Maple Grove, MN Real Estate News

By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
As the federal reserve continues to taper quantitative easing measures, financial experts project mortgage interest rates will climb in the next two years. Could this be the much awaited ray of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for builders and investors or will it drive hesitant home buyers to dig in and shelter in place? Homeowners who are vacillating between refinancing for a lower interest rate and staying the course may find the time has come to make a decision. Shrinking unemployment numbers and rising retail sales figures signal that the economy is improving. Even if no one is ready to label the US economy as recovered, Fed Chairman Janet Yellen's decision to follow through on tapering plans reinforces other market indicators that the economy is gaining strength. What's T...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Being a homeowner is exciting. It can be financially rewarding, too. Unfortunately, it can also put you in a tough legal position. Between the complexities of owning a house, having to deal with lenders and the risk that comes from owning something valuable, keeping yourself legally protected is a good idea. Here Are Some Risks -- And Some Ways To Handle Them. HOAs. If you own a condo, townhome or other property in an association, the homeowner association is extremely powerful. Not paying their dues, violating their rules, or doing just about anything else to end up on the wrong side of them could leave you subject to fines or even foreclosure. Neighbors. Whether or not good fences make for good neighbors, bad neighbors make for legal problems. Before dealing with your neighbors, resea...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
If you live in a climate where your yard has been hibernating for months, then you're probably ready for warmer weather and a hint of green outside your kitchen window. So, in preparation for children running on lush grass through spritzing sprinklers, use the five tips below to get your lawn ready for spring. It will reward you with picnic perfect grass all summer long. 1. Clean Up Winter's Clutter: Take a rake and remove all of the dead leaves and debris left over from the winter months. Leaving a layer of last-year's foliage on the ground can smother your grass and hinder your lawn's growth. Once your yard is clear, spread a thin layer of compost to enrich your soil and provide nutrients for when you grass is ready to sprout. 2. Aerate Your Yard: Compacted soil makes it hard for root...
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Harsh winter weather conditions contributed to home prices falling in January. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City composite index reported that home prices dropped by 0.10 percent in January, but after seasonal adjustments, home prices increased by 0.80 percent in January as compared to December. 12 of 20 cities posted declines in home prices in January. There's no cause for alarm, as year-over-year home prices increased by 13.20 percent as compared to year-over –year readings of 13.40 percent in December and 13.70 percent in November. David Blitzer, chair of the S&P Dow Jones index committee, said "The housing market is showing signs of moving forward with more normal price increases." Home prices remain about 20 percent below a peak reached in 2006. Housing Markets Face Challenges: Analysts...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
It can be pretty intimidating to dip your toes into the realm of home ownership, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. To make things worse, there are a number of myths floating around out there surrounding the home buying process. Such misconceptions have many kept many would-be homeowners from realizing the personal and financial rewards of owning a property. To clear things up, here are 4 myths about buying your first home that simply aren't true. Myth #1 - "It's Cheaper To Rent Instead Of Own": If you buy a property that is within your budget and your mortgage terms allow you to make comfortable monthly payments, the cost of rent can often be higher than mortgage payments. Sure, there are other expenses associated with owning a property that you wouldn't be responsible for if...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee met last week and Janet Yellen held her first press conference as Fed chair. According to the FOMC statement released after the meeting, the Fed cited severe winter weather conditions as a reason for slow economic growth in recent months. FOMC members will continue to monitor economic conditions and developments as part of any decision to change the Fed's change monetary policy. Highlights included: "Moderate" Economic Growth; Asset Purchases Reduced For April: FOMC made the predicted cut to its asset purchase program and reduced April's purchase of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bills to $55 billion. Citing moderate economic growth and modest improvement in labor markets, the FOMC expects to continue tapering the Fed's monthl...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Spring is around the corner, and it's time to get your home in order! Spring cleaning can be fun and easy if you follow some general guidelines, which are sure to get your home ready for the nice weather and looking as beautiful as the weather is about to. Kick the winter clutter to the curb with these spring cleaning tips. Start With The Closets: Spring is here, and winter wear is no longer needed! It's time to box up all of the winter boots, jackets, gloves, and scarfs until next season. Starting your spring clean with your closets is a good tip, and will get you prepared for the rest of the process while creating more space and organization in the bedrooms of the house. This is also the perfect opportunity to create a "give away" box full of clothes that are no longer being worn. Reo...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Spring is here, and the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (NAHB HMI) thawed slightly in March. The current reading of 47 is one point higher than for February, but still indicates pessimism among a majority of builders surveyed. Analysts expected a March reading of 50. The gauge of builder confidence stayed near its lowest level since May. March's NAHB HMI reading remained below the benchmark reading of 50, which indicates that an equal number of builders are positive about housing market conditions as those who are negative. A reading over 50 indicates that more builders are positive than negative. Last August the NAHB HMI reading reached 58, its highest level since 2005. Kevin Kelly, NAHB's chairman said that builder concerns included a lack of land available ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
So you are thinking of refinancing? Well you are in luck because I have 4 quick and important questions you should ask yourself before doing so. 1) Do I Have Enough Equity To Get A Mortgage? To get a conventional loan, you will usually need to have at least 20 percent equity. This means that your house will have to be worth at least $250,000 to get a $200,000 loan. If you have less equity, you could end up having to pay for private mortgage insurance, which can easily add $100 or more to your monthly payment. 2) How's My Credit? Most lenders will look at your credit score as a part of determining whether or not to make you a loan. With conventional lenders, your rate will depend on your score and the higher it is, the lower your payment will be. Other lenders, like the FHA and VA progr...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
