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Preparation guide for selling your house

Preparation guide for selling your house

Committing to a small-scale house remodelling venture is absolutely necessary if you want your property to be one of the top rated items on sale in the neighbourhood. There is a heap of little tasks that demand our attention, so it’s advisable to start the process on time, thus avoiding any potential slip-ups. Here’s a collection of the best tips we have received from the interior design experts and real estate agents you can make use of. Setting a price When pricing is in question, we advise you to be fair and realistic, and not get tempted to go into extremes. Setting a price too low would make your efforts pointless, while a too high of a price may seriously hinder the selling process. Get thoroughly informed about the supply and demand in your area and act accordingly. If you don’t feel confident about the price assessment, hire a reputable agent to help you. Wall-to-wall inspection The last thing you want to happen is to get a heart attack over a certain hidden flaw you have missed to repair, such as near ground-level dents at the moment a client is touring the house. Scan both the interior and the exterior through and through for traces of water-induced damage (walls and floors) and check the entire pipeline for leaks. Another... Read Full Story


Latest from Rikk Miller, Financial Writer

Rick is a financial writer. He is associated with several financial communities.
His expertise is woven around various aspects of the real estate industry. He is a financial writer who excels in writing finance articles.

Renting Out Your First Property

Renting Out Your First Property
By: Rickk Miller, July 19, 2016

If you are looking for a good way to build up a pension, something for your future, buying a property and renting it out is a great way to do it. In the UK, the US, and much of Europe, thousands of private individuals become landlords for the first time, every year. Here we provide some guidance to make sure that being a landlord, for the first time, is a pleasure rather than a headache. Don’t go it alone Our first tip is to resist the temptation to do everything yourself. Renting out a property sounds easy on paper, but in reality, it is actually quite difficult. There is a lot that can go wrong. For example, what happens if someone stops paying his or her rent? Would you know what the quickest way to get the missing rent paid, or how to evict the tenant? In all likelihood, you would not. You would need to hire a lawyer to help you. This takes time, and in the meantime, your rent is not being paid. Staying within the law In most parts of the world, the standard of rental properties is heavily regulated. You need to be aware of these regulations, and make sure that you stay within the law. If you are new to the rental market understanding and complying with all of these rules is extremely difficult. This fact means that you are usually better off hiring a professional letting agent rather than trying to do everything yourself. Hire the right agent Whether you are looking for letting agents in York, England, or New York, America, you need to do your research. You have to bear in... Read Full Blog Post

Amenities and Aesthetics: The Benefits of Living in an HOA Community

Amenities and Aesthetics: The Benefits of Living in an HOA Community
By: Rickk Miller, June 7, 2016

If you’re tired of mowing the lawn, you wished someone else would come by and paint your house for you — for free — or you just want to live in a safe and well-manicured neighborhood, then you might want to live in an area where there is a homeowner’s association (HOA). Here are some of the reasons homeowners like it. Maintained Properties In an HOA neighborhood, the HOA takes care of the lawn and what are called “common areas.” You can see examples of these in Bellerive homes for sale. These are areas that are open to everyone, and include areas and sidewalks where people in the community walk and where children can play, like neighborhood playgrounds. It may also include dog-walking areas where residents walk their dog or other pets. HOAs usually do a fantastic job of maintaining amenities, like lawns, common areas, parking lots and spaces, and even the front of homes, lighting for the neighborhood, and playgrounds. More Amenities Want a swimming pool but don’t want to maintain it? Wish your children had someplace safe to play? How about a safe community you can walk around in? Or, trails where you can take your dog without worrying about getting lost or paying an entrance fee? These are the types of areas that HOAs maintain. Some HOAs include things like walking trails, sport courts, swimming pools, barbecue pits, neighborhood parks, clubhouses, and other common areas open to all residents. Some of these areas can even be booked for special events, like weddings or parties. Aesthetically-Pleasing Homes Want to live somewhere that you know your property value won’t go down, even if rowdy neighbors move in next... Read Full Blog Post

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?
By: Rickk Miller, May 2, 2016

