Recent Blog Posts

The amazing members of ActiveRain produce hundreds of blog posts every single day of the year.  There is a wonderful mix of all things real estate and beyond for your reading pleasure.

This board rolls all day long with the newest blog posts to our site. You’ll find some diamonds in the rough on this page, so check back often to peruse the blog roll and learn from our committed community of real estate professionals.

The newest blog posts on ActiveRain

For those who are trying to buy things for their home, it is important to think carefully. Nobody wants to overpay; however, reaching for something cheap may simply end up getting replaced quickly. There are a few highlights that everyone should consider purchasing for their home in January! Purchase Some Furniture In January First, everyone has to make sure they think about buying furniture either in January or July. A lot of furniture manufacturers provide retail stores with new pieces in February and August. Therefore, a lot of furniture will go on sale starting either in January or July. Storage Items Go On Sale In January Again, a lot of stores will roll out sales in January for storage essentials such as baskets, shelves, and organizing systems. There are a lot of student’s who a...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
Periodically, I take time to cull pictures that we have taken.  Pictured above is a glimpse of Crater Lake.  It is located in South Central Oregon.A volcanic crater lake is a lake in a crater that was formed from explosive activity or collapse during a volcanic eruption. Lakes in calderas fill large craters formed by the collapse of a volcano during an eruption. Lakes in maars fill medium-sized craters where an eruption deposited debris around a vent.WikipediaWe were there five years ago with friends, and enjoyed walking around the perimeter of the lake.  The surrounding nature as you can see in this picture is diverse and lovely.  Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Wednesday!  
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There are a lot of steps that come with buying or selling a home. One of the routine steps that have to be accomplished is called a home appraisal. When it comes to a home appraisal, this is something that can cause both buyers and sellers to pause for a second. For those who might not know, a house appraisal is where a trained professional will take a look at the fair market value of the home. It is important to understand what happens when a home appraisal is conducted.  Compare The Home To Similar Properties When a home appraisal is conducted, its value is usually compared to homes in the area that are similar. The value of a home is always determined by what similar homes in the area have sold for recently. This is what the lender is going to look for. For example, if someone is se...
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Right now, mortgage rates have fallen to rates that haven’t been seen in years. This opens the door for many people to apply for a mortgage that they previously may not have been able to afford. Sadly, not everyone who applies for a mortgage is going to be approved. There are a few steps that applicants can take to increase their chances of getting their mortgage application approved. Increase The Credit Score Applicants need to make sure that their credit scores are as high as possible when they apply for a mortgage. The greater the credit score is, the more trustworthy they look to lenders. In general, applicants are going to need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a home loan; however, those who want to get the best interest rates possible need to make sure their credit ...
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Last week’s economic news included reports from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and data on pending home sales. No weekly data on jobless claims were released due to the New Year holiday, but Freddie Mac did issue its weekly report on average mortgage rates.Case-Shiller Reports Home Prices Reached 6-Year High In OctoberU.S. home prices reached their highest level in six years according to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index. Home prices rose by 8.40 percent year-over-year in October as compared to September’s home price growth reading of 7.00 percent. Demand for homes rose during the Covid pandemic as families moved from congested urban areas to less crowded suburbs and rural areas. Ongoing shortages of available homes fueled rising home prices as mortgage rates fell to record lows...
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If you’re a homeowner who is looking to tap in to the home equity that you’ve spent years building you may be interested in a “reverse mortgage” or “home equity conversion mortgage”. While these unique financial tools aren’t for everyone, if you qualify for a reverse mortgage you’ll find that this might be the perfect financial solution which allows you to pay off your existing mortgage, or for some other regular expenses that you have. Let’s take a closer look at how reverse mortgages work, including how to qualify, what happens to your existing mortgage and what a reverse mortgage might cost. Do You Meet the Requirements for a Reverse Mortgage? In short, a reverse mortgage is a type of home loan in which the lender pays you monthly payments or a lump sum based on the equity that you’...
