How to Design a Modern, Luxurious Home Inside of an Older Piece of Real Estate

How to Design a Modern, Luxurious Home Inside of an Older Piece of Real Estate Newer properties may be infused with built-in designer touches that give them an instant sense of luxury, but older homes may lack many of these built-in features. Whether buying or renovating an older property, many people are interested in learning how to instill modern luxury in older property. The good news is that this is easier than it sounds, and it can be accomplished by following a few simple tips.

Make Thoughtful Upgrades

It may not be cost-effective or reasonable to upgrade the entire space with an extensive renovation, but making a few thoughtful upgrades can yield fabulous results. The light fixtures, faucets and hardware in the space should receive attention first, and homeowners should choose a modern finish that goes well with the rest of the home. If funds permit, consider upgrading the counter tops, sinks and bathtubs to further add luxury and modern style to the style.

Choose The Right Fabrics

When decorating the home, it is important to choose fabrics that speak to the luxury that is desired in the space. While some affordable materials have a luxurious look, it may be necessary to invest in premium materials like leather or upgraded upholstery in some areas to achieve the desired results. Think about the use of color, and layer fabrics for a truly upscale, finished look in the space.

Take Advantage Of Antique Charm

Most older homes have a special antique charm, and homeowners may have better results when working with this charm rather than trying to remove it from the space. Antiques can be incorporated with modern pieces to create a historic, classic or even rustic look to a home. Consider which aspects of the existing décor to highlight, such as gorgeous wood floors or an antique banister, and celebrate these areas while also including modern fabrics and other decorative touches to create the luxurious, modern look that is desired.

Decorating an older home can be challenging for many reasons, but it is possible to instill a sense of modern luxury into the space without a complete renovation. Some smaller remodeling efforts may be needed for the best results, and they can be incorporated with these tips to provide a lovely look that homeowners can truly fall in love with. Those who are thinking about fully renovating their older home may want to speak with their trusted mortgage professional for more information about refinancing their mortgage.

Buying a New Home? Three Tips on How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Buying a New Home in 2015? Three Tips on How to Get the Best Mortgage RateBuying a new home is one of the biggest steps that a person can take. Prior to taking out a home loan, you want to ensure that you get the best interest rate for your mortgage. The lower your rate is, the less you’ll pay over the long run. In today’s blog post we’ll share three key tips that will help you get the best possible mortgage rate.

Tip 1: Look For Special Programs

The Federal Housing Administration, better known as the FHA, offers a program designed for those looking at buying homes. This program lets applicants apply for loans and get access to better interest rates. The FHA guarantees that loan and agrees to pay off the funds if the borrower defaults.

The USDA can also help those interested in purchasing homes in rural areas. This can include farmland, ranches and homes located in smaller towns across the country. The USDA developed this program as a way to increase the population in certain areas.

Other programs are available through HUD, especially for those who never owned a home before. HUD is intended to help new homeowners buy homes in underdeveloped and up-and-coming areas. There are also special programs open for those who work as teachers, firefighters and in other positions that help the community at large.

Tip 2: Request Quotes

Not requesting quotes is one of the biggest mistakes that new shoppers make. Did you know that your interest rate can drop by a few percentage points or more just by comparison shopping? Lenders use different criteria when determining who can borrow money and the amount charged, and comparing those quotes can help you get the best fit for your situation.

Tip 3: Improve Your Credit Before Applying

Speaking of credit, one of the biggest factors that determines your interest rate is your credit score. A credit score of 700 or higher will get you a better interest rate than if you had a score of 650 or less. Improving your score before applying is one of the best ways to get a good rate.

Paying down your debt is an easy way to improve your score, but you can also pay your bills on time to get a better score. To learn more about new home financing, improving your credit score and interest rates available to you, be sure to contact your trusted mortgage professional.

