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Which Home Improvements Yield The Strongest Returns?

The key to adding value to a property is buyer appeal. In real estate, light, bright and clean spaces are inviting to buyers, so good lighting and a neutral palette are inexpensive and very worthwhile investments. According to the National Association of Realtors, updated kitchens and bathrooms are the improvements that yield the strongest return. today's buyers love stylish trends especially in the kitchen. Simple fixes like replacing plumbing and light fixtures, painting old cabinet, changing knobs or installing stainless steel appliances add a fresh bit of style that will amount to stronger market response.

A simple and powerful fix for dated bathrooms is a fresh white enamel coating applied over dated 4-by4 colored tiles. A new pedestal sink or a contemporary mirror are simple but effective improvements that go a long way with today's buyers. Improving energy efficiency has a great impact on the attractiveness of the property. A lot of younger and more energy conscious buyers would appreciate such enhancements - not to mention that in many areas of the country, energy and water costs are on the rise. The improvements would definitely help to save money on the utility bills.

One of the steps to upgrading energy efficiency is to go with low flow faucets and showerheads, which can reduce the water consumption as much as 50 percent. Fixing leaking faucets and pipes will also be beneficial to saving money and saving energy. It is recommended to inspect pipes and drains every six months for possible wear and tear.

The replacement of an existing water heater with a tankless water heater may help you save up to 20 percent on your water bill. Also regulating your home's temperature by rethinking your insulation, managing the temperature automatically and sealing up the drafts can lessen the burden of high utility bills.

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    How Do I Secure The Best Price For My Property

    Your home - whether it is a townhouse, high rise condominium or large estate on a country property - typically ranks among the largest assets you own. When you are ready to sell, you want to insure that you maximize this important financial resource.

    First and foremost, meet with your realtor! An experienced realtor knows what buyers are looking for and more importantly, how to present your property with the greatest market appeal.

    As you prepare to sell your property, consider your home to be a product on a shelf sitting alongside other similarly priced homes. Buyers will examine and compare all the products in their price range. Those that are pretty and well-packaged will always be the first - and highest - to sell.

    Once you list your home for sale, every price of your property should be as crisp and clean as possible, starting with the approach. Believe it or not, the showcase begins with your mailbox, and continues down your driveway, includes all your surrounding landscaping, your walkway and front door - all these areas should be clear of leaves, spider webs, toys, equipment and any debris. A high sale price starts with a buyer feeling comfortable with the condition of the property and this happens at the introduction. Sellers will benefit tremendously by creating a beautiful exterior entry. Your front door should be freshly painted and accented with sparkling hardware. While a realtor is releasing the key and unlocking the door, your prospective buyers are assessing these immediate surrounding. This flawless presentation should, as much as possible, continue throughout the home.

    Sun-filled homes are extremely well-received by buyers and therefore contribute to higher sale prices- and the good news is that sunlight is absolutely free! Simply opening blinds and curtains to flood your rooms with natural light is an easy and very effective way to make a favorable impression in the marketplace. Your brightened space will appear larger and glow with warmth and cheer, characteristics that equate to great real estate returns! If you are challenged with rooms that have small windows, or lack abundant sunshine, lamp light can also create these positive effects.

    Those simple, age-old tricks to create an inviting environment while showing your home are free, very effective and will showing your home and will definitely enhance your buyer's viewing experience. Playing music sets a pleasant mood upon entering a home. Baking makes a home smell just delicious and feel like home. Removing your clutter, memorabilia and family photos will clear distractions and create a scene for serious buyers to visualize themselves living in the home. An unencumbered space enhance a buyer's ability freely absorb and discuss the surrounding. We are naturally inclined to be polite, particularly in some one else's home, so buyers will typically engage in conversation with the seller to alleviate any discomfort which also dilutes their focus.

    Sellers must do their best and be prepared to accommodate every showing request. Buyers are very busy and will therefore schedule home viewings together. This allows them to compare and contrast each property, and with these tips, your home is bound to be a top contender!

    A well marketed and beautifully presented home will sell quickly, so the sacrifices and work involved in the perfect presentation of your property are guaranteed to be short lived. Properties with minimal market time sell higher than those that linger.

    Your efforts will result in a cleaner, brighter property that will attract more buyers and certainly more return on this very important investment.

