King of Prussia, PA Real Estate News

By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Simple home and yard tips don’t have to take a lot of time, but can save a lot of headaches if that first winter storm catches you unaware.Here’s a checklist to help you prepare:Assess Your Windows And DoorsTake a walk around your interior, preferably on a windy day. Check for drafts and air leaks; replace weatherstripping, align door thresholds. and repair window frames and sills if they’re damaged. If you have storm windows, make sure they’re ready to install. Replace the screens in a storm door with glass panels. Also check your garage door to make sure that it operates properly.According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly half of a home’s total energy use is for heating and cooling, so it makes good financial sense to assure that your systems are as efficient as possible for e...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Homeowners looking to maximize their return on investment often want to know what season best achieves that goal. Getting near or full asking price can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including market trends, inventory and interest rates to name a few.It will come as good news to know there are strong indicators that this fall has unique listing advantages. That means listing a home this fall could help sellers get the price they want.1: Inventory Remains Very TightThe rules of supply and demand apply equally to the housing market and there are not enough homes to go around.The single-family housing shortage has been driven by multiple factors. A large population of Millennials have entered the real estate market at a time when new home construction had been stifled for years....
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last week’s economic news included readings on consumer credit, inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.Fed Reports Consumer Credit Jumps in JulyThe Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit rose from $9 billion in June to $17 billion in July. Analysts said a majority of consumer credit was issued for education loans and auto loans. June’s reading was revised downward to $8.50 billion from the original reading of $10.2 billion.Credit card debt increased by 1.50 percent in July after declining by – 1.40 percent in June. Non-revolving consumer debt rose by 6.40 percent in July after growing 4.0 percent in June. July’s reading was the largest increase in eight months. The Fed’s Consumer Credit report does not ...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Securing the best conventional mortgage rate possible can pose a challenge for even veteran property buyers.Your mortgage rate will be determined by a variety of factors that pertain to your unique financial portfolio as well as economic forces. While no one has full control over all of the things that influence the process, understanding the manageable aspects can improve your negotiation position when securing a conventional mortgage.Consider these four things that impact how conventional mortgage rates are determined.1: Credit Is KingA borrower’s credit score has a tremendous impact on the final mortgage rate. The general rule is that the higher the score, the lower the rate. The opposite generally holds true as well.Lenders usually require a minimum credit score of at least 620. Som...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last week’s economic releases included readings from Case-Shiller on home prices, pending home sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth, Pending Home Sales DipHome price growth slowed in June according to Case-Shiller’s national home price index. Home prices rose 0.30 percent from May and were 6.30 percent year-over-year as compared as compared to 6.40 percent. In May. Analysts have predicted stabilizing home prices for months and June’s reading indicated that home prices may slow after surpassing inflation and wage growth in recent times.The 20-City Home Price Index rose 0.10 percent in June and 6 .30 percent year-over-year in June; Las Vegas, Nevada home prices toppled Seattle, Wash...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
If your home’s style currently wouldn’t win any awards, there’s no reason to put off a redo indefinitely. With a little ingenuity and a few hours of time, it’s possible to transform a “Plain Jane” into a trendsetter.Here’s how:Paint and PatternAlmost any designer will tell you that color is the best way to alter the character of a room. It doesn’t have to be dramatic; even a subtle change of tone, texture or pattern on a single wall can be a distinctive focal point. If your home lacks architectural detail, you might consider adding wood paneling to one wall or to the ceiling. It can be rustic or refined, and it will add instant appeal and point the way to further decor ideas.If you don’t want to make major changes, hang simple fabric panels on a decorative rod to frame a window; or add ...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders and Commerce Department releases on Housing Starts and Building Permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were released, along with a monthly report on consumer sentiment.NAHB: Home Builder Housing Market Index Drops 1 PointAugust’s reading for the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index dropped one point to 67. This was the lowest reading for home builder confidence in housing market conditions in 11 months. Analysts said that trade wars are causing concern among builders due to higher costs for building materials. Higher costs will be passed on to home buyers, many of whom are already challenged by rising home prices and strict mortgage...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