As you look into getting a new home, you have a lot of decisions to make. Building a new home allows you to make all of the choices that will give you the house of your dreams, but that does come with a price. The cost of building a new home varies greatly – usually somewhere between $100,000 and $600,000 – and it’s almost always more expensive than buying a home that’s been around for a couple of decades. However, certain factors play a big role in the cost of a new home, and it’s possible to make tweaks to a plan to make it more affordable. Understanding these factors can help you decide whether buying a new home is the right move for you. Builder’s Style The way that the home is built can play a big role in the overall cost. Modular homes are the most affordable option for a new home. These are built in a factory, then transported in pieces to your building site and assembled like a puzzle. Modular homes have a reputation for being made from low-quality materials, but the process has certainly evolved over the years. Current versions are better than the ones made several years ago. Homes that are completely custom-built are the most expensive. This involves working with an architect who will create a design from your home, then a contractor will build it. It’s the right choice for someone who has a very specific – and possibly unusual – idea of what they want their home to look like. Most people choose the option in the middle – working with a quality home builder and development company. These companies... Read Full Blog Post

Get the Right Mortgage for Where You Are Right Now

Get the Right Mortgage for Where You Are Right Now
By: Rickk Miller, April 7, 2016

There is no such thing as one size fits all. This is especially true when it comes to mortgages. Not only does one size not fit everyone, it doesn’t even fit one person in every stage of life. That is why it is so important to understand the various types of mortgages and what they can do for you. In the same way that there is no mortgage that fits everyone, there is no right or wrong mortgage. Some have decidedly better terms than others. But some of those packages deemed bad by some allow others to purchase a house when they would otherwise never have been able to do so. Therefore, rather than focusing on the best mortgage, you should focus on the best mortgage for you at the various stages in your life. Here’s how to match a mortgage to the stage of life in which you happen to find yourself: Insufficient Retirement One of life’s cruel ironies is that as you enter the stage where you are making less money, the business of staying alive often gets more expensive. When retirement and a major decline in health happen at the same time, most people find that their retirement plans were insufficient. And that they have grossly underestimated how expensive aging issues can be. Even in such a scenario, it is possible to make ends meet. What you need to do is calculate your finances for a reverse mortgage possibility. Rather than a traditional loan, you receive payments for your home instead of making them. This is an excellent type of mortgage for those who have no need to pass the home down to the kids. However, the... Read Full Blog Post

Business Tax Credit Considerations for the Real Estate Industry

Business Tax Credit Considerations for the Real Estate Industry
By: Rickk Miller, March 24, 2016

Taking advantage of tax credits starts long before tax season. It’s something that real estate businesses have to consider before breaking ground on a project or putting up the first “For Sale” sign. From the projects you take on to the people you hire, there are a number of tax credits and incentives that can help you keep more of your revenue. Identifying Business Tax Incentives Before you can claim tax credits you have to first identify them and then follow the requirements so that your company is eligible. This can be a very labor-intensive process since incentives and regulations can change at any time. ADP business tax credits and incentives allow real estate businesses to more easily identify applicable tax credits within a database of over 3,000 incentives. They also have mapping software that allows you to search for tax incentives based on geographic location. Where the Business is Located Like real estate, taxes are all about location. Federal taxes are just one piece of the tax pie. State, county and city taxes can also come into play. Some cities are luring in new businesses with tax breaks for a specified period of time. This can make startup much easier on a real estate business, however, forecasting for the added expense once taxes do kick in has to be done first. The most tax-friendly states that offer the lowest combined tax rate are also worth considering if you are looking to start a business or relocate. For example, Delaware doesn’t have a sales tax and the property taxes are among the lowest in the country. This could be extremely beneficial for a business that is just starting out and... Read Full Blog Post


Latest from Mark Healey

Mark is a content development specialist who enjoys researching and writing about various topics. He is passionate about the digital space and is involved with promoting and distributing beneficial content throughout internet communities.

