Home Maintenance November 15, 2022

How to Choose the Right Roofing for Your Home

With the rise in roofing styles and materials available in the market, it is tough to make the right choice. The cost and durability of the roof play a considerable part in your decision. To help you save your time and money, we’ve curated a list of roofing materials along with their pros and cons.

So, let’s choose the right roofing for your home!

Key Factors to Consider When Replacing a Roof

There are a few factors that need to be taken into account when choosing a roof:

  • The durability factor
  • How well does it perform during natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires?
  • The weight – it should not be heavier than the existing roof framing; otherwise, it might fall
  • How much slope does the roof have?
  • How well it goes with the overall aesthetic of the house?
  • How sustainable is it? Are the materials used recyclable and eco-friendly?
  • Does the roofing comply with the local building codes?
  • How much does it cost?


Types of Roofing Materials

The type of roofing materials varies from one homeowner to another. While one might need a roof with utmost strength, the other might have its focus on the slope. Different areas have different roofing requirements. However, these six roofing materials fall into the category of the most popular ones.

1.     Asphalt Shingles

There are two types of asphalt shingles – laminate and single-thickness. These are made by mixing fiberglass with asphalt and finishing it with a textured surface. These are a common preference among homeowners because they are easy to install and budget-friendly.

Pros: These are available in a wide range of colors and are known to be the most affordable roofing material for homeowners.

Cons: The material doesn’t provide a significant level of insulation and is known to have a shorter lifespan than other roofing materials.

2.     Wood Roofing

Wood has long been used as one of the most preferred residential roofing materials. However, it has high flammability that poses a significant threat. So, for areas that experience severe hot temperatures and there are higher chances of wildfires, homeowners don’t consider this a safe option.

Pros: It is an excellent roofing material for pleasant areas where the temperature doesn’t go extreme. Wood offers a rustic, natural look, making your house’s overall aesthetic look great. If you wish to get a great variety and are all about sustainability, a wooden roof is what you need.

Cons: The flammability rate is high, and there are higher chances of it catching mold. Additionally, the lifespan of wood is not limited.

3.     Metal Roofing

Metal, such as aluminum, copper, steel, etc., is the most demanded roofing materials that are highly long-lasting and can withstand extreme weather. It has over fifty years of life expectancy. It poses a solid resistance to mildew, mold, and other water-related damages. However, they come at a cost. It takes time to install them as well.

Pros: Metal is a solid material that offers high solar reflectance, enabling efficient cooling and heating of homes.

Cons: It is the most high-priced roofing alternative compared to others.

4.     Ceramic / Cemented Tiles

Ceramic or cemented tiles are luxurious; however, they are the heaviest roofing alternatives. In addition, they are expensive.

Pros: The tiles are excellent and energy efficient.

Cons: The weight of the tiles will require homeowners to provide extra frames for support.

5.     Slate Roofing

One of the most used natural roofing options is long-lasting slate roofs. With proper care, they can last up to decades! A slate roof is a raw heat-proofing material that keeps your house warm and cozy. This roofing material is resistant to water damage and extreme temperature changes.

Pros: It is a sustainable and recyclable roofing material.

Cons: It is also pricier, and you will need additional frame support to ensure it sits well.

6.     Synthetic Roofing

Plastic, rubber, and polymer are known as synthetic roofing. It is made to offer a great look, color, and texture at a lower cost.

Pros: These are made keeping durability and affordability in mind.

Cons: Recent developments claim synthetic roofing tends to absorb a specific moisture level.

When you’re considering a replacement for your roof, be sure to contact a roofing expert.

Home Buying November 8, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Gift a Down Payment

A home is one of the most significant assets you can own. Purchasing a home is a route to building wealth. Similarly, gifting a down payment to a loved one can help set them up. However, before you commit to a down payment gift, you must look at your current finances.

If you haven’t been able to save enough funds to purchase a home, there are other ways to go about it, such as borrowing from lenders to complete a down payment with gifted money. These, however, have a different set of rules as compared to traditional home loans.

In this blog, we’ll discuss all that you need to know about down payment gifts.

All About Gifting a Down Payment

There is no better way to jump-start your financial route to homeownership than by receiving gifted funds for a down payment. It’s common for parents, siblings, or grandparents to gift a down payment for significant milestones such as marriage or graduation. However, a down payment gift from parents comes with fewer tax implications.   

