How To Host A Successful Open House

How To Host A Successful Open HouseFrom fixing up all the minor repairs to cleaning the house top-to-bottom, there are a lot of small details that go into organizing the perfect open house. However, in the rush to organize everything, there are a number of to-do’s that are easy to forget about. If you’re currently prepping your home and don’t want to miss the important stuff, here are some things you should contemplate before setting the date.

The Outside Look

The first thing potential homebuyers will notice when they arrive at your home is the outside, and that’s why it’s so important not to neglect it. Before organizing your open house, make sure the lawn is mowed, any unsightly hedges are trimmed and that your entrance area and flowerbeds are well maintained. Since potential homebuyers will see the outside before anything else, there’s no sense in losing them for having a disheveled lawn before they’ve even walked through the door.

Effectively Market The Event

Many home sellers want to believe that their house will sell itself, but if no one knows about your open house or bothers to show up, there’s no chance of getting any offers. While your real estate agent should be featuring your home on their website, you may also want to hand out flyers to your neighbors and make a few posts on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to get the word out. There are no assurances when it comes to drumming up interest, but spreading the word with as many people as possible will likely find a few interested parties.

Use The Five Senses

It may not be the most common advice, but engaging potential buyers on a number of different levels can actually enhance the appeal of your home. Playing a little music can be a good way to make them feel comfortable, and you may want to do a little baking beforehand since the sense of smell can have a powerful impact. It may seem a little bit quirky, but there’s nothing to make people feel comfortable and at home like the scent of freshly baked treats and a little music.

There’s plenty of cleaning and organizing when it comes to an open house but it’s also important to look at the big picture when it comes to prepping for your home showing. If you’re nearly ready to put your home on the market, contact your local mortgage professional for more information.

Evaluating Neighborhoods: 4 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Home

Evaluating Neighborhoods: 4 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a HomeFrom finding the right agent to discovering the home you can truly feel comfortable in, there are a variety of things involved in the home buying process. However, it’s important not to get caught up in the home and ignore altogether the community you’ll be living in. If you’re planning a move to a new neighborhood, here are some things you should look into before putting in an offer.

Local Amenities

A peaceful, picturesque community is ideal, but if there are not a lot of resources nearby for your family, it’s possible that your new neighborhood may not be the best fit. Instead of having to get in the car and drive everywhere, ensure you research nearby community centers, green spaces and recreational spots so your family has somewhere to spend their weekends.

Research The Crime Rate

You can certainly get a good sense of the well being of a community just by looking at it, but be sure that you’re informed about exactly how safe the surrounding area is so your family will feel at ease in their new locale. While you can easily research the community and find information online, websites like Neighborhood Scout and Crime Report also make it simple to discover the less well-known details.

Transportation And Accessibility

A community you love is ideal, but if you work in the downtown core or an area far away, it will be important to determine the effect this will have on the length of your commute. In addition, you’ll want to be sure there are local transportation options like buses and shuttles that provide access all over the center in the event that it’s needed.

Learn About The Locals

There’s something to be said for the perfect home, but you’ll also need to feel a certain sense of comfort in the place you live so ensure you choose a place with nice neighbors and a community feel. This may seem hard to determine before buying a house, but try visiting the local community center or knocking on a few doors for a quick impression of what the locals are like.

It can be easy to throw everything else out the window as soon as you’ve found the perfect home, but it’s important that your home is situated in a neighborhood you’ll feel comfortable in. Contact your local mortgage professional for more information.

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home Abroad

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home AbroadThe call of fancy vacation locations and the additional earnings that can come along with this type of home may appeal to many homebuyers, but a lot of time and money can go into maintaining a second property. If you’re currently considering a vacation home for your own use or as a potential investment, here are a few factors to consider before jumping into the fray of a long distance home.

Will You Use It Enough?

A home in a far-off place can be a great means of having a place to visit each year, but one of the problems with this type of home is that it often doesn’t get enough use to justify all of the associated costs. While things like timeshares can minimize this problem, buying your own home may mean that you’ll be compelled to visit quite frequently and you may feel the need to commit to one option when it comes to vacation time.

Do You Want To Worry About Maintenance?

