8 Home Projects with a High ROI

8 Home Projects with a High ROI

Article Submitted by Fixr.com

With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the ideal time of year to take on a project in or around your home. Many contractors and other pros often find this time of year a little slower, as many homeowners are waiting until fall to tackle big interior projects, which means that you’ll have an easier time finding the right person for the job.

These eight projects are designed to add value to your home, without breaking the bank at the same time. Tackling them now will make your home more comfortable for the coming months, while ensuring that you can get maximum ROI when the time comes to sell.

1. Fix Window Leaks

Air gap around your windows could be driving your air conditioning bill up higher than it needs to be this summer. Old or leaking windows can cause you to lose as much as 20% of the energy you use to heat and cool your home, which can also make it less comfortable as well.

There are two ways to fix window leaks: installing new replacement windows, or installing weatherstripping around your existing windows. While both will help you save money on your energy bills, replacement windows will also help you recoup about 73.9% ROI at time of resale.

Cost: Weatherstripping your windows costs around $168 on average, while replacement windows cost between $650 and $1,500.

Money Saving Tips: Get an energy audit done on your home before you start replacing windows. You may find that only a few need to be replaced, while the rest can be caulked or weatherstripped to save.

2. Basement Remodel

Remodeling your basement is a great way to increase your existing living space, without the hassle or expense of a major addition. Basements are often cooler in the hot summer months than the rest of the home, so remodeling can help you gain more usable living areas during this time of year. A basement remodel featuring things like waterproofing or french drain installations can also recoup you about 70% at time of resale.

Cost: A full basement remodel including a new bathroom can cost around $50,000. However, waterproofing costs around $5,000, while installing a new set of stairs costs around $1,000 to $2,000.

Money Saving Tips: Simply waterproofing your basement will help make the area livable, allowing you to simply paint the concrete walls and floors, and begin furnishing the room for less.

3. Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are among the most frequently used rooms in the home. During the humid summer months, older bathrooms can often become home to things like mold and mildew, which makes now the best time to start remodeling. A bathroom remodel, including all new fixtures, shower, and ceramic tile can recoup you around 64.8% at time of resale, while making your home healthier and more functional at the same time.

Cost: A full scale bathroom remodel costs around $18,000. However, there are many components that can be done for less, such as installing a new bathroom fan to help dry out the room for $350 – $400 or putting in a new mirror for $120 – $150.

Money Saving Tips: Cosmetic updates to an otherwise functional bathroom can save you a lot of money. Simply painting the walls or replacing the sink and faucet can give your bathroom a facelift for less.

4. Add Attic Insulation

Another way to help lower energy costs this summer is to add some insulation to your attic. Most homes are underinsulated, particularly in this area, which can contribute to higher energy costs. Insulating your attic will make your home more comfortable, while saving you money on your AC bill this summer. Best of all, attic insulation recoups a whopping 107% at time of resale.

Cost: The cost to insulate an attic is around $400 for fiberglass insulation.

Money Saving Tips: Purchase the highest R-value you can find for your climate, and you’ll save even more on your energy bills year round.

5. Build a New Deck

Enjoy more time spent outdoors this summer on a new wood deck. Decks increase your usable outdoor space, make entertaining easier, and have a rate of return at around 71.5%. Start this project early in the summer to make the most of your new space before fall.

Cost: The average cost to build a new deck is around $10,630.

Money Saving Tips: If you have an existing deck, consider having it repaired, rather than replacing it. Often pressure washing and staining a deck, while replacing some of the boards can help extend its life.

6. Replace Your Roof 

After a long winter filled with ice dams, your roof may be in poor condition and in need of replacement. Don’t wait until summer storms send water pouring in through your ceiling; have your roof taken care of at the start of the season to ensure that it’s in good condition for the rain to come. A new roof will help you recoup about 68.8% at time of resale as well.

Cost: The average cost of a roof replacement is around $6,000.

