When to Refinance Your Mortgage

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have owned your home for a few years, there’s always much to learn when it comes to understanding mortgages. Depending on your financial status and your long-term plans, it may make sense to either make larger payments or to refinance your home loan.

Today, we’ll tackle some of those difficult “what if?” questions, helping you decide when to refinance, when to keep your payments stable, and when you might want to increase your monthly mortgage payments.

What are the benefits of refinancing?

We’ve all heard about the benefits of refinancing when under financial stress. For things like student loans and credit card debt, refinancing is often a debtor’s only choice. However, with home loans, the allure of refinancing may not always be a good fit for you.

If your plan is to refinance to get lower mortgage payments each month, you should first question if it will be worth it on the long run, which might amount to you paying more in interest. To avoid paying more in interest, refinance after you’ve accomplished important financial milestones, such as increasing your credit score which makes you a lower risk client to banks.  

When does it make sense to pay more?

The benefits of paying off your mortgage in a shorter period of time are obvious. It means less time making payments, and less money spent on interest.  

However, depending on your mortgage, you might be better off investing your savings in something that will give you a larger return. Investments in a retirement fund, for example, are likely to pay off to a larger degree in the long term. To do the math, simply calculate the savings you would earn on by cutting your mortgage interest and weigh that against projected gains in retirement funds.

None of us can predict the future. Stocks rise and fall, people get laid off from their job due to fluctuations in the economy, and so on. These factors make it difficult to determine whether you should invest. So we encourage you to do your homework when it comes to investments so that you have the best chance of succeeding.  

Changing lenders

Your relationship with your lender will likely be a long one, so you want to make sure it’s one you’re comfortable with and that they are giving you reasonable rates. Now that you’re secure and living in your you have time to shop around for the best rates.

Be sure to ask lenders for good faith estimates and compare applicable fees. Ask friends and neighbors about their experience with lenders and read online reviews to get a better idea of what type of customer experience can expect.

Good Items That Home Sellers Can Leave Behind for Buyers

If you plan to sell your house, there may be certain items that you want to bring to your new residence. However, various items may prove to be too big, too heavy or too expensive to transport to your new address. But if you leave these items behind, you may be able to make your house more attractive to dozens of potential buyers.

Ultimately, there are many high-quality items that home sellers may choose to leave behind for buyers, such as:

1. Refrigerator

Although your refrigerator has served you well for many years, transporting this kitchen appliance to your new house could prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a buyer may appreciate the fact that you’re willing to provide him or her with a top-notch refrigerator as part of a home sale.

For a home seller who intends to leave his or her refrigerator behind, it is important to take some time to clean the appliance. That way, a homebuyer will be able to use the refrigerator as soon as he or she finalizes a home acquisition.

Also, scrub down the refrigerator’s shelves, wipe down the appliance’s exterior and remove any foods and beverages from the refrigerator prior to moving day.

2. Washer and Dryer

A washer and dryer may cost a homeowner hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase and install. Luckily, a home seller who includes a washer and dryer in a home sale can make it easy for a buyer to avoid the hassle of finding, buying and installing these appliances.

Ensure that your washer and dryer are working properly before moving day arrives. Remove any dust and debris from the dryer’s lint trap, and wipe down the exterior of both the washer and dryer.

3. Furniture

If you own stunning outdoor patio chairs, a deluxe dining room table and chairs or other first-rate home furniture, you may want to include these items in your home sale. By doing so, you can help a buyer furnish his or her home in no time at all.

Selling a home can be challenging, even if you intend to leave behind assorted high-end items for a buyer. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to help simplify the process of selling a residence in any housing market, at any time.

A real estate agent understands that you want to enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience. To accomplish this goal, a real estate agent will learn about your residence and explore ways to promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you get ready for a home closing. And if you ever have home selling concerns, a real estate agent will immediately respond to them.

Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to selling your house.

5 Expert Packing Tips for Your Next Move

At it’s best, packing and moving your things when you buy a new home is a lot of work. At its worst, it can be downright dangerous if you aren’t careful when lifting and moving heavy items.

