Low Mortgage Rates

Low Mortgage Rates

The recent drop in mortgage rates may have you dreaming of buying a new home or refinancing your current house. You’re not alone. Today’s low interest rates are providing a break to new homeowners, making homeownership more desirable and achievable at the same time. Freddie Mac explains, “The combination of very low mortgage rates, a strong economy and more positive financial market sentiment all point to home purchase demand continuing to rise over the next few months.” There’s a current narrative that owning a home today is less affordable than it has been in the past. The reason some are making this claim is because house prices have substantially increased over the last several years. It’s not, however, just the price of a home that matters. Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by approximately 3% over the last year. The chart below is featured from FRED Economic Research. It shows the 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage in the United States from 1980 to current times. Look at that drop, how crazy! In just 40 years, mortgage interest rates have dropped almost 15%! What an incredible cost savings! The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a monthly Housing Affordability Index. The latest index shows that home affordability is better today than at almost any point over the last 30 years. The index determines how affordable homes are based on the following: “A Home Affordability...
10 Things to Avoid Before Closing on Your Home

10 Things to Avoid Before Closing on Your Home

So you’ve been pre-approved for your first mortgage loan, and you’ve found the perfect starter home. Your offer was accepted, the home inspection has been negotiated and your loan officer locked you in at a competitive rate. You likely think you’ve all but sealed the deal. You won’t officially be a homeowner for maybe another 20-30 days, give or take, so don’t get careless. Because guess what? Your lender will check your credit again just before your closing date, prior to granting you the funds. Your lender might also need additional information from you while processing your loan application. That means that keeping your finances stable and being readily available to answer any questions over that 30-day time period is pretty important. Here are 10 things you should avoid doing before closing your mortgage loan. DO NOT…. Buy a big-ticket item: a car, a boat, an expensive piece of furnitureQuit or switch your jobOpen or close any lines of credit (NONE!)Pay bills lateIgnore questions from your lender or brokerLet someone run a credit check on youMake large deposits to your accounts outside of your paycheckCosign a loan with anyoneChange bank accountsTake out any payday loans Depending on your personal situation, you might want to take some time to get comfortable with your new mortgage payment — and after that, it’s probably okay to splurge on that new kitchen table, go on a long vacation or open a new line of credit. But doing so before you close could potentially put getting your home in jeopardy.  Bottom Line It’s now more difficult to get a mortgage loan. As a homebuyer, you don’t want anything...
7 Resolutions For Your Home In the New Year

7 Resolutions For Your Home In the New Year

R E S O L U T I O N S You might have vowed to quit smoking, lose some weight, travel new places or spend some more time with your family. But what about your home – the place where you’ll spend most of your year? Below we present to you seven resolutions for your home this year, in the perfect spirit of new beginnings. They say home is where your heart is but a lovelier, better organized, and more comfortable place to live will surely work wonders. As we count down to 2020, we will share our favorite resolutions for your home. 1. Declutter your homeWhen your house is untidy and in chaos, it makes you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated. Your environment affects how you feel, therefore, tidying up and organizing your house may change the way you experience life. It’s easy to let this task be left undone, but if you’re intentional and schedule this as an appointment (even 20 minutes per day), you will feel more organized soon. Creating extra space for storage is another way to keep your home organized. With added space, you can store your possessions easily without your room looking untidy. So this year, how about making use of your imagination at creating a little more space in the most unimaginable places? If you still feel overwhelmed, we recommend you contact Angie King Oswalt with House Ready By Maplewood Designs, LLC and she will organize, declutter, take stuff to donate, etc for you! 2. Make Your House Safe and Sound Your home may look wonderful and it’s properly organized also. How about putting some efforts into making it safe as well?...
2020 Housing Forecast and Why You Should Sell Now

2020 Housing Forecast and Why You Should Sell Now

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft. While the thought of selling your Lafayette Indiana home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: winter buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.  If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well and listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure. Here are the reasons to sell your Lafayette Indiana home this winter and what’s predicted for the housing market in 2020… 1. Demand Due To Low Housing Supply Inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move. Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple of years, for fear they would not find a home to move into. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The...
Property Tax Exemptions

Property Tax Exemptions

The Property Tax Exemption Deadline in Indiana is Approaching! Are You Entitled to a Property Tax Exemption? If you purchased a house, changed the deed, or refinanced on your mortgage, you should make sure the correct exemptions are filed on your home. The Romanski Group of Keller Williams Realty wants to remind you to file your property tax exemptions by the end of the year!  If exemptions aren’t filed or confirmed by December 31 your taxes could go up substantially.  Below is a summary of common exemptions along with contact information for each county below. Homestead Deduction – If you own a home or are buying on a recorded contract, and use it as your primary place of residence, your home could qualify for a homeowner’s deduction. A taxpayer cannot receive the Homestead Deduction in multiple states as the homestead is considered the “principle place of residence”. The deduction is either 60% of your assessed valuation or a maximum of $45,000. Mortgage Deduction – If you are buying property on a recorded mortgage or a recorded contract, and you are a resident of the State of Indiana, you could qualify for a mortgage deduction. The value of the deduction may not exceed the amount of the indebtedness. The deduction is either one half of your assessed valuation or $3,000, whichever is less. A person owning more than one property may not receive mortgage deductions totaling more than $3,000. There are several other property tax exemptions that may be available to you as well which you may want to inquire about. Please find your county below and file your homestead...
5 Ways To Increase Your Equity

5 Ways To Increase Your Equity

A home purchase brings together so many things under one roof: dreams, shelter, status, maybe a passport to better schools and neighborhoods. And one more thing: It gives you a forced savings account. It does that by letting you build home equity, which is the difference between your home’s market value and what you owe on it. Your equity increases with each house payment you make. When home prices rise, your equity grows faster as your home’s value increases. Here are some ways to increase your home equity… 1. Pay more on your mortgage Paying more can be a good option. If you decide to do this, make sure the extra money is applied to your mortgage principal. Ask your mortgage servicer (you can find the phone number on your monthly statement) how to do it and watch your monthly statements to be sure the money is credited correctly. Here are a few ways to pay more regularly: • Add an extra sum to your monthly payment. Pick an amount big enough to make a difference but not so big that it crimps your budget. For example, if your payment is $983, round up to $1,100, and then increase the amount when you’re able.• Another version of adding to your monthly payment: Boost the payment by an amount equal to a twelfth of a payment. By the year’s end, you’ll have made an extra payment.• Switch to biweekly mortgage payments. Paying every two weeks instead of monthly adds one extra monthly payment to your mortgage annually.• Schedule extra payments automatically from your bank to your mortgage account at regular intervals The...