By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news that we are currently in a seller’s market. But what does this mean for the housing industry? Basically, it means that there are more homebuyers in the market than there are homes for sale. Based on the laws of supply and demand, this means that there is heavy competition, and you’re more likely to end up in a bidding war. However, there is one thing you can do to ensure that you are a step above the rest when entering this type of situation. Get preapproved first, with Homestead Funding Corp.
What does it mean to get preapproved? A mortgage preapproval is a commitment from your lender stating how much they would be willing to lend you after evaluating your financial situation. Before you look at homes, a Licensed Loan Originator will review your financial documents, including your credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, and the past two years of W-2s, and have an underwriter review and approve the loan terms. A preapproval should speed up the loan process significantly and will make you and your offer much more attractive to many sellers.
Having a preapproval letter demonstrates to the seller and seller’s agent that not only are you serious about purchasing, but also that you’ve already been preapproved to purchase a home in a certain price range. Buyers with prequalification letters may also be qualified to purchase but if a seller is deciding between a preapproval offer and a prequalification they will choose the buyer with the preapproval letter assuming all other terms are equal.
As we move further into 2017, the housing industry is continuing to be a seller’s market. Buying a house will continue to be competitive, but you’ll be sure to succeed so long as you’re prepared. Arm yourself with the proper tools—an experienced Realtor, a lot of research, and a willingness to be flexible—and most importantly, prove to sellers that you’re serious by getting preapproved prior to shopping.
When you think of a backyard shed, most people associate it with the filling of tools, lawn ornaments, outdoor toys, and gardening supplies. A new trend, however, takes these outdoor storage spaces and turns them into a place to escape and relax. Sheds are quickly becoming sources of relaxation in the form of workspaces, outdoor entertainment areas, or mini home-away-from-homes’. Sound appealing? Well, here are a few fun shed ideas that may fit your lifestyle and enhance your home. Enjoy our shedspiration.
Hobby Space or Outside Home Office: It’s an issue many people face. We love our hobbies, but never seem to have room for them. Designating an entire room in the house is challenging, and hardly ever works out the way we want it to. So, why not move your passion outside and into its own space! In fact, separating yourself from the responsibilities that exist in your home could help make your hobbies more relaxing. And as a bonus, you won’t have to stress about cleaning up and putting everything back into storage until you get another free afternoon. In addition to a hobby space, you could also turn a backyard shed into a seasonal home office. It might make having to work through the summer a bit more enjoyable.
Backyard Bar: If you like to entertain, turning your shed into a mini-bar or entertainment space makes the perfect addition to any outdoor get together! It’s like a pergola or gazebo, but way cooler. You can add a bar window and some stools, or even create an entire indoor space with tables and chairs. Make it enclosed for a more intimate feel, or keep the front open with a fire pit nearby for everyone to enjoy. It can be relaxed and comfy or modern and refined. The possibilities are endless, and no matter what you choose, your guests will be impressed.
She Sheds: We’ve all heard of the classic man cave. It’s now time for the she shed. She sheds are being created as cozy little spaces where the busy woman can go to relax; and a backyard shed makes the perfect spot! Turn it into a reading or gardening nook, make it your zen yoga space, or just fill it with all the things that make you happy. The she shed is the new necessary space that every woman deserves.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect summer project, let these ideas float around in your shed for a bit and make some time in your schedule to create the perfectly renovated shedquarters that fits your lifestyle. There are so many more opt-sheds for you to choose from, but I promise you’ll come out feeling acompli-shed with your new addition!
Celebrated on the 17th of March, St. Patrick’s Day has been known as a day of Leprechauns, pots of gold, and everyone wearing green to show recognition for the Irish culture. There are parties and parades, but where did all the traditions come from? And what’s with those shamrocks anyway? The following is a brief history of the holiday and how it came to be the fun-filled day of festivities we know today.
Saint Patrick, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, was born in Roman Britain, and has been honored as Ireland’s patron saint for well over a thousand years. The anniversary of his death (believed to have been on March 17, 461) became an important and recognized religious holiday in the ninth or tenth century and was celebrated through prayer, church services, and feasts. The festivities we are familiar with today didn’t come about until 1762 and didn’t even originate in Ireland!
