For BuyersKent McCown Group April 19, 2024

Earth Day: A Guide to Sustainable Home Buying

Earth Day. It serves as a reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. One area where our actions can make a significant impact is in the realm of real estate. By making thoughtful choices when buying a home, we can align our housing decisions with the principles of sustainability and environmental stewardship. In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can celebrate Earth Day through real estate by incorporating eco-friendly practices into your home buying journey.

Embrace Green Features:
When searching for your dream home, prioritize properties that have eco-friendly features such as energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and sustainable building materials. These features not only reduce your carbon footprint but also contribute to long-term cost savings through lower utility bills. By investing in a home with green amenities, you’re not just buying a house – you’re investing in a more sustainable future.

Consider Location:
The location of your future home plays a crucial role in its environmental impact. Opt for neighborhoods with easy access to public transportation, reducing the need for individual car usage and promoting sustainable commuting options. Additionally, look for properties situated near green spaces or nature reserves, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world right outside your doorstep.

Cultivate Sustainable Outdoor Spaces:
Transform your outdoor areas into havens of sustainability by incorporating eco-friendly landscaping practices. Choose native plants that require less water and maintenance, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Implement rainwater harvesting systems and composting bins to minimize waste and nourish your garden naturally. By nurturing a sustainable outdoor space, you’re not only enhancing the beauty of your property but also contributing positively to the local ecosystem.

Prioritize Energy Efficiency:
Evaluate the energy efficiency of potential homes by looking for features such as double-pane windows, proper insulation, and programmable thermostats. These elements help reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs while creating a more comfortable living environment. Additionally, consider implementing energy-saving practices within the home, such as turning off lights when not in use and unplugging electronic devices to minimize phantom energy usage.

Engage with Sustainable Communities:
Research the communities where you’re considering buying a home and inquire about any sustainability initiatives or green programs in place. Choose neighborhoods that prioritize environmental stewardship and offer opportunities for community engagement in sustainability efforts. By becoming part of a sustainable community, you can amplify your impact and contribute to collective efforts towards a greener, more sustainable future.

As we celebrate Earth Day, let us remember that our housing choices have the power to shape the world we live in. By integrating eco-friendly practices into our home buying journey, we can make a positive impact on the environment while enjoying the benefits of sustainable living. Whether it’s embracing green features, prioritizing energy efficiency, or cultivating sustainable outdoor spaces, every choice we make brings us one step closer to a more sustainable future for all. So let’s celebrate Earth Day through real estate and pave the way towards a brighter, greener tomorrow.

Kent McCown GroupWhat Moves Her March 17, 2024

Unveiling Celtic Traditions

 A Journey of Irish Dance and Community Building

Welcome to the March edition of What Moves Her Blog with Kent McCown Group. In this article, we delve into the captivating world of Celtic dance with Amanda Poole, the founder of Celtic Traditions in Opelika, Alabama. Join us as we explore Amanda’s personal journey, her dedication to Irish dance, and the vibrant community she has cultivated.

Discovering Celtic Traditions

Amanda’s journey into the realm of Irish dance began at a young age, fueled by a chance encounter with Irish dancers at a Saint Patrick’s Day performance. Enthralled by the art form, Amanda embarked on a lifelong passion for Irish dancing, eventually leading her to establish Celtic Traditions in Opelika.

From Dancer to Instructor: A Natural Progression

With over a decade of experience, Amanda not only teaches Irish dance but also holds a special certification from the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin, Ireland. Her dedication to her students’ success is evident, as she travels worldwide  extensively for competitions and performances, ensuring her dancers have the opportunity to showcase their talent on both national and international stages.

Challenges and Triumphs

Running a dance studio comes with its own set of challenges, from fluctuating enrollment numbers to the constant need for outreach and promotion. However, Amanda’s unwavering passion for Irish dance and her commitment to her students and community have been key drivers of her success.