Who is Applicable for Gifting a Down Payment?

It all depends on the mortgage/ lender programs that you’ve opted for. Most loans will allow down payment gifts from blood relatives and godparents. However, others allow gifts from non-blood relatives and charitable organizations. The rules vary for each.

How Much Can Be Gifted?

It is one of the most common questions amongst borrowers who receive gift money from their parents for a down payment. The donor has to meet the requirements. However, factors such as borrowers’ credit can influence the amount gifted.  

In the 2022 tax year, parents together can gift their children up to $32k without the fear of activating the gift tax. Parents can gift a complete down payment in place of shares. In addition, these gifted funds sit well with mortgage lenders.

The Significance of Gifting a Down Payment As a Parent

Today there is immense pressure on children – with rising rent rates and student debt load, it is impossible to save up a good chunk for a down payment. Parents can support their children in building their equity earlier to enjoy long-term financial well-being. It is a far better alternative than signing your child’s mortgage. Why? Because if your child cannot make the payments, you’ll have to make them on their behalf.

Regardless of whether your child is financially stable currently, they might face a job loss or some adversities shortly. It will help them through their rough period. If you choose against it, there are chances that at that point, you might be close to retiring and won’t be able to help as much as you’d like.

How to Gift Your Child a Down Payment

1.      Keep Emotions Out of Financial Decisions

Emotional decision-making will get you into trouble. If you are firm about gifting a down payment to your child, check your finances and assess what you can realistically afford to give. Think strategically, keeping your future in mind. If you don’t have enough and are planning on withdrawing money from retirement, life insurance policy, or savings, it will only mean financial issues for you.

2.      Gift As Early As Possible

It is best to make early payments to your child. Preferably two to three months before they start applying for a mortgage. You can easily send the money to your child’s bank account or via check or wire transfer. It will allow the funds to season and support the verification process that will help identify that the money came from a valid source.

3.      Keep Your Paperwork Prearranged

Before using gift funds, it is necessary to submit a gift letter to your lender. It is a document that offers proper documentation defining the parties involved and confirms that the finds are indeed a gift. The letter will contain you and your spouse’s name (if applicable) along with the amount being gifted, contact information, and the purpose of the gift. You will also need to provide them with account statements that show the movement of funds.

Down Payment Gift Rules

There are a few things you should know when it comes to down payment gifts.


  • be straightforward about receiving a down payment gift.
  • Keep a record of the movement of funds.
  • Accept the down payment gift if it sits well with the requirements.
  • Ensure the total of gift funds is within the limit unless you wish to pay taxes on it.


  • inform your lender that you’ve received a down payment gift if they expect you to pay back the funds.
  • Forget to reveal to your lender the gift that you’ve already received.
  • Be so sure that all mortgage plans will allow down payment gifts.
  • Overlook the federal tax gift elimination restrictions.

We hope this blog answers all your questions regarding gifting a down payment and will allow you to gift yours easily. Additionally, it will help save you time and hassle.

Home Buying November 1, 2022

First-Time Home Buyer Programs: How to Get Your Foot in the Door

Purchasing a home is a significant decision and one that you can’t take lightly. You want to ensure that the home you buy is the right fit for your family and meets all your needs. However, this is not the only concern you’ll have. There are several steps, tasks, and requirements involved in the process and you might get overwhelmed and worried about making an expensive mistake.

This blog will cover some of the most valuable first-time buyer programs so you are well aware of the options available to you.

Types of First-Time Home Buyer Programs

The costs of buying a first home can seem overwhelming at first. Luckily, there are several loan programs for assistance to those who want to take the step into homeownership. By having an understanding of how each of the programs work, you’ll be able to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Down Payment Assistance (DPA)

A down payment is the first and foremost cost of buying a home. It is a crucial requirement for most mortgages. Luckily, there are quite a few lenders that accept down payment assistance. It helps in covering your down payment costs.

DPA Loans

If you’ve doubts about covering your down payment, you might be eligible for a down payment assistance program via certain types of loans, which will help lower the amount for you. Some options include forgiven loans, second mortgages, and deferred payment loans.

DPA Grants

Another possibility of getting down payment assistance is via grants. The good part is these don’t have to be repaid. However, each state has its requirements, and it’s best to check out yours for accurate details.

