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  Provided to you Exclusively by Bruce Gordon
Bruce Gordon
Bruce Gordon
Integrity Lending
Mobile: 410-207-6365
Direct: 410-581-0055
Email: bruce.ilc@verizon.net
Website: www.integritylendingcorp.com
  Integrity Lending
For the Month of July 2024 --- Vol. 18, Issue 7
  In This Issue  

"Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends." - Unknown

Innovative and convenient home designs are shaping the way we live, offering new comforts and seamless connectivity. In this issue, we cover these topics along with the following:

What to Watch: The economy is in decent shape, not great but it doesn't seem like rate cuts are in the cards anytime soon.

Housing: Unlock the secret to a quick, profitable home sale with our guide to expert staging practices.

Home Improvement: Discover how smart home upgrades can elevate your lifestyle and increase your property's value by transforming your house into a high-tech haven.

Q&A: Learn how getting pre-approved for a mortgage can simplify your home-buying journey and give you an edge in today's competitive real estate market.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, family or co-workers who may find it helpful.

  What to Watch  

Rate Cut or No Rate Cut?

To cut or not to cut...that is the question. The rate cut talk from the investing public has been happening since early last December when Fed Fund Futures were showing a probability of six or seven rate cuts for the short term Fed Funds Rate. That seemed like a stretch at the time. At the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Fed officials felt that rate cuts were likely in 2024 and expected three-quarter-percentage point cuts by the end of 2024. That was a far cry from the Fed Fund Futures forecast.

Fed Fund Futures are financial futures contracts based on the Federal Funds Rate and traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) operated by CME Group Inc. (CME). The Fed Funds Rate is the interest rate banks charge other institutions for lending excess cash to them from their reserve balances overnight and impacts rates such as consumer loans and auto loans, credit cards, and the like.

Fast forward to the current day and with the first half of 2024 behind us, there hasn't been a rate cut yet with one possibly coming in September if economic data supports a decrease in the short-term rate. Despite no cut in rates and with a decent job market, home borrowing costs have slowly declined since the multi-year highs seen last November. One reason that stands out as to why costs have dropped is the fact that the 30-year fixed was 2.65% in January 2021 and soared to nearly 8% last November. That's a huge jump in a short period. The rate is currently around 6.85%.

The question is: How good is the economy? A weak economy tends to lower borrowing costs and vice versa. Recently a consumer spending report showed weakness for the latest month as Americans are getting weary of shelling out their hard-earned bucks on anything but essentials. Fed Chair Powell said that job growth numbers were overstated. Durable Orders were weak. McDonald's is lowering prices, as are Walgreens and Target. 80% of renters spend 30% of their monthly income on rent. So, the economy is in decent shape, not great but it doesn't seem like rate cuts are in the cards anytime soon.

Bottom line: Whether the Fed cuts rates or not, the home purchase market will always be constant as families form every day and renters want to become owners. The American Dream of homeownership is part of our culture and it feels good to have a place you can call your own.

Source: Mortgage Market Guide

  Housing News  

The Ultimate Guide To Staging Your Home for a Quick Sale

Staging your home enhances the visual appeal of your property and makes it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves living there. This emotional connection can lead to higher offers and a faster sale. Here are some tips to help you stage your home beautifully:

Freshen up. Make your space feel more inviting by adding fresh elements to your home. Strategically place healthy, potted plants in areas with natural light. Avoid synthetic air fresheners that may cause allergic reactions. Instead, eliminate odors by baking cinnamon-coated apples or cookies, and use natural deodorizers such as lemons in the kitchen disposal.

Define each room. Assign a clear purpose to each room to help buyers see the potential in every space. Transform a finished attic into an office, a basement into an entertainment room, or a junk room into a guest bedroom. Highlight usable spaces such as alcoves, window seats, and breakfast nooks to showcase the home's functionality.

Update wall decor and paint. Remove wallpaper and paint your walls in neutral colors to appeal to a broader audience. Avoid bold, personal color choices. Warm neutrals are inviting and help buyers imagine their decor in the space. Remove any sentimental wall decorations, such as family photos, to create a blank canvas for potential buyers.

Upgrade your flooring. Replace dirty or outdated flooring with hardwood for a high-end feel. Hardwood floors add value, are low maintenance, and appeal to most home buyers. Focus on upgrading common areas such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen. If hardwood is too expensive, consider high-quality vinyl tiles.

Optimize lighting. Maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds, and ensure all light fixtures are clean and functional. Add extra lighting where needed to make spaces appear bright and inviting. Updated fixtures can modernize a room without being a significant expense.

Curate furniture. Consider renting furniture to stage your home. Select appropriately sized furniture to enhance the room's appearance. Avoid overcrowding, and use throw pillows to add a pop of color and warmth.

Investing in home staging is a smart move to maximize your home's appeal for a quick sale. Whether you decide to take on the task yourself or hire professional stagers for expert guidance, these tips can help you receive higher offers.

Sources: Investopedia.com, Homie.com

  Home Improvement  

Smart Home Upgrades That Boost Your Home's Value and Convenience

Smart home upgrades are more than a trend. They're a valuable investment that makes your property more modern and convenient. Discover how integrating smart technology into your home can provide significant benefits in today's competitive real estate market below.

Smart thermostats provide energy efficiency and cost savings by allowing homeowners to control their home's temperature remotely and set energy-efficient schedules. These devices learn your preferences and adjust heating and cooling patterns accordingly, optimizing energy use and reducing utility bills.

Comprehensive home security systems, including smart locks, alarm systems, video doorbells, and motion detectors, can significantly enhance your safety. These features also provide peace of mind for potential buyers, making your property more attractive.

Smart sprinkler systems use advanced technology to automate and optimize lawn watering. They adjust based on weather conditions, soil moisture levels, and plant types, ensuring efficient water use. Homeowners can set personalized schedules and monitor the system remotely via a smartphone app.

Voice-activated assistants can control various smart home gadgets, from lighting to thermostats. These assistants simplify daily tasks, offer hands-free control, and enhance your home's overall tech appeal.

Smart smoke detectors connect to Wi-Fi to send real-time alerts to your smartphone in case of smoke or fire. This feature ensures timely responses and adds a layer of safety, which is a significant selling point for buyers.

Smart lighting systems allow homeowners to control lights remotely, set schedules, and adjust brightness and color. These systems can be integrated with other smart home devices and voice-activated assistants for added energy savings and convenience.

Smart appliances, such as refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines, can be controlled remotely and often provide maintenance alerts. They improve energy efficiency, add convenience, and appeal to tech-savvy buyers looking for modern, connected homes.

Installing smart home technology is a forward-thinking choice that can simplify your daily tasks and boost the market value of your home. Plus, it's a great investment to make your home more comfortable and convenient today.

Source: Baystreetcapitalholdings.com

  What Are the Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage?

QUESTION: How can getting pre-approved for a mortgage streamline the home-buying process? Are there any other benefits?

ANSWER: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage clarifies how much you can borrow and shows sellers that you're a serious buyer, which can be a major advantage in competitive markets. Getting pre-approved involves a thorough analysis of your financial background and credit score. Once you're pre-approved, you'll know the maximum loan you qualify for, which can prevent the disappointment of falling in love with homes out of your price range.

Pre-approval can also lock in a set interest rate, potentially saving you money over the life of the loan. Plus, being pre-approved puts you in a great position to negotiate with sellers, who may prefer to work with buyers who have guaranteed financing.

Sources: Moreirateam.com, Investopedia.com


Equal Housing Lender