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Help for First Time Homebuyers

by Melissa Thompson

Have you been hesitant to purchase your first home because you are worried about having enough cash for a down payment or that you won’t qualify for a loan?  Don’t despair!  There is help out there for you.  Owning a home is a sound financial investment and there is no reason to keep paying a landlord’s mortgage when you could be paying your own and building equity for your future.

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has the Great Choice Home Loan program which was designed specifically to help first-time homebuyers overcome obstacles such as:

  • Not enough savings for a down payment
  • Being unsure of how the home-buying process works
  • Worrying that you won’t qualify for a loan
  • Being concerned about high-risk mortgages

Most Great Choice Home Loans are insured by FHA or USDA-RD, which means that you can borrow up to 96.5% of the total price of the home you are purchasing. So, you will only need a minimum of 3.5% for a down payment.  In addition, financial assistance is available to every approved homebuyer!  You can utilize your financial assistance for any loan-related costs, including down payment and closing costs.

The THDA offers homebuyer education classes and taking one of these classes is a great first step toward understanding all you need to know before you start your home search.  The class teaches things such as:

  • What makes a home right for you
  • What questions to ask when looking at a home
  • How to qualify for a home loan
  • What’s involved in maintaining a home

If you plan to apply for down payment assistance, it is required that you take this class.

The real estate professionals at Your Key to Memphis can explain this program to you and answer any questions that you have.  Contact them and start your home search today!

 

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/What-Would-You-Sacrifice-to-Save-For-Your-Next-Home

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Four-Reasons-to-Buy-a-Home-Now

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Buying-a-Home-in-a-Sellers-Market

What Would You Sacrifice to Save For Your Next Home?

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • 95% of first-time homebuyers are willing to sacrifice to make homeownership a reality.
  • The top item that buyers sacrifice is new clothes, at 54%.
  • Even repeat or experienced buyers say they sacrificed taking a vacation or buying a new car to buy their last home.

Contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key To Memphis to find your dream home today! 901.729.9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com.

 

 

How Much Do Schools Matter When Buying Your Home?

by Melissa Thompson

When choosing a new home, there are usually several items on the buyer’s list of priorities, but when kids are involved, school systems often top that list.  People are often willing to pay more and sacrifice other desires to make sure they are in the best school district for their children.  Private schools may be a feasible alternative for some, but that is not the case for many. Even if buyers don’t have children (or plan to have them), they may want to buy in where the schools have the best reputation because it will have a positive effect on resale value down the road. However, it’s important to remember that a poorly ranked school district does not automatically mean that the overall quality of local education in an area is poor.  You have to do your research. Consider the age of the schools, their physical condition, the student-to-teacher ratios and standardized test scores. Understanding how the school system works in Tennessee will be helpful in your search as well. In Tennessee, your child can attend any school in your district (called “intradistrict choice”), and students at low-performing schools, as designated by the state, can attend a different school in their district.  Some districts allow student to transfer to schools either in or outside their district (“interdistrict choice”).  There are also charter schools available.  Low-income students are eligible for scholarship funding to attend private schools.  Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, students attending a Title I school designated as “in need of improvement” have the right to attend a higher performing in the district.  So, as you can see, there are a lot of options!

Finding the best place to live near Memphis for you and your family is something the real estate professionals at Your Key To Memphis can help you do. Contact Melissa Thompson and begin your search today!

Why Americans Consider Moving to Another State?

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • In a recent Harris Poll, Americans listed "change in climate/weather" as their top reason for wanting to relocate.
  • 41% would move for a “better job opportunity.”
  • Being closer to loved ones filled out 3 of the top 6 reasons why Americans move.

If this is your year to make a move - contact The Melissa Thompson Team at YourKeyToMemphis.com901.729.9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com.

 

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Four Reasons to Buy a Home Now!

by Melissa Thompson

You may be wondering if this is the best time to buy a home.  Spring is a busy time in general for real estate transactions and right now it’s a seller's market, meaning supply is low and demand is high. But the truth is, there are always excellent reasons to buy a house, regardless of market activity.

