Understanding Your Debt To Income Ratio: What It Means

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 5th, 2022

Understanding Your Debt To Income Ratio: What It MeansIf you are looking for a home, you might need to finance it using a lender, such as a bank or a credit union. There are a number of factors that will influence whether your mortgage application is approved. Then, these same factors will play a role in the terms the lender might offer you. One of the most important factors is called the debt to income ratio, or DTI. It is important to understand how this will impact your mortgage application.

What Is A Debt To Income Ratio?

Your DTI is important to the lender because this allows the lender to figure out the likelihood of you paying your mortgage on time. The less debt you have, the more financial stability you have to pay a potential mortgage. 

To calculate your debt to income ratio, you need to calculate all the bills you have for the upcoming month. For example, if you have rent and a car payment, you add these numbers together. Then, you divide this number by your gross monthly income. If your rent is $900 and your car payment is $200, your total debt is $1100. Then, if you earn $3300, divide $1100 by $3300. This is about 33 percent.

Student Loan Debt Is A Driving Factor

With many members of the younger generation getting ready to purchase a house, it is important to understand the impact of student loan payments. Because a lot of potential home borrowers have student loans to pay back, their debt-to-income ratios will be significantly higher. This could make it harder for younger borrowers to get qualified for a mortgage, particularly one with favorable terms.

How To Improve Your Mortgage Application

Before you apply for a home loan, you should try to improve your debt to income ratio by paying down your existing bills. For example, if you have credit card debt, this will be included in your debt to income ratio. Try to pay this off before you apply for a mortgage. You should try to pay down your student loans as much as possible before applying for a mortgage as well. The less debt you carry, the more likely your mortgage application will be approved. 

 

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6 Tips That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Home Inspection

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 4th, 2022

6 Tips That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Home InspectionA home inspection may be one of the last things that needs to be done before the deal is sealed. However, it’s very important to have a proper inspection done so that you can ensure you’re offering price is appropriate for the home you’re getting. If you’re prepping for an inspection soon, here are some things you’ll want to consider beforehand.

Choose A Good Inspector

Like a good agent, the right inspector is going to have expertise in what they do and know what to look for. They will not only find the small fix-ups, they’ll be able to highlight the potentially huge issues that may arise down the road.

Prepare Your Papers

Your inspector may be able to do their job well on their own, but if you’ve noticed any issues when you’ve visited the house, it’s important to address them. While they may amount to nothing, an inspector will be able to clear up any confusion.

Ask The Questions

Whether you’re experienced with real estate or not, ask the questions you want to ask whether or not they make you feel like a novice. Even if the answer is simple, it will give you the information you’re looking for.

Get The Lowdown

It might seem like a bridge too far, but talking to neighbors in the area can give you a good sense of the overall upkeep of the home. While it’s unlikely you’ll get any unfortunate tales, people in the area may be able to illuminate you on the house’s history.

Partake In The Inspection

It’s good enough for many a homeowner to get a written report, but going along to see the house can facilitate conversation and may give you insights into what to watch out for. It may also mean you have a clearer idea of any potential issues.

Facilitate The Discussion

In the event that there are significant issues with the home, it may be worth talking with the inspector about dealing directly with the contractor. While this may or may not be necessary, it’s a good way to ensure any problems will be effectively communicated and can be rectified.

A home inspection may be par for the course, but by asking the right questions and being involved you can ensure you’ll get the most out of your inspection. If you’re currently in the market for a home, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

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Common Fees During Refinancing

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

Common Fees During RefinancingAs interest rates fluctuate, you might think about refinancing your mortgage. This is the cost of taking out a new home loan to replace the one you currently have. If you get a significantly lower interest rate, you could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. On the other hand, you need to think about potential expenses you might incur during the refinancing process. Because you are taking out another home loan, you may need to pay closing costs a second time. What are some of the most common expenses you might have to pay?

The Mortgage Application Fee

One of the most common expenses is the mortgage application fee. Essentially, this is a fee that the lender will charge for opening up a new application on your behalf. The fee can vary significantly depending on the lender you use, but it is usually a few hundred dollars.

A Home Appraisal

When you took out your first mortgage, the lender probably required you to get your home appraised. The lender wants to make sure they are not financing a home that is not worth as much as its price tag. You still need to get your home appraised again if you decide to refinance your mortgage. The lender wants to make sure they understand how much the house is worth before they give you a loan for it. A typical home appraisal is also a few hundred dollars.

Title Search And Title Insurance

The lender might also require a title search and title insurance. This is important for making sure you protect yourself in the event someone else still holds the title to your house. A title search is usually a few hundred dollars, and title insurance could be $1,000 or more.

