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Carla Pennington, Realtor(r)'s Blog

By Carla Pennington, Realtor(R) | Agent in Georgetown, TX
  • Staging my own home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Georgetown, Design & Decor in Georgetown  |  November 5, 2012 9:26 PM  |  533 views  |  No comments
    Tomorrow should be an interesting day.  Once again, I'm enrolled in a class sponsored by our wonderful Williamson County Associatoin of Realtors®.  This one is the ASP - Accredited Staging Professional - course.

    We had a need in the course for a house to stage.  When the two that were scheduled fell through, I volunteered my own home.  Since we are always considering selling it, and giving serious consideration to selling it in the new year, I thougt this might be a good opportunity to get some valuable input.

    We'll see how it goes!  I've done the usual tidying up this eveing in preparation for tomorrow, but I've intentionally left the decor just as it is.  I'm looking forward to seeing what our class of 9 plus our training instructor has to say!

    Have you ever had your home staged?  How did it go?  Did you find it to be beneficial to the sale of your home?

    I'd love to hear your comments!
  • Homepath, Homepath Mortgage, Homepath Renovation Mortgage, FHA 203K.....

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Georgetown  |  October 2, 2012 5:35 AM  |  372 views  |  No comments
    I waded my way through the  contracts necessary to submit an offer on Homepath.com yesterday.  But before that my client had to figure out which mortgage was right for her and the property she is interested in.  It's been something of a learning curve for me as well, since I don't deal in foreclosures every day.  But I came across a very helpful listing agent, Pamela Weathers, who has answered a million questions for me over and over.  It's great to be part of a collaborative effort to help a buyer get the home she wants!

    What have I learned lately?
    Finding the button on the Homepath website to submit an offer was the most difficult part.  The rest of the online process is pretty streamlined!

    Homepath Mortgage goes on the third party financing addendum as a conventional mortgage.

    Homepath Renovation Mortgage isn't available from just any lender, and its important to work with a lender who does all of these mortgages in order to determine the best option.  My client is getting that good advice this morning in case we have to swith to that plan after the inspection.

    Another option is the FHA 203K mortgage. 

    Lenders are the appropriate source for determining the best options for my clients, but I've gained some new basic knowlege through this process.  

    Thanks, Pamela!
  • A little friendly car one-upmanship :-)

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Georgetown, Agent2Agent in Georgetown, In My Neighborhood in Georgetown  |  September 19, 2012 3:37 AM  |  503 views  |  3 comments
    Have you seen on Trulia Joe Stone's recent blog post and the picture of his cool ride, his 427 Shelby Cobra?  I wonder which ride a client would choose - his or my fully restored 1928 Model A?

    As I commented on his blog, if they're in a hurry they'd probably choose his!

    The story behind my car is pretty special.  My grandfather bought this car new in 1928.  It spent a long time in a barn at our farm in western Oklahoma, until he began the restoration of it in the late 1960's. When he hauled this rusted out mess of a car to my parent's home in Lubbock, Texas to get some work done on it, he told me he had a car for me to drive to high school (I was in 8th grade).  Not much was done then, and it went back to the barn.  I wish I had a "before" picture to show you!  

    Skipping to the end of the story, in November 2009 my dad's cousin completed the restoration in time for my dad to fully enjoy it the last couple of years of his life.  It now resides in our air conditioned workshop in Georgetown, Texas. It's living conditions have improved significantly! 

    I get a lot of pleasure out of showing it off and telling the story. 

    What about you?  What do you drive that's special?  Comment here or on Joe's blog so we can follow your story, then create a post of your own!
  • Close that account? 4 tips for managing your credit score

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Georgetown, Financing in Georgetown, Credit Score in Georgetown  |  September 17, 2012 3:33 PM  |  468 views  |  No comments
    Friends recently had their credit identity stolen.  While watching them deal with the fallout from that, it was tempting to close every credit account that we no longer use, and there were a number of them after 36 years of marriage!  Instead, we opted to enroll in an identity protection program.  In a perfect world, I admire Dave Ramsey's approach - live as though your credit score doesn't matter.  Pay cash!  

