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Friday, October 28, 2011

Debbie is Moving to Keller Williams!

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Why Keller Williams?

- Fastest growing Real Estate company in North America
- #1 office in Bucks County in terms of listing and sales in units and volume.
- Training and Education
- Culture..who you in business with matters. DS and KW can contribute to lives in untold ways  A Culture of Caring.  Keller Williams Realty is a company that changes lives. The culture is as diverse as the countless ways in which associates and market centers commit themselves to finding and serving the higher purpose of business, and is united by cohesive understanding of our Mission, Vision, Values, Beliefs and Perspectives.
- Best technology…forefront of transforming the industry.. winner of 2011 Inman Innovations Adward for Most innovative Real Estate Website of Service
- Luxury Homes Division
- Resulting in Superior service and Stellar Results  for you, my clients

The Keller Williams Belief System

At the core of Keller Williams Realty is a conviction that who you are in business with matters. We believe that the company we keep can contribute to our lives in untold ways. To help cement this understanding, we’ve formalized a belief system called the WI4C2TS that guides how we treat each other and how we do business.

Win-Win:  or no deal
Integrity:  do the right thing
Customers:  always come first
Commitment:  in all things
Communication:  seek first to understand
Creativity:  ideas before results
Teamwork:  together everyone achieves more
Trust:  starts with honesty
Success:  results through people

Monday, October 17, 2011

How Low Can Rates Go?

The silver lining on our sluggish economic cloud is that mortgage rates are at a new record low.  Please see the following article and feel free to share with your clients.  For those looking to make a move, the time is NOW.

Bloomberg News – Mortgage Rates Fall to Lowest on Record, Freddie Mac Says – Lowest Since 1950s

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. mortgage rates fell for a second week to the lowest on Freddie Mac records as a slowing economy and concerns that Europe’s debt crisis is worsening drove investors to the relative safety of Treasury bonds.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 4.09 percent in the week ended today from 4.12 percent, Freddie Mac said in a statement today. That’s the lowest in the McLean, Virginia-based company’s records dating back to 1971. The average 15-year rate fell to 3.30 percent from 3.33 percent.

Yields on 10-year Treasuries, a benchmark for consumer loans including mortgages, are near all-time lows amid signs that the U.S. economic recovery has stalled and the euro region is struggling to contain its debt burden. Low borrowing costs have done little to improve the housing market as foreclosures mount and the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent.

Data from the National Bureau of Economic Research measuring Federal Housing Administration loans indicate that long-term borrowing costs are the lowest since the 1950s, according to Chad Wandler, a spokesman for Freddie Mac.

Mortgage applications rose for the first time in four weeks as rate declines encouraged purchases and refinancing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. A gauge of refinancing climbed 6 percent in the week ended Sept. 9, while the purchase index gained 7 percent, the Washington-based group said yesterday.
Please let me know if you have any questions or wpuld like to speak to a mortgage professional.

Stay Within Your Means to Get the Best Value When Buying a Home!

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Before you make any kind of investment in a home, check your financial "pulse" to make sure you're financially healthy and able to comfortably afford both the down payment and the monthly payments. Below are common-sense guidelines to follow in this regard:

Guideline 1: Check your credit rating!

One of the first things lenders will check before loaning you money is your credit rating. If it’s good to excellent, your chances of borrowing money for a mortgage are very much improved. Currently, depending on circumstances, you need a credit score of at least 620 and the money for a down payment (the percentage varies with the type of loan).

If you have a credit score below the 620 benchmark, then additional documentation (and more time) will be required to prove to the lender that you're worthy of a loan - and even then there's no guarantee that the mortgage will be granted.

So, as you can see, it's important to know what your credit score is before you approach a lender. You can find out this information from one of the "Big Three" major credit reporting agencies shown below:

If you're wondering exactly what such agencies do, the best explanation is that they act as a clearinghouse for lenders. That means they collect financial information. They then sell it to banks, credit card companies, mortgage companies and other lending agencies. In essence, lenders use that information to decide if you’re a good financial risk.

So, if you have a credit score of 620 or better, no problem! But what if that score is below 620? What can you do then? Follow the guideline below.

Guideline 2: Reduce or Eliminate Debt!

The only method of raising your credit rating is to pay off credit cards or any other kind of debt you have.
Now, no matter what you hear or see on television, radio or the Internet, there's no "magic bullet" for reducing or eliminating debt. It has been and always will be a matter of personal discipline on your part! You can accomplish that discipline by taking the following steps:

Step 1: Pay your bills on time—all the time.
Step 2: Don’t open unneeded credit card accounts to increase available credit.
Step 3: This is the most important step. You must figure out where you stand financially by budgeting. In other words, you have to reduce unnecessary expenditures so you can apply saved monies to your debt and improve your credit score.

In this step, you must analyze your current financial situation. The first question to ask yourself is, "How much debt is too much?"

There’s an easy formula for coming up with an answer to that question. It’s called the debt to income ratio. It’s a simple method of measuring your net monthly income against your debt.

For purposes of illustration, let's assume the following: Your net monthly income is $2,000. Your monthly debt payments are $500. Divide $500 by $2,000, and you’ve calculated your debt to income ratio:

500÷2000 =.25 (25%)

Financial experts generally agree that debt expenses should be 25% or less of your income. A ratio of 10% or less is great. Anything above 25% waves a red flag in the face of lenders in general. In that case, you definitely need to reduce or eliminate debt.

So, what is your debt to income ratio? Answer that question by doing the following:
  • Review last month’s bills. Add up all the fixed expense items (rent, mortgage, car payments, child support, loan payments, etc.)
  • Review your credit card bills. Add up the minimum payments owed on each card.
  • Figure your monthly take-home pay (net salary).
  • Now divide monthly fixed expenses by monthly income.

What percentage did you get? If it’s 25% or greater, then it's time to take action to reduce your debt. It’s time to budget!

Okay, let's assume that your credit rating is in the good to excellent category and you have the money for a down payment on a house. That's great news!

But, you still need to stay within your means! So, upfront decide what you want in a home (two bedrooms, attached garage, etc.) and then stick to those guidelines!

Don't get swayed by an ultra-beautiful home with, say, four bedrooms and a state-of-the-art kitchen. If such a house is beyond your means, it won't look very beautiful when you can't make the monthly payments!
The best approach to take is to tell your realtor upfront about your guidelines and ask him or her to show you only homes that meet them.

Believe me, I or any other realtor love to work with customers who know what they want! It not only helps you but us as well because we can locate such properties faster and easier and get you into a new home that much more quickly!

Please contact me so I can answer any more questions you might have about buying a great new home within your means!