Homeowner Equity Is Going Record High

Homeowner Equity Is Hitting a Record High

Homeowners are getting richer, thanks to rising home values. The amount of equity that homeowners can tap into is now at the highest level on record, according to Black Knight Financial Services, a mortgage and finance industry solution provider.

The amount a borrower can take out of a home—while still leaving 20 percent in it—increased by a collective $735 billion during 2017. That is the largest annual increase by dollar value on record, according to Black Knight. The collective amount of equity homeowners can tap in now stands at $5.4 trillion, 10 percent more than the pre-recession peak in 2005.

“There’s no question that a majority of homeowners have amassed considerable equity gains since the downturn,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®. “Home prices have grown a cumulative 48 percent since 2011 and are up 5.9 percent through the first two months of this year.”

Homeowners are being more conservative, and lenders are much stricter when it comes to tapping into home equity. Homeowners took out $262 billion in cash-out refinances or home equity lines of credit last year, which is less than 1.25 percent of all available equity and is at a four-year low.

“While rising rates tend to dampen utilization of equity in general, the market is poised for a strong shift toward HELOCs, as they allow borrowers to take advantage of growing equity while holding on to historically low first-lien interest rates,” says Ben Graboske, executive vice president of Black Knight Data & Analytics. “Over half of all tap-able equity—approximately $2.8 trillion—is held by borrowers with credit scores of 760 or higher and first-lien interest rates below today’s prevailing rate, which creates a large pocket of low-risk HELOC candidates.”

The amount of homeowner equity varies depending on location. Thirty-nine percent of the nation’s total tap-able equity is in California alone. Seattle and Las Vegas have also seen large increases in home equity, Black Knight notes.

Source: “Homeowners Are Sitting on $5.4 Trillion in Ready Cash, the Most Ever,” CNBC (April 2, 2018), Daily Real Estate News (4/3/2018)

Posted on April 4, 2018 at 12:42 am
Ellie Viray | Category: Real Estate News | Tagged , , , ,

Get Ready To Move To Your New Home

Priority tasks for your move in

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks
Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets
It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator
Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen
If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.

Source: Breakthroughbroker

Posted on February 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm
Ellie Viray | Category: Home improvement | Tagged , ,

Altadena Market Report Week 1/26/2018

Posted on February 2, 2018 at 8:18 pm
Ellie Viray | Category: Real Estate News | Tagged , , , ,

Market Snap Shot ~ Expect Growth in 2018

Posted on February 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm
Ellie Viray | Category: Real Estate News | Tagged , , , ,

Five money-saving green upgrades

Going green ~ upgrades to save money

Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.

1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.

2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.

3. Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.

4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.

5. Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it’s a great investment.

Source: Breakthroughbroker.com

Posted on January 28, 2018 at 6:54 pm
Ellie Viray | Category: Home improvement | Tagged , , , , ,

Learn How To Become A Better Landlord

Rental properties are one of the best ways to earn passive income and build wealth, but “passive” is a little misleading—it can still be a substantial amount of work. However, with a little planning and dedication, you can run your properties efficiently while also keeping your tenants happy.

Treat it like a business
Successful businesses have plans and procedures that keep things running smoothly, and the same should be true for renting and managing your properties. That means committing to customer service, outsourcing work appropriately, and paying close attention to income and expenses. Don’t just assume that you’ll collect a check each month and everything else will be a breeze.

Thoroughly vet your tenants
Collecting applications, interviewing tenants, and checking references means a lot of legwork up front, but it’s worth it in the long run. Choosing the right tenant could mean going years without incident—no late payments, no legal issues, and no property damage. Choosing the wrong tenant could mean monthly calls and visits to collect late rent, expensive property damage and repairs, eviction processes, court dates, and a whole lot of stress.

Make sure your lease is rock solid
Lease agreement laws vary from state to state, so don’t cut corners—find a lawyer who specializes in lease agreements. You’ll be glad you were thorough if you ever have legal issues with a tenant.

*Article courtesy of Breakthroughbroker.com

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 8:21 pm
Ellie Viray | Category: Real Estate News | Tagged , , , ,