Reverse mortgages allow senior homeowners to tap equity for cash

Reverse mortgages are an effective way for Baby Boomer and senior homeowners to access equity they’ve built on their homes without selling. These federally funded loans eliminate mortgage payments, though homeowners are still responsible for property taxes and insurance. They free up cash for home improvement, other debts, medical needs and everyday expenses. They make sense for homeowners who plan to “age in place” and stay in their homes long-term.

Reverse mortgages are repaid when the borrower’s home is sold or no longer the primary residence. The loan payment comes out of the property’s equity (and the homeowner can’t borrow more than their property is worth) so no debt transfers to heirs. Remaining equity can be passed on after the loan is repaid.

Terrie Cox, suggests her clients talk with a financial advisor if they’re considering a reverse mortgage. As RE/MAX’s top broker in Oregon and Washington, she has helped retirees and seniors transition into ideal living arrangements to prepare for their later years. To talk about your plan, call or text Terrie at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: October 31, 2016 7:47 pm BY:

Successfully List Your Home with Terrie’s Presale Tips

Prepare.

Find an incredible Realtor. A reliable real estate agent is the key to a successful move. Ask around for referrals, and be sure to check out their websites, listing photos and marketing materials. Stopping by open houses in your area is another low-pressure way to meet a variety of agents and collect information.

Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top real estate broker in Oregon and Washington, helps her clients navigate their lengthy pre-sale to-do lists. With her guidance, your listing will get excellent exposure and you’ll be professionally represented in negotiations, resulting in unbeatable offers and shorter time on the market overall.

Make peace with moving before listing. It’s normal to get attached to your home, but concentrating on selling with a negative attitude is difficult. Allow time to feel sadness or loss, then focus on the positive aspects of moving (i.e. more space for your growing family, shorter commute, fenced yard for your dog).

Begin cleaning, organizing and decluttering. Realtors advise making your house feel clean and neutral so potential buyers can imagine living there. Pack personal effects like photos and souvenirs, stow small kitchen appliances to show off counter space and find a tidy spot for toys, if you have children or pets. This is a great time to toss, donate or sell things that won’t be making the move with you.

Get your legal ducks in a row. Are there any incurred debts or liens against your property? Resolve them. Do you own it jointly with siblings or a divorced spouse? Get their consent. Do you know where your important documents are (i.e. deed, surveys, appraisals, documentation of repairs or improvements, tenant agreements, community covenants)? Find them. All of this will come up during negotiations.

 

Take action.

Get a pre-sale inspection and appraisal. A thorough inspection will identify problems in your home, giving you a chance to fix them before you list and, potentially, leverage during negotiations. The appraisal will guide how you and your agent price your home, taking into account the improvements you’ve made, property value increases and similarly priced homes in your area. Your agent can help you find qualified service professionals.

Make necessary repairs. Address issues with HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as problems with your roof, basement or attic, particularly mold or moisture inside. Alternatively, be prepared to disclose serious problems to the buyer and, potentially, accept a lower offer.

Spruce up a few other things, too. Outdated or ugly landscaping, fixtures, appliances or walkways can be enough to turn buyers off of an otherwise perfect home. But fixes don’t need to be expensive to be effective. Smoothing sticky drawers or doors, repairing that leaky sink, adding plants to your porch or replacing old light fixtures can make your place look inviting and move-in ready.

Be smart about updating. You may be considering a glamorous remodel to raise your home’s selling price. While a new kitchen or master suite may contribute to a faster sale or higher offers, you probably won’t recoup the entire cost of the renovation. If you do remodel, select neutral, high-quality finishes. But never underestimate the impact — and reasonable price tag — of fresh paint.

 

List it.

List your house and spread the word. Arrange professional listing photos of your home, and take your agent’s advice on staging and improving curb appeal. Check the listing and marketing materials to ensure all details are correct.

