Putting Hendersonville Tax Refunds onto the “Fastest Path to Wealth”

This Tuesday’s tax filing deadline doesn’t pass without standing as the annual reminder to all of Hendersonville’s taxpayers that time seems to pass ever more quickly—as do the comings and goings of our earnings. The best estimate is that this year 70% of Americans will have overpaid by close to $3,000—making their tax refund checks the only smile-producing part of the annual ritual.

The Motley Fool financial site offered its insight into how most people plan to spend their refunds—but at least one real estate mogul counseled for a definite ultimate destination for those dollars. Hendersonville real estate could play an important role.

According to the Fool, 38% of respondents will use their refunds to pay off existing debts. Only 11% will direct the cash toward vacations; 5% will splurge on some kind of purchase; an equal number will put the cash toward a major purchase. The largest percentage— 41%— will sock their refund dollars into savings accounts. That’s where the real estate mogul agrees.

The gentleman in question is Sean Conlon, himself a multi-millionaire and host of his own TV show. This time of year, with income tax refund dollars rolling into more than 100 million households, he makes it a point to recall his own point of departure from day work as a janitor into being the owner of his own real estate mortgage company.

He saved. Stuffed every spare dollar into a shoebox until he’d scraped together enough to buy his first house. CNBC quoted Conlon’s dictum last week: “I’m a true believer that you should save every penny…until you buy your first house.” Hendersonville tax refund checks would more than qualify as major stepping stones toward what Conlon assesses as being “still the fastest path to wealth in this country.”

Another pointed tax refund observation came from a website called Financial Samurai. “Sam” points out that with tax refunds nearing the $3,000 mark, that amounts to nearly 6-7% of typical after-tax income: “a pretty meaningful number.” Since saving (that is, not spending!) $250 a month in that income bracket is difficult for most, the tax refund checks provide a one-shot opportunity to make saving a done deal. The same applies to those in higher brackets. In short, since out of sight is out of mind, Samurai recommends the best course of action for any tax refund check is “to make it disappear.” Into a savings account. Then there’s at least one other relevant tax consideration—one that fattens many a refund check: that whopping mortgage interest tax deduction!

The mogul and the Samurai both have valid points—and Hendersonville real estate opportunities (there are plenty on hand at the moment) certainly fit into that picture. Good reason to give me a call today!

Hendersonville Rental Properties and the Magician’s Trick

Striving to become a prudent person is a laudable goal—one usually only achieved after impetuous youthful misadventures have taught the wisdom of prudence. Caution—particularly in financial matters—may seem to be synonymous with prudence—but they aren’t always the same thing. Especially when there are magicians at work.

An example of that can be found in the way most people think about Hendersonville rental properties. There’s no sleight-of-hand from the landlord’s point of view: few would argue with the proposition that rental properties are a prudent form of investment.

The now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t sorcery happens when the audience (in this case, renters) view the same proposition: buying a home instead of renting. From that perspective, the exact same prudent investment can seem to be transformed into a fearfully huge risk. Taking the plunge—buying a home—has become a dangerously formidable commitment. It would seem to be a more prudent course to put off that kind of years-long gamble. After all, who knows for sure what the future will bring? Signing on the dotted line for a 15- or 30-year Hendersonville home loan seems like a humongous step into the unknown.

This apparently prudent risk assessment is actually a conclusion that fails to see what’s happening behind the distracting illusion. At its root is a basic truth behind the rent or buy decision:

Unless you’re living with your parents, you’ll be paying off a mortgage—either way.

The choice comes down to paying for a landlord’s loan or paying for your own. If you take the mortgage yourself, you have to make the payments. If you rent from the landlord, you also have to make the payments—with the landlord acting as middleman.

As soon as you’ve peeked behind the curtain to acknowledge that fact, a couple of other notable backstage realities are likely to come into focus:

First, if you buy a home via a fixed-rate mortgage, you can plan on what your payments will cost—now and 15 or 30 years from now. It’s written in stone. On the other hand, if you rent, you won’t know what your rent payments will be a few years from now. The first choice is the one that creates predictability and stability: i.e., prudence.

Second, if you buy, eventually the loan payments will equal zero. If you rent—well, having seen behind the curtain, you know what happens eventually: i.e., more payments.

At least in the world of Hendersonville rental properties, there is a distinct difference between prudence and caution. In the rent-vs-buy calculus, it’s pretty clear which is which.

Once you have peeked behind the curtain, you may also conclude that it’s an even more prudent idea to become a landlord yourself. And right now, there are some excellent Hendersonville rental properties that could make that possible.

To investigate further, give me a call!

