Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth

Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth

Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth,

“The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below):

Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | Keeping Current MattersThis does not come as a surprise, as we often mention that homeownership can help you to increase your family’s wealth. This study reinforces that idea,

 “Net worth is an important indicator of economic well-being and provides insights into a household’s economic health.”

Having equity in your home can help your family move in that direction, building toward substantial financial growth. According to the report noted above, people are not only creating net worth in the homes they live in, but many are also earning equity in rental property investments too. (See below):Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | Keeping Current MattersJohn Paulson said it well,

If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

There are many financial benefits to homeownership, but probably none more important than its ability to create family wealth.

How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is an online resource for research and information on how homeownership contributes to individual and community success.

Their article, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, explains the importance of homeownership to a family’s financial health. In that article, they simply stated:

“The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.”

To this point, National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed in a recent post:

“Housing wealth contributes positively to the homeowner’s and children’s economic condition, because home equity can be tapped for expenditures such as investing in another property (which can generate rental income), home renovation (which further increases the home value), a child’s college education, emergency or major life events, or expenses in retirement…

Housing wealth (or net worth or equity) is built up over time via the home price appreciation and the principal payments that the homeowner makes on the loan.”

Here is a graph showing the build-up of wealth over time:How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Just last month, NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, explained that even though home appreciation has slowed, homeowners are still building wealth:

“Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth. A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year.”

Later in life, this wealth is crucial…

This wealth is important to a family’s retirement plans. In a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University titled, Housing America’s Older Adults 2018, they revealed that a renter 65 years old or older has a net worth of $6,710. Meanwhile, a homeowner 65+ years old has a net worth of $319,200. That huge difference will allow for a dramatic upgrade in one’s lifestyle during your retirement years.

Top Days to List Your Home for Sale

20190517-Top-Days-ENG-KCMSome Highlights:

  • ATTOM Data Solutions conducted an analysis of more than 29 million single family home and condo sales over the past eight years to determine the top days to list your home for sale.
  • The top five days to list your home brought in a 10% premium over market value and are all in either May or June!
  • “Families start their home search when they know their kids will be out of school and when the weather is ideal for home viewing and moving, giving home sellers an upper hand in price negotiations.”
  • There is still time to list your home before these dates pass you by!

5 TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR HOME READY TO SHOW

In tоdау’ѕ economy, it mау bе tоugh fоr уоu оr rеаl еѕtаtе аgеnt to ѕеll уоur hоmе іf your hоmе’ѕ value іѕ lоw. Thіѕ can make it dіffісult tо appeal tо thе rіght buуеr since thеrе are mаnу competitors on thе mаrkеt wіllіng to ѕеll their hоmеѕ for much lеѕѕ thаn уоu would еvеr wаnt to рrісе уоur home.
When іt comes to selling уоur hоmе, as thе old аdаgе gоеѕ, уоu dоn’t gеt a second сhаnсе tо mаkе a gооd first іmрrеѕѕіоn. The reason your rеаl estate аgеnt ѕhоws уоur home іѕ tо get a buуеr. Yоu want the buyers to соmе thrоugh your hоuѕе аnd be іmрrеѕѕеd by whаt thеу ѕее аnd make an оffеr right away. If уоu’rе ѕеrіоuѕ аbоut selling уоur hоmе fast, thеn thеѕе 5 hоmе іmрrоvеmеnt tips ѕhоuld help уоu tо mаkе your рrореrtу more аttrасtіvе to уоur buyers.

