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How Does Your Home Compare to Others on the Market?

Real estate agents use comparable sales or “comps” (properties recently sold in the area) to see what the market bears for a listing price or value range marketing. But what makes a home a good comp? A few things must line up in order for the agent to utilize the comp to justify your listing price. The same neighborhood, school district, similar street and, of course, similar housing features and size. If these things align, then a comp can be used to provide a current estimated value of your home. Ideally, using a comp from a home that is the same model in the same subdivision is ...

April 27th, 2017 How Does Your Home Compare to Others on the Market?

The Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary

This week brings us the release of six monthly and quarterly economic reports that may affect mortgage rates in addition to a couple of Treasury auctions. One those reports is considered to be extremely important to the financial and mortgage markets and can cause a great deal of volatility. None of those reports will be posted Monday, the only day which has nothing set for release. The week kicks off late Tuesday morning when March’s New Home Sales numbers are posted. This Commerce Department report tracks a much smaller portion of all home sales than last week’s Existing Home Sal...

April 24th, 2017 The Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary

Luxury Home Design & Decor for Green Living

There are over 80,000 different chemicals used in the U.S., and most haven’t been adequately tested for their effects on human health, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Buying new home decor may be high on your list, but these harmful toxins can reside in furniture and household furnishings, along with everyday items like household cleaners and toys. Protect your health and happiness by staying proactive about your home's design and decor. Look for eco-friendly, sustainable and non-toxic products with a reputation for quality, so you can still capture that luxuri...

April 20th, 2017 Luxury Home Design & Decor for Green Living

The Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary

This week has five pieces of monthly economic data scheduled for release that have the potential to influence mortgage rates. None of the data is considered to be key or a highly important report. We are in earnings season where corporations post their quarterly earnings and projections. Strong earnings reports should fuel a stock rally that pressures bonds and leads to higher mortgage rates. On the other hand, disappointing earnings news should make bonds more attractive to investors and lead to rate improvements. There is nothing of importance set for Monday. March’s Housing Starts wil...

April 16th, 2017 The Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary

Making Your Down Payment With Gift Money

To take advantage of low interest rates while home prices climb higher and higher, some homebuyers need help accumulating enough money for a down-payment. To satisfy secondary market loan package purchasers such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and insurers like the Federal Housing Authority, lenders have strict rules about where down-payment money originates. Lenders prefer that borrowers supply their own down-payment funds. It shows they have “skin in the game” and that they are good with money and can meet their financial goals. However, many homebuyers are turning to their parents...

April 13th, 2017 Making Your Down Payment With Gift Money

If You Don't Talk to Your Buyers About Asbestos, Who Will?

Until it was found to cause everything from lung disease to cancer, asbestos served as a flame retardant material in everything from construction to cars and planes. Even after its damaging health effects were determined, it wasn't until the 1970s that the government sought to limit its use by banning its spray application and use on pipe insulation and such mechanicals as boilers and hot water tanks.1 Still, a visit to the Environmental Protection Agency's website produces a list of asbestos-containing products that are NOT banned in the U.S. - and it may surprise you.   "Asbestos" and "...

April 13th, 2017 If You Don't Talk to Your Buyers About Asbestos, Who Will?

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