Monthly Archives: April 2018

Estimating Future Home Values

A couple of years ago people all over the U.S. were betting that their homes would continue to rise in value year after year and it seemed like a safe bet at the time. Although some worry-wart analysts were predicting that home values would drop like a tranquilized elephant, most people pooh-poohed the naysayers and continued to buy properties and flip them or get cash out refinances, not overly worried that prices would drop. Home owners got into very risky types of mortgages like negative amortization Pay Option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) or 5 year, interest only loans that eventually became ARMS.

Although many of these same borrowers found themselves in dire straits once the economy went sour, home values will still rise in the long run. Looking at today’s market however, we see lots of REOs, foreclosures, and short sales that have driven home values down considerably. How long this will last is not predictable until the economy shows stronger signs of recovery, which so far it has not.

Job losses continue to drive the poor market and tight lending by banks and other lending institutions have all but made it impossible to borrow money unless you have a lot of equity, a huge down payment, and a great FICO score. If your credit score is below 720, the lenders consider you to be a sub-prime risk and right now there is little to no subprime lending.

The reason that there is no subprime lending is basically because there is no secondary market for lenders to sell their loans to except for Fannie Mae. Since Fannie Mae’s guidelines are so strict, very few borrowers these days can qualify for a new home purchase loan or a refinance. Refinances can occur and many homeowners may want them because interest rates are so low and attractive, but because home values have dropped so precipitously in the last couple of years, very few have the equity necessary to refinance.

Many people who were in bad loans have since been foreclosed upon or have simply walked away from their properties, unable to make the payments any longer. The wholesale loss of jobs nationwide has created hundreds of thousands of unemployed or underemployed people who just do not have the money to make ends meet anymore. Credit scores have gone down in a big way but we may never know how much exactly since these figures are not published, as they should be.

Maintainenance & Taking Care of Your Future

Strange then, that new Krabi homeowners rarely pause to think about the care and maintenance of their dream villa – either before or after its construction.

Of course, they may not realise that in this tropical climate, properties can deteriorate rapidly, particularly if not occupied year round. Unoccupied homes are much more susceptible to attack from termites and other pests, for example. Ants, lizards and other creatures are quick to move in when the owners are not around. Such invaders, coupled with fluctuations in humidity that make wood warp, can cause cracks and even structural damage to a home in a matter of months.

The monsoon season can also be a nightmare for home owners. Sudden and severe storms can flood ground floors; damage roofs and bring new leaks that necessitate major repair work both inside and outside the home; while persistent rains can transform manicured gardens into unmanageable jungles within a few short weeks – guaranteed to attract thieves and vandals.

Try to anticipate such common problems during the planning and construction process of any villa, knowing that the majority of clients are not able to live in their completed home year round.

Basic design features such as foundations laid on slab, which raise a building off the ground, help protect homes from flash flooding and termite invasion – both serious problems if left unattended.

Construction materials are specially selected for their durability in hot, humid climates, and their low maintenance requirements. For example, all wood (both decorative and functional) is replaced by Conwood, a stronger, high quality fibre-cement board that offers exactly the same appearance without the huge disadvantages of the natural product. Window frames are always aluminium, which again is durable and provides a better barrier for insects.

Roofing is another matter taken very seriously; Dry-Tech technology, a system that uses high grade silicone to provide a seamless waterproof barrier, without the potential for areas of weakness and cracks in joints like the more commonly used cement sealant.

With precautionary measures like these incorporated into your house plan, and a good property management service after construction – you can rest easy when away from Krabi, knowing your valuable investment is protected.

Tips to Save Money for Your Future

Home ownership can seem beyond your reach, especially if your finances are in less-than-stellar condition. It may take a little longer than you might like, but home ownership is still possible. You have to start by following some basic steps so that you can save up to purchase a home.

Purchasing a home generally requires a mortgage, and to be approved for a mortgage, your credit score has to meet the lender’s criteria. Applicants with great credit scores often can qualify with a small down payment, while applicants with mediocre (or worse) credit scores will need a higher down payment.

Find out what your credit score is and take appropriate steps to improve your score. Pay your bills on time, lower your credit utilization rates and keep existing credit lines open. A one-point difference in your score can literally cost you thousands of dollars in increased fees and higher loan rates; if your score is too low, you may not qualify for a mortgage at all.

Many lenders have a loan pre-qualification process. You complete an application with a lender, and they let you know how much of a loan you should be able to qualify for. The difference between the loan you qualify for and your purchase price will be the amount you need as a down payment.

Some individuals have the financial strength to keep all of the savings in a single account, while other individuals tend to spend the money as they see it. If you fall into the latter group, consider opening up a separate account specifically to save up for your down payment. Designate a set amount from every paycheck to go into this account, with the understanding that the money in this account is only to be used to obtain a home.