Like any home, a vacation property is going to have both large and small maintenance issues that need to be fixed here and there, and this can be hard to get to if you live a 5-hour plane ride away. Maintenance isn’t necessarily a deal breaker when it comes to a second home, but you’ll want to determine if you’re willing to do the work when you’re spending time there or whether you’d rather hire someone who will do all of the little fix-ups for you.

Is It Really Affordable?

When going into an investment as significant as a home for pleasure, it can be easy for people to be obscured by what they want and not what they need, but this sometimes means people will take a financial risk. Instead of throwing caution to the wind, ensure you sit down and determine the monthly costs, maintenance fees and property taxes of your potential property. Determining how this lines up with all your other debts will help you decide if the purchase is really feasible.

Sunny beaches and trendy cities may seem like a foolproof investment, but it’s important to consider the cost effectiveness and all of the maintenance required before you commit to a second home abroad. If you’re currently looking for a home in an exotic locale, contact your local mortgage professional for more information.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 27, 2016

Whats Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week May 18 2015Last week’s economic news was dominated by Great Britain’s vote to withdraw from the European Union. New and Existing Home Sales were released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

“Brexit” Vote Tanks Stocks, Could Cause Lower Mortgage Rates

US stocks plunged in reaction to the news of Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the resignation of its Prime Minister. While investors don’t want to see their 401(k) values crash, mortgage rates may also fall as a result of “Brexit”. Fallout caused by economic uncertainty connected with Great Britain’s move to regain independence is expected to have lingering influence on global financial and economic developments in coming months and years.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee that Great Britain’s decision to leave the EU could have significant consequences. Chair Yellen’s comments were made prior to Friday’s announcement of Great Britain’s decision.

Existing Home Sales Highest Since 2007, Home Prices Continue Rising

According to the National Association of Realtors® May sales of pre-owned homes hit their highest level since February 2007. May’s seasonally-adjusted annual reading of 5.53 million sales fell just shy of analysts ‘expectation of 5.55 million sales, but exceeded April’s reading of 5.43 million sales. May’s reading represented a 1.80 percent increase in sales and a year-over-year increase of 4.50 percent.

Short supplies of available homes continued to drive up home prices according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, who expressed concerns about affordability as home prices continued to outstrip wages and inflation. The national median home price was $239,700 in May, which was 4.70 percent higher year-over-year. Although first-time buyers typically represent about 40 percent of homebuyers, they currently account for 30 percent of homebuyers.

New Home Sales Fall in May

Sales of new homes slowed in May after jumping in April. According to the Commerce Department, sales of new homes fell by 6.00 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. 551,000 new homes were sold against the expected reading of 560,000 new homes sold and April’s downwardly revised reading of 586,000 new homes sold. New home sales were 8.70 percent higher year-over-year in May.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Last week’s mortgage rates don’t reflect the Brexit decision and rose slightly on Thursday. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was two basis points higher at 3.56 percent; the average rate for a 15.year fixed rate mortgage was also two basis points higher at 2.83 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was unchanged at 2.74 percent. Discount points rose to 0.60 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage but were unchanged at 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

What’s Ahead

Next week’s economic events include Case-Shiller Housing Market Indices, Pending Home Sales, Consumer Spending and Construction Spending

How to Differentiate Your Home from the Neighbors for a Faster Sale

How to Differentiate Your Home from the Neighbors for a Faster SaleWhen it comes to selling your home, there can be a lot of options on the market, and nothing is quite so competitive as having your house listed right alongside the home of your neighbor. If you’re struggling with how to highlight your home to potential homebuyers, here are some things you can do to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

Engage All The Marketing Options

Many people prefer their real estate agent to take care of the heavy lifting when it comes to selling a home, but there’s no reason you can’t go beyond the typical measures to really get potential homebuyers interested. Instead of leaving it up to a website or a sign on the street, send out flyers to all of your neighbors and utilize social media as a resource for getting the word out. You may also want to create a website for your home that will highlight its features in the best light.

Emphasize The Special Details

You may not think that the small things matter when it comes to selling your home, but the little details add up and they can actually make your home quite memorable to someone who’s seen a lot of open houses. Whether you’ve installed them or they were there already, your house probably has a special feature like brightly cultured kitchen tiles or an interesting light fixture; just ensure it’s effectively displayed and your home will stand out from the pack!

