Crowdfunding Real Estate Investments

You may have heard about people raising thousands or even millions of dollars for business ventures on sites like Kickstarter. Known as crowdfunding, it’s a concept now making its way into real estate circles, driven by the signing of the JOBS Act in 2012, which made it legal for companies to solicit funds from and promise equity to ordinary investors online.

What’s the Appeal?
For individuals, crowdfunding makes real estate investing more accessible (minimums can be as low as $1,000). For developers, it provides a new source of capital and can help bypass a bank when the size of a project or some other factor makes it difficult to secure a loan.

There are two ways it’s been playing out. Debt crowdfunding pools money and lends it to a company with interest, similar to a mortgage. Equity crowdfunding, on the other hand, takes money in return for ownership.

Things to Know
As with any investing, crowdfunding involves risk. When considering an investment, look at the developer’s track record, determine whether they’re invested in their own project and make sure you understand what your stake in the project will be.

You should also know there are caps on how much you can invest during any 12-month period. And you may also be limited on how long you must hold the investment before selling it.

While real estate crowdfunding is still in its infancy, there’s good reason to believe it’ll keep growing. The key, of course, will be in making the right deals.

TrustLine Mortgage
TrustLine Mortgage, Inc.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
Phone (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

Top 10 Outdoor Remodeling Projects

You’ve probably heard that outdoor remodeling projects can improve the resale value of your home, but do you know which ones are the most highly recommended by Realtors? A recent report by the National Association of Realtors ranked the most valuable outdoor features in terms of cost and return on investment.

Here’s a look at their top picks in order of their appeal to buyers:
1.Basic Lawn Care — 303 percent ROI with an estimated cost of $330 for six applications of fertilizer and weed control
2.Overall Landscape Upgrade — 105 percent ROI with an estimated cost of $4,750 for a 30-foot flagstone walkway, two 6-foot stone planters, five flowering shrubs, one deciduous 15-foot tree and mulch
3.New Patio — 102 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $6,400
4.New Wood Deck — 106 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $9,450
5.Softscape Upgrade — 100 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $7,000 for five trees, 25 shrubs, 60 perennials, edging and boulders
6.Sod Lawn — 143 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $700 for 1,000 feet
7.Seed Lawn — 417 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $120 for 1,000 feet
8.Fire Pit — 78 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $4,500 for dry stacked natural stone kits and a gas burner with 10-foot-diameter flagstone patio
9.Fireplace — 60 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $13,300 for veneered masonry stone, gas starter, chimney and wood mantel
10.New Pool — 50 percent ROI for an estimated cost of $50,000

HouseLogic, a homeownership site, surveyed consumers about their last remodeling project and calculated a “joy score” from 1 to 10 based on their satisfaction with the completed work. While a pool came in last in terms of its buyer appeal and ROI, it received the highest joy score, a perfect 10.

Other top joy-scoring projects included an overall landscape upgrade (9.8), a new wood deck (9.7), a new patio (9.6) and a softscape upgrade (9.6).

TrustLine Mortgage
TrustLine Mortgage, Inc.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
Phone (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

4 Home Tasks to Leave to the Pros

Do you have a few home improvement projects to tackle in the coming months? A quick search on the internet can result in an array of DIY tutorials and videos, but just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should. Here is a handful of home projects that are better left to the pros:

Tree Removal
Trimming trees brings you face to face with several hazards, including using tall ladders, climbing trees and working at unfamiliar heights. Then there are the dangers of overhead power lines, unwieldy chainsaws and falling branches — all sobering risks, even for experienced tree care experts.

Roof Repairs
You can probably handle a gutter cleaning if you have a low-slung roof, but anything more should give you pause. DIYers face the risk of a fall due to the steep slopes and angles of most rooftops, as well as bungling the job. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up with water damage the next time a storm passes through.

Asbestos Removal
Suspecting you have this toxic substance in your home isn’t necessarily cause for panic, but it is a major health hazard that warrants a professional opinion. Some states, counties and cities regulate asbestos removal by homeowners, requiring a permit, proper disposal and more.

Gas, Electricity and Plumbing Fixes
With one wrong move, do-it-yourself work on gas, electrical and plumbing lines can turn into a big mess. A plumbing fail can quickly flood your home, while a botched gas or electrical job can result in a fire.

Saving money may make a DIY approach inviting, but disastrous results aren’t worth it. Be smart about what you choose to tackle around your home and what you leave to skilled experts.

TrustLine Mortgage
TrustLine Mortgage, Inc.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
Phone (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

Use Language To Sell Your Home

You know words matter, but when it comes to real estate listings, the words used can impact the sale. Keep the following tips in mind to craft a listing description that’s both accurate and compelling:

Use Buzzwords
High-response terms can vary by price point and region, but research shows that several words and phrases help nationwide. Homes touting “Shaker cabinets,” “subway tile” and “quartz” sold faster than anticipated and up to 13 percent over their expected values. Other terms that had a positive impact: “Craftsman,” “frameless shower” and “heated floors.”

