Archive for September, 2020

Buying A New Car Impacts The Ability To Buy A New Home

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 30th, 2020

Buying A New Car Impacts The Ability To Buy A New HomeThose who are in the process of buying a new home need to be aware of some of the factors that might influence their ability to do so. Even though credit score, income, and assets will play major roles in whether or not someone might be approved for a loan, there are other factors that will play a role as well.

Buying a new car might even have an impact on the homebuying process.

Why is this the case?

The Debt Payments On The Car Will Play A Role

There are multiple ways to buy a car. Some people elect to pay cash for the entire vehicle. While this is a challenge for most families, this will prevent any new debt from being added to the family’s finances. At the same time, this could also reduce the amount of cash the family has on hand to put toward the new home.

Most families end up putting a down payment on a car and taking out a loan for the rest. While this is a financially responsible decision, this can also make it harder to purchase a new home. This is because the payments on the car are going to be added to the family’s existing debt. A potential lender is going to see these debt payments and reduce the amount of money they are willing to provide. This could make it hard for a family to purchase their dream home.

Factor In The Cost Of The Car

Those who need a new car need to factor the monthly cost of the car into the home buying equation. For example, if the monthly payments on the car are going to be $200, then this is $200 less that the family can afford for the mortgage payment. The same math has to be done by removing the down payment for the car from the potential down payment on the house.

Do The Math Carefully

People need cars to get around in most parts of the country. At the same time, the financially responsible decision is to take the cost of the car and deduct this from the assets that are available to pay for the home to avoid any surprises. The lender is going to do the same thing.

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Understand Coronavirus Mortgage Relief Options

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 29th, 2020

Understand Coronavirus Mortgage Relief OptionsThe coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone. For homeowners, they might be wondering how they are able to keep up with their mortgage in light of shelter in place orders, financial difficulties, and unemployment problems.

Federal agencies and regulatory authorities are putting relief measures in place during the pandemic to help people who might have trouble keeping up with their mortgage. When it comes to coronavirus mortgage relief, there are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind. 

Talk To The Lender First

The first step is always to talk to the lender directly and see if there are relief options. The last thing A lender wants us to have a bunch of loans go into default. When this happens, the lender might be forced to sell the property for a significantly reduced cost, meaning they will lose a significant amount of money. They do not want their borrowers to foreclose either. Therefore, as long as they are given enough notice, they should be able to help borrowers by adjusting their payment plans. 

Understand The Options

Everyone has a different type of mortgage and every contract is different. Borrowers me to take a look at the details of their plans and make sure they understand what their options are. For example, borrowers with certain types of loans might have lenders who are obligated to offer deferred or reduce mortgage payments for a period of six months. This is called forbearance. 

This means that borrowers do not have to pay their mortgage for a few months and will not be charged late fees or added interest. It is important to know that they will owe this money eventually. All borrowers need to read their contracts to see if they qualify for forbearance. 

Foreclosures And Evictions Have Been Halted

Finally, during the pandemic, Federal officials have imposed a nationwide halt when it comes to foreclosures and evictions. This moratorium only affects borrowers with certain plans. Therefore, everyone needs to read their contracts closely to see if they’re playing qualifies. Furthermore, there are certain cities, counties, and states that have halted foreclosures for everybody. 

The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for everyone. It is important to keep these mortgage relief options in mind and ask for help from professionals. That way, everyone can understand all of your options.

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 28, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 28th, 2020

 

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 28, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on new and existing home sales and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony on changing the Fed’s business loan policy. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Sales of New and Pre-Owned Homes Rise In August

New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.01 million sales; analysts expected the sales pace to fall to 900,000 sales from July’s reading of 965,000 new home sales. Homebuyers turned to new homes as the supply of pre-owned homes dwindled. Homeowners stayed put as fears over COVID-19 contagion limited sales.