Government-Backed Loans

A government-backed loan is also beneficial for qualified first-time home buyers to purchase with zero down payment.

Tax Deductions

You can save money on your taxes with the help of several state and federal deductions. Moreover, you can deduct the cost of interest paid during the year on loan amounts up to the above limits for a primary and one second home. These are the two most significant homeownership deductions.

Closing Assistance

Similar to the DPA, these are private and government-sponsored programs that assist you in closing costs. These are what you pay at the end of your mortgage process.

Federal First-Time Home Buyer Programs

When you buy a home, you can benefit from local and state government programs. These programs are available to all citizens of the U.S. listed below are some of the most known federal first-time home buyer programs:

Government Backed Loans

The good news is that lenders can offer borrowers a lower interest rate. The government insures these loans, which means they pose less risk to the lender. The government is offering three loan options as of now, and they are V.A. loans, FHA loans, and USDA loans. These enable you to get a home with a lower down payment or poor credit.

State And Local First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Most government home-buying assistance comes through state and local programs. The individual programs are different based on the locations.

Charitable/ Non Profit

You will be eligible for this only if you have less than the average income. These organizations can help offer you the right resources to finance a home.

Habitat For Humanity

This global organization is well-known and offers decent housing for low-income families. The volunteers help build homes for the needy, and the organization makes no profit when you close. These homes are priced economically as compared to the others in the market.

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation Of America (NACA)

Another nationwide nonprofit that can help you get home is the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA). It offers education and counseling to households that are not financially stable. These loans don’t require a down payment or closing costs, nor do they see the minimum credit score. They can offer you a more personalized look at potential paths to homeownership.

Employer-Sponsored First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Yes, your employers can also help you out with your home purchase. Many employers nowadays are adopting housing incentives that help employees cover their down payments and closing costs. You can ask your employer to provide you with a grant or a loan.

First-Time Home Buyer Loans And Grants For Students

VA and FHA loans are practical options for fresh graduates and students who are enrolled currently and wish to balance their loan repayments with a mortgage.

Lifestyle November 1, 2022

Holiday Essentials You Need In Your Life This Season

The holiday season is the perfect time to gather all your loved ones for a huge party/dinner or celebration. Regardless of the occasion, menu, or guest list, a few essentials for the holiday season remain constant.

From scented candles to fresh tablecloths and wine glasses, we have curated a list of essentials that’ll fit right into your budget and go with the aesthetic of the holiday season. These will help you plan a stress-free, sparkling season of entering.

Let’s get right on the list!

Scented Candles

Scented candles are a holiday season favorite! They’re among the few things that never go out of style. A good candle has the power to set a cozy and welcoming tone at a holiday gathering. These are available in various scents, shapes, sizes, and colors. Choose the one you love.

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses add so much more to any occasion. You can’t go wrong with a vibrant colored wine glass set on the dinner table, and it’s the perfect way to style your table. You can choose to mix and match, and we’re sure your guests will love cheers. Whatever you’re toasting, it will only be grander with a set of stunning wine glasses.


A well-textured tablecloth is a great way to enhance the look of the dining table. There is a vast selection of textured tablecloths – choose a color that screams the holiday season. The variety of shapes, styles, and colors adds an extra layer of panache to the table. A minimally textured tablecloth is a great addition, making cleaning and washing easier.

Table Serving Set

The most important thing on the table will not be the menu but the serving set. It will make the table look even more beautiful if they stand out. You can serve your guests with ease. Choose a set that can be used to serve all the essentials, from starters to desserts.

Home Décor Paintings

Beautiful and artistic wall paintings that match the aesthetics of your home will add to the overall look of your dinner/ party area. Go for warm and inviting illustrations that will be great for the holiday season. Switch it up and embrace the holiday spirit! It will surely get you a lot of praise.

Dinner Plate Sets

Pulling out some festive dinnerware for your table is an excellent way to add holiday cheer. Be picky and go for statement pieces that don’t look cheesy or scream overboard. Pottery plates and bowls are great examples of dinner plate sets.

Plaid Napkins

Festive napkins are a great way to elevate your table. A set of traditional plaid-designed napkins will do the trick. Ensure these are made of cotton, so it’s easier to wash them.

