Blog


From: Zillow Porchlight

By: Jonathan Deesing

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in real estate is area — the "size" of a house.

Like most aspects of owning or purchasing a house, measuring the square footage of a home is complicated. There’s no established standard for measuring a residential property, and everyone seems to measure square footage differently. But if you get it wrong, it can affect your home’s value.

There’s no need to be nervous about calculating your home’s square footage, however. Let’s look at how easy it actually is to measure a home’s square footage accurately.

Gross living area

For most people, the gross floor area or gross living area (GLA) of a home is what they’re thinking when they hear “square footage.”

Here’s how to calculate your GLA:
1.Draw a floor plan of the interior of the home, drawing each floor separately — a simple sketch will do.
2.Break the home into measurable rectangles (such as bedrooms and hallways).
3.Don’t include unfinished areas, including patios, porches, and exterior staircases.
4.Calculate the area of each rectangle by multiplying its length by its width.
5.The sum of all these rectangles is the square footage of the home.

 

Read more ...


 

From: Zillow Porchlight

By: Brendon DeSimone

 

The seller accepted your offer, and now you've just got to sign on the dotted line. Right?

For some home buyers, the closing day for a real estate purchase is as formal and complicated as the transaction itself. For others, it’s just a blip on the radar. Either way, there are some important things to keep in mind as you make your way to homeownership.

 

Your mortgage rate could expire

Mortgage interest rates can fluctuate daily, and the rate your bank quoted isn’t good forever. Instead, a bank will “lock-in” your interest rate for 45, 60 or any number of days. Once that lock expires, you may have to pay a higher rate.

Any number of issues can come up: open permits, illegal renovations, or other types of roadblocks might require the loan process to stop until resolution.

For example, a buyer in upstate New York learned at the last minute that a previous owner built an addition to the home in the 1970s but never documented it properly. It turns out it was so bad that it wouldn’t pass today’s requirements. The buyer had to hire an architect, re-draw plans, and document the issue before the bank approved the loan. And, consequently, he lost the rate he’d been quoted.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, and don’t assume it’s a smooth journey to the closing table. Rate-lock expiration can throw an expensive wrench into the closing process.

 

The mortgage process isn’t over yet

Some buyers think once they’ve completed the application and submitted paperwork, their loan is approved and ready to go.

Not so fast. Today, some lenders will verify income, assets or credit all the way up until the very last minute. Don’t make any major changes to your finances until the closing.

That means don’t apply for a new credit card, finance a new car, or take a new job without running it by your mortgage professional.

The smallest (even seemingly insignificant) change to your finances can affect your ability to be approved for a loan.

Read more ...


From: Business Insider

By: Prashanth Perumal

If you're looking to invest in real estate, look no further than Nashville.

The city is likely to be the hottest housing market in 2017, according Zillow, a real estate website, which offered its predictions for the 10 hottest housing markets of the year.

To come up with the ranking, Zillow looked for cities with "quickly rising home values, low unemployment rates and strong income growth."

Zillow expects housing values to appreciate 3% in 2017, and western cities are likely to outperform the national average.

We present below Zillow's list of top 10 hottest housing markets in 2017.

 

1. Nashville, Tennessee

Forecasted home value appreciation: 4.3%

Income growth: 1.1%

Unemployment rate: 4.0%

Source: Zillow

 

2. Seattle, Washington

Forecasted home value appreciation: 5.6%

Income growth: 1.0%

Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Source: Zillow

 

3. Provo, Utah

Forecasted home value appreciation: 4.3%

Income growth: 1.0%

Unemployment rate: 2.7%

Source: Zillow

Read more...


By Jaymi Naciri for RealtyTimes.com:

The Fed raised interest rates last week, causing a ripple of concern among those who are worried about the effects on higher mortgage rates and the greater impact on the real estate market. But what do rising rates really mean for homebuyers? We've taken the temperature of several housing experts to get their take on the homebuying landscape for 2017.

Rates will continue to rise... or will they?

"When the rate was raised last week, the Fed predicted it would raise rates three more times in 2017, up from two in its previous forecast. But those predicted increases are just that - predictions, said the Berkshire Eagle. "A year ago, the Fed projected that it would raise rates four times in 2016 but has ended up doing so just once."

Many housing authorities expect that rates will, indeed rise, and are eyeing a 5% benchmark.

"My forecast is for the 30-year fixed rate to rise above 4.5 percent by year's end, and worst case scenario, knock on the door of 5 percent," Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere, told Inman.

Rising rates will impact homeownership…or will they?

Realtor.com predicts that home prices will continue to rise next year, increasing 3.9 percent. Their estimation of how high mortgage rates will go: 4.5 percent. Will the combination of rising prices and rates kill housing market momentum? The Mortgage Reports doesn't think so.

The good news of rising rates, they said, is that "home price increases could finally slow. Home shoppers may once again find ‘deals' in the 2017 market. Home values have been catapulted upward by almost-free borrowing. Home buyers were getting 30-year fixed rates in the low 3s, and fifteen year rates solidly in the 2s. That's lower than the rate of inflation is likely to be in coming years.

Read More...


By Maurie Backman for FoxBusiness.com:

Buying a home is a big undertaking, but your new home purchase might help you enjoy a world of tax breaks. If you're a new homeowner, you should know that there are several tax deductions available, some of which can put a fair amount of money back in your pocket. Here are a few tax benefits of homeownership that can really add up.

1. The mortgage interest deduction

The mortgage interest deduction is typically one of the largest tax breaks available to homeowners, as it allows you to write off interest on up to a $500,000 loan if you're a single tax filer, or a $1 million loan if you're a joint filer. This deduction can be especially lucrative during the early years of your mortgage, when the majority of what you pay each month is applied to interest as opposed to your loan's principal. Along these lines, if you're a couple filing jointly, you can also deduct the interest you pay on up to $100,000 in home equity debt.

2. The property tax deduction

The average American household pays a little more than $2,000 a year in property taxes. But in some states -- namely, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont, which currently top the list of states with the highest property taxesOpens a New Window. -- that figure can be considerably higher. There's an upside to paying high property taxes though, and it's the ability to take a larger deduction on your taxes. One thing you'll need to remember about this deduction is that you must claim it the year you actually make your payments. Since property taxes are typically paid quarterly, you might, for example, pay your first quarter taxes for 2017 in December of 2016. If that's the case, then you'd actually take a deduction for that payment on your 2016 taxes.

3. The points deduction

Some borrowers pay points on their mortgage in exchange for a reduced interest rate. Points are essentially an up-front fee you give your lender when you sign your mortgage. One point on a mortgage is equal to 1% of your loan value, so if you take out a $200,000 mortgage and pay one point, you'll spend an extra $2,000. The good thing about points is that they can work as a tax deduction, if not right away then over time. If the points you pay are in line with the industry standard, and the purpose of your mortgage is to purchase your primary home, then you're allowed to take a full points deduction right away. Otherwise, you can still take the deduction, but you'll need to spread it out over the life of your home loan.

Read More...


Showing results 1 - 5 of 173



Toll Free (24/7): 1.866.312.6682