Category: millennial

When you’re ready to list, connect with Bill White Homes to get the best deal on your Naperville home!

Here at Bill White Homes, we know your home isn’t just a building. It’s the place where you raise your kids, entertain your friends, and enjoy time with family. It’s also one of your biggest investments. And though extreme weather can cause serious damage, fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect and maintain your home from weather-related issues.

Storms can wreak havoc on your roof

According to Climate.gov, weather causes billions of dollars worth of damage to property in the U.S. each year. When it comes to your home, wind, rain, hail, and snow can all damage your roof. Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles, tiles, or flashing. Have the issues fixed right away to avoid problems becoming worse during inclement weather.

Strong winds can loosen roof tiles and shingles, making your house more susceptible to leaks when it’s raining, so inspect it regularly for issues. Also, keep trees ttrimmed away from the roof to avoid branches or the trees themselves from falling on your home during a storm.

Wind and trees aren’t the only troublemakers when it comes to your home’s roof. During the winter, snow can lead to a number of issues if you do not clear it from your roof. Sometimes the weight of the snow can damage your home, but most of the time it’s ice dams that are a real problem. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms near the edge of your roof. The dam prevents snowmelt from draining off the roof, causing water to back up and leak into your home. This water can damage your ceiling, walls, insulation, and even your foundation.

Ice dams are formed when the center of the roof is warm (melting the snow) and the edges of the roof are still below freezing. This situation is generally caused by heat escaping from inside the home. You can certainly remove snow and ice dams from your roof with a roof rake. However, the long-term solution is to stop warm air from flowing out of the top of your house. Make your cceiling airtight and add more insulation into both your ceiling and attic to reduce heat loss.

Hail can also cause fractures in your roofing material, and over time, this can weaken the roof’s whole structure. After any major storm, you should have your roof inspected and any gaps or leaks fixed immediately.

Water can cause costly issues

Rainwater and snowmelt can leak into your home through the gaps and cracks in the roof and walls, and of course, torrential rains can cause flooding, too. Water leaks and seepage can cause damage to floors, ceilings, walls, furniture, and belongings. Freshome points out water damage can be costly and time-consuming to clean up and fix, and also lead to fast-growing mmold and mildew concerns.

In order to reduce the risk of rain damage, inspect your home for any places that water can leak in and take steps to protect your home, such as grading the soil away from the foundation. Waterproofing your basement can also help mitigate water damage.

Paying for repairs

As a homeowner, you’re well aware of the various repairs that crop up from time to time. Ideally, you’ve prepared a home emergency fund to help pay for significant repairs like weather damage to your roof. If you haven’t set aside money for emergency repairs, it’s time to make this a priority. Target an annual cash reserve of 1 percent to 3 percent of your home’s value, though more is always better.

When severe weather causes significant damage to your home, your homeowners insurance will more than likely help cover the costs of repairs. However, if damage is a result of a poorly kept roof or gutters, you may be on the hook. Again, it’s best to have an emergency fund set aside, but sometimes repair costs can exceed your savings. If you’ve been putting off a roof repair due to cost, you can make this a priority through a few financing options. Two of the most common are a home equity line of credit or a home refinance. A home equity line of credit allows you to tap into your home’s equity in the form of a loan, while a refinance allows you to cash out some of your equity and possibly secure a lower interest rate on a new mortgage. For more information on refinancing, review a refi FAQ list like this one from PennyMac USA.

Weather can really be tough on a roof. If you plan to list your house with Bill White Homes soon, or plan to live in your house long-term, you’ll want to protect your investment. Take the aforementioned measures to avoid the hassle, time, and cost of weather-related damage to your home.

Photo via Ppixabay

The housing market recovery coming into the new year has been nothing short of remarkable. Many experts agree the turnaround from the nation’s economic pause is playing out extremely well for real estate, and the current market conditions are truly making this winter an ideal time to make a move. Here’s a dive into some of the biggest wins for homebuyers this season.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low
In 2020, mortgage rates hit all-time lows 16 times. Continued low rates have set buyers up for significant long-term gains. In fact, realtor.com notes:

“Given this means homes could cost potentially tens of thousands less over the lifetime of the loan.”

Essentially, it’s less expensive to borrow money for a home loan today than it has been in years past. Although mortgage rates are expected to remain relatively low in 2021, even the slightest increase can make a big difference in your payments over the lifetime of a home loan. So, this is a huge opportunity to capitalize on right now before mortgage rates start to rise.

