Interest Rate Purchasing Power Chart

Interest Rates in 2017

Here is an article I found about the interest rates rising and what that means for buyer’s and seller’s.   The whole time I have been in real estate the mortgage rates have been actually very low.  They continue to be historically low not too.  Back in 2012 the interest rate was 3%!!! If only I could have bought then.  Currently my home is at a 3.75% interest rate and I bought in April 2014.  Right now I’m seeing interest rates up to 4%+ (rates depends on everyone borrowers personal situation, of income, credit, debts etc…)  which is still pretty low.  If you could buy right now though why would you wait even more time, and then kick yourself when rates go up to 4.5% and 5%.  

Unfortunately one result of a booming steady economy means that rates will be higher because more people can pay it.  Now is such a good time to buy and live in a property if you are able and start paying it down, or sell and get more money out of your property.   As a buyer for every interest point added on, you lose about 10% buying power, and that can knock you out of your dream home price range.  As a seller if you try and sell during the interest rate switch and have not owned your property for a long time you are going to have a very difficult time recouping all your money.  If they’re saying that rates  will jump almost a point by the end of the year, and you are currently qualified to buy a home why would you wait and lose purchasing power???

 

Help Clients Keep Rising Rates in Perspective

Since the presidential election, mortgage rates have risen from 3.5 percent to about 4.2 percent, increasing the borrowing costs of would-be home buyers.

The rates are rising on the expectations of greater business activity and a stronger economy. But the good economic prospects may come at a price to home buyers.

Nevertheless, make sure your clients keep perspective. In the 1970s, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 8.9 percent; in the 1980s, it was 12.7 percent; in the 1990s, it was 8.1 percent. The first decade in 2000s, rates averaged 6.3 percent. Suddenly, that 4.2 percent rate may not look so bad in a historical context, eh?

“Nonetheless, many consumers with a short-term memory, especially among the young, have often witnessed sub-4 percent rates and the latest rising rates feel financially discomforting and discouraging,” notes Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, in his latest column for Forbes.com.

Yun cites the following example: Take a typical home priced at $235,000. The mortgage borrowing amount is $200,000. A monthly payment would be around $898 at a 3.5 percent mortgage rate. As rates rise to 4.2 percent, that monthly payment jumps to $978. At 5 percent, the monthly payments would rise to $1,074. And if rates were ever to return to those levels from the 1980s, payments would surge to $2,166.

Yun and other economists aren’t predicting any such rate jumps like those of the past, however. Yun predicts mortgage rates to average 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent by the end of the year, and 5.5 percent by the end of 2018.

“Rising rates are no doubt pinching the family budget of would-be home buyers,” Yun says. “However, as long as the rate rises are gradual such that salaries have time to rise more strongly to mitigate some of the sting of higher mortgage payment, consumers should view these as still historically attractive mortgage rates.”

Source: “Stressed Over Higher Interest Rates?” Forbes.com (Jan. 5, 2017)

If you have any questions, comments or need friendly real estate advice do not hesitate to reach out to me! I’m here for all your Alaska Real Estate needs!  

-Kaitlyn                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                907-414-1664                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kaitlyn@alaskarealestatelady.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  www.alaskarealestatelady.com

 

winter-curb-appeal

Winter Curb Appeal Boost

Regardless of the season, your home should make a good first impression on potential home buyers. Here are some helpful tips for boosting your home’s curb appeal during the winter months.

Winter Curb Appeal

Light It Up

With less sunshine and shorter days, adding outdoor lighting to your home will help illuminate it and could make it more inviting to buyers. Lighting the pathway to your front door and highlighting any features unique to your home may increase your home’s curb appeal.

Plan for Snow

Depending on where you live, you may get some (or quite a bit) of snow. Your home’s aesthetic could benefit from having a neatly cleared driveway and walkway. It may also be helpful to avoid piling up shoveled snow into unsightly mounds while clearing it. Try using salt to melt snow and checking weather forecasts to prepare for heavy snowfall.

Add Winter Plants

Don’t let cold weather mean the end of your garden. Adding evergreen or winter-blooming plants can inject color into the white and gray winter landscape and make your home stand out. Flowers such as witch hazel, winter jasmine, and pansies can thrive and add color all winter.

Eliminate the Ice

Ice can be a problem in terms of both safety and curb appeal. Icy grounds can be a slipping hazard and hanging icicles can detach at any moment. Moreover, sharp and dangerous looking icicles attached to your home’s roof and gutters don’t make your home seem inviting to home buyers. Be sure to salt your walkway and safely clear ominous looking icicles.

Update Your Door

A front door that appears to be in need of a fresh coat of paint or refurbishing can deter home buyers. Your front door should be in pristine condition, and in the cold  months it could benefit from a splash of vibrant color to juxtapose the sparsely colored winter season.

Don’t let winter freeze up your home’s curb appeal. Follow these helpful tips and you may make your home as appealing now as it is the rest of the year.

Buyer Consultation Packet PDF

Family Holiday Card Staging Tips

A family holiday card is a great way to show your friends and family your beautiful home. Between finding the time take the photo and choosing the right setting, mailing the holiday card can be a daunting task. These holiday hints can help make the process much more pleasant.

Family Holiday Picture

Avoid Matching Outfits

Your family should be dressed in clothes that are of neutral color and similar style, but wearing the exact same outfits hides each family member’s uniqueness. Let their personality shine while still creating a cohesive look.

Choose the Right Backdrop

Your home can provide the perfect setting for your holiday card. You may choose to shoot it outside to capture the weather of the season, in front of your home’s main entryway. Alternatively, you can utilize any well-lit and well-furnished area inside the house, such as in front of the fireplace or Christmas tree.

