N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors



Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 3/18/2019

You can ask any homeowner-buying and owning a home is expensive. Mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and other bills quickly add up.

If you want to buy a home but don’t have a large down payment saved, odds are you’ve discovered something called private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI is an extra monthly payment that you make (on top of your mortgage payment) when you don’t have enough to make a large (20%) down payment on your home.

However, if you want to buy a home and don’t want to tack on an extra monthly payment for PMI, you have options. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some ways to avoid paying PMI on your mortgage so you can save more money in the long run.

PMI Basics

Before we talk about getting rid of PMI, let’s spend a minute on what to expect when you do have to pay it.

PMI typically costs 0.30% to %1.15% of your total loan balance annually. That means that your PMI payments will decrease a moderate amount as you pay off your loan.

Furthermore, once you have paid off 22% of your loan, your PMI will be cancelled and you’ll only be responsible for your regular monthly mortgage payments.

Getting PMI waived early

With conventional loans, you can request to have your PMI cancelled once you’ve paid off 20% of the mortgage. However, many buyers with PMI are using some form of first-time buyer loan, such as an FHA loan.

With an FHA loan, you’ll be stuck with PMI for the lifetime of the loan if you don’t make a down payment of 10% or more. That’s a lot of PMI payments, especially if you take out a 30 year loan, and it can quickly add up.

If you have an FHA loan with FHA insurance, the only way to cancel the insurance is to refinance into a non-FHA insured loan. And remember--refinancing has its own costs and complications.

Making it to the 20% repayment mark

On conventional loans, the best way to get rid of PMI is to reach your 20% repayment mark as soon as possible. That could mean aggressively paying off your mortgage until you reach that point.

This can be achieved by making extra payments, or just paying more each month. However, you don’t want to neglect other debt that could be accruing costly interest in favor of paying off your loans. Make sure you do the math and find out which debt will be more expensive before neglecting other debt.

Once you do reach the 20% repayment mark, you’ll have to remember to apply to have your PMI canceled with your lender. Otherwise, it will be canceled automatically at 22%.





Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 3/11/2019

Purchasing a home in a seller's market may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to offer expert guidance to ensure you can find the best house at the lowest price, regardless of the present real estate sector's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue a home in a seller's market.

1. Assess the Housing Market Closely

A seller's market likely features a shortage of high-quality houses. As such, you'll want to analyze the local real estate sector closely so you can identify your dream home faster than ever before.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This information can help you understand the average price range for homes of all sizes in your area. You also should find out how long these homes were available before they sold to understand the current pace of the real estate market.

Furthermore, you should make a checklist of home must-haves and wants. Once you craft this checklist, you can assess the houses available in your city or town and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

In all likelihood, you'll need to act fast to acquire your ideal residence in a seller's market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you submit a home offer, you may boost your chances of receiving a "Yes" from a seller.

A home offer that is contingent on a buyer's approval for a mortgage often is far from ideal. If a seller receives this type of offer, he or she may be reluctant to accept it, as there are no guarantees a buyer will be able to obtain the necessary financing to acquire a home.

Comparatively, a buyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage can enter a seller's market with a budget in hand. And if he or she finds a great house, this buyer can submit an offer without having to worry about getting financing at a later time.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of lenders. These financial institutions can teach you about a wide range of mortgage options and help you find the right mortgage based on your finances.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A seller's market can be tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced homebuyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can guide you along the homebuying journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals. He or she then will keep you up to date about houses that meet your criteria, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at any time.

Prepare to buy a house in a seller's market – use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.




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Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 3/4/2019

Many homes, new and old, do not have a ton of storage. More modern open floor plan spaces leave a great blank canvas for you to work with, but require you to bring in your own shelving, hutch, dressers, etc. If you're looking for additional storage options in your home and are either working with a smaller space, or desire to keep your area open and free of heavy furniture, consider what vertical storage solutions might work for your home.

Shelving

Take a look at your space and think about what shelving additions might help you. Installing a shelf up high around the ceiling of a room might give you great space for displaying home décor and knick-knacks without cluttering up coffee tables and nightstands. A narrow floor-to-ceiling bookshelf creates a ton of space in an office or living room without taking away your floor space.

Built-in Furniture Storage

When purchasing new furniture pieces for your home look for opportunities to use these pieces as storage solutions. A bed with drawers underneath or built-in headboard shelving and coffee tables with shelves, drawers or hidden compartments are easy to find in different styles and prices. Hollow ottomans are wonderful for housing blankets and other linens. Try office solutions with desks that mount on the wall and have built-in drawers and shelving. 

