Many Buyers Are Willing To Go Over Their Budget For The Perfect Home

Many Buyers Are Willing To Go Over Their Budget For The Perfect HomeFor those who are looking for a new home, it is important to take the time to get this decision right. For a lot of people, a home is the most valuable investment they are ever going to make. As a result, it is critical to evaluate all of the options that are available. That way, everyone will get the most out of their time. What about setting a budget? How important is this and should people think about going over it?

It Is Important To Budget First

When someone is looking for a home, the first step is to know the budget. As a rule of thumb, those people should try to avoid spending more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing expenses. This is monthly income before taxes. For those who are having trouble doing this calculation, this is an area where a trained professional can provide assistance. That way, everyone will know how much money they can spend on a home after their down payment.

Make A List Of Must-Have and Nice To Have Features

Next, it is important to come up with a list of features they must have and features that would be nice to have. Everyone has to make sure they know what features they want to include the budget. There are some things that homeowners need to have, such as a certain number of bedrooms. Then, there are features that people would like to have but aren’t necessary. What happens if someone finds a home with everything? Should they go over budget?

Finding The Perfect Home Is Worth A Few Extra Dollars

In the end, a home is more than just a number on a piece of paper. Because a home is also about intangible values and benefits, it is okay for homeowners to go over their budget slightly for the perfect home because there is a great chance that they are going to be there for years to come. At the same time, everyone also has to make sure they know how far over budget they are willing to go. Then, they can find the perfect home. 

What Do You Need To Know About Buying And Selling A Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

What Do You Need To Know About Buying And Selling A Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic?For those who are thinking about buying or selling a home during the pandemic, they may feel like this is a difficult task. Even though it is true that this is going to be a challenge, people are able to increase their success rate by adapting to a new environment. When it comes to buying or selling a home during the pandemic, there are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind.

Many Showings Are Going To Be Virtual

Make sure that everyone is ready to provide a virtual tour or go on one themselves. Of course, everyone is currently living in an era of social distancing. Therefore, everyone has to make sure that they do not unnecessarily expose themselves to anyone. Virtual tours are a great way to adapt to this measure while still purchasing or selling a home. For those who are thinking about providing a virtual tour to someone else, make sure to take the time to explore all of the options available. Some software programs are going to be better than others.

Ensure There Is A Safe Way To Buy And Sell A Home

It is critical to think about other safety measures that people can take as well. Everyone has to make sure that they endear themselves to as many buyers as possible. In addition to providing virtual tours, it may also be helpful to provide hand sanitizer. Or, people need to make sure that they bring hand sanitizer. Of course, make sure to wear a mask at all times when someone is going to be within 6 feet of someone else. This is another important safety measure that everyone should take.

There Is Help Available During The Pandemic

Finally, it is also a great idea to note that there is financial help available. Lots of people have struggled during the pandemic. That is why there are financial resources available. Be sure to speak with a trained professional and figure out if there are ways to make the process of buying or selling a home just a little bit easier. This could end up saving someone a lot of time and money during the process.

How Low Can They Go: With Mortgage Interest Rates Low, Should You Refinance?

How Low Can They Go: With Mortgage Interest Rates Still Dropping, Should You Refinance?Do you have a mortgage? You’ve likely seen or heard a lot about mortgage refinancing as interest rates remained low in recent months.

In today’s blog post we’ll explore the topic of mortgage refinancing, including when you should consider refinancing and how to take advantage of low interest rates.

What is Mortgage Refinancing?

In simple terms, refinancing refers to the practice of taking out a new mortgage and using the proceeds to pay off your old one in its entirety. You’ll go through the full borrowing process with your chosen lender, including the credit check, financial history and employment history in order to ensure that you have the ability to pay your new mortgage – even if your monthly costs are lower.

Depending on your financial goals, you may refinance to tap into some of the equity you’ve built up in your home, or you may refinance in order to secure a new mortgage with a lower interest rate or better payment terms. Whatever the case, know that if you decide to refinance you’ll be engaging with a lender for a brand new mortgage.

When Should I Consider Refinancing My Mortgage?

When you should refinance depends on your reason for refinancing. If you’re looking to reduce your interest rate and your monthly payments, you should refinance your mortgage whenever interest rates drop enough that you will be able to save more in monthly payments then you will be paying in closing costs and fees.

