Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

Avoid expensive home maintenance mistakes

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No one likes to waste money, but is it possible that’s exactly what you’re doing in regard to your home’s maintenance? A recent article from RIS Media discussed the most common mistakes we’re making in our homes that, if corrected, should result in significant savings. Here’s a recap of five of those tips:

• If you’re still using incandescent lightbulbs, considering switching to CFL or LED bulbs, which last far longer and use much less electricity.

• Fix leaky faucets! One drop per second can actually waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s money down the drain!

• Replace your HVAC system air filter on a regular basis, and make sure you’re using the correct size.

• Purchase a programmable thermostat for your home that will automatically regulate your home’s temperature while you’re away. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of energy and money.

• Adjust air vents throughout the home to direct airflow more evenly throughout the entire house. This will help combat rooms that always seem too hot or too cold.

We’ll be back next week with a few more money-saving tips, so stay tuned!

How to get the most money when selling your house

How to get the most money when selling your house

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Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a little low

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little over market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

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Instead of the seller trying to “win” the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a real estate professional

This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

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Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Mortgage rates again at historic lows

Mortgage rates again at historic lows

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Just two weeks ago, we posted an article discussing where mortgage interest rates may be heading over the next twelve months. We quoted projections from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors. Each predicted that rates would begin to rise slowly and steadily throughout 2016.

However, shaky economic news and a volatile stock market have actually caused rates to drop six out of the last seven weeks, and have remained at 3.65% for the past two weeks.

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Rates have again fallen to historic lows yet many experts still expect them to increase in 2016. The only thing we know for sure is that, according to Freddie Mac, current rates are the best they have been since April 2015.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your ultimate dream home, now is a great time to get a sensational rate on your mortgage. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Thinking of buying a home? What are you waiting for?

Thinking of buying a home? What are you waiting for?

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You may be wondering if you should wait to enter the housing market. Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.4% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next five years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained below 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost three-quarters of a percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact your monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You Are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The “cost” of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to. Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find your dream home. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

How do you know if you’ve found your perfect match? [Infographic]

How do you know if you’ve found your perfect match? [Infographic]

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Some Highlights:

  • Every agent brings a different set of skills & specialties to their clients.
  • It is important to find an agent who you can trust to guide you through the entire process step-by-step.
  • Having a conversation about your goals & expectations will not only save you unneeded frustration, but will also make the transaction as smooth as possible.

For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!