Hooks

Hooks are affordable, easy to install and can be used in a variety of places throughout your home to create storage. If you are dealing with a small closet or don't have a coat closet in your entryway, you can install hooks on the back of your closet or bedroom door. Try installing hooks or a combination shelf with hooks piece in your entryway or your bedroom for coats and purses. Small hooks placed on a wall or attached to a decorative board can replace the need for a vanity or large jewelry armoire. Use a combination of hooks and nails to hang all your tools and reduce space (and cost) used by a large toolbox.

Not all solutions are beautiful and fit seamlessly with your décor, but if you're in a pinch, there are some quick and affordable things you can do. Hang a plastic shoe-rack on your closet or bedroom door. Hang towel and bath-robe hooks on the back of your bathroom door. Install basic wire racks and drawers in your laundry room, above your machines, to use the vertical space instead of using floor bins and baskets. Whatever your space there is an upright storage solution for you, from pre-fab pieces you can buy to DIY solutions you can put together next weekend. 

 If you're starting your home search and built-in storage is a feature you'd like, speak with your real estate professional before you start house hunting. Work together to find a home with the features you desire, or to find a space that allows for seemingly built-in storage solutions to add before you move in.





Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 2/25/2019

Moving is a big deal. You spend money to have people take your stuff from one place to another. You pay more to get the supplies into which you pack your belongings. Then don't forget you spend the time to put all of your possessions into the hands of said people to move your items. Man, that is a lot of spending! If you are hoping for some creative ways to spend a little less read on for some ideas.

Boxes 

If you have ever gone into your local store at odd hours, you have no doubt come across somebody stocking shelves. Stores go through many, many boxes while trying to keep their products stocked. If you go to your local stores, varying stores will mean different kinds of boxes, and ask them to set boxes aside for you. Most stores will do this if you come to get them within specified time frames. Another source of boxes nowadays are friends who purchase items online. Let store managers know that you are moving and in need of boxes so that when they receive a product through shipping, they can save the boxes for you. Again make sure to pick them up quickly so that it does not become a burden to them or they may not offer next time.

Fragile items 

No one wants to get to their next house only to find that the fragile items that you packed did not make it in one piece. One way to avoid that without spending much is to use other items in your house. Things such as towels and washcloths or sheets and pillowcases make great buffers and wrapping for dishes, trinkets and the like that you want to protect through the process of moving. The added perk to this is that you don’t have to pack extra boxes for these items. 

Furniture protection 

Likewise, blankets and sheets that are not your best linens are great for protecting your furniture from point A to point B. They ensure that dings and scrapes stay at bay. Items used for this purpose have a chance of being ripped so keep that in mind when choosing to use this option. 

Keeping the cost of moving down is possible with a little ingenuity 

Moving costs enough on its own without the added expense of moving supplies. Although some items are not replaceable, like tape for your boxes and mattress covers, there are ways for you to be able to use other things at your disposal to prevent the cost of moving from exceeding your budget. Make sure to contact a local professional if you need help with your move.




Tags: moving tips   packing   homebuyers  
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Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 2/18/2019

The homebuying process may prove to be challenging, particularly for individuals who fail to anticipate potential problems. Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify and address homebuying hurdles before they escalate.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly anticipate and overcome homebuying hurdles.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

The real estate market can be complex. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer should have no trouble resolving potential problems early in the property buying journey.

Examine a wide range of housing market data – you'll be glad you did. Look at the prices of recently sold houses – as well as the prices of available residences – in your preferred cities and towns. With this housing market information, you'll be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and plan your homebuying journey accordingly.

2. Get Home Financing

If you intend to pursue a house, you likely will need a mortgage. Thankfully, banks and credit unions are available to help you obtain a mortgage in no time at all.

Ultimately, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search to properties that fall within your price range. And as a result, you could speed up the process of finding and buying your dream house.

When you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask lots of questions, either. If you allocate time and resources to learn about all of your home financing options, you can determine exactly which option is right for you.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to pursue a house on your own, regardless of whether you're an experienced or first-time property buyer. But if you employ a real estate agent, you can work with a homebuying expert who can help you make your homeownership dream come true.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a great house at an affordable price. He or she can teach you about the housing market and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the property buying journey. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can prepare you for potential homebuying hurdles and ensure you can quickly address these issues.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides as the homebuying journey progresses as well. A real estate agent will set up home showings, help you weigh the pros and cons of different houses and ensure you can submit an offer to purchase your dream residence. And as you approach the date of your home closing, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can finalize your house purchase without delay.

Want to avoid homebuying hurdles? You're not alone. But with the aforementioned tips, you can identify and overcome various homebuying hurdles and effortlessly navigate the property buying journey.




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