Consulting with a mortgage professional is the best way to understand how much money you can save, but to get a quick idea simply take a look at how much you owe on your mortgage, your current interest rate and the types of rates you may qualify for. If you owe $200,000 at 4% percent interest and you can refinance down to 3% percent you’re going to save a considerable amount over the long term.

How to Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates

Refinancing your mortgage is a major financial decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Careful research is needed to determine if now is best time to switch up your mortgage to one with a lower interest rate.

Should I Shorten My Mortgage Term, Important Factors To Consider

Should I Shorten My Mortgage Term, Important Factors To ConsiderWhen you first bought your home a few years ago, perhaps you started off with a 30 year mortgage. Now, you are considering refinancing and changing it to a 20 year or even a 15 year mortgage.

Shortening your mortgage term and refinancing can be a smart financial move, but before you make this decision there are a number of factors that you should consider.

Switching to a shorter mortgage will mean that your monthly payments will be higher, but you will be 100% paid off much sooner and you will save thousands of dollars in interest rates. Here are a few of the factors to consider before making this decision:

Has Your Situation Improved?

Perhaps you have moved to a higher paying position, allowing you to earn a higher income and pay off more of your mortgage every month? Or maybe you have received an inheritance, which will help you to make the payments? Perhaps your expenses have gone down and you will have more money left over from your wage?

Whatever the reason, if your financial situation has improved you might want to consider switching to a shorter mortgage. With your spare money, you will be able to make the larger payments and get your house paid off sooner.

Is The Improvement Long Term?

However, it is important to consider whether this improvement will last for the long term. Will your higher wage stay that way for the next several years? Are there any hidden expenses that you are failing to factor in?

You might be set up to repay larger monthly amounts on your mortgage at the moment, but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure in the future if your finances change.

What Are The Refinancing Costs?

Keep in mind that refinancing often comes with costs and fees, so make sure that you subtract these when you are making your calculations. It can sometimes take at least two or three years to recoup the fees, so make sure that you don’t plan on selling your home in the short term.

Can You Get A Better Rate?

One of the advantages of refinancing to a shorter mortgage is that you can sometimes get the opportunity to find a better rate. Perhaps if you have an adjustable rate you will be able to convert it to a fixed rate. Take a look at what is available and ask your financial advisor for help.

These are just a few important factors to consider when it comes to shortening your mortgage term. For more info about your home, contact your trusted mortgage professional.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 11, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 11, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending and reports on the national unemployment rate and job growth. Weekly reporting on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

Construction Spending Increases as Demand for Homes Rises

Homebuilders responded to increased demand for single-family homes and increased their spending in November. Construction spending rose by 0.90 percent as compared to projected spending of 1.10 percent and  1.60 percent growth in November. Demand for homes increased in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Homeowners left urban areas and bought larger homes in suburban and rural areas. Low mortgage rates, flight from cities, and needs related to working from home and homeschooling fueled demand for single-family homes.

Construction spending tapered off in November due to seasonal slowdowns and winter weather but is expected to continue growing as record-low mortgage rates encouraged prospective and current homeowners to seek larger homes.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower rates for fixed-rate mortgages as the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate rate mortgages fell by two basis points to 2.65 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 2.16 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.75 percent and were four basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed- rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points averaged 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Jobless claims fell last week with 787,000 first-time claims filed as compared to 790,000 new claims filed in the prior week. Analysts expected 815,000 initial claim filings. Ongoing jobless claims were also lower with 5.07 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 5.20 million continuing jobless claims filed.

Jobs Growth Falls in December; National unemployment Rate Holds Steady

ADP reported 123,000 fewer private-sector jobs n December as compared to 804,000 private-sector jobs added in November. The federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed similar results for December’s reading on public and private-sector jobs. 140,000 fewer jobs were reported in December as compared to 336,000  public and private-sector jobs added in November. December’s national unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.70 percent. 

What’s Ahead

 This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on inflation, retail sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be reported.

Three Subtle Painting Tricks That Will Make Your Home Look Amazing

Three Subtle Painting Tricks That Will Make Your Home Look Amazing This Spring When it comes to painting the walls of a house, sometimes subtle is best. You want to add design, color, and texture to the walls, but you don’t want it jarring to the eyes. Here are three subtle painting techniques you can try on your home walls.

