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“If one door closes and another one opens, you may be living in a haunted house.”  Anonymous

Conversation from the mortgage desk:

Let’s talk about ways to protect yourself from buying or financing a home that haunts you.  No one I know has a crystal ball, but here are some good practices that can help you build a protective hedge to shield yourself.

Hedge against inflation

The financial headlines point to inflation moving into a more permanent position in our economy, robbing the value of our savings today when we have to pay more for things we need with that money tomorrow.   Financial advisors seated across my mortgage desk from me over the years have pointed out how well real estate protected the wealth of homeowners during times of inflation.     As prices on goods and services went up, the value of real estate went up also.    This hedge of protection served them well if they enjoyed a low fixed-rate mortgage.

Hire a home inspector

Homebuyers have said one of their biggest fears is buying a home with so many needed repairs that it turns the house into a money pit.  Hiring a good home inspector can give you peace of mind that you are buying a home that is well maintained.  The home inspector can also tell you about problems that will cost you upfront or after you close.  Know before you owe. 

How much is too much to offer to buy the home

As a homebuyer, a reputable realtor with lots of experience can be worth her weight in gold if you hire her to represent you as the buyer and split allegiances between you and the seller.   Good realtors have at  their fingertips details on the market and what price sellers are getting on the sale of their homes in the area.

Having to take a lower price when I sell my home

Headline news today indicates that the real estate market has hit a tipping point, with home values still going up but at a slower pace than earlier in the year.  Home sellers ask if they have missed their opportunity to make their most significant money selling their homes.   Demand for homes is still hot, with an abundant supply of ready buyers waiting to buy and lock in a low fixed-rate mortgage.  Millennials are leading the charge and are predicted to keep the real estate market strong for three to five years.  Hire an experienced, reputable realtor who knows your neighborhood.  You will enjoy your realtor’s wisdom, knowledge, and discernment when choosing the strongest offer from people who want to buy the home. 

Higher interest rates can be a budget-buster

Plenty of mortgage customers have purchased a home and locked in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to protect themselves against a market where interest rates are going up.  Others have refinanced their home to a low fixed mortgage rate, paying off the first mortgage and their variable-rate home equity line of credit and variable-rate credit cards. Getting rid of the variable-rate mortgages can shelter these borrowers against a rising interest rate environment. 

Author of “Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want." A mortgage guide for professionals and consumers full of people stories illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of various mortgage products.   Find this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

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