Lynn D'Avolio
Century 21 North East | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 3/6/2018

If you are thinking of buying a home, you probably have been getting your finances for some time. First-time homebuyers need the right information to avoid making big mistakes when they purchase their homes. The leap into home ownership is a big one, and youíll want as much information with you along for the ride. Below, youíll find a crash course on mortgages for first-time homebuyers. 


Think Ahead


Every homebuyer needs to prepare ahead of time for the process to be smooth. Research different lenders in your area and see what their rates are. If you talk to your lender about your goals and what type of loans youíre looking for, youíll understand all of the costs that youíll face ahead of time. You donít want any surprises when it comes to signing a contract for a home.


Every Mortgage Is Different


Itís easy to think that all home loans are created equal, but they arenít. The diversity in types of home loans is why you need to research and meet with a lender ahead of time. Talk to your real estate agent and see who they suggest. Your agent is a useful resource because they want your entire transaction to go smoothly for everyone involved. There are many different kinds of mortgages, and you need to make sure youíre getting the loan thatís right for you. Be sure you understand the specifics of each loan before you sign on.       


What You Need In Order


Before you even head into the home buying process, there are a few things that youíll need including:


  • Cash for a downpayment
  • A budget
  • Knowledge of all of your finances
  • Where youíd like to look for a home
  • An idea of how much you can spend on a home
  • Information to get pre-approved including tax returns, proof of income, and bank statements


Once you have saved up cash for a downpayment, itís time to take a look at your budget. Can you afford a monthly mortgage payment in the price range that you hope to buy? How much money will you have left over each month? Should you adjust your expectations? 



Youíll need to save up a bit of cash before you know that youíre ready to buy a home. Itís recommended that you have at least 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down towards your loan. The more you put down, the lower your monthly payments will be on the mortgage. So saving is the next big step in securing a mortgage in the smoothest possible way.     




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 2/27/2018

When you move into a new home, perhaps one of the first things that youíll want to do is paint. Really, thereís no right way to choose a paint color. Thereís many different methods to find colors that are going to match with your rooms. When you get to the hardware store, you may end up feeling a bit overwhelmed by the hundreds of shades of each and every color that appear on swatches. You can go through many different thought processes in order to choose the color thatís right for each room in your home. 


Donít Paint First


Sometimes, the best thing to do is to paint after everything else is done. This may seem like a less-than-ideal way to approach moving into your new home, but it works. Paint can always be changed. You can use the strategy of moving into the house first. Then, youíll buy the furniture to match the room or get your existing furniture reupholstered if needed. If youíre starting from scratch, itís much more effective to put the larger pieces in and then decide on a paint color.


If You Like It, Paint it!


You really have to like a color for it to be on your walls. You can always get some sample paints and try it on your walls to see if you like the colors. Remember that all the advice in the world canít replace what you love. Youíre the one who has to live with the paint on your walls!


Study Paint Chips


 The overwhelming wall of paint chips at the local hardware store is a necessity when it comes to choosing paint colors. Those little swatches are very useful. Donít forget about the paint samples mentioned above as well. These small samples can help in really pinning down the color that you like. Remember that youíll need to ignore the messages that your brain is trying to send you when comparing a sample color to the existing color on the wall. Youíll definitely want to look at samples more than one time for you to really know how you feel about a paint color in a room.   


Donít Rush


Take time in your space and think about what colors you visualize in the space. Ask yourself, ďWhat kind of mood am I trying to create in this room?Ē Take your time when making paint color decisions. Sometimes rushing leads to poor decisions.   


Know Your Accent Colors


Understanding how your accent colors will work with certain paint colors will allow you to make a better decision about what kind of paint color to choose. Your paint color will have a relationship with your sofa, the trim, the flooring, the fixtures, the curtains, and more.  Knowing what kind of colors you have to work with from the start can help you to choose the right color to feature in the room.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 2/20/2018

We may drool over homes that we see on TV, wondering if we could ever have a home that measures up. The truth is that anyone can have the benefits of luxury living with the right adjustments made to a property. Weíll take a look at some of the most prominent features of luxury homes and how you can have them in your own home- all at a less-than-luxury price. 


