Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are Home Buyers Smart To Follow The Trends?

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Architects and designers love to convince people that the latest trends are the most desirable features for every household. However, a design’s popularity doesn’t necessarily mean that every buyer should want it. Here are some examples, according to Realtor.com®.

1.     Open floor plans: While open floor plans can feel bright and airy, they’re not without some drawbacks. Sound carries in spacious rooms, which can be frustrating for households with young children or adults who work from home. And while it’s convenient to see your living room from your kitchen, remember that open floor plans generally require large rugs, tall pieces of art and strategically placed furniture in order to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere.

2.     Hardwood flooring: Today’s home buyers almost always prefer beautiful hardwoods to carpet or tile. However, without the proper finish, scratches and stains can become a serious issue. In some households, kitchens, bathrooms and other high-traffic areas may be better off with a more durable flooring choice.

3.     Upstairs laundry room: A laundry room near your bedroom may seem like the ultimate convenience, but don’t forget to consider the noise. If you’re concerned the washer and dryer will keep you or the kids awake, doing a little extra legwork to get to a first-floor or basement laundry room may be worth it.

4.     Designer sinks: Bowl sinks are elegant, but they take up valuable counter space. Pedestal sinks look sleek, but they leave you no room to store toiletries or cleaning supplies. Consider reserving these features for a hall or guest bath rather than the bathrooms you use every day.

5.     In-ground pool: A pool in your backyard may be on your wish list, but keep in mind that pools require a lot of maintenance. Make sure you have the time, resources and motivation to take care of an in-ground pool before you take the plunge.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

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Choosing The Right Mortgage For Your Needs!

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Your personal finances, the lender’s requirements and how long you plan to stay in a home all factor in to choosing a mortgage. Compare the four primary types to find the right loan for you.

Fixed-rate mortgages: The most common type, these loans offer a consistent interest rate over the life of the loan. While the stability is helpful, you’ll have to refinance and pay closing costs again if you want a lower rate in the future.

Adjustable-rate mortgages: These mortgages offer lower rates initially, but after a specific amount of time, your rate resets – meaning your payments could rise or fall for the duration of the loan. 

Government-insured loans: For those who qualify, these loans often have more lenient credit requirements and lower down payments than conventional loans. 

Jumbo mortgages: More common in higher cost areas, these mortgages exceed the federal loan limit and require buyers to have excellent credit scores, significant assets and substantial cash for a large down payment.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Update On Interior Surfaces

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The trendy styles for countertops, flooring and walls were revealed at The International Surface Event trade show this year. 

“Geometric designs, increasingly refined faux-hardwood porcelain tile and luxury vinyl-tile floor coverings were prevalent,” reports Houzz.com. 

Whether you’re updating your drab interiors for your own enjoyment or redecorating your home for resale, here are some highlights to consider.

 Patterned tile: Increasingly popular choices for kitchen floors and bathroom walls are graphic encaustic (or inlaid) tile and arabesque mosaic tile.

• Quartzite: “The great thing about quartzite is it comes in so many colors, so a lot of it looks like marble, but it’s much stronger,” according to the National Stone Institute. “It’s good for countertops.”

• Faux wood: Selected for its easy maintenance and lower cost compared with natural hardwood, the wood look is available in materials such as laminate, porcelain and vinyl.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Almost 40% of U.S. homeowners are mortgage free!

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More Americans are living mortgage-free. This article by Shelly Hagan will show you how.

About 37% of U.S. households are “free and clear,” meaning they no longer have a home mortgage to pay, according to a Zillow data analysis. This number ticked upward after the Great Recession and over the past 10 years, the share of homeowners paying off their mortgages has risen 5.5 percentage points.

“In general, higher home equity is financially preferable and the rise in mortgage-free ownership is in line with brighter economic conditions, which is why we’ve seen the free-and-clear share increase over the last decade,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at Realtor.com.

An aging population and change in owner demographics is another reason for the increase, according to Zillow. Younger Americans are likely to wait longer to a buy a home due in part to rising living costs and student debt. As a result, older Americans comprise a larger share of total homeownership and have had years to pay off a home as well as build wealth. This trend could reverse as younger generations age and enter the real estate market.

