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Is A Mortgage Refinance The Right Thing For You?

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

 

As interest rates continue to remain lower than they’ve ever been, you may be wondering if a mortgage refinance is right for you.

 

Currently, the interest rate for the most attractive borrowers falls at or below 4 percent.

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if now is the right time to refinance your mortgage.

 1.    Do I have a good credit score?

If you have a great credit score, you’re more likely to get the best rates and lowest fees. Check your credit before shopping around. You can obtain one free credit report each year fromannualcreditreport.com.

 2.    Do I plan on selling my home soon?

Depending on the type of refinance, it can take years to make back the points and fees on a new mortgage loan. If the refinance includes closing costs, you can pay thousands of dollars. Make sure you plan on staying in the home for a few years so the savings on monthly interest costs offset the closing costs.

 3.    How much is my home worth compared to how much I owe?

You can get a comparative market analysis from your real estate agent to see a list of comparable recent sales in your market. If the current market value of your home is less than what you currently owe, a refinance may not be right for you. In addition, if you owe less than $100,000, you probably won’t save much money by refinancing.

 4.    Are the costs and financial consequences worth it?

When shopping for a refinance, ask for a fees worksheet that will give you an idea of the closing costs. Also, keep in mind that you receive a mortgage interest tax deduction on your monthly payment. Refinancing will leave you with a lower interest rate, meaning less to deduct. Make sure you look carefully at the costs as well as the benefits of refinancing.

 

If you have any questions, or if you are looking to either Buy or Sell real estate in the central Oregon area, please give me a call.

Getting Your House Ready To Sell

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

 

Deciding to Sell your home can seem like a daunting task. There are many things to consider, but knowing where to start can make it easier.

 

Here are 5 tips to follow when preparing to Sell your home that will make the process a lot less painless.

 

  1. Set clear goals. There are many unexpected challenges you may face when selling your home. Know exactly what your goals are and what your ultimate outcome should be. Write down a clear objective. Be specific and detailed about the results you want to see. As you go through this process, frequently refer to those goals and objectives in case you need to course correct. Know what your priorities are. Do you need to Sell your home quickly or do you need to get the most money out of your home no matter how long it takes? Writing down clear and specific goals will help you with decisions as you go along the way.
  2. Hire a listing agent. Many people choose to go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route. Keep in mind that selling your home is a process that is more involved than just sticking a sign in your yard and writing out a generic contract. Real estate professionals are familiar with the market and can assist you in setting the right price for your home. There is a lot of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction that a real estate agent is familiar with that you may not be, not to mention the legal compliance that must occur in a real estate transaction. Most home searches start on the Internet, and it’s likely that a real estate agent will have access to the MLS to list your home that you do not have. Posting on Craigslist simply isn’t enough. Save yourself a huge headache and hire a competent, experienced listing agent that you trust to help you Sell you home.
  3. Create a plan and a timeline. Create a checklist and timeline of items that need to be completed. These items should include: any preparation work that needs to be done, maintenance on the home, cleaning, home staging, dates you want your home to be listed, date the home needs to be sold by, if applicable, how showing arrangements will work, etc.
  4. Clean your house better than you ever have before. De-clutter your home. Pack up anything you won’t need right away. Put away knick-knacks, photos, and other personal items. If possible, either stage your home yourself or use a professional home stager. Clean out your closets and pantries. People will look inside them. Make the house shine inside and out. Keep your house clean and fresh. Hang up fresh towels, keep garbage cans empty, and make sure there are no offensive odors in your home. It’s also just as important, if not more, to make sure your home has curb appeal. Weed your gardens, trim your bushes, sweep your porch, and mow the lawn.
  5. Prepare to move on. Many people are attached to their homes. Often, sellers price their homes too high because they think the value is more than the market suggests it is. Let go of your emotions and accept that soon, this house will no longer be yours. Start packing early. Put away items you don’t use frequently. Plan to say goodbye to your home, and plan to move on.

If you are looking to Sell your Central Oregon home, or if you are looking to Buy a home in this area, I would be happy to assist you. Just give me a call and we'll get started!

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