Reviews

Thursday, September 13, 2018


These Are The 4 Coolest Home Innovations In 2018

Published on: 
From smart locks to wireless kitchens and video doorbells - we'll go through some of the coolest home innovations in 2018.
Today’s technology provides a wider venue for innovations and changes in the way people manage their homes. There are devices that are manufactured to make it easier for you to monitor what is happening in your home whenever you are not there. If you are looking for gadgets that can help you at home, here is a list that you can consider:

#1 Nokia Sleep

Sleep is vital to everyone’s health. Being able to sleep soundly at night will prepare you for whatever activities that are awaiting you the next day. But there are people who cannot sleep at night and there are also those who need to be monitored due to certain conditions that affect and interrupt their snooze time. Nokia Sleep can be very helpful for these people as it monitors the number of hours that they were able to sleep, for example. Aside from that, it can also monitor whether you snored or you were interrupted in your sleep during the night. For people who need this type of monitoring, Nokia Sleep is surely a gadget to look into.

#2 Wireless Kitchen

We have different appliances at home and most of these are found in the kitchen. Connecting more cords in this place when you have a new device to use is somewhat impractical because it is now easier to use wireless electrical connections in the kitchen. These devices can power the different home appliances you have in the kitchen. It is very efficient and safe. You do not need cords, batteries or even outlets to be able to power your kitchen devices.

#3 Lenovo Smart Display

This is an all in one device that you can use in many ways. The most important feature of the Lenovo Smart Display is that it is voice controlled. You do not have to turn on your computer to watch videos, with just the power of your voice; you can do this with a Lenovo smart display. If you want to know the details of the weather today, you can also get it from this device. Another important function allows you to make a call. If you are busy doing something but you need to call your client or anyone else, you can just ask the Lenovo Smart Display to call for you.

#4 Video Doorbell

Today, you do not have to settle for a doorbell that still lets you guess the identity of the person who is in front of your door. Video doorbells are here to assist you. This way, you will be able to know exactly who wants to see you. And if you are thinking about the security of your children who are left at home while you are at work, a video doorbell can keep you updated. All you need to do is to check your gadget whenever you are being notified about someone knocking on your front door.
The security of your home should be a priority for you. And with the busy schedule that you have, there must still be time for the small things that matter. The devices we outlined in this post are some of the coolest you can implement in your home. Turning your home into a smart home will not only make your life more comfortable but also connects you to the people who are important to you. Utilize technology and take advantage of its advancements to focus on what matters.
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Sunday, January 21, 2018

What the Government Shutdown means for Real Estate and Housing

NFIP National Flood Insurance Program
An extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was attached to the CR that Congress failed to pass. This means that for the duration of the shutdown, the NFIP will not be able to issue new or renew flood insurance policies. However, existing policies will not be affected until 30 days after their expiration date. Homebuyers will also be able to assume existing policies and claims will continue to be processed and paid as usual. For more detailed information, FEMA’s latest guidance to insurance companies can be found here (link is external).

Federal Housing Administration
HUD’s Contingency Plan states that FHA will endorse new loans in the Single Family Mortgage Loan Program except for HECM loans. It will not make new commitments in the Multi-family Program during the shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. FHA Contractors managing the REO/HUD Homes portfolio can continue to operate. Loss mitigation programs will continue to operate. You can expect some delays with FHA processing due to short staffing. (See the HUD Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations (link is external) for more info.)

Government Sponsored Enterprises
During previous shutdowns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have continued normal operations, just as their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, since they are not reliant on appropriated funds. Fannie and Freddie are expected to announce relaxed procedures that would permit closings to go forward without federal verification of Social Security numbers and IRS tax transcripts. However, lenders would still have to obtain federal verification of both before the GSE’s will accept loans for purchase. Any relaxed requirements would not apply to loan modification re-financings.

Rural Housing Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will not issue new rural housing Direct Loans or Guaranteed Loans. Scheduled closings of Direct Loans will not occur. Scheduled closings of Guaranteed Loans without the guarantee previously issued would be closed at the lender’s own risk.

VA Loan Guaranty Program
The VA loan guaranty program will be operational. The VA has determined that housing is an "essential service.” In addition, VA projects that "95.5% of VA employees would either be fully funded or required to perform excepted functions during a shutdown” (Download the VA Contingency Plan here (link is external) for more info.)

