REALTOR®. Broker. Agent. What's the difference?

Have you been looking for the best nolensville real estate agent? Or maybe you’ve contacted a LA broker. Or have you been talking to a REALTOR in California? Many people wonder if there is a difference in the terminology describing real estate agents. If you’re like me, you’ve heard about brokers and REALTORS , and wondered “what’s the difference?” (And why is there a tiny R in a circle anyway?)

Well, let’s clear things up!

Continue reading “REALTOR®. Broker. Agent. What's the difference?”

Financial Reasons to Buy a Home

contributed by Travis Newton ML137, Owner/Sr. Mortgage Banker

Financial Reasons to Buy

There are a number of personal and emotional reasons to buy a home. But there are also some strong financial reasons to make the investment. Here are just a few of those reasons:

Increase Net Worth: Few things have a greater impact on net worth than owning a home. In a comparison of renters versus homeowners, the Federal Reserve Board of Consumer Finance found that the average net worth of renters was just $4,000 compared to homeowners at $184,400.

A Big Tax Deduction: One of the largest tax deductions available is the amount of interest paid on a mortgage. In fact, a $150,000 home at a 5.50% interest rate can add up to approximately $8,000 in first year’s interest. This amounts to a significant savings – effectively reducing the amount of a homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment.

Long-Term Appreciation: Over the last few years, home prices have corrected and become more affordable. While that’s good news for potential buyers, it has overshadowed the long-term appreciation of a home’s value. The reality is, despite market ups and downs between 1950 and 2002, US home prices appreciated at an annual growth rate of 4.8%. Even if you calculate a modest appreciation of 3%, a home purchased today for $150,000 will grow in value to $364,000 over 30 years.

Not only will long-term appreciation raise the value of a home, but any renovations and improvements done to it can add to the overall selling price, especially if they are modern changes that can make the home more inhabitable. For instance, installing smart home software that can connect to the owners’ smart home gadgets is seen as a positive thing nowadays as we are firmly in the ‘technology is everywhere’ age.

In addition, don’t forget that the government is offering a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers through June 30, 2010. The tax credit has also been expanded so that qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years can receive a tax credit of up to $6,500.

Mortgage Interest Rates for Fixed Rate Mortgages*

Rates as of Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Expanded & Extended

The Homebuyer Tax Credit, due to expire on November 30, has been extended and expanded in an effort to stimulate the housing sector. The new law, effective November 6, 2009, will continue to offer an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home-buyers, and now allows a $6,500 credit for many other home-sellers who purchase. This means they can have some money to spend on renovations, like new entryways from Doors Plus to name one example. Speaking of, more examples are as follows:

•First-time homebuyers receive an $8,000 tax credit

•Repeat homebuyers receive a $6,500 tax credit

•The extended deadline requires a signed purchase agreement by April 30, 2010 and property closing by June 30, 2010

•The income limit is $125,000 individual/$225,000 married

•The purchase price limit is $800,000

•This credit will need to be paid back if you sell this home in less than 3 years.

Continue reading “Homebuyer Tax Credit Expanded & Extended”