What is Debt-To-Income Ratio?

What is DTI Ratio?

By  on January 23, 2013

Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is one of the key factors mortgage lenders use to determine whether or not a potential borrower can afford a mortgage. The debt-to-income ratio is calculated by dividing total monthly debt payments by total monthly income. Monthly debt payments generally include expenses such as mortgage payments, auto payments, student loan payments, credit card payments, and child support payments. Monthly expenses such as utilities, auto insurance and phone services are not included towards the monthly debt calculation. Monthly gross income generally includes the borrower’s monthly income, his/her spouse’s monthly income, any savings income, and any business or side incomes.

To learn how to calculate DTI, let’s consider the following example:

Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1200
Monthly Auto Payment: $500
Credit card payment (minimum): $300
Total Monthly Debt Payment = $(1500+500+500) = $2000

Suppose the monthly incomes are as below:

Borrower’s Monthly Salary: $3500
Spouse’s Monthly Salary: $2500
Other Income: $500
Total Monthly Income= $(6000+2500+500) = $6500

Debt-to-Income Ratio = Total Monthly Debt Payment/Total Monthly Income = (2000/6500) = 30.76%

When underwriting a mortgage, a lender will typically consider two kinds of debt-to-income ratios. First is the front ratio, which includes all housing costs (i.e. mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance premiums, and property taxes). The second is the back ratio, which includes non-mortgage debt such as credit card payments, auto loan payments, child support payments, and student loan payments.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Front ratio = Housing DTI: Total Monthly Housing Payment / Gross Monthly Income Before Taxes
  • Back ratio = Total DTI: Total Housing Payment + Other Debts / Gross Monthly Income Before Taxes

The maximum allowable DTI to qualify for a loan is going to depend upon your lender, your financial situation, and your loan program.  Underwriting standards may vary from lender to lender, so you will want to contact your lender of choice to find out how it calculates DTI for a given loan program.

Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent

Improve salability of home riddled with permit issues

REThink Real Estate

BY TARA-NICHOLLE NELSON, THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013.

Inman News®

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=43156006" target="_blank">Kitchen remodel</a> image via Shutterstock.
Kitchen remodel image via Shutterstock.

Q: I’m having trouble selling my place because I added a second kitchen in what was the garage without permits. My bad, but I will have to take it out to get conventional lending. It’s a two-story house with one bedroom (with a walk-in closet), a living room and kitchen in the upstairs unit. The downstairs has a kitchen and dining area in the converted garage space, another room that can be used as a bedroom with closet space under the stairwell, and a three-quarter bath.

This is on one acre of horse property on a dirt road with a section of state land across the street. It was listed last summer and had four offers within a month, but because I didn’t have the permits for the second kitchen no lender will finance the place.

Here’s my question: Should I spend the money to install a real closet in the downstairs bedroom, or just leave it as it is? –Jan

A: It sounds like the big selling point of your place is its fundamentals, the land, the horse zoning and the location near the undeveloped/state land. But as you’ve been through this odyssey with trying to get this place sold, I can tell that you are in danger of getting off track and unfocused with respect to how you move forward. Here’s how I’d suggest you avoid that:

1. Solve for the real problem. Stay focused on solving for the real problem that stopped you from selling the place the first go-round. If you had four offers right off the bat when you listed it, I would say that adding a closet is really not going to increase your chances of selling the place this go-round. Stay strategic and devote your additional investment and preparation efforts to what really matters: rendering the place mortgage-worthy and salable by either removing the second kitchen or obtaining permits for it.

That said, if you happen to know that the downstairs kitchen was a big selling point for the buyers who made offers before and you decide to remove it before relisting the place, then I’d say you can put the closet conversation back on the table. It might, in fact, limit how some buyers might like to use that living space, but I’d first talk with your agent and get her sense for whether the earlier buyer feedback suggests that a closet would be greatly valuable in that room to the average buyer for your property. I just doubt that a closet will be a major deal maker or breaker on a property that already had such a high level of buyer interest without the closet.

2. Don’t make the same mistake twice. To carve out an exception to my earlier advice, if installing a closet gets you an additional, legal bedroom, then you should consider doing it. That would allow you to list the home as a two-bedroom vs. a one-bedroom — and that does have major, incremental buyer-attracting value. But for that to happen, you’d have to apply for permits to turn the space into a bedroom with a closet. The fact that it is under a stairwell makes me suspect that it might not qualify for bedroom status, but talk that over with your agent and a local, licensed contractor.

And be aware that if you do apply for permits to turn the open space into a bedroom, you could be opening up a can of worms by inviting inspectors into the property who may begin to require other upgrades of the property to current building code standards. Given that you’ve heavily modified the home already without permits, this could be a train you’ll wish desperately you could put back in the station — and might not be worth the risk, even if you do think you could get an extra legal bedroom out of a closet addition.