Money Saving Tips: If the majority of your roof is in good condition, you may want to opt for a partial replacement or roof repair to save money.

7. Replace Your Siding 

Siding is just as important as your roof when it comes to both protecting your home from the elements, and to giving it its curb appeal. The nicer weather of the summer makes this the ideal time of year to take care of this important project. Replacing your siding can recoup you as much as 76.4% at time of resale. Replacing your siding can also help you take care of other issues such as rotting fascia, and can improve the appearance of your home at the same time.

Cost: The average cost of replacing your siding is around $7,510 for vinyl siding.

Money Saving Tips: If your siding is in decent condition, consider making repairs to those areas that require it, and painting the entire exterior to give it a fresh look for less.

8. Universal Bathroom Design 

Universal design is one of the newest trends that’s recouping costs in a big way. In many cases, universal design costs less than a complete bathroom remodel, but can make your home easier to sell because it appeals to a wider group of people. Take on the project this summer when plumbers aren’t as busy to get the job done faster. This type of project also recoups about 68.4% at time of resale.

Cost: The average cost of universal bathroom design is around $9,000.

Money Saving Tips: Many things in a universal bathroom can be installed DIY for less, including lever handles on faucets and a universal height toilet.

To find out more about projects you can tackle around your home, be sure to visit the Cost Guides.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/08/07/8-home-projects-with-high-roi/?tp=i-H43-Bb-cg-bixC-1p-EHi7-1c-biVU-1ODR8u&om_rid=8990942%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=2398

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

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Co-borrowing on the rise: What makes for a smooth deal?

With so much talk about “Equity Share” and helping buyer get into homes – it’s time to talk about how it works.  Thought I would share this article BY LEW SICHELMAN

Co-borrowing on the rise: What makes for a smooth deal?

The most important consideration isn’t getting into a co-borrowing deal, but how all parties plan to get out of it.

Ever since Ugh married Meg and they could barely afford their first cave, there have been co-signers named Mom and Pop making mortgages possible.

But co-signers can come in many forms. Another relative, friend, employer, roommate, significant other or even an investor can agree to be on a mortgage that someone can’t qualify for on his or her own.

Nowadays, slightly more than one in every five houses purchased with financing in the first quarter — 22 percent — involved co-borrowers, according to Attom Data Solutions. That’s up from 20 percent for the same period last year and in 2015, when the real estate information company first began tracking the phenomenon.

The incidence of co-borrowers is even higher in 11 of the country’s largest cities. In Miami, a whopping four out of every 10 single-family dwellings purchased in January, February and March were bought with an unmarried co-borrower. In Seattle, the share of co-borrower purchases was 37 percent; in San Diego and Los Angeles, 28 percent.

The main reason homebuyers need co-borrowers is because they can’t qualify to purchase the house they want, says Attom Chief Economist Daren Bloomquist, who co-signed for his wife’s sister and her husband so they could afford to buy in pricey Southern California.

Housing prices are so expensive in some locations that without help, many buyers might be relegated to the rental market forever.

And some buyers don’t have the credit scores, credit histories or the debt-to-income ratios to buy, even at a reasonable price. On top of that, many buyers are looking at houses beyond their means.

Blomquist is seeing a rise in companies offering to help young buyers in exchange for a piece of the action in the form of shared appreciation. Outfits such as unison.com “are institutionalizing the idea of co-borrowing and shared equity,” he explained.

All of this begs the question: How should you approach a co-borrowing situation, both as a buyer and as a co-signer?

When co-borrowing gets complicated

The most important consideration isn’t getting into a co-borrowing deal, but how all parties plan to get out of it.

While clear heads prevail — when both sides are excited about the deal and there have been no disagreements yet — you should sit down together and decide how and when it will end.

It might make sense for the agreement to last long enough for the buyer to build up credit, income and cash reserves to eventually buy out the co-signer. But what if interest rates rise, and it’s unwise for the buyer to seek a new loan? In that scenario, the deal might include some kind of buffer, either a period of time or a certain mortgage rate.

