Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do You Know These Basic Mortgage Facts? Take This Little Test.

In a recent survey taken from Zillow, 1/3 of home-buyers answered these basic mortgage questions incorrectly.  Do you know your basics? Answer these questions and see if you know your stuff.

1. True or False: It is impossible to get a mortgage for less than 5% down.
False. Loans ensures by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), for example, can require as little as 3.5% down.

2. True or False: It is always best to stick with the bank where you currently have your savings and checking accounts when getting a mortgage, because you will get the best deal.
False. Not always.  Often competing banks can cut this down by large margins.

3. True or False. Shopping with financing already in place can make for the faster buy.
True.  However, know that you are NOT obligated to close the deal with those loans.  If there are better terms available, and there often are, you should take them.

4. True or False. Underwater mortgages (where borrows owe more than the homes are worth) cannot be refinanced.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Digitally Paint Your Walls Without Spending a Penny

Whether you've just moved in or want to re-decorate an old room, painting a room can add quite a lot of value to your space - with the right color, of course.  Picking "the one" for your space can be a daunting task.  What color would look best?  How much paint do I need to buy?

Thankfully, Sherwin-Williams paint company has presented us with a useful new (and free!) iPad application entitled "ColorSnap Studio," which allows you to digitally try out a paint color in your space.  While you're at it, this application will also calculate how much paint you would need to get the job done.

Simply take a photo of your room on your iPad, select a color, and paint the room with your finger.  While your finger painting may not be the most accurate, ColorSnap will intelligently blend what you have done with the rest of the wall and give you a pretty accurate representation of what you can expect to see in your real space.  Then, when you've committed, ColorSnap will ask you a few measurement questions about the room and then calculate how much paint you should buy.  Cool, huh?

Having a capable Realtor is invaluable in the home sale process - it is proven to put more money in your pocket.  Having a capable Realtor who can also help you with technology?  Priceless.

(Did you know Jason Finn is a technologist by trade, with over 16 years consulting experience? Drop him a line.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Buying and Selling Simultaneously - What’s Your Strategy?

The real estate market continues to pick up at an incredible pace, and as a result, it’s a time of great change for homeowners.  You may have an old property to sell and a new property to buy.  While exciting opportunities lie on the horizon, tackling the dual challenge of buying and selling a home at the same time can be quite daunting.  What are your options?
There are a few common approaches to tackling this question, and which one works for you will depend about your specific situation and needs.  This is a time when an experienced real estate agent could be your most important advisor.  Make them earn their stripes!

Your options:

  1. Make an offer on the new place and then sell your current home quickly, coordinating your sale closing in the morning and purchase closing in the afternoon of the same day.  This requires some good coordination between the parties, and an accommodating Title company.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mortgage Rates Are on the Climb for the First Time Since March

This week we are experiencing an increase in Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgage. This is the first increase we have seen since March.

According to Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, the current quote for borrowers comes in at 3.39 percent – a .14 percent increase from last week, while the Illinois Mortgage Rate has seen an even greater increase, coming in at 3.41% – a .17% increase from last week.

In the coming week, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace director Erin Lantz anticipates rates “to remain fairly stable with limited news or economic data slated for release.”
*The weekly rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals. (Image courtesy of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace)

The 15-year fixed mortgage rate was just above 2.5 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was about 2 and three-eights.

What are the rates right now? Drop me an email, or give me a call to discuss your home financing options in detail.