Clean Up The Curb

It’s possible that you have a stunning panoramic shot of your home from the outside, but if your house looks nothing like this when potential homebuyers arrive they’ll immediately be reconsidering the visit. Instead of leaving this to chance, make sure that you’ve done any minor repairs to the exterior of the house, cleaned up the lawn and organized everything so nothing looks messy or disheveled from the street. Your exterior will provide the initial impression, and nothing will make your home stand out from your neighbors like an immaculate facade.

It can be a struggle to know how to best display your house so it stands out, but by organizing the exterior and highlighting your home’s special features, you may be on your way to an ideal offer. If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, contact one of ourĀ mortgage professionals for more information.

What Young Buyers Want: 4 Home Must-haves When Selling to Millennials

What Young Buyers Want: 4 Home Must-haves When Selling to MillennialsMany millennials are set to flood the real estate market in the coming years to invest in a home of their own, but what is it that this group of young people is looking for in their property? From sizeable kitchens to a sustainable ethos, here are some of the things that will likely appeal to millennials searching for an ideal place of their own to settle.

A Suburban Location

There’s something to be said for city life, but many millennials are actually flocking to the safety and comfort of the suburbs in the hopes of finding more economical options for housing. With real estate prices going up all over and seeing even higher spikes in city centers, properties that offer a better price and a good-sized space are becoming a more desirable option.

A Carpet-Free Living Space

There was once a time when homes were carpeted top to bottom and it was considered the must have look, but in recent years hardwood has become all the rage with its easy-to-clean ability and durability. While there are many risks associated with carpet and its overall cleanliness, the low maintenance quality of hardwood is making it an absolute must for many homebuyers.

Smaller Is Better

The oversized mansion with 3 extra bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a huge yard used to be something that many homeowners idealized and aspired to, but with the rising cost of real estate and the awareness of all that goes into a home, people are shirking off this old world fairy tale. As opposed to sizeable estates, most millennials would prefer a space they can feel comfortable in and also maintain at the same time.

An Up-To-Date Area For Entertaining

Small-scale homes certainly feed the necessity for open spaces, but it just so happens that many millennials are also looking for great spaces for entertaining and an open concept kitchen achieves just this. Instead of four walls and outdated appliances, millennials want stainless steel, a lot of countertop space and a place they can comfortably hang out with their family and friends for hours on end.

Many millennials are currently perusing the market for their ideal starter home, but smaller homes with an open concept are often better when it comes to catching the interest of this group of buyers. If you’re currently on the lookout for a great deal, contact one of ourĀ local mortgage professionals for more information.

3 Tips for Planning Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

3 Tips for Planning Your Monthly Mortgage PaymentOnce you’ve purchased a home and decided on a move in date, it may seem like a lot of the hard stuff is over, but you still have one of the most important things relating to such a large purchase to think about: the payments! If you’re looking for a few tips on ways to approach your monthly payment, the following will steer you in the right direction so you can broach your mortgage schedule successfully.

Set Up A Payment Schedule

Many people have been in the situation of neglecting their phone or credit cards by forgetting about the payment due dates, but this can cause a lot of strife when it comes to an investment as large as your home. Instead of leaving it to chance, choose a day each month and ensure that your bank is transferring the funds over automatically so you never have to worry about missing a payment. This will help you retain a reputation as a responsible borrower and it means you won’t have to deal directly with this important expenditure each month.

Be Aware Of Ways To Pay

Instead of being in the dark about ways to pay your mortgage each month, talk to your bank about your options for making your monthly payments in a timely, hassle-free manner. Before you get into the nitty-gritty of home ownership, look into this as soon as you’ve signed off on the papers so you know the best way to approach each month. This will prepare you for your approximate total mortgage payment.

Is It Really Affordable?

If you’re associated with a lender you trust, you’ve probably already been made aware of the amount of house you can and can’t afford, but ensure you’ve sat down and thought about what all the added interest on your home means. While it can certainly be a huge financial commitment for anyone to commit to a monthly mortgage payment, being able to swing the expense consistently is the difference between financial well-being and a purchase you’ll come to regret.

Making the decision to invest in a home can be one of the most exciting things you’ll commit to in adulthood, but ensure you’re aware of just what your monthly mortgage means so that it’s not something you’ll look back on. If you’re currently on the market for a home, contact your local mortgage professionals for more information.