Wheelchair-Accessible Home? 5 Tips for Finding One

Wheelchair-Accessible Home? 5 Tips for Finding One
By: Mark Healey, May 31, 2016

Buying a house is no easy task. Finding the right home in the right location, with the right number of bedrooms, a big kitchen and enough general living space is not easy to do without compromises, and becomes even more challenging when adding a need for an accessible home to the mix. If a wheelchair-accessible home presents itself to you, take advantage of it, because they are uncommon in the housing market. But if it’s not possible to buy a wheelchair-accessible home (or convert one yourself), here are some things to look for in the next home you buy. Single-level home In order to make the entire house accessible, make sure it’s actually accessible. Stairs are a great way to ensure anyone with a mobility challenge won’t be able to reach half of the house. Don’t forget to consider the outdoor parts of the property. A steep driveway will make getting the mail problematic, and a backyard with multiple levels or hills means it won’t be enjoyed to its full extent. Open floor plan Hallways aren’t the only spaces that need to be wide enough to maneuver. Large rooms with enough space to leave space between furniture, and between sections of the room is vital in order to comfortably and safely move around the house. It’ll give more space to everyone: friends you invite over for a dinner party, family who comes over for a birthday party or even anyone who’s there to help and perform caregiver responsibilities. Wide hallways & doorways For a powerchair or a manual wheelchair user, this one is obvious. Not only does the chair itself need to fit down hallways and through doorways, but... Read Full Blog Post

Increase Your Home’s Value with a Home Gym

Increase Your Home’s Value with a Home Gym
By: Mark Healey, January 14, 2016

American obesity is still on the rise, and it’s becoming increasingly important for us to become more health-conscious. The most important thing that we should be doing is watching what we eat. As the old adage goes, “you are what you eat,” and America’s public shows that’s true. Aside from watching what you eat, you should also take the time to get regular, moderate exercise. Combining these two ideas will help you lose weight and feel better about yourself. Working out is imperative and the exercise helps boost your immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria and other maladies. For many of us, working out in a gym is intimidating. Both men and women can suffer from a lot of potential problems— from insecurity issues with how we look, to how much we can lift and how heavy we are. Due to this problem, more homeowners are building their own home gyms. Not only does this make working out a much easier task, it can even increase the aesthetic value of a home. If you are considering building a home gym, there are a few initial steps. First, you’ll need to figure out if you want to convert an existing room into your home gym. If you can’t convert an existing room or your garage, a new addition is another option. Certainly building an additional room will be an expensive project, but it will increase the value of your property enough to justify buying new exercise equipment for your home gym. It’s important to note that if you want to build a home gym correctly, make sure your new addition has relatively high ceilings. This will give you more range when... Read Full Blog Post

When the stuff inside your house becomes “home”

When the stuff inside your house becomes “home”
By: Mark Healey, December 29, 2015

To a little kid, a move is exciting: it’s an excuse for a newly decorated bedroom, new toys and new neighborhood friends. But to anyone else, a move sometimes signifies leaving more than it presents the opportunity for novelty.But for anyone who spent their childhood (or adulthood, or anything in between) moving, it’s not the house that stores the memories, like many of us think. Quite often, it’s the things inside the house that are filled with meaning and hard to let go of. What makes a “home” Instead of the walls of the house, it’s the dresser set that traveled with the family during each move, and stood next to your bed in each new bedroom, and the dining room armoire holding Grandma’s china that really hold the memories. They’re the constants in pictures, in the background of the home videos, and the things that fill memories. Redecoration can help On top of the furniture that travels to each house, with each new home, the opportunity to redecorate and buy new things will always exist, a process that adds to the memories. A chest bought in one city might stand next to a sofa bought in another, both undoubtedly with their own stories and memories. While moving can always be an excuse to clean out the house and purge what isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s really an exercise on deciding what’s important and meaningful and what should be taken by a Boston junk removal company. Move after move, the less important belongings will be naturally filtered out, and the important will stay, making an appearance in another room in another house. Things to leave behind The things left behind... Read Full Blog Post

Moving is Expensive: Here are 5 Tricks to Cut Costs

Moving is Expensive: Here are 5 Tricks to Cut Costs
By: Mark Healey, August 11, 2015

