Archives for August 2020
While homeowners insurance protects your home against unforeseen circumstances, a home warranty, which costs an average of $550 per year, is a convenience program that covers the normal wear and tear on the major mechanical and electrical systems in a house, says Art Chartrand, counsel and administrator of the National Home Service Contract Association. Your home’s heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, the water heater, sump pump and kitchen stove are some of the items covered by a home warranty.
Home warranties, also called home service contracts, are nothing new, but more real estate agents have recommended them in recent years as the housing market has been flooded with foreclosures and short sales — properties that were often neglected or poorly maintained.
“A home warranty is like an insurance policy that protects you after the home sale, but you have to pay close attention to what is and isn’t covered,” says Tony Martinez, a real estate agent with Re/Max North San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas. “Do your homework and research companies online, and make sure you document all of your communications with the warranty company and the service technicians they hire on your behalf.”
Read the fine print
Consumers sometimes make the erroneous assumption that a home warranty covers structural defects or insurable incidents normally included in homeowners insurance coverage, such as damage from natural disasters, burglary or fires, Chartrand says. Some also mistakenly believe that the policies function as emergency home service contracts, meaning the problem will be diagnosed and fixed within hours, which isn’t the case.
When you file a claim, your home warranty company chooses a local contractor that’s been vetted and sends it out to diagnose your problem for a set service fee, which you’re responsible for paying. If the contractor doesn’t find an issue or you disagree with the findings, you can ask the warranty company to send a different contractor out to give a second opinion, Chartrand says.
Getting a claim approved comes down to understanding what your policy does and does not cover. Most home warranties expire after a set time period and don’t cover every little thing in your home — think leaky faucets or peeling paint. That puts the onus on you to read your contract and ask questions, says Katherine Hutt, national spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau.
You might opt for a certain level of coverage based on your home’s size, condition and age. Beware of scammers who might offer a half-price home warranty contract, then disappear when you try to file a claim, Chartrand says. Consumers should be cautious of such offers and research home warranty providers before choosing one.
Negotiate repairs in the home inspection
A home inspection won’t uncover every major problem, but it can lay the groundwork for getting the most from your home warranty.
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Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Programs
Don’t let the lack of a down payment stop you from becoming a homeowner. With mortgage rates at historic lows, why not take advantage of this market! Here’s how a home buyer down payment assistance program may help you in achieving the American Dream.
So what is Down Payment Assistance?
DPA helps home buyers with grants and low interest loans that help reduce the amount of money needed to save for a down payment. It’s essentially the “money” to help a home buyer get into a home and can come from federal, state or local agencies, as well as non-profits and employers.
What types for DPA programs are available?
There are all types of programs available. Some, like Grants, do not have to be repaid. However, grants only make up a small percentage of what is available. Other types of programs are considered loans and have deferred payments or are forgiven after a set amount of years. It all depends on which program you choose. You can also look to use some loan programs with other down payment assistance programs as long as you qualify.
An FHA loan is a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and helps borrowers with lower credit scores or little down payment. This type of loan is usually chosen because it allows a borrower to put as little as 3.5% down and offers more lenient credit and debt-to-income requirements. Because a small down payment is usually associated with these types of loans, you’ll need government-provided mortgage insurance (MI). However, to compensate, lenders often offer FHA loans at attractive interest rates.
The USDA loan is a loan program guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with low interest mortgages designed for lower-income borrowers who wish to live in eligible rural areas. USDA loans offer low to no down payments. There are income requirements for USDA loans and because they require low down payments, you’ll need to take out mortgage insurance (MI).
A VA loan program is a US Department of Veterans Affairs backed loan for active-duty military personnel, veterans and some spouses/widows. In addition to lower interest rates and minimal closing costs, the most distinct advantage of a VA loan is that it requires NO down payment and NO private mortgage insurance. Credit scores are important, however minimum requirements usually lead to a good interest rate.
Good Neighbor Next Door
The Good Neighbor Next Door is a HUD program that provides a 50% discount on a home’s list price in revitalization areas (designated by HUD) for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers. There are eligibility requirements and the program is highly competitive. For public service professionals first-time home buyers, the program also offers benefits and grants. In return, home buyers must commit to live in the property for 36 months as the sole residence.
