Friday, July 1, 2016

Life Update

Hi everyone! It's been awhile so I thought I would pop in. For those of you who know me, you know I had a pretty big life event happen 2 weeks ago. ;) For those of you who don't know me personally, I had the honor to marry my best friend and sweetheart, Kyle Fillman, on June 17th and I couldn't feel more blessed. Kyle is truly the sweetest gift from the Lord.

Most people probably aren't talking about their wedding on their Real Estate blogs, but I've never been one to separate my business and personal life ;) To me they go hand in hand. Over the past 2 weeks it's been very surreal and SO incredibly special knowing I am now "one" with another person. Kyle's family, friends, & acquaintances are now my people too and I truly feel the love and support. From recently listing a house in Markle (Kyle's hometown), to plastering my new "Stacie Bellam-Fillman" signs all over, I feel our two different worlds being fully blended into one-- and I LOVE IT! :)

We have been so encouraged by so many people, even my sweet clients, and I want to thank you so much for being patient with me the week leading up to the wedding and while I was on my honeymoon! It was an amazing time away with my new husband and SO re-energizing. I think a week away laying on the beach, interacting with dolphins, going out to dinner, and loving on my sweetheart did good for the soul :)

Now that Kyle and I are back and settled into our new home, I'm extremely excited and re-energized for the remaining 6 months of the year. I'm back to thinking up creative marketing ideas and excited for the buyers and sellers I will have the privilege of working with in the near future :)  SO, if you are in the Columbia City, Warsaw, Fort Wayne, South Whitley, Churubusco, Huntington, and (yes, even Markle ;)) area and wanting to buy or sell a home, I would love the chance to work with you! I offer free professional photos for all my listings, taken by my wonderful sister Bridget, and would love to help you with such a special milestone. 


Kyle & I are so thankful for you all!! God bless <3  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Simple DIY

Until purchasing my house in September, I had zero desire to be creative, decorative, or pinterest-y at all. That was never really my thing;) Becoming a homeowner has totally changed that though. I still am not a DIY type person, but I LOVE doing new things to my house. Since I work with first time home buyers frequently, and home buyers in general, I thought it would be fun to start sharing some things I am learning and have done since becoming a homeowner.

Today's post is about hardware. Like a lot of first time home buyers... my fiancé, Kyle, and I had a couple pieces of furniture that were handed down to us. Kyle had a nice dresser and night stand in his room growing up and we decided to keep them since they were in good condition and to save some money:) When getting them in our light colored room however, the dark handles stuck out to me like a sore thumb!
I contemplated whether or not I wanted to paint the pieces, but decided it would be easier to first try switching out the hardware. :) I went to Lowes, spent around $50 on new handles for both the nightstand and dresser, and then went home to switch them all out. It was super quick unscrewing the old hardware and switching it out with the new. Once it was completed I was so surprised at how much of a difference it made! The chrome hardware blended so well with the rest of our room and really tied it together.
So far this is about as DIY as I've gotten, but still such an inexpensive and simple solution to updating furniture!! :) So if you are a newbie like me, and wanting to spruce up some old furniture, here's a good place to start :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My first home :)

On September 11th, my sweet fiancé Kyle & I closed on our very first house. As a realtor, I work with people & houses everyday, so buying a house of my own, with my future hubby, was SO exciting. :)

After Kyle proposed in June we decided we would start keeping our eye open for the perfect house, even though we both wouldn't be moving in together until we get married next summer. Kyle and I looked at just a couple houses together before finding our dream house--- the cutest house ever in Eagle Glen.

For the past year, I would always text Kyle about a new house I had fallen in love with after showing it--It was starting to get pretty tempting walking through a million houses and not wanting to buy them all, so putting an offer on one was pretty surreal. After we closed we immediately started moving things in, decorating, & turning it into our future home. :) Let me tell you, I know full well that the process of purchasing a house can be stressful at times, we had several delays for closing and a few speed bumps along the way, but the end result is SO worth it & SO fun!!

The first night my brother in law Scott & sister Bridget came over to help us with some things. This is how men hang curtains ;) The perks of having a 6'7 fiancé. He's my favorite!
The next day my other sister, Brittany & brother in law Pat came over to help & brought the best house warming gift. An "F" for Fillman (my new last name in 8.5 months) & some Starbucks, doesn't get much better than that.