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During the past few months, many people have been stuck at home. Whether this involves working from home or going to school from home, many home appliances are receiving more use than usual.There might be more breaks, clogs, and leaks than most families are used to dealing with. Many families are tired of spending money on technicians and mechanics and might be looking for a more cost-effective way to deal with home repairs. There are a few key home repairs that homeowners can handle on their own. Stopping A Leaky Faucet Leaky faucets are among the most common issues homeowners deal with. There are two shut-off valves under the sink that need to be turned off first. Then, make sure there is nothing coming out of the faucet. Remove the handles from the faucet using a screwdriver and loo...
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For those who are looking to buy a home, they know that this is one of the most exciting experiences in the world. There is something special that comes with looking at a bunch of homes and envisioning a life there. On the other hand, the prospect of saving 20 percent of the home’s value to put down might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few creative ways that people can save up enough money to purchase their starter dream home. Talk To The Seller One of the first tips that people need to keep in mind involves talking to the seller. There are a bunch of items that need to be negotiated between the buyer and the seller. One of the most important is the closing costs. Ask the real estate agent to speak with the seller. Even if the seller is able to take half of the closing cos...
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Last week’s economic news included readings on inflation, job openings, and weekly reports on jobless claims and mortgage rates. Inflation Rate Slows in August After posting 0.60 percent growth for each month in June and July, the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.40 percent in August. These growth rates offset declines in inflation during the first three months of the COVID-19  pandemic. Used vehicle prices increased after deep discounts offered when the pandemic started; analysts said that rising prices for used vehicles offset losses in previous months and produced low inflation for August. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, mirrored results for the Consumer Price Index with 0.40 percent growth in August as compared to 0.60 percent growth in consumer price...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and this includes the real estate industry. One of the biggest impacts that this pandemic has had involves the home lending process. Because many people are looking for ways to buy a home while engaging in proper social distancing measures, the industry has had to adapt. Learn more about some of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has forced on the home lending process.Homes Are Getting More AffordableThe demand for homes right now is high; however, homes are still more affordable than they have been in the past. Lenders are trying to find ways to encourage people to purchase homes because they have seen a drop in their business as well. As a result, many lenders are willing to provide potential homeowners with great offers and opportunities to ...
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Those who are in the process of buying a new home need to be aware of some of the factors that might influence their ability to do so. Even though credit score, income, and assets will play major roles in whether or not someone might be approved for a loan, there are other factors that will play a role as well. Buying a new car might even have an impact on the homebuying process. Why is this the case? The Debt Payments On The Car Will Play A Role There are multiple ways to buy a car. Some people elect to pay cash for the entire vehicle. While this is a challenge for most families, this will prevent any new debt from being added to the family’s finances. At the same time, this could also reduce the amount of cash the family has on hand to put toward the new home. Most families end up pu...
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Last week’s economic news included readings on housing market conditions, housing starts, building permits issued, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released. National Association of Home Builders Reports Record High Builder Confidence The NAHB reported record high builder confidence in housing market conditions. The Housing Market Index had an index reading of 83 in September as compared to August’s reading of 78. Analysts said that this builder confidence reading was notable due to rising costs for building materials. Component readings of the NAHB Housing Market Index also rose in September. Builder confidence in current single-family housing market conditions rose four points to an index reading of 88; builder confidence in housi...
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Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, along with Commerce Department readings on public and private-sector job growth and the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly reports on jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released. Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Ramps Up as Demand for Homes Increases July home prices rose at a year-over-year rate of 4.80 percent in July as compared to June’s reading of 4.40 percent. Shortages of available homes were driven by demand. Homebuyers were looking for larger homes to accommodate working from home and also wanted to leave congested urban areas. Home prices in Case-Shiller’s 20-City Index rose by 3.90 percent year-over-year in July; Home prices in participating cities grew by 3.50 pe...
