Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Income Doesn't Determine Whether People Buy Homes, for Now

There is much conversation in the media and around the water cooler about the impact of the recently enacted tax reform on housing markets. The doubling of the standard deduction, the limits on state and local tax deductions, and the cap on mortgage interest deductions all reduce the financial incentive for homeownership.

What’s important to remember is that while money is important, the decision to buy has more to do with a household’s stage of life. It’s never just about the dollars and cents – although the hot housing market has made income a bigger factor, when it comes to down payments, than it used to be.

A new analysis of homeownership rates demonstrate that point: In general, married or partnered households have higher homeownership rates than households headed by single people. Similarly, older households tend to have higher homeownership rates than younger ones.

You may think it’s because older adults often have higher incomes, because they’ve spent longer working, or because married couples tend to make more, because their households often have two earners. While those assumptions about the greater earning power of older adults and couples are true, income doesn’t significantly impact homeownership rates within any subgroup except couples under the age of 35.

For example, older couples with dual incomes take in around $44,000 more in household income than older couples with only one earner, but having a second earner increases their national homeownership rate by only one percentage point to 82 percent. Similarly, adding an additional earner to your household as a young single, whether that person is a relative or a roommate, jumps the household’s median income by about $39,000 but drops the homeownership rate by a single percentage point to 19 percent. Similarly, adding a second earner to a partnered couple over age 35 increases median income by $44,000 but homeownership by only 0.4 percentage points to 81.7 percent.

For married or partnered couples under 35, the story is different: For that group, an extra earner means a nearly $33,000 increase in median annual income and a 13 percentage point boost in the homeownership rate to 49.8 percent.

The down payment hurdle

One way income has started to affect the homeownership rate during this century involves down payments, which are much easier to save with more money flowing into the bank.

We looked at down payments two ways: One was to suppose everyone was aiming to save for the current median valued home, rather than the most expensive home they could afford.

Using rough back-of-the-envelope math, the number of years it would take to put 20 percent down by saving 10 percent of their current household income each year varies substantially by household type.

Single earners would take more than 12 years, while partners with one income would take six to 8.5 years, and partners with two incomes would take 3.6 to 4.9 years.

There’s a clear distinction in homeownership among most of the life stage groups, indicating that people at different stages of life value homeownership differently. But the income factor within those groups makes little difference. Why? From this angle, whether people buy a home or rent is dominated by life stages – but what they can afford and save for is determined by income.

Another way to look at down payments is to consider what it looks like when incomes do not keep up with home values – and, in this case, we find that incomes have made a difference in homeownership rates over time.

Let’s suppose the typical household aims to buy the most expensive house it can afford on a monthly basis[1]. Assuming they save 10 percent of their household income every year (and home values and incomes don’t change), it would take households of all types more than ten years to build up enough for a 20 percent down payment.

In 2000, by the same back-of-the-envelope math, it would have taken only seven years.

This is one reason the overall homeownership rate dropped to 63.6 percent in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available for our breakouts, from 66.2 percent in 2000. For partnered households, the rate dropped 3.3 percentage points in that time to 74.5 percent. For single households, it fell 2.1 percentage points to 50.1 percent.

Age is a major factor here: The reduction in homeownership rates is pronounced for young partnered couples with dual incomes (down 8.7 percentage points to 49.8 percent), and even more severe for young partnered households with only one income (down 12.3 percentage points to 36.8 percent). Incomes for young partnered households with one person working haven’t made up for home value gains: Between 2000 and 2016, median income for young partnered households with one person working increased by only 20.4 percent, well below the almost 53 percent increase in median income for partnered households in general.

People will continue to break into the market when and how they can by buying cheaper homes, homes farther out, smaller homes—whatever is feasible. The rub is that as U.S. housing markets continue to burn hot, the feasible options become harder to find for more of us.

[1] We estimated the maximum home price such that basic homeowners’ expenses do not exceed 30 percent of median household income. Median household income was drawn from the 2016 American Community Survey micro-data provided by IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org. Homeowner expenses include the mortgage payment on a 30-year fixed-rate loan at prevailing mortgage rates with 20 percent down, property taxes at 1 percent of home value a year, assumed maintenance costs of 0.5 percent, and assumed homeowner’s insurance at 0.5 percent.