The main point to parse is what share of the profits the co-borrower will be entitled to, if there are, indeed, any profits to split. A relative may not want anything in return — thanks, Mom and Dad! — but a less partial signer might want a healthy chunk.

It’s easy to identify profit if a buyer agrees to sell and move on. But if there is no sale, the parties will need to know the home’s value at the time the deal is to be dissolved.

An appraisal, the cost of which should be borne equally, is in order in this case. But if one side or the other disagrees with the valuation, it might be a good idea for each party to pay for their own appraisal. If there is any difference between the two, one option could be to split the difference down the middle.

The parties should also have a plan for if the value of the property goes down: Will the co-signer share in the loss, and to what extent?

Another aspect of the deal that people tend to forget is improvements made to the property during the co-owner period. Usually, the buyer foots the bill for things such as landscaping and an addition. But will he or she have to share in the value these and other features that add to the home’s worth?

Co-signers on the mortgage are not on the title and have no ownership interest in the place. Yet their own debt-to-income ratio could take a hit because they have incurred debt by co-signing. Consequently, their ability to obtain their own mortgage, home equity loan or even a credit card could be limited.

Remember, too, that if a buyer doesn’t make the house payments as promised, the lender will come to the co-signer, who will be responsible not just for the payments but also late fees and, if it comes to that, collection fees and lawyer’s fees. Late payments are likely to take a heavy toll, as is a co-signer’s personal relationship with the buyer.

To protect themselves and keep tabs on “tardy alerts,” co-borrowers should insist that both they and the buyer be billed separately by the mortgage company.

Lew Sichelman’s weekly column, “The Housing Scene,” is syndicated to newspapers throughout the country.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.inman.com/2017/08/30/co-borrowing-on-the-rise-what-makes-for-a-smooth-deal/

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

What is Shaping the Housing Market of the Future?

I had to share this articled after watching The Orville last night and thinking about the future!

3 Trends Shaping The Housing Market of Today and Tomorrow

Inventory needs a miracle, buyer interest may be dwindling and real estate is thinking seriously about driverless cars

BY LEW SICHELMAN

It’s time to clear a few things that have been lingering around my desk, bits and pieces of market news that together explain some of what’s happening with today’s housing market and how it may change in the near and distant future.

More would-be buyers opting out of homeownership

The most popular theory about why more houses aren’t being sold: There simply aren’t enough properties on the market to go around. But according to a new study from Experian, one of the big three credit repositories, a big chunk of what would ordinarily be potential buyers have opted out of homeownership.

More than a quarter of the 1,000 people queried in a telephone survey in late June — 27 percent — told Experian that they have no interest in owning, not now and not five or 10 years from now. That’s up from 19 percent when pollsters asked the same question a year ago.

Another big reason: Folks want to remain mobile. Nearly two in five — 37 percent — want more flexibility to relocate than owning a house allows.

And then there are the two issues of cost and maintenance. One in four — 26 percent — have little desire to carry as much debt as is required to purchase a house, and the same percentage are happy that their landlords pay for upkeep.

Surprisingly, perhaps, 11 percent don’t think owning real estate is as valuable as it used to be, and 22 percent want to invest in something other than a home of their own.

Credit also is a concern. Some 43 percent told pollsters that they have applied for a mortgage in the past but were rejected. More than half cited their poor or limited credit histories, insufficient incomes and outstanding debt as the main reasons why they were turned down.

A small number also said their spouse’s poor credit histories and the lender’s inability to verify their incomes also played a part in their rejections.

Anticipating a future with driverless cars

The year 2037 is still far off. But looking out 20 years from now, researchers at the John Burns Real Estate Consulting Co. in California boldly predict that when fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) become commonplace, the housing sector will change significantly.

Eventually, AVs, aka driverless cars, will put more money in consumers’ pocketbooks as autos switch from a consumer good to an on-demand service, freeing up some extra dough that would have been spent on monthly car payments and maintenance, Director of Research Rick Palacios surmises.

