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7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!

by Melissa Dierks

Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home! But before you make any big purchases, move any money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer. They will be able to tell you how your decision will impact your home loan.

Below is a list of 7 Things You Shouldn’t Do After Applying for a Mortgage! Some may seem obvious, but some may not!

1. Don’t change jobs or the way you are paid at your job! Your loan officer must be able to track the source and amount of your annual income. If possible, you’ll want to avoid changing from salary to commission or becoming self-employed during this time as well.

2. Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

3. Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or new furniture for your new home. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt to income ratios… higher ratios make for riskier loans… and sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.

4. Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. As we mentioned, with that obligation comes higher ratios as well. Even if you swear you will not be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payment against you.

5. Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is consistency among your accounts. Before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.

6. Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.

7. Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.

Bottom LineAny blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. They are there to guide you through the process.

 

Source: mykcm.com

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of Keller Williams Professionl Partners

Certified Military Residential Specialist

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Natural Disasters Hit Real Estate Hard in 2018

by Melissa Dierks
 Natural disasters struck the United States with a vengeance in 2018, as floods, wildfires, and hurricanes damaged thousands of homes and businesses. Eleven events in 2018—the third year in a row with an above-average number of catastrophes—led to $11 billion or more in residential and commercial losses, according to the newly released Natural Hazard Report from CoreLogic. 
Road damaged by flood

© Howard County Government/Getty Images 

 

“In 2018, the U.S. continued to experience damaging weather and natural catastrophes in high exposure areas, and in some instances, in regions that had been impacted in less than a year prior,” says Howard Botts, chief scientist at CoreLogic. “Hazards will always pose a threat to homes and businesses and knowing exactly what that risk entails is critical in helping ensure sufficient protection from the financial catastrophes that so often follow natural disasters.”

In 2018, there were more than 1,600 significant flood events in the U.S. Residential and commercial flood damage in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia from Hurricane Florence caused up to $28.5 billion in damages. Eighty-five percent of the residential flooding losses were not covered by insurance, the report showed. Texas, Maryland, and Wisconsin also saw 1,000-year floods last year, with some in areas that had experienced 1,000-year floods less than two years before.

Nationwide, 6 percent of properties are within the Special Flood Hazard Areas. But only about one-third of those properties have flood insurance policies.

In 2018, the Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, including eight that became hurricanes. Hurricane Florence (Category 1) and Michael (Category 4) caused massive damage when they struck the U.S. About 700,000 residential and commercial properties saw catastrophic flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Florence. Michael struck the Florida Panhandle and caused up to $4 billion in residential and commercial insured losses from the wind and storm surge, according to CoreLogic’s report.

Unprecedented wildfires also wiped out real estate in 2018. “The number of acres that burned in 2018 is the eighth highest in U.S. history,” as reported through Nov. 30, 2018, according to CoreLogic. Eleven western states saw at least one wildfire that burned more than 50,000 acres. California and Oregon saw the most.

Northern California’s Camp Fire in November 2018 turned nearly the entire city of Paradise into ash. More than 18,000 homes and businesses were damaged. The Woolsey wildfire in Malibu destroyed more than 1,600 structures. These two wildfires alone caused up to $19 billion in total insured and uninsured losses, CoreLogic estimates.

Source: magazine.realtor/

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

The Hottest Paint Colors of 2019

by Melissa Dierks

Living Coral: Paint company Pantone announced “Living Coral” as its 2019 Color of the Year. The orange shade with golden undertones embodies “warmth and comfort,” Pantone says. “Living Coral easily delivers a graphic pop to a space,” says Rebecca Snowden, an interior style adviser at Furniture Choice. “Introducing it through small elements will brighten up a room, creating a sense of coziness that’s also fresh and chic.” For example, the energetic tone can liven up cushions, throws, and rugs in a living room. In a dining area, color blocked plates and coasters in the peachy hue may add some spark to a table arrangement, she says. Read Furniture Choice’s guide to weaving in more Living Coral into your home design.

