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Category: Real Estate

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When to Consider Refinancing a Mortgage

If you currently have a mortgage on the home that you live in, it may be worth looking into a new loan. Refinancing mortgages could save homeowners a lot of money in the form of lower interest rates. What are some variables that you should consider when deciding whether or not its time to refinance your mortgage? Do You Have to Pay Any Closing Costs or Lender Fees? Lender fees or closing costs could negate any potential savings that you may see from a lower interest rate. Even if you plan on keeping the home for a long period of time, it may take several months or years before you see a net decrease in the cost of your home loan. In some cases, you may be able to have those costs waived if you are planning to stay in your home. Do You Benefit From a Lower Interest Rate? It is almost never a good idea to refinance a mortgage unless you can get a lower interest rate. This is because you will ultimately pay more for the right to borrow money than you were in the past. You should also make sure that your new rate is the one that you will pay for the life of the loan. If you refinance to a variable rate loan, you could see the rate go up in as little as one year. Does Your Current Loan Have a Prepayment Penalty? If your current loan has a prepayment penalty, it could make it impossible to refinance your loan as it is technically paying off your old loan with a new one. In the event that you have such a penalty in your current loan, see if your can renegotiate the penalty or get it removed altogether. In the event that your lender will not oblige your request, it is another cost that you will have to take into account before deciding if a new loan is in your best interest. Will You Be Refinancing to Get Cash? In some cases, it may be possible to cash out your equity when you refinance your house. That may make it easier to pay off other debts to get your financial house in order without having to sell your actual one. However, be sure that you aren't pushing the final payment on the loan so far out that you are paying a mortgage during your retirement years. Refinancing your mortgage may have a lot of benefits for you and your family. However, it is critical that you look at all the costs and possible downfalls to doing so. Fortunately, there are many resources that you can access both online or by talking to a mortgage lender to help you make that decision. Check out WFCU Credit Union if you would like to learn more information.

Selling Your Home? Should You Use A Real Estate Agent?

Selling your home can be a difficult task, especially when the housing market is down. Many people believe that they can save money by selling their home themselves. However, they do not realize that by not paying for a real estate agent, they are losing all the benefits that come with using their services. When you use a professional real estate agent you will receive the following benefits: A person who is experienced with selling a home in your area. They will know the fair market value of your home and how to price it to sell. Someone who is adept at making a home ready to sell. Your agent will be able to provide you with advice on how to stage your home to make it more attractive to buyers. Someone that knows how to market your home. Simply placing a sign in your front yard is not enough. Your agent will use many avenues to advertise your home, including social media. An agent also understands the “process” of selling a home. When you sell a home, there are always offers, counter-offers, and other forms of negotiation that takes place. Your agent can bring qualified buyers to look at your home. You want people viewing your home that have the ability to buy, not just shop. An experienced agent will also be able to conduct open-house events that can drive potential buyers to your property, as well as other promotional tools to sell your home.Most people do not have the experience, knowledge, or even personal connections to sell their home quickly; making hiring a real estate agent well worth the fee.Finding A Good Real Estate AgentNow that you have decided on using an agent to sell your home, the question is how do you determine who is the best agent for the job. Using the following guideline, you should be able to locate am agent that can help you sell your home. Look for a local agent. You want an agent that is familiar with your area. Agents that know their neighborhoods always generate more sales. These agents can answer questions for potential buyers and point out benefits of the neighborhood that the buyer may not have thought about. Agents that are unfamiliar with the neighborhood do not leave a good impression on the potential buyers. Ask for recommendations. Utilize your social network and ask for recommendations from your family and friends. Take the time to look into any agent or agency that is recommended. Interview the agent. Once you have found an agent that you are considering, make sure that you interview them to determine if you get along. While this may seem a little unusual, because you do not have to like someone to do business with them, it is crucial that you and your agent see eye-to-eye. You need to feel comfortable with the agent and their marketing plans. If you do not agree, it will make selling your home a long and chaotic problem.

5 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Competition is fierce in a housing market still reeling from the collapse of 2008. Buyers are out there and eager to find a new neighborhood, but they have plenty of options and many houses are selling at desperate prices. In order to generate interest and get the best possible price for your house, you will need to make it stand out. These are the five easiest and most effective ways to boost your home's value and improve your odds of making a quick sale. Remove Personal Touches Buyers want to imagine their new home full of their own personal belongings and ready to make some memories. They don't want to see family portraits, knick-knacks and your child's macaroni artwork. When in doubt, model your house after a catalog: clean, spacious and a little bland. Perform a deep cleaning within every room, and use that time as an opportunity to remove clutter and anything that will remind buyers of another family's presence. By the time you start showing, your house should be a blank canvas. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint Nothing spruces up a house like new paint. Years of use and exposure to the elements will wear out even the most durable paints, and you may not have noticed the gradual fading and accumulation of dirt. Buyers will, however, and see it as just another renovation that must be done before they can enjoy their new residence. On the other hand, bright, fresh paint instantly increases a house's appeal. Use attractive, neutral colors that will complement most furniture and not turn off prospective purchasers. Landscape People love spending time outside, and an overgrown or boring yard is unlikely to win your home any fans. Even if you have already moved out, stop by or hire someone to keep the lawn mowed and weeds pulled. Adding flower beds, trees and ornamental bushes adds to your maintenance costs, but they also improve your house's first impression on buyers. If done properly, a little landscaping can add thousands of dollars to your sale price. Get Rid of Old Carpeting Much like dingy paint, old carpeting is one of the fastest ways to decrease a home's value. Carpets hold smells and stains for years, trap dirt and are out of style. If you are having a hard time selling your home, installing hardwood flooring and tiles in several rooms may prove to be a profitable investment. Otherwise, determine which floors are the worst and swap them out with new carpeting to give the entire house a face-lift. Update Bathrooms and the Kitchen The home renovations with the highest ROI are bathroom and kitchen updates. Upgrading to modern appliances and technology can bring a home into the 21st century and make buyers forget that they are purchasing used. Refurbished cabinets and counter-tops are the bare minimum, but the real value comes with new toilets, sinks, refrigerators and stoves. Do what you can afford, and you may find families lining up to make an offer on a home that had previously been stagnant on the market.