Creative Ways To Save For A Down Payment!

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Why You Should Be Paying Attention to The FED Rates

The Fed Building

Image source: Google

As you know the Federal Reserve just announced that interest rates are holding steady! The goal of the committee is to maintain the target range for the Federal funds rate. This is to support the expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and favorable inflation.

Why should YOU pay attention to this?

A couple of reasons:

  1. You’ll be informed on the state of the economy
  2. You’ll gain knowledge on the state of the job industry
  3. Paying attention will keep you up to date on the rate of inflation
  4. If you own a home, it lets you know if you can be saving money by refinancing to get a better interest rate
  5. If you are looking to purchase a new home, you want to purchase while rates are low

The next meeting is on March 17th & 18th.

3% or 20% – What’s Best For Me?

Down Payment

Image source: Google

It is no secret that times have changed since our grandparents and even our parents have purchased homes. So much so, that with new programs and requirements, brokers/lenders have stated, you aren’t required to have the 20% down payment that you heard about growing up.

But now you are thinking… how much should I save for a down payment?

Here’s the good news it doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can do what works best for you and your family. To put it in perspective, if we were still required to put down 20% on a home loan, based on Mr. Cooper’s math, it would take renters nearly seven years to save for a 200K home on an average salary of 56K a year. Seven years!

However, there is a benefit to putting 20% down.

1.     Right away, there is more equity in your home.

2.     Lower monthly payment.

3.     Lower rates.

4.     You aren’t that high of a risk to your lender.

5.     You won’t need mortgage insurance.

6.     Future buying power.

Click here to calculate your ideal mortgage down payment.

 

Live On Real Estate’s 100th Episode!

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It was a big week here at Hall Financial. Our in-house podcast, “Live On Real Estate” recorded the 100th episode on Wednesday! Hosts Patrick Ali and Chris Puzzuoli sat down with David Hall our owner, CEO, cheerleader, mentor and occasional host from time to time.

Top 3 Quotes from DHALL himself:

  1. Life is short… and I want to WIN!
  2. “If you aren’t embarrassed by your first launch, you launched too late”
  3. Being impatient for results… makes for a great CEO

Here at Hall Financial, we came from humble beginnings. David worked hard in his career. He came to a point where he wanted to take everything, he liked about the companies he has worked for and created a platform (company) for those who wanted to learn and grow in a fast-paced environment. He didn’t want to do what others were doing.

This year one of our major goals is to reach 1000 5-Star reviews by the end of 2019, and eventually reach 10,000! Why? Because we breathe MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION. It is our mission to make sure our clients are well educated and feel comfortable with huge financial transactions. Currently, we are at just over 700 5-star reviews, which puts us well on our way to this year’s goal!

You are in for a treat with this episode, you will hear David be more candid and transparent than you ever have before! Click the radio below to listen to the 100th episode!

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Stand Up to You. [DH Sweet 16 #16]

It’s sad we often define a goal as “too big”, leading us to settle for what’s easy because it’s safe. Goals that are considered “too big to achieve” are lies coming from our own worst enemy: our mind.

Have you ever stopped and thought, “What if I decided to think bigger?”

Too often people don’t realize their potential. It’s one of the many faults we have as humans. We stop ourselves short of greatness by settling for what’s easy and not looking outside of our comfort zone.

How many times have you stopped yourself from pursuing a life-long dream because it feels unattainable? How many times have you settled for mediocrity because you feel it’s easiest? That small-minded thinking will never get you farther than where you are right now. You want to be a doctor? Aim to be the chief of staff at a hospital. You want to be a writer? Aim to be an international bestseller. Want to be a good golfer? Aim to win the state championship by age 45. Want to be an amazing dad? Aim to be the Dad all the kids look up to and want to have around.

We set goals to drive our success, a source for our ambition. Make them great.

It’s like when you run 5 miles and you push like hell through the last leg, thinking that cramp in your side is too much to bear and the dehydration is almost overwhelming, but then you do it. You finish. What was the motivating factor? What pushed you to run through the agony? The answer: you thought bigger. You decided for a moment that your goal was bigger than your pain. In these tough moments where you think you can’t go on but you decide to push yourself beyond your limits, that is where the growth happens. These are the moments—when you think big—anything can happen.

It takes strength to think and push yourself to be bigger than what you’re likely capable of but nobody ever went anywhere without having grand thoughts and taking big leaps. That’s the key to success.

You have to think anyway, why not think big? Our brains are not static, we have thoughts that take up space all day. Manipulate those thoughts.

