Buying and Selling Real Estate During the Winter Months

shj011617_buyingselling_in_winter_months_blog_imageWinter months are not known to be peak real estate markets. Most of us are settling in for the holidays and not thinking about moving. The good news is smart buyers are often looking to buy during this season and selling your house in the off-season is often less stressful than during peak months.

Benefits for Buyers:

Motivated sellers
Off-season sellers are not usually selling because they want to. Either their home has been on the market for a few months or they may need to move due to a job transfer or change of circumstance. Winter sellers are frequently more motivated and may be more inclined to negotiate with buyers.

Better service
By waiting until the winter to start your home search, you are likely to receive better service. Real estate agents, inspectors, appraisers and moving companies have more availability and mortgage brokers have fewer files on their desk.
Continue reading

Thinking of Buying a Vacation Home? Consider These 7 Things Before You Commit

shj101016_purchasing_vacation_house_blog_image_2You found an area you love and you’re thinking of buying a vacation home there. Having a second home can make vacationing easier, but it’s not always the right choice. Before you buy a vacation home, do your homework and make an informed decision.

Here are our 7 tips for buying a vacation home:

Have a Clear “Why”
It’s easy to get caught up in the charm of a new area when you’re on vacation, but it’s different to love a place enough to buy a second home there. Make a list of what you love about the area and create a calendar of dates you plan to visit. Does the list of loves and your availability to travel justify the expense of a second home?

Give it a Trial Run
Before you make the decision to buy a second home, be extra sure you like the area. Take a few trips to your desired location and rent homes in different neighborhoods. This will help you get a feel for what you enjoy most about the area and identify target neighborhoods. Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Owning Stock Where You Work

SHJ082916_Owning_Stock_Where_You_Work_Blog_ImageMany companies offer stock options and stock bonuses to their employees, but is owning stock where you work a good idea? The short answer: it depends. Below are our thoughts on the pros and cons of owning stock where you work.

PROS
One ‘pro’ to owning stock in the company where you work is the added motivation you have for the company to succeed. As an ‘owner’ in the company, your success is tied to their success. This holds true for the employees you manage as well.

More than the incentive to work hard, owning stock in the company you work for can pay off quickly. Often companies offer their stock at discounted prices to employees. Buying stock at a discount can pay off if the company does well. In general, you may want to limit your company stock exposure to 10% of your net worth (or less) to maintain diversification.

CONS
Your paycheck is already tied to your employer and tying more of your investment portfolio to the company where you work could significantly increase your risk. While being motivated to help the company grow can positively benefit your investment, it doesn’t mean the company is destined to be successful. Their downfall can mean a big financial loss for you. Remember General Motors, Enron and Lehman Brothers?

THE BOTTOMLINE
Owning stock in the company you work for can be a beneficial part of your financial plan. Talking to your financial advisor before making a decision to invest where you work is a good idea. Call 303-639-5100 for a complimentary consultation.

8 Important Times in Life to Talk with Your Financial Planner

SHJ062016_Sharkey_Howes_Javer_When_to_Meet_Blog_ImageLife moves quickly and big changes often happen in the blink of an eye. As your life circumstances change, it’s important to meet with your financial planner to discuss the potential impact to your financial plan and goals.

Getting Married
Merging two sets of finances together can be difficult. Shortly after you get married, or even before the big day, meet with your financial planner together. They will help you discuss goals, direction for investments and can create a joint financial plan. Combining assets can be much less stressful when you include your financial planner in the process.

Buying or Selling a Home
Your home is likely the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. When buying, most real estate agents will recommend you talk with your lender to find out what you qualify for, yet the agent and lender rarely consider any of your other financial goals in the equation. On the selling side, the impact of the sale on your overall financial plan is rarely taken into consideration. Since your financial planner understands and is trying to help you achieve all of your long term goals, talking with him/her before buying or selling a home can help you stay on track and avoid mistakes. Continue reading