What do 84% of Americans Believe??

 

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84% of Americans Believe Buying a Home is a Good Financial Decision | MyKCM

According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey84% of Americans now believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. This is the highest percentage since 2007 – before the housing crisis. Those surveyed pointed out five major reasons why they believe home ownership is a good financial decision:

  1. Homeownership means the money you spend on housing goes towards building equity, rather than to a landlord
  2. Homeownership creates the opportunity to pay off a mortgage and own your home by the time you retire
  3. Homeownership is an investment opportunity that builds long-term wealth and increases net worth
  4. Homeownership means a stable and predictable monthly mortgage payment
  5. Homeownership allows for various deductions on federal, state, and local income taxes

The survey also revealed that the majority of Americans strongly agree that homeownership helps create safe, secure, and stable environments.

Bottom Line

Home ownership has always been and still is a crucial part of the American Dream.

 

Tori Denton, PSA, Realtor®

Keeping the American Dream alive one HOME at a time!

Here’s WHY You Should BUY

Real Estate Mogul: Here’s Why You Should Buy | MyKCM

Real Estate mogul, Sean Conlon, host of The Deed: Chicago on CNBC, was recently asked the question, should you buy? Or should you rent a house?

 

Conlon responded:

“I am a true believer that you save every penny and you buy your first house… and that is still the fastest path to wealth in this country.”

Conlon went on to suggest that first-time buyers put down 10-20% “if they can make it work,” and to remain in their home at least 4-5 years to see a return on their investment.

Who is Sean Conlon, and why should you listen to his advice?

Within a few years of working in the real estate industry, Conlon had established himself as one of the leading agents in the United States and has founded 3 billion-dollar brokerages dealing in residential, commercial and investment sales. Since immigrating to America from the United Kingdom in 1990, he believes very strongly in the American Dream and the role that homeownership plays in achieving it. Conlon is quoted on his website as saying:

“I treat people the way I would like to be treated if I went in to buy a house and I work harder than anybody I know. I think if you do that in America, you will always succeed.”

Bottom Line

Homeownership is an investment you can leverage against in the future that not only provides shelter and safety but also helps you build your family’s wealth. If you are debating whether or not to purchase a home this year, let’s get together to discuss the opportunities available in today’s market!

The Big Down Payment Myth

different-types-of-home-loansHaving the spare capital to put 20 percent down on a home purchase is great, but it’s certainly not the norm. Still, many people think it is and that belief may be holding some would-be home buyers back, particularly young adults.

Indeed, 39 percent of non-owners say they believe they need more than 20 percent for a down payment on a home purchase. Twenty-six percent believe they need to put down 15 to 20 percent, and 22 percent say they need a down payment of 10 percent to 14 percent to buy, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile report.

But now for the reality: The average down payment on a purchase mortgage was just 11 percent in 2016. And that’s just the average; often times down ppuzzleayments are much lower. For borrowers under the age of 35, the average down payment was just under 8 percent, according to NAR’s survey.

As such, “aspiring first-time buyers think it takes twice as much to buy a home than it really does,” writes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist, in his latest column.

How much a person truly needs for a down payment depends on their situation. Their financial circumstances, home location, and the price of the home are important factors.

But there are many mortgage options that offer the opportunity to make low or even no down payments. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer no-money down loans to those who are eligible. In 2016, 16 percent of buyers under the age of 35 put no money down on their home purchase.

Further, the largest share of loans for buyers under age 35 last year were for people putting down less than 5 percent on a home purchase (or about $3,500). The 3 percent down payment programs backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the 3.5 percent FHA mortgage that primarily targets first-time buyers, are both helpful programs to consider. These loan programs don’t require unblemished credit either. The average FICO score was 713, but realtor.com® notes borrowers with a 639 were still getting approved.fico by loan

As such, Smoke says the millennial dreaming about homeownership needs to get this message: They need a FICO score of at least 639 and enough for a 5 percent down payment (that is, if they don’t qualify for the other programs with lower payment options). In that case, they’ll need to save about $3,500 to buy in the typical American town.

Source: “Attention First-Time Buyers: Here’s the Key Stuff You Don’t Know About Mortgages,” realtor.com® (Feb. 9, 2017)

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years?

