instinct to attribute reasoning to the inexplicable. But even if it seems silly, these unfounded fears have positive side effects. Research has found that people who truly believe in superstitions can often perform better at certain tasks and experience less stress.

So for the believers (and non-believers) out there, this is what you need to avoid for good karma.

1. Mirrors can steal your soul. 

Most people have heard that a broken mirror brings seven years of bad luck, but intact reflectors are also ominous — just think of ill-fated characters like Snow White, Narcissus, and Dracula.

The legend goes that the glass can steal your soul. In fact, Victorians traditionally covered mirrors when someone died, in case the deceased’s spirit gets trapped inside.

Mirror can steal your soul

2. Evil ghosts sit in your rocking chair. 

New mothers and porch sitters take note: the Irish have long believed that rocking an empty chair invites dark forces to come sit in it. If the chair moves of its own accord, that’s even worse — the malicious spirit has already settled in it, and may bring death to the family.

3. Pick a door and stick with it – or else

According to folklore from the Pacific Northwest, it’s bad luck for you and your family to leave the house through a different door than the one used to enter it.

4. You can wake up on the wrong side of the bed. 

The saying goes that you should get out on the same side you got in or it’ll be a bad day. As for the following night, make the bed if you want to sleep well, according to an American proverb.

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed

5 Open umbrellas insult your home’s guardian spirits.

Opening a parasol indoors might bring metaphorical rain. Eighteenth century lore says that an umbrella protects against the storms of life, so opening one inside insults a home’s metaphysical protectors. Of course, the practical side of this precaution is not poking anybody’s eye out.

6. Don’t sweep away good luck

There’s enough broom traditions to fill the entire closet, but most concur that cleaning a new home with an old broom is bad news. Either buy a new one or sweep something into the new residence first to avoid brushing away good luck.

7. Ladders have a hidden religious significance

Christianity could be behind the hesitation to walk under ladders. The idea is that a ladder leaning against a wall creates a triangle, similar to Holy Trinity. Breaking the triangle would be blasphemous – or dangerous, as anyone who’s stood on a high perch can attest.

8. Shoes on the table could lead to death

Old mining traditions are likely behind this superstition. You see, when a miner died in a colliery accident, his shoes were placed on the table as a sign of respect. Therefore, doing so when you aren’t dead was seen as tempting fate.

9. Fix any broken clocks – before they signal doom.

The grimmest prediction of all is that if a broken clock suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family. In fact, a 19th century American preacher recorded multiple instances of these predictive rings

10. Keep your bedroom windows shut on Nov. 1. 

In Spain, people always keep their bedroom windows shut on November 1, because it is believed that the souls of the dead roam free that day, and can enter your home through windows.

Keep your your bedroom windows shut on Nov. 1

11. Bells scare away hardships. 

Both wedding bells and jingle bells bring smiles to peoples’ faces, but an echoing gong can also prevent misfortune. Celtic cultures believes that ringing a bell frightens evil spirits away.

12. Blue porches ward off ghosts. 

Since Southern culture used to believe ghosts couldn’t cross water, plantation homes thought if they painted their porch blue, it would confuse these spirits so they wouldn’t enter their home.

13. Acorns will protect your home from lightning. 

Norse superstition claims all you have to do is put one of these nuts on your windowsill to prevent your home from being struck by lightning. In fact, that’s where window blind pulls with acorns first originated.

14. Hang fennel over your door to avoid witches.

It is believe that if you hang fennel over your front door, or stuff it in your keyhole, you’ll keep witches away from your home.

15. And of course, knock on wood. 

For those bold enough to check out their lipstick in the mirror or leave through the side door (namely, all of us), it’s easy to ward off any bad karma – just knock on wood. Cultures from across the world (from Ireland to India!) have long idolized trees, and people often lay hands on them to ask for favors or show gratitude.

