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Is It Possible To Have A Hurricane-Proof Home?

The recent total devastation of the Bahamas by hurricane Dorian reinforced the need for hurricane-proof homes in areas that are subject to this risk. Building codes have not kept up with the increasing severity of the weather. Wind Damage As an example, Florida communities, such as the Miami-Dade County area, have building codes that are designated by risk zones. The risk zones in Miami-Dade County are: Risk Category I – Buildings must be able to withstand 165 mph winds. Risk Category II – Buildings must be able to withstand 175 mph winds. Risk Category III – Buildings must...

September 28th, 2019 Is It Possible To Have A Hurricane-Proof Home?

Case-Shiller: July Home Price Growth Hits Lowest Pace in 12 Years

Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index reported U.S. home prices grew by 3.20 percent year-over-year in July; as compared to year-over-year home price growth 0f 3.00 percent posted in June. Cities with the highest rates of year-over-year home price growth were Phoenix, Arizona with 5.80 percent year-over-year home price growth. Las Vegas, Nevada had 4.70 percent year-over-year home price appreciation and Charlotte, North Caroline bumped Tampa, Florida from the top three cities with home price appreciation of 4.60 percent. Tampa, Florida posted 4.50 percent year-over-year home price gr...

September 27th, 2019 Case-Shiller: July Home Price Growth Hits Lowest Pace in 12 Years

4 Reasons to Take Your Own Car When Viewing Homes

When you’re in the market for a new home to buy, your real estate agent will likely invite you to ride along with them to view homes. This is a convenient courtesy, but you may want to reconsider. Your other option is to follow the real estate agent in your own car instead. Here are some reasons to take your own car when viewing homes: 1. It Gives You Time To Confer With Your Partner After you’ve looked at one house, getting back into your private vehicle with your partner allows some time to openly talk about the house you just saw without worrying about how it may influence othe...

September 26th, 2019 4 Reasons to Take Your Own Car When Viewing Homes

Expanding Opportunities For Home-Buying In ‘Opportunity Zones’

Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage investors with capital gains on other investments to invest that money in low-income and undercapitalized communities. They get a reward of deferring capital gains tax. They avoid a portion of it altogether if they keep the investment for five years or longer.  What started with a trickle of a few Opportunity Zones scattered around the country is now a deluge with over 3,000 approved Opportunity Zones approved in just about every part of America. 4,700 more areas may also qualify. Opportunity Zones Expanded Dra...

September 25th, 2019 Expanding Opportunities For Home-Buying In ‘Opportunity Zones’

Is a Bigger Down Payment Always Better?

In the homebuying process, if you find yourself in the enviable position of having more cash than needed for a minimum down payment, it may be difficult to know just how much you should put down. A larger down payment can bring plenty of benefits, but is it always best to contribute the biggest down payment possible?  First, remember that every loan program has its own down payment requirements. FHA loans for example require a minimum of 3.5% while jumbo loans will require at least 10%. To get a conventional loan without PMI you’ll need 20%. USDA and VA, by contrast, do not requi...

September 25th, 2019 | Purchasing a Home, Preapproval, Mortgage Advice, Is a Bigger Down Payment Always Better?

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 23rd, 2019

Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of  Home Builders on housing market conditions, Commerce Department reports on Housing starts and building permits issued and the National Association of Realtors® report on sales of previously owned homes. The Fed reduced its key interest rate and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released. Builder Confidence in Housing Market Improves, Sales of Pre-Owned Homes Rise The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose one point to an index reading ...

September 24th, 2019 What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 23rd, 2019

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