Home for the Holidays
By Callie Hill
Goldstar Branch Manager and Loan Originator
The holidays will find us once again gathering with family and friends, hosting holiday parties, and sharing countless special moments. Many of us will welcome out of town guests and children home on Winter Break. Home is especially important this time of year; it’s the stage where time-honored traditions play out and memories are made that last a lifetime. During this hectic season, we often realize our growing families and changing lifestyle may require a change in the place we call home. We may feel we don’t have adequate space or amenities we need for optimum entertainment or for our families to comfortably enjoy one another. Perhaps we’ve also lost our sense of pride in a home that has begun to feel outdated. Our home is where our lives unfold, and it should enable us to make the most of our holidays and life experiences in general.
For example, traditions such as where we display the Christmas tree, where decorations are hung, or how many people we’re able to entertain are all affected by the space we have available. Although it may be painfully obvious that more space is in order, the deep sentimental attachment we have to our homes may prevent us from moving. This may be the first home you’ve shared with your spouse, where you first brought your child home from the hospital and raised your family, or where you’ve spent countless hours with dear friends. The thought of leaving may tug at your heartstrings more than a desire for change.
When moving is out of the question, many issues may be remedied simply by making renovations and improvements. Renovating flooring, light fixtures, kitchens and bathrooms can make all in the difference in both functionality and the pride we feel regarding our home. Expanding an outdoor living space with a deck, second kitchen, or additional heat source can enable us to accommodate a greater number of guests. We may have an unfinished bonus room or basement that, if improved, could add to our enjoyment as well as significantly increase our home’s market value.
As wonderful as these ideas sound, however, they are often costly and typically fall outside one’s budget. The good news is that Gold Star Mortgage can help finance these dream improvements. We’ve helped many clients easily complete such projects using a loan program that allows financing up to 97.5% of the home’s projected value AFTER the renovations are complete. If your current home is where your heart is, there are numerous ways Gold Star can help make it more functional and appealing.
On the other hand, you may be willing to relocate for the improvements you seek. If there is no place to accommodate the 12’ Christmas tree you’ve always wanted, and your family has outgrown your current living space, sometimes the best solution is to begin making memories in a new home. If that’s the case, there really is no time like the present to start thinking more seriously about exactly what you need in order to find the home that’s absolutely perfect for you.
According to top real estate agent Penny Miller with RE/MAX Advantage South, “There are definitely benefits to putting your home on the market around the holidays and during the winter months. You’ll have less competition, more serious buyers, and a quicker sale process overall. Plus, homes and neighborhoods look their best decked out for the holiday season.” With interest rates still historically low, waiting may simply mean you’re inviting a larger monthly payment down the road. As we know, rates have been on the rise for over a year with additional increases predicted as we move into 2019. You should also know that Gold Star’s unique FastPass Approval can help win the home you want and reach the closing table in record time. FastPass is backed by complete underwriting of the loan file with only property- related conditions remaining such as the appraisal and clear title. Real estate agents and sellers recognize that a FastPass Approval is comparable to a cash offer, and this provides a huge competitive edge in the marketplace.
Whether you are considering sprucing up your current home or starting afresh, we would love to help you make your dream home, your home for the holidays.