Everybody knows that moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Changing environments, a new office, and the process of packing could make any one go crazy; and that’s without looking at the financial impact of a big move. Use the following tips to reduce the fiscal burden of your next move. DIY This is the first and most obvious way to move without overspending. Find a quality truck rental company and move all of your belongings yourself. If you are staying in town then use pizza and beverages to inspire your friends to help you move. The cost of a nice lunch for your friends will be significantly less then hiring a mover. Make sure to choose a group of friends that you trust though. A careless friend could break something important or expensive without the means to reimburse you. You should also be aware of your liability if anyone is hurt on your property helping you move your stuff. This is the cheapest option; but tread carefully. If the move is sloppy and your walls get dinged up with dollies and boxes, you will need to hire a One Day Painter to get the house back in shape for it’s next inhabitants. Go local Some times doing it yourself with a move is just not possible. Some objects are hard to move like pianos and pool tables and require professional help. The best thing to do in this circumstance is go local. Hire a Professional Mover to help execute the move without damaging your belongings or property. Cut costs by buying the boxes and having everything ready to load when the movers arrive!... Read Full Blog Post

Moving Safety 101

Moving Safety 101
By: Mark Healey, June 19, 2015

Moving from one house to the next is one of the most exciting and stressful undertakings you will do in your lifetime. While there is obviously a lot to think about such as organization, timing and budget; one thing that is too commonly overlooked is safety. Safety is the most important aspect regarding moving, especially when heavy furniture and stairs are involved. If you choose not to hire a Massachusetts moving company use these tips to avoid adding stress or a hospital visit to your next move. Clear Pathways The fist step you should take to ensure no one is hurt during your move is to clear all walkways in and out of the house. When moving heavy furniture people often walk backwards and if they were to trip over anything it would be an absolute catastrophe. Remove all hazards from these walkways to ensure no furniture (or bones) get broken. It’s a good idea to call you’re a professional junk removal company prior to moving day to get as much junk out of the way as possible. Pack Smart While it may seem counter intuitive, the best way to pack is by putting larger, heavier items (such as books) in the smallest possible box. Instinct tells us to fit as much of these items as possible in one large box. The issue is that to many heavy items in one box could lead to muscle injuries for anyone helping you move. By placing lighter items in the biggest boxes and vice-versa you can keep all the boxes a similar, manageable, weight. Be Prepared This means have the right equipment for the task. A dolly is an invaluable asset... Read Full Blog Post


Home & Garden

Generation Y and its Office Space

Generation Y and its Office Space
By: Rickk Miller, July 26, 2016

The Millennials, or Generation Y, will dominate our workforce within the next five or six years and this will change the face of the office and the way we work. By 2022, Gen Y (born from 1979-1997) will make up most of the workforce – 50% – with the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) making up 25%. Generation Y, according to a worldwide study, thinks that having an engaging workplace is the most important aspect, while high quality meeting rooms languishes at the bottom of their list. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. Baby Boomers like to have face-to-face meetings with clear agendas and a definite start and finish, as well as a corporate hierarchy. This explains the love of impressive meeting rooms. Gen Y prefers fast, friendly meetings; maybe even while walking to grab a coffee. Their use of technology somewhat overcomes the need for and the focus on the meeting rooms and lengthy conflabs. Gen Y also wants a welcoming workplace because personal and professional life are more blended. They want to feel at home when they’re in that commercial property in Mayfair, just as they often do some work while at home. Baby Boomers want to feel they’re At Work so they can leave it behind when they head home. What will the future office look like? The main driver here is the concept of work as an activity, rather than a place. People can work at home, on the train, in the park – or at their main office. Even within the office there’s the potential for staff to move around according to what they’re doing. To concentrate, someone can head to a... Read Full Blog Post

