Angela Agana - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyles

Angela Agana - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyles Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can expect a better service experience with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyles.

Local Areas Served: Ashburn, Great Falls, Herndon, Potomac Falls, Reston, and Sterling.
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Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can expect a better service experience with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyles, during and after the transaction.

Lowest Mortgage Rates in More Than a MonthMortgage rates moved moderately lower to start the new week as trade tensions ...
05/13/2019

Lowest Mortgage Rates in More Than a Month

Mortgage rates moved moderately lower to start the new week as trade tensions remained in focus. In general, the worse the US/China trade relationship is looking at any given moment, the better it has been for the bond market (and the worse it’s been for stocks). This is typical behavior for markets because stocks tend to benefit from growth and certainty while bonds tend to benefit when investors are uncertain, downbeat, or looking for safe havens to ride out volatility. As bonds ‘benefit’ from that demand, prices rise and rates fall.
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A Lack of Inventory Continues to Impact the Housing MarketThe housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the r...
05/13/2019

A Lack of Inventory Continues to Impact the Housing Market

The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest point in years. The market will continue to strengthen in 2019.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory! Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but supply has not kept up.
Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors

“Further increases in inventory are highly desirable to keep home prices in check, the sustained steady gains in home sales can occur when home price appreciation grows at roughly the same pace as wage growth.”

Jessica Lautz, Vice President of NAR

“There’s a supply-demand mismatch… More inventory is needed at the lower end and a price reduction may be needed at the upper end.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

“Heading into spring, U.S. prices are expected to continue to rise and inventory is expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace than we’ve seen the last few months as fewer sellers want to contend with this year’s more challenging conditions… A buyer’s experience will vary notably depending on the market and price point they’re targeting.”

Bottom Line
If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time! Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price!

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https://blog.bettercallangela.com/a-lack-of-inventory-continues-to-impact-the-housing-market/

Add Color to Your Living RoomLiving room paint colors can be the most important part of a home makeover. Take some inspi...
05/12/2019

Add Color to Your Living Room

Living room paint colors can be the most important part of a home makeover. Take some inspiration from these perfect palettes.
Work in some warmth.
White walls, couches and a mantel let strategic pops of color go a long way to enliven the space. Hints of coral and lime green bring life to this living room while black accents help ground the mainly white space. A wood floor in a matte finish adds visual warmth underfoot.








Play up patterns.
A fabulously bold patterned rug dresses up white walls and serves as the inspiration for this room’s color scheme. Although the rug and surrounding textiles contain different patterns, they feature the same colors and therefore complement each other. Choose furniture with solid fabrics within the color scheme to add stability and separate the patterns, like this blue chair and leather-top coffee table.


The post Add Color to Your Living Room appeared first on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Life.

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Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Homeownership!According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans ...
05/12/2019

Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Homeownership!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $3,143 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $3,436 last year.
Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals. For anyone looking to buy a home in 2019, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment!
The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state.Many first-time buyers believe that a 20% down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage. Programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all allow for down payments as low as 3%. Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.
If you started your down payment savings with your tax refund check this year, how close would you be to a 3% down payment?
The map below shows what percentage of a 3% down payment is covered by the average tax refund by taking into account the median price of homes sold by state.The darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership! For those in Oklahoma looking to purchase their first homes, their tax refund could potentially get them 85% closer to that dream!
Bottom Line
Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task. But the more you know about what’s required, the more prepared you can be to make the best decision for you and your family! This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership!

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05/12/2019

Why Access Is One of the Most Important Factors in Getting Your House Sold!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.
There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by condition, financing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.
Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

With more competition coming to the market this spring, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

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https://blog.bettercallangela.com/why-access-is-one-of-the-most-important-factors-in-getting-your-house-sold/

Lowest Mortgage Rates in a MonthMortgage rates dropped noticeably this morning as financial markets opened sharply chang...
05/12/2019

Lowest Mortgage Rates in a Month

Mortgage rates dropped noticeably this morning as financial markets opened sharply changed from Friday’s latest levels thanks to Trump trade tweets over the weekend. The stock market dropped to its lowest levels in several weeks before bouncing back as the day progressed. As money flew out of stocks, it found a safe haven in the bond market. Mortgage rates are most directly affected by the bond market, and when demand for bonds increases, rates fall.
The average lender was offering its best rates in roughly a month this morning. You’d have to go back to April 10th to see anything lower. And there were multiple lenders offering their lowest rates since April 1st.
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Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!When we consider buying an item, we naturally go through a research proce...
05/12/2019

Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!

When we consider buying an item, we naturally go through a research process prior to making our decision. We ask our friends and family members who have made similar purchases about their experience, we get opinions and insights, and we read reviews online. There’s no difference when considering a home purchase!
Most homebuyers start by listening to the news to hear what is being said about the real estate market. They check with family and friends about their experience. They spend time online reading reviews about their desired neighborhood.
The challenge is that comments from the news and those closest to us can contradict the data and reports. One source says one thing, while another source says something completely different.
There is a group of homebuyers that are not allowing comments about an upcoming recession to interfere with their decision to buy a home. According to a survey by realtor.com®,

“Nearly 70 percent of home shoppers this spring think the U.S. will enter a recession in the next three years, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to close on a home…Despite the fact that they foresee an economic downturn, they generally expressed confidence that a future recession will be better than 2008 for the housing market.”

The report provides more insights from the survey:

Nearly 30% of the active home shoppers* surveyed expect the next recession to begin sometime in 2020.
56% of shoppers believe home prices have hit their peak.
41% believe housing will fare better than 2008.
45% of home shoppers feel at least slightly more optimistic about homeownership.
33% reported no impact on their feelings about homeownership.

