Monday, December 24, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
Money management is something people often put off. Although, if you trick yourself into saving your money, you'll reap the rewards in the long run! Read some tips on how to trick yourself into saving your money here: http://bit.ly/2PyoGgP #MissyBass #rva #money #saving
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Brrrrr it's cold in Richmond! Maybe a second vacation home is in store for your new year? Becoming a snowbird can become a reality with proper financial planning. Read some great second home advice here: http://bit.ly/2rzJACL #MissyBass #rva #snow #bird #homebuying #financial
Monday, December 17, 2018
Applying for a business loan takes time and a lot of preparation. Read what documents you don't want to forget for a smoother application process here: http://bit.ly/2PAGcRr #MissyBass #rva #business #loan #advice #document #application #process #loanofficer
Sunday, December 16, 2018
2019 is the year you will take hold of your financial future! With proper research and advice, financial planning isn't so bad. Read how financial planning can make you feel empowered here: http://bit.ly/2rBjpvs #MissyBass #rva #financial #planning #research #professional
Friday, September 21, 2018
Many people through the years have asked about "my story." And since i am asking so many of you to donate and support this cause i wanted to share my story for those of you who may not know. So here it goes...
Cancer people always remember the day their entire world changed. Some ask why, I was more like "WTF, are you kidding me?" I had a cough. A cough that was piercing to everyone's ears and it hurt! Kirk said I had TB, some thought I had whooping cough and there was even a kennel cough thrown in there (Thank you, Mitch!). At first, my doctor just thought it was allergies and asthma. After 2 weeks, it wasn't any better--maybe I had bronchitis? He listened to my chest and determined that I was wheezing and my lungs did sound congested. 3 weeks later, my cough was even worse. I was throwing up all the time when I coughed and I couldn't catch my breath--it was terrible! Being at my wits end, I went back to the doctor and he ordered a chest x-ray, maybe I had pneumonia?, but it didn't sound like it. The scan was done right before July 4th weekend, and my doc wouldn't be back in for about week. No big deal, I had dealt with it for this long what's a few more days?!
I will tell you this, no one will ever tell you that you have cancer over the phone. When I was told I needed to come into the office and whenever I got there would be fine, I knew something was definitely wrong. I've never had a shorter wait to get into see my doctor!! And then he dropped the bomb of my life.."You see this?" as he pointed to a mass that was sitting on my bronchial tubes shown on the xray, "This is a problem." He handed me a piece of paper with 2 names on it, one was a thoracic surgeon, the other an oncologist. I kind of stared at him, " Do I have cancer?" He hadn't exactly said it quite yet. "Yes, but you are going to be fine. I promise."
I walked out of his office in a daze, got to my car and called my mom, who was suffering with Stage IV breast cancer. "Mom, I have cancer." Typical of my mom, "No, you don't. Missy, quit screwing with me." --still makes me laugh that I can hear her saying it now:) Side bar: I was strangely obsessed with calling my mom and saying things to get a rise out of her i.e. I was pregnant, had eloped, gotten my nose pierced, gotten a tattoo, etc.
I digress...My oncologist appointment was first and my dear friend Branch went with me. She was my scribe. She knew I would be too wound up to take in everything that was being said--she was 100% correct. My oncologist said I either had lymphoma or something else with an 'oma', but I had a very high rate of success for remission. Next up, thoracic surgeon. He took one look at my xrays and said I had Hodgkin's Disease--he didn't know which one, but that's what I had. Now, I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, but this was a lilttle ridiculous. In a one week span, I had been diagnosed with cancer, was supposed to have a major surgery (they were deflating one of my lungs to get to the "oma" which was near my heart, inserting my port and inserting this kick ass pain killer contraption into me) and I had 2nd row tickets to a Yankees-Rays game in Tampa behind the Yanks on-deck-circle!!. After a little haggling, I was cleared to go to my game (yes, my beloved Yanks won!) and would have the surgery the day after I got back. I won't even go into my hospital stay---What a hot mess!!
I didn't tell a lot of people my diagnosis. My tight circle of friends knew and my family. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me or say something awkward because truly, what do you say in the situation--sorry you have a sickness where you are going to lose all your hair and energy, feel like shit for awhile and be in a situation for the better part of a year that changes everything in your life? They don't make a Hallmark card for it, I looked:) I had cancer and I wasn't going to die. Just needed some time to get through my issues and deal with myself. For the next 6 months, I went to chemo every two weeks, and then had radiation for 17 sessions. I would take chemo every day to not have radiation--it is the worst!!
