Date Archives: January 2016

Coldwell Banker American Homes Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Area Information | 27 Posts
BPT | 10 Posts
Buying | 6 Posts
Homeowners | 17 Posts
Real Estate Blogs | 319 Posts
RREIN | 62 Posts
Uncategorized | 148 Posts
Buying a Home | Home Purchase Guidelines | Long Island Homes and Property | Real Estate for Long Island | Energy Efficient Homes | Homeowner Tax Credits | Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency | Adjustable Rate Mortgages | Mortgages for the Long Island real estate market | The Right Mortgage for the Right Home Buyer | Real Estate Question of the Day! | Real Estate - scams and mortgages | What you need to know about real estate | Home Purchase Savings | Interest rates offer greatest leverage | Tax credit vs mortgage interest rates | Assisted Living | VA Special Pension | home loans | Home mortgage rates | Another Interest Rate Drop | Mortgage Interest Rates | Defending homeownership | Is now the time to buy a home? | Real Estate - still a great investment | Long Island condo & co-op | Long Island Homes for sale | Long Island Properties | Negotiating house purchase price | New construction on Long Island | Real Estate transfer fees | buy your home through a short sale purchase | selling short with the banks approval | Short sale home purchase | $2000 home buyer grant | New York State home buying grants | home list price vs. home sales price | negotiate a new home sales price | New York State STAR tax exemption | STAR tax exemption for New York homeowners | Buyer Brokerage | Real Estate Representation | Seller Agency | Tips for improving your credit score | Home and property appraisals | Homeowner Tax Advantages | Home Purchase Track | Owning a home vs. Renting | 55+ Adult Community | Senior housing | The Season's at East Meadow | co-op | Condo's | Homes | land for sale | Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home on Long Island | Homeownership | Open House weekend | home buying process | mortgage prequalification | Real Estate Investment Tips | Tips to Flip your real estate | Home Shopping Checklist | Look for a house with a checklist | ips to purchasing a short sale home | Short sales: How to purchase | Cut energy costs for your home | home energy efficiency | Loan application mistakes | mortgage loans | mortgage home loans | What home loan is right for you? | house hunting | Hunting for a home | Common Home Defects | What to look for when buying a home | first time home buyers | The 1st time home buyers guide | mobile based home search | Mobile phone users - coupons | smart phone applications | Housing Market Recovery Bright Spots | Natianal Housing Market Report | Home Closing - contract to closing | Home purchase timeline | 203k home mortgage program | Home Improvement Funding | Myths of the real estate market | The Home Buying Process | narrow down your home search | The Best location for your home purchase | buying a home? protect your credit! | credit protection | Home value pitfalls | home closing steps to take | New home closing | Home Styles | Popular Homes | best interest rates | credit scores | Create Energy within Your Home with Feng Shui | Feng Shui within your home | consumer confidence | home buyers more confident in housing market | Real Estate market impact | Rent verse Buy | Renters Outspend Owners on Housing | Benefits of home buying | Winter shopping for homes | Consumers confidence in home ownership | Homeownership attitudes | Real estate tax advantages & tips | Tax tips for homeowners | job opportunity | real estate agent | real estate career | rental agent | 1st time home buyer tips | priorities for home buyers | make moving fun for family | Moving for the family | Buy a foreclosure | REO purchase tips | Tips to buying a foreclosure property | Use a real estate agent to buy a home | Use a real estate agent to sell a home | Why use a real estate agent | Home Buying steps | Home Buying tips | Stepr to take prior to buying a home | home loan good faith estimate | Tips to your home loan mortgage | FICO Scores | How FICO scores are calculated | Your FICO score | Invest in a home | tax refund - invest it in your home purchase | VA Loan | The Home Buyers Wish List | Home buying expectations | real estate market report | Bidding on real estate properties | purchase offers for your home | home mortgage | downsizing your home | moving to a smaller house | Jumbo Loans for Home Purchase | Mortgage Money Lesson | newlywed home purchasing tips | The perfect wedding gift... a new home | Avoid these home buying mistakes | common mistakes when buying a home | Good News for Housing | Home Price Index | Bank fees for the homeowner | understanding banks and their fees | Home Inspections for your new home purchase | What to know about home inspections | Fire safety for your home | Is your home fire safe? | Home Mortgage programs | LTV | Mortgage loan to value | Mortgage relief for disaster challenged areas | Location | Property location - real estate | buying a short sale property | short sale tips | buying a home - best investment? | When is the best time to buy? | New Years resolutions | Resolutions: a Reality for Realty's | Get a mortgage after foreclosure | mortgage financing - after foreclosure | Is it a good time to buy a home? | What age is old enough to buy a home? | Buy a short sale property | Short Sale real estate properties | Home property tax deductions | real estate tax deductions | Real Estate License School | Apartment Rentals | House Rentals | Real Estate Rental Agent | House Hunting Tips | Simple house hunting tips & ideas | Mortgage advice - current trends | mortgaging & refinancing in 2013 | Good credit score = best equal rates | How to build up your credit score | lease - option to buy | Rent with option to buy | Avoid Home Improvement Blunders | Home improvements ideas for the property owner | Home Buyers - What do you really want? | Needs & wants of home buyers | mortgage loans for new home construction | New construction home loans | Home Buyers - Price & proximity to work | Key Concerns for the home buyer | Impressive mortgage applications | Keys to getting your mortgage approved | Home buying mistakes to avoid | Home purchasing blunders to avoid | New homes vs older homes | to buy or not to buy a home | pet friendly rentals | Pets or no pets - apartment rentals | tips for home purchasers | Flipping houses | home flpipping 101 | spec houses | home buyer how to's | how to be a better home buyer | Mortgage amortization | A happy home | What makes you really happy? | Low housing inventory | Low inventory housing market | Home prices on the rise | Rising property values | Home buyer tips to open houses | Open House etiquette | Winning a home purchase bidding war | Home mortgage rate tips | mortgage tips for the new home owner | Home Equity Line versus 2nd Mortgage | buy a new home or expand your current home | Home improvements vs. new home purchse | Mortgage Rate Lock | Residential home mortgage rates | Improve your economic profile for home mortgage | Personal Finance | Costly problems for new home buyers | New home buyers avoid costly problems | Handy man special | The home fixer-upper | How to refinance | Refinance - without perfect credit | Debt to Income | Tackling Debt | Seasonal real estate trends | The fall season housing market | Factor in home repairs in your mortgage payment | Home repairs for new home purchasers | Home sellers negotiation techniques | negotiations for home buyers & sellers | The home buying process - stress free | The process of buying a home | Recently Read | Saved for Later | Great Neck | Massapequa | Huntington | Ronkonkoma | Brooklyn | East Meadow | Coldwell Banker American Homes | Local Attractions | Home Improvement | Interior Design | Queens | Fresh Meadows | Long Beach | Local Businesses | Farmingdale | Home selling | Suffolk County | Nassau County | Wantagh
January
30

