4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring

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Spring has sprung, and it’s a great time to buy a home! Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.
1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 4.4% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.6% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage came in at 4.41% last week. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.
3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?
4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.
Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

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Many homeowners believe that rising interest rates and home prices have scared away buyers and therefore have not listed their houses for sale. However, the truth is that buyers who were unable to find a home last year are out in force, and there are even more coming!

NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report revealed that:

“Approximately one-third (32%) of Americans plan to purchase a home in the next five years. Millennials are most likely to have such a purchase in their five-year plan (49%), versus 35% of Generation X and 17% of baby boomers.”

As we can see, buyers are optimistic! According to the report, here are the top reasons Americans plan to buy:

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The most common reason Americans prioritize buying is that they believe it’s a good investment!

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, 2019 is the perfect year to put your house on the market. But why?

  1. Buyers want to buy
  2. No competition!

At least 3 of the renowned organizations that report on real estate market trends predict that homeowners are going to wait until 2020 to list their homes, leading to a nice increase in sales (as shown in the graph below).

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Don’t wait for a competitive market; be ahead of the curve and sell your house at the best possible price!

Bottom Line

There are more and more buyers entering the market every day! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner looking to move-up to your next home, we can help you with your real estate needs!

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Tidying Up Tips Hit the Housing Market

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Written By: Melissa Reeves

Admit it — over the holiday break you found yourself binge watching the hit show with superstar organizing consultant Marie Kondo and quickly realized your place is not sparking much joy. Never fear! The KonMari Method is here and the tidying-up trend can give sellers and buyers the gentle nudge needed to organize their personal spaces or clean up their financial houses before showings or placing a bid.

WE HAVE LIFT OFF!
The theme behind the hip, tidying trend is that by making changes in our living space we create a catalyst for change and give ourselves the momentum we need to take charge in other areas of life. A nicely organized and de-cluttered home shows well and knowing your financial story before hunting for a new home sets you up for success.

SPARK TIME SAVINGS
Just like the KonMari method can help organize your home, buyers are encouraged to tidy up their credit to save time too. Buyers who know their credit score, debt to income ratio and come with pre-approved home loans are saving time and headaches in the house hunting process which can mean the difference between deal or no deal. By building a strong financial foundation before you shop, your bid on the house of your dreams will have time on its side.

SHOW STOPPERS
For sellers, once your belongings are scaled back, you can reclaim some of that time you wasted on running around, cleaning up before a scheduled showing. Many sellers say the ultra-approach to simplifying has changed their lives and it helps them with the quick-clean when they are showing their homes to prospective buyers. By staying on top of the little things, like that big stack of papers, mail and books piling up on the dining room table – it’s easier to give your space a quick-clean before a last-minute showing.

SENSE OF SATISFACTION
The tidying-up method can make our brains happy and leave us with a sense of accomplishment. Order matters in avoiding debt and financial stress too. Earn, save and enjoy is key in tackling those finances. Concentrate on being proactive with your finances and stay financially responsible as you try to qualify for a home loan. Having your financial house in order feels as good as organizing that messy hallway closet.

SHOW YOUR BEST SIDE
If you have your home on the market, simplifying a space can help you sell. Agents often tell sellers with big kitchens to clean out the useless items and create that extra space – this allows buyers to get a feel for the space and imagine where their own kitchen appliances would be placed or stored.

DECREASE FRUSTRATION
Buying or selling a home is hard, but the simple task of organizing can cut through the daily hassles of life. A well-organized home and a firm understanding of your finances can have wide-reaching effects on our mood, happiness and even relationships during the homebuying or selling period.

Source: REMAX.com

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here’s What To Watch

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As we kick off the new year, many families have made resolutions to enter the housing market in 2019. Whether you are thinking of finally ditching your landlord and buying your first home or selling your starter house to move into your forever home, there are two pieces of the real estate puzzle you need to watch carefully: interest rates & inventory.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

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With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000).

Inventory

A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 3.9-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 81 straight months.

The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last six months.

The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, since June, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

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This is a trend to watch as we move further into the new year. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter!

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Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Buyers: Don’t Be Surprised by Closing Costs!

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Many homebuyers think that saving for their down payment is enough to buy the house of their dreams, but what about the closing costs that are required to obtain a mortgage?

By law, a homebuyer will receive a loan estimate from their lender 3 days after submitting their loan application and they should receive a closing disclosure 3 days before the scheduled closing on their home. The closing disclosure includes final details about the loan and the closing costs.

