The Basics Of Rug And Carpet Care

basic carpet careWhile most homeowners tend to rely on professional carpet cleaners to clean their carpeting, they fail to understand there are specific steps that can add durability to their carpets and rugs. Here’s a breakdown of how you can keep your carpeting and rugs in good shape.

  • Different treatments for different materials
    The care and cleaning of your carpeting and rugs will depend upon the materials from which they are made. Wool rugs require frequent vacuuming while avoiding the use of a rotary brush. Ammonia and highly alkaline cleaners should not be used because of the likelihood of damage to the wool. Synthetic carpets and rugs can be vacuumed using a beater brush to remove grit. A steam cleaner can be used to remove dirt and debris stuck in the fibers.
  • Vacuum High-Traffic Areas Frequently
    High-traffic areas are susceptible to stains. You may want to pay special attention to family rooms, door entries, halls leading to kitchens as well as pet areas. This essentially means vacuuming daily to keep persistent dirt at bay.
  • Air Them Out
    Dust collects in your carpets and rugs over time. This is unsanitary and can cause allergic reactions and other health problems. Airing out your carpets frequently is an important home maintenance task. Vacuuming will not be the best option as it tends to send dust into the air. Fresh air and sunlight will kill all the bacteria and remove the dust particles.
  • Use Pads Beneath Area Rugs
    Some people prefer to use accent area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting. While beneficial in most cases, don’t forget to use rug pads underneath your carpets to avoid two main challenges: carpet-surface erosion and dye transfer.
  • Use a High-Quality Vacuum
    Using a high-quality vacuum plays an important role in keeping your rugs and carpets in shipshape. Not all vacuum cleaners are the same, and you may want to choose high-quality products to avoid frustrating breakdowns when you’re putting in extra effort in the care of your carpets. A quality vacuum cleaner will be highly durable, effective, and efficient.
  • Regularly Rearrange Furniture
    Furniture positioning significantly affects the rate of wear and tear in carpets and rugs. Chairs and sofas strategically placed in permanent positions naturally cause foot traffic and dirt patterns mainly characterized by pets and normal wear and tear. Furniture legs can also damage carpets if not shifted periodically.

You may want to take care of carpet divots by placing ice cubes in plastic bags and resting the specified bag in the divot. The subsequent cold from the ice will cause the carpet fibers to bulge and restore their resilience and the carpet’s smooth surface.

Fixer-Upper Financing

Can you finance a Fixer-Upper ?

The FHA 203(k) is a mortgage and home improvement loan all in one.

You can replace a roof or replace the windows to conserve energy. Why not paint or put new siding on the home and give it a fresh new up to date look. You can put in your dream kitchen. Maybe new flooring, carpet or tile would be just the thing to make the home look amazing. Why not replace the electrical and plumbing in the home while you are at it.

What ever the case may be your needs can be addressed with this type of loan.

Information provided by Ed Muchnick, Gateway Mortgage

Low Down Payments

Are you wondering how much you need to save for your new home? It may not be as much as you think.


The VA and the USDA both offer a zero down loan program for individuals and/or properties that meet their criteria. Sometimes, loans require little or no cash out of pocket. Some HUD properties are available with as little as $100 down


Some Fannie Mae Community and Home Path ® programs allow just 3% down. You may even be able to fund your down payment through gifts, grants, employers, government agencies, unsecured loans from family or even with loans against CDs or retirement accounts.


The FHA loan program allows as little as 3.5% down, and it is more lenient than most other programs on minimum credit scores.


Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac conventional loans are available with down payments as low as 5%. The minimum changes based on property type, credit score, occupancy, etc.

ARE YOU SURPRISED at how low you may be able to go? While many believe a 20% down payment is required, you can now see that it’s far from the only option.

