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What Kind of Spring Will It Be for Home Sales?

by Home Actuin News

What Kind of Spring Will It Be for Home Sales?

 

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, there’s good news from Freddie Mac. The mortgage market giant is predicting 2015 will be a terrific year for home sales.

“Between now and the end of June, we'll see about 40 percent of all home sales for the year,” said Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “Overall, we're feeling good about housing and we expect this year to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007 when we saw total home sales about 5.8 million for the year."

Improved job prospects have started to drive those aged 25-34 back to the labor force, with 76.8 percent employed as of last month, up from 75.9 percent last year. That means more Americans have income available to purchase homes or save a downpayment.

As rents rise, young people will pay at or above inflation in 2015; therefore, more renters will see homeownership as a better option. Nationally, rents increased an average of 3.6 percent in 2014 and nearly 11 percent over the last three years.

Those who decide to buy will likely find mortgage interest rates remain reasonable by historic standards. Freddie Mac is predicting the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage will be 4 percent for the year.

6 Questions To Help You Choose The Right Paint

by Home Action News

6 Questions To Help You Choose The Right Paint

 

Most paint retailers sell a dizzying array of coatings, and that can make it difficult for anyone to pick the right paint.

Even so, there is a way to streamline your paint selection. Answer these six questions from the Paint Quality Institute. They’ll help guide you through the maze and make clear which interior paint is best for you.

1. How sensitive are you to paint smell?

If you dislike the smell of paint, you should focus on water-based latex paints, which have little or no odor compared to oil-based coatings.

Latex paints also make cleanup easy and they perform well on all interior surfaces. These advantages help explain why latex paints are overwhelmingly favored by do-it-yourselfers and professional painters alike.

2. Will there be much activity in the space you are painting?

Walls and woodwork can easily become soiled if there is a lot of activity in a room. In that case, it’s best to use a high gloss or semi-gloss paint, which will resist stains and be much easier to clean.

However, if your room will see little activity, you should feel free to use any level of sheen – from flat paint to a high gloss finish.

3. What atmosphere do you want to create in the room?

If your hope is to make the space cozy, then consider using a “warm” hue, like yellow, orange or red; if you want the room to have a cool feel, then choose a blue or green paint.

4. Do you wish the dimensions of the room were bigger or smaller?

If you think the space seems cramped, you can alter the perception by selecting the right color of paint. Light paint colors make a room seem larger; darker colors make it feel more intimate.

5. How often do you typically repaint?

If you paint only infrequently, you’ll want to be sure to apply a very durable paint that will continue to look good over time. In that respect, the best option is to use a top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint.

6. How much time do you want to spend on this project?

If you have limited time, or simply want to complete the painting quickly, then consider using a “paint and primer” product that works like two coatings in one. You’ll very likely need to apply fewer coats, which will greatly speed up the job.

Want to repaint your home but have no time to do it yourself? Contact me and I’ll refer you to some great home improvement folks who will do it for you.

How To Tell If It's Time To Refinance Your Home Loan

by Home Action News

How To Tell If It's Time To Refinance Your Home Loan

 

To determine whether you should consider refinancing your home loan, you can compare the costs of getting a new mortgage with the savings you would get from a reduced interest rate.

You may also want to consider refinancing to a different type of mortgage, such as switching from a 5-year balloon to a 15-year fixed rate mortgage.

Here is an example and a work sheet that will help you determine if refinancing makes sense for you. You may want to print this article and use the worksheets.

Refinancing Example

Rick and Carol have a home they bought three years ago for $300,000 and they have five years remaining on balloon mortgage of $200,000 with an interest rate of 4.25 percent.

Their monthly payments are $983.88.

They intend to live in their home for several years and would like to lock in a 30-year mortgage with a 3.5 percent fixed rate.

Rick and Carol
New Mortgage Costs
Discount Points (in $) $ -
Origination Points (if any) $ 1500
Application Fee $ 475
Credit Check Fee $ -
Attorney Fees (yours) $ -
Attorney Fees (lender's) $ -
Title Search Fee $ -
Title Insurance Fee $ -
Appraisal Fee $ -
Inspections $ -
Local Fees (taxes, transfers) $ -
Other Fees $ 360
Total cost of new mortgage $ 2335
Calculating the Savings
Monthly payment on current mortgage $ 983.88
Monthly payment on new mortgage $ 898.09
Difference between two mortgage payments $ 85.79
Divide total fees on new mortgage by monthly savings - This is the number of months to recover your costs 27 months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this example, Rick and Carol would save almost $1,030 annually in mortgage payments and lock in a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Over the course of the mortgage they would pay about $31,000 less in total interest.

Work Sheet for You to Use
New Mortgage Costs
Discount Points (in $) $
Origination Points (if any) $
Application Fee $
Credit Check Fee $
Attorney Fees (yours) $
Attorney Fees (lender's) $
Title Search Fee $
Insurance Fee $
Appraisal Fee $
Inspections $
Local Fees (taxes, transfers) $
Other Fees $
Total Cost of New Mortgage $
Calculating your Savings
Monthly payment on current mortgage $
Monthly payment on new mortgage $
Difference between two mortgage payments $
Divide total fees on new mortgage by monthly savings - This is the number of months to recover your costs $

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Considerations

When you’re thinking of refinancing, you may also wish to consider refinancing a larger or smaller amount than the current balance of your mortgage.

If you have excess funds available and believe you will have a hard time earning a return from your investments that’s greater than the mortgage rate you’re paying, you may want to pay down your mortgage and get a new mortgage that is smaller.

If you need cash for other things, like college tuition or a new car, you may want to refinance a larger amount to cash out some of the equity in your home.

Remember that mortgage interest may be tax deductible if you itemize your deductions on your tax return. Consult your tax adviser to see how this may apply to your situation.

Final Thoughts

No interest rate environment lasts forever. Unfortunately there is no crystal ball that will tell you when rates have reached their lowest level.

Take action now to evaluate whether refinancing makes economic sense. Evaluating the type of mortgage you want, can help you be in control of one of your largest household expenses.

A good loan officer can show you several refinance options. Contact me if you need a referral.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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Contact Information

Photo of Frank Taglienti Real Estate
Frank Taglienti
Berkshire Hathaway PenFed REALTORS®
565 Benfield Road, Suite 100
Severna Park MD 21146
410-440-0824

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