5 Thіngѕ Tо Do Bеfоrе Shоwіng Your Hоmе tо a Pоtеntіаl Buуеr

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Enhаnсе Yоur Curb Aрреаl.
Whеn ѕhоwіng your hоmе tо роtеntіаl buуеrѕ, knоw thаt thе buуеr’ѕ іmрrеѕѕіоn of a рrореrtу begins wеll bеfоrе the frоnt door. Hоmе еxtеrіоr іѕ the fіrѕt thіng a buуеr sees іn реrѕоn аnd оn any lіѕtіng ѕіtеѕ. Othеr tірѕ for ѕеllіng уоur hоmе fast mіght nоt wоrk іf thе yard is сluttеrеd аnd unsightly. Mаkе your еntrаnсе аnd landscape рlеаѕаnt and attractive as роѕѕіblе. Wash thе wаlkwауѕ and driveways, rаkе the leaves, clear the ѕnоw, and mow thе lawn. Thе frоnt dооr or роrсh ѕhоuld be perfectly ѕсrubbеd аnd frее of clutter. If іt’ѕ dark, lіght uр thе entrance аѕ attractively as possible.

De-Clutter & Clеаn Yоur Hоmе
Clean scrupulously to gеt rіd of clutter. Begin with оnе rооm ѕо уоu dо nоt gеt overwhelmed. Whеn gоіng thrоugh each rооm, dіvіdе уоur іtеmѕ іntо саtеgоrіеѕ іn аn area thаt wіll bеѕt be аblе to transport thе іtеmѕ оnсе уоu hаvе completed еасh rооm. Brеаk оut the vacuum and vасuum the еntіrе hоuѕе. Vacuuming is rесоmmеndеd tо bе done еасh and every day thе hоmе іѕ bеіng shown tо buyers.

• Clean уоur bаthrооm. Nothing turnѕ оff buуеrѕ more than a dirty bаthrооm. Clеаn іt and mаkе іt sparkle. Get rіd оf аnу grіmе. A clean bathroom tеllѕ a buyer thаt уоu are сlеаn аnd hаvе taken gооd саrе оf thе home.
• Kеер уоur kіtсhеn clean аnd tіdу. Clеаn the rеfrіgеrаtоr аnd cabinet. Shine ѕіnk аnd аррlіаnсеѕ. Buуеrѕ fосuѕ mоrе оn thеѕе areas. Also, there are іtеmѕ іn оur kitchen thаt wе dо nоt uѕе lіkе the ruѕtу оld frуіng раn, сhірреd dishes еtс. Thеrе mау bе fооd іtеmѕ past their duе dаtе in our pantry оr rеfrіgеrаtоr. Prоѕресtіvе buуеrѕ ореn uр cabinets, cupboards, аnd раntrіеѕ so, by thrоwіng away old items and оrgаnіzіng the nеw, it wіll hеlр thе kіtсhеn storage lооk сlеаnеr, more spacious, thеrеbу makes ѕеllіng уоur hоmе fаѕtеr thаn уоu соuld іmаgіnе.

Create Gооd Stоrаgе Sрасе And Brіghtеn Uр Yоur Hоmе.
A brіghtеr аnd ѕрасіоuѕ home аlwауѕ ѕhоwѕ bеttеr. Prоѕресtіvе buуеrѕ wіll always imagine whеrе thеу wіll рut all of their items, ѕuсh аѕ соаtѕ, bаth tоwеlѕ, toiletries, and the likes. Orgаnіzе thеѕе areas аnd mоvе іtеmѕ thаt clutter аnd соаt сlоѕеt іntо hіddеn gаrаgе storage ѕрасе. Arrаngе аll towels nеаtlу tо make аrеаѕ lооk mоrе ѕрасіоuѕ. Mаkе ѕurе tо раіnt in a shade thаt is ѕlіghtlу lighter if уоu decided tо rераіnt fоr ѕhоwіng. Lеаvе сurtаіnѕ аnd blіndѕ ореn tо allow natural lіght tо соmе thrоugh. Turn оn the lіghtѕ whеn showing уоur hоmе аѕ buyers lіkе to ѕее a hоmе that іѕ аіrу, ѕрасіоuѕ аnd brіght.

