The Benefits Of Homeownership Go Beyond The Financial

Homeownership is a major part of the American Dream. As evidence of that, 91% of Americans believe that owning a home is either essential (43%) or important (48%) to achieving that “dream.” In a market where some people may be unsure about the benefits and possibilities of buying a home, it is important that we remember this.

Homeownership is NOT just about the money. In fact, some of the major benefits are non-financial. Here are a few of those benefits as per the National Association of Realtors: Continue reading “The Benefits Of Homeownership Go Beyond The Financial”

Interest Rate vs. APR: What’s the Difference?

When shopping for a new home loan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the terminology that lenders and realtors use to describe various aspects of lending:  PITI, conforming/non-conforming, jumbo, conventional/nonconventional, ARM…  I often tell clients, when in doubt, ask your lender to explain anything and everything to you.  There are no dumb questions in real estate (and in life).

However, a frequent question I come across is what is the difference between an interest rate and an APR (annual percentage rate)? The answer is rather straightforward.

An interest rate is the cost you will pay each year to borrow money from your lender, expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. It does not reflect fees or any other charges you may have to pay for the loan.

An annual percentage rate (APR) is broader than an interest rate — it measures the cost to you of borrowing money, and includes not only the interest rate but also any points, mortgage broker fees, and other charges that you pay to get the loan. For that reason, your APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

So when shopping for a home loan, don’t forget to ask about not only the interest rate, but also the APR.  Both figures should be included in your lender’s Loan Estimate.

Congress may cap mortgage interest deduction at $500K

West Coast homeowners would be affected most

As part of their attempt to overhaul the federal tax system, the GOP and Trump administration are writing legislation that would place new limits on the home mortgage tax deduction—one of the longest standing benefits for homeowners. The move would help offset revenue that would be lost by cutting corporate and personal tax rates.

Tax change could be one-two punch for California homeowners
Such a cut would have the biggest effect on owners in expensive urban centers around the U.S., as well as most of the West Coast, where home prices are among the highest in the country, according to The Los Angeles Times. This proposal is on top of another anticipated change in the tax code that would hurt Californians more than residents in any other state—the ability to deduct state and local taxes from federal taxes. Continue reading “Congress may cap mortgage interest deduction at $500K”

Who To Notify of Your Move

Although buying a new home can be INCREDIBLY EXCITING, there are admittedly a few less-than-exciting tasks involved in the process.  One is the countless changes of address you’ll need to complete to ensure you’ll get the mail you need once you’ve made the move.  (After buying a new home, the last thing you need is a late payment on your bills and a ding on your credit report!)  So while you’re busy packing boxes and decorating your new space, don’t forget to notify the necessary people of your upcoming move.  Here’s a handy list to to help you cover your bases Continue reading “Who To Notify of Your Move”

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