Trade-offs associated with paying off a mortgage include abrupt changes to the value of the home and the opportunity cost of other higher investment returns when mortgage rates are low, Vivas said.

Mortgage characteristics vary by state and those with lower housing prices typically have higher rates of fully-paid mortgages. In 2017, the most recent available data, West Virginia had the highest share of “free and clear” ownership at 54%. Maryland and the District of Columbia were on the other end of the spectrum with rates of 27% and 24%, respectively.

Over the last decade, the median price of an existing home in the U.S. has increased by more than 60% — or an addition of more than $100,000 in equity for homeowners without a mortgage.

Zillow analyzed data from the American Community Survey, which occurs annually and includes about 3.5 million responses. The Bureau of the Census also runs the American Housing Survey (AHS), which looks at mortgage characteristics. While the upward trend in “free and clear” homes is evident in both surveys, the AHS suggests the rate is higher — at 40% of total owner-occupied units. The AHS is conducted every other year and covers a smaller sample size of 115,000 units.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

5 Tips On When You Should Buy A Retirement Home!

Have you talked about moving away when you retire? Have you decided on a location? Do you know when you are going to find “the place?”

If you know the “where” part of the equation, have you started taking regular vacations to that place?

If you are planning to retire in the next five to seven years, it’s not too early to start thinking about your retirement residence.

Here are five financial and non-financial reasons why you should consider buying your retirement house before you retire, especially if you are going to have a mortgage:

1. The mortgage

It is easier to qualify for a mortgage if you are still working. For most people your income is higher before you retire so your debt-to-income ratio is more favorable. If you wait until retirement, you may be limited to a smaller mortgage size.

Interest rates are still relatively low are showing signs of moving upward. Locking in a low-interest rate mortgage now could positively impact your retirement budget.

Caution: A mortgage on a second home is more difficult to obtain. In addition to an excellent credit rating, you’ll need a down payment of 20 percent or more. A mortgage for a second home or “vacation” home usually has a better rate than a mortgage that would be used to obtain a rental or “investment” property.

2. DIVERSIFICATION

Any additional real estate could expand and diversify your portfolio. If you can manage an extra mortgage payment, consider buying the house now and possibly renting it out for a few years, or even seasons.

If the house is in a location you can frequently access, consider using a service like vrbo.com(Vacation Rentals By Owner), or Airbnb.com.  If the property is across the country, you might consider a long-term lease, with a local property manager to tend to your renters.

Caution: Carefully read your homeowner’s insurance policy and your mortgage note. Each one of these may have clauses that prevent you from renting the property.

3. CASH FLOW FOR REPAIRS AND UPGRADES

Unless you purchase a brand-new home or one that has been newly remodeled, you’ll probably want to make some upgrades. Your current income combined with the time prior to retirement should give you the opportunity to complete the improvements and repairs. You may be able to rent the house out for a while to accumulated the funds for the upgrades you want.

4. BUDGET PLANNING

Buying the house now will give you very accurate dollar figures for your monthly expenses in retirement.  You will know your monthly housing, utilities, property taxes, and local costs.

5. LOWER STRESS

While you’re working, you might have a nagging item on your to-do list about where you’re going to live in retirement.

If you make your purchase before you quit the workforce, knock one thing off your list for some peace of mind regarding the decision. If after spending vacations at this house you find its’ not the ideal house for retirement, it might be easier for you to sell it and find a replacement while you are still employed.

If retirement means moving to a new location, give some consideration to finding that place before you retire. There is no magic answer, but you need to determine what is important to you.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Terrific Tri-Level with potential for second living area $329,999 RMLS#19131229

Metro Areas With Significant Home Appreciation

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For most Americans, the home they own is their largest investment and most valuable asset. These 10 metro areas have some of the highest home appreciation percentages over the past five years, reports Realtor.com®.

1.     Santa Maria, CA – 95 percent

2.     Nashville, TN – 89.4 percent

3.     College Station, TX – 85.3 percent

4.     Charlotte, NC – 82.9 percent

5.     Omaha, NE – 73.5 percent

6.     Grand Rapids, MI – 72.5 percent

7.     Fort Wayne, IN – 67.9 percent

8.     Columbus, OH – 66.4 percent

9.     New Orleans, LA – 62.4 percent

10.  Lexington, KY – 61.7 percent

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!