Save Energy This Winter

pmc_infographic_winterenergy

 

Replace Filters
Clean or replace HVAC filters. Remove dust and debris and move furniture away from floor vents.

Seal Leaks
Replace weather stripping around windows, fireplace screens with storm doors, and block airflow from under doors.

Cover Water Heater
If your water heater is located in an unfinished space, cover it with an insulated water heater blanket. 

Maintain Fireplaces
Close the flue when you’re not making a fire. If your fireplace is decorative, plug and seal the flue.

Millennials and Homebuying Trends

Young attractive couple in love happy together thinking and imaging blueprints floor plan and design of new house home flat or apartment in real state concept

We hear a lot about how the Millennial generation is moving back in with the parents rather than buying homes of their own. The data tells a different story, though—Millennials may be delaying buying a home, but they most definitely still believe in the American dream of homeownership.

Facts on Millennials and Homebuying
Yes, Millennials are buying houses! The Generation Y segment of the Millennial generation, born between 1980 and 1995, represents 31 percent of homebuyers and 12 percent of home sellers, according to a National Association of Realtors report. Of these buyers, 24 percent were repeat buyers, and they’re typically upsizing.

But it’s also true that Millennials are less likely to be homebuyers than young adults in previous generations. They entered adulthood during the Great Recession, which has made it harder for them to find their financial footing. They’re staying in college longer, often pursuing graduate degrees (and accumulating student debt), and getting married later than previous generations. Poor credit could be to blame for low homeownership rates, as well, with 67 percent of those under the age of 30 holding credit scores below 680.

Couple moving home and buying online with a tablet sitting on the floor in the kitchen

Millennials Want to Buy Homes
Contrary to popular belief, Millennials do want to buy homes. In fact, a majority of Millennials want to become homeowners, and 75% believe owning a home is an important long-term goal.

An Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll assessing the motivation and desire to buy a home showed that older and younger Americans equally believe homeownership is a smart goal. But those in the younger generation find it harder to believe they’ll ever be in a position to buy—almost a fifth of younger respondents feel buying a home is not a financially viable option.

Young Renters would Prefer Owning a Home
While it’s true that many young people are currently renting or living with parents, research shows they would prefer to own a home for several reasons. For those young people who move back into the family home in adulthood, they’re able to experience firsthand the many reasons why investment in property makes more sense than short-term rentals.  Often they are wanting to recreate what they remember from their childhood, and they value the privacy and security that comes with living in a nice home.

When considering a place to call home, a top factor for Millennials is finding a way to use their home as a means of self-expression. Young people want to bring personality into their homes, and that’s not often possible in rentals where the landlord frowns on painting walls or hanging art.

Millennials are Postponing Homebuying
While many Millennials do indeed plan to one day buy homes, they’re taking a different track to homeownership than generations past. They want to make sure they do it the right way, ensuring they can afford the house and actually be able to sustain it. Young people today are choosing to live with parents and family in multigenerational homes rather than renting in the hopes of building up income and saving up money to purchase an ideal first home.

That’s a smart strategy, since finances have definitely been holding Millennials back from becoming homeowners. When they do buy, research shows Millennials are interested in larger houses that could one day accommodate additional family members (and not necessarily the micro-apartments and tiny houses we hear about in the media).

Many times Millennials aren’t aware of home buying options available to them. While young renters believe a down payment and closing costs would price them out of buying a home, many don’t realize there are lower down-payment options available. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures loans for first-time homebuyers that allow for a 3.5 percent down payment, for example, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reinstated the 3 percent down payment program in early 2015. Our team can assist, research and educate on the options.

Quintessential Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2017

Simple dining set decorative pendant lamp and roller blinds light open kitchen in the background

The two most common rooms in your home to renovate are the kitchen and bathrooms. Both projects yield some of the highest returns on investment. Whether you’re remodeling or customizing your kitchen or bathroom, let’s take a look forward to 2017 and highlight a few of the quintessential kitchen and bath trends you won’t want to miss!

  • Gray Is In: While black and white may still be popular, gray is the new shade on the block. Incorporate gray into your kitchen cabinets or paint your bathroom walls gray to keep your home trendy but timeless.

Modern white bathroom interior in the attic. The room has vaulted ceiling view of glass shower door bathroom vanity with black top and bathtub. Northwest USA

  • Unique Appliances: Stainless steel is losing its lead to appliances with sleek colors such as copper, gold and pewter that provide a clean, edgy look.
  • Storage Space: No matter how big or small your home, storage is always a challenge. New and innovative storage options include multi-tiered drawers in the kitchen and vertical spaces in the bathroom, which give you more without over cluttering your spaces.
  • White Paneling: Add or update your wood paneling with a coat of white paint to refresh your kitchen or bathroom. This simple look will never go out of style.

Beautiful Custom Kitchen Interior in a New House.