3. Don’t assume removing the kitchen is the only solution. Allow me to add one more layer of complexity to this decision tree you face. Is it possible that you can get permits for the downstairs kitchen? Talk with your agent. If she feels like the property will get just as much buyer interest and just as many offers if you just pull the kitchen out, because of the nature of the place, then I’d say you should do that.

But if the downstairs “unit” was a primary reason buyers were interested last time, talk with your agent and contractor about whether it’s possible to cost-effectively get the kitchen permitted. If so, consider going that route, but do keep in mind the reality that applying for permits on the kitchen might expose you to additional inspector demands, like upgrades to electrical and other systems. So make sure you have a trusted, legitimate contractor on board who can tell you in advance what such demands would likely be.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is a real estate broker, attorney and the author of two critically acclaimed books on real estate. Tara also speaks and writes on the art and science of life transformation at RETHINK7.com.

Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent

Common surprises in real estate negotiation

When contingencies are involved, expect the unexpected

BY DIAN HYMER, MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2013.

Inman News®

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=22697938" target="_blank">Underwater minefield</a> image via Shutterstock.Purchase offers usually aren’t accepted as written. Commonly, buyers and sellers engage in the equivalent of a tennis match, counter offering back and forth until they meet a mutually agreeable purchase contract. At this point, you might be inclined to think the negotiation phase of the transaction is over.

That may have been the case decades ago. But the home sale process has become more complicated over the years. Today, it might be more appropriate to say that the negotiations are over when the transaction closes. That is, if there aren’t any after-closing issues, like a leaky roof that wasn’t disclosed that could require more negotiation.

After a purchase contract is signed — including all the addenda and counteroffers — it is said to be ratified. A ratified contract is binding on both parties and usually can’t be unilaterally changed by one party without agreement from the other party. Any modification to a ratified purchase contract needs to be in writing. Verbal agreements to sell real estate are not binding.

Most purchase contracts include contingencies that provide buyers a time period to comply with certain parts of the transaction. The most common contingencies are for inspections and investigations, loan approval, appraisal of the property, and the sale of another property.

Usually, if the buyers use their best efforts to satisfy these contingencies but are unable to do so, they can withdraw from the contract without penalty and have their good faith deposit returned to them.

You should fully understand any purchase offer you sign as well as the impact of the buyers removing or not removing contingencies before you sign the contract. Not all contingencies contain the same language.

For example, some inspection contingencies give the sellers the right to remedy a defect; others allow the buyers to withdraw from the contract for any reason at the end of the inspection contingency period. Any questions should be directed to a real estate attorney.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Even though the ratified contract is legally binding on both the buyer and seller, circumstances can change during the transaction that may result in renegotiation. The most common occurs when the buyers’ inspection contingency is due. If buyers’ inspections reveal new information about the property, the buyers may agree to remove the inspection contingency but only if the sellers repair defects or contribute financially to repairs.

This puts the contract in limbo and requires good faith negotiation to salvage the transaction. Otherwise, the buyers and sellers agree in writing to cancel the contract. The sellers put their home back on the market and the buyers look for another home to buy.

Not all buyers renegotiate the contract when the inspection contingency is due. If the sellers have provided presale inspection reports and thorough disclosures before the buyers made an offer, it’s less likely that the buyers will make further requests from the sellers.

Another trigger for further negotiations can occur when an appraisal ordered by the buyers’ lender values the property at a price that’s lower than the purchase contract price. The effect of this is that the buyers’ lender will lend less than it said it would before the appraisal was done.

The buyers could ask for another appraisal, withdraw from the contract or try to negotiate a solution with the sellers. This might mean that the buyers agree to put more cash down, or they could ask the sellers to lower the purchase price, or a combination of the two. The goal is to reach a price that will work with the lower loan amount.

Buyers who feel they overpaid for the property may be more inclined to request a reduction to the appraised value and hold firm at that price.

THE CLOSING: If the sellers won’t agree, the transaction will fail.

Dian Hymer, a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author of “House Hunting: The Take-Along Workbook for Home Buyers” and “Starting Out, The Complete Home Buyer’s Guide.”

 

Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent

Eight ways to improve your home appraisal

  • By Lou Carlozo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Kellie and Michael May decided to refinance their home in the New York suburbs, they wanted to take advantage of historically low interest rates. But before landing a new 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, they had to get through a home appraisal.

“It was a major stumbling block,” says Kellie May, who has owned the 4-bedroom, 3-bath colonial for seven years. Not that she and her husband were unprepared; they’d been through an appraisal for another refinance in 2010, so they knew to point out improvements they’d made to the 3,400 square foot home, and supply prices for other neighborhood properties that had sold recently.

But the appraisal came back roughly $70,000 less than the $1,230,000 the Mays were expecting, and too low to support their new loan.

