Monday, November 17, 2014

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home



Harvard's 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year, he released a paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.
Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent. 

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income...On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Don't Wait! Move Up to the Home You Always Wanted

Don’t Wait! Move Up to the Home You Always Wanted
Posted: 13 Oct 2014 04:00 AM PDT
Don't Wait! Move Up to the House You've Always Wanted | Keeping Current Matters

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates are still below 5%.

Don't get priced out of your 'Dream Home'... pay attention to interest rates. #KCM2014
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However, sellers should realize that waiting to make the move while mortgage rates are increasing probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can buy will decrease.

Here is a chart detailing this point:

Buyer's Purchasing Power | Keeping Current Matters
Line-BreakHave You Set Up Personalized Posts? | Keeping Current Matters

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Don’t Get Caught in the ‘Renter’s Trap’


Don’t Get Caught in the ‘Renter’s Trap’ | Keeping Current Matters

In a recent press release, Zillow stated that the affordability of the nation’s rental inventory is currently much worse than affordability of the country’s home sale inventory. The release revealed two things:
1.    Nationally, renters signing a lease at the end of the second quarter paid 29.5% of their income to rent
2.    U.S. home buyers at the end of the second quarter could expect to pay 15.3% of their incomes to a mortgage on the typical home
Furthermore, renters pay more than the average of 24.9% that was paid in the pre-bubble period while buyers actually pay far less than the 22.1% share homeowners devoted to mortgages in the pre-bubble days.

Don’t Become Trapped

If you are currently renting you could get caught up in a cycle where increasing rents continue to make it impossible for you to save for a necessary down payment. Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries explains:
"The affordability of for-sale homes remains strong, which is encouraging for those buyers that can save for a down payment and capitalize on low mortgage interest rates… As rents keep rising, along with interest rates and home values, saving for a down payment and attaining homeownership becomes that much more difficult for millions of current renters.”

Know Your Options

Perhaps you already have saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire recently reported that analysts at Nomura believe:
“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment.

It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

Freddie Mac came out with comments on this exact issue:
1.    A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.
2.    Freddie Mac's purchase of mortgages with down payments under 10 percent more than quadrupled between 2009 and 2013.
3.    More than one in five borrowers who took out conforming, conventional mortgages in 2014 put down 10 percent or less.

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap 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 to get a mortgage.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happy Buyers! Congratulations on your new home!

Searching for a home, the easy way

Almost every day someone will call me wanting to know about a home they found on the internet. I look up the address only to have to let know that the home is already under contract. It could have been the perfect home for them but because they were searching with a website that was not up to speed, they found a home that was already under contract.  This is why I let my clients search on the Home Buyers Scouting Report. It is the best, most accurate search tool on the internet and it is free and password protected. Here is a link below so you can see for yourself. Happy home search.

Search Real Estate

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

10 Ways to Make Your House Show Like a Model (for under $200)

If you are trying to sell your home, it

really pays off to make the extra

effort to impress your buyers.


There have been studies that show it takes

buyers only seven seconds to decide whether

or not they are going to buy a home once they

set foot in a house. That it is why it so crucial

to make a good impression and also why

“staging” a home for sale is such a fine art.


However not all of us have the cash on hand,

or the time and energy, to do things that are

really going to flip your home over to the

next buyer quickly. For instance, not everybody

has the cash on hand to install a brand

new flashy Jacuzzi complete with freestanding

brass towel warmers and new stone tile

floors. However you might have the money

on hand to install designer faucets, paint the

walls and replace the old iron door handles

with trendy new crystal knobs.


Here are some quick and easy ways to make

your home show like a model home for

under $200. These are easy-to-do tips and

the type of thing an interior decorator would

advise you to do to help “stage" a property so

it is more attractive to buyers. The goal of

this top ten list: is to give you hints on how to

make your home show better than your

competitor’s home on the real estate market!


1. Clear All Clutter

You can get rid of all of the junk in your

home for free. Simply get rid of anything

you don’t need and haul it away in your car

to the nearest dump or Goodwill. This means

getting rid of “stuff” in the front yard, back

yard, hallway and basement. Studies have

shown that people perceive clutter as being

indicative of a property that is decrepit or not

worth much money. They also associate it

with decay and the presence of vermin or



One thing in particular you need to get rid of

is ashtrays. People consider houses that have

been smoked in to be less desirable and also



You should also get rid of all junk in your

yard. This includes things like broken garden


hoses, old equipment and bicycles.


