Buying a Home in Selbyville : Make an Atypical Decision!
At some point while weighing the pros and cons of buying a new home in town, you begin to mentally fix on a price range. If you are able to depend on a family income that’s fairly predictable, the issue is simplified. If not (small business owners, entrepreneurs, and many sales professionals frequently find themselves in this category), finding an appropriate price range takes careful deliberation.
Sometimes the issue can be decided for you. In most cases, buying a home will involve a mortgage, so lenders get to weigh in. Since it’s a good idea to seek preapproval from a Selbyville mortgage lender early on, you can let their professional opinion help with the price range.
Let’s say the Martins have been preapproved for a $260,000 home loan. They have $20,000 set aside for a down payment, and are certain to clear another $20,000 once they sell their current home and retire its mortgage (it’s in very good shape in a nice neighborhood, but just too small for their growing family). So it’s good news: they can buy a $300,000 home!
It’s at this point in buying a home that the Martins can also decide to make a decidedly atypical decision. That decision would be to pick a number below their peak eligibility as the top figure in “their” price range, and to shop accordingly. Most folks don’t wind up doing that.
Maxing out your budget and purchasing the most expensive home you can afford is undeniably appealing. The math might tell you that you can afford the monthly mortgage payment, even if buying your new Selbyville home puts you at the top of your price range. It can mean you get the space and features you've always dreamed of. However, there are some sound reasons why buying a home at the top of your price range might not be your best choice—
1. Additional Expenses
That mortgage amount alone does not take into account the other expenses and financial obligations that come with being a homeowner. Homeowners' insurance and neighborhood association fees can add to your regular monthly expense, as will property taxes—a considerable figure. If you are moving to a larger property, any maintenance and utility expenses that you’ve grown accustomed to might be greater. If you plan on buying the most expensive home you can, those extra bills might be budget-busters.
2. Room to Renovate
Even if you're buying your dream home, chances are very good that you'll want to make a few changes to the new place. From fresh coats of paint to changes of carpets, appliances, or countertops, changes are a normal phenomenon after buying a home. Even if you're pleased with the existing aesthetics, you might need additional furniture if the move is into a bigger space. Purchasing at the top of your price range can limit your ability to make needed changes.
3. Emergency Fund Savings
An emergency fund is a stress-relieving must for homeowners. When the refrigerator fails, the furnace needs to be replaced, or a busted pipe floods the bathroom, you’ll be relieved to have the extra cash. Even true do-it-yourselfers need to call for professional help occasionally. When you purchase a more affordable home, you'll have extra cash to set aside for emergencies.
- Written by Russell Stucki
Negative Home Interest Rates Create Bizarre Plight for Danes
Since Selbyville home interest rates continue to play such a leading role for buyers in today’s real estate market, any relevant news items bear watching. For quite a while, home interest rates in Selbyville have cooperated nicely, dwelling at tantalizingly low levels. It’s been helpful to sellers and buyers alike.
Meanwhile, some strange headlines about European home interest rates have been appearing from time to time. They never seemed to make much sense, but it’s Europe, after all—and we have our hands full trying to clarify our own economics right here on this side of the Atlantic.
Yet there are some headlines you just can’t ignore. Late last month, this one appeared in Yahoo Finance:
“NEGATIVE MORTGAGE RATES IN DENMARK”
After pausing to be certain the item wasn’t under an April Fool’s dateline (it wasn’t), further examination didn’t dispel the feeling that someone at Yahoo had spent too much time reading Alice in Wonderland. The article said that bank interest rates had declined so far that home interest rates in at least one country had now fallen below zero.
In other words, through the looking glass.
Now, before leaping to the conclusion that home buyers in Denmark would therefore expect banks to pay them every month, this seemed to be the point at which bringing a little common sense would be called for!
That, according to Yahoo, is exactly what’s going on in Denmark.
Since we’ve all been hoodwinked by silly news items on the web, here is where it was clearly time to check out other authoritative sites. A respected European blogger named Jan Oravec stated in no uncertain terms, “Many economists consider negative interest rates impossible.” But reading further, Oravec admitted that nonetheless they do exist.
Per Market Realist: “In Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, and [you guessed it] Denmark, it was about time we saw negative mortgage rates in Europe as well.”
Bloomberg Business quoted Danish Business Minister Henrik Larsen: “There’s a need for us to create clarity over how we can best handle this situation going forward” (that seems to be something of an understatement).
Yahoo got specific: "Nordea Bank’s IT systems need to be reprogrammed as it’s not accustomed to situations where the bank isn’t receiving interest payments on outstanding mortgages.”
According to a Google translation of blogger gjohnsit, banks there “have had to pay interest back instead of charging them.” Reading our minds, he asks, “How is it possible, that someone could go to a bank, take out a mortgage, and expect the bank to give them money every month?”
The answer, according to economists, is Euro deflation (but then again, wasn’t it economists who considered negative interest rates to be impossible?)…
We might be tempted to wish for the same situation for our own Selbyville home interest rates, but I don’t know. There is an aura of something-for-nothing hovering over the whole idea. Besides, today’s mortgage rates are already quite reasonable—and a solid reason to give me a call!
