3 Traps First-Time Homebuyers Fall Into — And How To Avoid Them

3 Traps First-Time Homebuyers Fall Into -- And How To Avoid ThemWhen someone purchases their first home, this is a significant step. There are a number of issues that people need to think about because purchasing a home is typically someone’s most significant investment.

With this in mind, there are three common traps that first-time homebuyers often fall into. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these traps as well.

Looking At Homes Before Applying For A Mortgage

Perhaps the biggest mistake that people make is that they look for homes before they apply for a mortgage. Without a successful mortgage application, it will be difficult to find a home at all. Of course, people enjoy looking at homes because it puts their future into perspective. At the same time, it is important to have an idea of how much home someone can afford. This will be difficult to do without knowing how large of a mortgage someone will be approved for. Apply for a mortgage before looking at homes.

Draining The Savings Account

Most people will want to put down some sort of a down payment. After all, this can help one get a lower interest rate on their mortgage. At the same time, don’t think about the down payment as simply a number in the savings account. Calculate how much of a down payment is truly necessary. People shouldn’t have to drain their entire savings account for the down payment. This money might be needed for closing costs, home repairs, and other potential emergencies. 

Not Working With Trusted Professionals

The internet has provided people with instant access to vast amounts of information. This has the benefit of allowing the new home buyer to educate themselves and do research on homes to purchase, mortgage financing options and a lot of other home buying topics. However, the internet can also provide incorrect information or only partial information. 

That’s why it’s so important to work with trusted real estate and mortgage professionals who have your best interest in mind. Feel free to ask them a lot of questions and get specific answers about your personal financial situation and home purchasing needs. They are trained and have years of experience making sure that you get the best combination of things to serve your needs.

Purchasing A Home

These are a few of the most important issues that every first-time homebuyer should think about. It can make a significant difference in someone’s financial future. Pay attention to these and reach out to your local network of trusted professionals today!

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FOMC Statement: Fed Holds Steady On Its Interest Rate Range

FOMC Statement: Fed Holds Steady On Its Interest Rate RangeThe Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced its unanimous decision not to change to the current target federal funds range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent. The committee’s customary post-meeting statement said the decision not to change the Fed’s target range for federal funds was based on factors including a strong labor market, moderate economic growth, continued job growth, and low unemployment.

Economic readings reviewed prior to the FOMC meeting held Tuesday and Wednesday supported the achievement of the committee’s dual mandate to achieve maximum employment and maintain price stability.

According to the post-meeting statement issued on December 11, FOMC members consistently review incoming global and domestic economic news to determine if the Fed’s monetary policy should be adjusted. Chair Powell signaled that the federal funds rate may not change in 2020, but repeated the FOMC’s frequently-repeated caveat that monetary policy is subject to change as world news and economic conditions may warrant.

Expected And Realized Economic Conditions Contribute To Fed’s Monetary Policy

FOMC members reviewed their expectations of economic performance and compared them with actual readings in evaluating economic performance as connected to the Federal Reserve’s dual mandates of maximum employment and price stability. Low unemployment and overall inflation readings near two percent supported the Committee’s decision not to change the target range for the federal funds rate.

Fed Chair Expects Strong Economy To Continue

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a scheduled press conference that he and his colleagues in the Federal Open Market Committee are confident that strong economic conditions will prevail over the next few years. Mr. Powell said that the Fed expects the national unemployment rate to remain near a 50-year low at approximately four percent; he said that the national unemployment rate is expected to remain low in the near-term. Chair Powell said that the economy has remained strong for 11 years; this is the record for the longest run of positive economic conditions.

Inflation remains below the Fed’s objective of 2.00 percent; Chair Powell said that the overall inflation rate averaged 1.30 percent, but core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors averaged 1.60 percent. Chair Powell said that the core inflation reading was a more reliable indicator of long-term inflation.

Jobs and wages increased in lower to middle-income communities, but the business and manufacturing sectors weakened. Mr. Powell suggested that the Fed would leave interest rates unchanged in 2020 unless economic and news events indicate that a change in the current monetary policy becomes necessary.

 

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How Much Do I Need To Start Investing In Real Estate?

How Much Do I Need To Start Investing In Real EstateIt is important for everyone to diversify their investments and one of the assets that people often look toward is real estate. In a healthy market, real estate should appreciate in value.

It is often less risky than investing in individual stocks and can provide a much higher return on investment than a typical bank savings account or even a money market account. On the other hand, people often think that they require a large amount of money to even think about investing in real estate. This is not always the case.

Buying Property Outright

One of the most straightforward ways to get started in the real estate investing market is to buy property outright in an area that is set to appreciate in value. Then, people can rent the property out to tenants as a way to generate a steady stream of income. This is why many people think that they need a large amount of money. Buying property is expensive and purchasing buildings in cash can be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are other ways.

Joining A Real Estate Partnership

Another option is to join a real estate partnership. In a partnership structure, the various members pool their money together to buy large buildings. These buildings might even include individual apartments that can be rented out. Joining a real estate partnership is a more feasible option to get started in the real estate investing market. People might even be able to join for as little as a few thousand dollars.

Buying Shares

Finally, there are real estate crowdfunding partnerships popping up as well. Joining a real estate crowdfunding group is similar to buying shares of a company in the stock market. This offers an opportunity for people to get involved in the real estate market for an even lower cost. This is becoming a more popular option across the United States.