Blueprint / Photo credit: Behr

Blueprint: Behr has gone blue with its top color choice for the new year. Blueprint is a mid-tone blue that is described as warmer than denim but softer than navy. Behr is embracing a full range of blue, teal, and grays as key color choices in 2019. “Layer light and dark blues on walls, cabinets, furniture, and decor for impactful results,” Behr says.

Cavern Clay / Photo Credit: Sherwin-Williams

Cavern Clay: Sherwin-Williams has picked a warm terra-cotta color called Cavern Clay as its 2019 Color of the Year. The color embodies an American Southwest, modern desert aesthetic. “This warm, earthy hue is both casual and refined,” Sherwin-Williams says. “It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone, and sculptural greenery.” It also compliments materials like leather and woodgrains.

Metropolitan Gray / Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore

Metropolitan Gray: Benjamin Moore expects the gray trend to continue in the new year, which is shown through its neutral pick with Metropolitan Gray. “It’s a color in the neutral spectrum that references a contemplative state of mind and design,” says Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s director of strategic design intelligence. “Not arresting nor aggressive, this understated yet glamorous gray creates a soothing, impactful common ground.”

 

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?

10 Ways to Save on Utility Bills This Summer

by Melissa Dierks

Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about ways to save on utility bills and energy costs before you’re shocked by your first big bill this summer. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to prepare your home (and your wallet) for the summer heat without sacrificing comfort. So, before you crank up the AC, take a look at our top ways to save on utility bills this summer. Your budget will thank you!

1. Get Your HVAC System Ready

Is there anything worse than a broken HVAC system in the summer? The good news is you can avoid this nightmare by taking precautions and getting your HVAC ready for summer. First, you’ll want to clean or change the air filters as dirty or clogged filters force your air conditioning system to work much harder, which in turn causes more wear and tear in the long-run. You’ll also want to inspect your outdoor unit for any visible signs of damage such as warped panels, torn insulation or rust. In the colder months, small animals may nest inside the insulation so you’ll want to inspect the inside as well. Taking these steps to ensure your AC unit is working efficiently will help keep your energy bills low this summer.

2. Clean Air Filters and Vents

Many homeowners make the mistake of closing off vents in rooms that are not being used, but closing vents causes more pressure in the ducts causing your air conditioner to work much harder. Before you turn the AC on this summer, open all the vents and give them a nice cleaning.

3. Keep Blinds Closed

Did you know that keeping your blinds closed during the day can drastically reduce the heat in your home? Keeping them open causes a greenhouse like effect—sunlight and heat pour in all day and can’t get out, making your home much warmer and causing your air conditioning to work over-time, which in turn will spike up your power bill.

4. Lower Your Utility Rates

Do you live in a deregulated energy region? If so, you have the power to choose your energy provider and can shop around for the lowest energy rates. If you haven’t researched your options in a while, summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your current energy provider and find out if there is a cheaper rate out there. Many deregulated energy providers offer special promotions in the summer, like “free nights,” so you should definitely check out what else is out there. To see if you live in a deregulated area, just enter your address here.

5. Time Your Thermostat

If you want to be cost conscious this summer, you shouldn’t blast your air conditioning at all hours of the day. A lower temperature setting at night and a higher setting during the day is recommended for optimal cost savings. If you’re forgetful or aren’t always around to change it, we recommend installing a programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule your temperature changes even when you aren’t home.

6. Switch to LED Bulbs

While incandescent light bulbs are cheap, they use more energy and produce quite a bit of heat compared to LED bulbs. LED bulbs tend to be a little more expensive than incandescent lights, but they last longer, produce less heat and create great energy savings in the long run. So, consider making the switch the LED lights, at least in the rooms you use most, to help lower your utility bills this summer.

