Friday, December 9, 2011

Financing your Retirement in Sedona Arizona

Learn how to retire and live comfortably in Sedona

Sedona Arizona is quickly becoming a one stop destination for retirees all over the country. Even those from Canada are looking for the perfect place to kick up their shoes and settle in down in the Sedona desert. Why? Because the warm, dry air is not only perfect for just about any activity but it just feels great on your skin, in your hair and in your lungs.

Folks are finding themselves drawn to the Sedona real estate market right now because of the great deals, super savings and low investment costs. Many folks are not even finding the need to finance real estate in Sedona because of the low prices, easy living and savings they have already built up. But what about those that want to finance a home in Sedona? Can it be done without all the hassles? What about selling a home at their current location before or after they have already purchased Sedona property?  There are many options for those retiring in Sedona and the best way to get started is find an agent and lender you trust and feel comfortable with to walk you through the steps. This can be a local Sedona Realtor and many times they will have finance advisers for you to talk to as well.

If you are planning on a joint residency meaning half the year in Sedona and half where you are currently there are many options for these vacation homes in Sedona. There are adult communities that specialize in snow birds and retirees and this is a great  position to be in for meeting others just like you.

If you are planning a permanent residency in Sedona, there are wonderful communities that embrace those retiring here with as little or as much assistance as needed. Are you thinking of finding a home that you can tend and care for yourself? Perhaps a community where the landscape and grounds are maintained by a  home owners association? Maybe you want to have everything done for you in which case there are amazing communities where meals are provided, house keeping is taken care of and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. There are many neighborhoods that provide weekly and monthly excursions and tours around the area and some associations offer annual trips and vacations all over the world.

If you are planning to finance your home, you will need to discuss your options with your financial advisor. If you currently don't have one, there are many in the Sedona area that specialize in helping those wanting to retire in the area. They know what the need will be and can devise a plan for your retirement.

So what are you waiting for? Contact a Sedona Realtor now to get started on finding the perfect spot to retire in Sedona.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Finding, Appraising and Financing Land in Yakima Washington

Finding, Appraising and Financing Land in Yakima Washington

Yakima Washington offers a little something for everyone searching out property or real estate in the area. From small country homes to large Yakima vineyards and farms, most buyers can find exactly what they're looking for.

But what about a company that does it all? Is it legal to provide buyers with the financing and the appraisal of large parcels of land or farms? It all depends on the set up and the local laws. Companies like Clark Jennings in Yakima and Pasco Washington offer their clients a full service real estate company with appraisals for large parcels and ranches, to financing and of course real estate services for purchasing.

Knowing whom to trust in this economy can be tricky. Finding and buying land in Yakima takes the know-how of a skilled agent and now one that is just new to the market. Not knowing the current housing market when buying and appraising land can really cost you time and money.... lots of money. Using a dedicated broker that knows the market you are specifically looking in can really cut the nonsense and wasted time in negotiations and simply finding the right property.

Appraising farms in Yakima is also not an easy task. Appraising large parcels of land, ranches, vineyards, row crop operations and orchards takes the seasoned skill and expertise of someone that has done it for years. Appraising is not something you simply learn although continuing education is a requirement. Appraising takes the experience of years in the field, knowing the market, knowing the buyers and of course knowing the value. Clark Jennings has dedicated appraisers that not only do it right, but can help you obtain the right financing for the property.

Financing large properties in Yakima is not an easy task either. There are many more restrictions and requirements for those looking to finance vineyards, working farms, orchards or ranches. There is typically more required as a down payment than on residential properties. Many times lenders will want to know how the property will be used if for commercial or personal. If for commercial, the lender will want to know the future of the property and if any money is to be made on the property.

Finding, appraising and financing land, ranches or vineyards in Yakima is a big undertaking but with the right company handling all the necessary details, you can be sure your transaction will flow smoothly and be closed on time. Contact Clark Jennings today at 509-547-9751 - or email them

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why Lake Chelan?

Lake Chelan, located in the center of Washington State is probably one of the prettiest places east of the mountains. With over 50 miles of crystal blue waters, Lake Chelan is the go-to vacation and resort spot in Washington State.

