Sunday, February 13, 2011

Preparing for a Home Inspection

To prepare for a home inspection, it is always advisable for the seller to provide clear access to all of the following:

  • Attic(s)
  • Crawlspaces
  • Heat Systems
  • Garage Walls
  • Furnace
  • Electrical Panel
  • and all other areas that will need to be inspected.

If the house is vacant be sure all utilities are turned on such as:

  • Water
  • Electric
  • Water Heater
  • Furnace / Air Conditioning
  • Breakers in Electrical panels
  • Inform Seller that dishwasher will be run

Other times to inspect your home:

  • Have your home pre-inspected prior to selling to reduce the chance of last minute surprises and expenses.
  • You have maintenance performed routinely on your car. Why not perform a maintenance inspection on your house every 3 – 5 years? Keep ahead of maintenance problems and head off major expense by having a minor problem repaired before it becomes a major expense.
  • If you don’t have a relationship with a home inspector, contact your Realtor for referrals to local home inspectors.
j0400825Charles Kraus, Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Annapolis, MD
office: (410) 919-2642
direct: (443) 822-0700

Monday, February 7, 2011

Home Loan Rates – A Perspective

Average mortgage rates during 2006, 2007 and 2008, were respectively 6.41%, 6.35% and 6.04% with average points being around 0.5 for all years. Currently rates have begun to creep back up from historical lows of around 4.0% to currently around 5.0%.

For Sale logo So even though rates are higher than what they were just recently, they are still fairly low and have now approached the level last seen in 2009  when they averaged 5.05%. Keep in mind, rates fluctuate daily and are sensitive to external pressures and events. 


To put this into perspective, back in 2006 when rates averaged 6.41%, the interest cost of a monthly mortgage payment per thousand dollars borrowed was $6.26 and the cost during 2009 when rates averaged 5.05% was $5.40. The cost of a house varies depending on location in the United States, but assuming a mortgage of $200,000 on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, the monthly payment per month based on these two rates differs by $172.00.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association in their January 2011  Mortgage Finance Forecast, rates will continue to slowly rise through 2011 and 2012, to a forecast of 6.1 % in the 4th quarter of 2012. As we have demonstrated here, as rates rise, so does the cost of the monthly payment.

If this trend holds true, it may be a good idea to begin planning your housing purchase. It is always better to plan your purchase based on your individual needs rather than to do so in an effort to time the market for a lower rate. As always, consult with a professional financial advisor before making any decisions.

Charles Kraus, Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Annapolis, MD  Office: (410) 919-2642
email:  web: Charles Kraus Online