Friday, April 18, 2008

Rate Update and Real Estate Education

Loan Type Today Last Week
30 Year Fixed 5.87% 5.63%
15 Year Fixed 5.44% 5.22%
1 Year ARM 5.77% 5.65%
30 Year Fixed Jumbo 7.19% 7.06%
5/1 ARM 5.59% 5.32%
3/1 ARM 5.41% 5.18%

Rates may vary but you can use this as a guide to get a good idea on what the rates are currently doing. I read an interesting article today about the housing market ;( basically each situation is different and should be considered from all aspects. Buys and sellers should educate themselves to the point that they feel comfortable with the sell or purchase of a home. As you probably all ready realize there is no money like selling a house money, and If done right you can make a easy investment that could pay you back thousands of dollars in a couple of years. I have always felt that you do not have to make a ton of money to afford a wonderful home, it is all in the way you approach it. For example a couple just starting out buy a started home or a spec home, they do not overdo it just the basics, a place to start their lives and be happy. As a few years go buy they find that what they owe on the house has not only decreased but, the worth of the home has also improved. This is great however in order to collect on their investment the couple would have to sell. After the sell the couple would need to buy a new home, and they would have a down payment from the sell and could hopefully upgrade homes and use the money they made from the investment and equal out the payment. Now the couple is in a larger home, with upgrades like, yard size, sq footage, improved neighborhood, etc. This process takes time and patience, and is not for the faint at heart, but the results are wonderful. If you have always wanted to have your dream home, and were able to attend medical school, or Harvard law, then this may be your ticket.
I truly believe that a home is a great investment however as a home owner you need to educate yourself to the max, to insure you are going to meet your goals. Another example I know of is a man who had saved a good size amount of money and wanted to purchase several acres to build a home on and retire. The man started looking close to town and quickly realized that the property values of the area had shot through the roof and he soon realized that the hard earned money he had saved was not going to take him as far as he thought. I advised the man to consider moving to an undeveloped part of town, further away from schools and malls and he found exactly what he was looking for without paying the price, for all the extra options he did not need like great schools, close to great jobs, daycare, etc.. Simple adjustments combined with common sense and educating yourself about real estate can go a long way.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spring Time

Remember The Time changes in East Tennessee this year on the 9th of March, and spring time is just around the corner. I enjoy the spring time because of the opportunity that it brings. Homes are much easily shown without the elements of the weather. If you are thinking of selling your home, now is a great time, to get it listed, with the air warming and grass greening your home will be renewed, and will show a potential buyer all it has to offer. Please remember that people choose to purchase a home because of a variety of factors such as low interest rates, job relocation, tax advantages, school schedules of their children, deaths, births, and many other factors that have nothing to do with the time of year. Sell your home when it is most convenient for you, but list it smart. A well-maintained, fairly priced home will sell at any time of the year. Right now the interest rates are around 6% which is great, and the Maryville real estate market is strong and I do believe that a home listed for the right price will sell.

Maryville TN Real Estate

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tax Break!

I thought I would share the good News…

By ANDREW TAYLOR and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writers 1 hour, 25 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - With unprecedented speed and cooperation, Congress and the White House forged a deal Thursday to begin rushing tax rebates of $600 to $1,200 to most tax filers by spring, hoping they will spend the money just as quickly and jolt the ailing economy to life.

