Why Buy Real Estate in Bryan College Station?

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Bryan-College Station, Texas is an area steeped in tradition. Here you will find Texas A&M University, one of the top universities in Texas. There are several stops you should make when visiting the campus, beginning with the Appelt Aggieland Visitors Center, you will view videos on heart stirring topics such as the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, the Bonfire Memorial, and the Corps of Cadets. This is a great place to get your first taste of the passion and culture Aggies feel for the A&M culture. You can also participate in one of the walking tours hosted by a friendly Aggie tour guide.

While you are visiting Aggieland, try to take part in a football game at Kyle Field. This is a must see for anyone visiting and you can take part in singing the “War Hymn” and “Saw ‘em off!” You will also be electrified and amazed by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band showcasing their complex marching designs that they are known for. Kyle Field is regarded as one of the most intimidating venues in college sports so this is an event you definitely don’t want to miss.

One other experience you don’t want to miss is the Bonfire Memorial on the north campus. This memorial pays tribute to 12 students who tragically lost their lives in a traditional university sanctioned bonfire back in 1999, before the University of Texas and Texas A&M football game. This is the location of that final bonfire and the 12 fallen students are also honored at many other times throughout the year.

 

If you are on the fence about buying  a home in College Station, please call our RE/MAX Bryan College Station office and let one of our experienced agents guide you through the process.

 

Photo Credit: Ookaboo

Reasons for living in Bryan College Station

living in Bryan College Station

Bryan-College Station, Texas is bursting with activity so it is important to plan an itinerary before making your trip so you are able to see everything you want too while there. A couple of your major stops should be Texas A&M University, Historic Downtown Bryan, George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Messina Hof Winery and Resort, Lake Bryan, and the local Farmer’s Market.

A trip to the George Bush Presidential Library should be a definite stop on your list. You can stroll through the exhibits chronicling the life of the former President and even get your picture made with a life sized replica of the Oval Office just as it was while President Bush was in office. Plan a trip to historic Downtown Bryan for lunch and some shopping with its gourmet restaurants, antique shops, cool art galleries, and amazing boutiques. Plan to spend ample time here so you are able to see everything.

A trip to Texas A&M University is a definite stop on your list. Don’t miss the Bonfire Memorial, Kyle Field, the Athletic Sports Museum, or the walking tour of the campus hosted by the Appelt Aggieland Visitors Center. Consider taking a trip to the beautiful and alluring vineyards of Messina Hof Winery and Resort, one of the fastest growing wineries in Texas, and try their wines. Plan your trip to coincide with one of their festivals or consider planning your trip to view a football game at Texas A&M.  Finally, if relaxation is what you need after all this activity, visit the local Bryan-College Station Farmer’s Market or Lake Bryan to cool off and see the local flavor.

Photo Credit: ookaboo

Walk with Pride in Bryan-College Station

 

In 1994, I was chairman of the Public Relations Committee for the Bryan-College Station Association of Realtors and wanted to make a stand for something important and something that would benefit underprivileged children.   I had been involved in a similar project in Corpus Christi  and decided to share the idea with the Association of Realtors.  Walk with Pride  originated to buy shoes for the new school year for needy children.  The funds raised would predict how many shoes could be bought and to then find a place that would help us with the cost of the shoes.  Pay-Less Shoes agreed to help by discounting the price of certain shoes to a set price.  That first year, we bought about 200 pairs of shoes and each year since, the fundraising efforts have  risen so that today  we are able to buy twice that amount.

Walk With Pride

Walk with Pride is a fundraiser that raises money so every child can have a new pair of shoes when they start school.

Image credit: ferwulf / 123RF Stock Photo

The first fundraiser was a Realtor Style show which we were able to raise money by ticket sales and raffles.  All the models were Realtors in Bryan College Station and from associated businesses so it was fun and challenging to get non-models on the runway.  That fundraiser went on for several years, and then the Public Relations Committee became the Community Projects Committee and the main fundraiser has become a 5K run/ 3K walk.  The walk is open to anyone in the community who likes to support special causes that benefit local kids who can proudly start school each year in a new pair of shoes.

