Category: Mortgage + Real Estate Tips

2017 Expected to Be a Hot One for Home Sales

Recent forecasts from leading real estate and mortgage organizations predict a scorcher of a year for home sales in 2017.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is predicting existing-home sales to reach 6 million in 2017, higher than its 5.8 million forecast for this year. But other entities are calling for even hotter levels. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association is predicting home sales to eclipse 6.5 million next year, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both predicting 6.2 million.

Economists predict that Millennials who have been delaying home buying are now ready to jump and will continue to heat up home sales well into 2020. 

Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Boston are expected to be the top markets for price appreciation according to Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling at VeroForecast. With tight inventories, strong economies and growing populations, demand is predicted to increase pricing in these markets especially.

We’ll continue to keep our eye on predictions and trends. If these initial forecasts are true, we better get ready for hot days in all markets.

Source: Realtor Mag

Don’t Put Off Buying – Do It Before Year’s End!

‘Tis the season for pumpkin pies, twinkle lights and carols everywhere. But did you know that buying a home can (and maybe even should) be on your list of to-dos before the end of the year?

Here are 8 reasons to buy a house before the calendar year changes once again.

1. Tax Deductions

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Sellers Want Out

Nothing is better for a buyer than a motivated seller. Many sellers are eager to move out before the end of the year. They want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase and they may be willing to accept a lower bid. Consult with your real estate agent and see if that’s the case in your market.

3. Builders Have Deadlines Too

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year to meet quotas. Your price may not change but you may be able to get some upgrades as an incentive to get in the home sooner.

4. Movers are More Available

Ever try moving in the summer? You probably found that the moving companies were booked six weeks out or more. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. There’s Pride (and Money) In Ownership

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month. You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment. There’s something to be said for that, especially over the long term. So, why wait?

6. Payments You Can Plan On

Landlords can increase your rent year to year. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan. That could be a huge relief to you as you enter a new calendar year.

7. DIY and Like It

Owning a home comes with a major perk for those DIYers. Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior a new color, change your fixtures or replace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gain Weight – The Good Kind

After buying your first home, at first, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll gain the equity weight – which is money in your pocket for your future.

Got you convinced to see if you can get into a new home before the ball drops? Call me today at [phone] so we can get you pre-approved and on your way to a new home for the new year!


Skyline Financial Corp. and its loan officers are not tax advisors. Always consult a tax professional for details.


Why you should pay off your mortgage before you retire

Why you should pay off your mortgage before you retire The By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin October 24 at 7:30 AM (BigStock) I saw your excellent article on how much it costs to own a house after the mortgage is paid off. The costs remain in perpetuity! Is it always a good idea to pay off a mortgage, though? A house “free and clear” means a large asset that provides no financial opportunity to the owners.

Read the source article at The Washington Post

Don’t Be Spooked by Closing Costs

Closing Costs 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, the whole idea of “closing” on a home may sound mysterious and a little bit spooky. But it doesn’t have to be!

Be prepared for closing costs, which sometimes catch new buyers off guard. While every loan varies, approximately 2-5% of the purchase price of the home will be required at closing. For example, if you are purchasing a $250,000 home, you may need to have an additional $5,000 to $12,500 available for fees on top of the down payment amount.

What are these fees for, you’re probably asking?

Here are 10 of the most common closing fees:

1. Inspection Fees – A home inspector will examine the condition of the home. The average fee for this service is around $300. Depending on the area and the age of the home, other unexpected inspections may also be necessary to search for things like wood ants, radon, lead-based paint, asbestos, mold, etc. Each of these inspections cost extra.

2. Appraisal Fee – You will pay a fee to evaluate the home for its current value (compared it to other homes sold in the area) to make sure it is worth what you want to pay.

3. Realtor Fees – For getting you access into homes and helping guide you through the process, Realtors are paid a commission from the sale price of the home.  

4. Origination Fee – This is the fee a lender charges you for originating a loan to you.

5. Discount Points – If you want to pay for a lower interest rate, commonly referred to as “buying down the rate”, you will be charged a fee; usually a small percentage of the loan amount.  

6. Title Services – You will need to buy lender’s title Insurance to protect your lender against claims on the house. Owner’s title insurance is optional, but if elected, there is a cost.

7. Property Taxes – The lender collects for any tax due from you to pay your local government at the time of the purchase.

8. Government Recording Fees – When the local government records the sale, they charge a fee for it.

9. Initial Interest – You pay interest on the loan amount for the time between when you close and the end of the current month.

10. Private Mortgage Insurance – If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home, you will have to also purchase this insurance.

As with any home purchase, I’m here to help answer all these loan questions! Call me at [phone] and we can walk through all your closing costs together.

Sources: U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger

Why Homebuilding Isn’t Keeping Up With Demand

New homes aren’t being built, and construction and development lending trends may be to blame, according to Kroll Bond Rating Agency’s Christopher Whalen.

Regulations have changed the equation for banks when it comes to where they focus their C&D lending activity. And because of the fundamentals underpinning the markets for single-family homes versus other sectors, a significant portion of today’s C&D lending is going to multifamily developments instead, Whalen argued in a research note.

Read the source article at National Mortgage News

How to Up Your Curb Appeal and Make Your House Irresistible to Buyers in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Address the details – you might think that people won’t notice the small things, like an old outdoor light fixture or slightly rusty locks, but they do. Hardware is something that nobody notices when it’s good and everybody notices when it’s bad. Don’t give potential buyers a reason to hesitate.
  2. Make your front door a statement piece – a bold front door is instantly noticeable. It can change the entire look of the outside of a home and it makes the house look a little more kept up.
  3. Light it up – solar lights along the walkway are inexpensive, easy to install, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. Because they generate power from the sun, they won’t increase your energy bill. To install, you just stick them in the ground. And then they look nice and help you see at night.
  4. Get some plants – potted plants on your front porch can instantly make your home look homier and well taken care of. This can also give you an opportunity to get creative and try your hand as an amateur landscape architect.
  5. Mail it in – a sleek new mailbox can add a touch of sophistication to your home. It says “I care about the details.”
  6. Window dressing – adding window boxes the flowers or lush plants can really take a home up a notch. They make a home look a little warmer and softer and add instant charm.
  7. Artsy fartsy – include some outdoor art into your garden. Art can vary the mix and helps to draw they eye to a specific area.
  8. Make your gutters shine – gutters usually aren’t the prettiest part of a house, but they don’t have to be the ugliest. Clean yours out and polish the outside for a generally well-kept look to your home. Or replace them altogether!
  9. Repaint – a fresh coat of paint is like a facelift for a house. It makes it look newer and better nicer. Be sure to paint the trim, as well. And while you’re at it, replace any missing shingles and fix any broken fencing.
  10. Clean up your driveway – if your driveway is discolored in any way, it could take away from the curb appeal. But this is a pretty quick fix. Stain the concrete and you’ll be good to go.

A first impression is important for everything, even for a house. A nice exterior will entice potential buyers to investigate the inside, and that’s the first step to getting an offer!

Thinking about selling your home and moving on to another one? Give me a call at [phone] or email me at when you’re ready.


Sources: Real Simple and Better Homes & Garden