Thursday, December 13, 2018

Where Are Interest Rates Headed In 2019?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.
Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019.

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. But don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year!

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

Bottom Line

Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Friday, December 7, 2018

*Simulated Pictures*NEW BUILT single level home with open floor plan on just over 1 acre.  Located at 8082 Stella Ct. in Nampa. Home has a gas stone fireplace, Laminate flooring, Recessed lighting in Kitchen and great room. Kitchen has upscale cabinets, granite counters with a granite island and SS appliances that include Cook top, Refrig, D/W and Double Ovens. MB has a granite counter, walk in tile shower, tile floors and back splash. 10 ft ceilings, plus office/4th bedroom. Huge covered patio. 3 car garage and RV garage or work shop is 20X42.

See photos below, then click here for more information.
You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.

1960's Home

House built in 1960, 5 bedrooms, 1 3/4 Bathrooms. Located at 1922 Shoup Dr. in Twin Falls. Garage with workshop and 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment built in 1970. Large Lot.

You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Open Floor Plan

Spacious 1,600 sf. house, located at 557 E. Willow Ridge Ct. in Kuna, offers an open floor plan with BRAND NEW paint & flooring, 3 large bedrooms, 2.5 baths, & extended 3 car garage. Master bath has a large soaking tub, shower, private toilet, & large walk in closet. You’ll love the spacious kitchen, ample counter space, stainless steel appliances, & large walk in pantry. Yard is fully fenced & landscaped- full sprinkler system. Enjoy a quiet, low-traffic neighborhood. Adjacent to main roads allows quick travel to Boise/Meridian/Nampa/other areas.

See photos below, then click here for more information.
You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.

Rare! Newly renovated home in Plantation Creek

Rare! Newly renovated home in Plantation Creek. Located at 3551 N Rock Creek Lane in Garden City. Desirable location that is close to downtown, and has access to the Greenbelt and Plantation Golf Club. New flooring, quartz, tile, lighting, plumbing fixtures and paint. 10 ft ceilings throughout most of the home. Large, versatile great room with floor-to-ceiling built-ins for lots of display and storage space. Newer HVAC system and lifetime tile roof. Don't miss the opportunity to own an updated home in this special neighborhood!

See photos below, then click here for more information.
You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.
An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.
Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.
But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?
Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Friday, November 30, 2018

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again

Home sales numbers are leveling off, the rate of price appreciation has slowed to more historically normal averages, and inventory is finally increasing. We are headed into a more normal housing market.
However, some are seeing these adjustments as red flags and are suggesting that we are headed back to the same challenges we experienced in 2008. Today, let’s look at one set of statistics that prove the current market is nothing like the one that preceded the housing crash last decade.
The previous bubble was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. New purchasers were putting down the minimum down payment, resulting in them having little if any equity in their homes.
Existing homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash. When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of their home) so they walked away which caused prices to fall even further. When this happened, even more homeowners found themselves in negative equity situations which caused them to walk away as well, and so a vicious cycle formed.
Today, the equity situation is totally different. According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions more than 1-in-4 homes with a mortgage have at least 50% equity. The report explains:
“…nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties were equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value…The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage.”
In addition, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30.3% of homes in the country have no mortgage on them.

Almost 50% of all homes have at least 50% equity.

If we take both numbers, the 30.3% of all homes without a mortgage and the 17.9% with at least 50% equity (25.7% of the 69.3% of homes with a mortgage), we realize that 48.2% of all homes in the country have at least 50% equity.

Bottom Line

Unlike 2008, almost half of the homeowners in the country are sitting on massive amounts of home equity. They will not be walking away from their homes if the housing market begins to soften.

Story taken form "Keeping Current Matters".

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you've put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn't panic if the house doesn't sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.
  1. You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it's simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don't make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can't just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.
  1. Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don't forget to highlight unique features as well.
  1. You're always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don't want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.
  1. You're too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there's a good chance that you've become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn't want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you're going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.
  1. You haven't had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
  1. You haven't staged your home. If you've already moved out, then don't show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.
  1. You kept up all of your personal décor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
  1. Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child's room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn't mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don't want to pay for features they don't want.
  1. Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.
  1. Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don't want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it's just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.
  1. You chose the wrong real agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home.  A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.
All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent. Contact us today and we can get you going on the right track.

Story taken from "RISMedia's Housecall".

