Jump to content

Our Blog

  • entries
    479
  • comments
    0
  • views
    5,472

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

Entries in this blog

 

Enjoy Your Home! 8 Remodeling Projects That Bring Homeowners Joy

Homeowners who take on remodeling projects gain major benefits – both emotionally and financially - according to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors®. Remodeling projects are assigned a  Joy Score to rank the of amount of enjoyment homeowners get from a remodel; Joy Scores range from 1 and 10, and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project. Eight projects received a perfect Joy Score of 10 in this year’s report. For information on these projects, check out this infographic: View the enitre report here: www.nar.realtor/reports/remodeling-impact
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Decor by Storm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
Know Your Model, Work It Well Brighter, Faster—but Not Stronger? Breaking Down the iPhone 8 Florida Waterfront Home in Kings Bay Homeowners are often looking for home improvement options that strike the right balance between affordability, functionality, aesthetics and eco-friendliness. Bamboo has been marketed as something of a panacea—a kind of wonder wood that checks all the boxes. Designers, contractors and consumers have all taken note, as bamboo has made its way into homes as flooring, walls, window treatments, furniture and more. Here are the properties that are making this popular material a go-to green choice for interior design materials. Affordability
Bamboo is a readily available wood…except for the fact that bamboo isn’t a wood at all, but a grass! Therein lies the secret to bamboo’s ascendant success as a housing material: It grows like a weed because it essentially is one. At a maximum of three feet per day, it is, in fact, the fastest growing plant on Earth. This abundance means it’s an affordable and easily accessible choice in an increasing number of household design elements. Versatility
Just the one word “bamboo” doesn’t do justice to the range of looks the material offers. It can vary greatly in shades and textures, making it a versatile option for decorators and designers. From the darkest darks to the palest natural shades, you can get just the right color to complement and accentuate the earth tones in your interior decor. (For example, a homeowner with dark hardwood floors can choose dark bamboo shades to tie the room together.) Just keep in mind that the color may change over time as the material ages, and tones may differ depending on where and when it was harvested (just as is the case with hardwood). Indeed, bamboo window treatments are particularly popular, and they’re available in a variety of options ranging from Roman shades to woven blinds. Whatever style you go for, bamboo blinds can pull together a room’s earth tones into one elegantly cohesive package, while allowing natural sunlight to filter in. While bamboo on its own is not a black-out solution, you can add blackout liners to prevent any undesired light filtration. Durability
Whether natural or manmade, few materials can match bamboo’s physical properties pound for pound. Because bamboo grows in wet, tropical climates, it is well-suited to resisting rain and wind. (East Asian cultures have made use of bamboo for centuries to build suspension bridges, huts, rafts and much more.) In fact, this unassuming reed beats out hardwood, brick and concrete alike in terms of compressive strength, while rivaling steel in tensile strength. The result is a lightweight, flexible material that performs admirably in heavily-trafficked and humid areas of the home, making it a great option for floors and furniture in living areas, as well as window treatments in areas like the bathroom. Interestingly, bamboo’s legendary durability persists even when it is broken down into its fibers. Rayon fabric, while luxuriously soft, is also incredibly strong. Add to that its natural anti-microbial properties, and you have a long-lasting material that is useful in a wide variety of textile applications. Sustainability
As a growing number of homeowners look for eco-friendly materials in their decor, perhaps no single factor has contributed to bamboo’s modern vogue in interior design more than its sustainability. As it is a grass rather than a tree, it can grow to a harvestable size (often over 100 feet) in a matter of months. This is in stark contrast to the years of water, fertilizer and pesticide required by other timber woods. Additionally, bamboo can grow on steep slopes and depleted or abandoned agricultural lands that would otherwise go to waste. The environmental benefits don’t stop there. Bamboo’s root systems are an effective reinforcement against soil erosion. Due to its fast-growing nature, bamboo farms that make responsible use of available land are an incredibly potent form of carbon sequestration. Finally, bamboo groves can produce up to 35 percent more oxygen than comparably sized forests. Processing bamboo has made leaps and bounds in terms of eco-friendliness. While bamboo plywood has traditionally required formaldehyde in the production process, more and more researchers are finding breakthroughs that make durable and biodegradable glues an economic reality. It’s worth noting that most of the world’s bamboo timber is grown in China and India, and therefore requires international shipping, and not all companies conform to the greenest methods of production. When you consider bamboo’s low carbon footprint along with its durability and lasting appeal, it’s no wonder that it’s made its way to homes in the form of furniture, window treatments, flooring and more. When you elect to adorn your home with this wonder wood (er, grass) you can rest easier knowing that a more beautiful home can be kind to Mother Earth and your bank account alike. Katie Laird is the director of Social Marketing for Blinds.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post 4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Decor by Storm appeared first on RISMedia.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

