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Things You Need to Buy After Your New Home Purchase

You probably have not thought about all the items you will need to buy for a new house that you did not need in an apartment. This news comes as a shock to many first-time home buyers. So, if you’ve scraped together your last two nickels to pay closing costs, here are ways you can save a little on some of your new purchases:

Lawnmower Unless you plan to hire a gardener or your yard is filled with rocks or drought resistant vegetation, you will need to buy a lawnmower. Many new homes in California have no lawns. The back yards are dirt, which means new homeowners here are forking out cash to lay sod or growing their own grass from seed.Consumer Reports publishes reviews that are extremely helpful when comparing brands and will suggest a “Best Buy” in lawnmowers for you. You can also search on Craigslist or in your local newspaper for used lawnmowers.

Keys & Locks The first thing you should do is re-key or change your door locks. If the previous sellers were like most people, the neighbors, friends and coworkers all might have a set of keys to your house. Even new home builders give out keys to contractors. It’s smart to change the locks and / or install deadbolts.The easiest solution is to remove the locks from your doors and take them to your local hardware store to re-key. You can buy all new locks, but that’s expensive, or you can call a locksmith to change the locks for you. Then, think about a place to hide a key so you won’t get locked out of your house.

Garden Supplies  Every home needs a garden hose. You can buy those at a low price, plus find adjustable sprayer heads or lawn sprinklers at Target or in the gardening department at Loews. Don’t forget about weed-whackers, trowels, shovels, rakes or hoes. A push broom comes in handy for sweeping your garage floor, plus the handle unscrews so you can use it as an extension pole with a wall sander. Consider a watering can, and wheelbarrow or wagon

    • Every home needs a well-stocked tool box. Essential items are:
    • Tools & Repair Items to buy for a new house 
    • Hammers: Ball and Claw
    1. Assorted Screw drivers: Flathead and Phillips
    2. Hacksaw
    3. Pliers
    4. Plumber’s Wrench
    5. Basin Wrench
    6. Small Power Drill and Drill Bits
    7. Nail Driver
    8. Staple Gun
    9. Tape Measure

    More Stuff to Buy for a New House

    1. Paint Brushes: one-inch to four-inches
    2. Paint Scraper with steel brush for cleaning paint brushes
    3. Five-Gallon Container for mixing paint
    4. Paint Screen
    5. Paint Roller and Sleeves
    6. Drop Cloths or plastic sheeting
    7. Electrical Tester
    8. Wire Nuts
    9. Assorted Screws and Nails
    10. Assortment of Sandpaper

Outdoor Entertaining Lawn chairs, patio furniture and umbrella, and a barbecue grill are among the starter items most people put out back. A nice starter grill is a Weber charcoal grill, and it’s very inexpensive.

    • Snow Removal Equipment If it snows where you live, you’ll need to remove it. Many cities give homeowners a certain period of time to remove the snow and you can be cited if you don’t. Apart from clearing the driveway so you can get your car out of the garage, remember the sidewalks and front steps.Snowblowers can be expensive.
      But you can also find used snowblowers on Craigslist. If a snowblower is not in your budget, then look at flat- and curved-snow shovels, plus ice-chippers and a bag of salt or sand come in handy when the ground freezes.
    • Window Coverings You can choose from blinds, drapes, Roman shades, scarves, toppers, curtains, honeycombs, sheers or shutters.If your budget is stretched too thin, check out self-adhesive paper blinds with clips. These attach by peeling off the adhesive covering and sticking the top of the blind to the underside at the top of your window. They are pleated, so you can fold them up and clip them when you want to open the blinds. They cost less than $5, and serve as a good temporary solution.
    • Appliances Many new homes are equipped with new appliances, but when buying an older home, depending on where you live, it might be customary for the seller to take some of the appliances. Not all appliances are fixtures, either.At the very least, you will need a:
    1. Cooktop / Range
    2. Refrigerator
    3. Washer & Dryer
    • If new is out of your price range, then consider buying used appliances, which will save you roughly 75% of the cost new.
    • Linens, Towels and Floor Coverings Now that you can paint your rooms any color you choose, you might also find a need to buy new towels for the bathroom. Newly painted walls call attention to older, worn items, and your towels might be better suited for washing the car or your dog than hanging in a fresh, new bathroom. Consider also floor mats for the bath or area rugs for your larger rooms.

Conforming Loan Limit Increase

As you may have heard, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) made the announcement that 2017 conforming loan limit for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be increased nationwide from $417,000 to $424,100.

The new loan limits will be effective on January 1, 2017. This is the first time that the maximum loan limits have been increased since 2006. Loans through the end of the year will need to comply with the 2016 limits, but loans closing in 2017 will be eligible for the new loan limits.

The FHFA has a great map showing conforming loan guidelines across the country, and I am more than happy to talk to you about this or other loan programs. To learn more about how this announcement may help your homebuyer secure the home of their dreams in the New Year, I would love to speak with you.


Here Are The Federal Reserve Meeting Minutes For 2015

Release Date: January 28, 2015

For immediate release

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace.  Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.  On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.  Household spending is rising moderately; recent declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power.  Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow.  Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices.  Market-based measures of inflation compensation have declined substantially in recent months; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.  The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate.  The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced.  Inflation is anticipated to decline further in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of lower energy prices and other factors dissipate.  The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.

To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate.  In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.  This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.  Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy.  However, if incoming information indicates faster progress toward the Committee’s employment and inflation objectives than the Committee now expects, then increases in the target range for the federal funds rate are likely to occur sooner than currently anticipated.  Conversely, if progress proves slower than expected, then increases in the target range are likely to occur later than currently anticipated.

The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction.  This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.

When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.  The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Jeffrey M. Lacker; Dennis P. Lockhart; Jerome H. Powell; Daniel K. Tarullo; and John C. Williams.