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Everything You Need to Know About Fannie Mae's New Home Ready Mortgage

by Wayne Turner

Traditionally, getting a mortgage in St Tammany requires you to have a level of income appropriate to the size of home that you're buying. But for a lot of low-income and minority borrowers, a simple measure of one person's income isn't an accurate measure of whether or not that person can afford a home.

Now, with the Home Ready mortgage from Fannie Mae, multigenerational and extended households can have easy access to mortgage funds in Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Covington.  How does the Home Ready mortgage work? Here's what you need to know.

Would you like to speak to a local Northshore Lender, click here! 

Flexible Down Payment Requirements Make Home Ownership More Accessible

Traditional mortgages require you to pay 20% of the home price upfront in the form of a down payment, or 5% if you register for Private Mortgage Insurance. And although 5% is a small down payment, it's still a significant sum of money for a lot of low-income borrowers. But now, with the Home Ready mortgage, qualified borrowers can access financing with as little as 3% down, making it easier to become a homeowner.

Non-Borrower Household Income Is Now Counted As Income

Another big change that the Home Ready mortgage introduces is that lenders may now count all household income when determining affordability criteria (but not qualifying income). There's no minimum requirement for funds to come directly from the primary borrower, which means that non-borrower members of the household can have their income counted when determining whether a mortgage is affordable. It's also possible to use non-occupant borrower income – for instance, the income of a borrower's parent – to be counted as income.

For extended and multigenerational households, this means mortgages are much more affordable as all household income can now be counted as eligible.

Eligibility Requirements: Who Can Qualify For A Home Ready Mortgage?

Home Ready mortgages come with certain eligibility criteria attached that homeowners will need to meet. In order to be eligible, a household must be below a certain percentage level of area median income (AMI) – that is, a household must fall somewhere in the lower half of their area's income scale.

For properties that are located in "low-income census tracts", there is no income limit. For properties in high-minority areas and designated disaster areas, borrowers at or below 100% of AMI can access Home Ready financing. And in all other census areas, borrowers can access financing if their annual household income is no greater than 80% of AMI. For More information contact top Realtor, Broker/Owner of Turner Real Estate Group, Wayne Turner at 985-626-1313. 

With the excitement involved in moving into a new St Tammany home and all of the things that need to be done, it can be easy to forget a few important things before you load up the moving van. If the day of departure is drawing closer and you're mulling over the final details, here are some items you may want to check off the list first.

Do you need a list of North Shore Service Providers?  Click here for our recomendations for Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Covington

Install A New Lock

One of the most important aspects of home ownership is the feeling of security it automatically provides, so you'll want to change out the locks on the doors before you embark on the big move. As soon as you've received the keys to your new home, contact a locksmith who will be able to do the dirty work for you or, if time permits, you may want to take on this task on your own and save a little bit of money in the process.

Do A Quick Clean

With so many boxes to unpack and items to organize, the concept of cleaning the house you've just moved into might not be very appealing; however, this can be a necessary step in making you and your family feel more at home. It doesn't have to be the kind of cleanup that will take 10 hours, but a quick dusting and wiping of cabinets and appliances, as well as a quick sweep and vacuum of the floor, may change the way you feel about your new home.

If Time Permits, Paint!

If the walls of your new house happen to be in immaculate shape, you can probably avoid paint; however, a prime up of the walls can add a lot to the sparkle of your new home and may make it feel like yours much sooner. Instead of going for boldness or deciding on a decorating scheme right away, choose a neutral color that will instantly brighten your room. If the walls are in particularly bad shape, you may even want to contact a professional who will be happy to sand and spackle away.

Moving into a new home is undoubtedly a time of great excitement, but there are some things you should do before you make yourself comfortable in your new place. If you're curious about what's available on the market and would like to know your options, you may want to contact one top realtor and Owner/broker of Turner Real Estate Group, Wayne Turner, at 985-626-1313

3 Quick Painting Tips That Will Help Take Your Walls from Tacky to TastefulWhether you happen to be a painting pro or you've never dared to pick up a roller, there are a few tricks of the trade that professionals use to make a paint job look its best. If you want to take an old, outdated paint job and turn it into something you can be proud of, here are a few tips from those who know best.  Painting your St Tammany home to sell, can add value and make buyer's more inclined to act. 

Click here to see our Selling Tips for Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Covington, or Abita Springs Homes. 

Start With A Perfectly Smooth Surface

If you're trying to rush through it, sanding might seem like an unnecessary step in re-covering your walls, but it's very important in order to level out the spackle paste and ensure that no ridges will appear in the paint around the nails. According to one professional painter, you should start by sanding from the baseboard to the ceiling with a fine grit sandpaper, and then move on to a horizontal sand that will make for a smooth wall finish.

