home buying: Backyard Farming: Fad Or The New Future - 07/18/18 12:31 PM
While a kitchen herb garden or pot-grown tomatoes may be commonplace in both suburban backyards and on urban condo patios, an increasingly large number of homeowners look to backyard farming as a way to relieve some of the stresses of modern life. Other benefits include cutting grocery bills, living a more sustainable life, and teaching children about food.
The New Food Landscape 
Do new trends signal a return to simpler times, or are they a pushback against higher food prices and loss of control over the food supply? Is it a lasting change that will spread across the country or a trendy, elitist … (0 comments)

home buying: 5 Critical Tips For Buying In A Seller’s Market - 07/17/18 10:24 AM
This summer, quality homes are being scooped up almost as fast as they’re being listed – and for top price. Yes, it’s a seller’s market out there, which is great news if you’re planning to list your home. For those looking for a home, the competitiveness can be frustrating and aggravating.
Frustrating as it may be, there’s plenty of reason for buyers to stick it out until their offer is accepted. For starters, interest rates are still fairly low. And secondly, there are great homes out there if you act fast enough.
How can you successfully get that dream home in a seller’s market? … (0 comments)

home buying: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 16th, 2018 - 07/16/18 02:01 PM
Last Week’s economic readings included reports on inflation, mortgage rates, new jobless claims and consumer sentiment.
Inflation Slows in June
The Consumer Price Index for June inched down to 0.10 percent growth in June as compared to May’s reading of 0.20 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.20 percent, which matched expectations and May’s reading of 0.20 percent.
Year-over-year inflation rose by 2.90 percent. This was the highest rate of growth in six years. Inflation increased by a year-over-year rate of 1.60 percent in the prior year.
While inflationary growth signals strengthening economic conditions, it can also cause challenges for … (0 comments)

home buying: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 9th, 2018 - 07/09/18 08:39 AM
Last week’s economic releases included monthly readings on construction spending, public and private sector job growth and June’s national unemployment rate. Weekly readings included Freddie Mac mortgage rates and new jobless claims.
Construction Spending Rises in May
According to the Commerce, construction spending rose 0.40 percent in May; public sector construction spending rose 0.70 percent and private sector spending rose by 0.30 percent. Residential construction rose by o.80 percent, which analysts regarded as a good sign for the economy. Building more homes has long been identified as the only solution for persistent housing shortages that cause high demand for homes and rapidly rising … (0 comments)

home buying: Top Uses Of A HELOC - 07/05/18 09:20 AM
Homeowners who have equity built up in their homes can tap into that equity using a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. This financial tool can be a great way to accomplish a number of financial goals.
Here are four excellent uses of a HELOC for homeowners to consider.
Consolidating Costly Debts
Credit card debt and other types of consumer loans are costly, unless a debtor is lucky enough to have a no-interest card. Borrowers can consolidate that debt into a HELOC, which is much more affordable because it is a secured debt.
This advantage only works if the borrower stops adding to the … (0 comments)

home buying: Seller-Paid Closing Costs In A Seller’s Market? Yes, It’s Possible - 07/03/18 01:27 PM
For first-time home buyers, closing costs are a major hurdle for home ownership. Coming up with a down payment and several thousand dollars for closing costs can be hard without home equity to tap.
To help, buyers often ask sellers to cover all or some of these costs. In markets favoring buyers, this is a common habit, but when the market switches to favoring sellers it becomes harder. Sellers who know they may get multiple offers are less likely to say “yes” to this request.
Yet even when the market favors sellers, buyers can still ask for this help. It all depends on … (0 comments)