If you are considering a temporary trip, there are many Lake Chelan vacation rentals and resorts to choose from. Right on the water or lake view from up high, your choice will make for a beautiful get-a-way. Can't decide where to stay? Maybe a more permanent residence is up your ally. There are lovely Lake Chelan homes and properties all around the lake. You can stay just outside of town in the smaller community of Manson or choose a property in the foothills of the nearby mountains. Whatever your fancy, there is sure to be something you love about Lake Chelan.

If you do decide to buy, the husband and wife team of Tim and Mary Flood are excellent at being your buyers representative. They can assist you with any home in the area regardless of the listing agent included for sale by owner homes. They know the current market and know what prices should be so you are guaranteed not to overspend on a Lake Chelan home.

Maybe building from the ground up is more your style? No problem. There are many lots and vacant land for sale around Lake Chelan and in this market you can buy the land and build a home for much less than you could just a few years ago.

Looking for that killer deal? Buying a bank owned home in Chelan has never been easier. With low down payments, monthly mortgage payments and reasonable sellers this is a great time to cash in a super deal. There are several homes that may or may not need considerable work but if you are feeling like a remodel is in your future anyhow, this might be just the project to take on. You literally could save thousands over a seller occupied home.

When the right time comes, Tim and Mary Flood would love to help you find and close on the right house. Give them a call anytime at 509-682-4211 or email at They can help you out with any Lake Chelan real estate.

Buying a Home in Ruidoso For the First Time?

There's nothing quite like the realization you are buying and owning your first home. The professionals in Ruidoso real estate know this well as they help hundreds of first time home buyers find and purchase exactly what they've been dreaming of. With so many amazing programs and financing options still available you may be surprised what you could get out of a home.

Don't be scared to sit down and talk with a lender about the best Ruidoso mortgage option for you. With a steady income and reasonable budget you may even be able to afford a home with little to no money down. With rates still low, finding that home in a bigger price range just became more affordable.

Don't be one of those buyers, though, that think if they wait a little longer they will get a better deal. Here's the reality of that that we have seen time and time again: you find the home you love and then wait for the price to drop even further but in the mean time you have been out bid by another buyer and you have lost the house you really liked.

The best practice is to start looking when you know you can afford a home. You may not find a home right away but at least you will be ready and prepared when you do. There are many amazing Ruidoso homes on the market, from condos to land and any property in between. When you do find the property you want, whether it's this week or in a couple months, your lender will have a letter of pre-approval ready for you to present to sellers when submitting the offer. This will show the sellers you are a serious buyer that is ready NOW to buy.

If you are ready now but don't find a home right away, this is a perfect time to save up as much as you can so you can put that money down as an earnest money deposit. It goes toward the purchase of the home but typically the larger the amount the more the seller may accept your offer.

Can you get that money back?

A lot of times if the deal falls through for whatever reason, your Ruidoso buyers agent will be able to get the money back. There are exceptions though in that if you just quit the process without an inspection, without recourse or reason or simply fail to sign the documents at the last possible second, the seller may ask for the earnest money since they feel you have wasted their time for however long the transaction has taken. Most often than not though there is a viable reason for termination and then your earnest money is safe.

So when should you buy a house in Ruidoso? Anytime! We have agents waiting to help you get started on the first steps today. Contact Coldwell Banker in Ruidoso for more information or start viewing properties in Ruidoso here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Can I Buy a House with Bad Credit or No Money Down in Alamogordo?

Can I Buy a House with Bad Credit or No Money Down in Alamogordo?

This is probably one of the more searched for questions when it comes to buying a home in Alamogordo, and any place for that matter. So many people want to buy a home and SHOULD buy a home. Not only because of the amazing deals and rates right now but for the overall sense and reality of home ownership that buying a home can mean.

If you're planning on staying in a home for at least two years, buying is the way to go. If not, renting may be more in your favor because, let's be honest, this is not the ideal market to buy a home in. But if you're buying to stay for a while, it's a great time. In fact, the last few years have gotten better and better in terms of buying and owning a house. So this begs the question... should you wait a little longer? Will interest rates drop further? Will I get a better deal on a house?