Article Source: https://www.zillow.com/research/income-not-determine-homeownership-18828/

Saturday, March 17, 2018

How to Save for a House in 10 Simple Steps

(Photo: Michael Dwyer, AP)

The housing market has rebounded sharply from its lows a few years ago. And with the job market improving and interest rates still relatively low by historical standards, many Americans are thinking seriously about buying a home right now.

The easy-money days of mortgage lending are long gone, however, and many banks are requiring bigger down payments.

Consider the median home price in America right now is $212,400. At just 5% down, that means you need more than $10,000 at closing for a typical home — and depending on the lender, your credit and local real estate market, you could need much more than that.

If you want to buy a house in the near future, that means building up some serious savings. Here are 10 simple steps to help you do just that:

•Create a monthly budget. You build savings by spending less than you earn. Therefore, any financial goals begin and end with your monthly family budget. It's important to be both honest and realistic about your spending habits out of the gate, and then stick with your fixed plan as much as possible. Electronic bill pay is a great tool here, because then your payments take care of themselves. Another option is to print out a list of your monthly expenses and check them off — both to make sure they get paid, but also to have the satisfaction of knowing you are on track.

•Quarantine your savings. Many people have trouble saving money because they simply see a lot of zeros in their bank account and assume that they are comfortably on track when they are not — or that they have wiggle room to spend. The simplest way to avoid this is to create a dedicated bank account just for your housing fund, and then quarantine it from any spending. You'll still have your regular checking account and debit cards to pay the rent or the cable bill, but that special savings account is off-limits no matter what.

•Make savings automatic. Once you have a dedicated savings account, tell your payroll department that you want a fixed amount sent there every payday via direct deposit and the balance sent to your checking account as usual. The savings will happen regularly this way, and you won't even notice as long as you've built a good family budget. The idea, as personal finance gurus like to say, is to pay yourself first so there's no excuses.

•Save 100% of any windfalls. Getting a $3,000 tax refund or a nice year-end bonus? While it's tempting to splurge a little even as you save a little, building up a down payment requires a lot of restraint. That applies both to your day-to-day expenses, as well as one-time infusions of cash. After all, if you've built a good budget, then you don't really "need" any of that money … so it's perfect for saving.

•Save in big chunks. Sure, you can save a few bucks each week by eating store-brand peanut butter instead of Jif. But you can make the biggest impact by cutting out the biggest expenses. Skipping your annual beach vacation won't be easy, and that rusty old car with the broken mirror may be a bit embarrassing to drive for another year … but snatching big bills where you can instead of pinching pennies is an effective way to build up savings quickly.

•Downsize before you upsize. Moving to a one-bedroom apartment from a two-bedroom apartment can drop your rent by 20% to 30% in most areas. If you don't have kids, it may be a smart move to live small before you move into your new home and then reallocate the unused rent into your housing fund. And an added bonus is that a smaller place will mean fewer boxes to move once you finally do find your dream home.

•Work more. Spending less is the obvious way to save, but working more and bringing home more money is also a great way to supercharge your savings. If you are eligible for overtime or additional work, take every opportunity that comes your way. And if you're not, consider taking a second job on the side even if it's only a few days or a few projects each month.

•Save less for retirement. If you have a 401(k) match, it's still a good idea to save enough in order to qualify for that employer-sponsored contribution. But typically, matches stop at 6%, so saving for a house may mean capping your retirement contributions there and instead allocating the additional cash toward your down payment. Remember, a house is also an asset … so you are simply saving for the future in a different way. Another option for first-time home buyers is to actually use retirement savings in your IRA to fund the purchase. In many cases, you can withdraw $10,000 without penalties from your retirement fund to help fund your home purchase.

•Ask for support. Much like going on a diet, staying on a strict savings plan is much easier with the support of the people around you. If your buddies are always inviting you to happy hour or your sister-in-law invites you shopping each weekend, the temptation and stress are going to be an issue. Make sure your friends and family know how your behavior is changing so they can meet you halfway.

