When you are looking to purchase a home, you might be looking for a place for you and your family to live. It might surprise you to learn that not everyone who is looking for a house is necessarily in search of a place to live.
Real estate is also a great way for someone to grow wealth. Furthermore, real estate is actually one of the most common ways that people become millionaires.
Some of the active ways that people invest in real estate include flipping houses and renting out property. This can be time-consuming and isn’t right for everyone.
If you are looking for a way to make money in real estate without flipping houses or looking for tenants, passive real estate investing might be the answer.
An Overview Of Passive Real Estate Investing
While passive is the opposite of active in this scenario, passive real estate investing does not mean that you won’t have to do anything. There is still work to be done.
When you invest in a passive manner, this means that you aren’t playing an active role in the growth of the asset, which is property in this example.
One example of passive investing is the stock market. You need to make sure that you do your homework before you start throwing money at the real estate market.
There is a serious time commitment that comes with passive real estate investing. You will also need to monitor the property values to make sure your investment is generating a solid return.
Ways To Get Involved In Passive Real Estate Investing
There are a few common ways that you can start investing in real estate, in a passive manner.
First, one of the most common ways is through the stock market. There are businesses that make their money by investing in the real estate market for you. You can buy shares of these companies who then invest your money in real estate.
Alternatively, you can also set up a partnership with an active investor. You might own the properties and then pay the active investor to rent them out to someone else.
Finally, there is also real estate crowdfunding that has come on the scene. Those looking to invest smaller amounts of money might be interested in this method which pools smaller investments together to invest in much larger real estate projects.
It’s important to talk with your trusted local real estate and mortgage professionals to get the best information for your personal situation.
There are many options when it comes to taking out a loan on a new home. One of the options that people might have heard about is called owner financing. In general, the property owner takes the place of a traditional lender.
Instead of someone taking out of a loan from a bank or a credit union, they take out a loan from the owner of the property. Similar to a traditional loan, the buyer will make payments to the seller over a period of time with a certain interest rate.
The Structure Of Owner Financing
If someone elects to go with owner financing, there are several terms that will specify the repayment structure. The most common structure is called a note and mortgage.
This is a secure form of financing. It is also the closest in structure to a traditional mortgage from a bank. The seller will put together a note that specifies the size of the loan and how it will be repaid. The mortgage will secure the seller with the property in case the borrower cannot repay the loan.
The buyer is still placed on the title of the home. Then, the mortgage is recorded with public records, just as in a traditional loan. There are other types of seller financing; however, this is the most common structure.
The Structure Of Repayment
You may have questions regarding this type of financing when compared to a traditional mortgage. Just as in a traditional mortgage, the repayment terms can vary. You will still have the opportunity to negotiate the terms of the loan.
Typically, interest rates are close to that of a loan from a bank or credit union. There are still options to set up a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage as well.
The Benefits Of Seller Financing
There are several benefits for both the buyer and the seller. First, seller financing may allow the seller to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the property. This can also help the seller offload a property that otherwise might not sell.
The buyer will also be able to purchase a home without having to borrow from a bank. Often, there is less paperwork and fewer fees. Finally, a buyer that might not qualify for a traditional bank loan might be able to buy a home through seller financing.
Understanding Owner Financing
It is important for everyone to think carefully before signing up for this type of financing. This is a unique option that you should understand when looking for a home. Consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to get the best answer for your particular situation.
When you are buying a new home, it is an exciting process. You have spent months searching and have found the home you want to purchase. You are ready to move into the home of your dreams.
Unfortunately, you have found out that your request for a mortgage has been denied. This can be a deflating experience. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this by understanding the most common reasons why a buyer is denied for a loan.
The Loan Requirements Have Changed
One of the most common reasons why you might be denied a mortgage is that the terms of the loan have changed. For example, the lender might have raised the minimum credit score requirement. This might sound unfortunate; however, it does happen from time to time.
Loan requirements might change from the pre-approval stage. If this happens, think about searching for a loan from a different lender.
You Added Debt
The debt to income ratio is going to matter when applying for a loan. If you are pre-approved for a loan and your amount of debt changes, the lender is going to look at this closely. Common forms of debt include student loans and credit cards.
Even small changes in your debt amount can impact your ability to qualify for a loan. Try to avoid buying a new car or maxing out a credit card during the mortgage application process. This will help you keep the loan you’ve worked so hard to earn.
You Changed Jobs
Finally, employment status also matters to the lender. When you take out a loan, the lender needs to know that this will be repaid. This depends on you having a steady stream of income from your job.