The answer? Yes and no. The yes means you may get a better rate, although not too likely. What that means on a mortgage payment is minimal; not worth waiting if you find the right house. The no means you won't get the better deal on the house you really want. When searching for Alamogordo real estate find the home you really want. Don't find it just yet? That's ok. Just keep looking because now, and shortly in the future that home will make it's presence on the MLS and then it will be the perfect time to buy.

Don't wait too long. It's like having a baby; there may never the exact perfect time. That's when you find the right home, just buy it. Don't hold off waiting for it to go lower or rates to drop. NOW is the time to buy THAT home. If you're considering looking for homes, this time in general is perfect regardless of your current financial situation. Why? Because whether you are qualified or not, you can KNOW now and plan for the future.

A good lender will tell you know if and when you will qualify for the home of your dreams. There are many home loans and programs that will allow you to find and purchase the right home at the right rate, RIGHT NOW. If you are not ready, right now, your lender will tell you what you need to do in order to be approved within the next 6 months. 90% of the time that's all it takes to get your credit on track enough to own a home.

Are there programs for no money down? Yes! If you qualify, and it's not that difficult, you can apply for a USDA home loan which allows for zero down home loans on qualifying Alamogordo properties. Plus, there are still FHA and VA loans with very little down and better mortgage rates.

So how do you find out if you qualify? Contact the Coldwell Banker local brokerage in Alamogordo New Mexico. They can help you find the right lender, the right loan and of course the right Alamogordo home for your needs. 575-437-1137 |

Kirkland Washington Real Estate and Information

Growing up for 4 years around Kirkland Washington gave me even more of an appreciation for the Pacific Northwest. I was raised in Port Angeles but when I went to Northwest University at 18 my entire world changed. I existed between Bellevue and Kirkland for 4 years while attending school and would make the monthly trip back  to the Olympic Peninsula over the Kingston or Bainbridge Island ferry.

As much as those ferry rides and long waits sometime aggravated me, I learned to have that appreciation of the area in which I lived. Looking back now, I miss the smell of the Puget Sound, the seagulls following the ferry and the simultaneous view of the mountains and the water.

Kirkland Washington is a great place to live not only for the view but the centrally located suburbs all around the larger cities of Bellevue and Seattle. These bigger towns are great for holiday shopping, major industrial companies and great jobs but living in the Kirkland real estate area is really where it's at.

A short 10 minutes from Kirkland to Bellevue is all commuters have to deal with and a quick jaunt across Lake Washington is what Seattle workers would face should they choose to live in Kirkland. As with any major metropolitan city there is some traffic issues and the government officials are always trying to alleviate that issue. I think it's the on-going debate on what to do. But depending on what time of day you travel, there are breaks in the traffic making the trek across the pond a beautiful one.

Kirkland itself has a wide variety of neighborhoods. There are several distinct communities in the Kirkland area from Rose Hill to the east to Downtown and Central right on the water. Whatever you are looking for, you can usually find what you need in a price range you feel comfortable with. Kirkland often is home to some of the more elite members of the Puget Sound offering homes in the millions. But it's also counter-acted with some lovely neighborhood homes in the low $300s as well. These homes are close to schools, dozens of parks and every amenity one could want.

Kirkland has great dining and shopping plus a local theater playing all the latest showings. Right on the water is some great shopping spots such as Sur La Table and home decor boutiques. There is also the famous Seattle's Best Coffee right down on the water. This came in handy on those late studying nights.

The Kirkland waterfront is something every one should see. Starting from Carillon Point and the great dining such as the Beach Cafe and Starbucks. (When I lived there I worked as a valet for the point and there was the fabulous restaurant, Cucina Cucina. We used to sit and just indulge on their rosemary olive flat bread!) Now other restaurants have made their mark on Carillon Point which is also home to the hotel and marina.

Speaking of Marina, Kirkland offers the Yacht Club right on the water in south Kirkland. This unique and exclusive club offers great dining and some of the best yachts in the area.

Kirkland is a wonderful place to call home. If you are in the market for Kirkland homes or condos, feel free to contact the experts in this department. Hallmark Realty of Kirkland specialized in residential, commercial, land and condos in Kirkland. 425-822-1241 or email them at:

Friday, October 14, 2011

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Want to Retire on the Oregon Coast?

