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 much down payment do you need to buy a house?

How much down payment do you need to buy a house?

the-state-bank-of-vietnam-said-wednesday-it-has-changed-its-mind-about-a-proposed-ban-on-people-gifting-foreign-money-after-the-plan-evoked-fierce-criticiSaving for a down payment is an important step in becoming financially prepared for homeownership, and there are options and opportunities for financing a home purchase that will allow the borrower to come with little or No Down Payment. For most first-time home buyers, coming up with funds for a down payment is the biggest obstacle to homeownership.

In the mortgage industry, 20% down is considered the benchmark down payment for looking strong on paper as a home buyer. How strong you are on paper will determine how you could obtain a loan.

However, being this a general standard for financial strength does not mean a requirement to get a loan. Reality is that there are home loans that can be obtain with $0 Down Payment if you are eligible.

  1. FHA loans will allow you to apply for as low as a 3.5% down payment up to the maximum conforming loan limit in the county in which the property is located. Most lenders can lend up to $417,000 under FHA guidelines.
  2. Conventional 5% Down Payment is another option for first time homebuyers. This is an excellent alternative to the higher-priced FHA loan Mortgage Insurance that allows to get rid of PMI after accumulating 20% equity after a minimum of 24 months.
  3. $0. Down payment: 2 options that are available if you are eligible:  a. VA loans allow 100% financing all the way through the maximum  conforming loan limit in the county in which the property is located.  Veteran’s Affairs mortgage loans are available to veterans, current members of the military and their spouse.  b. USDA Loans allow 100% financing through the Rural Development United States Department of Agriculture. Property must be located within an area designated to be eligible for 100% financing.

There are also 10% down payment and 15% down payment loans. All 3 of these types of loans involve PMI. As time goes on, the push will be for a minimum 20% down payment. Remember with 20% down, there is no PMI. Conventional wisdom says you should put down as much as you feel comfortable putting down to buy a home. Generally, more is better than less. But don’t wipe out your savings account to do it. You will still need to have funds set aside for a rainy day and for things to buy after buying a home.

Jumbo loans are loans that usually can go as high as $750,000 with as little as 10% down.

However keep in mind that if you’re putting less than 20% down payment on a home, your monthly property taxes and fire insurance terms are most likely to be built into your monthly mortgage payment, and you’ll maybe have to pay for private mortgage insurance, as well.

Ultimately, the minimum down payment required will depend on the type of loan that you choose. Each mortgage loan type carries its own guidelines, and today underwriters closely scrutinize a borrower’s ability to repay the loan before giving you a loan.

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!

Visit: http://www.sandyflores.com

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Existing home sales slightly rebound

Existing home sales slightly rebound

Why this is a great time to sell your home?

 This is a great time to sell your home!

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 4.82 million in January. Sales are 4.7% higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month.

Mortgage Rates plummeted today after Fed’s announcement

While the average improvement of 0.10% might not look like much at face value, it’s the biggest Finding-a-refinance-rate-for-your-homeone-day drop we’ve had in 2015, and in a league with very few other players historically.

With today’s improvement, the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed loan for top tier borrowers falls back to 3.75%.   Some lenders will remain at 3.875% today, but many feel that  those lenders held back from passing on the full effect of the market movement not an uncommon occurrence after a volatile swing like today’s.

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!

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.