Forget About The Plastic

The proper floor coverage while painting is just as important as the paint when it comes to getting the job done properly, so opt for a large canvas cloth instead of linens or plastic. Paint on linen can sink through to your floor and stain it, while paint on plastic takes a long time to dry and may end up smearing all over other things. A canvas cloth will keep any paint splotches away from your floor and ensure they aren't tracked throughout the home after they fall.

Stick To One Wall

It can be tempting to get done the rudimentary step of completing the corners and trim before you move on to painting, but this can actually make for a less smooth finish. Instead of finishing one task at a time, complete the corners and trim on one wall and immediately reach for the roller. This is something professional painters do to ensure that the brushed and rolled paint will blend together more seamlessly.

There are a few simple steps you can follow when painting a room that will make it look like a professional did the job. By using a canvas cloth to cover your surfaces and sticking with one wall until the job is done, you should have a smooth new surface you can be proud of. If you're currently painting your home and preparing to sell, you may want to contact Wayne Turner, broker/owner of Turner Real Estate Group 985-626-1313. 

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - February 16, 2016

by Wayne Turner

Last week's economic events included weekly releases on new jobless claims, mortgage rates and testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen concerning the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

Do you need to speak to a local North Shore Lender? Click here! 

Here are the details:

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Drop

Freddie Mac reported that average mortgage rates fell across the board last Thursday, with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage seven basis points lower at 3.65 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was six basis points lower at 2.95 percent, and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was two basis points lower at 2.83 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30 and 15 year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Lower mortgage rates may encourage first-time and moderate income home buyers to enter the market, although slim supplies of available homes and rising home prices have caused ongoing concerns about affordability in many markets.

Weekly jobless claims were also lower. 269,000 new claims were filed as compared to estimated claims of 280,000 new claims and the prior week's reading of 285,000 new jobless claims. This was the lowest reading in two months and suggests healthy labor markets as more workers find jobs. Readings lower than 300,000 new jobless claims indicate healthy jobs markets. The four-week rolling average of new jobless claims was lower by 3500 claims at 281,250 new claims filed. Analysts consider the four-week reading as a more accurate indicator of labor markets as it smooths out anomalies in weekly claims.

Yellen Testimony: Fed Won't Change Course on Rates

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that she doesn't expect interest rate cuts in view of slowing economic indicators. In testimony before the House Financial Services panel, Chair Yellen indicated that although there are signs of slower economic conditions, there was still room for economic growth. She cited a strong labor market and strong consumer and business spending as indicators of economic expansion. Analysts interpreted Chair Yellen's testimony to indicate that the Fed would not likely raise its target federal funds rate in March.

Chair Yellen said that monetary policy is not on a "preset course". Federal Reserve press releases consistently state that policy makers review current and developing domestic and global economic trends as part of any decision to raise rates. In view of this, Chair Yellen's testimony did not cover what could happen if future economic developments influence Fed policy. Recent concerns over volatile financial markets caused by the weakening in China's economy were cited as examples of "downside risks" that could impact the Fed's monetary policy.

Readings for Consumer Sentiment suggest that consumers are also watching economic developments. February's reading decreased to 90.7 as compared to January's reading of 92.0.

What's Ahead

This week's scheduled economic events include the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, federal reports on housing starts and building permits. FOMC minutes and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.  If your looking to buy or sell real estate in Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Madisonville, Call Wayne Turner, Broker/Owner of Turner Real Estate Group and St Tammany top agent at 985-626-1313. 

With Mardi Gras over, it won't be too long before the flowers begin to bloom and spring peeks out from around the corner in St. Tammany. While the tradition of spring cleaning that comes with the season may not be as common as it once was, it can actually be a great way to revive and refresh and prepare for the summer ahead.  If your looking to sell in the Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Madisonville areas, it's important to freshen up for listing!

Are you looking for more Selling Tips, Click HERE!

Begin With The Bedroom

Start with your bed by washing all of the sheets and linens, and then move on to dusting, making sure that all of the spots missed throughout the year are wiped clean. Since you may find yourself purchasing some extra items in the summer months, take an hour or two to look through your closet and donate or discard any pieces you haven't worn for two years.

Liven Up The Living Room

As one of the most lived-in rooms, your living room will likely need some extra time with the vacuum or mop, so once you've dusted the baseboards and vacuumed the couch, give the floor your undivided attention. Once it's thoroughly cleaned, dust everything and sort through any books or papers that have been left about so they won't sit around for another year.