•Don't punish yourself. The math of saving for a house may be straightforward, but the emotions of saving are very complex. If saving feels painful or frustrating every single day, you're much less likely to be successful at it. So, rather than let the frustration build up after you deny yourself every discretionary expense, take comfort in a simple pleasure once in a while. Cut down on eating out, but consider cooking a fancy dinner once a week at home with premium ingredients. Cut down on going to movies, but perhaps subscribe to Netflix instead. The idea is to save money, not to spend zero, and you will find it much easier to save if you're actually enjoying your life while doing so.

Article Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/09/14/home-mortgage-save-budget/15466845/

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

11 Ways To Raise Your Credit Score, Fast

A recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling indicates that more people would be embarrassed to admit their credit scores (30%) than their weight (12%).

While crash diets don’t usually work and can be unhealthy, it is possible to change your credit score fairly quickly. But just as with weight loss, “quickly” is a relative term. Seeing any improvement could take 30 to 60 days, according to Liz Weston, personal finance columnist and author of Your Credit Score, Your Money & What’s At Stake.

But nothing will change at all if you just sit there on the couch, eating Cheetos and charging items on the Home Shopping Network. So get moving!

The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. The three major credit reporting bureaus must give you one free copy per year, so plan to order one every four months.

Then use one or more of the following tips to boost that three-digit number that has increasing power over our everyday lives.

1. Dispute errors. Mistakes happen. You can dispute errors online through Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. After you’ve fixed any foul-ups, you might try to…

2. Negotiate. You can’t deny that you stopped paying a credit card bill when you were unemployed last year. But you can ask creditors to “erase” that debt or any account that went to collection. Write a letter offering to pay the remaining balance if the creditor will then report the account as “paid as agreed” or maybe even remove it altogether. (Note: Get the creditor to agree in writing before you make the payment.)

You might also be able to ask for a “good-will adjustment.” Suppose you were a pretty good Visa V -0.5% customer until that period of unemployment, when you made a late payment or two – which now show up on your credit report. Write a letter to Visa emphasizing your previous good history and ask that the oopsies be removed from the credit report. It could happen. And as long as you’re reading the report, you need to…

3. Check your limits. Make sure your reported credit limits are current vs. lower than they actually are. You don’t want it to look as though you’re maxing out the plastic each month. If the card issuer forgot to mention your newly bumped-up credit limit, request that this be done.

4. Get a credit card. Having one or two pieces of plastic will do good things to your score – if you don’t charge too much and if you pay your bills on time. In other words, be a responsible user of credit.

Can’t get a traditional card? Try for a secured credit card, taking care to choose one that reports to all three major credit bureaus. And if you can’t get a secured card, you might ask to…

5. Become an authorized user. This means convincing a relative or friend to be added to his or her existing credit card account. If you’ve had a checkered financial history, don’t be surprised if you hear the word “no” a lot. But you might luck out, especially if you’re a young person who has no history of poor credit use.

Offer to put an agreement in writing stating how much you can spend and how you will get your share of the bill to the cardholder. Then “do your part and use the card responsibly,” says Beverly Harzog, author of Confessions of a Credit Junkie. In other words, don’t buy more than you can afford and don’t leave your co-signer hanging when the bill is due. The point is to learn to use credit responsibly.

6. Under-use your cards. Yes, we did just tell you to get credit by any means possible. But don’t whip out the plastic to pay for everything. The “credit utilization ratio” should be no more than 30% and ideally even less. Harzog says that a 10% credit utilization ratio will “maximize this part of your FICO score.”

For example, suppose your Mastercard has a $1,500 limit and you routinely charge a grand a month. It doesn’t matter if you pay it all off before it’s due. What matters is the credit bureaus think “Curtis is using two-thirds of his credit! What a spendthrift!” And if you’re a cash-free kind of guy? Then try to…

7. Raise your credit limit. Ask your creditors to increase your limit, i.e. making that Mastercard good for up to $3,000. Be careful with this one, though: It works only if you can trust yourself not to increase your spending habits accordingly. Otherwise you’ll be right back to using 66% of your credit each month and how will that look?