The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the New York City when the Irish soldiers serving in the English military decided to march so that they might reconnect with their Irish roots. They gathered together and played their traditional music, enjoying the company of their community, and rejoicing in their nation despite being so far from home. The tradition continued to grow as Irish immigrants used it to boost pride in their culture and became a sign of strength for disenfranchised Irish Americans. Slowly, as the Irish-American community began to grow and take shape, the parade turned into a highly attended event and celebration. Today, the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade boasts nearly 150,000 participants and an even larger audience.
Shamrocks are related to the historical aspect of the holiday. One of the most well-known legends about St. Patrick talks about how he explained the Holy Trinity of the Catholic religion using the three leaves of the popular Irish clover. Wearing green, however, is not related to St. Patrick, his life, or any of the original traditions. In fact, the color did not become associated with the holiday until the late 18th century when supporters of Irish independence wore the color to represent their cause.
Though the holiday may have started as a devoted religious celebration of patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has become a fun holiday celebrated by people of all backgrounds. Though North America has been known to have the largest productions for the holiday, there are celebrations in many other parts of the world far from Ireland including Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Russia. To some it’s a religious day, to others a day of fun and of luck, but for all of us, it’s a day to celebrate Ireland and the culture that makes it great.
Have fun, be safe, and maybe impress your friends with some St. Patrick’s Day trivia this March 17th.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Home in 2017
Buying a home is one of the biggest decision you’ll make, but it can also be one of the best investments. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should stop paying rent in 2017 and instead, make the decision to purchase a home.
Mortgages Are More Affordable. Between today’s still low interest rates, and an abundance of mortgage products that offer a variety of low to no down payment options, it is much easier for first time homebuyers to find affordable housing options.
Less Strain On Your Application. Credit requirements have eased significantly, allowing for lower credit scores to be accepted. Plus, Homestead Funding offers a variety of products that allow for more people to find a mortgage that will fit with their particular financial situation.
Enjoyable Tax Breaks. Thankfully, a homeowner’s mortgage interest, and many other home-related expenses, are deductible from income tax. Thus, owning a home can actually help decrease tax burdens. Consult with a tax advisor about your specific situation.
It Helps Young Families Build Wealth. Instead of throwing away your hard earned money every month towards rent, put it towards a mortgage instead. Avoid worrying about rental cost rising because the money that goes into each mortgage payment will begin to build equity and contribute to a primary source of a homebuyer’s net worth. In some cases, buying a home is less expensive than renting.
Freedom in Owning a Home. Owning a home means being free to decorate and change it to better match your personal taste. There are now options to paint, change the flooring, hang photos, or even take down whole walls without having to worry about putting everything back when it’s time to move out. The house belongs to the homeowner, not a landlord who gets to call the shots.
If you have any questions about home loan rates or loan products, please don't hesitate to contact one of our Loan Originators.
As mortgage rates and house prices continue to rise in the coming year, the supply of homes on the market is expected to stay low. Despite all this negative sounding news, there is a great solution for homebuyers to obtain the dream home they have always wanted. Beat out the heavy competition that exists within the housing market with a Renovation loan!
In a competitive market with low home inventory, your best chance to purchase a home without getting stuck spending a fortune in a bidding war may be to purchase a property in need of updates or renovations. A house with good bones but an unattractive face, or a “fixer-upper” as they’ve come to be known, may be listed below market price and potentially end up with fewer offers and views as it sits on the market. These houses, with a well thought out plan, can usually be spruced up through a handful of renovation and remodeling projects. Renovation loans allow for the purchase of a house below your budget and renovate it up to what is affordable.
Renovation loans such as the FHA 203k or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan were created so that homebuyers could purchase a home they felt had potential, and could make their own. Using these loans, homebuyers can borrow money for a house and its desired renovations all at once without the need for a second loan.
FHA 203K Renovation mortgages allow buyers to borrow the funds for both the purchase and renovation of a home, based on the projected value of the finished product, and may be used for almost any renovation project except luxury items. A HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage allows for the purchase and financing of up to 50% of your property’s post renovation value, and can be used for luxury additions such as swimming pools as well as room remodels and any other permanent renovation that will add value to the home.
Fixer-uppers and home remodels are currently all the rage, and, considering the housing market projections, are expected to rise in the coming year. There are always ways for buyers to get their dream home, it just requires a little imagination and the ability to see past the imperfections of the current home. Thinking outside of the box will help today's buyers navigate the competition in the current market and renovation loans offer buyers a solution to still get their dream home.
Contact one of our Loan Originators for details on how to finance and renovate your dream home today!