Your agent will market the home to potential buyers, as well as other agents. Terrie invests in each of her listings, using a mix of traditional advertising channels (signs, flyers and newspaper listings) as well as digital media (online ads, social media posts, photo galleries and video tours, email newsletters and more) to attract attention to your home. You also can share your listing with friends, family and your social network.

Terrie Cox is a Certified Negotiation Expert and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. She has helped clients in the Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, areas price their homes competitively and sell quickly for 30 years. If you’re thinking about listing, call or text her at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: October 20, 2016 7:30 pm BY:

Smooth relocation relies on smart prep, dependable Realtor

Congratulations! You landed that great job … in another city. Relocation doesn’t have to be stressful, but there are a lot of moving parts. When you partner with a skilled Realtor like world-ranked RE/MAX broker Terrie Cox to manage the details, everything falls into place.

Follow these steps to a smooth relocation:

1. Choose an ally.

Terrie Cox can streamline your move to Oregon or Washington. As a lifelong Pacific Northwest resident — as well as RE/MAX’s top broker in the region — she’s highly qualified to advise clients on what part of the city and what kind of home might suit them. Terrie is a Certified Relocation Professional, trained to help families transition seamlessly to their new homes, manage relocation expenses and get to know the area.

Terrie’s understanding of the luxury real estate market has given her remarkable insight into what’s important to both buyers and sellers. She’s an expert at working with clients to craft and submit solid offers on their dream homes.

2. Negotiate your relocation.

Set a realistic start date in your new location with your employer. Give yourself and your family plenty of time to learn about the city and visit, if possible; find a good neighborhood; put an unhurried offer in on a home you love; and get comfortable before your first day. If you have school-age children, scheduling your move during a seasonal or holiday break may make the transition easier.

Also be sure you understand your company’s relocation assistance packages and budget accordingly.

3. Get to know your new city.

If your timeline allows it, visit the city you’ll soon call home. See your new home, office and neighborhood and check out your kids’ school, as well as your commute.

When there isn’t time, leverage your network: ask friends and family if they know any locals, call on acquaintances there or email future coworkers with questions. Your Realtor also can give you recommendations for service or repair professionals, nearby grocery stores and local recreation, including options for children.

4. Buy, sell or rent.

Don’t hesitate to rely on your Realtor for help staying on track amid the confusion of moving. And keep in mind that renting in your new city for a few months may be the best option until you find the right neighborhood or home. An experienced Realtor will understand each step and advise you on how to take it. Terrie’s guides for buyers and sellers can help get you started.

5. Take stock of your stuff.

Relocating is an opportunity to part with things you don’t use or enjoy. Ensure your furniture will work in your new home before toting it long distances, only to find it doesn’t fit or match. When moving day comes, make sure your essentials are close at hand, especially if you’re arriving at your new home before the moving truck.

6. Have a family plan.

Relocating can affect families in ways that are difficult to anticipate. Terrie has experience assisting families as they move and will make yours feel supported amid all the unexpected errands and to-do lists. Work with her to coordinate your moving timeline and connect with resources that will make the transition and settling into your new home easier.

Terrie can will be by your side to help make your relocation to the Portland-Vancouver area a success. Call or text her at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net with your relocation questions.

POSTED ON: October 20, 2016 5:14 pm BY:

For Home Loan Applicants, The First Step is Stability

For many buyers, getting a home loan is central to the purchasing process.

Above all, Terrie Cox advises clients to maintain stability before buying a home. Don’t start or quit a job, change marital status, take out personal loans or rack up debt. This may seem counter-intuitive, since buyers often search for a home in response to life changes and may be eager to purchase furniture or appliances. Loan underwriters prioritize consistency, so it’s important to build a steady financial reputation.