Article Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2014/05/02/11-ways-to-raise-your-credit-score-fast/#229e5a194bd7

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Guide for First-Time Home Buyers

The biggest purchase you will ever make is buying a home and before you jump into home ownership, you have to make sure you are prepared. CBS MoneyWatch reporter Jill Harding joins CBSN to discuss what to consider when purchasing a home.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Your Next Home Could Be Made of Bacteria

Home construction is changing. Buildings of the future may be made with naturally grown materials and designed to withstand dramatic weather events like floods.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Ready, Set, Rec!

Recreation Manager Reggie Hubbard tells us about some of the fun activities taking place for everyone in the City of Vacaville, from kids to adults and seniors!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Don't Waste Your Time!: Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval

You've made that very personal decision, to consider buying a house of your own! You may have put off this moment, for a variety of reasons, including; indecisiveness; geographic; job-related; financial, etc, but now, you think, you're ready! So, what should you do first! The logical first-step is to discuss finance, and the all-important mortgage information, with a qualified mortgage broker or banker. If you have received a recommendation from someone you trust, and is knowledgable, begin with a conversation with that professional. If not, interview, and hire, a real estate professional, who will take care of your needs, and provide you with recommendations of reliable mortgage professionals. Either way, be certain to get a Mortgage Pre-Approval, before you begin your quest for the house of your dreams.

1. A pre-qualification is not a pre-approval: Beware, there is huge difference between being pre-qualified, and pre-approved! The former means that based on the basic information you have provided, you would be able to qualify to get a certain size mortgage. On the other hand, the latter means the broker/bank, has done a thorough review of your income, liabilities, etc, as they would before they issued a mortgage, and, as long as the house comps out, you will get a mortgage.

2. Other debts/liabilities: Lending institutions use a formula to determine how much mortgage one might qualify for. It takes into consideration all debt owed, and that combined with your new mortgage debt, cannot exceed a certain percentage. That is, in addition to, the mortgage must fall within a certain percentage of one's income.

3. What can you afford as a down-payment?: Traditionally, you are asked to put down 20% down-payment, and you can then use your mortgage for the balance. However, there are loans available, which require less down, but that means a higher monthly payment! You may also be in a position to put down more, and carry a smaller mortgage. This must be a combination of what you can actually afford, as well as your comfort level.

4. What can you afford monthly: The lending institution will come up with a maximum figure, they say you can carry monthly. They base this as a percentage of one's income. However, you may not feel comfortable with that amount of debt, so you must take that into consideration. All this valuable information will help you decide the price ranges you should look at, when you search for a home.

5. Move to the front of the line: Let's say you've taken into consideration the above information, and now are prepared and ready, to begin your search, in earnest. You have searched, and found the house you want, but others feel the same way. When there are competing offers, the buyer with a Pre-Approval, often is given more consideration, because it is considered a better bet, for the seller.

It is the responsibility of a qualified real estate professional to help you find the right house, at the best available price, with the least amount of hassle or wasted time! Make it easier on yourself, by beginning properly, by getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_Brody/492539

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9501868

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Why Vacaville? - Synder Filtration

Jeff Yeh, President of Synder Filtration talks about the company's history, and why Vacaville has been great location for them to grow and expand over the years.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Real Estate Closings: 5 Needs To Remember

Congratulations! You've hoped for, and found, the house, you believe, best serves your needs, requirements, concerns, etc. If you are like most people, you will be using a mortgage, to provide a significant amount of the necessary payment, and gone through the trials and tribulations of the process, and emerged successfully approved, for the amount you needed and/ or desired. Finally, before the deed on the house, transfers from the present owner, to you, you will have to emerge from what many first - time buyers, refer to, as the dreaded, real estate closing. Let's review 5 things, which may be requested from you, so you aren't surprised, but rather are as prepared as possible, thus making this, go far more smoothly, and with less stress!

1. Where the earnest money came from: Lending institutions often question, where one got the funds, to put down, also known as the earnest money. For example, if a property sells for $500,000, and you are to put 20% down, that means $100,000 down - payment. Generally, when you sign the contract, you will be expected to put an amount down, known as earnest money. This amount is often 10%, so in this case, someone would put $50,000 down, upon signing the contract, and a similar amount payable at the closing. You might often be asked to show where this money came from, by submitting a few months bank statements, or investment statements, etc.

