There are a number of home maintenance tasks that are easy to forget about in favor of more obvious renovations, but forgetting to do some of them can end up costing you a lot down the road. If you’re hoping to keep your home in tip-top shape, here are a few tasks that you shouldn’t forget about.
Sealing Off Access Points
Small rodents and insects can wreak havoc on your home if they gain access, so ensure that you maintain the foundation of your home and seal off any areas where these pests might get inside. Check all the windows and doors, and survey the foundation of your home, making sure to patch up any areas where sealant or mortar has come loose.
Cleaning The Shingles
The reality of algae eating away at your roof shingles can be an unpleasant, expensive renovation, so clean your roof on a regular basis before any black streaks can take your shingles with them. Simply mix together hot water, bleach and detergent and spray this from your garden hose on a cooler day so you can save your roof from rot. This will also save you the cost of having to hire a professional
Maintaining Your Wood Deck
There are few things that will age your yard like a poorly maintained deck, so take the time to re-stain and seal your deck so it doesn’t quickly see the effects of time and weather. While harsh weather can have an ill effect on your deck’s appearance, properly maintaining it will mean you can avoid the high cost of replacement that will be required.
Keeping It Clutter Free
Many homeowners get pretty comfortable in their home, and this can often mean that many boxes of unused items get stored away. Instead of keeping old items though, do a clean out once every 6-12 months to get rid of the things you don’t use. By having a clean basement and garage, you’ll also have the ability to notice many other maintenance issues that might not be visible with all the extra stuff.
There are a number of maintenance tasks around the home that people often forget, but neglecting to complete them can often times cost a pretty penny down the road. Contact your local mortgage professional for more information.
An adjustable-rate mortgage was once a great mortgage product, at a time when home buyers wanted to avoid locking in high interest rates. But with historically low interest rates now available to millions of buyers and rates expected to rise in 2017, lots of mortgage holders are trying to find a deal and negotiate better terms before rates go up. One great way to save on mortgage costs is to refinance your adjustable-rate mortgage.
So how can you make a mortgage refinance work for you? Here are a few tactics you can use to get better terms through a refinance on your adjustable-rate mortgage.
Get Your Finances In Order
In order to successfully refinance your adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll need to be in a strong financial position for a variety of reasons. Firstly, having a strong credit score gives you much more leverage when negotiating with a lender. And secondly, refinancing a mortgage will come with closing costs that you’ll need to pay out of pocket.
Make sure your finances are in good shape before you try to refinance it’ll be much easier.
Extend The Loan’s Term For Lower Monthly Payments
Recasting a mortgage is a popular way to reduce your monthly mortgage payments without giving up other favorable terms in your loan. When you recast your mortgage, you make a lump sum payment directly toward the principal amount of the loan, which reduces the loan balance, decreases your interest payments, and lowers your monthly payments. The loan maintains its original term, but it becomes much easier to manage.
Interest Rate Reset Coming Up? Negotiate An Interest Rate Cap
One little-known tactic that you can use to get better terms is to take advantage of an interest rate reset to negotiate a rate cap. In order to take advantage of this, you’ll need to get a mortgage approval and loan estimate for a fixed-rate mortgage. Once you have an approval in hand, your bank may have the option to offer to cap your interest rate.
Refinancing an adjustable-rate mortgage is becoming increasingly common, and for good reason. A mortgage advisor can help you to navigate the refinancing process. Contact your local mortgage professional to learn more.
Last week’s economic news included the NAHB Housing Market Index, reports on housing starts, building reports and existing home sales. Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last FOMC meeting were also released.
Homebuilder Confidence Unchanged, Housing Starts and Building Permits Increase
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that builder confidence held steady with a reading of 58 in May. Analysts projected a reading of 58 and April’s reading was also 58. Builder confidence in market conditions could be slowing due to concerns over acquiring skilled labor and a shortage of developed lots. Demand for homes remains high, but a slim inventory of available properties and builder emphasis on higher-priced homes contributed to sidelining moderate income and first-time buyers.
Commerce Department reports for April Housing Starts and Building Permits issued suggest that tight housing inventories may receive some relief. April housing starts rose from a revised March reading of 1.099 million to 1.170 million starts. Housing starts increased by 6.60 percent in April. Housing starts have slowed as compared to the year-over-year period from April 2015 to 2016; housing starts increased by 10 percent for the same year-over-year period in 2015. While any increase in home construction is welcome, some analysts said that they did not expect a huge increase in home construction in coming months.
Construction of multifamily housing units rose by 10.70 percent, while single-family home construction increased by 3.30 percent. Rising rents and millennials delaying home purchases were seen as fueling multifamily home construction. As homes become less affordable, would-be buyers are continuing to rent, which places higher demand on rental units.
Pre-owned Home Sales Rise in April
Sales of previously owned homes rose by 1.70 percent in April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million sales. Sales increased by 12.10 percent in the Midwest, where homes are most affordable, and fell by 1.70 percent in the West, where homes are most costly. This development suggests that rapidly rising home prices have or will soon reach maximum levels in high-cost areas. Home prices in many areas rose rapidly in preceding months as short inventory and high demand created bidding wars and keen competition for available homes. A lack of affordable single family homes has caused some buyers to buy condos while others have put buying on hold.
Mortgage Rates Rise, New Jobless Claims Fall
Mortgage rates rose for 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 3.58 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was unchanged at 2.82 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose by two basis points to 2.80 percent. Discount points were 0.60, 0.50 and 0.50 percent respectively. Analysts are watching the Fed closely for any indication that it will raise the target federal funds rate in June, although concerns over the possibility of Great Britain leaving the European Union could cause the Fed to hold off on raising the rate. If the Fed raises the target federal funds rate, loan rates for credit cards and mortgages would also increase.
New jobless claims fell last week to 278,000 new claims against expectations of 279,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 294,000 new claims. Analysts said that a telecommunications strike caused the prior week’s raise in claims as striking workers who are replaced during a strike are eligible for jobless benefits.
This week’s scheduled economic releases include new and pending home sales along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.