Debbie Glynn's Blog
It’s no secret that the best time to finance a home is when mortgage interest rates are low. You could save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your mortgage if you finance at the right time. With interest rates still being low, some wonder why more people aren’t refinancing their homes, especially if doing so would save them $100 or more a month on their mortgage payments.
Although low interest rates are a primary reason to consider refinancing a home, it’s not the only reason. Other reasons to consider refinancing include:
- Ready to adjust length of the loan – Refinancing your home could allow you to extend the number of years that you have to pay for your house, potentially lowering your monthly installments. Just be careful that you don’t end up paying higher interest rates in the long term. Of course,you could also shorten the length of your loan. Generally, this option will find you paying less interest over the lifetime of your loan.
- Moving to a fixed rate mortgage – Adjustable rate mortgages may start out low, but they don’t always remain low. Even with a fixed rate mortgage, you could spend more on your house each month due to an increase in home owner association fees or property taxes.
- Improved credit scores – Stronger credit scores could help you to get a better adjustable rate mortgage.
If you’ve had your mortgage for several years, you may have paid on a good deal of the principal. Refinancing and starting with a new loan could backfire, causing you to pay more interest. If you have a lot of equity in your home but you’re struggling to stay current on your monthly mortgage payments, consider renting out a room at your house.
You could also work a part-time job, even if you work a remote job from home, until you become current in your payments. A few months of work change could save you money and headaches down the road if you only need $200 or less each month to make your mortgage. Other alternatives would be to become more energy efficient and to create and stick to a budget. Think short and long term gains.
Depending on your existing mortgage, you may or may not be charged a fee to refinance your home. Some mortgages charge a prepayment fee to refinance. Simply because you’re paying the loan off early, you could be assessed the fee. Definitely check with your lender to see if such a clause is in your mortgage contract.
Take your time shopping around for a better mortgage. Regardless of the lender that you refinance your home through, you may pay refinancing fees. Some lenders may also require you to pay for another home inspection, application fee,origination fee and closing costs. Factor in all charges and fees that you will incur if you refinance your home before you sign on the dotted line.
If your home no longer meets your family’s needs, moving to a new house might be a better option than refinancing. Another time when you might not want to refinance your home is if your kids are getting ready to start college and you’ll be taking on student loans.
The bathroom is one of those rooms that home buyers focus on upgrading once they generate enough savings to finally design the house they've always wanted. Fresh floral arrangements, modern flooring and natural light are just a few bathroom features that home buyers appreciate. It's not all about the size of your bathroom.
Pay attention to these bathroom features
If a small bathroom has winning features, home buyers could find the room attractive. This is not to say that people won't zone in on your bathroom's square footage during an open house. It's that you shouldn't assume that your bathroom will get you a home run just because your bathroom is large. Your bathroom could cost you a house sale for a variety of reasons, including:
- Mold - There may be no bigger turn off than bathroom mold, especially when you consider that the bathroom is the place where you brush your teeth and place you bare skin against tile, marble, metal or vinyl surfaces. Call a contractor if mold is deep or covers a large space in your bathroom. A contractor could keep mold pores from spreading. An experienced contractor can also clean away all or nearly all of the mold in your bathroom.
- Outdated floor tiles - Old bathroom floor tiles date your house. Before you put your house on the market, consider buying new tiles. Watch a few educational videos and you could lay the new tiles yourself.
- Cluttered counters - Clear off bathroom counters. Wipe away excess water and dried soap stains.
- Ugly faucets - Install attractive tub and sink faucets. Opt for white or silver faucet handles. Too much color could turn home buyers with conservative personalities off.
- Worn bath towels - You may have grown accustomed to looking at the same bath towels that you've used and washed for two years.Those same worn bath towels could turn away potential home buyers.
- Faded or wet bath rugs - Home buyers will more than likely purchase their own bath rugs. Yet, they'll attach your rugs to the room when they walk through your house. Don't let wet or faded bath rugs cost you a sale. Invest in a new set of bath rugs. You could also pull the rugs up and leave the floor bare.
- Shower only bathrooms - You might only take showers. However, people who come to your open houses might prefer to relax in a warm bubble bath. Consider adding a tub, even a stand alone tub, to your bathroom.
- Stained or cracked bathroom mirrors - Clean bathroom mirrors. If stains are permanently set into mirrors, replace mirrors.The same applies for cracked mirrors.