Pre-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of six million homes as compared to the expected reading of 6.03 million sales and 5.86 million sales in July. Previously-owned home sales rose by 2.40 percent from July to August and were 10.50 percent higher year-over-year. The sales pace from July to August was the fastest since December 2006.

The median sales price of pre-owned homes rose to $310.600 in August and the average price for pre-owned homes was 11.40 percent higher year-over-year. Inventories of available pre-owned homes were lower than the six months supply considered average; there was a three months inventory of unsold pre-owned homes in August.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose three basis points on average to 2.90 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.40 percent and were five basis points higher. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was six basis points lower at 2.90 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose to 870,000 new claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 866.000 initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims fell to 12.58 million ongoing claims from 12.78 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week

In other news, Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the feasibility of the Federal Reserve offering smaller business loans for COVID-19 relief. The Fed’s current minimum loan amount is $250,000; Chairman Powell told the Committee that the Fed’s loan program had few requests for loans of less than $1 million. He also said that if the minimum loan amount was changed, the current lending program would have to be scrapped and restarted from scratch.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include Case-Shiller Home Price Indices,  pending home sales and reports on public and private-sector jobs, and the national unemployment rate.

 Last week’s economic news included readings on new and existing home sales and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s
testimony on changing the Fed’s business loan policy. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were
also released.
Sales of New and Pre-Owned Homes Rise In August
New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.01 million sales; analysts expected the sales pace to fall to
900,000 sales from July’s reading of 965,000 new home sales. Homebuyers turned to new homes as the supply of
pre-owned homes dwindled. Homeowners stayed put as fears over COVID-19 contagion limited sales.
Pre-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of six million homes as compared to the expected
reading of 6.03 million sales and 5.86 million sales in July. Previously-owned home sales rose by 2.40 percent from
July to August and were 10.50 percent higher year-over-year. The sales pace from July to August was the fastest
since December 2006.
The median sales price of pre-owned homes rose to $310.600 in August and the average price for pre-owned homes
was 11.40 percent higher year-over-year. Inventories of available pre-owned homes were lower than the six months
supply considered average; there was a three months inventory of unsold pre-owned homes in August.
Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed
Freddie Mac reported higher fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages
fell. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose three basis points on average to 2.90 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate
mortgages averaged 2.40 percent and were five basis points higher. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate
mortgages was six basis points lower at 2.90 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate
mortgages, 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
New jobless claims rose to 870,000 new claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 866.000 initial claims filed.
Continuing jobless claims fell to 12.58 million ongoing claims from 12.78 million ongoing claims filed in the prior
week
In other news, Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the
feasibility of the Federal Reserve offering smaller business loans for COVID-19 relief. The Fed’s current minimum
loan amount is $250,000; Chairman Powell told the Committee that the Fed’s loan program had few requests for
loans of less than $1 million. He also said that if the minimum loan amount was changed, the current lending
program would have to be scrapped and restarted from scratch.
What’s Ahead
This week’s scheduled economic releases include Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, pending home sales and reports
on public and private-sector jobs, and the national unemployment 

 

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Negotiation Tips: How to Ask the Seller to Pay the Closing Costs

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 25th, 2020

Negotiation Tips: How to Ask the Seller to Pay the Closing CostsYou’ve found the perfect new house or condo, and you are now preparing an offer that you believe the seller will find tempting enough to accept. However, you know that there are going to be thousands of dollars in closing costs that need to be paid before the sale is completed and you become the home’s new owner.

The question is, should you ask the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs? In today’s blog post we’ll address this question and list a few scenarios in which you may want to consider having the seller pick up the tab.

Ask if You’re Offering the Full Listing Price

If you’re prepared to offer the full asking price for the home you can certainly include the caveat that the seller assist with some or all of the closing costs. Many sellers will price their home slightly higher than they expect to receive as they believe that buyers will submit low initial offers which need to be negotiated.

For example, if a home is listed at $275,000 a seller might actually be expecting $260,000 or $265,000 for it. You can offer $275,000 but ask that they take care of the closing costs.