October 2012, I was finally put in remission and my chemo port was removed. This little cancer spell was behind me.
I was very lucky, my cancer was caught in the early stages and I had an awesome team of doctors--some are not that lucky, which is why I now raise money for LLS! They help people who are not Missy Bass. Those who don't have insurance and live in the metropolis of Richmond where cancer centers are cutting edge. Those who don't have friends and family who will take them to all their doctors appointment while they are going through treatment. It's these people that I want to help and with you, it's possible!
8 years have passed since i was dianosed with Cancer and here i am again raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! As i have shared many times on my page i am raising money this year for the Light the Night event and the Richmond Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society appointed me as the Light the Night Executive Challenge Chair! Please join me in donating to this cause it not only means the world to me, as well as hits home, but it means the world to those fighting! Thank you again for reading my blog and my story and donating.
Friday, September 7, 2018
If you have been around me for the past, I don't know, forever! You know I am never one to back down from anything..except spiders! Oh, and snakes! ughhhh Any sort of challenge, it is always GAME ON!! This year the Richmond Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society appointed me as the Light the Night Executive Challenge Chair. They just didn't think I had enough to do:) Truly, I am honored and plan on giving it my all! The goal is to raise $100,000.000 with all the players in the challenge. Somes are new faces and some are friends that I have known for years through this amazing organization. In all, they are incredible humans for helping the cause!! I love all the things that LLS does to help with cancer research. Last year, 18 new cancer treatments were approved through the FDA and LLS funded 15 of them! They are AMAZEBALLS!!
You can be amazing too! You can donate money:
You can sign up and support the team or you can just come out the night of the walk and show your love! All works for me:)
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
This month I'd like to highlight one of the best non-profits out there. My time volunteering for this organization was right up my alley. And I do mean that literally - the house that I helped build was right down the street from me! While Habitat for Humanity always invites volunteers to get their hands dirty, they also encourage donations, which for some, is a little bit easier especially for those with physical limitations. For those with a busy schedule, sometimes the greatest donation that you can give an organization is your time.
The day that I chose to volunteer for building this home in North Side it was hot out! But, despite the humid weather, it was so encouraging to see so many ladies in the Real Estate industry giving back to our wonderful community. We had a group of about 10 or 15 women organized to come together and build on that day, so the construction site of volunteers was composed of a majority of women, how awesome is that?
I encourage everyone to get familiar with this organization that is making a difference in people's lives in a big way, EVERY DAY. Time is valuable and sometimes it's the most precious thing you can give!
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
As you all probably know, I’m always working on lots of different projects and get involved in various charities throughout RVA. One organization that stood out for me this year is Sportable. The Executive Director, Hunter Leemon, is a good friend of mine and fellow Randolph-Macon Alum. Go JACKETS!!
From Sportable’s website
“We don’t just provide adaptive sports and recreation opportunities in RVA –The reason Sportable exists is to transform the lives of people with physical and visual disabilities through sport! We know that is a bold claim and some might question whether we can really achieve that mission. Our response – come meet our athletes, hear their stories, watch them when they are in their “zone”. We can guarantee they would agree that in some way a transformation has occurred. This visionary approach to our mission allows us to keep pushing forward and aiming high—just as we ask of each of our athletes!“
Doing sports is a great way to feel fulfilled, active and happy. People who have a physical or visual disability don’t always have the opportunity to participate in sports. Sportable does a fantastic job in making playing sports a reality for these individuals.
C&F Mortgage and I are trying to bring awareness to this organization because we believe in all the good that this does for our community. If you’d like to learn more about Sportable, please visit their website here.
Pictured below is a fundraiser event at Buskey Cider in Scott's Addition for Ron Rosenberg. What a great thing he is doing!! Not only is he fulfilling a lifelong dream of going to every ballpark across the country, he’s raising money and awareness for Sportable. I don't think I've ever been so jealous of this bucket list goal! You can follow him on Twitter @RonforSportable or Instagram @ronwisconsin and donate here. $14,00000 to be raised for 14,000 miles traveled. Total Inspiration! Go Ron, Go!!
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Virginia, and Richmond especially, has an amazing music scene. It doesn’t matter what kind of music that you’re into, if you look for it, you will find it! There’s a ton of my favorite bands coming to town, or Virginia, and i’d like to share some of those with you guys. And honestly, if you’re just curious on what’s going on around #RVA, make sure to hit me up. I will probably have a ton of suggestions.
