February 18, 2019

Price per square foot on the increase for Seattle homes . . .

Seattle 7-6-15 Average price per sq. ft.

Homeownership’s Impact on Net Worth

Courtesy of KeepingCurrentMatters.com

Courtesy of KeepingCurrentMatters.com

Who can you trust?

When you sell your home

Prediction for the Seattle housing market . . .

Seattle’s healthy employment picture coupled with its consistent population growth will increase home sales in 2014 and make it the second hottest market in the county, according to Zillow, an online real estate marketplace. While Zillow economists predicted that mortgage rates will rise to 5 percent next year, they also said loans would be easier to obtain. Curiously, the national homeownership rate, tugged down by foreclosures the past five years, will hit its lowest point in two decades, Zillow predicted.

Your pain at the gas pump . . .

Finally a logical explanation as to the current gas prices:  http://www.khanacademy.org/new-and-noteworthy/v/breakdown-of-gas-prices

You invested $1,000, $10,000, $100,000 . . . and your returns . . .

 Where did you invest your money?  Regardless of amount, your greatest growth was in real estate. 

Where did you invest your money?

FAST FACT . . .

“Borrowers spend an average of 10 hours researching a car purchase and only five hours researching a mortgage or home equity loan.”  

Yet another good reason to rely on  the recommendations from your Realtor for competent lenders.  

 

THE 14 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK A LENDER

. . . Before you sign anything!

Mortgage lending in Washington State is not a regulated industry.  There are hundreds of lenders in our area.  Choosing the right lender for your real estate needs can be confusing.  It is especially difficult when you speak with several different lenders and they seem so convincing.  There is a way to determine who is the most likely to succeed in getting you the loan package best suited for your needs. The key is knowing the right questions to ask.

This list provides you with questions to ask your prospective lender.  The list will not only help you select the right lender, but will also get you the very best from the one you choose.
          Click here to order “The 14 Questions.”

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SHORT SALES!!

Whether you are a Buyer, a Seller or simply curious . . . 

Short Sales – An Overview
As lenders search for the best way to respond to the mortgage difficulties faced by millions of Americans, it’s clear no single answer is right for every situation. For many, the best option is to sell the home for less than is owed and ask the lender to accept the sales proceeds to settle the debt.

Usually called a Short Sale, the transaction allows the homeowner facing financial challenges the opportunity to sell the property and avoid foreclosure. The lender is able to solve the delinquent mortgage without going through the time and expense of a foreclosure.

SOME FACTS ABOUT SHORT SALES:

Short Sales Take Time
Getting a Short Sale sold, approved and closed takes time. If you feel a Short Sale might be the best option for you, do not wait until the last minute to get started. In our experience, it may take at least 45 days to get lender approval for a Short Sale.

Find an Experienced Agent
Because Short Sales are different from standard real estate transactions, in our experience, it’s best to engage an agent with experience handling Short Sales.  I am a Certified Short Sale/Foreclosure expert. 

When you need additional clarifications . . . or a list of homes currently noted as Short Sales or Foreclosure, please contact me.

HIDDEN TREASURE AWAITS YOU!

Tax day is just around the corner, and many homeowners forget that they’re sitting on a wealth of potential savings — in their home. Tax deductions for homeowners are plentiful, so keep these guidelines in mind as you prepare your return this year.

First, know that if you deduct home expenses, you have to file form 1040 (also known as the long form) and itemize your deductions on Schedule A. While it can be a headache, the rewards are usually worth it.

Remember that the mortgage on your home is deductible — at least the real estate taxes, qualifying interest and premiums, for a loan up to $1 million, according to the IRS. Note that fire or homeowner’s insurance premiums and the principal mortgage amount are not deductible. Here’s how to calculate what’s deductible: Enter your total real estate taxes for the year, and enter the number of days in the property tax year that you owned the property. Divide the number of days by 366, and multiply that number by your total real estate taxes for the year.

Paid off your mortgage early? The prepayment penalty you might have received is tax deductible as home mortgage interest, as long as it’s not for a specific service performed or a cost connected with your mortgage loan.

You may have heard that home repairs can qualify for tax deductions, but home improvements are the real winners. An improvement is classified as anything that adds to the value of the home — for instance, making a room handicapped accessible or adding a deck to the back of your home. Always keep receipts and records — and remember, if you borrowed money for that improvement, the interest on the loan is tax deductible, just as it is with the mortgage payments.

Another item many homeowners forget is deductions for loan origination fees, better known as “points.” One point is equal to 1 percent of your loan. Depending on how many points you’ve accumulated, you may be eligible to deduct them. There are rules about deducting points, but a financial professional can help you sort through them.

And finally, don’t forget that if you upgraded to energy-efficient Energy Star windows, stoves or water heaters, those may be eligible for a tax credit. Check www.energystar.gov to see if your improvements are included.