We started making it as cozy as possible, and I have to say, that once I lay down on our couch, I never want to get up, haha! :)

If you've never bought a house, you should, because it is SO darn fun. ;) Weekly house shopping trips have become my favorite thing & building a future home with my sweetheart is a dream come true.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What to Expect: Buyers Edition

I am a little overdue for a new blog post, so today I am devoting some of my time to write a post that will hopefully be very helpful to some of you! :) As I sat at my desk this morning I tried to brainstorm something that would be helpful to those of you who read my blog. 'What to Expect' is what came to mind. Until I got into Real Estate, I honestly would have had no idea the first thing about buying or selling a house, and I'm sure there are many of you who feel the same way. So Today I am going to focus on What to Expect when Buying a house-- my next post I will focus on What to Expect when Selling a house :) 

#1 What to Expect With Expenses:

When buying a home, there are 3 primary "up front" expenses you will want to save for--
  • Earnest Money
  • A home inspection
  • Your appraisal

At the time you write an offer you will be writing a check for Earnest Money-- which is a deposit made to a seller showing your good faith in a transaction. Earnest Money can be any amount you choose, but $500 is a good amount to estimate on.
** Earnest money is credited back to you at closing. :)

A home inspection is also an expense you will want to have set aside. Home inspections are optional, however most people choose to have them. Most home inspectors require for inspections to be paid at the time of the inspection, they vary in price but a good estimate to set aside is about $300. 

The third "up front cost" is the cost of your appraisal. This can sometimes be paid at closing however plan on setting aside $300-$400.

Some additional expenses that are paid at closing are your down-payment if your loan requires one (there are zero down loans available in most areas if you do not have the funds for a down-payment) & closing costs associated with getting your loan (if you do not have the funds for closing costs we can negotiate that in with your offer asking them to be paid).

#2: What to Expect for the timeline:

 Last year I did a post on the home buying process. To see the steps in the process, click HERE.
Typically, once you get an accepted offer on a home, you can expect to close on it within 30-45 days. :) If you are hoping to get into a new home by Spring, now would be a good time to start house hunting. 

#3 What to Expect with Negotiating:

This year we have seen a shift in the housing market. Inventory is LOW. With less houses on the market, houses are in higher demand, meaning that sellers are getting closer to their asking price. Negotiating isn't going to be as easy as it has been in years past. You may even find yourself competing against another buyer for the same house, make sure to offer your best and talk to your Realtor about making your offer as strong as possible :)

Hopefully this post answered some questions you have been wondering about. As always, if you have any additional questions, never hesitate to call, text, or email! :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Recap :)

It’s amazing to me that January is almost over, it has absolutely flown by! January is usually my least favorite month. Christmas is over, it’s cold, and there’s usually not a lot of excitement going on. With that being said—this January has kept me quite busy and been SO enjoyable :) A day in the life of a Realtor isn’t always exactly what house hunters & HGTV depict, but this month sometimes it felt like it ;)

January kicked off with New Years of course. I had a great night with my man and with my family playing games and eating snacks.

The next morning I had my first closing of 2015! (Yay!) 

It felt really good to start the year off on a good note. I listed this house in October, and got an offer on it within a week—on my birthday to be exact. It was a little sad to see this house close—the second I looked at it I fell in love with it—so much so that I contemplated snatching it up myself. ;) (Me falling in love with every other house I walk into is starting to become a trend)

About a week later on January 9th Orizon had their annual awards banquet. It was a fun night--  I got to dress up with my man, eat yummy food, and I got a plaque recognizing selling 2 million dollars in Real Estate. I really am blessed to work for such a wonderful company, Orizon is such a great place to work! 

The next morning I listed an adorable house in Westgate. I showed it a couple times during that week & after a week on the market, I wrote an offer on it. 

BUT, the offer was contingent on this beauty selling.

So I listed this adorable home last Monday and got an offer on it the next night. --- it's blowing me away how quick houses are selling for this time of year!
(By the way, this house was also on my list of houses that I wanted to snatch up myself). ;)

To top off my recap….I'll finish with two closings I had last Friday.

John & Kathy Jordan are 2 of the sweetest clients I’ve had the privilege of working with. Some people are just such a blessing to you-- and these two were so wonderful to work with.

