lake county real estate. and then some…

selling homes…a family tradition


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Not quite sure how equity works? Here’s a quick explanation…

 

Equity Matters A Lot... Just Ask Freddie Mac | Keeping Current Matters

There are many reasons, both financial and non-financial, that homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that it helps build family wealth. Recently, Freddie Mac wrote about the power of home equity. They explained:

“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home’s appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”

They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10% ($15K), resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance).

The chart below demonstrates the home equity built after 7 years of making mortgage payments and assuming the historic national average of 3% per year home appreciation:

Home Equity Earned | Keeping Current Matters

And that number continues to build as you continue to own the home.

Merrill Lynch published a report earlier this year that showed the average equity homeowners have acquired by certain ages.

Average Home Equity | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Home equity is important to building wealth as a family. Referring to the first scenario above, Freddie Mac explained:

“Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you’d have zero equity and no means to build it. Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.”

Put your housing cost to work for you and your family. Meet with a real estate professional today to explore your options.


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Want to build your family wealth? Build your home equity…

Family Wealth Grows as Home Equity Builds | Keeping Current Matters

With residential real estate values rising quite substantially in most parts of the country over the last few years, many homeowners are seeing a major increase in their family’s wealth as equity continues to build in their house.

A recent study by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that home equity grew nicely last year and has grown dramatically over the last five years…

Inflation & Home Equity | Keeping Current Matters

Buyers looking today may not see the same build-up in equity but could still do quite well.

Let’s assume you went into contract in the next six weeks and closed on a $250,000 home in January. If we take the house value projections from the last Home Price Expectation Survey, here is how your equity would grow over the next four years:

Home Price Expectation Survey Equity | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Homeownership has historically been a great way for the average American family to build wealth over time.


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A good reason to buy a home NOW…

Speculation is that rates will RISE in 2015.  Thinking of buying?  Here is what it can mean to your bank account…
Buyers Purchasing Power | Keeping Current Matters


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Cyber-Security Expert Offers 10 Tips to Safeguard Your Information

Cyber-Security Expert Offers 10 Tips to Safeguard Your Information

By Gary S. Miliefsky
We’ve all lost our identity at least three times, with more than 930 million records breached, lost or stolen to hackers and cyber criminals, says consumer advocacy non-profit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Why don’t we do all we can to stay safer online?

According to StaySafeOnline.org, more than a quarter of Americans say they lack the information necessary.

So, here it is – everything you need to know to enjoy the shopping experience without losing your privacy and identity or putting your children’s safety at risk:

  • Assume you’ve already been compromised. Whether it’s your baby monitor, your SmartTV, the Webcam on your laptop or apps you installed on your smartphone or tablet, your antivirus is not enough protection. It’s time to take those devices’ and apps’ privacy policies, and the permissions you grant them, much more seriously.
  • Change your passwords – all of them. Now. And do it as frequently as you can tolerate. Also, if you don’t want to change it often, then use any unique characters you can think of, such as a dollar sign ($) or exclamation mark (!), or replace an “oh” with a “zero” (0). This goes a long way in preventing attacks against your password.
  • Turn off wireless and geolocation services. Protect your smartphones and tablets by turning off WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS, except when you need them. That way, if you are at a local coffee shop or in a shopping mall, no one can spy on you using nearby (proximity) hacking attacks and they can’t track where you were and where you are going on your GPS.
  • Assume most of your apps are creepware. Do you really need them? Delete all of the apps you aren’t using too often. Replace apps that ask for too many permissions and take advantage of too many of your privacy settings — like GPS, phone and sms logs, personal identity information – with similar apps that don’t.
  • Opt out of sharing your information. Opt out of every advertising network that you can. Visit the National Do Not Call Registry and register your smartphone and home phone numbers at www.donotcall.gov. If you use a Google email account and have an Android phone, even with your GPS off, it’s tracking your every move. (Log in to maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0 and see for yourself.) Go into your smartphone or tablet settings and turn this feature off. In your Android phone, go to Settings, then Location, select Google Location Reporting and set Location History to off. The same holds true for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iTunes. You need to find the location and privacy settings and turn off access under Settings, then Privacy then Location.
  • Your browser is a double agent – keep it clean. It is spying on you for advertisers unless you block and remove cookies and delete the cache frequently. In your web browser settings, delete your history, all cookies and passwords and the cache. You should do this frequently so you don’t leave personal information sitting around on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
  • Remove third-party Facebook plugins. Third-party plugins are mini applications designed to eavesdrop on your behavior in Facebook and possibly grab information about your habits within that social network. Some websites you visit will require you to log in using Facebook, and then you have to trust them to connect to your Facebook account. This is very risky. Read their privacy policy and make sure they are a legitimate business before you risk doing this.
  • Only shop on the websites of companies you already trust. If you don’t know where the merchant is located, don’t shop online there. If they don’t have a corporate address or are located in another country, it is risky for you and you may never see the goods you think you purchased. Also, if their shopping cart experience is not an HTTPS browser session, then everything you type in, your name, address and credit card information, is going over the internet unencrypted — in plain view.
  • Turn off geotagging – your photos are full of information. Twitter and Instagram as well as your iPhone will give away your location. Most people
don’t realize Twitter and Instagram both use geotagging for everything you send out. Geotagging stores the latitude and longitude of your tweet or image. Pictures you take on an iPhone usually store geotagging information, as well. The less information you give out about where you are located, the safer you are.
  • Don’t use cash or debit cards – use credit cards, wisely. Credit cards allow you to travel with less cash, and if you’re purchasing online, it’s safer to give your credit card than your debit card information. The same holds true when you visit your local retail outlet. The reason? If you experience identity theft, credit card laws allow you to keep all of your credit, with no responsibility during an investigation. With a debit card, your bank can tie up your money in the amount equivalent to the fraudulent transactions for up to 30 days.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.


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Want a higher networth? Start by…

buying a home!

Most housing markets saw a crash in home values around 2008.  That has left some people questioning whether they should buy a home, or rent instead.  Here is a pretty good reason to buy – the average homeowners’ net worth is over 30 times greater than that of the average renter.   Who doesn’t want to be on the winning side of that statistic?

Homeownership’s Impact on Net Worth