Key Factors That Will Maintain Your New Home’s Value

As the inflation tend to rise along with the home market in general, you can’t just expect that the value of your new home to automatically rise as well. There are a number of things that you should do as a homeowner in order to maintain the value of your house. Take a look at the following key areas of your new home that may have serious implication on its overall value:

Regular maintenance of your house

It is one of the essential ways to maintain the value of your house. Here, the two key areas that you should not overlook are your air-conditioning system and your furnace or heating system. In order to improve energy efficiency, we should be swapping out air filters for at least twice every year. It is also important to oil the motor on older units.

Fix those heat leakers

Another thing is to fix those heat leakers. Try to look for small cracks in doorways and windows as they’ll definitely sap your energy bills. As a result, they’ll also sap your furnace and AC systems, forcing them to work harder. Such measures will maintain and extend the value of your house, as it will avoid any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Curb appeal

Ensuring that your garden is in good condition is also one great way to maintain the value of your house. Take note that it is usually the first impression that any potential buyer will see of your home, especially those families with children who are likely to enjoy the outdoor elements of the home. Several experts recommend that you’ll invest into landscaping by as much as 10% of the home’s overall value if you’re planning to sell it. The homeowners can then expect at least 150% return on such investment.

Do major repairs or improvements the right way

If you are considering of a major repair or improvement, do it the right way an never sacrifice on quality. These might include new furnace, windows, insulation, solar energy or even a home extension. Remember that these can be the major selling factors when you come to sell your home.

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The Booming North Texas Real Estate Market in 2015

In January of this year, the Dallas Morning News stated that the North Texas real estate market was on fire last year. Although there were some concerns regarding the slow recovery from 2008’s Great Recession as well as the sinking oil prices, home sales were booming all over the state, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The paper cited the soaring job gains and rocketing real estate values were the main factors for such strong gains. Although Texas towns have their fair share of post-recession hardship such as foreclosures and real estate development plans that were put on hold, those times quickly faded.

There were findings that showed that by the end of 2015, there was a construction of around 9 million square feet of office space in the bustling North Texas area. That’s equivalent to around 40 percent more compared to the extremely high pre-2007 time frame. It is also not all about the commercial space. The construction starts in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro has 38,000 apartment units, which is 80 percent better compared to the pre-recession rate.

The North Texas market is on its way to completing over 15 million square feet of warehouse and industrial space, on the back of a strong economy and exploding job growth. This represents one of the top industrial building volumes in the country, which is enough to push warehouse development past the preceding cycle peak. The retail construction sector has also been slower compared to the others in recent months.

Of these, the most notable activity is in the single-family housing market, with existing home sales of over 90,000 that broke records last 2015 in North Texas. Another positive news is that the median home sales prices for the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area hit $200,000, which is their highest level yet and 20 percent above the peak seen in 2007.

As we are heading to the end of the year, it is exciting to see whether the North Texas housing can perform better as it did in 2015.

 

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New Plano rental community will offer artist lofts

A new Plano housing community will be constructing in a few months near North Central Expressway. The housing community will offer both apartments and artist lofts. There will be 224 units built on the vacant block to provide affordable housing in the rapidly growing community of Plano.

According to Plano Housing Corp. the 5.6-acre project will mostly be a community of mixed-income individuals; although, over half of the units will be within the budget of a resident based on their monthly income. Also, the development is transit-oriented because the housing community is just less than half a mile from the 15th Street DART station.

Half a dozen apartment buildings will be constructed at the project’s location at G Avenue and 14th Street east of Central. The apartment building will be surrounded by an open space along with public art plazas. A community center and swimming pool will also be constructed along with the apartment buildings. Artist lofts will be located downstairs of the units. Developers plan to install roll-up doors along the street front of the buildings to better accommodate art shows.

The starting rent for the smallest unit (about 800 square feet) in the rental community is less than $500 a month. The rate was set in a manner that the unit will be affordable for working families. Housing intended for working families is a bit scarce not only in Plano but the whole of North Texas in general. With this need, Plano Housing Corp. is simultaneously working on their second development near City Hall.

True to its commitment to expanding affordable housing in the community Plano Housing Corp. will start building 21 townhouses which will be up for sale with seven units for low and moderate income residents. Though the company admits this isn’t much, but seven units is a big achievement towards their goal of expanding housing options for low and middle income working families in Plano and Collin County.

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Texas real estate to see an influx of Chinese buyers

The economic instability in China is driving Chinese buyers, investors and owner occupants alike to look to the U.S. for affordable housing. Texas, in particular, is seeing an influx as demands for U.S. property is increasing amongst the Chinese buyers. The Chinese are the top buyers in US real estate registering about $28.6 billion last year. This figure is more than double the second most active buyers in U.S. real estate, which are the Canadians.

