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.
- 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!
In 1968, mortgage rates were 8.5%. The next year, rates went down to 7%. Homeowners could buy a 15-20% larger home for the same payments if they could find someone to assume their mortgage.
FHA and VA mortgages were very popular in certain price ranges and they allowed anyone to assume the mortgage regardless of the credit. If you could find a person to take over your note, you were free to qualify for another mortgage.
In October 1981, mortgage rates reached 18.63%. A $250,000 mortgage had a monthly principal and interest payment of $3,896.46. As astronomical as that rate sounds, people were still buying homes and were good investments.
Four years later, they were still over 12%. The monthly payment was $2,571.53. Believe it or not, people were excited to be paying only 2/3 what they had to pay a few years earlier.
Fast forward to late 1991 when the rates went below 9% and that same payment was to $2,015.16. At the turn of the 21st century, rates were 8.15% and that made the payment $1,860.62. Not much change in rates during that decade.
If we look around the housing bubble, late 2008, the rates were 6.04% and the payment was $1,505.31. By 2009, mortgage rates had fallen below 5%. The lowest mortgage rate was 3.31% on November 2012 with a payment of $1,096.27.
Rates fluctuated for the next few years until now, and most of the experts are expecting them to be above 5% by the end of 2018. Rates have increased each week for the last six weeks to 4.38% with payments of $1,240.12.
The average mortgage rate for the past 47 years is a little over 8%. The real estate and mortgage markets are cyclical. Rates have been historically low for a long period but will probably continue to rise. Most buyers don’t pay cash and mortgages enable them to purchase now. Based on history, even 8% would be an excellent rate. Until it reaches that point again, everything lower is a bargain.
The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, originally passed in 2007, was extended three times to protect homeowners from paying income tax on debt that was relieved due to foreclosure, short sales or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
The law expired on December 31, 2016 and unless it is extended again, homeowners with debt relief in 2017 may be subject to tax.
A homeowner might feel a sense of relief without the obligation of a delinquent mortgage but just because the payments are no longer due doesn’t mean that there isn’t another obligation that replaces it. If a lender cancels or forgives debt, a taxpayer must include the cancelled amount in their income for tax purposes depending on the circumstances. The tax significance could be serious.
This previously allowed relief only applied to a taxpayers’ acquisition indebtedness of their principal residence which did not include second homes and investment property. The maximum amount was limited to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness or $1 million if filing separately.
Due to the serious consequences involved in short sales and foreclosures, it is advised that homeowners faced with this possibility should seek expert advice from their legal and tax professionals.