But what are closing costs anyway?

According to Trulia:

Closing costs are lender and third-party fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction, and they can be financed as part of the deal or be paid upfront. They range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of a home. (For those who buy a $150,000 home, for example, that would amount to between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing fees.)”

Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. As mentioned before,

Closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price.

Trulia continues to give great advice, saying that:

“…understanding and educating yourself about these costs before settlement day arrives might help you avoid any headaches at the end of the deal.”

Bottom Line

Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Corn Mazes in Davis County

The mountains being peppered with changing colors means Halloween is just around the corner. Soon the allure of all the fun, exciting and even spooky adventures will be too strong resist. Give in to temptation with these corn mazes and other seasonal activities in Davis County.

  • Black Island Farmsbonnie-kittle-143218-unsplash

Utah’s largest corn maze offers plenty of family fun for everyone. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, Black Island Farms invites you to visit them September 23 through October 31. Aside from their large corn maze, they provide an animal alley, bonfires, a cow train, grain shoot slide, bounce house, pumpkin patch and more. Plan a visit or field trip today to their nightmare acres, harvest hayride, corn maze or more.

  • Tri City Nursery Straw Maze

The Tri City Nursery and Garden Center will host a Halloween straw maze located at 395 S. Deseret Drive, Kaysville through Oct. 31. Enjoy fun activities, fresh eats and a straw maze. Admission is free.

Other Halloween Events in the area:

  • Monster Mash and Dash

This October bring the whole family out for the Monster Mash and Dash 5K. Located at Heritage Park in Kaysville from 5 to 8 p.m. The event features a Zombie Dash for children ages 8 and under, a 5k race that routes runners along the city cemetery, pumpkin painting, princess party, spooky storytelling, pie eating contest and more.

  • Halloween BOO-NANZA

Every year the Clearfield Aquatic and Fitness Center creates a truly haunting experience at their annual Halloween Boo-nanza. Join other heroes and villains on Oct. 22. Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with the costume parade. Participants also can enjoy a haunted house, princess pumpkin patch, buccaneer balloon blast, train rides, spooky canoe rides and so much more. Admission is $7.50.

BUILDING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

A bad credit score can be a hindrance to your achieving many feats, including home buying and employment. Not building a good credit is risky which is why you need to learn more about it.oliur-745347-unsplash

Your credit history right from the beginning reflects on your credit score. It is possible to repair a bad credit but quite rigorous and slow. It is easier to just build a good credit score over time.

For beginners without credit history, this may be tricky but you are at an advantage.

  • Establish a Credit: With no prior credit history, there are some legal ways you can establish credit.
  1. Get a secured credit card – You are however required to make a cash deposit which will also represent your credit limit. Though temporary, but it will help you get an unsecure credit card.
  2. Find a co-signer – There needs to be an understanding between you and the co-signer because if you fail to repay, the co-owner must. The co-owner should be someone with a good credit score.
  3. Authorized user – You can become some other card user’s authorized user. Friends or family can give you access to their credit cards to help you build your own credit history. You are not legally bound to repay, but it is advisable that you do.
  4. Get a retail store credit card – You have a chance to show you can be responsible at handling money. You need this to reflect on your credit history, watch the interest rates on these cards though.
  5. Apply for student credit cards.
  • Build Credit Without Credit Cards:
  1. Apply for student loans, auto loans or other personal loans to help you build credit. However, you must endeavor to pay up on time or else, you will incur a bad credit score.
  2. Mortgages for home buying and rents are also viable means of kick starting your credit history.
  • Build Your Credit Responsibly: You do not want to adversely impact your credit score when you are building your credit history.

 

  • Never miss a payment – Even if you can only advance the minimum payment, please do so rather than late payment. Your payment history is a crucial factor on your credit score. Timely payment of credits and bills reflect positively on your credit score.
  • Borrow less – Do not borrow more than you can afford. Owe as little as possible and be responsible in your spending. Endeavor to have low credit utilization rate. Pay off your debt including mortgages when home buying. Don’t move them around to avoid bad credit score.
  • Open fewer new accounts – Do not fall into the temptation of opening numerous new accounts. It will lower your average account age.
  • Check your credit reports – It is pertinent that you request for your credit report from any authorized agencies. There may be errors in your report which you need to dispute with the credit bureau. You will be able to measure your progress with knowledge of your credit reports.