6 Ways to Zero in on the Lowest Hendersonville Mortgage Rates

mortgage-ratesWithout knowing it, many people develop something akin to a split personality when it comes to buying a home. In the beginning, as they pursue their ideal Hendersonville house, they automatically assume an unabashedly active role. Nobody has to tell them that they’re the boss in the process—since they are the customer, they correctly expect to be in total command of the house hunting process. They develop their unique wish list and ultimately decide which property best satisfies it.

But then a split can develop. The active, in-charge commander often does an about-face when it comes to the nuts and bolts of the next step: securing the lowest Hendersonville mortgage rate. Upon entering the realm of what seems to be a monolithic and largely inscrutable home loan industry, the formerly active, energetic house hunter turns passive, hoping for approval with fingers crossed.

To some degree, that’s not an unreasonable stance, since home loan terms are based on hard numbers already set in stone: income and expense records, payment histories, and credit score numbers. But in truth, the best way to secure the lowest mortgage rate for a new Hendersonville home loan is to start early and actively to create the scenario you’re hoping for. Here are six ways to make it happen:

1. First, as soon as possible and well before any house hunting begins, check for errors in your credit report. They can and should be corrected, but since the process can take months, here’s where being proactive early pays off.

2. Stay on top of those credit accounts. Continue to use credit cards, but keep the balances below 30% of their maximum (better yet: below 20%).

3. As you approach application time, keep your documents and reports up-to-date. Quick responses to document requests speed the process, and having everything at hand makes your part of the work much easier.

4. Watch the market. Rates change frequently, and keeping an eye on their movement from week to week will build your confidence in being able to recognize an opportune moment to tap the lowest mortgage rates.

5. Be wary of loans advertised as “no-cost.” The Brooklyn Bridge is not for sale, either: loans cost something to develop, and those costs will always be paid by the borrower. The bottom line lowest mortgage rates are best represented by the APR percentage, which summarizes the total cost, including fees, in a single number.

6. Be prepared to shop. Whether you tap a savvy area mortgage broker for help or go it alone, tracking down the lowest mortgage rates in Hendersonville is doable. The home loan industry really isn’t as monolithic as it might seem.

There shouldn’t be a split between actively seeking your dream house—then merely passively hoping for favorable loan terms to come your way. Starting early is one key—and teaming with an experienced real estate professional is the other.

That’s right—you guessed it: call me!

Investment in Hendersonville Real Estate: an Option Worth Reviewing

realestateinvestBuying a home as a place to live certainly has important financial implications, but they are only part of an equation that has major lifestyle implications. A given house may be a really terrific deal—but if it turns out that you aren’t comfortable living there, buying it will probably wind up being a mistake.

When the motivation for an investment in Hendersonville residential real estate is purely financial, it’s a less complicated decision. Taking all factors into account, when a property pencils out as a likely financial winner, it’s a matter of weighing it against the risks and rewards of available alternative investments. In one risk-minimizing longer-term strategy, for instance, the risk that a rental property might go vacant is minimized by setting its monthly rental at little more than the cost of maintenance and mortgage payments. The plan is to patiently await the blissful moment when the mortgage is paid off—at which point a substantial net income begins to flow.

In all cases, any real estate investment in Hendersonville should be part an overall strategy. It’s likely to represent diversification within a mix of other investment vehicles. Equities and bonds don’t have the “reality” that a deed conveys, but do have the advantage of being less complicated to buy and manage. To the extent that they can be sold more quickly, they are rightly thought of as being more liquid…which brings up the point, here.

Knowing when you can cash out to free equity for other purposes is a positive, for sure—but there are liquidity options for Hendersonville real estate investments, too:

  • Home Equity Loans. Carrying a fixed or variable interest rate, “seconds” are usually easier to arrange than primary home loans—and are often free of closing costs.
  • HELOCs. These tap home equity to collateralize a line of credit. They are often described as functioning like low-interest credit cards—amounts are borrowed in increments the borrower wishes up to the credit limit; then paid off over time.
  • Cash Out Refinance Loans. These are like home equity loans taken in amounts more than the amount owed. The difference is freed for investment elsewhere (or for any other purpose).

As Investopedia’s Robert Stammers writes, “increasing concerns about the future long-term variability of stock and bond returns” explains why a tactical investment in real estate “is known for its ability to serve as a portfolio diversifier and inflation hedge.”

Knowing how an investment in Hendersonville real estate would figure into your own long-term plan requires knowing what all the options are—and the easily overlooked liquidity dimension of a real estate investment is one of those. Give me a call if you are interested in sharing an overview of some of the best opportunities now on the market!   

Lifestyle Shift Could Open Hendersonville Investment Opportunity

realestateinvestWhen you recall how thoroughly public confidence was shaken during that last financial meltdown, you probably also remember how reluctant most people were to presume that Hendersonville real estate values would rebound anytime soon. Those who saw nosediving property values as nothing less than a great buying opportunity were in the courageous minority—even though a cool-headed review of the history of home values’ ups and downs made such a conclusion pretty safe.

