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Lisa Salinas-gruver's Blog

By Lisa Salinas-Gruver | Agent in Austin, TX
  • Great Outdoor ideas for those small spaces!!

    Posted Under: General Area in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, In My Neighborhood in Austin  |  July 3, 2014 10:04 AM  |  92 views  |  No comments

    Can You Squeeze an Outdoor Retreat onto a Small Lot?

    By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

    Builders increasingly are squeezing large, luxurious homes on smaller lots, at a time when home owners and home buyers say they crave outdoor retreats.

    While buyers say they want outdoor space, they also are motivated by the perk of less lawn maintenance, which smaller lots offer. Also, settling for a smaller lot size may mean more space that can be dedicated to the inside of a home or getting a new home in an urban or historic area.

    Whatever the reason, home owners are finding they can still make use of their small lot size and carve out plenty of luxury for dining, relaxing, or creating an oasis.

    1. Peaceful dining space

    2. Squeezing in a pool.

    3. Lounging spot.

    4. Perfect for entertaining

    5. Growing space

    6. Kid-friendly

    7. Back seat perspective

    I love all these outdoor spaces!!

  • Did you know there is FREE Grant money for your home down payment in the Austin, Texas area?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin, In My Neighborhood in Austin  |  June 19, 2014 4:35 PM  |  189 views  |  No comments
    Hands passing model houseDo you or someone you know want to buy a home, but have no money for a downpayment? Effective October 2012, Texas area programs announced the release of $600 million in homebuyer assistance funds for first time homebuyers available on a first come, first served basis.  Prices have increased 10% a year every year for the last two years. Ten percent does not sound like a lot, but when you are looking at a sales price of $200K one year, and that changes to $240k the next, that is a serious amount of money and effects your buying power immensely. 

    Are you wondering how the program works? The programs is fairly simple.

    1. Contact your agent and ask them for a lender who is qualified to do this program.
        If you don't have an agent feel free to call me. I have a list of lenders who
        are qualified to handle the bond programs.
    2. After you speak to the lender, he will qualify you with a few simple questions and ask for   
        certain documentation.
    3. You must take a home buyers class.
    4. Go shopping for a home!!

    Call me or email me for more information! 512-423-5781 or lisalegendsrealtor@gmail.com

  • Will you be ready for a Tornado?

    Posted Under: General Area in Austin, Property Q&A in Austin, Home Insurance in Austin  |  June 16, 2014 11:59 AM  |  207 views  |  No comments

    Will You Be Ready?

    Be prepared. These tips from real estate professionals who have been through natural disasters will help you protect your family and your business.
    March 2014 | By Erica Christoffer

    Lindsey Lawver, an associate with Pro 100, REALTORS®, in Joplin had just gotten home from the hospital with her new baby girl on May 22, 2011. “We’re used to tornado sirens in this part of the world, but something felt different,” she says. She and her family fled to her husband’s parents’ house, which had a basement. They hunkered down just in time. Both her home and her in-laws’ home were destroyed. “It looked like a bomb had gone off. It was unbelievable,” she says.

    Although her office wasn’t damaged, Lawver was fortunate to have taken steps to protect her family and her business well in advance of the tornado. Here are tips from Lawver and others to help real estate professionals be prepared for any weather-related emergency.

    • If you don’t have a basement, install or identify a nearby in-ground storm shelter. When you hear sirens, take shelter immediately.
    • Register your storm shelter with your local fire department, so if you’re stuck under debris, rescue workers know to look for you.
    • Use a fireproof safe and keep it in a closet in your home or office. Label your safe with your name and phone number in case it is carried away by a storm. That will improve the odds of it being recovered.
    • Back up all of your important documents, both work and personal, in a cloud storage account. Keep hard copies in your safe, including financial records, insurance documents, passports, and irreplaceable keepsakes.
    • Establish a plan with family members to meet somewhere following a disaster if cell phones don’t work.
    • Recommend to home owners that they take an inventory of their personal belongings with photos and videos and save receipts. Dallas Hancock, with the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® in Illinois, recommends using Knowyourstuff.org, a resource from the Insurance Information Institute where you can document assets and belongings, which will make filing an insurance claim after a disaster or burglary a lot easier.
    • Cancel any credit cards that are lost in a storm, fire, or burglary as soon as possible.  Also contact utility companies and cable and Internet providers to cancel service.
  • Porque necesitas un agente de bienes raices en la area de Austin?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Austin, Property Q&A in Austin  |  June 9, 2014 2:52 PM  |  208 views  |  No comments
    Cuando busque un agente inmobiliario que le ayude, sepa que los buenos agentes ponen a sus clientes en primer lugar ante todo. Este es su sueño y su agente es su colaborador para ayudarle a hacer realidad este sueño. Un agente puede ayudarte con:

    • Le enseñará sobre las condiciones actuales del mercado.
    • Buscar casas en el lugar donde usted desea
    • Analizará lo que usted desea y necesita en su nueva casa.
    • Coordinará el trabajo de los demás profesionales que sean necesarios a lo largo del proceso.
    • Negociar con el vendedor en su nombre.
    • Y mucho mas….



                 Llame a Lisa-512-423-5781

    • How to get your VA loan!!

      Posted Under: Home Buying in Austin, Financing in Austin, In My Neighborhood in Austin  |  June 9, 2014 10:26 AM  |  275 views  |  No comments

      How VA Loans Work, and How to Get One

      162662771The VA’s home loan program, for which millions of military veterans are eligible, gets participants into homes that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to purchase.

      The program doesn’t offer the loan itself, rather, the Department of Veterans Affairs acts as an insurer, guaranteeing the loan should the homeowner default.

