Real Estate Tips Archives | Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate | Vicki Millehan

Archive for Real Estate Tips

Should you pay discount points?

2140642.mediumThe low mortgage interest rates that you find online or in the newspaper aren’t necessarily what you’ll pay when you apply for a loan. Why? Because banks will charge you “discount” points to get the best rate, which adds to the cost of the loan.

Points, or discount points, are expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. The point “discounts” the interest rate, that’s why it’s referred to as a discount point. If your mortgage is $300,000, then one “point” is $3,000. For each point you pay, your interest rate should be reduced by about ¼ percent.

On a 30-year mortgage loan at $300,000 and 5.00%, the monthly payment works to $1,610 without any points.Paying one point ($3,000) would reduce the rate to 4.75%, making your discounted payment $1,564 per month.

That’s a reduction of $46.00 per month. Now weigh the cost of $3,000. To get that, divide $46 into $3000. The result is 65. It will take you 65 payments to break even, nearly 5 ½ years. It’s worth it if you’re planning to stay in your home for 5 to 10 years or longer. If not, you’re far better off using the $3,000 to pay down your loan principal or buying furniture for your home.

There’s another way to get the best mortgage interest rate – that’s to have the best credit scores possible. Those with near or perfect credit are considered low risk by banks. As always, consult your financial advisor for more information about home loans.

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Home Decorating Advice- Creating Focal Points

focal pointsNow that you’re buying your own home, it’s important to know how to put your personal stamp on the décor. How do you start? Whether you’re decorating a living room, bedroom or bath, start with a focal point to enhance the room’s ambiance and underscore the room’s purpose.

Focal points can be created by highlighting a room’s unique architecture, such as a magnificent fireplace or a glittering bay window with a garden, mountain or water view. But what if some rooms don’t have an outstanding architectural feature to build upon? You may have to create one yourself. Here are some tricks of the trade you can use – size, color, light, and curiosity.

Size: Large items attract interest. Start by putting the largest piece of furniture against the largest wall to help traffic flow. Rugs also command attention and anchor the décor.

Color: Paint a contrasting wall color behind your sofa or bed. Pop the color on small items like pillows and placemats. Vivid color helps direct the eye to seating areas and pairs well with neutrals.

Light: Your eye travels to where it can see the best. Put directional light on a piece of fine art. Dim or brighten lighting when you want to change the room’s atmosphere.

Curiosity: A collection under glass, a great piece of art, or an unusual piece of furniture invite conversation and draw attention.

By establishing your focal point, you’ll have an easier time putting the rest of the room together.