home buying: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 2nd, 2018 - 07/02/18 12:10 PM
Last week’s economic reports included readings from Case-Shiller housing market indices and data released on new and pending home sales. Weekly releases on mortgage rates and first-time unemployment claims along with the Consumer Sentiment Index for June were also posted.
Case-Shiller Reports Rapid Home Price Growth in April
April home prices ticked downward by one-tenth percent for the National Home Price Index, which reported 6.40 percent growth year-over-year. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index also dipped by one-tenth percent to 6.60 percent year-over-year. Analysts note that home prices continue to outpace wage growth and inflation, which limits affordability for many prospective home buyers.
Seattle, Washington … (0 comments)

home buying: Home Automation Conveniences Attract Buyers - 06/28/18 12:21 PM
The rise in Millennial home buyers will inevitably change the items that promote faster and more lucrative home sales.
Consider trends over the past decades that have included conveniences such as built-in dishwashers, central air, energy efficient appliances and many others. As mechanical and technological advances move into the mainstream, prospective home buyers seek them out and favor properties that come tech ready.
While Millennial buyers have a vastly different world view than previous generations, Baby Boomers and Gen X homeowners are also enjoying the ease of technology. For many homeowners, automation equals convenience and improved quality of life. That’s why having the … (0 comments)

home buying: Understanding the Factors That Impact Your Credit Score - 06/27/18 02:04 PM
Most consumers believe if they pay their bills on time, they need not worry about their credit score. Oftentimes, it is a rude awakening when they apply for a mortgage loan, car loan, or any revolving credit to learn they are not going to get the lowest rates available due to their credit score. This is because paying bills on time only accounts for 35 percent of your credit score. The remaining 65 percent is spread out among other factors that impact your credit score.
Credit Usage and Impact on Score
Nearly one-third, 30 percent, of your credit score is based on how … (1 comments)

home buying: Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Remodeled Home? - 06/26/18 02:31 PM
Are you considering buying a flipped house? Here are some ways to tell if it is a good idea or not.If you watch popular TV shows like Property Brothers, Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper, you might believe that buying a remodeled home is a great idea. These shows always have happy endings. The process looks fun and easy, and the houses turn out beautiful. However, it is rarely this easy when buying a real-life remodeled home.
There are plenty of flipped houses that turn out to have significant problems. Contractors who do remodels sometimes rush through the job. This can lead … (0 comments)

home buying: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 25th, 2018 - 06/25/18 01:16 PM
Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders, Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued. Sales of pre-owned homes were reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.
Builder Confidence Slips as Trade Wars Boost Lumber Prices
According to the National Association of Home Builders, home builder confidence in current market conditions was down two points to 68 as compared to May’s index reading of 70. Analysts said that rising lumber prices impacted builder sentiment and have replaced labor costs as builders’ primary expense.
Increased building costs were cited as a concern … (0 comments)

home buying: 3 Programs That Allow You To Buy A Home With No Money Down In 2018 - 06/21/18 06:52 AM
Home buyers are typically advised to put at least 20% down for a mortgage. Coming up with that amount can seem almost impossible if you have little to no money left over after paying bills each month.
Fortunately, if you want to buy a house but are worried about coming up with the 20 percent down needed for a downpayment, you still have plenty of options. There are still plenty of programs that allow you to buy a home with a low down payment or even no money down in 2018. 
Here are some of the best programs that designed for homebuyers who … (0 comments)

home buying: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 18th, 2018 - 06/18/18 09:16 AM
Last week’s economic reports included the post-meeting statement by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee along with readings on retail sales and inflation. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.
Fed Raises Key Interest Rate on Strong Economic Indicators
The post-meeting announcement by the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve indicated that committee members voted to raise the target federal funds rate to 0.175 to 2.00 percent from the prior rate of 1.50 to 1.75 percent.
The post-meeting announcement cited strong economic conditions and stated that FOMC had altered their outlook from three rate increases in 2018 … (0 comments)

