4 Ways To Save Money Around The House

When you make an impulse online purchase or decide to splurge on a nice dinner out, you’re fully aware that you’re breaking your budget — but there are plenty of ways you may be losing money at home without even realizing it. Changing your day-to-day habits might not seem like it would be impactful, but it could translate to big savings when it comes time to pay your utility bills. Here are four things to stop doing around the house now that could save you money in the long run.

  • Wash clothes in cold water. It used to be that washing machines required hot water to really get clothes clean, but as washers and laundry detergents have improved, the recommended water temperatures have decreased! Unless you’re cleaning garments or linens that are heavily soiled or that have been in contact with a sick person, your laundry will get plenty clean with cold or warm water, which require much less energy.
  • Compromise with your thermostat. Whether you’re turning up the heat in the winter or turning up the AC in the summer, it’s tempting to just set your thermostat to your ideal temperature and let it run. But by compromising a few degrees and putting on a sweater or turning on a fan, you can save on your energy bills in the long term. Closing the blinds during the summer and investing in weather-proof windows and doors can also help regulate your home’s temperature without touching the thermostat!
  • Take good care of your appliances. For your appliances to work efficiently, it’s important to practice good upkeep! Change filters on the recommended schedule, keep appliances clean, and perform regular maintenance to make sure they’re not using more than their share of energy.
  • Turn off electronics and lights. Leaving lights on when you’re not in the room is an easy mistake to make, but that energy expenditure adds up over time. By that same token, electronics are using electricity even when they’re turned off, so try unplugging them when not in use. If that sounds like too much of a pain, try plugging multiple electronics into a single power strip so you can easily switch it off when you’re finished.

If you’re looking for a place to shave some money off your utilities budget, these tips are a great starting point! By incorporating these simple habits into your everyday life, you could save enough to be guilt-free when you make that impulse buy or have that dinner out!

Thank you Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank Home Loan Center for the information. If you have any mortgage questions you can reach her at 360-650-5365!

This is Not 2008 All Over Again: The Mortgage Lending Factor

This is Not 2008 All Over Again: The Mortgage Lending Factor | MyKCM

Some are afraid the real estate market may be looking a lot like it did prior to the housing crash in 2008. One of the factors they’re pointing at is the availability of mortgage money. Recent articles about the availability of low-down payment loans and down payment assistance programs are causing concern that we’re returning to the bad habits of a decade ago. Let’s alleviate the fears about the current mortgage market.

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases an index several times a year titled: The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:

“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is…a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”

Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available the mortgage credit.

This is Not 2008 All Over Again: The Mortgage Lending Factor | MyKCM

Here is a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:As we can see, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. Mortgage credit became more available as the housing market heated up, and then the index passed 850 in 2006. When the real estate market crashed, so did the MCAI (to below 100), as mortgage money became almost impossible to secure.

Thankfully, lending standards have eased since. The index, however, is still below 200, which is half of what it was before things got out of control.

Bottom Line

It is easier to get a mortgage today than it was immediately after the market crash, but it is still difficult. The difference in 2006? At that time, it was difficult not to get a mortgage. Give The Johnson Team a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Do You Know What An Interest Rate Is and What It Means For You?

Thinking of buying, selling, or refinancing?  The mortgage rates are a must know! Interest rates are the rates at which money can be borrowed for a set period of time. The higher the rate, the more money a borrower must pay in the form of interest on the loan. When mortgage rates are lower, this makes the purchasing of a home more affordable. Although the cost of mortgages is closely tied to the interest rate, the price at which homes are sold does not always appear in direct correlation.

Thank you Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank Home Loan Center for the rates. If you have any mortgage questions you can reach her at 360-650-5365!



Sunday Ferndale Modern Move In Ready Open House

Join Maggie Parker from The Muljat Group this Sunday, November 17th from 1pm – 3pm at 2593 Sievers Way in Ferndale.

Don’t wait on this top of the line 1 level home in Church Hill Estates. Open floor plan, tall ceilings, granite and stainless appliances & over sized gas fireplace. If you like modern styles this home has it all. The master is on one side and the other 2 bedrooms and a bath are on the east wing. French doors flow onto the deck that faces a green space and is very private. The custom exterior is just the beginning, wait until you make your way inside. Move in Ready and all appliances included.

For more information, take a look at the virtual tour today!

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCM

Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country.

According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index,

“Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally slow fall season began with a marked boost in buyer interest.”

Buyers clearly have the right idea, as mortgage rates have dropped over a full percentage point since the fall of 2018. They’ve hovered in a historically low range since this summer, making the overall cost of homeownership significantly more attractive and affordable.

Here’s the breakdown of how ShowingTime reports current buyer traffic patterns across the country:

“The West Region, which until August had experienced 18 consecutive months of flagging home buyer traffic, lead the four regions in year-over-year improvement with an 8.9 percent increase in buyer activity.

