Category: Mortgage + Real Estate Tips

Building a Strong Financial Future Starts At Home

Did you know that most financial advisors consider real estate and other assets as one of the “four pillars” of proper planning for a strong financial future that you can leave as a legacy to others?

According to U.S. News & World Report, the four pillars of financial strength are:

  • Values and Life Lessons
  • Instructions and Wishes to Be Fulfilled
  • Personal Possessions of Emotional Value
  • Financial Assets and Real Estate

Want to learn more about reaching future goals? Read the full article here.

I hope that you’ll select me to be a part of your financial journey. Call me to discuss how home ownership fits into the big picture for you, too.

Don’t Make These House-Hunting Mistakes

Yes, there are loans and budgets and very black-and-white decisions to make when it comes to buying a house. But there’s also a lot of emotion involved. After all, it’s your future H-O-M-E we’re talking about.

Investopedia recently listed 8 common mistakes that people unfortunately make when purchasing a home. Check out the list below and avoid them all on your way to your new home, sweet home.

#1: Don’t Fall in Love With Something You Can’t Afford

Investopedia recommends setting a firm price range and then starting your search at the low end. You may be surprised to find a house that has everything you’re looking for at or near the low-end of your range.

#2: Don’t Fall Prey to the Idea That There’s Nothing Better Out There

Unless you are a super high-end buyer looking only at custom homes, chances are that for any home you find that you like, there are quite a few others that are nearly identical to it. Investopedia recommends that if you get along in the process and find there are snags with the home you’ve decided you like – such as major repair issues, an inflexible asking price or a difficult possession date – consider moving on. Be open and keep looking. You’ll find it.

#3: Don’t Get Desperate

If you have time on your side, it’s best to wait until something that suits you comes along – as long as your demands are realistic for your budget, you are bound to find something you can live with and love. Making rash decisions only adds frustration, and likely dollar signs, to the final outcome.

#4: Don’t Turn a Blind Eye

Carefully consider your options before you make a commitment and consider waiting until something better comes along. If there are major issues with a home, the issues may haunt you for a long time.

#5: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

This may be my favorite one. Please don’t buy a fixer-upper that’s more than you can handle in terms of time, money or ability. Honestly evaluate your abilities, your budget and how soon you need to move before purchasing a property that isn’t move-in ready.

#6: Don’t Rush Through the Process and Skip Steps

In a hot market, don’t neglect important steps like making sure the neighborhood feels safe at night as well as during the day and investigating possible noise issues like a nearby train. Taking the time to consider the decision also gives you a chance to research how much the property is really worth and offer an appropriate price.

#7: But Don’t Wait Too Long, Either

It can be tough to make sure you make a careful decision, but not take too long to make it. Losing out on a property that you were almost ready to make an offer on because someone beat you to it can be heartbreaking.

#8: Don’t Offer More Than You Should

If there’s a lot of competition in your market, it’s easy to get sucked into a bidding war offer too high of a price in the first place. If the house doesn’t appraise at or above the amount of your offer, you might not get the loan unless the seller reduces the price or you pay cash for the difference. Second, when you go to sell the house, if market conditions are similar to or worse than they were when you purchased, you may find yourself upside down on the mortgage and unable to sell. Make sure the purchase price for the home you buy is reasonable for both the house and the location by examining comparable sales and getting your agent’s opinion before making an offer.

There’s a team of professionals out here waiting to help you with these important steps and help you keep emotions at bay when the time comes. Call me when you’re ready to get the process started!

Source: Investopedia

Big Boomers vs. Minimal Millennials

Even in a seller’s market, some baby boomers are having a hard time selling their big homes. The primary reason: millennials prefer more minimalistic living.

Realtor.com recently reported that boomers who are trying to sell the big home they’ve had for years are out there house hunting for the same type of home new homebuyers in the millennial generation are looking at. Both prefer a smaller, more modern home with an open floor plan in more urban suburbs and cities.

Millennials in particular are searching for more walkable towns in the suburbs and those that have many urban amenities, such as bike lanes, nearby shops and restaurants, and social events. They are shying away from the traditional giant homes with big back yards. They desire less to maintain with more to do in the area.

As a result, some real estate experts think that baby boomers may end up getting stuck with their giant homes or at least have a harder time selling them now.

