How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of air pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control for air quality is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation can increase energy costs.

Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate and serves as a simple form of air cleaners. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.

It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants–for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, sanding, model making and gluing.

However, remember that for most indoor air quality problems in the home, source control is the most effective solution.

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How Do Homes Impact Health?

  1. Indoor air pollution is 4 – 5 times worse than outdoor air and sometimes even greater.
  2. We spend 90% of our time indoors.
  3. 15% of homeowners may be allergic to elements in their own homes.
  4. Prevalence of asthma has double since 1976.

Indoor air pollution has been described by EPA and Congress as America’s number one environmental health problem. Air pollutants can and do cause allergies, sick building syndrome, bacterial infections and spread viruses to name a few. The American College of Allergists state that 50% of all illnesses are caused by polluted indoor air.  NEXT: How does our air inside the house get polluted?

Yes!  You can get top dollar for your home!

Yes! You can get top dollar for your home!

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In addition to the # 1 rule in Real Estate   “Location, Location, Location” there are some other suggestions you can benefit from, to get top dollar for your home!

The strategy varies by neighborhood and market conditions, but staging a house to appeal to the maximum number of buyers can make difference in how fast the home sells.

If you have a limited budget, here are some tips that can make your house to sell for a top dollar:

  • Add color to you landscape by either replacing flower beds or potted flowers, along with fresh sod.
  • Replacing light fixtures and plumbing fixtures will give your home a modern touch for a minimal investment.
  • Consider removing popcorn ceilings; however you need to be careful because popcorn ceilings of pre-1979 homes are likely to contain asbestos, and you need someone licensed to remove it.
  • Remove window treatments, unless they are current and high-end. That cuts the risk of turning off would-be buyers who don’t share your taste, and uncovered windows that will let more light into the rooms.
  • If you’re using your dining or a bedroom as an office for example, turn it back to their original painting a homeuse.
  • Replace dirty or worn carpet, you’re better off removing the carpet if there are hardwood floors underneath.
  • Uncluttered your house by packing away items that you will not use on an every day basis is a must. You want the new family to envision themselves living in the home.
  • A deep cleaning before you put your home on the market is a must, so everything shines.
  • Repaint all rooms in neutral colors. A fresh coat of paint also makes the house look newer and more modern.

With a few simple, low-cost tweaks, you can significantly enhance your house’s curb appeal. Focus on low cost improvements. Since every dollar counts, devote your time in renovations that’ll bring you a return.

Is home remodeling worth the investment?

Is home remodeling worth the investment?

painting a homeMore Renovations are not Necessarily Better. Before you begin any major projects, it’s important to assess your home’s value and the neighborhood it’s in. Determine what it will be the approximate return on the investment (ROI) based on the current market value or how long you plan on staying in the house.

Be sure that your home renovations will add to the value of your home, but also aware that getting too extravagant may not bring the ROI you’re expecting.

The value of remodeling projects depends on several factors. First, take in consideration how old is the structure of the building, as well as, the general condition and the real need for the home-remodeling project.

The appearance of a house on the outside is what gives an initial and lasting impression.   Keep the exterior paint in good condition with no flakes or chips and roof should be clear of damaged shingles.

If paint on window shutters or trim is chipped, a new coat will refresh them and give your house a whole new look. These are inexpensive investments that are worth the cost.

Bath and kitchen areas are the most important rooms within a home. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can cost thousands of dollars but in many cases all they need is some sprucing up with paint or new floor material.

If the kitchen cabinets are in good condition, do not replace them with a complete kitchen remodeling job. They can be sanded and painted or stained for a lot less money. Replacing the knobs and handles will do the job as well giving them a whole new look and won’t cost a great deal of money.

Replacing an antiquated bathroom vanity and an old toilet is not very expensive and is not considered a major bathroom remodeling job. New bathroom fixtures from bathroom designer warehouses at cut-rate prices are also good options. Updating an old sink is as well inexpensive remodeling task. All these home-remodeling projects are worth the investment.

Be aware, that you don’t want to do work that makes your house worth $800,000. when the average market in your area is only $500,000.

Certain home renovations are a win-win situation, providing enjoyment to you, the homeowner, and then making your home more marketable, and worth more, in the future. Other renovations, however, can set you back thousands with no guarantee of future payoff on the Return of the Investment (ROI).

Don’t exceed the ceiling for the value of the homes in your neighborhood, or you won’t get your money back. Remodeling can cost a pretty penny, however it can provide significant returns when it comes time to sell your home, if you do it right!

