After prolonged speculation by economic analysts and news media, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates for the first time in seven years. Committee members voted to raise the target federal funds rate to a range of 0.25 to 0.50 percent from a range of 0.00 to 0.25 percent to be effective December 17. The good news about the Fed's decision is that the Central Bank had enough confidence in improving economic conditions to warrant its decision. But how will the Fed's decision affect mortgage rates?December's FOMC statement cited improving job … [Read More...]
Mortgage closing costs have been coming down in recent years, which is good news for buyers. But if you're buying a home in the near future, you'll want to ensure you're prepared to take full advantage of these lower fees - after all, keeping more money in your pocket is always good. When you close on your mortgage, take these three steps and you'll find that you'll pay far less in closing fees than most buyers would. Ask The Seller To Pay Some Of The Closing Costs In most situations, the buyer is responsible for paying all closing costs – that's the industry standard agreement. But just … [Read More...]
With the busyness of the holiday season, selling your home during the winter months can often be more difficult than it is in other seasons. If you're intent on selling before the year is out and you're looking for some staging pointers, here are a few ways to convince potential buyers that your home will be the perfect place to spend Christmas! Compliment Your Home's Colors If the green, red and gold tones of the holiday season contrast with your home décor, it might be a good idea to bring out some less flashy pieces that will still lend to the joyous season. Instead of huge garlands … [Read More...]
Last week's scheduled economic releases included reports on job openings, retail sales and consumer confidence in addition to usual weekly releases on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. The details:
According to the U.S. Labor Department, job openings were down 2.70 percent in October to a reading of 5.38 million as compared to September's reading of 5.50 million job openings and the all-time high reading of 5.67 million job openings in July. October's reading was the third highest since the recession ended in 2009.
Analysts said that a gap between job skills sought by employers and job … [Read More...]
The idea of using spray paint to make some quick fix-ups to your home might seem uncouth, but it can be a great way to make some easy, economical upgrades that will shift the overall look of your living space. Instead of assuming that spray paint is just for graffiti, here are some simple ways to use a can of quick paint to change up your home's style. Dress Up Your Doorknobs An outdated doorknob can instantly age the look of your home, but what you might not know is that a simple douse of spray paint can instantly change the look of your knobs and provide a facelift. Instead of going down to … [Read More...]
With all of the expense that can go into buying and selling a home, it's good to be aware of what you can claim and how a home can benefit you come tax time. When the New Year rolls around and you're sitting down to the task of completing your taxes, here are a few things that you'll want to keep in mind. Gaining from Capital Gains In the event that you've made money off the sale of your home through a capital gain, it's possible that you may be able to exclude this amount from your tax filing. If you've lived in the home you just sold for at least two of the five years before the sale date, … [Read More...]