Clear Away The Kitchen Grease

The kitchen can be one of the easiest to spots to sully, so clear out the fridge and wipe down the shelves rigorously, ensuring any food that has expired is composted. Give the floor a good scrub and pull the refrigerator and stove back from the wall so you can get rid of any dust or accumulated grime underneath. Last but not least, wipe the countertops with an all-purpose cleaner for a fresh scent.

Bargain With The Bathroom

If you've already cleared away the dirty towels, clean out the drawers and cabinets and ensure any toiletries you no longer use are thrown out. Wipe the mirror clean with a glass cleaner and give the toilet a good scrub. It may also be a good opportunity to get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floor for a clean feel it may not get for a while.

The arrival of spring after the long months of winter is always a welcome occurrence, but it can also be the perfect opportunity to clear away the dust of last year.

Call Wayne Turner, Top Realtor/Broker and Owner of Turner Real Estate Group with 20 years experience. 

The 3 Golden Rules of Staging - Follow These and Sell Your Home Faster

by Wayne Turner

When it comes to staging your North Shore Home to sell, it can sometimes seem like there are so many things to do that it's hard to know what will make a real difference. Since staging is such an important aspect of successfully selling your home, here are the three golden rules for how you can make it work for you!

Click here to read more of my free Seller Tips for St Tammany Parish Home Owners! 

Don't Forego The Front

Homeowners in Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington, Slidell, or Abita Springs often spend so much time inside of their home that it's the first thing they think about when it comes to staging, but the first thing a potential buyer is going to notice is the exterior so it's very important to keep this in mind. Ensure that the grass is cut and any stray plants or weeds are trimmed or pulled. If you've left out any old, ugly furniture or the kids toys are strewn about the lawn, you'll want to clean these up so the house is polished and enticing right from the start.

Make It Match With Your Décor

There are no certainties that the design aesthetic you have is going to appeal to your potential buyers, but they will notice if your home is completely out of touch with its accents. If you've got a comfy, family style place, make sure you deck it out in durable but well-maintained duds that will complement the buyer you're trying to capture. On the other hand, if you've got sleek hardwood floors and a stylish accent wall, you should be able to get away with a modern decorative style that can only enhance your home's natural charms.

Keep A Handle On The Accessories

It's certainly true that a personal style that gives off the sense that you really live in your home will draw in the offers, but you'll want to keep some of it at bay so your decorating is not distracting the viewers. Instead of going for big, over-the-top pieces, stick to a style that's neat and tidy with some quaint accents that will play it up. A few brightly cultured coffee table books or a quirky light fixture can go a long way in adding interest to your living space!

It may seem like a lot is required to properly stage a home, but by using these golden rules you should be well on your way to a successful sale. If you're currently in the process of selling your home and have questions about entering the real estate market, you need to contact Wayne Turner, the owner and broker of Turner Real Estate Group, and Top Realtor in the area.  985-626-1313

With the cost of rent going up across the board and becoming even less affordable in St Tammany Parish, it's never been a better time to seriously consider home ownership. While the price of a home and all the associated costs can certainly seem like a tight squeeze after years of renting, here are some reasons you may want to consider giving up your rental and springing for a home instead.

Are you looking for a home in Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Madisonville? Click here to search North Shore Real Estate for FREE now! 

It's An Automatic Savings

It's a sure bet that the money you spend on rent is going down the drain as soon as the month is over, but investing your money into a home each month means that you're actually putting it into something tangible that you can profit from later on. While there are no certainties that the price of your home will improve, there's a good chance you'll stand to make a bit of money in the end that will easily offset the cost of insurance and property taxes involved in buying a home.

The Insecurity Of Apartment Living

With apartments being bought up all the time and torn down to make way for new developments, it's always a possibility that the day may come when your home won't be your home anymore. The good thing about using your purchasing power to invest in a home is that it gives you the freedom of feeling like you really have something that belongs to you, and you probably won't have to worry as much about your loud next door neighbors or a landlord that never completes the required maintenance on your apartment.

You Can Consider A Roommate

An apartment often means a smaller amount of space, but it's possible that a home purchase may provide you with a little bit of extra room and a place for a renter who can help with the monthly bills. Whether you decide on a friend, relative or someone you don't know, this can be a great way to make home purchasing a little bit more economical and still provide you with the equity you'll need to make it a worthwhile, long term investment.