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House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

Prices-going-up-graphic-2U.S. house prices rose in January, up 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.8 percent change in December was revised downward to a 0.7 percent change.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From January 2014 to January 2015, house prices were up 5.1 percent. The U.S. index is 3.5 percent below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the December 2005 index level.

Mortgage rates fell!

Mortgage rates fell!

imagesCAE30UQZEconomic data affects rates by motivating investors to seek out or avoid risk. Higher demand means higher prices and lower rates.  Investors are looking for clarity on the Fed’s plans regarding raising rates, among other things.

From here on out, volatility becomes an increasing risk heading into the Fed’s Announcement next Wednesday. It can either work for or against us, but the point is that if it does work against us, the potential damage is bigger than normal.

Tienes un Préstamo HELOC? Informate!

Presta Atención si tienes un Préstamo HELOC a punto de reajustarse! Informarte de como puedes balancear esta linea de crédito HELOC para que no te afecte drásticamente en tus finanzas. Hay opciones y alternativas que puedes aplicar aun si tu balance hipotecario es superior al valor actual de tu propiedad!

Como siempre analiza tus finanzas, mantente informado de los opciones y programas que más te benefician y no te olvides de buscar ayuda professional. Preguntas??? Llámame 714-963-7462.  Sandy Flores…Liderando el camino a tu Casa Propia! www.sandyflores.com Sígueme en Twitter @SandyFloresRE

Why Borrowers Pay For Mortgage Insurance…

Why Borrowers Pay For Mortgage Insurance…

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Because of the risk on default and loss of the loan. Lenders require private mortgage insurance known as PMI on mortgages with down payments less than 20% from the purchase price.

If lenders paid for mortgage insurance and passed on the cost to borrowers as a higher interest rate, they might have bumped up against those ceilings. If the borrower paid the premium, this potential roadblock is avoided.

Generally, the larger the loan amount, the more risky it is to the lender. Private mortgage insurance is protection for the lender against a borrower defaulting on the loan. If the borrower can’t pay back the loan, the lender has a way to get its money back.

$4.5 Billion on Delinquent Debt ready to Hit the Market

$4.5 Billion on Delinquent Debt ready to Hit the Market

Three of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders have put sizable packages of nonperforming and reperforming mortgage loans on the realestatehousemoneymi600-resize-600x338 market for investors to buy, according to New York Mission Capital Advisors.

Bank of America has put up approximately $2.56 billion worth of delinquent debt for sale, including nonperforming loans, reperforming mortgages (those in which the borrower was 90 days or more behind but has resumed making payments), and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), according to Mission Capital.

Citigroup has put up $1.8 billion worth of reperforming mortgages for sale, and JPMorgan Chase is looking for a buyer for $143 million worth of nonperforming mortgage loans, Mission Capital said. Last month, Freddie Mac announced that it intended to sell $410 million worth of delinquent mortgage loans. But there has been so much of a demand that the suppliers cannot keep up, Mission Capital said.

Save on your Mortgage NOW!

HELOCs the next thing home credit product? Mortgage rates are historically low, and many owners have the opportunity to take advantage, but not all owners pay close attention to these numbers.  

You have the opportunity to investigate the possibility of refinancing through HARP or stream line if your loan is FHA to take advantage of the historic rates.  

You can analyze  what financial options give you the best interest rate and  most convenient terms according to your personal situation, and you do this by comparing these rates from various financial institutions through the Good Faith Estimate. This simple action prompts banks to be more competitive and offer rates lower while they. 

Mortgage rates are closely linked to the action of the Federal Reserve – Fed and the economy, so it’s important that you analyze your financial situation to see if you could take advantage of the today historic rates, before they take off.     

Let me explain with numbers in this example:

Balance of   mortgage:  $ 200,000 –

§  Interest @6.5% Monthly Payment 1,440.                                           

§  Interest @3.75% Monthly Payment $ 1,014.                                           

§  Total Savings Monthly $ 426.                                                          

§  Total Savings Per Year $5,112.

§  30 Years Total Savings  $153.360.

Check your mortgage payments,  interest rate,  balance and the pending term of the life on your loan, so you can determine if refinancing is best for you. The Government Program HARP that does not require evaluation of the value of the property, conventional and FHA  Streamline Refinance are great choices to consider allowing substantial savings.

Don’t Miss It Out!