More Borrowers Gain Positive Equity in Their Homes
Nearly 2.5 million more residential households with a mortgage returned to positive equity at the end of the second quarter of 2013, increasing the total number of mortgaged homes with equity to 41.5 million, according to the latest analysis from CoreLogic. While 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at the end of the second quarter, or 14.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, this figure is down from 9.6 million households, or 19.7 percent of all mortgaged properties, that were in negative equity at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
The national aggregate value of negative equity was $428 billion at the end of the second quarter, down from $576 billion at the end of the first quarter. The decrease was driven in large part to rising home prices.
Of the 41.5 million homes with equity, 10.3 million have less than 20 percent equity, representing 21.1 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage at the end of the second quarter of 2013. A total of 1.7 million homes with a mortgage had less than 5 percent equity, and may be at risk if home prices fall.
by Regina Ludes, Tuesday, September 10, 2013
In today’s world it’s tough to get away from the constant demands for our attention. Whether it’s cell phones that never rest, drivers rushing to get somewhere or simply TVs urging you to buy now, you don’t have any place to just get away and unwind. Even our own bedrooms, where we should be able to relax and get some rest, have often become multi-functional, becoming home offices or craft rooms in addition to being a place to sleep. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way. While there’s not much you can do to stop the din, you can at least get away from it for a while by turning your bedroom back into a place where you can relax and unwind – your own bedroom retreat.
Declutter. Move your computer, TV and other big electronics out of the room or at least hide them in a cabinet with a closing door or behind a movable screen. A bedroom retreat can’t double as a TV or family room and if that’s how you use your bedroom, it will never be a relaxing retreat.
Clear out stacks of books, magazines or the pile of clothes destined for the washing machine. If you can’t move them right out of the room, consider installing some wall shelves to give your books and magazines some order and get a laundry hamper to hide your clothes out of sight.
Color can provide a soothing feeling. A fresh coat of soft blue, green or gray – or perhaps an earth tone – can help make your bedroom retreat feel calmer and more relaxing. Some decorating experts suggest you can give it an even more relaxed feeling by not only painting the walls, but also doing the trim and ceiling in the same color. This sameness of color takes your mind off the colors in the room and allows you to relax.
Natural light is calming. Let natural light into the room by opening your blinds and shutters. If privacy is a concern, Venetian or vertical blinds can be adjusted to allow light into the room while still blocking the glances of prying eyes.
Don’t rely on an overhead lighting fixture. Installing a dimmer switch (rheostat) to control the light level is one way to tone it down, but even better is some attractive table lamps for your bedside tables that allow you to control the light levels in the room.
Upgrade your bed or your bed linens. Since mattresses don’t break – they just wear out – many of us are sleeping on mattresses well past their prime. A new mattress will make your bed more comfortable and ensure a good night’s rest. If a new mattress is not in your budget, some new bed linens (in a neutral or soft color) will help make your room more inviting.
A comfortable chair with a lamp close by makes a relaxing place to sit and enjoy a good book or simply sip a glass of wine.
Choose natural wood furniture and consider including some natural woven baskets and bed special features.
Everyone loves the sound of running water so a small water feature in your bedroom retreat will give you the feeling that you’re relaxing near a trickling stream in the forest. If a water feature isn’t practical, consider a recording of the sound of waves to at least give you the soothing sounds of water.
Plants are also a great part of a bedroom retreat. Not only do they look attractive, they also freshen the air in the room by removing carbon dioxide and replacing it with clean oxygen.
Finish your bedroom with a few items you enjoy, such as pictures of your family and close friends or a piece of art by a favorite artist. Just don’t overdo it, or your room could start to look cluttered.
Finally,after you’ve gone to the effort of creating your own retreat, keep it that way. Take a few minutes in the morning to tidy and make up the room, so when you return in the evening, your first thought will be relaxing, not tidying.
By Murray Anderson (from Realtor.com)
Having a pool is a wonderful selling point to a house, especially here in the Lewis-Clark Valley. Everyone knows that the summers here can be pretty warm and getting down to the river during the day might not always be manageable. What better way to be able to beat the heat than jumping into your own pool?
A pool not only is a great selling point and way to cool off but you can also use it to make money by teaching swimming lessons in the summer. Therefor, with all of the great advantages a pool has to offer why would you ever not want to keep it updated and in tip top shape? We all know there are a million to-dos in the Summer, however don’t let your pool go unnoticed. If it is not maintained properly that will only lead to costing more in the future.
Thankfully MSN Real Estate offers 8 great tips to keeping your pool in mint condition- don’t waste a good thing!
We hope everyone in the Lewis-Clark Valley is having a smooth transition into summer.
Quad Cities Realty has been as busy as ever diving into new and exciting adventures out here in the real estate world. We are kicking off our blog with home improvement projects, buyer/seller information, new listings and every day information about real estate nationwide.
We love input from everyone connecting with our blog and we cannot wait to get this summer rolling! As we are sure you all are too. Stay tuned and know that we are now official “tweeters” and would love to connect that way as well– start following us @realestateJoe– which you can find over on the side bar or “like” us on facebook…
Until our next post remember that, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Rohn
ummer is a prime moving season for many families, especially those with young children who want to settle in their new home before the school year starts. Experts at Move.com offer several tips for making your move a seamless and stress-free experience.
1. When hiring professional movers, get written estimates from at least three licensed companies. For a few extra dollars, consider buying moving insurance. Investing in full value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced.
