Alaska Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 16, 2018

Choosing A Real Estate Agent

Today I’m sharing the 3 things you’d never know about choosing a Real Estate Agent:

1: Pick someone that makes you feel comfortable. You’re going to be spending a lot of time communicating with this person throughout the process of buying or selling so it’s important that you trust their judgement and enjoy working with them.

 

 

2. Choose someone who has a passion for their job but also has boundaries. Real Estate Agents never have an actual day off where the industry shuts down until 8:00 AM Monday morning. They are always “on” and it’s important to work with someone who will be available to you but who also has boundaries. If they don’t work Sunday’s (unless it’s an emergency) because they spend time with family, respect that about them because they will be a lot happier and energetic serving you if they respect themselves as well.

 

 

3. There is a lot more to buying a home than opening up doors to pretty houses and a lot more to selling a home than sticking a for sale sign in your yard. There are several steps between an accepted offer and closing on a home that you might not even be aware of. So you want to find out what your agent does to get you to the closing table successfully and what it’s like to work with them. There is more to the agent you choose than the commission they charge or the number of listings they’ve sold. Dig deeper than that!

 

victoria roberts

Posted in Real Estate Info
April 13, 2018

Fresh Home Upgrades for Spring

Fresh Home Upgrades for Spring
decorative image

After a long winter cooped up indoors, spring is the perfect time to start reimagining your home and making upgrades that create a fresh, welcoming vibe. These project ideas—some big, some small—can help breathe new life into your home so that you're ready to enjoy your favorite rooms to the fullest. 

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Air it out. Months of closed windows and doors can make any room feel dusty and stale. As soon as temperatures allow, throw open the windows and skylights to let the fresh air chase away the remnants of winter. It's also the perfect time to launder window treatments and clean area rugs. If you're considering an update to the overall décor, changing out these textiles is an easy and affordable way to create a new look. 

Paint to perfection. Over time, once cheerful walls can grow dull. Create a livelier ambiance with a fresh coat of paint, either in the same shade or something completely new. If you're not sure exactly where to start, tackle the project room by room. To choose the right hue, select a favorite item in the room, such as an heirloom throw blanket or a piece of wall art, and consider color shades that complement the item. 

Make what's old new again. Sometimes a fresh perspective is as simple as rearranging a room to better fit your needs. Over time, furnishings can become almost an afterthought because they've been in place so long. Try moving things around to create new conversation groupings or to highlight a piece that has been tucked away in the shadows. 

Get earth smart. With all of the new growth and hues of green that abound during spring, it's natural to be more mindful of the environment. Earth-friendly upgrades like switching out inefficient lighting or installing low-flow toilets and shower heads can make a sizable difference.

 

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http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

 

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

 

Posted in Home Improvement
March 12, 2018

Look at Your Home Through a Buyer’s Eyes: Making Your To-Do List

 

Selling your home is one of the most tricky parts of owning a home, really. There are always little projects that you meant to get to and didn’t, and things that probably weren’t perfect, but didn’t bother you enough to fix. You can’t possibly do everything to make your house like new before putting it on the market, but there’s a minimum level that most buyers will expect.

How many of those things left on your “to do” list absolutely need to become “to dones?”

Getting Ready to Sell that Home Sweet Home

Before you get too serious about selling, it’s a good idea to have your Realtor over for a quick walkthrough. They can give you a punch list of items they think should be updated, fixed or addressed in some other way before you sell your home. You never know when the right buyer will walk through the door, your house needs to be ready to go from the moment you put it on the market. Putting your best foot forward is key to sales success.

That doesn’t mean you need to completely gut and remodel your home, but you should make sure everything is in proper working order and ready for a new occupant. That can be a lot to wrap your head around, though. If you get overwhelmed, start with the list below.

Entry / Living Room

For most homes, the living room and foyer are a combo unit, but if yours are separate understand that this same advice applies to both. The moment that door opens, and even before it does, your potential buyers are forming an opinion of your home. What the open door reveals had better pack a punch (or at least not terrify them).

Make sure that the windows are very clean to let in as much light as possible, that all your light bulbs are in good working order, the flooring is clean and in good shape, any tile grout is intact and the walls are flawless. A neutral color is always a good idea, but white is kind of a turn-off for a lot of buyers. Blues, light grays, beige and creams are all good choices for paint colors.

