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Choosing the Right Exterior Projects to Improve Your Home’s Value

Choosing the Right Exterior Projects to Improve Your Home’s Value

When it comes to home improvement, it is often difficult to know what areas of our home we should spend our hard earned dollars on when it comes to renovation and upkeep. I’m sure you are no different than me when it comes to prioritizing projects. After I had completed nearly all of my interior projects, I had come to realize that I had all but neglected the exterior of my house and property. Maybe it’s because I have many outdoor allergies or quite possibly it could be it’s easier to tackle interior renovation projects. So a few years ago I started my research on home improvement projects that cannot only improve the value of your home but may also help you save money in other ways. The following are my findings and experiences. Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal There is no escaping the fact that spending your renovation dollars on a well thought out landscape plan can really bring everything together on the exterior. If you are selling your house, real estate experts suggest you spend 10 percent of the value of your home on sprucing up the landscape. So if you are trying to sell your home for $700,000, that would mean you should spend almost $70,000 improving your landscape. But experts also suggest spending $400... 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.

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

Home Repairs and Bad Credit

Home Repairs and Bad Credit
By: Rickk Miller, October 10, 2015

A homeowner or home buyer who lacks funds to repair a house may obtain a home improvement loan to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. A home improvement loan can pay for small cosmetic fix-ups to larger renovation or construction projects. Homeowners tend to prefer home improvement loans to other credit types, such as credit cards or personal loans, because these loans are secured by the home itself. The interest rate on a home improvement loan can be lower than a credit card annual percentage rate or personal loan. Short-Term Home Improvement Funds People with bad credit may need a loan to complete home repairs or small renovations. Bad credit may force the homeowner to live on a cash basis, but some repairs can be costly. Using a credit card to complete a home improvement project might be necessary. Although obtaining a home improvement loan with excellent credit is a simple task, people with lower credit scores have difficulty getting approval. Loan denial is the likely result for the homeowner with bad credit. Payday loans can help homeowners get the money required to complete repairs or projects. Bad Credit Loans Some lenders don’t make lending decisions entirely on the borrower’s credit score. If the borrower has equity in the home, the lender may be able to find a way to help. The homeowner with equity in the property can provide security for a loan, and this fact allows lenders to offer home repair loans to people with less than perfect credit.Self-employed homeowners, or those who are in arrears on their mortgage or home loan, may benefit from these loans. However, some homeowners have taken equity from their homes in the past 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.

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

Interview: Local Agent Thoughts On Housing Market Downturns

Interview: Local Agent Thoughts On Housing Market Downturns
By: Mark Healey, June 4, 2014

We wanted to find out how real estate agents cope with market downturns or even seasonal market changes so we went out and interviewed a Realtor that has been in the business for quite a long time. Bill Gassett, a top Franklin Massachusetts real estate agent has been selling homes for nearly thirty years. He is a RE/MAX agent located out West of Boston that has been through both up and down markets and everything in between. We thought Bill would be the perfect candidate to answer some of our questions. What type of challenges do realty agents face during a recession or economic downturn? One of the things that is almost always affected in a recession is the real estate market. In most cases the real estate market follows what is going on in the economy. If the economy is rolling along the real estate market typically follows suit. Conversely the market will also be affected negatively is the economy is not performing well. Two things that can have a dramatic affect on the real estate markets performance are interest rates and the stock market. Both of these forces however can have varying effects on different types of buyers in the market. For example interest rates are more likely to have a greater impact on first time home buyers as a rate can really change a buyers purchasing power. The stock market on the other hand has a very powerful influence on those who are more wealthy and are heavily invested. Many luxury home buyers will be completely swayed whether to purchase a home based on how well their portfolio is performing. Each of these things of course... Read Full Blog Post


Home & Garden

Equipment Acquisition Trends Explained

Equipment Acquisition Trends Explained
By: Rickk Miller, May 31, 2016

There have been different cases wherein the home owner / constructor’s equipment acquisition trend has hit all-time highs and lows. The market can be fairly unpredictable depending on the needs of individual home owners and the status of the economy of the export-producing and service-providing countries. Downside of Equipment Acquisition Reportedly, U.S is going to hit high with their equipment and software investment, but home owners are going to hold back on their spending so the investment growth becomes moderate. Some of the factors that discourage home owners from investing in household and construction / maintenance equipment are the limitations of manufacturing and global uncertainty. These events will encourage investment growth rates to remain steady. Besides, there’s a gradually declining performance of replacement cycle. Low oil prices will also prevent the growth of local equipment acquisition rate.  Energy equipment investment will be lessened since the U.S already has improved efficiency in oil industry and their supply increased from countries like China, Argentina and Iran. Possibility of Increase in Investment Rate Although home owners are hesitant on spending because of the factors that discourage them, the investment rate is still likely to increase because the interest rates are still low due to the gradual increase the Federal Reserves is acting on after the last year of the zero interest rate policy. As a result, home owners are encouraged to invest while the rates are still low. Acquiring Equipment for Business Growth Those hesitant home owners who are considering building their own homes, are now even adopting new lease accounting rules. This will change how the leases are calculated on their personal balance sheets. Luckily, it does not affect the home... Read Full Blog Post

Choosing the Right Exterior Projects to Improve Your Home’s Value

Choosing the Right Exterior Projects to Improve Your Home’s Value
By: Rickk Miller, May 27, 2016

