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Mortgage Rates

by Sandi Pressley

Are you ever curious as to how mortgage interest rates affect your ability to purchase a home or what you actually pay over the full term of a the loan?

The national average for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage has been under 5% for more than five years. Many assume these rates will stay that low indefinitely, but that is not the case.

Economists predict the improving economy, better job outlook and enthusiastic buyer confidence, will cause the Federal Reserve to start raising borrowing rates to banks, which will cause mortgage rates to become unstable and things to change drastically for consumers.

To demonstrate how changing mortgage rates impact your monthly payment, think about how much of a difference a small dip and rise in interest rates impact you.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, in December 2014, the average price for a home in the U.S. was $209,500. If you purchased a home for $200,000 and put 20% down with a fixed-rate mortgage (3.86%), your monthly payment would be about $750 a month. You’d make a total of 360 payments to equal $270,362.59 with $110,362.59 in interest over the period of the loan.

The same home with the same loan next summer could be vastly different. With the interest rates dropped to 3.59%, your monthly payment is $726.53 and your total payment adds up to $261,552.16 and $101,552.16 in interest. That’s not much of a difference, just under $25 a month and $8,810 in round numbers.

But if interest rates go up as economists predict, lets say as high as 4.9%, your monthly payments would look drastically different.

Your monthly payment would bump up to around $850 for a total of $305,698.59 and interest payments totalling $145,698.59. That’s an additional $122.63 monthly and $44,146.43 in interest by the end of the loan.

If you’re interested in buying a home, now could be the ideal time to do so, as mortgage rates are unlikely to stay this low much longer.

If you’re ready to see how affordable a home purchase might be with the current low mortgage rates, contact the Sandi Pressley Team today.

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Finding Your Perfect Home

by Sandi Pressley

Finding the home of your dreams can be an amazing experience. You can fall head over heels for a home the second you step into the living room, and just fall more and more in love as you walk through the rest of it. This can make you overlook some major flaws that you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t been blinded by your love of the home. While the house might be perfect on the surface, it might not be the house for you. Here are some tips on picking a home that you’ll love and is right for you.

Shop Within Your Budget

Speak to your lender and get a price limit that you can comfortably afford based on your income and current debts. Then only look at homes that are within that price range. This will keep you from falling in love that would overextend you and put the bank’s investment at risk.

Work With a Real Estate Professional

When you look on the internet, you run the risk of finding a home way out of your league. You’re more than welcome to look online, just make sure to stay in your price range. If you look at homes that are more expensive than you can afford you’re going to fall in love with the extras and space you’ll find there. Share your wish list with a real estate professional and let them preview homes for you.

Shop for the Size You Need

Buying a home that’s too big is a common mistake buyers make. While you might think that buying a home with the most space with the money you have is a good idea, remember the operating costs of heating and cooling and the hassle of keeping all those rooms clean. Plan out how many rooms you’ll need and stick to a home with that many rooms.

Shop for Your Lifestyle

Consider your lifestyle. If you’re single and travel often, you probably don’t want a home with lots of land to maintain, you’d probably want a condo or something on a smaller lot in a gated community. If you have kids, you’ll probably want something in a nice neighborhood with lots of parks nearby.

Keep Your Commute in Mind

While they offer the most comforts and space, many of the newest homes are built on cheaper land that’s farther from city centers. Keep the commute to work in mind when you’re picking a home or neighborhood.

Remember You Have to Live in the House

A home can look absolutely perfect on the surface, but be completely impossible to function in. Is there space for a table to put your keys? Is there a place where the kids can drop their backpacks after school? Does your office have enough space to work in? Are there enough bathrooms for everyone to use during that morning rush?

Don’t Let a Home’s Look Fool You

Affordable homes are often older or need a little work. You can often turn a so-so home into the perfect home with some minor cosmetic updates. No home is perfect, so don’t worry about by ugly wallpaper or paint, it can be easily changed. The right house for you might not be the biggest, prettiest, newest house on the block, but it should be the house that fits the many needs of your household. When comparing homes remember to keep your wish list, price range, number of bedrooms needed, space and amenities that are needed, in mind. Once you move in you’ll see that that the perfect home is the one that suits you and your needs best.

If you’re ready to start the search for your dream home, contact The Sandi Pressley Team.

Remodel or Move?

by Sandi Pressley

When your home is starting to feel not like home, it might be best to change your scenery. But is it better to sell or to remodel?

After a few years, a home can start to show signs of wear and tear. Color schemes, furniture and decorative styles start to look outdated, and sometimes you must put off certain renovations as a new homeowner that a more settled homeowner could easily afford to do.