2. Tax returns: Mortgage banks and brokers, generally require the buyer, to submit the two, most recent, years, tax returns. This is generally done, by signing a form, permitting, them to get these from the government. Be prepared to answer anything, which might tend to be somewhat confusing!

3. Investment statements: Gather the investment statements from your investments. Generally, you will be asked, also, for the past year, or two, and especially, the most recent few quarters.

4. Bank statements: You'll have to provide, at least, the last 2 bank statements, and some might ask for 3 or 4. Be certain these indicate, clearly, you can afford the home, you are purchasing.

5. Know your credit rating: Do you have a, high - enough, credit rating, to assure the lending institution? The best approach, is to fully evaluate this, carefully, prior to begin your house - hunting!

There are many other closing requirements, but the above 5, are consistent, and, if one is prepared properly, should be no problem! As the Boy Scout Motto goes, Be prepared!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_Brody/492539

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9760917

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Vacaville? - Wunder Mold

Tom Cheddar, General Manager at Wunder-Mold, talks about some of the things that make Vacaville an attractive place for his business.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Which Mortgage Program Is Best For You?

There are many types of mortgages. It is to your advantage to know about each mortgage type before you start searching for your next home. Most people apply for a fixed-rate mortgage. In a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same for the term of the loan, which can range from 10 to 30 years. The advantage of a fixed-rate mortgage is that you always know exactly how much your mortgage payment will be, and you can plan for it, although your property taxes and home owner's insurance may change during the repayment term of your mortgage. Another type of mortgage is an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). With this type of mortgage, your interest rate and monthly payments usually start lower than a fixed rate mortgage. But your rate and payment can change either up or down, as often as once or twice a year. The adjustment is tied to a financial index, such as the U.S. Treasury Securities index.

The advantage of an ARM is that you may be able to afford a more expensive home because your initial interest rate will be lower. There are several government mortgage programs, including the Veteran's Administration's programs, the Department of Agriculture's programs, Federal Housing Administration mortgages, and conventional loans. Thoroughly discuss your financial situation with your real estate broker about the various loan options, before you begin shopping for a mortgage.

Below is a brief description of the 4 main mortgage types. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac (conventional financing) all have different guidelines and down payment requirements. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the most recent sudo-government agencies to launch minimal down payment programs. There are also various down payment assistance programs available to first time home buyers, recent graduates, and low-income households. Most down payment assistance programs have income and sales price limitations and repayment requirements.

• Conventional Financing - Conventional mortgage loans require a minimum 3% down payment. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required unless there is a 20% down payment or lender paid PMI is offered by the mortgage company. Mortgages are offered for owner occupants and investors.

• FHA Financing - This financing type requires a minimum of 3.50% down. FHA allows approved nonprofit organizations and/or family members to assist homebuyers with the down payment requirement. Upfront and monthly mortgage insurance is required. Only owner occupied financing is offered.

• Veterans Administration - Honorably discharged veterans or active-duty personnel in the US military who meet specified qualifications are eligible for no down payment mortgage financing. VA Mortgages requires an upfront funding fee unless the veteran is disabled. VA mortgages require no monthly mortgage insurance, but are available to owner occupants only.

• USDA Financing - This mortgage program is available through the United States Department of Agriculture. This loan type allows zero down financing for owner-occupied properties in designated rural areas. Income and sales price limitations apply. An upfront and monthly fee is required. There are two distinct loan types, which include guaranteed and direct loans.

Each of these loan types offer different features and should be fully investigated to determine which loan type fits your credit and financial situation. It is always in your best interest to be pre-approved prior to looking for a new home.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Zuren_PhD./1966583

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9726888

Friday, February 9, 2018

Why Vacaville? - ICON Aircraft

Karl Higgins, director of Government Relations for ICON Aircraft, explains why ICON chose Vacaville for its headquarters and manufacturing plant over numerous sites throughout the United States.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Get Pre-Approved Before Buying Your Next Home

Prior to looking for a home, the first step you should take in the home buying process is to complete a mortgage pre-approval with a knowledgeable and trustworthy lender. Be sure to provide honest and accurate information to your lender. This will help the loan officer find the best mortgage options for you and ensure the fastest and smoothest loan approval process. The following suggestions will help expedite the loan process.