Railroad Earth: The National, Feb 22nd 8:00pm
Railroad Earth is a roots and Americana-based newgrass jam band from Stillwater, New Jersey. Their name was borrowed from the Jack Kerouac short story "October in the Railroad Earth." Wikipedia
Stephen Kellogg: The Tin Pan, Feb. 28th 8:00pm
Stephen Kellogg is an American singer-songwriter and former leader of Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. Wikipedia
Indecision: The National, March 2nd, 8:00pm
Indecision's innovative music is a unique blend of rock, jazz, blues and extended jams complete with rich and complex lyrics. Facebook
Full Moon Fever: The Broadberry, March 2nd. 8:00pm
Full Moon Fever is America's premier Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band, bringing to life an energetic and ultra- realistic performance of the legendary rock band.
Eli Young Band: The National, March 3rd, 8:00pm
Eli Young Band is an American country music band composed of members who met while students at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas: Mike Eli, James Young, Jon Jones, and Chris Thompson.Wikipedia
Skydog: A Tribute to the Allman Brothers Band: The Broadberry, March 4th, 8:00pm
Skydog was the nick name given to Duane Allman during his years as a Muscle Shoals session musician. In the wake of the 40th anniversary of The Allman Brothers Band, Skydog returns. This Richmond, VA powerhouse is quickly becoming one of the most sought after ABB tributes in the nation. These six seasoned musicians rekindle the spirit of the original ABB line up. Ticketfly
Marc Craig Cohn: The Tin Pan, March 14th, 6:00pm
Marc Craig Cohn is a Grammy Award-winning American folk rock singer-songwriter and musician best known for his song "Walking in Memphis" from his eponymous 1991 album. Wikipedia
Widespread Panic: MGM National Harbor, March 15, 16 & 17th. Lockn’ Festival, Aug 24th
Widespread Panic is an American rock band from Athens, Georgia. The current lineup includes guitarist/singer John Bell, bassist Dave Schools, drummer Duane Trucks, percussionist Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz, ...Wikipedia
Tony Bennett: Altria Theater, March 17th, 7:30pm
Anthony Dominick Benedetto (born August 3, 1926), known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, and jazz. He is also a painter, having created works under the name Anthony Benedetto that are on permanent public display in several institutions. Wikipedia
Anders Osborne: The Broadberry, March 17th, 8:00pm
Anders Osborne is an American singer and songwriter. Wikipedia
Lettuce: The National, March 28th, 7:30pm
Lettuce is a funk band that originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1992. Its members consist of guitarists Eric Krasno and Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff, Nigel Hall, Adam Deitch, Erick "Jesus" Coomes, Ryan Zoidis, and partial-member Rashawn Ross. Wikipedia
The Trongone Band & The Vegabonds: The Broadberry, March 31st, 8:00pm
Rapidly gaining momentum with a sound that falls somewhere between southern Rock ‘n’ Soul and Americana Jam, The Trongone Band is turning heads and making an impact on the east coast music scene. Formed as a family and by brothers Andrew and Johnny with father John Sr. on bass, The Trongone Band enlisted much sought-after keyboardist Ben "Wolfe" White and quickly began packing various venues around Richmond, VA. Tickefly
Slippery When Wet: The Tin Pan, March 31st. 6:00pm
The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute was formed in 2003 by Jason Morey after answering many inquiries of “Are you Jon Bon Jovi?"
Sam Bush: The Broadberry, April 2nd, 7:00pmCharles Samuel "Sam" Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style. Wikipedia
Kelsea Ballerini: The National, April 7th, 7:30pm
Kelsea Nicole Ballerini is an American country pop singer and songwriter. She is signed to Black River Entertainment, and released her first album The First Time in 2015. Her second album Unapologetically was released in 2017. Wikipedia
Pink!: John Paul Jones Arena, April 19th. 7:30pm
Alecia Beth Moore, known professionally as Pink, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. She was signed to her first reard label with original R&B girl group Choice in 1995. Wikipedia
Jackson Browne: Altria Theater, May 2nd. 7:30pm
Clyde Jackson Browne is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Wikipedia
The Connells: The National, May 5th. 7:00pm
The Connells are an American band from Raleigh, North Carolina. They play a guitar-oriented, melodic, jangle pop style of rock music with introspective lyrics that reflect the American South. Wikipedia
Cowboy Junkies: Tin Pan, May 6th
Cowboy Junkies are a Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band. The group was formed in Toronto in 1985 by Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins, Peter Timmins and Alan Anton. Wikipedia
Agents of Good Roots: Infinity Downs Farm, August 23rd
Agents of Good Roots is an American rock band from Richmond, Virginia. The group formed in 1995 and toured heavily on college campuses in the middle of the decade. Wikipedia
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
It's the New Year! And maybe one of your 2018 New Year's goals is to buy a home, I mean why not? A few of your friends probably bought a home in the past year or so. If you know of anyone who bought a home it's because rates are great, home prices are affordable and it's an all around great time to buy. It's a little difficult to know where to start though, so I found this article that has some great tips on what to do before you begin. Oh, and just remember, working with a local lender that knows the area well can work immensely to your advantage.
