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Steps for buying your new home

1. Figure out how much you can afford
What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, downpayment and the interest rate.

Home Economics
Homebuying programs in your state

2. Know your rights
Fair Housing: Equal Opportunity for All- brochure
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
Borrower’s rights
Predatory lending

3. Shop for a loan
Looking for the best mortgage: shop, compare, negotiate – brochure
Let FHA help you
Learn about interest only loans
Avoid Predatory Lenders

4. Learn about homebuying programs
Homebuying programs in your state
Let FHA help you (FHA loan programs offer lower downpayments and are a good option for first-time homebuyers!)
HUD’s special homebuying programs
Good Neighbor Next Door(formerly known as Teacher/Officer/Firefighter Next Door)
Homeownership for public housing residents
Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program(Section 184)

5. Shop for a home
Wish list – what features do you want?
Home-shopping checklist? take this list with you when comparing homes
Homes for sale(including HUD homes)
“Fixer-Uppers – home purchase and repair programs
Manufactured (mobile) homes
Build a home
Shopping for a Home FAQ’s

6. Make an offer
Making an offer

7. Get a home inspection
For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection
10 Questions to ask a home inspector

8. Shop for homeowners insurance
Homeowners insurance
12 ways to lower your homeowners insurance costs

9. Sign papers
You’re finally ready to go to “settlement” or “closing.” Be sure to read everything before you sign!
Settlement Costs and Helpful Information

7 Scientific Tips for Staying Warm

Staying comfy in the cold, whether you’re hiking urban canyons or hip deep in backcountry snow, requires paying attention to the science of heat transfer. Loren Greenway, CEO of the Wilderness Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, said that staying warm requires understanding two key principles: conduction and convection.

Conduction is the transfer of heat between two solid surfaces that are in direct contact with each other, such as when you stand on icy pavement. Convection is the transfer of heat between a mass (such as your body) and a moving fluid or gas (such as an icy wind that whips around every square inch of you).

Understanding both of these chilling mechanisms, as well as the workings of your body’s built-in thermoregulatory system, will help keep you warm and safe when the next polar vortex comes to town.
Layer up

You lose heat through conduction whenever your body comes into direct contact with something cold, like when you sit on chilly ground. Wind steals your body heat through convection. But you can insulate yourself against both types of heat loss by wearing layers, Greenway said. [5 Ways to Prepare Your Skin for Winter]

Your base layer — think long underwear and thick, wool socks — keeps you from losing heat through conduction. And wearing an external, wind- and water-proof but breathable layer will protect you from heat loss though convection. “Anything that you can build around you [to enclose yourself] in a microenvironment that will help insulate from the effects of the cold, that is a good thing,” Greenway said.

Stop the shivering

A man sits bundled up against a cold day.Pin It Credit: Valery Sidelnykov/Shutterstock.comView full size image
Think of shivering as a warning sign that you need to get yourself someplace warmer, fast. When your skin temperature drops, shivering kicks in to keep your core temperature from falling, too. The spasmodic contracting and relaxing of your muscles “consumes calories, and it generates heat” to replace the heat your body is losing through convection or conduction, Greenway said. But that means “once you start shivering, that’s your brain telling your body it’s time to get to a place where you’re warmer.”

People with mild hypothermia will shiver, but those with moderate hypothermia may not. The body stops shivering when the muscle contractions are no longer effective in producing heat, he said. That means “as you get colder, shivering actually stops, so then your core body temperature just plummets.”

Stoke the furnace

Being well-fed — meaning consuming more calories than you’re burning — will help your body handle the cold better, according to Greenway. “It always helps to be well-fed in the backcountry when it’s cold,” he said. “This is all-important, to keep your blood sugar up enough to provide the energy you need to keep warm in a cold situation.”

Staying hydrated is also key, Greenway said. “Your body will tolerate the cold much better if food and water balance are maintained.”

Just get used to it

A man sits in icy water.Pin It Credit: Levranii/Shutterstock.comView full size image
You can acclimatize yourself to cold weather. “People who are outside a lot and spend time in the cold can actually reduce their ‘set point,’ it’s called, before they respond to cold,” Greenway said.

The mechanism through which this reset happens is not fully understood, but a type of body fat called brown fat may play a role, recent research suggests. Unlike regular “white” body fat, that stores extra calories, brown fat actually consumes calories, and releases the energy as heat.

Newborns and hibernating mammals have lots of brown fat, which is thought to generate heat in animals that cannot shiver. And studies in animals and humans have shown that cold acclimation increases brown fat’s heat-generating capacity. Some research also suggests that exposure to cold actually boosts the amount of brown fat in the body.

Being physically fit also makes it easier for people to cope with cold, Greenway said. But being too thin can be a disadvantage, because body fat helps keep you warm.

Be prepared, all the time

Heed weather warnings, and stock your car with water, calorie-dense foods, warm blankets and extra sets of dry clothes just in case. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 25 percent of winter-related fatalities occur when people are caught unprepared out in a storm.

Know your risks

Drugs to treat high blood pressure, including alpha-blockers, beta-blockers and direct vasodilators, can make you more sensitive to the cold, as can some medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism. Age also affects the human body’s cold-coping mechanisms. Children under age 2 have not developed the ability to shiver to raise their body temperatures, and people over age 60 are less able to generate heat though shivering, Greenway said.

