Archive for November, 2019

How Much Money To Budget For Home Maintenance

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 29th, 2019

How Much Money To Budget For Home Maintenance1Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of these involves home maintenance. Sometimes, people are surprised by the size and frequency of home maintenance costs.

In order to reduce the stress that comes with home maintenance, it is important to plan ahead of time. This means budgeting for the inevitable costs that come with home maintenance. There are a few systems that people can use to estimate their home maintenance costs.

The Percentage System

One of the most common systems that people use is the percentage system. In general, the amount of money that people spend on maintenance is directly related to the size of their home. The larger the home, the more money someone is going to spend on maintenance.

Most people will spend between 1 percent and 4 percent of their home’s value every year in maintenance costs. Older homes are going to have more maintenance costs than younger homes. For example, if a home is worth $300,000, someone is going to be spending between $3,000 and $12,000 per year on upkeep.

The Square Footage System

The range above might be too large for someone to budget accurately. Therefore, a lot of people also use the square footage system. Again, the larger the home, the more someone will spend on upkeep.

In general, someone should allocate $1 dollar per year per square foot of home. For example, if someone’s home is 2,500 square feet, they should allocate about $2,500 per year in home maintenance. 

Some of the downsides of this method are that it does not take into account the location or age of the home. Keep these factors in mind as well.

Home Maintenance Is Different Than Home Repairs

Home maintenance costs are very different than major repairs. The idea of maintenance is to prevent repairs from arising. If someone has to replace their HVAC unit or take out faulty wiring, this does not count as home maintenance costs.

With this in mind, it is important for everyone to budget accurately for home maintenance and to make sure these tasks are completed on-time. Proper home maintenance can save money on homeownership by preventing major repair bills from coming up down the road. 

And any time you have home maintenance questions, remember to ask your real estate professional. They have a lot of experience dealing with every type of home repair and a list of local referral maintenance providers.

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5 Essential Books To Read Before Starting In Real Estate

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 27th, 2019

5 Essential Books To Read Before Starting In Real EstateIt is important for everyone to put money in a position to make money in order to make financial dreams come true. One of the common targets that people circle is real estate investing.

Before jumping into the world of real estate investing, it is important for everyone to be prepared. This starts by reading a few fantastic books that can help people learn more about the environment associated with investing in real estate.

The Book On Investing In Real Estate

One of the first books that people need to circle is called The Book On Investing In Real Estate. This is a fantastic book that explains to everyone how they can get involved in real estate investing with limited capital. It doesn’t take much to get started. The strategies discussed in this manner are similar to those involved with investing large amounts of money.

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

A book titled The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is another great read. This book was put together using interviews with more than 100 millionaire investors in the world of real estate. Those who would like to be successful in this arena need to make sure they learn from the successes of those who came before them.

How A Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment

This book, titled How A Second Home Can Be Your Best Investmentis a great read for anyone who is looking to get started in this investing world. This book is written by some of the world’s leading experts in the world of real estate. Using plain language, everyone has the potential to learn about the basics involved in investing in real estate.

One Rental At A Time

This read, titled One Rental at a Time, is an easy and straightforward read. The book compares the world of investing in real estate with an ancient Chinese proverb. This proverb can serve as a powerful guiding principle that can help people get started in the sector of real estate investing.

The Entrepreneur Mind

It is important for those who are looking to get started in this investment state to read everything they can. At the same time, this is also about building a business, which The Entrepreneur Mind addresses. The business world is useful for every aspiring real estate to understand.

Reading high-quality books about real estate investing is a great way to improve your knowledge. Combine that knowledge with a trusted team of real estate industry professionals like a trusted real estate agent and mortgage financing expert and you’ll have a winning combination!

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How Growing, Multi-Generational Families Impact Home Design And Financing

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 26th, 2019

How Growing, Multi-Generational Families Impact Home Design And FinancingThere has been a surge in families who have multiple generations living together. In many cultures, children take care of their parents as they age. This is done in an effort to repay the parents for raising them during their childhood.

At the same time, when there are multiple generations living together in the same home, there are some changes in both home design and financing.

Financing a Multi-Generation Home

Anyone who is looking to finance a multigeneration home will need to detail their financing plan to the mortgage lender. The lender always wants to know how the loan is going to be repaid. The more details someone can supply, the better the chances are that the application will be approved.

A common arrangement is having the grandparents supply the down-payment. They are more likely to have a ready supply of cash-on-hand, often in the home of equity from their prior home.

Then, parents typically supply monthly payments. They are more likely to a stable source of income given that they are likely still employed. 

