Uncertainty as to whether prices will continue to fall has to be one of the most common causes of buyer procrastination. Paying too much wouldn’t be a smart thing but price isn’t the only factor to consider. Interest rates have as much effect on housing costs as price.
A small increase in mortgage interest rates can offset a significant drop in home prices. If the price of the home were to come down by 5% but the interest rates were to go up by .5%, the payments might be close to the same.
In the example below, if the price of $175,000 home went down 5% but the interest rate went from 4.75% to 5.25%, the payments would actually be $4.98 more at the cheaper price. If while the buyer was waiting for the home to decrease 5% and the interest rate increased by 1%, the payments would actually go up by $55.30.
Then, of course, there is always the possibility that the price of the home doesn’t go down but the rate does go up by 1%. The payments would be $104.58 more per month, each and every month for as long as you have the mortgage on the home.
The Omaha Area Housing Market is strong compared to the rest of the nation. As a Residential Finance Consultant, I can provide solid information that will help you make better buying decisions. A home is a place to feel safe and secure, to raise your family, share with your friends and an investment. It’s an investment in your marriage, your family and your future. You owe it to yourself to check out the real numbers in your market because every market is different. Give me a call, I can help!!!
Whether you rent or buy, you pay for the house you occupy. You must live somewhere and there’s a price to pay for it. A simple analysis will show you whether it’s cheaper to rent or buy.
Some people don’t have any choice but to rent because they don’t have the means to qualify for a loan. But for those who do have a down payment and good credit, they actually have a choice of whether to rent or buy. In some cases, owning will cost significantly less than renting.
Rentals are in high demand in many markets and rents are going up. People who have experienced foreclosures and short sales have increased demand. The first comparison a discerning buyer needs to make is whether the house payment is lower than what they’d have to pay in rent.
The next comparison needs to consider the other benefits that accrue to an owner such as principal reduction, appreciation and tax savings. These can dramatically weigh in favor of owning rather than renting.
Tenants have made the decision to buy a home. The decision currently facing them is whether to buy it for themselves or their landlord.
SIX WORTH-THE-PRICE FIX-UPS
There are a lot of do-it-yourself projects that can increase the value of your home. On the contrary, it is possible to spend LOTS of money on projects that, when you sell your home, you find were not worth the cost. Here are six simple projects, all approximately under $1000, that could get you a decent return on your money:
- Cleaning & decluttering. Remove all personal items, clear off countertops, straighten-up and clean-out closets (all of them!) and clean, clean, clean! (approx cost $290, return – $1,990)
- Brighten-up. Clean ALL windows, inside & out, replace old curtains, replace light fixtures, remove anything that keeps the light from shining in. (approx cost $375, return – $1550)
- Smart staging. Rearrange/remove furniture, bring in new accessories, add complimentary artwork, play soft music, use aroma therapy, but NOT TOO MUCH. (approx. cost $550, return – $2,194)
- Landscaping touch-ups. Punch up curb appeal, front and back, by adding fresh bark mulch, bushes, flowers, and make sure to keep them manicured. (approx. cost $540, return – $1,932)
- Repair electrical and/or plumbing. Fix leaks under the sink, remove mildew stains, make sure all plumbing is working. Update older homes for modern appliances, fix any lights or outlets that don’t work, replace old plug points with new safety fixtures. (approx. cost $535, return – $1,505)
- Replace or shampoo carpets. Steam-clean carpets, replace worn carpets, repair creaks in floors. Stretch carpet, if necessary. (approx. cost $647, return – $1739)
Excerpted from HomeGain’s 2011 Home Sale Maximizer Survey, www.homesalemaximizer.com
THIS MIGHT BE THE VERY BEST TIME TO BUY OR SELL REAL ESTATE PROPERTY IN HISTORY!!
Significant government stimulus practices will be running out soon and could negatively affect interest rates, so time is quickly running out to get into the game!
By now you have heard the $8000 First Time Home Buyer and the $6500 Existing Home Owner Tax Credit incentives are scheduled to expire April 30, 2010. It is unlikely they will be extended again. Interest rates remain at record lows right now.
However, you may not have heard the Fed is concluding its program of purchasing mortgage-backed securities by the end of March, 2010. This less advertised “stimulus program” has effectively kept mortgage interest rates at record lows. But chances are, when this government stimulus program stops, interest rates could and probably will increase. It is unclear right now how fast or how much rates will increase.
So if you are in the market for a new home, or want to move up, down, or out. . . give your friendly real estate agent a call. . . . DON’T WAIT ANY LONGER. . .DO IT NOW!
An article on HGTV.com featured suggestions by Jason Pelletier, a LEED-certified auditor. He recommended six great ways you can lower your utility bills and lessen your environmental impact. Most are easy to do and are very economical:
1. Get a High-Efficiency Showerhead
A high-efficiency low-flow showerhead saves up to 3,000 gallons of water per person per year — not to mention $50 in energy costs and 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide.
2. Go Low-Flow All Over
Take the showerhead concept and apply it all over the house for major water-use reductions. Low-flow sink aerator attachments go for as little as $2 per sink but can save thousands of gallons of water per year — serious bang for your buck.
3. Recycle Water in Your Bathroom
Use a water-conservation device such as Sinkpositive, which lets you reuse sink water to flush your toilet. Or keep a bucket by the shower or tub and fill it with the cold water that comes out before the hot water kicks in. Then you can take the bucket outside and use it to water your plants.
4. Treat Your Hot Water Heater Right
If you can’t afford the switch to a tankless waterheater right now, making some simple changes to your existing setup can cut your energy bills and carbon emissions by 25 percent or more. Reduce the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees, wrap it in a cozy water heater insulating blanket and insulate the first 3 to 6 feet of hot and cold water pipes.
5. Use This Excuse for Skipping Chores
Stop hand-washing your dishes. Most of us use far more water and soap than we need to when hand-washing, especially compared to a high-efficiency dishwasher, so save your time, water and power by putting dishes directly in the dishwasher after a meal. Just make sure you fill up the dishwasher completely before running, and don’t pre-rinse dishes unless your machine is old. If it is not cleaning well, then you should consider replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified model.
6. Get a Home Energy Audit
The best advice for home energy savings is advice that’s customized for you, your home and your lifestyle. A home energy audit conducted by a green auditor or your local utility can do just that, and you can often recoup the cost by following the auditor’s recommendations and reducing your energy bill. Visit Low Impact Living’s website or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org to find an auditor in your area. More info can be found at U.S. Department of Energy’s site for information on what problems to look for and further steps to take for home energy savings.