Kеер Everything Funсtіоnаl And Adjust Thе Temperature.
Evеrуthіng in уоur home should work реrfесtlу оr роtеntіаl home buуеrѕ mау gеt thе іmрrеѕѕіоn that your hоmе іѕ nоt in gооd repair. Open and сlоѕе every drаwеr, door, саbіnеt, аnd cupboard. Make ѕurе your hоmе is wаrm durіng wіntеr аnd сооl in hоt weather. Whеn ѕhоwіng your hоmе, lеtѕ роtеntіаl buуеrѕ ѕее that heating аnd сооlіng systems wоrk wеll, іt wіll increase thе сhаnсеѕ оf ѕеllіng your hоmе.

Make Іt Smell Gооd.
A рlеаѕаntlу ѕсеntеd hоmе іѕ a muѕt whеn ѕhоwіng a рrореrtу but avoid spraying wіth аnу perfumes or аіr fresheners as mоѕt people are аllеrgіс tо ѕсеntѕ. Instead, соnѕіdеr ѕіmmеrіng cinnamon іn wаtеr or bаkіng brеаd or cookies juѕt before buуеr аrrіvеѕ уоur home. It іѕ аlѕо advisable thаt уоu kеер your реtѕ аwау from thе guests as they may bе frightened by уоur реt оr реrсеіvе offending odor from your pet. Yоu саn bake something thаt smells nісе twenty minutes оr ѕо bеfоrе аnуоnе соmеѕ over. Thе аrоmа will арреаl tо thеіr senses аnd іѕ a strong identifier fоr your hоmе.
In addition, for you to sell your property fast, you can hire a professional real estate agent with a good record for sales to help you sell your property. They know what your buyer wants and can get the ideal buyer for your property. Interview agents, check qualifications, personality, and success in the industry. Make sure your agent promotes your properties on their listing sites and social media to fasten the process.
Although each step may seem like additional work, trust me, it will pay off when you moving your belongings that are now much fewer organized, but most importantly when a buyer turns to says the words “we’ll take it!”

The Low Down on PMI

canstockphoto19869296Purchasing a new home or property involves many aspects including purchase agreements, contracts, inspections, appraisals, closing, escrow and more. As such, there a lot of acronyms used throughout the process. In this article, we explain what private mortgage (PMI) is, why it is required and how you can get rid of it.

When purchasing a home, you will likely make some form of down payment. In fact, when you make a down payment less than 20 percent, the lender requires that you carry PMI. Basically, it’s a policy that protects the lender from losing money if you end up defaulting on your loan. Lenders also require PMI when you refinance a mortgage with less than 20 percent equity.

PMI fees vary anywhere from .3 to 1.5 percent of the original loan amount per year depending on the size of the down payment and your credit score. Also, PMI premiums are tax deductible on certain years depending upon the whims of Congress. Most policies require that the borrowes pay monthly. However, borrowers also have the option of paying for mortgage insurance with a large upfront payment.

How to ditch PMI:

The lender must automatically cancel the PMI when your outstanding balance drops to 78 percent of the home’s original value. Keep track of your payments because you also can ask that the lender discontinue the mortgage insurance premiums when the balance reaches 80 percent of the original value. Although, both of these options will probably take several years.

You can speed up the cancellation two ways; however, both options require money, time and patience.  First, you can make double payments on your mortgage ensuring you reach the 80 percent mark in at least half the time. Next, you can make improvements to your property and refinance at opportune moments. This option can potentially raise the original value of your home to where you already have 80 percent equity.

Room-by-Room Guide to Declutter Your House Before Selling

Clutter—it’s a word that makes many of us shudder, and we like it even less when we’re preparing to sell our home. However, mastering clutter is one of the best things you can do to help buyers see your house as a place they can call home. Clutter and piles make spaces look smaller and can hide your home’s more attractive features.

If you’re looking to sell your home this year, why not start it off right with a resolution to de-clutter? We know that this can feel daunting, so we’ve broken it down into a room-by-room guide. When you approach de-cluttering in smaller chunks it’s easier—plus, we’re sure you’ll be so pleased with the results that you’ll look forward to getting through the whole list.canstockphoto37528235

Entryway & Hallways

The entryway is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make sure it’s welcoming and not overwhelming.

