Whether you own a home or looking to buy or sell one, here are the latest Good To Know articles for when you’re ready to take the next step in finding your Forever Home.
TRANSACTION ADVICE, MARKETING, HOMEOWNERS, HOME SELLERS
The Most Critical Period for New Listings
Your home’s marketing begins when your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional submits your listing to the local multiple listing service, or MLS. Brokers share their listings with other brokers in the MLS, making it the best chance of selling your home quickly and for the most money.
During the critical first two weeks of marketing, your listing agent will schedule your home on the MLS tour for other agents to see as well as contact their network to let them know your house is coming on the market. The MLS distributes data about your home on the MLS website, your broker’s website, other broker websites, and third-party sites such as Realtor.com.
Other data such as mapping, satellite image, neighborhood information, tax roll data, and school information is added to your listing so that buyers can get the full picture of what it’s like to live in your home. Your listing agent may also advertise your home in newspapers, online home magazines, and in their broker’s marketing tools such as e-magazines, newsletters, and email alerts to prospective buyers. And they’ll put a for-sale sign in your yard. Every potential buyer will know your home is for sale.
When your home is new to the market, that’s the most exciting time to buyers. If you get few showings or offers, you need to know immediately. Feedback from other agents and buyers will tell you what you need to do to make your home more appealing.
MORTGAGE ADVICE, CREDIT REPORTS, HOMEBUYERS, FINANCE
How Inquiries Impact Your Credit
Mortgage lenders depend on the information found in credit reports and credit scores. One of the numbers that cause fluctuations in a consumer’s credit scores is inquiries.
Inquiries, according to Equifax.com, are “entries that appear on your credit report when your credit information is accessed by a legally authorized person or organization (including yourself).” Inquiries can include “an application for credit, goods or services; an account review made by a company that you already do business with; or a preapproved offer of credit.”
Inquiries can be either hard or soft. Soft inquiries such as account reviews, preapproved credit applications, and employer checks don’t impact credit scores. Consumers can check their own credit without impacting their credit scores.
Hard inquiries, such as an application for a new loan, credit card or line of credit, can temporarily lower credit scores by as much as five points and remain on your record for up to two years. but, if you handle the credit responsibly, with no late payments, your scores could go back up again in just a few months. If you’re just out of school and want to build your credit, only apply for credit cards and loans that you need.
If you’re applying for a mortgage, every point counts, so follow your lender’s advice on what to do. Don’t open new lines of credit for six months to a year before applying. Apply to multiple lenders, so you can shop for the best terms and rates.
HOMEBUYERS, HOMEOWNERS, HOME SELLERS, TRENDS
Outlook for Housing 2022
Housing was one of the strongest sectors of the economy for 2021, but rising interest rates and inflation are causing many to wonder if sales will continue as strong in 2022.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, believes the number of home sales will decline in 2022 but will still outpace pre-pandemic levels, based on continuing demand from homebuyers. More inventory is becoming available from home builders and from homeowners who will no longer receive loan forbearance and may decide to sell their homes instead.
Goldman Sachs economists predict that home prices will climb another 16%, reports Houwzer.com. Yet, Corelogic has lowered its forecast from 2.2% to 1.9%, according to Fortune.com. Fannie Mae is predicting that mortgage rates will rise to an average of 3.4% next year, while the Mortgage Bankers Association believes rates will rise to 4%.
Fortune.com points out that the Federal Reserve predicted 1.8% inflation for 2021, but the real number is closer to 6.2% set in October – the highest rate since 1990. In real numbers, if a buyer puts 20% down on a $500,000 home, they will have a monthly payment of $1,682 at 2.98%. At 4%, the monthly payment would be $1,910.
So, should you buy a home or wait it out? If economists can’t agree on their outlooks, you probably shouldn’t try to time the market either. Housing is a terrific hedge against inflation, so instead, ask yourself what you can afford and go from there.
LUXURY, SMART TECHNOLOGIES, HOMEOWNERS, HOMEBUYERS, LIFESTYLE
Three Home Trends That Will Stay Around
The way Americans use their homes has changed since the advent of the pandemic. Once many activities were significantly curtailed or eliminated, from going to the office or school, travel, gatherings, dining out, to theaters and other entertainment, homeowners spent more time at home. Here are some home design trends for 2022 that may stick around after the pandemic is over.
Smart furniture – According to Puffy.com, the smart furniture industry is on track to reach $244 million by 2024. Televisions can double as artwork when turned off, couches, beds and chairs offer charging ports, but most exciting are coffee tables that come with refrigerator drawers, so you never have to leave the game to grab a cold one.
Muted but colorful décor – Color palettes for 2022, such as those suggested by Benjamin Moore, are calling for colors on the paler side, far from the deep jewel, spice and ocean shades of recent years. Three colors with less chroma and more tint are emerging as popular – blues because they’re calming, greens for versatility and bringing the outdoors inside, and yellows for cheerfulness and optimism, according to Homesandgardens.com.
Vintage accents – In the chaotic environment of climate change, rising inflation, supply chain interruptions, and sky-high lumber prices, it’s natural to be nostalgic for simpler times. That sentiment is spurring designers and homeowners to seek out vintage furnishings and accessories. Housebeautiful.com explains that vintage pieces add individuality and personality to interior design with craftsmanship and materials that can’t be affordably duplicated today.
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