The Oregon Coast; there is nothing quite like it. Cool, crisp mornings, sea air, seagulls waking in your ear much like a rooster crowing on the farm. There is nothing quite like the Oregon Coast. Whether you're surrounded by billows of clouds on a foggy morning or can see for miles out into the Pacific, the Oregon Coast is many things to different people.

Tourists and travelers alike come from all over the country, not just the state, to vacation and relax on the Oregon Coast. From Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia to Brookings by the California Border, the Oregon Coast offers residents and guests alike a panthion of events, activities, rest and fresh air.

Finding the right home on the Oregon Coast if you're going to stay awhile takes a local Oregon real estate agent. While most towns along the 101 Hwy are smaller there may be a better spot for your family than another. Do you want to be close to major towns? Closer to Portland for hospitals or schools like Eugene? There are many places along major national and state forests and parks that are perfect for camping just about any time of the year. Lakes and rivers are perfect for fishing, rafting or just playing in.

The variety of towns and villages on the Oregon Coast can seem endless but they all have their unique charm and finesse. Many have different industries and job needs so this might be a factor in your decision. Whatever your reason, finding the right home on the Oregon Coast can be fun when you know what you want and where you want it. The best way to do that is to contact an Oregon Coast Realtor that knows the area.

Rob Shepherd is one such Realtor. Located specifically in Florence Oregon, Rob helps his customers retiring on the Oregon Coast find exactly what they are looking for. With so many locations up and down the coast, Rob can help narrow down the options to a spot that will work for you. Check out Rob's website for property searches - or email him directly at or call 541-991-0607. Rob is your Oregon Coast Realtor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Find a Local Fairbanks Real Estate Agent

Using a local agent for any place is a smarter idea then just going with someone because they need the money or it's your cousin's best friend, yada yada....
Using a dedicated local real estate agent for whatever you need whether it be buying, selling or investing is just smart investment of your money.

Would you trust $100K to a stocks broker that may not know your stock? I doubt it. Consider this the same. Wes Madden and his team are Fairbanks locals. They grew up in the area, know the area, play and live in the area. Who better to help you buy or sell in the Fairbanks real estate area then the Wes Madden team?

Not just using local demographically but using specific skill based agents for your special purchase or sale. Are you selling as a short sale or trusting a bank with a foreclosure? All of these transactions entail intricate laws, regulations and rules that must be strictly followed. Not knowing the ins and outs of the type of transaction can not only cost you out of pocket expenses but time, energy and possible lawsuits by not following certain guidelines.

What about buying these types of homes? Multi-plexes? Condos? Vacant Land or other unique properties? Having the right agent that not only knows the area but the type of property you are buying OR selling can make for a better transaction. These agents know what buyers and sellers are doing in the current market and can help price or negotiate for the best terms at the best possible price that the market will bear.

Can a local Fairbanks real estate agent actually save you money? On average using a real estate professional in general can save $1,000 - $10,000 per transaction. This could be for the buyer or the seller. The buyer in not having to pay as much for the home and the seller for pricing it right to begin with.

So who you want helping you facilitate the right Fairbanks home? Wes Madden and the Madden Real Estate Team. Contact them anytime - Start a Faribanks Property Search or get in touch with an agent today! 907-452-3000 -

Monday, August 29, 2011

Same Real Estate Fodder or Quality Content?

I heard the term "real estate fodder" a few months ago in discussing setting up a new real estate site with basic information. I had never given that content a name before but thought that about nailed it. There are endless sites out there with buyer tips, sellers tips, yada yada yada... does anyone care? Do our clients even read this stuff?  I realized there is nothing "quality" about any of that and started changing up my writing to include specific keywords and terms people may actually search for.

Sure you can use Google's keyword tool but it may not tell you about those 10 people that honestly were searching for "Homes in Greenbank Washington".  Because the community is so small there is not enough results to really count for much. But to those buyers that are really looking for real estate on Whidbey Island in that area, you might have hit a gold mine. Think about this, 10 people; not a lot but if all 10 contact you to buy a home, that's a nice chunk of commission change in your pocket. All this because you chose to go outside the norm of competition level and go for a slightly less well known phrase.