They responded with a paperwork arsenal aimed at their lender, asserting that the appraisal had been based on faulty recent sales data. The loan squeaked through, after the bank crafted an exception for the Mays. It was able to do that because their loan was a jumbo loan, not subject to the more rigid underwriting standards they would have encountered if it were a conventional loan aimed at secondary buyers like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Low appraisals are becoming a bigger problem for many would-be buyers and refinancers as home values have started to stabilize and rise in some markets.

In Leesburg, Florida, for example, low appraisals have caused the cancellation of as many as 15 percent of home sales for local real estate broker Gus Grizzard.

“We are seeing higher price appreciation and are starting to run into appraisal problems,” said Charlie Young, chief executive officer of ERA Franchise Systems, a firm with a national network of real estate brokerage offices, including Grizzard’s. The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that inventories of homes were low and the median price a home resale was, at $180,800 in December, up 11.5 percent in a year.

Appraisals are based on recent sales prices of comparable properties. And in rising price markets, those sales prices might not be high enough to support the newest deals. Young said there were many places in California reporting appraisal problems.

On Friday, the federal government issued new rules aimed at improving the appraisal process as it pertains to high-interest mortgages on rapidly appreciating homes.

But those rules don’t go into effect for a year, and don’t apply to most conventional loans. It pays to protect your own loan before the bank even thinks about sending that guy with the clipboard over to your house.

“The reality is that the appraiser is only there for 30 minutes at most,” says Brian Coester, chief executive of CoesterVMS, a nationwide appraisal management company based in Rockville, Maryland. “The best thing a homeowner can do to get the highest appraisal possible is make sure they have all the important features of the home readily available for the appraiser.”

Here are eight ways you can bolster your appraisal:

MAKE SURE APPRAISER KNOWS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Is the appraiser from within a 10-mile radius of your property? “This is one of the first questions you should ask the appraiser,” says Ben Salem, a real estate agent with Rodeo Realty in Beverly Hills, California.

He recalled a recent case where an appraiser visited an unfamiliar property in nearby Orange County and produced an appraisal that Salem said was $150,000 off. “If the appraiser doesn’t know the area intimately, chances are the appraisal will not come back close to what a property is really worth.”

You can request that your lender send a local appraiser; if that still doesn’t happen, supply as much information as you can about the quality of your neighborhood.

PROVIDE YOUR OWN COMPARABLES

Provide your appraiser with at least three solid and well-priced comparable properties. You will save her some work, and insure that she is getting price information from homes that really are similar to yours.

Websites including Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia offer recent sales prices and details such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a home.

KNOW WHAT ADDS THE MOST VALUE

If you’re going to do minor renovations, start with your kitchen and bathrooms, says G. Stacy Sirmans, a professor of real estate at Florida State University. He reviewed 150 variables that affect home values for a study sponsored by the National Association of Realtors. Wood floors, landscaping and an enclosed garage can also drive up appraisals.

DOCUMENT YOUR FIX-UPS

If you’ve put money into the house, prove it, says Salem.

“Before-and-after photos, along with a well-defined spreadsheet of what was spent on each renovation, should persuade an appraiser to turn in a number that far exceeds what he or she first called out.”

Don’t forget to highlight all-important structural improvements to electrical systems, heating and cooling systems – which are harder to see, but can dramatically boost an appraisal. Show receipts.

TALK UP YOUR TOWN

If your town has recently seen exciting developments, such as upscale restaurants, museums, parks or other amenities, make sure your appraiser knows about them, says Craig Silverman, principal and chief appraiser at Silverman & Co. in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS

Many homeowners covet that refinished basement, but that doesn’t mean appraisers look at it the same way. “Improvements and additions made below grade, such as a finished basement, do not add to the overall square footage of your house,” says John Walsh, president of Total Mortgage Services in New York. “So they don’t add anywhere near as much value as improvements made above grade.”

According to Remodeling magazine, a basement renovation that cost $63,000 in 2011-12 will recoup roughly 66 percent of that in added home value. That’s not as good as an attic bedroom, which will recoup 73 percent of its cost. Even similar bedrooms typically count for more if they are upstairs instead of downstairs.

CLEAN UP

Even jaded appraisers can be swayed by a good looking yard. “Tree trimming, cleaning up, a few flowers in the flower beds and paint touch up can all help the appraisal,” says Agnes Huff, a real estate investor based in Los Angeles.

That advice holds true indoors, too. “Get rid of all the clutter in your home,” says Jonathan Miller, a longtime appraiser in New York. “It makes the home appear larger.”

GIVE THE APPRAISER SOME SPACE

Don’t follow the appraiser around like a puppy. “I can’t tell you how many homeowners or listing agents follow me around in my personal space during the inspection,” he says. “It’s a major red flag there is a problem with the home.”

And while you’re at it, make the appraiser’s job as pleasant as possible by giving your home a pleasant smell. At a minimum, clean out the litter box. Baking some fresh cookies and offering him one or two probably won’t sway your appraisal, nor should it. But it couldn’t hurt.