Similarly, if buyers receive a large amount of money ahead of a purchase (i.e. cash gift from a parent for a down payment), document it with a gift letter. It should state:

  • Giver’s name, contact information, relationship to the buyer and signature
  • Gift’s amount and transfer date
  • Giver’s statement that they don’t expect repayment
  • Address of intended property

Terrie suggests organizing two years of tax information and bank statements from the past 30 days. Especially be aware of net income, credit scores and histories, existing debt and progress on payoff, and total assets. This will help you avoid surprises during the underwriter’s assessment.

Terrie is RE/MAX’s top broker in the Pacific Northwest and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For advice on home loans, call or text her at (360) 607-4100, or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: October 11, 2016 2:50 pm BY:

For Contractor & Home Services Referrals, Turn To Your Realtor

A realtor’s guidance doesn’t stop when the offer is accepted on a new home. They’re valuable resources for homeowners beyond the sale — especially when those homeowners find themselves in a new city without trusted colleagues, family, or friends to turn to.

Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top real estate broker in Oregon and Washington, knows that buying a house is the first step in making a place home.

Terrie’s clients often plan renovations, repairs, appliance updates, and other projects for their new properties. Newcomers can anticipate Terrie’s support and advice as they navigate the concerns that accompany relocation, and she’s happy to put them in touch with quality services.

With more than 25 years of experience as a realtor in the Pacific Northwest real estate market and hundreds of happy clients and contacts, Terrie has a deep network of contractors in the Portland-Vancouver area. She has vetted the best businesses to help homeowners repair and upgrade their homes.

“We keep a database,” Terrie said, “and we’re constantly seeking out good contractors that we think are honest and trustworthy and offer fair pricing.”

 

Trusted Service by Quality Contractors

Terrie’s service goes beyond the typical realtor simply providing contact information, a referral, and a good review. Terrie helps her clients evaluate the bids they receive, pointing out crucial details and red flags. She recommends that her clients get at least two estimates to protect themselves against price gouging.

All of the contractors in Terrie’s exclusive referral database are licensed, bonded, and insured. They also guarantee their work. In many cases, she’s done business with these professionals and built relationships that give her referrals extra value.

“These are people I know from my experience in this market,” Terrie said, adding that these are professionals she’d hire herself.

 

Expert Advice From Terrie Cox

Terrie makes time to answer her clients’ questions and ensure they receive fair, high-quality service from her referrals. Her network extends beyond contractors and repair professionals to include lawyers, doctors, out-of-market real estate agents, and more.

If you’re relocating or planning a home project, call or text Terrie (360) 607-4100 or email her with questions and referral requests. She is also available to review bids from contractors to help you negotiate the right pricing and timelines.

POSTED ON: September 28, 2016 1:22 pm BY:

MODERN STREET OF DREAMS HOME EMBODIES SERENE LUXURY IN OREGON CITY

Nestled among the trees at the end of a private driveway, the Cosmopolitan — a 2004 Street of Dreams home — sits on more than an acre of quiet woods and exudes modern zen. The entry’s custom stonework, harmonious landscaping and koi pond set a serene tone for this property in Oregon City, Oregon.

Inside, towering windows and ceilings make nature a focal point of each room, allowing territorial vistas and seasonal views of Hidden Lake. Natural elements — including exotic woods, such as Wenge flooring, gleaming Black Limba cabinetry, Santos Rosewood doors and a Mahogany deck — offer warmth alongside cool slate tile, glass and metallic accents.

In the gourmet kitchen, Viking appliances and a custom island create a comfortable space for for eating, cooking and entertaining. It overlooks the great room, where 12-foot windows allow natural light to stream into the main floor. A 700-square-foot covered patio features a second kitchen, as well as an outdoor dining area and living space, anchored by a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. The patio is a gorgeous space to unwind, protected from weather and pests by automatic screen shutters.

The lower level features a wet bar, a large wine room and a spacious family room, as well as a media room that rivals any movie theater for comfort and quality. An exercise room, spa and steam shower make total wellness possible in the convenience of home. Massive doors open up the lower level to the deck’s hot tub and picturesque views.