What’s the takeaway? Be specific. Rather than the vague “gourmet kitchen,” call out the particulars, like the quartz countertops and Shaker cabinets. (In fact, one study found a correlation between the use of “gourmet kitchen” and a longer stay on the market.)

Mention Brands
Capitalize on the positive association buyers have with certain brands. To promote your home’s high-end kitchen, mention the Sub-Zero fridge and the Wolf range. This strategy showcases the room’s luxury better than less specific words can.

Point Out Upgrades
Spell out any improvements or renovations you’ve made recently. Selling points include renovated kitchen, new roof, upgraded HVAC system, wood floors or new windows. Incorporate desirable materials or brands in the descriptive text.

Sell the Location
Play up your neighborhood or a nearby attraction, just take care not to violate housing laws when you do. Highlighting “good schools” or crime may not be your best bet. It’s often better to direct people to official sources for statistics and information so they can draw their own conclusions.

When preparing to sell your home, don’t take your word selection lightly. Creating a thoughtful, well-worded listing description may help your house close sooner than expected.

TrustLine Mortgage
TrustLine Mortgage, Inc.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
Phone (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

Common Holiday Hazards to Avoid

The holidays can feel like a period of perpetual motion. And while that’s much of what makes the season such a joy, it’s also why it’s important to guard against mishaps that commonly crop up during the hustle. Here are a few key safety tips to keep in mind:
Don’t fall while decorating. Do you go all out, like Clark Griswold, when stringing lights? Each season, nearly 6,000 people visit emergency rooms after falling while hanging holiday decor. (More than half of those falls occurred outdoors from roofs or ladders.) Unwieldy extension cords can also trip up individuals and lead to injuries.
Keep clear of flames. Home fires spike around the holidays, with candles, cooking and Christmas trees being common culprits. Keep decorations away from heat sources, don’t leave burning candles unattended, check that electrical cords are in good condition and stay in the kitchen while cooking.
Identify and remove toxins. Plants can add a festive touch to your home, but some seasonal favorites can also pose a threat to children and pets. The leaves and berries of mistletoe, for instance, are toxic if eaten, and poinsettias can irritate skin. If you choose to decorate with these plants, keep them safely out of reach and promptly clean up fallen berries and leaves.
Travel safely. Vehicles riddle the roadways at this time of year, so safety is a big concern. Take your car in for winter maintenance, check the weather forecast before road trips, stash a well-stocked emergency kit in the trunk, and keep shopping bags out of sight to avoid break-ins.
Use these and other safety tips to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy through the holiday season.

TRUSTLINE MORTGAGE
TRUSTLINE MORTGAGE, INC.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
PHONE (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

Lawn and Garden Care for Fall

Though many grasses and plants go dormant in the cooler months, they still require some attention. Here are a few tips for getting your lawn, flower beds and landscape ready for the chill ahead.

Prepare the Lawn
Start by raking up leaves, which can wreak havoc on grass by trapping in moisture and blocking sunlight. Keep the mower handy and trim the lawn to a height of about 3 inches while the grass continues to grow. And if you haven’t aerated in a couple of years, now may be the time to do so. An aerator will loosen up soil and make it easier for water, nutrients and oxygen to reach the root system.

Clean Out Garden Beds
Start by clearing away dead or diseased foliage. Dig up and store delicate bulbs and tubers like tulips and dahlias, and divide any overgrown or waning perennials. Cut back plants that don’t add winter interest, and finish with a thorough weeding and a thick layer of mulch. Also be sure to bring delicate pots indoors for protection from the elements.

Take Care of Landscaping
Remove any dead or damaged limbs from trees and shrubs, but wait for winter for major pruning. Protect young trees from hungry critters by clearing weeds and wrapping their trunks with a protective collar. This is also a good time to plant or transplant; just be sure the sapling has time to establish before cooler temperatures hit.

Winter can be hard on your landscape, but a comprehensive cleanup is the best preparation for a gorgeous spring.

