Calculate your new monthly payment using a basic formula.
You could easily figure out your monthly mortgage payment if lenders didn't charge interest on loans. That formula would simply involve dividing the mortgage balance by the number of monthly payments you need to pay off the debt. However, because lenders need to make money off of loans, you can expect to pay interest on a mortgage, which complicates the formula used to figure out monthly payments. To calculate mortgage payments and account for interest on a fixed-rate mortgage, you'll need to follow a few steps.
Calculate your new monthly payment using a basic formula.
Let P represent the monthly principal and interest payment on the mortgage payment you want to calculate. You need to know the interest rate you are likely to get, or i, and represent i as a decimal. For example, a 5 percent interest rate is 0.05. You also need to know how many monthly payments you will need to make over the life of the loan, represented as n. For example, 180 payments on a 15-year mortgage or 360 payments on a 30-year term. Also, determine your loan amount, or L. For example, if you plan to buy a $300,000 home and you have 20 percent as a down payment, your loan amount is $240,000, or $300,000 less $60,000.
Your mortgage-payment calculation requires a critical step that converts your annual interest rate to a monthly interest rate. Divide the 5 percent annual rate by 12 months and you get 0.416 percent: 5 / 12 = 0.416 percent per month. You then must convert this monthly percentage rate to a decimal, or 0.00416. Use 0.00416 in the mortgage-payment formula for the value of i. Do not use 5 percent, or 0.05.
The formula used to calculate monthly principal and interest payments on a fixed-rate loan in which the rate and, therefore, payment never changes, looks like this: P = [i L (1 + i)^n] / [(1 + i)^n - 1]. Plug in numerical values for a $240,000 loan at 5 percent paid over 360 months and the equation is: P = [0.00416 $240,000 (1 + 0.00416)^360] / [(1 + 0.00416)^360 - 1]. For the values you must divide, the equation looks like this: $4449.94760844 / 3.45707893473. The monthly payment rounded to the nearest dollar is $1,287.
In addition to paying principal and interest on your mortgage, the lender may also require you to pay into an escrow impound account each month. An escrow account allows you to make your property tax and homeowners insurance payments along with your mortgage payment each month. Basically, your lender divides the total of your annual property taxes and insurance premium by 12 months and adds the amount to your mortgage payment. The lender then uses the installments accrued in your escrow account to pay the taxes and insurance on your behalf.
To get pre-approved, call 281.826.9923.
Courtesy: Karina C. Hernandez/Sapling.com
The dining room or dining area is often that warm and comfortable room in the home where people gather together with family, friends, and good food on a daily basis and on special occasions. Laughter resounds, news is shared, memories are made. Such thoughts and memories could be very important in the minds of your potential buyers, so you want to do everything in your power to get it right.
Here are some simple tips in setting up your main dining area to make it inviting to potential buyers:
1. Stage the table: The table is the main focal point of any dining room. You want to have the eyes of the potential buyers open wide with pleasure at seeing the table whether in person or in the pictures you post.
Think about the home furnishing ads or magazines that you have read in the past. Before getting started, write down your theme and ideas, and then plan accordingly, keeping in mind that adding at least a hint of popping color is going to work magic.
Avoid the use of a table cloth since you don’t have anything to hide there or in the rest of the house.
While you may have to hold back your creativity while setting the table for a holiday dinner in order to keep room for the food platters, you don’t have to entertain these concerns while staging the table to attract and encourage buyers.
Let your heart sing as you go all out with your full dinner sets, glassware, centerpieces, plants, and whatever else fits your chosen theme. However, while having fun, keep a great sense of order to make sure that your work is pleasant to the eye.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it must do its job in helping potential buyers to feel relaxed and at home.
2. Blaze a wide trail: Make sure that the walking space in the dining room is comfortable.
The path around the table should be easily accessible, and the room must be devoid of all clutter. This includes extra arm chairs randomly placed and blocking the pathway that you might find in some people’s dining rooms.
Giving the impression of space is the best, and this could even be done by removing dining chairs altogether if you have a smaller dining room. Rearrange or remove other furniture if needed.
3. All systems go!: Has your dining room been used for some other purpose besides dining? If you have it set up as an office with papers exposed on your desk or table, it’s time to close up shop. Do you have an extra TV, computer, or gaming systems in your dining room? It’s time to jettison these, captain.