  • Corral coats, scarves, and other outerwear
  • Store shoes and boots out of sight
  • Remove mail, newspapers, and other clutter (or keep them neatly displayed in an attractive organizer)
  • Eliminate random clutter in hallways
  • Tastefully display art, candles, or other decor to accentuate your home’s positives
  • Remove excessive family photos and other personal items

 

Kitchen

Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen sees a lot of action. Make sure all an interested buyer sees is how they can make their gourmet dreams come true.

  • Keep counters neat and tidy
  • Never leave dishes in the sink or dripping on the rack
  • Store small appliances in cupboards, or box away for moving if not needed
  • Box up extra items from crowded cupboards and drawers, so you can nicely display your best items (buyers will open doors and look!)
  • Organize all cupboards and displays
  • Remove photos and schoolwork from the fridge
  • Put items that point to trouble (like drain cleaner or ant powder) out of sight
  • Place sponges, scrubbers, and towels in a bin under the sink

 

Bedrooms

Bedrooms are supposed to be our sanctuaries, but too often they become dumping spots for everything that has nowhere else to go. Turn yours back into a sanctuary before buyers take a look.

  • Clear out off-season clothing from drawers and closets—an overstuffed closet appears smaller.
  • Tidy your bedside table and remove any medications, personal care items, or cluttered charging stations
  • Select only one or two family photos to display
  • Make the bed every day—and spruce up existing (or splurge!) on new linens, duvet, and pillows to make the room look fresh and appealing
  • Dust any ceiling fans and other hard-to-reach nooks to make sure the room glows

 

Living & Family Rooms

Make sure potential buyers don’t have to look past piles of clutter to envision themselves relaxing in your space.

  • Clear out piles of magazines, newspapers, books, and hobby materials
  • Make any displays on mantels or tables simple, clean, and devoid of personal effects and photos—less is more
  • Make sure the room has ample lighting day and night, rearrange light fixtures or add a lamp if needed
  • Check drapes and blinds for dust and get them cleaned, if needed
  • Corral remotes and other electronic gadgets in a cupboard, drawer, or attractive bin or basket
  • If you have little ones, organize toys into one section of the room and use bins or other attractive containers to keep them under control

 

Bathrooms

Just because these rooms are functional, it doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful.

  • Clean out your drawers and cabinets—remove any outdated or unused toiletries, medicine, or personal care equipment
  • Tastefully display only the essentials in the medicine cabinet or drawers
  • Pack up rarely used perfumes and jewelry
  • Add fresh drawer liners
  • Organize cleaning items in a safe, unobtrusive spot
  • Remove multiple soap and shampoo bottles from shower shelves
  • Get rid of damp towels, washcloths, loofahs, etc.
  • Make sure towels are displayed neatly on a shelf or in a basket

 

Laundry Room

A well-appointed laundry room can be the difference between like and love for some home buyers. Make the right impression in yours.

  • Don’t leave any laundry (clean or dirty) in piles or otherwise on display
  • If you leave out items to air dry, make sure to put them away before a tour
  • Neatly organize detergents, spot removers, and other supplies
  • Put function on display by arranging equipment, detergents, drying racks, and laundry baskets in an attractive manner that show how easy it is to access everything
  • Wipe down the washer and dryer—make sure no lint or dust is showing
  • Throw lint and other items like dryer sheets in a trash can with a lid

 

Basement or Garage

These are places where we like to hide things that are unsightly or have no other place to call home. But you want potential buyers to see possibility, not defeat, when they enter yours.

