Maple Grove, MN Real Estate News

By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Houseplants are great for decorating. They can brighten up any room. Plus, houseplants can increase the air quality in a room. That makes you happier, healthier and reduces stress. Speaking of stress, these plants won't create any at all. All of the plants on this list are great at producing oxygen and require very little care. 10. Heartleaf Philodendron: A tough plant that's a good filter for toxins like formaldehyde, Heartleaf Philodendron makes a great houseplant. The only downside is that it's toxic to eat, so it may not be the best choice for those with kids or pets. But if you can control your appetite, the Heartleaf Philodendron is an excellent indoor houseplant for air quality. 9. Snake Plant: Also called Mother-in-Law's Tongue, the Snake plant thrives in the bathroom. It loves ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
After all of the excitement of the holidays, the sparkle of the lights and the over-stimulation of decorations, the rest of winter can seem lackluster. Don't let your home add to the dreariness of the season. Spruce up your curb appeal with the tips below and inspire your neighbors to create well-groomed street that will make drivers passing through smile. Tend The Plants: If you're currently located in a winter wonderland, then dig up any dead plants that won't grow back. Replace them with cold-loving flowers, such as snowberry or lambs ear. In warmer climates, this is the time for any landscaping changes you'd like to make. It will give your plants a chance to flourish by spring and have solid roots before the harsh heat of summer. Light The Way: With daylight hours dwindling, well-pl...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in the news quite a bit over the past few years, so it's a good time to do a refresher on who they are and what role they play in the real estate market. Who Are Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac? Fannie Mae is the Federal National Mortgage Association. Freddie Mac is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. They were originally created to raise homeownership levels and increase the availability of affordable housing. Fannie and Freddie don't sell mortgages directly to homeowners. They buy mortgages from lenders, so the lenders can use the money to issue new home mortgages. In 2008, due to mismanagement resulting in billions of dollars of losses, Fannie and Freddie were taken over by the government. How Do Fannie And Freddie Impact Real Estate? They cont...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
When the holiday season starts and the winter chill comes around, the heating bill at your property will naturally increase as you keep yourself warm and cosy. However, if your home is not being heated efficiently, you are essentially letting your hard earned dollars escape into the air as wasted energy. What are some simple and inexpensive ways that you can cut down your heating expenses this winter and save yourself some money? Only Heat The Rooms You Are Using: If you work from home and are spending eight hours of the day sitting in your home office, there is no need to keep the rest of the house toasty warm. If you have heaters that you can turn on and off for each room, you can direct the heat to the room that you are using. If you have a spare bedroom, you don't even have to heat ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
When you are in the market for a new home, you may be faced with numerous options for financing your home. One of the choices you will have to make is whether to apply for a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage. In some cases, an adjustable rate mortgage may be your best option, but keep in mind, they are not the answer for everyone. Adjustable rate mortgages can be risky for some borrowers and it's important to understand both the pros and cons. When To Consider An Adjustable Rate Mortgage: Perhaps one of the best things about ARMs is they typically have a lower starting interest rate than fixed rate mortgages. For some borrowers, this means it is easier for them to qualify for a loan.  ARMs Are Beneficial For Borrowers Who: Anticipate an income increase - for borrowers who are anticipati...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
When you sell your home, you want it look as good as possible. To do this, your real estate agent will help you stage your home or, if needed, help you find a professional to stage your home. This means de-cluttering your home, re-arranging furniture, and de-personalizing each room. A staged home is more appealing to buyers and helps to highlight your home's positive features. However, staging is not meant to cover major flaws in your home. Some things just have to be repaired. Roof Problems: It doesn't matter how pretty your home is, your buyer is going to expect you to fix roof problems or adjust your price to cover them. Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Cracked Tile: Of course, you can use throw rugs to cover cracks in your tile, but chances are your buyers ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
