Monthly Archives: April 2018

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How Mortgage Rate Increases Affect Home Buyers

Mortgage rates have been increasing lately and there is an expectation that they will move higher this year. But while home prices get a lot of attention, rising mortgage rates are a little more difficult for buyers to calculate in terms of what it will cost them. Here’s some help. According to one recent model, a less than one percent increase in mortgage rates over the next year would result in a $100 increase to the typical monthly mortgage payment. But since the costs of homeownership are influenced by many different factors, this projection has to make certain assumptions about things like the rate at which home prices will increase, for example. In other words, any increase to mortgage rates will cost home buyers but just how much is difficult to calculate precisely. So what should home buyers expect? Well, since a stronger economy and improved job market make it more likely that the Fed will raise interest rates further this year, buyers should expect that mortgage rates will remain low by historical standards but continue to edge higher, taking monthly mortgage payments higher along with them.


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Analysis Finds Property Tax On The Rise

When considering the costs of homeownership, it’s sometimes easy to forget about property tax. Home buyers focus a lot of attention on their prospective mortgage payment and the potential cost of any remodels and renovations but often forget to think about how much taxes will run them each year. This is a mistake. Take, for example, new research from ATTOM Data Solutions. Their recent tax analysis found that the average property tax on a single family home last year was $3,399, a 3 percent increase from 2016. That’s nearly $300 a month. But property taxes can differ from one place to the next. As evidence, states like Hawaii, Alabama, Colorado, Tennessee, and West Virginia were found to have lower than average effective property tax rates. They can also vary from city to city. That’s why it’s a good idea to look into how much homeowners pay in property taxes in the areas where you’d most like to buy a home. It may not sway your decision on where you buy, but it will give you a more accurate assessment of how much it’ll cost to buy a house in a particular city.


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How Photography Can Help Sell Your House

Increasingly, people rely on technology to simplify tasks that were once difficult or time consuming. These days, everything from grocery shopping to running a business can be done with an assist from a smartphone app. So it’s no surprise that home shoppers would also go to the internet to gather information on how, what, and where to buy a house. And it’s for that reason that photography has become an important tool for homeowners who are looking to sell a house. For example, a recent National Association of Realtors’ study found 89 percent of buyers who searched listings on the internet said photos were the most useful feature. That makes sense. After all, the photos that accompany online listings can offer home shoppers an idea of what the home looks like inside and out. And while it’s always best to see the house in person – as photography can sometimes give an inaccurate impression of what shape a house is in – good photos are clearly a must if you’re selling a home today.


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What Style Of House Do You Prefer?

Most regions offer house hunters a variety of architectural styles to choose from. Whether you prefer bungalows to ranches or modern over contemporary, you can likely find something that fits your preference. But, according to one recent survey, what you’re looking for might depend on your age. That’s because the results show millennial home buyers are looking for a different kind of home than older buyers. For example, younger buyers expressed a preference for colonial and contemporary homes, when they had a preference at all. On the other hand, buyers over the age of 55 were much more interested in finding a ranch – which is an architectural style favored by only 6 percent of millennials. Of course, some of this has to do with practicalities – such as retirees in search of a one-story home because it eliminates any concern about future mobility and navigating stairs – but it’s also a question of personal taste and aesthetics. Ultimately, though, whatever type of house Americans say they prefer, they generally all say they want that house to have ample storage, a garage, and multiple bedrooms.


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