7. Buy a Water Cistern

If you don’t know, a water cistern is a device that captures rain water and stores it for you to use to water your garden or lawn, to wash your car, etc. Your water bill can get out of hand in the summer as you spend more time outdoors, so a water cistern is a great investment if you want to keep your garden and lawn green all summer long without paying for extra water use.

8. Use Your Ceiling Fan

In the warmer months, you should run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise. Since heat rises, the counter-clockwise motion will help pull the cold air up toward the ceiling. Running your ceiling fan efficiently will help cool your rooms, allowing you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature, ultimately reducing your power bill.

9. Invest in Smart Power Strips

Connecting multiple appliances to a smart power strip that can be turned off with only one flip of a switch at night when the devices aren’t being used is a quick and easy way to help reduce energy waste. When you don’t have to unplug all your devices individually, saving energy suddenly becomes much easier!

10. Don’t Use an Irrigation Schedule

Irrigation schedules or timers that you can set to schedule when your garden or lawn will be watered sound nice in theory, but they actually produce quite a bit of water waste. You can’t control when it rains, and you may not be home to stop your irrigation system from going off when it does. Watering manually may seem like a chore, but when you think about all the money you can save from reducing water waste, manual watering becomes more appealing.

Don’t let the first utility bills of summer sneak up on you. Be proactive and implement our tips, we promise they’ll help you save big on your utility bills this summer!

Source: blog.rismedia.com

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

The famous quote by Walt Whitman, “A man is not a whole and complete man, unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on,” can be used to describe homeownership in America today. The Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in America has been steadily climbing back up since hitting a 50-year low in 2016. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 64.2%, higher than last year’s 63.6%.

Homeownership: "A Man Is Not a Complete Man, Unless He Owns a House" | MyKCM

Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, in his VUE Blog gave these new homeownership numbers some context:

“The trend is clear: the homeownership rate has been ticking up for five consecutive quarters, and the number of new renter households has fallen for four consecutive quarters. Owner-occupied households grew by 1.345 million from a year ago, while the number of renters actually fell by 286,000 households. 

The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renter households fell is a strong sign households are making a switch from renting to buying. This is a trend that multifamily builders, investors, and landlords should take note of.” 

 In a separate article comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, Realtor.com also concluded that the gap is now shrinking:

“The U.S. added 1.3 million owner households over the last year and lost 286,000 renter households, the fourth consecutive quarter in which the number of renter households declined from the same quarter a year earlier. That could pose challenges for apartment landlords, who are bracing this year for one of the largest infusions of new rental supply in three decades.” 

 America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a survey conducted by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”

 The results:

 

  • 43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
  • 48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
  • Only 9% said it was not important

 

Bottom Line

Homeownership has been, is, and always will be a crucial part of the American Dream.

Source: Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Home-Buying Millennials Face Fresh Set of Struggles

by Melissa Dierks

An astounding 98 percent of home-buying millennials surveyed for the report are being kept out of the market, with barriers including credit (cited by 26 percent of millennials), a down payment (31 percent) and prices (40 percent).

Given the hurdles, millennials are compromising on their wants: 84 percent, for example, would give up a feature in their home so that they could buy in their desired location, the report reveals. (The No. 1 do-without feature? A garage, followed by a kitchen that has been updated.) By comparison, just 25 percent of boomer buyers and 35 percent of Generation X buyers would do the same. Strikingly, 24 percent of millennials would accept a higher crime rate in exchange for their ideal property.

The majority of millennials (89 percent), similarly, would give up a feature of their neighborhood so that they could buy their desired home, like activities (e.g., block parties), good schools and proximity to restaurants and shops. Only 15 percent of boomers and 22 percent of Gen Xers would follow suit.

“For millennials, the dream of homeownership is alive and well, but with prices going up and inventory continuing to shrink, this new generation of buyers are facing more obstacles than any other demographic,” says Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “With tight budgets and fewer choices on the market, most millennials are forced to make trade-offs, and are more willing than other generations to give up home and neighborhood features in order to find their ideal home.”

