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Blog Archives: February 2016

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016
Last week’s economic reports included Existing and New Home Sales and Consumer Confidence along with regularly scheduled weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. Sales of Pre-Owned Homes Exceed Expectations January sales of previously owned homes rose to an annual level of 5.47 million sales against expectations of 5.30 million sales and December’s reading of 5.45 million sales. Existing home sales rose by 0.40 percent month-to-month, which was the second-highest month-to-month reading since existing home sales were first ...

Feeling Squeezed by Higher Rents? It Might Be Time to Consider Buying Your First Home

February 26, 2016
With the cost of rent going up across the board and becoming even less affordable in metropolitan centers, it’s never been a better time to seriously consider home ownership. While the price of a home and all the associated costs can certainly seem like a tight squeeze after years of renting, here are some reasons you may want to consider giving up your rental and springing for a home instead. It’s An Automatic Savings It’s a sure bet that the money you spend on rent is going down the drain as soon as the month is over, but investing your ...

New Home Construction Seen As A Possible Solution To Pent Up Demand For Homes

February 25, 2016
Builder confidence in markets for new homes fell three points in February to a reading of 58. January’s reading was revised upward to 61. Builders have repeatedly expressed concerns shortages of labor and lots for development, but continue to express confidence in future sales conditions. David Crowe, National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) chief economist, said that builders are watching slowing economic trends, but also cited low mortgage rates, improving labor markets and pent-up demand for homes as factors for strong U.S. housing ...

Buying a New Home? Learn How the ‘Conforming Loan Limit’ Might Affect Your Purchase

February 24, 2016
From mortgage to equity to debt-to-income ratio, there are many terms associated with home ownership that can be quite confusing if you’ve never been on the market for a home before. ‘Conforming loan limit’ may be a less familiar real estate term than the rest, but here are some things you’ll need to know about it and what it could mean for your biggest investment. What Is The ‘Conforming Loan Limit’? The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) are legally required to ...

3 Quick Painting Tips That Will Help Take Your Walls from Tacky to Tasteful

February 23, 2016
Whether you happen to be a painting pro or you’ve never dared to pick up a roller, there are a few tricks of the trade that professionals use to make a paint job look its best. If you want to take an old, outdated paint job and turn it into something you can be proud of, here are a few tips from those who know best. Start With A Perfectly Smooth Surface If you’re trying to rush through it, sanding might seem like an unnecessary step in re-covering your walls, but it’s very important in order to level out the spackle paste and ensure that no ...

Tuesday Tour Sheet for February 23, 2016

February 22, 2016
Tuesday tour (aka Broker’s Tour) is not just for brokers anymore – the public is invited and welcome to attend. In fact, it’s one of SF’s best kept real estate secrets. Many of the properties on the tour are open for the first time. For serious buyers, this is a great opportunity to get a sneak peak before the weekend crowds. Plus, many of the open houses are catered – BONUS! Click HERE for a full schedule. I go out just about every week to scope out what’s hot and what’s not, and report back to my clients. For help with San Francisco ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016
Last week’s economic news included the NAHB Housing Market Index, Commerce Department releases on housing starts and building permits and minutes of the most recent meeting of the Fed’s FOMC meeting. Home Builder Confidence Falls in February According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), home builders had less confidence in market conditions for newly built homes. The reading for February was three points lower at 58 than the upwardly adjusted reading for January. Analysts had expected a reading of 59; any reading over 50 ...

Everything You Need to Know About Fannie Mae’s New Home Ready Mortgage

February 19, 2016
Traditionally, getting a mortgage requires you to have a level of income appropriate to the size of home that you’re buying. But for a lot of low-income and minority borrowers, a simple measure of one person’s income isn’t an accurate measure of whether or not that person can afford a home. Now, with the Home Ready mortgage from Fannie Mae, multigenerational and extended households can have easy access to mortgage funds. How does the Home Ready mortgage work? Here’s what you need to know. Flexible Down Payment Requirements Make Home ...

3 Reasons You Might Decide to Retire to a Tiny Home – and Why You’ll Love It!

February 18, 2016
Many people romanticize the idea of paying off their home mortgage early so they can enjoy their home in retirement, but when it comes to the later years of life, a big house can actually be too much to handle. If you’ve started to consider a smaller home and are wondering why it might be a good decision for you and yours, here are a few things you may want to consider. It’s Much Easier To Maintain It is often the idea of the palatial estate with a pool that homeowners get excited about, but when it comes to reality, the larger the home, ...