HomePath ReadyBuyer Program
For those first-time home buyers who don’t have a lot of money for closing costs and are wanting to purchase foreclosed Fannie Mae property, this program provides up to 3% in closing-cost assistance. Before making the offer, buyers are required to complete an online first-time buyer education course.
FHA Section 203K
The FHA Section 203K loan is great for those wanting to purchase a home that needs major improvements but don’t have a lot of cash to do so. This FHA-backed loan lets you roll the costs on the renovations into your primary mortgage. The down payment on these loans is as low as 3.5% but the cost of the improvements must be more than $5000.
Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation Programs (TSAHC)
TSAHC is a non-profit organization created to provide mortgage loans and down payment assistance grants for low-income families and other under-served populations who would not qualify through conventional financial channels. These programs offer 30-year fixed interest rate mortgages, down payment assistance as either a grant or 0% interest, no monthly payments due second lien, and is available statewide. TSAHC offers two first-time home buyer grant programs:
Homes for Texas Heroes Home Loan Program: Designed for teachers, fire fighters and EMS personnel, police and correctional officers, and veterans.
Homes Sweet Texas Home Loan Program: Designed for Texas home buyers with low and moderate incomes.
Contact us at Preferred Properties today if you’d like more information on how to purchase your first home!
The Big Story
According to Freddie Mac last Thursday, mortgage rates were the lowest ever found below the index. For now it is more interesting to check at the reason why while we will enter the details a bit later on.
In a word, this is being pushed by”uncertainty” If individuals are not certain about the management of the market in the long run, they have a tendency to invest in more powerful assets such as bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) instead of the volatile stock exchange.
The returns on these bonds wind up being reduced because they do not have to be high to draw investors if people are purchasing MBS. They move lower Since mortgage rates are tied into such returns.
There are loads of reasons to become somewhat unsure about the market. New claims for unemployment are still raised north of 1 million while decreasing. It is likely to be a very long way back, although Folks are being rehired.
What’s more, the continued battles of the market have caused the Federal Reserve to depart short-term prices around zero and additional help the mortgage market by purchasing a great deal of service MBS. There aren’t any immediate plans.
A spike in cases, especially across West and the South, have made authorities rethink plans. The market will take to get going if workers in a variety of industries have to return home again.
The fantastic news, as we will see in a moment, is that home has been a bright place. Let us dig into the information!
News You Can Use
Econoday supplied analysis employed within this report.1 Let’s see exactly what happened!
Housing Market Index
The National Association of Home Builders’ housing market indicator went up 14 points in the month of July to emerge in at 72. This really is right back to where it had been before the virus struck.
The numbers are up across the board if it is in visitors of people or terms of sales.
Home starts in June were up 17.3percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.186 million. It is still a bit below the 1.6 million rate it was around in the start of the calendar year, but it is an improvement. Single-family starts were up 17.2percent to 831,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
Meanwhile, licenses were up 2.1% complete in 1.241 million. This comprised an 11.8percent uptick in single-family licenses at 834,000 after accounting for seasonal adjustment.
FHFA House Price Index
Since this runs two months before the information this report deals although it was outside in July. COVID-19 was unquestionably a presence, together with costs alternating 0.3% and the yearly rate of price appreciation decreasing 0.5percent to 4.9 percent.
In a sign of just how much influence the virus needed, trades were roughly a third lower than usual. That sum in cost appreciation informs an excellent narrative on a foundation. It will be intriguing to see how country reopenings in June and July affect these amounts.
Existing Home Sales
Existing home sales were up 20.7percent in June, and it is a record profit. They settled at 4.72 million on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. While being down 11.3percent as this time one year ago, that is a far cry from the 26.6percent year-to-year fall in May.
Co-op and condominium sales were up 29.4percent to 440,000, while the yearly rate for single-family houses was 4.28 million, up 19.9 percent.
At exactly the exact same period, costs were up 3.8percent over the month at $295,300up 3.5% over the year. Stock no doubt drove Section of the sales cost increase. It moved down from 4.3 weeks to 4 months in the current rate of sales.
New Home Sales
New home sales were up 13.8percent in June to emerge in a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 774,000. Supply is still somewhat thin but becoming better, with gone from 4.7 weeks May to 5.5 months in the current rate of sales in June. As a reminder, 6 weeks’ worth of distribution indicates a industry that is balanced.