Preparation guide for selling your house

Preparation guide for selling your house
By: Rickk Miller, July 22, 2016

Committing to a small-scale house remodelling venture is absolutely necessary if you want your property to be one of the top rated items on sale in the neighbourhood. There is a heap of little tasks that demand our attention, so it’s advisable to start the process on time, thus avoiding any potential slip-ups. Here’s a collection of the best tips we have received from the interior design experts and real estate agents you can make use of. Setting a price When pricing is in question, we advise you to be fair and realistic, and not get tempted to go into extremes. Setting a price too low would make your efforts pointless, while a too high of a price may seriously hinder the selling process. Get thoroughly informed about the supply and demand in your area and act accordingly. If you don’t feel confident about the price assessment, hire a reputable agent to help you. Wall-to-wall inspection The last thing you want to happen is to get a heart attack over a certain hidden flaw you have missed to repair, such as near ground-level dents at the moment a client is touring the house. Scan both the interior and the exterior through and through for traces of water-induced damage (walls and floors) and check the entire pipeline for leaks. Another thing you should test is whether the window seals are still holding up. Round it up by hiring pest control to ensure a secure and clean environment. Repairing and remodelling You may decide to sell on spur of the moment, before the completion of some house repairing projects. It’s recommendable you handle them first and let the prospective buyers only... Read Full Blog Post

Landscape architecture ideas to transform your backyard

Landscape architecture ideas to transform your backyard
By: Rickk Miller, July 22, 2016

Garden and backyard arrangement has become one of the most popular pastimes of nature lovers and design enthusiasts all over the world. This is not a surprise considering a lot of people have flexible working hours with tons of responsibilities, and relaxing in their own private green nook can help them unwind after a long day. However, dabbling in landscaping architecture may be slightly overwhelming for the beginners. That’s why we have compiled a selection of tips to get you through your first project. Planning and taking measurements David Berle, Extension Horticulture Specialist, advises we start by drawing a map of our yard. This layout serves as a small-scale representation of the existing elements like trees, sidewalks and houses. Write down the numbers of real-life dimensions of the sections and distance between them. Also, make sure to mark the position of the water sources, doors, windows, A/C units and other non-movable elements. This way you can have a better view of the free space you have at your disposal, and begin collecting ideas for the project. Finally, let the experts perform a site survey and analysis and use their results to create a preliminary budget. The process requires a lot of work, so take your time to put together a beautiful and functional garden plan. Colours, shapes and structures Commence by deciding whether you would prefer flowing and smooth lines or angular and neat shapes, or perhaps a combination of both! Think about how your vision fits into the current setting. For example, having lots of rectangular and square pieces may be too stern and unhomely, while a garden with a multitude of irregular sections may look chaotic, so... Read Full Blog Post

Cracked Tiles and Peeling Paint: Signs It’s Time to Redo Your Bathroom

Cracked Tiles and Peeling Paint: Signs It’s Time to Redo Your Bathroom
By: Rickk Miller, July 19, 2016

When it comes to remodeling a home, the first rooms that most people think of are the living/family room and the kitchen. After all, a lot of entertaining is conducted in these areas, so you want to put the best foot forward when guests are in your home. The bathroom is often the next popular room to remodel. It might not be a hub of entertaining, but it’s a vital room that can be transitioned to a sanctuary of sorts with a few slick remodels. However, how do you decide when the time is right to redo the bathroom? In the following passages you’ll gain some insight into the signs your bathroom needs a redo, and some suggestions on financing such a project. Signs to Watch For The first sign is often the easiest and most obvious that a bathroom remodel is in your future. If you have old or leaky fixtures in the bathroom, from leaky faucets in the sinks to old toilets or a broken bidet toilet seat, now’s a good time to consider a bathroom redo. Leaky and otherwise outdated fixtures are responsible for an enormous amount of water use and waste in American households. Toilets alone account for 30% of indoor water usage in the US. Leaks aren’t just an annoyance and a waste, they are also detrimental to the appearance and cleanliness of a bathroom. Leaks in the faucet or toilet leave stains behind that decrease the appeal of your bathroom visually, and can structurally damage your home over time. Along those same lines, keep a sharp eye out for mild cases of mold. The primary hub of mold in most bathrooms is the... Read Full Blog Post