2. Equity Is Growing
According to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity, and 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear.

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity homeowners gained since last year is $17,000. That’s a tremendous amount of forced savings for homeowners, and an opportunity to use this increasing equity to make a move into a home that fits your changing needs this season.

3. Home Prices Are Appreciating
According to leading experts, home prices are forecasted to continue appreciating. Today, many experts are projecting more moderate home price growth than last year, but still moving in an upward direction through 2021.

Knowing home values are increasing while mortgage rates are so low should help you feel confident that buying a home before prices rise even higher is a strong long-term investment.

4. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale
With today’s low inventory of homes on the market, which is contributing to this home price appreciation, sellers are in the driver’s seat. The competition is high among buyers, so homes are selling quickly.

Making a move while so many buyers are looking for homes to purchase may mean your house rises to the top of the buyer pool. Selling your house before more listings come to the market in the traditionally busy spring market might be your best chance to shine.

Bottom Line
If you’re considering making a move, this may be your moment, especially with today’s low mortgage rates and limited inventory. Reach out to us today to get set up for homebuying success in the new year.

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than last year.

As we come to the end of this tumultuous year, we’re preparing for perhaps the most contentious presidential election of the century. Today, it’s important to look at the impact past presidential election years have had on the real estate market.

Is there a drop-off in home sales during a presidential election year?
BTIG, a research and analysis company, looked at new home sales from 1963 through 2019 in their report titled One House, Two House, Red House, Blue House. They noted that in non-presidential years, there is a -9.8% decrease in November compared to October. This is the normal seasonality of the market, with a slowdown in activity that’s usually seen in fall and winter.

However, it also revealed that in presidential election years, the typical drop increases to -15%. The report explains why:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty.”

Are those sales lost forever?
No. BTIG determined:

“This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

In a separate study done by Meyers Research & Zonda, Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, agrees that those purchases are just delayed until after the election:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year.”

Will it matter who is elected?
To some degree, but not in the overall number of home sales. As mentioned above, consumer confidence plays a significant role in a family’s desire to buy a home. How may consumer confidence impact the housing market post-election? The BTIG report covered that as well:

“A change in administration might benefit trailing blue county housing dynamics. The re-election of President Trump could continue to propel red county outperformance.”

Again, overall sales should not be impacted in a significant way.

Bottom Line
If mortgage rates remain near all-time lows, the economy continues to recover, and unemployment continues to decrease, the real estate market should remain strong up to and past the election.

The uncertainty the world faces today due to the COVID-19 pandemic is causing so many things to change. The way we interact, the way we do business, even the way we buy and sell real estate is changing. This is a moment in time that’s even sparking some buyers to search for a better deal on a home. Sellers, however, aren’t offering a discount these days; they’re holding steady on price.

According to the most recent NAR Flash Survey (a survey of real estate agents from across the country), agents were asked the following two questions:

1. “Have any of your sellers recently reduced their price to attract buyers?”

Their answer: 72% said their sellers have not lowered prices to attract buyers during this health crisis.

2. “Are home buyers expecting lower prices now?”

Their answer: 63% of agents said their buyers were looking for a price reduction of at least 5%.

What We Do Know
In today’s market, with everything changing and ongoing questions around when the economy will bounce back, it’s interesting to note that some buyers see this time as an opportunity to win big in the housing market. On the other hand, sellers are much more confident that they will not need to reduce their prices in order to sell their homes. Clearly, there are two different perspectives at play.

Bottom Line
If you’re a buyer in today’s market, you might not see many sellers lowering their prices. If you’re a seller and don’t want to lower your price, you’re not alone. If you have questions on how to price your home, reach out to a local real estate professional today to discuss your needs and next steps.

Keep up the maintenance of your work because if your home doesn’t have proper maintenance it can cause various problems when you want to sell your home. You need to talk to the people who are good at the sale of their homes at a good price. They are lucky to make the best deal because they care about the proper maintenance of their homes. Whenever you want to sell your home, the first thing that can appeal to buyers is the proper preservation. Whenever your house ever goes on the market, the buyers first look to the preservations and care.

Using Leasehold Management London makes successively an easier residential development. It professionally starts to deal with many complex tasks about property management. It includes the financial aspects of expenditure, holding, and collecting funds.