First, buying is cheaper than renting. The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The report reveals that:

“Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation…Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1% for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.”

Another benefit of homeownership is that it forces you to save money. The financial commitment you make when you buy a home means that your monthly housing cost must be paid, no matter what.  When you take on this responsibility, it may inspire you to be more frugal and to save more.

Tax deductions are also a perk of owning a home. There are many tax advantages, including (but not limited to) reducing your taxable income by deducting interest paid on a home mortgage and deducting property taxes paid.

Finally, experts expect home price appreciation to continue. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.22% per year on average and to grow by 17.3% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

The bottom line is that buying a home now will prove to be a sound financial decision for years to come. Don’t wait!  Contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key To Memphis to find your dream home today!

Financial Planning: 4 Reasons to Buy a House Today

by Melissa Thompson

Financial Planning: 4 Reasons to Buy a House Today | Keeping Current Matters

Homeownership will always be a part of the American Dream. There are advantages to owning your own home (educationalhealthsocial) that far transcend any economic impact. However, we want to look at several of the financial advantages of homeownership in today’s post.

1. Buying is Cheaper Than Renting

The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The report reveals that:

“Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation…Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1% for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.”

2. Homeownership “Forces” You to Save

According to SavingAdvice.com, homeownership is a great way to save. Their advice is quite simple:

“Homeownership is a “forced” savings account because you own the home, you have no choice – that monthly housing cost has got to be paid no matter what…Homeownership can be an outstanding way to force yourself to be more frugal in the rest of your spending so that you can save and build equity in your home.”

3. Homeownership Offers Several Tax Deductions

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen's guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” - there are several tax advantages to homeownership. Here are three:

  1. Homeowners who itemize deductions may reduce their taxable income by deducting any interest paid on a home mortgage.
  2. Homeowners who itemize deductions may also reduce their taxable income by deducting property taxes they pay on their homes.
  3. Taxpayers who sell assets must generally pay capital gains tax on any profits made on the sale.

4. Experts Expect Home Price Appreciation to Continue

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.22% per year on average and to grow by 17.3% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

Bottom Line

Some are afraid that home values may have already peaked. However, we believe that purchasing a home now will prove to be a sound financial decision for years to come. As Warren Buffet said, “When others are greedy, be fearful. When others are fearful, be greedy.”

Learn more about buying Memphis Real Estate at YourKeyToMemphis.com. 901.729.9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com.

 

Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

by Melissa Thompson

It’s a challenging time to buy a home this spring because you not only have to find a property you want; you must also beat out all the other homebuyers who want to make an offer on it as well.  It is a seller’s market right now and that means supply is low and demand is high. This is especially true in the price ranges desired by first time homebuyers. The latest figures from the National Association of Realtors show that that there was only a 4.4-month supply of homes for sale in February, which is lower than the six-month supply that indicates a balanced market. One-quarter of February’s transactions were all-cash sales, per the NAR, and investors bought 18 percent of the homes that were sold.

So, home sales are moving quickly and often have multiple offers.  That means you need to be strategic to get into the home of your dreams.  Going to open houses and perusing listings is not enough to acquire the house you want in this market.

Seeking out an experienced realtor to assist you in your search is vital to your success in buying a home this spring.  Realtors can help you with everything from finding properties, to placing appropriate offers and negotiating terms.   Knowing what is most important to sellers is key to winning a bidding war.  A good agent will know what motivates sellers.