Ask if You’re Confident the Seller Has Few Other Options

If the home has been on the market for a number of months or if you’re fairly confident that the seller isn’t going to find much luck elsewhere you can ask them to pick up the closing costs as one of your purchase conditions. You’ll obviously want to negotiate in good faith, but if you’re coming from a position of strength you can leverage this in to some additional savings.

Ask if You’re Ready to Close Immediately

Are you ready to sign on the dotted line today? If you’re sure that this is the right home for you, let the seller know that as long as they’re willing to assist with the closing costs and accept your bid that you’ll start the closing process today. Nearly all sellers will be willing to make a small sacrifice to get the deal done.

As you can see, there are a number of situations in which it makes sense to ask the seller to shoulder some of the closing costs. If you have found a home that you wish to purchase and you’d like advice on how to proceed, contact a real estate agent today. An experience real estate professional can help you craft an offer that the seller won’t be able to refuse.

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Should Homeowners Refinance?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 24th, 2020

Should Homeowners Refinance?Most people have heard the saying that it might be a good idea to refinance if mortgage rates drop. For those who might not know, refinancing is essentially taking out a new loan to replace the old one because the new loan has a lower interest rate.

This could shorten the time span of a long time and reduce monthly payments, or save money on the total cost of the home. At the same time, refinancing is not right for everyone. How can homeowners determine if refinancing is right for them? 

Do They Qualify?

Just because there are lower interest rates available does not mean that homeowners are going to qualify. It is important for homeowners to make sure they qualify for lower interest rates on their home loans. Be sure to conduct a quick credit check to clean up inaccuracies on the credit report. Then shop around and get quotes from different lenders. 

What Are The Potential Savings?

If homeowners qualify for a better rate on the mortgage, it is time to crunch the numbers. Everyone needs to figure out exactly how much money they are going to save depending on which refinancing option they choose. Some of the factors to consider when looking at refinancing plans include the terms of the loan, the interest rate, and the overall monthly payment. 

What Are The Closing Costs?

Finally, there are going to be the closing costs that go along with every refinancing plan. The good news is that these closing costs on negotiable. Sometimes, the closing costs will determine whether or not refinancing is worth it. Therefore, homeowners need to consider the closing costs as well. If the closing costs appear high, make sure to speak with different lenders and see if they are willing to provide a break on the costs.

Are The Homeowners Planning On Staying In The Home?

Finally, refinancing is only going to be worth it if the homeowners are planning on staying in the home. There is no point in paying for a new home loan if the homeowners are planning on moving next year. Therefore, be sure to consider this along with all of the other questions listed above to determine whether or not refinancing is worth it.

 

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The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash When You Buy Your Next Home

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 23rd, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash When You Buy Your Next HomeWith mortgage bubbles and real estate issues still in recent memory, one might feel that their best option is to buy their next home using cash instead of borrowing the necessary funds. In today’s article we’ll explore the pros and cons of paying cash for that next house or condo.

The Pros Include A Feeling of Complete Ownership

There’s a feeling of pride and joy that comes with owning a home outright. There are several other reasons for paying cash instead of signing on the dotted line and getting and being strapped to a 30-year mortgage. Perhaps the best reason is having 100 percent equity in the home.

The cash will be there to borrow in case of an emergency. Having cash on hand is great if a water pipe bursts or there’s a huge car repair bill. In addition, instead of paying a monthly mortgage, that money could be used to start a college fund, to grow savings or to invest.

And, credit problems wouldn’t be an issue since there wouldn’t be a need to check credit history in the first place. The homeowner may be able to negotiate a better price, which may result in a likelihood of a smoother sale, and attract more prospective buyers.

The Not So Great Reasons To Pay With Cash

Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments a person will make in his or her lifetime.