Information provided by Ed Muchnick, Gateway Mortgage

Seller Financed Home Loan

How does the seller determine the rate?

seller financedThe interest rate on a Seller Financed Transaction is negotiable. A seller can check with lenders and mortgage brokers to determine current rates on mortgage loans. 
Normally sellers do not charge loan fees or points therefore seller financed costs are generally less than a conventional home loan. 
Interest rates are reflected by current Treasury bill and certificate of deposit rates. 
Most sellers will not want to provide a loan for a lower interest than the market is offering. Interest rates the seller charges may be higher than those on conventional loans. Five to 15 year loans are usually acceptable.

What You Need to Apply for a Mortgage

mortgageWith the housing crisis that we experienced 10 years ago, lending is most likely a bit different than it may have been the last time you applied for a mortgage. This is said not to scare you, as lenders are still lending, homes are still selling and there is still a wide range of programs for customers to choose from ( yes, there are even still programs with little to no money down for a mortgage). Contact George with any questions you may have.

 Needed Items for a Mortgage

Income Items

• W2 forms for the last two years
• Most recent pay stubs covering a 30-day period
Federal tax returns (1040’s) for the last two years, if:
~you are self employed
~ earn regular income from capital gains
~ earn sizable interest income, etc.
~ earn more than 25% of your income from commissions or bonuses
~ own rental property
~ or are in a career where you are likely to take non-reimbursed business expenses.
• Corporate or Partnership tax returns (if you own more than 25% of the business)
•Pension Award Letter (for retired individuals)
• Social Security Award Letters (for those on social security)

Asset Items

• Bank statements for previous two months (sometimes three) on all accounts. All pages, even if you don’t think they are important
• Statements for two months on all stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc.
• Copy of latest 401k statement (or other retirement assets because they can count as reserves)
• Explanations for any large deposits and source of those funds
• Gift letter (if some of the funds come as a gift from a family member ~ the lender will supply a blank form).
• Additional documentation will also be needed to show transfer of gift funds

Credit Items

• Landlord’s name, address and phone number (if you rent for verification of rental)
• Explanation for any of the following items which may appear on your credit report: Late payments, credit inquiries, collections accounts
• Copy of bankruptcy papers if you have filed bankruptcy within the last seven years


• Copy of purchase agreement (if you have already made an offer)
• Copy of divorce decree and separation agreement

FHA Loans

• Copy of Social Security Card (or other documentation of social security number)
• Copy of driver’s license

VA Loans

• Copy of DD214

Information in this valuable article provided by Edward Muchnick

edward muchnick embrace home loans

What to Expect with a Home Inspection

residential-home-inspections-arlington-txBuying a home is a major investment and you don’t want any surprises! A home inspection is your opportunity to have your new home checked out by an experienced professional before you by. You can find out about potential problems, request repairs or even get out of your contract if you discover significant problems.

Home Inspection Contingency Clause

A home inspection contingency clause gives you a safe way to get out of the deal if your home inspector finds major structural or mechanical problems. Your real estate agent can advise you on the proper wording, but make sure to request this contingency clause be included.

Who Pays for a Home Inspection

As the buyer, you are responsible for choosing a home inspector and paying for the inspection. The cost varies by location and the size of the home, but you can expect to pay approximately $300 to $500.

Should a New Construction Home have a Home Inspection

Even newly constructed homes should get a home inspection. Builders can make mistakes and a home inspection will help you catch them. You may have the option to bring in a home inspector for a pre-drywall check in addition to a post-completion inspection. This extra check is often worth the fee, since a home inspector may spot problems that would be hidden once the drywall goes up.

Choosing a Home Inspector

Keep the following in mind when selecting a home inspector…..


Look for an inspector certified through the American Society of Home Inspectors. Some states also require certification for home inspectors.


Look for a home inspector who is experienced in general contracting instead of a specialist in one field, such as an electrician or plumber.

The Report

Some home inspectors provide detailed reports, while others offer little beyond a basic checklist. Ash what will be included and how long the report will take.

Errors and Omissions Insurance

Ask your home inspector if they have errors and omissions insurance, which may protect you if the inspector misses a significant problem.

Plan to be at the Home Inspection

You will receive a report after the home inspection, but that is not the same thing as being there to see the process yourself. Plan to shadow the inspector, ask questions and take your own notes.

