How Can Home Renovations Protect You from Natural Hazards

Home renovations can be an effective way to protect your home and family from natural hazards. Start by identifying the potential hazards in your area. This can include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes, as well as man-made hazards such as gas leaks and fires. Once you’ve identified the potential hazards in your area, create a plan for how you will respond to them and prepare your home to take on these natural disasters and keep your home and family safe.

Here are some ways home renovations can help protect you:

Reinforce Your Home’s Structure: One of the most important aspects of protecting your home from natural disasters is ensuring that its structure is strong and stable. You can reinforce your home’s structure by adding earthquake-resistant materials, hurricane straps, and reinforced roofing systems.

Install Storm Windows and Doors: Installing storm windows and doors can help protect your home from strong winds and flying debris during hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe weather events.

Elevate Your Home: If you live in a flood-prone area, elevating your home can help protect it from flood damage. This can involve raising your home on stilts or piers or building a higher foundation.

Install a Backup Power Source: In areas where power outages are common during severe weather events, installing a backup power source such as a generator can help ensure that your home stays powered and comfortable.

Install a Sump Pump: If your home is at risk of flooding, installing a sump pump can help remove excess water and prevent water damage.

Install Fire-Resistant Materials: If you live in an area prone to wildfires, installing fire-resistant materials such as non-combustible roofing materials, siding, and decks can help protect your home from fire damage.

Overall, home renovations can be a worthwhile investment in protecting your home and family from natural hazards. It’s important to work with a licensed contractor and follow local building codes and regulations to ensure that your renovations are safe and effective.

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: Home Prices Grow at a Near-Record Pace

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: Home Prices Grow at a Near-Record PaceU.S home prices grew at a near-record pace in January according to the National S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index; year-over-year home prices rose by 19.20 percent in January as compared to December’s reading of 18.90 percent. Home prices rose 1.80 percent on a month-to-month basis from December to January.

While home prices continued to grow at near-record rates, home price growth slowed in some areas during  December but picked up in January. Craig M. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “Last fall we observed that home prices, although continuing to rise sharply, had begun to decelerate. Even that modest deceleration was on pause in January.”

The top three cities for home price growth held their places in January. Phoenix, Arizona had the highest pace of home price growth with a year-over-year gain of 32.60 percent; Tampa, Florida reported a year-over-year gain of 30.80 percent. Miami, Florida held third place with a year-over-year home price growth rate 0f 28.10 percent.

All 20 cities tracked by Case-Shiller reported record gains in year-over-year home prices while 16 of 20 cities included in the 20-City Index reported higher home price gains in January than in December.

FHFA House Price Report Shows Strong Growth

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported that home prices rose by 18.20 percent year-over-year in January. December’s year-over-year growth pace was 17.70 percent for homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Home prices rose fastest in the Mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico Utah, and Wyoming. Year-over-year home prices rose by 23 percent or more in the Mountain region.

Will Doerner, a supervisory economist at FHFA, said: “So far, the mortgage rate growth has not dampened upward price pressure from intense buyer demand and limited supply.” Low inventories of available homes continue to drive demand for homes, but some economists expect the pace of home sales to drop by as much as 25 percent in response to rising mortgage rates. Analysts expect that low inventories of available homes will sustain rising home prices. Homebuyers can expect to compete for available homes as buyers rush to lock in lower mortgage rates; cash buyers and bidding wars can cause home prices to rise above market value in high-demand markets.

Why Did My Application For A Refinance Get Turned Down?

Why Did My Application For A Refinance Get Turned Down?If you want to save money on your home loan, you might want to refinance. During the refinancing process, you could secure a better interest rate on your home loan. You could also withdraw cash from your home’s equity value to cover other expenses. Similar to a regular mortgage application, some refinance applications are denied. Why is this the case, and what should you do next? 

Your Debt To Income Ratio Is Off

One of the most common reasons why an application for a home refinance is turned down is that the applicant has too much debt. The lender will not want to refinance a homeowner who has too much existing debt. If you have credit card debt, car loans, or student loans, you may want to pay down some of this existing debt before you apply for a refinance. 

Your Credit Score Is Too Low

Your credit score is still going to play a significant role in your application for a refinance. If your credit score has gone down since you purchased the house, you may have a difficult time refinancing. You should always request a copy of your credit report and correct any issues on that report before you decide to apply for a refinance. 

Your Home Value Has Gone Down

The lender may also deny your application for a refinance if your home has gone down in value. Your home is used as collateral for the loan. If the home has gone down in value, the lender might be worried that the value of the home may not pay off the balance of the loan in the event you start missing payments. You may have to wait for the home’s value to go back up before you can refinance. 

Work With A Professional Team

If you want to refinance your home, it can be frustrating if your application gets denied. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you cannot apply again. You should work with a professional team that can take a look at your refinance application, figure out why the application was turned down, and rectify the situation. Sometimes, an application is turned down simply because the lender doesn’t have enough information or the application was not filled out properly.