Take the following steps to prepare and you will have a better chance at success:

  • Get your finances in order and shop for a mortgage pre-approval prior to making an offer on a house.
  • Move quickly once you find the house you want.
  • Don’t make snap judgements based on listing photos. You must see a home in person to know if you truly love it or hate it.  Pictures do not tell the whole story!
  • Be realistic about the inspection and repairs.  In a competitive market, owners don’t need to make repairs in order to sell.  Inspections should be utilized to find major flaws that may be deal breakers for prospective buyers.
  • Start with your best offer. A competitive market is not the right market for negotiating a bargain.
  • Write a personal letter to the seller. You never know what might influence their decision.  Some homeowner love their house so much they want it to go to someone who will love it as much as they do.
  • Make a big earnest money deposit. A large deposit will let sellers know that you are serious about the purchase.
  • Make a backup offer. Even if a house is already under contract, the deal might still possibly fall apart for various reasons such as inspection issues or financing.  If you love a house, put a backup offer on it so that you will be first in line if the initial buyer walks away.
  • Consider waiving or shortening contingencies. Most offers are made contingent on the buyer being approved for a mortgage, the appraisal being equal to the purchase price and the buyer approving  the inspection.  Waiving any one of those contingencies can be risky, but may be worth taking a chance on in some circumstances.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Dont-Let-Your-Luck-Run-Out

Learn more about buying Memphis Real Estate at YourKeyToMemphis.com. 901.729.9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com.

Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help

by Melissa Thompson

Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help | Keeping Current Matters

Many Americans got some depressing news last week; either their tax return was not as large as they had hoped or, in some cases, they were told they owed additional money to either the Federal or State government or both. One way to save on taxes is to own your own home.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen's guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” - there are several tax advantages to homeownership.

Here are four items, and a quote on each, from the Briefing Book:

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

“Homeowners who itemize deductions may reduce their taxable income by deducting any interest paid on a home mortgage. The deduction is limited to interest paid on up to $1 million of debt incurred to purchase or substantially rehabilitate a home. Homeowners also may deduct interest paid on up to $100,000 of home equity debt, regardless of how they use the borrowed funds. Taxpayers who do not own their home have no comparable ability to deduct interest paid on debt incurred to purchase goods and services.”

2. Property Tax Deduction

“Homeowners who itemize deductions may also reduce their taxable income by deducting property taxes they pay on their homes.”

3. Imputed Rent

“Buying a home is an investment, part of the returns from which is the opportunity to live in the home rent-free. Unlike returns from other investments, the return on homeownership—what economists call “imputed rent”—is excluded from taxable income. In contrast, landlords must count as income the rent they receive, and renters may not deduct the rent they pay. A homeowner is effectively both landlord and renter, but the tax code treats homeowners the same as renters while ignoring their simultaneous role as their own landlords.”

4. Profits from Home Sales

“Taxpayers who sell assets must generally pay capital gains tax on any profits made on the sale. But homeowners may exclude from taxable income up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of capital gains on the sale of their home if they satisfy certain criteria: they must have maintained the home as their principal residence in two out of the preceding five years, and they generally may not have claimed the capital gains exclusion for the sale of another home during the previous two years.”

Bottom Line

We are not suggesting that you purchase a house just to save on your taxes. However, if you have been on the fence as to whether 2017 is the year you should become a homeowner, this information might help with that decision. Contact The Melissa Thompson Team today to start your home search! 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeytoMemphis.com 

Disclaimer: Always check with your accountant to find out what tax advantages apply to you in your area.  

Home Prices Up 6.15% Across the Country!

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more!
  • Alaska, Delaware, West Virginia & Wyoming were the only states where home prices are lower than they were last year.

Learn more about buying or selling Memphis Real Estate at YourKeyToMemphis.com. 901.729.9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com.

 

 

Don’t Let Your Luck Run Out...

by Melissa Thompson

Don’t Let Your Luck Run Out [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The “Cost of Waiting to Buy” is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts that interest rates will increase to 4.8% by this time next year, while home prices are predicted to appreciate by 4.8% according to CoreLogic.
  • Waiting until next year to buy could cost you thousands of dollars a year for the life of your mortgage!
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Learn more about buying or selling Memphis Real Estate at YourKeyToMemphis.com. 901.729.9526 or Melissa@YourKeyToMemphis.com.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17