Tag Archives: Real Estate

What Homeowners Have to Say About the Benefits of Owning a Home

June is National Homeownership Month, so we’re celebrating all the wonderful things that come with being a homeowner!

There’s a lot of information out there that explains the benefits of buying a home — but don’t just take it from the experts. We wanted you to hear from real-life homeowners about the perks of owning, so we surveyed nearly 80 homeowners across the country.

Here’s what they have to say about the benefits of owning a home.

Why did you choose to buy a home?
“[It’s] part of the American Dream — the ability to make decisions about my home without the need for prior approval from a landlord. ‘Make it ours.’” — Vicki, Saginaw, MI
“Made more financial sense to own versus rent.” — Shmuel, River Edge, NJ
“Rent felt like a waste of money. With a home you gain equity over time. It’s an investment.” — Dustin, Pocatello, ID
What is your favorite memory in your current home?
“The day we started our first ‘remodel’ project. Being able to take our own vision and see it progress is a great feeling.” — Alyssa, Ottawa, IL
“Waking up in my own house the day after I moved in.” — Anonymous, Baltimore, MD
“The holidays. We have so many great memories of our first Christmas. Getting to decorate the outside with lights and decorations and having the indoor area for the tree and stockings.” — Jennie, St. Louis, MO
How does being a homeowner benefit you financially?
“The main benefit is that the money we’re paying in mortgage, plus our equity, will be given back to us when we sell. It’s practically a guaranteed savings account.” — Terri, Downers Grove, IL
“I started with a $99k home and have renovated and improved my way up to a $600k home.” — Glynis, Sacramento, CA
“15 years ago I bought my first home in an up and coming neighborhood for only $10,000 down. Using the equity that I gained from that home, I’ve since sold and bought a new larger home that is now worth $1.5 million! Being a homeowner has significantly improved my overall net worth!” — Anne, Brooklyn, New York
What do you get from owning that you didn't get from renting?
How does being a homeowner benefit you financially?
“[It has] given me a place of refuge that’s all mine and a place for my family to gather.” — Renee, Gulfport, MS
“Owning a home has surprisingly made me more financially responsible and more stable.” — Marissa, Sacramento, CA
“It keeps me emotionally grounded and connected to a place.” — Anonymous, Spokane, WA

More About the Survey

Charts

 

Happy National Homeownership Month!

If you’re ready to learn more about the benefits of owning and whether it’s right for you, contact Cason today!

Get Ready… To Own Your Own Home!

Do you have a credit score of at least 620 — or nonexistent credit?

Do you receive rental income from a friend, family member, or boarder who lives with you?

Do you have limited funds for a down payment? 

 

Then Fannie Mae’s HomeReady loan program may be for you!

Borrowers with low to moderate income now have a program they can turn to when they’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership. With this unique program, you can use the combined income of everyone in your household toward qualifying for a home loan, including rental payments you receive as income. And you don’t even have to contribute any of your own money. With a HomeReady loan, your down payment can come from a gift or grant.

In fact, you don’t even have to have low income to qualify for HomeReady. In some circumstances, borrowers who are purchasing a home in a low-income or high-minority census tract may be eligible — regardless of their income.

 

If you’re interested in owning your home but not sure if you’ll qualify for a loan, let’s see if the HomeReady program can help turn your dreams into reality. Contact me today to get started!

We are not acting on behalf of or at the direction of Fannie Mae or any government entity or program. Program rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at any time and may vary based on borrower’s credit history. Not all applicants will qualify.

7 Ways to Protect Your Home While You’re on Vacation

The anticipation of a summer vacation is so exciting! Once your lodging, transportation, and sightseeing activities are all lined up, there’s nothing left to do but go, right? Not so fast. There’s one more important detail you should consider before taking off on your summer excursion: your home security. Whether you’ll be gone for a few days or a few weeks, make sure your home is well-protected from a variety of circumstances. From deterring pesky burglars to preventing weather damage, the following tips cover a range of ways to keep home sweet home safe and sound while you’re away.

Having the lights off for a consecutive number of days can be a clue to burglars that no one’s home. While you could leave a light or two on for the whole duration of your trip, that’s a good way to jack up your electric bill. To give the illusion that you’re home, set lights on timers to turn on and off at scheduled times of the day, like when you’d arrive home from work and before you’d go to bed. This also appears more natural than having your living room lamp on through the wee hours of the night. Don’t forget to install motion-detecting lights for the porch and other dark areas of your home’s exterior. (Bonus tip: Smart lighting systems let you control your lights from virtually anywhere, so you don’t have to rely on an old-fashioned timer.)

If you’ll be away for more than a few days, asking a friend to check on your home while you’re away can provide some additional peace of mind. Ask them to get your mail, water plants, feed your cat, or just do a drive by every day to keep an eye on things. If you can’t find someone to help out, at a minimum, remember to stop your mail as piles of unopened mail and newspapers are another indicator that nobody’s home.

