Tag Archives: mortgage

Money Monday: Increase your credit score

Quick ways to up your credit score.

“Most people don’t put much thought into their credit scores until the time comes to apply for a loan. If you expect to need financing in the next few months and aren’t convinced your credit score is high enough to get you approved, you’ll need to act quickly to improve your chances. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to boost your credit score in record time.” (“4 tips to increase your credit score fast.” Maurie Backman. 8 May 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/08/pf/credit-score-tips/index.html?iid=Lead)

One way to increase your credit score? Ask for an increase in your credit limit. But read CNN’s article for more tips! 

Read all of CNN’s article on increasing your credit score here: “4 tips to increase your credit score fast.”

Money Monday: Reasons Not to Purchase a Home with All-Cash

Even if you have the financial means to put in an all-cash offer, you may not want to do so.

All-cash offers can be more appealing to home-sellers, but you also need to take into consideration the other aspects of paying so much cash upfront.

All-cash offers in today's real estate market

  1. Will you have enough liquidity left? At least a few thousand dollars left in your pocket is ideal. You may have repairs, upgrades you desire to make, and increased utility and maintenance costs for your new house — not to mention your typical costs and unexpected financial needs (such as medical bills or suddenly losing employment).
  2. What if you easily qualify for a mortgage? Interest rates are still on the low-side, and by obtaining a mortgage to purchase a house, you would be able to keep a large chunk of your finances.
  3. Paying all-cash means you miss out on a tax break. When you have a mortgage, you are able to receive a tax break on the interest paid to the mortgage lender.
  4. & 5. reasons are available to read at Finance.Yahoo.com: “5 Reasons Not to Purchase Your Home With Cash.”

Money Monday: Preparing to Buy a Home

Buying a home — it’s a big decision; one that you should prepare for in advance.

buyers and sellers real estate disclosures“One of the most important things a first-time homebuyer can do is prepare their budget for this big financial event.” (“How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prepare-budget-buying-first-home-123000854.html)

And there’s a few key ways that you can get your budget in order:

  1. Work on getting your credit score up
  2. Save for a down payment on a house
  3. Prepare for extra costs when buying

Read more on Yahoo’s financial advice on prepping your budget before buying here: “How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”.

Money Monday: California Housing Affordability

Higher wages and seasonal price declines affect California housing affordability.

housing market forecast

• “Thirty-one percent of California households could afford to purchase the $511,360 median-priced home in the fourth quarter, unchanged from third-quarter 2016 and up from 30 percent in fourth-quarter 2015.” (“4th Qtr 2016 Housing Affordability”. CAR.org. 9 Feb 2017)

• “A minimum annual income of $100,800 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,520, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 3.91 percent interest rate.”

Read all about 2016’s housing marketing in the fourth quarter, in the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’ article here: “4th Qtr 2016 Housing Affordability“.

 

Money Monday: Tax Deductions for Homeowners

With the tax deadline coming up, now is the time to refresh yourself and learn about tax breaks you could be getting if you are a homeowner.

Some of the following tax deductions are only applicable to new homeowners, but there are a few that any owner can file for:

  1. Mortgage interest
  2. Mortgage insurance premiums
  3. Energy related tax credits
  4. Capital gains exclusion
  5. Property inheritance
  6. Property taxes
  7. Home office costs
  8. Moving expenses

If you would like details on these potential tax breaks you could be getting, read Yahoo’s article here.

Money Monday: What does FICO have to do with my Home Loan?

Your FICO score is the yardstick by which most lenders measure your credit worthiness.

debt calculationThe major credit bureaus keep track of loans that you have taken out in the past and how well you managed this debt. A high FICO score indicates that you have been responsible with the credit extended to you and will reflect positively on applications that you submit, while a lower score indicates that you have had credit issues in the past. Continue reading

Money Monday: Money tips for homeowners

With homeownership, there are both benefits and costs involved (not just the down payment).

As the homeowner, your financial responsibilities extend beyond the down payment and monthly mortgage payments; there will be maintenance items to maintain and pay for, yearly tax bills, and the unexpected repairs to resolve. CNN Money does have a few money tips to help those would-be and already-are homeowners; read their article here.

Photo from Pictures of Money

Photo from Pictures of Money

1. Create a new budget

Instead of rent, you now have house expenditures. Besides the change in the monthly payment, there will likely be an increase in utility bills (it costs more to cool and heat and power a larger living space!), the potential watering and maintenance of a yard and garden, and other things such as a trash bill and your tax bills.

Estimate your monthly expenses initially, but then keep track of the actual monthly money going out for awhile, and then base your budget on that.

2. Plan on repairs

Even with a turn-key property, most likely you will have repairs to make pretty soon down the road. “Most homeowners spend 1% to 4% of their homes’ value each year on repairs and maintenance.” (CNN Money. “4 money tips for new homeowners”). And if you have an expensive repair coming up, like replacing the roof, try to save a little more each month in preparation.

3. Expect your property taxes to go up

Property taxes start out based on the assessed value of your home at the time of purchase. But,

Property taxes have a tendency to rise, even when home values drop. Back in 2000, localities across the U.S. collected an estimated $247 billion in property taxes, but by 2010, that number almost doubled to $476 billion despite the decline in home prices from the infamous housing bubble implosion. (CNN Money. “4 money tips for new homeowners”)

4. Expect big payments

Homeowner’s insurance and property taxes are some hefty bills, that you should plan for accordingly.

Read up on all of CNN Money’s tips here: “4 money tips for new homeowners”

Money Monday: Renters have affordability challenges when buying a home

Renters value homeownership but face affordability challenges when it comes to buying a home, C.A.R. survey finds.

upside-downCurrent renters value homeownership and want to buy a home, but many are encountering affordability and financial obstacles that prevent them from buying, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2016 Renter Survey. Making sense of the story:

  • Nearly half of renters (48 percent) plan to buy a home in the future, with 10 percent saying that they plan to buy within a year.
  • For those not planning to buy, an improvement in finances, lower housing prices, and saving enough for a down payment would motivate them to buy now.
  • Of the 28 percent of renters who don’t plan to buy in the future, 50 percent said they can’t afford to buy, 20 percent will not buy because they prefer to rent, 19 percent said they can’t qualify for a mortgage, and 15 percent lack a down payment.
  • Job uncertainty (9 percent), economic uncertainty (12 percent), and housing market uncertainty (6 percent) were among other reasons renters cited for not buying a home.
    Homeownership remains important to renters, with nearly half (45 percent) rating it 8 or higher in importance on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely important. The average was 6.8.
  • Nearly all renters (95 percent) see advantages to homeownership; freedom to do what you want with your home, building equity, and having permanence and stability were the top benefits mentioned by renters.
  • One of the surprising findings of this survey is that more than one in four millennial renters said they plan to purchase a home that will accommodate their parents, and about one in five millennials indicated they plan to pool funds with family members to buy a home.

Read the full story from KPCC: www.scpr.org/news/2016/06/08/61459/homeownership-is-valued-but-remains-expensive-and/