June is National Homeownership Month

sold family 11217877_xlJune is National Homeownership Month, and the industry is recognizing the importance of homeownership as a milestone of the American Dream.

This year’s theme, set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is “Find Your Place.” HUD is one of many agencies that provide resources to help consumers obtain and sustain homeownership. Through its network of housing agencies, consumers can seek out counselors for homeowner education, foreclosure prevention and budgeting assistance. With mortgage options through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), consumers with low credit or low-down payment funds can reach their homeownership goals faster—a significant method of aid for millennials and upcoming buyer generations flooded with student loans, making it difficult to amass the funds needed for conventional financing. According to HUD, over 47 million homeowners since 1934 purchased a home with a mortgage insured by FHA, and around 40 percent of all borrowers purchase their first home using an FHA loan.

“Homeownership serves as an enduring symbol of security and prosperity, and it provides many Americans with a legacy they can pass down to their children and grandchildren,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a statement. “During National Homeownership Month, we recognize the abiding value of owning a home, and we rededicate ourselves toward helping hard-working families to find their place in the American dream.”

Although homeownership rates are currently stalled at 64.2 percent, experts say the lack of dramatic increase is a reflection of a market that is withstanding challenges such as low inventory and rising interest rates. While the number has not moved much since the first quarter of 2017, there have been gradual increases since 2016, following a significant drop after the housing crisis.

While the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) celebrates its commitment to homeownership year-round through resources provided on its Homeownership Matters and HouseLogic sites, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall recognized June as a pivotal time to reaffirm the association’s mission to promote homeownership.

“National Homeownership Month is a time to celebrate and promote the modern American Dream of owning a home,” said Mendenhall in a statement. “Homeownership changes lives and enhances futures, and many Americans see it as one of their greatest hopes. These individuals are counting on the nation’s 1.3 million REALTORS® to champion and protect homeownership and help make it more affordable, attainable and sustainable. REALTORS® pledge to continue to lead efforts to ensure that the dream of homeownership is not only possible, but very real, for any and all who want to achieve it, so they can have a place of their own to make memories, start growing their financial futures, and build strong communities.”

In addition, Freddie Mac’s website for National Homeownership Month provides valuable resources for homeowners, such as educational articles, homeownership program statistics and opportunities consumers can take advantage of in order to make their homeownership dream a reality.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), primary residences are ahead of all other financial assets, business interests and retirement accounts, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all assets held by households in 2016, as reported in the latest edition of the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

“Homeownership is a primary source of net worth for many Americans, and is an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the NAHB, in an interview on NAHBNow.

In recognition of National Homeownership Month, NAHB is making a toolkit available for its members; the toolkit includes a video on the value of homeownership, sample social media posts, radio scripts and other talking points, relevant articles, and even print ads showcasing the benefits of homeownership.

Citing the passing of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act and this past year’s tax reform bill as recent progress, President Donald Trump released a statement pledging the administration’s commitment toward increasing homeownership incentives across the country:

“During National Homeownership Month, we affirm the joy and benefits of homeownership. For millions of Americans, owning a home is an important step toward financial security and achieving the American Dream. My Administration is committed to fostering an economic environment in which every family has the opportunity to enjoy the sense of pride and stability that can come with owning a home.”

Courtesy: RISMedia

Advertisements

What causes foundation problems?

In North Texas our soils are made up of 5 components.  The most prevalent are:

  • Blue Marl (a type of clay)
  • Black Gumbo (a very expansive and sticky clay), and
  • Coliche (hardened calcium carbonate which binds these clays together).

Clay does 2 things when it’s mixed with water.

  1.  When it gets wet – it expands
  2.  When it gets dry – it contracts

Another feature of clay is that it doesn’t transmit moisture very well. Because of our expansive clay soils, our foundations are always flexing and bending season after season, year after year.  Just like bending a pencil back and forth, the foundation gets weaker and eventually loses it’s ability to remain level.  This is why newer homes (less than 15 years old) rarely have foundation settlement issues.  On average, homes reach about 20 years old before any significant signs of foundation failure become evident.

How do we fend off foundation troubles and repairs by watering correctly?

Now that we are in the summer months it’s very important to water your foundation enough. Below is a video from my trusted foundation repair company, Williamson Foundation. In this video Roger Williamson explains how much to water and how often.​

Williamson Foundation has been providing foundation repairs and drainage correction systems in the DFW Metroplex Texas and East Texas areas since 1985.

Please make sure you use a reputable foundation repair company. Contact me for my trusted referrals. Check their ratings with the BBB, Angie’s List, Home Advisor.

In the last 20 years here in the DFW area over 450 foundation companies have gone out of business. If foundation work has been done to your home and you were offered a lifetime warranty and the company is no longer in business you no longer have a lifetime warranty. Therefore, make sure you’re using a reputable foundation repair company. Also, check their policy of transferring the warranty to a new owner.

Hope you and your family have a fantastic summer.

I will be available during the summer months for all your real estate needs. I’m never too busy and welcome your referrals!

Kim Billings

214-794-9738

 

Special Traffic Enforcement

Another great day to serve our Vets!

Another great day to serve our Vets and thank you for your service Chris and Rachel for allowing us to be a part of your dream of a new home for your growing family! Thank you Godwin again for taking great care of my clients! Another happy homeownership story come true! Thank you Catherine, one of the best Escrow Officer Branch Manager for a smooth closing!#VAloans#GReatRates #ZeroDownForHeroes www.kimbillings.com

SPRING SAFETY TIPS

 

fcc0d331f1e62075c1ce65ca664da59a.jpg.max800

As temperatures increase over the next several weeks, the Plano Police Department would like to remind you to take the follow precautions as you enjoy the spring season:

-Always keep your home’s doors and windows locked when you go to bed or leave your house, even if you are leaving for a short period.

-Secure all lawn and gardening equipment in your garage or a storage shed, and keep your garage doors closed at all times (even when you’re doing work around the house).

-Put all ladders and other tools back into a secure storage area after you use them.

-Be aware of home improvements scams. If you did not solicit the contractor or salesman who shows up at your door unannounced, do not do business with that person.

-Always remember to close your car windows, take any valuables out of your car, and lock your doors every time you exit your vehicle, even if your vehicle is parked in your driveway.

– If you haven’t already, make sure you change those smoke detector batteries.

-Get to know your neighbors! Let a trusted neighbor know if you are planning to travel this spring. Neighbors who know each other look out for each other.

As always, thanks for being an active part and working with us to help keep our community safe.

Things to Consider When Selling Your House (Spring 2018)

Are You Thinking About Selling Your House Soon?

It’s difficult to know when is the best time to sell, or how to get the most money for your house, but you don’t need to go through the process alone.

You may be wondering if prices are projected to rise or fall…or how much competition you may be facing in your market. The free eGuide below will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you haven’t even thought about yet.

Simply click on this link and fill out the form to receive your copy of the eGuide, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.