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Mortgage Interest Rates Remaining Very Low

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

With mortgage interest rates remaining very low, the 15 year home financing option can look very attractive.  The following is an article from "Realtor.Com" that will give you the benefits and drawbacks of both the 30 year mortgage and the 15 year mortgage.

MORTGAGES COME WITH many options, and one of them is your loan term: a 15-year versus 30-year mortgage. A 30-year mortgage can make your payments more affordable, but a 15-year mortgage is generally cheaper overall. As you're weighing your mortgage options, here are the most important things to know about 15- and 30-year mortgages. 

How a 15- vs. 30-Year Mortgage Works

A mortgage is a type of term loan, meaning the amount you borrow is repaid over a set period of time. You make principal and interest payments according to an amortization schedule that's set by the lender. Your monthly payment schedule may also include homeowners insurance and property taxes if those are escrowed into your payment. Private mortgage insurance is also added when applicable, usually when you buy a home with less than 20% down.

When you have a 15-year mortgage, the total amount you have to repay is spread out over 15 years, or 180 payments. If you choose a 30-year mortgage instead, you repay the loan over 30 years, or 360 payments.

What's Good About a 15-Year Mortgage

There are several good reasons to choose a 15-year over a 30-year mortgage.

Pay the home off more quickly.

"The monthly payments will be larger, allowing more money to go to the principal in a shorter amount of time," says Benjamin Ross, a real estate agent in Texas. Your loan balance disappears faster, which might be important to you if you envision a retirement that doesn't include mortgage debt. 

Lower interest rate.

Because you're paying your home loan off sooner with a 15-year term, your mortgage becomes less risky for the bank. That may translate to a lower interest rate compared with a 30-year loan. Depending on the overall interest rate environment, rates for a 15-year mortgage may be a half a percentage point or more lower than 30-year mortgage rates. 

Less interest total over the loan term.

A lower interest rate also benefits you in another way when adding up the total interest paid on the loan. Here's a simple side-by-side comparison of the total interest paid on a $300,000 mortgage. 

(Note: These calculations don't include PMI, homeowners insurance or property taxes escrowed into the mortgage.)



Interest rate: 3%

Interest rate: 3.625%

Monthly payment: $2,072

Monthly payment: $1,368

Total interest paid: $72,914

Total interest paid: $192,535

In this example, choosing a shorter loan term and qualifying for a lower interest rate results in a total interest savings of $119,621. That's a substantial amount of money you could keep in your pocket over time. 

Build equity faster.

Home equity represents the difference between what your home is worth and what you owe on the mortgage. When your monthly payment is larger because your loan term is shorter, you can build equity at a quicker pace because you're paying more of the loan principal down each month compared with what you would with a longer mortgage. 

15-Year Mortgage Drawbacks

What's great about 15-year mortgages versus 30-year mortgages is also what makes them less attractive for certain homebuyers: a larger monthly payment.

Going back to the previous example of a 15- vs. 30-year loan, the mortgage payment for the 15-year option is $704 higher. A $2,000-plus monthly mortgage payment may not be realistic for every budget. 

"A lot of people are more concerned with ensuring that their monthly payment is manageable than the total interest paid over the life of the loan," says Anthony Sherman, co-founder and CEO of Simplist, a digital mortgage marketplace. "Paying off your mortgage over a longer period of time can free up cash to do other important things, like investing, saving for college or retirement, and paying for renovations." 

Another reason to reconsider a shorter loan term is how long you plan to stay in the home. If you plan to move within the next five years, for example, then being able to build equity faster or get a lower interest rate on the loan may not be as important in your decision-making about which kind of mortgage to get.

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Home Sales Soften

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

The housing market in the Eugene/Springfield area slowed slightly in September, but as you will see it remains strong.  Here are the numbers for September 2019.

Closed sales had the sole gain this month in Lane County, relative to September of 2018. At 429, closings ended 7.5% ahead of September 2018 (399) but fell 17.5% short of the 520 closings recorded last month in August 2019.

Pending sales, at 420, fell 2.1% short of September 2018 when 429 offers were accepted, at 16.3% short of August 2019 when 502 offers were accepted.

There were 446 new listings, ending 7.7% below the 483 newlistings offered back in September 2018 and 30.4% below the 641 offered just last month in August 2019.

Inventory increased slightly to 1.8 months in September. Total market time increased by a week to end at 37 days.

