What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 13, 2022

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 13th, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - June 13, 2022

Last week’s economic reporting was highly focused on inflation, which grew at its fastest pace since 1981. Rising fuel and food prices boosted inflation in the U.S. and abroad; Analysts said the Ukraine War and supply chain problems continued to drive inflation. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Hits Highest Level in 41 Years

The government’s Consumer Price Index, which tracks inflation, rose at a month-to-month pace of 1.0 percent in May compared to the expected reading of 0.70 percent and April’s reading of 0.30 percent growth. May’s Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.60 percent month-to-month.

Year-over-year readings for inflation also increased in May as inflation rose by 8.60 percent compared to an expected reading of 

8.30 percent growth that matched April’s reading for year-over-year inflation. The year-over-year core Consumer Price Index rose by 6.0 percent in May compared to expectations of 5.90 percent and April’s year-over-year reading of 6.20 percent growth in consumer prices. Consumers felt the most pain paying higher rents and dealing with rising food and fuel prices. These categories represent a significant portion of household expenses and there was no immediate relief in sight. The Federal Reserve plans to raise its key interest rate range every month as it attempts to slow rapid inflation.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 14 basis points to 5.23 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged six basis points higher at 4.38 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages loans were eight basis points higher at 4.12 percent. Discount points for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.90 percent and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent. Ongoing shortages of available homes and rising materials costs continued boosting home prices and eroding affordability for first-time and moderate-income home buyers.

Initial jobless claims increased last week with 229,000 first-time claims filed compared to the prior week’s reading of 202,000 initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were unchanged last week with 1.31 million ongoing claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on housing markets, building permits issued, and housing starts. The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee will release its post-meeting statement and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will give a post-meeting press conference. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released

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Does A Pool Increase The Value Of Your Property?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 10th, 2022

Does A Pool Increase The Value Of Your Home?If you are looking for a way to add value to your house, you may have thought about putting in a pool. After all, this is a great way to cool off during the summer while entertaining your family members and friends. At the same time, does a pool increase the value of your property? Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks below.

The Benefits Of Owning A Pool

If you decide to put in a pool, there are a lot of benefits you will enjoy. First, it will make your property look significantly more appealing. As long as you work with a reliable contractor, a pool will look attractive to the eye. Putting in a pool is also a luxury feature. This means that your house may look more appealing to people who have more money to spend. Putting in a pool can also reduce the amount of yard work you have to do. It may no longer take as long for you to cut your grass. Of course, there is also the functional benefit of having a pool. It is a great place to exercise, relax, and cool off during the summer.

The Drawbacks Of Owning A Pool 

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks to owning a pool as well. Having a pool will probably increase your home insurance rates because people can get hurt in and around the pool. You also have to take care of the pool. You need to clean the pool, track the chlorine level, and filter the water. Finally, if you don’t live in a hot area, you may not be able to use the pool during all months of the year. 

It All Depends On Demand

Ultimately, the value of your house is dependent on how much someone else is willing to pay for it. If there are a lot of people who are looking for a home with a pool, then adding a pool could increase the value of your home. If you want to maximize the value of your home, you may want to reach out to a real estate professional who can tell you if putting in a pool is a smart idea. 

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Use A Fixer-Upper Mortgage To Expand Your Options

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 9th, 2022

Use A Fixer-Upper Mortgage To Expand Your Options

Many people purchasing a home for the first time are running into the same problem. There simply are not enough starter or entry-level houses available in the current market that are ready for people to move into. One solution some home buyers are exploring is to buy a fixer-upper home. With a home renovation mortgage, prospective homebuyers can qualify for a home loan that combines the cost of home improvements with the purchase price of the house.

A Lack Of Affordable Homes

Regardless of whether they are brand new or resale homes, there simply are not enough affordable homes for first-time homebuyers. A significant number of new houses are built for people who are looking to purchase their second or third home. Furthermore, because there is a lot of demand for affordable entry-level houses, their prices have gone up. This makes it very difficult for first-time homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage for an entry-level home. 

Consider Fixing Up An Existing Home

With a lack of affordable homes, it only makes sense for first-time homebuyers to consider buying and repairing entry-level homes that might be in need of repair. Because a lot of people do not want to purchase a house that requires repairs, first-time homebuyers might be able to save money by going this route. 

