Smith Mountain Lake Realtor Archives | Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

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Rising interest rates- Why you shouldn’t worry

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Rising Interest Rates

When mortgage interest rates rise, you may be tempted to put your home buying plans on hold, but there are three reasons you shouldn’t let higher interest rates deter your home buying plans.

    1. Interest rates fluctuate. Mortgage interest rates rise and fall based on the lender’s viewpoint toward the economic outlook. News that suggests a slowing economy tends to bring rates down, while a rosy manufacturing or jobs report can send them back up.

Solution? When you shop for rates, shop at least three lenders using the same type of loan – 30-year fixed rate, adjustable, hybrid and so on. Do so at the same time because rates can change as much as several times daily.

    1. You have some control over rates. The rates you see advertised aren’t what you’ll necessarily pay. They’re available only to those with the best credit histories, those who are able to put at least 20 percent down, and those borrowing well within their means.

Solution? Talk with your lender about ways to improve your credit profile. If you’re stretching to buy a home, expect to pay higher interest rates.

    1. Rates are currently a bargain. Between 1972 and 2008, mortgage interest rates averaged about nine percent annually. Today, they’re around four percent. A 1/8th point translates to about $25 or less a month in monthly payments on a conforming loan, or $9,000 over 30 years in tax deductible costs.

The solution? Have some perspective. Home buying conditions change constantly. Focus on building equity with the lifestyle you want instead.

Preparing your home to sell: Clutter-free Countertops

Clutter-free Countertops

Today’s kitchens are filled with all kinds of gastronomical gadgets, but if you want to show your kitchen to its fullest advantage, here are five ways to keep clutter down:

  1. Store unused equipment. Which appliances do you use the most? Chances are they’re not vegetable curlers or pasta makers. Store those appliances somewhere else, such as a butler’s pantry, food pantry or the garage.
  2. Build an appliance garage. Many cabinetmakers offer an appliance garage that can be closed when not in use. You can also customize an appliance garage to extend the length of the counter.
  3. Update appliances. If you need a microwave, get one that’s also a convection oven. Commercial-grade mixers have attachments that can make pasta and knead bread. The newest coffee machines can make tea, hot chocolate and all kinds of coffee shop specialty brews.
  4. Mount what you can. Under cabinet mounting is easy to install. Paper towel racks, electric can openers, and task lighting can all be mounted under the cabinets to free up counter space. Throw out smelly dishrags and sponges, and store fresh cleaning aids in caddies under the sink.
  5. Invest in organizers. Corner cabinets can be better utilized with swing out organizers. Drawers on rollers allow better access to all your storage. One charging station should serve multiple devices. Try installing one in the hall or utility room.

Once your kitchen is better organized, you’ll find it easier to prepare for showings and buyers will have an easier time seeing the kitchen’s best features.

Marketing your Home for the Holidays

Marketing Your Home for the Holidays

The holidays can be an ideal time to market a home. Families spend more time together, and sellers making a move during fall and early winter tend to be highly motivated.

Also, companies transfer employees according to need, and January is one of the busiest times of the year. When relocating transferees often have only a few weeks to find a home so make sure your house stands out with a few well-placed holiday decorations.

Consider asking your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network sales professional for some staging advice to help you strike the right balance between inviting and memorable.

Your agent will certainly tell you not to clutter tabletops, mantles or countertops or put holiday decorations out too soon. Wait until after Thanksgiving and take them down by the first weekend in January.

This may not be the year to put up a big tree because it can make a room appear cramped. The number one reason buyers choose a home is to have more space so let them look around without stepping around gift packages or avoiding fragile ornaments.

If you want a live tree, make sure it’s watered so the tree won’t turn brown or drop needles. Use fresh garlands to decorate mantles and doorways, and you can throw them away after the season.

Your time is best spent cleaning, staging and packing nonessentials in preparation for moving. Your home will show better and you’ll feel less stress if you don’t take on too much.