• Read All Documents - Make sure you thoroughly read all the loan documents. Ask your loan officer to explain anything that you do not understand. Never sign blank or incomplete documents.

• Be Truthful - Truthfully disclosure all your income sources and debts. Do not fabricate or alter any documents.

• Explain Your Employment History - Thoroughly explain and document any part-time employment or gaps in your employment history.

• Source and Document Your Funds - All gifts must be fully documented with a paper trail. Do not accept cash as a gift from a relative for the down payment. Only seasoned funds are acceptable as gifts.

• Credit Issues - Thoroughly explain and document all past credit problems.

• Educate - Ask your loan officers to explain the terms of the loan, including any prepayment penalties, variable rate features, and any stipulations on how to eliminate private mortgage insurance.

Once your pre-approval has been issued by the lender, be sure to ask your loan officer to review with you all the loan programs your pre-approval includes. If you are a first time home buyer, you may qualify for down payment assistance, a zero down mortgage, or a special interest rate. While looking for a new house, you may find a property that needs a renovation loan or a condominium that can only be financed with a particular loan type. If you are looking a newer house, a construction or draw loan may be the best mortgage type for you. Be sure you thoroughly understand all your financing options before finding the house of your dreams. During the house-hunting process, keep an open line of communication with your loan officer and discuss financing options and inform your lender of any major financial changes that happen between the date your mortgage pre-approval was issued and the loan closing. If any changes occur to your financial situation, such as: a new job, new loans, or large gift that you intend to use towards the down payment, be sure to inform your loan officer so he is aware of these changes.

Keeping your lender updated will eliminate delays and the surprise of a possible mortgage denial. Having a mortgage denied due to changes in your financial picture, especially after telling your friends and family you bought a house can be embarrassing and heartbreaking. Be sure to talk to your lender, so you have a thorough understanding of the mortgage requirements and programs available to you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Zuren_PhD./1966583

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9502969

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ready, Set, Rec! - February

Community Services Director Kerry Walker talks about the many activities and events being offered by the City of Vacaville!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Why Vacaville? - All Weather Architectural Aluminum

Sarah Harper of All Weather Architectural Aluminum discusses the benefits of her family's business relocating in Vacaville in 1980. less traffic, employee availability, and quality of life.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Before You Need It | Consumer Reports

Once you place them in the right spots around your home, knowing how to use fire extinguishers when you need them is crucial. Here's an easy way to remember if that time comes.

Monday, January 22, 2018

First Time Home Buyer Basics

If you have been renting for years, unfortunately you have nothing to show for all the rent money you have given to your landlord. Due to the benefits of homeownership you may be considering purchasing a home. There are a variety of advantages that homeowners enjoy as compared to renters. These advantages include: tax deductions, appreciation, control over their property, and stability. Before buying a house you should consider how home-ownership will affect your employment, family, and financial situation. Once you have weighed the pros and cons of purchasing a house, if you decide to become a homeowner the following steps will help you prepare.

Step One: Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage

Talk to your family and friends and ask them to refer a mortgage professional that they have had a good experience with. You will need to provide your pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and other personal information to your mortgage lender. Often being able to meet face to face with your mortgage loan officer will reduce stress and will help you stay better informed during the loan approval process. Make sure that you apply for a fully underwritten mortgage pre-approval. Many lenders will just pre-qualify individuals for a mortgage. A pre-approval will take longer to complete, but it will eliminate unforeseen issues such as: verified funds, past credit issues, and other potential problems and delays.

Step Two: Look For Your New Home

Once again, you should talk to your family and friends and ask them to refer a licensed real estate professional that they have used in the past. You may spend a lot of time discussing home options and looking at potential houses with your real estate agent, so it is important to be able to rely and trust their opinion and expertise. Knowledgeable real estate agents should be able to listen to your wants and needs in a house; then be able to honestly tell you what you can afford and the areas you can find the most house for your budget.

Step Three: Formal Loan Processing

Prior to signing your purchase agreement and submitting your offer through your real estate agent, you should contact your loan officer and ask for a loan estimate. The loan estimate is a detailed breakdown of your costs to close and monthly payment on the house you are considering purchasing. Ask your lender for a reasonable closing time frame and make sure your real estate agent writes in an appropriate closing date in the purchase agreement. Thorough communication will typically eliminate confusion and frustration during the mortgage process. At this point, time is of the essence, so when your lender asks for additional information, try to provide it as soon as possible. If you are unsure why the additional information is needed, ask for an explanation of why it is required, but provide the information in a timely manner.