With rent becoming less affordable on the North Shore, the idea of purchasing a home is becoming a more tenable reality for many people. If you're interested in what is out there and are curious about your own possibilities for home ownership, you need to contact Wayne Turner, Turner Real Estate's owner, and broker.  985-626-1313

"Top 5 Home Improvements When Selling in 2016"

by Wayne Turner

This just released report shows what, where and when to improve your home for maximum profit and a fast sale. Also you will learn what most Realtors aren't telling you that's keeping your home form selling and get this, they don't even realize it's preventing it from selling. 

https://turnerrealestate.leadpages.co/facebook-ad/

Thinking About Selling in the Spring? You Should Be Renovating Now. Here's WhyThe cooler months of winter might seem like the perfect time to hibernate into the house, but it's actually a great time to consider ramping up your home for improvements; especially in the south where we don't have to worry about snow! If you're thinking of selling come the spring, here's why winter is the perfect time to get started on home renovations in Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Madisonville.

Are you needing to know how much your St Tammany Home is worth? Click here! 

Flexible Scheduling And Availability

Many people are not interested in renovating their home during the winter months, so it can actually be an ideal time of year to make plans with a contractor to do some work. Since many renovations that occur on the outside of the home are likely to take place during spring or summer, it can be easier to schedule renovations for your home's interior when it's colder.

Pre-Planning Your Project

Since contractors can have more free time in the winter months, it's a good time to contact them to discuss, decide and plan exactly what needs to be done in your home. With the workload of many contractors ramping up in the springtime, there's a good chance their meeting schedule may be congested and the planning and renovation implementation will take much longer.

Get Ahead of Higher Prices

With the holiday season in swing, there are many sales on common home items from appliances to windows and cabinets. Since manufacturers will be trying to get excess stock off the floor before year's end, it can be a great time to purchase products for instant money savings. With the new stock filling the stores in spring, there will be a higher premium to pay for all of the newly marketed products.

A Good Time For The Market

Spring is one of the most popular times of year to put a home on the market. With so many people considering a home purchase among their yearly plans, the milder season is an ideal time to get out and go house shopping. In order to have your home ready to show for the spring, you'll need to have the renovations complete so your house will be market ready when the potential buyers are out.

If you're readying your house for the springtime real estate market, it's a good idea to get started on renovations now so you can save money on materials and schedule ample time with your contractor. If you happen to be considering your options for spring sale, you may want to contact your local real estate agent Wayne Turner, the owner and broker of Turner Real Estate Group in Selling your home. 

In the Louisiana real estate market and all the things involved in selling a home can seem complicated, and it can be very hard to know which tips to trust.  Wayne, the broker and owner of Turner Real Estate group has sold homes for over 20 years, and is in the St Tammany area ready to help! While there's plenty of great advice to go around from many knowledgeable sources, here are some of the best tips from home sellers who have made a successful sale.

Click here to read more tips and tricks for Selling your home on the North Shore! 

Research Your Local Agents

When considering an agent that will meet your home-selling needs, it can be tempting to go with someone familiar or recommended through a friend who seems like a safe bet. However, it's important to do your research and find an agent who has a number of "Sold" homes under their belt.  Also, be sure to ask if they are a real estate agent full-time. Ask them how many homes they sell in a year. Create a list of agents you're impressed by and take note of their sales and keep in mind that you may want to lean towards an agent who has expertise in your town, whether it be Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Abita Springs, or Covington. 

Get A Second Opinion On Price

Before you have an agent appraise the value of your home, it's worthwhile doing some research on your end to determine the approximate value of your property. Once you've arrived at a figure, bring in the agents you've selected to appraise the value of your property. If one price is significantly higher than the other, it may be a red flag that an agent is trying to win over your business, regardless of whether the sale price is reasonable. In this case, you will want to choose the agent that provides the most appropriate appraisal.

Be House Ready At All Times

Having potential buyers view your home will certainly make the idea of selling it real, so make sure that it is ready for viewing at any time. If a potential buyer cannot view your property or has to work around your schedule constantly to arrange viewings, there's a pretty good chance that you may lose out on some good home offers. Instead of missing out, provide a set of keys to your real estate agent so they can allow access for Agents to show the home.  This should automatically increase the likelihood of an offer on your home. Call top agent, and broker in St Tammany, Wayne Turner at 985-626-1313

Heading into the real estate market can be a matter of trepidation if you're not sure what to do, but by researching your agents and being prepared you'll increase your chances of success. If you're almost ready to put your home on the market, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

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Turner Real Estate Group - 111 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 101, Mandeville, LA 70448.  985-626-1313. 
Broker licensed in Louisiana and Tennessee. Sales Associates licensed in Louisiana.
Mandeville Real Estate - Covington Real Estate - Slidell Real Estate