Clean Hard Water Spots

Clean Hard Water Spots from Dishes

For many reasons, you should remove hard water stains from glasses and dishes. Not only the dirty appearance it gives, but it can affect the health of your family.

What are Hard Water Spots?

Hard water is water with a high amount of mineral deposits like lime, silica, and calcium. When the water dries, the deposits are left behind, leaving unsightly spots on glass or ceramic surfaces, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens. Depending on the type minerals left behind, they can be harmful to your health as well as ugly! So, keeping these spots off your glassware and dishes can be important for your family’s’ health, too. We are lucky in the Folsom, CA area, where our water comes from Folsom Lake. Roseville, Granite Bay and other Sacramento area communities get water from Folsom Lake as well. Our water is considered “moderately soft” with very little mineral deposits.

Water Quality by Community

If you want to know where your water comes from and the quality of your drinking water, you can find out through your local governmental agencies. Here are a few of the local municipalities that manage the local water supplies:

Hard Water Spots Are Embarrassingly Ugly

Yes, those unsightly spots can be embarrassing when you are serving your guests a great wine in a glass with spots… or that beautiful table setting is marred with stains on your beautiful plates. Plus, they can be difficult to remove no matter how many times you wash your dishes. So, I came across a method for removing hard water from your dishes. For this method, you will need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Paper towels

Here’s How to Remove the Spots

First, be sure to buy a one-gallon jug of distilled vinegar to ensure that you have enough. Next, soak the dishes in a sink with half vinegar and half cold water between 3 and 4 hours. Take the dishes out one at a time, being sure to dunk them several more times in the sink before putting them in a drying rack. Use paper towels to wipe them all dry. You should repeat this every few months to make sure you keep removing hard water stains on your dishes. This will keep them extra-clean and sparkling.

Well, that’s my tip for this week! If you want to know today’s mortgage rates, or have questions, please give me a call! I’d be glad to help. Thanks for joining me. Have a great day.

How to Pick a Mortgage Professional in Sacramento

How to Pick a Mortgage Professional

How to Pick a Mortgage Professional in Folsom, El Dorado Hills and Greater Sacramento

As you know, buying a home can be exciting and hopeful but it can also be emotional. The Mortgage Professional or Loan Officer you select to start the process can be critical. It’s advisable to team up with a Loan Officer in the very beginning, that is local to the greater Sacramento area, whether it is Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills, and so on.

Getting Pre-Approved on a Home Loan in Greater Sacramento

Now, you have the advantage of getting preapproved and knowing just what you can afford. Sometimes, you may have to spend a little time getting your finances in order before you can be pre-approved, and a good Loan Officer can direct you on where to go or what your options are upfront.

Start Shopping for a Home Loan Expert in Sacramento

So, let’s say you are all set, you got preapproved and you know how much you can afford to spend. Great! Now, you can start shopping. You find the home of your dreams and are so excited to make that offer! How does your preapproval help in your home buying experience? Well, honestly, most real estate agents won’t spend a lot of time showing you homes until you are preapproved.

From the Realtor’s perspective, it can waste everyone’s time if you can’t qualify for a loan, or if they are showing you homes you find out later, you can’t afford. It’s also a huge benefit when you finally find that dream home and you go to make an offer.

Your Loan Officer will usually supply you with a preapproval letter for the amount of the offer you intend to make. This shows the seller you should qualify for the loan as long as nothing has changed financially for you. In today’s market, where sellers may be looking at multiple offers, having a strong preapproval can go a long way. A good Loan Officer may also call the listing agent and give them input as to how strong of a borrower you are. Now, you should have a very competitive advantage over other offers.

Now let’s talk about what to look for in a Loan Officer.

First, you want someone you feel like you can trust. Buying a home is a life-changing experience. Next, look for how they communicate…

  • Do you click with them?
  • Do they understand your needs?
  • Are they customer focused?
  • Are they knowledgeable about the Housing Market in your area?
  • Do they work alone or have a team?
  • Do they look for the loan scenario that fits your goals?
  • Do they have access to all of the loan products available?
  • Are they up to date on the guidelines?

Another question to ask yourself is, “If I need Down Payment Assistance, is this Loan Officer able to assist me through that process?”

Selecting a Loan Officer

Selecting a great Loan Officer isn’t like picking your BFF, its more about trust and competency, with a high sense of urgency to get the job done, right, and on time. Every Loan Officer isn’t right for every person. Here at Iron Point Mortgage, in Folsom CA, we have Loan Officers that work with a highly skilled team to get the job done, throughout the Sacramento area. One of them should be the right one for you! Remember, I’m here to help, so give us a call.  Get started right and have a great home buying experience.

How to Clean Granite Counters

How to Clean Granite Counters

Home Improvement Tips with Iron Point Mortgage in Folsom, CA

Granite counters are becoming the norm, because it is what everyone expects and wants in a home. There are so many different granite slabs, and no two are exactly alike! They look fantastic, are resilient when it comes to wear and tear or heat and, when properly sealed, easy to clean.

Once you know how to care for granite and some “no-no’s” to avoid, cleaning is simple. No two granite countertops are the same. Some come from the factory with a resin treatment, making them very easy to care for. Others require a sealant to be applied from every year to every few years. Regardless of the type of granite or type of seal, what doesn’t vary is what you should NOT be cleaning your granite countertops with. You should avoid using acid-based cleaners. Anything with lemon, orange, vinegar or is bleach-based, is harmful to granite. That means those Clorox disinfecting wipes that make cleanup so easy are bad for your granite’s seal. It can quickly erode the seal and dry out the granite, making them look dull.

