Jackie Long & trusted Mortgage Correspondent Lender Nicole “Kiki” Williams of The Hanson Planning Group (an Affiliate of Megaster Financial) send their clients a good giggle each month with these themed, entertaining & informative postcards. Brought to you by the patience, understanding & true talent of their darling dogs, Boone, Tripp, Grizzly & Mookie.
“What will you think of next?” is a frequent question! We haven’t duplicated a theme yet. We lost two of our original quartet, Molson & Blue in 2011, and were heartbroken to say good bye to Bear in 2013. The last of the old guard left us in 2018, our darling Woody. Our current fierce foursome have been proven prodigies since very young ages! We’ve had a number of guest appearances over the years, as well. And just to clarify, YES they really are fully dressed (hats, wigs, glasses & all) and are really posing like that!
These monthly postcards will not only keep you abreast of timely real estate & mortgage issues, but they’re great fun to find in your mailbox! Which is YOUR favorite? Collect them all! Email us to join the mailing list & receive the magnetic, year-at a glance Dog Calendar!
Links to prior years are below!
Also follow us on Instagram at Gone_to_the_Dogs_Denver!
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2023 – Once Upon a Time
Don’t Let Your Homeownership Dreams Flounder!
Join Jackie & Kiki on a deep dive into real estate market conditions & discover why now is a great time to become part of the homeownership world.
It’s a buyer’s market in many Denver-Metro areas! With interest rates flooding to a 20-year high, many would-be buyers have washed ashore. This has created less competition for available homes & sellers hoping to avoid a shipwreck are open to negotiating. Now is the perfect time to use your voice & take advantage of a seller-funded, temporary interest rate buydown to alleviate the payment strain in the first few years of your mortgage. Work with an experienced & knowledgeable lender like Kiki to learn the advantages of this product & understand how a refinance will work in the future.
When borrowing costs do ease, there will be a tidal wave of fish in sea, causing a glut of demand and driving home prices even higher. That’s why holding your breath for lower interest rates doesn’t necessarily make your future options more affordable & might just make you crabby. Jackie is an expert in home values & market trends & will ensure your purchase offer has legs!
We’ll make sure your deal goes swimmingly & you won’t be underwater with your mortgage! Jackie & Kiki are your Keys to a Smart Move!
Ride Out Interest Rates in a New Home
Your homebuying future doesn’t have to be fire & brimstone! If current mortgage interest rates make your head spin, fear not: There are still advantages to buying a home NOW!
Buy High, Sell High – Home values in your search area may still be galloping upward. Why not buy now to ride out that appreciation increase? And while you may pay more for a new haunt than before, you’ll also likely make a larger profit on a home you may currently own!
Tax benefits – If you don’t own a home yet, you’re trotting past the benefits of the mortgage interest tax deduction designed to put thousands of dollars back in your saddle bags. Crunch the numbers & compare the cost of the higher interest rate to what you could get back on your tax return.
Investment value – Buying real estate is still generally the better long-term option, particularly vs renting. Real estate values, accounting for some inevitable hiccups, will keep their head & continue to rise. Even adjusted for inflation, home values today are still much higher than in decades past, making real estate one of the best long-term financial investments to chase!
Interest Rates Change – Say “whoa” to today’s rate & you may regret it if it rises tomorrow. Talk to Jackie & Kiki to help you take the reins on market specifics & your financing options so you don’t get spooked! And you can refinance when interest rates take their inevitable fall. Whether on a hill or in a hollow, lower rates also bring more buyer competition!
Jackie & Kiki will help you keep your head on straight – We’re You’re Keys to a Smart Move!
Avoid Getting Caught in a Web of Credit Mistakes
Thinking about a move? Jackie & Kiki want to ensure you don’t get slaughtered by high interest rates due to a credit score! Follow these life-saving tips to boost your score & get pre-qualified for the home of your dreams instead of put out to pasture!
Tip 1: Reduce your debt.
Kiki says many borrowers don’t know keeping credit card balances at 30% or less of their limit is the Grade A, best way to gain & maintain a great score. Credit utilization is 30% of a total score, so prioritize keeping balances low or paid off monthly. But don’t close unused credit cards or you’ll look like small potatoeswith low available credit. Reducing debt has the added benefit of lowering your debt-to-income ratio — a key factor in qualifying for a mortgage loan! You can also spin those funds toward a larger down payment to weave a better loan package!
