More houses are turning into high-tech hubs of connectivity and convenience. Technology, in fact, has become one of the improvements most requested by homeowners according to home builders and remodelers.

Cameras are also a component in the connected home, in fact there is a growing trend among homeowners who are replacing costly security systems and monitoring services with self-controlled cameras.

LED lights are another sought-after, high-tech feature, due to their energy efficiency. Consult with a cool lighting system company that offers products with geo-fencing technology, as well as smartphone control capability.

No high-tech home is complete without a connection to the outside. During your tech renovation, consider installing a universal system that controls both indoor and outdoor features, such as a flat-screen television or surround-sound.

Home improvements can be expensive but if you are a current owner looking to enhance your home and its value there are options for you that won’t break the bank.

With mortgage rates at historic lows, it’s the perfect time to slice your monthly mortgage payment and consider a cash-out refinance. The best use of cash-out refinancing is for home improvements that increase the value of your home.

  • It allows you to pay off your existing mortgage—including closing costs—and have money left ...

Down Payments When Buying A HomeA down payment is an initial payment made by a homebuyer with financing, generally ranging from 5 to 20 percent of the home’s value. The FHA home buyer loan offers a down-payment option of as little as only 3.5% down.

A down payment of 20 percent will save the expense of private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is often imposed on borrowers who finance more than 80 percent of their purchase, and can also result in a lower mortgage interest rate. However, by working with an experienced licensed loan originator, you will learn about programs that do not require a 20 down-payment and still allow for affordable financing.

Whether you are trying to save 5% or 20%, here are great tips to help you start saving for your down-payment:

Saving – Open a separate savings account strictly for your down payment. Setting these funds aside from other types of savings will reduce the chance you’ll draw from it in times of need.

Budgeting – Your down payment will depend on the amount you plan to spend on a home. Assess your current financial obligations to determine how much you can save each month toward the down payment. Consider that many obligations can be reduced or even eliminated.

Tracking ...


Mortgages For Bigger FamiliesHaving a large family can be a source of joy and pride for both you and your several children. However, it will require more space to house everyone comfortably and to meet their needs. First, examine your budget and the type of home you will need. Then, speak to an experienced licensed loan originator who can help you evaluate your financing options and learn how much home you can truly afford. If you currently own your home and need to make a change, your loan officer can help you review your options more thoroughly to fit your unique goals.

Getting a preapproval letter from a lender will allow you to know exactly how much home you can purchase, and streamline your home search because you won’t waste time looking at homes you can’t afford. Homes outside of your price range will be off grounds.

Once you have a better understanding of your financing options, follow the tips below in order to choose the most comfortable home option.


Choose a Home with a Finished Basement or Attic Space
As your kids get older, they are going to want their privacy and space to have their friends over. You will likely want and need places to entertain or for your friends and family members to sleep when they come over for the night or for a longer period of time. Choosing a house with a sizeable finished basement space or attic can ...


Slow growth in China and the Brexit vote in the U.K., have played a major role in driving down mortgage rates, according to Freddie Mac's recently released monthly Outlook for July. In the most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.41 percent, just slightly above the all-time record low. This is likely to result in a boost in housing activity, particularly refinance, as homeowners take advantage of the current low rates.
 
"With the U.K.'s decision to exit from the European Union, global risks increased substantially leading us to revise our views for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Nonetheless, the turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows; thereby, allowing home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in refinance activity."

Results lead experts to expect growth rebound in the remaining quarters of 2016 to show GDP at 1.9 and 2.2 percent in 2016 and 2017. In light of recent global pressures, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage forecast has been revised down for both 2016 (by 30 basis points) and 2017 (by 50 basis points) to 3.6 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. 

Based on these low mortgage rates, expect the refinance share of originations to rise to 49 percent for 2016, 8 percentage points above last month's forecast. This translates to about $100 billion ...


Numbers from the most recent housing reports from June show that low mortgage rates are keeping housing on track, according to recently released data from Freddie Mac. The report examines current projections of homeownership rates in the years to come from among various experts, as well as the latest results on refinance statistics from current homeowners.

According to the report, “For the second time, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016 was revised upward from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.8 percent to 1.1 percent. Upward revisions to growth in exports and nonresidential fixed investment were primary drivers in the adjustment to GDP growth.” After the initial estimate of 0.5 percent growth, this newest figure suggests the start of 2016 was not as bad as originally thought. Regardless of May's disappointing employment report, expect unemployment to average 4.9 percent in 2016 and 4.8 percent in 2017.

The house price appreciation forecast for 2016 has increased by 20 basis points to 5.0 percent, and in 2017 by 40 basis points to 4.0 percent. During the first quarter of this year an estimated $10.9 billion net of home equity were converted to cash during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, down from $11.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015 and substantially less than during the peak cash-out refinance volume of $84.0 billion during the second quarter of 2006.

"Despite ...


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