This, in turn, will bring about major shifts in the housing sector. According to Palacios:

•Prime but outmoded real estate — parking lots, auto dealerships, gas stations — will be replaced by small new home projects, adding supply to historically supply constrained locations.

•That will put a damper on drive-until-you-qualify markets beyond suburbia, but only for awhile. Once the majority of infill sites are repurposed, these locations will re-emerge. A long commute, yes, but by then AVs will allow people to sleep or work while the vehicle drives itself.

•Urban employment will be back in vogue as repurposed real estate will allow folks to live closer to city centers.

•Density will rise because streets won’t need to be as wide. There won’t be a need for massive driveways or two, three or four-car garages, either. As a result, people will be buying homes in which 100 percent of the space is truly livable.

•Construction costs will decline as transportation expenses for moving building products from plants and warehouses to construction sites dwindle. Also, construction time should fall as moving products becomes a 24/7 operation.

•The elderly will remain in their homes longer while aging in place because they will remain independent even after they lose their right to drive. And as a result, the remodeling market should flourish as seniors and retirees upgrade to make their places more livable in old age.

•How this all shakes out “is based on what we know today,” says the Burns chief researcher. Everything is subject to change, he adds, depending on government policies, which are difficult to predict.

But “all in all,” Palacios says, “we expect the advent of AVs to benefit the overall housing market and greater economy.”

The ominous inventory problem

The latest report on pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) contained this ominous quote from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun:

“Buyer traffic continues to be higher than a year ago, the typical listing has gone under contract within a month since April, and inventory at the end of July was 9.0 percent lower than last July. The reality, therefore, is that sales in coming months will not break out unless supply miraculously improves. This seems unlikely given the inadequate pace of housing starts in recent months and the lack of interest from real estate investors looking to sell.”

Toward that end, it is somewhat heartening to know that homebuilders around the country report that acquisition, development and construction financing continues to loosen.

“Though some concerns lurk, lending standards remain broadly supportive of continued loan growth,” said Michael Neal, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders.

Lew Sichelman’s weekly column, “The Housing Scene,” is syndicated to newspapers throughout the country.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.inman.com/2017/09/06/3-trends-shaping-the-housing-market-of-today-and-tomorrow/?utm_source=weeklyheadlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sundaysend&utm_content=20170908_hero

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

5 Little Tips That Will Save You So Much Money

Saving money for a downpayment on a house is a huge task.  I know – I’m doing it.  So when I saw this article – I had to share it!

5 Little Tips That Will Save You So Much Money

By Beth

Saving money is the key to a successful life. You need to have money stashed away for a rainy day, just in case you want to take a trip, plan the wedding of a lifetime, buy a car or something unexpected happens. When you’re looking for the best way to save money quickly, it’s easy to try too hard or put too much of your income away. Like all things in life, the best way to save money fast is to do it little by little. Don’t forget the 50/20/30 rule and do the rest as you go…

1. Have a no spend weekend

You’re less likely to spend money at work, besides lunch and travel expenses. It’s during the weekend when most of us go shopping crazy. From eating out to buying new shoes, it feels good, but it’s better to have a no spend weekend once in a while. Don’t order food, don’t eat out, and plan your meals beforehand. Go out and do something that doesn’t involve spending money, and put aside what you were planning to spend on new clothes once the weekend is over!

2. Automate it

If you’re truly terrible with money, set up a direct debit from one account to another. Start small and build it up. The less you feel it coming out of your account, the easier it will be to build-up large amounts in savings. If you add up the automated payments you make to subscription services you’ll probably be surprised how much you’re spending a year.

3. Waste less food

Plan your meals on a Sunday, eat your leftovers for lunch and keep track of your food waste bin. It might not feel like you’re saving money by eating yesterday’s dinner over your desk but it’s estimated that you’ll save around $500 a year. It doesn’t feel like much but it goes a long way.