Balancing Act: Business and Personal Life

As a solo entrepreneur, Amanda wears many hats, from teacher and choreographer to event coordinator and mentor. Despite the demands of her business, she emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day and Community Engagement

Saint Patrick’s Day holds a special significance for Amanda and Celtic Traditions, marking its busiest time of the year. Amanda and her dancers participate in various events and performances, spreading the joy of Irish dance throughout the community. From Food Truck Fridays to Global Community Day Festivals, Celtic Traditions offers numerous opportunities for the public to get involved and experience the magic of Irish dance firsthand.

Get Involved with Celtic Traditions

If you’re interested in learning more about Celtic Traditions or participating in Irish dance classes, you can reach out to Amanda via email at Celtic.traditions@gmail.com, visit the website Celtic-traditions.net, or give them a call at (334) 705-0303.

What Moves Her February 26, 2024

Dr. Anglin: A Beacon of Compassion and Care in Pediatric Medicine

 

In Auburn, Alabama, families seeking compassionate and holistic pediatric care can find solace in the warm embrace of Dr. Anglin and her team at Sunshine Pediatrics. With a heart for the community and a dedication to providing unparalleled support, Dr. Anglin has established herself as a beacon of compassion in the field of pediatric medicine.

 

At the core of Sunshine Pediatrics is Dr. Anglin’s unwavering commitment to meeting families where they are, both medically and emotionally. Through her words and actions, she emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and welcoming environment where every child feels valued and understood. Dr. Anglin’s approach goes beyond traditional medical care; it encompasses empathy, respect, and a deep understanding of each family’s unique needs.

 

One of the defining features of Sunshine Pediatrics is its emphasis on inclusivity and acceptance. Dr. Anglin and her team prioritize creating a judgment-free zone where families feel empowered to make decisions about their child’s healthcare without fear of criticism or condemnation. As expressed in the transcripts, Dr. Anglin respects parents’ preferences during checkups, recognizing that every family’s journey is different. This ethos of respect extends to all aspects of care, fostering a sense of trust and partnership between the practice and its patients.

 

In addition to delivering exceptional medical care, Dr. Anglin is deeply involved in community outreach efforts aimed at supporting children with special needs. The transcripts highlight the Sunny Kids Club, a welcoming space for children with differences, where families can connect and find support. Dr. Anglin’s commitment to sponsoring local events and initiatives focused on wellness underscores her dedication to creating a more inclusive and supportive community. By actively engaging with families outside of the clinical setting, Dr. Anglin demonstrates her commitment to holistic care that extends beyond traditional medical interventions.

 

Outside of her professional endeavors, Dr. Anglin is an avid reader and runner, finding solace and clarity in the rhythm of her footsteps. Her love for historical fiction and fantasy literature reflects her appreciation for storytelling and imagination. Through her personal interests and hobbies, Dr. Anglin embodies a balanced approach to life, finding moments of peace and reflection amidst the demands of her busy schedule. As expressed in the transcripts, running serves as a form of grounding and mental clarity for Dr. Anglin, allowing her to recharge and find clarity amid the challenges of her work.

 

As families across Auburn continue to seek out compassionate and comprehensive pediatric care, Dr. Anglin remains a trusted ally and advocate for children’s health and well-being. With her unwavering dedication to kindness, empathy, and inclusivity, Dr. Anglin stands as a shining example of what it means to truly care for the whole child, one patient at a time. Through her commitment to empowering families, supporting the community, and maintaining personal balance, Dr. Anglin embodies the principles of compassionate pediatric medicine, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of those she serves.

 

For more information check out their website at www.sunshine-peds.com

197 E University Dr #2, Auburn, AL 36832

(334) 329-7862

For BuyersKent McCown Group February 2, 2024

Unveiling the Unseen: The Importance of Home Inspections

Unveiling the Unseen.

We’re delving into essential aspects of home buying, and the spotlight is on a crucial step often overlooked – home inspections. Home inspections go beyond what meets the eye. They delve into structural, mechanical, and safety aspects of the home.

The Health Checkup for Your Home

Buying a home is a significant investment, and making an informed decision is key. Enter the unsung hero of the home buying toolkit – the home inspection. We had the pleasure of discussing this with one of our favorite home inspectors, Mr. Richard Spencer, a seasoned home inspector. Check out our Podcast to hear Mr. Richard’s take on the home inspection process.