Homebuyers are aware and making decisions with their eyes wide-open. As the report mentioned,

“The fact that some [36%] home shoppers expect the next recession to be harder on the housing market than the last recession suggests that they are buying homes with eyes wide-open and very sober, if not slightly pessimistic, views of the housing market.
This is a stark contrast to the years leading up to the last recession when ‘irrational exuberance’ was more common and yet another reason to expect that the next downturn will be very different for the housing market than the last.”

Bottom Line
If you are considering buying a home, let’s get together to help you understand our local market and determine if buying a home is the right choice for you now.
*Active home shoppers are those consumers who responded that they plan to purchase their next home in 1 year or less.

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Ask a Pro Q&A – Update an Office Exterior: Explore a wealth of ideas (and colors) that will dazzle in the long termWhe...
05/12/2019

Ask a Pro Q&A – Update an Office Exterior: Explore a wealth of ideas (and colors) that will dazzle in the long term

When revamping an office, don’t forget the exterior. Interior design pro, Jennifer Adams, gives her suggestions for a thoroughly modern look in materials that will work perfectly, require minimal prep, and be easy to maintain in the long term.
Question: Our current BHGRE office building is a brick ranch-type building with a black metal roof. We’ve completely modernized the interior with BHG color schemes. The exterior, however, looks dated. I’ve thought about painting the brick or covering it with board and batten siding. Looking for ideas and colors. Thanks.
Painting brick can look ok but will require a LOT of prep work to get the paint to adhere properly. And, it will need plenty of maintenance and cleaning. Long-term, covering (or even replacing) the brick is a better idea provided the window and door trim will still work with the new siding.
Board and batten siding is a classic look, tying in nicely with the popular modern farmhouse style. Allow the wood to age naturally, seal it to preserve the wood tones, or paint it white, gray or a stunning soft black for a fresh look. Consider a subtle, natural color, such as gray with tones of sage green or ocean blue, warm driftwood or deep red.
– Jennifer Adams
The post Ask a Pro Q&A – Update an Office Exterior: Explore a wealth of ideas (and colors) that will dazzle in the long term appeared first on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Life.

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Mortgage Rates Stay Sideways Despite Bond Market GainsMortgage rates didn’t move much today, if at all.  This is confo...
05/12/2019

Mortgage Rates Stay Sideways Despite Bond Market Gains

Mortgage rates didn’t move much today, if at all. This is confounding to all those who have watched rates against the backdrop of 10yr Treasury yields (and especially those who don’t qualify their view that “mortgage rates follow the 10yr Treasury yield.” Indeed, such a view must always be qualified with a word like “generally” or “typically.” Today offers proof with 10yr yields significantly lower (more than 0.05%) whereas the average mortgage lender is unchanged.
What’s up with this?
It is true that the bond market does more than anything to dictate mortgage rate movement. While 10yr Treasuries tend to correlate very well with the bonds that underlie mortgages, that correlation can periodically break down. When we look at actual mortgage-backed securities (MBS), we see they didn’t fare nearly as well today as Treasuries. So this is a purely market-driven move for mortgage lenders (because they are almost exclusively concerned with MBS prices as opposed to Treasuries). The reasons for this are complicated, but temporary.
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The Benefits of a 20% Down PaymentIf you are in the market to buy a home this year, you may be confused about how much m...
05/11/2019

The Benefits of a 20% Down Payment

If you are in the market to buy a home this year, you may be confused about how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people you talk to will tell you that you need to save 20% or you won’t be able to secure a mortgage.
The truth is that there are many programs available that let you put down as little as 3%. Those who have served our country could qualify for a Veterans Affairs Home Loan (VA) without needing a down payment.
These programs have cut the savings time that many families would need to compile a large down payment from five or more years down to a year or two. This allows them to start building family wealth sooner.
So then, why do so many people believe that they need a 20% down payment to buy a home? There has to be a reason! Today, we want to talk about four reasons why putting 20% down is a good plan, if you can afford it.
1. Your interest rate will be lower.
Putting down a 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender/bank that you are more financially stable, thus a good credit risk. The more confident your bank is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the rate they will be willing to give you.
2. You’ll end up paying less for your home.
The bigger your down payment, the lower your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you are able to pay 20% of the cost of your new home at the start of the transaction, you will only pay interest on the remaining 80%. If you put down a 5% down payment, the extra 15% on your loan will accrue interest and end up costing you more in the long run!
3. Your offer will stand out in a competitive market!
In a market where many buyers are competing for the same home, sellers like to see offers come in with 20% or larger down payments. The seller gains the same confidence that the bank did above. You are seen as a stronger buyer whose financing is more likely to be approved. Therefore, the deal will be more likely to go through!
4. You won’t have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Simply put, PMI is “an insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.”
As we mentioned earlier, when you put down less than 20% to buy a home, your lender/bank will see your loan as having more risk. PMI helps them recover their investment in you if you are unable to pay your loan. This insurance is not required if you are able to put down 20% or more.
Many times, home sellers looking to move up to a larger or more expensive home are able to take the equity they earn from the sale of their house to put down 20% on their next home.
If you are looking to buy your first home, you will have to weigh the benefits of saving a 20% down payment vs. the time and cost of continuing to rent while you save that amount.
Bottom Line
If your plan for your future includes buying a home and you’re already saving for your down payment, let’s get together to help you decide what down payment size best fits with your long-term plan!


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