So, what is the right way to clean granite? After cooking, or daily cleaning of granite is quite simple. All you need is a wash cloth, warm water, a small amount of dish soap and a hand towel for drying. Now and then, you may want to disinfect your countertops. That is pretty easy as well. To disinfect your granite, simply mix equal parts isopropyl alcohol and distilled water in a spray bottle. Thoroughly spray the countertop and allow the solution to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then simply wipe down with a wash cloth and dry with a towel. This method should also restore your granite’s brilliant shine. If you have a stain, rubbing it with a little baking soda may be all you need. Well that’s my tip, and I hope it helps you keep your granite counters looking beautiful for a long time. Give me a call if I can help with a preapproval or refinance. Have a great day.

HUD Announcement Reduction in Mortgage Insurance

NEWS ALERT: HUD ANNOUNCEMENT REDUCTION IN MORTGAGE INSURANCE

This is great news coming out of Washington! As the nation’s housing market continues to improve, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, announced the FHA will reduce the annual premiums new borrowers will pay by half of a percent.  It is projected to save about 2 Million FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually and incite 250,000 new homebuyers to purchase their first home over the next three years.

In the aftermath of the nation’s housing crisis in 2008, the FHA had increased its premium prices in order to stabilize the health of its MI Fund.  Today’s reduction will significantly expand access to mortgage credit for these families and is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 800,000 households who use FHA annually.

FHA’s new annual premium prices are expected to take effect towards the end of the month. FHA will publish a letter detailing its new pricing structure in the days to come.

With mortgage rates increasing slightly, this should help the FHA Home Loan borrower with their monthly payments. The rates are still hovering at half of the average mortgage rate of 8+% over the last 40 years. So, with that perspective, borrowing money to purchase a home continues to be affordable.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please feel free to call us. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

6 Out of Top 10 Hottest Real Estate Markets are in the West

6 Out of Top 10 Hottest Real Estate Markets are in the West – Sacramento is #4!

Top 10 Metro Housing Markets

According to Realtor.com, who predicted a minor slowdown for the U.S. real estate market next year, most of the hottest metro markets are going to keep blazing in 2017. And where do they predict the heat to come from? Well, six out of the top ten hottest markets, are in the west! The western U.S. will continue to lead in prices and sales.

The top 10 in order are:

  1. Phoenix AZ
  2. Los Angeles CA
  3. Boston MA
  4. Sacramento CA
  5. Riverside / Ontario CA
  6. Jacksonville FL
  7. Orlando FL
  8. Raleigh NC
  9. Tucson AZ
  10. Portland OR

These top 10 markets have specific conditions in common

They all benefit from relatively affordable rental prices, low unemployment, and large populations of millennials and baby boomers. They are forecasted to see average price gains of 5.8% and sales growth of 6.3%, exceeding this year’s anticipated national growth of 3.9% and 1.9%, respectively. And while the limited availability of homes for sale continues to be a problem for home buyers, but an advantage to sellers, these markets are seeing growth in new construction that eases the supply shortage somewhat.

Here is the Sacramento valley, we have several areas experiencing high growth. The South 50 corridor from El Dorado Hills west, will start having homes on the market later this year. Rancho Cordova is growing in the Anatolia area and beyond. Elk Grove continues to expand south. Realtor.com actually expanded their list and western cities account for 11 of the top 25 metro markets on our list, including five in California. Again, this is just another source projecting our area to be a hot housing market this year. If you are considering buying or selling to move up, or even downsizing, get started today.

Give us a call, we can help. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope to hear from you soon.

Do You Have a Brilliant Website?

Do You Have a Brilliant Website?

Websites Will determine your Success Online in the Competitive Market

Your Website Needs to Capture Leads, Data and Most Importantly Perform Well in Search

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, in a relationship business industry, or serving customers, your website must attract attention. It not only needs to attract an audience, it needs to give value to those who visit so they stay long enough to hear what you are saying. Whether you are located in Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rocklin, Lincoln, Loomis or in the Greater Sacramento area, you need a well-designed website. We use Front Street Media, they are a local web design company in El Dorado Hills, CA. Check out their services here.

Even though this video is geared toward the real estate industry, I wanted to share it with anyone who can use the information. After all, the online world can be very scary to many small-business owners, such as real estate agents, but, if you don’t embrace it, you may find yourself struggling to grow your client base. There are several main attributes to look for in an amazing website.

Search Engine Optimization Needs to be First and Foremost

The development of a brilliant website should be built with Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, from the ground up and geared to position your business at the top of the first page, for all the search engines, Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. The Search Engines are changing every day and so keeping on top of every algorithm change is best left to the experts.

After all, the online world can be very scary to many small-business owners, such as real estate agents, but, if you don’t embrace it, you may find yourself struggling to grow your client base. There are several main attributes to look for in an amazing website.

This is a full-time job, as it is a very dynamic industry. The small business owner such as the real estate industry faces a lot of competition to get to the top of page 1 and get found. Remember the phone books, where everyone was changing their name to “AAA” or “Acme” such as AAA Landscaping or Acme Roof Repair… that was so they were at the top of the listings in the Yellow Pages under their category! Well, the world is no longer alphabetical. It’s about quality of quantity.

How Much Content are you Generating for your Website?

It’s about how much content you generate and how engaging your website is. It’s also a continuous improvement project. Adding new content and updating information as changes occur is especially important. I highly recommend sitting down with a good website developer and having the conversation. Relying on word of mouth can only take you so far.

Remember, your website should be a tool to attract new clients, while retaining and keeping in touch with existing customers. If you need any suggestions, give me a call. We get it. And we are always here to help.