When you first bought your home a few years ago, perhaps you started off with a 30 year mortgage. Now, you are considering refinancing and changing it to a 20 year or even a 15 year mortgage. Shortening your mortgage term and refinancing can be a smart financial move, but before you make this decision there are a number of factors that you should consider. Switching to a shorter mortgage will mean that your monthly payments will be higher, but you will be 100% paid off much sooner and you will save thousands of dollars in interest rates. Here are a few of the factors to consider before making this decision: Has Your Situation Improved? Perhaps you have moved to a higher paying position, allowing you to earn a higher income and pay off more of your mortgage every month? Or maybe you have...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
While many people claim every January that they are going to exercise more, a lot of them give up after the first couple of months. It takes a great deal of effort to make it to the gym before work or have the energy to go afterward. So don’t make a New Year’s resolution you know you won’t keep. Set yourself up for success by bringing the workout to you. Build your own home gym. Designate A Space: The ideal situation would be to dedicate an entire room to your new home gym. That way you can close the door, crank up the music, block out the children arguing and focus on you. However, a section of your garage or the back of your basement will also work. You just need enough room for a set of weights, a mat, a bench and a cardio machine, if you have one. Prepare The Area: Put down a rubber...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's latest provision - the Qualified Mortgage rule - is going to effect on January 10, 2014. While, like many of Dodd-Frank's other features, its ability to protect customers remains to be seen, one of its impacts is already clear. Taking out a home loan just got harder. The QM rule contains a set of provisions that, if followed, may protect lenders from lawsuits. They will also make it harder for customers to qualify to borrow money to buy a house. Verifying Incomes: Lenders now have to follow stringent procedures to verify that borrowers can repay their loans. While many home loan lenders are already verifying and documenting borrower incomes, assets and debts, they will have to create additional paperwork to prove that they ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
One of the challenges you will face when deciding how much money to put down on your new home is whether to put down a larger down payment or to take a bit of money from your down payment and use it to pay "discount points" to lower your interest rate. There are pros and cons to doing both and each borrower's situation will be different so it's important to understand which option is best for your individual need. Some Factors You Should Consider Include: Cost Of Borrowing - generally speaking, to lower your interest rate will mean you pay a premium. Most lenders will charge as much as one percent (one point) on the face amount of your loan to decrease your mortgage interest rate. Before you agree to pay discount points, you need to calculate the amount of money you are going to save mo...
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The Case-Shiller 10 and 20-City Home Price Indices for October were released on December 31. Although home prices in most cities continued to show year-over-year gains, the pace of home price appreciation is expected to slow in 2014. Year-over-year increases have been in double digit territory since March 2013, but month-to-month readings suggest that the rate of increasing home prices is slowing. According to David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, "...the monthly numbers show that we are living on borrowed time and the boom is fading." The 10 and 20 city indices are showing that home prices some cities that were showing little or no growth in 2013 are posting higher rates of appreciation, while growth in cities that have shown very high increases in ho...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
The holiday season is coming to an end. It's time to pack up the stockings, and take the ornaments off the tree. That tree was a beautiful Christmas decoration, but now that the evergreen is turning brown, and its needles are falling all over the carpet, you realize it's time to get it out of the house. But don't just throw it away. You have several options. Here are five interesting ways to use your dead Christmas tree. It's For The Birds: Keep the tree in its stand and set it outside. You can put some birdhouses in it, or surround it with bird seed. The birds will appreciate your Christmas tree long after you're tired of looking at it. Take off the tinsel first! It's For The Fish: If you (or your neighbor) has a pond, just drop the tree overboard and give it a proper sailor's burial. ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Before taking out a mortgage to buy a home, it's time to take a realistic survey of your finances so that you can determine your price range and what size of home you can comfortably afford. Buying a home that suits your finances will mean that your mortgage payments will be easily within your budget and won't cause you financial stress. Stay In Your Price Range: Many people, when offered a large mortgage by the bank, are tempted to buy homes that are outside of their price range. It's easy to see why a larger property or a more luxurious home might be appealing, but by stretching too far beyond your means you are courting with disaster. If your monthly mortgage rate just barely fits within your budget, without room for savings, retirement contributions, or to build up an emergency fund...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
