Matthew Schofield

Loan Advisor NMLS#: 231963

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Phone: 732-389-9898 x318
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The real estate market typically slows down in the winter, but experts are calling for a robust market during this year’s colder months. As we start approaching the winter season, sellers should be making sure their house is presentable and ready to sell. Here are some of our favorite tips for getting your home ready for the market: 1. Keep Your Driveway and Sidewalks Clear of Snow This might be everyone’s least favorite chore during the winter, but it’s important to keep a clear driveway and walkway for your showings. Clearing the entire width of your driveway and a path straight to the front door avoids safety concerns and makes your home more inviting for potential buyers. Not looking forward to shoveling the extra snow? Consider hiring a snow removal company to keep your walkways clear.  2. Combat Winter Weather by Adding Pops of Color Unless there’s a fresh dusting of snow on the ground, winter is typically accompanied by grey skies and barren trees. However, your home doesn’t have to match the dreary weather outside. Including pops of color by your front entrance can help to make your home more inviting. Colorful curb appeal can transform the results from your listing photos and in-person showings. Creating color in your home can be as simple as adding a seasonal wreath to your front door.  3. Keep the Heat On It can be tempting to lower or turn off your thermostat when you aren’t home. However, keeping your home between 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit will help to ensure that everyone is feeling comfortable. Keeping the heat on will also give the impression that your home is ...

There’s plenty of advice circulating online on why a 15-year mortgage is a better choice compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage. However, the benefits of a 15-year mortgage only apply to a select group of people and the higher monthly payments may have you looking at other options. Unless you have a great deal of disposable income, a 15-year mortgage can do more harm than good. It’s important to look at the entire financial picture when deciding how high of a monthly payment you can afford. The higher monthly payments associated with a 15-year mortgage could cause your investments, insurance coverage, and future college costs for your children to suffer. And while 15-year mortgages certainly have their advantages, keep in mind that less than 10 percent of homeowners have 15-year mortgages, mainly due to the higher payment amounts. A 15-year mortgage is simply not right for everybody. Here are some of the biggest reasons to avoid a 15-year mortgage and opt for a 30-year loan instead: 30-Year Mortgages Offer Greater Flexibility  For many homeowners, coming up with a down payment can be hard enough, so spreading out those mortgage payments can make your home a lot more affordable. Especially if you’re buying your first home, cutting the time of your mortgage in half is not a likely possibility at first.  When weighing your options, consider this equation: Your assets - Your Liabilities = Your Net Worth Many people fall into the bad habit of solely focusing on paying off their mortgage while neglecting other debts on their balance sheet, such as student loans, credit card debt and car loans. The higher monthly ...

Inventory is one of the biggest challenges in the current housing market. As there are more buyers searching for homes, and less sellers looking to list their homes under the current conditions, the market is tipped in the seller's favor.  According to the National Association of Realtors, the total housing inventory is down by 18.8% compared to this time last year. The new housing supply is not keeping up with the current demand for a variety of reasons. Here’s what you need to know: 1. New Construction Has Slowed Down Since the housing bubble burst in 2008, we’ve seen a growth in population and demand, but new construction hasn’t been able to keep up. The lack of new and available residences has only been amplified by delays caused by COVID-19 as well.  While a recent surge of new construction due to reopenings has eased some of the pressure, industry experts agree that builders just simply can’t build fast enough. Limited housing supply has been a concern for many years and COVID-19 has proven that demand will continue to outweigh supply.  2. Demand is Surging Because of Low Rates Amidst the pandemic, the market is seeing some of the lowest rates in years. With current rates hovering around 3.5%, many buyers are anxious to get into the market to take advantage. However, the influx of motivated buyers only further exaggerates concerns over low inventory.  Almost everything housing related, including new home sales, home improvement projects and home prices, are in a V-shaped recovery.   3. Sellers Aren’t Listing During the Pandemic Many sellers are reluctant ...

Millennials, or those in their late twenties and thirties, are leading the surge of home buying as homeownership is currently 2-4 times higher among this age group than any other. Attributed to successfully paying off student loan debt and gaining steady employment, it’s time to expect a disruption in the housing market as the generation enters the buying stage in greater numbers.  What Modern Home Buyers Really Want Some of the most popular features that Millennials are searching for include: Greater indoor and outdoor space than their current rental options High speed internet and cell phone reception Close proximity to professional and recreational centers A home office Outdoor amenities, such as pools and gardens Additional land Move-in ready Young buyers are also contributing to a shift towards multigenerational homes. Many Millenials have expressed the desire to live near their families, especially as the pandemic has brought different generations under the same roof. As a result, bedrooms and a sizable living space on the first level are an important feature for buyers with aging parents.  Pets are also a notable influence in purchasing decisions. Pets can influence where and when people buy, as well as what they’re looking for. Many pet owners have cited wanting a sizable outdoor space- preferably with a fence, for their animals to enjoy.  How COVID-19 Has Impacted Buying Habits Both buyer and seller habits have seen some major changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to more time spent at home, priorities and wish lists are ...

Mortgage rates have hit record lows over the past few months. As a result, you may be able to afford a more expensive home than you previously thought.  Why are Mortgage Rates so Low? Interest rates around the globe have been dropping after this year’s events. As the global economy is slowing down due to tariffs and other factors, the interest climate has shifted downward in response. Mortgage rates also often follow yields on the U.S. treasury debt. Typically, rates on a 30-year mortgage will follow the yield on a 10-year treasury note.  Because of these correlations, it’s important to note that it’s unlikely a notable decline will come in the future. With current mortgage rates around 2.99%, we’re seeing a generational low and your buying power is exceptionally favorable.  How Your Buying Power Can Rise and Fall Over the summer, housing affordability went up for the first time since 2016.  September brought a low of 2.875%. With this rate, you could afford a home valued at more than $400,000 while only paying around $1,600 per month- not including taxes, insurance, or any HOA fees.  To put things in perspective, when rates were over 4.6% at the same time in 2019, that same monthly payment would have only gotten you a home priced less than $340,000. Lower mortgage rates typically lead to a lower monthly payment. A 2% rate drop could easily add $60,000 to your budget. Because of this, with each 0.125% change in mortgage rates, your buying power can increase or decrease.  An Increase in Buying Power Rates are already well below what they were in recent ...

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