    According to some reading I've recently done, that was a wise decision not to close those accounts.  There are four major areas that impact your credit score.  How well you manage these can greatly impact your credit:

    -How much you owe compared to how much credit is available to you
    -How long you've maintained accounts in good standing
    -How many different types of credit you have
    -How well you've managed your payment history.

    Based on these four areas, here are four tips for managing your credit score:

    1.  Understand credit utilization - it sounds strange, but the amount of credit you have available versus the amount of credit you have used is a crucial piece to the credit score puzzle.

    2.  Start young to build a good credit history.  Proceed with caution, but learning to be responsible for a gasoline credit card or a secured credit card that can be paid in full every month gets you going.  When you are ready to buy that first home, you have an established pattern of responsible use of credit.

    3.  Use different types of credit responsibly - gasoline card, department store card, etc. - but if you don't think you can use them and make the payment in full, you are better off to leave them alone.  Think of things you buy anyway - gas, groceries, clothing - and consider whether you can control your spending if you are paying with a credit card.  If so, expand your types of credit.  

    4.  Manging your payment history is the single biggest factor.  When you get off track, it takes a long time to recover.  Enter that charge in your checkbook or put the cash in an envelope the minute you make it, then pay the bill when it arrives.

    There is much more than this simple summary to managing a good credit score, but these few steps will have you headed in the right direction.

    What other ideas or suggestions do you have?

  • Tree trimmers - and glorious RAIN!

    Posted Under: Curb Appeal in Georgetown, Remodel & Renovate in Georgetown, Home Ownership in Georgetown  |  September 16, 2012 3:41 AM  |  447 views  |  2 comments
    Earlier in the summer we hired some landscape renovation done.  One of the goals was to trim back our wonderful oak and pecan trees, of which there are many.  Fortunately, the landscaper I hired knew it wasn't the right time of the year to do that job.  (Note to self:  there's a reason I hire professionals to do their jobs, just like I believe there's a reason for others to hire me to do mine when they are ready to buy or sell a home!)

    So the right time finally came and the tree trimmers showed up.  Oh boy what a difference it is making!  It's like our yard has had it's bangs trimmed and we can all see the eyes of our house!  They started in the front yard, and just like a haircut, the ground is a mess, but when I look up it sure makes a difference!

    They were going great guns when the sky opened up.  We've had wonderful, much needed rain the past couple of days.  I just know when the tree trimmers can finish in the back, and we will be able to see all the way to the river behind us, there will be water in the river AND a beautiful view of it! 

    This particular home maintenance job has made me think of homes on the market.  Are they blocked from view by overgrown shrubs or trees?  Take a close look at your house or the one you have listed.  See if the curb appeal can be improved with a job like this, and let everyone enjoy the view from both outside and inside.  It's worth it!

  • How many get to do THIS in your neighborhood?

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Georgetown  |  September 16, 2012 3:28 AM  |  313 views  |  No comments
    Every day as we come and go from our neighborhood, we drive by an iron fence that always gets our attention.  Most days as we pass it someone in our car sighs "No Clyde."  But occasionally we get lucky and all yell together, "CLYDE!"  We dash home, run to the refrigerator to grab a bag of carrots, and break the speed limit to get back around the corner before he wanders away.  Who is Clyde?  Our neighborhood camel!  He has a couple of cohorts, too, but we don't know their names - a longhorn and a mule.  

    Yesterday was one of the lucky days, and the grandkids were thrilled!  What's cool in your neighborhood?
  • 1411 Grande Mesa, Georgetown, TX 78626 Buy or Lease

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Georgetown, Home Selling in Georgetown, In My Neighborhood in Georgetown  |  September 9, 2012 11:53 AM  |  419 views  |  No comments
    This is a BEAUTIFUL home just waiting for new owners!  It was a former model home for Gehan and has all the upgrades done very tastefully.  The colors are very soothing, saying "welcome home and relax" at the end of the day.  The covered back porch looks out on a yard where there's plenty of room for the dog to run and family and friends to gather.  

    Not only is it comfortable and something to be proud of, it's in a great location on the far south side of Georgetown.  If you travel to points south for work, you'll be home before you know it.  

    Available to buy at $218,500, or Lease at $1825/month.  

    There's new construction in the area, but why wait?  This one is ready!  Come take a look!
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