(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent

Pending Home Sales Index Leaps To Multi-Year High

Published November 30, 2012

Pending Home Sales IndexHomes were sold at a furious pace last month.

According the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.2 percent in October, crossing the benchmark 100 reading, and moving to 104.8.

It’s a 5-point improvement from September’s revised figure and the highest reading April 2010 — the last month of that year’s federal home buyer tax credit.

October also marks the 18th consecutive month during which the index showed year-to-year gains.

As a housing market metric, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) differs from most commonly-cited housing statistics because, instead of reporting on what’s already occurred, it details what’s likely to happen next.

The PHSI is a forward-looking indicator; a predictor of future sales. It’s based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condominiums, and co-ops. Later, when the contract leads to a closing, the “pending” home sale is counted in NAR’s monthly Existing Home Sales report.

Historically, 80 percent of homes under contract, and thus counted in the Pending Home Sales Index, will go to settlement within a 2-month period, and a significant share of the rest will close within months 3 and 4. The PHSI is a predictor of Existing Home Sales.

Regionally, the Pending Home Sales Index varied in October 2012 :

  • Northeast Region : 79.2; +13 percent from October 2011
  • Midwest Region : 104.4; +20 percent from October 2011
  • South Region : 117.3; +17 percent from October 2011
  • West Region : 105.7; +1 percent from October 2011

A Pending Home Sales Index reading of 100 or higher denotes a “strong” housing market.

Of course, with rising home sales comes rising home values. 2012 has been characterized by strong buyer demand amid falling housing supplies. It’s one reason why the Case-Shiller Index and the FHFA’s Home Price Index are both showing an annual increase in home prices. Plus, with mortgage rates low as we head into December, the traditional “slow season” for housing has been anything but.

The housing market in Greenville is poised to end 2012 with strength. 2013 is expected to begin the same way.

Jobs

 COURTESY OF YOUR NUMBER ONE ARCADIA REAL ESTATE AGENT

Best Productivity Tool? iPhone or Android? Check Out the Answers to the 3 Quick Question Quiz

by Inman Next →

August 14, 2012  |  EventsNext TV

We were thrilled when Real Estate Connect Ambassador Bill Risser showed us his “Three Quick Question Quiz” and filmed ICSF attendees responses.

Check out the videos and get the inside scoop on everything from how these attendees like to spend their time to the tech tools have won their hearts (and work for the their business).

Peter Brewer

Best productivity tool? You might be surprised…

Monica Monson

Does Pinterest or Twitter get the job done? Check out the video to find out:

Raj Qsar

We all know Raj produces amazing videos but what does he do when he is away from work? Find out here:

Ricardo Bueno

MacBook or PC (or too obvious)?

Check out more “Three Quick Question Quizzes” and perspectives from the conference floor on our Inman News YouTube channel. 

COURTESY OF YOUR NUMBER ONE ARCADIA REAL ESTATE AGENT

 

Coldwell Banker $20,000 Giveaway

You could win $20

Click on picture below to enter the $20,000 Giveaway.

You could win $20K

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Only 2% of People Can Multitask Successfully

by 36

Pride yourself on multitasking? You may need to take a closer look at how you tackle your to-do list.

Despite the numerous gadgets and apps that help us get through our days, research suggests that only 2% of people can multitask effectively. As for the remaining 98%? They’re actually lessening their productivity without even realizing it.

This infographic from OnlineCollege.org details how often we confuse multitasking with actual distraction. For example, employees who use a computer for work are, on average, distracted every 10.5 minutes. Students who bring their laptops to class aren’t doing much better, since 62% of the web pages that they open during class are completely unrelated to the lecture. And what about the 67% of people who check their email or use a mobile web browser while on a date?

 

SEE ALSO: 8 Google Chrome Extensions to Boost Your Productivity
 

Focusing on more than one thing decreases your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points, according to Harvard Business Review. And it almost goes without saying how dangerous it is to multitask while driving.

Check out the infographic below for more stats on how multitasking affects the average person. Do you think you’re part of the elite 2% that can achieve it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

Multitasking Infographic

COURTESY OF YOUR NUMBER ONE ARCADIA REAL ESTATE AGENT

 

New iPhone 5 release date, news and rumours

By Dan Grabham 
iPhone 5 news and rumours
New iPhone 5 release date, news and rumours
Is this what the new iPhone will look like?

Although widely expected, there was no iPhone 5 in 2011 after all, though the company did announce the iPhone 4S.

So we’ll surely see a total revision of the iPhone during 2012. We’ve gathered together all the latest rumours on the new iPhone 5 to give us a reasonable picture of what Apple’s latest handset might be like.

You’ll find all the rumours below, but why not check out our new iPhone 5 rumours video first?

iPhone 5 release date

Given the pattern of Apple’s iPhone launches, we’re expecting the new iPhone 5 release date to be mid to late 2012.

At Apple’s WWDC 2012 event in early June we learnt a lot more about iOS 6, but there was no hardware (well, apart from new Macs). Check out the launch news as well asiOS 6: everything you need to know.