The names of the children who receive a voucher to come to Pay-Less on the Event day are provided to us by the Department of Human Services and what an event that day is!  The children and their parents/guardians show up at Pay-Less Shoes and each child goes into the store and picks out his new pair of shoes for school.  Volunteers from the Bryan-College Station Association of Realtors help check the kids in and help them pick out, try on and check out their new shoes.   We invite as many kids as we have raised money to buy a certain amount of shoes.   The looks on the faces of the children is a heartwarming experience and has brought a few tears to many eyes over the years.

The 2013 Walk With Pride fundraiser  is a 5-K run/3-K walk and if anyone is interested in signing up for the race/walk, you can call the Bryan-College Station Association of Realtors @ (979)846-3751.  The date is April 20th at 9:00 a.m. at Central Park in College Station.

 Every dollar raised goes to purchase shoes and if you want to spread joy in our community, please help.  For every 10-15 dollars we raise, we can buy one more pair of shoes and it would be my greatest joy to know that no child in our community went to school without a new pair of shoes.   It seems like a little thing, but to a child (and their parents) it is a huge thing.

Things You Should Know About Secured Home Equity Loans

Your Equity Is Your Security

 Secured home equity loans are important for anyone who wants to own a home. Your home’s equity is the basis for your home equity. You can choose to access it with a variety of loan terms. Refinancing with a cash out will lock in long term rates. A second mortgage pulls out part or all of your equity while keeping your original mortgage intact. This is nice if you have a low interest home loan. Finally, you can create a line of credit based on your equity. It acts much like a low interest credit card.

While loan terms affect your rates, so will your property’s value. Using all of your equity will bump up your rates. Don’t forget to factor in your home’s appreciation when considering your property’s value.

The PMI Factor

Private mortgage insurance may be required with some lenders, especially if you have a prime loan. If you have less than 20% equity in the home, then expect to pay premiums. But sub prime lenders don’t require insurance. And in some cases, if you use a separate lender for your second mortgage, you won’t have to get insurance either.

Interest Is Tax Deductible – Sometimes

Interest from a home equity loan is tax deductible in many cases, unlike other forms of credit. There are caps on your income and the property value. For example, you can’t write off interest for a loan that exceeds your property’s value. There are also limitations on what the loan can be used for in some cases. Before using this deduction, be sure to read the IRS regulations.

Home Equity Loan Rates Vary Between Lenders

As with every other type of credit, rates will vary between lenders. Each lender will rate your application differently. They will also have different procedures for determining rates.

To get the best deal, you have to rely on loan quotes to make your decision. By providing just the most basic information, you can get a general idea of closing costs and rates. Only if you are serious about a lender should you allow them to access your credit report.

Home equity loans can also be consolidated into one mortgage in the future. Make sure you don’t have any early payment fees that would make this decision needlessly expensive.

Call us for more information today!

Home Remodeling : The Way to Go

There are millions of homeowners each year that usually have the best of intentions to make major changes and renovations to their houses. Whether it’s adding more storage space to your bathroom or kitchen or you simply want to make changes around the family room, one way in which you can pull this off is through home remodeling efforts. Even though there are many ways to change your house and layout by simply building on the inside of your home, an even better way to change your house is through remodeling the rooms of your house. Here are some suggestions and scenarios that makes remodeling so much better than simply making minor changes around the house:

#1: Re-doing the Bathroom Shower

One issue that many people consider changing about their bathroom is their shower or bathtub. Many people decide to replace the shower or bathtub because it has gotten too dirty over the years, but what about making major remodeling changes to your house? For example, adding a Jacuzzi to the bathroom will not only be a great change and addition to the bathroom, but it will also add value to your home, which you can use as leverage if you decide to sell the home.

#2: Increasing Bedroom Storage

There are many retail stores that offer common storage bins, such as the ones that you can get to place under your bed. However, one of the ways that would be great to use the bedroom as a remodeling project is by adding a closet. Granted, a professional remodeling company may have to be called in order to have the closet fit correctly in the bedroom, but adding that extra closet space would be a great addition to the much needed renovations. On the other hand, adding and constructing a closet in the bedroom could possibly be turned into a do-it-yourself project. Even though closet additions seem like they would be a difficult remodeling project, they are actually very simple to complete.