Information in this valuable article provided by Edward Muchnick

edward muchnick embrace home loans

Important Real Estate Agent Traits

Important Real Estate Agent Traits as stated by Brightwood College back in 2015.

The business of Residential Real Estate has many different players, including appraisers, home inspectors, property managers, contractors, bankers, mortgage loan officers, and government agencies, as well as prospective buyers and sellers. But, the workhorses of the typical real estate transaction are the people that coordinate the process—the real estate agents and brokers.

A good real estate agent is similar in nature to a conductor of a symphony, coordinating the different players to make a successful transaction a reality. At different points in the process, the real estate agent is a salesperson, a buyer’s advocate, an analyst, a business manager, a consultant, a negotiator, and a marketer, just to name a few. We have found there are a number of qualities and traits that successful real estate professionals share.

George Bittner possesses the Important Real Estate Agent Traits to get your transaction successfully completed.

• Great attention to detail

• Knowledge of the Real Estate Market and the desire to keep up with changes in the market

• Ability to solve problems that may arise

• Lives by a high standard of honesty and integrity

• Has a network of contacts in the Real Estate Industry

• Hard work ethic


Buying a Home Important Steps

Buying a home or property is a big investment.

Before you make a move forward in purchasing, make sure you are prepared.

buying a home

Important Steps to Buying a Home:

Buying A Home / Strengthen your credit score…..

Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit“. High outstanding debt can affect a credit score. Pay off debt rather than moving it around. The most effective way to improve your credit scores in this area is by paying down your revolving (credit cards) debt.

Buying A Home / Figure out what you can afford as a mortgage payment…..

Your gross monthly income is very important! You need to analyze your monthly income, expenses, and future property taxes and insurance to estimate the mortgage amount that would best fit your budget.

If you make $80,000 a year, you should be looking at homes priced between $240,000 to $320,000. You can further limit this range by figuring out a comfortable monthly mortgage payment. To do this, take your monthly after-tax income, subtract all current debt payments and then multiply that number by 25%.

The golden rule in determining how much home you can afford is that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income (your income before taxes are taken out).

Buying A Home / You will need down payment, closing costs…..

The down payment is the cash portion of the purchase price that you use to buy a home. … Closing costs are the fees that you pay to purchase the property including loan fees, recording fees, taxes, documentation charges and title insurance. Down payments vary on the loan type.

You can generally expect the total Closing Costs to be between 1 and 5% of the price you are paying to buy your home. Payment for closing costs can sometimes be financed with your loan, in which case it will be subject to interest charges. Alternatively, you can pay your closing costs in cash, similar to your down payment.

Buying A Home / Build a healthy savings account…..

Pay yourself first! Set aside money for savings at the beginning of each month, rather than waiting to see what’s left at the end. Decide on a percentage of your monthly income (for example, 5-10%) to direct deposit or transfer into your savings account.

Buying A Home / Get pre-approved for a mortgage…..

When you are pre-approved for a mortgage, it means a lender has looked closely at your credit reports, your employment history, and your income — and has then determined which loan programs you qualify for, the maximum amount you can borrow and the interest rates you will be offered.

A mortgage pre-qualification can be useful as an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on your home, but a preapproval is much more valuable because this means the lender has actually checked your credit and verified your documentation to approve a specific loan amount for a specific length of time.

Buying A Home / Buy the house you like and fits your everyday needs…..

Before you start looking for a home you must first define and choose the type of life you want to live.

You’re the one who will be living in this home every single day, living in this neighborhood, living this lifestyle day in day out. Is it the right fit for you and your family? We want you to be happy with all of it, and that starts with what YOU want.

This self-analysis at the very start should hopefully lead you to the right home purchase for you and your lifestyle (and yes, budget!).  It’s important to ask yourself questions that dig deeper than the traditional “How many bedrooms you would like in a home?” questions. Your honest answers to more revealing questions that delve into more detailed aspects of your needs and desires are what should drive your home search.