It may be a difficult thing to do if you are staying in your home while it’s on the market, but at least box them up and store them away during an open house or before taking pictures. If your dining area is incredibly large and you have created a second sitting area for game nights with a large screen tastefully mounted, this is just fine.
However, make sure to separate this area from the dining area in a more defined fashion by using a sofa or other strategically-placed furniture.
4. Smooth the surfaces: Tuck away all trinkets and extra clutter.
Since you’re going to be staging the table and don’t want to detract from that focal point, it’s important to take a minimalist approach to the rest of the room and surfaces. Create more space to the eye, yet have enough variety and color to envelope the prospects in the charm of the space as they walk through or view the pictures.
Perhaps a decorative vase, even without flowers, can be placed on the sideboard or corner table.
Two cocktail glasses on a tray with a cocktail shaker create a great, minimal decoration which contributes to the relaxed atmosphere, subtly inspiring the buyer with the desire to entertain guests.
If you choose to have a bowl of colorful fruit, a lamp, or any of the other choices from the plethora of possible decorations, keeping items grouped together in odd numbers creates a more appealing impression on the eye.
5. Out with the old: Now, you might really love your house and the charm of having some outdated components, but then again, if you’re selling the house, it’s time to bring some of the less expensive charms up to date.
Look around your dining room. Is the paint dirty or a dingy color? Is the wallpaper peeling or does it have a tacky or busy pattern that’s difficult to compliment?
You can find newer, more neutral paint colors to easily blend with any furniture or accessories. Think about big, open space and select the colors according to that. Staying away from dark colors and focusing on light and neutral blues, grays, yellows, and greens will give you the result you’re aiming towards. If you prefer to go with white, keep it a matte blend and consider an off-tone such as eggshell or ivory.
What about the light fixtures or door handles? Bright and shiny brass or the yellow of so-called gold chandeliers or knobs speak of the tired and forgotten. Affordable replacement options are available at any home improvement store. You will notice the trend of brushed nickel or darker, brushed bronze doorknobs and handles.Take a leap of faith even if you still prefer the older, shiny metal. Your potential buyers will be more pleased, and in the end, you will win.
Each home is unique, to get a specific marketing plan designed to sell your home, call 281.826.9923.
If you have decided to put your home for sale on the market, you will have to consider all types of buyers; those who love pets and those who don’t. There can be many reasons behind that thinking so there is no need to be judgmental.
Before putting a house for sale in which pets have lived with the owners, you are going to need to do a lot of retouching and cleaning. You should move your pets temporarily to some other home, until till you get a new home for yourself.
Animal or Children Damage and Solutions
Children and animals damage things, there’s no denying that. There has to be a way to fix up the damages, remove the pets from site temporarily, and make the house look as if it had never been lived in by animals or small children. Here are some solutions to help you clean up the “mess” and make your visitors comfortable with the place.
Wooden floors are susceptible to pet scratches and scratches made with toys by children. Consider refinishing if that’s the case in order to make the floor look new and almost unused.
Use some professional solution to make these odors go away but don’t use air fresheners. These only provide a temporary solution.
When it comes to kids, decluttering is one thing that helps achieve a big part of their clean-up. It is recommended to start at least a week earlier than the date you want to put the house on the market. Some sellers with kids allow at least a two-hour notice period for showing. This is to clean the house, clear the clutter, and remove or hide any freshly-made stains or scratches.
If there aren’t any hidden cabinets in your home where you can dump the entire clutter if somebody wants to see your home in ten minutes, be prepared to use the car trunk to throw the debris and clean up the place quickly.
Pay special attention to kids’ bedroom when decluttering your entire house. Organize the cupboards, pack away off-the-season clothes, put away some unused or broken toys, and get rid of gear that is no longer needed.
When you are done staging, take excellent photos of the kids’ bedroom as well as the lawn or front yard, to put them with an ad. Repainting is another important step when you decide to sell off your home that has been lived in by small children. If the walls are dirty, nobody would be interested in buying your home.
If you have older kids at home, get them involved with the staging process and tell them just how great it would be to move into a new home. Ask them to clean up their own room, and provide them with boxes or cartons to store away things they don’t need.
While kids at home can pose serious threat to your staging efforts, they can also become an inspiration for some people. For example, if you have a children’s playroom or toys room in the house, you can de-clutter it and make it neat and clean to show it off to the visitors.