Even things you are actively using should be

tucked out of sight before a house showing.

This means clearing your kitchen counter of

appliances like George Forman Grills or

blenders or anything else that takes up counter



Outside you should make sure that your

garden hoses are coiled up, your birdbath is

clean of leaves and that you do not have

sports equipment or bikes laying around

your front porch.


2. Get Rid of Evidence of Pets

If you have a dog or cat send them away for

the day. Hide the litter box and any evidence

of it’s aroma. Make sure there is no dog feces

in the front yard. These types of things,

along with their smells can convince a buyer

that there are allergens, mites and pet urea in

the house. Houses with more pets are also


considered to be less desirable than ones

with no pets at all.


3. Get Rid of Evidence of Kids

Get rid of strollers on the porch, inflatable

kiddie pools in the back yard and any toys

that may be lying around in the hallway. Get

rid of baby gates and make sure there are no

handprints or crayon drawings on the wall.

Studies have also shown that homes that

have kid’s stuff strewn about are considered

to be less hygienic or valuable than those

that don’t.


4. Clean Up the Front Yard and Porches

The front yard and porch are very important

as that is what your buyer will first see when

they approach the home. Make sure that the

grass is cut and that the garden is nicely



If you have to, reseed the lawn and plant a

few decorative bushes. It also does not hurt



to spruce up the front door with a coat of

paint and replace the house number plates

and the door knocker with new versions.


It also helps a lot to get rid of dead trees or

bushes that may be on the property. Many

people associate that with bad luck or a lack

of caring for the property.


5. Get Rid of Sunken Paving Stones

The path to your front door and the driveway

are also very important. Sunken paving

stones or missing rocks make your home

look ratty and cheap. It is quite easy to buy

new stones, level them and redo these

pathways. Curved path ways look more

contemporary than ones that are at right



6. Paint Rooms That Need It

If you have a wall that looks scratched up,

beaten or damaged you are well advised to

paint it. This can go a long way towards

making a home look less shabby. You

should also make an attempt to plaster any

holes or crumbled parts of walls in your

home as well. If paint is out of the question

then you certainly could make a better

impression by covering up flawed walls with

wall paper.



7. Replace Some Fixtures

If your chandelier or light fixtures look

dated, then go to some trouble to replace

them. You can also make a home look more

contemporary and like it is worth more

money simply by making a few cosmetic

changes like changing the light switch plates

or electrical plates to designer versions.


8. Change the Faucets and Spouts

Sometimes you can make a kitchen or

bathroom look really glamorous simply by

changing out your old faucets and spouts for

glamorous new ones. There are lots of different

styles on the market that can instantly

transform a sink into a contemporary silver

masterpiece of design and many of these

fixtures also cost less than $200. Furthermore

it can be quite easy to install these

fixtures all by yourself.


A tall spigot on a kitchen sink can make it

look suddenly very European and modern.

Replacing the shower head in the bathroom

with something quite snaky, long and silver

with several water flow options can also help

it seem more luxurious and expensive.


9. Provide Flowers and Greenery

If you have cleared all the clutter, then you

should have a home that looks more simple

and kind of Zen in nature. One way to

augment this air of designer sophistication is

to put flowers or vases of tall grasses in

every room.


For instance if you have a dining room table

it is quite a good idea to put a display of fruit

or flowers on the center table to make it seem

more glamorous or traditional. It is also quite

chic to place a small display of flowers or

bamboo in the bathroom. A rose floating in

a bowl of water looks nice reflected in a

dresser mirror in a bedroom.


10. Provide Some Aromatherapy

It’s been proven that if an item for sale

makes some kind of impression on the nose

then people are also more likely to buy it.

That is true for small ticket items but it is

also true of big things like an entire house.


One of the tricks that professional real estate


agents use is to simply bake some cookies in

the oven so the scent of cinnamon and

vanilla fills the air as potential customers

walk in the front door. This gives a place a

more homey effect.


It is also nice to have aromatherapy candles

burning in places like a downstairs bathroom

where things might be a little dark. Soy

candles are especially aromatic.