My clients make good decisions because they are well-educated… the transaction is well-executed, and the CLOSING is well-delivered! Here’s a sample of the information I provide to my clients (short & sweet, just the meat – no fillers):
Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | MyKCM

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why I like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey:

Home values will appreciate by 4.0% over the course of 2017, 3.2% in 2018 and 3.0% the next three years (as shown below). That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.24% over the next 5 years.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | MyKCM

The prediction for cumulative appreciation ticked up from 18.7% to 21.4% by 2021. The experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 10.2%.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | MyKCM

In A Nutshell

Individual opinions make headlines but I believe this survey is a fairer depiction of future values. Who wouldn’t want to make an average of 21% on a 5 year investment?

The market is still appreciating. That means it’s good to be a buyer OR a seller at this time… If you are a seller your house has appreciated and you have significant equity in your house allowing you to MOVE UP to your dream home. If you are a buyer, you still have plenty of appreciation left in a new home and if purchasing your first home (at historically LOW interest rates) you are STILL making a great INVESTMENT!

Got questions?? I’ve got answers – let me add some value to your financial knowledge database! My clients make good decisions because they are well-educated, the transaction is well-executed, and the CLOSING is well-delivered!

Contact me today to learn more! 413.301.4614 OR tedenton109@gmail.com

Rethinking Your Christmas List This Year

This article comes courtesy of Realtor.com

Getting a Down Payment as a Gift? Why NOT??

Why not give a gift that will KEEP on giving for years to come?!?

The first time I talked with a mortgage broker about buying a home, he suggested I just ask my parents for help coming up with the down payment.

“It’ll be easy,” he assured me. “You just get it as a gift. Lots of first-time buyers do it.”

In some ways, he was right. Many people do get help from their parents—after all, many of us are dealing with crippling student debt or other financial burdens that make it difficult to amass the cash needed for a down payment.

But he was wrong about one big thing: It ain’t easy.

Getting down payment help from the parents (or anyone else) isn’t as simple as just asking and then receiving when the money rolls in. If you’re going to do it, you’d better do it right. Avoid some of the big mistakes I made with an eye toward these tips.

1. The down payment must be a gift

What my mortgage broker should have told me is that the money has to be a gift. If a lender suspects the money might be a loan, repaying said loan will be factored into your mortgage approval amount and you’ll qualify for less than you might have wanted.

In order to prove it’s a gift, you’ll have to get a gift letter from the person who gave it to you—your parents (or the gifters) will need to swear on paper they don’t plan on asking for the money back. Thankfully, my wise parents had already put up a down payment for my sister and they knew this drill. But if yours don’t, get them up to speed quickly.

“The gift letter is very serious,” says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser and author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.”

“While it is doubtful that a lender would ever audit a file after the fact to see if the recipient is paying the donor back, if the transaction goes bad, you might very well find yourself with a subpoena in your hand.” (True story—it’s a felony to lie on a mortgage application.)

2. You’ll want the down payment in advance

When you’re getting help, you have two options: 1) Take the money from Mom and Dad now, during the early planning stages, and save yourself some headache (and paperwork) later on, or 2) wait until you’re ready to buy and have your parents send the money just before you walk into your mortgage broker’s office.

Both will work, but if you have any say in the matter, get the money as early as possible.

“If the funds are ‘seasoned’—meaning that they’ve been in the account long enough so that the last two bank statements don’t show the deposit—the gift does not have to be addressed,” Fleming says.

My parents opted for a last-minute donation, and I was more than happy to have the help however they chose to give it. But it was tricky getting a lender to take it on faith that I’m going to get a big influx of cash once I find a home to buy.

3. There’s a limit to what can be gifted (tax-free)

The timing isn’t the only thing that’s tricky. There’s also a limit to how much someone can fork over to you—tax-free, at least. Under the current rules, any gift of $14,000 and up will incur a tax bill. So your parents will have to gift you less than that, or pay a tax penalty at the end of the year.

Of course, there is a (perfectly legal) loophole of sorts.

“It is $14,000 per year per donor, so a couple could give $28,000 ($14,000 from each) to their child,” Fleming says.