Source: Housebeautiful.com

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at (228) 374-0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, d’Iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

 

Six Things Smart Home Owners Do in February

Six Things Smart Home Owners Do in February

Six Things Smart Home Owners Do in February

 

6 Things Smart Home Owners Do in February

Conducting routine maintenance at home is sure to save you hundreds. We recommend 6 Things Smart Home Owners do in February.

1 Maintain the Water Heater

Your water heater is one of the most important parts of your home. It is the power behind hot showers, fresh laundry and clean dishes, so there would be some big issues if it were ever to break down. The average water heater lifespan is about 11 years, but without proper maintenance it might not make it that long. Here’s what you can do to keep it ticking for at least 11 years:

   – Check the temperature: Some manufacturers set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit by default, which is hotter than most households really need. A recommended setting for water heater maintenance is 120 F, which prevents tank damage and helps you save big on losses of standby and demand heat.

   – Drain the tank regularly: It is a good idea to flush out about one-quarter of the tank in your water heater. You can do this easily by turning off the cold water supply, hooking up a garden hose to the drain valve and then running the water until it looks clear. Draining will help clear away sediment and preserve the heating efficiency of the water heater.

   – Test the pressure relief valve: A working pressure relief valve should release a burst of hot water into the drainpipe after you raise and then lower the test lever.

2 Check your toilet

A leaky toilet that’s constantly running can waste as much as 200 gallons of water in a single day. That could rack up to more than 6,000 gallons a month, which can also result in an incredibly high water bill.

   – Check the water level: In order to determine if you have a leak, pour a couple of cups of coffee into the water tank. Come back in 30 minutes and check the toilet bowl. If the water color is not clear, you have a leak.

   – Check the flapper: The flapper mechanism inside the tank could be improperly sealed, causing the leak. Check around the edges of the flapper to make certain is not gummy to the touch and deteriorating.

3  Clean Range Hood Filter and Fan

A range hood, or the vent fan on an over the range microwave, needs to be cleaned regularly to remove any built-up grease. Clean with a citrus-based cleaner instead toxic or harsh chemicals that may fall into your food.

4 Check the charge on your fire extinguisher

They will have expiration dates, but since they are relatively low in cost, it is advisable to replace any questionable extinguishers in your home and garage.

5 Clean your pantry.

Take everything out, wipe down the shelves and check the expiration dates.  If you find something you no longer want or will not use before the expiration date, make sure to donate them to your local food bank or church.

6 Check the door seals on your refrigerator.

Close the door on a dollar bill and attempt to pull it out while the door is closed.  If the bill slides out easily, it is time to replace the seals.

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, d’Iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

PCSing Military Homeowners Get New Short Sale Protections

PCSing Military Homeowners Get New Short Sale Protections

PCSing Military Homeowners Get New Short Sale Protections

PCSing Military Homeowners Get New Short Sale Protections

Prior to the Federal House Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement of Short Sale Assistance in June 2012, borrowers forced to move as a result of military Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders had to be delinquent to qualify for a short sale.

With a “Short Sale” a borrower wants to sell a home but the value of the property is less than the remaining mortgage balance, thus a borrower wants to sell “short” of what is owed. In theory the borrower could sell the home and bring the unpaid mortgage balance to closing in the form of cash to settle the debt. But in reality, most households do not have such cash; instead they find a buyer for the property and ask the lender to settle the debt for the current market value of the home and not the outstanding loan balance.

Lenders are opposed to short sales because such arrangements require they take a loss on the transaction. To avoid excess losses lenders want to be sure that no better solution is available before they will allow a short sale. In many cases they will only consider a short sale if the borrower is delinquent.

No Forced Delinquency

The catch is that the borrower may not be delinquent. The borrower may well have the ability to continue monthly payments. However, the property has lost so much equity that it cannot be sold for enough to pay off the debt to the lender.

Too often the delinquency requirement simply forces military owners who have the ability to pay their mortgage to skip one or more payments and thus ruin their credit as a condition of getting a short sale. Of course, once a payment has been missed the lender is not obligated to accept a short sale offer and try to foreclose on the property.