County Median Home Prices

Q2 2017 After the release of the Housing Price Index for the second quarter of 2017, we updated the median home price per county[1]. Applying the price change in the related metropolitan areas to every county, it seems that, compared to a year earlier, home prices continue to rise in 96 percent of counties. Counties in the following metro areas experienced price gains higher than 12.5 percent: Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Salem, OR Sherman-Denison, TX Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Longview, WA Meanwhile mortgage rates fall back. After a four-month spike following the elections, mortgage rates have started to move the other direction. Based on Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.20 percent in March while it decreased to 3.97 percent in July and it dropped further to 3.88 percent in August. We calculated the monthly payment by county based on the mortgage rate in October (3.5 percent), the rate as of March (4.2 percent) and a higher rate likely to be seen within the next two years (5.0 percent). Nationwide, it is estimated that the rise of mortgage rates from 3.5 to 4.2 percent increased the monthly payment by $77 to the amount of $938 while a rise from 4.2 to 5.0 percent will increase the monthly payments by $92[2] (to $1,030 per month). But the effect depends on the location. At the high end, San Francisco homebuyers have seen a nearly $391 increase in monthly payments so far, and if rates were even higher now, financing the same-priced home would cost an extra $468 per month.  At the low end, in Cochran County, TX, home buyers paid an extra $13 per month in March when mortgage rate was 4.2 percent, and they could see an extra $16 per month as rates rise to 5 percent. At this end of the spectrum, the change in monthly payments seems much more manageable. However, these examples only use the current price of homes to see the difference.  In the years ahead, NAR expects that the 30 year fixed-rate will increase to 4.2 percent in 2017 and 4.6 percent in 2018 while home prices are expected to rise 5.2 and 3.6 percent, accordingly. Rising prices in addition to rising mortgage rates will push the monthly cost of housing up even higher for new homebuyers. Existing homeowners who took out fixed rate mortgages will have the same monthly principal and interest payment. Select a County from the dropdown and see how much monthly payments change over the different mortgage rates:
Lastly, please take look at which counties will be affect mostly from the increase of mortgages rates:
Data by State (Q2 2017) Data by Price (Q2 2017) Methodology (Q2 2017)
  [1] There is data available for 3,119 counties.  For counties in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the growth rate is assumed to be the same as the MSA.  For counties outside of MSAs, a non-MSA growth rate for each state is applied. [2] The U.S. median home value matches the county prices calculations. For comparisons purposes, the calculated median home value reflects all homes while NAR’s U.S. median price represents home sales. Thus, the calculated price ($213,099) is expected to be lower than NAR’s home value ($253,600 in Q2 2017). Please see Methodology for more details.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Infographic: Easing the Burden of Student Loan Debt

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do Great Spaces: Emily Blunt and John Krasinski’s Park Slope Pad 4 Ways to Host an Effective Open House Is your crippling student loan debt keeping you from becoming a homeowner? According to an article by RefinanceStudentLoans.net, “The Case for Student Loan Forgiveness,” student loan debt is one of the highest debt categories in the U.S., coming in second to only mortgage debt. Add up the debt from the 44-plus million borrowers in the U.S. and it comes out to a whopping $1.44 trillion, the article reports. If you’ve experienced a hefty monthly student loan payment, then you’ll understand why borrowers are less likely to boost the economy. If all of your cash is going to bills and debt reduction, there’s no excess money to spend. This loan debt can also delay important life events—such as getting married, having children and buying a house—by 19 to 46 percent. Many are having trouble affording these loan payments after paying for rent, gas and utilities. According to the article, 8 million borrowers defaulted on their student loans as of 2016. Fortunately, there are some resources available that can ease the burden of student loan debt or erase it completely. Programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Perkins Loan Cancellation can help you if you work a non-profit, education or government job. If you don’t qualify for these, you can also apply for income-based repayment plans to lower your monthly loan payments or defer them for the time being. The following infographic, provided by RefinanceStudentLoans.net, offers a breakdown of available student loan forgiveness and alternative repayment options. Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Infographic: Easing the Burden of Student Loan Debt appeared first on RISMedia.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

If You’re In a Hurricane-Hit Area, the Federal Government Might Have a Job for You