Tissue Paper Texture

One easy way to add texture to walls is to use tissue paper. You apply the tissue paper to the walls and it stays there until you want something new.

Crumple up a piece of tissue paper into a tight ball and then open it up and smooth it out. Small textured lines will appear on the paper. Those lines will remain when you use the paper on the walls.

Use the colored wall paint as glue to adhere the tissue paper to the wall. Paint an area of the wall that’s a little bit bigger than the piece of tissue paper. Press the paper to the painted area and smooth it out so all the edges stick to the wall. Paint over the tissue paper. Repeat the process until the entire wall is covered.

Sponge Color-on-Color Technique

Natural sponges create a unique look on painted walls. If you use two versions of the same color, satin and semi-gloss, then it creates a subtle look that isn’t shocking to the eyes. The color is the same but the shine is different.

Paint your wall with the satin color paint. Let it dry completely. Dip the top of the natural sponge in the semi-gloss paint. Dab the sponge to the wall over and over. It’s OK to overlap the paint in areas and you aren’t going to completely cover the wall.

Once dry, the satin paint will show from beneath the semi-gloss paint creating a neat shine effect.

Taped Stripes

You don’t want bold multi-color stripes on your wall because it will stand out too much. Subtle stripes create a beautiful effect.

Choose two colors that sit side-by-side on the color spectrum. Or, choose two similar colors from different companies. Paint companies tend to have slight differences in colors.

Paint the walls your first color choice. Let it dry completely. Tape the walls using painters tape to make stripes. Make them horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Make them wide or thin. It’s up to you. Paint the walls again with the second color choice. Paint right over the tape. When you remove the tape, the first color will show.

These simple and subtle paint techniques will make your walls beautiful. This is especially useful if you plan to sell your home and want to increase its value. 

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A Home

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A HomeFor those who are trying to buy things for their home, it is important to think carefully. Nobody wants to overpay; however, reaching for something cheap may simply end up getting replaced quickly. There are a few highlights that everyone should consider purchasing for their home in January!

Purchase Some Furniture In January

First, everyone has to make sure they think about buying furniture either in January or July. A lot of furniture manufacturers provide retail stores with new pieces in February and August. Therefore, a lot of furniture will go on sale starting either in January or July.

Storage Items Go On Sale In January

Again, a lot of stores will roll out sales in January for storage essentials such as baskets, shelves, and organizing systems. There are a lot of student’s who are looking for inexpensive items before the start of the new semester and what’s leftover after Christmas will often go on sale in January.

Major Appliances Go On Sale During January And The Holidays

One of the most expensive items that people purchase for their home is a new appliance. These tend to go on sale during the holidays and shortly after Christmas. With new versions coming out at the start of the new year, the prior year’s models need to be cleared out and retail stores will slash their prices in January.

Flooring And Paint Will Go On Sale In January

A lot of homeowners will take breaks from remodeling projects during the holiday season. Therefore, paint manufacturers and flooring specialists are often desperate for business during the winter. For this reason, a lot of paint and flooring essentials will go on sale during January, providing homeowners with a chance to save some significant money on their next renovation projects.

Linens And Towels Go On Sale In January

Finally, anyone who is looking for new linens and towels should try to wait for January. These are common gifts during Christmas so retail stores will be looking for ways to clear out the leftover inventory after the holidays. As a result, a lot of linens and towels will be marked for major discounts following Christmas.

The Top House Appraisal Tips For Home Buyers And Sellers

The Top House Appraisal Tips For Home Buyers And SellersThere are a lot of steps that come with buying or selling a home. One of the routine steps that have to be accomplished is called a home appraisal. When it comes to a home appraisal, this is something that can cause both buyers and sellers to pause for a second. For those who might not know, a house appraisal is where a trained professional will take a look at the fair market value of the home. It is important to understand what happens when a home appraisal is conducted. 

Compare The Home To Similar Properties

When a home appraisal is conducted, its value is usually compared to homes in the area that are similar. The value of a home is always determined by what similar homes in the area have sold for recently. This is what the lender is going to look for. For example, if someone is selling a condo, and the value of that condo is going to be compared to other condos in the building that have sold recently. Even though there might not be identical houses in the area, the same process is going to happen for free-standing homes. 