Wood Cheese Board

A large wooden board is perfect for displaying your starters and appetizers. You can easily align your meat, cheese, veggies, etc., on it. The guests will be happy to pick on these while you prep for the main course.

Cake Stand

What’s for dessert? Nothing catches the eye more than the dessert bar at a party. The best way to decorate your dessert bar is to have a cake stand. It will be a beautiful focal point of the evening, and the guests will surely enjoy it.

Cleaning Kit

If you love to throw parties and get-togethers during the holiday season, you will need a cleaning kit that you can count on. It will have all the necessary products to make cleaning easier for you. You’ll be able to clean tables, countertops, stoves, sinks, and all types of surfaces in half the time.

Food Storage Containers

When there’s a huge party, there are bound to be leftovers. And for that, you need all sizes of food storage containers. It is best to stock up on storage containers of all sizes. You can save more time by freezing portions of gravy to prep full-sized meals. You can quickly warm them up later and make work easier for yourself.

Cooking Utensils

The proper cooking utensils will help you prep your meals quickly and reduce the time it took earlier. When preparing meals for over thirty people, you need reliable cooking utensils to make the process easier.

Pie Knife And Server

This is the season to enjoy your favorite warm pies! Be prepared with a gorgeous knife and serving set to add to the festive season decorations.

Whether or not this is the first time you’re hosting a holiday party, these entertaining essentials will make you look like a seasoned pro.

Industry News September 28, 2022

What Would a Recession Mean for the Housing Market?

The percentage of economists who believe that a recession will occur in the next 12 months is growing, according to a recent survey from the Wall Street Journal.


In July 2021, only 12% of economists surveyed thought that there would be a recession by this time in 2022When polled again this past July, 49% of respondents believe that a recession will occur in the next 12 months.


The reasons for this change in opinion are varied, but most experts agree that the current economic conditions are ripe for a downturn.


Though recessions can be scary, especially when considering a large purchase like a home, it’s important to remember that real estate is historically a fairly recession-proof investment. So while stock prices and other investments may see more volatility during an economic downturn, real estate tends to be much more stable.


For those who are looking to buy a home in the near future, a recession may actually present an opportunity. A slowdown in the housing market can mean there are fewer buyers competing for properties, which could lead to lower prices.


So while a recession may be cause for some anxiety, it doesn’t necessarily mean that homeownership is out of reach.


A Recession Doesn’t Mean a Decrease Home Prices

Home prices have appreciated in four of the last six recessions. So, historically, when the economy slows down, it doesn’t mean home values will fall. There are a number of factors that contribute to this.


First, recessions tend to be relatively short-lived. Home prices may dip in the early stages of a recession, but they generally rebound as the economy begins to improve.


Second, many people view a home as a long-term investment. Even if they experience financial difficulties in the short term, they are typically unwilling to sell their home at a loss.


Finally, there is always a demand for housing, regardless of economic conditions. People will always need somewhere to live, and this creates a built-in floor for home prices.


Consequently, while recessions can be difficult for homeowners, they generally don’t have a significant impact on home values.


A Recession Means Decreased Mortgage Rates

Research also helps paint the picture of how a recession could impact the cost of financing a home. Historically, each time the economy slowed down, mortgage rates decreased.


This is because during a recession, people are generally less confident about their future income and employment prospects, and banks become more conservative in their lending. As a result, demand for loans decreases, and mortgage rates fall.


Of course, the reverse is also true – during periods of economic growth, mortgage rates tend to rise as demand for loans increases. However, it’s important to remember that these are general trends – there is no guarantee that mortgage rates will always follow the ups and downs of the economy.


By understanding how the economy can influence loan demand and interest rates, you can make more informed decisions about when to buy a home.


Making the Right Decision

Although a recession may mean difficult times ahead for some businesses, it could present opportunities in the housing market.


If you’re thinking of buying or selling this year, contact me to discuss what these changes could mean for you.

Home Selling September 21, 2022

What to do if Your Home Isn’t Selling

You’ve put your home on the market, but it’s not selling. What could be wrong?


It can feel like a personal attack when your home doesn’t sell. You may start to wonder what you’re doing wrong or if there’s something wrong with your house.


Before you start pointing fingers and tearing down walls, take a step back and consider these 5 things that might be preventing your home from selling.


Reduce the Price

If your home has been on the market for an extended period of time, it’s likely that you’ll need to reduce the price in order to find a buyer. This is especially true if there are similar homes in your area that are selling for less than your asking price.