If you decide to change jobs between the time of pre-approval and the time of purchase, your employment history and income stream do not mean as much. While changing employment will not totally disqualify you, make sure to discuss this possibility with your lender. Changing jobs within the same field is likely fine; however, moving to a new career entirely can be a red flag.
Mortgage Denials are Frustrating
It is frustrating to have your request for a loan denied. Fortunately, understanding these common reasons can help you avoid this deflating experience. Think about all of these possible scenarios when you apply for a home loan. And rely on the expertise of your trusted home mortgage professional.
Last week’s economic news included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.
New Home Sales Dip in September
Commerce Department readings indicated fewer sales of new homes than in August. 701,000 sales were reported in September on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis; 706,000 new homes were sold in August and analysts expected 700,000 sales of new homes.
Sales fell by 0.70 percent month-to-month but were 15.50 percent higher year-over-year. September was the second time in 12 years that new home sales exceeded 700,000 in consecutive months.
Sales of new homes were lower in three of four regions. Sales fell by -2.80 percent in the Northeast and were -3.80 percent lower in the West. New home sales fell -0.20 percent in the South but rose +6.30 percent in the Midwest. The median sale price of new homes fell in September, which indicated that builders may be building more affordable homes.
In recent years, builders concentrated on building high-end homes. Real estate pros said there was a 5.50 month supply of new homes available in September as compared to the benchmark reading of a six month supply of homes for sale that indicates markets are balanced between home buyers and sellers.
Sales of pre-owned homes also fell in September.5.38 million previously-owned homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts expected 5.40 million sales and 5.50 million pre-owned homes were sold in August.
Mortgage Rates Rise; Initial Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose six basis points to 3.75 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose three basis points to 3.18 percent.
Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.40 percent and were five basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
New jobless claims fell last week; 212,000 first-time claims were filed. Analysts expected 215,000 claims based on the prior week’s reading of 218,000 initial claims. Analysts said there were no indications of rising layoffs and noted that new jobless claims stayed near a 50-year low.
October’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell to an index reading of 95.50 as compared to September’s reading of 96.00. Consumers surveyed were less anxious about trade disputes with China than in September.
Readings for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index have held steady in recent months, but remain below the post-recession peak reading of 101.40.
This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from Case-Shiller on home prices and a statement from the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee on monetary policy decisions.
The Labor Department also reports on Non-Farm Payrolls and national unemployment is also scheduled along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.
When you are buying a home, you may run into a number of hurdles to complete the purchase. One of the items that you may be asked to purchase is called private mortgage insurance, often shortened to PMI. This is a unique insurance policy that your lender, such as the credit union or bank, may ask you to buy in order to protect themselves. In this insurance policy, the bank protects themselves against losing money if you end up defaulting on your loan.
Unfortunately, if you are asked to purchase PMI, this will increase your monthly mortgage payment. Therefore, most people try to avoid it. Fortunately, there are a few ways to do this.
Increase the Size of Your Down Payment
Typically, the lender will ask you to purchase PMI if your loan to value ratio is off. In most cases, the lender will ask you to buy PMI if you put down less than 20 percent. It is important to remember that this is still handled on an individual case-by-case basis and each lender handles this differently.
Invest in a Piggyback Mortgage
Another option to avoid PMI is to invest in something called a piggyback mortgage. In this case, you are splitting your mortgage into two policies. For example, if you put down 10 percent, you would need to take out a mortgage for the other 90 percent.
When you take out a piggyback mortgage, you split this 90 percent loan into one mortgage for 80 percent and the other for 10 percent. The drawback of this policy is that the second loan might have a higher interest rate than the first. This can help you avoid having to take out PMI.
Try Building the PMI Into the Loan
Finally, the last option is to roll them into the cost of the loan. In this case, the lender avoids asking you to purchase PMI and instead charges you a little bit more money for the loan. You won’t have a section on your bill for “private mortgage insurance” but you will have a slightly higher monthly payment anyways. Remember that you can refinance to a lower rate later, saving some money; however, it might be harder to eliminate PMI.
Avoiding Mortgage Insurance
These are a few ways that you can avoid purchasing PMI. This will help you keep your monthly payments low. As always, speak with your trusted mortgage professional for personal advice on your specific situation.