The South followed with a 6.4 percent increase, the largest such improvement in the region since April 2018, with the Northeast Region’s 5.6 percent increase the next largest among the four regions.

The Midwest’s more modest 0.8 percent year-over-year growth rounded out the nation’s promising month.”

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCM

With ShowingTime reporting “nationwide growth for the second consecutive month, a first since December 2017 – January 2018”, it’s one more reason why selling your house this winter is the way to go. List while buyers are on the market, before competition with other sellers pops up in your neighborhood.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of waiting until spring to sell, think again! Let’s get together to discuss listing your house now while buyer traffic is actively surging throughout the country. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Meet the Johnson Team’s Veteran Agents!

Veteran’s Day is almost upon us! The Johnson Team Real Estate, is proud to have two Veterans on our real estate Team, Rich Johnson and Mike Bredeson. As former Marine’s and Veterans, both Rich and Mike are here for you to offer their first hand expertise on navigating the home buying process using a VA loan.

 

Having the ability to use a VA mortgage comes with many benefits, but sometimes they can be a bit hard to understand as well. Johnson Team Real Estate is here to offer our experience to help guide you through purchasing a home or property using a VA Home Loan. Learn more about VA loans and the process here!

Rich served 3 years in the US Marine Corps after graduation from high school. Upon discharge from the Corps, he attended the University of Washington, graduating in 1969 with a degree in International Business.

 

Meet Mike Bredeson

Mike grew up in Ferndale, Washington and graduated from Ferndale High School. He served in the US Marine Corps as an engineer for 4 years after high school. He has been a licensed realtor since 1992.

 

The Johnson Team’s Veteran Real Estate Agents are passionate about helping those who have served and are excited to help serve you in finding you a home or property.

 

 

Zillow REviews

To see what our clients have to say about us visit our Zillow Reviews to learn more about the level of service and knowledge you will experience working with Johnson Team Real Estate!

Homeownership Rate Remains on the Rise

Homeownership Rate Remains on the Rise | MyKCM

In the third quarter of 2019, the U.S. homeownership rate rose again, signaling another strong indicator of the current housing market.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced,

“The homeownership rate of 64.8 percent was not statistically different from the rate in the third quarter 2018 (64.4 percent), but was 0.7 percentage points higher than the rate in the second quarter 2019 (64.1 percent).”

Homeownership Rate Remains on the Rise | MyKCM

Today there is still a lack of inventory, particularly at the entry and middle-level segments of the market, but that is not stopping buyers from making every effort to pursue homeownership. The many financial and non-financial benefits continue to drive the American Dream and will likely do so for generations to come.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying a home, let’s get together to make your dream a reality. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits | MyKCM

Today, on Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VA Home Loan Benefit offerings through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill. Since 1944, this law has created opportunities for those who have served our country, ranging from vocational training to home loans.

Facts About VA Home Loans:

  • Nearly 24 million home loans have been guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
  • Nearly 82% of VA home loans are made with no down payment.
  • The VA also provides grants to help seriously disabled Veterans purchase, modify, or construct a home to meet their needs. Last year the VA provided 2,000 grants totaling $104 million.

Benefits of a VA Home Loan:

  1. No down payment
  2. No Private Mortgage Insurance*
  3. Lower credit score requirements
  4. Limitation on closing costs
  5. Lower average interest rates

*More information on VA Home Loan Fees

Bottom Line

The best thing you can do today to celebrate Veterans Day is to share this information with those who can benefit from these opportunities. For more information, or to find out how to qualify to use a VA Home Loan Benefit, let’s get together to navigate through the process. Thank you for your service! Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Weekly Pending Ratios Track Number of Homes Available

If you have been following the local real estate market you know it’s active and inventory is low. If you are thinking of selling now is the time!

The number of real estate signs you see in yards can be deceiving as to the number of homes actually for sale WITHOUT offers on them. If you are seeing new signs around your neighborhood and curious if any of those homes already have offers on them, we have your answers!

Every week we keep track of how many homes are for sale around Bellingham and Whatcom County and how many of those homes have pending offers on them. Pending is the time frame between when an offer has been mutual accepted between the buyer’s and the seller’s of the home and when the title actually transfers hands. This give the buyer’s time to get the financing, do inspection, review the title reports and more.

As of Friday, November 8th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 47%. Click the links to view a report of how many homes are for sale in each area by price range and how many of them are pending showing just how active certain sectors of the market are.

The Birch Bay Pending ratio was 28%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 33%

The Lynden pending ratio was 40%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 40%

If you are thinking of selling your home or property, Johnson Team Real Estate would love to help! We are here to help you will all your real estate needs! You can reach us toll free at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

3 Keys to Selling Your House Quickly

Ready to sell your house? Let’s connect to make sure it sells quickly. Here are three tips to get you started. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.