 

As you build your credit –

  • Get useful credit cards, manage them wisely and don’t let them go unused.
  • Leave your accounts open as this enhances your credit score.

Your Warm and Cozy Fall Checklist

Save time, hassle and money by preparing your home properly for the rigors of fall weather and old man winter. Taking care of a few little things now make a big scott-webb-59043-unsplashdifference later for you and your home. We have provided a checklist to get your home ready to tackle Fall head-on.

 

  • Schedule an HVAC inspection

 

You will want your furnace running in tip-top shape for the colder weather that is just around the corner. Ideally, a professional can inspect your heating system for noisy belts, poor performance, erratic behavior and more. You will also want to inspect and replace any return filters.

 

  • Check the roof

 

One of the worst problems to have as a homeowner is a leaky roof. Finding the source of the problem can be challenging if the dripping has already started. You will want to stop the annoyance before winter storms and ice turn into a disaster.

 

  • Inspect the plumbing

 

Bursting pipes in the middle of winter can be just as devastating as a leaky roof.  Hiring a professional ensures that the pipes are properly inspected and weather-ready for the colder months.

 

  • Clean gutters and downspouts

 

Another cause of leaky roofs is clogged gutters. With all of the falling leaves and debris that comes with Fall, you will want to keep your roof’s drainage system running smoothly by inspecting and cleaning your gutters and downspouts thoroughly.

 

  • Button Up

 

Many homes have air leaks around windows and doors similar to an unbuttoned coat. These gaps can add an extra 10 percent to your heating bill per cold month. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping caulk. Also consider freeze-proofing exterior faucets along with draining and winterizing your irrigation system.

 

  • Perform Home Safety Check

 

An annual Fall household ritual is the home safety check. Take this time to inspect all smoke alarms, CO2 monitors, fire extinguishers and replace batteries and other parts as needed. This also is a great time to review emergency plans and rid your house of old magazines, newspapers and other fire hazard materials.

 

  • Last but not least – Decorate!

 

After all of the inspecting and work is done, it’s time for Fall fun. One of the easiest and most fun ways to get your home ready for Fall is decorating. Decorations can transform your home from drab to fab. For a warm and cozy home all season long check out these Fall decorating tips.

10 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

rawpixel-661940-unsplashFirst time and season homebuyers alike often are bombarded with real estate terms and jargon. We have compiled a list of 10 terms you can use to understand the lingo.

Amortization
Essentially, this term is used to describe the repayment schedule of a loan including both principal or the original amount borrowed and interest. Amortization schedules are often displayed in table format highlighting the amount of principal and interest included with each payment. The table also includes the remaining loan balance after each payment.

Assessed value
The dollar value assigned to a property by a governing authority to levy a tax or fee on the property owner. The assessed value of your home is used mostly for tax purposes and refinancing.

Buyer’s agent
A real estate agent who represents the best interest of a home buyer. They guide you through the complex transaction of purchasing a home or property. Accredited Buyer’s Representatives are buyer’s agents who have successfully completed specialized coursework in representing buyers.

Closing costs
Fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. Closing costs vary but can include attorney fees, credit report fees, documentation preparation fees, title insurance fees, appraisal and inspection fees.

Contingencies
Conditions that must be met prior to closing a real estate transaction are called contingencies. Many offers include a home inspection contingency that ensures the home has no serious defects. Other contingencies include financing or selling a property before purchasing the new one. Offers with fewer contingencies give the buyer more negotiating power.

Earnest money
Usually held by a neutral party, earnest money is a “good faith” deposit buyers make demonstrating their interest and ability in purchasing a property. Buyer’s can lose the deposit by backing out of the sales contract.

Preapproval
Not to be confused with pre-qualification, a pre-approval is a lender’s written guarantee that a buyer qualifies for a loan up to x amount. Financing is subject to receiving full documentation regardless of obtaining a preapproval. Buyer’s with preapprovals have a better chance of their offers being accepted by the seller.

PMI
Private mortgage insurance consists of a monthly payment to a lender when a buyer’s down payment is less than 20 percent. PMI protects lenders against loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Seller’s agent
Contrasting a buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent represents the best interest of the seller in a real estate transaction. This representation includes marketing the home to potential buyers and negotiating on the seller’s behalf.

Title insurance
A type of insurance that protects your home purchase against any unknown liens or debts placed against the property. Typically, public records are searched to ensure that the current owner has legal rights to the title and the legal ability to sell the home before the title company issues insurance.