How To Get the Lowest Delaware Mortgage Rates
In Spanish-speaking countries, a bribe is known as mordida. In Italy, spintarella; in parts of Asia, baksheesh. Baksheesh can also mean a tip, which is perfectly legal and ethical in a restaurant, but not so much in a bank or government office.
Here in Delaware, we have a pretty inflexible attitude about bribery: we don’t like it. When we discover it, we go further than that—we fine, jail, and otherwise make its practitioners wish they had turned bribes down. More than one mayor (Chicago comes to mind) has learned or is currently learning that the hard way.
But when it comes to negotiating with Delaware mortgage lenders, there is a perfectly legal way to bribe them into seeing things a little more your way. As the Greeks say, you can slide them a fakelaki (“little envelope”) to lower the monthly interest payments on your new Delaware home. You can sneak them what the Chinese call chaquian (“tea money”), and it doesn’t even have to be under the table. The U.S. mortgage industry has developed a perfectly ethical system for arranging a better deal. The Egyptians call it ad-dukhaan (“something for your cigarettes”). We call it points.
We don’t have to worry about being clandestinely recorded when we discuss how the system works. I’m going to put it out for everyone to see, right here:
When you are at the decision point in arranging the kind of home loan you want, you first decide on how quickly you wish to pay off the balance. All things considered, that usually boils down to how much you can comfortably afford to pay. As you’d expect, a 15-year term creates significantly higher monthly payments than does a similar 30-year payoff—but you wind up paying significantly less interest in the end. Likewise, if you choose more than the minimum down payment, the loan amount is smaller; hence payments are lower, less interest, etc.
In 2017, nobody has to troop down to the banker’s office to find out exactly how changes in each factor yield larger or smaller monthly payments. The web has dozens of calculators that let you monkey around to see exactly how each affects the bottom line. So where, exactly, does the baksheesh come in?
At the bazaar, of course!
In internet terms, the closest thing to a bazaar is the line of commercial sites that list “today’s mortgage rates.” Just as when you’re sauntering through the bazaar in the Casbah, it pays to keep a hand on your wallet—so don’t give out too much personal information to see the rates. But the good sites post lenders’ latest rates for Delaware mortgages, which is where the baksheesh comes in. It’s in the small print beneath the APR percentage, shown as “a rate at X points.” A point is shorthand for 1% of the loan amount; so, 1 point on a $200,000 loan is $2,000: that’s the bribe! The lender across the table appreciates it when you to slip him a little wink-wink, and will arrange a lower monthly payment amount if you “come to an arrangement.” A 2-point loan gets you a lower monthly payment than a 1-point loan. That’s the way of the world, after all…
- Written by Russell Stucki
Bridgeville Comparables (and Bridgeville Not-So-Comparables)
There are two kinds of situations that homeowners looking at Bridgeville comparables run into:
1. THE SIMPLE COMPS: Your Bridgeville home is part of an area that’s more uniform than not, in a neighborhood where there are a sufficient number of similar houses to have produced several sales recently. Your street may not be part of a literal development with models that have near-duplicate floor plans—but the area is, in general, homogenous. When it comes to selling your Bridgeville home, you’re in luck!
2. THE NOT-SO-SIMPLE COMPS: AKA, the incomparable situation. Your area home is one of a kind, almost totally unlike any other in the neighborhood (two bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths) or unlike any other in any neighborhood (who else has a swimming pool built into the attic?). All right, maybe your house isn’t quite that weirdly incomparable, but it’s still the case that no similar home has sold within a 5-mile radius within the last year or two. When it comes to selling your Bridgeville home, you may still be in luck—but not because of ‘the comps’!
When your property falls into the first category, one whole part of your selling situation becomes a piece of cake because of the comparables. Bridgeville comparables from previous sales make the ultimate, convincing case that your home has at least $X value, because the market says so. In writing. Real people have plunked down their hard-earned dollars as proof. Even better, real banks have backed them up with their also very real dollars. It’s all verifiable in the public records.
When your property falls into the second category, in terms of the comparables for Bridgeville, it really doesn’t matter if you have the most attractive house or the best bells and whistles and bathroom renovations that will take a buyer’s breath away. If no other home within a reasonable distance has sold with a reasonable period (say, six months) that are close to the same size as yours, or if none has anything like similar features, you and your Realtor® are going to be pretty much on your own even settling on a listing price. Here’s a few lesser known reasons why paying attention to comparables is important when selling your home.
· Unique amenities won’t always guarantee a higher comparable value. If the amenities are unusual for Bridgeville, it might make it that much more difficult to find enough comparables in your area to come up with a listing price.