According to FHFA policy, lenders and loan servicers cannot tell military homeowners with PCS orders who are current on their loans “to intentionally skip making payments in order to create the appearance that they are having financial difficulties in order to obtain assistance for which they would not otherwise qualify.”

SCRA Protections

In other words, a lender cannot tell military borrowers that a short sale will be considered only if monthly mortgage payments are missed when the borrower has the ability to make such payments.

The rule also says that lenders cannot ask military homeowners with PCS orders to waive their rights under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) or any other law before they will provide loan option information or evaluate the homeowner’s eligibility for assistance.

“Short” sales are not uncommon but difficult to maneuver throughout the paperwork required by many lenders. Our real estate team have certified short sale specialists that can make the process of selling your home easier and at no cost. Remember, it doesn’t cost you a cent to complete a “Short Sale”.

If you are an active duty military member and have received orders to PCS, please contact us and we’ll complete a no-cost Market Evaluation of the current value of your property. We’ll also provide you with options such as rental management, sale or a sale using the “Short Sale” system.

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, D’iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

Six Things Smart Homeowners Do In January

Six Things Smart Homeowners Do In January Six Things Smart Homeowners Do In January

Six Things Smart Homeowners Do In January

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do these tasks in January and you’ll save a bundle in emergency services and aggravation.

  1. Inspect the attic for leaks during a rain storm specially this weekend when we are having such a down pour. Unrepaired roof leaks damages the insulation and can be a source of mold growth, which is harmful to your health.
  2. Replace HVAC filters this month. This keeps air in the home healthy and you system running efficiently because they are not clogged with debris or dust. At a minimum you should replace filters every month.
  3. Inspect automatic garage door safety shutoff. Test that the safety features of your automatic-opening garage door are still in good shape. While you are doing that grease the rollers and the track for an efficient opening and closing.
  4. Trim shrubs around air-conditioning units. Shrubs often grow around the A/C unit which blocks free air flow. Anything in from of the A/C unit will cause the unit to work harder and can cause damage.
  5. Clean your refrigerator grill. The top and bottom of your refrigerator has a grill that you can detach to get access to the compressor and cooling coils. Dust builds up over time which can burn out the refrigerator.
  6. Clean the garbage disposal by pouring half cup of baking soda and a cup of white wine vinegar. After a few minutes pour some boiling hot water down. Next, fill the drain with some ice cubes, and add a cup of salt, which helps remove debris. Finally add lemon halves to the disposal and keep the water running and the garbage disposal on.

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, D’iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

 

Winter Care for Southern Lawns

Winter care for Southern Lawns Winter Care for Southern Lawns

Winter Care for Southern Lawns

In the South, there are two lawn care seasons: summer and winter. The type of care that your lawn receives depends on the type of grass you have and whether you plan on over seeding it.

Over seeding is the practice of sowing an annual cool-season grass, like annual ryegrass, over the dormant warm-season turf commonly found in the South. This helps gives lawns a green appearance all year long and maintains its health, so you can have a green lawn all year-round.

Preparing Lawns for Southern Winters

To prepare your lawn for the winter, you must complete the second fertilizing cycle, usually around September or October. Then, over seed with annual ryegrass and apply a pre-emergent herbicide one month later. This helps prevent weeds from growing and taking over your lawn during the winter.

Cut back on your watering schedule to about half. If your lawn is dormant and hasn’t been over seeded, do not water, as it will do nothing for the grass. Also, do not apply any herbicides, as they will have little to no effect in defending your grass against weeds.

Over Seeding Winter Lawns

Over seeding works best on finely-textured warm season grass, such as Bermuda, zoysia, and centipede. Cool season grasses, such as St. Augustine, are sometimes mixed with warm season grass seeds to help protect it during the winter. However, they do not work as well with over seeding.