I started working with them back in November. I showed them a gorgeous home that they had been eyeing. After looking at it once they fell in love with it (And so did I—it was beautiful!). In order for them to purchase it however, we needed to get theirs sold. So we listed their home and waited patiently and trusted the Lord. After a couple months filled with showings, inspections, appraisals, and everything in between, we closed on both properties.

Here is the home they sold :)

 And here is the home they purchased, absolutely gorgeous. 

My month was also filled with many other great moments aside from my job-- and i'm so so thankful! :)

I hope everyone's 2015 is off to a great start!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Buying vs Renting

Over the past 2 years selling Real Estate I have worked with a lot of first time home buyers. Which I LOVE :) 1st time home buyers are pretty high on my list of favorites. Working with 1st time home buyers brings about frequent questions about buying vs renting-- so today I decided to devote a post to this very topic. 

First off-- probably the most frequent question is "What's cheaper?" It all depends on the price of the house & where you are planning on living. However, I have sold numerous homes that were absolutely adorable to 1st time home buyers and they ended up having a cheaper monthly payment than if they were going to rent. 

I found a great tool on that may be helpful to you. It's a buying vs. renting calculator. Click here to go to the site. It's pretty neat, it will give you the option to type in a zip code, type in a desired rent price, and compare the area's buying vs renting costs.

If you are still struggling with your decision on what to do-- here is a helpful list to help you examine your current situation and decide what is best for you.

Popular Reasons to rent

(I pulled my top 4 from an article I found on Zillow)

1. Flexibility- Renting allows you to explore an area before making the longer-term commitment to homeownership. 
2. Bad credit- Creating a history of on-time rental payments can help you build the sort of credit you'll need to qualify for a mortgage.
3. No maintenance expenses. When a pipe leaks, you don't head to the store; you head for the telephone and call the landlord. 
4. Utilities (sometimes) included. In some instances, the landlord may pay for many utilities such as water, sewer, garbage, and, in some cases, even heat and hot water.
But there is a downside, too: You may have no control over the fluctuation of your rent, a big-budget item that can change often. Long-term budgeting becomes more difficult.

Reasons to buy

(I pulled my top 4 from an article I found on Zillow)
1. Equity- (*** this one is HUGE!) When you pay rent, you are paying your landlord's mortgage or adding equity to his or her bank account. However, when you have a home mortgage, you increase YOUR degree of ownership in your home with every payment. A general rule is that if you intend to stay in your property for at least five to seven years, the costs of purchasing the home are more likely to be offset by accrued equity and increased housing value. 
2. Tax deductions- You can deduct mortgage interest as well as your property taxes. Uncle Sam doesn't give renters this bonus.

3. Creative control- You like dozens of pictures on the wall? Well, hammer away -- they are your walls now. Go ahead and paint them mango! Wish you had another room? Go ahead and add one.
4. Maintenance choices- If you live in a house, you can decide how to approach maintenance, either doing it yourself or picking your own contractor. 
Anymore questions? Give me a call or send me a text and we can explore which option is best for you! I would love to help you find a home:)

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Recap

It's hard to believe that 2014 is almost over! It was an amazing year both personally & business wise and I couldn't be more grateful :)

  I started out the year unsure of what it would hold. Real Estate is very unpredictable -- in fact, any commission based job is a little unpredictable! My first year selling Real Estate (2013) was better than I could have imagined. The Lord was so faithful :)

 (2013 Awards Banquet)

It made me a little nervous though on how I was going to top it my 2nd year. About midway through 2014 it seemed like the year was going to fall way short of the previous. And then, out of no where, things took off. The last half of the year was a whirlwind & turned out to be amazing-- better than the previous.

All thanks to the amazing people I had the opportunity to work with. I am so so thankful for you! I have never looked at Real Estate as a "sales" job. To me, my job is to help people. This year was filled with some special transactions. :)

My best friend Addie & her husband purchased their very first home. (Addie's brother & sister in law also purchased their first home from me this year-- Thanks Alex & Ashley!)

My sister Brittany & her fiance Pat purchased their first home also. :) They are getting married in May of 2015 & then Brittany will move in. She's graduating with a degree in Interior Design so of course their house is absolutely adorable.

Along with them there were so many other wonderful people who embarked on buying their first house, purchasing an investment home, upgrading to their dream house, or relocating to a different town/state for a new job. I am so thankful I got to help you in this journey!

So here is a big thank you to everyone who made 2014 an amazing year! & here's to making 2015 hopefully even better. :)