Did You Know: Here’s Why Buying a New Home Grows Your Wealth Faster Than Renting

Did You Know: Here's Why Buying a New Home Grows Your Wealth Faster Than RentingThere can be many downsides to both renting and buying, depending on what side of the coin you are on, but if you’re leaning towards purchasing a home it can have added benefits for your bank account that renting does not. While renting can certainly alleviate many of the costs that go along with property ownership, here’s why purchasing a home can have positive monetary affects in the long run.

The Good Impacts of Inflation

While inflation is often seen as a dirty word, a real estate purchase can see the positive side of inflation with how your home purchase investment will grow over the years. Putting money into rent will mean that money is gone and out the window once you’ve paid for the month, but investing into a property will come back to you in future gains that are made in the real estate market. While buying a home will be more expensive in the short term, it can also provide you with greater financial flexibility and equity in the future.

Renovations Will Increase Home Value

While changing up the bathroom or the paint on the wall in your apartment isn’t going to add any extra lining to your wallet when you move out, making upgrades to a home that you own will have the very opposite effect! Renovations can certainly be unpopular while they’re taking place, but no matter how small or large, they can mean an easier sell and a higher profit when the home finally goes on the market.

The Opportunity For Rental Property

An apartment you rent won’t offer opportunity for investment if you’re away from your home for an extended period of time, but a home you own may serve as an ideal investment property at some point in the future. With the success of Airbnb and unique modern housing needs that may only require a home rental for a short period of time, being able to use your house as a rental property can be a significant boon for earning money you would have otherwise been without.

Buying a home can require a lot of number crunching in the beginning that rent does not, but it can also provide significant financial benefits down the road that might not exist without such a purchase. If you’re considering purchasing a home in the near future, you may want to contact your local mortgage professional for a review of what would work best for your situation.

Three Things You Can Expect when Buying a Home This Winter

Three Things You Can Expect when Buying a Home This WinterWhen you’re looking into purchasing a home, there are plenty of things to watch out for at any time of the year, but there are a few things that you can expect during the winter months that may be a little different than other seasons. If you happen to be on the market for a home and are thinking of buying, here are three things you may want to consider for the winter buying months.

A Little Bit Off The Top

While there is significant home buying that goes on throughout the fall, it’s often the case that things slow down in winter with the often unruly weather and the busyness of the season. As a result, if you’re planning on making an offer during these months, you may be able to swing the home seller a couple thousand dollars in your direction to garner a bit of a discount. Though there are no assurances, it’s quite likely that the home seller will want to get their house off the market before springtime comes around.

A Speedier Approval Process

With the amount of properties being bought and sold in the winter months slightly lower than the rest of the year, you may be able to take advantage of a speedier approval process for your mortgage. Since there will be fewer client approvals to sort out, you may be in the clear shortly after you’ve decided on the home of your choice. This means more ease in the winter months for you, and a home you’ll soon be able to call your own.

An Effective Heating System

There may be certain upgrades you’ll want to make shortly after arriving in your new home, but if you decide to buy in the winter months, overhauling the heating system is not going to be one of the things you’ll want to worry about. If the furnace in good working order and is maintained on a consistent basis, you should be good to go; however, if any upgrades will need to be made you’ll want to clarify this with the seller before signing on the dotted line.

There are many factors in winter that can lend to a slow season for the real estate market, but there are a few things you can expect that may make buying a home in the winter months a worthwhile venture.

Understanding Mortgage Pre-Approvals and How to Avoid Being Declined for One

Understanding Mortgage Pre-approvals and How to Avoid Being Declined for OneThe mortgage process is a long and complicated one, with a number of similar-sounding terms that can easily confuse first-time homebuyers. A pre-approval is not the same thing as a pre-qualification, and it’s important to understand everything that goes into a pre-approval. Being declined during the pre-approval process means you’ll have a hard time getting the funds you need to buy your home, so it’s important that you know what the process is going to look like before going into it.

How does a pre-approval work, and how can you make sure you won’t be declined? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is A Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is a step that happens somewhere near the start of the home buying process. Being pre-approved means you have a preliminary loan commitment from a mortgage lender. Pre-approval isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage, but rather, a statement that if all goes according to plan, your lender will most likely issue a mortgage to you.

