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Downsizing Your Home In 5 Smart Moves

Cashing Out When Downsizing Your Home

The kids are out of the house, up-keeping the home has begun to take more and more time, and you’re looking for a setting where you can live smooth and easy. Do these symptoms sound familiar? Downsizing your home often gives homeowners a big break after decades of cash tied up in equity. When you sell your home, you’ve got tons of purchasing power that most home buyers don’t –  this means striking better deals and beating out competitors. You may also have enough cash left over to use as a buffer between you and your retirement savings. How does all of this magic happen? (1)Make the following 5 smart moves and (2) work with a realtor who knows the ins and outs of the area you’re looking to downsize to.

1. Stage Your Home

The most minimal and cost-friendly upgrades can make all the difference. Replacing old, out-dated bedding and bath towels, for example, can give your home a new look with minimal effort. Also, remove clutter that you have held on to for a decade or more – put it away in storage or get rid of it completely. De-cluttering will also make life easier when moving into your smaller home!
If you’ve got a higher-priced home, you might want to look into getting a professional stager. A stager can really shine new light on your home and help get you top dollar. Costs for hiring a stager can vary, but a NAR survey revealed a median cost to be $675. The NAR survey also revealed that 90% of sellers’ agents said staging resulted in an increase in price buyers would pay.

2. Consider a Town House or Condo

If you’re looking to keep more of your cash for retirement savings, consider moving into a town home or condo. Prices for these rose just 3.1% in 2015, NAR says, vs. the 7.2% growth among single-family homes. Other perks, besides more money in your pocket, include less upkeep – landscaping, repairs and service to major appliances, and more.
Though, town houses and condos do have some drawbacks.; the biggest being high HOA fees and surprise costs. Working with a realtor who knows the ins and outs of the area you’re looking to downsize to can help with avoiding some of those surprise costs.

3. Build a Mortgage That Is The Right Size For You

Cashing out your home puts money in your pocket, and this means you can put down a larger down payment which will reduce your monthly mortgage. Were you thinking of paying off your new home? Think again! Having a mortgage at this stage in life isn’t a bad idea, as 30-year loan rates are below 4%, and it’s tax deductible.

4. Take On Cosmetic Repairs

This is where purchasing power and time come together to strike gold. The likelihood of finding a real bargain in a home that is perfect for you is high if you are willing to take on some cosmetic upgrades.
You can find bargains because younger buyers are still trying to find their way in life and cannot take on such a project. Also, you most likely have more time at hand to manage a contractor who will make the needed cosmetic repairs. In turn, the money you save on the new home because of its cosmetic shortcomings will almost always keep you well under what you would have paid if the home was up to par. What kind of numbers can you expect? NAR survey found savings of 15% to 55% for homebuyers who opted to buy a fixer-upper.

5. Try It On For Size Before You Buy

Have a particular square footage or home style in mind? Don’t rush into something you might deem unfitting later on. Consider renting something with the square footage you have in mind. You may find that it’s just not enough space for you, or that the style of home wasn’t quite what you needed.

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Real Estate Roundup!

May new home sales gain 2.2% from April

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire

3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage

It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate

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We’re ready for the TRID rules!

At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”

Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.

We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!

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Real Estate Roundup

Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space

Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question

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