Invest In Real Estate

In the end, people do not necessarily require a large amount of money to invest in real estate if they know where to look and who to ask. There are plenty of ways to get started in the real estate investing market. People only need to know where to turn.

Be sure to consult with your trusted mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.

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Can A Reverse Mortgage Impact Your Social Security Or Medicare Benefits?

Can A Reverse Mortgage Impact Your Social Security Or Medicare BenefitsOne of the most common worries that people have is money. When it comes to those golden retirement years, many people worry about running out of money. At the same time, most people who reach their retirement years have a lot of equity in their home.

Therefore, many people think about drawing on the equity in their home as a source of income. A reverse mortgage will allow someone to do exactly that. On the other hand, can receiving payments from a reverse mortgage impact the benefits that someone can receive from Social Security or Medicare?

The Basics Of A Reverse Mortgage

First, people need to think about what a reverse mortgage truly means. When someone takes out a mortgage loan to purchase a home, they make regular monthly payments to the lender to repay this loan. A reverse mortgage is exactly that: a mortgage in reverse.

Instead, the bank pays the borrower. People withdraw money from the bank against the equity of the home. Then, this money doesn’t have to be repaid until someone sells the home, moves out of the house, or dies. Some of the fees that people may need to pay that are associated with a reverse mortgage include closing costs, origination fees, and insurance premiums.

Impact On Social Security And Medicare

First, people can rest easy. In general, a reverse mortgage is not going to have any impacts on someone’s Social Security benefits. The amount of income someone brings in from a reverse mortgage will not impact someone’s monthly benefits.

In addition, a reverse mortgage is not going to impact the benefits that someone receives from Medicare. On the other hand, it might impact someone’s Medicaid and SSI benefits (supplemental security income). Those who need clarification regarding this should speak with a trained and experienced attorney.

Is A Reverse Mortgage The Right Move?

Some people might be thinking about whether or not a reverse mortgage is right for them. It is important for everyone to think about their own individual financial situation because what is right for one person might not be right for the next. A reverse mortgage has the potential to provide someone with added financial security.

Every situation is different. Talk with your trusted mortgage financing professional to get the best advice on reverse mortgages and how one may affect your personal situation.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 9th, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 9th, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending and multiple labor sector reports including private and public sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on average mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Construction Spending Falls 0.80 Percent in October

Commerce Department reports on construction spending said that spending fell by 0.80 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.29 million. Analysts expected construction spending to increase by 0.40 percent based on September’s original reading of 0.50 percent growth, which was later revised to -0.30 percent.

Less construction of multifamily homes and apartments caused a decrease in October construction spending. Private construction spending fell by -1.00 percent in October; residential construction fell 0.90 percent as multi-family construction spending fell 1.60 percent after a 2.10 percent dip in September. Construction spending on single-family homes increased by 1.60 percent.

Low mortgage rates, a strong job market, and rising wages contributed to a strong demand for homes. Short inventories of available homes continued to pressure home builders to build more homes; construction of homes jumped 3.80 percent in October.

Mortgage Rates, Mixed, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported no change in the average rate of 3.68 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.14 percent and were one basis point lower than for the prior week.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages fell four basis points on average to 3.39 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims fell from the prior week’s reading of 213,000 claims to 203,000 claims filed last week. ADP reported 67,000 private-sector jobs added in November.

The federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report offset the dismal reading for private-sector job growth. 266,000 public and private sector jobs were added in November and surpassed expectations of 180,000 public and private sector jobs added.

Approximately 55,000 were accounted for as auto workers returned after a strike. 156,0000 public and private sector jobs were added in October. The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.50 percent in November and matched the reading for unemployment posted at the end of 1969.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on inflation, retail sales and the post-meeting statement from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a press conference after the FOMC statement. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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5 Essential Tips For Painting A House

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.  

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

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Should You Get A Second Mortgage To Pay For College?

Should You Get A Second Mortgage To Pay For CollegeCollege is expensive and everyone needs to think about how they are going to cover the costs. Some of the costs include tuition, room and board, meals, books, and spending money.

In order to pay for college, some people consider taking out a second mortgage instead of taking out a student loan. How can someone know if taking out a second mortgage is the answer for them? There are several factors to consider.

The Interest Rate

One of the factors that people need to consider is the interest rate on the second mortgage. The higher the interest rate, the more expensive the second mortgage is going to be.

The total cost of the second mortgage, including the interest rate, points, origination fees, and other expenses, must be weighed against the cost of attending college, which often comes in the form of a student loan. Which is going to be more cost-effective? The second mortgage or the student loan?

The Size Of The Loan

Another factor to consider is the size of the loan. Ultimately, the size of the loan is going to impact the final cost of attending college. The larger the loan, the more someone will have to pay in terms of interest. The size of the student loan should be compared to the cost associated with a second mortgage. 

The Tax Implications

Another aspect people need to consider is the tax implications. The interest on a first mortgage is tax-deductible. This is often the largest tax deduction that someone claims. People might assume that the interest on their second mortgage is going to be tax-deductible as well.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Interest on a second mortgage is tax-deductible only if the proceeds from that mortgage are going to be used to pay for the property. If they are being used to pay for education, they are not tax-deductible.

People need to compare the tax implications of a student loan versus the implications of a second mortgage.

Using A Second Mortgage To Pay For College

These are a few of the factors that everyone needs to think about when trying to finance the cost of higher education. These decisions can have significant impacts on someone’s financial future.

Consult with your trusted home financing professional for a review of your personal situation. They can guide you through the process to make the best decision for your family.

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