Tax refunds present an opportunity to better your financial health. Unfortunately, many refund recipients don't take advantage of it.   "A tax refund often feels like 'free' money, and many people use the funds to splurge on expensive items they wouldn't otherwise purchase," says Mike Sullivan, chief education officer for Take Charge America, a national non-profit credit counseling agency. "However, a refund presents a unique opportunity to use the money to improve your family's financial wellbeing now and in the long term."     If you receive a refund this year, consider using it in one (or all!) of the following ways:   1. Pay Off Debt – When you receive your refund, resist the urge to spend it on a shopping spree, fancy dinner or pricey vacation. Instead, use your refund to pay down credit card balances, student loans, auto loans or other debt.   2. Pay Down Your Mortgage – Direct your refund toward your mortgage principal. Even one extra payment each year can shave noticeable interest off your mortgage.   3. Boost Your Savings – If you're debt-free, put your money toward your emergency savings fund, retirement plan or college savings account.   4. Adjust Your Withholding – File a new W4 to increase your allowances and pay the appropriate amount of taxes throughout the year. Use the IRS withholding calculator and aim for the number of allowances that satisfies 100 to 110 percent of last year's tax payment.   5. Use Direct Deposit – Set up an automatic deposit to direct the money you would have spent on excess taxes into an interest-bearing savings account. You won't notice the difference in your paycheck- it's money that would have been withheld for taxes-but your contributions will quickly add up.   "While it's fun to receive a wind-fall of cash, it's important for consumers to understand the IRS isn't giving away money-they're returning money they borrowed, interest-free, all year long," adds Sullivan. "It's a good idea to adjust your withholdings to break even and make your money work for you-not just the government-throughout the year."   Source: Take Charge America Published with permission from RISMedia.
January
28

There are so many things to consider when buying a new home, from house features to location, that it's easy to overlook what's really important. However, remember that buying a home is more than just picking out floor plans and backyard space - it's a financial investment. Plan for a home you can afford by keeping these important numbers in mind.     Buying a home can be daunting, but CENTURY 21 American Homes can help.   Source:www.century21.com
January
27