The arrival of fall, with cooler temperatures followed by a season of holiday celebrations, means getting cozy at home, spending more time cooking and enjoying friends and family in front of a blazing fire, and lighting up your home for a series of holidays. Sadly, though, it is also a time that carries a higher risk of property losses due to fire and accidental injuries.
Here are some guidelines about how to reduce those risks and stay safe this winter:
Keep The Kitchen Safe
Serious burns and kitchen fires can dampen any holiday celebration. Statistics show that Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays can be especially prone to accidental kitchen fires and injury. If you have guests helping out, or children in the kitchen, be especially watchful. Don’t overload circuits and never let electrical cords dangle over counters. Supervise young helpers, and know what to do in case of a stove-top grease fire or a sparking appliance.
Check The Fireplace
There’s nothing as cozy as a roaring fire on a chilly winter evening. But follow the rules for fireplace safety: Have a proper screen, don’t throw paper into the fire, and check the damper and chimney spark arrestor. Whether you have a traditional fireplace or a gas-fueled metal firebox, perform a pre-season check to assure that everything is operating properly before lighting that first fire.
Candles are a huge risk during the holiday season, from Halloween on through New Years. As pretty as they are, wax candles should never be left to burn unattended, indoors or out. If you want to line your sidewalk with jack-o-lanterns or create a glowing pathway for winter guests, consider battery-operated candles for safety. Indoors, keep candles away from draperies, drafts and flammable decorations, and don’t ever place candles on a Christmas tree or among pine boughs on a mantel or dining room table. It’s simply too dangerous.
Trees And Home Decorations
If lighting up the home for the holidays is a tradition for your family, check the UL label for both indoor and outdoor lighting and never overload a circuit. Use care when stringing lights, and turn them off when you’re not at home. Check ornament labels — look for flame retardant and non-flammable certification. Always turn lights off at night or when you’re not at home.
General Safety Precautions
Autumn is also the prime time to test your home’s smoke alarms. It’s smart to stage a family fire drill. Go over your escape plan in case of fire, and be sure to inform guests about what to do in case of emergency. In addition, if you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector, why not consider installing one this fall?
Staying safe is a family responsibility, one that you should take seriously!
If you are looking for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property this winter, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.
Many homeowners don’t think about what it takes to successfully sell a home until they make the decision to purchase a new home. It makes sense to consider the best ways to improve your home sales appeal early if you think you might consider selling at any time in the future.
Some reasons for buying a new house are to accommodate a growing family or a transfer to a new job. No matter the reason you want to buy a new home, it is important that you take the right steps to ensure you sell your home on terms that meet your needs.
Not only do you want to get a good price for your home, but you also want to sell your home sooner rather than later. Read this article for real estate tips that will help you as a first-time home seller.
Price Your Home Accurately
It is essential that you price your home accurately. To do this, you should use a reputable, trusted real estate listing agent. The home selling process will be far more straightforward for you if you choose a real estate agent who is actively engaged in real estate on a daily basis and knows your neighborhood well.
Your agent will take a look at the comparable sales of homes in the area and create an estimate of value, which is called a comparative market analysis. You can compare this estimate to the estimates from different real estate websites as well.
However, your listing agent will likely provide you with the most accurate estimate of value because they will use their education and experience to take into consideration the nuances of your local market and your particular home that will impact the sales price.
If you want to boost the value and buyer appeal of your home, you should do some home staging. In general, homes are most appealing to buyers with half of the furniture removed. Believe it or not, you want potential buyers to walk into your and wonder if anyone is actually living in the home.
The purpose of home staging is to boost the appeal and selling power. One of the best and most cost effective upgrades you can do during the home staging process is painting the walls. A fresh coat of paint will make any home look better.
List Your Home
The season that you choose to list your home is an important decision. The sales success can depend on the weather, time of year, local community, school schedules, and the state of the real estate market. Your real estate listing agent should have a solid plan to broadcast their new listing in the best light possible on its first day being listed and follow that with an energetic promotional agenda.
Talk with them to learn more about their customary marketing plan before agreeing to list your home for sale. This gives your agent a chance to demonstrate their marketing expertise and you will know that you have the best representation for your home when it goes on the market.
If you are interested in purchasing a new home or refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.
If you want to maximize your outdoor living areas, the ideas below will help you do so. Backyards are seldom used to their full potential. No matter how large or small your yard is, a makeover can create cozy sitting areas and larger spaces that are perfect for entertaining.
