J. Kent Erickson, Broker Associate
Direct / 208.447.7848

What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

Posted by on Oct 30, 2019 in Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think. With today’s low interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of Americans surveyed say it is a good time to buy. Similarly, the Q3 2019 HOME Survey by the National Association of Realtors said 63% of people believe now is a good time to buy a home. Unfortunately, fear and misinformation often hold qualified and motivated buyers back from taking the leap into homeownership. According to the...

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62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

Posted by on Oct 28, 2019 in Buying a Home | 0 comments

According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report’ conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market: “More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.” When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say, “The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or less down on their home, according to census data.” (as shown below): The lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is unfortunately keeping many motivated buyers on the sidelines. Bottom Line Don’t let a lack of understanding keep...

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What Is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

Posted by on Oct 25, 2019 in Buying a Home | 0 comments

Some Highlights: The “cost of waiting to buy” is defined as the additional funds necessary to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time. Freddie Mac forecasts interest rates will rise to 3.8% by Q4 2020. CoreLogic predicts home prices will appreciate by 5.4% over the next 12 months. If you’re ready and willing to buy your dream home, now is a great time to...

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3 Signs the Housing Market Is on the Rebound

Posted by on Oct 23, 2019 in Real Estate Market, Selling a Home | 0 comments

The residential real estate market has been plodding along for most of the year. However, three recent reports show the market may be on the verge of a rebound: 1. Existing Home Sales (closed sales) are up, marking two consecutive months of growth. 2. Pending Home Sales (contracts signed) are up with each of the four major regions reporting both month-over-month growth and year-over-year gains in contract activity. Here is the month-over-month growth: The Northeast rose 0.7% The Midwest increased 0.6% The South increased 1.4% The West grew 3.1% 3. Buyer Traffic (the number of people shopping for a home) is up compared to the same time last year, and for the first time in 13 months. The Northeast is up 5.9% The Midwest increased 1.3% The South is up 2.7% The West grew 2.2% In their most recent...

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4 Tips to Improve Your Home and Save on Your Energy Bill

Posted by on Oct 21, 2019 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

As a homeowner, it’s important to keep your home running efficiently, not only to save money, but also to help the environment thrive. October 2nd is Energy Efficiency Day, a perfect time to think about making some key upgrades that will improve the efficiency of your home. If you’re looking to sell your house and increase the pool of potential buyers in your market, the upgrades below are truly a must. According with Wallet Hub, “In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income.” What should you spend on utilities? Money Management says, “If you’re working with a budget, and trust me, you should be, your utility costs should be no more than 8-10 percent of your monthly income.” How can you make your home more efficient? EnergyEfficiencyDay.Org provides some handy tips...

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