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The Birdsong Group brokered by eXp Realty, LLC Blog

Friday, August 11, 2017   /   by Betsy Birdsong

Be Careful Not to Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is being able to protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.


 
Don’t Become Trapped


A recent article by ConsumerAffairs addressed the continuous rise in rents, stating:


“The cost of putting a roof over your head continues to go up. Not only are home prices still rising, but the cost of rent rose 0.5% in June.”


Additionally, in the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University’s 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing Report, it was revealed that,


“Despite a slight improvement from 2014, fully one-third of US households paid more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2015. Renters continue to be more likely to face cost burdens…the number of cost-burdened renters (21 million) considerably outstrips the number of cost-burdene ...

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017   /   by Betsy Birdsong

How to Save Money Fast

Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 in one month? It's possible!


Without this first step, your money goals won’t be accomplished. Baby Step 1 teaches you to make saving a priority, and it gives you the cushion you need to stop using credit and start paying off debt.


Depending on how much experience you have saving money, Baby Step 1 could be a piece of cake—or it could sound downright impossible. We asked our Facebook followers how they would save $1,000 in one month, and we got loads of advice.





Work With What You Have to Save Money Fast


Lots of folks turned to the basics: good budgeting and cutting back on spending.





“When we first started, I thought, ‘This will take forever!’” Joanie H. said in her post. “It took three weeks of staying at home, eating only at home, and sticking to a budget.”


Beata T. agreed, saying, “Create a budget, and you’ll see how much money you was ...

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Thursday, March 02, 2017   /   by Betsy Birdsong

Over Half of All Buyers are Surprised by Closing Costs

According to a recent survey conducted by ClosingCorp, over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage.
 
After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected.
 
“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”
 
Bankrate.com recently gathered closing cost data from lenders in every state and Washington, D.C. to be able to share the average costs in each state. The map below was created using the closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment.




Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range. your costs could be significantly more. According to Freddi ...

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Thursday, August 18, 2016   /   by Betsy Birdsong

Buying Remains 36% Cheaper Than Renting

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 5% less expensive in Orange County (CA) all the way up to 46% in Houston (TX), and 36% Nationwide! A recent study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owing a home at the state level and concluded that in 36 states it is actually 'a little' or 'a lot' cheaper to own, represented by the two shades of blue in the map below. 



One of the main reasons that owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that rates fell again last week to 3.43%.
 
Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than b ...

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Thursday, August 11, 2016   /   by Brianna Nowlin

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying a Home!

Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!


You Need an Expert Guide if You Are Traveling a Dangerous Path


The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and ready for you to move in to can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”


A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home. 


You Need a Skilled Negotiator


In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the ...

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The Birdsong Group brokered by eXp Realty, LLC
Betsy Birdsong - Associate Broker
Branch Office - 2201 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Suite 405
Metairie, LA 70002
504-780-9422
Licensed in Louisiana

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