Make Improvements To The Home

For those who are going to be selling their home in the near future, one of the easiest ways to drive up the value of the home is to make improvements. If the countertops, floors, or cabinets have not been updated recently, then performing these updates can drive up the value of a home. In some cases, homeowners might be able to get a bigger increase in the value of their home than the amount of money they spent on the improvements. 

Get A Second Appraisal

In some cases, home buyers might not like the appraisal that came in on the home. In this case, they might be able to challenge this first appraisal by getting a second appraisal. Even though this might cost a bit of money, if the home comes back at a significantly reduced cost, then there might be opportunities for the buyer to renegotiate the price of the home. Everyone wants to make sure they are getting a fair deal when a home changes hands.

Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application Approved

Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application ApprovedRight now, mortgage rates have fallen to rates that haven’t been seen in years. This opens the door for many people to apply for a mortgage that they previously may not have been able to afford. Sadly, not everyone who applies for a mortgage is going to be approved. There are a few steps that applicants can take to increase their chances of getting their mortgage application approved.

Increase The Credit Score

Applicants need to make sure that their credit scores are as high as possible when they apply for a mortgage. The greater the credit score is, the more trustworthy they look to lenders. In general, applicants are going to need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a home loan; however, those who want to get the best interest rates possible need to make sure their credit score is as high as possible. Try to ask for a free copy of the credit report from one of the major credit bureaus and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. Then, pay down as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.

Add More To Savings

Those who want to qualify for the best interest rates will need to be willing to put more money down. The only way to make this happen is to increase the amount of money in the savings account. Lenders are more willing to provide people with a home loan if they know the potential homeowner is supplying some of the capital as well. Delaying the home search by a month or two to collect more money in a savings account can dramatically improve someone’s chances of getting approved.

Increase Employment History

The longer someone has been employed, the better the chances of the application being approved. Lenders want to make sure that the potential homeowner is going to be able to pay back the loan. The longer the applicant has been employed, the greater the chances that he or she is going to remain in that position. A longer employment history could help someone qualify for lower interest rates.

Get A Mortgage Application Approved

These are a few steps applicants can take to improve the strength of their application. That way, they can get the home of their dreams.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 4, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 4, 2021Last week’s economic news included reports from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and data on pending home sales. No weekly data on jobless claims were released due to the New Year holiday, but Freddie Mac did issue its weekly report on average mortgage rates.

Case-Shiller Reports Home Prices Reached 6-Year High In October

U.S. home prices reached their highest level in six years according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Home prices rose by 8.40 percent year-over-year in October as compared to September’s home price growth reading of 7.00 percent. Demand for homes rose during the Covid pandemic as families moved from congested urban areas to less crowded suburbs and rural areas. Ongoing shortages of available homes fueled rising home prices as mortgage rates fell to record lows. 

Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index showed a 7.90 percent year-over-year growth rate in October as compared to September’s home price growth rate of 6.60 percent.  Phoenix, Arizona led the 20-City Index with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 12.70  percent. Seattle, Washington posted a year-over-year home price growth rate of 11.70 percent, and San Diego, California followed closely with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 11.60 percent.

Cities posting the lowest home price growth rates in October were New York, New York with 6.00 percent home price growth; Chicago, Illinois posted year-over-year home price growth of 6.30 percent and Las Vegas Nevada home prices grew by 6.40 percent year-over-year,

Analysts did not expect home price growth to slow any time soon. Relocation and the anticipated retreat of the pandemic as vaccines become available were expected to fuel home price growth as the economy improves.

Pending Home Sales Fall in November, Average Mortgage Rates Mixed

The National Association of Realtors® reported  -2.60 percent a drop in pending home sales in November; this was the third straight month of falling pending home sales. Pending home sales are sales for which purchase contracts are signed but have not closed.

Mortgage Rates Mixed

Freddie Mac reported mixed average mortgage rates last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 2.67 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by two basis points to 2.17 percent and rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by eight basis points to 2.71 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending, minutes from the Fed’s FOMC meeting, and payroll data for public and private-sector jobs. The national unemployment rate will also be released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims are also expected.