The master suite is a true sanctuary, with a two-way fireplace, private deck, soak tub and accommodating walk-in closet. Three additional bedrooms and bathrooms give everyone in the family, as well as guests, their own place in this home.

Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help you negotiate the purchase of your luxury home with expert guidance and industry insight. To schedule your private viewing at this stunning Oregon City home, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

See more photos, a video tour and more details with the full listing.

POSTED ON: September 26, 2016 5:11 pm BY:

CLASS & COMFORT STAND OUT AT REFINED CAMAS RETREAT

The grandeur of this custom Camas estate begins on the winding driveway and continues throughout the property. Positioned at the end of a private cul-de-sac and overlooking the 16th fairway of Camas Meadows Golf Course, every inch of this 7,431 square foot home exudes inspired sophistication.

Inside, natural light streams through wide windows, accentuating the main floor’s raised ceilings and ornate light fixtures. The foyer’s columns and sweeping height give way to a lofty sitting room, as well as a formal dining area. In the kitchen – flanked by a cozy living area –custom cabinetry, high-end appliances and a breakfast nook are adjoined by a butler’s cook kitchen for elegant entertaining.

The secluded main-floor library features custom millwork, two built-in desks, a 20-foot octagon dome ceiling and a fireplace. The Cinetopia theater room includes a 10-foot screen, stadium seating, a wet bar and a true theater surround sound experience for watching movies, enjoying sports and playing games.

The master wing is an oasis. An elevated tub flanked by Tuscan pillars, sitting area, fireplace, walk-in closet and heated floor create a sumptuous suite. Three more luxurious bedroom suites, one with a balcony overlooking the golf course, offer plenty of additional room.

Back outside, the terrace, pool, hot tub and basketball court offer limitless options for entertaining and exercise. Three garages on either side of the home can accommodate three vehicles, as well as a 48-foot RV. Courtyard and backyard fountains add an extra touch of class to this property’s luxurious ambience.

Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help you negotiate the purchase of your luxury home with expert guidance and industry insight. To schedule your private viewing at this magnificent Camas home, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

See more photos, a video tour and more details with the full listing.

POSTED ON: September 21, 2016 5:15 pm BY:

BREATHTAKING VIEWS, BOUNDLESS SPACE SET WASHOUGAL ESTATE APART

Find secluded elegance in this expansive Washougal home, positioned on more than 6 acres and surrounded by mountain views. Lush landscaping– including a serene pond – throughout the grounds creates a paradise for entertaining, gardening or simply relaxing under the trellis next to the fire. The vast grounds are spacious enough for a pool, basketball and tennis courts, a dog run or even a helicopter pad.

Large windows and luxe outdoor living spaces blur interior and exterior, with sophisticated crown molding, arched doorways and custom millwork balancing earthen tile floors and stone detail inside and out. The tone and functionality of the gourmet kitchen continue through the sliding door to the deck’s cooking space, which also includes stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

A massive, versatile rec room anchors this home with a vaulted timbered ceiling that accommodates the towering stone fireplace, granite and wood finishes, a full bar and built-in cabinetry. The space comfortably hosts 200 guests and leads directly to a deck with a Jacuzzi and soaring views of the Columbia River valley.

Everyone can have their own space in the home’s four bedrooms and grand master wing. And the in-law suite – or guest house – attached to the barn and eight-car garage offers additional family and visitors a private retreat. A main-floor office is ideal for remote work, studying and reading. More finished space in the basement offers room for exercise and low-key recreation.

Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help you negotiate the purchase of your luxury home with expert guidance and industry insight. To schedule your private viewing at this incredible Washougal home, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

See more photos, a video tour and more details with the full listing.