If you do not want to spend your time baking

you can buy all kinds of professional scents

for you home that help it seem more cozy or

sophisticated. You can even buy vanilla,

cinnamon or apple pie scents that mimic the

smells of baking. Tropical scents such as

pineapple and mango are also used by

professional real estate agents and also the

owners of clothing stores to encourage

people to buy.


Of course if you do have some money to

invest in preparing your home for sale, you

can also hire a professional to stage your

home for you. The benefits of this are

usually a faster sale and more money for

your property. Many of these organizations

can rent you furniture and accessories that

can help make your home look better. A

home stager can also offer you an objective

perspective on what exactly it is that can

make your home look fresh, appealing and

attractive to others.


With an eye for design and just a few

hundred bucks you can usually fix up your

home so that it is more appealing to buyers
all by yourself.

Friday, July 25, 2014

4 Bedrooms with a study or 5 Bedrooms in Flower Mound

Hi Folks, Mike Tobin here this Friday morning and I have a great home for rent here in Flower Mound. My friend Lindy raised her children in this home. When they were grown she kept the home as a rental. The last renter moved out and she called me to lease the home out for her. She has done a ton of work to get it ready for a someone to enjoy this great home. Here is the link to all the details.

Let me know if you know anyone who would like to rent this great home in Flower Mound.

Make it a great day

Monday, July 21, 2014

Great news in Dallas Fort Worth

Good news in Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi folks Mike Tobin here just letting you know the good news going on around Dallas/Fort Worth and cities between. 
Active Network LLC, a 15-year-old company which provides cloud-based activity management software, announced on July 3, 2014 that it plans to move its corporate headquarters from San Diego to downtown Dallas, bringing about 1,000 jobs with average salaries of $72,000 a year. The move is also expected to bring $13 million in capital investment. Thursday’s relocation announcement is just the latest blow to California’s business community, as another company leaves the state for Texas. Aside from Toyota, other businesses planning to make the move to North Texas include MonkeySports and Ameriflight.

A DART station will open at DFW Airport on August 18, 2014.  In just a few weeks, it will be possible for visitors to fly into DFW, collect their bags and board a train for Dallas.  By 2018, plans say that travelers will also be able to take a train from DFW Airport to downtown Fort Worth.   The Orange Line from Irving’s Belt Line Station to the DFW Station is a roughly 10-minute trip with the train reaching a top speed near 65 mph, whizzing past traffic on nearby Texas 114.  Dallas will join Atlanta and Chicago as the 3rd US city to offer train travel from the airport to the major city center and becomes one of 17 global superhubs where international customers have direct rail service down to the city center.

Keystone Automotive Operations, a distributor and marketer of aftermarket automotive equipment and accessories, has leased 231,000 square feet of space for a new distribution and operations facility in the Lakeside Business District in Flower Mound.  Keystone Automotive said it expects to be in the building by October. It will create 100 jobs.

American Airlines has broken ground on a new Operations Center south of DFW Airport.  The facility, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015, will house more than 1,400 employees, which will include about 600 employees moving from the US Airways operation center in Pittsburgh.  The two-story, 149,000-square-foot building will be adjacent to the carrier’s flight academy and the C.R. Smith Museum, on the west side of Texas 360. The project will cost $88 million.

Bed, Bath & Beyond will open a new Flower Mound location in the fall of 2014.  Bed, Bath & Beyond will occupy the former Ross space near the Super Target.  The store began in 1971 with a single New Jersey location.

The $1.3 trillion Texas economy has completely recovered from the Great Recession and is getting stronger, official and independent economists report.  Texas and New York are the only two states to have restored all of the jobs lost when the recession hit in 2007.  The Texas economy is now larger than those in Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia combined.   Oil and gas production has doubled over the last six years.  Texas unemployment is down to 5.7%, about a point lower than the national average, and the state's average home price has broken $200,000 for the first time ever.  Texas is now home to 52 Fortune 500 companies.

Thanks for reading and make it a great day

Mike Tobin


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hi everybody its Mike Tobin here just letting you know that Team is live. You can come here to find out the value of your home or to just get some good information about real estate. Weather you are buying or selling you now know the best place to come and get accurate up to date information about real estate. If you would like to search for some homes just click on the link to the right to find your dream home. Well that is all the time I have today so I will see you Monday.

Make it a great day

Mike Tobin