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Image via Pinterest

And that’s the epitome of David’s last Sweet 16: Think

Big. “There is always room in your life for thinking bigger, pushing limits, and imagining the impossible.” But there’s only one thing that will ever stand in your way: you. You have to be the one to choose daily that you are going to think bigger thoughts than you’ve ever thought before. You have to be the one to decide your dreams are bigger than your fears. You.

Only you.

What are you going to do today to push yourself to think bigger?

Want to be great? Aim to be the individual everyone looks up to and admires. Ready to think bigger and accomplish some even bigger goals? Send us your resume and aim to do more than you’ve ever done.

Appreciate Your Team Members

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Source: Perry Grone

We’ve all heard the saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work”, while that may sound cliche, it’s true! Think about the times you were in a team and produced something amazing that you wouldn’t have been able to do all by yourself. Or a time when you were drained and didn’t think you had more to give your team, but they pushed you and helped you to the finish line.

In life, we will always be part of a team in some way. Rather its work, school, sports, and even family. Learning to navigate in a team setting will benefit you and set you up to maximize your ability on a team and overall be a good teammate. One thing to remember when being on a team is, everyone is not the same. Everyone has their own thoughts, ideas, communication styles, and abilities. It can be very easy to find faults with people on your team and very difficult to find their strengths. But ultimately, they are there to help you and move you along. Having great teammates is an important aspect of your OWN success. They help push you to be the best version of yourself.

Here are some benefits of being part of a great team:

  • They help you see things from a different perspective
  • They always have your back
  • They help you hone your skills
  • You have an army of cheerleaders rooting for you
  • They offer constructive criticism
  • They provide you with unconditional support
  • They keep you accountable to do your best

So, let it start with you. Be a good teammate and create an environment of success so you and your teammates can thrive. Appreciate your teammates and help them in any way that you can.

Marathon Mentality

Marathon Mentality pic

Source: Unknown via Pinterest 

We’ve all heard the saying… “Good things come to those who wait” but what exactly does that mean? So many times, in life, we are told to be patient and to put in the work and the results will follow. While that may seem tedious and frustrating…it’s all pretty accurate, and that’s what is called having a Marathon Mentality.

Just like a marathon runner, it’s paramount for you to have the finish line in sight but understand the purpose and importance of the journey itself. In terms of careers and life goals, you need to have the same mindset. We all have that big goal or set a point in mind that we want to reach but we need to give ourselves the allotted time to get there. Approaching your goals with the long-term in mind is key to not getting weary when things feel like they are taking longer than they should. Develop and use your emotional intelligence to be patient through the process of getting where you want to go.

What will your stride look like throughout the race? Giving 101% at all times is a must, so keep this idea in mind as you navigate your goals. You will have to work hard, you will get tired but you will get that second wind if you stay focused. Nothing with continual greatness comes to the faint of heart. You must acknowledge your challenges and defeat your ego. Sometimes you will give a lot and it will seem like you are only getting a little in return. However, you can’t measure your effort and worth against your exchange…it will pay off.

You can’t focus on the person in the next lane AND give all your efforts to YOUR goals at the same time. Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Someone else’s success is not your failure. Stop measuring your success based on someone else’s. Stay in your lane and keep pushing without letting up, no matter what the next person is doing. Let’s be honest, if you’re embracing this “Marathon Mentality” you will out work them anyways. The only person you are truly in competition with is yourself.

 

So what will you do today to make sure your stride is strong?

The American Dream and the looming recession

Refinances are finally making a comeback after last year’s drought. Black Knight revealed that an estimated 3.27 million homeowners could benefit from refinancing. This is an increase year-over-year by 16% from 2018. This means a jump of candidates around 75%, with rates at a current 10-month low.

Various areas throughout the country give low-income families a chance at the American Dream. Being a homeowner gives people a chance to benefit from their communities, as well as gain wealth from their home equity. With metros becoming more expensive and having a lack of affordable starter homes, low-income residents aren’t typically able to share in the prosperity of home ownership

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Photo Source: Unknown via Pinterest

. To escape the high costs of homes, buyers are looking to relocate to inland markets.

With perks such as no down payment, it’s no surprise that VA loans have become increasingly more popular for first-time home-buyers. Benefits such as no mortgage insurance and strong loan servicing protections accompany this loan as well. Both prime and non-prime home-buyers using VA loans are reporting less early delinquency rates.

With a confident forecast of 2% economic growth for the next year, JP Morgan Chase chief economist Anthony Chan is dismissing concerns over a looming recession. During the Chicago Agent Magazine’s Accelerate Summit at the Chicago Merchandise Mart last Tuesday, he predicted that while it won’t be as exponential as last year, the economy will still see growth.