If, like most people, you tend to spend more in stores when you are using a credit card as your payment form, then put your cards away. Do not close out the cards, as that may adversely affect your credit score. Just put them in a drawer at home, don’t use them, and pay off any balances you are carrying. This will improve your credit utilization scores and also reduce fees associated with using credit cards.

If you have not already created a budget (or a spending plan), then it is past time to do so. Track your expenses and see what luxuries you can cut out. If you have outstanding loans, such as student or automobile, continue to pay them regularly.

If your income is just covering your expenses, and you have eliminated unnecessary spending, then you might consider getting a part-time job to increase your income, and then direct this additional income into your savings account. Saving up a down payment is possible, but it does require you to be diligent in your spending and saving habits.

Affect of Bankruptcy on Future Home

Before learning about the effects of bankruptcy to your future home purchase, you have to learn first how one gets there. No one wants to be in that situation. Aside from the fact that it is stressful, it can also cause a lot of other problems like losing your home and other valued properties. Ever wonder how you got there?

One of the major reasons why someone faces bankruptcy is mismanagement of finances. People spend more than what they earn. They fail to anticipate that something could go wrong like losing their job. Other events that can alter their financial balance are medical treatments and death of a family member.

Over used of credit cards and paying, only the minimum amount is another reason. The debt accumulates as well as the interests until such time that the person can no longer keep up with his payments. In addition to that, he also has to pay the bills, the rent and other obligations. There could be mortgage loan and car loans waiting to be repaid. All the above situations can be avoided if one learns how to manage his finances well. He can also invest in important things such as health and life insurance. He can also have an emergency fund to have something to use when something goes wrong. It is also essential that he gets an honest assessment of his finances before he applies for mortgage or car loans. These steps are very important in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy can affect your future home purchase in several ways. It can affect the right time to purchase your dream home. Most lenders will ask you to wait at least two years before they can approve your application. Two years is enough time for you to repair your credit scores. However, this can take as much as three years or more if you do not exert efforts.

You can still apply for mortgage though even if you have not yet repaired your credit. However, you will have to make a bigger down payment. You can also expect that the interest rates offered to you is higher than those that are normally offered. You cannot blame the lenders for this because they also have businesses they want to protect. Since this is the case, it would be more difficult for you. You have to look for the amount to make the down payment and you have to pay high monthly premiums because of the high interest rates. You need to do this while repairing your credit. Remember, you still have to repair your credit records even if your loan has already been approved. This is because you want to refinance your loan once your credit is good.

A Glimpse Of My Future Home

Mystery stories rank high on my list of books that I enjoy reading, because I love the suspense and problem solving situations. In this article we are trying to imagine and visualize what our heavenly home will be like. None of us have seen even a glimpse of Heaven but the Bible does make mention of some details. All of us have certain expectations and try to put eternity into our finite minds. Let us be cautious and not allow our visualizations to run wild. The Master while on earth told the disciples that He was going to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house, where there are many mansions. His promise to all of us is that He will come again to take us home. This is our hope and joy as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Young and old alike we are all excited about going to Heaven and living with our risen Savior. In some cultures the bridegroom prepares a home for his bride after they have decided to marry. During the waiting period the bride prepares her torso and looks forward to the arrival of her lover. Today we who are bought by His blood are waiting for our Heavenly Bridegroom. We know that His promise to return is very imminent. What are we doing to welcome Him? What are our dreams and aspirations as we contemplate His return? What a glorious sight that will be to see Him face to face. Imagine the angels waiting to receive the saints. As we fly up into the clouds and our bodies are changed in the twinkling of an eye, we will become glorified, immortal like our Lord. Can any one of us comprehend this miracle? I admit I want to see the future as an open book but God in His wisdom has not revealed some of these mysteries, probably due to our earthly limitations.

In the book of Revelation, John the apostle has recorded a vivid description of his vision while exiled on the Isle of Patmos. We need to prayerfully read this section to understand the details of Jesus our Risen Lord and the wonderful scenes in Heaven. It explains the worship by the Redeemed, the opening of the Book, the rewards given and so much more. When we approach the throne, we will prostrate at His feet and lay our crowns, (if we get any) before Him, because He is worthy of our all. All glory, majesty and power belong to the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. My desire to read mystery books has challenged me to read the Book of Revelation over and over again. It does give me hope for the future and the promise that my Lord will come back to take me home to a place where there is joy for evermore.

Children love to listen when interesting stories are read to them or vocalized with some dramatic gestures. Pictures of heaven are often portrayed to them so that they would decide to follow Jesus, with angels in white wearing golden crowns, streets of gold, a choir in perfect harmony, mansions, harps, and everything that is joyful with Him in the midst. No more sickness, sorrow or separation but to live for ever and for ever like the angels. Indeed it will be a glorious experience. We need to tell others about Heaven and how they can join us to enjoy eternal bliss with Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 will satisfy your curiosity, read it and prepare for the future.