2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

Buying a home is a huge commitment and one which should be considered carefully before undertaking. Not only are you committing to years of the mortgage, but you are also putting down roots in a community for some period of time. As more and more Millennials consider the pros and cons of buying their first home, they are often confronted with a barrage of information containing half-truths and outright lies. Here are 2 common myths which cause my potential buyers to hold off buying a home.

Myth #1 – You have to have a 20% down payment. While it’s true that most 0% down loans have disappeared after the mortgage meltdown last decade, it’s also true that there are some very attractive loan options which do not require a 20% down payment. Although loans with less than an 80% loan-to-value do require private mortgage insurance, which add cost to the monthly payment, there are many options available with a lower down payment; many lenders offer conventional loans with 5-10% down payments, FHA loans for first time home buyers require only 3.5% down payment. Qualified veterans can also use the VA loan program to purchase a home with 0%.

Myth #2 – You need great credit While it is certainly helpful to have a high FICO score and great credit, there loan programs available for buyers will lower scores. In fact, a survey done last fall indicated that over 50% of new loans in the past year were for people with FICO scores in the 600-649 range.

The main point is that buying a home is a great investment in your future, both financially and personally. Before you assume you aren’t ready to buy a home, talk with a lender and learn your options. Don’t let these myths keep you from a new home.

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3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

Finding the perfect time to buy a home is a challenge that requires research and a bit of luck. While timing the purchase perfectly might be desirable, the truth is the right time is a personal decision. As we enter 2020, you might be wondering if this is the right time to buy your dream home. With a strong economy, low unemployment and higher household income, there are 3 great reasons why you should consider buying that dream home this year.

1. A Home is a Great Investment – Real estate remains one of the best investments one can have. Based on hard assets, real estate tends to weather the ups and downs long term better than other investment tools, such as stocks or bonds.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates are Low – Interest rates have fallen over the past year from 5% in November of 2018 and Freddie Mac expects them to level at an average of 3.8% in 2020. This extra purchasing power is important when buying your dream home and this is a good time to lock in that rate for the next 30 years.

3. Hedge Against Inflation – Rental costs continue to rise and as the economy heats up, inflation becomes more of a possibility. A fixed 30-year mortgage freezes your housing costs and works as a buffer from inflation which is impacting the rental market.

Owning property is almost always a good investment. If you’ve been thinking about exchanging your current home for your dream house, 2020 could offer the right time to move up.

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3 Types of Decorative Molding for Accent Walls

Decorative accent moldings come in a wide variety of styles. Interior designers use these to add visual interest to rooms and spaces while highlighting desirable features and distracting from less attractive elements. Understanding the options and purposes of decorative molding allows use of a design tool that is relatively inexpensive and simple but will elevate any home style.

• Baseboards and Crown Molding – The most common of moldings include baseboards and crown molding. These essentially frame a wall and typically are painted bright white or soft cream to highlight the wall color.

• Chair Rails and Picture Rails – Chair rails are designed to serve a functional purpose: to protect the wall from damage caused by chairs, usually in a dining area. They also add a decorative element by delineating between two paint colors, or perhaps wallpaper and paint. A picture rail is comprised of the same kind of thin wood strip as used in a chair rail, but typically placed a few feet below the ceiling. A picture rail allows the homeowner to hang decor without damaging the wall. When coupled with crown molding, a picture rail can create the impression of a higher ceiling, adding a sense ofluxury.

• Wainscoting – Common in traditional homes, wainscoting is paneling placed against a wall, originally used to camouflage wall damage near the floor of older homes with water seepage. Modern homes have a multitude of choices from which to choose. These decorative treatments are often used to make a room look larger or cozier, depending on the height of the paneling. Moldings come in a variety of styles and sizes, and each can be used for a different purpose. Relatively simple to install, decorative molding can change the feel of any space.

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2 Things Home Buyers Really Want

Most home buyers have to sacrifice some of their wants to find a new home. Unless they have unlimited funds and time, chances are there are “must-haves” which outweigh the “like-to-have” items on the list. Yet, there are always features that these buyers refuse to part with, and they might surprise you.

1. Outdoor Space – Over the past decade or so, outdoor spaces have become extensions of the home. From outdoor kitchens to outdoor living rooms, the line between interior and exterior has blurred. Home buyers have embraced this way of living and are insisting on some kind of outdoor patio or space when looking for a new home.

2. Garages – Today’s home buyer wants a garage. True, some of them plan to use it for non-traditional purposes, such as for storage or home gyms, but they still insist on a garage. Even with the rise of rideshare services and public transportation options, statistics show that the average household owns 1.95 cars and studies demonstrate they are looking for a home with at least a single-car garage. Homebuyers realize they might have to make sacrifices when searching for a new home. Surprisingly, while these buyers might be willing to compromise on other aspects of the home, outdoor space and garages are among the “must-have” items in 2020.

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3 Major Factors in Choosing a Neighborhood

Buying a new home is exciting. Whether you’re moving across the country or across town, finding the right house is just one part of choosing the best option. The neighborhood in which the home is located is a critical component of lifestyle as well.

Here are 3 of the most important considerations as you search for the right community to call home.

1. Safety – First and foremost, the safety of the neighborhood is important. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to get details concerning safety. Search local crime statistics through local police sites and public online search sites. Spend time driving through the community, talk with neighbors, and pay attention to the security of the homes themselves; a community where most homes have extra security could be a sign of trouble.

2. Schools – Regardless of whether you have children in the home, or plan to, the quality of the local schools is a big factor in home values, and is easy to research. Visit the district’s website and read about their test scores and rankings. Extracurricular activities are also a large factor in the desirability of the schools; watch for art, music, and athletic programs.

3. Conveniences – Remember that you’ll need to shop for groceries, work out at a gym, enjoy entertainment, and dine out. As you drive through potential communities, take note of the local availability of the extras you need.

Finding the right home is not enough to live a nice lifestyle. The neighborhood is just as important. Not only for your enjoyment, but it affects the resale value as well. Choosing the right community takes a little research, but it’s well worth it to love where you live.

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