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Ripe for the Picking: Don’t Make it Easy on Thieves to Get Inside Your Home

Ripe for the Picking: Don’t Make it Easy on Thieves to Get Inside Your Home

Although some areas might have worse crime figures than others, the fact remains that many homeowners do constantly fear a break in and the consequences of what could happen to their home when a burglar is given a free but definitely uninvited reign over the contents. Thieves tend to break down into two distinct categories, the opportunist and the professional. Both are equally as dangerous and the effect of their visit is no less disturbing, whichever grade of criminal targets your home. Most of the time, they are looking for the same thing. An easy opportunity to gain entry to your property, so it is up to you to ensure that you don’t make your home ripe for the picking. The mindset of a burglar In order to make your home an unappealing target for a burglar you have to adopt their mindset and try to look at your property they way they will, as well as anticipate when they are most likely to come calling. A home is burgled somewhere almost every 20 seconds, so you really need to be vigilant if you don’t want to add to those worrying statistics. The holiday months of July and August are the most common months for burglaries, as there is a greater chance of a property being empty while the... 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.

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

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


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

Ripe for the Picking: Don’t Make it Easy on Thieves to Get Inside Your Home

Ripe for the Picking: Don’t Make it Easy on Thieves to Get Inside Your Home
By: Rickk Miller, June 28, 2016

Although some areas might have worse crime figures than others, the fact remains that many homeowners do constantly fear a break in and the consequences of what could happen to their home when a burglar is given a free but definitely uninvited reign over the contents. Thieves tend to break down into two distinct categories, the opportunist and the professional. Both are equally as dangerous and the effect of their visit is no less disturbing, whichever grade of criminal targets your home. Most of the time, they are looking for the same thing. An easy opportunity to gain entry to your property, so it is up to you to ensure that you don’t make your home ripe for the picking. The mindset of a burglar In order to make your home an unappealing target for a burglar you have to adopt their mindset and try to look at your property they way they will, as well as anticipate when they are most likely to come calling. A home is burgled somewhere almost every 20 seconds, so you really need to be vigilant if you don’t want to add to those worrying statistics. The holiday months of July and August are the most common months for burglaries, as there is a greater chance of a property being empty while the owners are away on vacation. Daytime burglaries are more frequent than the night, with the most offenses taking place between 10am and 3pm, again in the hope that you will be at work and the kids at school. Think about whether you have closed all of the windows and doors every time you leave the property, as you never know... Read Full Blog Post

Exterior Siding Choices: How to Determine the Best Look for Your Home

Exterior Siding Choices: How to Determine the Best Look for Your Home
By: Rickk Miller, June 25, 2016

Siding allows you to add definition, color and character to your dwelling. But with a whole host of options to choose from, it can be difficult deciding which option is right for you. Although aesthetics can be an important factor for making your choice, you also want to decide on a product that will be durable, water resistant and easy for the contractor to install. Vinyl siding The cost of a home can vary and be dependent on the amount of money that you have to spend on the structure. Vinyl siding is inexpensive, easy to maintain and versatile. It’s also one of the most popular types of siding choices across the U.S. Although some homeowners may dislike the plastic appearance of some products, there are a large number of styles and colors available that can boost your home’s appearance. Finding the right siding contractor is important too, as you want to ensure quality workmanship. Companies like St. Louis Gutter & Siding who receive A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau are reputable businesses who have proven they can be trusted. Wood siding If you’re looking for something for your Cape Cod style house or bungalow dwelling, wood siding can provide a rich look to your home. It can also be long-lasting if you maintain it as required. To prevent the siding from becoming damaged by the weather, you may need to stain or paint it as needed. Wood can also be susceptible to rodent or insect attacks when not properly maintained. When well-maintained, wood siding can last between 12 and 100 years. Stone Siding Homeowners love the appeal of natural stones such as limestone and granite. Both beautiful... Read Full Blog Post