Original Article Appears in NerdWallet.com
EMILY STARBUCK CRONE
June 6, 2017
Buying a home can be nervewracking, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Not only is it probably the biggest purchase of your life, but the process is complicated and fraught with unfamiliar lingo and surprise expenses.
To make the first-time home buying journey a little less stressful, NerdWallet has compiled these 25 tips to help you navigate the process more smoothly and save money. We’ve divided our list into three sections.
1. Start saving for a down payment early
It’s common to put 20% down, but many lenders now permit much less, and first-time home buyer programs allow as little as 3% down. But putting down less than 20% may mean higher costs and paying for private mortgage insurance, and even a small down payment can still be hefty. For example, a 5% down payment on a $200,000 home is $10,000.
Play around with a down payment calculator to help you land on a goal amount. Some tips for saving for a down payment include setting aside tax refunds and work bonuses, setting up an automatic savings plan and using an app to track your progress.
2. Determine how much home you can afford
Before you start looking for your dream home, you need to know what’s actually within your price range. Use a home affordability calculator to determine how much you can safely afford to spend.
3. Check your credit
When you’re taking out a mortgage loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in whether you’re approved, and it will help determine your interest rate and possibly the loan terms.
So check your credit before you begin the home buying process. Dispute any errors that could be dragging down your credit score and look for opportunities to improve your credit, such as making a dent in any outstanding debts.
5. Explore your down payment options
Struggling to come up with enough money for a down payment? First-time home buyer programs are plentiful, including federal mortgage programs with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow loans with only 3% down.
Other low down payment options include:
Federal Housing Administration loans, which permit down payments as low as 3.5%.
Veterans Affairs loans, which sometimes require no down payment at all.
You could also try crowdfunding or asking if family members are willing to pitch in with a gift.
6. Research state and local assistance programs
In addition to federal programs, many states offer assistance programs for first-time home buyers with perks such as tax credits, low down payment loans and interest free loans up to a certain amount. Your county or municipality may also have first-time home buyer programs.
7. Budget for closing costs
In addition to saving for a down payment, you’ll need to budget for the money required to close your mortgage, which can be significant. Closing costs generally run between 2% and 5% of your loan amount. You can shop around and compare prices for certain closing expenses, such as homeowners insurance, home inspections and title searches. You can also defray costs by asking the seller to pay for a portion of your closing costs or negotiating your real estate agent’s commission. Calculate your expected closing costs to help you set your budget.
8. Set aside more money for after move-in
Sorry, that’s not all you need to save up for before home shopping. Once you’ve saved for your down payment and budgeted for closing costs, you should also set aside a buffer to pay for what will go inside the house. This includes furnishings, appliances, rugs, updated fixtures, new paint and any other touches you’ll want to have when you move in.
9. Consider what type of property to buy
You may assume you’ll buy a single-family home, and that could be ideal if you want a large lot or a lot of room. But if you’re willing to sacrifice space for less maintenance and extra amenities, and you don’t mind paying a homeowners association fee, a condo or townhome could be a better fit.
10. Research mortgage options
Is a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage a given, or is another loan type right for you? If you can afford larger monthly payments, you can get a lower interest rate with a 20-year or 15-year fixed loan. Use our calculator to determine if a 15-year or 30-year fixed mortgage is a better fit for you. Or you may prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage, which is riskier but guarantees a low interest rate for the first few years of your mortgage.
11. Compare mortgage rates
Many homebuyers get a rate quote from only one lender, but this often leaves money on the table. Comparing mortgage rates from at least three lenders can save you more than $3,500 over the first five years of your loan, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Get at least three quotes and compare both rates and fees.