First impressions matter when you’re selling your home. Curb appeal is what draws potential buyers to your home. It can make or break a home sale.Attractive landscaping or an appealing entryway can determine whether or not buyers walk through your front door. If the outside of your house is poorly kept up, they probably won’t bother to see the inside.You don’t have to have a large budget or tons of time to make your home look appealing from the outside. Here are some easy outdoor projects that will help you sell your home.Get Rid Of ClutterGetting rid of clutter and garbage in your yard is one of the easiest and cheapest things that you can do to make your home look great. Pretend that you are a buyer. Walk around your home and look for clutter. Pick up any plastic, paper, branches or o...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Home improvements are key investments when it comes to quality of life and property value. While decks, solar panels and smart technologies are trendy options, installing a home generator may be even more valuable. That’s because backup generators not only improve market value, they also protect you and your home during severe weather incidents.Consider these four reasons why a home generator makes good sense.Protect Against Severe WeatherThe impact of severe weather can reach catastrophic proportions. Thousands of people are left without electricity for days — even weeks — after storms. Heat waves also put an inordinate strain on the power grid when all of those air conditioners and HVAC go into 24-hour overdrive.The consequences of extended power losses are generally fouled foods in t...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Historians like to say that those who do not learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. In the real estate industry, the chances of that happening are slim because agents and other professionals follow market trends closely.That being said, a careful examination of 2017 market trends and other factors can help highlight where the housing market is headed. Consider these top trends when deciding about whether to buy or sell a property.Millennials Scooping Up HomesAccording to resources such as Zillow, the low inventory and emergence of Millennials in the home-buying market helped break records last year. Millennials comprised upwards of 34 percent of the market and about two-thirds of them were reportedly first-time home buyers.Given the shortage of entry-level homes for th...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
This summer, quality homes are being scooped up almost as fast as they’re being listed – and for top price. Yes, it’s a seller’s market out there, which is great news if you’re planning to list your home. For those looking for a home, the competitiveness can be frustrating and aggravating.Frustrating as it may be, there’s plenty of reason for buyers to stick it out until their offer is accepted. For starters, interest rates are still fairly low. And secondly, there are great homes out there if you act fast enough.How can you successfully get that dream home in a seller’s market? Here are some top tips:Stay DedicatedMake sure that you and your Realtor are on the same page with your must-haves for your new home. Then, make sure you check for new listings daily. If any look good, make an a...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last Week’s economic readings included reports on inflation, mortgage rates, new jobless claims and consumer sentiment.Inflation Slows in JuneThe Consumer Price Index for June inched down to 0.10 percent growth in June as compared to May’s reading of 0.20 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.20 percent, which matched expectations and May’s reading of 0.20 percent.Year-over-year inflation rose by 2.90 percent. This was the highest rate of growth in six years. Inflation increased by a year-over-year rate of 1.60 percent in the prior year.While inflationary growth signals strengthening economic conditions, it can also cause challenges for consumers if inflation outpaces wage growth. In recent years rapidly, rising home prices have outstripped infl...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last week’s economic releases included monthly readings on construction spending, public and private sector job growth and June’s national unemployment rate. Weekly readings included Freddie Mac mortgage rates and new jobless claims.Construction Spending Rises in MayAccording to the Commerce, construction spending rose 0.40 percent in May; public sector construction spending rose 0.70 percent and private sector spending rose by 0.30 percent. Residential construction rose by o.80 percent, which analysts regarded as a good sign for the economy. Building more homes has long been identified as the only solution for persistent housing shortages that cause high demand for homes and rapidly rising home prices.Analysts said that volatility and heavy revisions to government reporting, constructi...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