  • Properly dispose of opened cans of paint (unless buyers could use it for touch-ups), stain, pest repellent, and other chemicals
  • Organize tools and box up large items if not currently in use
  • Sort through all those old boxes of what-nots and donate unneeded items—organize the rest in neatly-stacked bins
  • Throw out anything that’s musty or shows signs of mold and mildew
  • Dust everything
  • Organize sports equipment neatly, storing as much as possible in bins
  • Add shelves to better corral miscellaneous odds and ends

De-cluttering isn’t fun, but you’ll be happy you did it when you’re calling the moving truck. Get obstacles out of the way so buyers can see what a gem your home is!

We Bust the 3 Biggest Myths About Selling Your Home in the Winter Part 3

canstockphoto37273624This is the third and final installment in our series about selling your home in winter.

Waiting until spring to sell your house is one of the biggest misconceptions in the world of real estate. We’ve already busted myths about selling during the winter and shared the top reasons why selling in the winter is easier than you think.

Now we’re going to focus on those home features that were custom-made to be shown off during the winter. Not everything looks better under the bright rays of the summertime sun. If you’re unsure how to make your property sparkle under winter skies, check out these features that show better in the winter than at any other time.

 

Energy Efficiency

This is one of the most important aspects of any home, and if you’ve invested in maximizing efficiency and cutting down energy costs, now is the time to brag about it. We’re not saying you should “accidentally” leave your latest heating bill lying around so potential buyers can see it, but depending on the numbers—why not?

If showing off your low power bills is too forward for your taste, make up a neat list that details all the energy efficient upgrades and changes you’ve made to the house. Include average heating and cooling bills, so buyers can take those discounted costs into consideration when weighing your home against others. If you’ve taken measures to reduce your home’s carbon footprint, include that information as an extra highlight.

 

Architectural Flourishes

Bannisters, columns, arches, and walkways are custom-made for winter decorations. Tasteful twinkling lights and evergreen garlands draw attention to these architectural features that may be overshadowed in summer by trim green lawns and flowerbeds. If you have special light fixtures or lampposts, add a colorful bow or sprig of holly to draw attention. These types of flourishes look good all winter long—not just during the holidays.

If it snows a lot in your neighborhood, play that up by creating a winter wonderland in your front yard, or on the porch. Create an image of cozy togetherness, where potential buyers can envision themselves enjoying a hot cup of cocoa or rolling up an impressive snowman to watch over the house.

 

Simple Upkeep

Home maintenance is something that potential buyers often have on their minds. If your home is easy to take care of during the winter, be sure to let buyers know it. Keep all driveways, walkways, and steps free of snow and ice—and keep snowblowers, shovels, and ice melt tucked out of sight.

If you present a neat and safe winter appearance, buyers won’t get distracted by how long the driveway is or the number of steps leading up to the front door. Make sure there are no leftover messes from fall cleanup. If snow is scarce, add a layer of mulch across all flowerbeds to make a tidy, well-kept impression on potential buyers.

 

Entertaining Spaces

Whether it’s a wide, open backyard perfect for a family picnic or an open floor plan that just screams holiday get-togethers, make it easy for buyers to see these entertainment perks. If you’re showing your home around the holidays, set up the space as you would for an intimate family dinner or a larger holiday mixer. Set out place settings or arrange furniture into conversational groupings and nooks.

To show off outdoor spaces that might be covered in a blanket of snow, display photos of summer festivities. Pick snapshots that feature outdoor dining, family barbecues, or other warm-weather festivities. If you have award-winning roses or an appealing summer garden, make sure those summertime bonuses aren’t left out.

 

Final Thoughts

Winter can seem like a tough time to show off your home’s greatest assets, but some things look better under a soft covering of snow or in the warm light of a fire. Identify what makes your house stand out when the days are shorter, and get ready to join the winter housing market. It’s the perfect time for your little gem to shine.

Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Home

canstockphoto7138312Once upon a time, Realtors came up with the term “starter home” to describe houses perfect for newlyweds and small families. Although these starter homes are great, families quickly outgrow them due to various reasons. Whether you’re out of storage space, feeling cramped or just need a change of pace these are the tell-tale signs that it’s time to move on.