      Who Qualifies

      To qualify for a VA-backed loan, veterans need to get a certificate of eligibility proving they meet one of the following requirements:

      • Ninety consecutive days of service during wartime (as defined by the VA) or 181 days during peacetime.
      • National Guard member or reservist who served six years.
      • Wounded in service, even if they served less than the specified time.
      • Widows or widowers of those who died in action or from injuries suffered while on duty.

      How It Works 

      The VA backing allows buyers to purchase a home with no down payment and without having to buy private mortgage insurance.

      Compare that to an FHA loan, another government-backed mortgage which can require as little as 3.5% down but can also require mortgage insurance premiums costing a couple hundred dollars a month in payments.

      The program is self-funded through a fee paid when the loan is closed, a fee that can also be wrapped into loan payments, said Chris Birk, author of “The Book on VA Loans. Veterans disabled during their service can waive the fee.

      More Requirements 

      • The VA has its own appraisal process.
      • Borrowers will need to meet VA and lender guidelines for credit score, debt-to-income ratio and other underwriting requirements.
      • No investment properties—there are residency requirements, although a spouse may be able to meet them.
      • The VA will want to check out the house being purchased. This isn’t a five-point inspection, Birk said, but a general check to make sure the porch doesn’t hide termites and the roof has a few solid years left. Basically, the VA wants to make sure the odds remain high that the house is safe and saleable

      And a safeguard:

      The VA also offers foreclosure help. They will negotiate with banks when things get troubled, Birk said. The VA has helped more than 320,000 veterans avoid foreclosure since 2008, saving $11 billion in claim payments, according to Veterans United. 

      The specialists can help modify the loan, reduce payments or work some other kind of forbearance, Birk said.

      Call Lisa  for a VA mortgage specialist list!!

    • How Couples Can Buy a First Home Without Coming Unhitched.

      Posted Under: General Area in Austin, Home Buying in Austin, Home Ownership in Austin  |  June 2, 2014 8:30 AM  |  270 views  |  1 comment

      by:Anne Miller-courtesy Realtor.com

      Fall in love, get married, buy a house. You’ve accomplished the first two, and now it’s time to set your sights on the third. Are you ready?

       couple home buying

      A home purchase can be one of the biggest decisions a couple makes, aside from getting married and having kids. You two will have to make a lot of choices, and differences will crop up. Learning to prioritize will help keep the home waters calm while you make this investment in your future.

      Here’s what to think about:

      What You Want: She wants outdoor space for cookouts, he needs a quiet home office. One of you wants to live in a walkable area, while the other wants a large front yard. Start your lists before looking and you will save precious time.

      What You Don’t Want: Look around your current digs. What drives you nuts? He might loath the kitchen cabinets that never stay shut. You might long for a more comfortable bath. Figuring out your biggest current peeves can identify your priorities.

      Wants vs. Needs: The home office may be a deal breaker—it’s his livelihood, after all—but is the cookout space really a need? Finding the perfect home with every tiny detail you both long for may be as much a fantasy as a marriage with no arguing. It has probably happened, but it’s not likely. Take another look at that want list—what can you live with compromising on?

      Budget: Depending on where you live, mortgages can cost you less than rent. But you will need to save for a down payment. Plus, you willl have to factor in taxes, utilities and upkeep, not to mention new furnishings. What can you afford? How much debt are each of you comfortable with holding? How much are you willing to compromise on your bottom line? You two might have different answers. Better to reach an agreement now than face a surprising disagreement in the middle of negotiations with a seller. Or, even worse, surprises after you buy that you can’t afford.

      Be realistic: The five-bedroom stunner in the best school district in town might bust your budget, but your hypothetical future children makes it a good investment, right? Not so fast. Those kids could still be years away, but your finances, and the time it takes to keep up such a large house are daily realities right now. A home investment for the future doesn’t mean mortgaging the present, and you may not be able to predict what you will really need five or 10 years down the road.

      Prepare to compromise: With your spouse, and with some aspect of your new home, be ready to give in to other perspectives and realities. Sure, if you have $10 million to throw at a property, you can probably get everything you want and then some. But most of us have limits, and being able to find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood for the ideal price might prove unrealistic. Understanding that you will likely need to compromise at some point may head off major disagreements when the time comes.

      Agree on a REALTOR®: You will be working closely with your spouse, sometimes sharing your innermost desires for your future together. You will want to find someone you can trust to have your best interests at heart. And you’ll want to find someone who you both agree with. A great REALTOR® can also tell you if your needs will work with your budget for the area of your dreams.

      Need a Realtor? Call Lisa at 512-423-5781

    • Home Owners say they want more colorful interiors!

      Posted Under: Home Buying in Austin, Home Selling in Austin, Property Q&A in Austin  |  May 26, 2014 11:35 AM  |  315 views  |  No comments
      by Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

      Photo credit: Sherwin-Williams

      Home owners aren’t shying away from using more color in their homes. Nearly two-in-three home owners say they would like to add color in their home, particularly in the living and family room, followed by bedroom and bathroom, according to the National Home Design and Color Survey by Sherwin-Williams, a survey of 1,450 home owners.

      Seventy-five percent of the home owners surveyed say they believe a room or area needs paint.

      What’s more, one in five home owners say they prefer a colorful paint palette, such as rich and dark or bold and bright.

      The hottest hues?


      Photo credit: Sherwin-Williams

      One-third of home owners – or about 32 percent – say they prefer color palettes featuring warm neutrals with hints of red, yellow, or brown. Twenty-five percent prefer cool neutrals with hints of blues or greens.

      The survey also found some differing color preferences among age groups. For example, home owners 18 to 34 years old tended to say they prefer rich and dark color palettes while those 65 and older tended to prefer soft, light palettes.

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