Dining Room

Your dining room should follow the same advice as your living room, with one exception. Since there’s probably some amount of eating that happens in this part of the house, you’ll want to check the flooring to ensure there’s no staining or spots under the table.

This is a particular problem if there’s carpet. Do not attempt to cover spots with a rug, this could be considered a “hidden, latent defect.” Basically, it means that you’re hiding damage from a potential buyer. That’s a big fat no go.

Instead, call a professional carpet cleaner (you can meet one in the HomeKeepr community!) or just own it and try not to panic if the buyer asks for the carpet to be replaced or cleaned before closing.

Kitchen

The list of things in your kitchen can be long, but we’ll try to make it reasonable. Check all the items on this list, one at a time:

Appliances that stay with the home
• Are they fully functional?
• Do they have an attractive appearance?
• Do they match one another?
• Are they clean?

Kitchen sink area:
• Is the sink free of damage?
• Does it drain well?
• Does the disposal work?
• Does the sprayer work?
• Is the faucet leaking?

Counters, backsplash and cabinets:
• Do the counters have worn or burned spots?
• Are there grouted areas that are needing regrouted?
• Do the cabinet doors open and close properly?
• Is there water damage anywhere?
• Is everything clean and not tacky to touch?
• Do the cabinets have worn finish?

Bedrooms

Bedrooms are by far the hardest, especially if you have kids. If you’re going to have to live in the house until you find a buyer, invest in some storage systems — they’ll pay off in the long run. Organize everything as best you can to give the rooms the appearance of more space, clean the windows, install the lightbulbs, clean the carpets and instruct everyone to keep it tidy. If anything can be moved out to a storage unit, do it.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are much like kitchens, they have a lot of wet, moving parts. That being said, they also have basically the same punch list. The only addition would be the shower or tub units. Check the faucets and showerheads for leakage and make sure there’s no mold on your tub or shower surrounds. Clean that stuff within an inch of its life and if you can’t get rid of the stains, recaulk. It’s an easy way to make that tub or shower look like you’ve never even used it.

Garage

There’s not a lot to do in the garage, but do make sure your door opener is functioning properly, that the wheels on the door are lubricated if it’s making a terrible sound when you open it or close it and that you’ve tidied the things inside as best as you can. If you don’t really use your garage, you can dress it up a lot by applying an epoxy coating to the floor. The DIY kits run around $100 and, although they don’t add any value to your home, they’re far more impressive than an old, stained concrete floor.

General Indoors

Overall, it’ll help a lot if you run around your house and make sure that all your lightbulbs are fresh, all the windows are cleaned, you remember to leave the blinds open during the day and that the paint makes each room feel bigger. The key is to bring in more light and then use lighter colors to keep it bouncing around the room. A new coat of white ceiling paint won’t hurt your efforts, either.

Paint is great for a lot of reasons. It can seal in smells you might have never noticed, as well as giving the house the scent of fresh construction. That smell paints a picture for a buyer that says this house has been taken care of and they can trust that it’s in great shape!

General Outdoors

When it comes to the great outdoors, keep your lawn mowed, trim your hedges, clean up any projects that you started and never finished. Landscapers, trash haulers and metal scrappers can help a lot with these tasks. You’ll also want to check out your roof and gutters to make sure they’re in good shape because your potential buyers will be doing the same thing.

The first thing a buyer sees is the view from the street, make sure you run out there during the outdoor prep work to check your look. When you start to wonder if you should actually sell this amazing house at all, you’ve probably got the curb appeal knocked out.

When You Can’t Get It All Done

You don’t have an unlimited timeline, that’s completely understandable, but your home should be ready to sell if you want to get top dollar. If you can’t do the work, just call on someone who can. My Keller Williams App is full of professionals who can do specific tasks like cleaning your carpets or help with more general things on your list, like ensuring the whole kitchen is in ready-to-show condition. You can download below.

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

 

 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Real Estate Info
March 5, 2018

5 Paint Colors That Reduce Stress

5 Paint Colors That Reduce Stress

In this hectic, modern world coming home to a relaxing space has become even more important.

Creating a space which allows you and your family to renew their energy in a calm, peaceful environment is easier than you might think.

The design colors you choose do more than anything else to create the atmosphere you want, and nothing is easier to change than your paint colors. Here are 5 paint colors that reduce stress:

1. Blue – Blue is often used in bedrooms and is shown to reduce tension.

2. Violet – Not the vibrant purple, but subtle lavender hues can bring an inner balance and sense of peace.

3. Green – Reflecting the natural environment of the outdoors, green is visually soothing and refreshing.

4. Grey – One of the best new neutrals, a cooling grey shade is easy on the eye and creates the illusion of larger space.

5. Pink – Long hailed by Feng Shui experts as an energy color, pink provides a lovely backdrop for a bright space. Our homes serve as the center of our personal lives. With our busy schedules, coming home should be relaxing and regenerating. Changing the feel of our homes is as simple as a weekend painting project. 

 

Find Similar Homes in the Area

Start your home search today.. 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Home Improvement
March 1, 2018

13818 Hunterwood Lane Eagle River AK 99577

Search current inventory of Eagle River Homes and Condos

Listing Details

4 Bedroom Townhome For Sale in Eagle River AK

13818 Hunterwood Lane
Price: $215,000
MLS number: 429864
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1357

Call Victoria Roberts at 907-351-9434 to see if this property is still available and arrange a showing.

You Will Love the easy access of this home just a hop to the highway and walking distance to stores.

Wonderful opportunity to own a stunning townhome condo in the heart of Eagle River Alaska. This townhome, including The granite floor kitchen and Island make entertaining close to the food a definite option. A soothing yet vibrant cool paint palette, this home is sure to wow amnd a pleasure to market! The open concept lets the flow run seamlessly.


Amazing Granite Floor Kitchen

victoria roberts eagle river 99577

Click here to see additional images of this Eagle River Townhome.


Kitchen Perfect for Entertaining

The open concept is perfect for entertaining and gathering around the Island in this kitchen. The granite floor and color palette make the kitchen come together, but it's the vast amount of light and space that makes bringing friends together so easy. You have a great size pantry to store all the supplies you would need.

 

Spacious Living Room

 

 

 

 

Bedrooms Are A Great Size

The master bedroom is spacious with bamboo flooring. You will have two bedrooms up and two downstairs. The rooms downstairs have a connecting Jack and Jill Bath.

 

Eagle River Alaska

Eagle River is a community within the Anchorage Municipality. Eagle River is seperated by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Making it a great commute to the bases and a smaller city life offering all you would need.

 

Find Similar Homes in the Area

Start your home search today.. 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Listings
Feb. 28, 2018

Investing In Your Home: Which Updates Return Best?

 

You’ve lived in your home a little while and you think you sort of understand how it should flow. You’re starting to see the warts and little bits of rough that people tend to gloss over when the neighbors pop by to borrow the lawnmower. It’s not that these things make your home flawed — all homes are flawed, they’re made from flawed materials, after all — it’s just that your home could be better and like a skilled craftsman, you’re starting to see places where you could bring out greater potential.

 

But, which projects make the most sense to do first? Will any of them actually pay for themselves in gained home equity, or are these changes things you’ll have to consider sunk costs in your home and investments strictly in your own enjoyment? And furthermore, are there even changes you can make yourself that will be worth the bother? 

 

Say Hello to Renovation Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report

For the past 31 years, Renovation Magazine has been trying to answer these and other questions by performing a national survey about home renovations and the resell values that tended to accompany them. It comes out early in the new year, giving everyone in the industry something to look forward to after the holiday season. The 2018 report was no less exciting than any other year has been, though there were few surprises.

 

For example, the top returns in 2016 and 2017 came from midrange fiberglass attic insulation, at 116.9 percent and 107.7 percent, respectively. This year, the number one spot went to another small project: upscale garage door replacements, recouping 98.3 percent of the job cost. In fact, this year’s Top 10 is almost entirely made up of smaller, more simple projects, just like the last two years have been, many of them the same projects, just in different slots.

 

There’s a helpful chart below to show what I mean.

 

 

 

 

What does this mean? Well, it means two things, especially if you dig deeper into the data. As a national average, the same projects have been worth making the investment in for the last few years and secondly, there are very few things you can do to your home and get the full cost back out.

 

Your home is like a piggy bank, but it has some sort of containment issue. You put in a dollar, it only manages to hold on to 90 cents. But, you can think of that loss as the price you pay for getting to use all that cool new stuff while you’re there. Maybe that’ll soften the blow a bit.

 

Ok, So What Bigger Projects Will Help My Home’s Value?

Again, according to the data provided by Remodeling Magazine’s well-respected survey, bigger projects that should get you some attention (and recoup decently on their own costs) this year include:

 

#4. Adding on a wooden deck. (82.8 percent)

#5. A minor midrange kitchen remodel. (81.1 percent)

#7. Replacing your windows with vinyl thermopanes. (74.3 percent)

#8. Upgrading your bathroom to a universal design. (70.6 percent)

#9. Just upgrading your bathroom, period. (70.1 percent)

 

You may notice a trend here. Kitchens and bathrooms are a big deal. They’re always a big deal. In fact, for most houses, it’s the kitchen and the bathroom that really sell the house. You can have the best curb appeal possible, but if your bathroom is difficult to use or your kitchen has no cabinets or non-functional work spaces, you put your money in the wrong places.

 

Curb appeal does matter, otherwise, that garage door and the stone veneer wouldn’t appear in the chart above so many times. People want to buy a nice looking home, which is what your home values are really based on. An appraisal is nothing more than a complicated calculation that determines what an average buyer would give for your house in its current condition in the current market, after all.

 

When you’re thinking about putting money into your home to increase the equity you hold or to improve its value for a sale down the line, just ask yourself if the thing you’re about to do is something that a random person off the street could appreciate. For example, do not paint your ceiling blood red. No matter what HDTV says. Do paint an accent wall red if you really need to paint something.

 

How Do I Get Started on Bigger Projects?

If you’ve never been part of a larger remodeling project, you will most definitely need the guidance of a pro, at minimum. There’s a lot of planning and a whole box of tools (both literal and metaphorical) that it takes to put together an effort like that. After all, you want your project to look like it does in your mind’s eye, don’t you?

 Start your home search today.. 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 27, 2018

Getting a Tax Refund? Consider Using It for Your Down Payment

While most people dread tax time, if you are getting a tax refund, this time of year can seem almost as rewarding as end-of-the-year bonus season.

Whether you are receiving a refund of a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars, if you’re contemplating buying your first home, you may want to deposit your refund into an account dedicated to your down payment fund.

 

“Using your tax refund as a portion of your down payment can be a great idea,” said Clint Madison, a senior mortgage adviser with Envoy Mortgage in Walnut Creek, CA. “The more you put into the down payment, the less you have to borrow.”

 

How much will you get, and how much do you need?

According to the IRS, the average refund for 2013 tax returns was $3,013 as of March 24, slightly higher than the average for 2012 tax returns. A tax refund of $3,000 can go a long way to a down payment on a home, particularly if you’re using an FHA-insured loan to finance the purchase since you would need just 3.5% of the home price for the down payment.

 

The required down payment on a median-priced home, which the National Association of Realtors says was $189,000 in February, would be $6,615 with an FHA loan. If you opt for conventional financing, you would need at least $9,450 for 5% down, $18,900 for 10% down, or $37,800 for a 20% down payment.

 

 

“Putting down 20% eliminates the extra cost of mortgage insurance,” Madison said. “Even a more modest 10% would improve negotiating power and can provide better interest rates than a lower down payment.”

 

Is a tax refund actually a good thing?

Arzaga pointed out, however, that the best tax refund is no tax refund.

 

“Most people view a tax refund as getting something back from the government,” Arzaga said. “Emotionally, it feels good. But practically, the taxpayer is getting the worse part of the deal by having the government give back the excess payment with no interest payment. The time value of money and the power of compounding make collecting the additional income and saving over time in an interest-bearing account a better deal.”

 

Other uses for your tax refund

You may be tempted to use your tax refund for a splurge, but one of the best ways to accelerate your savings and improve your finances is to take “found money”—such as a tax refund or an unexpected bonus—and put it directly into your savings or to pay off debt. Before you do anything else with your refund, make sure you have at least a minimal emergency fund to cover your expenses for a few months or to pay an unanticipated bill.

 

If you have an emergency fund in place, then putting hundreds or thousands of dollars into a fund for your down payment, closing costs and cash reserves for home maintenance can be a great way to put you on the fast track to homeownership.

 

“First-time buyers will realize an even bigger tax refund in the next year because they’ll have a new write-off in the interest paid on their mortgage,” Madison said. “Add this to the prospect of equity gained through homeownership and it’s a win-win.”

Posted by the NAR

 

Start your home search today.. 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

 

Posted in Real Estate Info
Feb. 14, 2018

Top 5 Home Staging Trends in 2018

Victoria roberts alaska real estate

 

 

Top 5 Home Staging Trends in 2018

 

 

Staging a home is essential when trying to sell a property. Staging provides the backdrop, so potential homeowners can see how each space and be used and imagine themselves as the new homeowners. It is believed that staging helps a home to sell quickly, reducing the amount of time a home is on the market. Below are five home staging trends in 2018 to help you make a quick sale.

 

Color


Color choices are key. For 2018, cream, white and beige is making a comeback. Keep color palettes neutral to stay on trend.

 

Dramatic Color Accents


While light neutrals are making a comeback, accents should be a bright pop of color. From deep purple to hot pink, use a dramatic color as your accent when staging a home.

 

Mixing Metals


In the past, a home might have one metal type used in décor, be it platinum, gold or silver. Today, you can mix metals, creating a cohesive and modern look.

 

Natural Materials


Another big trend is using natural materials in the décor of the home. From bamboo and cork to reclaimed wood, natural materials can be used in a variety of ways to stage the home.

 

Farmhouse Style


Thank HGTV for the latest trend of Farmhouse Style. Homeowners now want to see shiplap, barn doors and other farmhouse accents in the home.

 

 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

 

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 13, 2018

Use The Right Paint Finish

Victoria Roberts 

 

Ready to paint your home? Be sure to use the right finishes in each room and feature to make the best impact in your home. Using the wrong finishes can backfire for home owners if the wrong ones are used in the wrong spaces. Below, you'll find the most common finishes and recommendations on where they are best applied to.

- PAINT FINISHES - 

Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections.  It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.

Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as bedrooms, and interior walls.

Eggshell Enamel has a soft, velvety appearance and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin Enamel if you desire a pearl-like appearance, and are painting moderate to high traffic areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.

Semi-Gloss Enamel if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great from cabinets and trim, high-traffic areas and high-moisture areas.

Hi-Gloss Enamel creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for high-use surfaces

 

 Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 1, 2018

Your Need to Know Guide to the Debt to Income Ratio

As a functioning adult, you know there’s something about debt that you’re supposed to understand at this point in your life, right? Something about not having too much, or maybe not too much in relation to something else… but frankly, this stuff is kind of confusing and some days you’d just rather take your Visa, buy a pizza, have a massage and then take a nap.

Today, though, you’re on a quest. You’ve decided it’s time to stop renting and become a homeowner. You came here to get some really good information on how to do just that… so, let’s put the credit card away and talk about your debt to income ratio and why it matters to your future mortgage.

What is My Debt to Income Ratio?

If you’re not familiar with the term, don’t be shy, it’s one of the most common questions that first time homebuyers have when applying for a mortgage. That’s because there aren’t a lot of places where it’s obvious that your debt to income ratio is being used to determine your ability to get credit. It’s sort of figured out behind the scenes and you’re none the wiser.

At a very basic level, your debt to income ratio is simply what it sounds like, all your long term, semi-permanent debt compared to your current income. Usually your mortgage lender will do this as a monthly comparison to make it easy, but the ratio’s the same whether you compare month to month or year to year. If you have $1,200 a month in debt and $5,000 a month in income, that’s the same as if you had $14,400 in yearly debt and $60,000 in yearly income. Both come out to 24 percent, which is a pretty good debt to income ratio.

But, of course, it can’t be that easy, can it.

What’s Included in a Debt to Income Ratio?

Things that are included in your debt to income ratio are secured loans like a car loan or a boat loan, which are sort of guaranteed by the property that you’ve borrowed the money to purchase; unsecured loans like credit cards and lines of credit; student loans and any debt you’ve co-signed.

Let me repeat that last thing. Any debt you’ve cosigned is part of this figure. So, if you agreed to cosign a loan for your sister 20 years ago and she’s still paying on it, that’s still going to count against you, even though you’ve totally forgotten about it. If you’re on a joint account with your ex-husband, you’re still on the hook when it comes to debt to income.

Things that aren’t included, that are almost always assumed to be, are items like your car insurance, your utility bills, your cable bills, subscriptions and so forth. Basically, if you can cancel the payment at will (whether or not there are serious consequences like having no lights or being able to watch Game of Thrones), it’s probably not going to be included on your credit report unless you fail to pay as agreed. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get yourself a credit report from a reputable site like MyFICO.com, the Fair Isaac website, just so you can see what is actually reporting.

Adding It All Up

Figuring your debt to income ratio is pretty easy, the hardest part is figuring out what counts and what doesn’t. Just add up your monthly expenses and divide by your monthly gross income, before any taxes, insurance, 401k withdrawal and the like come out. There you go. That’s your debt to income ratio. Now we can do some stuff with it!

There are three major programs that most home buyers utilize across most of the United States. These are the FHA, VA and Conventional mortgages. Each has its own requirements and debt to income ratio ceilings. Some are more complicated than others.

FHA and Front End and Back End Ratios

For FHA, there are two kinds of debt to income ratios to keep in mind. One is called the front-end ratio, the other is, unoriginally, named the back-end ratio. The front-end ratio is only your potential future housing debt; the back-end ratio includes all your debts. With that in mind, the chart below shows how you’d look to an FHA lender as of the writing of this blog.

The first number in the column labeled “Maximum Qualifying Ratios (%)” is the front-end ratio, the second is the back-end ratio. Compensating factors can be thought of as other things you bring to the table to make you into a really awesome borrower. Since you have little to no experience at this mortgage thing, your FHA lender is understandably afraid of your eventually missing a payment in the 30 years you’re going to have a relationship, so they want evidence to show that you’re a stand-up kind of person.

 

FHA loan debt-to-income guidelines. Source: HUD Handbook 4000.1

Fannie Mae and DTI

Conventional loans are a bit easier. Fannie Mae is the principal agency that guarantees what’s known as a “conventional” or “conforming” loan. Fannie has siblings like Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, but they’re at the movies right now and we’re not going to involve them in the conversation. For our purposes, conventional loans are all about Fannie Mae.

In general, conventional loans tend to be more difficult to land, in part because they have more rigid income to debt requirements. For borrowers with credit scores of 680 or better and less than a 25 percent down payment, Fannie won’t allow more than a 36 percent debt to income ratio (but she only uses the one number, so at least it’s not more complicated than that). If your credit score is above 700 and your down payment is less than 25 of the home’s price, she’ll allow a 45 percent debt to income ratio.

When it comes to Fannie, bringing more money to the table will absolutely catch her eye. She believes firmly that all things that glitter are definitely gold. That magic number is 25 percent of the sales price of your home. So, if you’re floating in cash, but have a higher debt to income ratio or a little bit lower credit score, you could win brownie points this way.

Veterans Get More Leeway

If you’re a military vet and you’ve not used your VA mortgage benefits, you may be wondering about cashing in that particular chip. When it comes to the debt to income question, it’s a harder one to answer. Generally speaking, the VA wants to see a debt to income ratio below 41 percent, but like with other qualifiers under VA, the rules aren’t really all that hard and fast.

VA loans tend to be a lot more flexible in general, and debt to income ratios are no exception. Although all the loans mentioned in this blog can be manually underwritten, the guidelines only allow for so much deviation outside the rules. VAs give a lot more wiggle room, so if you’re at a 45 percent debt to income ratio, for example, it might not be out of the question if everything else is in line.

Time to Go Apply What You’ve Learned

Figuring out your debt to income ratio is just one of the very first steps you should take on your path to getting a mortgage. Once you can see how much each of your debts affects your ability to get a home loan, you can either refinance those debts into loans with better terms or work extra hard to pay them down before approaching a mortgage lender.

When you’re ready, or if you have any questions about your debt to income ratio, it’s easy to get a quick answer with HomeKeepr. I have recommended some trusted mortgage pros in the community, just log in to make a connection that will make your home buying experience an easy one.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Real Estate Info