Spring is Almost Here: Planning a Massive Spring Cleaning in Just 4 Easy Steps

February 17, 2016
It may seem like the holiday season has just passed, but it won’t be too long before the flowers begin to bloom and spring peeks out from around the corner. While the tradition of spring cleaning that comes with the season may not be as common as it once was, it can actually be a great way to revive and refresh and prepare for the summer ahead. Begin With The Bedroom Start with your bed by washing all of the sheets and linens, and then move on to dusting, making sure that all of the spots missed throughout the year are wiped clean. Since ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016
Last week’s economic events included weekly releases on new jobless claims, mortgage rates and testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen concerning the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. Here are the details: Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Drop Freddie Mac reported that average mortgage rates fell across the board last Thursday, with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage seven basis points lower at 3.65 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was six basis points lower at 2.95 percent, and the average rate for a 5/1 ...

Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best Investment

February 12, 2016
When delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook. All About Home Equity Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If ...

Struggling to Get Approved Because of Your Income? 5 Reasons to Consider a FHA Loan

February 11, 2016
Buying a home isn’t cheap. But if you’re determined to become a homeowner, the FHA home loan program can help. This loan program, ideal for first-time buyers with low incomes, can help you to build your credit and make home ownership a reality. So why should you consider an FHA loan? Here are just a few ways you’ll benefit from these government-backed mortgages. You Can Get Approved With Just 3.5% Down Traditional mortgage lenders typically require you to pay 20% down on your mortgage, or 5% if you have good credit and agree to pay ...

Thinking About Selling in the Spring? You Should Be Renovating Now. Here’s Why

February 10, 2016
The cooler months of winter might seem like the perfect time to hibernate into the house, but it’s actually a great time to consider ramping up your home for improvements. If you’re thinking of selling come the spring, here’s why winter is the perfect time to get started on home renovations. Flexible Scheduling And Availability Many people are not interested in renovating their home during the winter months, so it can actually be an ideal time of year to make plans with a contractor to do some work. Since many renovations that occur on the ...

‘Don’t Sit Around Waiting for a Deal’ and Other Great Advice from Successful Home Sellers

February 09, 2016
The real estate market and all the things involved in selling a home can seem complicated, and it can be very hard to know which tips to trust. While there’s plenty of great advice to go around from many knowledgeable sources, here are some of the best tips from home sellers who have made a successful sale. Research Your Local Agents When considering an agent that will meet your home-selling needs, it can be tempting to go with someone familiar or recommended through a friend who seems like a safe bet. However, it’s important to do your ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Feburary 8, 2016

February 08, 2016
Last week’s scheduled economic news included reports on construction spending and several labor-related reports along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. The details: Construction Spending Higher in December U.S. construction spending rose by 0.10 percent in December for a seasonally adjusted annual total of $1.12 trillion. The Commerce Department reported that construction firms spent 10.5 percent more than in 2014.Residential construction spending totaled $416.8 billion for 2015, which was 12.60 percent higher ...

Real Estate Terms: The ‘Debt to Income’ Ratio and How It Affects Your Home Purchase

February 05, 2016
The real estate market is rife with terminology that can make a home purchase seem more than a little complicated. If you’re currently looking for a home and are considering your loan options, you may have even heard the term ‘Debt to Income’ ratio. In the interest of simplifying things, here are some insights on what this term means and how it can impact your home investment. Determining Your ‘Debt to Income’ Ratio It’s important to consider what exactly your DTI ratio is before your home purchase as this will quickly determine how much ...

Renovations to Avoid: 3 Home Modifications That Can Lessen Your Home’s Value

February 04, 2016
Whether or not you’ve been looking into selling your house for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the buzzword ‘renovation’ and considered how it can positively impact the value of your home. From upgrading your kitchen to painting, there are plenty of renovations that will do wonders in terms of your property’s price on the market, but there are a few that can actually have the opposite effect so you’ll want to be leery of the following fix-ups. Cool Colored Tile If, at one point, you installed a bunch of brightly colored tile ...

Thinking About Selling in the Spring? You Should Be Renovating Now. Here’s Why

February 03, 2016
The cooler months of winter might seem like the perfect time to hibernate into the house, but it’s actually a great time to consider ramping up your home for improvements. If you’re thinking of selling come the spring, here’s why winter is the perfect time to get started on home renovations. Flexible Scheduling And Availability Many people are not interested in renovating their home during the winter months, so it can actually be an ideal time of year to make plans with a contractor to do some work. Since many renovations that occur on the ...

Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best Investment

February 02, 2016
When delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook. All About Home Equity Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If ...

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