Start by mowing the grass down to low levels, but without scalping it. Use a rotary spreader to spread the grass seeds and water it three times a day for 5 minutes each until it has started to sprout. Then, switch to watering once a day for the first three weeks. After three weeks, move on to watering only twice a week.

Do not apply any pre-emergent herbicides until at least one month after the new grass seeds have been planted. Doing this may prevent the grass from rooting firmly in the soil while doing nothing to prevent weeds from sprouting.

Other Winter Lawn Care Tips

Keep in mind that the brown color of warm season grass in the winter is not an indication that it is dead; it has simply gone dormant and will turn green once the temperatures are warm enough again.

If you’re experiencing a dry, warm winter, run the irrigation system once a week to keep the grass from dying. While it may prevent it from turning brown, you can take advantage of the warm temperatures to keep it alive.

Also, stay off the grass as much as possible. Because it’s not growing, it can’t recover from foot traffic damage as easily.

Keep an eye out for weeds and make sure to dig up large ones, especially those with taproot. Spot-spray the area with an herbicide so that it is prevented from sprouting again. This should be done on a dry and warm day when temperatures are over 60°F.

For taller weeds, mow it down periodically using a reel mower. Otherwise, no mowing should be done to lawns during winters in the South. With any luck, your Southern lawn will survive the winter and thrive once again when spring comes around.

The Al & Dee Real Estate Team can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at alndee@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, D’iberville, Mississippi 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit their web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

Don’t Get Blindsided in 2017

Don’t Get Blindsided in 2017

Don’t Get Blindsided in 2017

Don’t Get Blindsided in 2017. A surprising twist toward the end of 2016 with the election of real estate magnate Donald Trump as president is likely to presage some dramatic changes in 2017 for the housing industry, which saw healthy increases in values this year, thanks to factors including low interest rates, lower gas prices, stronger wage growth and millennials getting off the fence and entering the market.

Still, as demonstrated by the Nov. 8 presidential election, anything can happen. Here are five things to watch for in real estate in 2017 — don’t get blindsided

ATTACK OF THE DRONES

Commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration and the use of drones by the real estate industry is likely to expand dramatically. If you have a property to sell with more than an acre of land or a unique perspective, then use a drone.

TEAM VERSUS SOLO AGENTS

As new real estate Millenniums enter the real estate profession, the creation of teams will increase. When interviewing for a listing, a home seller will pick a team versus a solo agent that has to do everything. Consider joining or forming a real estate team to have the advantage.

FORGET THE STARTER HOME, MILLENIUMS WANT TO MOVE-UP PROPERTY

More millennials – those born between 1980 and the late 1990 are expected to buy a first home in 2017. They saved enough money to go with something more than a condo unit or a starter home. Remember that in 2016, 17% of buyers under 35 were able to save enough for a down payment for a home within a year. Expect these numbers to increase.

TRUMP’S SHOCKING WIN COULD CHANGE REAL ESTATE

We don’t believe that there will be any significant change in interest rates, at least in the next term, since Trump’s underlying fundamentals is to grow the US economy and home ownership. He seems committed to bringing regulatory relief especially to the financial services industry, which should make more credit available to average home buyers who have been locked out of the market.

START THINKING ABOUT GENERATION Z

It won’t be long before Gen Z reaches the market. They’re teenagers now, Generation Z is almost reaching their 18th birthday in 2017. This generation is different and came of age in the midst of recession, war, terrorism and a stock-market collapse, and was burned by the housing downturn and crushing student-loan burdens,

Gen Z will come of age with low interest rates, better job prospects and higher wages to help cushion the high cost of college education.

The Al & Dee Real Estate Group can be reached at 228.374.0002 or via email at marketing@alndee.com. They are located at 10311 Boney Avenue, Suite B, D’iberville, MS 39540. To see the latest real estate listings and properties soon to be listed, visit our web site at www.alndee.com. Questions about this article, contact Al Allegue at al@alndee.com. Thinking about selling your home? Contact Dee at dee@alndee.com or directly at 228.374.0002.

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