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!
Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Prosciutto Salad
4 cups of fresh baby spinach
2 cups of sliced strawberries
6 slices of prosciutto
2 ounces of goat cheese (crumbled)
1 handful of almonds
Your favorite balsamic dressing
- Divide spinach among two salad bowls.
- Top with strawberries, almonds and goat cheese.
- Slice up the prosciutto and add to the top. If you prefer crispy prosciutto, lay prosciutto on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for approximately 5 minutes. Let cool and then crumble on top of the salad.
- Top with your favorite balsamic dressing and dig in!
This is a great salad because it allows for lots of customization. Arugula instead of spinach is an easy substitution. If you can’t find prosciutto, regular bacon works wonders. And, if you’re not a fan of goat cheese, feta or blue cheese would both work as well.
In the Community
On April 9th, Homestead Funding Corp. participated in the 2017 Best Buddies Friendship Walk at Crossgates Mall in Albany, NY. This is Homestead’s second year as a sponsor for Best Buddies, and so far we’ve raised almost $8,000!
Best Buddies was founded in 1989 when Anthony K. Shriver observed the lack of opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to socialize with their peers without disabilities. The upstate New York office is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement to create opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD.
Through Best Buddies, people with IDD have successfully moved from segregation and desolation to a new acceptance in their schools and communities. Best Buddies programs are positively impacting over 1,500 students with and without disabilities on 29 campuses throughout upstate New York.
As an organization, Best Buddies raised $170k at the walk this year! Keep up the great work Best Buddies, we feel honored to be a part of what you do!
To learn more about Homestead’s Helping Hands, please visit us at
Homestead Funding is excited to announce that for the second year in a row we are ranked in the top five of the 50 Best Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine!
“It is wonderful to be recognized again by our Loan Originators as a great place to work!” said Mike Rutherford, CEO and Owner of Homestead Funding. “I feel lucky to have such an amazing group of Loan Originators who are leaders in the mortgage industry.”
The rankings were determined by surveying over 10,000 Loan Originators around the country and over 200 companies participated. Each year, Mortgage Executive Magazine asks Loan Originators to rank their companies based on company culture, loan processing, underwriting, compensation, management, marketing, and technology.
“Empowering our Loan Originators with the tools they need to succeed is one of our top priorities!” said Daniela Bigalli, VP of Sales and Marketing. “We strive to constantly update and improve our support process for our Loan Originators by providing them with the innovative ideas and technology they need to win in today’s competitive sales environment.”
Homestead Funding Corp. is a multi-state licensed mortgage banker with branches located throughout the eastern U.S. In operation since 1994, our corporate headquarters is located in Albany, New York where we have perennially been the area's largest independent mortgage lender. We have tens of thousands of satisfied customers, originated billions of dollars in residential mortgage loans and maintained a reputation of exceptional service, honesty, integrity and financial reliability.
Homestead is actively looking for sales professionals and if you would like to find out more about what we offer our sales team and what differentiates us in the marketplace please visit https://homesteadfunding.com/careers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kathy Fox at (518) 464-1100 x 660.
And if you or someone you know would like home loan information, please feel free to contact us!