4. Gifted down payment funds will have to be verified

So you did your due diligence and you got a gift letter. Good for you! But guess what? That gift letter might not be enough for your lender to verify the funds. To do that, your parents are going to have to provide a paper trail.

Bank statements should do it, Fleming says, but be ready for this to feel a little … invasive.

Most lenders will require two months of statements from the gifter’s account, including all pages from each statement. Those bank statements will need to include all relevant information, meaning your lender is going to see your parents’ bank account number and personal information.

That felt weird to my parents, who worried about the security risk of faxing that information to a virtual stranger. But really—it happens all the time, so don’t let them freak out over it.

5. Your parents can’t go broke trying to help you

We both know your parents aren’t going to give away all of their money for the sake of your down payment, but your lender has to know that, too. That’s why your folks will have to prove with bank statements that they can comfortably afford the gifted down payment—and have sufficient funds left over.

If your parents are going to use a separate account for the down payment, or they split their money over several accounts, make sure your lender knows what’s going on and have your parents provide extra proof that they can afford to help you.

Just be sure to also provide your parents with extra proof of your gratitude. And invite them over for dinner once in a while, eh?

—————

| Nov 28, 2016
Angela Colley lives in New Orleans, where she writes about buying, selling, and renting news for realtor.com. Her passions include animal rescue, photography, historic homes, and Southern architecture..

3 Simple Steps to 3%

3 steps to 3percent

Start today.. contact me or your lender and discuss what your first step needs to be. You may be more ready than you think!

If you can gather first, last, and security deposit to rent … why not put that same cash to work as a down payment on your OWN home! Rents can be substantially higher than a mortgage… after all you are always paying a mortgage – why pay your landlord’s when you could be building equity for yourself!

 

Got questions?? I’ve got answers – contact me to day!

Amazing views – Affordable Luxury

This 4 bedroom 1 1/2 bath home in West Springfield could be just what you’ve been waiting for!

Located in the highly desirable Tatham section, this 8 room home features high-end kitchen upgrades, hardwood floors, formal livingroom, dining room and family room. Marble fireplace, elegant entryway… and a large deck looking out toward Westfield…. Close to everything but located in a quiet, cozy neighborhood.

Imagine enjoying your morning coffee or relaxing after work. Plenty of room for entertaining this home has tremendous features for it’s price – have to see it to believe it! Contact me today for your private showing of this amazing home!

 

Five Maintenance Resolutions for Your Home

Five Maintenance Resolutions for Your Home

 

 

We may be a little removed from New Year’s Day, but it’s not too late to make some new resolutions for your home.

 

 

  1. Start a home repair slush fund: Things in your home are going to break and need to fixed. It’s just a fact that comes with home ownership. Rather than letting expensive repairs take you by surprise, start planning for them. Set aside some money each month that you can eventually draw from when an appliance breaks or unexpected.
  2. Inspect your fireplace: Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should still inspect the valves and ceramic logs yearly to ensure that everything is operating safely and correctly. If you have wood fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to do the job.
  3. Maintain your garage door: Garage doors are big and heavy, and that puts a lot of stress on the hinges and tracks that are used to open and close the door several times a day. A regularly scheduled $50 inspection could save you hundreds or thousands in the long run. Regularly applying a silicon spray to the tracks will also eliminate squeaks & help the gears to run smoother – making the parts last longer!
  4. Tune up your furnace: Regular furnace inspections will help identify minor problems before they turn into major ones. Having this done off-season will help you avoid the rush of appointments in the fall. Also, set reminders to replace your furnace filter.
  5. Clean your coils: Image result for refrigerator coilsThe No. 1 refrigerator maintenance task should be cleaning the condenser coils. They can get clogged with hair and dust, reducing your fridge’s efficiency. Have you cleaned yours lately? You can hire a professional to do it, but it’s also an easy do-it-yourself job. Be very careful with this as there are delicate wires and fans running under there! Take time and care when cleaning these coils. Use your vacuum and a long narrow brush gently cleaning the parts as you go. Fans are usually open, so take care that you don’t hit the fan when it running. When you take your time this simple step can improve the life of your refrigerator by years!

 


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