Skip the booze

A woman drinks from a mug on a cold day.Pin It Credit: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock.comView full size image
Sure, a brandy-laced hot toddy or a shot of schnapps sounds like just the thing to keep you warm on a bitter day. While a warm beveragewill indeed raise your core temperature and help you withstand a chill, don’t spike it. “Alcohol is absolutely the worst thing that somebody could consume” if they are already cold, Greenway said. “It drops core body temperature.”

Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

5 Housing Market Predictions for 2015

It’s a new year—and the outlook on the housing market is definitely brighter. After all, 2014 was the best year in the U.S. economic recovery since the recession of 2008-2009.

With an accelerating economic recovery fueling job and income growth, prospects are good for homeowners and would-be home buyers.

1. Mortgage Rates Will Head Back Up

The flip side of the improving economy is that (sigh) mortgage rates will inevitably head up again. We’ve had a great run, but the honeymoon is over, and it’s time to settle in for a relationship that balances job growth with higher-but-still-reasonable interest rates.

The Federal Reserve has indicated it will increase the federal funds rate—which has an indirect but significant effect on mortgage rates—next year. The rate has remained near zero since December 2008.

Although the Fed might wait as late as early 2016,® Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke suggested the increase will come in mid-2015, and mortgage rates will increase ahead of the Fed’s move.

“Our forecast for housing assumes the 30-year fixed rate will reach 5% by the end of 2015,” Smoke said. “The one-year adjustable rate will likely rise less if much at all, and accordingly, we are likely to see a shift into more adjustable and hybrid mortgages over fixed.”

2. Millennials Will Set Up House

The millennial generation is beginning its ascent—and no, not all of these youngsters born between 1981 and 2000 are living with their parents as they struggle to pay off student loan debt. Sure, they’ve faced huge challenges in the job market, but employment is improving, and older millennials are planning ahead.

About 65% of first-time home buyers are part of this older millennial group (ages 25-34), Smoke noted, pointing out that these young adults are at an age when many marry and start families.

“Millennials make up around 65% of first-time home buyers,” Smoke said. “Of the millennials who are buying a home, 86% indicate that their motivation is a change in family size.”

But with tough credit qualification standards and limited credit history, he added, millennials are expected to buy more in affordable areas in the Midwest and the South.

More than two-thirds of household growth in the next five years is expected to come from millennials, according to Smoke. This generation is bigger than the baby boomer generation, so even though its youngest members will be only 15 in 2015, the market is only beginning to feel its impact.

3. Builders Will Break New Ground

Although total housing starts (construction on new housing units) barely broke 1 million in 2014 and was driven by multifamily homes, Smoke noted the pace will pick up in 2015 and shift in focus.

“We are forecasting 16% growth in starts, driven now more by growth in single-family starts, which we are expecting to grow 21%,” he said.

But shortages of labor and building product material will limit further growth in single-family construction and will keep overall supply tight.

“The constraints on new construction supply factor into our assumptions about existing home sales growth and overall tight supply of homes for sale,” Smoke added.

4. Credit Will Continue to Be a Major Factor

Strict mortgage qualification standards are keeping many consumers, especially younger ones, from buying a home with a bank loan. This situation has remained about the same for the last four years, although it’s possible that various new federal housing policy initiatives might help loosen those standards in 2015.

If not, it will increasingly become clear that lack of access to credit is holding back the housing market.

“If you just look at the distribution of credit scores, at least 10% of current homeowners with mortgages would not qualify for a new mortgage today,” Smoke said.

Opening up access to credit would be a game changer in the housing market, Smoke noted, allowing 500,000 to 750,000 would-be buyers who are now cooling their heels to achieve the dream of homeownership.

5. We’ll Close Out the Foreclosure Crisis

It’s been seven years since the housing bubble burst and foreclosures skyrocketed, but in 2015 we’ll see the end of that era. Already this year has seen a major improvement in the composition of sales—that is, there are fewer foreclosures and short sales in the mix.

“We are on pace for foreclosure inventories to end 2014 down more than 30%, and next year should see a slightly greater decrease as foreclosures fall to normal levels,” Smoke said.
But while these trends will be apparent nationwide, housing is still a local issue.

“The situation differs in every market, even every neighborhood,” Smoke added. “Each has its own unique, long-term trends in home values, which reflects local demand and supply conditions.”

And the situation is different for each individual home. Setting and negotiating a home price requires complex analysis, which is why most people prefer to work with an experienced REALTOR®.

Explore the new

Janko Realty and Development is pleased to announce the launch of the new and improved!

Our new website gives you access to a wealth of real estate knowledge along with cutting-edge tools that will simplify the decision-making process. In addition to a crisp layout and easy to navigate interface, some other features you might enjoy include:

·Quick and Advanced property searches
·Listings that provide details, maps, and links to local schools
·News and blogs from your friends at Janko
·Comprehensive real estate calculators
·Ability to explore and share pages on your favorite social networks
·Improved contact methods using your preferred contact method
·(Coming soon) User Saved Searches and Favorites

Explore our website and find out what Janko Realty and Development can do for you.

Our website was created by an independent local developer, Brian Smith (