It can be hard to accept that you may need to sell for less than you originally wanted, but it’s important to remember that your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.


If you’re considering reducing the price of your home, talk to your real estate agent to see if it’s the right move. They will be able to advise you on what price point is realistic for your area and market.


Make Updates and Repairs

If your home is in need of some updates or repairs, it could be deterring potential buyers. Making even small changes, like painting the walls or fixing a loose doorknob, can make a big difference in how your home is perceived by buyers.


Of course, you don’t want to go overboard with renovations. You likely won’t see a return on investments like a kitchen or bathroom remodel, so it’s important to focus on making changes that will be appealing to a wide range of buyers without breaking the bank.


Restage the Home

When selling your home, it’s important to make it look as appealing as possible to buyers. This means making sure the furniture is arranged in a way that is attractive, the walls are painted in a neutral color, and the decor is updated and stylish.


If your home is currently cluttered or outdated, consider hiring a professional stager to help you update it. Your real estate agent can recommend a good stager to you.


New Listing Photos

When you’re selling your home, first impressions are everything. And these days, potential buyers are often forming those first impressions online.


If your home isn’t selling, it could be because the listing photos don’t do it justice. Hiring a professional photographer to take new photos can make a world of difference. They’ll know how to show off your home’s best features and capture them in the best light. As a result, you’re likely to see more interest from buyers – and maybe even a higher asking price.


So if you’re wondering why your home isn’t selling, take a look at the listing photos. If they’re not up to snuff, it may be time for a fresh set.


Stop Being a Helicopter Seller

When you put your home on the market, it’s only natural to want to be involved in the sale. After all, it’s a big investment, and you want to make sure everything goes smoothly. However, there’s a fine line between being involved and being overbearing, and many sellers end up crossing it.


If your home isn’t selling, it could be because you’re being a helicopter seller. Helicopter sellers are those who hover around during showings and open houses, offering unsolicited advice and trying to answer every question that comes up.


While you may think you’re being helpful, in reality, you’re just making potential buyers feel uncomfortable. It’s important to remember that buyers are looking for a new home, not a new best friend.


If you give them the space they need to explore your house on their own, they’ll be more likely to imagine themselves living there. So step back and let them do their job. Your home will sell sooner than you think.

Moving September 14, 2022

Hidden Moving Expenses You Need to Know About

Moving is expensive! You have to pay for the moving truck, gas, and packing supplies, and then there are all the hidden costs that you don’t think about until it’s too late.

It’s hard enough to move without having to worry about extra expenses, but they can really add up if you’re not careful.

We’ve put together a list of the five most common hidden moving costs so that you can be prepared. By knowing what to expect, you can avoid any surprises and keep your budget on track.


Professional House Cleaning

While most people focus on the cost of hiring a moving company, they often forget that they will also need to clean their old home before they move out. This is especially true if you are moving out of a rental property. In addition, many people hire professional cleaners to clean their new home before they move in.

Whether you’re hiring a cleaner to clean your old home or your new one, it’s important to factor this cost into your budget. Professional house cleaners can be a significant expense, but they are worth it if you want to make sure your home is clean and welcoming when you move in.


Moving Insurance

While your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance might cover some damages that occur during a move, it’s important to remember that these policies typically have limits on what they will pay for.

Moving insurance can help to fill in the gaps and protect your belongings in the event of loss or damage. Whether you are hiring a moving company or doing it yourself, be sure to ask about insurance options and compare rates before making a final decision. A little research now could save you a lot of heartache later.


Pet and Child Care

As any parent knows, children can be a handful – especially when there’s a lot of commotion going on. That’s why, when you’re moving to a new home, it’s important to make arrangements for childcare in advance. The last thing you want is for your kids to be running around underfoot while the movers are trying to do their job.

Likewise, if you have pets, it’s best to find somewhere for them to stay during the move.

Not only will this help to keep them out of harm’s way, but it will also prevent them from getting lost in the shuffle. So, before you start packing up your belongings, be sure to make arrangements for your children and pets. It’ll make the whole process a lot smoother – and a lot less stressful.


Restocking Your Pantry

When you’re moving, it’s easy to forget some of the smaller details – like budgeting for food.

If you’re used to cooking most of your meals at home, you may not realize how expensive it can be to restock your pantry after a move.

Not only do you have to buy all new groceries, but you may also end up eating out more often than usual while you’re unpacking and getting settled into your new place.

For this reason, it’s important to be a little generous with your food budget when you’re planning a move. That way, you won’t be caught off guard by hidden expenses later.


Utility Deposits

A utility deposit is a hidden moving expense that’s often overlooked. This is money that you’ll need to pay upfront in order to have your utilities turned on at your new home.

The amount of the deposit can vary greatly, depending on the utility company and the type of service being provided. As a result, it’s important to be aware of this hidden expense when budgeting for your move.

Because utility deposits can end up costing hundreds of dollars, it’s important to factor them into your overall moving budget.


Don’t Get Caught Off Guard

Now that you’re aware of some of the hidden moving expenses, it’s time to get started on finding your new dream home. Contact me today, and let’s get started! I would be happy to help you every step of the way.

Have you started packing yet?

Home Maintenance September 7, 2022

Don’t Let Tree Roots Destroy Your Home

Trees are no doubt one of Mother Nature’s most impressive feats. They provide shade on hot days, act as a windbreak during storms, and help to improve air quality. In addition, trees can also increase the curb appeal of a property and add to its resale value.

However, tree roots can cause a lot of damage to your home, and it’s not always easy to tell when they’re becoming a problem.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know much about tree roots and the damage they can do. You may not even be aware of how to prevent them from damaging your home in the first place.

With proper care and attention, you can enjoy all the benefits that trees have to offer without risking any damage to your home.


Keep Your Foundation in Shape

Any homeowner knows that cracks in the foundation or walls are not only unsightly but can also lead to structural damage. One type of damage that can be caused by cracks is root-related damage.

As roots grow, they invade the cracks in concrete and expand, causing the cracks to widen. This can lead to serious problems, such as foundation failure or wall collapse.

To prevent root-related damage, it is important to keep your foundation and other structures in good repair. Regularly check for cracks and have them repaired promptly.

You should also consider having a professional inspect your foundation every few years to ensure that it is in good condition. By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your home from the costly and destructive effects of root-related damage.


Plant the Right Trees in the Right Spots Around Your Home

When choosing trees to plant around your home, it is important to consider the size and type of tree.

Although large trees can provide many benefits, they also have a larger root system that can cause problems.

It’s also important to consider the location. Avoid planting trees too close to sewer lines, septic tanks, or other underground utilities.

You also need to make sure that trees are not planted too close to the house so that their roots have room to grow without causing any damage.


Use Preventative Landscaping

It’s no secret that tree roots can cause serious damage to homes and other structures. In order to prevent this damage, it’s important to engage in preventative landscaping.

One way to do this is by watering your trees deeply and regularly. This will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil, making them less likely to cause damage to nearby structures.

Even trees that normally have more shallow roots will start to grow deeper roots if they are watered regularly.

Another way to prevent damage is by using root control barrier products.

A root barrier is a wall placed underground that blocks plant roots. This is often used to protect structures or other plants but can also be used to preserve soil moisture. Root barriers are made of various materials, including plastic, metal, and concrete. They are placed around the perimeter of an area to be protected, and the roots of plants are then diverted away from the barrier.

Root barriers can be an effective way to prevent damage from plant roots, but they must be carefully installed and monitored to ensure that they are functioning properly. Otherwise, they can actually cause more damage than they prevent.


Love Your Trees

Proper tree planting and maintenance can help you avoid costly foundation repairs down the road. By following the tips we’ve outlined in this post, you can keep your home’s foundation healthy and intact for years to come.



Industry News August 2, 2022

Here’s Where The Housing Market Is Headed In The Second Half of 2022

Is now a good time to consider selling your home or buying a new one? It’s a good question to ask as the pendulum swings in the housing market. What’s in store for the rest of 2022? Let’s take a look at the factors ahead that will likely influence your decisions.


The Impact of Inflation on Mortgage Rates


The pandemic era’s record-low mortgage rates that enabled lightning-fast home sales in many housing markets around the country were an anomaly, not a new norm. While it’s no secret that the recent record-high inflation has caused ripple effects across many industries, it’s not as clear how this will affect the market.


If inflation continues to rise, mortgage rates will almost certainly respond to it.


