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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Are you better off fixing or buying a home?

Are you better off fixing or buying a home?

There is neither a specific answer nor one size fits all!  There are plenty of considerations to review. First of all, your financial ability and market demands are some of the factors to survey before deciding if it’s wiser to find a new dream home or fix your current home.Luxury Home Kitchen.

Before considering renovating your existing home, take an inventory of your home’s physical current condition, and deal with contractors for renovation costs. Major home renovations bring stress, unexpected complications and budget overruns. Depending on the age of your current home, you may also have to jump through additional hoops to meet newer building code requirements.

Purchasing a new home could actually cost you less monthly than renovating your home depending on its age, and types of renovations you’re considering. If you intend on financing renovation costs,  find out how much you will be adding to your existing mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit  versus obtaining a new home mortgage.

Keep in mind that even if you renovate your older home, in a future buyer’s eyes, it’s still an older home. It is a good idea to have a sense of the market activity in your neighborhood to consider trading up or renovating your current home. The main purpose of home renovations is primarily to increase your home’s enjoyment. While you may be able to recoup some or most of the costs during the home’s sale, there are no guarantees.

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule. The National Association of Realtors applauds this action because it will make possible to incorporate rules that include a broad definition for Qualified Mortgage standards implemented earlier this year.

Got your House?

Got your House?

Under the QRM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is 43 percent, among other things and there is not onerous down payment requirement, as regulators had originally proposed.

The NAR strongly opposed earlier versions of the rule that included 20 and 30 percent down payment requirements, which would have denied millions of Americans access to the lowest-cost and safest mortgages

For lenders, having these two rules in alignment provides the clarity they’ve long been asking for, widening and deepening loan eligibility and availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales.

Homebuyers will have now more credit availability reflecting an increase in home purchases, and refis. Way to go!

Got Refi?   Rates…better than ever

Got Refi? Rates…better than ever

 

Finding-a-refinance-rate-for-your-homeFalling interest rates precipitated a major refinancing rally  according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) Refinance Index.  The MBA’s Refinance Index is a weekly measurement put together by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Real Estate Finance Industry Association.

Strong job growth, coupled with  low mortgage rates, should reflect now the increase in home sales and purchase originations. Great time for purchases but even better for refinancing.

 

 

 

Homeownership at Best!

Homeownership at Best!

Federal Housing Finance Agency has been working towards a plan to open what many we see as underwriting standards that are too restrictive.

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, their regulator and lenders are close to an agreement that could greatly expand mortgage credit while helping lenders protect themselves from charges of making bad loans, according to people familiar with the matter.

Homeownership getting better!

Homeownership Gets Better!

If the agreement is completed, lenders may be more willing to lend to borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments.

Now that lenders are starting to remove some of the credit overlays, it is time to improve the growth of homeownership in the country

We expect FHFA to report the steps to further move and clarify lender liability and support the return of the 97% LTV product at the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recouped tens of billions of dollars in penalties from lenders in recent years over claims that the lenders made underwriting mistakes on loans they sold to the mortgage giants.

However, Lenders have blamed those penalties for tight credit conditions and for prompting them to make loans only to borrowers with near-pristine credit.

We hope these initiatives will have a meaningful impact on the mortgage market, and we can see positive changes in the direction of the mortgages industry after years of tightening credit issues.

Next Tuesday will see the existing home sales report for September, on Thursday the FHFA purchase-only house price index for August, and Friday the new home sales report.

 

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!

 

 

Boost Your Home’s Selling Price!

Boost Your Home’s Selling Price!

If you’re looking to sell your home for top dollar, in addition to “Location, Location, Location” there are some other suggestions you may benefit from, to get top dollar for your home!    child and father painting wall together

As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” While curb appeal gets buyers in the door, sellers who want to move their homes quickly need to take other steps.

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 use.
  • Replace dirty or worn carpet, you’re better off removing the carpet if there are hardwood floors underneath.
  • Unclutter your house by packing away items that you will not use on an every day basis. 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.

Borrowers may now have a chance to build equity fast

Borrowers may now have a chance to build equity fast

Don't Get Left OutTwo major banks have agreed to originate a new 15-year mortgage under pilot programs aimed at low- and moderate-income borrowers.

In addition, the creators of the so-called Wealth Building Home Loan,   allows home buyers to build equity at a much faster clip than they would with a standard 30-year loan. Typically, the monthly payment on a 15-year loan is higher than that on a 30-year loan. But the loan amortizes much more quickly, meaning you build wealth — or equity — faster.

According to the latest Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, an owner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter. The survey found that the average owner’s net worth is $194,500, whereas a renter’s is $5,400.

 

NOW is the time…Rates don’t wait!

If you have higher mortgage payments, now is the time to change it!  In recent years we have seen many changes in our national economy. We have seen cuts in interest rates given by the Federal Reserve cuts not seen for many years. imagesCA68GG1H

One situation that influenced home foreclosures for many homeowners were the high interest rates they were granted. These mortgage loans  were presented for a large number of months as a fixed payments and later converted into variable rates, causing a drastic financial instability in many homeowners facing now a new higher mortgage payment.

The HARP Refinance Program gives the Homeowners that have not been behind in the last 12 months, and can prove income under the new conditions and repayment capacity; the opportunity to refinance with low current interest rates. This means that you can refinance even if the actual mortgage balance is higher than the value of your property on the market today.  The HARP and FHA programs are the only programs that allow you to refinance under these terms.

Compare and discuss your options and determine if refinancing NOW is financially right for you. The essence of refinancing is to find the best fit and financial balance  for you and your family. Remember, an informed decision is the best guarantee!

Home sales show encouraging stats

Home sales show encouraging stats

Existing home sales, excluding distressed sales, are the most encouraging stats at the moment. These, according to Trulia and the National Association of Realtors, were 80 percent back to normal in August.

home-salesTrulia’s Bubble Watch also showed that prices were 3.4 percent undervalued in the third quarter, which is a marked improvement over the 13.5 percent undervaluation at the worst of the housing bust. That means prices are three-fourths of the way back to normal.

Delinquency and foreclosure rates also were much improved. According to Trulia and Black Knight, the national delinquency and foreclosure rate was 74 percent back to normal in August, the same as one quarter ago and up from 56 percent one year ago. The decline in defaults and foreclosures has helped stabilize the financial system and hard-hit neighborhoods.