Monday, August 3, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
The 30-year fixed rate mortgage average fell below 3% in July for the first time in history. The drop in interest rates lead many home owners to refinance their mortgages as they looked to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. So, are today’s rates truly a bargain?
Average rates on mortgages have bounced between 4-5% for the past couple of years, however they haven’t always been that low. Since 1971 Freddie Mac has been tracking 30-year mortgage rates. A 7.31% rate was the national average then but as inflation started to rise in the mid-1970s there was a surge in mortgage rates as well. It may seem incomprehensible given today’s rates but in 1981 mortgage rates reached their U.S. average high at 18.63%.
Fortunately, inflation started to normalize by late 1982 and mortgage rates had a downward trajectory bringing them to a low in 2012 of 3.31%. Since then 30-year fixed rates have risen modestly with the rate reaching as high as 4.94% in 2018.
Monday, July 6, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
Whether you are looking for ways to maximize your homes long-term value or prepping it to go on the market, these nine home improvement projects are a great way to add function, beauty and real value to your home.
Best of all, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed over the course of a single weekend plus specialized skills and experience are not required. Grab your toolbox and get ready to boost your home’s appeal AND investment potential!
Spruce Up Your Landscaping
Improvements to your homes landscaping can increase the value by 10-12%, but it’s important to understand which outdoor features buyers care about the most. In a recent survey of Realtors, having a healthy lawn was the most important landscaping factor. If your lawn is lacking consider overseeding or laying new sod. These investments are extremely worthwhile as they respectively net an expected return of 417% and 143% on your investment in your home. ...
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
Spring is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for real estate. With the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent stay-at-home orders many individuals have put their plans to buy or sell on hold. April saw a 45% drop in new listings and a 15% drop in the number of homes sold compared to April 2019.1
Fortunately, as restrictions have eased, home sales have picked back up. Many economist expect a complete rebound in July, August and September, as fears about the pandemic subside. If all of the buyers who held out during the spring return to the market this could cause a large amount of pent-up demand.2
Given the current climate of the economy and potential safety concerns is jumping back into the real estate market right now advisable?
For you to make that decision it’s important to consider your specific needs and circumstances as well as understanding what’s likely ahead for the housing market and how it could impact your decision and your ability to bu ...
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small adjustments can add up to significant savings each month.
Here are 20 things you can start doing today to lower your bills, secure better deals, and begin working toward your financial goals.
Refinance Your Mortgage - For prime borrowers, mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. Depending on your current mortgage rate and the terms you choose, refinancing could save you a sizable amount on your monthly payments. There are fees and closing costs associated with refinancing, so you’ll need to talk to your lender to find out if refinancing is a good option for you.
Evaluate Your Insurance Policies - If it’s been a while since you priced home or auto insurance, it may be worthwhile to d ...
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We’re all being called upon to avoid public spaces and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of this infectious disease. While it can be understandably challenging, there are ways you can modify your home and your lifestyle to make the best of this difficult situation.
Here are a few tips for creating comfortable and functional spaces within your home for work, school, and fitness. We also share some of our favorite ways to stay connected as a community, because we’re all in this together … and no one should face these trying times alone.
Begin with the Basics
A basic home emergency preparedness kit is a great addition to any home, even under normal circumstances. It should include items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, first aid kit, and other essentials you would need should you temporarily lose access to food, water, or el ...