POSTED ON: September 21, 2016 5:14 pm BY:

TRANQUIL, TRADITIONAL VANCOUVER HOME FILLED WITH DISTINGUISHED DETAILS

A sense of comfortable peace permeates this Vancouver, Washington, home, situated at the end of a private cul-de-sac in a secure community. Semi-circle benches invite cozy nights gathered around the fire pit, while the backyard’s waterfall koi pond and pleasing landscaping inspire serene reflection. Inside, clean lines and plenty of windows build harmonious flow and allow natural light to stream in. Clever sightlines through doors, balconies and stately columns reveal thoughtful vignettes throughout the home.

The main level’s tall tray ceilings and gallery-quality lighting make the living room an ideal environment for displaying treasured artwork. Stately columns give way to a spacious — yet intimate — formal dining room. Gleaming wood floors and counter space abound, leaving the kitchen wide open for creating and entertaining; the butler’s pantry ensures you’ll always have what you need on hand.

Each of the four bedrooms comes with its own personality and luxurious accommodations. The master suite opens through double doors to a spacious retreat with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, a private balcony, a massive custom closet and a generous master bath with a soaking tub and walk-in shower. Also upstairs, a relaxed family room and home gym offer outlets for entertainment as well as exercise.

In the lower level, an enormous state-of-the-art wine cellar and tasting room beckon enthusiasts to sit, sip and share favorite bottles from their collection. Outside, a covered patio with a large stone hearth provides another tranquil spot for conversation. This sitting area opens up to the rest of the backyard oasis, but includes curtains for privacy and protection from the weather.

This Vancouver property is bold, warm and welcoming from the first look. To schedule your private viewing, contact Terrie Cox, Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker, by calling or texting (360) 607-4100, emailing terrie@terriecox.net or visiting usa-relocate.com. Terrie is recognized among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world. With nearly three decades of industry expertise, she’s uniquely qualified to help you negotiate the purchase of your luxury home.

See more photos, a video tour and more details about this home with its full listing on usa-relocate.com.

POSTED ON: September 21, 2016 5:12 pm BY:

BRUSH PRAIRIE HOME’S BOUNDLESS VIEWS, ABUNDANT RECREATION IDEAL FOR ACTIVE FAMILIES

Perched atop an elevated lot, this spacious Brush Prairie, Washington, estate is a true paradise for families. A magnificent waterfall is the centerpiece of the property’s lush landscaping, welcoming guests to the front entry and creating privacy. The terraced backyard features a pool and hot tub, large play structure, fire pit, four-hole putting green and sport court with several areas to relax, entertain and enjoy the incredible scenery.

Inside the grand foyer, the soaring ceilings and detailed metalwork on the split staircase make a statement that resounds throughout this dignified home. The great room’s floor-to-ceiling windows incorporate territorial panoramas into the elegantly rustic décor, set off by a stone fireplace, wrought iron light fixtures and unique built-ins. A wet bar and countertop seating connect the great room to the kitchen, featuring Viking stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, tray ceilings and gorgeous custom cabinetry. The dining room and a private walk-out deck offer more breathtaking views.

The main floor continues with a cozy game room, as well as a secluded office and library. In the sumptuous master suite, homeowners will enjoy a fireplace and an accommodating bathroom that includes a dual vanity, walk-in glass shower and large jet tub. The second floor adds three bedrooms and another sitting area, perfect for everyone to play and unwind together.

Back outside, a large covered patio hosts a barbecue, outdoor kitchen and bar alongside all of this property’s outdoor recreation options. Stone pillars and decorative concrete flooring tie in the natural elements and design themes of the house’s interior.

To schedule your private viewing at this impressive Brush Prairie home, contact Terrie Cox, Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker, by calling or texting (360) 607-4100, emailing terrie@terriecox.net or visiting usa-relocate.com. Terrie is recognized among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world. With nearly three decades of industry expertise, she’s uniquely qualified to help you negotiate the purchase of your luxury home.

See more photos, a video tour and more details about this property with its full listing on usa-relocate.com.

POSTED ON: September 21, 2016 4:41 am BY: