A major challenge in 2006 was the number of foreclosures. There will always be foreclosures, but they spiked by over 100% prior to the crash. Foreclosures sold at a discount and, in many cases, lowered the values of adjacent homes. We are ending 2018 with foreclosures at historic pre-crash numbers – much fewer foreclosures than we ended 2006 with.
Ten years ago, many homeowners irrationally converted much, if not all, of their equity into cash with a cash-out refinance. When foreclosures rose and prices fell, they found themselves in a negative equity situation where their homes were worth less than their mortgage amounts. Many just walked away from their houses which led to even more foreclosures entering the market. Today is different. Over forty-eight percent of homeowners have at least 50% equity in their homes and they are not extracting their equity at the same rates they did in 2006.
One of the causes of the crash ten years ago was that lending standards were almost non-existent. NINJA loans (no income, no job, and no assets) no longer exist. ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) still exist but only as a fraction of the number from a decade ago. Though mortgage standards have loosened somewhat during the last few years, we are nowhere near the standards that helped create the housing crisis ten years ago.
Though it is difficult to afford a home for many Americans, data shows that it is more affordable to purchase a home now than it was from 1985 to 2000. And, it requires much less of a percentage of your income today than it did in 2006.
The housing industry is facing some rough waters heading into 2019. However, the graphs above show that the market is much healthier than it was prior to the crash ten years ago.
.1. Know Your Body's Best Cooling Points:If you’re stuck in the heat and can’t find get to a cooler place, know your body’s best cooling points, e.g., your wrist and neck. By applying a ice cubes wrapped in a towel (or any other cold object) to these pulse points, you’ll cool down more quickly and effectively.2. Stay Cool While You SleepSummer heat is worst when you’re trying to get some shuteye, because a higher body temperature makes it harder to fall asleep. If you feel like an insomniac in summer, cool your head with a special pillow like the Chillow, sleep on top of a wet sheet (aka the “Egyptian method”), or try one of these other strategies in our cool sleeping guide or this infographic.3. Cool Your Car Down QuicklyThis Japanese trick will get your oven-like car closer to bearable temperature. Roll down one window and open and close the opposite door a few times to cool that car down.4. Optimize Your WindowsYou might not need to run your air conditioner if you pay a little more attention to your windows in the summer. Close the windows and use insulated drapes to keep the sun out during the day and open them at night when the sun is down. You can also hang a damp towel in front of the window to cool the air flowing into your home and open opposing windows or windows on the top and bottom floors for maximum air flow.5. Exercise Comfortably, Even in the HeatJust because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. You can get used to exercising in the heat and use common sense strategies such as switching to water sports, avoiding the sun when it’s strongest, and exercising in short bursts. Precooling techniques can also prevent you from overheating when you work out in hot weather.
6. Keep Your Food Cool and Avoid Using the OvenSummer might be a great time to eat outdoors, but some foods and drinks aren’t that enjoyable when heated by the sun. You can make a zeer pot(aka evaporative cooler) for your food and drinks with just two containers or create ice blocks for your cooler using old milk cartons. When it’s too hot to cook, consider making cold soups, relying on electrical appliances like the versatile rice cooker, or try these “no-cook” or “oven-free” recipe ideas.7. Optimize Your FansDid you know that if you face your fan out, rather than in at night, your room will stay cooler and you might be able to sleep more comfortably? Day or night, you can use a temperature controller (or build one yourself) to automatically turn the fan on or off based on the temperature and save your energy—literally. If you have a ceiling fan, run it counter-clockwise(the “summer” higher-speed setting) for optimum cooling.8. Keep Excessive Sweat at BayFor many of us, sweat-inducing humidity is the worst part of summer. Even if you don’t have excessive sweat issues, you can get the sweating under control with a few tricks, like applying antiperspirant at night so it works more effectively and wearing breathable clothing materials, such as cotton.9. Drink More Water
You know how important it is to stay hydrated all year round. When you’re sweating a lot, either because of exercise or the summer heat, drinking enough water becomes even more important. As the CDC suggests, think of your body like an air conditioner:
Whenever your body heats up from physical activity or the hot weather outside, your internal air conditioner turns on and you begin to sweat. And remember, now that your air conditioner is using its coolant (your sweat), it is important to refill the tank — by drinking lots of H2O.
As with other hydration myths, water isn’t your only option, but it’s free and easily accessible for most of us. Even if you have to trick yourself into drink more water and learn to love the taste of it, you’ll be much more comfortable if you keep refilling your water glass.Source: lifehacker.com
Buying a home is one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever make– so you need to make sure you’re ready before taking the plunge.
The first order of business in prepping to buy a home? Knowing what it means to be prepared. There’s a lot that goes into the home buying process. To help you navigate it all, we’ve broken it down into 7 easy-to-follow steps.
Consider the additional costs you’ll incur in owning a home vs. renting one. Making a mortgage payment vs. paying rent may seem ideal for a couple of reasons:
However, owning a home means making additional payments that may typically covered be covered in your rent payment, such as:
Still want to buy a home? On to step two.
This way, you don’t waste time searching for homes that are too far out of your financial reach.
The best way to find the right lender is through word of mouth. Ask friends with home-buying experience (or experience in the real estate industry). If you’ve already got a real estate agent lined up, consult them.
Together, you + the lender will calculate the ‘nitty gritty’– a.k.a. everything you can expect to pay, from one-time fees to monthly costs. They’ll also be able to let you know whether you are financially preparedto buy a home– or if you’ve still need to get your ducks in a row.
What you’ll need to bring to the meeting:
What to expect:
Pro tip: If you’ve already done some thinking about your ideal price range + neighborhood, let your lender know. Bonus points if you bring in a copy of a listing that closely matches what you’re looking for.
Why does this help? Because the home you can afford in one neighborhood may be drastically different than what you can buy in another (due to factors like county taxes + flood insurance– which can vary greatly around the Lowcountry). Having this info handy will get you more accurate results during your meeting.
This is where you get to play ‘House Hunters.’ Pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for– but make sure there’s room to breathe– in case you can’t afford your absolute dream home.
Factors to consider:
To make this step easier, print out the following checklists provided by Stanley Martin Homes. They can help you determine where you’re willing to be flexible and where you gotta have your way.
Pro tip: Print out a few copies of these forms (even more if you’re buying a home with your spouse or family). You can figure out what’s most important to everyone involved– as it may take a few tries to reach a consensus.
Features that matter
Amenities that matter
Thinking you would rather just build your own home? Stanley Martin Homes offers a variety of floorplansdesigned for the way you live and with many of the amenities + features you are looking for right in Charleston.
Don’t be afraid to do a bit of speed-dating in order to find the right agent. You’ll want to look for someone who:
What a real estate agent will do for you:
Once you’ve found the home you’d like to place an offer on, your real estate agent will work to draw up a contract and have both parties sign.
In a fast-moving market like CHS, you’ll want to make this happen quickly– but keep in mind that it is binding.
The contract may include certain stipulations– such as who gets to choose the closing attorney, or what the home inspection entails. You’ll want to talk with your real estate agent to make sure they properly explain all the fine print.
DYK that in South Carolina, the buyer is legally entitled to the right to pick an attorney?
Along the way, you’ll likely encounter sellers, developers, or lenders who prefer to use their own attorney– and may event offer discounts + incentives to sway you to do so.
So, what’s the perk of picking the lawyer? If it’s your lawyer, they will have your best interest in mind. Having a legal expert at bat for you may cost you upfront, but could save you major $$$ in the long runby making sure nothing goes wrong.
To finalize your home deal, you need two final ( + equally important) things: home insurance + a home inspection.
Your lender, lawyer, or real estate agent may be able to help you find the insurer. You can also typically bundle it with your existing policies, like car insurance.
Last but not least, you’ll need to get your future dig inspected. In some case, the terms of your contract could even depend on the home getting a passing grade during its inspection.
After that, if all goes according to plan, it’s time to close on the home + get your keys to move in.
And, before you ask: Sorry– as much as we’d love to, the CHStoday team is unable to help you pack up + move all of your stuff.Resouce: #chstoday @chstoday
12 Holiday Safety Tips for Your Home
1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
2. Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles.
4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.
5. Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
7. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
8. Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.
9. Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
10. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your Joint Base Charleston home -- especially near sleeping areas.
11. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.
6 Tips to Save Electricity This Summer
1. Cut down on energy leaks. This includes turning off lights and other electronics. When you leave a room, shut off the light behind you. Unplug electronics that aren’t being used, such as cell phone chargers, small appliances like toasters, or power strips that provide power for many appliances. Big-screen TVs, DVD players, digital photo frames, and other appliances use more energy than you realize, and certain appliances use energy even if they are turned off.
2. Spend time outdoors. Spending a lot of time indoors will naturally lead to higher energy costs because you will be using lights, electronics, and air conditioning. Spending more time outdoors means you can turn off indoor electronics, and in the process, you will enjoy this beautiful city. Turn off all electronics before leaving the house.
3. Close blinds, storm windows, or shades during the day. The sun can heat up a room very quickly. Keeping the sun from shining into windows will cut down on cooling costs, and many stores sell curtains specifically designed for this purpose.
4. Use fans instead of air conditioning. Circulation is important to using less air conditioning during the summer. Cool down the house early in the morning by placing a box fan in the window and opening up another window at the opposite end of the house, in addition to turning on ceiling fans..
5. Use air conditioning efficiently. Set the thermostat to 78, and don't lower it. If you want to invest in an energy efficient air conditioner, these are 10-15% more efficient.
6. Use electricity during off-peak hours. If you plan to use electronics like a washer and dryer, air conditioning, and computers or televisions, try to do so during off-peak hours like early in the morning or late at night. Electrical companies charge less for energy consumed during off-peak hours. It is recommended you wait until after 6 pm to cook, do laundry, or wash dishes on days the temperature is over 90 degrees.