Similarly, children’s study area can be an attractive thing for some buyers who have kids of their own and who would like to buy a place that is child-friendly.
We don’t ask much from bathroom surfaces.
Just that they be beautiful and withstand every cleaning chemical invented, steamy showers, piles of damp towels, and, did we mention, tantrum-induced line-drives with bath toys?
Oh, and they should be easy to clean. That’s all.
So what materials can live up to the ask? We asked the experts. Here are 10 they recommend:
Dying for a white marble countertop? Join the club. But get ready to seal, reseal, and reseal. Then repeat. Year after year.
Or, go for engineered stone, which can mimic marble (and other stone materials) for about the same cost, but minus the hassle. It’s non-porous so it resists bacteria, mold, stains, and water damage better than the real thing. Better! And it never needs sealing!
Moisture is Enemy No. 1 for bathroom floors, and glazed porcelain tile is its most-worthy adversary.
It won’t hold onto water like laminate and porous materials, and porcelain tiles glazed with glass are nearly stain-proof — as are today’s high-quality epoxy and urethane grouts, which don’t require sealing.
Time to rethink vinyl. Hear us out. Luxury vinyl tiles, which mimic stone and wood, are awesome at resisting moisture.
Other affordable options like laminate just can’t keep up. Plus, vinyl sheets are so large, you can cover a small bath without a single seam or grout line, making it easy on the eye and easier to keep clean.
Yup. We said plywood. But today’s “grade A” offering isn’t your mother’s plywood. (Or your Swedish cousin’s, which is actually particleboard.)
Composed of pressed layers of alder, birch, or cedar, “grade A” plywood (also known as furniture-grade) remains more stable in the face of moisture than solid wood, which will shrink and swell in response to bathroom humidity (causing cracks in painted surfaces and even warped panels).
As for the finish, you don’t need to spring for anything fancy: The factory finish applied to cabinetry nowadays will hold up to the moisture. Isn’t living in the future great?
While you need your glass to be tempered for safety, you don’t need a special spot-resistant treatment or upgraded texture to have crystal-clear shower doors.
“Glass is easy to clean,” says Ebony Stephenson, a certified kitchen and bath designer. “I tell my clients, ‘I’ll give you a squeegee and you can save $2,000. It’s a lot of money when you can just wipe off your glass.’” So definitely get tempered glass, but skip the add-on treatments that promise no spots.
The No. 1 thing to stop mold in a bathroom is an exhaust fan. It may not be sexy, but that mildew-y smell in your bath isn’t exactly “come-hither” either.Mold and mildew are real concerns, even on the walls, thanks to bathroom humidity. So paint sheen matters.
A full-on glossy paint has a shiny, sealed surface that blocks out moisture and wipes clear of residue, say from hairspray, without leaving a mark like a matte finish will. But the sheen can be a bit overbearing on anything more than trim, and calls attention to wall flaws.
A semi-glossy finish will hold up nearly as well to cleaning and moisture, without calling quite as much attention to bumps, dents, and other imperfections.
A tub forged from molded liquid iron is likely going to be the toughest thing in your house — maybe even your neighborhood, depending on where you live.
You may need extra support for your floor (and your pocketbook) to bring it home, but cast iron won’t chip, scratch, or dent like fiberglass, acrylic, and even porcelain can.
This tub is your forever tub. And probably your children’s forever tub. And their kids’.
Don’t let its acronym, POS, misguide you: Heat-fused enamel on steel will resist corrosion, abrasion, and chipping better than synthetic materials, and it is much more affordable than cast iron.
Despite their lightweight, acrylic wall panels, often called shower surrounds, are not lightweights. They resist chipping, cracking, and peeling, and are much easier to maintain than stone tiles or slabs. Unlike tile, they nail directly to wall studs or glue to the wallboards, so they don’t require grout. Acrylic is tougher than fiberglass and colored all the way through — so it’s less likely to scratch, and even a deep cut won’t be as obvious. They’re also more affordable than tile and available in textured patterns, if you want to look like you splurged on a fancy design.
Stainless: not just for kitchens anymore. Corrosion- and stain-resistant, it won’t melt under a hot curling iron like acrylic can, and won’t dent or chip like porcelain if nail clippers plummet down from the medicine cabinet.
And it’s the perfect match for the industrial-chic look that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.