If an inspector is coming to look at your home before you list it, you may have a few questions. What will the home inspector be looking at? How can you prepare for the inspection?   A home inspector   For insight and answers, we turned to the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), who've outlined many steps you can take before your pre-listing inspection-and most can be done at little or no cost to you. These include:
  • Removing grade or mulch from contact with siding; six or more inches of clearance is preferred.
  • Diverting all water away from the house, i.e. downspouts, sump pump, condensation drains, etc.; grade should slope away from the structure.
  • Painting all weathered exterior wood and caulk around trim, chimney, windows and doors.
  • Sealing asphalt driveways, if cracking, and pointing up masonry chimney caps.
  • Cleaning or replacing the HVAC filter.
  • Testing all smoke detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition.
  • Having the chimney, fireplace or wood stove cleaned and providing the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record.
  • Ensuring that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked window panes.
  • Ensuring that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks) are in proper working condition; checking for and fixing any leaks; caulking around fixtures if necessary.
  • Installing GFCI receptacles near all water sources.
  • Checking to ensure that the crawlspace is dry, installing a proper vapor barrier if necessary, and removing any visible moisture from a crawlspace.
  • Checking that bath vents are properly vented and in working condition.
  • Removing paints, solvents, gas, etc., from crawlspace, basement, attic, porch, etc.
  • Having clear access to attic, crawlspace, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
  • Turning on all utilities, including water, electric, water heater, furnace, air conditioning and breaks in the main panel.
Published with permission from RISMedia.
January
21

This year's housing market is expected to favor sellers-and for buyers, those circumstances will likely result in multiple-bid situations. Whichever camp you fall into, it's important to understand how to navigate this type of market in order to achieve the best possible outcome in the transaction.     "The 2016 housing market is forecasted to be mainly a seller's market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory and fierce competition between buyers," says realtor.com® Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. "Buyers looking to close this year need to keep an open mind and be prepared to move quickly when they find a home that meets their needs. For sellers, it's about understanding the ins and outs of their local market so they can optimize the price of their home and close quickly."   For homebuyers, Smoke recommends: Being the early bird – Over 85 percent of buyers who plan to purchase in the next year intend to buy in the spring or summer of 2016, according to a recent realtor.com® survey. With roughly 50 percent more listings inventory relative to the number of potential home sales expected in January and February, buyers who start their search early face less competition with nearly the same number of homes.   Comparison shopping for mortgages – Mortgage rates are expected to reach 4.65 percent and prices are predicted to rise 3 percent year-over-year in 2016. Buyers planning to finance their purchase should put as much effort into getting the right mortgage as they do finding the right home. A lower interest rate can make the difference in qualifying for a home and save thousands over the life of the loan.   Considering a new home – In 2016, the number of new homes on the market is expected to grow more rapidly, resulting in a 16 percent increase in new home sales year-over-year. Buyers should consider the new home options in their market; they are likely to have less competition and to enjoy a broad selection of homes. While new homes are typically higher in price, they are usually larger and offer performance advantages and warranties that could reduce operating and maintenance costs.   For home sellers, Smoke advises: Listing during peak season – Unlike buyers, demand benefits sellers. Prime home buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June, according to a realtor.com® analysis of home sales. Sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings.   Pricing a home to the market – In 2016, prices are expected to increase nationally 3 percent year-over-year. Local prices changes are anticipated to be more dramatic. Sellers who work with a local REALTOR® to optimize the price of their home based on its unique features and surrounding neighborhood are often able to receive the highest price for their market and sell more quickly.   Offering incentives – Last year, 37 percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers. Sellers who are open to negotiating beyond price are more likely to find scenarios that result in wins for both sides resulting in a potentially faster sale and more seller profit.   Source: realtor.com® Published with permission from RISMedia.
January
14

The housing market continues to move toward stability, most recently with the addition of two more states, Kansas and New York, to the outer range of stable housing activity, according to the Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). The most recent MiMi value indicates the overall national market is in the outer stable range, as well.   housing   "The strong annual change of 6.31 percent is the best improvement we've seen in the MiMi on a year-over-year basis since July 2014," explains Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist. "While strong home purchase applications and rising home values in some markets are contributing to this improvement, it's largely more of a reflection of mortgage delinquencies continuing to decline at a steady pace, especially in those hardest hit markets, and a better employment picture overall."   According to the Index, 32 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have MiMi values in stable range; 53 of the top 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range; and 43 of the 50 states and 89 of the 100 metros have shown an improving trend over the last three months.   Source: Freddie Mac Published with permission from RISMedia.
January
7