Case-Shiller: Home Prices Continue to Outpace Inflation

You Ask, We Answer: How the New FICO Score System Might Impact a Typical Mortgage BorrowerDenver, Colorado continues to woo homebuyers as home prices rose by 10.20 percent as of June according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index. The Mile-High City was the only city included in the index that posted double-digit year-over-year growth in June. San Francisco, California posted a 9.50 percent year-over-year gain in home prices and Dallas, Texas rounds out the top three cities posting highest year-over-year home price growth with a reading of 8.20 percent.

Denver’s home prices were impacted by the city’s rapidly expanding economy and demand for homes coupled with a slim supply of homes for sale. According to the National Association of Realtors®, there is approximately one month’s inventory of homes available in Denver as compared to the national average of five months. 

Cities experiencing the least year-over-year growth in home prices according to the 20-City Home Price Index were Chicago, Illinois with a year-over-year growth rate of 1.40 percent, Washington D.C. with a year-over-year reading of 1.60 percent in home price growth and New York, New York with a reading of 2.80 percent growth in home prices year-over-year.

The 20-City Index indicated national home prices grew by five percent year-over-year in June, with a month-to-month increase of one percent from May to June.

Detroit Leads Gains in Month-to-Month Home Prices 

Detroit, Michigan led month-over-month home price growth with a May to June reading of 1.80 percent. Cleveland, Ohio and Portland Oregon posted month-to-month gains of 1.50 percent followed by Atlanta, Georgia and Denver Colorado; each city posted month-to-month home price gains of 1.30 percent. 

As economic conditions continue to improve, prospective homebuyers face obstacles including tight mortgage approval standards and home prices growing at approximately twice the rate of inflation.

FHFA: Home Prices Dip in June

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home prices associated with mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac slipped to a year-over year growth rate of 5.60 percent in June as compared to May’s reading of 5.70 percent. The agency also reported that home prices rose by 1.20 percent during the second quarter of 2015; this was the sixteenth consecutive quarterly increase in home prices.

FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis noted that home prices continued to exceed inflation and were rising in spite of higher mortgage rates.

In general, analysts regard longer term readings as more reliable than month-to-month readings that reflect more volatility based on day-to-day influences.

A Few Common Misconceptions About Mortgage Pre-Qualification

Mythbusting: Correcting A Few Common Misconceptions About Mortgage Pre-qualificationIf you’re shopping around for mortgages, you’ve probably heard about pre-qualification processes – or maybe even received a pre-qualification offer in the mail. Lots of prospective homeowners hold misconceptions about what exactly pre-qualification is and how it works, and it leads them to opt into poor mortgage deals.

But by understanding how pre-qualification works, you’ll be able to find the right mortgage for you – at the best possible rate. So what is mortgage pre-qualification, and what isn’t it? Here are three common pre-qualification myths that you may have heard.

Myth: Mortgage Pre-qualification Commits You To A Specific Lender

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that being pre-qualified for a mortgage commits them to a specific lender. In truth, being pre-qualified only creates an opportunity for a lender to work with you.

The pre-qualification process doesn’t involve any loan contracts and doesn’t require you to pay the lender. Few homeowners know this, but you’re actually not at all committed to any particular lender until you sign the closing documents.

Pre-qualification is also generally a free process, although some lenders will ask you to pay the $20 fee it costs them to check your credit report. Typically no lender will ask you to pay more than $20 during pre-qualification.

Myth: Rate Shopping Hurts Your Credit Score

Another common myth is that shopping around for the best rate will hurt your credit score as a result of having multiple credit checks done. Some lenders may tell you this is true in order to discourage you from checking out other lenders. But according to FICO, mortgage inquiries aren’t handled the same way that other credit inquiries are.

Mortgage pre-qualification may seem like something you don’t want during a house hunt, but in truth, it’s really just a small gesture lenders make in order to make the mortgage process faster and simpler. If you’ve been pre-qualified for a mortgage, you will still need to go through the standard application process before you’re approved. To learn more about the mortgage application process, or to apply for your new mortgage today, contact your trusted mortgage professional.