The Home Design of a Multi-Gen Home

Given that more and more people are indicating their willingness to live in a multi-gen home, this is having an impact on home design as well. Many of these homes have a first-floor bedroom. While these were unusual before, having first-floor bedrooms is important for older relatives. This allows them to avoid having to take the stairs, reducing the risk of falls.

In addition, many people want to provide their older relatives with a feeling of independence while living in the home. This can be accomplished by providing a small kitchenette in the first-floor bedroom. There is often a separate entrance as well. Some families are even interested in having a separate guest house on their property.

Investing in a Multi-Gen Home in the Future

As multiple generation housing arrangements continue to increase throughout society, the financing and home design will continue to evolve. For this reason, it is important for everyone considering this living arrangement to stay up to date on the trends in this industry. It might impact how they design and finance their home for their elderly family members in the future.

Talk with your trusted real estate and mortgage financing professionals to get the best advice on your personal situation. They are experienced in designing solutions for every possible scenario.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 25th, 2019

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 25th, 2019

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 25th, 2019Last week’s scheduled economic news releases included readings on builder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders and. Commerce Department data on housing starts and building permits issued.

The National Association of Realtors® reported on sales of previously owned homes and the University of Michigan issued its monthly report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Builder Sentiment Dips in November

Home builders were less optimistic about housing market conditions in November; the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index dipped by one point to an index reading of 70 for November. October’s reading of 71 was the highest in 20 months. Any reading over 50 indicates that most builders surveyed were positive about market conditions.

Sub-readings used to calculate the NAHB Housing Market Index reading were mixed. Builder confidence in market conditions for the next six months rose one point to 77, but builder sentiment dipped two points to 76 for current market conditions. Builder sentiment about buyer traffic in new housing developments dipped one point to 53; buyer traffic readings rarely exceed a reading of 50.

Relatively low mortgage rates helped offset builder concerns over tariffs on building materials, but pending winter weather conditions likely impacted lower builder enthusiasm over housing market conditions.

Commerce Department Reports Increased Housing Starts, Building Permits Issued

Housing starts and building permits rose in October; Housing starts rose to 1.314 million starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to September’sreading of 1.266 million starts.

Building permits issued increased from September’s reading of 1.391 million permits issued to October’s reading of 1.461 million permits issued. Building permits issued for new homes in October reached their highest level since the recession. Ongoing shortages of available homes continued to boost demand for homes; any increase in new construction helps balance supply and demand for homes.

Sales of previously-owned homes fell short of expectations with a reading of 5.46 million sales at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate in October; analysts expected a pace of 5.47 million sales based on September’s reading of 5.36 million sales. Year-over-year sales of previously-owned homes rose 4.60 percent.

Supplies of available homes continued to fall according to the National Association of Realtors® as inventories slipped to a 3.9 months supply in October. Real estate pros consider a six-months supply of homes as a healthy balance between available homes and home buyers.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell nine basis points to 3.66 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.15 percent and were five basis points lower.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages also fell five basis points to 3.39 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.

New jobless claims were expected to drop to 218,000 claims filed but held steady at the prior week’s reading of 227,000 first-time claims filed.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to an index reading of 96.80 for November; analysts expected the reading to hold steady at October’s reading of 95.70 percent.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on home prices from Case-Shiller; reports on new and pending home sales and a speech by Fed chair Jerome Powell. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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The Most Commonly Searched Household How-To Remedies

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 22nd, 2019

The Most Commonly Searched Household How-To RemediesOwning a home comes with a lot of responsibility. Many of the responsibilities that people think about involve home maintenance. There are few things that frustrate a homeowner more than having repair and maintenance bills come up. At the same time, it is important to address these properly.

For this reason, it is important for everyone to understand the most common how-tos people search for. This will give someone a glimpse into some of the responsibilities he or she might face when owning a home. Those who can handle these how-tos can save money on maintenance costs and repair bills.

How To Unclog A Drain

One of the most commonly searched how-tos is how to unclog a drain. Some of the drains that might get clogged include kitchen drains, sink drains, and bathtub drains. When these drains are clogged, water can back up and make the equipment unusable.

In order to unclog a drain, it is important to consider the various options available. Some people use a “snake” to unclog a drain. Other people use a liquid, such as Drano. 

How To Stop A Leaky Faucet

Another how-to that people frequently have to handle is a leaky faucet. A dripping faucet can lead to significant increases in someone’s water bills. Furthermore, the dripping noise can also keep people up at night.

Sometimes, the handles on the faucet simply need to be tightened to stop the leaky faucet. In other cases, there might be a loose washer underneath the sink somewhere. These are some of the common causes of a leaky faucet.