A necessary evil of moving to a new home, packing is probably the least favorite part of moving for your average homeowner. However, there are ways you can make this process easier, saving you time and ensuring that decorating your new homes is a simple and satisfying task.

In today’s post, I’m going to run down the list of 5 packing and moving tips to help make your move faster and easier than you thought possible.

1. Cleaning and decluttering

One of the best times to clean out your home is leading up to a move. First, if you’re selling your old home, it will pay off to make the house as clean and uncluttered as possible to attract potential buyers. However, you’ll also likely find that there is a lot of junk that you simply don’t need to bring to your new home.

When packing each room, keep a garbage bag with you for things you might want to donate or throw away. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you’ve used or appreciated the item in the last two years. If not, you might find that it’s easier just to get rid of.

2. Schedule your packing

There are some items in your home that you’ll want available up until the day you move. Others you might not need for weeks or months until after you’ve settled into your new home. You can lessen your workload by spreading out your packing process across the span of a month or so, tackling a few items each week.

A good example of planned packing is to start packing your seasonal clothing that you won’t need until the next winter or summer.

3. Have someone carry away your old junk

If you have bulk items or furniture that you plan on getting rid of, put them on Craigslist or call a donation center with pick-up a month in advance of your move. This will help you get rid of large items without ever having to leave your home.

4. Hiring movers

Hiring movers might be out of some new homeowners’ budgets. However, there are certain times of the week that you can get lower prices. Movers are typically the busiest on the weekend, often making weekdays a more affordable alternative.

5. Find your local box stockpile

There’s typically no need to spend money on boxes if you give yourself enough time to find a good supplier. Some grocery and department stores will give away their boxes for free because you’re saving them on recycling costs.

Another good option is your local liquor store who probably has several empty wine and beer cases to give away.

3 Factors to Consider Before You Sell a Home in a Buyer’s Market

Selling a home in a buyer’s market may seem like a major struggle, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you streamline the process of selling your house so you can get the best price for your residence, even in a buyer’s market.

To better understand how to succeed in a buyer’s market, let’s take a look at three factors that every home seller should consider before they list a residence.

1. Your Home’s Condition

What is the current state of your home? Ultimately, your home’s condition will play a key role in how quickly you can sell your house, regardless of whether you’re operating in a buyer’s or seller’s market.

Before you add your residence to the real estate market, it often is a great idea to complete a property appraisal. This evaluation will allow you to learn about your house’s strengths and weaknesses and prioritize home improvement projects.

Furthermore, there are many quick, easy ways to enhance your home’s interior and exterior.

Removing clutter from your home offers an excellent option for those who want to free up space inside a residence. Or, you can always trim the hedges, remove dirt and debris from walkways and perform other home exterior tasks to bolster your house’s visual appeal.

2. Your Timeline

When do you need to sell your home? If you’re in a hurry to sell your home, you’ll need to proceed cautiously, especially if you’re operating in a buyer’s market.

In this scenario, you’ll want to establish a competitive price for your home from the get-go. This will require you to analyze the prices of similar homes in your area so you can better understand how your house stacks up against the competition.

If you have several months to sell your home, you may be able to wait out a buyer’s market. In the meantime, you can always complete assorted home improvements to upgrade your house both inside and out.

3. Your Housing Market Expertise

How do you intend to get the best price for your home in a buyer’s market? You may need extra help along the way. Lucky for you, a real estate agent is happy to provide you with the assistance you need to succeed.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who understands what it takes to sell a home in a buyer’s market. He or she will be able to help you prep your home for the real estate market so you can speed up the home selling journey.

Usually, a real estate agent will promote your house to potential homebuyers, keep you up to date about offers on your house and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. This housing market professional also can provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations at each stage of the home selling cycle.

Remove the guesswork that is commonly associated with selling a home in a buyer’s market – use these tips, and you should have no trouble generating plenty of interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.