What type of home are you looking for? Call me when you’re ready to get pre-approved for your purchase – big or small!

 

Source: Realtor.com

 

* Pre-approval is only offered on home purchase loans where a sales contract is not yet signed.  It is not a rate lock, loan approval, or commitment to lend.  You must submit additional information for review and approval.

Prices Start to Rise as Supply Tightens

The first quarter of 2017 saw a see-saw pattern in housing indexes.

What’s going down? The supply of homes on the market. Job growth is firing up demand for real estate, pushing buyers into bidding wars for the tight supply of homes on the market. There were 1.83 million previously owned homes available for sale at the end of March, down 6.6% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.

What’s going up? Naturally then, home prices are rising. Home prices increased 6% in the first quarter from a year earlier as competition heated up for a scarcity of listings. Prices rose 1.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous three months, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said in a statement recently.

The FHFA index measures transactions for single-family properties financed with mortgages owned or securitized by government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It doesn’t provide prices. The national median price of an existing single-family home was $232,100 in the first quarter, up 6.9% from a year earlier, data from the Realtors group show.

What does that mean for us locally? Call me and we’ll talk more about it.

Source: National Mortgage News

Lending, Reimagined

Ever wonder what the future of mortgage lending will look like?

We’ve got a pretty good idea, since Skyline envisioned and created that future.

Imagine a mortgage process without any issues submitting documents. Borrowers can view the status of their loan from start to finish, giving them complete clarity on the biggest purchase of their lives.

The anxiety of financing a home is reduced, if not completely eliminated, and that means more satisfied and secure borrowers.

Clarity leads to speed and concision, which is good for all parties involved.

For loan officers, this means cutting the application process by 80% and perfecting digital marketing.

We’re achieving all these amazing advancements through our 2X digital platform.

Click here to learn more about 2X, and if you have questions, give me a call or shoot me an email.

Is Student Loan Forgiveness a Possibility for You?

Did you know that the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program promises to cancel any remaining student debt for those who work for the government or non-profits and have been making continuous payments for 10 years?

Wait! What? Loan forgiveness. Is that for real?

Yes, it’s a real program to encourage people who have big student loans to stay in lower-paying jobs serving the public such as teachers, public defenders, Peace Corps workers, and law enforcement officers.

To learn more about it, read the full article found here at CNN online.

If you have the right kind of loans, the right kind of job, and are enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan, you may qualify! If you’re interested in using your savings towards home ownership, call me when you’re ready to talk. 

The Subconscious Ways Facebook Is Influencing Your Home Buying Decisions

When people make life-altering financial decisions, they often turn to someone in their social network for guidance, even if that person doesn’t have much expertise.

Home values are skyrocketing, rising 5.9% in the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller index, hitting a 33-month high. Many renters are now itching to make an offer.

That desire can grow even more intense when you see your friends reap the benefits, according to a study published last year by economists from Facebook, Harvard, and New York University.

“People are influenced by their friends’ experiences,” says NYU finance professor Theresa Kuchler, one of the study’s co-authors. “People whose friends see house prices go up more are more optimistic about real estate and invest more in real estate.”

Kuchler notes that this phenomenon existed long before Facebook came around. “It is people’s friends in general — whether they interact online or offline — that have an effect on what people think about housing,” he said.

However, social networks like Facebook let people stay in touch more, especially over long distances.

The researchers found that if your friend’s home value increased by five percentage points — even if that friend lives in another city or state — you were 3.1% more likely to trade in your rental for a mortgage.

Friends of friends with ascending property values are also more likely to put a higher down payment on their home, buy a bigger house, and pay more for a property — again, even when they live in different cities.

Read the source article at time.com

What the Interest Rate Hike Means for Homebuyers

Today, the Federal Reserve announced that they were raising interest rates. This is the third consecutive interest rate hike, and the Fed is citing a strong economy and low unemployment as reasons for this decision.

However, potential homebuyers don’t need to worry about mortgage rates increasing as the Fed makes their announcement.

The Fed raised short-term interest rates today, but mortgage rates, particularly for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, are determined by the 10-year Treasury bond. Bonds are influenced by market conditions, global events, etc. and not by the Federal Reserve.

For those considering buying a home, know that though mortgage rates can increase at any moment, they won’t go up just because the Fed raised interest rates.

Source: HousingWire.com, June 14, 2017