· School districts factor heavily into value. You might have grumbled about paying school taxes if you aren’t sending your own children off to school, but the quality of the school district has a large influence on comparables.
· Scarcity of housing inventory in your neighborhood can be either an advantage or disadvantage. It’s a plus if the housing inventory is low due to high demand (there will be enough recent sales information to set an accurate listing price). It’s a negative if scarcity occurs because no one is buying nearby homes—and appraisers will find it more difficult to place a value on the property.
- Written by Russell Stucki
Seriously, Folks: Latest Goofy Real Estate News!
Bridgeville real estate news is fairly predictable—at least compared with some of the stories that filter in from the rest of the world. Here in Bridgeville, for instance, wherever a new home is being built, you’re likely to see familiar evidence like stacks of lumber and drywall, cartons of nail gun ammo, sacks of cement, and workmen hustling around as they put everything together.
Nary a printer in sight.
Not so in China. According to The Washington Post, the real estate news includes an item about an innovation from Asia. “Innovation” is perhaps a bit of an understatement, because the gist of the story was that in April a year ago, a Chinese concern built 10 houses in one day using a 3-D printer.
Despite what you may be thinking, this item did not have an April 1 dateline.
The 3-D printers we’ve been reading about over the past few years are the ones that take pellets or powders made of plastic, wax, ceramic, or even metal, and print three-dimensional objects, layer by layer, as directed by a computer.
Only a few years back, for most of us, stories about 3-D printers seemed more like science fiction than reality. But apparently the things actually work! As evidence, there have been lots of stories about the legal and other ramifications that accompany the printing of firearms. A few months ago, astronauts printed up a 3D wrench aboard the International Space Station: they’ll just print up spare parts when things break down. And there was that car (the “Strati”) that a company printed in Chicago: it took 44 hours to print, with a top speed of 40 MPH…
Doesn’t this all sound a little bit nuts?
But back to the real estate news from China. It seems that the outfit that printed the 10 houses last year, built a really, really big 3D printer, and used it to print a mansion: an 11,840 square-foot villa. Next to it, they printed up a 5-story building (just showing off, you have to think). According to reports, the process is more than just fast: it’s becoming cheaper and more energy-efficient. The Chinese company says that it can save 30%-60% of building materials, 50% of labor costs, etc. They want to print bridges, too…
But don’t think American ingenuity is being left in the polymer dust! USC Engineering Professor B. Khoshnevis is plugging away at the forefront of the technology, except he calls it “contour crafting” instead of “3D printing” (or “Xeroxing”). On his web site, in answer to the FAQ “Can you print an entire house?” the answer is Theoretically, yes. He hopes to see “entry-level construction models on the market within one to two years.”
Soooo, how long before our local Bridgeville real estate news will be trumpeting our own 3D printed houses for sale? No time soon. It turns out that the villa, 10 small houses, and 5-story apartment building in China “aren’t much to look at.” In fact, some say they are for demonstration only. So when you give me a call to help you find the Bridgeville home of your dreams, I suspect a printed model won’t be on our tour list. We won’t be making the rounds in a Strati, any time soon, either.
- Written by Russell Stucki
Bridgeville Green Homes add Green to Owners' Wallets
Whether we see it as evidence of the advance of a wider green homes movement or simply of rising environmental consciousness, Bridgeville green homes are becoming properties with a distinct marketable sales advantage. What were once viewed as altruistic gestures practiced by only the most dedicated preservationists are going mainstream—and at a rapid clip. The National Association of Realtors® recently found that 70% of those surveyed believe eco-friendly features add value to a home. In other words, the practical advantages of ‘going green’ are becoming more and more evident to prospective buyers.
For sure, one reason for the increasing popularity of green homes in Bridgeville is a growing and sincere concern about sustainability.
But there’s also another reason: a growing and equally sincere desire to save cash!
There are in fact a number of practical reasons why green homes save their owners money—
· Tankless water heaters are one example of a technology that’s been around for a while, but which is now gathering popularity. The engineering is based on the fact that constantly storing and re-heating of a volume of water means wasting a lot of energy. Tankless units don’t store heated water; instead they pass it over coils that are only energized when hot water is needed. As a consequence, tankless water heaters can actually save their owners up to 50% on hot water costs!
· As global critics increase their cries for the conservation of fresh water, the idea that green homes can make a major difference is gaining traction. The EPA’s website lists multiple ways that green homes can save the precious resource, from WaterSense-labeled faucets and toilets to high-efficiency showerheads.
· Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can make the most dynamic contribution to green homes. Regularly-maintained Energy Star appliances, combined with home management practices like heating and cooling only areas that are in use via programmable thermostats can make a welcome dent in the monthly bills.
- Written by Russell Stucki