Saturday, November 24, 2018

7 Reasons To List Your House For Sale This Holiday Season

Every year at this time there are many homeowners who decide to wait until after the holidays to list their homes for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their new employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Inventory of homes for sale traditionally slows in the late fall, early winter. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights which will lessen the demand for your house in 2019.

Bottom Line 

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

4 Timely Projects for November Weekends

November is here, and that means the leaves have just about all left the trees, but hopefully are not still stuck in your gutters! The holidays are just around the corner and it’s a terrific time to get your home ready for some company, too. Here’s where to begin.

Weekend #1:  Chimney and Fireplace Maintenance

Ok, so it is officially darker earlier, making the evenings perfect for relaxing with the family by a roaring fire. Before you get those embers crackling, make sure the flu, damper, and firebox have received thorough seasonal maintenance. A buildup of creosote can lead to a very dangerous chimney fire.

If you don’t already have chimney caps, have them installed at the time of service to keep any wayward wildlife from using the chimney as a convenient entrance into your home. Now the only unexpected visitor will be Santa Claus. Remember, when storing firewood outside, make sure it is not directly up against the house — that’s exactly where mice and termites like to hang out and find their way into your home.

Weekend #2: Shovel, Snowblower Service, Sand and Ice Removal Ready
Winter has yet to arrive but that doesn’t mean snow won’t start tomorrow. Gather all of your snow removal supplies and check that they are in top operating shape. To make sure your snow shovel isn’t going to give you a back ache, consider a shovel with the bent and angular handle to help take the load off. Have your snow blower serviced and fill the tank with fresh gasoline. Remember that gas is only meant to last 30 days unless you add fuel stabilizer to it. Then it will be good all season. Stock up on supplies of calcium chloride for de-icing, mixed with some sand. That combo won’t hurt your concrete like sodium chloride. Keep a shovel and a supply of de-icer in your mud room or entrance just in case you wake up to a winter wonderland.
Weekend #3: Thanksgiving Table Ready!
We are just days away from the feast to end all feasts, Thanksgiving! Now is a perfect weekend to get the house ready. Wash all china and stemware that is going to be used and give that silver a good polish. The kids are home, so have them lend a hand as well. If your home allows, set the dining table for the big event now. It will save you much needed time over the next few days. If that isn’t feasible, press your table linens. Instead of draping them over the couch to avoid wrinkles, roll them up using wrapping paper rolls, or the center rolls from bolts of fabric. This will keep them tidy, small, and most important, wrinkle-free. As Thanksgiving arrives, make sure your turkey is defrosted. The best place to do so is in the fridge; put it in there two days before the holidays just to be sure. Avoid the desire to self clean your oven. If there is a problem, they tend to break down after a cleaning cycle — so save it until after the meal, just in case.
Weekend # 4: Prepare an Emergency Storm Survival Kit
Like the Boy Scouts’ motto, be prepared. Now is a great time to gather any home improvement supplies you might need for a winter or seasonal storm emergency. This actually is not a bad idea to have organized all year. Get a waterproof, airtight container and pack it with a warm blanket, flashlight, and portable radio, extra appropriately sized batteries, candles, books of matches, canned food items that will not spoil, can opener and enough water for three days. You can add extra items like a deck of cards for entertainment. Although you will most likely never need this, just having it on hand will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy!

Story taken from "moneypit.com".

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

BRR Market Report: October 2018

 Key Takeaways:
  • October 2018 marks a full four years of falling inventory, specifically in the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County.
  •  This lack of inventory compared to demand is one of the primary reasons that the median sales price continues to rise compared to last year.
  •  The median sales price in October 2018 was $321,398, up 0.8% from the previous month and up 19.9% from October 2017.
October 2018 marks a full four years of falling inventory, specifically in the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County, when looking at activity by month year-over-year.
There were 870 existing homes for sale in Ada County in October 2018, down 15.0% from October 2017 and down 48.8% from October 2014 when the decline began.
As we’ve outlined in previous reports, there are many reasons the Boise Region is facing a lack of homes for sale. These include the continued population growth, the trend of people choosing to stay in their homes longer than we’ve seen historically, among others.
This persistent lack of existing home inventory is one of the two primary reasons that the area’s overall median sales price continues to rise compared to last year; the second reason, increasing land, labor, and material costs for new homes. For October 2018, this resulted in a median sales price of $321,398, up 0.8% from the previous month and up 19.9% from October 2017.
This nearly 20% increase year-over-year in the overall median sales price for October was primarily due to a higher share of new home sales during the month ― reaching 27.7% of all closed sales, up 10.1% compared to October 2017.
We’ve been talking about the drop in existing inventory literally for years now, but what’s interesting about today’s market is that we’re seeing more and more new construction sales. Whether you’re looking to buy an existing home or a new build, your REALTOR® is going to advocate for you throughout the transaction. And if you’re thinking of selling, these recent numbers indicate that despite the turn in temperature, it’s still a good time to put your home on the market.