#3: Updating the Kitchen

One of the popular ways that homeowners decide to remodel their home is through the kitchen. There are a plethora of ways that the kitchen can be used for remodeling projects. For example, the floor can be re-tiled, extra storage cabinets can be added to the kitchen, and new appliances can be purchased to update the kitchen. Furthermore, a dishwasher and garbage disposal can be added if they are not already included with the kitchen. All in all, though, there are many remodeling projects that can be done with the kitchen.

All of these ways are great to be used during home remodeling projects. Granted, professional companies may need to be hired in order to complete some of the remodeling projects, but the homeowner will have the assurance that everything will be done correctly. Nevertheless, though, remodeling is definitely the way to go in order to make changes to your home; you will not only be satisfied, but your home will be improved for it!

Home Remodeling the Do-It-Yourself Way

Home improvement is one of the better ways not only to make significant changes to your home, but it may be just the way to get the whole family involved. For example, consider for a moment whether or not hiring home remodeling professionals is truly the way to go. When your wife can be guiding each of the members of your family what to do and your children could be helping you install carpet in the house, there is plenty that can be done as do-it-yourself projects rather than relying on home remodeling professionals.

Even though hiring professionals is truly always the way to make sure that everything is done quickly, efficiently, and more expensive, do-it-yourself projects can give you and the other members of your family those feelings of pride and unity that every family seems to need.

If you are determined to make the home remodeling projects a family affair then, you may be wondering what projects you can use as a family project. Indeed, there are actually thousands of ways that the whole family can get involved with home remodeling, but here are some of the more useful and creative projects that can be done the do-it-yourself way:

Home Remodeling Suggestion #1: Remodeling the Bathroom

Even though the bathroom may seem like an odd place to start, this is actually one of the better rooms to start remodeling. For example, you don’t need a plumber or a home remodeling contractor in order to install a toilet. Toilets that can be purchased nowadays usually have simple installation instructions with them. Many homeowners may be surprised to think that the toilet in their bathroom needs updated, but this is one of the areas in which many people hardly ever remodel.

So putting a toilet in the bathroom is your first choice. On the other hand, constructing new cabinets for your house is another good way to remodel. Your son or daughter could easily help you with this project and the whole family can get involved with bathroom remodeling!

Home Remodeling Suggestion #2: Changing the Bedrooms

Since the whole family wants to be involved with remodeling the house, there is certainly no better place to start then everyone’s own bedroom. There are many things that can be done to add uniqueness to each person’s bedroom. For example, an entertainment center that is built into the wall, along with surround sound, can be added to one bedroom. For another bedroom there could be a closet that’s easily built in. All in all, though, there is no doubt that remodeling everyone’s bedroom will certainly make the whole family seem involved!

When considering that home remodeling professionals could be charging thousands of dollars to complete projects as simple as those listed above, there is no reason why these home remodeling projects cannot be made as do-it-yourself projects. These home renovations will not only add a special touch to your home, but your whole family will feel proud that they helped!

Interior Shutters Buying Basics

Interior shutters  add a nice touch to a home’s exterior. In other parts of the world, especially Europe and the Caribbean, shutters serve a functional purpose. They cover windows by night or in bad weather to keep out bad weather or cold air. By day they are pushed open from the inside and secured in place to let daylight and the sun’s warmth into a home. This is especially important in communities where the majority of residents lack central heating or air conditioning.

But in many industrialized nations, housing includes shutters more as accent pieces or adornments than as functional window covers. Shutters may cover the home’s largest windows, the windows on the front side of the house, the windows on the sides as well as the front, or every window in the home.

Shutters typically coordinate with a home’s design to bring out a certain style in its appearance. For example, you can get shutters that are rectangular-shaped, or those that come in other forms. Here are some things to consider when selecting shutters for your home.

1. Does the home’s exterior paint or paneling come with matching shutters? If so, consider using these to match the existing design, even if you had the siding done first and now want to add shutters. If not, check with the home supply provider for suggestions about the type of shutters that will go well with your current outdoor siding. You may be able to look at a print or online catalog, or view samples at the store. Some stores provide references of previous customers who have purchased these shutters, and you may be able to talk with them about their level of satisfaction or drive by their homes to have a look.

