First Time Homebuyers Archives - Prince & Associates Realty Group
Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

An amazing indoors way to celebrate the beautiful fall weather is to stop going for apple picking and just making a delicious, mouthwatering pumpkin pie. It’s just so much better than hayrides and roasting some s’mores. Moreover, you could not have a tastier treat for after dinner, enjoying some Sunday night football than this out-of-the-world recipe. And it’s simple, without any special ingredients, hassle-free, and it’s just perfect! This recipe is great for true pumpkin pie fans who want the very essence of the pumpkin flavor, the spice and a bit of tanginess without anything else getting in the way!

But Why is This Pumpkin Pie Recipe Great?

There are a couple of reasons why this pumpkin pie cake recipe will become an instant favorite and fall staple at your household. First of all, the pie will be packed with a concoction of wonderful flavors along with two big cups of pumpkin puree. In addition, you are going add all the best fall ingredients in your kitchen, such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.

The cake will turn out super moist, like sticking to your fork! To make it even more delicious you are going to add a mouth watering, smooth and silky cream cheese frosting. Lastly, because the cake is single layer, you can easily pack it take to parties, game nights, tailgates etc.

The Pumpkin Cake Recipe

The recipe is quite straightforward and you can’t go wrong with it. If you have ever baked a spice cake before, the preparation is similar to that in terms of texture and taste. Plus you are not going to need more than two bowls! However, even if you haven’t baked in a while, this recipe is still easy than a ton of others!

Let’s go over the ingredients and then the method.

As mentioned, the ingredients are simple and easy, it’s a homemade cake after all.

 

Here is what you are going to need:

 

  • Flour – (Go with all-purpose flour) because the cake already as a thick and wet batter.

 

  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – Common household ingredients that help the batter rise

 

  • Cinnamon and Spice for the Pumpkin Pie – These are necessary ingredients to make the cake. You can prepare the spice at home by adding half a teaspoon of ground cloves, ground ginger, ground allspice and ground nutmeg. Don’t forget to add half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

 

  • Vanilla and Salt for Added Flavor – You can add salt as per taste and buy the vanilla extract from any local grocery store.

 

  • Cooking Oil – Layer the base of the baking pan with an even spread of cooking oil to make the base of the cake smooth and moist.

 

  • Eggs – Add 2-3 eggs for the structure of the cake.

 

  • Pumpkin – Along with 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, you will need to add 1 regular can of pumpkin. Use the entire content of the can to avoid waste.

 

  • Sugar – You can mix some brown and white sugar for taste

Instructions: 

  1. Take two bowls
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
  3. Mix the wet ingredients in the other
  4. Mix both the dry and wet ingredients together
  5. Take a 9 x 13 baking or cake pan and pour the mix in, spreading evenly
  6. Bake it
  7. Let it cool down for five minutes and then make the cream cheese frosting
  8. Put the cake in your fridge for 30 minutes
  9. And voila, it’s ready for eating

 

There you go – everything you need to have and know about how to bake a wonderfully delightful pumpkin pie cake.

Downsizing Advice For Older Adults Who Need Something Smaller

Downsizing Advice For Older Adults Who Need Something Smaller

Downsizing is a great option for seniors who are looking to make a move, but it can bring a lot of questions even as you’re trying to answer a few. Knowing the right time to downsize is important. You may be thinking about how to make your post-retirement years as safe and comfortable as possible, but it’s important to ensure that your finances are in check and that you’re able to find a home that meets your needs while staying within your budget. This can be tricky depending on the area where you’re looking, so it pays off to do some research before you make any decisions.

Preparing for a downsize can be a lot of work, because it includes not only the packing and moving, but it also means going through all your belongings to figure out what you’ll bring to the new home. Keep in mind that the more items you can discard, the more room you’ll have, which helps eliminate fall hazards, one of the most common causes of injury in seniors.

If downsizing is on the horizon for you, here are a few tips on how to get started.

Check out the area first

If you’re thinking of buying a home in a particular area or neighborhood, it helps to check it out first. You might rent a vacation home there for a week to get a feel for the weather, the people, and the community. This is also a great way to test the waters and see what you’d like to have in a home, from the size to the location. You should also scope out the housing market in the area you decide to live in, to see if you can actually afford to live there. In Bay Shore, average home prices have been an average of $356,000 over the past month.

Don’t overlook the details

It’s important to know what to look for in a new home when you’re downsizing. You may find a great home that’s just the right size, but if the details are wrong, it might not be the best fit for you in the long run. Take a look at all parts of the home. A one-story two-bedroom might just be perfect, but if there’s a large yard to take care of, you may end up regretting it down the road. Does your chosen house sit in a neighborhood with an HOA that will cost potentially hundreds of dollars per year? Are there grab bars in the bathroom? If not, you can always purchase them later, since they’re easy to install. (You can find grab bars on Amazon for $23.37 each.) Make sure you know the ins and outs of the home and the area before making a commitment.

