When your furnace goes out…

When your furnace goes out…

By Sandy Flores

You’ll be left in the cold—but not if you know how to change its thermocouple. This is the part of the furnace that shuts off the gas if your pilot light goes out, preventing that gas from seeping into your home. (You know, the gas that can kill you if left to run amok.)

If the furnace won’t stay lit, there’s a good chance you have a faulty thermocouple. Learning how to replace or adjust yours can be the difference between a $10 trip to the hardware store, and a $90/hour visit from a technician. Most thermocouples are held in place by brackets, which can be gently unscrewed to insert the replacement thermocouple.

Keeping a spare thermocouple on hand during winter is especially smart, because furnace problems can be more inconvenient—and costly—during the peak times of the year.

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First-Time Home Buyers: Sales Up at 4-Year High

 

There is a lot of upbeat news in the September 2016 existing home sales report released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) on Thursday.

Sales rebounded sharply and the improvement was seen in all four regions.  More good news, NAR attributed part of that to increased participation from first-time home-buyers, a group that has worried the housing industry by its relative absence.

Total existing home sales during the month, including single-family homes, town homes, condos, and co-ops, rose 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million.  First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of sales, the highest portion in more than four years.

How student loan debt is impacting the housing market?

By, Sandy Flores Broker

Student loan debt is playing its biggest role in the mortgage process yet, and it doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon. chart-copy

New data from NeighborWorks America’s fourth annual housing survey found that nearly one-third (30%) of Americans know someone who has delayed the purchase of a home because of student loan debt, up from 28% in 2015 and just 24% in 2014.

The data also cited that more than half (53%) of potential home buyers with student loan debt said the debt was somewhat or very much an obstacle to buying a home, down slightly from 57% in 2015, but above the 49% rate in 2014.

As a whole, to help put this perspective, borrowers are carrying the highest level of non-mortgage debt in a decade.

The National Association of Realtors recently released a survey with similar findings as NeighborWorks America, nothing that about 50% of Millennials, and about two-thirds of Millennial non-homeowners who have student debt, are uncomfortable taking on a mortgage. What’s more, this group was less likely to believe they could even qualify for a mortgage.

 

Waiting for the right home? Don’t Wait Forever!

  • Happy House HuntingEveryone has a dream home, however there’s always something that we do not quite like in each house that we view. The key to finding the right home is setting realistic expectations.  Make a list of your dream features and amenities before you start house hunting, at the same be willing to let some of those features go once you start looking at properties. It helps to score each feature on a scale of 1 to 10 to really see what each home has to offer.Once you’re house hunting, it can be nearly impossible to decide when you’ve looked at enough houses. Keep in mind that if you view a lot of homes it may result on the chances of getting confused as to what actually you are looking for. It will be a good idea to make a list of each property’s strengths and weakness, like’s and don’ts, and then get ready to compromise.

    Set realistic expectations and look at more than a few houses, it’s time to start making some tough decisions. Just make sure you’re not compromising on something you’ll regret later.

    If you’re in a sellers’ market, homes can go quickly and you might just be missing the window of opportunity.

    Happy House Hunting!

     

     

UP to $125,000. to Purchase your First Home?

Yes! There are programs to assist First Time Buyers to purchase a home.  These programs are available to homebuyers that have not owned/held interest in a principal residence in the past three years.

These  Programs provide First time buyers a differed 30 years second mortgage loan that vary from $40,000. and up to $125,000. depending on what  city you’re applying and  availability of funds. Funds are available until used up…First come First served!

For these  homeownership programs, applicants must complete a pre-purchase homebuyer counseling program.

All applicants must be pre-qualified with the pre-qualification lender assigned to the property if they are interested in purchasing. However their first mortgage can be from any lender as long as the loan meets program requirements.

This First Time Homebuyer Program is being funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development HOME Program. GREAT time and BEST opportunity!

 

 

 

More financial opportunities for same-sex marriage when purchasing a home!

viewimageThe Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal nationwide will boost the mortgage demand as it provides gay and lesbian couples with more financing opportunities and stronger joint property rights.

The Supreme Court decision could spur not only more purchase lending, but also more refinancing, line of credit, among other helping to them to plan and build wealth.

Married same-sex couples also will have more access to the Department of Veterans Affairs mortgage program, said Gary Boyer, a mortgage loan officer at a brokerage in Portland, Ore.

“This has big implications as far as federal agencies. The VA, for example, has honored a same-sex spouse in states where marriage was legal, but did not honor same-sex spouses in states where it was not yet legal. Any veteran will now be able to have their same-sex spouse on the mortgage with them,” he said.       Congratulations!

http://www.sandyflores.com

September:  Highest Consumer Confidence

September: Highest Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence reached its highest level since the Great Recession in September, according to the Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

consumer-confidenceSeptember’s increase in consumer confidence is the result of optimistic outlooks on the overall economy and personal incomes.  The consumer expectations index rose 5.8 percent over the month of September, while the current conditions index fell 0.9 percent.

Additionally, a growing number of consumers expect their incomes to increase over the next year. The median income growth expectation reported in September was 1.1 percent, which is the highest expectation since late 2008. At the same time, more households anticipate income growth now than at any time since September 2008.

The renewal of income growth is particularly important for sparking consumer spending, and adding pending changes to monetary policy will make income gains prompt to boost even more consumer’s confidence.

No One Should Pay Taxes on Phantom Income

After announcing the details of the U.S. Department of Justice’s settlement with Bank of AmMortgage-Forgiveness-Debt-Relief-Acterica, which includes $7 billion in relief to consumers  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lamented Congressional inaction to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.

For homeowners meant to be helped by the settlement funds will instead be penalized on their income taxes.  Holder called on Congress  to do the right thing for financially distressed American families who lost homes to foreclosure or short sales this year.

The tax relief expired on December 31 last year,  and unless Congress acts to extend it, every person who has already sold or plans to sell a home in a short sale in 2014, will pay taxes on nonexistent mortgage debt, which is money many don’t have. Taxing forgiven mortgage debt as income is an unfair practice that also incentivizes defaults and foreclosures, which could torpedo the housing recovery.