Pre-approvals can make the mortgage process shorter and easier, but they’re not legally binding. If you later find a better mortgage through another lender, you don’t have to take out a mortgage through the lender that pre-approved you.

What Do You Need To Be Pre-Approved?

In order to be pre-approved, your lender will need to evaluate your finances and your ability to pay for your mortgage. You’ll want to meet with your lender and provide them with bank and creditor documents that clearly show your income, your assets, and your debts. You can expect your lender to run a credit check on you in order to determine your employment status and verify that you’ve accurately reported your finances.

If you meet your lender’s criteria, you’ll receive a commitment letter that states what size of a mortgage your lender is willing to give you.

Red Flags: Sure Signs That You’re Destined To Be Declined

You can be declined for a mortgage pre-approval for any number of reasons. If you have a poor credit score, a high debt-to-income ratio, or a low or unstable income, you likely won’t meet the lender’s minimum borrower requirements – and you’ll be declined. To avoid being declined for a pre-approval, you’ll want to ensure you always pay your bills on time, negotiate with your creditors to pay off your debts, or boost your income.

A mortgage pre-approval can help you to narrow your home search and access a mortgage loan. That’s why it’s important to ensure you don’t get declined during the pre-approval. Contact a mortgage professional near you to learn more about the pre-approval process.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 28, 2015

Whats Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week December 28 2015This week’s report of economic events is shortened due to the Christmas holiday. Economic news through Wednesday included Existing Home Sales, New Home Sales and Consumer Spending. The details:

Existing Home Sales Dip, New Home Sales Rise

According to the National Association of Realtors®, sales of previously owned homes dipped from October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.32 million sales to 4.76 million sales of pre-owned homes. This was considerably lower than analysts’ expectations of 5.30 million sales. Factors seen as contributing to November’s reading included pent-up demand caused by low inventories of available homes and affordability issues emerging as demand pushes home prices up. New regulations that extended the closing period for home sales were cited as causing some closings to be pushed into December. 

In contrast to lower sales for pre-owned homes, November sales of new homes rose by 4.30 percent from October to November based on a revised October reading of 470,000 sales. The original October reading was 495,000 sales of new homes, which provided the basis for analyst projections of 505,000 new homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

New home sales were up by 9.10 percent year-over-year in November. New home sales account for approximately 9.30 percent of home sales. Regional reports for new home sales were mixed. The Northeast region reported a drop of 28.60 percent, while the Midwest reported a gain of 20.50 percent. New home sales rose 4.50 percent in the South and fell 8.60 percent in the West. The good news about new home sales softened concerns about cooling housing markets caused by the abrupt drop in home resales.

Last week’s financial news ended on a positive note with December’s reading of 92.60 for consumer sentiment rose from November’s reading of 91.30 and also surpassed analysts’ expected reading of 92.

What’s Ahead

This week’s roster of economic reports includes Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes, Pending Home Sales and Consumer Sentiment for December. No reports will be issued Friday in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday.

DIY Home Decorating: How to Use Spray Paint to Spice Up Your Home and Furniture

DIY Home Decorating: How to Use Spray Paint to Spice Up Your Home and FurnitureThe idea of using spray paint to make some quick fix-ups to your home might seem uncouth, but it can be a great way to make some easy, economical upgrades that will shift the overall look of your living space. Instead of assuming that spray paint is just for graffiti, here are some simple ways to use a can of quick paint to change up your home’s style.

Dress Up Your Doorknobs

An outdated doorknob can instantly age the look of your home, but what you might not know is that a simple douse of spray paint can instantly change the look of your knobs and provide a facelift. Instead of going down to the hardware store and paying hundreds of dollars to switch out each and every knob in your home, you can grab a can of paint in an appropriate shade and spray away for a result that will be long-lasting, modern and easy to complete.

Fix Up The Fixtures

Instead of just contending with the light fixtures in your home, you may want to consider replacing them altogether for a look that is up-to-date and unique. However, instead of going to the lighting store for an expensive, ornate piece, hit the thrift store or a discount home store. You should be able to find a fixture that will benefit from a quick spray of paint, and will spruce up your home nicely without all the cost of a trendy new piece.