Since then my writing has gotten much more precise and these agencies and individual agents are showing up all over the board for phrases and keyword in their communities. This can really make a difference. Writing an article about Enterprise real estate may not hit the nail on the head in Google SERPs but titling an article "Real Estate Agents for Fort Rucker" might really get some military buyers AND sellers to sit up and find your site more.

Once there you can't just give them the fodder either. You must get specific on why they came to your site. You don't want to get them there only to have them get bored and click away. You want to give them something to hold onto. This can be in immediate property searches, valuable tips they need to buy exactly what they want or mistakes they may already be making in selling or buying.

You want to give the reader something they can't live without. Something they will regret not reading. This can be hard when again, you feel you have written all there is to write. But as the market changes so does the content. What was important yesterday may not be today and so forth. Laws change and tax incentives may come and go. All of this also promotes what type of agent or agency you are. Are you on top of all the latest trends and current markets? Do you know why buyers are buying and what they are buying? Can you genuinely help a seller price the home to be sold fast!?

While these specific areas can help narrow down your genuine leads so can offering real estate exactly where they need it. Consider the difference in clientele when you advertise Pullman real estate verses homes near WSU. Only those in the area will know to look specifically for that and then find it. Have your IDX offer specific map locations for searches right on these content pages if you can.

Get specific. Buyers and sellers have heard all the fodder before and they want to get in, get out and get what they need. Are you providing it?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Emotional Home Buyers - No Cause for Bloggers Block

I always thought "writers block" meant you had a cramp in your hand. That was until I starting writing and realized it's a mind block. Although many do get cramps from writing... and now carpal tunnel from typing. But what about bloggers block? Is there such a thing? I guess it all depends on what you consider a block from blogging really is.

I write for real estate websites and sometimes I feel I have just written the same things 100 different ways. And then I talk to someone with just a smidgen of real estate experience and realize there is always something to talk about.

Sure we may end up saying the same thing occasionally that others have said in the past but this time it's in our own words and experience. How we perceive something may be completely different than another's. How we deal and react to something is going to be different as well.

I just spoke with my good friends buying their first house. They have been looking at homes over the last month and found some they really like. The issue is emotion. One thing they didn't expect in this process is the emotions of getting attached to a home they can't have. This is not to say they can't afford it but someone else may have come in behind them and offered more or a better offer in the mean time.

Buying a home can mean lots of emotions from excited, scared, nervous, anxious, mad, upset, hurt and disappointed... and quite possibly all in one transaction! Buying is not an easy process no matter what anyone tells you. If you have had a great experience you are one of the lucky ones. I'm not saying it has to be hell or anything but you have to consider this as a business deal, not the home you will raise your children in and have family dinners. Think of that after the closing.

Ofcourse you have to include all the details of how you would use the home in the decision making process but you must not be that emotionally attached to the home until you actually move in. That's hard to do. My friends in Lake Havasu City real estate know how to help their buyers ease into the home buying process without getting overly emotional. This can leak into the negotiations and final decision making if you're not careful.  As a dedicated Lake Havasu City real estate agent for buyers, they can help separate the emotions from the negotiations and put the terms into clear perspectives. 

When you launch yourself into a real estate transaction without the help of a buyers agent you can leave yourself open to hurt and disappointment. Not knowing what to expect is one clear sign of frustration for many first time home buyers. It's hard to trust the listing agent because they are typically only working for the seller and their buyers are not the top priority. In another area of Arizona my Sedona real estate agent, Eileen Schreiber, is excellent at helping buyers set their emotions aside when making an informed decision on real estate. She knows how involved buyers and sellers can get when they let their emotions make the call instead of their logical reasoning.

Yes buying can be emotional. But don't let that be the only deciding factor in making an informed decision on every detail of your transaction. Here are some other great agents and companies that are dedicated to buyers in their area.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to Write for People and Places You Don't Know

As a writer I write for various people all over the country. While I can't obviously write about them personally, I can write about where they live. I write specifically for real estate agents but have written a variety of posts on cleaning supplies, transmissions, marketing, hotels among others. But I love real estate and while I know real estate well I don't always know the area I am writing in.

