Move in Ready?

Move in Ready?

“Move in Ready” or “Move Right in” is a common headline on many listings (guilty as charged). But what does that really mean? It may indicate the home, although dated, doesn’t need any major repairs other than cosmetic upgrades. Or in some cases, it means the home has been decked out with new paint, maybe a kitchen/bath remodel, updated flooring, lighting, windows, etc. But in either case, the spending is by no means over once the sale is closed. The down payment and mortgage payments are just the beginning… Affectionately referred to as “the joys of home ownership”… the expenses that come along with furnishing and maintaining a home are worthy of thoughtful consideration when you are deciding on buying a home. This article offers great insight into what Buyers buy after moving in…



What Do Home Buyers Buy after Moving

Source: National Association of Home Builders via


Furniture, appliances, and remodeling projects are among the biggest expenses for new homeowners, who spend an average of $10,600 in the first year of home ownership, according to a recent analysis by the National Association of Home Builders. New owners spend an average of $3,778 on furnishings alone, according to NAHB’s analysis. Here are a few common expenditures recent home buyers made:

Living room chairs and tables: $687
Dining room and kitchen furniture: $345
Window coverings: $215
Sofas: $700

Property alterations and repairs (particularly outdoor additions and alterations such as a new driveway, walkway, or fence): $3,729

Appliances (particularly washers and dryers, lawnmowers and other yard equipment, and computer hardware and systems): $3,094

A survey conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs shows that two-thirds of new homes built in 2015 came with no washer or dryer; 36 percent had no refrigerators. Most new homes, however, did come with cooking stoves, ranges, and ovens.

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Source: Terra Firma

Is it Worth It?

Is it Worth It?

To upgrade or not to upgrade?

This is a question we face often from our seller clients. In our experience, fresh interior paint, landscaping, and system upgrades (furnace/AC, roof, water heater) are smart ways to spend your pre-list budget. The vast majority of buyers are really only considering turnkey homes, so anything you as the seller can do to minimize a  buyer’s move-in “To Do List” will benefit you greatly when you put your house on the market! Of course, some homeowners are interested in updating their home for their own enjoyment and use. Increasing your home’s functionality for your own use has its own inherent value above and beyond the increase in resale value. But at the end of the day, if you are wondering what projects to take on in consideration of increasing functionality AND re-sale, this article from AOL Finance may be helpful for you!

Source: AOL Finance via

Not every improvement made to a house will ultimately raise its value. Homeowners who are looking for projects that will pay back at resale would be smart to consult a local real estate professional to determine whether the project they have planned would help boost their home’s value.

The key to successfully remodeling your home is knowing which projects are going to actually benefit you in the long-run and which ones are merely a waste of your time.

Among projects that may not pay as much back at resale as others include swimming pool installations, home office remodels, master bedroom upgrades, sunrooms, special-purpose room, kitchen remodels and bathroom upgrades.

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Source: Terra Firma

Fannie Mae to Loosen Mortgage Requirements

Fannie Mae to Loosen Mortgage Requirements

Good news for potential buyers! Some loans will soon allow for a little more wiggle room when it comes to qualifying ratios, allowing buyers to be more competitive in a bidding situation or qualify for a certain purchase price when they were previously not able to!

Need a referral to a trusted mortgage professional? Just email us at! Happy house shopping!

Source: California Association of REALTORS®

Fannie Mae will ease its loan qualification requirements, raising its debt-to-income ceiling from 45 percent to 50 percent on July 29. The move could make it easier for a larger number of new buyers to qualify for a mortgage, particularly millennials who may be burdened with student loan debt.

The debt-to-income ratio compares a person’s gross monthly income with his or her monthly payment on all debt accounts, including auto loans, credit cards, and student loans. It also factors in the projected payments on the new mortgage. Lenders see applicants with lower debt-to-income ratios as less at risk of defaulting.


Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration have exemptions that allow them to buy or insure loans with higher ratios than the federal rules, which are set at a maximum of 43 percent. The FHA allows debt-to-income ratios of more than 50 percent in some cases. In a recent study, Fannie Mae researchers looked at more than a decade and a half of data from borrowers with debt-to-income ratios in the 45 percent to 50 percent range. They found that a significant number of these borrowers had good credit and were not prone to default.

Not everyone with a debt-to-income ratio of below 50 percent will be approved. Borrowers will still be closely vetted by Fannie’s underwriting system to examine their complete application, including income, down payment, credit scores, and more.


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Source: Terra Firma