The holiday season and winter weather slowed home sales in November. Last week, the NAR reported that sales of existing homes had slumped to their lowest level in nearly a year, but this was not unexpected.   Short supplies of available homes and rising mortgage rates have increased pent-up demand for homes have kept some buyers on the sidelines. Improvement In The Labor Market: 4.90 existing homes were sold in November; this was lower than the 5.13 million existing homes sold in October, as well as lower than expectations of 5.00 million existing home sales in November. Existing home sales for November 2013 were also 1.20 percent lower than for November 2012; this is the first time in 29 months that existing home sales were lower year-over-year. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, d...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Housing Starts exceeded expectations and also beat October's reading of 889,000. November housing starts were posted at 1.09 million against a consensus of 963,000. This reading is more in line with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Home builder Market Index, which reached a four month high with December's reading. With that threat resolved and a new federal budget passed, builders can now proceed without worrying about setbacks caused by government shutdowns and legislative gridlock. Building permits issued in November were slightly lower at 1.01 million than October's reading of 1.04 million. Viewed as an indicator of future construction, and ultimately, available homes, it is not unusual for construction and permits to slow during the winter months. FOMC Statement And Chairman Bernanke's Last Pre...
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According to the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Homebuilders Market Index for December, builder confidence recovered in with a reading of 58. This surpassed both expectations of 56 and last month's reading of 54. Analysts noted that builder confidence has steadied after the government shutdown. December's reading was the highest in four months. Dave Crowe, NAHB chief economist, said that his organization was expecting a "gradual improvement in the housing recovery" in 2014. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders are confident about overall housing market conditions than not. Builder Confidence - Highest Reading Since 2005: Pent-up demand for housing is driving housing markets in spite of higher mortgage rates. Three components of builder confidence used to c...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Whether you are purchasing a new home or you are considering applying to refinance your home, chances are the lender will require an escrow account. These accounts are often a source of confusion for homeowners. In reality, these accounts benefit the homeowner and help protect the lender. What Is An Escrow Account? Escrow accounts are sometimes called "impound" accounts. These accounts are set up to help manage payments of property taxes and homeowner's insurance. Depending on the individual requirements of the lender, you may be asked to pay as much as one-quarter of these upfront and they will be put into the account for the purposes of making payments. Who Controls Escrow Accounts? Lenders have complete control over escrow accounts. However, homeowners are entitled to receive an annu...
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By Eric Helmers, Your Trusted Real Estate Source
(Realty Group, Inc.)
* 80% of people that lost their homes to foreclosure never sought advise from a professional. * 1 out of 8 home owners are in some form of default. * 5 Million homes are still in serious default.Most people are embarrassed or feel like they can't find accurate answers when in this position. I've been there and was one of the first agents in Hennepin County to do short sales with the banks for clients. Foreclosure can ruin your credit and in many cases you can lose your security clearance and possibly risk your job or future employment if your company is using credit reports to monitor your behavior. People you know are hurting and in need of help. All you have to know is to listen to them talk about bills or read their face when you ask "How are things goin" if they've been out of work ...
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
Here is a great idea for making cookies and exchanging them as Gifts for the Holidays Click on the Link to read the article by Pilsbury.How to Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange  
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By David Kosmecki
(American Pacific Mortgage)
It's that time of year again when the weather outside gets frightful but the holiday cheer is delightful. You've probably got a lot on your mind during these busy winter months, but make sure that you don't neglect the roof of your home. Taking care of your roof is an important part of home maintenance and you don't want to suffer a leak or any other problem during the cold months. So how can you make sure that Santa and his sleigh have a solid and well-maintained landing pad when they touch down at your house this year? Here are some tips that every homeowner should know: Check Out Your Gutters: Your gutters are an important part of your roof, because they allow water to flow away from the roof surface before it causes rot and damage. During the winter, your gutters will be more likely...
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