There are two separate home renovation loans available. The first is the FHA 203k loan, which is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The other option is guaranteed by Fannie Mae, and it is called the HomeStyle loan. These loans can cover the cost of most home improvements, regardless of how large or small they might be. Both of these loans can be used to cover cosmetic and structural renovations. With access to this loan, it is possible for first-time homebuyers to begin work immediately after the closing process is done. 

Consider Taking Out A Home Renovation Loan

The FHA 203k is for primary residences only. The Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan can be used for either a primary residence or an investment property. They require a minimum credit score of 620 and a down payment of at least three percent. These loans could make it easier for first-time homebuyers to afford a house. 

 

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3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More ‘Pet Friendly’

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 8th, 2022

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More 'Pet Friendly'Whether you’re moving to a new home or you have a new family pet, it can be a struggle to make the place a little friendlier for them. From the garbage can to the cupboards and doors, there can be a lot of dangers that have the ability to hurt your furry friend you might not be aware of. If you’re looking for some simple ways to make their life a little easier, here are a few things you can do.

Take Care Of The Trash

The image of dogs sifting through the trash is common for a reason, so it’s important to guard your animal against the dangers of the dustbin. In addition to taking out any perishable goods on a consistent basis, it’s a worthwhile investment to purchase a tougher trash bin that your animal can’t get into. This will ensure they won’t be able to get at foods like fruit pits, coffee grounds and chocolate, which can be very harmful to their system.

Pick The Right Flooring

If you have the choice, ceramic tile or hardwood can be a great way to alleviate the tidy-up of having a live-in pet since you can easily wipe or sweep away the damage. If this isn’t possible and carpet is your only option, stick with something that closely matches the color of your pet. As well, if you’re letting your pet on the furniture, it’s worth investing in materials like leather and suede that are more durable and easy to clean.

Give Them Their ‘Space’

You may not have to worry about cleaning up after your pet as much if you can provide them with a space that’s all their own. While it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or sprawling, providing a comfortable bed where they like to nap and a water bowl or selection of toys will do the trick in making them feel right at home. It may also have the added benefit of keeping them away from the family couch!

Many homeowners are so pre-occupied with making themselves comfortable in their family home that they forget about the animal in the family. While it won’t necessarily take much to please your pet, watching the waste and giving them their own comfortable area can go a long way in making your home pet-friendly. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, contact our trusted real estate professional for more information.

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How To Make Your Home More Sustainable in 2022

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 7th, 2022

How To Make Your Home More Sustainable in 2022If you are looking for a way to make your home more sustainable in 2022, there are several options available. A lot of people are concerned about the environment, and you can do your part by reducing the amount of energy your home consumes. Furthermore, some of these home improvements are not that expensive and can actually save you money. Some of them might even increase the value of your house. Take a look at some of the top sustainable home improvements you should make below.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows

If you have not swapped out your windows in a while, you may want to upgrade them to energy-efficient ones. Energy-efficient windows can reduce the amount of heat and air conditioning your home consumes. If you combine your energy-efficient windows with exceptional insulation, you can significantly reduce the stress on your HVAC unit. This can help you reduce your utility bills. 

Upgrade Your Lighting System

You may want to install energy-efficient lighting as well. For example, LED lights use significantly less money when compared to regular bulbs. They can also save you hundreds of dollars per year on your utility bills. In addition, LED lights will last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs, so you don’t have to replace them as often, either. 

Make The Switch To Solar Energy

You can also make the switch to solar energy to reduce the amount of electricity you consume. Even though you can install solar panels on your roof, you may want to take a look at a few other solar upgrades as well. For example, you might want to use a solar attic fan, which can help you alleviate the heat trapped in your attic. You may want to install solar water heaters as well, which can reduce the amount of energy you spend heating your water.

Plant A Garden

Even something as simple as planting a garden can make your house a more sustainable place. Plants are natural air purifiers, they can improve the health of your soil, and they can attract pollinators, such as bees, that are important for our environment. Of course, if you plant fruits and vegetables, you can also save money on your utility bills.

