Jumbo-Loan Market Remains Strong

 Jumbo LoansThe Fed’s threat of a springtime rate increase didn’t come to pass, which fueled the jumbo-mortgage market in the first half of 2015.

The volume of jumbo mortgages-those above $417,000 in most places and $625,500 in some high-price areas-reached an estimated $160 billion in the first six months of 2015, up about 36% from a year ago at the same time, says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, which covers the industry.

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5 Dirt-Cheap Home Staging Ideas

home stagingGetting ready to sell your home? Appearance is everything. That’s where home staging comes in. But hiring a professional “stager” to prepare the home for prospective buyers can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. Fortunately, homeowners can take matters into their own hands.

Here are five expert tips for staging your home that cost next to nothing. Read more

Needing a New Paint Color?

green
Why Green Never Goes Out of Style

Against the browns of the earth, green grasses and trees glitter like gems, reflecting the refractive glints of the sun. Beyond to the blues of the seas, green represents the point of return, to home.

With such a dominant role in nature, green represents youth, growth and ultimately maturity. Green is often chosen as the color of money and signifies wealth and elegance, and in some cultures, it has deeply religious significance.

No wonder green is among the most relaxing and soothing of colors, with the ability to calm and refresh our minds and our souls. Studies show that green helps alleviate depression and anxiety, and promotes harmony and well-being.

Green comes in a rich spectrum of shades and tints, serving well as the main color for any décor, or as an accent to other color schemes. With tones of yellow, green grows sunnier and sharper, and with blue tones, it goes cooler, more alpine. Light greens are youthful and springlike, while deep greens are solid and sophisticated.

Many shades of green can go well together in home decor, just as they do in nature, which makes green a terrific go-to color when you’re not sure what to choose.

Greens are welcome in kitchens and dining rooms, as many of the most popular vegetables like lettuce, limes, and many beans and peas are soft to deep green. Pale greens are calming in bedrooms and work well with blues and whites in bathrooms.

A fresh new look will waken up your senses and set a fun mood!

 

Ready, Set, Sell!

3 Strategies for Getting Your Home Off the Market Fast

Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New Home
It’s possible to expedite your home’s sale …
if you’re prepared to face the risks involved.

Most sellers have a specific goal when it comes to their transaction: a quick sale and top dollar. But sometimes fast action doesn’t align with achieving the highest and best value.

There are multiple schools of thought on this subject, and the perspective varies not only with where you are in the country, but also by price point, neighborhood and even down to the block. When it comes to pricing and the search for a quick sale, it’s always best to get help from a local agent. LDSAgents.com has over 3,000 realtors in the US and Canada.

Here are some strategies you can use to get offers fast. Read more

7 Kids – No Debt?

The Gee Family: 7 kids, 7 missions, 7 college graduates and no debt! How did they do it?

When each child was born they received a bank account. They alone were expected to fill it, and they did, from the time they were very young. They did enormous paper routes. The older kids delivered the Salt Lake Tribune in the morning, while the younger kids delivered the afternoon Deseret News. They picked up odd jobs from neighbors and worked concessions at Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City, Utah. One collected and saved his coins like they were gold doubloons. Read more

2015 Property Taxes

House reading newspaperProperty taxes. They’re insignificant to some and the bane of others’ existence. The average American household spends $2,089 on property taxes for their homes each year. Roughly $15 billion-worth of homes are also foreclosed upon as a result of property tax delinquencies each year, according to a 2012 study by the National Tax Lien Association.

And while property taxes may appear to be a non-issue for the 36% of people who rent their homes, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We all pay for property taxes, whether directly or indirectly, as they impact the rent we pay as well as the finances of state and local governments.

These 11 states ranked as having the lowest 2015 property taxes on real estate: Read more

Buying a Home in the Spring

Spring and summer are the high season for buying a home: according to one estimate, about 40 percent of home sales happen from April through July. Spring is a great time to buy a home, because buyers can move in better weather, have months to fix up the house before the cold sets in, and can get kids settled before the school year begins.

However, those advantages also mean that spring can be a competitive time to house-hunt. It’s important to be prepared: Know what you want, what you’re willing to trade off and how much you can spend, and be ready to move quickly when you find the home you want. Read more

The Best Time to Refinance

A surprise interest-rate drop inInterest Rate Drop
January spurred a record number
of homeowners to refinance.
What you should know when rates fall again.

In a winter surprise, average interest rates for 30-year jumbo fixed-rate mortgages dropped below 4% for five weeks from the week ending Jan. 9 through Feb. 6, according to HSH.com, a mortgage-information website. As a result, refinance applications for jumbos and other mortgage types skyrocketed nationally by 49% in the week ending Jan. 9, the largest weekly gain since November 2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s 45% higher than the same week in 2014.

Homeowners who missed the boat this time may wonder if refinancing is worth it the next time rates come down. Read more

Six Tips for First-time Home Buyers

First_Time_HomeOwner_Image_1344110563383Are you a first-time home buyer eager to get into the market? Here are some tips:

1. You may check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area of interest by speaking with your real estate agent. Your agent can give you a general idea of what you should expect to pay and may also direct you to websites where you can do a search of the Multiple Listing Service for homes that meet your criteria. LDSAgents.com has over 3,000 realtors across the USA and Canada who can help.

2. Your real estate agent will be able to recommend reliable lenders to speak to regarding a home loan.

3. There are many variables that can affect your interest rate. Your lender will be your ultimate source in helping you decide what kind of loan is best for you and what you can afford.

4. Know that your house payment may well include items like homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance (PMI), property taxes, and homeowners association fees. These costs can vary widely from state to state and location to location.

5. If you obtain a home loan, there will be closing costs associated with it. These upfront costs shouldn’t be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance and homeowners association fees. Again, your lender will be your valuable guide to these matters.

6. Last, but not least, consider a payment plan that enables you to pay off your home as quickly as possible. Paying off a home over 15 years rather than 30 can save you tens of thousands of dollars. One way to do this is to take out a 30 year loan (to guarantee lower monthly payments) and then make additional payments along the way as you are able. Talk to your lender about it.