Rebates would be even higher for families with children.
The one-time tax rebates are at the center of a hard-won agreement to pump about $150 billion into the economy this year and perhaps stave off the first recession since 2001. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Republican leader John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson worked out the details in negotiations that stretched into Wednesday night at the Capitol.
About two-thirds of the tax relief would go out in rebate checks to 117 million families beginning in May. Businesses would get $50 billion in incentives to invest in new plants and equipment.
Individual taxpayers would get up to $600 in rebates, working couples $1,200 and those with children an additional $300 per child under the agreement. In a key concession to Democrats, 35 million families who make at least $3,000 but don't pay taxes would get $300 rebates.
The rebates would phase out gradually for individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 and for couples with incomes above $150,000. Contributions to IRA and 401(k) retirement accounts and health savings accounts would not count toward the income limit.
"This package will lead to higher consumer spending and increased business investment," Bush said in hailing the agreement.
The bill will go straight to the House floor next week and on to the Senate, where some Democrats hope to add elements such as extending unemployment benefits for workers whose benefits have run out.
Indeed, many Democrats, such as Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, the liberal lion of the Senate, were deeply unhappy that Pelosi agreed to jettison that proposal in late-stage talks, as well as plans to increase food stamp payments.
"I do not understand, and cannot accept, the resistance of President Bush and Republican leaders to including an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are without work through no fault of their own," Rangel said.
The administration signaled it's unlikely to welcome efforts to broaden the measure, and pressure was mounting in the Senate to accept the hard-won deal.
"The American people are not going to have a lot of patience for taking time," Paulson said.
If the Senate gives quick approval, the first rebate payments could begin going out in May and most people could have them by July, he said.
It has become increasingly clear that the economy is teetering on the edge of recession, if it hasn't already gone over that line. The crisis in subprime home loans has hit hard at many lending institutions, cramping credit for almost everyone else. Economic growth has all but disappeared, companies are reporting big losses and Wall Street had been tumbling day after day — even after emergency Federal Reserve rate-cutting — until Wednesday's hopeful talk about the stimulus deal. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 100 points Thursday after soaring nearly 300 the day before.
In addition to concerns openly expressed by lawmakers, members of Congress are not eager to run for re-election this fall with voters fearful of losing jobs in a recession.
For businesses, the stimulus measure would allow them to immediate tax write-offs for 50 percent of the purchase price of plants and other capital equipment and permit small businesses to write off additional purchases of equipment. A provision to allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid was dropped in end-stage talks.
Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits in exchange for gaining the rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including those who make too little to pay income taxes.
"I can't say that I'm totally pleased with the package, but I do know that it will help stimulate the economy. But if it does not, then there will be more to come," Pelosi said. She said that House Democrats may act on other proposals to stimulate the economy, particularly if it worsens in coming weeks.
Boehner said the agreement "was not easy for the two of us and our respective caucuses."
"You know, many Americans believe that Washington is broken," the Ohio Republican said. "But I think this agreement and I hope that this agreement will show the American people that we can fix it."
Paulson said he would work with the House and Senate to enact the package and declared that "speed is of the essence." He cautioned that "the work is far from over."
The agreement left some lawmakers in both parties with a bitter taste, and they complained that their leaders had sacrificed too much in the interest of striking a deal. Many senior Democrats were particularly upset that the package omitted the unemployment extension.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the goal is to send the package to the White House by Feb. 15 for Bush's signature, but he noted the Senate was likely to try to add more spending.
Bush had supported larger rebates of $800-$1,600, but his plan would have left out 30 million working households of people who earn paychecks but don't make enough to pay income tax, according to calculations by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. An additional 19 million households would receive only partial rebates under Bush's initial proposal.
To address the mortgage crisis, the package raises the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans from $362,790 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas, allowing more subprime mortgage holders to refinance into federally insured loans. To widen the availability of mortgages across the country, it also provides a one-year boost to the cap on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy, from $417,000 up to $729,750 in high-cost markets.

Maryville TN Real Estate

Monday, January 14, 2008

10 Important Steps to Take Before You Sell Your House

I found this information and wanted to share it with you.

10 Important Steps to Take Before You Sell Your House
Essential Home Selling Preparations
The home selling process differs from state to state, but there are some important steps that most home sellers should take before listing a house with an agent or selling it for sale by owner. Every bit of prep work you do helps you get the most return from your investment.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
I've known sellers who signed a contract to sell their house before they knew if they were qualified to buy another. Either their financial circumstances had changed since their last purchase, and they could no longer qualify for a loan, or they weren't able to sell at a price that allowed them to buy the type of replacement house they wanted. They ended up renting or buying something that was far from ideal.

Before you decide to sell the house, get pre-approved by a lender you trust and research the housing market in the area where you wish to live so that you have a good idea how much it will take to buy a replacement.

Start looking for two types of real estate: houses that seem to match the one you'd like to buy and houses that are similar to your current home. How do the two categories compare in price? Can you handle the difference if you're planning a step up?

Mortgage Helpers: Are You Pre-Approved for a Mortgage? And to compare for-sale homes to your own, learn how to Measure Residential Square Footage.

2. Check Your Mortgage Payoff
Call your lender to check the payoff for your current home mortgage. You'll need the figure to complete Step 6.

3. Determine How Much Your House Is Worth
Determine your home's fair market value. Real estate agents will usually help you determine value as a courtesy, but you might take it a step further and order an appraisal.

4. Estimate Your Costs to Sell
Real estate commission if you use an agency to sell.

Advertising costs, signs, other fees if you plan to sell by owner.
Attorney, closing agent and other professional fees.

Excise tax for the sale.

Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, home owner association fees, and fuel tank rentals.
Any other fees typically paid by the seller in your area (surveys, inspections, etc.).
Real estate agents deal with transactions every day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.

5. Estimate Costs to Buy a New Home
Calculate moving expenses, loan costs, downpayment, home inspections, title work and title policy, paying for a new hazard insurance policy--all expenses related to buying a home. Your lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply for loan pre-approval.

6. Calculate Your Estimated Proceeds
Deduct your mortgage payoff from your home's fair market value.

Deduct your costs to sell from the remainder to get an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.
Will your closing proceeds cover your costs to buy a new home? If not, do you have cash or other funding to make up the difference?

7. Make Necessary Repairs
Make all needed repairs unless you want the house to be regarded as a fixer-upper. I'm not referring to cosmetic updates--just items in need of repair. Anything that's obviously broken gives potential buyers a reason to offer you a lower price, especially if it's one of several repair hot spots that worry buyers the most.

