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How wifi can save you money during the summer!

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

In recent decades we have seen large advancements in thermostat technology, and even more so in recent years with the addition of WiFi controlled devices. Technology has gone from settable temperatures, to programmable (a huge break through of its time), to the all mighty WiFi Connected Thermostat. Since 2013, these devices have improved even more than the latest generation, saving even more money than any device before. 

WiFi thermostats are best known for drastically reducing homeowners energy costs. This is done through automatically adjusting the temperature depending on whether you are home, asleep, or away, by analyzing your heating and cooling patterns and adjusting for the energy-saving opportunities, and by letting you create temperature zones that can be independently controlled. According to many studies, home owners can save up to $200 annually by installing a WiFi device, which would pay for the device itself in the first year, and then continuously save you money from there on after. 

Beat the Rising Interest Rates!

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Mortgage Rates have risen to the highest level since 2014, with a likely hood to keep increasing through out the year. What does this mean for you? Acting sooner than later will make sure that you are locking in a lower rate.

Rates have already passed 4% in the last months, property economists have predicated that mortgage rates may rise to as high as 5.5% by 2018. This small percentage difference may not seem like a lot, but over the life of a mortgage, this can mean tens of thousands of dollars to the buyer. 

Following the increase in mortgage rates, home prices are predicted to see an equal increase in 2017. This means that home buyers will see a double hit in the cost of owning a home in the next year. Combining higher mortgage rates with home values going up, it will become more difficult to buy that home you are looking for. So beat the increase, go find your future home! 

The Benefits of a Pre-Approval

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Whether you are looking to buy a house soon, or buy a house in the near future, applying for a pre-approval is a great way to prepare for the right house at the right time. By getting pre-approved, possible buyers can have all their financial concerns and questions answered before the special time comes to buy a new home. There are many reasons to get pre-approved:

  • Understanding total monthly costs, not just a monthly mortgage cost. Including tax rates, insurance, mortgage cost, possible HOA, property tax, and (depending on down payment) Private Mortgage Insurance. This will help the buyer narrow down a price range of a home they feel comfortable buying. 
  • Planning for down payment, closing costs, and any fees that are involved in buying a home. There is more than just the down payment on a house, and being prepared for all the cots makes the real estate purchasing process that much more stress free. 
  • Getting all the paperwork needed to apply for a mortgage together. Buying a house can be time sensitive, and the last thing you want to do is not be able to provide the correct paperwork needed to buy a home. 
  • Helps the seller know that they are choosing a serious buyer who already knows they are ready to purchase a home. 

Among the listed reasons, pre-approval to a home mortgage makes sure you are serious buyer! 

HUD Announces New Policy For Quicker Foreclosure Re-sales

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Recently the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annoucned that they will relax FHA rules that prohibit insuring mortgages on homes that are owned by the seller for less than 90 days. This new policy took effect February 1, 2010 and is a move that hopefully will help to expedite the rehabilitation and resale of foreclosure properties.

With recent tighter lending requirements,  FHA financing has been the only option for some buyers. The 90-day policy has kept some
homebuyers from being able to purchase affordable homes. In addition this has also prevented the quick resale of foreclosed properties
, which affects the ability of communities to stabilize and rebuild.

This temporary waiver will be in effect for a period of one year, unless extended or withdrawn by the FHA. "FHA borrowers, because of the restrictions we are now lifting, have often been shut out from buying affordable properties," said FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. "This action will enable our borrowers, especially first-time buyers, to take advantage of this opportunity."

To ensure FHA borrowers are protected from inflated prices, the policy has certain restrictions, including:

  • All transactions must be arms-length and there can be no identity of interest between the buyer and seller.
  • If the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller's acquisition cost, the lender must meet specific conditions for the waiver to apply.
  • The waiver is limited to forward mortgages, and cannot be used under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) purchase program.

Read more specifics on this waiver, visit the HUD.gov release.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Photo of Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR Real Estate
Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR
Iowa Realty
3521 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines IA 50310
515-240-2692
Fax: 515-453-6404
 

 

 

Licensed in the State of Iowa