It seems silly to cool a house no one is in, but your house can suffer from the heat, too! Shutting off your A/C in the summer can damage your home by letting too much humidity in. While you may save a few bucks on your utility bill, doing so can cause wooden doors and floors to swell, and mold to grow. It can also force your fridge to work overtime, and can be damaging to electronics as well. Instead of turning your A/C completely off, turn it up. The pros recommend setting your air conditioning to about 85 degrees while you’re away, which will still allow air to circulate without your A/C having to work to keep your home cool all day long. (Bonus tip: Install a smart thermostat that lets you program and adjust the temperature from wherever you are.)

From coffee pots to TVs to laptops, remember to unplug appliances before you take off. This not only saves on energy costs, but will also protect your electronics from power surges, while mitigating the possibility of an electrical fire.

There’s nothing like a neglected, uncut lawn to signal an unoccupied home to potential intruders, especially next to your neighbor’s freshly cut grass. Remember to arrange for lawn care while you’re gone. Plus, you don’t want to let that curb appeal slide.

Hello, Captain Obvious here. We know it’s a no-brainer, but just for good measure, set a reminder to lock all doors and windows. Remove any spare keys from under the doormat, and if you have an alarm system, set it! (Bonus tip: Consider a smart security system for an easy way to monitor your home and control access to visitors, like the cat-sitter, from afar.)

Who doesn’t love posting pictures of their adventures while on vacation? As tempting as that may be, doing so lets practically everybody know that you’re out of town … inadvertently creating an open invitation to thieves. Instead, wait until you’ve arrived safely home to tell the world about your journey. If you just can’t help but share your travels while on the road, at least set your accounts to private.

Taking care of these tasks before you go will help you make the most of your summer getaway, so you can rest easy knowing your home will be just the same as you left it: secure and safe.

Get Your Home Ready for Summer

As the weather heats up, our thoughts turn to fun in the sun, backyard barbecues, and peaceful nights on the patio. Make sure your home is ready for the summer weather by completing these seven summer maintenance task.

 

Give the AC unit a tune-up.

Just as you would for your furnace in the winter, you’ll want to have your air conditioning unit checked over by a professional before you really need it! Be sure to change your air filter as well.

 

 

Get ready for outdoor living.

Haul out your patio furniture from storage and clean and repair as necessary. Consider whether you need new cushions this year, and clean off your grill and your barbecue tools while you’re at it.

 

 

 

​Wash off the winter.

Dirt and mildew dull your home’s exterior and can also contribute to deterioration of your siding. Pressure washing it will make it look fresh and inviting under the summer sun. Just be sure to cover plants to protect them from the jet stream, and take care with windows.

 

 

Give your windows some TLC.

Washing the windows inside and out will let in the sunshine and brighten your home after a long, dark winter. Inspect your window screens and wash, repair, and replace as needed.

 

 

Switch over your fans.

Your ceiling fans should be reversed so that they spin counterclockwise, forcing air straight down. Give them a good cleaning, too.

 

 

There’s mulch to do.

Did you know too much sun is not good for your garden? Just like your skin, your summer garden needs protection from the sun. Spreading mulch around your plants helps to keep delicate roots cooler and retains water for hot, dry periods.

 

 

Check the deck.

Does it need resealing? Are there any nails sticking out or splintered spots that could hurt a person or pet?

 

 

Addressing the repairs and touch-ups and setting up your outdoor space before it’s too warm to do anything but lounge about drinking sun tea will help ensure your summer is an enjoyable one!

 

Why Fall Is the Best Time of Year to Buy a Home

Fall is arguably the best time of year for many reasons. The weather becomes cooler, the leaves begin to change, football season begins, and pumpkin-flavored everything is in abundant supply. But there’s another great reason to love fall that might be less obvious…it’s the best time of year to purchase a home.

Prices Are Typically Lower

The concept that buyers can get a better bang for their buck in the fall has been a popular notion for some time, but two recent reports validated that line of thought with data from actual home sales. According to a 2015 report by RealtyTrac, sales prices are typically 2.6% below fair market value during October — a steeper discount than any other month of the year. Another report by NerdWallet found that sales prices drop about 2.96% from summer to fall, which is roughly an $8,300 discount for the median home. It’s also worth noting that while listing prices don’t decrease much, sales prices do, and that’s the price that counts for potential buyers.

 There’s Less Competition

The majority of people buy a home in spring or summer, when inventory is traditionally high. This gives families time to make their move before the school year starts, but the tradeoff is that buyers are faced with strong competition and often pay higher than asking price during that time. People who buy in fall, however, have less competition, and sellers are more motivated. This means more negotiating power for the buyer, which often results in a better deal.

There’s Still Inventory

It’s true that the inventory of homes for sale is at its peak during spring and summer, but when you buy in the fall, there’s still a decent supply of homes left to choose from. While it could be argued that buyers could get an even better deal if they wait ’til winter, by that time, it’ll be slim pickings. Buying a home in the fall gives you the best of both worlds — lower prices and less competition but still enough inventory to find the home you want.

If you’re serious about buying a home, doing so this fall may save you money or help you afford more than you expect. Plus, with interest rates on the rise, the longer you wait, the less buying power you may have.  Click here  to learn more about the impact that rising interest rates has on affordability.

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