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Smart home technology promises to make your home more comfortable, convenient and secure. It may not be the home from the Jetson’s but artificial intelligence is the hope to make it the home of the future which is available now...
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Price, condition and terms are factors that any owner must consider when marketing their home. Price is usually the easiest to adjust to compensate for shortcomings in location or condition of the home. Improving the condition of the property is...
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The Federal Reserve Board’s Triennial Survey of Consumer Finances recently revealed the net worth of a homeowner was $231,400 compared to $5,200 for a renter. The net worth of homeowners increased 15% from 2013 to 2016 while renters’ decreased by...
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There is a little-known mortgage program that could provide the vehicle for the right person to get into a home. If a person sells their home to another for less than the fair market value, the difference in the appraised...
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It may be natural for first-time buyers to be unsure of the process of buying a home because they haven’t been through it before but even repeat buyers need to know changes that have taken place since the financial housing...
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It’s been said that if you can find a home that has most of what you want, you should go ahead and purchase it. Many first-time buyers are using everything they have for a down payment and closing costs and...
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Finding the right home is still the biggest challenge buyers are faced with in today’s market as is shown in the latest Confidence Index Survey. Assuming the buyers find the “right” home with determination, perseverance and the help of a...
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As storybooks go, the character is introduced, they meet their love interest, a villain thwarts their intentions, true love overcomes, they marry and live happily ever-after. It’s a very familiar formula. Similarly, there is a formula that couples follow in...
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When the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly was increased from $12,700 to $24,000 for 2018, there was some speculation that the bloom was off the rose of homeownership. The thought was that if the tax benefits from being...
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In September, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time in 2018 and they’re expected to go up one more time this year and three times next year. If you have a Home Equity Line of Credit, HELOC,...
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FHA allows owner-occupants to purchase up to a four-unit property with a minimum 3.5% down payment. The rent collected on three units could be used to make the payment and the owners’ pro-rata share would be less than ¼ of...
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It may be an all too common belief that a person will have a house payment and a car payment for the rest of their lives. However, with a plan and some determination, you can be mortgage free. Planning for...
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The gutters and downspouts on your home are intended to channel rainwater away from your home and its foundation. When they’re blocked and not functioning properly they can lead to the gutters coming loose, wood rot and mildew, staining of...
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Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 in response to the mortgage crisis that led to America’s Great Recession. The two parts that apply closely to homebuyers are the Ability-to-Repay (ATR) and Qualified Mortgages (QM). A Qualified Mortgage is a...
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No one wants to waste water or money. For that reason, take a few minutes every other month to do the following inspections: Check to see if cutoff valves on sinks and toilets are working properly. Many times, builders will...
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Whether it is hesitation or procrastination due to uncertainty, it can cost buyers by having to pay more for both the house and the financing. This is one of those markets where most of the experts expect interest rates and...
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There is much more than a lower rate and payment to determine whether to refinance a mortgage. Lenders try to make refinancing as attractive as possible by rolling the closing costs into the new mortgage so there isn’t any out...
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Moisture is mold’s best friend and it thrives between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit which is why it is commonly found in homes. Mold spores float in the air and can grow on virtually any substance with moisture including tile,...
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It’s understandable; you’re excited; you’ve found the right home, negotiated a contract, made a loan application and inspections. Closing is not that far away, and you are making plans to move and put personal touches on your new home. Even...
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Mortgage rates have risen 0.5% in 2018 on 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages and experts expect them to continue to increase. Buyers paying attention to the market understand the relationship that inventory has on pricing; when the supply is...
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If it’s not broken, why would a homeowner consider replacing something as expensive as a toilet when there may be other things in the home to replace that provide more aesthetic appeal. Don’t be too quick to ignore the functionality...
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Along with all the planning of what you’re going to do and where you’re going to stay, consider this checklist to make you feel more comfortable while you’re away from home. Ask a trusted friend to pick up your mail,...
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When comparing the cost of owning a home to renting, there is more than the difference in house payment against the rent currently being paid. It very well could be lower than the rent but when you consider the other...
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Acquisition Debt is the amount of money borrowed used to buy, build or improve a principal residence or second home. Under the new tax law, mortgages taken after 12/14/17 are limited to a combination of $750,000 on the first and...
