RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Homestays on the Rise Worldwide

December 31, 2014 12:57 am

The accommodation market is making room for homestays over hotels and Airbnbs, according to the Homestay.com’s first annual Homestay Index. In 2014, the number of homestays for vacationers grew exponentially, with both renters and visitors reaping the benefits of the cheaper travel alternative.

“The sharing economy is allowing both hosts and guests to completely redefine the travel experience,” says Alan Clarke, CEO of Homestay.com. “The homestay market segment is still relatively young, but homestays are not a new ideas – they may indeed be one of the oldest forms of lodging. They are ideal not just for homeowners with extra space, but also for adventurous travelers and event planners in need of pop-up lodging.”

The Homestay Index indicated the most expensive and least expensive options for travelers around the world. The top 10 for each are listed below.

Most Expensive Homestay Cities

1. Glasgow ($61 USD/per room, per day)
2. Rome ($60)
3. Amsterdam ($57)
4. Paris ($54)
5. San Francisco ($53)
6. Singapore ($51)
7. London ($50)
8. Florence ($49)
9. New York ($49)
10. Kyoto ($46)

Least Expensive Homestay Cities

1. Toronto ($20)
2. Alicante, Spain ($20)
3. Santiago ($22)
4. Darwin, Australia ($22)
5. Montreal ($23)
6. Buenos Aires ($24)
7. Berlin ($24)
8. Madrid ($24)
9. Seoul ($25)
10. Vancouver ($26)

Source: Homestay.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Becoming a Homeowner in 2015? What You Need to Know

December 31, 2014 12:57 am

With uncertainty over mortgage rates growing and new Fannie- and Freddie-backed programs rolling out next year, those seeking to buy a home will continue to contend with changing standards. If you’re planning to become a homeowner, take these steps before borrowing.

1. Get preapproved.
Stay ahead of the game by actually getting preapproved for a loan – not by getting an estimate from a lender. Not sure if you’ve been officially preapproved? Take note of what your mortgage professional does – if your credit report was submitted to an underwriter, you’re in good shape.

2. Don’t alter your credit habits. Don’t risk hurting your credit score while securing a mortgage. Keep all balances within normal range and avoid opening or closing credit cards – your debt-to-income ratio may suffer.

3. Avoid moving funds.
To mitigate your financial liability, put off moving funds until after you’ve closed on the home. That means no cashing out on investments, retirement accounts or CDs. Additionally, don’t use your savings to pay off debt or fund a CD – this can be a red flag to lenders.

4. Get your down payment gift early. If family is helping you with a down payment, have them deposit the money in your account more than two months prior to applying for a loan. You’ll avoid hassle with the banks trying to track down the source of the funds.

5. Create a PDF of all documents. Round up all documents related to your finances: bank statements for checking, savings and investment accounts, pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns and canceled rent checks. Compile these into one PDF for your lender’s convenience.

6. Be prepared to write letters. Lenders will want to know details about every potentially harmful financial scenario before approving your loan. If there are any discrepancies in your financial history, such as frequent moves in a short amount of time or a substantial monetary gift, be prepared to explain these situations thoroughly in a letter.

7. Cut costs on mortgage insurance. The new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage programs require as little as three percent for a down payment – but insurance premiums through the FHA will come at a higher cost. Opt for private mortgage insurers, which generally have cheaper premiums.

Source: Bankrate.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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