  • Three Dimensional Tile: Customize your kitchen backsplash or bathroom walls with three-dimensional tile that will add character and a fun touch to make your home truly one-of-a-kind!
  • Pet Friendly: It’s not secret that folks are crazy about their pets, so why not make your bathroom as pet friendly as possible? Update to a walk-in shower with a hand-held, waist higher shower spray to make your puppy’s bath time easy.

A Simple Thank You for National Gratitude Month

DIY hobby. Woman's hands wrapping christmas or other holiday handmade present in paper with red ribbon. Give present box, decoration of gift on white wooden table, top view with copy space

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Gratitude is what happens when we feel thankful and appreciative. The feeling of gratitude can come at almost any moment for a number of reasons. This may happen when your colleague does you a favor on a busy day or when your friend buys you a cup of coffee when you’re having a bad day.

At Priority Mortgage, we would like to take the opportunity to recognize National Gratitude Month. We say thank you to our customers. There are a number of options you have and we are grateful that you have chosen us as your trusted lender. We pride ourselves in offering the highest level of customer service, and appreciate the opportunity to earn your business, time and time again.

We also want to recognize and appreciate our outstanding team of Mortgage Loan Originators and support staff. Our team of mortgage professionals goes above and beyond for our customers and each other. We appreciate their passion to deliver the fastest, most efficient mortgage loan closings.

In recognition of National Gratitude month, take a moment to express and give the gift of gratitude. Say “thank you” to those who have impacted your life and continue to each and every day.

#thankyou #nationalgratitudemonth

Team Fantasy League Drives Teamwork and Success

Priority Mortgage Corp. recently kicked off an internal campaign to build relationships, encourage employees to strive to deliver their best and have fun, regardless of their role in the mortgage lending process. The Priority Mortgage Fantasy League, inspired by the popular NFL fantasy football leagues, has already inspired that environment.

Each team includes both Mortgage Loan Originators and Support Staff, creating a supportive but competitive environment. In total there are seven groups with unique names such as “Mortgage Bucks” and “Lending Lovers”.  Teams earn points in a variety of ways such as by increasing productivity and team work.  Employees are also encouraged to nominate each other for going above and beyond, earning the Priority Mortgage High Five Award.

One of the most valuable aspects of the fantasy league is that employees rely on each other, creating a collaborative, successful and fun environment that contributes to our consistent and reliable process that our partners and valued clients can depend on!

prestige-worldwide

As we are a few weeks into our league, we are already seeing positive outcomes and friendly competition. The first team to achieve 6000 points, Prestige Worldwide, very much enjoyed their reward of throwing cake and cupcakes at Brad Ratliff our Vice President of Operations.

cupcakes

Stay tuned for more updates about the fantasy league leaders!

School Districts Make a Difference on Property Values

Burbank, California - March 5, 2016. School buses waiting for students at Burbank High School

Many factors impact the home buyer’s decision, including the look of the home, the floor plan, the size of the home and the neighborhood. However, one of the most essential considerations has become the quality of the local school district.

This factor means that homes in the best school districts, on average, sell for more than similar homes in less-desirable districts. In fact, in some cases, home buyers are even compromising for smaller or older homes if it means they can live within the boundaries of a great school district.

A Realtor.com survey showed that 91 percent of prospective home buyers said school boundaries were important in their search. Further, one out of every five were willing to give up a bedroom or a garage for a better school and one in three would buy a smaller home if it was in the right district.

This trend is driving home buyers who don’t have children to invest in a home within a top school district. Properties located in good school districts tend to appreciate and hold their value even through market fluctuations. As a result, buying a home in a good school district is seen by many as a safe bet when it comes to future resale.

In Central Ohio, the correlation between higher-ranked school systems and higher-priced homes seems to be backed up by data. Houses in top-ranked districts have an average asking price that is well above the prices offered in areas with lower-ranked school systems.

It is clear that the demand for top schools has become a driving force in the home buying market. Parents are willing to sacrifice on a number of important elements or are willing to pay more for less in order to ensure that their children will attend good schools. Even buyers who are not utilizing the school district are benefiting from its high demand and stability compared to other options.

Five Ways To Ensure An Unsuccessful Home Sale

Sad and worried entrepreneur working on line with a laptop in an office desk or home

So you’re getting ready to move. You’ve researched new neighborhoods and found your dream home, and you’re ready to call it your own. But first you’ll have to sell your old home. Since there is no shortage of great articles out there about how to have a successful home sale we thought we’d do the opposite. Without further ado, here are our top five ways to sabotage any attempts at selling your home.

Don’t Stage Your Home, Or Take Care of Any Known Issues
It makes a lot of sense to stage your home. After all, you’ve lived in your home for several years and it has no doubt accumulated a lot of wear and tear, and many customizations that buyers may not prefer. And if that’s not enough, studies have shown that homes staged prior to listing sell 79% faster than those staged sometime after listing, or not staged at all! But, of course, if you are dead set on sabotaging your sale, feel free to leave your home as-is.

Take Your Own Photos (With Your Camera Phone)
Professionally taken photos are, without a doubt, a great way to cast your home in a positive light before a potential buyer even steps foot in an open house or showing. In fact, online listings with professionally-taken photos typically receive 118% more views than those without professionally-taken photos. So, if you are trying to sabotage your sale, be sure to take your own photos – with your camera phone if possible.