2. Take photos of every room in the new home while they are vacant. Then write down every item from your current home and which room those items will go before you begin packing them.
3. Begin packing early, even if it’s one room or one cabinet at a time. Toss or donate any items you don’t need. And remember to fill out change-of-address notices and schedule utilities ahead of time.
4. If you have children or pets, consider hiring a sitter or daycare for moving day, or find a safe place for them so they’re not underfoot.
5. When breaking down larger items, like shelving units, into smaller pieces, put the screws, washers and other small components in a sealed baggie and label it clearly. Keep all baggies with small parts in one box and carry it with you on moving day.
6. Take pictures of electronic hook-ups for TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers before unplugging them. Print out the pictures and label them in detail, so you will be able to set up the systems properly once you are in the new home. Also keep all loose wires in separate baggies or boxes that are clearly labeled.
7. Dispose of any household products you no longer use, such as paints, pesticides and detergents. Contact the city’s waste disposal department for guidelines on how to dispose of them safely. For items that you plan to take with you, like laundry detergent or cleaning products, pack them in a small box within a larger box to protect against leaks and seal the boxes securely.
Plan ahead and start packing early, so you can enjoy the moving experience with less stress.*
*Information provided by www.crs.com
Many people walk into a home and just have that feeling that it is going to be the right place. They move in get all settled then realize their neighbors don’t mix well with them, or a school isn’t close enough, a commute to work takes 30+ min because of the traffic or the house next door is going through foreclosure. One of the top priorities to finding your perfect home is to make sure the neighborhood is what you want it to be. The house is not the only attribute that must fit with you and your family, the neighborhood must meet your criteria as well.
Check out this article by MSN Real Estate for a little info on how to find the right home and neighborhood
Currently Quad Cities Realty is working to update one of our rentals. Meaning new paint colors, new doors and a more modern touch and feel to the overall outside of the home. Now going into this job we made a plan of what was to be done and what we needed to get the job done. However, like most jobs there are always unexpected surprises that can arise.
We knew there were parts of the house that were cracked and would need to be sanded and chipped away at, although as we began there was a lot more ‘chipping’ of the paint then we thought. Sanding all day long for multiple days can be tiring! However, the main goal you have to look at will be the finished product. Never do a job such as repainting and repairing half-way, because if you do the final product will not be what you want. Don’t stress and MAKE TIME for your projects.
The second thing to remember when remodeling is that new fresh paint colors will add drama and excitement to your home. Adding new color that is fresh and different will not only spruce up your home, but your entire neighborhood. Now if you want to go along the same lines as your first color that is great too, but even a change in hue can add an entire new element.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the little problems that can happen along the way. Such as a rotted wood frame, nails all over the side of the house, buying the wrong paint color etc. Remember when you are calculating in the days that it is going to take for this project allow about two days as ‘oops days’ meaning that you hope to get everything done in the alloted time, but accidents happen so make extra time!
Good luck to all of you making small or large improvements! Good luck, remember we are always here to help with any questions!
Many people have been hopping onto the refinancing train recently; but how do you know if you are in the right state to refinance? Sure a lot of people will tell you that you will be able to get ahead in your financial situation, but how can you be sure? From MSN Real Estate and written by Amy Fontinelle of Investopedia there are six questions that you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge!
Working through financial jargon with a mortgage lender can be confusing, but you can make the process easier if you clarify queries up front. Real Estate ABC and About.com offer a few tips for talking to your lender and finding what home loan best fits your needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the pros and cons of each type of loan — fixed-rate loans are good if you are likely to have a lower interest rate and can pay it off quickly, while an adjustable rate mortgage will fluctuate during the term of the loan. And keep in mind that the total cost of a loan includes many fees, such as the appraisal, request for credit report, inspection reports and recording fees. Sometimes these fees are negotiable, so be sure to ask your lender if there’s room for more savings.
Ask about the lender’s relationship with the financial institution they represent. The closing process moves quickly, and it’s important to have a lender who feels comfortable getting in touch with the financial institution and making changes for his or her client as often as needed. When determining a closing date on the property, it’s best to work with a lender who can guarantee funding and turnaround of the loan within 48 hours of signing the necessary paperwork to avoid delays.
The most important tip? Trust your gut when choosing a lender. If at any time you’re not comfortable with the answers given, or if the lender is vague or defensive, consider looking elsewhere.
Information provided by www.crs.com
Hopefully everyone out there has a fun and SAFE Fourth of July. For many people the Fourth is all about being with friends and family and just having a good time. A day that celebrates our independence and freedom should not end up in tragedy for anyone. Please remember that with all of the fun and games there needs to be precaution, especially when many people are not traveling to the mountains far away from houses or other people but are just staying home and doing firework displays in their backyard. Here are some helpful tips that I am sure most of you are aware of, but it’s always nice to have a quick reminder!
- local laws are a must, you do not want your firework show being shutdown because of rules and regulations that were not followed.
- DO NOT attempt to make your own fireworks, you will get hurt.
- stay away from your house or neighbors houses; the last thing anyone wants is their home to start on fire because of a mishap.
- Do not let young children handle fireworks or even sparklers.
- Even if you can’t leave your local area it is always nicer to be able to find a clear area or one close to water to do a firework display. The Lewis-Clark Valley is a great spot with open area and surrounding water.
for a look at more tips and a look at national statistics visit: http://www.fireworksafety.com/