When it comes to home improvement, it is often difficult to know what areas of our home we should spend our hard earned dollars on when it comes to renovation and upkeep. I’m sure you are no different than me when it comes to prioritizing projects. After I had completed nearly all of my interior projects, I had come to realize that I had all but neglected the exterior of my house and property. Maybe it’s because I have many outdoor allergies or quite possibly it could be it’s easier to tackle interior renovation projects. So a few years ago I started my research on home improvement projects that cannot only improve the value of your home but may also help you save money in other ways. The following are my findings and experiences. Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal There is no escaping the fact that spending your renovation dollars on a well thought out landscape plan can really bring everything together on the exterior. If you are selling your house, real estate experts suggest you spend 10 percent of the value of your home on sprucing up the landscape. So if you are trying to sell your home for $700,000, that would mean you should spend almost $70,000 improving your landscape. But experts also suggest spending $400 to $500 annually on projects related to the landscape could put you in a better position by the time you sell your home in the future. A strong healthy lawn always raises the appeal. And for those who do not have a green thumb, there are some great options. There is a grass seed blend called Pearl’s Premium, that claims... Read Full Blog Post

4 Expensive packing mistakes that can break your piggybank

4 Expensive packing mistakes that can break your piggybank
By: Rickk Miller, May 25, 2016

Have you bought a new apartment? Are you planning to shift to your new apartment soon? If so, then you must be ready to do lots of tedious tasks. You have to move your personal possessions to another house and this itself is a huge project. It is easy to make costly mistakes when you’re doing so many things simultaneously. After all, you have so many things to take care of. It’s normal. But, it surely helps if you know about some expensive mistakes that people often make while packing up an entire house and learn how to avoid them. Here are the most common and expensive packing mistakes that people often make when shifting to another apartment. Not having a proper plan:The worst mistake is to start the packing process without having a proper plan. Take your removal boxes and fill them with big household items first. This includes your kitchen appliances and furniture. Once you’re done, shift your focus to smaller items such as clothes, accessories, books, etc Create a proper plan and follow it so that you can complete the packing process on time. If possible, create a packing calendar or schedule. Having less packing supplies: It is not an easy task to pack all your precious possessions safely. You need lots of packing supplies for this. Imagine, you have hundreds of household items but you don’t have enough removal boxes. You’ll lose so much time and money. Plus, your mental peace will be completely destroyed. Acquire enough packing supplies so that you can pack everything even at the last hour. You can get all kinds of packing supplies from your local removal company. Ask for special... Read Full Blog Post

What you Should Know About Kit Homes

What you Should Know About Kit Homes
By: Rickk Miller, May 24, 2016

Owning your home can be a daunting experience, to say the least. The costs, building process and time consumed can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. There are so many decisions to make, from the best contractor to the finishing products to be used, so doing it right may be more like wishful thinking. You are always wondering whether you have done it right. Don’t stress out! There are numerous options available to you that will make the process of building your home enjoyable and easy. One building option that has become popular in the recent years is having your home manufactured offsite. A more valid option is building in the form of a kit home. Kit home plans are designed and made off the site and then transported for assembling at the site. It may take a few days to assemble the outer shell and install the doors, windows and roof with the help of a contractor. Lately, more and more homeowners are adopting the idea of building their homes using this method. This technology has opened up to new and improved stylish designs, giving you a variety of designs to choose from. Just like regular homes, kit homes can also be spacious, well-designed, self-reliant and sustainable. They are built with quality components that are energy efficient. Furthermore, homeowners can take part in the construction of their home, which can be a rewarding experience. At the same time, it gives them an option of customising the designs to reflect their style at a minimal cost. Kit homes are more affordable than the conventional way of building. However, the cost of a kit home may vary depending on the size... Read Full Blog Post

It’s All About the Flow: Keeping Your Home Comfortable All Year Long

It’s All About the Flow: Keeping Your Home Comfortable All Year Long
By: Rickk Miller, May 23, 2016

There’s a lot more to keeping the interior of your home comfortable than turning the thermostat up or down. Air flow makes all the difference, where interior comfort is concerned. Not only does proper airflow keep your place nice and cool in summertime, airflow also cycles out dust, cigarette smoke, seasonal pollen and other airborne impurities. Here are nine easy and effective ways to facilitate airflow in your home or office: Clean air vents and keep them unblocked Remember, the only way HVAC-chilled air can move into and through your home is by way of vents. Take a good look in each room of your house and make sure no vents are impeded by heavy furniture or bookcases. Ensure that floor vents are not covered by rugs. Give vent grills a good vacuuming to rid them of pet hair, dust and general debris. If your vents are high on a wall, use your vacuum cleaner’s extension wand to reach them. Switch out air filters regularly There is no such thing as changing HVAC system air filters too often. Dirty filters impede air flow and make it more expensive to cool your home in summertime and heat your home on chilly winter nights. Turn off the A/C and open several windows at once In the cool of the early morning, throw open as many screened windows and doors as you can. Doing so will allow for cross-ventilation that refreshes stale air while cooling your interior space with pleasantly cool breezes. Install exhaust fans where they will do the most good Make sure every bathroom in your home features a strong exhaust fan. Bathrooms are notorious collection spots for hot, humid... 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