14
Dec 17

Last Chance: Everything That's Leaving Netflix in January

2017 is speeding towards a close, a fact we’re facing now that Netflix has officially released what will be leaving the streaming service come 2018. We’re pretty sad about some of these, but at least there’s still some serious vacation time coming up, perfect for soaking up our favorite titles before they disappear.

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13
Dec 17

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy? | Simplifying The Market

We recently shared that over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.7% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for 2018, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

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13
Dec 17

This Iconic IKEA Item Is $100 Off For One Day Only

Bargain alert: One of our favorite IKEA staples is on sale—for one day. To celebrate the opening of their 47th store in the United States (that’d be Grand Prairie, Texas y’all), some classic items will be deeply discounted for tomorrow only.

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13
Dec 17

JetBlue Is Having a Two-Day Sale, So Plan Those Winter Vacations Now

I know we’re in the middle of holiday season craziness—including all the bonkers travel many are about to embark on—but now would be a great time to plan a winter vacation. JetBlue is having a sweet sale, but it’s only good for two days.

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13
Dec 17

Here's Where You'll Be Traveling in 2018, According to Airbnb

Even if you’ve never heard of a ryokan, the traditional Far East style of bed & breakfast is about to start blowing up your social media feeds, according to Airbnb. The peer to peer vacation rental giant cites two cities in Japan in its top three most popular cities, and projects a 2175 percent increase in booking requests to Korea ahead of the Olympics, in its just-released 2018 Travel Trend Forecast.

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13
Dec 17

A Textile Designer's Layered, India-Inspired Home — House Tour

Name: Deepali and Naveen Kalia, Annika, 8 and Akhil, 2
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Size: 1,800 square feet
Years lived in: 12 years, owned

Deepali and Naveen began their life together in a traditionally Indian way — through an arranged marriage. She had just finished studying fashion design in India at NIFT, and moved to Oregon to join Naveen who works at Intel. She didn’t know anyone and wasn’t working, so she started making things: “I was dying of boredom, I had to do something…I was making artwork and upholstering furniture pieces. I had some friends in the silk business, and I got silk samples from them, and started making pillows and curtains. One thing led to another, and then I opened my shop.”

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13
Dec 17

Get Lit: Check Out These Amazingly Simple and Whimsical DIY Menorahs

I can still remember the Kindergarten tradition of making homemade menorahs at my Jewish day school like it was yesterday. Take a sawed-off 2×4, glue 10 small square tiles atop it, in a line (two at the center for the tallest candle), then place 9 screw nuts in a row, one on top of each tile. I’m pretty sure my parents even still have mine — somewhere.

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12
Dec 17

Before You Make an Offer, Here Are 4 Tips for Success!

Before You Make an Offer, Here Are 4 Tips for Success! | Simplifying The Market

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.” 

The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:

“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

“It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.

Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.

Bottom Line 

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in their market on your side is your best bet to make sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dreams of homeownership a reality!

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12
Dec 17

Here's Where To Snag Affordable Versions of Meghan Markle's Iconic (And Sold Out) Looks

That Meghan Markle’s got a certain sparkle. The actress, humanitarian, and soon-to-be wife of Prince Harry is beloved all the way from Hollywood to England, so it’s no wonder that the sophisticated styles she sports are already selling out faster than you can say “I Do.”

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12
Dec 17

The Best Space Heaters to Warm Up Your Home — Annual Guide 2017

We’ve reviewed space heaters since 2006 and, believe me, they’ve gotten a lot better since then. This year our top pick is the Lasko Portable Ceramic Heater from Home Depot. Why? Because it stands out from the crowd for being super affordable, powerful for its size and good enough to look at all day long. Check it out along with nine other Top Picks that can be even more attractive, even more expensive and even more powerful, but not all three at once.

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