We reported in February that the new iPhone release date would be in October, falling into line with the same release schedule from last year – something backed up by the Verizon CFO.

According to analyst Shaw Wu, the Cupertino firm has reduced the number of iPhone orders by 20%-25% for this quarter ahead of the release.

It seems that Foxconn will again be manufacturing the handset. It’ll put the Samsung Galaxy S3 “to shame” according to the CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou – though he didn’t say how.

However, a “Taiwan-based supply chain source” told DigiTimes in early May that Chinese firm Pegatron Technology has the iPhone 5 order ahead of a scheduled September launch.

According to the report Pegatron has also received orders for a 10-inch iPad, which is due to launch at the end of this year – which sounds equally spurious.

This does fit in with a mooted August 7 launch date for the iPhone 5, as is currently being quoted by Know Your Mobile through an ‘industry source’, but we’ll wait to see if that actually comes to pass – and it now seems impossible given that actual manufacturing has yet to begin.

And that seems to be ‘backed up’ by a report from App4phone.fr that the iPhone 5 release date will be September 21… although let’s be honest, a Chinese accessory maker with no name to the source being quoted by a previously unknown site when it comes to Apple launches isn’t the most reliable of sources.

Update: The latest rumour in the huge mill of new iPhone 5 release dates comes from another unknown source (*sigh*) – which claims we’ll see Appletake to the stage on September 12 to show off the next handset, alongside the iPad Mini.

Update:Further suggestions that September 12 will be the iPhone 5 launch date have been made, this time via sources for Reuters and AllThingsD.

Update: Networks could be preparing themselves for the arrival of the iPhone 5, as the 32GB model cropped up in a drop down menu in O2′s online accessory store – although the network was quick to stay it had nothing to do with the next iPhone and was purely “human error”, hmmm…

Update: Adding more fuel to the September 12 iPhone 5 release date fire is the rumour which says pre-orders for the new iPhone will start on the same date - something we’ve seen Apple do with other products – with stock expect to ship on September 21.

Update:According to reports, US network AT&T has cleared its schedule in anticipation of the iPhone 5 release date falling in September.

iPhone 5 name

We reckon iPhone 5 is still the favourite for the name of the new iPhone, but it could follow the new iPad and end up being called, simply, the new iPhone. We really hope not. One thing is for sure, Apple has already filed a complaint over the ownership of the iPhone5.com URL.

Update: Apparently Apple is testing two versions of the next iPhone, which are known as “iPhone5,1″ and “iPhone5,2″ – so could handset number six for Apple actually be called number five?

iPhone 5 form factor

Unlike the iPhone 4S, the new iPhone will be a completely new design from what has gone before, so that means an entirely new casing as we saw with the iPhone 3G and, later, the iPhone 4.

Interestingly, someone who claimed to have seen a larger iPhone 5 prototype said in November 2011 that Steve Jobs canned the new size and opted for the iPhone 4S.According to Business Insider, it was feared that a new size would create a two-tier iPhone ecosystem.

Beatweek also claimed in November 2011 that the 5-inch was scrapped “because Apple wouldn’t be able to do it properly” this year. However, the Daily Mail (make of that what you will) then suggested that a four-inch version was likely and that Sony has already shipped top secret demo screens to Apple.

A new iPhone 5 backplate leaked in early May – they were acquired by 9to5 Mac, but look like the combination of a lot of the other rumours we’ve heard about the shape and size of the new handset. These feature bigger speaker grills as well as a four inch screen and a two-tone back with brushed aluminum .

And there’s a picture of the front been leaked too, with a lovely side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 4S for good measure, courtesy of KitGuru:

 

iPhone 5

 

The two-tone back was also spotted in a video from eTrade Supply, which again showed the relocation of the headphone jack as well as a smaller connector and redesigned speaker grills.

detailed video render of all the iPhone 5 rumoured/leaked images was also uploaded to YouTube in early June.

Update: Rumours surrounding that famous Apple 30-pin connector on the base of the iPhone have flared up again, with Reuters reporting that thedock connector is getting smaller to make room for a 3.5mm headphone jack on the base of the new iPhone 5.

Update: We’ve now seen a Chinese site claim to have a fully assembled iPhone 5 chassis - bringing together all the design aspects mentioned in previous leaks, including a smaller dock, relocated headphone jack, centralised front facing camera and two-tone back.

Update: More dock connector rumours, this time claiming Apple will opt for an even smaller 8-pin option over the current 30-pin port or rumoured 19-pin version.

 

iPhone 5 LEAK

 

Credit: iLab Factory

Update:According to a video which claims to show off the front panel of the new iPhone, the handset will be the same width as the iPhone 4S, but will be taller and thinner.

Update: Apparently the new SIM trays for the iPhone 5 have leaked online, showing that they will be smaller and the ones found in the iPhone 4/4S – pointing towards the use of nano-SIMs in the new iPhone.