A home inspection is like a health checkup for your future property. Even if you’re not planning to request repairs, knowing what you’re buying is vital before making a substantial financial commitment.

Red Flags and Serious Issues

Skipping a home inspection may seem tempting to save a few bucks, but it’s a small investment that can save you from significant future expenses. Home inspections can raise red flags, like exterior cracks signaling potential foundation issues or water stains hinting at concealed plumbing leaks. Common issues like mold, radon, or structural problems shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Credentials Matter

Choosing a certified home inspector is crucial. In Alabama, inspectors must have a state license and certification from reputable organizations like the National Institute of Building Inspectors or the American Society of Home Inspectors International. Experience and ongoing education are additional indicators of a reliable inspector.

The Final Word

As we wrap up, it’s clear that a home inspection is more than a checkbox; it’s a shield against unforeseen challenges. If you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, investing in a comprehensive home inspection is an investment in your peace of mind and the long-term well-being of your new home.

If you found today’s home inspection information valuable, please share it with fellow homebuyers. Stay informed, stay empowered, and until next time, happy home hunting!

 

A Shameless Plug for Mr. Richard and House Master

We want to express our appreciation for Mr. Spencer and his wife, Cindy, who brings us goodies and provides an extra set of eyes during inspections. Mr. Spencer’s thoroughness and professionalism, coupled with a user-friendly report format, also make the inspection process seamless.

 

Kent McCown GroupUncategorizedWhat Moves Her January 26, 2024

What Moves Her – Kent McCown Group

Welcome to our very first month of our “What Moves Her” campaign. We’re thrilled to kick off this initiative, where we’ll be diving off into the incredible world of women entrepreneurship, beginning with our experiences in the realm of real estate.

We are both pumped to share our stories, lessons, and insights into the exciting and challenging journey of running our business. We’re not just about showcasing pretty houses; we’re here to discuss the nitty-gritty of owning a business, the ups and downs of balancing mom life and work life, and all the wisdom we’ve gathered along the way. Plus, we’re planning to feature some amazing women in business in the upcoming months.

Let’s get to know a little more about Megan’s journey. After graduating from Auburn University in 2019 with a degree in economics and supply chain management, Megan, with her data analytics background, found the perfect fit in real estate. A stay-at-home mom at first, she sought a way to contribute to her family financially while maintaining that crucial balance of being present for her children. We both know how tricky that juggling act can be!

Now, I’ll share a little about myself. I have a degree in business administration. The knowledge of maintaining a business and my type A personality work well together to keep things organized and cohesive. Growing up, I had this fascination with floor plans. I vividly remember sketching my own designs on graph paper and even mapping out the house from “The Dukes of Hazzard.” My maiden name is Dukes, so yes, I was a geek when it came to Bo and Luke Duke. Fast forward, and here I am, a real estate enthusiast, just as passionate about houses and floor plans as I was back then. My journey into this field was almost predestined.

As we reflect on our early days, we acknowledge the misconception that real estate is only about showcasing beautiful homes. Oh no, it’s way more complex! Setting boundaries, handling emergencies, and balancing family life with demanding clients were just a few of the unexpected challenges. We’ve come to realize that the journey of entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of trials and triumphs.

For those of you aspiring to dive into entrepreneurship, here’s a nugget of advice from both Megan and me – don’t be afraid to try new things. Failure isn’t in the trying; it’s in not trying at all. Advocating for yourself and having those difficult conversations is key. We know it’s tough, especially for women who tend to be more emotional, but it’s a necessary part of the business journey.

We’re super stoked about two initiatives this year – the “What Moves Her” campaign that you’re reading about now and our collaboration with the Care Humane Society. Giving back to the community and supporting fellow women entrepreneurs are at the heart of what we do. We can’t wait to share more about our community involvement and the exciting projects on the horizon.

As we wrap up, Megan and I are filled with excitement for the upcoming year. The growth of Kent McCown Group, the impact of our “What Moves Her” campaign, and the projects in the pipeline have us eagerly anticipating the journey ahead. And guess what? We’ve got some spots open for female entrepreneurs who want to join us in the “What Moves Her” campaign. Let’s make a positive impact together!