For first-time home buyers, closing costs are a major hurdle for home ownership. Coming up with a down payment and several thousand dollars for closing costs can be hard without home equity to tap.To help, buyers often ask sellers to cover all or some of these costs. In markets favoring buyers, this is a common habit, but when the market switches to favoring sellers it becomes harder. Sellers who know they may get multiple offers are less likely to say “yes” to this request.Yet even when the market favors sellers, buyers can still ask for this help. It all depends on how the offer is presented. Here’s how to potentially make it look appealing, even with other offers on the table.Buyers Need To Consider The Total AmountMany sellers build negotiation room into their asking prices. This me...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last week’s economic reports included readings from Case-Shiller housing market indices and data released on new and pending home sales. Weekly releases on mortgage rates and first-time unemployment claims along with the Consumer Sentiment Index for June were also posted.Case-Shiller Reports Rapid Home Price Growth in AprilApril home prices ticked downward by one-tenth percent for the National Home Price Index, which reported 6.40 percent growth year-over-year. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index also dipped by one-tenth percent to 6.60 percent year-over-year. Analysts note that home prices continue to outpace wage growth and inflation, which limits affordability for many prospective home buyers.Seattle, Washington held the top spot on the 20-City Home Price Index with year-over-yea...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Are you considering buying a flipped house? Here are some ways to tell if it is a good idea or not.If you watch popular TV shows like Property Brothers, Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper, you might believe that buying a remodeled home is a great idea. These shows always have happy endings. The process looks fun and easy, and the houses turn out beautiful. However, it is rarely this easy when buying a real-life remodeled home.There are plenty of flipped houses that turn out to have significant problems. Contractors who do remodels sometimes rush through the job. This can lead to subpar work. While the house might look beautiful initially, problems could start to show up months later.  A flipped house can be a great deal. However, it pays to do your homework before buying one. Maintain a skept...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
Last week’s economic reports included the post-meeting statement by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee along with readings on retail sales and inflation. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.Fed Raises Key Interest Rate on Strong Economic IndicatorsThe post-meeting announcement by the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve indicated that committee members voted to raise the target federal funds rate to 0.175 to 2.00 percent from the prior rate of 1.50 to 1.75 percent.The post-meeting announcement cited strong economic conditions and stated that FOMC had altered their outlook from three rate increases in 2018 to four increases. This news is significant to consumers as banks and credit card companies typically raise lending rates in...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
It pays to start with a solid strategy when you have to house hunt from afar.Hunting for a house is stressful enough even if you are moving to another part of town. However, when you are searching for a house from afar, it can make the task of finding the right home for your needs seem almost impossible. Fortunately, in today’s high-tech world, you have an array of tools available right at your fingertips that can make it easy to find the perfect house for your needs. So, even if you are looking for a home thousands of miles away, you can do so quickly and with minimal fuss.Partner With The Right Real Estate Agent The first thing that you should do when looking for a house in an area that you are unfamiliar with is to find a local agent. Find someone who has the expertise of the local m...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
When a homeowner stops making regular mortgage payments, the bank can foreclose on the property. This means that the bank takes possession of the property in an attempt to recover the debt the homeowner owes. In some cases, the bank may try to recover this debt by selling the property at auction. In other cases, the bank will simply list the foreclosed home for sale.Choosing to purchase a foreclosed home has both advantages and disadvantages for the buyer. Weighing these advantages and disadvantages carefully is essential.Pros of Buying a ForeclosureWhen you decide to buy a foreclosure, you will be working with a seller that is inherently more motivated. The longer the bank owns the property, the more money they lose. For this reason, banks are often more willing to negotiate on all of ...
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By Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563
(CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029)
When you are filling out a mortgage application, the lender will be asking you for specific financial information. One of the reasons they ask for this information is to enable the underwriter to calculate your debt to income ratio.The debt to income ratio is what most mortgage lenders use to determine the level of risk they are taking when they agree to provide you a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders will use your debt to income ratio to determine your interest rate, down payment requirements, and in some instances, escrow requirements.How Lenders Calculate Debt to Income RatioWhen your loan is being underwritten, the lender will look at both a “front-end” and a “back-end” debt to income ratio. There are two separate calculations for these ratios which are: Front end – this calculation i...
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