For those of us who have a mortgage, we know very well how stressful it can sometimes be to make the monthly payment on time. And then for some of us, late payments are inevitable. In fact, in 2013, from October to December, a whopping 3.85 percent of homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments. And while this percentage may seem a bit high, it's actually quite lower than it was earlier in the year of 2013, when more than five percent of homeowners were failing to make mortgage payments on time. As odd as it may seem, while some people are failing to make their payments on time, there are those who are on their own endeavors to pay off their mortgages well before their loan term period is up. Take for example Adam Hatter. Hatter is a contributor to Yahoo Finance and he and his wif...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
You're ready to make some changes to your home, but you want to be smart with your money and see a positive return on your investment. While most homeowners don't see that return until they sell their home, you can start seeing the benefits now through conserving energy by making your home green. So in honor of the green holiday, stop searching for that pot of gold. Get inspired by St. Patrick's Day to go green to cut your energy costs with the environmentally friendly renovations below. You'll soon see the savings building up at the end of the rainbow. Use Reclaimed Wood For Flooring: Instead of chopping down more green for your floors, reclaim wood that's already been cut. While prices vary depending on they type of wood and how it was transformed, you can get a unique look and conver...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Being a homeowner is exciting. It can be financially rewarding, too. Unfortunately, it can also put you in a tough legal position. Between the complexities of owning a house, having to deal with lenders and the risk that comes from owning something valuable, keeping yourself legally protected is a good idea. Here Are Some Risks And Some Ways To Handle Them: HOAs. If you own a condo, townhome or other property in an association, the homeowner association is extremely powerful. Not paying their dues, violating their rules, or doing just about anything else to end up on the wrong side of them could leave you subject to fines or even foreclosure. Neighbors. Whether or not good fences make for good neighbors, bad neighbors make for legal problems. Before dealing with your neighbors, research...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
When you visit your lender to get a mortgage for your home, they will tell you the maximum amount that you are allowed to borrow. But how do they reach this total and what factors do they take into consideration? How do they determine that one borrower can take on a bigger mortgage than the next? This decision is made by mortgage companies by considering a wide range of factors, including your credit information, your salary and much more. Here Are Some Of The Common Ways That Lenders Determine How Much You Can Borrow: 1. Percentage Of Gross Monthly Income: Many lenders follow the rule that your monthly mortgage payment should never exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. This will ensure that you are not stretched too far with your mortgage payments and you will be more likely to be a...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
There is a fine line between adding color to your home décor and using too much color, so that you feel like you are living inside a rainbow. A little bit of color will add a lot of fun and interest to your home design, but too much color can be overwhelming. How can you achieve that perfect balance? Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind For Using Color In Your Home In A Subtle And Balanced Way: Use Color Schemes: Before choosing the colors for your décor, do a little bit of research into color schemes and how they work, so you know how to combine colors harmoniously. For example, you can choose a complementary color scheme with shades that are across each other on the color wheel – such as blue and orange or purple and yellow. Or you could try an analogous color scheme, which is a scheme ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Getting a home loan can be a challenging process, and a finicky one. Qualifying can be challenging and once a buyer gets approved, it can be surprisingly easy to derail the process. Here are some mistakes to be avoided: Not Pre-Checking Credit: Once a borrower makes his application for a mortgage, his fate is largely sealed. One way to increase the chance of qualifying for a home loan is for a borrower to check his credit before applying. That way, he can address any issues before they become problems for the lender. Changing Jobs: Lenders judge borrowers on their ability to repay the loan. While a borrower's credit rating is a good indicator of past performance, his current job and income provides some assurances that he can make his payments. Changing jobs or losing a job interrupts t...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Two major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November. Case-Shiller’s seasonally adjusted month-to month reading showed that home prices rose by 0.8 percent as compared to 0.90 percent in November. David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that “Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of home price recovery may be over.” He also noted that seasonally adjusted data was showing a loss of momentum for home prices. December home prices posted a year-over-year gain of 13.40 percent, down from November’s year-over-year reading of 13.70 percent. December’s reading ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
A mortgage pre-qualification is an initial estimate of what type of mortgage a borrower could get. It is limited, though, because it's only based on what the borrower tells the lender, which might not be the same as what the lender finds out when it goes through a full process of analyzing the borrower and his credit. Steps Of A Pre-Qualification: To get pre-qualified, a borrower starts by finding a lender. Typically, he will give the lender basic information on his ability to borrow. This includes his income, how much money he has in the bank, his current payments and an estimate of his credit worthiness. The lender takes the pre-qualification information that he gets and compares it to the loan programs of which he is aware. For instance, if he knows that a borrower doesn't have a lot...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Have you been looking through home décor magazines and gazing with wonder at the gorgeous homes inside? Do you want to add a touch of elegance and luxury to your home, but you are on a tight budget? No need to worry, there are many ways that you can make your home look like a million bucks, without actually having to spend a fortune.   Luxury Home Decor Ideas: Here are a few great ideas that don't have to cost a lot, they just require a little bit of planning and some elbow grease and they will take your home from ordinary to luxury. Mount your curtains at ceiling level rather than the top of the windows. This draws the eye upwards and gives the illusion of high ceilings. Paint your interior doors a sleek and shiny shade of black. This looks very modern and sophisticated and is much che...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Two major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November. Case-Shiller's seasonally adjusted month-to month reading showed that home prices rose by 0.8 percent as compared to 0.90 percent in November. David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that "Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of home price recovery may be over." He also noted that seasonally adjusted data was showing a loss of momentum for home prices. December home prices posted a year-over-year gain of 13.40 percent, down from November's year-over-year reading of 13.70 percent. December's reading ...
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