When it comes to states that the Chinese people prefer in the U.S., the top three are California, Florida and Texas. But high prices in California seem to cut the demand. Texas is now the best option for these buyers because of the state’s strong employment and education opportunities. Texas registered about 31 percent sales from Chinese buyers last year second to Latin American and Mexican buyers.

The volatility of Chinese stock market caused them to find refuge in the U.S., not only for their money’s sake but also for better living conditions for them and their family. They seek employment in the U.S. and education for their children. These conditions make the Chinese buyers willing to spend more than the average home buyers. They spend about four times the national median home price amounting to about $831,800.

Texas is tops new home construction in the United States, which Chinese buyers prefer rather than purchasing existing homes. Although California also has massive new home construction development, Texas still outnumbers them in production by twice as many new homes constructed.

Due to this influx of Chinese buyers, U.S. homebuilders are taking into consideration conditions that will be suitable for them. They are looking into building multigenerational homes to attract more immigrant families. They are also considering adopting Feng Shui floor plans to attract Asia clients and boost the real estate industry.

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What is the direction of Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage rates are unexpectedly at a three-year low. Mortgages are important in order to finance a home purchase. Thus, mortgage rates have a great impact on buyers and their buying process. For now, buyers benefit from low rates because it gives them increased buying power.

Rates hasn’t only been down this year, although six of the first nine weeks of the year, rates declined it showed an increase in past two weeks. Following mortgage rates movement is important especially that the peak spring buying season almost here. Buyers shouldn’t be complacent because of the recent movements of mortgage rates.

Potential buyers are greatly affected by these rate movements as it will produce about 1.2% difference on their monthly payment which will affect the monthly budget and their debt-to-income ratio (a critical factor to be considered for a mortgage).

With the given trend the mortgage market increased the buyer’s buying power to about 6% with the low rates but the recent increase diminished 2% to their buying power. Although buyers are still at the advantage, the situation can shift any moment given the recent activity in the market.

As a buyer there are three possible scenarios that’ll emerge from the movement of mortgage rates:

The first scenario depicts a negative view of the economy resulting from global economic weakness and the slump in oil prices from January until early February. This caused the decline of the stock market causing global money to take refuge in the Dollar and U.S. Treasury bonds. As demand for bonds increase, mortgage rates will decrease. With this, rates will remain as they as are now throughout the year.

The second scenario has a moderate view of global economic growth which will result in a fixed rate of 4-4.2% by the end of the year.

The last possible scenario sees increased inflation leading to an increase in mortgage rates to 4.5% and can go up to 5.5% in 2017.

Although these are just possible scenarios, it would be wise to consistently monitor mortgage rate movement in order to prepare for possibilities in the future.

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Tips on increasing cash flow and managing expenses

bank notes being held by a hand representing power and competition

On your way to financial freedom you must practice a system to successful build and manage your finances. You can set up separate bank accounts for different purposes to monitor your cash flow and manage expenses. Dividing your bank accounts will surely work wonders in your ability to build your cash flow and minimize expenses.

For starters especially if you have kids, you can begin with four bank accounts as opposed to the usual two bank accounts namely, savings and checking accounts. You may set-up one main account where your family’s net cash flow goes into. From that main account subdivided it to four separate bank accounts. You can have an expense account, investment account, donation’s account and kid’s account.

 

Expense Account

This is where you get the funds for your daily consumption and operation, like bills, rents and groceries to name a few. Decreasing your expense might take some time and discipline. You can start allocating 80% of your income into this account then begin to lower it as months pass by until you achieve your target percentage for your monthly expenses. The key is to lower the expense little by little rather than doing it abruptly.

 

Investment Account

To build your cash flow you must learn to invest. Relying on your jobs or business alone might lengthen the time for you to achieve your target expense per month.  Allot a certain percentage of your income and put it in an investment account. This account will reflect the risk you can take whenever an investment opportunity comes your way. You can start off putting 3-4% of your income into the account and as you decrease your expense account you can increase this account. Ideally, for this account to help build your cash flow you must target to put around 50-60% monthly on the account.

 

Donation Account

This account consists of 5-10% of your income. This will allow you to give back to a good cause whether to charities or non-profit organizations you are involved in. Building your cash flow and managing your expenses shouldn’t hinder you from being generous.

 

Kid’s Account

This is where you put money away to build your children’s future. This is not an account to buy their clothes, food or toys but strictly for their future, either for college tuition or a future investment for your child’s future business ideas.

 

By subdividing your bank accounts you will be provided with individual statistics that can be measured to better divide and multiply all the cash that comes in every month. Also, this will give you a better picture where your money is going in order for you to avoid stress and avoid the emotional roller coaster of losing all your income from expenses.

 

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