Sell Your Home Without A Realtor
Selling your home doesn’t just mean finding a buyer – it includes dealing with banks, passing inspections, completing paperwork, and more. These are all things that professional realtors deal with every day, and are equipped to help you manage. Thus, if you want to pour hours of your own time, and risk making a critical mistake that prevents your home from being sold, be sure to do it all on your own.

Overvalue Your Home
With the wealth of information available online and from your real estate professionals, it’s not hard to value your home correctly. And since most of your showings will happen within just weeks of listing your home, it is crucial to price it accurately and competitively from the get-go. But, if you’re content with letting your home sit on the market without any movement, feel free to overprice it.

Put Off Listing Your Home
With a real estate market that is subject to things like elections, natural disasters, and rate hikes, it is usually safe to say that the best time to list your home is now. So if you are trying to halt your momentum, the clear answer is to just put it off. The market will be better in a few months or next year… Right?

What’s Your #AugustAdventure

Summer holiday vacation accessories on beach sand summertime lifestyle objects in flat lay top view arrangement.

It has happened – August has snuck up on us and suddenly our children are heading back to school and Buckeye football is around the corner. In just a few short weeks Autumn will arrive and we’ll all be “back in the swing of things.” But, remember that these last days of summer are the perfect time to go on an impromptu adventure. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for a local, spontaneous #AugustAdventure.

Try A New Cuisine
Columbus is practically overflowing with unique and tasty dining experiences. From the authentic, flavor-packed tacos al pastor at Los Guachos Taqueria, to the tender, smoky spare ribs at Ray Ray’s Hog Pit (recently dubbed the “Best Damn Ribs In the Country” by Esquire Magazine!), to the contemporary Mediterranean fare offered at Brassica, there is always something new to try. So, get out of your culinary comfort zone and stumble upon something that might just become a new favorite.

Find A New Place To Experience Nature
It’s no secret to longtime residents, but those that are new to central Ohio might be surprised at the wealth of green-space in and around Columbus. From the beautiful scenery at the Highbanks Metro Park just north of Worthington, to the shocking variety of wildlife at Slate Run, near Circleville. And if you’re looking for somewhere to experience nature nearby Downtown Columbus be sure to visit the newly renovated Scioto Mile, with a 15,000 square-foot fountain, a free outdoor climbing wall, and 33 acres of parkland.

Spend The Day At A Festival
While July might be a popular month for festivals, Columbus has no shortage of August festivities. These include celebrations honoring historic neighborhoods, like Clintonville’s CrestFest, art festivals like Franklinton’s Urban Scrawl, and cultural experiences, such as the India Festival at the Ohio Expo Center.

For a full list of festivals in Columbus, take a look at ColumbusUnderground’s 2016 Festival Schedule.

The breathtaking Rock House at Hocking Hills after a rainstorm.

The breathtaking Rock House at Hocking Hills after a rainstorm.

Plan A Weekend Trip
With many Central Ohio districts not heading back to school until August 24, there’s still time for a weekend trip with your family. And even if your children are already back in school, we’ll give you credit for planning an adventure over Labor Day’s long weekend ;).

One thing is for sure, between the natural beauty of Hocking Hills, the charm of the Ohio Amish Country, the roller coaster capital of the world at Cedar Point, and the island breeze of Put-In Bay, there are many adventure options available for everyone in Ohio.

How Damaging Winds Affect Your Home

photo of fallen trees and downed powerlines after local tornado storm in westcheter county new york 2006

Severe weather is always a risk with the change in seasons. In many areas, high-powered winds can cause catastrophic damage to homes. Understanding your risk-levels can help you protect one of your largest investments: your home.

What are damaging winds?
Damaging winds, or “straight-line” winds are different from tornadoes. These aggressive winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.

How can damaging winds impact my home?
The structural frame of your home can be affected by high-speed winds and hurricanes in a variety of ways. Here are four ways your home can face costly damage during a high wind.

  • Racking, a horizontal pressure on the house that causes the structure to tilt or lean.
  • Sliding, horizontal pressure that forces the house to slide off the foundation.
  • Uplifting, when wind flows over the roof it creates a strong lifting effect, like the air flowing over an airplane wing. If the connection between the roof and walls is not strong enough, the entire roof may detach from the rest of the structure. 
  • Overturning, if a house is unable to rack or slide, the lateral forces from the wind may cause the house to completely rotate off its foundation. 
Beautiful tornado over a dusty field

High-powered winds are different from tornadoes, but can be just as dangerous.

To protect your home, consult with a builder or remodeler to determine the appropriate adjustments to make to create a continuous load path in your home.  Connecting and strengthening the structural frame of the house, along with the use of storm shutters and impact-resistant windows, will ensure your home is better equipped to handle high-speed windstorms in the future.

Visit our blog for more severe weather tips, including this infographic on preparing for extreme weather.