     

     

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      Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

       

      Loan Program

      Up to $417,000

      $417,001 - $601,450

      $601,451-$1,000,000

      30 yr Fixed Rate

      3.625% APR 3.702%

      3.875% APR 3.935%

      3.5% APR 3.540%

      15 yr Fixed Rate

      2.875% APR 3.011%

      3.25% APR 3.355%

      3.125% APR 3.201%

      5/1 Adjustable Rate

      3% APR 3.074%

      2.625% APR 2.686%

      2.625% APR 2.665%

      Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

      Current Trend Direction: Sideways 

      Advise Your Clients: Carefully floating

      Current Price of FNMA 3.0% Bond: $102.34, -9bp

      Mortgage Bonds begin near unchanged and off their opening highs as investors await a plethora of economic data that culminates with the April Jobs report on Friday.

      The national ISM Manufacturing Index will be released this morning and may give investors a sign to see if the sector can turn the corner to greener pastures after getting hit in the last year by a stronger dollar, along with weak overseas demand and lower commodity prices.

      There are no Treasury Note or Bond auctions this week.  The New York Fed will be purchasing Mortgage Bonds during the week and as said in last week's Fed statement, "It anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the Federal Funds Rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions."

      Oil continues to hover near the highs seen last November, WTI near $46/barrel. The U.S. dollar index has slid to an eight-month low of 92.85, signaling the Fed will hold off on any higher interest rate hikes in the near future. 

      Technically, the Fannie Mae 3% 30-year coupon has fallen below resistance one (R2) supplied by the 25-day Moving Average and just above the second layer of resistance (R1) at the 50-day Moving Average.

      We will continue floating for now as prices hover near resistance at multi-year highs. Looking ahead, start to prepare your clients to lock in advance of the Friday Jobs Report

       

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        Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

         

        Loan Program

        Up to $417,000

        $417,001 - $601,450

        $601,451-$1,000,000

        30 yr Fixed Rate

        3.75% APR 3.825%

        3.875% APR 3.944%

        3.75% APR 3.791%

        15 yr Fixed Rate

        3% APR 3.127%

        3.375% APR 3.472%

        3.375% APR 3.453%

        5/1 Adjustable Rate

        3% APR 3.132%

        2.75% APR 2.813%

        2.75% APR 2.794%

        Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

         

        Current Trend Direction: Topping out at highs seen in May and October

        Advise Your Clients: Locking

        Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $104.56, -9bp

        The new month is ushered in today after the U.S. Stock markets suffered their worst losses for a January since 2009.

        able to rebound in the last week of trading.  Oil prices are lower to begin the month on fading prospects of a cut in production from OPEC. 

        Despite lower Stock prices, Mortgage Bonds are flat to lower as they hover near the highs seen in April, which subsequently saw prices plunge soon after. 

        In economic news, inflation, as measured by the Core PCE, the Fed's favored inflation gauge, was unchanged in December from November and up 1.4% year-over-year. The 1.4% is far below the Fed's target range of 2%.  Personal Spending was unchanged and below the 0.2% expected, while Personal Incomes were up 0.3%, just above the 0.2% expected.

        At 10 a.m. ET, the ISM Manufacturing Index will be released. The big economic headlines will come on Friday with the January Jobs Report. 

        Technically, as mentioned, prices are near the highs seen in April and if you take a look at the chart in a six-month and year view for the Fannie Mae 3.5% 30-year coupon, you can see the big decline from those levels. 

        Continue to advise clients to lock and secure current pricing while it lasts. 

         

         

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          Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

           

          Loan Program

          Up to $417,000

          $417,001 - $601,450

          $601,451-$1,000,000

          30 yr Fixed Rate

          3.875% APR 3.951%

          4% APR 4.066%

          3.75% APR 3.791%

          15 yr Fixed Rate

          3% APR 3.127%

          3.375% APR 3.472%

          3.25% APR 3.326%

          5/1 Adjustable Rate

          3% APR 3.132%

          2.75% APR 2.813%

          2.75% APR 2.794%

          Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

          Current Trend Direction: Higher, right at resistance

          Advise Your Clients: Locking

          Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $103.97, -3bp

          Stocks are higher, but well off of their best levels as oil has started to slip lower again. This has helped Bonds gain some ground off of their worst levels. lso helping Stocks were positive earnings reports from Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. 

          China reported 6.9% GDP growth in 2015, down from 7.3% in 2014 and the slowest annual growth in 25 years.  The country’s transition to a more service oriented economy is a large, complicated change that will take more time and likely result in slower GDP numbers in the near-term.   

          The only economic report due for release today is the January NAHB Housing Market Index coming in at 60, below the 61 expected. The rest of the week's calendar is on the light side with CPI, more housing data and the Philly Fed Index. 

          There are no T-Note or Bond auctions this week. 