Update: The smaller dock connector rumour is refusing to die, and now we’ve been told that the new iPhone won’t feature a 19-, 16- or 8-pin port, but instead a 9-pin offering will appear on the base of the device.

Update: The new iPhone may touch down at a svelte 7.6mm in thichness, making it one of the slimmest smartphones on the market, and 1.7mm thinner than the iPhone 4S.

iPhone 5 specs

Based on the roadmap of mobile chip design specialist ARM (of which Apple is a licensee), we’ll see a quad-core processor debut in the new iPhone 5 – probably called the Apple A6. We’ve seen other quad core handsets debut in 2012, so it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the new iPhone 5 will be the same.

We had expected some kind of help in terms of predicting the iPhone 5 CPU from the launch of the new iPad, but the announcement of a slightly tweaked A5X processor really didn’t help things there.

According to a tip to 9to5Mac, the CPU will be the S5L8950X. Again this could be a derivative of the A5, but as 9to5Mac points out, Apple is probably working on a low-power 32nm version of the processor. As we could well have guessed, that processor will be manufactured by Samsung but designed by Apple itself.

The same report suggests 1GB of RAM, which seems right to us.

In terms of other specs aside from the screen (more on that below), rumours are persisting that the new iPhone 5 may have a new dock connector. The leaked 9to5Mac iPhone 5 backplate has this smaller dock connector.

 

iPhone 5 backplate

 

[Image credit: 9to5Mac]

TechCrunch reported in June that the sixth generation of iPhone will come with a 19-pin connector on its base, with Apple ditching the iconic 30-pin port which has graced previous iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Well, it had to happen sometime didn’t it?

Update: According to a report from the Financial Times, mobile operators are stockpiling nanoSIMs, as they expect the iPhone 5 to support the latest, and smallest, SIM technology.

Update: Images of a range of internal gubbins, all claiming to be parts of the iPhone 5, have made their way onto the internet – revealing more about Apple’s sixth generation handset.

iPhone 5 will have 4G/LTE support

After the new iPad’s launch brought 4G to an Apple device, it’s widely expected that 4G will come to iPhone 5. And with many 4G handsets already announced in the US, it can’t be long before the iPhone supports 4G technologies – even if we won’t even have a UK spectrum auction until late this year or maybe early next.

Because of the 4G fuss over the new iPad in the UK, we’d expect this to be played down in any UK handset – or the UK might get a different version entirely of course.

Steve Jobs’ iPhone 5 legacy

Many sites have reported that Steve Jobs was working hard on the iPhone 5 project, which will apparently be a “radical redesign”. We shall see… but the fact the iPhone 4S was so similar to the iPhone 4 suggests that Steve was working on something pretty special before

Check out this handy iPhone 5 video detailing the latest rumours on release date, spec and more – so check if out for a quick fix of next-gen Apple fun:

The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that: “Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the phone. One person familiar said the fifth-generation iPhone would be a different form factor than those that are currently available… it was unclear how soon that version would be available to Verizon or other carriers.”

According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Jobs “had worked closely on the redesigned phone before his death”.

iPhone 5 screen

Various sources claim the iPhone 5 will feature a larger, 4-inch screen. Digitimes quotes the source as saying that Apple is expanding the screen size “to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market.”

On 23 May 2011, we reported on rumours that the iPhone 5 could feature a curved glass screen. These rumours also came from Digitimes, which said that Apple has purchased between 200 and 300 special glass cutting machines because they’re too costly for the manufacturers to invest in.

In March 2012, new reports suggested that the new iPhone 5 would come sporting a larger 4.6-inch retina display, while April rumours even suggested the next iPhone will use new touch technology.

During May, The Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying the device will definitely sport a 4-inch display – which seems to be the broader consensus as well - other prototypes are similar in size. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to dampen the ‘larger screen’ speculationat the recent D:10 conference, saying the company has “one phone with one screen size, one resolution”.

Those of you who are keen Apple watchers will, however, know that he is wrong – the currently-available 3GS does not have the same resolution as the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Whatever, it seems Sony is involved with the display and it has been making the screen since February, ramping up production from May. A larger screen will also be welcomed by developers, as Mobilebloom points out.

Update:The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 5 will use new in-cell technology to produce a thinner, lighter screen – which looks set to be 4-inches in size.

Update: Sharp has confirmed it will start shipping displays for the next-gen iPhone in August – although it didn’t reveal what size, blast.

Update: Apparently the front panel of the new iPhone has made its way online in the form of a video, and reveals that the iPhone 5 will indeed sport a larger screen, 4.06-inches in size and with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Update: After some digging around in the beta version of iOS 6 a scalable option to increase the OS to fit a 640×1136 resolution version has added more fuel to the larger screen fire.