Lackluster Home Sales and Baby Boomers

In an analysis of 54 metropolitan areas, RE/MAX National Housing Report has conveyed the largest inventory increase in a decade. Although home sales themselves have scaled back by 11% on an annual basis, the increase in inventory has averaged 6% year-over-year. This greatly improves the market as there was a multi-year scarcity of homes for sale. Compared to just last year, January which is typically a slower month for home sales, had an improvement of .5 overall.

Baby Boomers continue to retire in waves without adequate savings to support themselves and their family during their golden years. It is becoming extraordinarily clear that the country is on the brink of a retirement crisis. As health care costs continue to skyrocket and pensions dwindle, Social Security is simply insufficient for the longevity of this generation. This all sounds doom and gloom, until it’s pointed out that many Americans are literally sitting in a pile of cash; their homes. Capitalizing on the equity of one’s home can solve many later in life money issues.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced its plan for awarding $10 million in “sweat equity” grants to nonprofit organizations. The funding is sourced from HUD’s Self-Help Home-ownership Opportunity Program. The actual money in combination with the labor from both volunteers and home-buyers will lower the overall cost of home-ownership. A minimum of 50 hours is required for a single ownership household, and the hours are doubled for a household of two. Community service is another requirement for eligibility. During the initial round of grants awarded more than half of the capital, around $5.3 million is going to Habitat for Humanity.

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Photo Source: Unknown via Pinterest

While inventory is at a decade high, the affordability of homes for sale on the market is at a decade low. With only 56.6% of homes being affordable for the country’s median income, the National Association of Home Builders is calling on policymakers to make some changes. The Chief Economist of the NAHB, Robert Dietz indicates that wage growth is under performing while home appreciation continues to rise.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey reported homeowners are currently spending more money per month than renters in all 50 states. This data was compiled tracking the median housing costs from 2013-2017. Costs such as mortgage payments, home insurance, property taxes and maintenance are making it far more expensive to own a home. However, experts say while renting saves money month to month it will not pay off in the end. Investing in a home can increase the home’s equity and look to put cash back in your pocket.  A mortgage is a major expense, but once it is dropped off the monthly spending homeowners can expect a significant increase in their savings.

Housing Balance.

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Pending Home Sales fell 2.6 percent in October, a disappointing read and a miss. The National Association of Realtors is attributing this decline to the rise in mortgage rates, which really began in October, reducing the pool of eligible homebuyers. Last week we saw a dip in mortgage rates and compared to 18 years ago, rates are still favorable. Back in October 2000, mortgage rates averaged almost 8 percent for a 30-year fixed. What does all this mean? Short-term, experts are having difficulty finding consensus on the housing outlook. Mortgage rates are expected to rise modestly but they don’t know what that translates to for borrowers and homebuyers as it seems many hesitate. Long-term, there’s confidence homebuyers will accept the new norm for mortgage interest rates and continue to buy based on lifestyle and need. The benefit to sales cooling: the inventory of homes for sale is recovering.

Is 2019 the year for balance? That’s what Zillow is predicting as home values begin to slow down and are expected to continue the trend through next year, with mortgage rates expected to keep rising. 2019 should bring a more balanced market among buyers, sellers, and renters. Housing competition will remain strong in the most desirable areas.

The Federal Reserve Minutes from their meeting earlier this month were released yesterday afternoon, showing most Fed members still believe we need 3 more rate hikes, with a December quarter-point rate hike still on deck and expectations for the next one to not be until at least March 2019. While rate hikes are a sign of a healthy economy there is also risk of hiking too early, making December’s possibility of one still debatable.

Earlier this week, we mentioned home renovations are becoming more popular. Here’s some top common-sense tips we have found since:

  • “My dad told me, ‘You can do anything yourself, except foundation, electrical, or plumbing.'” —Kirsten Selvage, homeowner in Ontario, Canada.
  • “It’s cheaper to do it right than it is to do it over.” —Jim Molinelli, architect in Columbia, MD.
  • Renovate with the next buyer in mind but do so long before you sell in order to enjoy the improvements yourself.
  • Over schedule to not feel stressed by lack of time in case any mishaps come up.

Initial Jobless Claims for last week were reported at 234K. While compared to recent months and weeks this is higher than normal, it remains far below that 300K mark highlighting a good, healthy labor market. The ADP and BLS Job Reports are both scheduled for release next week and expectations are 190K and 170K job creations, respectively.