Internal Revenue Service
The IRS is closed and has suspended the processing of all forms, including requests for tax return transcripts (Form 4506T). While FHA and VA do not require these transcripts, they are required by many lenders for many kinds of loans, including FHA and VA, so delays can be expected if the shutdown is protracted. We have received indications that many loan originators are adopting revised policies during the shutdown, such as allowing for processing and closings with income verification to follow, as long as the borrower has signed a Form 4506T requesting IRS tax transcripts. On loans requiring a Form 4506T Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to adopt relaxed provisions allowing closings but subject to tax transcript verification before the GSE’s purchase the loans.

Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration is closed and has suspended most customer service functions. According to the SSA Contingency Plan, verifying Social Security numbers through the Consent Based SSN Verification Service will also be suspended during the shutdown, a further complication for mortgage processing. As with IRS income verification, policies vary among lenders, with many choosing to exercise forbearance during the shutdown period subject to subsequent verification. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to adopt policies to allow for closing subject to subsequent verification and before GSE purchase of the loan.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Rates dip and quickly rebound!


Mortgage rates this week edged up slightly as Federal Reserve officials charted a course for 2018 that will likely lead to still higher rates. The average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate rose 1 basis point, or 0.01 percent, from the previous week in Bankrate’s weekly survey of lenders.The rate, at 4.09 percent, is still below the 52-week high of 4.44 percent, so it’s worth looking into a mortgage or refinance before rates are expected to rise on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s latest action.

- Bankrate.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

How are Americans feeling about the real estate market this summer? 


Well, as good as ever.
Consumers' attitudes about home prices, buying and selling, mortgage rates, etc. - in June, was at an all-time high
Americans are feeling optimistic overall but particularly about selling a house. 
Consumers are also growing more optimistic about their ability to get a mortgage.
Lenders expect credit standards to ease further going forward.
Fewer home are for sale this season, and easing credit standards could have the unintended consequence of pushing home prices higher. 
Still, even with the challenges today's market presents, buyers remain eager. 
In fact, the number of respondents who said now was a good time to buy a house was up 3 percent in JuneHow are Americans feeling about the real estate market this summer? 
Well, as good as ever.
Consumers' attitudes about home prices, buying and selling, mortgage rates, etc. - in June, was at an all-time high
Americans are feeling optimistic overall but particularly about selling a house. 
Consumers are also growing more optimistic about their ability to get a mortgage.
Lenders expect credit standards to ease further going forward.
Fewer home are for sale this season, and easing credit standards could have the unintended consequence of pushing home prices higher. 
Still, even with the challenges today's market presents, buyers remain eager. 
In fact, the number of respondents who said now was a good time to buy a house was up 3 percent in June

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The vast majority of surveyed Americans say they believe owning a house is a solid investment.
83% of renters agreed with current homeowners who said that buying a house was a good investment. 
The fact that the American dream of owning a home is once again considered a smart investmentsuggests the housing market has years of strong performance ahead of it.
But though overwhelming numbers say they think buying a house is a good financial move, renters also face some challenges when making the jump. 
Among them, insufficient income and not being able to save enough for a down payment rank high. 
Still, the fact that homeownership has regained it's reputation as an essential part of the American Dream and a good way to build wealth is a good indication that, despite those challenges, Americans will continue to aspire to homeownership

Monday, July 10, 2017

Buying a home is no small transaction and the potential for stress is high

Buying a home is no small transaction and the potential for stress is high,  here are purchaser's top three concerns:

1.  They will lose their earnest money deposit.   One way to avoid problems with this is to make your offers subject to earnest money being deposited after inspection issues have been resolved.

2.  Becoming house poor or financially burdened by the costs of homeownership.  Fortunately, this is a risk that can be easily avoided by having a firm budget beforehand and sticking to it. 

3,  Getting into a bidding war that drives up the price of their desired home.     Explain to your clients in detail your techniques and strategies for avoiding this issue.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Demand is up!

Demand for loans to buy homes is now 8% higher than it was at the same time last year.
Last week, for example, average mortgage rates fell again and are now at seven-month lows
From a borrower's perspective, rates held steady at seven-month lows last week providing some borrowers an opportunity to refinance.
Over the last two weeks applications have increased 13 percent and the average loan size increased to its largest since September 2016, reflecting the tendency for jumbo borrowers to be more sensitive to rates.