Here are four ideas to transform how you use your yard:
1. Move Your Kitchen Outside
Outdoor kitchens let you enjoy fine weather while you cook. It also makes feeding a large gathering easier since there’s probably a lot of room to expand. Setting up a fully stocked outdoor kitchen gives you a multi-purpose space that can double as a lounge or dining area. It’s all about choosing the right furnishings, such as convertible picnic tables that turn into comfy benches.
2. Decorate To Attract Company
Patio and deck parties are fun and easy — especially if you can get everyone to come to you. Put up umbrellas or add an overhang to keep out the worst of the sun. Plushy seating with room to place snacks or meals keeps guests comfy and satisfied. It’s a great place to host poker night, a girls’ night in or your kids’ soccer team.
3. Create Green Space
Gardens have come a long way from your mom’s veggie patch. Reinvigorate your outdoor space with fresh ideas, such as raised beds that save your back when it comes time to harvest your tomatoes and cucumbers. Add brightly colored flowers around trees or in window boxes for a lush look that transforms your yard into a botanical retreat. If you really have a green thumb, consider building a greenhouse where you can grow things most of the year.
4. Light It Up
Area lighting really looks fantastic during nighttime get-togethers and lets you determine when the party’s over, not the sunset. Solar lights save energy and work well as guide lights along pathways. String lights create a magical effect around gazebos and patios. However, you’ll need brighter illumination if you have guests over. This may mean adding a circuit and hiring an electrician to put up spotlights and security lighting. The good news is that the changes also make your home more secure.
If you are interested in purchasing a new home or refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.
Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on builder confidence in housing market conditions, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also reported.
Builder Confidence in Housing Markets Rises
The NAHB Housing Market Index rose in October from September’s index reading of 68 to 71.Home builders were confident in market conditions due to strong demand for homes caused by low mortgage rates and slower growth in home prices.
Obstacles including tariffs on building materials did not deter builder confidence; any reading above 50 on the Housing Market Index indicates that most builders are confident about housing market conditions.
Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for NAHB, said: “The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by a gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months.” Mr. Dietz cited “ongoing supply side constraints and concerns about a slowing economy” as factors expected to negatively impact builder sentiment in coming months.
The Commerce Department reported a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.26 million housing starts in September. Analysts expected a pace of 1.32 million starts; August’s reading for housing starts was 1.39 million starts.
Fewer building permits were issued in September with 1.39 million permits issued as compared to August’s reading of 1.43 million permits issued; analysts expected 1.38 million building permits to be issued.
Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise
Freddie Mac reported higher rates for fixed rate mortgages last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose 12 basis points to 3.69 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages rose 10 basis points to 3.15 percent.
The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.15 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.
Initial jobless claims also rose last week. 214,000 new claims were filed as compared to expectations of 215,000 claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 210,000 first-time jobless claims filed. Analysts noted that new jobless claims remained near a 50-year low.
This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes along with a report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims will also be released.
Your credit report influences whether or not you’ll qualify for a mortgage and what kind of interest you’ll pay on that loan. This isn’t something you can safely ignore. Smart homebuyers understand the importance of monitoring credit scores and credit reports. Here is some information about how to get your credit report.
Free Credit Report Available
You’re entitled to free credit report, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can get one free report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
The easiest way to get your free report is to go to AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the official site that was originally established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
How To Get Your Free Credit Report
Once you reach the site, create an account by registering. Have as much of your available credit information available when you request your free credit report. The reason is because the site will need to verify that it’s actually you requesting the credit report. If you have your information at hand, it will be easier and faster to confirm your identity.
This is just a process that the site has in place to protect your identity from fraud. They might ask you things like past residences, past credit card companies, or something else.
Why You Need To Get Your Free Annual Credit Report
When you apply for a home loan, the lender will pull your credit report and review it. They’ll look for signs that you are a good credit risk. Things they consider include how you handle your debt to income ratio, whether or not you pay your bills on time and if you have any negative notations on your credit report.
For this reason, you should look at your own credit report before applying for a mortgage. This gives you a chance to fix anything that is incorrect in your credit report and an opportunity to improve your credit report if it’s not in great shape.
You Can Help Prevent Identity Fraud
Another important reason to review your free annual credit report is to prevent fraud. If you see anything unfamiliar on your report, such as loans you didn’t take out or balances for things you don’t recognize, you can immediately act on those issues so they don’t affect your chance at getting approved for a home loan.
Always be proactive when it comes to your credit history. By availing of your right to a free annual credit report, you can ensure that your credit is in as good as possible condition when you go to apply for a mortgage.
If you are looking for a new home or if you are interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.