(BPT) - It's an all too familiar monthly event: you write out a rent check and wait for the funds to disappear from your bank account. But what if instead of making endless payments on something you don't own, you could own a home of your own? When you finance a home purchase with a mortgage, you build equity and increase your percentage of home ownership with each payment made.     'Homeownership may sound like a big step, but it's not as out of reach as you might think,' says Eric Hamilton, President of Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance.   Vanderbilt Mortgage offers these tips to home financing to help you realize a place of your very own:   Assess your financial situation. Before you even begin to look at homes, you should know what you can afford. Consider your debt-to-income ratio which is your monthly income compared to your total monthly bills. After figuring your ratio you will have a better idea as to what you can afford for a mortgage payment. To determine what your monthly mortgage payment might be, use an online mortgage calculator.   Budget and save. Financing a home begins with budgeting to ensure you have an appropriate down payment. Be sure to set a realistic goal and use the idea of your future home as an incentive to stick to it. You can set up a savings plan, evaluate your current spending, and consider earning extra income to help reach your savings goal. Don't forget to celebrate your achievements along the way toward reaching your goal!   Maintain your credit. There are a number of ways you can build your credit, ranging from opening a checking or savings account to paying all of your bills on time. Getting a secured credit card can also help to build your credit. Be sure to monitor how often you use the credit card and how much you spend so as not to create revolving credit debt. Try to minimize your outstanding debt and keep existing debts in check.   Apply for a loan. Know ahead of time what information and documents you'll need to complete a home loan application to help make the application experience as easy as possible. Documents needed may include: proof of income, employment information from the past two years, state-issued identification, proof of residency, and your social security card. Brush up on home loan terms so you can be knowledgeable throughout the process.   Stay on track with your payments. After you have moved into your dream home, be sure to make your mortgage payments in full and on time. If you can, plan an optional early mortgage payoff by making additional payments toward your principal balance each month.   Care for your home. The financial responsibility of owning a home is just the beginning. You worked hard to finally get to this point, so why not keep your home in top shape? Create a home maintenance checklist and make a point to regularly go through it. Keep track of routine items like checking HVAC filters, cleaning the sink disposal and cleaning out the gutters. Follow this guide to fulfill your dream of owning a home. For more information on home financing, visit vmfhomeloan.com.  
January
6

(BPT) - Rain, sleet, ice and snow - no matter what form it's in, precipitation can lead to major winter damage resulting in many issues for home and business owners. Icy roads, ruptured pipes and ice dams are all complications brought on by winter water, and the threat may be even greater this season according to national weather predictions.     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting this winter to be wetter-than-average in many parts of the country. Additionally, when you consider the threat of El Nino looming for certain regions, proper seasonal preparation is especially important this year.   'When it comes to winter weather, it pays to be prepared for the worst,' says Peter Duncanson, director, disaster restoration system development at ServiceMaster Restore. 'Preparing now is important, as excessive precipitation combined with freezing or near-freezing temperatures can cause significant damage overnight.'   To protect yourself and your home from winter's harshest weather, here are four must-do tips.   * Understand your insurance policy. If something goes wrong at your house, you want to know you're covered. That means now is the perfect time to review your insurance policy closely. As you do so, pay special attention to what is and is not specifically covered, as it applies to winter weather conditions. You may find gaps in your policy where additional coverage is needed.   * Keep your gutters flowing. Your gutters are one of your home's most important defense mechanisms when it comes to water removal - but only if you keep them clean. Clear your gutters of debris as soon as possible and repair any leaks to ensure proper water flow. Keeping your gutters clear does more than just rid your home of excess water, it also stops the possibility of ice dams - a very expensive seasonal hazard. Once your gutters are clean, make sure your downspouts are clear of debris as well, and that they properly divert water several feet away from your home's foundation.   * Fortify your foundation. Water damage to your home's foundation can easily cost thousands of dollars so it's worth your time to reinforce it in advance. Take a trip around your house and inspect the foundation for cracks or small holes where water can seep in. Even a few inches of water can damage your carpet, drywall, wood floors or the foundation itself.   * Prevent pipes from freezing. A frozen pipe that ruptures can be one of the most destructive winter water accidents. To protect against frozen pipes, insulate your home's outdoor pipes with a faucet cover or even a towel. You should also ensure pipes that border an exterior wall are well insulated. This will keep the pipes warm and reduce their risk of bursting. On the coldest nights, it's a good idea to open faucets a small amount, allowing water to drip into a drain to keep water moving through the pipe. You can also leave cabinet doors open underneath sinks to circulate air and protect against freezing. Follow these four steps to help your home enter the spring nice and dry. To learn more about ServiceMaster Restore, visit ServiceMasterRestore.com.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder