Is 2015 the Year of the Homebuyer?

It is anticipated that year 2015 will be a big year for homebuyers. Here are just a few of the changes that are expected in 2015:

  • Rent will raise around 3.5% and home values will continue to appreciate
  • Builders will begin constructing more, less expensive new homes.
  • Millennials will overtake Generation X as the largest group of homebuyers.
  • Homebuyers will have more negotiating power.

In general, it is expected that buyers will get back more leverage in the market. As Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist says, Since the recovery began in earnest in late 2012, buyers have really taken it on the chin, forced to contend with low inventory, tight credit, bidding wars and intense competition from investors and all-cash buyers. But next year we’ll start to see things really turn around. More inventory will continue to come on line, putting the competitive pressure on sellers for a change. This more balanced market will be smoother sailing for everyone, both for buyers in search of a competitive advantage, and for sellers who turn around and become buyers themselves.”

Next year looks to be a market that will balance out for both buyers and sellers—a benefit for everyone! But it is important to remember that no matter what the market does, the best time to buy or sell is when YOU are personally ready.

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How to Prevent Clothes Dryer Fires

Cleaning your dryers should be done on a regular basis.  An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Clothes dryer fire incidences in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent. Failure to clean (34%) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings. Dust, fiber, and lint (28%) and clothing not on a person (27%) follow.

Here are a three easy ways you can keep your dryer fire free this winter:

  • Ensure you’re using the proper transition duct. One very important piece for dryer safety is the transition duct; this hooks the dryer to the dryer ducting. Remember just because you can buy in the box store does not make it proper or safe. Many of the cheap transition ducts are dangerous and may void warranties on your dryer. The International Mechanical and Residential Building Codes specify “UL2158A Listed” materials to be considered as code compliant. Listed products should meet and/or exceed flame-burning tests of at least 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Clean your lint screen. This screen should be cleaned each time to dry a new load. Be thorough—even if there is only a little lint on the screen, wipe it away.
  • Clean your vent line. This line connects from the wall behind your dryer to the outside flap. If you are unable to clean it yourself, you may hire a professional to do this for you,

5 Things You Need to Get Pre-approved for a Home Loan

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Looking for a house before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is like walking into a grocery store without a wallet. There’s nothing more disappointing than finding your dream house and then discovering you can’t afford it. To ensure that you have the best shot at getting the home you want, you need to obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a lender. It is a reasonable assurance you’ll be approved for a loan.
Here are the 5 things you’ll need to get pre-approved for a home loan:

  1. Proof of income. A record of employment income such as a paystub, T-4 slip or a personal income tax return (if you are self-employed, at least two years of Personal Income Tax Returns and Financial Statements) Proof of any additional income such as alimony or bonuses.
  2. Proof of assets. To prove that you have funds for the down payment and closing costs, you will need to present bank statements and investment account statements as well as cash reserves. Assets may include vehicles, retirement savings account, jewelry, collections and other real estate holdings.
  3. Your credit score. The loan officer will actually do this part for you! You’ll need to provide them with some key information so they can pull your credit. A “good” credit score depends on the scoring system used by your particular lender. Different scoring systems use different scales, and they each develop their own credit score range. Customers with a higher credit score will be able to get lower interest rates which will affect how much you can afford.
  4. Employment Verification. Not only will your loan officer want to see your pay stubs, but they are likely to call your employer to verify if you’re still employed and check on your salary. Today, lenders want to make sure that they are loaning money only to borrowers with stable employment. Borrowers who are self-employed still need to provide additional paperwork concerning their income and business.            
  5. Be ready to provide any additional paperwork requested by the loan officer as quickly as possible. The more cooperative you are, the smoother the transaction will be and the sooner you can find your new home.

The bottom line is by getting a pre-approval first before looking for a house can save a lot of disappointment and heartache later. By doing so, you also have an opportunity to discuss loan options and budgeting with a professional. If you’re interested in talking with a loan officer to learn about your credit score, you’re price point, or a home mortgage, Click here to contact our trusted loan officer John Roehrich.