Google likes localized posts as it consistently tells Google where the site is and what it's about. If you only wrote about real estate and there was never any mention of the area you service, Google will probably not rank your site very high for your area. You must do both. I do both when I write but it can be a challenge to write about a place I have never been. There are loop holes to this.

Because there are already so many sites about certain areas you can learn, gain insight and information and be knowledgable about a place you have never been. Although I have never been to Washington DC (yet) I can still write about Washington DC Property and communities by the existing information already published. Granted, you would never want to copy and paste any information not only for plagerism reasons but because Google doesn't like duplicate content.

You can however copy from WIkipedia since it's a free, open source program but you will still run into that duplicate content penalization from Google and perhaps other search engines. I have seen similar sites come up on the SERPS with the exact information from Wikipedia. Literally all the site had the same information but the main reason for this is because it was a smaller community and there just wasn't that much information out there. When you come across this as a writer, its great news. It means that I am writing solid, original content about an area it should certainly show up in that list, and perhaps above all the other copycatters.

When I'm research a community, say Vancouver Washington, I typically research the smaller communities and areas such as Battle Ground or Tigard Oregon. I can also write a specific page about search features such as Homes with Land in Vancouver Washington. This is more specific and will get noticed as being only about that topic.

When looking for information I often visit Chamber of Commerce sites, city profile sites, information from the mayor of the town and other real estate sites. I collect as much information about the topography, local events, activities, features of the town, layout and demographics and put it all into my words in an original page on that topic. It's often like visiting another place for the day where I can learn the history or culture of another place in the country.

Depending on what I am writing about it can be a challenge though. Some smaller communities and villages may not even have a Wikipedia page and if so it may only tell me statistics instead of the real emotion of the area.

One challenge is writing for two sites in the same area. I have two sites for Lake Havasu City real estate and finding different content for them can be difficult. I want the sites to be ranked for their area without directly competing for each other. In this way I sometimes will tag one with the keyword "real estate" and another with the keyword of "Lake Havasu City Realtors".  Each will get their town in the keywords but will have different endings to direct traffic to their site no matter what they are typing in.

So it can be a challenge to write about a place you have never been. It's not easy and not fast by any means but it can be done when you take the time to learn the culture, the area, the town and the people.

Personal SEO writes content for real estate agents and professionals all over the country.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why Write About Real Estate?

If you know enough about something, you can write about it. If you have never done something it's pretty hard to write about it. Being in real estate for just 4 years gave me enough of a back ground to at least sound like I know what I'm talking about when discussing real estate. When I got out of real estate I moved into writing about it and found I enjoyed that a lot more.

But is there really enough to write about?

There are several blogging platforms that are solely dedicated to real estate blogging such as Real Town and ActiveRain. Since every real estate transaction is different and every person is different there will never be two situations alike. For this reason there are many things to write about, discuss and focus on to learn, grow and gain more exposure for yourself, your business and your online presence. This is why I choose to write.

I have done a lot of writing for local folks such as my friend and Florence Realtor, Rob Shepherd. While I may have never lived in the Florence area I am greatly blessed to have grown up in the Pacific Northwest and been there several times. Rob also keeps me in the loop with local articles, news, reports and newspapers. I love that and it not only helps me draw for information but also lets me know what type of Realtor he is. He certainly cares about the individual and you can get a sense of how they would be in a real estate transaction.  Would I refer him to someone in that area? Absolutely!

I have worked with many Realtors and agents over the years and can really get a sense of who they are and how they would treat their own clients. Of course everyone gets upset from time to time but when there is a general sense of respect toward anyone in any industry you would have an easier time referring them to a friend or relative. Even in short instances such as my involvement with Lori Doerr of Bismarck ND real estate, I can tell she would be a fun and easy person to work with.

Real Estate is such a personal and enormous purchase that just trusting anyone with your finances can be risky. You want to know the person and know that they can be trusted, not only because you are paying them but because they are a generally nice person. I often think of the waitress mentality. If you are rude to a waitress in front of others, how are you in private and what would you be like to work with in a situation in which I was not paying you?

Real estate is personal and if you're going to be a successful agent or brokerage you can't assume that the jobs will just come to you. Attitude is everything and if yours sucks, you may not get referred.

Here are some other agents and brokerages I would happily refer for their areas: