© REALTOR® MAGAZINE
Borrowing costs dropped to their second-lowest levels in three years, offering home shoppers an opportunity to lock in lower monthly mortgage payments.
The lower rates are “supporting homebuyer demand and leading to higher refinancing activity,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Borrowers who take advantage of these low rates can improve their cash flow by lowering their monthly mortgage payments, giving them more money to spend or save.”
Low mortgage rates likely will stick around. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday voted to leave its benchmark rate unchanged. The Fed’s short-term rate does not have a direct effect on mortgage rates but does often influence them. “If the Fed is on hold, we are at least on hold with lower interest rates,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, told CNBC
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 30:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.51%, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from a 3.60% last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.46%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3%, with an average 0.7 point, falling from last week’s 3.04% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.89%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.24%, with an average 0.3 point, falling from last week’s 3.28% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.96%.
Have any other real estate questions, just ask me!
“Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.”
Did you know that you can transfer a flood policy that has old “grandfathered” mapping from a seller to a buyer? Flood insurance is very difficult and constantly evolving and we know someone that can help you with the in’s and out’s.
For this to work, the flood insurance policy must be put into transition BEFORE the closing. So when you are selling your home, make sure that you disclose your policy and what you have in place, if any. As a buyer, you’ll want to ask the seller if they have anything in place for flood insurance.
Flood insurance through the government (called NFIP) has the following type of coverages:
- Landlord or secondary homes do not offer replacement cost for the flood losses on the structure as we expect on our home/fire policies . Flood loss settlement is done with ACV (with depreciation). This is similar to how your car insurance losses are settled when you have a car totaled. You don’t get a 2020 Buick if you were driving a 2012 Buick.
- NFIP flood coverage for the structure maximum is only 250K. Excess flood and/or private flood insurance can be utilized to increase coverage.
- Mortgage companies force place flood insurance when it is absent. This is only when the loan requires flood insurance in higher risk flood zones.
Your home is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, investment you will make in your life. Be sure to protect your asset. Work with your Realtor® as you buy or sell your home and work with TWFG for your insurance needs. As always, you can call or text me at 832-928-3019.
Denise Frank –Broker/Owner Hometown Realtors of Texas
January 2020 Newsletter
The holidays are over, and now it’s time to look ahead at the new year. Whether you’re already living in the home of your dreams or making plans for a big move, I look forward to being there for you this year. Find below some tips to reclaim space in your home, keep your home in tip-top shape, and some tips for if you’re planning to sell your home this winter.
How to Declutter and Help Your Community in 2020
What began as treasure can easily become clutter over the course of a year. If you’re looking to clear out items you no longer use, why not donate it to someone in need? Here are three things you can donate to make a positive difference to someone in your community and reclaim space in your home.
- Coats – Are you running out of closet space? If you have coats you no longer wear, consider giving them to someone in need. It will free up space for your other storage needs and help someone stay warm in the new year.
- Furniture – Big, bulky furniture can be very comfortable, but it also makes most homes feel smaller than they are. If you’re looking to reclaim space, consider donating over-sized furniture items to a charitable organization and investing in smaller-scale furniture instead. .
- Electronics – If you have working tablets, phones, computers, or TVs lying around that you no longer use, consider donating them to a family in need. Your old tech could be just what a student needs to help them succeed in school.
Home Maintenance Resolutions for 2020
Homes need continuous maintenance to keep them in good condition. Plan to invest one to four percent of your home’s value in maintenance costs each year to avoid losing home value!
- Interior – If you invest time in some simple maintenance, you can keep the inside of your home looking like new. Some tasks your home may need include repainting the walls, restripping and resealing wood, or restaining trim and built-ins. Some more complicated repairs may involve replacing worn or outdated floors or rebuilding fixtures.
- Exterior – Taking time each year to maintain the exterior of your home will help ensure your home doesn’t take in excessive damage-causing moisture. Some tasks you should complete each year include cleaning and repairing your gutters/downspouts, inspecting and repairing your roof, and repainting, cleaning, and repairing your home’s siding.
- Systems – Part of keeping your home in good condition is ensuring your systems are running safely. Cleaning your chimney flue, replacing air filters, and other inspection and cleaning projects can keep your home and family safe by helping to prevent floods and fires caused by poorly maintained systems.
- Landscaping – Keeping your outdoor structures and landscaping in good condition is also important. Keep an eye out for erosion issues, rodent infestations, and dangerous trees. You should also refinish your deck, fence, and other wood structures semi-annually.
What You Need to Know About Selling in Winter
Your home should look its best when it hits the market to help you get the best offers, and each season offers its own challenges. If you’re selling your home in the middle of winter, you’ll likely have to work around lackluster lighting and minimal visual assistance from your plants. However, here are some tips to make sure your home makes the best first impression possible.
- Keep walkways clear – Don’t let mother nature take up space on your walkways. Keep them clear to ensure the path to your house is safe and attractive.
- Create atmosphere – Make your home warm and inviting by keeping your thermostat set to a pleasant temperature when buyers come by, especially when it’s cold outside. You can tie in the idea of warmth by folding afghans or throw blankets across your living room furniture.
- Let in light – Pull back the curtains and open up the blinds before a showing to ensure you’re taking full advantage of any available natural light. A quick window cleaning will also ensure you don’t miss out on natural light.
- Work with buyers’ schedules – The winter months are often hectic as people try to accomplish tasks before the sun sets, so look for ways to add flexibility to your schedule so that buyers can view your home in the evenings and on weekends. Being flexible with your closing date can also help attract buyers.
If you or someone you know is thinking about making a move in the new year, give me a call or contact me! I’ll be glad to help.