So, buckle up, folks! Corrie & Megan are taking you on a thrilling ride through the entrepreneurial landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just dipping your toes into the world of entrepreneurship, stay tuned for more episodes of “What Moves Her,” where we shine a light on the incredible stories of women making waves in business.

For BuyersKent McCown Group January 14, 2024

Navigating the Home Finding Odyssey

A Guide to Making the Perfect Offer

Embarking on the journey to find your dream home can be both thrilling and daunting. As you navigate through the vast sea of options, it’s crucial to understand the intricacies of the process. This blog is your compass, guiding you through the exciting adventure of finding your home and making a compelling offer.

The Home Finding Expedition

1. Define Your Priorities

Begin by outlining your priorities. What features are non-negotiable? What neighborhood suits your lifestyle? Establishing clear criteria will streamline your search.

2. Research and Explore

Dive into online listings, visit open houses, and explore neighborhoods. Leverage technology and real estate apps to narrow down options. Take notes on each property, noting pros and cons.

3. Engage with Professionals

Real estate agents are your allies in this quest. Their expertise can help you uncover hidden gems, provide valuable market insights, and negotiate on your behalf. Collaborate closely with an agent to optimize your search.

Crafting the Perfect Offer

1. Understand Market Dynamics

Knowledge is power. Research current market conditions, comparable home sales, and the overall economic landscape. This insight will empower you to make informed decisions when formulating your offer.

2. Set a Realistic Budget

Establish a budget that aligns with your financial comfort zone. Factor in potential additional costs, such as closing fees and renovations. Your budget will be the foundation for your offer strategy.

3. Consult Your Real Estate Agent

Your agent’s experience is invaluable. Work closely with them to determine an appropriate offer strategy. They can provide insights into the seller’s motivations and guide you on presenting an enticing offer.

4. Craft a Compelling Offer

A compelling offer goes beyond just the price. Consider what may be important to the seller. Money isn’t always the driving factor behind a great offer! Be flexible on closing dates and contingencies to make your offer more appealing.

5. Negotiate with Care

Negotiation is an art. Be prepared for a back-and-forth with the seller. Stay firm on your priorities but be open to compromises. Your agent’s negotiation skills will play a pivotal role in securing a favorable deal.

The journey to finding your home and making the perfect offer is an adventure filled with excitement and challenges. By understanding the process, collaborating with professionals, and crafting a thoughtful offer, you increase your chances of landing the home of your dreams. Happy house hunting!

For BuyersKent McCown Group January 7, 2024

The Crucial Step in House Buying

The Crucial Step: Why Getting Pre-Approved Before House Hunting is Essential

 

The thrill of house hunting is a unique experience, filled with dreams of cozy kitchens and spacious living rooms. However, before you start envisioning your dream home, there’s a crucial step you shouldn’t overlook: getting pre-approved for a mortgage. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this preliminary step is not just important but often a game-changer in the homebuying process.

Understanding Pre-Approval

Before we delve into the why, let’s clarify what pre-approval means. Unlike pre-qualification, pre-approval is a more rigorous process that involves a lender reviewing your financial history to determine the loan amount you qualify for. It’s a solid indicator of your borrowing capacity.

The Advantages of Pre-Approval

Financial Clarity

One of the primary benefits of pre-approval is gaining a crystal-clear understanding of your budget. Knowing your financial limits from the start helps narrow down your choices, making the house-hunting journey more focused and efficient.

Negotiation Power

Picture this: you find the perfect home, and now it’s time to make an offer. Having a pre-approval in hand significantly boosts your negotiation power. Sellers are more likely to take your offer seriously, knowing you’ve already taken the necessary steps to secure financing.

Time Efficiency

Time is of the essence in the competitive real estate market. Pre-approval saves time by preventing you from falling in love with a property that’s outside your budget. It’s a proactive approach that minimizes disappointment and optimizes your house-hunting efforts.

Building a Stronger Offer

When it comes to making an offer, pre-approval can be your secret weapon. Sellers often prefer buyers who have been pre-approved because it signals financial reliability and commitment. It sets you apart from other potential buyers who may not have taken this crucial step.

The Pre-Approval Process

Gathering Documents

To kickstart the pre-approval process, gather essential documents such as income statements and credit history. This proactive approach will streamline the process and make it smoother for both you and the lender.

Choosing the Right Lender

Selecting the right lender is as important as the pre-approval itself. Research and compare lenders to find one that aligns with your needs and offers favorable terms.

In summary, getting pre-approved is not just a formality; it’s a strategic move that can significantly impact your homebuying journey. The financial clarity, negotiation power, time efficiency, and strengthened offer it provides make it an essential step in the process.

Ready to take the next step? Begin the pre-approval process today to empower your house-hunting journey. [Include a link or information on how readers can start the pre-approval process.]

Kent McCown Group January 2, 2024

Happy New Year!

As we wrap up another year, Kent McCown Group is gearing up for a focused and productive 2024. Here’s a closer look at our upcoming initiatives:

 

Empowering Women in Business: What Moves Her

Our dedication to diversity takes center stage with the “What Moves Her” initiative. Throughout 2024, we’re putting the spotlight on women-owned businesses that contribute significantly to our community. This campaign is more than just a nod; it’s a commitment to fostering an inclusive business environment.

In January 2024 we will be spotlighting ourselves, Kent McCown Group. We will focus on what it takes to be a mom and owning your own business, supporting your families needs while also staying relevant in main stream social media. We will also be kicking off our new KMG Podcast, where we will be discussing the good, the bad and the ugly when dealing with real estate transactions and balancing family life. Stay tuned for our podcasts and much more!!

 

A Pawsitive Mission: Care Humane Sponsorship

Exciting news on the animal welfare front! Kent McCown Group is thrilled to announce a partnership with Care Humane Society. Our joint mission for 2024 is to sponsor the adoption of 12 pets. It’s not just about finding homes for these furry friends; it’s about contributing to the overall well-being of our community and emphasizing our dedication to responsible pet ownership.

Meet Biggie, our KMG-sponsored dog for January! His adoption fee is covered, and he’s ready to find his furever home. Biggie is a 2 year old neutered male. He’s not only dog-friendly but also sweet as can be. Help us spread the word and let’s find this precious pup the loving family he deserves!

CARE Humane Society

☎️ 334.821.3222

 

 

 

 

 

Making Every Transaction Count: St. Jude Children’s Hospital

At the core of our business values is a commitment to giving back. With each transaction, Kent McCown Group continues to support St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This ongoing partnership allows us to play a role in providing hope and healing to children and their families.

 

Our team is evolving… and we’re excited to share some key developments. Megan has stepped into a new role as a partner, bringing her expertise to new heights within Kent McCown Group. Additionally, Corrie has been elected as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Lee County Association of Realtors. These achievements highlight our team’s dedication and commitment to excellence, promising positive impacts within our community.

As we step into 2024, we express our gratitude for your ongoing support. Kent McCown Group looks forward to navigating the opportunities, forming new partnerships, and achieving collective success throughout the coming year. Here’s to a successful and productive 2024!

Kent McCown Group November 17, 2023

Rising Interest Rates: Why it’s Still a Good Time to Buy a Home

Kent McCown Group can help you navigate the uncertainty surrounding interest rates!

In today’s dynamic economic landscape, rising interest rates can make potential homebuyers feel apprehensive about taking the plunge into homeownership. However, despite these concerns, there are compelling reasons why it’s still a good time to buy a home. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that make homeownership an attractive prospect, even in the face of increasing interest rates. 