Guide to Home Mold Growth Inspection

Guide to Home Mold Growth Inspection
By: Rickk Miller, June 22, 2016

Home mold inspection is important if you are planning to buy a new house. It is very hard to detect the mold manually since mold can hide in many hard to access places. You can also get your home inspected if you suspect that there is a mold problem. Usually, mold growths happen when your house has a water problem, for example hole in the roof that allows the rain to enter or a recent flooding disaster. When your house has a serious mold problem, there will be a mold smell. You may find yourself feeling sick with allergy problems which could possibly be caused by the germs spread by the mold growth. For example, you find yourself sneezing repeatedly or your eyes constantly get watered for no reason. You can ask your home inspector to do you a favor in help you in spotting for molds on the house. Many home inspectors don’t do mold inspection but they would be willing to help you if you ask about it. Home inspectors will usually inspect a lot of different places in the house. Therefore, there is a high chance that they can help you to detect the presence of mold. You can ask your home inspector to include information on mold growth on the home inspection report. Alternatively, you can hire a mold inspector to inspect the house for mold growth from water damage.  Mold inspectors are equipped with the right tools to quickly detect the mold growth in hidden spots.  These hidden moles can be located in places outside your naked eyes such as behind the pipes, ceilings, behind the walls and air conditioning ducts. You can have... Read Full Blog Post

Are Built in Appliances a Good Buy?

Are Built in Appliances a Good Buy?
By: Rickk Miller, June 4, 2016

White goods are an essential part of any kitchen and utility room. Most families would not be able to cope without a washing machine or dishwasher. Our lives are far too busy to be spent hand washing clothes or dishes, so a decent appliance is essential. The question you need to think about, however, is whether you should invest in a freestanding appliance or opt for an integrated appliance instead. Repairing Built In Appliances Appliance repair will be necessary at one time or another. Most white goods are built to last no more than five years, so sooner or later your washing machine or tumble dryer will stop working. Integrated appliances are popular with homeowners, but they are not without their issues when it comes to repairs. A freestanding appliance is easier to fix because it can be pulled out and opened up fairly quickly. Built in appliances are a lot more inaccessible, so repairs are likely to be trickier and more expensive. Aesthetics If aesthetics matter to you, no doubt you will be craving a streamlined kitchen with no ugly appliances spoiling the clean lines of your cabinets. Built in appliances help homeowners achieve an aesthetically pleasing look in the kitchen. Appliances are hidden away behind cupboard doors and nobody need know they have a washing machine or dishwasher. A Selling Point This sleek look can be a selling point when you eventually come to sell your home. Buyers will appreciate a beautifully modern kitchen with sleek cupboards. They will also appreciate the fact they don’t have to invest in white goods when they move in, which is great if you have first time buyers interested in your... Read Full Blog Post

The Benefits of Double Glazing in Spring

The Benefits of Double Glazing in Spring
By: Rickk Miller, June 1, 2016

Double glazing is something most people think about in winter, when the weather is awful and all we want to do is hide inside our nice, warm house. Spring is traditionally a time the temperatures begin to rise and we start to feel more inclined to open the windows and let a bit of fresh air in. So with this in mind, it hardly seems like the best time to be investing in double glazing! Strange as it may seem, there are lots of benefits to having double glazing in the spring. Some will be obvious when you think more closely about the matter, but other you may not have considered. Here are some reasons why double glazing is just as useful in the spring as it is at any other time of the year. Insulation A double glazed window offers far greater insulation against extremes of temperature. Double glazing is essentially two panes of glass instead of one. A layer of air or gas is sandwiched between the two panes, which has high thermal resistance. This prevents heat from escaping in winter, and blocks heat from passing through from the outside in summer. Spring is subject to just as many extremes of temperature as any other season, so double glazing will keep your home comfortable at all times. Noise Reduction If you live in the flight path of an airport, you probably already know the value of having double glazing, but even if you live in a relatively quiet place, double glazed windows significantly reduce outside noise. Invest in double glazing and you won’t have to listen to intrusive noise from outdoors. Lower Condensation Condensation can be a... 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