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Most people have heard the saying that it might be a good idea to refinance if mortgage rates drop. For those who might not know, refinancing is essentially taking out a new loan to replace the old one because the new loan has a lower interest rate. This could shorten the time span of a long time and reduce monthly payments, or save money on the total cost of the home. At the same time, refinancing is not right for everyone. How can homeowners determine if refinancing is right for them?  Do They Qualify? Just because there are lower interest rates available does not mean that homeowners are going to qualify. It is important for homeowners to make sure they qualify for lower interest rates on their home loans. Be sure to conduct a quick credit check to clean up inaccuracies on the credi...
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By Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
(GreatWest Realty)
While chatting with an old friend a couple weeks ago, we decided to calendar a day trip to Apple Hill.  Marcia and I have known each other since 1950.  Yep, that's a little over 70 years.  We went all through school together beginning in the 2nd grade.Apple Hill is a community of more than 50 farms that grow an array of apples, pumpkins and Christmas trees, in addition to there being a few wineries.  Apple Hill is a community that comes alive each autumn.So today, Marcia and I visited several favorite farms, and enjoyed looking at the jams, jellies, crafts and other products, while drinking hot spiced cider and nibbling on apple walnut donuts. For those who live in the Greater Sacramento region, Apple Hill is about 40 miles east of Sacramento, along highway 50.  It's a delightful way to...
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Owning a home comes with a lot of joy and responsibility. Many homeowners are looking for improvement projects that they can do themselves. There are a few options that rise to the surface. Take a look at some of the fun projects that most homeowners can do at home! Perform Routine Maintenance on the HVAC System One of the top projects that homeowners can perform involves routine HVAC maintenance. In order to make sure the HVAC system is running appropriately, it is important to service it regularly. Even though there are a few tasks that have to be left to those with the right training, there are other tasks that the homeowners can do themselves. This includes wiping off the breaker, cleaning the exterior, and even cleaning the blower with a vacuum. Seal Home Areas Contributing To A D...
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The real estate market has been in flux during the past few months. As a result, this could be a great time to both buy and sell a home. This is because mortgage rates are attractive for borrowers right now. With so many people who are looking to buy a home, is likely the people selling a home are going to receive multiple offers. On the other hand, given what the mortgage market looks like right now, borrowers also have attractive options. As a result, many people are wondering if they should buy a house with cash or take advantage of low interest rates. For homebuyers in this position, there are a few important points to keep in mind.  Consider What The Cash Can Do Ultimately, a decision to buy a house with cash or taking advantage of low interest rates is going to be a personal deci...
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Last week’s economic news included readings on new and existing home sales and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony on changing the Fed’s business loan policy. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released. Sales of New and Pre-Owned Homes Rise In August New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.01 million sales; analysts expected the sales pace to fall to 900,000 sales from July’s reading of 965,000 new home sales. Homebuyers turned to new homes as the supply of pre-owned homes dwindled. Homeowners stayed put as fears over COVID-19 contagion limited sales. Pre-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of six million homes as compared to the expected reading of 6.03 million sales and 5.86 million sales in July. Previously-owned home s...
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Being pre-approved for a mortgage isn’t just a way to get a step ahead, in many cases it’s a necessity to buying a home. Many sellers don’t want to go through the negotiation process of selling their home only to have the buyer drop out when they can’t get approval for the mortgage they were relying on. The Difference Between Pre-Qualification And Pre-Approval Pre-qualification is a faster process than pre-approval and is usually a best estimate based on how the borrower answers certain questions about their financial history and status. Pre-approval is way more valuable to a borrower than pre-qualification because it is a commitment from a lender for a decided amount after they have completed an in-depth verification process based on the submitted documentation. Preparing For The Pre-...
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If you’re in the process of buying a new home, you’ve likely heard the term “closing costs” in regards to the many different fees and taxes that you’ll be required to pay during the purchase process. In this post we’ll look at a number of these closing costs and what you will be expected to pay when you buy that next dream home. Taking out a Mortgage? There Will Be Fees Attached If you’re taking out a mortgage to finance the cost of buying your home you’ll end up incurring a variety of fees. Nearly all lenders will charge a mortgage application fee, which covers the cost of processing your application and all of the necessary paperwork. You’ll likely have to pay for a professional appraisal of the home as well, as the lender will want to ensure that they aren’t lending you more than th...
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