JaCi Wallace

When selling a home and doing repairs are your pets safe?

When selling a home and doing repairs are your pets safe?

When selling a home and doing repairs, are your pets safe? I often tell people who want to leave their indoor cats loose in the house during inspections and repairs that it is not a good idea. Sellers often look at me like are you kidding? They say, well, put comments into MLS stating to not let cats out. I say I could tattoo it on their forehead and I still can not guarantee the safety of your pets. Not everyone is cat-savvy or dog-savvy. When Realtors or inspectors are in your house their mind is busy on several aspects of doing their job.  The safety of your animals may not be registering high on their priority list. Your cat radar is not ingrained always ingrained into other people’s heads.

One quick story will shatter your belief that your animals are safe in other people’s hands who are working on your house. A pet sitter friend was house-sitting for a couple and they were remodeling a bathroom so they could put the house on the market. The sheetrock worker was working on the bathroom. The pet sitter told the sheet rocker to watch out for the two cats as he was running to an appointment. When he returned he asked about the cats. The sheetrocker said the cat is fine and pointed to a cat curled up in a corner. The pet sitter said where is the other cat? The sheetrocker said, “What other cat! ”

The pet sitter put up posters everywhere and knocked on doors for days. The owners returned home obviously very upset about the missing cat. The bathroom was finished. Shortly after returning home they heard meow meow and guess what? The cat cries were coming from inside the bathroom walls! They tore open the sheetrock and, indeed the cat had been sheetrocked in the wall. So, when selling a home and doing repairs are your pets safe? You can decide for yourself, but, in my opinion, the answer is no. You can’t make this stuff up. Selling real estate for decades you see so many things out of the ordinary.

If you want to hire animal-savvy Realtors call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors. We have ideas and animal crates and cat condos that we will set up for you to help keep your animals safe. People get so upset about confining their animals. When you take your cat or dog to the vet and they have to stay there for treatment do you think they are running around loose? Nope, they are in crates. Why not teach your animals how to be confined and this could not only save their life, it can help them not to stress out during an overnight at the vet. Experienced animals who do not think confinement is horrible actually find it a nice place for naps. How do I know this? I have so many cats, yes I’m one of that crazy cat ladies. I also have a pack of several dogs some are rescues. I speak from a place of caring and safety for our four-legged friends.

If you want to sell or buy a home and have concerns about your pets call us. We have great resources and even cat condo enclosures we can loan you to help increase the safety of your animals. Full service means we are here to help you with so many things. We can be reached at 916-233-6759. Our RE/MAX Gold offices are in so many locations.

— JaCi Wallace

JaCi Wallace

When selling a home and doing repairs are your pets safe?

7 Common Myths About Mortgages

7 Common Myths About Mortgages

7 Common myths about mortgages is a very insightful post written by our very own preferred lender, Dan Tharp. — JaCi Wallace.

In my almost two decades in mortgage lending, these common myths still come up often. For example, just yesterday, I was on a call with a first-time homebuyer who assumed they needed 20% down to get a conventional loan and thought his only option was an FHA mortgage, which he heard was not a good option in this current seller’s market. Thus he was going to wait a year or so to save money for his down payment. I am glad his agent told him to call me as we pre-approved him to purchase a new home today with only 3% down. So let’s take the next minute or so to clear up some of the most common mortgage myths and truths about buying a home.


#1 Myth: You Must Have 20% Down To Purchase A Home

Nope, you can buy a home with as little as 3% down, and some types of government-backed loans have 0% down payment requirements. This myth stems from mortgage lenders’ private mortgage insurance requirements or PMI, a kind of protection that pays your mortgage lender if you default on your mortgage loan. If you put less than 20% down, your lender will require you to pay monthly PMI. Keep in mind that if you put less money down, the more interest you will have to pay, in addition, to the monthly PMI. To get a real-world example, use Guilds Mortgage Calculator.


#2 Myth: Prequalification Is The Same As Preapproval

The difference between preapproval and prequalification is the level of verification your lender does before they issue you an estimate. If your lender’s approval letter is not worth the paper it’s written on; it has no value. Unfortunately, this is something Realtors and sellers know all too well. And in an extremely hot seller’s market, you need to make sure your offer, among many others, will stand out!

A good rule of thumb is to make sure you are preapproved before you begin shopping. Whereas a prequalification is a good start, it doesn’t carry much weight when it’s time to make your offer. We offer a Verified Approval at Guild Mortgage via our Home Buyer Express (HBE) to give your offer a competitive edge. Our HBE verifies your credit, income, and assets and shows the sellers that your finances are sound and you’re a serious buyer.


#3 Myth: Your Down Payment Covers Your Closing Costs

When purchasing a home, the standard rule is you can’t roll the closing costs (lender fees, title and escrow fees, appraisal, etc.) into your loan. In addition to closings costs, there are also some pre-paid items you need to pay for as well – these include pre-paid interest, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. It adds up, so you want to be clear with your lender and ask the question, “What is my TOTAL cash to close, not just my down payment?”


A Few Tips –

Instead of dolling your own funds out of pocket, you could ask your agent to negotiate a seller concession, where the seller pays for some or all of your costs. But beware, this is much harder in a hot seller’s market. Another method is to “buy up” the interest rate so your lender can pay for some or all of the closing costs. Remember, this means a higher interest rate and higher monthly payment, so be sure to walk through the numbers with your lender.


#4 Myth: You Can’t Pay Your Mortgage Off Early

Some lenders may include clauses called “prepayment penalties” inside the terms of your loan. This penalty is an agreement that penalizes you if you pay off your mortgage too early. I don’t see this very often now, but the myth still lingers, and another good reason to read the fine print and ask your loan officer. If you choose Guild Mortgage as your lender, you are free to pay off your loan as soon as you wish or make extra payments to the principal balance with no penalties.


#5 Myth: My Debt Ratio Is Based On My Net Paycheck

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a calculation that represents the percent of your gross monthly income that goes toward debt and recurring expenses. For example, let’s say you earn $6000 a month before taxes. And, your proposed new mortgage payment (with taxes and insurance) will be $1800, and you have another $200 a month in student loans and a $200 minimum due on your credit card. So, in this example, you would divide your total monthly debt of $2200 by your gross pre-tax income ($6000), which equals a DTI of 37%.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your ratio below 50%, which will improve your chances of getting your mortgage loan approved. Some programs allow you to exceed 50%, but the most crucial factor is your budget at the end of the day! Are you comfortable with that total monthly mortgage payment? Please read our article on DTI ratios to learn more about this critical factor and how to calculate yours.


#6 Myth: Bad Debt Will Ruin My Loan Approval

Most folks don’t have perfect credit, and it’s not uncommon to have a few blemishes on your credit report. And most of the time, unless the debt issues are excessive, you can get away with a few old collections and still have an underwriter approve your loan. It’s best not to make any assumptions. Have your full credit reviewed by a mortgage professional who can help you get your loan approved now. They can also put you on a track to improve your scores and get approved later.


#7 Myth: Once My Loan is Approved, I Can Buy Stuff

With a typical purchase escrow taking between 20 to 30 days, your lender will first conditionally approve your mortgage. You get that awesome call from your loan officer telling you the good news! Your loan is approved, and soon you will be closing on your new home. NOTE – This is not the moment to celebrate by buying new furniture or that car that will fit nicely in your new garage. Basically,  anything you might pay for in installments. You think you are good as you put the bubbly on ice but don’t realize that your credit will be rechecked before closing. Any new purchases you have made will be scrutinized and could derail your approval.

For professional representation in listing or buying a home, please call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors, with RE/MAX Gold Real Estate at 916.233.6759.

In Gratitude,

Guild Mortgage NMS #3274 Equal Housing Lender

–Dan Tharp 916-257-1470

Dan Tharp with Guild Mortgage

How You Say It Matters More Than What You Say

How You Say It Matters More Than What You Say

How you say, it matters more than what you say in real estate. A short sale bank negotiator a few years ago demanded that I change the marketing comments because the negotiator took offense to the way I elected to describe a home for sale. The negotiator has no control over how a Sacramento REALTOR and her seller choose to market the home. And this particular negotiator had no sense of humor, but buyer’s agents seemed to really appreciate this listing.

I don’t recall offhand exactly what I wrote, but there was a rotting pumpkin dissolving into the living room floor, and I pretty much described it that way. I also told buyer’s agents not to poke their noses into the stinky fish tank if they didn’t want to gag. The home was a fixer and trashed. These things were the truth about the property, evident in the photographs, and a buyer would notice it walking through. The thing is, though, most agents tend to bend the truth in a marketing description because agents want the listing to appeal to the largest pool of home buyers possible. That’s why they use the word cozy instead of tiny and say “open sky feeling” when the roof is missing.

This particular listing with the rotting pumpkin did not and would not appeal to a large pool of buyers. It would appeal to the flipper or contractor who knew precisely what they were getting into, and sure enough, that’s who bought it and closed escrow. I didn’t alter the comments, btw. The seller and I liked the verbiage the way it appeared.

You can read more about our thoughts in another timeless blog about  It’s How a Sacramento REALTOR Says It to Describe a Home For Sale.

For professional representation in listing or buying a home, please call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors, with RE/MAX Gold Real Estate at 916.233.6759.

How You Say It Matters More Than What You Say

The Seller Demand to Close Escrow


For a fact, I know that I am not the only listing agent in Sacramento to
expect buyers and their agents to conform to the purchase contract, but
the reaction I sometimes receive astounds me. It’s as though the agents
cannot believe that we would ask the buyer to perform in accordance with
the contract and they don’t understand why we don’t just lay off the
requests for documents such as the Contingency Release.

It’s not like we enjoy asking for documents. We have a fiduciary
relationship to our sellers to do what is best for our sellers, and what is best
for our sellers is for all parties to adhere to the terms of the purchase
contract. Were not trying to be ogres or make unreasonable demands, but
you wouldn’t know it by the way some agents react.

Fortunately, we have a form by the California Association of Realtors for
agent use through ZipForms that allows a release of deposit, signed
unilaterally by the seller. You can read more in my timeless blog today
about The Seller Demand to Release Deposit Can Shake Up California

Call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors if you are looking for professional representation.

We can be reached at 916-233-6759 with RE/MAX Gold.


The Seller Demand to Close Escrow

Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove

Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove


Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove at the Sheldon Inn. Celebrating a birthday with family felt so very special as with Covid-19; our get-togethers have been rare for the last 18 months. No one had Covid19 thus far. We were so blessed. Also, celebrating my job as a Realtor and licensed 27 years. What a journey. The is photo shows my handsome very tall son J.T. Bradley of Bradley Builders construction, my niece Candace in the Hawaiian dress, my baby sister Lisa in the blue top, and my sister Cathy with the pixie hair cut.

My niece, Candace, asked me many thought-provoking questions at the Inn; it’s a birthday game. So what have I learned in real estate about myself? The list is endless. I’ve learned how to tactfully interact with tough and complicated people and keep my cool. In my history as a Police Officer, if someone didn’t do what you told them, it sometimes required physical force if necessary to gain compliance. I can’t physically restrain people in real estate as it’s a game of using your mind and your heart to guide you. Sometimes, I’ve learned the hard way; it’s best to let go of toxic people and fire a client nicely by saying, ” I’m not the right fit for you.” Problem-solving is what Realtors do most, day to day, hour to hour, some days it’s minute to minute.

When selling Sacramento real estate, I often see it brings out the best and the worst in people, including buyers, sellers, Realtors, lenders, home inspectors, pest inspectors, roof inspectors, sewer inspectors, well inspectors, septic inspectors, escrow officers, contractors, and appraisers, only to name a few of the vendors involved when we sell a property. Fortunately, our vendors are on top of everything 95% of the time. But, of course, no one is perfect, and having a few bad days now and then or a health issue is part of the human experience.

Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove, It was a fun blog to write, and I hope you enjoyed it too.  Call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors with RE/MAX Gold real estate if you want to sell or buy a home. Our team collectively has over 92 years of real estate experience. You can reach us 24/7  at 916-233-6759.


JaCi Wallace

JaCi Wallace

Sacramento Realtor Weintraub & Wallace



Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove
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