Moving on a Budget After Buying a Home

Moving on a Budget After Buying a Home
By: Rickk Miller, July 13, 2016

Renters have one advantage when they move – all they have to pay up front is a deposit. Between the mortgage down payment and closing costs there may not be a lot of money left over for the move after you buy a home. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the buying process that you completely forget to budget for actually getting into your new home. In an effort to help new homeowners save a little money on the move, we asked the experts at Allied for a few household moving tips. Here are eight things you can handle on your own and ways to lower the cost of relocating: Line Up a Mover as Soon as Possible If you know you’re going to need a mover to transport all your stuff to the new home, go ahead and schedule everything as soon as possible. That way you can possibly save money by scheduling services on a low-demand day and will have time to find deals that reduce the rate. You’ll also have ample time to compare rates to determine if renting a truck and equipment is actually less expensive than using movers. Waiting until the last minute could end up costing you more and will definitely cause undue stress. Start the process ASAP and your wallet will be happier. Purge, Purge, Purge The less you have to move the less expensive it will be. Plus, you could generate a little extra income for your move by selling items you no longer need. Before you start packing take a day or two to separate items into three piles – sell, donate and trash/recycling. Find Free Moving Boxes... Read Full Blog Post





Money & Investment

Business Tax Credit Considerations for the Real Estate Industry

Business Tax Credit Considerations for the Real Estate Industry
By: Rickk Miller, March 24, 2016

Taking advantage of tax credits starts long before tax season. It’s something that real estate businesses have to consider before breaking ground on a project or putting up the first “For Sale” sign. From the projects you take on to the people you hire, there are a number of tax credits and incentives that can help you keep more of your revenue. Identifying Business Tax Incentives Before you can claim tax credits you have to first identify them and then follow the requirements so that your company is eligible. This can be a very labor-intensive process since incentives and regulations can change at any time. ADP business tax credits and incentives allow real estate businesses to more easily identify applicable tax credits within a database of over 3,000 incentives. They also have mapping software that allows you to search for tax incentives based on geographic location. Where the Business is Located Like real estate, taxes are all about location. Federal taxes are just one piece of the tax pie. State, county and city taxes can also come into play. Some cities are luring in new businesses with tax breaks for a specified period of time. This can make startup much easier on a real estate business, however, forecasting for the added expense once taxes do kick in has to be done first. The most tax-friendly states that offer the lowest combined tax rate are also worth considering if you are looking to start a business or relocate. For example, Delaware doesn’t have a sales tax and the property taxes are among the lowest in the country. This could be extremely beneficial for a business that is just starting out and... Read Full Blog Post

Save your dollars on your variable rate home loan and stay at an edge over others

Save your dollars on your variable rate home loan and stay at an edge over others
By: Rickk Miller, March 4, 2016

Are you in the market to take out a home loan for realizing your dream of becoming a homeowner? If answered yes, you must have been confused to know the wide array of home loan options available in the market. Mortgage loans are generally categorized into three types, the fixed rate home loans, the variable rate home loans, and hybrid loans which carry some features of both fixed rate and variable rate loans. Although there are many advantages of taking out fixed rate loan, it is not that variable rate loans shouldn’t be taken out. There are number of lenders like NPBS who lend variable rate home loans and if you wish to save your dollars on such loans, here are some steps that you need to follow. Reduce the term of the loan: Like most lending institutions, they offer variable rate home loans with a standard 20 year bond. If you can shorten the term of the loan by only a couple of years, you can cut down the interest rates considerably, thereby saving hundreds of your dollars. That may create the difference between seeking an early retirement and having to continue work. Pay more than the scheduled payments: If you decided to shorten the term of your home loan, you can afford to pay a little extra payment each month. For that you might have to sacrifice some of your expenses, but that will help you in the long run. Even a few hundred dollars added to your variable rate home loan payment might save thousands on interest rate. Make extra payments: Speak to your lender about the penalty charges of making extra payments on your home... Read Full Blog Post