Tip 2: Pay bills on time.
You harvest 35% of your score from payment history. Late payments can spider into a tangled web of consequences. A payment over 30 days late can bite as much as 100 points off your score. Your creditors can also charge late fees & increase interest rates on your credit cards or even cancel promotional rates. This makes it harder to pay off balances. If you’ve had late payments in the past, get current & stay current.
Tip 3: Check your credit for errors.
Review your report from all 3 credit reporting agencies & dispute false information. Checking your report is free & has no impact on your credit score or ability to bring home the bacon. Now that’s Terrific!
If you’re farming for more information about credit or home loans to break out of your pen, call Kiki today & Just Choose Jackie for our Humble help buying the perfect place to bring your chickens home to roost!
Jackie & Kiki are a Prize & Your Keys to a Smart Move!
Rate Buydowns Offer a Steal of a Deal
Today’s home buyers under pressure from rising interest rates & low inventory increasingly feel like they need to be a bandit to buy a home. It seems like a case of the haves vs the have nots: Buyers want a new home with an affordable payment while Sellers are sitting on a windfall of both consistently home values & low mortgage interest rates. Fear not, brave squires & fair maidens, Jackie & Kiki are here to help!
Consider a temporary rate buydown to shore up your coffers. It’s akin to stealing from the rich to give to the poor, but the Sheriff won’t come knocking because it’s a legal way to help home buyers reduce their monthly mortgage payment for a limited time.
There are two main types of buydowns, either a 2-1 or a 3-2-1. On a 2-1 buydown, the interest rate in year 1 of the loan is reduced by 2% and by 1% in the second year. For a 3-2-1, the rate is reduced by 3% in year 1, 2% in year 2, and 1% in year 3 of the loan. How impactful is this to payments? On a 3-2-1, for a $400,000 loan amount, the payment in year 1 is reduced by $751.55/month! $513.92 for year two and $263.01 in year 3.
This is a longer-term solution than a temporary rate buydown, as the excess funds paid at Closing to reduce the interest rate are NOT lost. Re-use those funds to pay down the loan amount when you refinance into a lower, fixed rate. This is an amazing opportunity to “Marry the house & date the rate.”
As a great tool in today’s rate environment, this makes for a merry band of home sellers & buyers. While many Sellers are already offering this incentive, a savvy Realtor like Jackie can also help her Buyers persuade a motivated Seller to provide a buydown allowance at Closing. Buyers working with a royal-caliber mortgage lender like Kiki know their buydown account will be properly structured at Closing, saving them thousands over time.
Outsmarting the Wolves of Wall Street requires the experience & skills of Jackie & Kiki: Your Keys to a Smart Move!
We Can’t Work Too Hard for Our Clients!
Jackie &Kiki aren’t Too Soft on delivering expert advice & award-winning service to clients. July is a time for celebration & we’re thrilled with this year’s achievements! Our dedication to education & perfecting the home buying, selling & home loan financing process shows & we have the nods to prove it!
Jackie boasts these Too Hot Credentials:
2011-2023 Five Star Real Estate Agent named by Denver’s 5280 Magazine – Denver’s own premier publication partnered with Five Star Professionals to identify the top 5% of real estate agents in the Denver-metro area who provide exceptional service & overall satisfaction as indicated by consumers who complete a Survey rating their experience with their agent. Less than 100 agents in the entire Denver-metro area have received this award for 13 years in a row & Jackie is one of them!
Denver Metro Association of Realtors Excellence Awards Honoree, 2015-2023 – It takes solid experience & continued referrals from happy & repeat clients to continually achieve award-winning status. That’s nine years of consistent success & dedication bringing a Breath of Fresh Air to her clients’ real estate transactions!
If home loan financing has you feeling Too Cold, Kiki will make you feel like you’ve struck Gold! As a Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator & Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP ®), she has completed over 200 hours of mortgage education & helped thousands of clients unlock their home ownership dreams!
Kiki understands the complexities of mortgage financing in both a Bear & a Bull Market, so it’s no wonder she has been a Megastar Financial Corp. President’s Club award winner for the last 12 years! Backing that up is 25 years of solid mortgage loan experience. Kiki Knows Loans!
Jackie and Kiki are Juuuuust Right! Trust Your Keys to a Smart Move!