New Additions

Often families outgrow their homes because they are expecting little bundles of joy. The addition of children or even pets can easily begin bursting the seams of your perfect newlywed home. When bedrooms have filled up and toys have taken over the entire house it’s time to upgrade to a larger a home.

Aging

Outgrowing your home usually sounds like you need more space, but sometimes you might benefit from downsizing. As couples age and their children leave the nest, a home that was once the right size might become too large and difficult to maintain. Choosing to downsize into a more comfortable space could also help stretch retirement dollars.

Not enough space

As a family grows in numbers so does accompanying furniture collections. Families often opt for over-sized pieces of furniture to accommodate everyone in the home plus guests. These large pieces of furniture take up a lot of space. They easily start to crowd a home and make it feel cramped or small. Many consider upgrading to a larger home to accommodate them and all of their belongings.

Complicated Entertaining

Many families like to entertain their friends and loved ones. For these families entertaining becomes a big factor when deciding to upgrade and purchase a new home. As you grow, you may end up hosting a large holiday party and the need for more space will become more imminent. It might be time to move on if you find out that your current home doesn’t share you sense of hospitality.

Your Finances are in order

Many families move on simply because they are in a better financial situation to do so. A recent job promotion or inheritance can allow you and your family to purchase a larger home or move into that perfect neighborhood. Your improved finances provide the opportunity to live comfortably and enjoy the space that you worked so hard to earn.

All About Purchase Agreements

The purchase agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential buyer and the property’s owner or seller. To streamline the process, it is best to keep records of everything and to stick to a pre-determined schedule.canstockphoto434622small

Escrow                                                        

An unbiased third party such as a title company or an attorney will be selected to act as the closing agent. The unbiased agent holds all funds in escrow and researches the complete record history of the property. This ensures that the title in question is free and clear of restrictions.

Inspections

Once the seller accepts your offer you will need a licensed property inspector to check the property for issues including the roof, structure, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and more. One of two things can happen depending on the outcome of the inspections. If each step in the process is successfully met, you move to closing or after review request for renegotiation of terms and price can be made.

Appraisal

After the inspections are met and you move closer to closing, your lender will require an appraisal to help determine the amount you can borrow to purchase your home. Appraisers are specialized in determining the value of properties based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income and more.

After the appraisal is completed successfully completed you can close.

Closing

Finally, the closing agent will furnish all parties with a settlement statement that summarizes the details of the purchase agreement. All parties including the closing agent will read and sign the documents and this completes the process.

After closing is complete you will need to get all home services installed and utilities turned on or switched over to your name. Now you are all set to move in to your new home!

Tiny House Movement Q & A

In today’s fast-paced, complicated life many look for ways to simplify. Some even advocate that moving into a smacanstockphoto10371016ller home means having a bigger life.

So what is tiny living?

In a nutshell, the tiny house movement is a way of life. People adjust to smaller spaces and fewer possessions in order to save money while focusing on building relationships and lasting experiences.

What is a tiny house?

The average home size in 2016 ranged from 2,400 to 2,600 square feet. Tiny homes typically offer anywhere from 65 to 400 square feet.

How much do they cost?

A relatively high-end tiny house costs around $20,000 to $30,000 to build yourself. These numbers include buying a brand new trailer, professional construction plans, appliances and other brand new materials.

How to build for less?

  • Use recycled materials
  • Use less expensive materials and appliances that are still reliable of course
  • Complete all labor yourself with the help of family and friends
  • Avoid costly mistakes by doing your due diligence when researching and designing
  • Be patient and find a good deal on the perfect trailer instead of purchasing a new one

Benefits of a tiny home?

  • Less time cleaning
  • Less time spent maintaining
  • No clutter means it’s easier to find your belongings
  • Monthly bills are cheaper
  • Cozy and easy to manage living space
  • Better for the environment

 

Do you want to know more about accommodating families with tiny home living? Check out this blog from TinyHouseTalk.com