5 Expert tips for a college student who is planning to buy a home of his own

5 Expert tips for a college student who is planning to buy a home of his own
By: Rickk Miller, September 8, 2015

Are you someone who is a college student with moderate level of student loan debt and who is planning to buy a house of his own? If you don’t owe huge levels of student loan debt and if you have some savings and a reliable job, investing in your home is something that you can try in order to enhance your personal wealth. We usually see a lot of coverage that is given to the slow rate of Millennials buying homes but there is no news of a graduate who has shown interest in investing in a real estate property. Student loan debt doesn’t have as bad an impact on your credit score as credit card or auto loan debt. However you have to ensure that you have the ability to repay the home loan on time after managing all your other payments. Here are some tips for the recent graduates. Pay down high interest debt: The higher are the interest rates on your loans, the higher is the priority that you should give to repay that account. If you owe a certain amount on your credit cards, take immediate steps to pay them down before the interest rates multiply and take a huge shape. The sooner you repay high interest debt, the sooner you can improve the chances of grabbing a deal on your home. Watch out your debt to income ratio: One of the biggest factors for people who don’t get a loan is a high DTI ratio. When you have too many debt defaults in accordance with your income, you will have a high DTI ratio and this is when the mortgage lender won’t allow you... Read Full Blog Post

Does the housing market still bear scars of the Recession or is it on the path of recovery?

Does the housing market still bear scars of the Recession or is it on the path of recovery?
By: Rickk Miller, July 30, 2015

It has been a very odd year for the US housing market! The year started off with the Polar Vortex that was blamed for slowing down home sales during the initial part of the year. As we’re gradually nearing 2016, the National Association of Realtors expect sales of previously owned home to fall short of 2015, while according to the latest data, sales of new home show an improvement of just 2.8%. We all know that the housing market and the ups and downs have a direct impact in the mortgage market as well. Whenever there’s a positive improvement in the housing market, there has to be a noteworthy development in the mortgage market too as people usually tends to take out more mortgages when they get favorable conditions to purchase their dream home. The recession might be over years ago but the scars are still remaining in the housing market. Take for instance the homeownership rate. In the year 2005, the homeownership rate in America was around 70% and today it stands at 64%, the lowest level that this nation has seen since 1994. However, the good news for sellers is that the demand for homes is again back and the prices of homes are continuing to rise. But for the homebuyers, especially the first time homebuyers, inflating price tags are not a positive change. Apart from rising prices, the issues of rapidly rising rent, sluggish growth in wages and huge amounts of student loans are coming in the way of American Dream. Housing predictions for 2015 now that we’re halfway through the year At the beginning of the year 2015, there have been so many predictions but... Read Full Blog Post

Americans are still struggling with mortgage debt – Tips to pay off your mortgage earlier

Americans are still struggling with mortgage debt – Tips to pay off your mortgage earlier
By: Rickk Miller, July 29, 2015

Reports say that there are certain homeowners who are still reeling from the after-effects of the Great Recession and it may take around a decade for them to recover. According to a real estate company Zillow, the percentage of underwater mortgages, where the worth of the home is lower than the mortgage, has been seen to drop with the recovery of the housing market but more than 5 million US homeowners owe to their banks at least 20% more than the worth of their homes, which totals to $579 billion in the form of negative equity. Homeowners have reportedly said that remaining underwater would likely be the toughest to set themselves free from negative equity. On the other hand, the rate of underwater homeowners is way much higher among the homes that carry the least value and this has been noticed by using data from credit bureau, TransUnion. In Atlanta, 46% of the low-end homeowners were all underwater as compared to 10% of the high-end borrowing homeowners. In Baltimore, 42% of the low-end homeowners had negative equity as compared to a small 9% of those who owned houses of higher value. Then what’s the good news? You must be wondering about the good news among all this negative news of the US housing industry. It has been seen that there were 15 million homes with underwater mortgages during the peak moment of the housing crisis. However, this negative equity rate dropped down to 15.4% of all homes with mortgage loans in the first quarter, that was down from the rate of 18.8% during the same period last year. Hence, it is being seen that the rate of negative equity... Read Full Blog Post