We’ll Help You Sink Your Teeth into a Great Deal
When warning signs are flashing red that you’ve got some stiff competition, Jackie & Kiki will ensure you CAN see the forest for the trees! We’ll help you line up solid financing & submit a crafty offer to secure the home of your dreams! Join us on the road to your new home purchase so you don’t feel you’ve been thrown to the wolves, like this happy client:
“Jackie & Kiki were both referred to me by a friend in the title business who said these two are, literally, the best people to work with in the industry. I worked with Jackie as a seller a few years ago & then again, more recently, as a buyer. Both Jackie & Kiki are consummate professionals. As a buyer, they walked me through every step of the process & answered all of my many questions. Jackie is highly organized, very knowledgeable & is a pleasure to spend time with. Kiki walked me through my loan options & completed a full underwriting approval before I started looking for homes, so I felt secure that my financing was in order. I was anxious about the offer phase, but Jackie really knew her stuff & was able to make my offer stand out among 13 others, despite a modest budget. I’m still not exactly sure how it all came together! I believe this speaks directly to their perfect balance of professionalism, knowledge, warmth & friendliness. They went above & beyond to make this experience as smooth as possible. Their team approach made the process seamless & took a lot of pressure off me, knowing they were taking care of things on my behalf. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to have worked with them & have them be a part of my house story. I will recommend Jackie & Kiki to anyone who is starting the home buying process!!!” – Joanna C.
My, what amazing skills we have…All the better to represent you with! We’re your Keys to a Smart Move!
Kiki’s Home Finance Options are Sweet as Honey!
Sometimes understanding mortgage financing can feel depressed like Eeyore & saying “Oh bother!” Kiki will keep you from getting lost in the Hundred Acre Wood of mortgage financing with these special programs.
- Rental payments are now included in the credit evaluation process to help potential homeowners who previously lacked credit history. The Automated Desktop Underwriting System now recognizes all consistent, on-time rental payments.
- The HomeReady Loan Program is ideal for first-time & low-to-moderate income home buyers with a down payment as low as 3%! Interest rates & mortgage insurance premiums can also be lower. Combine this with down payment assistance programs to help with down payment & closing costs.
- Buy a home for an elderly parent or a disabled adult with the Family Opportunity Mortgage. Take advantage of lower, “owner-occupied” interest rates & down payment options. The occupant doesn’t need to be on the loan & the buyer doesn’t need to occupy the home!
- Temporary Interest Rate Buydowns reduce borrowers’ monthly payment for a limited time. Payments are reduced by a Seller’s lump-sum Closing Cost Credit into the borrowers buydown, or escrow, account. A portion of the funds are released monthly during the buydown period to lower the payment.
Call Kiki if these give you a Rumbly in Your Tumbly for a new place to call your Pooh Corner! She provides a comprehensive loan option review & an easy pre-approval process so you’re ready to pounce! Then, let Jackie put her winning contract strategies to work so your offer won’t get stuck.
Jackie & Kiki ensure home buyers remember “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem & smarter than you think!” We’re like Wise Old Owls and Your Keys to a Smart Move!
Childhood Innocence Takes Flight in a Divorce Situation
An astonishing 70% of divorces involve real estate & can be a couple’s largest asset. This difficult family transition requires more than faith, trust & pixie dust. Separating marital assets in a divorce, including the family home, can be as complicated as Captain Hook.
Jackie & Kiki are prepared for this grown-up challenge & have the professional designations & experience needed to provide clarity and peace of mind.
Jackie is certified by the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) as a Residential Real Estate Divorce specialist. She knows the family law basics to be effective when guiding clients through their sales process & is trained to maintain neutrality in common, contentious situations. She is skilled in techniques to keep the sales ship on course & prevent potential disasters. Jackie has represented numerous clients in her 20-year tenure with successful outcomes & no one feeling like a forgotten Lost Boy.
Kiki is a Certified Divorce Lending Professional. This CDLP® credential allows her to help divorcing homeowners make informed decisions regarding their home equity solutions & mortgage financing opportunities during & after the divorce. With a solid understanding of the intersection of family law, financial & tax planning, real property & mortgage planning she can work directly with the divorce team during the settlement process to identify potential conflicts in the settlement agreement & provide options.