12. Decide if paying points makes sense
Lenders often allow you to buy discount points, which means prepaying interest upfront to secure a lower interest rate. There may also be an option for negative points, in which the lender pays some of your closing costs in exchange for a higher interest rate. How long you plan to stay in the house is one of the key factors in whether buying points makes sense. You’ll need to do some calculations or speak to a mortgage broker or loan officer to help you decide if buying points is worth it for you.
13. Get a preapproval letter
You can get prequalified, which simply gives you an estimate of how much a lender may be willing to lend based on your income and debts. But as you get closer to buying a home, it’s smart to get a preapproval, where the lender thoroughly examines your finances and confirms in writing how much it’s willing to lend you and at what terms. Having a preapproval letter in hand makes you look much more serious to a seller and can give you an upper hand over buyers who haven’t taken this step.
14. Hire the right buyers agent
You’ll be working closely with your real estate agent, so it’s essential that you find someone you get along with well. The right buyers agent should be highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable about the area.
15. Stay under your preapproval limit
As your agent shows you homes, look for properties that cost a little less than the amount you were approved for. While you can technically afford that amount, it’s the ceiling — and it doesn’t account for a broken washer or dryer or any other expenses that arise during homeownership, especially right after you buy. Rather than maxing out that amount, set a lower purchase budget to leave yourself wiggle room for unexpected costs.
16. Pick the right neighborhood
Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as locating the right house. Research the schools, even if you don’t have kids, since that affects a home’s value. Look at local safety and crime statistics. How close are the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery store and other amenities you’ll use? Also, drive through the neighborhood on various days and at different times to check out traffic, noise and activity levels.
17. Make the most of an open house
Use this as another opportunity to scope out the neighborhood and your potential neighbors. During the open house, pay close attention to the home’s overall condition and look for any smells, stains or items in disrepair. Ask a lot of questions about the home, such as when it was built, when items were last replaced and how old key systems like the air conditioning and the heating are. If several other potential buyers are viewing the home at the same time as you, don’t hesitate to schedule a second or third visit to get a closer look and ask more questions.
18. Buy a home for tomorrow
It’s easy to look at properties that meet your current needs. But if you plan to start or expand your family, it may be preferable to buy a larger home you can grow into. Consider your future needs and wants and whether this home will suit them.
19. Let little things go
When you’re looking at a home, it’s easy to get caught up on superficial details like paint color, fixtures and carpets. These features are easy to change once the home is yours, so don’t let those little details get in the way.
20. Be prepared to compromise
It’s rare to find a house that’s perfect in every way, so think carefully about what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not. Perhaps no walk-in closet in the master bedroom is a deal breaker, but an outdated guest bathroom will be tolerable until you can renovate it.
21. Make a strong offer
Your real estate agent can help you with this, but consider how much under or over the asking price you’re willing to pay to obtain your dream home. If there are multiple bids, think about tactics to win over the seller, such as a personalized letter.
22. Avoid a bidding war that blows your budget
In a competitive real estate market with limited inventory, it’s likely you’ll bidding on houses that get multiple offers. When you find a home you love, it’s tempting to make a high-priced offer that’s sure to win. But don’t let your emotions take over; stick to your purchase budget to avoid getting stuck with a mortgage payment you can’t afford.
A lot can be up for negotiation in the homebuying process, which can result in major savings. Are there any major repairs you can get the seller to cover, either by fully handling them or by giving you a credit adjustment at closing? Is the seller willing to pay for any of the closing costs? If you’re in a buyers market, you may find the seller will bargain with you to get the house off the market.
24. Buy homeowners insurance
Before you close on your new house, your lender will require you to buy homeowners insurance. Shop around and compare rates to find the best price. Look closely at what’s covered in the policies; going with a less expensive policy usually means fewer protections and more out-of-pocket expenses if you file a claim. Be aware that your insurer can drop your property if it thinks the home’s condition isn’t up to snuff, so you may have to be prepared to find a new policy quickly if it sends someone out to look at the property and isn’t happy with what it finds. Also, flood damage isn’t covered by homeowners insurance, so if your new home is in a flood-prone area, you may want to buy separate flood insurance.
25. Know the limits of a home inspection
Once your offer is accepted, you’ll pay for a home inspection to examine the property’s condition inside and out. But not all inspections test for things like radon, mold or pests, so be sure you know what’s included. Make sure the inspector can access every part of the home, such as the roof and any crawl spaces. Attend the inspection and pay close attention. Don’t be afraid to ask your inspector to take a look — or a closer look — at something and ask questions. No inspector will answer the question, “Should I buy this house?”, so you’ll have to make this decision after reviewing the reports and seeing what the seller is willing to fix.