Open Floor Plans


Homes with grand entryways, and elaborate architecture present as you enter tend to be a sign of luxury. However, the open floor plan is the most important part of a luxury home. This gives the feeling of open spaces, large rooms, and an airy feeling. Why wouldnít you want to feel this way? Everyone can afford to make their home a bit more open simply by removing furniture or doing some simple remodeling.


Smart Homes Rule


A sign of a luxury home thatís actually readily accessible to everyone is that of a smart home. The more technology thatís present in the home, the more luxurious a home feels. Homeowners want every piece if technology that they can get their hands on when it comes to smart living. With the touch of a button, you can lock your doors, control the alarm system, or control your homeís climate. You donít even have to be anywhere near your home to perform these operations. Installing wireless technologies is a great idea because they provide ease and a sense of security for homeowners. 


Be Environmentally Friendly 


If you decide to install some solar panels or build an addition to the home with reclaimed materials that could be very attractive to homebuyers. People are looking for ways to contribute to a better environment and save money at the same time. Environmentally friendly features in a home are very attractive to buyers. and provide a sense of luxury.


Outdoor Kitchen And Seating


An outdoor kitchen is truly a luxury item. People who are looking for a bit of luxury in their life look for a great outdoor living space. The kitchen should include a built-in grill, a sink, and a food prep area. You should also have adequate seating for this outdoor area. If youíre unable to install an entire kitchen, consider possibly installing just a built-in grill on its own. If you have the budget and the room, consider putting in a hot tub for the ultimate backyard of luxury. 


Game And Theater Rooms


If you have a room of the house that can be used as a home theater or a game room, you have a golden piece of luxury that many people crave. Separate entertainment spaces are really an item that not many homes have. If you can finish your basement and transform it into either a home theater, game room, or both, your property has a piece of luxury with it.  


If you want to sneak a peek into the lives of the rich and famous, now you can. Many prominent features of luxury homes are accessible to everyone with a bit of planning.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 2/13/2018

With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If youíre in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.

Seller concessions.

Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.

Government options for loans.

Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if youíre looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.     

There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!

Plan to Refinance

Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. Youíll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.

Throw It Everything Youíve Got

Youíll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.

For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.

If you donít have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.

Aggressive debt payoff strategies arenít for everyone. And thatís okay! However, if youíre looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing itís been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 2/6/2018

Everyone uses a slightly different set of guidelines when it comes to food safety, but some people's standards are a bit more "flexible" than others. The perfect example is the so-called "five second rule." If you're not familiar with it, that "rule" states that if you drop food on the floor (or ground) and pick it up within five seconds, then it's safe to eat!

In some cases, you can wash and safely eat food that has fallen on the floor, but it depends on the condition of the floor and what type of food you're dropping. While some mothers may jokingly say, "My kitchen floor is so clean you could eat off it," eating food that has fallen on the floor can be somewhat risky.

Although the 5-second-rule has its humorous side, food safety is a very serious subject. Making sure that perishable food is properly prepared, cooked, and refrigerated is one way to help keep your family healthy. There's also a psychological benefit to being careful with food safety: When you and your family know that your food is fresh, safely stored, and properly prepared, it helps give you peace of mind and makes mealtime more of a pleasurable experience.

Basic Food Safety Tips

One way to keep track of food freshness is to pay attention to expiration dates and other information printed on food labels. Another step involves putting your own labels on perishable foods and leftover food containers. "When in doubt, throw it out," is also a good policy to consider.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DOH) offers a number of helpful food safety guidelines to keep in mind and discuss with your family. To reduce the chances of cross-contamination and harmful bacteria growing on food, the agency recommends the following practices:

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds before preparing food
  • Wash food preparation surfaces, utensils, and cutting boards after each use
  • Wash the outsides of fruits and vegetables to help remove bacteria and other impurities
  • Promptly refrigerate food and follow recommended storage times and refrigeration temperatures
While there are a lot of safeguards to be aware of when preparing, handling, and storing food, the DOH breaks it down into four easy-to-remember categories: "clean, separate, cook, and chill." A couple related topics worth researching and keeping in mind  are minimum cooking temperatures for meat and recommended refrigerator storage times for perishable food (often three to five days).

As an afterthought, the other advantage of putting dates on your food packages and leftover containers is that you avoid wasting food by throwing it away prematurely.

Healthy food preparation and storage does involve heightened awareness and sometimes creating new habits, but preventing food poisoning and other digestive ailments in your family is well worth the effort!