How To Patch And Repair Drywall

Another common house issue that people sometimes need to handle involves drywall. Patching drywall can be a complicated process depending on the location and size of the drywall.

Everyone who is thinking about patching drywall should understand the steps involved. This includes how to make the drywall smooth in addition to the various adhesives and tools involved.

Understanding Household How-Tos

These are a few of the various how-tos that people might have to face during homeownership. Homeowners that can handle these how-tos will be able to save money on maintenance and repair bills down the road, provided they are handled properly.

If you are in the market for a new home or if you are interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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5 Essential Tips For Painting A House

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 20th, 2019

5 Essential Tips for Painting a HouseWhen someone makes the decision to purchase a home, they often want to add their own personal touch, style, and flair to the home. One of the ways to do this is to paint the home. Of course, painting a home is a significant investment in terms of both time and money. It is important for everyone to keep a few tips in mind to make sure this process goes smoothly.

Pressure Wash The Walls Ahead Of Time

The first step is to make sure the walls are pressure washed first. Anything that is present on the walls when the paint goes down will be trapped there permanently. Remove any dust and debris by taking the time to pressure wash the walls first.

Prime The Painting Areas

The paint needs to adhere to the walls properly in order to achieve the desired effect. In order to make this happen, prime the painting areas first. This coat of primer is essential for making sure the painting job is completed properly.

Protect The Areas That Aren’t Painted

Homeowners also need to take the proper precautions to make sure the paint stays in the desired area. This means using painter’s tape or similar precautions to protect the areas of the home that aren’t going to be painted. Make sure the paint is contained in the desired areas. 

Start With The First Paint Layer

Those who are painting their home need to make sure they paint with a single layer at a time. Even though it can be a hassle to move the painting equipment from spot to spot, give the paint time to rest before judging the work. Finish the first layer before moving on to the next.

Call A Professional Home Painting Contractor For Help

Finally, it can be hard to paint a home. Often, the job does not proceed exactly as planned. Therefore, homeowners should not hesitate to call a contractor for help. Even though homeowners might feel like this is spending money unnecessarily, the costs that come from a painting job performed incompletely or incorrectly will be far more significant.

A contractor has the training and experience necessary to get home painting jobs done correctly the first time.  As always, your local real estate professional can help you find the most reliable painting contractor available in your area.

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The 5 Most Common Dangerous Home Issues

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 20th, 2019

The 5 Most Common Dangerous Home IssuesYou are supposed to feel safe in your own home; however, accidents can happen and there are plenty of hidden dangers that might land someone in the hospital. It is important for you to understand the common household dangers. Knowledge is power and you can take steps to prevent these issues from arising. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This is one of the most common household dangers that everyone should know. Homes always have a smoke detector; however, carbon monoxide detectors are often overlooked. This is an odorless gas that can actually kill someone if the levels get too high. Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working. This gas commonly arises from the tailpipe of a running car.

Lead Poisoning

Lead can be absorbed through the skin or the mouth. Lead poisoning can lead to serious neurological issues. Newer homes are built without lead paint; however, if you purchase an older home, there might still be lead paint on the walls. Check the paint thoroughly and swap it out if lead is present.

Mold

Mold is a common hazard that grows in homes. Mold can release spores into the air that can irritate people who suffer from asthma and allergies. Make sure that you keep your home clean to avoid mold growth. Mold likes warm, humid climates.

Falls

Injuries due to falls are among the most common accidents that happen in homes. If someone falls in their home, they are at risk of breaking bones or suffering a head injury. Make sure that you keep your outdoor steps clean and stabilize your staircases. This will reduce the risk of falls.

Drowning

Unfortunately, drowning can happen even if someone is safe in their own home. Even if a house doesn’t have a pool, people can still drown in the bathtub. In order to reduce the risk of a drowning event, make sure your pool has a fence around it (if you have one). Also, try to supervise bathing children. This will reduce the risk of a drowning event.

Reducing Household Dangers

Knowing about these dangers ahead of time reduces the chances of them happening. Try to inspect your home thoroughly to make sure that these common hazards are avoided.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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3 Positive Reasons To Get A 15-Year Mortgage

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 19th, 2019

3 Positive Reasons To Get A 15-Year MortgageMost people can’t pay for a home outright, so they finance it with a mortgage loan. 30-year mortgages are more conventional, but they also come with a significant interest price tag.

People who have a stable career and the income to afford larger payments, or who are nearing retirement, may want to take out a 15-year mortgage. Here are some reasons to consider one.