 

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Open Concept Living Is A Lifestyle Choice

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 3rd, 2022

Open Concept Living Is A Lifestyle ChoiceThe coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals and families across the world, and it has permanently changed the way we live our lives. We will continue to wash our hands more frequently than before, we will probably avoid people if we are the slightest bit ill, and the way our homes work has been changed forever. In particular, open-concept living might not be as popular as it once was. 

Why Is Open Concept Living Less Popular Than Before?

The biggest reason why open-concept living might now be less popular than it once was is that people are spending more time at home than they were before. Parents are working from home, children have to go to school from home, and chores around the house still have to get done. It can be difficult for parents to have a conference call if kids are going to school right next door. When this is combined with pets people have at home, it is easy to see why open-concept living could be a problem. The noise coming from the TV, the computer, fighting kids, and barking dogs can be incredibly distracting.

Why Open Concept Living Might Still Be Popular

Even though there are certainly some downsides that people discovered to open concept living, the advantages still remain. Open concept living creates more space to entertain, it lets in more natural light, and it allows family members and friends to feel more together even if they are in different rooms. To some, open-concept living might continue to be appealing, even if families with young children have a few downsides to overcome.

Open Concept Living Is A Lifestyle Choice

Ultimately, the pandemic has shown us that open concept living is a lifestyle choice. It is not something to be tossed to the side, and it is not something that is required. People simply need to decide whether an open-concept lifestyle is right for them. They need to think about what their lives look like today as well as what they will look like in the future. Keep in mind that nothing is permanent. There are ways for people to make changes to their homes to make them better suit their needs. 

 

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Saving Up for Your Down Payment? Try These Money-saving Tips to Speed Things Up

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 2nd, 2022

Saving Up for Your Down Payment? Try These Money-saving Tips to Speed Things UpOne of the most significant challenges that many people face when preparing to buy a first home relates to saving money for a down payment. While there are many different loan programs with varying down payment requirements, the fact is that it can still be difficult to save up a large sum of money. Some programs may require you to save as much as 10 percent or 20 percent of the sales price of the home.

You can employ a few different tips and techniques to save money for a down payment more quickly, and these are some of the options that others have successfully used to save money for their home purchase.

Make Saving Automatic

One idea that works well for many people is to make saving for your new home automatic. This may be as simple as scheduling a regular draft or transfer from your checking account when your paycheck is deposited into your savings account. Some employers may even facilitate this process by contributing some of your funds into a savings account on your behalf. With this option, the money would go directly into your savings account without you having a chance to spend it.

Take Advantage of Retirement Accounts

If your employer provides you with the option of investing in an employer-sponsored retirement account, you should take advantage of this option. Many will offer a dollar-for-dollar matching program, and this may essentially double the amount of money that is saved in the account.

More than that, the funds from many retirement accounts may be withdrawn without penalty if they are used for a first-time home purchase. There are some rules and regulations regarding this, so you should research this option more thoroughly.

These are among the two best options for saving money for a down payment for your first home purchase. There are other ideas that you can consider as well. For example, you may borrow from a whole life insurance policy, obtain a gift from a family member or even sell some of your personal belongings that you no longer need or use.

When you combine many of these ideas together, you may be surprised how quickly your down payment fund can grow. You can also speak with a  professional to learn more about the actual amount of money that you may need for the down payment and closing costs.

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Where Buyers Tend To Compromise When Buying A Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 1st, 2022

Where Buyers Tend To Compromise When Buying A HomeIf you are in the market for a home, it is important for you to think about what is most critical to your housing search. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you will probably have to compromise somewhere to make a competitive offer on a house you can afford. Every buyer is different, but there are a few common themes regarding where buyers tend to compromise when looking for a house. 

The Condition Of The Home

One area where buyers tend to compromise is the condition of the house. Most buyers would prefer to purchase a new house that is move-in ready, but you may notice that it can be difficult to find a new house that is within your budget. If you are willing to purchase a house that is a bit older, you might be able to save money. Then, you can put this money towards home improvements. 

The Size Of The Home

If you want to keep your housing search under a certain budget, you may need to compromise on the size of the house. Particularly in an overheated market, you might be able to scale back the home’s square footage to make a more competitive offer on a house. This is particularly true if you are looking for a house in a specific school district.