Get organized

Staying organized while you pack and declutter is essential because it helps keep your belongings separated from the items you plan to get rid of, and because it enables you to reduce stress while you’re preparing for such a major life change. Make packing lists as you go, and clean at the same time so you’ll have less to do on moving day. Try not to make a “maybe” pile when going through your belongings, as it’s best to be definitive. Donate, trash, or sell the things you know you don’t want to take, and measure the rooms in the new house to make sure your furniture will fit.

Get some help

These days, many cities have companies that specialize in helping seniors downsize, so look to see if there’s something like that available for you. These professionals can help you declutter, pack, transport, and unpack your belongings. You can also ask friends and loved ones to help you get everything organized and ready for moving day, and have someone help you clean the old house when all is said and done.

Downsizing is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s crucial to ensure that you take your time and research your options. Finding the right home for your post-retirement years takes a lot of careful thought, but it’s well worth it if it keeps you safe and healthy.

Written By: Mike Longsdon

 

 

Yes, There is A Way Around Mortgage Insurance

Yes, There is A Way Around Mortgage Insurance

If you have just bought a home or are in the process of buying one, you may have a good idea what mortgage insurance is. It is quite possible you’re paying it right now. To make things affordable for homebuyers, one of the prerequisites of opting for a mortgage via any lending organization is getting mortgage insurance on specific varieties of loans.

 

The fundamental advantage of mortgage insurance is securing the lender and shielding it from a financial risk or uncertainty on behalf of the homebuyer. But it also makes accessibility for the homebuyer easy even if they do not have a truckload of money to pay for it up front. Sure, there is no doubt that acquiring a mortgage with mortgage insurance can help you get your dream house quickly ,however, you have to understand the flipside of it – which is the fact that mortgage insurance payments will stack up higher and higher in the long run.

 

If you’re getting that butterflies in the stomach feeling, there is no need to worry at all. We have compiled a handful of effective and simple ways to lessen the burden of paying for mortgage insurance. Check it out…

 

Wrap Your Head Around LTV

 

Eliminating mortgage insurance heavily relies on what type of loan you have acquired – as well as that loan’s LTV and mortgage insurance specifications and requirements. LTV is short for (Loan-to-Value) ratio, and it basically calculates the amount of equity you have stacked in your home.

 

You can easily calculate this by dividing the amount of your current loan (the balance that remains) by the original value of your real estate, then multiply the total amount by 100. Remember, the higher the number of payments you make, the lower the loan-to-value ratio. If your LTV is 80% or higher, you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance. This means that if you make a down payment of at least 20% of the home value, you can avoid mortgage insurance.

 

Paying Mortgage Insurance? Here is How You Can Stop!

 

For FHA Loans

If you have acquired an FHA loan, you have to understand that you don’t have an option to cancel making FHA loan mortgage insurance. So what do you do? The best way out of this is to transfer your loan into a conventional loan via refinancing. The fastest way to do that is if you have a low loan-to-value ratio or if you have drastically enhanced your credit score.

 

 

For Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance

If you have acquired a lender-paid mortgage insurance, the first thing you have to understand is that no lender is going to be paying for your insurance contrary to what they have advertised. What happens is the lender pays for your mortgage and then asks you to make repayments to cover that cost with a slightly raised interest rate.

 

Sure, this might have sounded awesome to you when you first acquired the loan. However, you may want to reconsider your refinancing options, especially if you’re eligible for a brand new loan without the need to pay any mortgage insurance, interest, or either.

 

When the Value of Property Increases

If your vicinity’s market has gone up, and you have already spent quite a bit of money making improvements to your house, your house’ true value (and equity) probably has gone up too since the date of purchase. And this may very well mean that your loan balance falls below 80% of the home value. If this happens, the lender has to remove the mortgage insurance requirement.

 

 

So now you know that ditching mortgage insurance is possible. More importantly, you know how to do it. Who doesn’t like canceling a monthly payment? Feel free to discuss this with us and see what’s the best way out of mortgage insurance for you.

Is Renting Right for Me?

Is Renting Right for Me?

Is Renting Right for Me?

If you’re currently renting on Long Island and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, home ownership may be closer than you realize.

According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.

When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason. The results of the survey can be seen here:Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCMIt’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.Is Renting Right for Me? | MyKCMThere is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”

The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of home ownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.

Bottom Line

If you’re one of the many Long Island renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to home ownership.

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Heading into 2020, interest rates are projected to increase steadily.
  • The more money you will end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be, the higher your interest rate.
  • Rates are still low right now so don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability

There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.

On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the index…

“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”

Their methodology states:

“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”

So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability | MyKCM

It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash and there were large numbers of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). Those properties were sold at large discounts.

Today, the index is higher than any year from 1990 to 2008. Based on historic home affordability data, that means homes are more affordable right now than any other time besides the time following the housing crisis.

With mortgage rates remaining low and wages finally increasing, we can see that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to purchase a home today than it was last year!

Bottom Line

With wages increasing, price appreciation moderating, and mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, purchasing a home is a great move based on historic affordability numbers.

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