Monday, February 19, 2018

A Few Tips and Tricks to Save for a Down Payment

There are many ways you can save for a down payment. Here are a few tips that can save you anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in a hurry.

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What can you do to save for a down payment if you plan on buying a home soon? Here are a few tips and suggestions to realign your savings program.

First, set your goal as far as how much home you want to purchase. Talk to your lender and find out what your down payment for your particular price tag would be. Once you know what you need for your down payment, you can start saving for it.

Next, assess your spending habits. Write down what you spend every week. When you do that, you’ll realize that you maybe didn’t really need that Starbucks coffee.

Speaking of that, I know most people like Starbucks and you might too, but most people also spend at least $5 per day there. If you think about it, you can say as much as $2,000 a year by not going to Starbucks and instead making your own coffee or just going to McDonald’s like I do (it’s all about the dollar menu!)

Another step to consider is shrinking your TV package. Do you really need a large TV package for all of those programs that you can only watch one at a time?

Once you know what you need for your down payment, you can start saving for it.

You can also think about canceling your gym membership. I myself had a gym membership for three years and I never lost a single pound. A lot of us sign up for a gym membership, pay our dues, but never even step inside the gym.

Also, consider selling any extra items in your house that you haven’t used in a while. Even in the garage, you can find items that will sell for a couple thousand dollars easily and in a hurry.

Another thing to think about is getting extra points on your credit cards. Switch your credit cards so you get points on them and pay for items through a point system as opposed to just cash.

Lastly, save some money through your tax return. It’s always nice to see a couple thousand dollars coming back to you at the end of the year, and it’s also nice to spend that extra money.

These tips can save anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in a short amount of time. If you have any other questions about saving for a down payment or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home soon in our market, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to speak with you!

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Reality of Life Insurance and Its Benefits

Life insurance isn’t a popular thing to talk about. However, it’s so important that your family is taken care of if the worst happens.

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Why in the world would a real estate professional be talking about life insurance? Well, as most of you know, I enjoy having personal relationships with my clients after I’ve helped them out professionally. I keep in touch with them after the transaction and from time to time I hear some really sad stories.

Over the last few years, I’ve seen people pass away and leave their spouses with nothing because they always felt like they couldn’t afford life insurance. It’s very disconcerting when you know that someone is left with nothing in the wake of a tragedy.

Your policy doesn’t have to be an expensive one.

I think that you should do everything in your power to get in touch with a life insurance professional. It should be someone you know and trust. It should be someone who can set you up with a low-cost plan to protect your family with life insurance in some way.

None of us are getting out of here alive, so the more that you can protect your family, the better off they will be. Keep in mind that the younger you are the less expensive the life insurance policy will be.

I’m not here to sell you life insurance. I just hate it when I see a family in financial distress in the wake of a tragedy simply because they weren’t aware that they could afford life insurance.

I hope you take this message to heart. If you have any questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Looking Back on Our 2017 Market and Making a Few Predictions for 2018

Prices rose and inventory dropped in our market in 2017. In 2018, you can expect inventory to remain low and prices to continue to rise.

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What happened in our market in 2017? What’s going to happen in 2018?

First, let’s talk about how our 2017 market did compared to 2016. 

The average sale price rose $24,000 to $287,900. The median sale price also rose $23,000 to $260,000. The bottom line is prices rose just about 10%, which was something we addressed throughout the year. In contrast, the average days on market dropped 33% to 56 days. This means if you put your house on the market, you can expect to have a very good chance of selling it within 56 days. Of course, some properties go much quicker than that. 

Looking toward the future of our 2018 market is where things get interesting. Here are a few conservative predictions.

Prices are expected to continue upward between 4% and 7%, and interest rates are expected to increase to 4.5% to 5%. Inventory, however, is expected to remain low, and there are a few reasons why. 

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’re better off acting sooner rather than later in 2018.

First, Oregon is the second-largest moving destination in the country, which means we’ll have the continual pressure of people moving into our area and not enough homes to service all of those people. 

Second, millennials are ready to buy homes. They’ve been patient and saved up their money, and the market is ready to absorb these buyers. 

Now that we have an idea of what’s going to happen, what’s the potential of waiting to buy or sell—say—six months down the road in 2018? If you had a $250,000 mortgage and the interest rate rose from 4% to 4.5% in that six-month span, your payment for the same house would increase $162 per month. 

My advice for both buyers and sellers is to act quickly. Prices will continue to rise, but buying is still a much better option than renting. Furthermore, the rental market is crazy and the price of rentals exceeds the cost of a house payment. 

If you have any more questions about how our market will unfold in 2018 or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d love to help you.