However, buying a home outright most likely means that a significant percentage of cash will be tied up in the house. Less cash will be on hand for savings, college funds, and emergencies like a plumbing malfunction or an expensive car repair.

While paying in cash may result in a mortgage life, if the property value drops for whatever reason, there’s no purchase protection. For instance, if the market value of a $100,000 home loses 10 percent that will be a loss of $10,000. Take this example and apply it to a mortgage down payment. If the market value falls, there’ll be a loss of $10,000, but the bank would take a loss for the remainder of the property value.

Also, when paying with cash, there is no third party property evaluation to ensure the buyer isn’t overpaying for the home. Banks will send a professional to provide a property evaluation check to verify the correct home value.

Buying a home is a significant personal decision. In today’s tough economy, homeowners are finding ways of cutting back on expenses. Owning a home outright, without the stress of mortgage payments can be extremely liberating. Sit down with a professional real estate agent today before making the decision to use cash to pay for a home.

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Shopping For Home Improvement Supplies Safely

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 22nd, 2020

Shopping For Home Improvement Supplies SafelyThe coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone and everyone is trying to go about their lives in a safe manner. With so many people spending time at home, now is the perfect time to conduct home improvement projects. At the same time, carrying out a home improvement project is going to require supplies.

While many people are trying to avoid going to the store to buy supplies right now, there are also no contact ways to shop for home improvement supplies. Take a look at the tips below and collect supplies for the home improvement project in a safe way.

Invest In Curbside Pickup

There are lots of home improvement stores that have curbside pickup options available. Even some of the biggest department stores in the country are offering the service. Therefore, take a look at the website of some of the local stores. Then, see if they do curbside pickup. If they do, then it might be possible to place an entire order online. Then, simply pull up to the curb and have it loaded into the trunk. 

Have The Supplies Delivered

In some cases, it might even be possible to have these supplies delivered to the home. Even though this is going to come with an extra cost, there are some home improvement projects that are large enough to make this option worth it. That way, not only is this a no-contact way of shopping but it also prevents the supplies from being damaged on the way to the house. 

Hire A Personal Shopper

There are lots of people who are looking for ways to avoid going to any store right now. This includes not only grocery stores but home improvement stores as well. Therefore, it might be possible to use an app to hire a personal shopper to do all of the shopping. This is a great way to not only have the supplies delivered to the home but also a boy having to take a trip to the store. 

Shop For Home Improvement Supplies Safely

These are a few of the most important tips to keep in mind when it comes to shopping for home improvement supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. These no contact tips can help people pull off home improvement projects safely without having to set foot in a store.

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 21, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 21st, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 21, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on housing market conditions, housing starts, building permits issued, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

National Association of Home Builders Reports Record High Builder Confidence

The NAHB reported record high builder confidence in housing market conditions. The Housing Market Index had an index reading of 83 in September as compared to August’s reading of 78. Analysts said that this builder confidence reading was notable due to rising costs for building materials.

Component readings of the NAHB Housing Market Index also rose in September. Builder confidence in current single-family housing market conditions rose four points to an index reading of 88; builder confidence in housing market conditions in the next six months rose by six points to 84. Builder confidence in buyer traffic in single-family housing developments rose by nine points to a record index reading of 73.

Builder confidence readings over 50 reflect growing builder confidence in housing market conditions. March and April fell below 50 but rebounded as demand for larger suburban homes took hold as working from home increased. Record low mortgage rates are allowing home buyers to buy larger homes with more amenities. Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, said that “Builders in other areas of the country have reported receiving calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocating.”