Make An Old Piece Of Furniture Shine

There are probably certain items in your house that you’ve gotten sick of looking at, but whether it happens to be a basic brown coffee table or an old, oversized chest of drawers, spray paint can make for an effective change that will entirely switch up your room. While this will help you save money since you won’t have to invest in a new piece, it can also provide years and years of future use for an item that was only on its way to the dumpster.

Spray paint might seem like something that you’ll never have a use for, but it can actually be a simple way to dress up your home without the associated costs of new furniture pieces and fixtures. If you’re dressing up your home to put it on the market, you may want to contact your local real estate professional for more inside tips.

DIY Home Decorating: How to Use Spray Paint to Spice Up Your Home and Furniture

DIY Home Decorating: How to Use Spray Paint to Spice Up Your Home and FurnitureThe idea of using spray paint to make some quick fix-ups to your home might seem uncouth, but it can be a great way to make some easy, economical upgrades that will shift the overall look of your living space. Instead of assuming that spray paint is just for graffiti, here are some simple ways to use a can of quick paint to change up your home’s style.

Dress Up Your Doorknobs

An outdated doorknob can instantly age the look of your home, but what you might not know is that a simple douse of spray paint can instantly change the look of your knobs and provide a facelift. Instead of going down to the hardware store and paying hundreds of dollars to switch out each and every knob in your home, you can grab a can of paint in an appropriate shade and spray away for a result that will be long-lasting, modern and easy to complete.

Fix Up The Fixtures

Instead of just contending with the light fixtures in your home, you may want to consider replacing them altogether for a look that is up-to-date and unique. However, instead of going to the lighting store for an expensive, ornate piece, hit the thrift store or a discount home store. You should be able to find a fixture that will benefit from a quick spray of paint, and will spruce up your home nicely without all the cost of a trendy new piece.

Make An Old Piece Of Furniture Shine

There are probably certain items in your house that you’ve gotten sick of looking at, but whether it happens to be a basic brown coffee table or an old, oversized chest of drawers, spray paint can make for an effective change that will entirely switch up your room. While this will help you save money since you won’t have to invest in a new piece, it can also provide years and years of future use for an item that was only on its way to the dumpster.

Spray paint might seem like something that you’ll never have a use for, but it can actually be a simple way to dress up your home without the associated costs of new furniture pieces and fixtures. If you’re dressing up your home to put it on the market, you may want to contact your local real estate professional for more inside tips.

Existing Home Sales Dip More Than Expected

The 3 Golden Rules of Staging - Follow These and Sell Your Home FasterNovember sales of pre-owned homes dipped lower than expected and prior month’s readings according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Analysts expected existing home sales to slow to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.30 million sales, which was based on October’s reading of 5.32 million sales. Instead, November’s reading dropped to 4.76 million sales. November’s drop represented a decline of 10.50 percent drop in existing home sales month-to-month; existing home sales were 3.80 percent lower year-over-year.

November’s reading represented the first time since September 2014 that the year-over-year reading for sales of pre-owned homes was lower than for the previous month. November’s reading was also the sharpest dip in pre-owned home sales since July 2010 and was cited as a “statistical anomaly.” Such a sharp drop in sales is unusual except when housing tax credits expire and cause home sales to drop after a last minute increase in home purchases by home buyers rushing to gain a tax credit advantage.

Tight Supply of Homes, New Regulations Cited as Cause for Lower Sales

A lean supply of available homes has caused rising demand for homes in 2015; an inadequate supply of homes typically causes prices to rise and sales to fall as affordability decreases. First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of all home buyers in November, but the first-time buyers usually account for 40 percent of buyers. The national average home price rose to $220,300 in November, which represents a year-over-year increase of 6.30 percent. Home prices are rising faster than wages, which presents a major obstacle for would-be home buyers.

There was a 5.1 month supply of existing homes for sale in November, while the average supply is six months. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that new regulations that increased the closing period for many home sales may have pushed more sales into December that otherwise would have closed in November.

Distressed property sales involving bank-owned homes and short sales increased in November, but this was due to financial institutions offering more homes for sale than in previous months. Analysts said that the increase in distressed sales did not represent an increase in mortgage default and foreclosure rates.

NAR forecasts that existing home sales will reach 5.20 million during 2016; this represents an increase of 2.90 percent. Upcoming reports on new and pending home sales will help provide a general picture of housing market trends as 2015 winds down.

