Selling Your House Before an Interest Rate Hike?

Source: (Melissa Parietti)

As interest rates rise, the affordability of a new home purchase decreases while currently held adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) payments increase. Mortgage rates are based on national interest rates, and current rates are very low relative to where they were during prior to 2013. The low rates are due to a federal interest rate of 0.25% that has held in place since 2008. In September 2015, the ARM Index released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) showed an index rate of 3.93%.

Recent increases in home prices signal that there may be a higher demand for homes that wasn’t present before. If mortgage rates increase after all-time lows, indecisive home buyers may be persuaded to sign for mortgages to take advantage of current low rates in light of future higher rates.

Continue reading

What’s Considered ‘Normal Wear and Tear’ in a Rental?

Source: (Natalie Way)

Red wine spilled on a beige carpet.

The one thought on every renter’s mind on move-out day (aside from “How the heck am I going to get this sofa through the front door?”) has to do with the security deposit. Will you ever see that money again?

According to most leases, your only hope is to return your apartment in the same condition as when you took possession, beyond “normal wear and tear.” Still, though, this raises the question: What exactly is normal wear and tear, and what crosses the line?

Read on to learn just what you need to fix, and what you can let slide.

Continue reading

How a Home Appraisal Can Make or Break Your Mortgage

Source: (Daniel Bortz)


Buying a home often requires some serious haggling between buyer and seller to arrive at a price they’re both willing to accept. But even if you reach an agreement, the negotiations may not be over. If you’re a buyer who needs a mortgage, most lenders will require a home appraisal. So that means you’ll need to get one more opinion on how much the property is worth.

Continue reading

How to Keep Moving Quotes From Spiraling Out of Control

Source: (Margaret Heidenry)


Long before you start packing, the monumental task of moving to a new home all starts with your going online or picking up the phone to get some moving quotes. These estimates give you a ballpark figure of how much you’ll pay to safely transport all of your prized possessions, but like all estimates, they can be off base. Waaayyyy off base.

To help you keep a lid on your moving costs, we called on moving experts to share how you can get the most accurate estimates so you don’t have to worry about last-minute surprises on your bill.

Continue reading

How To Prepare Your House For Sale

Source: (Elizabeth Weintraub)

woman cleaning windows with mitt

Prepping and staging a house. Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

Here’s How:

Continue reading

Top 15 Home Updates That Pay Off


#1 Minor Bathroom Remodel

Average return at resale: 102 percent

It costs about $10,500 to replace the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures. You’ll get back an average of $10,700 at resale, a recoup rate of 102 percent.

If you can pipe a child’s name on a birthday cake, you can re-caulk a tub. Use a softener like CAULK-BE-GONE to get rid of the old caulk. Fill the tub with water after you’re done to stretch caulk while it dries.

If your old tub is too large to fit out the door, re-glaze it for a like-new finish. Cost: $300 to $400.

Continue reading

What’s in store for housing in 2017?

Source: (Brena Swanson)

wok life

For the majority of this year, the housing market could not get past low inventory levels, which were continuously cited as the main road block to a fully healthy housing market. Next year should be better, according to the newly release forecast from the National Association of Realtors, but it’s going to take time.

During the residential housing and economic forecast session at the 2016 Realtors Conference & Expo, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, and Dennis Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, discussed the 2017 housing and economic forecast, along with the economic conditions that support the housing sector Continue reading