The U.S. Small Business Administration is looking for damage verifiers in the parts of Texas and Florida that were hit by hurricanes. Damage verifiers are people who use their knowledge about real estate to give the agency their assessment of how much damage a structure  sustained in the storm. By one estimate, almost 150,000 structures were damaged by Hurricane Harvey, so there appears to be a need for many damage verifiers. In Florida, just in the Florida Keys, at least a quarter of all structures were damaged. The SBA is also looking for people to do about half a dozen other contract jobs related to storm recovery, including loan processors. The SBA opportunity is a top story in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. The video also looks at the so-called Big 6 tax reform framework, short-term reauthorization of federal flood insurance, and how to protect your data and your clients’ data from cyber criminals. The video also provides an update on home sales. Access and share the video.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

2016 Survey of Consumer Finances Takeaway: Income and Wealth Share of 90 Percent of Families Has Declined in Past 27 Years (1989-2016)

The Federal Reserve Board just released the much anticipated 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), a survey conducted every three years that collects information about family incomes, their net worth/wealth, and other financial characteristics of families. The survey shows a continuing redistribution of income and wealth to the top 1 percent, amid falling homeownership, modest gains in income at the lower income group, and large gains in financial returns from an 8-year stock market bull run. Top 1 Percent Has Gotten More of the Income and Wealth Pie Since 1989 One of the most important findings in the 2016 SCF is the continued redistribution and concentration of income and wealth to the top 1 percent of families[1] during 2013–2016, This continues the trend that began in 1989 since the SCF was collected. Since 1989, the top 1 percent of the income group has collectively gotten a higher share of the total income pie, the next nine percent saw no increase in their share, and the remaining 90 percent got a smaller share of the income pie (see Figure A below from 2016 SCF Report ). With cumulative change in prices of 3 percent in 2013-2016, the chart below shows the bottom 20 percent had no real income gains, while the second bottom 20 percent (20-39.9 percentile) saw a modest real growth in income of 2 percent. On the other hand, the top 10 percent saw a real income gain of 6 percent. The same picture holds true in terms of the wealth gains by wealth groups. Figure B below (from 2016 SCF Report) shows that the wealthy top 1 percent have increasingly gotten a larger share of total wealth since 1989, the next nine percent saw no change in their collective share of total wealth, while the remaining 90 percent saw their wealth decline dramatically. Clearly, there has been a perverse and inequitable distribution of income over the last 27 years. Percentage of Families Owning Primary Residence Has Declined Since 1989 One reason for the decline in the share of wealth among the bottom 90 percent is the decline in percentage of homeowner families. The 2016 SCF shows that the share of non-financial assets, which includes residential property, has generally declined since 1989. Non-financial assets still account for the bigger portion of the total assets of all families, at 57.5 percent in 2016, but the share has fallen since 1989, when the share hit a high of 69. 5 percent. The housing boom brought the share up to 66 percent, but it has continued to decline since 2007 in the wake of the Great Recession and collapse of the housing market. Primary residence and other residential properties accounted for 60.2 percent of non-financial assets in 2004, but the share of residential property has declined since the housing market collapse, to 53.3 percent in 2016. The share of residential asset holdings has declined even as home prices have climbed back up strongly. Based on the Case-Shiller national price index, home prices were up by 42 percent by the second quarter of 2017 compared to the levels in the second quarter of 2011 when prices hit rock bottom. In part, there are also fewer homeowners because home prices have increased more steeply than income. Ability and Desire to Own/Save for a Home Declined During Great Recession, But Appears to Be on the Rebound The 2016 SCF data shows that less than half of renters save, and that renters are less likely to save than homeowners. The Great Recession and conditions eight years since, have made it even more difficult for renters (and homeowners) to save. Moreover, the intention to save to buy a home was eroded in the wake of the housing crisis. In 2004, 4.7 percent of respondents reported that buying a home was the most important reason for saving, but this declined to 3.1 percent in 2013. However, the desire to save, and to do so for a home purchase appears to have turned a corner in 2016. A slightly higher percentage of renters (and owners) reported saving in 2016, and a higher fraction of those who saved did so for a home purchase. This may, in part, be explained by the improvement in the economy marked by sustained job growth and improvement in incomes, although at a modest pace. Non-financial Wealth Gains The wide gap in financial asset holdings across income groups also explains the increasing concentration of income as the fraction of families holding financial assets increase the higher the income group. Retirement accounts are the most prevalent form of financial holdings across income percentiles, followed by the cash value of life insurance, then stocks, then pooled investment funds. Nearly 92 percent of families in the top 10 percent own retirement accounts, while only 11 percent of those in the bottom 20 percent own these accounts. Meanwhile, 46 percent of families in the upper 20 percent own stocks compared to 34 percent or less for those in the bottom 40 percentile group. The median value of assets held by all families is $23,500, a drop in the bucket compared to the $818,000 held by the top 10 percent! The effect on wealth and income distribution from holding these financial and non-financial assets are considerable, particularly for financial assets. In the chart below, I rebased the stock, house price, and consumer price indices and the household median income to their annual average value in 2007 so I get the growth rate based on the same year. As shown in the chart below, the stock market has been on a tear since 2009, with the value up by 36 percent. Meanwhile, housing prices have just recovered in 2016. Median household income rose by only one percent as of 2016 compared to 2007, slower than the change in prices during this period of two percent. In summary, holdings to financial and non-financial assets and the slow growth in incomes explain the continued concentration of income to the upper income groups since 1989. The decline in homeownership had a significant effect. However, the economic conditions continue to improve , and more households have a desire to save for a home purchase. Any improvement in home ownership will help in redistributing wealth back away from the top 1 percent. [1] In the SCF, the family is the primary economic unit which includes the economically dominant individual or couple and all others who are financially dependent.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Top Field Guides for September 2017

Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guides from Information Central for the month of September 2017 was released today: Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics Field Guide to Establishing Your Business Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS® Field Guide to Errors & Omissions Insurance Field Guide to Writing a Business Plan Field Guide to Digital Cameras and Photography Field Guide to Recruiting & Retaining Salespeople Field Guide to Luxury Properties Field Guide to Staging Field Guide to Working with FSBOs Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Add Some Pumpkin Spice to Your Autumn Staging

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine It’s pumpkin season and that means pumpkin everything — lattes, muffins, cookies, cakes, and, yes, even home décor. Home stagers are adding a little “pumpkin spice” to their decor, from the welcoming fall scent to pumpkin accents that inspire a cozy, autumn feel. Plus, orange can serve as a great staging color. The bold hue pops against a neutral backdrop. Now, before you go all Trader Joe’s-pumpkin-explosion style, restrain yourself. Do not over-pumpkin your listing! Try adding a few pumpkins to your listing’s front stoop and maybe a few orange accessories here and there. Consider even some pumpkin lattes and muffins to complete your autumn open house. Houzz recently featured several ideas of how you can add pumpkin-orange inspiration to your décor, from orange velvet furnishings, towels, throws, and pillows to even an orange accent wall for those who want to commit on a bigger scale. Here are some of our favorites autumn staging ideas to get you inspired to add some pumpkin flair to your listing. 1. Add some pumpkins to your front stoop.  Photo by The Yellow Cape Cod – Search porch pictures Photo by Southern Botanical, Inc. – Look for entryway design inspiration 2. Try some pumpkin accents along the dining room table.  Photo by Adrienne DeRosa – Search dining room design ideas 3. Use some pumpkin flair to showcase the fireplace mantel.  Photo by Savvy Seasons – Browse living room photos   4. Add some pumpkins to your flower pots.  Photo by Greenlife Gardens – Discover landscaping design inspiration   5. Tuck mini pumpkins into your candle holders, and complement with orange accessories throughout the front porch. Photo by Seaside Interiors – Look for exterior home pictures 7. Weave orange throughout a room in small doses to offset darker color schemes. Photo by Seaside Interiors – More living room photos  8. Use shades of pumpkin for accents.  Photo by The Yellow Cape Cod – Browse home design ideas This is a Pumpkin Cream accent wall (Pumpkin Cream 2168-20 by Benjamin Moore) Photo by House + House Architects – Discover family room design inspiration Orange pillows: Photo by Tobi Fairley Interior Design – Browse living room ideas
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
Great Spaces: Emily Blunt and John Krasinksi’s Park Slope Pad 4 Ways to Host an Effective Open House Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Following Coke’s Lead to an Unfair Advantage The dream of purchasing a beach house is potentially one that you’ve had since you were a teenager or young adult; however, setting aside the money for this venture is an entirely different project. Instead of continuing to watch your dream shrink, consider some strategies for making a beach house a reality. Look for Less Desirable Locations
In your view, any house on the beach is likely in a desirable location, but that really depends upon what the buyer is looking for. One thing that you should consider is how the school district can have a significant effect on the price of a house. If you are looking for a summer home or you may not have children, the quality of the school district may not affect you at all. As a result, you can buy in a community that has a school district of a lower quality, which will likely mean a lower price.
Research Seasonal Communities
When you’re looking to purchase a house, you might think you need to buy a place that is yours to visit throughout the year; however, that isn’t necessarily the case. You may be able to find a home in a community that is only open to residents for a set number of months per year. During the colder seasons, it may close down. Due to the fact that you’re unable to inhabit the house year-round, you may have a greater chance of procuring a lower price. Rent the House
A beach house is a desirable location for many people, which provides you with the opportunity to rent it to them. You could rent your house out on AirBnB, for example. Some people decide to rent their houses out for the majority of the year and spend a short amount of vacation time there themselves, and others choose to just rent the house during peak seasons. You can decide what works for you.
Buy a Smaller House
In most cases, people looking to buy beach houses are not planning to live there during the entire year. As a result, you probably don’t need a prodigious beach house. Even when you want to make the beach house your full-time residence, ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to get a house on the beach. When you don’t intend to have children, one or two bedrooms in a house might be just right. Thinking about buying a beach house might feel overwhelming to you because of the perceived costs; however, you can actually make this wish a reality. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do appeared first on RISMedia.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