2. Choose a coordinating design and color. If your home’s siding or finish does not come with matching shutters, check out several possible options before selecting one for your home. Popular styles are made of aluminum and vinyl, along with other materials that are weather-resistant, so find out what’s available, along with the merits of each.

3. Compare styles to find one that suits your home’s design and structure. Some shutters come with two matching panels, while others have four. You can get louvers, but keep in mind these can collect dust and may be difficult to clean. Even when operational shutters are not needed, some people choose to install them for special effect on their homes.

4. Find out all you can about the product’s quality. Ask the sales associate about each product’s durability and lifetime expectancy. Also ask about how to clean various shutter types, and what type of special cleaning substances will be needed, if any. You might also want to know about any particular conditions that afflict certain products. Wood shutters, for instance, may tend to get dry rot, termites, or other wood-associated conditions. Any type of shutter might attract insect nests, and aluminum shutters may be prone to rusting.

What are the best shutters? The best kind are those that are affordable, are easy to install, and offer the greatest protection. Which of these properties is most important depends on individual circumstances. For a disabled or elderly person it may be ease of installation with either an automatic closing mechanism or accordion type shutters. For those with limited incomes plywood shutters may be the only affordable option. For most people the best compromise would be steel panels, which offer good protection, but are certainly more expensive than plywood. The most worthless type of protection is the often employed use of various types of tape over the windows. This practice does little or nothing to prevent breakage, may result in large, more dangerous pieces of flying glass, and is extremely difficult to remove after the storm.

With today’s changing global climate, and the increase of tropical storms frequency, some regions of the world will need to equip themselves with window shutters to prevent damage to their properties.

How to Lower Home Equity Interest and Gather Equity Loan Information

Home equity interest rate changes from lender to lender with home equity loans. Largely, each lender remains within the interest guidance setup by the loan officers. Home equity loans are to some extent a cash in advance loan, on account of many lenders will furnish with the loan no closing costs, fees, or other upfront expenses. Many loans call for the borrower to pay origination fees, arrangement fees, title costs and closing costs, though the home equity loans frequently want nothing down.

Numerous home equity loans begin with interest rates approximately 6.675%. Many lenders as well charge lower interest rates, but for the most part, the borrower won’t acknowledge the difference until he goes over the decrease of his monthly statements.

Saying it another way, home equity loans provide great monthly installments, running from $150 and more, the borrower with this low payment, is not going to find interest on the loan till he reexamines his statement and sees the principal is going down like a turtle.

After many years, homeowners frequently take out an additional loan to repay the equity loan. The procedure becomes costly over time, because each loan taken out starts the principal at the start again. Every year your home is at risk of receding equity; nonetheless, equity loans seldom see negative equity. If negative equity exists, it can run to complications when going for a separate loan.

Home equity is a handy way to get your hands on easy cash, it takes careful thought to arrive at the right choice. For example, if you do not use a comparison of a number of lenders’ rates, you may detect later on that you were able to get a better deal at another place. When looking at a loan, remember security is the principle concern. Also look at the risks, capital, interest, penalties, and other points relating to equity loans.

Gather Equity Loan Information

Many loans of all kinds often have restricted amounts for borrowing. Many lenders figure your earnings whenever applying for loans. The lender will look at several details, including repayments, acceptance, and so on ahead of offering you a loan. Some lenders broker the loans by going 3.25 times the gross salary of a borrower.

The lender will also weigh the equity, signifying that the lender will regulate the amount he is wishing to loan you in contract with the equity of the home. That is a kind of promise that the property will stay uniform with the loan amount. The lenders will include assorted costs. It depends on the price of the home bought, but for the most part, you will pay a portion of the total balance of the property value.

They will also figure in surveyor fees, title, arrangement fees, legal charges and other charges when looking at a loan. The agreement fees are administration costs that will enhance the lenders salaries. Premiums, add on fees, and paid coverage guarantee the home will also be bonded to the loan.

They will also require you to pay many different fees upfront if you are awarded the loan. There are means to fend off some of these expenses, by reading about equity loans on the internet could give you a wealth of data to assist you in saving money. Different loans are accessible online and the equity loans have a wealth of data to direct you to low rates and low mortgage payments.

Also, make sure that you have examined and noted the similarities or differences of a significant amount of loan rates and fees before you really accept a lender’s offer.