  • Locking in a Lower Interest Rate: One of the primary advantages of buying a home amidst rising interest rates is the opportunity to secure a mortgage at a relatively low rate. Although rates may be increasing, they are still historically low. By purchasing a home now, you can capitalize on these favorable rates and potentially save a significant amount of money in interest payments over the life of your loan. 
Graph of Interest Rates
  • Building Equity: Owning a home allows you to build equity over time, which can be a valuable long-term investment. With each mortgage payment, you increase your ownership stake in the property. Real estate has demonstrated a tendency to appreciate in value over the years, making homeownership an effective way to accumulate wealth. By entering the market sooner, you can start building equity earlier and potentially reap greater financial benefits in the future. 
  • Housing Market Stability: While interest rates may be rising, the housing market can still exhibit stability or even modest growth. Factors such as low unemployment rates, strong demand, and limited housing supply contribute to a resilient market. These conditions can provide confidence to prospective buyers that their investment will hold or appreciate in value over time. By purchasing a home in a stable market, you position yourself to benefit from potential future appreciation. 
  • Potential Tax Benefits: Homeownership often brings various tax advantages that can further enhance its financial appeal. Mortgage interest and property tax payments may be tax-deductible, reducing your overall tax liability. Although the specifics vary based on individual circumstances and local tax laws, exploring potential tax benefits can significantly impact the affordability of homeownership and contribute to long-term savings. 
  • Personal Fulfillment and Stability: Beyond financial considerations, owning a home provides a sense of stability, security, and pride of ownership. You have the freedom to customize your living space, create a sanctuary that reflects your personal style, and make lasting memories. Homeownership eliminates the uncertainties associated with rental properties, such as fluctuating rents and the whims of landlords. Additionally, it fosters a sense of community and belonging as you become part of a neighborhood and establish roots. 

Despite the current trend of rising interest rates, the advantages of homeownership persist. Securing a mortgage at a relatively low interest rate, building equity, benefiting from a stable housing market, and potentially enjoying tax advantages are all compelling reasons to consider buying a home. Moreover, the personal fulfillment and stability that come with homeownership add immeasurable value to the equation. It is essential, however, to carefully evaluate your personal financial situation and long-term plans before making a decision. Consulting with professionals in the real estate and financial industries can provide tailored advice and insights to guide you through the process. Remember, with careful consideration and proper planning, you can navigate the housing market successfully and take advantage of the many benefits of homeownership. 

Kent McCown Group November 17, 2023

Unlocking Your Dream Home: How to Determine What You Can Afford

Are you ready to embark on the exciting journey of homeownership? Perhaps you’ve been daydreaming about that cozy cottage, a spacious family home, or a modern condo in the city. The good news is that owning a home is not just a dream; it’s an achievable goal. But the key to a successful and stress-free homebuying experience lies in understanding how much you can afford.

Here’s the encouraging truth: with the right tools and knowledge, you can confidently step into the world of real estate and find a home that fits your budget and your dreams.

1. Assess Your Income: Your income is the foundation of your homebuying journey. It’s your ticket to turning those dreams into reality. Calculate your annual income, including any co-borrower’s income, and make sure to use your gross income for a more accurate picture.

2. Crunch the Numbers: The down payment is your initial investment, and it can significantly impact your monthly payments. A larger down payment reduces your loan amount, giving you more room to work with in your budget. It’s like planting the seed for your future home.

3. Location Matters: Just as every dream home has a unique address, location plays a crucial role in affordability. The cost of homes varies from place to place, so explore different neighborhoods to find the one that aligns with your budget and lifestyle.

4. Manage Your Debts: Lenders look at your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI), which includes existing debts like credit card payments, car loans, and student loans. Keeping your DTI within a certain threshold (usually around 43% to 50% of your gross income) is key to securing a mortgage[1].

5. Embrace the Power of Interest Rates: Interest rates can work in your favor, making a larger home more affordable. Keep an eye on market rates and consider how they’ll affect your monthly payments.

6. Choose the Right Mortgage: The type of mortgage you choose can also impact your affordability. FHA, VA, and conventional loans each have their pros and cons. Mortgage companies also offer portfolio loans, so explore your options.

Now, the most crucial step is to put these pieces together. Fortunately, there are user-friendly home affordability calculators available online. Realtor.com, Forbes, Redfin, Trulia, and Money Under 30 offer reliable tools to help you determine your affordable home price.

Remember, homeownership is not just about finding a house; it’s about finding your place in the world, creating memories, and building a future. With the right financial foundation, you can unlock the door to your dream home. It’s time to take that first step towards homeownership and turn your dreams into a beautiful reality. Happy house hunting! 🏡✨