home buying: Is Buying A Short Sale Right For You? - 06/15/18 06:30 AM
If you have been looking for a new home, and you find one offered under a short sale, this may be to your advantage. While some buyers are wary about buying a home that needs to be sold with the approval of the lender, it’s a great way to get a bargain on a home that you love.
A short sale may be a perfect way to buy a home, as long as you are able to wait until the offer is approved.
The Basics Of A Short Sale
A short sale occurs when the homeowner is facing a foreclosure and trying to avoid … (3 comments)

home buying: Questions to Ask When Buying New Construction - 06/14/18 07:04 AM
Buying a new home is exciting. Buying a brand new home can be even more so with the realization of being the first owner and possibly being able to choose your own layout and finishes.
The prospect of owning new construction is definitely exciting, but it doesn’t come without its own set of questions. If you’re in the market for a new home, and considering new construction, make note of the questions below when you begin your property search.
What are the long term plans for the community?
Unless you’re looking at custom homes on acreage, it’s likely new construction in your area will … (0 comments)

home buying: Fix and Flip: Forget What You See on Television - 06/13/18 12:29 PM
The drama of home and garden TV shows may be fun to watch, but no matter what you think, reality shows are not at all like real life. If you think it’s easy to buy a house that needs updating and turn it quickly for substantial profit, you might want to think again. 
That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that you should shy away from the idea of buying a “fixer-upper” — just that you should approach such a home purchase with eyes wide open.
Here are some valuable tips:
Buying a house that needs cosmetic updates can make financial sense, particularly if you’re handy … (0 comments)

home buying: Buying A Foreclosure: 5 Things To Know - 06/12/18 05:51 AM
Buying a property out of foreclosure can be a very smart move, financially. But it can also be complicated, expensive, and stressful.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind before you take a first step in that direction:
Cash Or Preapproval Required
Buying a house that has been returned to the lender through foreclosure means dealing with bureaucracy rather than with a motivated seller. Large lenders are notorious for taking their time to approve a contract, even if the offer is for the exact amount specified.
Then there’s the paperwork, which can seem endless. Most lenders require that prospective buyers have cash on hand, or … (1 comments)

home buying: Long-Distance House Hunting Tips - 06/08/18 06:19 AM
It pays to start with a solid strategy when you have to house hunt from afar.
Hunting for a house is stressful enough even if you are moving to another part of town. However, when you are searching for a house from afar, it can make the task of finding the right home for your needs seem almost impossible. 
Fortunately, in today’s high-tech world, you have an array of tools available right at your fingertips that can make it easy to find the perfect house for your needs. So, even if you are looking for a home thousands of miles away, you can … (0 comments)

home buying: What To Know When Looking At Active Adult Communities - 06/08/18 06:14 AM
For many Americans, retirement age is fast approaching or already here: Baby Boomers account for nearly 75 million individuals in the United States.
Retirement can present a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to relaxation, activities, and the enjoyment of life with those of a similar age. More and more Americans are looking to 55+ communities to fulfill those wants and needs.
Active Adult Communities
55+ communities, also known as an active adult or age-restricted communities, are becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S. because of what they offer and can provide. Traditionally thought to be only in warmer climates, active adult communities can … (0 comments)

home buying: What You Need To Know About Short Sales - 06/06/18 01:10 PM
On the surface, a short sale seems like the perfect deal. However, before you take the plunge, you need to understand how this type of home purchase works.
What Is a Short Sale?
A short sale is a home sale in which the homeowner is selling the home for less than he or she currently owes on the mortgage. In most cases, this means that the buyer is paying less for the home than it’s worth, which leads to instant equity.
Short sales allow homeowners to get out from under mortgages without damaging their credit as much as a foreclosure. Lenders often agree to … (0 comments)

Joe Gonzalez, NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563 (CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029) Rainmaker large

Joe Gonzalez

NMLS# 126036 (610) 739-6563

King of Prussia, PA

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CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS #3029

Address: 625 W. Ridge Pike, Building C, Suite 100, Conshohocken, PA, 19428

Office: 610.355.8039

Mobile: 610.739.6563

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