Year to Date Summary

Activity is cooler so far in 2019 compared with 2018. Comparing the first nine months of each, pending sales (3,949) have decreased 5.6%, closed sales (3,747) have decreased 6.2%, and new listings (4,817) have decreased 8.4%.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2019 to 2018 through September, the average sale price has increased 5.7% from $307,300 to $324,900. In the same comparison, the median sale price has increased 5.0% from $281,000 to $295,000


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Home Sales Across The Country Remain Strong

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning,

Home sales across the country remain strong as interest rates remain extremely attractive. Most of the country continues to enjoy a robust Real Estate market that is being fueled by low mortgage interest rates and a strong economy.  The only black cloud looming is the fact that home prices in most areas continue to climb.  Home affordability could be the primary factor that begins a downturn in home sales.  At this point it appears that there should be little change in housing through 2019.  A strong 2020 housing market will depend upon many factors, includiing the U.S. economy!!

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Remodeling or Improvements?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Remodeling your home or dooing some home improvement can greatly increase both the value of your home and improve the pleasure of living in your home.  The following artice takes some of the most common home improvement projects and gives you feedback on the benefits.

Certain home remodeling projects are making homeowners happier and proving to be well worth the cost and time when they sell their properties, according to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS®, which includes insights from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

After completing a home remodeling project, 74% of more than 2,100 consumers surveyed reported having a greater desire to be in their home, 65% say they experienced increased enjoyment, and 77% felt a major source of accomplishment, the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report shows. Researchers examined 20 projects and surveyed REALTORS® and consumers on home renovation projects.

“REALTORS® and homeowners alike recognize the value of taking on a major home remodeling project,” says NAR President John Smaby. “While these tasks can be time-consuming and costly, the projects are well worth the temporary inconveniences, as this report shows, and the final products ultimately reward us with feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, and higher home values.”

NAR calculated a “joy score” for each home remodeling project studied. The score, a scale from one to 10, is based on homeowners’ overall perceived happiness with their renovations. The higher the joy score for the project, the more homeowners felt satisfaction from it.

Some of the highest joy scores for interior projects centered on complete kitchen renovations, closet renovations, full interior and interior room paint jobs, kitchen upgrades, and basement conversions to living areas.

The exterior jobs with the highest joy scores were new fiberglass or steel front doors, new vinyl and wood windows, and new roofing.

The Resale Benefit

Remodeling can be money well spent at times of resale. Overall, the top remodeling projects for recovering costs at resale were from new roofing, hardwood floor refinishing, and new hardwood floor installation.

NARI remodelers say that homeowners spend on average about $7,500 for new roofing, but real estate pros estimate that sellers will recover $8,000 at resale—an estimated 107% of the value recovered.

On new wood flooring, the average cost homeowners spend on an update is $4,700, but a 106% potential return is possible at resale (real estate pros estimate $5,000).

The Happiest Home Projects

But remodels aren’t just for the potential payback at resale. “The NAR report shows us that people often remodel for resale purposes, but it also reminds us that homeowners remodel too, with the desire to make a home their own,” notes Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Here’s a closer look at the study results on the home improvement projects that made homeowners the happiest:

Kitchen renovation

Joy score: 10

Ninety-three percent of consumers said they had a greater desire to be at home since the completion of their kitchen remodel; 95% said it’s increased their sense of enjoyment when at home. “The kitchen is a space homeowners frequent regularly throughout the course of the day,” Yun says. “So when that area is remodeled to owners’ exact preferences—as they enter and exit the room—they continually experience the satisfaction of a job well done.”

The biggest reason behind a kitchen renovation was to improve functionality and livability, according to 46% of respondents. Also, 24% said they wanted to upgrade worn-out surfaces and materials, while another 20% said they had recently moved into their home and wanted to customize the kitchen to fit their particular tastes. “Kitchens serve as the ‘heart of the home’ for many, and whether you like to entertain or cook, updating a kitchen ensures greater access and use as homeowners age, especially when the upgrades take accessibility into account,” says Robert Kirsic, a certified kitchen and bath remodeler and also NARI’s 2019–2020 president.

Closet renovation

Joy score: 10

Upgrading home closets also made for instantly happier homeowners. Sixty-eight percent of consumers surveyed say they feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think about a completed closet renovation project. More than half say the most important result is improved functionality and livability.

Full interior paint job

Joy score: 9.8

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for improving the look of a house—but it also improves the mood of those living there. Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported a greater desire to be home since having their home freshly painted.

New fiberglass front door

Joy score: 9.7

The installation of fiberglass front doors can also help for resale and happiness, the survey found. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that they’ve had a greater desire to be home, thanks to their new front door. Sixty-seven percent say they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they’re home.

New vinyl windows

Joy score: 9.6

The happiness around new windows mostly comes from the result of improved functionality and livability. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were motivated to update their windows to improve their home’s energy efficiency, and 23% want to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials.

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Contact Information

Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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