Don’t Tinker with your future, connecting with Kiki prior to final settlement is important. Whether you are purchasing a new home or refinancing the current mortgage Kiki offers a different perspective and a better solution.
Keep your feet on the ground & dreams out of Neverland when you trust Jackie & Kiki! We’re Your Keys to a Smart Move!
Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Will Home Prices Ever Fall?
Once Upon a Time, a beautiful home buyer wanted to downsize from her castle to a small cottage in the woods. “Surely prices will drop & I can move away from the Wicked Queen,” she thought. But there is no poisoned potion creating a downward trend & waiting too long can make for a Grumpy end!
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are three reasons why the US housing market is unlikely to see Dopey price declines in 2023, including: Low home inventory, falling mortgage rates and a rise in pending home sales.
Buyers are back & looking to take a bite of the apple in a tight market. They’re not Bashful about factoring in interest rate buydowns into their purchase costs & are taking their time to find just the right home. While homes sales have been a bit Sleepy with 46 average days on market in January, they are still selling & prices are staying strong with the market continuing to favor Happy sellers.
A February NAR report showed prices for existing single-family homes in the US rose 4% year-over-year in 2022’s fourth quarter. Existing home prices increased by princely sums from the previous year in an astounding 89% of the 186 metro areas NAR surveyed.
Take if from Doc & Sneezy, Jackie & Kiki dwarf the competition to get you the best deal! From translating market trends into buying & selling strategies to finessing your financing, Jackie & Kiki are Your Keys to a Smart Move!
Home Ownership Dreams Withstand Market Fables
There has been a lot of huffing & puffing about a housing crash & predictions of a wolf at the door, but low inventory & high demand have most economists predicting values to remain steady with some growth in 2023. The Denver-Metro Association of Realtors reports a 1.8% increase in home values from December 2021 to December 2022.
If you think prices will get eaten up by a recession, think again! Historical data going back to 1980 shows home prices appreciated in four of last six recessions. Each time the economy slows, mortgage rates have dropped!
Investing in real estate is not a plan made of straw! It is the key to how Americans grow their wealth. In fact, on average, two-thirds of a person’s net worth comes from home equity. Your net worth is the total of your assets minus your debts. Home equity is the difference between your home’s market value and the amount you still owe on your mortgage & home equity hit a record high in 2022! Those gains won’t be easily blown over.
Jackie & Kiki understand the sticks & stones of your home’s asset potential & have the tools to help you protect it. Kiki can give you a rock-solid mortgage loan pre-approval and help you decide which financing options will help grow your wealth! Jackie is an expert in home values & market trends to ensure you Sell or Buy at the right price. Her skills lead you to succeed by more than just the hair of your chinny chin chin!
Count on Jackie & Kiki: We’re Your Keys to a Smart Move!
Enchanting Buying Opportunities Make for Storybook Endings!
The Metro Denver housing market ended 2022 by turning from a prince into a frog. Villainous inflation kissed low mortgage interest rates goodbye, increasing by 4% from January to October & leaving home Buyers stuck in a witch’s curse! Then the clock struck midnight on Sellers as we entered the traditionally slower holiday & winter months.
Jackie & Kiki are looking into their magic mirror & see January & February are a magical time for Buyers to become king of the castle. Interest rates are steadily dropping. There is less competition with other buyers & motivated sellers are checking their crystal ball to find ways of attracting interest. Think closing cost credits & the Seller-paid 2/1 buydown option to find your happily ever after! A 2/1 Buydown provides Seller-funded mortgage payment relief in years 1 & 2 of the mortgage loan with the ability to refinance when interest rates decrease further.
Let expert Realtor Jackie guide you through this tangled market and negotiate a princess deal. Kiki’s mortgage loan options dwarf the competition! She’s ready to help you find the best home loan for a fairy tale ending with an eye to future strategies as interest rates drop. Their combined sorcery means you can set yourself up in a new palace in ANY market!
Take a bite out of the apple now & don’t be fooled into waiting for a mythical housing crash. It’s a tale as old as time: Price decreases have slowed as tight inventory continues to prop up values, even amidst lesser demand. As spring approaches & the snow melts, demand will shoot up like a beanstalk and Sleeping Beauty will awake! Don’t get frozen out of the market!
Jackie & Kiki are your real estate & mortgage financing Fairy Godmothers & always Your Keys to a Smart Move!