Some very important home maintenance items make a house stand out that is the result of regular maintenance. You need to do a lot to keep up the working and appearance of a home. Performed some tasks for repairing the house improper items so that it helps to avoid costly replacement every day. Keeping little things on point is worth the effort while selling your home to the customers. These home maintenance tips can go a long way in helping the proper look of the home. Customers need every item to be proper and fixed hence it is necessary to have a look at each item to fix problems. It helps your sale goes smoothly and does not end up on failing the home inspection. You need to keep this in mind that a home examiner can tell when a landholder has not worked with regular home maintenance items.

Here are some ways to look after your home maintenance:

Maintain Your Strainers

The most important maintenance tips for the landowner is to make sure about the maintenance of the filters and strainers. Keep checking and changing your heating and cooling filters. Sometimes it occurs that the heating and air conditioning work tough in pushing air out of your house. Hence changing the filters regularly helps to maintain the home items. It helps to operate efficiently and effectively.

This is concluded that sometimes it requires an important amount of energy to run air out of the home. Because it fails to install a filter and it makes the process more tough and challenging. You need to pay particular attention to the filter you are using. This is known as the most important maintenance item. This needs to be checked and up to date

. Some filters are needed to be changed every month.

Maintain the batteries:

Maintaining the batteries is a small and important maintenance item. While changing the batteries, it helps to maintain the safety of your families. Make sure that while smoking, there are sometimes that carbon monoxide detectors are not working better. It depends on the safety of your families.

If you are avoiding the maintenance of smoke, it destroys home and destroyed home by a fire. Having carbon monoxide detectors helps you to face further difficulties. It helps you to be safe and secure.

 

Clean your Boiler:

While heating and cooling systems, it causes dust and sand. The dust and condensation can lead to the poverty of your ducts and units. It is a better idea if you allow an annual inspection service professional to look at the units. The service person will verify how your system is functioning? Is it requiring any maintenance? Or is it functioning as it should be? This helps to inspect and clean the boiler and furnace. When you have a heating system that is repaired by oil, the maintenance requirements take time. Oil doesn’t burn and clean as gas. Hence heating companies recommended an oil heating system to be checked every year. It is better to keep in mind that holding up with home maintenance on your heating system is very important in your daily life. Consider that if a customer sees you have not been maintaining any item of your home, he might take this into account. Protection of your heating system is a maintenance tip that should never be neglected and it is an expensive item to replace.

 

Check Your Water Heater:

A water heater usually performs well for so long. It may heat thousands of masses of water a year. It is like every utilization that can perform well for a long period. It is recommended to check the water heater every year. If you notice any minor problems or leaks, you must consider a plumber or water heater installation company to check what is wrong with the water heater. If you have hard water, seals have a way of failing hence water heater company must check the heater.

Check a failing water heater before it causes some serious problems in the heater. Home inspectors need to pay particular attention to the heater. Most householders don’t pay attention to the leaking fittings until the water heater becomes a serious problem. It should be checked every month.

 

 

Check Your Toilets:

Home inspectors notice every problem. They checked the critical problems and are used to maintain that issue. If you are having some problems with your toilets or faucets, home inspectors checked the problems. This problem needs to be checked every month. Water will find any way to outflow when it is under pressure, therefore you need to fix the problems of the faulty seal if you are hand or if you do not then call a plumber to fix the problem before it becomes critical.

 

Maintain Your Front Door:

The front door is usually the first look of your home. It depends on your front door that how it gives the best or the worst texture of your home. This should be maintained every year. You can also clean our polish your door for a new and a natural look. You can also try to paint it with some good colors. Most of the customers like a well-maintained and new natural look of the front door. Consider upgrading to the home items that can be visually appealing.

 

Homes priced at the top 25% of the price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” In today’s real estate market, there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners wanting to upgrade from their current house.

Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have not seen as much interest.

According to ILHM’s Luxury Report, this mismatch in demand and inventory of luxury and premium homes has created a Buyer’s Market. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home was defined as one that costs $1 million or more.

“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.”

The authors of the report were quick to point out that current conditions at the higher end of the market are no cause for concern.

“While luxury homes may take longer to sell than in previous years, the slower pace, increased inventory levels and larger differences between list and sold prices, represent a normalization of the market, not a downturn.”