Some factors like lower interest rates and an improving economy are in your favor, so you’ll have a chance to get back whatever you spend on improving your home if you end up selling. The question is, if you were able to renovate your home like you wanted, would you be willing to stay in it for a few more years? Or would a complete change be better?

When you start, put together the right team. Unless you’re moving walls or pouring new foundations, you probably don’t need an architect. Finding a good contractor, a kitchen planner and an interior designer might be a good start. You may want to talk with your lender to learn how much you’ll be allowed to borrow as well as whether the current market value will support the renovation.

As you’re putting all of this together, you may find more work that needs to be addressed you hadn’t expected. Plan ahead for problems so your budget and your contractor don’t suffer the consequences.

Before making the decision to renovate your home, make sure you can get what you want within the budget you’ve set, and that you’d be happy with the results for at least a few years.

If you’re not completely sure renovation is the option for you, talk to your real estate professional. Let your agent know you are considering remodeling, but that you’re also open to finding a new home. Your agent might be able to find a few homes for sale that have the size, finishes and features you’re looking for. After viewing a few homes you should have a better grasp of what you want and what you’re looking for.

You and your agent can also discuss selling your home. Your agent will create a comparative market analysis of homes like yours that have both been sold and put on the market recently so you can judge what you could gain from selling your home. From this list you’ll also learn how long you can expect your house to be on the market and if other sellers are getting the prices they set. You and your agent and discuss a price range based on your home’s location and its current condition.

Keep in mind that markets have their ups and downs so what your agent shows you is only a glimpse of what is true today. If you are happy with where your home sits among the competition, then it could be a good time to list.

Whether you are selling your home or remodeling there will be lots of disorder in your home. You’ll have to either open your home up to buyers, or let workers in and out. But the sacrifice can be worth it if you’re happy on the other side.

If you think selling your home is the option for you, contact The Sandi Pressley Team.

Top Three Responsibilities As A Home Owner

by Sandi Pressley

Owning a home versus renting comes with many benefits. Painting the walls, having a pet, building a treehouse in the backyard for your kids, to name a few. It gives you the independence to do whatever you want with your home, whenever you want. Some people find it easier to continue renting than to gain that independence. Home ownership comes with many responsibilities. Here are the top three you’ll have to face as a homeowner.

Financial Responsibility

You will owe your lender payments which need to be paid in a timely manner. On time payments help build your credit, better credit can mean more remodeling projects you can take on, or perhaps furniture for your home, or maybe a new car. Having a higher credit score can help you with these things. Your payments should not exceed more than 40 percent of your income, if you overextend yourself, you could have trouble meeting the minimum payments. Limit the amount of credit you use and pay your bills on time every month. Avoid new charges unless you’ve paid off the old ones. You should also try and save as much money as you can. Put money in your 401K, invest in the stock market, or even put it in a lockbox under your bed, as long as you are saving rather than overspending. It’s also a good idea to have at least six months of payment stored somewhere in case of emergencies.

Neighborhood Responsibility

When you buy a home, you and your home are now a part of the image of the neighborhood, and can either improve or damage that image. Keeping your yard well-groomed can go far in making the neighborhood look nicer. This is an excellent way to protect your investment and that of your neighbors. This is one of the reasons many neighborhoods have homeowners associations. They try to protect property value by ensuring neighborhood safety and maintenance. To reap the benefits of higher property value, make sure to keep up with the HOA and their regulations. Consider volunteering to help or participate in meetings.Before you purchase a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, make sure to review their CC&Rs, (Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) and make sure you will be able to keep up with them. If there are terms or conditions that bother you it may be wise to search a different neighborhood for your home.

Household Responsibility

Moving into a new home is a great chance to improve your lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of your new home and neighborhood. Choose a home that meets your needs and allows you to live within your means. If you don’t have a yard for the kids, find a home near a park or a playground. Keep in mind the time it will take to drive to your local grocery store, work and school. Check out traffic in the area and think about how the drive times will affect your family. You might want to live in a particular area, but if the payment for the house is too high, it can create financial strain. It’s better to buy a smaller home and be able to manage your payments than to have a larger home and not be able to make your payments.

When you make the decision to give up your landlord and buy a home, Contact Sandi Pressley to get started.

2016 NAR Predictions

by Sandi Pressley

NAR has released their predictions for the 2016 housing market. Click the link below to see what the experts are predicting for 2016.

National Association of Realtors 2016 Predictions

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Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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