Which retina is the best? We compare the high-res displays on Apple’s new iPad, iPhone 4S and 2012 MacBook Pro up-close:

iPhone 5 digital wallet – NFC

There’s been some speculation that Apple might include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the iPhone 5, turning it into a kind of credit/debit card.

However, with the tech being inside the Google Nexus Sand Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as well as a host of other top smartphones, the time for NFC may finally be here.

On 24 June 2011 it was reported that the Google Wallet mobile payment platform could feature on the new iPhone. Eric Schmidt admitted that Google is looking to port the software to other manufacturers.

However, on 31 January 2012 9to5Mac claimed to have spoken with a well-connected developer who disclosed information received from Apple iOS engineers saying they are “heavily into NFC”.

The developer in question has not been named, but is working on a dedicated iOS app which includes NFC reading for mobile transactions. When questioned how confident he was on the information he had received his reply was “Enough to bet the app development on”.

On April 30 2012 an Apple patent filing reinforced the idea NFC in iPhone 5 – and leaked code from something purporting to be the new iPhone alsocontains a lot of information on NFC in the new iPhone.

iPhone 5 camera

Sony makes the camera for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Speaking at a liveWall Street Journal event, Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer was talking about the company’s camera image sensor facility in Sendai, a town that was recently ravaged by the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

According to 9to5Mac, he said something along the lines of, “Our best sensor technology is built in one of the [tsunami] affected factories. Those go to Apple for their iPhones… or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us.”

Sources have also suggested the new iPhone could have an 8MP camera. Indeed, Sony announced in January 2012 that it had developed new back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensors which are smaller in size. It’s also been reported that the new iPhone will have an HD front-facing camera as well.

An interesting titbit via MirrorlessRumors is around a removable iPhone back panel that would include the camera lens has been spotted in a patent document. It seems to show that the device would work either by swapping the panel, or rotating the panel to change lenses.

iPhone 5 price

If the iPhone 5 is an evolutionary step like the move from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S then we’d expect the price to stay more or less the same, although in the UK higher VAT rates may well mean a higher price tag.

It’s pretty much nailed on that the new iPhone will cost around £500 for a 16GB / 32GB model (depending on the capacity Apple whacks in there) and unless the iPhone 5 comes with some truly next generation technology that pricing model should hold firm.

Will the iPhone 5 be Liquidmetal?

Apple has added a further two years onto its exclusivity deal for the Liquidmetal technology, which also includes future updates to the tech.

Liquidmetal is a metal alloy which is super strong and boasts a range of unique properties, apparently making it perfect for consumer products.

Apple has only used the technology once so far, and that was for the small SIM card tray ejector tool for the iPhone 3GThere are rumblings that iPhone 5 could sport a Liquidmetal chassis.

iPhone 5 review

TechRadar is renowned for its detailed phone reviews where we look at every aspect of a handset, and we’ll be bringing you a full, in-depth iPhone 5 review when we get our hands on one.

As for the name, well it looks like it will be called iPhone 5. Apple has certainly been trying to protect the name iPhone 5 – and has even launched a claim over the iPhone5.com domain name.

There’s a lot of ‘information’ out there on what the new iPhone 5 will look like – be it larger screens, coloured backs or a whole glut of new technology tagged on the back.

However, while there’s (unsurprisingly) nothing in the way of a genuine leak from Apple when it comes to the iPhone 5, there’s a wealth of content from fans trying to guess/hint what the new iPhone will look like.

We’ve sifted through the wheat and dropped the chaff – here’s our gallery of images we think show the most likely design of the iPhone 5 (or just things that would clearly never happen, but come on… it’s cool).

TechRadar has now got on board with the 3D render gang and produced its own video of what the iPhone 5 may look like, taking inspiration from the most talked about rumours.

And here’s what everyone else came up with…

 

iPhone 5

 

Credit:Martin Utrecht (Flickr)

This is the pick of the bunch – a very impressive render based on all the iPhone 5 rumours collated so far. The two tone back and sleek design fromMartin Utrecht are so on message that a number of sites were fooled into thinking this was THE new iPhone. It’s not though. Don’t get excited.

 

iPhone 5

 

Credit:Ciccarese Design

We’re fans of this design not because it’s likely to happen, but more because it will appeal to the Apple fanboys of the world. It’s basically the unholy fusion of a Magic Mouse and an iPhone (with more than a nod to the much-fabled iPhone HD) from Ciccarese Design.

Although if it did double as a mouse, you’d have to pray that’s going to be the next generation of Gorilla Glass protecting the screen.

 

iPhone 5

 

Credit:NAK Phone Design

This is the most ‘normal’ of all the renders we’ve chosen here, and for that very reason we’re happy to state that if Apple goes in a new direction with the iPhone 5 design, this could very well be close to the mark with a more rounded-yet-industrial design.

However, it does look a bit like a Sony Ericsson Satio, which is a BAD THING. Although we do like the smorgasbord of colours here from NAK.