In October 2018, 36 homes sold in Gem County, up 28.6% from October 2017. This left 57 new and existing/resale homes available for sale at the end of the month — down 19.7% from the same month last year. Despite persistently low inventory, Gem County has seen strong sales numbers for the last four months.
The median sales price for homes that sold in October was $199,450, based on activity over the past 12 months — up 11.1% over the same period last year. There are two primary reasons that the median sales price rose compared to last year — the lack of inventory compared to demand, and an increase in the share of new homes sales in October.
Five new homes sold in Gem County in October 2018, the same number as October 2017. However, new home sales made up a larger share of total sales at 11.1% in October, compared to the average of 5-6% we typically see in Gem County. New homes typically sell for higher prices than existing homes due to increased land, labor, and material costs, so when the share of new home sales increases, so does the median sales price.
Apparently, the colder temps haven’t deterred buyers in Gem County. If you’re thinking about selling, now is a great time to put your home on the market. Talk your REALTOR® to find out what your home may be worth and what options are available based on your specific situation.

This report is provided by Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), a 501(c)6 trade association, representing real estate professionals throughout the Boise region.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Prepare Your Home For Fall & Winter

Preparing your home for the colder months often means preparing for two specific things:cold temperatures and melted snow. These two things can wreak havoc on a home if they are not prepared in advance. Preparation not only makes the fall and winter months easier, but it also prevents the need for thousands of dollars being spent on repairs.

Prepare Your Gutters
This is a two-step process to handle both the leaves that fall brings and the melted snow that will be coming. The first step is to thoroughly clean out the gutters and the drainpipe to keep them from getting clogged. This may need to be done at the beginning of the fall and then again a month later. The second step is to extend the drain pipes so that they will drain the water further from your home's foundation. A good guideline is to have the water draining at least 3 feet away from your home. This can be done in minutes with an inexpensive extension found at most home improvement stores.

Have Heating Checked
There are few things worse than going through a frigid winter and having your heating system stop working. And when it's the middle of the winter, it will be exceptionally hard to get a heating and air company to come out to fix it. To avoid days or weeks of freezing temperatures indoors, have your system checked before the cold sets in. A simple maintenance check can reveal problems that would have led to expensive repairs later.

Have Chimney Cleaned
A chimney inspection is a must for anyone with a wood-burning fireplace. It may not need a cleaning yet, but it's difficult to know for sure unless you've got an inspection. If the inspector finds that it's ready for the season, great! If it's found that it needs to be cleaned, you can get that done now before the fireplace is in use. The stakes in getting this done are high- a dirty or blocked chimney can lead to carbon monoxide buildup in the home as well as house fires.

Store summertime equipment
If you've got a lawnmower in the backyard, window air conditioners and other machinery that won't be in use during the colder months, it's time to prepare it to be stored. Cold temperatures can damage these items, and some, like lawnmowers, can be ruined by leaving fuel in them during the winter. Use the manufacturer's advice for preparing your outdoor equipment for the winter.

Find Leaks
If there are any small cracks where warm air can leak out of your home, your heating system will have to work harder to heat it. That means a less-comfortable winter and higher heating costs. Check around doors and windows, seeing whether there are any spaces visible. During the day, looking for any sight of daylight through these cracks is helpful. Exterior caulk is easy to use and inexpensive for plugging those leaking areas. It doesn't shrink once it's dry, and it's made to whether heat, cold and rain.

Test Sump Pumps
If you have a lot of melted snow coming, or simply rain, that's no time to find out that your sump pump has worn out. Test it before the snow begins by pouring some water into the pump's sump pit. This should trigger the pump to turn on. If it doesn't, it may be time for a new unit.

Getting ready for the colder seasons may be a few extra weekends of work put in, but it can prevent an enormous host of problems. And then when winter comes, you'll know that you and your household are ready to ride it out in comfort.

 Info taken from "Bent Nail Inspections".