Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at their lowest for 2019. Rates like these haven’t been seen since February 2018!

Last week’s survey results reported an interest rate of 4.35%. This is a welcome change from the near 5% rates seen in mid-November. At 4.32%, the second week of February 2018 was the last time rates were this low. This can be seen in the chart below.

interest rates hit new low indigo skye group blog

Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, Sam Khater, had this to say:

“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, continuing the general downward trend that began late last year.

Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”

Bottom Line

If you plan on buying a home this spring, meet with a local real estate professional who can help prepare you for today’s market before rates increase!

 

Related Article: Where are Interest Rates Headed in 2019?

How to Avoid Typical Home Renovation MIstakes

How to Avoid Typical Home Renovation Mistakes

Very few people start a home renovation project because they are just too bored and have cash to burn. The reality is that most of us choose to do it either because it’s really necessary or we see it as an investment that should pay off when we sell the home. Whatever the reason, everyone who has ever renovated their home will tell you it’s anything but easy.

Unfortunately, this is something that most people do only once or twice in their life, so there is little experience to back the wishes and expectations, which leads to some mistakes that can prove really costly. In order to help you avoid such mistakes, we’ve prepared a list of most common home renovation mistakes that many homeowners and designers mention as not only the most typical, but also those that can be easily avoided.

Unrealistic expectations

Like with most things in life, a failure of such a project is often the result of unrealistic wishes and expectations. Such dreams often remain dreams because of a lack of funds or some issues that have emerged unexpectedly. What you need to do is be optimistic and enthusiastic, but with both feet firmly on the ground.

Wrong home

Before you start considering individual renovation tasks, ask yourself whether the whole project is worth your time and money. Perhaps you’ll need to invest the money that you’ll never get back if you’re planning to sell your home. Or you’ll realize that the home itself is not suitable for you and your family regardless of how well you renovate it.

 

home renovation indigo skye group blog

Budgeting

One of the most important parts of each project, and home renovation is no exception, is budgeting. Not many people can afford to find additional funds for such a project with ease. For some it is simply impossible, which is why careful and precise budgeting is vital. A good piece of advice is to allow some room for unexpected expenditure, just in case, since you don’t want a single problem to jeopardize the whole project.

Disregarding the layout

Renovation means you’re working with something that someone else has already designed and you’re merely adapting it to suit your needs. That’s why you have to consider the layout carefully before you start building or installing lights, for example. Let’s say you wish to install a chandelier. Is there a beam in the ceiling to support at the exact spot? If not, you have to add it.

 

home renovation indigo skye group blog

Don’t forget the appliances

Regardless of whether we’re talking about the living room or the kitchen (which holds most appliances in a typical household), forgetting to plan outlets for them and considering the size of all appliances is another typical mistake that many people make. So, make sure you don’t forget an appliance and see to it that they all fit the space you’ve provided for them.

Relying too much on DIY

It’s only natural that you want to save as much as possible by doing something on your own, without professional help. That’s great and most people can perform some simple tasks without endangering the prospects of the project. Still, when it comes to matters of safety or those extremely important to the final outcome of renovation, you should turn to experts. If you have never painted a wall, don’t start practicing now, but hire reliable providers of top quality painting services.

 

home renovation indigo skye group blog

Timing is crucial

Renovations take time. So, be patient, but don’t let your project drag for too long, since that leads to more expenditure, more stress and more sleepless nights. In order to keep the project on track, you need to order everything on time, make arrangements with the contractor or professionals and still allow some time for possible delays. The problems occur when the whole project comes to a halt because something that has come up unexpectedly. While you can’t influence everything, you can nip many things in the bud.

The cheapest is rarely good enough

It’s perfectly understandable that you want to keep your costs to the minimum. After all, you’ve worked hard and saved money for this and you don’t want to waste it. However, be careful not to replace shrewdness with being frugal. Sometimes you just have to pay a bit more to get the quality you need. It’s not just that, even. For example, installing cheaper lights means you’ll have to pay higher electricity bills and also replace such bulbs more often, which translates into actually having to spend more.

 

home renovation indigo skye group blog

Changing your mind too often

Every change you make along the way is bound to affect the budget or deadlines and often both of them. That’s why you need to try your best to stick to the original plan at all times. This also means that your plan has to be as precise and detailed as possible and that everyone involved in the renovation knows exactly what they are supposed to do. The more thought you put into the project before it starts, the less likely you’ll be to make amends afterwards. Basically, remember the five P’s: perfect planning prevents pathetic performance.

Every home renovation project is complex, stressful and requires substantial human and financial resources. Still, if executed well, it creates a lot of added value. That’s why you should take it very seriously, especially since most people are usually in charge of such projects once or twice in their life, leaving very little time for learning and gaining experience.

 

Related Article: Buying a Home This Year? Here’s What to Watch

D-FW home price growth trailed the nation in the fourth quarter

D-FW home price growth trailed the nation in the fourth quarter

Dallas-Fort Worth home price gains were slightly below the nationwide average in the latest comparison.

D-FW home prices rose 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from a year earlier compared with a nationwide 4 percent increase, according to the National Association of Realtors.

While home appreciation across the country has cooled, more than a dozen U.S. metro areas the Realtors group tracked had double-digit gains in the final three months of 2018.

“Home prices continued to rise in the vast majority of markets but with inventory steadily increasing, home prices are, on average, rising at a slower and healthier pace,” Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun said in the closely-watched report. “Housing affordability will be the key to sustained healthy growth in the housing market in the upcoming years.”

The largest fourth quarter home price gains were in Cumberland, MD (up 29 percent) and Boise, Idaho (up 14.3 percent.)

Home prices fell year-over-year in 14 metro areas, with the worst declines in Decatur, Ill. (-10.7 percent) and Elmira, N.Y. (-8.3 percent.)

Among Texas’ big cities, the largest price growth was in Austin where median single-family home prices were 5.9 percent higher than fourth quarter 2017. Austin also had the highest prices with a median of $310,400 at the end of 2018.

D-FW’s median home price of $254,900 is still just a bit below the nationwide $257,600 price, according to the Realtors.

Nationwide home sales by real estate agents fell 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. The biggest drop was in the West where home sales were 13.9 percent below a year ago.

The slowdown in home sales and price increases in the second half of 2018 is continuing into early 2019.

The moderation in the U.S. home market comes after several years of booming sales and huge price gains.

Article by Steve Brown for the Dallas Morning News.

Related article: Buying a Home This Year? Here’s What to Watch.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw the Best Super Bowl Parties!

Highlights:

  • Watching the big game at home with your friends & family offers many advantages.
  • There’s more room to entertain a large crowd, and you don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord if you cheer too loudly!
  • The kitchen is big enough to make as many appetizers as you want, and if some of your guests are only there to watch the commercials, they can do so on a different TV in another room!