Don’t Push the Panic Button

Don’t Push the Panic Button!
Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your entire life. It’s a major investment with a 30-year commitment tied to it. So why are people pushing the panic button now that mortgage interest rates have increased? Blame it on a dangerous combination of media reporting and the average buyer’s lack of information. Your local news anchor may report, quite accurately, that rates have risen, in a voice that indicates that this may be the worst thing to happen since Kim and Kanye named their baby North West.

What they may not mention is that today’s rates remain historically low, and will continue to remain that way. FannieMae produces a monthly national housing survey, which indicated that many buyers are purchasing now or are planning to buy in the near future. According to Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae: “The spike in mortgage rate expectations this month seems to have had an impact on a number of the survey’s indicators and may increase housing activity in the near term by driving urgency to buy.”

Another reason for the panic is the fact that mortgage interest rates have been at all-time lows for quite a while and some may have forgotten how much more they would have paid in years past. Here’s a quick look at interest rates through the years:

1970s: 7-9%

1980s: as high as 18%

1990s: 7-9%

2000s: 7-8%

2010s: 3-4%

Aren’t you glad the 80s are over? Cabbage Patch Kids, Debbie Gibson and ultra-high interest rates? No, thank you. But seriously, if you have concerns about rising interest rates and feel pressured to buy now, give me a call before making a decision you’ll regret. I will answer all your questions and strategize a plan that makes sense for your individual needs and goals, without the distractions and unnecessary fear that may accompany the media fallout from a spike in interest rates.

So there you have it. Rates are still historically low. Call me at 617-965-1236 and get the facts you need to make a thoughtful decision. Now please step away from the panic button. There’s no need to push it.

July’s Home Value Improver

Dress Up Your Doorway

There’s a kind of magic in doorways. They’re the place where opportunity knocks. They symbolize hope, liberation and new beginnings. Doorways have been the focal point of several superstitions. Husbands carry their spouses though them for good luck. Horseshoes are hung on doors for the same reason. One tradition includes opening the front and back doors of the house at midnight on New Year’s Eve to let out the old energy and welcome in all the fresh possibilities of the new year. People adorn their doorways with flowers, plants, wreaths and Indian corn throughout the year. When it comes to improving curb appeal, it’s all about the doorway.

So what can you do to dress up your doorway? Here are a few tips that will make your door the focal point of your home’s exterior.

1. Paint. Is the paint on your door chipped, cracked or faded? A fresh coat of paint on your front door is a sign of a well-kept home. Use a traditional white for a clean, understated look. Want to go bright or bold? Pick an accent color from your interior decor and use that color to paint your door.

2. Doormat. Nothing is more inviting than a clean welcome mat. Toss out the old, faded, worn-out mat and replace it with one you’ll be proud to welcome your guests from as you invite them into your home.

3. Hardware. Replace your ordinary doorknob and knocker with beautiful decorative hardware. Visit your local home improvement store or pick up a vintage piece at a nearby flea market or antiques dealer.

4. Numbers. Are the numbers of your door’s address outdated? Try a clean, simple style, using a sans-serif font. Not sure what that is? Just check the font that’s used on your smartphone’s clock and use something similar.

5. Doorbell. Exposed wires and notes taped above that say “doorbell broken, please knock,” are signs it’s time for an upgrade. Choose one that matches your home’s general decor and consider one with a decorative plate.

Other ideas include adding planters, a shiny new mail slot or vintage mailbox, subtle lighting, an engraved nameplate and monogram letters. Creating a doorway that is distinctive and welcoming is a fun project that can transform the exterior of your home while increasing its value–all with minimal effort.