3 Things That Will Absolutely Kill Your Chances for a Mortgage Approval

3 Things That Will Absolutely Kill Your Chances for a Mortgage ApprovalIf you’re about to seek approval for a mortgage, you’ll want to ensure you have a solid credit score and clean financial records to boost your likelihood of being approved. There are certain characteristics that lenders want to see in a mortgage applicant before they agree to give a loan, and you want to prove that you’re a responsible borrower. But certain behaviors can easily tank your application and crush your home ownership dreams.

Before you seek approval, make sure your finances are in order. Avoid these three mortgage-killing habits while your lender evaluates your loan and you’ll quickly find yourself holding the keys to your new home.

Using Up Most Of Your Available Credit

It can be tempting to start buying furniture when your mortgage is about to be approved, but you’re better off waiting on the shopping trip until after you get the green light from your lender. Using a significant amount of your available credit – or applying for new credit – will impact your debt-to-income ratio and change your credit score. You might even end up getting yourself a higher interest rate or reducing your credit score to below the qualifying range – so don’t go credit-crazy until after you’re approved.

Being Late On Your Monthly Bills

Payment history makes up one third of your credit score, so you’ll want to make sure you pay all of your bills on time and in full if you’re looking for a mortgage. A single 30-day late payment on a bill can easily knock 50 to 100 points off your credit score. Even worse, some lenders require a full year of on-time payments before they’ll even consider you for a mortgage.

Co-Signing Someone Else’s Loan

Co-signing on a loan is generally risky under any circumstances, but if you’re trying to get approved for a mortgage, taking on liability for someone else’s debt will change your debt-to-income ratio. Being on the hook for a debt you don’t own makes you look like a risk to lenders – if the primary borrower on the loan you co-signed stops making payments, you’ll need to pay the loan, and that could divert your cash away from your mortgage.

Getting approved for a mortgage is a critical part of the home buying process, but too many would-be homeowners torpedo their own chances of getting a mortgage by making poor decisions. Contact a mortgage professional near you to learn how you can give yourself the best possible chance of getting approved for a mortgage.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 21, 2015

Whats Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week December 21 2015Last week’s scheduled economic reports included the NAHB Housing Market Index, Housing Starts, FOMC statement and Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference. In addition to weekly reports on jobless claims and mortgage rates, inflation reports were also released.

Builder Confidence Slips, Housing Starts Increase

According to the NAHB / Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for December, home builder confidence slipped by one point to a reading of 61 as compared to an expected reading of 63 and November’s reading of 62. December’s reading was three points higher year-over-year. Readings over 50 indicate that more builders than fewer are confident about housing market conditions. December’s confidence reading remained higher than 2015’s average reading of 59.

Components used in comprising the NAHB HMI also slipped in December. Builder confidence in current market conditions fell one point to a reading of 66; the six months sales outlook fell two points to 67 and the reading for buyer foot traffic in new developments also decreased by two points to a reading of 46. The reading for buyer foot traffic has consistently remained below the neutral benchmark of 50 since the housing bubble ended.

While builder confidence eased, housing starts rose in November with 1.17 million starts reported. Analysts expected a reading of 1.14 million starts based on October’s reading of 1.06 million housing starts. During much of 2015, demand for homes accelerated due to slim inventories of available homes; new construction is seen as essential to easing demand.

Fed Raises Interest Rates, Mortgage Rates Higher

The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve raised its target federal funds rate from a range of 0.00 to 0.25 percent to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent. While the Fed’s increase is expected to affect consumer lending rates for auto loans and credit cards more than mortgages, Freddie Mac reported that rates for fixed rate home loans rose last week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by two basis points to 3.95 percent and the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage increased by three basis points to 3.22 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was unchanged at 3.03 percent. Discount points were unchanged for fixed rate mortgages at 0.60 percent and 0.50 percent respectively while average points for a 5//1 adjustable rate mortgage dropped to an average of 0.40 percent.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 271,000 new claims against expectations of 275,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 282,000 new claims.

What’s Ahead

Next week’s economic reports include reports on new and existing home sales, consumer spending and consumer sentiment. Weekly jobless claims and Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates report will also be released as scheduled. No reports will be released on Friday due to the Christmas holiday.

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