Pick the Right Time

Time of day matters when considering the natural lighting that will make your card shine. The hour before sunset is referred to as the “golden hour” and provides stunning lighting for your card.

Clean and Prep with the Whole Family

Once you’ve chosen a place and time, prep and check the area before shooting. This includes cleaning, straightening pictures, aligning furniture, and checking for any blemishes that would stand out in the photo.

Pose Casually

You want your holiday card to seem warm and inviting. Having your family awkwardly pose in unnatural positions can have the opposite effect. Encourage your family to be composed, but casual.

Plan for Restless Children

The last thing most children want to do is sit still, smile, and wear clothes they might find uncomfortable. To avoid difficulties be sure to choose a time of day when they’re well rested, fed, and generally complacent. Make them smile with a joke or the promise of a holiday treat.

Distract your Pets

Holiday cards are a great way to show off a new pet or keep your friends and family updated on the family’s furry friend. Pets, like children, aren’t always eager to be photographed. Have the photographer catch their attention with a treat or one of their toys.

The holidays will be here soon enough, so get started on your family’s perfect holiday card to show your relatives and friends.

Buyer Consultation Packet PDF

Home Decor Projects When Snowed In

Sometimes it’s hard to see the upside of harsh winter weather, especially when snow storms leave you stuck inside. However, you can take advantage of a snow day by using the opportunity to improve your home decor. Here are some simple DIY projects for when you’re snowed in. Ask your children to help out (safely) for family fun time that may add a bit of luxury to your living space.

Fun projects for the whole family at home!

Decorative Lampshade

Add some pizzazz to a lampshade by gluing an inlaid paper cutout on its inner surface. Use a blade to cut a design from paper (either freehand or from a template), making sure to place a rubber mat down first to protect the surface underneath. With a mixture of 50% glue and 50% water, decoupage the paper cutout inside of the lampshade. Once it’s dry, turn the lamp on and admire the glowing design!

Fabric Wall Art

If you have some bold print fabric, use it to create art that pops. All you’ll need to buy are wooden frames of varying sizes and a hot glue gun. Cut the fabric wide enough so that there will be two inches leftover when stretched across a frame. Cover, glue, and voila! Create a gallery wall to display your new pieces.

Hanging Planters

If you have small planters in your indoor garden, consider hanging them for a fun look that will free up surface space. Simply drill two small holes close to the top edge of the planter. Make sure they’re exactly opposite from one another. Knot a thin but sturdy rope or twine inside each of the holes so you can hang them from a hook. Tip: Install the hook near a window so your plant can still get the sunlight it needs.

Memory Table

Memory tables are a great way to personalize your home. You’ll need a deep photo display and a similar sized coffee table. Using a strong wood glue, adhere the back of the photo display to the table. You can now place objects in the display to create a sentimental scene. Try using objects that are cohesive, such as trinkets and photos from a memorable family trip. You may want to glue the objects in place so they are not disturbed when the table is moved.

If you keep one (or more) of these projects in mind for your next snow day, getting snowed in might not seem so bad!

winter-house

Winter Maintenance Tips, Let it Snow!

Winter can be tough on your home, from the snow and ice forming on the exterior, to heater failures or pipes freezing. Here are some tips for each aspect of your home’s protection so you can keep your family warm all winter long. A Little winter maintenance can go a long way.

Beautiful home ready for winter maintenance
Beautiful Home Ready for Winter!

1. Heating System

Heaters and fireplaces are the most important tools to warming your home. Have a professional come and check yours if you think there might be a problem. It is a good idea to have them serviced yearly, a simple per winter maintenance can save loads of trouble later.

Some tips for using your heater effectively: Maintain a minimum of 55 degrees in your home, even if you love the cold. In addition, instead of closing off unused rooms to the house like attics or pantries, open the doors to allow heat to flow easily around the entire home.

2. Insulation

Insulation is the last line of attack standing between your family and the blustering winds of winter. If your insulation isn’t doing the job, it’s time to inspect and install a more successful layer. If your insulation is in good shape, but you’re still feeling the winter breeze inside, take a caulk gun to the edges on your windows and doors to prevent cold air from getting in.

The attic is an important place often overlooked. Aside from leaving the top layer of your house unprotected, heat escaping can easily form ice dams, which can cause leaks. Make sure to protect the attic, even if no one in your family spends time there.

3. Pipes

Any exposed pipes located in unheated areas of the home — such as garages — should be wrapped with heat tape or insulated before the temperature drops. If your pipes run through walls on the exterior of your home, make sure to double and triple check your insulation. Always be prepared and take precautions to learn how to shut off your pipes just in case freezing occurs.

And it’s not just your indoor pipes you need to take care of. Undrained water in your exterior faucets can freeze and cause pipes to burst. Turn off the valve before it gets too cold.

4. Landscape

Trees in your yard with dead branches can become safety hazards in the winter months. Be sure to cut down any branches that hang over your home, or hire someone to remove them for you.

It is also important to clear out your gutters before snow falls or ice forms to make sure that melting water drains and doesn’t cause leaks in your siding.

5. Supplies

Equip your home with all of the supplies you need before it gets too cold and snowy. Make sure that you have easy access to snow shovels, or a snow blower, and that your generator is running smoothly. You’ll also want to keep extra fuel for your snow blower on hand in case you run out during the winter months.

To ensure an easy (and warm) winter, take the time to prepare your home for the coming months. Winter can be tough, but you don’t have to let the weather ruin your season. Follow these winter maintenance tips to stay cozy from now until spring.