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Abode: Time to Refinance?





The Fed Cut: Get Ready to Refinance

This past Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut interests rates by .5% — an emergency attempt to blunt the impact of the Coronavirus on the economy. Of course most experts will agree that lowering rates won’t have much impact on an economy dealing with the virus. But one place where the rate cut will have an impact is mortgage rates.

Following the move, the yield on the 10-year U.S Treasury note fell below 1%, a record low. That’s key to the housing market because the 10-year Treasury yield is a  benchmark for mortgages. It’s just a matter of time until lenders lower their rates to reflect the U.S. Treasury note, but at a minimum, experts are expecting mortgage rates at 3.25″% or lower in the next few weeks.

So this might be a good time to take advantage of the cut and think about refinancing. Should you refinance now? It depends on your personal situation — how long you plan to stay in your home, how much you hope to save each month, plans to pull some cash out, and what you think your house is worth.

Things are changing day to day, but for now, it might be a good time to give your lender a call and see if it’s worth refinancing now. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime refinancing opportunity!



Add Texture & Charm with Shiplap

While she didn’t invent it, HGTV’s Joanna Gaines made shiplap popular, installing it in several of her TV Homes. Shiplap is a special type of inter-locking wood board, initially used in early ship building to construct the hull of a ship. The boards overlapped each other and formed a watertight surface, making the vessel seaworthy.

Today, shiplap is trending as a unique design element that can creatively accent a wall. These wooden panels are an increasingly popular style choice for the inside of homes—from the bathroom, kitchen, to your foyer. Above, whitewashed shiplap is added to a wall, transforming it into a charming space for coats, keys and decorative catchalls.

Shiplap is popular in farmhouse and cottage style homes as well as contemporary and traditional. The boards are installed horizontally (not vertically, which would then just be wood panels.) White is the most popular color; natural/rustic add texture. Here, a gray painted shiplap is used in the bedroom. Have a bare wall? Be creative!



“Oh, The Places We’ll Go!”

“I’m moving to Europe,” Scott explained to me as his reason for selling his home.

“I spent some time in Trieste and the Czech Republic and am thinking of starting my next life chapter in someplace like Ljubljana.”

“Ooh!” I cried out. “Ljubljana is one of my favorite places in the world!”

“You’ve heard of it!?” He asked in disbelief.

“I’ve actually been there,” I smiled, remembering back when we visited the capitol of Slovenia. It’s an idyllic city with a small river running through it and a castle set high in the heart of the city.

For the next hour we exchanged travel stories, never once mentioning real estate. He told of nights in Dubrovnik; days in Paris. I boasted hiking through Monkey Island in Belize and a raft trip out into the Barents Sea in the Arctic Ocean.

One of the things I love about selling real estate is meeting people like Scott, getting to know their story, and sharing that human connection.

Eventually, we looped back to the reason I was there — to talk about selling his home, a place he had owned since the early 1960’s.

“What’s my house worth?” he finally asked. It wasn’t a curious question, but a vital one. The answer would reveal if he could finance his dream. We crunched the numbers and drilled down to his net proceeds. He smiled.

Owning a home is one of the wisest investments you can make. It’s the only commodity you can buy, paint over, hammer, take down walls, scratch up the floors . . . and years later, it will be worth more than when you bought it. And throughout the years, you even get to put a roof over your head.

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that what I do helps people create financial independence, provide shelter, and allows folks like Scott to live their dreams. Coming, Dr. Seuss!

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