 

iPhone 5

 

Credit:tob!s

What’s this?A phone with a smart cover? That makes a lot of sense. The rest of the concept is a little on the bland side (although you should check out the full range over on Concept-Phones) with a more angular design, but we love this cover notion.

 

iPhone 5

 

Credit:ADR Studios

We love this concept for one reason: the idea of incorporating the home button into a dock at the bottom of the screen. Would it work in practice? Probably not, as it would only be relevant for the home screen and engineering that into an LCD panel would be a pain in the posterior.

But we’re in concept land here – there are no limitations, so kudos to ADR Studios for a decent range of ideas on the next iPhone.

And to that end, here’s the ultimate in concepts for the iPhone – a video from Aatma that comes up with the idea of projecting a keyboard from the iPhone using a laser.

Make. This. Happen.

 

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6 Kitchens, 6 DIY Updates

Get inspired to give your own kitchen a fresh look with ideas from these affordable, do-it-yourself fixes

 While an incredible kitchen remodel is impressive, sometimes a quick fix is all a kitchen needs — or all you can afford. These Houzz users got creative with their spaces, sticking to the basics but still creating a fresh new look. From new paint colors to clever countertop solutions to a smart layout fix, these six Houzzers managed to update their kitchens on tight budgets.
tsemdkel before
1. Cabinetry refresh in New HampshireBEFORE: Although the existing cabinets in tsemdkel‘s 1975 ranch were well built, they darkened the already poorly lit space. With a quick coat of paint and a new hardwood floor, the style changed dramatically.
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
AFTER: The owner kept the original backsplash for its classic look and installed new countertops. By taking down a wall that separated the kitchen from the den, she was also able to let more light into the space. “I now have a wonderful, sunny great room where there were two small, dark spaces before,” she says.New kitchen size: 13 by 12 feet
Budget: $10,000. The owner designed the space with the help of her mother, who’s an interior designer.
Location: Durham, New Hampshire
sarah gayle carter before
2. Bachelor’s barn in MaineWhen designer Sarah Carter moved to Maine to live in a converted barn with a new boyfriend, she found herself having to cook in a chaotic kitchen.”My South-African, ex-Rugby-playing guy was cute, but clearly oblivious to his surroundings,” she says.
kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
AFTER: Most of her budget went toward infrastructure changes — rewiring, putting in new outlets and track lighting, and installing on-demand hot water were musts. The flooring is simple DIY self-stick vinyl tiles, and the countertop was updated with a simple, stainless steel substrate. Ikea cabinetry and shelves and salvaged furniture provided the final — and affordable — touches.New kitchen size: 20 by 15 feet
Budget: $12,000, work done entirely on her own
Location: Bristol, Maine
capucine28 before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
3. New paint and counter finishes in QuebecAFTER: The bones of capucine28‘s kitchen were pretty good, so she knew that she could do the cosmetic work on her own. Sanding and varnishing the cabinets and painting the knobs refreshed the space, as did a fresh coat of soft yellow paint. Scrubbing the floor tiles and cleaning the grout revealed a decent kitchen floor. But the biggest change was on the countertop, which she refinished using the Encore Countertop system for a natural cement look.New kitchen size: 11 1/2 by 14 1/2 feet
Budget: $600 CAN, work done entirely on her own
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
malena before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
4. Simple floorplan fix in MassachusettsAFTER: Houzz user malena933 knew her kitchen needed an upgrade but she was on a tight budget. Instead of knocking everything out, she had her father carefully remove some of the cabinetry so she could turn the floorplan from a C to a more of a U shape. She repurposed almost all her cabinetry and hired a college student to help her install it in the new configuration.New paint and trim to match the original house gave the kitchen consistency.New kitchen size: 9 by 9 feet
Budget: about $10,000. The owner did all the work except electrical and plumbing.
Location: Monument Beach, Massachusetts
mizzyc before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
5. Empty nest revamp in TexasAFTER: As the mother of three boys and the manager of a miniature donkey ranch, Houzz usermizzyc didn’t have the time to update her kitchen until her boys were out of the house. Although she had built it in 1994 with materials meant to withstand three sons, it now felt outdated and inefficient. She got creative with materials and installation to cut down on costs. Granite was the major splurge, but tile from Home Depot and Lowe’s and a sink and faucet found online saved some serious cash.New kitchen size: 14 by 20 feet
Budget: $4,000, owner made the changes herself
Location: Lufkin, Texas
pfmorgan1416 before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
6. Countertop Changes in AlabamaAFTER: Houzz user pfmorgan1416 set out to redo her kitchen on her own. A DIY subway backsplash, minor carpentry changes and new hardware dressed up the space dramatically — but she was still plagued with a dark green, ’80s style laminate countertop. In the end, she decided to splurge and contract out for a new granite countertop that made a world of difference. Next up: A new, dark hardwood floor.New kitchen size: 12 by 12 feet
Budget: Done on her own over many years. The $1,500 granite countertop was biggest splurge.
Location: Alabama 

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