Loan Origination Fee

Most lenders charge a loan origination fee that is approximately one percent of the value of the loan. Again, this can vary from lender to lender as well. 

Understand These Fees

There are lots of potential fees that a lender might tack on. Fortunately, you do not necessarily need to pay for all of them. Always ask the lender whether they might be willing to waive some of these fees to make the cost less expensive. 

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 2, 2022

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 2nd, 2022

Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, and the Commerce Department on sales of new homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also reported. S&P Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Near-Record Home Price Growth February home prices continued their rapid growth, but analysts hinted at a coming slowdown in-home price growth as would-be buyers were faced with rising mortgage rates and affordability concerns. S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index reported year-over-year home price growth of 19.80 percent as compared to January’s national home price growth rate of 19.10 percent. The 20-City Home Price Index reported the top three cities for year-over-year home price growth were Phoenix, Arizona with 32.90 percent growth, Tampa, Florida reported 32.60 percent growth in home prices, and Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent. All cities reported in the 20-City Home Price Index had double-digit growth in February and the pace of home price growth was faster for all 20 cities than in January. In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Administration reported that home prices for homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year and were 2.10 percent higher month-to-month.  Pending home sales were lower in March by -1.20 percent, as compared to the expected reading of -1,80 percent and February’s reading of -4.00 percent. Rising inflation and home prices created affordability concerns for first-time and moderate-income homebuyers. Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall Freddie Mac reported a lower average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 5.10 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.40 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.78 percent and three basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.90 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent. New jobless claims fell last week with 180,000 initial claims filed as compared to 185,000 first-time claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims held steady with 1.41 million ongoing claims filed and matched the prior week’s reading.  The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell by one-half point in April with an index reading of 65.2. The expected reading of 65.7 matched the March reading. Concerns over rising inflation, fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine contributed to lower consumer sentiment.  What’s Ahead This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on public and private-sector jobs growth, the national unemployment rate, and a news conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, and the Commerce Department on sales of new homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also reported.

S&P Case-Shiller, FHFA Report Near-Record Home Price Growth

February home prices continued their rapid growth, but analysts hinted at a coming slowdown in-home price growth as would-be buyers were faced with rising mortgage rates and affordability concerns. S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index reported year-over-year home price growth of 19.80 percent as compared to January’s national home price growth rate of 19.10 percent. The 20-City Home Price Index reported the top three cities for year-over-year home price growth were Phoenix, Arizona with 32.90 percent growth, Tampa, Florida reported 32.60 percent growth in home prices, and Miami, Florida reported year-over-year home price growth of 29.70 percent. All cities reported in the 20-City Home Price Index had double-digit growth in February and the pace of home price growth was faster for all 20 cities than in January.

In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Administration reported that home prices for homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 19.40 percent year-over-year and were 2.10 percent higher month-to-month. 

Pending home sales were lower in March by -1.20 percent, as compared to the expected reading of -1,80 percent and February’s reading of -4.00 percent. Rising inflation and home prices created affordability concerns for first-time and moderate-income homebuyers.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported a lower average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by one basis point to 5.10 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.40 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.78 percent and three basis points higher. Discount points averaged  0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.90 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

New jobless claims fell last week with 180,000 initial claims filed as compared to 185,000 first-time claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims held steady with 1.41 million ongoing claims filed and matched the prior week’s reading.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell by one-half point in April with an index reading of 65.2. The expected reading of  65.7 matched the March reading. Concerns over rising inflation, fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine contributed to lower consumer sentiment.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on public and private-sector jobs growth, the national unemployment rate, and a news conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

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Sale Pending: What Does This Mean?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 29th, 2022

Sale Pending: What Does This Mean? The search for a house can be stressful and filled with lots of jargon that can make it difficult for someone new to the real estate world to figure out what is going on. One of the most common terms that people might see on the MLS is “sale pending.” What does this mean, and how should people interpret this?

An Overview Of Sale Pending

If a listing says that it is “sale pending,” it means that the buyer and the seller are under contract. While the deal is not yet set in stone, it means that the seller has accepted an offer, and there is a contract in place for the sale of the house. There might also be some contingencies to meet before the sale is finalized. 

Making An Offer On A Sale Pending House

This is something that someone can certainly do, but it might not be worth the time of the prospective buyer. If a higher offer comes in, the seller is still contractually obligated to honor the original offer. Buyers that want to make a backup offer should talk to a real estate professional to make sure they submit an offer properly. 

