Monthly Archives: March 2015

APR vs. Interest Rate

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When shopping for a mortgage, keep in mind that an advertised interest rate isn’t the same as your loan’s annual percentage rate (APR).

What’s the difference?

The interest rate refers to the annual cost of a loan to a borrower and is expressed as a percentage. The interest rate does not include fees charged for the loan.

The APR is the annual cost of a loan to a borrower including fees. Like an interest rate, the APR is expressed as a percentage. Unlike an interest rate, however, it includes other charges or fees (such as mortgage insurance, most closing costs, discount points and loan origination fees) to reflect the total cost of the loan. The Federal Truth in Lending Act requires that every consumer loan agreement disclose the APR. Since all lenders must follow the same rules to ensure the accuracy of the APR, borrowers can use the APR as a good basis for comparing certain costs of loans. Your monthly payment is not based on APR; it’s based on the interest rate on your promissory note.

Why the difference? The APR is intended to give you more information about what you’re really paying.

So evaluate carefully when you look at the rates lenders offer you. Compare one loan’s APR against another loan’s APR to get a fair comparison of total cost and be sure to compare actual interest rates, too. Source: bankofamerica.com

Want to Host a Successful Open House?

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Here are tips to improve the odds your house will sell at an open:

  • Map Your Open House Signs.
  1. Attach strings of balloons to each open house sign.
  2. Find the busiest intersection closest to your home and put an open house sign at that corner.
  3. The arrows should point buyers in the right direction.
  4. Place a sign every few blocks until you end up at your house.
  • Remove all vehicles from the driveway. Ask your neighbors to help out by not parking in front of your house.
  • Open all the drapes, blinds and window coverings –– let in that light.
  • Do not put spices on the stove to simmer without offering cookies, and do not, under any circumstances, use an air freshener because many people are allergic to synthetic odors.
  • Turn on every light in the house, except lights that produce noise such as exhaust fans without separate on / off switches.
  • Turn on soft music on each floor to help set a mood.
  • Have available four-color flyers filled with quality photos and reasons for a buyer to purchase your home.
  • Put out flyers that contain financing options so buyers can readily determine their monthly mortgage payment.
  • Serve refreshments and snacks or, depending on your budget, maybe a catered lunch.
  • Create a bulletin board of seasonal house photographs so buyers can see what the home would look like at another time of the year. This is especially helpful to showcase gardens during the winter.
  • Set out all documents pertaining to the house:
  1. Inspection reports
  2. Appraisal or comps
  3. Major repairs & warranties
  4. Blueprints for additions or future possible improvements

Be upbeat, cheery and greet each buyer who enters the home. Find out what the buyers are looking for and, if possible, show them why your home fits those requirements.

And finally, ask for feedback. Ask each buyer what they thought of your home and would they consider buying it. Agents and sellers are hesitant to ask for a buyer’s opinion, so just grit your teeth and ask. It’s the only way you’re going to get a direct answer, and the answer just might astonish you. They might decide to sit at the kitchen table and write an offer. It happens more often than you would think! Source: about.com

Your Loan in the Valley

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