Saturday, November 28, 2009

Don't Miss Upcoming Events!

December is such a wonderful time of the year!  Don't miss the fantastic community events scheduled around the Holiday Season.  Just go to the sidebar and see what looks fun for you and your family.  I will be adding activities as I become aware of them.  For additional information, call or go to the website listed there.  Have a wonderful holiday season and Merry Christmas to everyone.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! myspace graphic comments

Should I Consider A 15-Year Fixed Mortgage?

Comparing 15-year mortgage rates to 30-year mortgage rates

For today's home buyers and homeowners that can manage the higher monthly payments, 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates look attractive as compared to comparable 30-year products.

The 15-year/30-year interest rate spread is near its 5-year high.

Despite lower rates, however, homeowners opting for a 15-year fixed mortgage should be prepared for its higher monthly payments.  This is because the principal balance of a 15-year fixed is repaid in half the years as with a standard, 30-year amortizing product.

As compared to 30-year terms, 15-year products repay 3 times as much principal each month.

Versus a 30-year, 15-year fixed mortgages have a few downsides worth noting.  The first is that, because 15-year mortgages are heavy on principal and light on interest, homeowners who itemize tax returns may have to claim a smaller mortgage interest tax deduction at tax time.

Another negative is that the sheer size of the payment.  If you run into fiscal trouble down the road, the only way to reduce the monthly obligation is to refinance into a 30-year product and that costs money to do. 

In other words, be sure you can manage the payments over the long-term before you opt for a 15-year term.   If you can manage it, though, the rewards are tangible.

At today's rates, a 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed costs $230 extra per $100,000 borrowed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Help! Thanksgiving Is Thursday And I Don't Know What To Cook!

Planning a Thanksgiving Dinner?Thanksgiving is Thursday. If you're cooking for group (or a crowd) and you haven't yet put your menu in order, click on through Bon Appetit's Thanksgiving Menu Planner.

Answer to 3 basic questions and Bon Appetit serves up a list of dishes and their respective recipes.

  1. For how many people are you cooking?
  2. How much time do you have to cook?
  3. What's your style?

The dishes range from the simple (Pumpkin Pie with Spiced Whipped Cream) to the sophisticated (Herb Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy).  There's even a menu for vegetarians.

It's not too late to host a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Bon Appetit can get you moving in the right direction.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Great News!

The Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate near zero once again Wednesday.
It added in a statement that although the economy continues to improve, it intends to stay the course. It is amazing to me that interest is at zero. How long can it last? Take advantage of it, now is the time to refinance or buy!

Not passed but getting close

The much desired tax-credit-extension-to-pass-this-week

Wait until you see this:

After two weeks of delay, the Senate last night cleared the way to
pass a seven month extension and expansion of the tax credit for
homebuyers. By an 85 to 2 roll call vote, the Senate voted to cut
off debate on a package of measures that includes the homebuyer
credit, making it virtually certain that the legislation will reach
President Obama for his signature this week.
The homebuyer tax credit, due to expire in 28 days, would be extended
through April 30 of next year. First-time buyers who are in process of making
a purchased would not need to worry about qualifying for the $8,000
credit if they close after the November 30 deadline.
For the first time, the legislation cleared last night makes move-up
buyers as well as first-time buyers would be eligible for a credit.
The $8,000 maximum first-timer credit will continue and will now
available to couples with income up to $225,000, a nearly $55,000
increase above the level in existing law. A new $6,500 maximum
credit would also be available to move-up homeowners who have lived
in their current residence for five of the prior eight years..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Higher Home Prices Ahead, Says The Pending Home Sales Index

Pending Home Sales September 2009The housing market continues to steam forward.

As reported by the National Association of Realtors®, the Pending Home Sales Index posted its 8th consecutive monthly gain in September.

It's the longest winning streak in the history of the index and Pending Home Sales are now at their highest levels since December 2006.

A Pending Home Sale is a home under contract to sell, but not yet closed. It's the precursor to an Existing Home Sale.

Trade group data shows that nearly 80 percent of "pending" homes close within 2 months. The majority of those remaining close within months 3 and 4.

When the Pending Home Sales Index rises, it tells us that market activity has picked up. September's data confirms what we've been noticing since February -- the Buyers Market is ending.

With more homes under contract in the marketplace, homebuyers typically face one or more of the following:

1. Competitive, multiple-offer situations
2. Reduced purchase price leverage over sellers
3. Fewer seller concessions

Therefore, if you're buying a home in the next several months, know that the 8-month run in Pending Sales will lead to a run in closed sales. It should result in higher home prices, too

Indeed, we're already seeing it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How To Test A Home Smoke Alarm

Test smoke detectors annuallyAccording to the United States Fire Administration, there were an estimated 1.5 million domestic fires last year, resulting in more than 3,400 deaths. 

Many of these deaths occurred in homes with no smoke detectors or no working smoke detectors. 

When detectors fail, it's often because its batteries are dead or missing. Therefore, make a point to test your smoke detectors annually. 

Here's how to do it:

  1. Have somebody go to the farther point of the house from the detector
  2. Push and hold the testing button for 5 seconds to activate the alarm
  3. Confirm the alarm is audible by all parties

You should also buy smoke detector aerosol and spray it directly into the device.  This will simulate a real fire.  If the alarm doesn't sound, the smoke detector will fail when it's needed most.  Replace the device immediately -- even if it beeps when you push the Test button.

Smoke detectors are inexpensive and essential.  Make sure the devices in your home are working properly.  Test them at least once per year. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Featured Listing Of The Week

This week we are spotlighting 331 Montecito in Escondido. It is located next to Kit Carson Park in the gated community of Las Palmas Ranch. 5 bedroom, 3 baths, 3,000 square feet, Master on the entry level. Situated on 3/4 of an acre. VR $599,000 to $635,00. It's a real gem. Tell a friend.