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It’s August and for many of us that means it’s time to start planning for the new school year! Looking for school supply lists, new student registration information, or open house dates? Follow the links below for all the information you need for the start of the 2015-2016 school year

August 24th – Classes Begin

Georgetown ISD – more information here.

Austin ISD – more information here.

Leander ISD – more information here.
August 25th – Classes Begin

Round Rock ISD – more information here.

Perhaps your children are heading off to college. If the cost of tuition, housing and books concerns you, you might want to consider refinancing your home.

Tera Gilbert with New Penn Financial suggests that if you’ve been thinking of reducing your loan term from a 30-year fixed to a 10-, 15- or 20-year loan, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and start the refinance process. But while you’re at it, pull some cash out during the process to take care of college expenses. In Texas, you can pull cash out during a refinance up to 80 percent of the current market value of your home. And that cash can be used for any purpose you choose, including college tuition.

Say you have a 30-year fixed rate at 4.875% on a $300,000 mortgage and your home is worth $550,000. You determine that refinancing that note into a 20-year loan at 3.50% will save you a considerable amount of interest over time. During this process, you decide to not just change the term and reduce your rate but you also pull out $20,000 for college. The difference in monthly payments is just over $100 per month. Where else can you leverage $20,000 at such a rate?

If you would like to talk about your options and see if this process makes sense for you, send me a message and I’d be happy to connect you.

Home Financing, by Generation

  • 88% of buyers financed their home purchase, including 97% of generation Y
  • YOUNGER BUYERS PUT LESS MONEY DOWN: Generation Y put down an average of 5% and generation X put down 10%, compared to the silent generation who put down an average of 23%


12% of buyers thought that saving for a down payment was difficult .



  • 64% of buyers dipped into their savings or a gift from a relative or friend
  • 31% of buyers used the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence
  • Older buyers were more likely to use the proceeds from their home sale


  • 42% said student loans, which was cited by more than half of generation Y buyers
  • 38% said credit card debt, which was cited by almost half of Baby Boomers and generation X buyers
  • 31% said car loans

Thanks to Holly Schuler at Gracy Title for this information!

Home Mortgages: Should You Buy or Sell This Year?

Although interest rates are slightly higher than they were last year, they are still at historically low levels, and buyers are eager to lock in before they increase. Nearly half of Americans feel that interest rates will increase in the next 12 months. Here’s an overview of the mortgage market:


30-year fixed rate – 4.20%

15-year fixed rate –  3.31%

5/1-year ARM – 3.05%

Adjustable – 2.40%


49% said that it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today, up 4% from last fall.

$154,365 – Average mortgage debt.

Mortgage interest rates averaged 4.36% on a 30 year loan in Q1 2014.


3 Reasons to learn more about the mortgage market:

1. If you’re buying a home, knowing more about the mortgage market can help you lock into lower interest rates.

2. If you’re a homeowner, learning more about the refinancing options available can help you lock into a lower interest rate.

3. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the future, you can find out about the financing options available to get an accurate picture of how much you’ll need to save to buy a home.


Thanks to Holly Schuler at Gracy Title for this information!

Government Shutdown Effects on Real Estate

With interest rates steadily rising, the government shutdown has caused a slight dip in interest rates to its lowest figures in four months.  For the week ending October 3, national averages of mortgage rates went down for a third straight week.  Freddie Mac reports the following averages:

30-year fixed: 4.22%
15-year fixed: 3.29%

These are approximately 0.5-0.75% higher than the rates 12 months ago, which we all know were historically low.

The other big effect is most FHA, USDA, and VA loans are experiencing delays in closing since the… government… is… shut… down.  Trust me, it’s not that obvious to everyone.


Top Ten Rental Markets for Investors

According to RealtyTrac and RentRage, Williamson County, Texas, is the fourth best rental market nationwide for investors.  The stats are based on gross yield percentages.  If you’d like more information on investing in Texas real estate, call Edwin Lui, a licensed Texas Realtor with an Economics degree that might be of use when determining gross yield.  He’s also a fellow investor.

Williamson County, Texas:
Median market value: $158,000
Median rent value: $1,403
Gross yield: 10.7%


VA and FHA Loans – Additional Selling Tools for Homeowners

Homeowners who purchased their homes with a VA or FHA loan can use their low interest rates as an extra incentive to buyers.  By assuming the current loan terms, buyers can take advantage of low interest rates and, in most cases, lower closing costs.  Another advantage is that the loan is further down the amortization schedule, which means more of their payments go toward principal.

Sellers can now offer a great home with a low interest rate that other homes cannot compete with.  Just remember that with VA loans, your VA eligibility is tied to the home as long as the loan exists.

If you are a homeowner in a similar situation, contact me for details.


Mortgage Rates Sink to New Lows Again

Cash is king, but when interest rates are this low, any educated buyer (homeowner or investor) would be wise to consider financing options and using all the leverage available.

Here’s a closer look for the national average rates for the week ending Sept. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new record low of 3.40 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s previous record low of 3.49 percent. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.01 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new low of 2.73 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s previous record low of 2.77 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.28 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.71 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.76 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.02 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged a new low of 2.60 percent this week, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.61 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.83 percent.

Check out the full article here: Mortgage Rates Sink to New Lows Again

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