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Carolyn Kampa | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox Cities Realty | Carolyn and Company Real Estate Blog

Monday, August 1, 2022   /   by Carolyn Kampa

Estate Planning Provides Financial Security and Peace of Mind

 I am 63 years old and my husband Don is 69. We were at a point a couple of years ago where we knew we needed to do something with estate planning but weren't sure where to start.

We were invited to a presentation by Hooper Law. They focus exclusively on elder law and are located here in Appleton, Wisconsin. That seminar gave us a really great overview of what estate planning involves. We were happy to take Peter Harbach up on his offer of a FREE two hour consultation. Yes, he gave us two hours of his time to talk specifically about our personal situation and make recommendations.

He spent time asking detailed questions, in just the right order. He learned about us and our family, what we valued, and what our wishes were for the future. After a thorough interview, he went to a white board and outlined his advice for our entire future. It was simple, clear, and concise. It was a relief to know we had a realistic plan, and we were happy we had taken care of it while we were st! ...

Monday, August 1, 2022   /   by Carolyn Kampa

When Does it Make Sense to Refinance My Mortgage?

When does it make sense to refinance my mortgage? We have all heard the news stories about historically low mortgage interest rates. They made me curious to learn more about who may benefit from them. I reached out to Tom Seaman from Wintrust Mortgage for some answers. Here is what he shared with me.

Refinancing your existing mortgage has the potential of reducing your interest rate, the term of the loan, or eliminating private mortgage insurance (PMI). This can translate into lower monthly payments and interest savings over the period of ownership of the home.

An example would be, refinancing a home purchased last year with less than 20% down. Market appreciation has driven values up, and some borrowers are finding they are able to shave maybe a 1/2% off of their rate and eliminate (PMI). That can lower their monthly payment quite a bit.

Another scenario would be restructuring your loan from a FHA or adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate loan.

Wisconsin has low mo! ...

Monday, August 1, 2022   /   by Carolyn Kampa

Local Spotlight: CarePatrol of the Fox Cities

At some point, many seniors find the need for a change in their living situation. They may also find senior care options can be confusing and overwhelming. To learn more about it, we visited with Michelle Graf, owner of CarePatrol of the Fox Cities.

"First of all, I would like to stress that we offer a free service. Our fees are paid for by the providers", said Michelle, "If you ever have any questions, we encourage you to call us on the phone. If we can help, we will."

She continued, "We help families navigate the confusing world of senior care to find safe, appropriate housing for their loved ones. Many times we are engaged by families during an emerging or urgent time when it is no longer safe for their loved to be at home alone. Sometimes it's the senior themselves or a spouse who calls. When we get a call, we can help immediately or schedule a time for a Care Discovery meeting. At that time: we review their medical needs, their care needs, their preferences and desires, thei. ...

Monday, August 1, 2022   /   by Carolyn Kampa

Why do I Need a Mortgage Pre-approval Letter?

Pam Beattie - Waterstone Mortgage
The real estate market is pretty crazy right now with limited inventory and sellers getting multiple offers. We occasionally hear from buyers, "Why do I need a mortgage pre-approval letter?" For the answer, I reached out to our good friend Pam Beattie, Branch Manager at Waterstone Mortgage here in Appleton to share her thoughts.

Today getting a pre-approval letter is a necessity due to a tight, competitive market. Sellers may have many offers to choose from. A pre-approval letter proves you have been vetted and are a serious buyer who has done their homework, and not just a “tire kicker”.

It also makes sure a buyer is not shopping in the wrong price range. That can lead to disappointment in the buying process as homes in a lower price range may pale in comparison to others they have seen.

I recommend you use caution. Not all mortgage pre-approvals are created equal. Some online pre-approvals may be missing important information.
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Monday, August 1, 2022   /   by Carolyn Kampa

Fox Cities Family Fun: Oshkosh Celebration of Lights

The Celebration of Lights displays at Menominee Park in Oshkosh bring a much needed dose of Christmas cheer. In this pandemic year as we try to distance and keep everyone safe, activities like the Oshkosh Celebration of Lights help to brighten the season for all.

The event runs through Jan 2 and is open 530 - 9 pm daily. The cost is $10 per vehicle or $9 with a non-perishable food donation. This year only debit or credit cards will be accepted for payment.

They have done a wonderful job with the displays and a slow, winding drive through the festive 1.2 miles in the park is a much needed respite this holiday season. Local radio stations provide holiday music to make the experience even more memorable.

This is the 19th year of the celebration, and in 2019 they had over 16,000 vehicles drive through to view the 1,000,000+ lights! The annual holiday display was brought to life by Tom Stephany, former Oshkosh Parks Dept. Director, and volunteers from the Oshkosh Rotary Southwest.
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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox Cities Realty | Carolyn and Company Real Estate
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Appleton, WI 54914
920-843-6247

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