Save Money Over The Life Of The Loan

The total interest paid on a 30-year loan can be nearly as much as the principal. While it can be difficult to see the bigger picture when facing a mortgage payment that will be a good bit higher, consider this: Paying off a loan in 15 years versus 30 years will save tens of thousands of dollars in interest, and in some cases, as much as $100,000.

Interest rates on 15-year mortgages are also typically lower than other longer-term home loans, which provides additional mortgage interest savings.

Build Equity Faster

Equity refers to how much of your home you’ve already paid for plus what it appreciates in additional value over time. If your home is worth $250,000 and you owe $190,000 on your loan, you have $60,000 in equity.

Since more money is going toward the loan principal rather than interest on a 15-year loan, you build equity faster, which is beneficial for numerous reasons. It lowers your loan-to-value ratio and may improve your chances of getting a home equity loan, which can be used for large expenses.

Become Mortgage-Free Sooner

Instead of having a housing payment later in life, that money is freed up for retirement or other expenses. 

If retirement is on the horizon for you in the next 10-20 years, ditching your mortgage payment sooner rather than later is wise. Once you are on a limited income, you will want as few expenses as possible. Plus, having the option of a home equity loan for emergencies is attractive.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 18th, 2019

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 18th, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 18th, 2019Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new unemployment claims.

Rising Gas Prices Fuel Jump in Inflation

Consumer inflation increased at its fastest pace in seven months according to the Consumer Price Index for October. Consumer prices rose 0.40 percent and exceeded analysts’ forecast of 0.30 percent and September’s reading of 0.00 percent inflationary growth.  Analysts attributed the jump in prices to rapidly rising gasoline prices.

October’s reading for core inflation, which excludes fuel and food prices, supported this view. Core inflation grew by 0.20 percent in October, which matched expectations and exceeded September’s core inflation reading of 0.10 percent.

Year-over-year inflation rose from 1.70 percent to 1.80 percent; this was lower than the top year-over-year reading that approached 3.00 percent.

Fed Chair Says Interest Rates on Hold Unless Economy Deteriorates

In testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said,: “We see the current stance of monetary policy to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market,  and inflation near our symmetric rate of 2.00 percent.”

Mr. Powell said that Federal Reserve Policy is flexible and subject to adjustment as required by future news and economic events. The benchmark Federal Funds rate range is currently 1.50 percent to 2.00 percent.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose six basis points to 3.25 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose seven basis points to 3.20 percent;  the average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose five basis points to 3.44 percent.

Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.

225,000 first-time jobless claims were filed last week; this exceeded expectations of 210,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 211,000 new jobless claims filed. Analysts said the spike in new claims was caused by seasonal anomalies and not by layoffs. New jobless claims are likely to fall as the holiday season approaches and seasonal hiring picks up.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions; the Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Readings on sales of pre-owned homes and consumer sentiment will also be released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

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Common Reasons Why Buyers Are Denied A Mortgage

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 15th, 2019

Common Reasons Why Buyers Are Denied A MortgageWhen you are buying a new home, it is an exciting process. You have spent months searching and have found the home you want to purchase. You are ready to move into the home of your dreams. 

Unfortunately, you have found out that your request for a mortgage has been denied. This can be a deflating experience. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this by understanding the most common reasons why a buyer is denied for a loan.

The Loan Requirements Have Changed

One of the most common reasons why you might be denied a mortgage is that the terms of the loan have changed. For example, the lender might have raised the minimum credit score requirement. This might sound unfortunate; however, it does happen from time to time.

Loan requirements might change from the pre-approval stage. If this happens, think about searching for a loan from a different lender.

You Added Debt

The debt to income ratio is going to matter when applying for a loan. If you are pre-approved for a loan and your amount of debt changes, the lender is going to look at this closely. Common forms of debt include student loans and credit cards.

Even small changes in your debt amount can impact your ability to qualify for a loan. Try to avoid buying a new car or maxing out a credit card during the mortgage application process. This will help you keep the loan you’ve worked so hard to earn.

You Changed Jobs

Finally, employment status also matters to the lender. When you take out a loan, the lender needs to know that this will be repaid. This depends on you having a steady stream of income from your job. 

If you decide to change jobs between the time of pre-approval and the time of purchase, your employment history and income stream do not mean as much. While changing employment will not totally disqualify you, make sure to discuss this possibility with your lender. Changing jobs within the same field is likely fine; however, moving to a new career entirely can be a red flag.

Mortgage Denials are Frustrating

It is frustrating to have your request for a loan denied. Fortunately, understanding these common reasons can help you avoid this deflating experience. Think about all of these possible scenarios when you apply for a home loan. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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