Home Style Words in Real Estate Ads – More Explanations

 Home style words in real estate ads are important since they communicate important message about a certain offer. Whether you’re buying or selling, reading real estate ads can be confusing. Here are explanations of more style terms used in real estate ads.

“Split Foyer” style

A home entered by a foyer with a half flight of stairs up to the upper level (where the living spaces and one or more bedrooms are usually located) and a half flight of stairs to the lower level (typically housing the family room and additional bedrooms).

“Tri-Level” style

A home with three levels. It is typically entered on the middle level and has half flights of stairs to the highest and lowest levels. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are usually on the middle level. The bedrooms are usually on the highest level. The lowest level may be unfinished or have family room, laundry, and perhaps a garage located there.

“Contemporary” style

These vary greatly, but none looks as if it could have been built prior to 1900. Some are almost entirely of glass. Some are almost entirely under ground. Roofs can be gable (slants down on each side of a ridge line creating triangles of space at each end), shed (slants in one direction only from high on one side to low on the other), flat, or sod (grass covered) for that matter. Often several roof styles are incorporated in one home. Energy saving or indoor-outdoor connectedness tend to be designing motives. Simplicity, straight lines, and open spaces are hallmarks. Decks, patios, and terraces are frequently featured and are often constructed of the same materials used indoors.

“Victorian” style

This style is based on houses built during Queen Victoria’s reign and for a while afterwards. They are usually at least two stories tall and maybe more. They are embellished with a variety of things including porches, turrets, towers with conical roofs, pediments with fanciful shapes over doors and windows, windows to the floor with perhaps only one sheet of glass per sash. And do think “gingerbread” or wood fashioned into intricate shapes for gable ends, places where porch posts reach the ceiling, at stair landings, and so on. Modern builders usually pare this style down because of the expense, but even the most recently built examples can be rather fanciful.

Summary

When looking at homes, you’ll find particular styles appeal to you. Once you identify the styles, you can narrow your search for the perfect home.

Funding Home Remodeling Project

When it comes to home remodeling projects there are all sorts of questions that may run through your head. Perhaps the most important question, though, if you don’t have a full bank account, is how you will fund these home remodeling projects that you want to do. There are actually many different plans that you can come up with, but this is the first question that you should think about. After all, remodeling your house does take money; if you don’t have it then the home contracting company may not decide to work for you!

Tapping into Loans

Loans are actually a good way to make home remodeling projects around your house a success! Unless you do not have a very good credit score and report then chances are that you will be able to easily obtain a loan through a bank or a credit union. One of the best reasons to use bank loans, though, is if you will be quickly selling your house and moving after you have completed the remodeling projects. For example, if you obtain the loan through a bank to complete the home remodeling projects then it is very possible, if not almost guaranteed, that you will get all of your money back when you sell your home. In addition, the price that you sell your home for may well exceed the price that you paid for your house and the renovations that were completed. If this is the case then you are able to pay off the loan to the bank and keep the extra that is yours!

Another route to go about getting a loan for home remodeling projects is through a home equity loan. Unless you don’t have your house paid off then you will be able to easily obtain a home equity loan. These loans are obtained directly through a mortgage company and it is essentially borrowing a little bit of money against the house. Just as in the bank scenario, though, if you are about to move after home remodeling projects are completed then you can easily pay off the home equity loan and keep the overhead profits!

Raising Money

This is another way to complete much needed home remodeling projects, however, you should definitely only use this route if your home is in dire need of repairs around the house. There are plenty of ways to raise money for your house, though. One way, which is also commonly used in the United States, is to ask the church you attend to help you out monetarily. Most church members will be more than willing to do something like this. But again, this method should only be used in extreme circumstances.

Saving Money

This is perhaps the best method of all. One sure-fire way not to lose money in your home remodeling projects is to simply save the money that you need in order to complete the home renovations. By saving money each week and each month you will be very close to the monetary goal that you need to remodel your home.

All of these ways, though, are great ways to fund the home remodeling projects that you have on your plate. Of course, the amount of home remodeling projects that needs to be completed and the time you have to complete them will probably dictate how you will pay. But nevertheless, there are definitely various ways that you can use in order to successful remodel your home!