Additionally, a residence in June’s cost was up $19,000 to come in at $339,200. There were revenue earnings in all four areas therefore it’ll be intriguing to see for that area particularly.
S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller HPI
On a average, costs at the indicator are based Contrary to the purchase price Indicator set out from the FHFA. On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices were flat in May and up 0.4percent all around. That brings year-to-year cost earnings of 3.7%. It tends to run beneath the FHFA number.
Pending Home Sales Index
Pending home sales were up 16.6percent to 116.1. That is greater from before the virus’ effect. A June growth in home sales is a fantastic indication for present home sales in July.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
GDP was 32.9% complete from the initial estimate for the second quarter published in the end of July, while consumer spending dropped 34.6%.
It is included here because housing is a large driver of the market and slid 38.7percent in the initial quote, dragging down GDP by 1.76 percent. It is worth noting that the next quarter featured a few weeks which were influenced so it will be interesting to see where this heads moving.
MBA Mortgage Software
I am less interested in the amounts than the trends Because this report comes out on a monthly basis. Interest is shown by those trends .
Purchase software are from where they were a year 13, up 22 percent. On the facet that is refinance, it is a 47% growth. Low prices seem to be a main incentive for customers.
They’ve never been improved, and this ought to be a incentive for the customers you serve and you as a realtor.
The average speed on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been 2.88% with 0.8 points paid in prices down 11 basis points over the week and falling by 3.6percent a year ago.
Considering shorter periods, the average speed on a 15-year fixed mortgage with 0.8 points paid fell 7 basis points to 2.44 percent. This is a fall from 3.05percent this past year right now.
Last, the average speed on a 5-year treasury-indexed, hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) using 0.4 points paid has been down 4 basis points to 2.9 percent, dipping from 3.36percent this past year.
Buy a House with Preferred Properties of Texas in Stephenville
When you think of your perfect residence, do you envision a spacious, single-family home with a large lawn? A lot of people associate this picture with homeownership, but the best fit for you might be a historical townhome on a tree-lined street or a top-floor penthouse overlooking a city skyline.
Whatever you envision, choosing the perfect property depends on your situation and goals. Your Realtor can help you find a house that fits your wants and help you understand what’s involved in buying and possessing property. Here are two types of property Your Realtor might suggest to you:
You enjoy many of the same benefits from owning a condo as you do a single-family house.
When you live in a condominium, you prevent a number of the upkeep and maintenance issues that come with a home. You’ll pay a monthly condo association fee for this advantage, but you won’t have to mow the lawn, water or replace the crops, paint the exterior or execute other tasks associated with owning a single-family residence. Your association fee goes toward repairs and routine maintenance. Bear in mind, this money keeps the house well maintained and shields its value.
You may also get to appreciate amenities like a pool, clubhouse or exercise room. If a home has extensive upscale amenities that you don’t think you’ll use, you may want to appear elsewhere. Condo association fees vary considerably. Normally, the more upkeep required means higher fees.
Do not forget that condominiums often share walls. Living in close contact with your neighbors has advantages and drawbacks. Be realistic with yourself when you determine if a condo is a good selection. Also, don’t assume that a condo will cost significantly less than a detached home. There are upscale condos and cheap houses, just like there are upscale homes and inexpensive condos.
Duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes are just another option. Though some people own little multifamily properties solely for investment purposes, others find it advantageous to buy a property, reside in one of the units and rent out the others. You might decide you like this arrangement exclusively for the fiscal aspects of it, or it may work well if you have a relative or friend that you’d like to have living near.
In this scenario, do not forget that you’re not only a homeowner, but a landlord, also. That includes benefits (a monthly rent check, equity which continues to construct ) and responsibilities (making repairs( finding tenants).
Regardless of what a home is often called — condominium, co-op, attic apartment, townhouse, garden home — it is important to understand what legal definitions and documents govern the purchase and possession of the property. It’s just as important to know what those definitions and documents mean when it comes to your continued expenses and also the rights of ownership you may like.
For more information about buying property in Stephenville or anywhere in Erath County, please visit www.preferredpropertiestx.com
or give our office a call.
For additional information on the topic check out this article: https://www.supermoney.com/best/shared-equity/