Luxury can mean different things to different people. To one person, luxury is a secluded home with plenty of property and privacy. To another, it could be a penthouse at the center of a bustling city. Knowing what characteristics mean luxury to you will help your agent find you the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

If you are debating upgrading your current house to a premium or luxury home, now is the time!

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state.

Using data from HUD, Census and Apartment List, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense.

By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own.

According to the data, residents in Kansas can save for a down payment the quickest, doing so in just over 1 year (1.12). Below is a map that was created using the data for each state:

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3%-down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 2 to 5 years, but becomes possible in less than a year in most states, as shown on the map below.

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you have just begun to save for a down payment or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today. Call us!

Whether it is with the goal of saving money or for the satisfaction of living in the fruits of one’s labors, it has become increasingly popular for homeowners to take on home renovation projects themselves. One of the most common types of do-it-yourself projects is a bathroom remodel. Not only can bathroom remodels help to improve your overall quality of life, but they can also dramatically increase the value of your home if you ever decide to sell.

 

However, there are a number of potentially complicated or dangerous parts of every bathroom renovation, such as electrical and plumbing work, that you should be aware of before attempting the project. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are tackling a bathroom renovation for the first time so that your project can be quick, easy, and fun.

 

Plan out the Entire Project Beforehand

 

As with any kind of renovation, the first thing you need to do is plan out the scope of the entire project. The more you prepare, the fewer unexpected costs you will have to endure down the road. Start by listing all the things you would like to do to your bathroom. Don’t factor in cost at this point — instead, just list them all. You may want to include things like a walk in shower, a clawfoot tub, a heated floor, a double sink, and so forth.

 

Next, organize the list in order of desire — put your must-haves at the top, all the way down to negligible or “bonus” projects. Then, it is time to do some research online. Find the average costs of each type of project and put the numbers next to each line on your list. Finally, compare these costs to your total budget. This way, you can make sure that you have enough money for the most important projects, allowing for extras if you happen to come in under budget.

 

However, Remember to Have Fun

 

Even though it is tempting to get bogged down in the minutia of planning and money management, don’t let yourself forget to have fun. A bathroom remodel is a great way to boost your bathroom’s appeal, both for yourself and for potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home. For instance, a renovated bathroom can provide you with a 40 to 80 percent return on investment, depending on the current state of the real estate market.

 

Think About Ways to Come in Under Budget

 

It is common for do-it-yourself projects to end up going over budget, but there are a few things you can do that will keep your costs lower. First, if you need to buy power tools for your renovation, you may want to try borrowing them from a handy friend or family member. If you end up having to buy them after all, look at previously used tools to save money. Next, while part of the reason you may want to be doing the project yourself is to save on the cost of a professional, in certain cases, a professional can actually save you money, such as with walls damaged by water. Furthermore, certain plumbing and electrical projects can be dangerous for you to attempt on your own — always hire a professional contractor in those cases.

 

When you are renovating your bathroom, remember to consider all the possible angles that will need to be covered, both from the financial and design sides of the process. Doing so will allow you to relax and have fun with the project.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Thank you to guest writer, Erin Reynolds

There are many benefits to homeownership, but one of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped
A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating:

“Our national rent index is up 0.1 percent month-over-month, marking the sixth straight month of increasing rents. Year-over-year growth now stands at 1.2 percent.”

The article continues, explaining that:

“Rents increased month-over-month in 62 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, down significantly from the 85 cities that saw rents rise last month. That said, rents are still up year-over-year in most of the nation’s largest markets — 77 of the 100 largest cities have seen rents increase over the past twelve months.”

Additionally, Urban Land Magazine explained that,

“Currently, nearly half (47 percent) of renter households are cost burdened (i.e., paying more than 30 percent of income for housing), while 25 percent (totaling 11 million households) are severely cost burdened, paying over 50 percent of their total household income for rent.”

These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent
As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 2% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 48.9% less expensive in Detroit (MI), and 26.3% nationwide!

Know Your Options
Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. A nationwide survey of about 1,166 renters found that 34% said they rent because they cannot afford to buy, 29% said they cannot afford to buy where they live, and nearly a quarter (24%) were saving to buy.

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream homes. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time homebuyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line
Don’t get caught in the trap that so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Have a professional help you determine if you are eligible for a mortgage today.

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | Keeping Current Matters

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home this month (January). If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | Keeping Current Matters

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.2% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $10,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $45,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!