Housing Starts and Building Permits Drop in August

The Commerce Department reported 1.42 million housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August as compared to July’s reading of 1.49 million housing starts. 1.47 million building permits were issued on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis;

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported mixed changes in mortgage rates; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.87 percent and rose by one basis point. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were two basis points lower on average at 2.35 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.96 percent and were 15 basis points lower. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 860,000 from the prior week’s reading of 893,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims also fell; 12.63 million were filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 29.67 continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index also indicated economic growth with an index reading of 78.9 as compared to August’s reading of 74.1. Analysts expected am index reading of 75.9 for September.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic readings include reports on new and existing home sales along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

 

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Three Do-It-Yourself Seasonal Home Improvement Projects

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 18th, 2020

Three Do-It-Yourself Seasonal Home Improvement Projects Owning a home comes with a lot of joy and responsibility. Many homeowners are looking for improvement projects that they can do themselves. There are a few options that rise to the surface. Take a look at some of the fun projects that most homeowners can do at home!

Perform Routine Maintenance on the HVAC System

One of the top projects that homeowners can perform involves routine HVAC maintenance. In order to make sure the HVAC system is running appropriately, it is important to service it regularly. Even though there are a few tasks that have to be left to those with the right training, there are other tasks that the homeowners can do themselves. This includes wiping off the breaker, cleaning the exterior, and even cleaning the blower with a vacuum.

Seal Home Areas Contributing To A Draft

Another key project to consider involving sealing areas that might be leading to drafts. Some of the most common drafts come from the doors and windows. If there is a draft coming into the home, then this could lead to higher utility bills. Applying foam to fill in areas around the frames of windows and doors to prevent heat and air from escaping to the outdoors. This could help homeowners save a large amount of money on their electric bills.

Eliminate Entry Areas For Certain Pests

Some of the most common pests that homeowners have to deal with include ants, cockroaches, and termites. By taking the time to look for entry points under the cabinets, floorboards, and doors, homeowners can make sure these nuisances are problems of the past. Foam and steel wool works well for deterring the invasive natures of these insects. Make sure to remove dust and debris from the area to ensure that all gaps are filled.

Improve The Home During The Offseason

These are just a few of the top home improvement projects that homeowners might want to consider during the offseason. It is a smart idea to try to tackle these projects before the weather gets too cold. That way, homeowners will be prepared for the temperature to drop and can run their heaters without having to worry about their utility bills rising too much.

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Four Surefire Ways to Irritate Potential Buyers and How to Avoid These Costly Mistakes

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 17th, 2020

Selling Tips: Four Surefire Ways to Irritate Potential Buyers and How to Avoid These Costly MistakesIrritating any potential buyers is the last thing you want to do when selling a house because it is can be a challenging and sometimes lengthy process.

The buyer is going to have a wide array of options when deciding on a new home, so they have no problem going somewhere else if they see something they do not like.

While there are a plethora of ways for a seller to irritate a potential home buyer, these are the four most common – and most costly.

Pricing The House Too High

There is nothing worse you can do when trying to sell a home than pricing it too high. While you may think that it gives you room for the buyer to counter at a lower price, they are more likely to simply ignore your listing entirely even if the home is a good fit. The best way to keep this from happening is by pricing your home in the same price range as the rest of the neighborhood.

Not Making Home Repairs

Buyers are going to be immediately turned off if they walk into the home and see a state of disrepair. Not taking the time to make small visible fixes is going to make the buyer think that the house is going to have major issues. Taking the time to get the house in great shape before showing it at an open house will ensure the house sells faster.

Leaving Your Stuff Everywhere

Buyers want to feel like they could move into the house as soon as the purchase is finalized. They also want to envision themselves living in the home, and this is almost impossible if you have your personal items throughout the house. This is more difficult to pull off when selling a home you are currently living in, but it is best to stage the home with as few personal items as possible.

Getting Emotionally Invested

While you may have lived in your house for years, you have to drop any emotional attachment to the home the second it hits the market. You can’t take it personally if the buyer wants to make a major change to the house after the purchase. Their idea of a perfect home is not going to be the same as yours. The best way to make sure you do not insult the buyer when they bring up their vision of the home is by letting your agent handle home viewings. If you have become too attached to your home or are guilty of any of the other three things on this list, then you make sure they are corrected before your next open house.

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