- Written by Russell Stucki
Confidence Rise May Boost SelbyvilleEconomy (& Vice Versa!)
Selbyville's economy, like all others, is largely dependent upon consumers doing what consumers are supposed to do: buy! Why they make their decision to behave or not is every bit as complicated as you would suppose. It’s the product of how their own careers are faring; how the greater economy (and the economy in Selbyville) are doing; even how the world economy is behaving—or seems likely to behave anytime soon.
In all of this, the hard facts about how the economy is actually doing are not just backward-looking, they’re also slow to arrive. Worse yet to those who think numbers should mean something definite, the numbers are frequently recalculated later. The latest ‘jobs’ numbers or the ‘housing starts’ numbers, when they are announced, are often accompanied by a statement that the previous quarters number has been "revised to" x. If you are a local business person who makes projections based on the best information available, that wouldn’t be the new number—it would be the previous, now revised number: very old information.
There is one way around this, though, and that’s fortunate. Everybody has the same reliability and timeliness problems, yet have to have some basis for making discretionary spending decisions. The usual solution is to rely upon measurements not of the actual economy’s activity now or in the past, but of what most people expect that activity to be in the future.
Yes, that kind of measurement is ‘soft’—opinion, rather than hard data. But if those expectations are widely publicized, they affect what actually comes to pass. If consumers are bullish on the future, well, that’s reassuring news! Selbyville businesses are encouraged to stock their shelves. People are more likely to list their Selbyville homes for sale. The local economy looks better and better! On the other hand, if consumers are depressed about the future, caution will prevail. Businesses will hold off on new hires and trim their inventories. You can’t be too careful, after all. To some degree, consumer expectations often become self-fulfilling prophesies.
That’s why latest consumer confidence reports are the best news for the future of the economy we’ve heard for some time. Last week, Reuters ran the headline, "U.S. Consumer Sentiment at Eight-Year High"; the Business Insider, "Consumer Confidence Crushes Expectations." Reuters attributed the burst of citizen optimism to "improved prospects for jobs and wages, and on lower gasoline prices…"
The University of Michigan co-sponsors the index upon which the numbers are based, which showed December’s reading of consumer sentiment at 93.8, "the highest reading since January 2007." That was a full 4 points above the median that had been previously forecast by 70 economists. It was also 5 points higher than the final reading for November.
If the Selbyville economy perks up as anticipated, area real estate watchers should expect a noticeable uptick in activity—particularly if mortgage interest rates stay low, and inflation remains a non-factor (the same survey pegged consumer inflation expectations at 2.9%). If you are an Selbyville homeowner or prospective buyer with an equally upbeat outlook, it’s good reason to give me a call to discuss how your plans dovetail with a rebounding market!
- Written by Russell Stucki
Second Home for Retirement, Investment & 100 Other Reasons
People approach the whole idea of owning a second home from a hundred different perspectives simply because a second home can answer so many different purposes. If you are an Selbyville homeowner at the stage in life where making retirement plans is becoming a more immediate imperative, you might want to buy a second home as a vacation destination—but one which is also a tryout for your family’s future center of operations. Those who have spent a good part of their lives in cities sometimes seek a second home in the mountains or at the shore as a restorative refuge. People living in less crowded environs might crave a pied-à-terrefor proximity to a city’s cultural riches. There really can be a hundred different reasons (and that’s not even counting all the financial ones)!
Once you begin to seriously entertain the notion, it becomes evident that deciding on which of many possible directions to pursue will involve weighing the tradeoffs each presents. In addition to an opening a conversation with the Selbyville real estate professional whose advice you’ve come to trust the most, some of the main points you will want to consider—
· If the second home is going to serve even temporarily as a weekend getaway spot, then buying within reasonable driving distance may be more important than you might assume. Keep in mind that the drive (or flight) will grow steadily less interesting as time passes.
· In most instances, a second home will be occupied by members of your family only on a part-time basis. This brings up a number of issues—among them, insurance. Vacant properties present a different profile to insurers than do homes that are occupied most of the time. Hazard insurance tariffs could also differ from what you are used to (especially in flood-prone areas). Investigating insurance coverage and costs early on in your search will help you to avoid surprises.
· You should consult your tax expert for details, but as a general rule, if the home is not rented out as a business proposition, you’ll likely find that you are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your Federal tax return. Then again, if you are thinking of renting the house out for more than 14 days per year, rental income is taxable. In that case, though, you’ll be able to use deductions for expenses, such as insurance, maintenance, professional fees, and sometimes even depreciation. Each situation will be different—again, your tax professional will have the relevant answers.
· Financing a second home is similar to financing your main residence. You are likely to need a down payment of 10% to as much as 30% in some cases. If you will be drawing on the equity in your current home, it’s only prudent to be able to retain a reasonable amount of reserves for unforeseen emergencies.
Many people buy a second home in anticipation of retirement. If that is the case, think of factoring in the availability of quality medical and support services in your search areas. A remote cabin in the woods may seem appealing now, but as a retirement venue, maybe not so much! Thinking about the long range is never more important than when you are entertaining the purchase of a second home. I’m here to help clarify those issues, as with all your other Selbyville real estate need.
- Written by Russell Stucki