The Style Of The Home

You might have always dreamed of living in a mid-century colonial home, but it might not always be possible to find a house of this style that checks the other boxes. If you are willing to purchase a house that doesn’t quite match your style, you might be able to find a home that has the other characteristics you need. 

Select The Right House

Everyone is different, and the right house for one person is not going to be the same as the right house for you. As you take a look at the houses available, think about what is most important to you. What do you need to have when you look for a home, and where are you willing to compromise? This can help you put yourself and your family in the best position possible to be successful during your housing search. 

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 31, 2022

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 31st, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 31, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings on new and pending home sales, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and data on inflation. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

New and Pending Home Sales Fall

The annual pace of new home sales fell in April according to the Commerce Department. Year-over-year sales of new homes fell to a pace of 591,000 sales as compared to the March reading of 709,000 sales of new homes. Analysts expected a year-over-year pace of 750,000 new home sales in April. Rising home prices and mortgage rates challenged first-time and moderate-income home buyers, which caused falling sales.

Readings for pending home sales fell by -3.90 percent in April; analysts expected a reading of -2.00 percent based on the March reading of -1.60 percent. High home prices and recently rising mortgage rates cooled prospective buyers’ interest as concerns over rising inflation and economic conditions sidelined low and moderate-income home buyers. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, said that rising mortgage rates have increased monthly mortgage payments by as much as $500. A secondary effect of fewer home sales is fewer sales of goods and services associated with home ownership.

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee minutes documented the Fed’s decision to raise its key interest rate range to 0.75 to 1.00 percent. FOMC members expect ongoing rate range increases as the Fed continues its efforts to control inflation.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates for the second consecutive week. Rates for 30year fixed rate mortgages fell by 15 basis points to 5.10 percent and rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages fell by 12 basis points to 4.31 percent.  The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by 12 basis points to 4.20 percent. Discount points averaged 0.90 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates averaged 0.30 percent.

New jobless claims fell to 210,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 218,000 initial claims filed. Analysts expected 215,000 new jobless claims. Continuing jobless claims rose to 1.35 million ongoing claims filed as compared to 1.32 million ongoing claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell to an index reading of 58.40 in May as compared to April’s reading of 59.10. Readings over 50 are considered positive.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on home prices and construction spending along with labor sector readings on job growth and the national unemployment rate.

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Thinking about Renovations?: 5 Considerations Before Hiring a Home Improvements Contractor

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 27th, 2022

Thinking about Renovations?: 5 Considerations Before Hiring a Home Improvements ContractorWith the pre-summer enthusiasm and the milder weather, springtime can be one of the best times of the year to take on home renovations that aren’t as easy in other months. If you happen to have some projects in mind and are considering taking the work on yourself, here are a few questions you’ll need to ask.

What Can You Take On?

If you have specific renovations in mind for the coming months, it’s very important to decide what you can reasonably take on and what you could pass on to a contractor. While some projects and fix-ups may be easier to complete on your own, some will require a greater degree of expertise.

What’s Your Skill Level?

You may have something that you think you can take on yourself, but if you’re new to renovating, it may be worth hiring a contractor who will be able to complete the job without incident. It can be a great learning experience to do many fix-ups on your own, but this can take a lot of time and energy too if you don’t know the details.

What’s Your Price Point?

Before deciding to hire a contractor, it’s important that you’ve thought about the potential costs associated with what you want to do. It can be pricy to hire someone if you have a lot that needs to be done, but someone else’s expertise can also end up being worth the money spent.

Do You Have A Timeline?

Many people renovate in the spring and summer months, and this means that your ideal contractor may not have a lot of time available. While this may end up working out for you, you’ll want to consider when you want it done so your expectations are not unreasonable.

Is A Second Opinion Helpful?

It’s great if you can handle all your home renovations on your own, but no one will be able to offer you the knowledgeable opinion that a contractor will. While a professional will undoubtedly be able to complete the work you’re requesting, they may also have helpful suggestions for you that may make for an even better home improvement.

Spring is an ideal season for home renovations, but before taking anything on you’ll want to carefully consider whether or not you’ll need to hire someone. If you’re renovating to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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