4. Learn delayed gratification

It’s something that we forget as we get older, but when you see something you really want, part of the reward of adulthood (and working hard) is that you can actually get it. But if you delay that gratification, save the money for it first and buy it at the very end of the month (before your next paycheck), you get to feel like you’ve earned it, which makes the treat much sweeter.

5. Get a financial advisor on your phone

My must have when I’m keeping track of my incomings and outgoings is Daily Budget. Career Girl Daily’s co-founder Ellen introduced me to it a while ago and I haven’t looked back. It’s come in handy when buying my first ever house, paying bills, and saving money to buy expensive coffee tables. It tells you how much you should spend a day, and how much you should save in order to reach your savings goal. Genius.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=5817666551&blog=13517561&frame_type=none

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Is Mortgage Insurance Really Worth It?

Is Mortgage Insurance Really Worth It?

If you’re considering a low down payment mortgage—less than 20%–you may have heard you’ll need to pay mortgage insurance (also known as MI, private mortgage insurance or PMI, and mortgage insurance premium or MIP) in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. While it adds another monthly payment to your mortgage, it may also help you get in a home sooner. Let’s look at your options and some hidden benefits of MI.

What is mortgage insurance?

MI helps manage risk for your lender and protect them if you fail to repay the mortgage, making the loan safer for investors. Investors have set parameters that loans must meet before they are purchased. One key parameter is that the mortgage has a loan-to-value ratio of at least 80%, meaning that the borrowers have made a 20% down payment.

MI was created to help more buyers get over that hurdle and afford to buy a home. With MI, you can put down less than 20% and still become a homeowner.

But, is MI really worth it or should you wait until you have 20% down?

Benefits of mortgage insurance

Before you write off mortgage insurance, let’s look at how it may provide valuable opportunities and options to you as a homebuyer.

Increased buying power. Say you’ve saved $20,000. You can use that cash to put 20% down on a $100,000 home OR you could make a smaller down payment on a more expensive home — for example, 10% down on a $200,000 home.

Expanded cash-flow options. Using MI to finance your mortgage, you can elect to put less money down and still have funds for home-related purchases and repairs or investments. For example, rather than putting 20% down ($40,000) on a $200,000 home, you could put down 10% ($20,000) and use the other $20,000 to remodel.

Lower monthly payments. If you have good credit, you may be eligible for lower borrower paid MI rates.

Predictable monthly payments. A fixed-rate mortgage with MI provides you with a locked-in monthly payment that will not increase and that will be reduced when MI coverage is cancelled.

Mortgage insurance may be cancelled. On most loans with MI, coverage must automatically be cancelled by the lender when the loan reaches 78% of original value through amortization. MI also may be cancelled when extra payments bring the loan below 80% of original value. Contact your loan servicer for a full description of cancellation requirements.

FHA or Conventional loan?

FHA is known for their low down payments for first-time homebuyers, but consider all your options. Many conventional fixed rate loans offer lower than FHA’s 3.5% down. Plus, when you use a fixed rate loan and borrower paid MI, you can cancel your mortgage insurance when you reach 20% equity in your home. With FHA, you must continue to pay MI for the life of the loan.

Down payment programs can give you a boost

Don’t overlook the homeownership programs available in every community. These programs offer grants and loans that can fund your closing costs and down payments, helping supplement your down payment savings and get you closer to that 20% threshold faster. Find out what programs may be in your area.

How do you pay for MI?

Talk to your lender about MI plans available. There are borrower paid and lender paid plans. If you have a higher credit score, you may get a reduced rate with a borrower paid plan. With lender paid plans, the MI premium is usually built into the mortgage interest rate or the origination fee. If a lender says they have a “no MI” option, look at all the fees and ask how MI is calculated.

Should you buy now or wait?

Take some time to evaluate your personal situation. Interview multiple lenders and shop your loan. It’s important to get your financing locked down before you begin shopping for homes. MGIC, a mortgage insurance provider, offers a calculator that can help you assess whether you should buy now or wait.