Why A House May Come Back On The Market

There are a few reasons why a house might come back on the market after being listed as pending. Sometimes, the home inspection doesn’t come back favorably, and the buyer might elect to withdraw the offer to find a house with fewer problems. Or, the buyer might have had a hard time finding financing, and cannot buy the house without a home loan. The seller might also be trying to force a short sale, which the bank might not approve, thus canceling the transaction.

Pending Versus Contingent: What This Means

Pending and contingent are similar terms, but they are not the same things. If a listing has gone “contingent,” it means that an agreement is in place but the buyer has to meet a number of contingencies before the sale can be finalized. If a sale is listed as pending, it means that all of the contingencies have been met and the sale is likely to close. Buyers may want to reach out to the seller agent for clarification if they are confused. 

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What Home Improvements Sellers Should Make In 2022

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 28th, 2022

What Home Improvements Sellers Should Make In 2022Owning a home is an investment, and it is important for people to treat it as such. Some homeowners are looking for improvements they can make to their house that might improve its resale value. There are a number of home improvements that seller should consider making in 2022 if they want to maintain or increase the value of their home.

Add A Stone Veneer

One of the top home improvements homeowners might want to make is to add a stone veneer. It can be expensive to replace the siding of a house with a stone veneer, but this is an improvement that can add significant value to the house over time. Furthermore, homeowners might expect the cost of the veneer to recoup almost all of its value when they go to sell the house.

Update And Remodel The Kitchen

Another upgrade that homeowners should consider is remodeling the kitchen. Styles change over time, and the needs of homeowners can change over time as well. Remodeling the kitchen can be both a stylistic upgrade as well as a functional one. People spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and a prospective buyer might be willing to pay a lot of money for a kitchen that has been upgraded and remodeled. The cost of the project could pay for almost all of itself by increasing the value of the home. 

Replace And Upgrade The Windows

Consider replacing and upgrading the windows to boost the value of the house. A lot of people are tired of spending a lot of money on utilities, and one of the ways to save money on utility bills is to invest in energy-efficient windows. This can improve the insulation of the house and reduce the load on the HVAC system. Buyers might like these utility savings, and they could be willing to pay more for the house, covering the cost of the windows in the process.

Invest In A House With These Improvements

These are just a few of the many home upgrades that homeowners should consider making. There are plenty of ways to not only improve or remodel the house but also increase its value. Work with a professional to get the most out of these improvements. 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – April 25, 2022

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 25th, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - April 25, 2022Last week’s economic reporting included the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, government readings on housing starts and building permits, and data on sales of previously-owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Builder Confidence in Housing Market Conditions Slips by Two Points

Homebuilder confidence fell by two points to an index reading of 77 in April and was the lowest reading since September. Analysts expected this dip as mortgage rates and building materials costs continued to rise. Index readings over 50 indicate that most builders have positive views of housing market conditions. Index readings haven’t fallen below 50 since the beginning of the pandemic in April and May of 2020.

Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, said: “The housing market faces an inflection point as an unexpectedly quick rise in interest rates, rising home prices, and escalating materials costs have significantly decreased housing affordability conditions, particularly in the crucial entry-level market.”

Analysts viewed the combined impact of rising home prices and mortgage rates as obstacles to affordability that would disproportionately affect first-time and moderate-income homebuyers.

Building permits held steady in March with 1.87 million permits issued at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace; analysts expected a reading of 1.82 million building permits issued. Likewise, housing starts were unchanged in March from February’s seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.79 million housing starts. Analysts predicted a reading of 1.73 million housing starts.

The National Association of Realtors® reported a slower pace of sales for previously-owned homes in March.5.77 million pre-owned homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual pace as compared to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.93 million previously-owned homes sold in February. Rising mortgage rates and home prices sidelined some first-time and moderate-income buyers and caused sales of previously-owned homes to fall.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages surpassed five percent last week at 5.11 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 21 basis points to 4.38 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by six basis points on average to 3.75 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell last week with 184,000 first-time claims filed as compared to 186,000 initial claims filed in the previous week. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 1.42 million claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 1.45 million continuing jobless claims filed. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on home prices, new and pending home sales, and reports on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published. 

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Selling Your Home? Understanding Why a Buyer Might Withdraw — and How to Win Them Back

Posted in Home Seller Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 22nd, 2022

Selling Your Home Understanding Why a Buyer Might Withdraw and How to Win Them BackIt may seem like the hard part is over once you’ve received a few offers on your home and are preparing for the negotiation process. Unfortunately, anything can happen until the papers and signed and this means that potential homebuyers can back out. If you’re dealing with a wavering bidder and are wondering how you can win them back, here are some reasons they might withdraw and how you may be able to win them over.