“Until inflation peaks, mortgage rates won’t either. Without improvement on the inflation front, we don’t know where the interest rate ceiling will be,” stated Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate.


When rates rise, it affects your ability to afford a home, so whether you plan to buy or sell, mortgage rates are a key consideration.


Increase in Homes for Sale


Over the past few months, more homes have entered the market for sale. While this has certainly been driven by more homes being listed, increased mortgage rates reducing the incentive for buyers to purchase has also played a role. When buyer interest slows, home sales decrease, leaving more available homes for sale in the market.


This increase in available homes is expected to continue to rise, and likely dramatically. This is favorable if you’d like to see more options among for-sale homes. However, it may not be wise to be too choosy. While it won’t be nearly as challenging to find a home, there won’t be a sudden surplus for you to choose from, so it may be best to make the best decision from what’s available to you.


Home Prices will Continue to Appreciate


The pandemic’s skyrocketing home prices were driven by a dramatic gap between the number of buyers looking for homes and the number of for-sale homes. CoreLogic reported that 2021 saw a 21% appreciation in home values, and this has continued into 2022.


While the number of for-sale homes is increasing, there is still more buyer demand than home inventory, which continues to push home prices up. This is expected to cause prices to continue to rise rather than fall, but more slowly for the remainder of the year, a moderate 8.5%. If you plan to sell, the value of your home is expected to decrease, but waiting to buy could result in a higher cost for your next home. Consider making your move now before home prices rise even higher.


Is Now a Good Time to Enter the Housing Market


So is it a good time to jump into the housing market? As discussed above, several factors are causing a turning point in the housing market, which will very likely look different in the second half of 2022.


Buying or selling a home can have a significant effect on your finances, so understanding these influencing factors is critical to making the best decision possible. Partner with a real estate advisor who can help you navigate the changing market landscape and make the best plan for you and your move.

Home Buying August 2, 2022

Questions to Ask When Touring a Property

When you’re ready to begin searching for a new home, it’s easy to get swept up in the process. The combination of an exciting prospect of a significant life change and the persuasive tactics of those trying to sell you that life can often lead to you leaving a property tour with no real information.


It’s always best to come prepared with a list of questions you can ask at the open house. Here are a few of the best hard-hitting questions to help jump-start your brainstorming.


Are There Any Structural Issues with the Home?


Being caught unaware of structural issues years from now is every homeowner’s nightmare. Ask this question when you view the home; the listing agent can provide you with an official seller’s disclosure that should help shed some light on the home’s health.


Has the Seller Made Any DIY Renovations?


DIY renovations made by the previous owners are notorious for causing problems down the line. And work that wasn’t completed by a licensed professional is also much more likely to incite a code violation. You should also always schedule a professional home inspection before your closing date.


What (If Any) Updates Have Been Made in the Home Since the Seller Purchased It, and When Were They Made?


Major updates, such as ones to the electrical, roof, or siding, will give you a good idea of what will need your attention in the coming years. A home inspection should also assist with this question, and inspectors can even estimate how long some features have left before they need to be fixed or replaced.


Is there an HOA, and What Are the Fees?


An HOA, or homeowner’s association, comes with a long strip of red tape: fees, regulations, and rules that apply to anyone who lives under the neighborhood umbrella. If the home has an HOA, get more information so you can research their requirements, including the annual fees or amenities cost.

On average, what is the Seller Spending on Utility Bills?


If you care about energy efficiency, you’ll want to make sure you ask this question. Learn what sort of energy the home uses and what the estimated cost of the utilities is. It will help bring the budget for your new home into focus.


How Old is the HVAC System?


Updating a new system can be costly, but old systems could cost you a fortune in utilities and repairs. Ask specifically about the HVAC system, as this will affect your overall comfort year-round. You can also check in with other systems like water heaters and plumbing fixtures.


Be Prepared When Buying a Home


Buying a home is an exciting, thrilling time in your life. But you don’t want to take off the rose-colored glasses years from now, only to wish you had learned more about your home.


These questions should help as a great jumping-off point, but take some time and ask yourself what things are crucial to you living a happy life in a new home. Discuss your list with your real estate agent so you can be on the same page and have an open, direct conversation about your needs.


By advocating for yourself and asking these essential questions, you’re on your way to a more enjoyable, stress-free home-buying journey.