8. Get the House Ready to Show
Most houses need at least a little spiffing up before they are shown to potential buyers. Great curb appeal, fresh paint indoors (and sometimes out), organized closets and cabinets, sparkling clean windows and appliances and a clutter-free look are essential if you want the house to appeal to buyers. Be sure to avoid the things buyers hate most about houses.

9. Get Psyched Up to Let People In
If you're listing with a real estate agent, she'll ask you to leave when the house is shown. Why? Because lurking sellers make buyers nervous--they don't feel comfortable inspecting the house when they feel they are intruding in your personal space.
Unless there's a valid reason for it, don't ask your agent to be present for all showings, because that requirement can be the kiss of death for showing activity. Other agents want privacy with their buyers and they don't usually have time to work around your agent's schedule.

Make the house accessible. That means it should always be ready to show. Many agents won't bother showing a house that takes 24 hours to get into.

Maryville TN Real Estate
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Buying vs Renting

I found this information about renting vs buying and thougt that it might be of some help.

Savings: Buying
In many cases, the amount of money a renter spends on rent can be about the same as or less than the amount a homeowner spends on a mortgage. With the tax benefit for homeowners, the savings can be significant.
Buy vs. Rent Comparison
The chart below shows a cost comparison for a renter and a homeowner over a seven year period.
The renter starts out paying $800 per month with annual increases of 5%
The homeowner purchases a home for $110,000 and pays a monthly mortgage of $1,000
After 6 years, the homeowner's payment is lower than the renter's monthly payment
With the tax savings of homeownership, the homeowner's payment is less than the rental payment after 3 years

Monthly Expenses: Buying
Your rental company takes part of your rent payment to cover certain housing expenses. When you decide to purchase a home, you accept responsibility for paying for these expenses (listed below). They are additional costs to your monthly mortgage payment and should be included in your budget estimates:
Property Taxes and Special Assessments
Home/Hazard Insurance
Home Owner Association (HOA) Fee: Doesn't apply to all purchases. It pays for trash and snow removal and maintenance of common grounds if applicable.
Membership Fee: It may pay for recreational facilities and other services (cable TV).
This information was provided by the following Government link Below

Maryville TN Real Estate
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Buyer Beware

When buying a home you should get your own agent to represent you. It is not wise to use the agent who has the home listed. Why? Easy, it is a major conflict of interest because the agent already has signed a contract to protect the best interest of the seller. This means you can use the listing agent if you prefer; however it would be equal to going through a divorce and sharing a lawyer with your soon to be X spouse, probably not something you would want to take a chance of doing. You need an agent that is individually committed to you and only you. Does this cost more? No! The seller has already signed a contract to pay a certain percentage to real estate fees, long before you even had any knowledge that the home was even for sale. As a buyer you only lose if you do not seek an agent to assist you in your search of your next home, and to represent you during closing. We hope this information has been helpful to you, and We hope it is useful for your friends and family also.

Maryville TN Real Estate
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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Invest in a Home Inspection

Buying a home can be one of the most important financial investments you will ever make. But, how do you know if the house is everything it appears to be? If the home you are about to purchase does not have the structural integrity to give you peace of mind, you may be buying into a money pit and sleepless nights. A home inspection is one of the smartest ways to educate yourself about the physical condition of a property you want to buy.
A home inspection is a visual inspection of the physical structure and mechanical condition of a home, from roof to foundation. The inspection is designed to identify problems that may exist, advise of repairs needed and, in some cases, provide preventive maintenance advice. A home inspection points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape.
A home inspector may be a residential architect, structural engineer or building contractor. Currently, home inspectors are not regulated by any federal government agencies, and in most states, do not require licensing. However, structural engineers must be licensed.
It is up to the buyer to ask prospective inspectors questions about their experience and knowledge when deciding who to hire. When looking for a home inspector, the Better Business Bureau suggests the following general guidelines:
Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations. Check with the Better Business Bureau or your consumer protection division if you have questions.
Look for someone who is familiar with the type of home to be inspected. Does the inspector specialize in residential or commercial property?
Ask prospective inspectors questions about their professional training, relevant experience and/or length of time in business. Find out if the inspector belongs to a professional association, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Society of Professional Engineers. Membership in professional associations may offer added assurance of an inspector's qualifications and training.
Look for home inspectors who are committed to avoiding conflicts of interest, who refuse to be involved in any real estate transaction or to deliberately obtain work in another field that could benefit them financially as a result of their inspection work, and who hold the safety, health and welfare of the public paramount in the performance of their professional inspection duties.
Be present during the inspection. The majority of inspectors will allow you to tour the home with them and ask questions during or after the inspection. The inspection can last anywhere from two to five hours, depending on the size of the house. Ask how soon after the inspection will you receive a copy of the home inspection final, written report. Carefully read your home inspection report and make a list of items that need correction; this will help you to determine your future expenditures for repairs and maintenance. The report will contain useful information that serves as a reference for you in the future. A home can not fail an inspection; understand that the home inspection report records the condition of the home, both positives and negatives.

Maryville TN Real Estate
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