The Price Is Too High

It’s possible that when it comes to negotiating, many interested parties will offer to put down a little more than they otherwise would have; however, when it comes to sealing the deal, they may realize the price is a little higher than what they wanted to spend. Instead of letting the negotiations fall through, consider lowering your price slightly to give the potential homebuyer a hook. You don’t have to lower your price by a significant margin, but it will let them know that you’re still interested in selling to them.

An Unresponsive Negotiation

The power may be in your hands when someone is interested in your home, but it’s still very important to stay responsive so that you can ensure a potential homebuyer won’t lose interest. If you may have rubbed someone the wrong way with a slow response time, ensure that you reach out and keep them aware of the process and your timeline. It may seem like a small gesture, but it means a lot to someone who is interested in your home and may be working under a time crunch.

Still Not Convinced?

There are a variety of reasons that a homebuyer may withdraw from negotiations, whether it’s the neighborhood or too much home or they’ve found a better deal. But, if you’re really interested in the offer you’ve received, you may want to consider offering a little extra in order to win them back. Whether you decide to pay their closing costs or provide a closer move-in date, there are plenty of little things you can do that will make them re-consider their options.

There are many reasons that a buyer might withdraw their offer on your home, but by being communicative and offering some extras you may be able to re-negotiate a deal. If you’re currently preparing to put your home on the market, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

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The Top Signs Of Readiness To Own A Home

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 21st, 2022

The Top Signs Of Readiness To Own A HomeOne of the top ways to build wealth is to own a home; however, it can be challenging to qualify for a home loan. Not everyone has the finances to maintain a house, and some people might not be ready to settle down for a prolonged amount of time. Therefore, everyone has to think carefully before deciding homeownership is the right move. What are the top signs that someone is ready to be a homeowner? 

There Is Enough Money for a Down Payment

One of the top signs that someone is ready to be a homeowner is that they have enough money for a down payment. Even though it might be possible for someone to qualify for a first-time home loan with only 3.5 percent down, this might not be the best financial move. Putting more money down could secure a lower interest rate, helping someone save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

The Credit Score Is High Enough

For someone to afford a home, they need to have a solid credit score. A credit score is a reflection of someone’s financial character. Most lenders have a minimum credit score someone has to achieve before they can qualify for a home loan. There are many credit monitoring systems that will provide a free credit report, so potential homeowners should frequently check the report and make sure there are no inaccuracies. Then, when the credit score is high enough, it might be time to apply for a home loan. 

Geographic Stability

Finally, potential homeowners should make sure they are going to stay in one place for the foreseeable future. There is not a lot of stability when renting. A landlord could decide to terminate the lease, or they could decide to sell the property entirely. This is not an issue with homeownership. If someone is not planning on moving in the near future, they should consider buying a house. 

Consider The Prospect Of Homeownership

These are a few of the top signs someone is ready to own a home. Anyone who is tired of throwing money away on rent should consider purchasing a home instead. This is one of the top ways to build wealth and save for retirement.

 

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Many Millennials Need More Space

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 20th, 2022

Many Millennials Need More SpaceThere are many Millennials who are looking for a home, and many of them are getting ready to trade up for more space. If you think you need more space, you may have more buying power than you realize. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a lot of changes, and you might be able to use the equity in your home to purchase a bigger house with more features.

Why Millennials Are Looking For Bigger Homes

There are a few reasons why many Millennials are looking for bigger homes. First, the coronavirus pandemic forced many people to work from home. This meant that a lot of people, including Millennials, needed a home office. In some cases, this means looking for a home with an extra room. 

In addition, many Millennials have had children during the past few years. This means they need one or two extra bedrooms, and probably another bathroom. This means moving into a home that has more space. 

Millennials Can Use The Equity In Their Homes

A lot of Millennials are still cash-strapped by student loans, but they might have more buying power than they realize. Due to the skyrocketing home prices during the past few years, Millennials may have built up a lot of equity in their homes. They can tap into this equity by selling their current houses for a significant profit. Then, they can roll this profit into a bigger house with a home office, extra bedrooms, more bathrooms, and a variety of extra features. 

How To Choose A New Home

Many Millennials are ready to use their newfound purchasing power to purchase a bigger house, but it is important to find the right one. Just because the house has more space doesn’t necessarily mean it is laid out properly. The bedrooms have to be the right size, particularly if their children are going to have a lot of toys. The home office also needs to be in a location where people will not be distracted while working. Finally, it might be beneficial to find a home office that can be used for more than one purpose. Some Millennials may be getting ready to go back to a physical office in the near future, and it would be beneficial to have a home office that can be used for different things. 

 

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