Today there may be a similar Hendersonville real estate opportunity—although, in truth, you have to look a lot harder to see it. It’s emerging in the realm of Hendersonville rental real estate investments. Instead of resulting from a dramatic global financial shakeup, it’s the by-product of a less headline-grabbing phenomenon—namely, an emerging shift in American lifestyle and spending habits.

One piece of evidence can be found in the rapid adoption of “sharing economy” businesses like Airbnb and Uber.  Forbes magazine points to their ascendency as evidence of a shift in Americans’ willingness to share goods and services with others—as well as a new attitude about ownership in general. It’s most evident among the younger set: “A fifth of Millennials would consider renting DIY products, clothing or sporting equipment,” one survey found—key drivers being affordability and convenience.

Forbes also looked at attitudes among Millennials about housing. Nearly a quarter who are not yet on the housing ladder said they were not concerned about owning a home of their own and would be content to rent for the rest of their lives. If offered lease terms of five or more years, they would be encouraged to “treat their rented property more like a home.”

Meantime, the widely-respected Pew Research Center found particularly that steep declines in homeownership are only partially due to the difficulty of coming up with a down payment. Even though mortgage approval rates are up, home loan applications are down.

This impact such an attitudinal shift could mean is underlined when you realize that there are 92 million Millennials. They make up the largest generation in American history. If they continue to place more value on the flexibility and convenience provided by the new business models, another outcome could well be the disappearance of the stigma that used to go with renting. Per the Urban Institute’s Laurie Goodman, the dip in homeownership among younger generations “is a permanent shift”—one evidenced by the rise in “lifestyle renters” (those who can afford to buy, but choose not to).

It could be part of why the rental market is booming across America—and lead to the conclusion that it will become, as Goodman stated, a permanent trend. If so, the long-term implications are certainly positive when it comes to Hendersonville rental real estate investments. For anyone who has ever considered diversifying into a Hendersonville real estate rental property investment, now would be a great time to call me to investigate further!

Is There Really a Best Time to Buy a House in Hendersonville NC?

Hendersonville Interest RatesMany of us who call Hendersonville home find that the beginning of the new year serves as a useful benchmark. This is when it’s easiest to collect the bygone year’s household bills and receipts and stash them in the drawer, box, or envelopes marked “2016” to be revisited at tax time. Once all the holiday ornaments are safely stored for next year, it’s time to embark on the coming year with a refreshed outlook and energy.

When you go looking for fresh insights that will be relevant to Hendersonville real estate buyers and sellers, some of that New Year’s enthusiasm can come in handy. Particularly when you come across news items with headlines like “The Best Time to Buy a House” or “The Best Time to Sell a House.” It’s not that the topics aren’t interesting, but since we know darned well that there’s no such thing as a single “best time” to buy a house, it takes a little extra energy to read further. The best time to buy a house in Hendersonville depends on the area, neighborhood, on the current market activity which varies from year to year—and on the qualities of the property itself.

Nevertheless, coming across the Business Insider piece headlined, “New research reveals the single best day of the year to buy a house,” it was simply too tempting to pass up. The best single day! This was nonsense, of course, but with fresh 2017 energy to spare, it had to be checked out! Here’s what was revealed:

This analysis resulted from some past research dusted off from RealtyTrac’s review of more than 32,000,000 home and condo sales from across the nation. It had taken 15 years to collect all that data, but when they put it all into the proper columns and added and divided in the way statisticians do, they came up with the final answer:

The best day to buy a house is October 8.

Now, since it’s going to be a long time until the next October 8 (it will fall on a Sunday), some secondary news might be of more immediate interest to Hendersonville readers. The best month to buy may be October, but the second best month to buy a house is February! So wouldn’t it follow that January is a good time to start looking?

The way RealtyTrac defined the “best” time to buy was by comparing the sale price with the fair market value. For buyers, the best day was the one with the biggest average discount. October 8 was that day.   

Now, the practical use for this information here in Hendersonville is very limited for a couple of reasons. First off, they really meant “best day to close” a sale—leaving open the more tactical consideration, which would probably be the best day to make an offer. Then, too, the residential market and resulting sales results over the past 15 years have been so varied and sometimes so wildly atypical that generalizing from them could yield almost any answer. Also, this was a nationwide survey—so even just the way weather here in Hendersonville differs from the national average would certainly affect the results.

But the ideas written about did have some practical value. They highlight the notion that for buyers, the late fall and winter months might be a pretty good time to buy a house in Hendersonville even when there are comparatively fewer properties on the market.

It’s true that today there are some great buys to be had—which makes it a great time to give me a call!