The Keiths Blog

Unlike earlier generations of retirees who paid off their mortgages and retired in their family home, today's Baby Boomers are looking to capitalize on home equity to enhance their retirement savings. If you’re thinking how relocating might stretch your retirement dollar, below are a few points you should consider before relocating, downsizing, or trading up:Tiny house

1. Speak with your spouse or partner first, even if you think you’re both of the same mind. Don’t assume that you’re in agreement. When the moment to make the leap comes, feelings may change.

2. Consider the cost-of-living in a different part of the country. There’s a pretty big swing between rural Florida and urban San Francisco, for example. This might also mean factoring fuel costs if you’re

298 Views, 0 Comments

Lake Home In Northern MinnesotaWith favorable interest rates still at hand, you may be considering the possibility of a vacation home. A vacation home can be an excellent investment, providing you with a tangible asset you can also enjoy when you want to take a little time off.

 Here are some tips to keep in mind before you start your search for the ideal vacation home:

 1. How far do you want to travel? A remote cabin in an unspoiled wilderness might be a lifelong fantasy, but how much fun will it be if it takes half your vacation time to get there? Ask yourself how often you might use this vacation home and how much time you’re willing to spend to get there.

2. Have you spent time there before? Don’t buy before you try. Certain locales may sound romantic or exotic, but if

295 Views, 0 Comments

New KitchenOver time, almost any home could use an upgrade. Not only is wear and tear an issue, but our needs change as we do. Birth, death, marriage, the kids going off to college… all can have a profound impact on the utility of our home and the pleasure we take in it. Home renovation can be an excellent way to improve your quality of life, but is it always the best choice? By asking yourself these five essential renovation questions, you can gain real insight into the right decision.

1. What are your renovation priorities?

Yes, if you could do it all, it would be great. But odds are you won’t be able to do it all. So brainstorm all of your renovation desires and write them down. Next, rank them by order of importance. Some will be large and some will be

196 Views, 0 Comments

Interest RateHave major medical debts kept you from securing a mortgage? Have you found the terms of loans you’re able to qualify for too expensive? All of that might change soon due to an upgrade to the FICO credit scoring system. The new score is called FICO 9, and it aims to provide assistance to millions of Americans who have found themselves hit by major medical debt and cross-agency reporting problems. Here are the highlights about the FICO 9 score:

A more refined look at debt collection

With FICO 9, your credit score will be calculated considering medical versus non-medical collection agencies. Debts in collection due to medical bills will be treated differently than non-medical debt in collection. According to FICO, because of this change "the median

366 Views, 0 Comments

If a person or family is ready, willing and able to purchase a home, we believe that owning is much better than renting.

And we believe that now is a great time to buy.

 

We are not the only ones that think owning has massive benefits or that now is a sensational time to plunge into owning your own home. Here are a few others:

 

Benefits of Owning

 

Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord…Having to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings.”

 

The Federal Reserve

“Renters have much lower median and mean net worth than

579 Views, 0 Comments

Another snowy day here in Minnesota! At least the kids are back in school, and I hear that we will soon be up to a high in the 30s. Spring is here! Not quite... but it is in the real estate market. There is much to prepare for our busiest time of year.

I thought you might enjoy a brief real estate market note. 

In 2012 the median sales price increased 12% and in 2013 the median sales price increased just over 14%. Hooray for 2 consecutive years of solid price gains! 

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of or considering buying their first home (maybe someone you know?). Prices are still below those of a few years ago as they are not yet near the peak and…
576 Views, 0 Comments

The chaos of moving day is a prime time to forget or misplace essential items.  When you’re preparing for the big move to your new home, the following items are some of the most overlooked (and the most sorely missed in a time of need!).

To prevent the hassle and heartbreak of forgotten possessions and lost information, make a check list containing the following items:

1. Jewelry, watches, and small valuables:  These small, expensive and often irreplaceable items are best kept in a safe deposit box or kept with trustworthy friends or relatives on moving day.

2. Garage door opener:  The old one won’t be of much use at your new house, will it? Be sure to leave it behind for the new owners.  Also, make sure the old owners of your new house give you

597 Views, 0 Comments

Having fun in Minneapolis and St. Paul doesn't need to be expensive. Below are several suggestions on how you can get free, or really cheap, tickets to great performances in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

  1. During the month of your birthday, Acme Comedy Co. will give you and five friends free tickets to a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night show. Visit Acme Comedy Co. at 708 North First Street, Minneapolis, or call 612-338-6393 for more information.
  2. In The Heart of the Beast, a puppet theatre in Midtown Minneapolis, offers free puppet shows to children on Saturday mornings. The theatre company can be contacted at 612-721-2535.
  3. Once a year, Barebones Productions in St.Paul offers free tickets to see their spectactular, annual Halloween puppet show.
886 Views, 0 Comments

First Time Buyer KeyBuying that first home is an exciting time in the lives of a couple, young family, or individual. Because homeownership isn't as attainable for young people today as it was in the past, buying a first home has become a truly joyous time for first-time buyers and their families. Still, there are some factors worth considering prior to becoming a homeowner.

For most people, a home is the single largest investment that they will ever make in their lives. This is why so much preparation must go into it beforehand. To begin, homebuyers will need to ask themselves many questions, including, "How much can I afford?" To answer this, it's useful to take a look at your current household budget and to review your financial situation. You'll need to ensure that you

823 Views, 0 Comments