          Technically, the Bond is trading above its 200-day moving average, but is having difficulty pushing through another tough level of resistance.  At the same time, the 10-year Note yield is at 2.05% after hitting 1.99% in the past few trading days.  New clients should be advised to lock

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            1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

            Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

             

            Loan Program

            Up to $417,000

            $417,001 - $601,450

            $601,451-$1,000,000

            30 yr Fixed Rate

            4% APR 4.076%

            4.125% APR 4.181%

            3.875% APR 3.920%

            15 yr Fixed Rate

            3.125% APR 3.258%

            3.5% APR 3.616%

            3.5% APR 3.580%

            5/1 Adjustable Rate

            3% APR 3.132%

            2.875% APR 2.931%

            2.875% APR 3.918%

            Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

            Current Trend Direction: Sideways beneath resistance at 200-day moving average

            Advise Your Clients:  Locking

            Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $103.72, -19bp

            Mortgage Bonds are giving back Friday's gains as Stocks, which are off to their worst start to begin a year on record, try to rebound.

            There are no economic reports due for release today and the week's calendar is on the light side.  The Treasury will be selling a boatload of 3- and 10-year Notes along with 30-year Bonds this week beginning on Tuesday.  

            Despite a big sell-off in the Asian Stock markets, the major indexes are set to open higher here in the States. Earnings season unofficially kicks off today with Alcoa reporting results after the closing bell on Wall Street.  S&P 500 earnings are forecast to have dropped 4.2% percent in the 4th quarter, which would be their 2nd straight

            Technically, the Bond was able to close above resistance at the 200-day moving average on Friday, but has fallen below that level today.  Seeing that this morning's losses will erase some or most of Friday's gains and the 200-day looks like it will once again be a tough ceiling ... consider advising clients to lock.

            It will be interesting to see how stocks trade going forward. The S&P 500 violated support at the 1,960 area ... a level that will be resistance going forward.

             

             

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              Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

               

              Loan Program

              Up to $417,000

              $417,001 - $601,450

              $601,451-$1,000,000

              30 yr Fixed Rate

              4% APR 4.076%

              4.25% APR 4.311%

              4% APR 4.039%

              15 yr Fixed Rate

              3.25% APR 3.383%

              3.5% APR 3.616%

              3.625% APR 3.698%

              5/1 Adjustable Rate

              3% APR 3.132%

              3% APR 3.058%

              3% APR 3.038%

              Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

              Current Trend Direction: Higher

              Advise Your Clients: Start Day Carefully Floating – but read on

              Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $103.38, +19bp

              There is nothing like some heightened Mideast tensions, wicked Stock selloff in China and a significant decline in Stocks here in the US to ring in the New Year.

              The big news so far this AM, is Saudi Arabia cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran?  This news has caused Oil to move higher on what could bring even more uncertainty to the region.  

              Weak economic news in China has caused a shockwave as their major Stock market is down a whopping 7% before circuit breakers kicked in and closed the market for the rest of the trading day.  All of this negativity and uncertainty has given Mortgage Bonds a somewhat modest boost.

              The yield on the 10-Year T-Note has fallen back down to 2.22% from Thursday's close of 2.28%. 

              The only economic report today is the 10am release of the December ISM Index. But investors will be looking ahead to the Friday release of the December Jobs Report, which features the closely watched Non-farm Payrolls report, where it is expected that employers added 200K new workers. 

              There are no Note or Bond auctions scheduled for this week. The Fed will be back in the markets this week purchasing Mortgage Backed Securities.  The New York Fed will be purchasing up to $2.325B in Fannie/Freddie 30-Year 3.5s and 4s later this morning.

              Seeing Mortgage Bonds up just 19bp in the face of very weak Stock prices is a bit of a concern, as we would expect to see more Bond gains in the face of such high uncertainty.  With that said, consider starting the day carefully floating new clients – with the key word being “carefully”.  It would not surprise us if Bonds give up some of these gains.  Looking ahead, we are likely going to advise locking in advance of the volatile Jobs Report later this week.

                Comments

                1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

                 

                Loan Program

                Up to $417,000

                $417,001 - $601,450

                $601,451-$1,000,000

                30 yr Fixed Rate

                4% APR 4.076%

                4.125% APR 4.181%

                3.75% APR 3.791%

                15 yr Fixed Rate

                3.125% APR 3.258%

                3.5% APR 3.616%

                3.5% APR 3.580%

                5/1 Adjustable Rate

                3% APR 3.132%

                2.875% APR 2.931%

                2.875% APR 2.918%

                Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

                Current Trend Direction: Sideways, trying to stabilize

                Advise Your Clients: Carefully Floating

                Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $103.47, +9bp

                After last week's volatility, Mortgage Bonds are trading near unchanged as traders look ahead to the next big event, the Fed meeting. 