TrustLine Mortgage
TrustLine Mortgage, Inc.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
Phone (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

Deer-Proof Your Garden This Autumn

If hungry deer frequently mistake your garden for a salad bar, you may want to consider a few measures to deter them. Here are some options for minimizing deer damage this fall.
Pick Deer-Proof Varieties
Deer aren’t fans of prickly, smelly or thorny plants (except roses!), so choose varieties that have those characteristics. Whether you’re looking for perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs or another plant type, you’ve got options. Bee balm, switchgrass and boxwoods are just a few effective examples.
Throw Deer off the Trail
If you have plants such as roses that you don’t want to part with, try disguising their fragrance with garlic, mint or lavender. Some people even scatter mothballs, fabric softener or decaying fish heads to deter deer with strong odors.
Keep Prized Plants Close
Deer tend to feed in the early morning or twilight hours, so you may not always catch them in the act. To keep better watch over your favorite plants, bring them closer to your house and within view of a window.
Build a Barrier
Fencing is probably your best bet for preventing deer damage. Because deer are jumpers, you may need a barrier that’s 8 to 12 feet tall, but don’t let that deter you. Many ideas can enhance your home’s curb appeal, like incorporating a pergola or adding wood framing to a mesh fence.
Swap Fall-Planted Bulbs
Fall is the season for planting bulbs that lead to beautiful spring blooms. And while tulips often top most homeowners’ wish lists, they’re also a favorite with deer. Swap them for daffodils, snowdrops and snowflakes, which contain a toxic alkaloid that deer can detect and avoid.
Deer don’t have to ruin your landscape. If you garden with these simple measures, you’ll likely be pleased to find them dining elsewhere this fall.

TRUSTLINE MORTGAGE
TRUSTLINE MORTGAGE, INC.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
PHONE (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

4 Common Design Mistakes to Avoid

Choosing paint colors, furniture layouts and other design elements can be one of the most exciting aspects of setting up a new home — or the most daunting. Here are four common errors many homeowners fall victim to and tips for remedying them.
Pushing Furniture Against Walls
Backing furniture against the wall doesn’t create an airy feel; it usually leads to an awkward space in the middle of the room. Instead, try floating pieces to establish conversation areas, or place everything just a few inches closer to the center. Ensure a free flow of traffic through the room by keeping a clear path at all times.
Using Rugs That Are Too Small
An undersized rug detracts from the real eye-catching features of a room. Ideally, an area rug should be large enough to fit beneath all the legs of your furniture. If you’re looking to avoid the cost of an enormous rug, try two smaller ones placed side by side for the same effect.
Hanging Art Too High
Homeowners often hang art at eye level, which is a common rule of thumb, but that can be confusing since height varies. Try a more specific tip used by most galleries: Hang artwork so the center of the piece is 57 inches from the floor.
Relying on a Single Light Source
Using overhead fixtures as the only source of light in a room can lead to unpleasant shadows. Add layers of light with a floor lamp, a couple table lamps and maybe an accent light on a piece of art. This will produce pools of light — a hallmark of a well-designed room.
Being mindful of these common slip-ups can make a big difference in how you feel about your overall space.

TRUSTLINE MORTGAGE
TRUSTLINE MORTGAGE, INC.
EMAIL loans@trustlinemortgage.com
PHONE (904) 381-5626
ADDRESS 6101 Gazebo Park Place North, Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32257
NMLS: 331480

Is a LEED-certified home for you?

If you’re in the market for a new house, you may have considered a home with energy-saving features. And if your wish list goes beyond having a low-flow showerhead or two, you may have come across a few properties touting LEED certification. What exactly does that mean?

What is LEED certification?
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party program that certifies buildings and homes that have used green building or renovation methods to enhance energy efficiency and indoor comforts. This may include delivering clean indoor air, incorporating safe building materials, and using less water and energy in day-to-day operation.

What are the benefits?
One major appeal of a LEED-certified home is the focus on air quality. A home with this designation has been designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to pollutants and toxins.

Buying a green-certified home can also help you save on monthly utility bills. They’re built so you can comfortably cool and heat the space with minimal energy use — anywhere from 30 to 60 percent less energy than the same home built to industry standards.

Then there’s the potential satisfaction of knowing you’ve reduced your environmental footprint more than you would buying a conventional home.

What about the cost?
You might find that a LEED-certified home costs a bit more upfront, but your savings in energy costs can counteract that over time.

New Home Sales Surge

New U.S. single-family home sales surged to a more than eight-year high in April and prices hit a record high, offering further evidence of a pick-up in economic growth early in the second quarter. The Commerce Department said that new home sales jumped 16.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 units, the highest level since January 2008. The percent increase was the largest since January 1992. March’s sales pace was revised up to 531,000 units from the previously reported 511,000 units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 10.2 percent of the housing market, rising to only a 523,000 unit-rate last month. New home sales are volatile month-to-month and April’s increase probably exaggerates the housing market strength. Still, last month’s gain pushed new home sales well above their first-quarter average of 531,667 units. The report came in the wake of fairly upbeat data on home resales and residential construction. It also added to retail sales and industrial production reports in suggesting that the economy was gathering speed after growth almost stalled in the first quarter.
Source: CNBC

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