Step Four: Closing

Once your loan is approved, you should receive a closing disclosure from your lender or the title company. Usually this disclosure is emailed to you and then must be e-signed before your closing appointment can be set. Lenders are also required to have the closing disclosure signed at least three days prior to the closing papers being signed. Once the closing papers are signed, the loan can officially file at the courthouse, which transfers the house into the borrower(s) name.

Step Five: Moving Day

Prior to the closing on your new house, make sure you talk to your real estate agent about when and whom to contact regarding transferring the utilities into your name. It is also a good idea to thoroughly clean your new house and change the locks prior to your official moving day.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Zuren_PhD./1966583

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9463790

Friday, January 19, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet | Consumer Reports

If you tend to create a crumpled mess when folding a fitted sheet, this video is for you. In a few easy steps, Consumer Reports' textile expert shows you how to fold a fitted sheet so it looks better and takes up less space wherever you store it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

3 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers | Money | TIME

First-time home buyers: Do your research, and don't rush into it. Here's some advice from Ryan Serhant, host of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing New York

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

7 Steps to Buying a House!

In which we discuss how to buy a house, including how a mortgage works (with a quick mortgage calculator), realtors, home inspections, and how the heck to do price negotiation!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Refreshing a Pillow in 3 Easy Steps | Consumer Reports

Freshening up a tired pillow is simple to do. Just follow these tips from Consumer Reports' experts.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

7 Residential Real Estate Features to Examine Closely

Purchasing residential real estate is pretty exciting for most buyers. However, you must not let your eagerness to close a deal hinder your view of the home's features. It is wise to take your time and examine certain amenities closely.


More than likely, the built-in kitchen appliances in your prospective home will be included in the real estate purchase. The stove and oven range, dishwasher, microwave, and possibly a refrigerator will be part of the deal. You may even be negotiating the procurement of the washer and dryer. It is imperative that you review the age, condition, and any existing warranties on these appliances. Open the doors and take a peek inside. Do not assume that a nice exterior is indicative of the interior. You want to avoid the need to service these items shortly after moving into the home.


Inspect the carpet, tile, wood, granite, slate, or other solid floor surfacing in each room. Note any possible cracks, creaks, or discoloration. Determine what kind of maintenance the flooring will need and how often. If the home has carpeting, ask about the flooring underneath. You may be surprised to find beautiful hardwood floors that have been covered. Be sure to survey the carpet for stains and unusual wear and tear.


Be sure to look up: cracks and water spots are telltale signs of structural damage. Peruse the ceilings of the closets and inspect the attic as well.

Walls and Doors

Scrutinize the walls for stud and nail holes resulting from pictures that were hung previously. Look for voids due to removed outlets and shelving. Make sure the walls are not in need of a fresh coat of paint and test the doors to ensure that they close properly and are hung well on the frames.

Air Conditioning and Heating Systems

Heating and air conditioner units and hot water heaters are costly to repair if they are not in good condition. Obtain a report from your realtor regarding their maintenance. Are these devices operated by gas or electricity? Knowing this will help you gauge your monthly expenses for its use.

Bathroom Fixtures and Plumbing

Review the condition and functionality of the bathroom fixtures. Turn on the water in the sinks and showers and flush the toilets. Examine if there are any delays in water flow and listen for abnormal sounds. Will the vanity knobs need to be replaced soon?

Expansion Possibilities

Sometime in the future, you may want to build an addition to your home. A sunroom or patio deck on the rear of the residence may be an option. Perhaps you might want to put a swimming pool in the backyard, so it's a good idea to decide whether you would be able to do this based on the lot size and square footage. Even if you do not think you will want to expand, consider the resale value of your real estate for the next owner.

These seven features are essential facets of a residence. By gathering information on their advantages and disadvantages, you can make informed decisions about their inclusion in your buying experience.

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

May opportunity and prosperity come knocking on your door. Have a prosperous and healthy New Year!