                The two-day Fed meeting kicks off next Tuesday the 15th and ends on Wednesday with the monetary policy statement at 2:00pm ET. Fed Fund Futures show an 80% chance of a Fed Fund Rate hike next week, most likely a 0.25% raise. In the absence of a surprise negative shock between now and then, it looks like the Fed must raise rates or lose credibility since they have been signaling a go.

                There are no economic reports due out until Thursday's Weekly Initial Jobless Claims data. The Treasury will be selling $24B 3-Year T Notes tomorrow, $21B 10-Years on Wednesday and $13B 30-Year Bonds on Thursday.

                The Monthly Bond Rollover will take place after the close of trading tomorrow. 

                Oil prices continue to edge lower, after OPEC decided not to cut production last week.  Prices are now below $40 a barrel as supply continues to rise.  Economics 101, says when supply outpaces demand, prices must fall.

                Technically, Mortgage Bonds continue to try and stabilize after last Friday's impressive rebound. With Stocks lower, advise clients to carefully float, and get prepared to lock once again should prices approach the 200-day Moving Average.

                 

                  Comments

                  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                  Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

                  Loan Program

                  Up to $417,000

                  $417,001 - $601,450

                  $601,451-$1,000,000

                  30 yr Fixed Rate

                  4% APR 4.076%

                  4.125% APR 4.181%

                  3.875% APR 3.920%

                  15 yr Fixed Rate

                  3.125% APR 3.258%

                  3.5% APR 3.616%

                  3.5% APR 3.580%

                  5/1 Adjustable Rate

                  3% APR 3.132%

                  2.875% APR 2.931%

                  2.875% APR 2.918%

                  Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

                    

                  Current Trend Direction: Sideways beneath resistance

                  Advise Your Clients: Locking

                  Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $103.44, Unchanged

                  Mortgage Bonds trade near unchanged and remain below resistance as the month of November comes to an end.

                  The week's economic calendar is packed with a slew of important economic reports culminating with the November Jobs Report on Friday, where it is expected that employers added 196K new workers.  If this week's Non-farm Payrolls report reveals employment growth remains solid, a Fed Rate hike in December will be highly likely.

                  There are no T Note or Bond auctions this week.  Later this morning, October Pending Home Sales and November Chicago PMI will be released. 

                  Clients should be advised to lock as prices remain in a tight sideways range, but beneath resistance.  Should prices break above this resistance and step higher, we will be more bullish and will adjust our stance accordingly.

                   

                    Comments

                    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                    Weekly Mortgage Message from our in-house Mortgage Master Specialist Colleen Polson

                     

                    Loan Program

                    Up to $417,000

                    $417,001 - $601,450

                    $601,451-$1,000,000

                    30 yr Fixed Rate

                    4% APR 4.076%

                    4.125% APR 4.181%

                    3.875% APR 3.920%

                    15 yr Fixed Rate

                    3.125% APR 3.258%

                    3.5% APR 3.616%

                    3.5% APR 3.580%

                    5/1 Adjustable Rate

                    3% APR 3.132%

                    2.875% APR 2.931%

                    2.875% APR 2.918%

                    Single family, owner occupied, 80% loan to value, 740 or better fico

                     

                    Current Trend Direction: Sideways to higher

                    Advise Your Clients: Floating as technical picture has improved

                    Current Price of FNMA 3.5% Bond: $103.25, +6bp

                    Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who perished in the tragic attacks in Paris on Friday.

                    A flight to the safety trade in response to the attacks is giving Mortgage Bonds a modest boost to start the week.

                    The only economic report was the November New York State Manufacturing Index falling 10.7 versus the -6.0 expected, but above the -11.4 recorded in October. That is the 4th straight negative reading for the Index. The news is weighing on Stocks, which opened lower to begin the week.

                    The rest of the week will feature key numbers from the housing sector and consumer inflation.  On Wednesday, the minutes from the October Fed meeting will be released at 2:00pm ET and could have the potential to impact the markets. 

                    Currently, Fed Fund Futures are pricing in a 70% chance of a rate hike at next month's Fed meeting. 

                    Technically, Mortgage Bonds continue to edge higher after stabilizing late last week. Over in the Treasury market, the 10-year Note yield has pushed nicely beneath 2.30%, at 2.25% currently

                    We will continue our floating position - but as always, stay tuned should sentiment change. Have a great week!

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