Contact The Caton Team any time with all your Real Estate questions.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://downpaymentresource.com/mortgage-insurance-really-worth/

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

3 Ways to Make Counteroffers Easier

People often think of Real Estate negotiations as having a strong arm.  Not true.  In fact, The Caton Team knows – Real Estate Sales is a meeting of the minds.  It should leave both parties happy and feeling as if they sold at the right price and bought at the right price.  Sometimes we’ll encounter people with a difference of opinion – so I thought I would share this article from realtor.com and Daily Real Estate News to share some insight on how to properly negotiate.  

3 Ways to Make Counteroffers Easier

No matter if your client is buying or selling, counteroffers can pose sticky negotiations from both sides. Here are three tips for successfully responding to counteroffers from Desare Kohn-Laski, broker-owner of Skye Louis Realty in Coconut Creek, Fla.

1. Ask for something in return.

Sellers and buyers alike should remember that counteroffers are made because the other party outlines something very specific they want in the transaction, Kohn-Laski says. For example, if your buyers find that appliances are specifically not included in the seller’s counteroffer, then your buyers might want to offer more money to include the appliances in their second offer.

2. Offer incentives.

If you are on the seller side, your client could offer to pay the buyer’s homeowners association fees for a specific period. “Capitalize on the primary truth that most buyers will need extra cash after the big purchase,” Kohn-Laski says. Incentive ideas for buyers include interior repainting or a year of free lawn services. For sellers, covering moving costs or repair costs from an issue found during inspection could also be useful incentives.

3. Know when to split the difference.

Meeting the other side halfway is usually a winning solution; it’s an art that leads to closing deals, Kohn-Laski says. When a few thousand or few hundred dollars appear to be the hurdle, you can counter by offering to split the difference. For instance, if the list price is $435,000 and your buyer wants it for $430,000, split the $5,000 difference to achieve $432,500.

The Caton Team prides ourselves with fair and honest dealings.  We know how to represent a seller to protect their best interests while managing the sale of their home.  We also know how to write the best offer for a buyer, in order to get their needs met and an agreeable contract for the seller.  In this competitive market – price isn’t always everything – curious why?  Call or email us – we’d be happy to share our ideas.  

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/07/11/3-ways-make-counteroffers-easier?tp=i-H43-Bb-KE-Da9A-1p-EHi7-1c-DZER-2A0rzW&om_rid=3237216%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=1254

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

What Caused Real House Prices to Decline for the First Time in 8 months?

When I received this article from First American – I had to share – interesting!

What Caused Real House Prices to Decline for the First Time in 8 months?

Written by: Mark Fleming, First American Chief Economist

First American’s proprietary Real House Price Index (RHPI) looks at April 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on the impact of wages and lower interest rates on real house prices.

“Despite the monetary tightening policies of the Federal Reserve, a dip in the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and wage gains increased consumer house-buying power sufficiently to offset the gain in unadjusted house prices. The decline in real, purchasing-power adjusted house prices between March and April was the largest month-over-month decline since July 2016,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.

For Mark’s full analysis on affordability, the top five states and markets with the greatest and smallest increases in real house prices, and more, please visit the Real House Price Index.

“The decline in real, purchasing-power adjusted house prices between March and April was the largest month-over-month decline since July 2016 and a respite from the 8-month-long trend of increasing real house prices.”

The RHPI offers an alternative view of the change over time of house prices at the national, state and metropolitan area level. The traditional perspective on house prices is fixated on the actual prices and the changes in those prices, which overlooks what really matters to potential buyers – their purchasing power, or how much they can afford to buy. The RHPI adjusts prices for purchasing power by considering how income levels and interest rates influence the amount one can borrow.

The RHPI is updated monthly with new data. Look for the next edition of the RHPI the week of July 24, 2017.

 

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I read this article at: https://firstexchange.com/June2017HousingUpdate

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008