Because of its prominent role in the home buying process, it’s important for you to understand what a credit score is, how it’s compiled and how to obtain your credit report. For your FREE credit report, go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com and let me know if you have any questions!
Looking for an investment that will turn $10,000 into $80,000 in seven years? Sound too good to be true? What if I told you that you could live in it every day during that seven years? Would that sound even better?
A $300,000 home purchased today on an FHA loan would have a $10,500 down payment. If it appreciated at 2% annually, which is less than the U.S. average, the future value of the home would be $344,606 in seven years. The unpaid balance on the loan would be $256,350 based on normal amortization which would make the equity in the home $88,256.
The annual compound rate of return on the down payment would be 35%. This number sounds so large, that you might start doubting the credibility of this example.
Looking at some alternative investments, a ten-year Treasury note is currently paying 1.73%. You can earn 2.1% on a ten-year certificate of deposit. If you could handle the volatility of the stock market and pick the right stock, you might earn 7-10%.
There really is no alternative investment that can earn the return that an owner-occupied home can offer while giving you the ability to live and enjoy the home during the holding period.
Even if you could find an investment that paid a good return, when you realize the gain, you’ll be required to pay income tax, either at long-term capital gains rates or ordinary income. However, a person who has lived in a home for at least two of the last five years can exclude up to $250,000 of gain from their income if they are single and up to $500,000 of gain if the owners are married, filing jointly.
A home can certainly be a place of your own to feel safe and secure, to raise your family, share with friends and build memories. A home could be considered an emotional investment and one that pays big dividends. A home is also a financial investment not just for the reasons mentioned above but also because the equity can be accessed by doing a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit.
See what your investment might look like by using the Rent vs. Own and giving us a call at (757) 563-3110.
Checklists work because they contain the important things that need to be done. They provide a reminder about things we know and realize but may have slipped our minds as well as inform us about things we didn’t consider. Periodic attention to these areas can protect the investment in your home.
- Change HVAC filters regularly. Consider purchasing a supply of the correct sizes needed onlineand they’ll even remind you when it’s time to order them again.
- Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors annually.
- Create and regularly update a Home Inventory to keep track of personal belongings in case of burglary or casualty loss.
- Keep track of capital improvements, with a Homeowners Tax Guide, made to your home throughout the year that increases your basis and lowers gain.
- Order free credit reports from all three bureaus once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Challenge your property tax assessment when you receive that year’s assessment when you feel that the value is too high. We can supply the comparable sales and you can handle the rest.
- Establish a family emergency plan identifying the best escape routes and where family members should meet after leaving the home.
- If you have a mortgage, verify the unpaid balance and if additional principal payments were applied properly. Use a Equity Accelerator to estimate how long it will take to retire your mortgage.
- Keep trees pruned and shrubs trimmed away from house to enhance visual appeal, increase security and prevent damage.
- Have heating and cooling professionally serviced annually.
- Check toilets periodically to see if they’re leaking water and repair if necessary.
- Clean gutters twice a year to control rainwater away from your home to protect roof, siding and foundation.
- To identify indications of foundation issues, periodically, check around perimeter of home for cracks in walls or concrete. Do doors and windows open properly?
- Peeling or chipping paint can lead to wood and interior damage. Small areas can be touched-up but multiple areas may indicate that the whole exterior needs painting.
- If there is a chimney and fires are burned in the fireplace, it will need to be inspected and possibly cleaned.
- If the home has a sprinkler system, manually turn the sprinklers on, one station at a time to determine if they are working and aimed properly. Evaluate if the timers are set properly. Look for pooling water that could indicate a leak underground.
- Have your home inspected for termites.
Instead of remembering when you need to do these different things, use your calendar to create a system. As an example, make a new appointment with “change the HVAC filters” in the subject line. Select the recurring event button and decide the pattern. For instance, set this one for monthly, every two months with no end date. You can schedule a time or just an all-day event will show at the top of your calendar that day.
By scheduling as many of these items as you can, you won’t forget that they need to be done. If you don’t delete them from the calendar, you’ll continue to be “nagged” until you finally do them.
If you have questions or need a recommendation of a service provider, give us a call at (757) 563-3110. We deal with issues like this regularly and have experience with workers who are reputable and reasonable.
Smart home technology promises to make your home more comfortable, convenient and secure. It may not be the home from the Jetson’s but artificial intelligence is the hope to make it the home of the future which is available now and controlled from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
When Alexa appeared three years ago, most people thought it was a novelty to ask what the weather will be or to play a song. Few people understood the vision of Amazon would be verbally purchasing everything imaginable and that your calendar, contacts, lights, and appliances would all be connected.
There are plenty of players in the market including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung Smart Things, Apple and others. It starts with a hub that acts like a brain for your system to connect the different home automation devices. You’ll establish an online account with the hub manufacturer so that you can adjust settings and controls.
You could start simple with switch and plug receptacles that would allow you to control lights either vocally through your hub or from your Smartphone or tablet anywhere in the world where you have an Internet connection.
Programmable thermostats can lower your monthly utility costs while conveniently regulating your comfort by adjusting temperatures on your heating and cooling systems. These can be particularly effective in homes with zoned systems where you might live in one area during the day but sleep in a different zone.
Door bells might be one of the next additions to your automation. Not only can you communicate with the person at your door, you don’t have to go to the door to do it. The device cameras are motion activated so you’ll see who is there regardless of whether they rang the doorbell or not.
Door locks can be convenient because instead of giving someone a key, you can issue a temporary code to let them enter. You can give them permanent access and rescind it any time you want without having to change the locks. You’ll know when they enter and leave your home.
Other security options can include door and window sensors, motion detectors and cameras for outside or inside the home. The homeowner will be able to monitor from inside or anywhere else they have an Internet connection.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as water sensors to determine leaking water around water heaters or in basements give homeowners peace of mind.
Most of these devices are available in wireless models so you won’t have to string wire throughout the home. The Wi-Fi can introduce a potential problem of hackers who could illegally access your system. This is true with any home that has a Wi-Fi router and precautions should be taken.
The big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot, and Amazon offer a wide variety of brands and modules. Many people prefer it as a do-it-yourself project and others would rather have a professional do it for them. YouTube has a lot of videos that can probably show you exactly how to install the ones you select.
- ATTOM Data Solutions conducted an analysis of more than 29 million single family home and condo sales over the past eight years to determine the top days to list your home for sale.
- The top five days to list your home brought in a 10% premium over market value and are all in either May or June!
- “Families start their home search when they know their kids will be out of school and when the weather is ideal for home viewing and moving, giving home sellers an upper hand in price negotiations.”
- There is still time to list your home before these dates pass you by!