Be sure to read it before signing it!

Apartment complex managers say most people don't read the whole lease before signing it. Later, if there's a problem, they'll say, "You didn't tell me that." Then they'll actually read

the entire document.

The lease is an agreement between the owner and the person renting an apartment. There is no standard lease -- some are long and some are short. Most cover similar issues, but the details can differ significantly. Failure to know the terms of a lease is not a defense for violating the terms. No verbal agreement will change any part of the lease. If you don't agree with

all the terms, don't sign.

If the apartment manager and tenant agree to any change, both should initial the change, as well as additions or

deletions to the contract.

Selling? Don't kill the deal on social media

Social media isn't private (that should be obvious from the word "social"), yet buyers and sellers still accidentally kill their deals with poorly considered posts.

No matter which side of the real estate transaction you are on, strive to make social media posts that emphasize the best parts of your home deal.

What makes social media a great advertising tool is that friends can share with friends and they can share with their friends, and the reach of your post multiplies among potentially interested parties. So, never post a reason not to buy, like a leaky roof or faulty HVAC system.

In fact, it's a bad idea to say anything negative about the neighbors or the community, too. You don't want potential buyers to know your neighbor is crazy or a criminal when you are selling your house. If there were crimes in your neighborhood, you don't want to emphasize that fact when you are selling.

Even if you set your post to private, your friends still see it, and they still talk, even if it is done innocently. If you are selling, you really want your posts to be public so everyone can see or share. Just keep in mind that the agent of your potential buyer is watching, too. There is no good reason to give that agent a reason to suggest a lower bid.

What you do want people to see are the positive changes you have made in the bathroom, or that you love the local elementary school and community. These things sell a house and make the deal attractive.

How should I finance home renovations?

Inevitably, all homeowners need to make home improvements -- a roof or flooring, for example, or even a big project such as adding a bedroom. So, as you might expect, there are several different ways to finance these.

A lot of people are doing just that. According to the Joint Center for Housing Centers of Harvard University (JCHS), home improvement project spending increased from $328 billion in 2019 to $472 billion in 2022, with estimated 2023 spending of $485 billion.

Several types of home improvement financing are available, including home equity loans, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or cash-out refinancing.

A home equity loan is a second loan on your house. It is a fixed-rate, lump-sum loan with monthly payments that remain the same for the duration of the loan term.

A HELOC is also a second loan and has a credit limit and revolving balance, similar to a credit card. It is good for homeowners who have several large payments due over time on big projects. However, the interest rate on a HELOC is often variable, so it could rise over time.

Cash-out refinancing retires your existing mortgage and creates a new first mortgage on your home.

In most cases, you won't be able to refinance your total home value. Depending on the type of loan you get, you will have to leave 15 to 20 percent in the home. Getting the loan depends on the amount of equity in your home and your present financial circumstances.

If you have a home worth $200,000 and you have $100,000 left to pay on your home, this leaves you with $100,000 equity. You can't cash out all of that. Let's say you have to leave 20 percent of the home value. That leaves you with $60,000 cash. That cash won't be taxed. You will pay it back by paying your mortgage.

To qualify for cash-out refinancing, you must have a credit score of at least 620 and a debt-to-income ratio of at least 50 percent or lower.

Contact me today with all your Real Estate needs.

I pride myself in personal, honest, and

amazing customer service!

Brandy Lazar

DRE #02076920

805 405-3381

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