Although most bathrooms are away from home entrances and exits, that doesn't mean that you should pay less attention to your bathroom when preparing to sell your house. By ensuring that your bathroom features are modern, mold free, easy to use and aesthetically refined, you could keep your bathroom from costing you a sale.You could even turn your bathroom into a space that open house attendees rave about.
Ready to purchase a home this fall? To land your dream house at a price that fits your budget, you'll want to know exactly what it takes to browse the real estate market in autumn.
Ultimately, securing a home in fall can be quick and simple, particularly for homebuyers who understand the ins and outs of the autumn housing market. Here are three tips that every homebuyer needs to know to find a house in fall:
1. Examine the Autumn Housing Market Closely
In many instances, a home seller may list a house at the beginning of summer in the hopes of a quick sale. However, a home seller who fails to generate significant interest in his or her residence may be more likely to lower the price of the house to sell the property in autumn.
Homebuyers who study the fall real estate market may be able to identify bargains. These homebuyers should look at factors such as how long a home has been available and the prices of comparable houses in a specific area and plan accordingly.
Furthermore, don't forget to consider your personal budget as you search for homes in autumn. By doing so, you can avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.
2. Submit Competitive Offers
In fall, if you find a home that you like, you should submit a competitive offer. This may enable you to secure your dream home and accelerate the homebuying process.
Ideally, you should submit a data-based offer, i.e. a proposal that takes into account the current state of the real estate market and the condition of the home. With this proposal, you'll be able to minimize the risk that a home seller will decline your offer or submit a counter-offer.
Although a home may have lingered on the housing market throughout summer and into fall, there is no need to submit a "lowball" proposal, either. Remember, if you submit an offer that is well-below a home seller's asking price, you may miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream home. But if you submit a competitive offer from the get-go, you can avoid this risk entirely.
3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
For homebuyers who want to avoid stress as they explore the real estate market, there may be no better option than hiring an experienced real estate agent.
An experienced real estate agent will be happy to help you find your dream home in fall. This real estate professional can set up home showings, provide you with in-depth home listings and help you prepare to submit an offer on a home. Plus, your real estate agent knows how to handle tough negotiations and will work on your behalf to help you secure your dream home at the best price.
Employ an experienced real estate to help you go from homebuyer to homeowner this autumn. With a real estate professional at your side, you can accelerate the homebuying process.
One question you may often have in your home is when will be the right time to renovate things? The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house. You may wonder how often you need to make updates to your kitchen. If your kitchen is 30 years old or more, it’s almost a sure bet that you’ll need to renovate. There’s some other sure signs that a kitchen needs some updating. Whether you’re getting ready to sell your home in the future, or you just want your home to be in the present, there’s a few signs it needs updating:
The Kitchen Was Designed For One Cook
If your kitchen was built before a certain year, it’s a good bet that it was designed for only one chef. The kitchen is probably separate from the dining quarters as well. In the present day, couples often cook together. The dining and kitchen areas are also often one in the same.
Your Appliances Are Old
Newer kitchen appliances are much more energy efficient and can do a lot more than their older counterparts. Anyone who is searching for a home would relish the idea of saving money on utility bills and knowing that reliable appliances are already present in the home. There’s no need to spend money in the immediate future on replacing appliances for anyone who buys the home. New kitchen appliances that are a must:
- Microwaves that serve as a vent hood or second oven
- Energy Star refrigerators that dispense water and ice
- Under-cabinet units
- Flat screen TV mounts
The Kitchen Isn’t Very Functional
Of course you use your kitchen to cook in, but it’s important that a kitchen functions well. The better designed a kitchen, the easier it is to clean and cook. Newer kitchen are also more likely to be environmentally friendly which is good for everyone. This functionality also goes along with the countertop material. Today, people look for easy to clean counter surfaces including stones like granite and quartz. The storage in the kitchen also should be more functional with easy access and streamlined, pull-out drawers.
Your Kitchen Looks Like Something Out Of History Books
If your kitchen is looking similar to that of what you’d see in a classic home design book, you might want to get on the task of updating it as soon as possible. Even if you can’t overhaul the layout of the room, you’ll want to make updates that bring the kitchen into the 21st century. These include countertops, floors, the sink, and the cabinets. Anything major in the room should be updated to keep it from looking dated.
Whether you have set some money aside for renovations, or plan on refinancing your home, it’s a good investment to update the kitchen because the return is certain.