31
Oct 18

Taking Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

Taking Fear Out of the Mortgage Process | Simplifying The Market

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainties about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need a down payment (the average down payment on all loans last year was 5%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income, and good credit history.

Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals who will all perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests to follow:

  1. Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO Score® of all closed loans in September was 731, according to Ellie Mae.
  2. Start gathering all of your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  3. Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer who can help you develop a spending plan, as well as help you determine how much home you can afford.
  4. Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals in order to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval – a pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change) and demonstrates to home sellers that you are serious about buying!

Bottom Line

Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure that you are ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

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31
Oct 18

You Can Get Paid $100 An Hour To Play With Puppies All Day

There is nothing more therapeutic than playing with a pup (or ten) when you’re stressing. The second you graze over their adorable little hairs on their adorable little head, all the worries of the world seem far, far away—right where they should remain.

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31
Oct 18

A 1960s Portland Home After a "Fast & Furious" Remodel — House Tour

Name: Kami Gray, her husband Bryant and dogs Ben and George
Location: Mt. Tabor Neighborhood — Southeast Portland, Oregon
Size: 2,968 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned

Kami and Bryant started dating when they both lived on different floors of the same condo building. After falling in love, they decided to buy a house to live in together. They purchased a home on Mt. Tabor — an extinct volcano and one of the highest points in Portland — and jumped right into a major remodel.

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31
Oct 18

This Is The Closest Thing To Actually Having The Property Brothers Renovate Your Home

You want to redecorate your living room, but you don’t know where to start. Do you decide on a color palette first and then choose your furnishings, or wait to find a staple piece you can’t do without and stem inspiration from there? And if the later, with every furniture website having endless pages of products, how do you decide?

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31
Oct 18

This Coffee Table Is Made of 10,480 LEGO Bricks and Costs $9,000

LEGOs aren’t just for the kiddos. If you miss those colorful building blocks of your childhood, you’ll love this DIY coffee table from California-based art director Yusong Zhang. It took him three weeks to make and over 10,000 brick pieces. But what’s perhaps most surprising is how modern and sophisticated it looks in his living room.

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31
Oct 18

Proof That When It Comes to Wall Art, Sometimes More Is More

The old adage is to take off at least one accessory before leaving the house, but that doesn’t ring true when it comes to house decor. When it comes to art in your home, sometime more is really more. Floor-to-ceiling gallery walls not only bring a touch of color and busy-ness into a room, but it also lets you flex your creative muscles, allows you to bring character into the space, and lets you show your personality through the paintings and prints you choose. So why not layer up on it? Below are rooms that prove that when it comes to wall art, you need to go big or go home.

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30
Oct 18

Are You Spending TOO Much on Rent?

Are You Spending TOO Much on Rent? | Simplifying The Market

Chances are if you are renting you are spending too much of your income on your monthly housing expense. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their rent or mortgage payment. This percentage allows the household to save money for the future while comfortably covering other expenses.

According to new data released from ApartmentList.com, 49.5 million renters in the United States were cost-burdened in 2017, meaning they spent more than 30% of their monthly incomes on rent. This accounts for nearly half of all renter households in the country and is up 3.1 million from 2007.

When a household is cost-burdened by their monthly housing expense, they are not as easily able to save money for the future. This is a big factor for many renters who dream of owning their own homes someday.

But there is hope for those who are able to save at least a 3% down payment! The percentage of income needed in the US to buy a home is significantly less than renting at 17.1%!

The chart below compares the historic percentage of income needed to rent and buy from 1985-2000 to the first quarter of 2018. As you can see, the cost of renting has climbed above historic numbers while the cost of buying dropped over the same period of time.

Are You Spending TOO Much on Rent? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters who is spending too much of their monthly income on rent, consider saving money by getting a roommate, moving into a less expensive apartment, or even moving in with family. These are all ways to save for a down payment so that you can put your housing costs to work for you!

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30
Oct 18

Rifle Paper Co. Just Launched a Gorgeous Collection of Pillows and Rugs

Fans of Rifle Paper Co. are already well-acquainted with Anna Bond’s gorgeous illustrations and for good reason. She has a way of creating images that are at once high-style and lighthearted, from her iconic florals to her travel-inspired prints. In short, they just make you smile.

And while the brand is best known for things like greeting cards, stationery, calendars, and wall art, that’s all about to change. As of October 29, Rifle Paper Co.’s collection of rugs and pillows in collaboration with Loloi Rugs is officially here. Unsurprisingly, it’s chock-full of gorgeous pieces, and the whole launch has been a passion project for Bond.

“It’s a very personal collection and I am so proud of it,” she told Apartment Therapy. “I grew up going to my Armenian grandmother’s house and she had beautiful Persian carpets in every room (some even hanging as tapestries) and I have many memories studying the colors and patterns of each one.”

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30
Oct 18

Amazon Just Released a New Furniture Brand (and It's Full of Traditional Finds)

While all sorts of design trends come and go, there’s a reason traditional style sticks around. Classic as vanilla ice cream, New Traditional rooms are always chic. And now you can get the look without spending a ton or waiting a million weeks for shipping: Amazon just launched Ravenna Home, its latest furniture brand that’s all about “classic style made simple.”

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30
Oct 18

3 States Where a 20 Percent Down Payment Isn't Even Enough

If you’re on the hunt to buy a home, chances are you’ve been saving up for that down payment for quite some time—and while you may think you can get away with putting down 10 to 15 percent for your first home, in some states that might not be competitive enough. According to a new study performed by online loan marketplace LendingTree, prospective buyers in five American states can expect to plunk down more than the standard 20 percent. And while that’s certainly not the most inspiring news, there is some positive information coming out of the study (so wait for it!), which could mean you’ll get to keep a little more dough in your pocket.

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