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It’s common for Sellers to consider offering a home warranty or protection plan to make their home more marketable. A growing number of homeowners are now purchasing this type of protection for themselves to limit the unexpected expenses of repairs...
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Carbon monoxide is a silent killer you don’t want in your home but because it is colorless and odorless; you may not even be aware the deadly condition exists. The Center for Disease Control says more than 400 people in...
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An economist responded when asked how interest rates would change: “They may fall some and then, rise and after that, they’ll fluctuate.” Just because interest rates have been low for ten years doesn’t mean they are supposed to be low....
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A principal residence and a second home have some similar benefits, but they have some key tax differences. A principal residence is the primary home where you live and a second home is used mainly for personal enjoyment while limiting...
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The American flag is obviously a symbol of our country but it has come to remind us of every man and woman who has fought for the freedom that we enjoy. The emotions that are stirred by images of our...
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As people near or enter retirement, one of the decisions that typically comes up is whether to sell their “big” home and buy a smaller one. If you know anyone who has been faced with that situation, selling one home...
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For the last 25 years, most buyers have gotten a new mortgage or paid cash when purchasing a home. For a practical reason, owner-occupant buyers have another alternative: assuming a lower interest rate existing FHA or VA mortgage. In the...
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Homeowners are familiar that they can deduct the interest and property taxes from their income tax returns. They also understand that there is a substantial capital gains exclusion for qualified sales of up to $250,000 if single and $500,000 for...
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The one experience that homeowners can agree upon after completing a remodeling project is that it costs more and takes longer than expected. It doesn’t really matter that you researched, planned, and received multiple bids, it will, invariably, cost more...
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A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are going to sell their current home now and purchase another home when they finish their travels. An interesting...
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“How long do we have to wait to qualify for another mortgage” is the question concerning people who’ve had a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy. The loan types for the new loan will differ in amounts of time to heal...
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With the first quarter of 2018 in the books, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is nearing what Freddie Mac predicted it would be in the second quarter. If this pace continues, rates will exceed the five percent mark expected by...
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The Federal Housing Administration, operating under HUD, offers affordable mortgages for tens of thousands of buyers who may not qualify for other types of programs. They are popular with both first-time and repeat buyers. The 3.5% down payment is an...
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Taxpayers can decide each year whether to take the standard deduction or their itemized deductions when filing their personal income tax returns. Roughly, 75% of households with more than $75,000 income and most homeowners itemize their deductions. Beginning in 2018,...
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In any given market, inventories fluctuate based on supply and demand considering area and price range. The National Association of REALTORS considers a balanced market to be a six-month supply of homes. If it takes longer than six months to...
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One of the silver linings to filing your income tax return is finding out that you are going to receive a refund. If you happen to be one of these fortunate taxpayers, your next decision is what to do with...
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Buyers who have been concerned about what might happen to the tax laws affecting home ownership should feel more comfortable about moving forward with their decision to purchase. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed...
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In 1968, mortgage rates were 8.5%. The next year, rates went down to 7%. Homeowners could buy a 15-20% larger home for the same payments if they could find someone to assume their mortgage. FHA and VA mortgages were very...
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Some buyers think that finding the right home is the critical part of the buying process and that is how they determine which agent to use. While it is important, there may be a broader skill set to consider when...
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It can be shocking to hear how many people spend more time planning their vacation or next mobile phone purchase than planning for retirement. It is hard to imagine that they are expecting Social Security will take them through their...
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The benefit of insurance is to transfer the risk of loss to a company in exchange for a premium. The deductible is an amount the insured pays out of pocket before the insurance starts covering the cost of the loss....
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The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits. Some of...
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Planning to go to the Masters next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay. Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in short supply and demand...
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Some police departments report as high as 98% of calls are false alarms. Not only is this an incredible waste of police resources that could be available for legitimate emergencies, it annoys neighbors, startles pets and results in expensive false...
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During the holidays as throughout the year, getting cash from an ATM is normal for many people. ATM’s are available 24 hours a day and they’re located in bank branches, convenience stores, grocery stores, malls, airports, sports venues and on...
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If you’re beginning to feel the pressure of running out of time to find the perfect gift, here are a few suggestions that may not be on their “list” but will certainly be appreciated. The gift of really listening without...
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