Aside from the concessions, many millennials are having to put off their search, the report shows. More than three-quarters (79 percent) have delayed their plans to purchase—a higher rate than both boomers (48 percent) and Generation Xers (64 percent). Across generations, however, the obstacles overlap: a not-so-distant 32 percent of Gen Xers and 36 percent of millennials delayed due to the down payment, and an almost-identical 26 percent of Gen Xers and 27 percent of millennials held off due to prices.

Beyond costs, millennials are postponing a purchase for fear of “not having a stable job”—a byproduct of coming up in the recession. Debt, however, is less of a roadblock; just 9 percent of millennials say student loans are stopping them.

Despite the hurdles, 86 percent of millennials are planning to purchase, and, of those, 35 percent are aiming to do so in the next year, and 57 percent are hoping to in the next two years, according to the report.

“In markets where the economy and job growth are thriving, we may see some of these financial challenges start to dissipate as millennials mature into their careers,” Young says. “If anything, millennials can hold out hope that the encouraging housing starts we saw in 2017 can lead to some relief in the starter home segment.”

Source: rismedia.com

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Which Remodeling Personality Type Are You?

by Melissa Dierks

What’s your home improvement persona: The Sensible Improver, the Project Planner, the Reliable Renovator, the Visionary, or the Extrovert? View this infographic from the Home Projects Council to learn the five main home remodeling personality types.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.


 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Zen Design Takes Over Luxury Listings

by Melissa Dierks

More luxury buildings are trying to lure buyers by touting amenities focused on finding inner peace and lowering stress. The homes are touting everything from meditation courtyards with silken hammocks to open-air yoga studios and herbal gardens filled with calming plants. 

The rising popularity of wellness in real estate suggests that it’s working in attracting upscale home buyers. Luxury developers are offering morning yoga, mindfulness coaches, and meditation chambers. 

“It’s not just about physical health; people are also thinking of how our space affects us emotionally,” Katherine Johnson, senior research fellow at the Global Wellness Institute, told The Wall Street Journal. The Global Wellness Institute has studied the expansion of the wellness industry into the real estate market.  

In Palm Beach, Fla., the Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences will offer heated reflexology floors, circadian lighting systems, and vitamin C-infused showers once it opens in 2019. Each homeowner will be matched with a personal wellness consultant to advise them on mindfulness, sleep, fitness, and nutrition, says Dilip Barot, CEO and founder of the Creative Choice Group. The units will be priced from $700,000 to more than $4 million. 

A wellness-focused neighborhood in Serenbe, Ga., will feature a medicinal garden with edible native plants. Also, a naturalist will soon be leading workshops for residents on how to use plants for homeopathic remedies and tonics. 

“Being able to see green from every window—it’s fascinating to me how that really does impact your mood and well-being,” says Jeny Mathis, a homeowner who also teaches aerial yoga. In constructing her home, she and her husband Gil, a real estate agent, consulted Wellness With Your Walls, an organization that offers guidelines on building practices to reduce contaminants and toxins in the home. Mathis’ home also features soothing paint colors on the walls and avoids contrasting paint shades to create a sense of continuity and openness. 

Source: “Luxury Homes That Promise to Reduce Stress—for $4 Million,” The Wall Street Journal (April 19, 2018).

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Mortgage Rates Jump to 4-Year High

by Melissa Dierks

After mostly stagnant activity levels in recent weeks, mortgage rates are back on the move. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest level since January 2014 this week, also seeing its largest weekly increase since February of this year, Freddie Mac reports. 

Average mortgage rates were higher across the board too, posting weekly increases to not only the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage but also to 15-year and 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending April 19: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.47 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.42 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.87 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.23 percent. 
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.67 percent, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 3.61 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.10 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

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Melissa Dierks
Keller Williams Professional Partners
7025 W Bell Road, Suite 10
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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