What We’re Reading: September 25-29

The Chicago Cubs, Levi’s Jacket, New iOS 11, Microsoft Office 2019, Twitter, Hipster Neighborhoods, and Repurposed Mines
It may be easy to miss this cottage tucked just outside of Wrigley Field. Bill Murray has been approached to play the coach in the movie about the Cubs’ World Series Win. Speaking of the Cubs, they just clinched the National League Central Division Title! Here’s a very unique house design made up of a cluster of cargo containers. The touch-sensitive jacket from Levi is finally available, making it possible to control your smartphone with a touch to your sleeve! All the features you need to know about the new iOS 11. Here’s why you shouldn’t charge your phone overnight… Is Twitter giving users exactly what they didn’t ask for? Bill Gates uses an Android phone, plus the next version of Microsoft Office is coming to a computer near you sometime next year. Expressing yourself in chat lingo – showdown between “haha” vs. “lol”. Looking for the hipster neighborhoods in your city? If you hear these things said at your workplace, it’s time to take action and get your job search moving! I don’t know about you, but #2 in this list sounds completely amazing! Unhealthy things, that are actually good for you?  I’m in! Stop throwing away your empty toilet paper rolls!   GorillaSushi/flckr/2009       This shiplap is sailing away…  Fixer Upper is ending after season 5. Make Halloween safer for kids with allergies by taking part in the teal pumpkin project.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

91 Percent of Closed Sales in August 2017 Had Contract Settlement Contingencies

Contract contingencies give the buyer and seller the right to back out of the contract if these conditions (contingencies) are not met. According to a monthly survey of REALTORS®, 91 percent of closed sales in August 2017 had contract settlement contingencies, up from 60 percent in December 2012, according to the August 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. The common contract settlement contingencies are related to passing home inspections (19 percent), the buyer obtaining financing (19 percent), and appraisal contingencies (15 percent). These contingencies are reflective of the risks buyers face when purchasing a home and are meant to protect buyers against these uncontrollable, but anticipated, risks. Financial contingencies indicate that buyers continue to face a potential problem obtaining credit and obtaining credit in a timely manner. Appraisal contingencies are reflective of the ongoing home price appreciation in many markets. Appraisal contingencies protect the buyer by ensuring that the property is appraised for a specified minimum amount. If the appraised value is higher, the buyer will need to obtain a bigger loan or put down a larger downpayment so if he cannot do so, then the appraisal contract contingency kicks in and the buyer does not need to proceed with the purchase. What this means to REALTORS®: REALTORS® need to understand the risks buyers face and to protect buyers from these anticipated risks.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

August Housing Market Activity in One Minute

Looking for a quick recap of housing activity reported this month by NAR Research? Look no further than September Housing Minute, our animated video series highlighting key data in under one minute. Visit https://www.nar.realtor/videos/housing-minute to watch all Housing Minute videos since June.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

August 2017 Pending Home Sales

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that August’s pending home sales pace is down 2.6 percent from last month and also down 2.6 percent from a year ago. Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead Existing Home Sales data by 1 to 2 months. All four regions showed declines from a year ago. The South had the smallest dip of 1.7 percent followed by the West with a decrease of 2.4 percent. The Midwest had a decline of 3.2 percent. The West had the biggest drop of 4.1 percent. From last month, all four regions showed declines in sales. The Northeast had the biggest dip of 4.4 percent. The South had a decline of 3.5 percent followed by the Midwest with a dip of 1.5 percent. The West had the smallest decline of 1.0 percent. The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 106.3. July’s data was revised down slightly to 109.1. In spite of the decline, this is the pending index’s 40th consecutive month over the 100 level. The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with a healthy market and existing home sales above the 5 million mark.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

NAR 2017 Home Sales Forecast Downgraded

Blame supply and affordability headwinds and Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston for August’s 2.6 percent decline in pending home sales. In the video below, I chat with NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun about why sales have stalled in recent months, why he’s now expecting 2017 sales to come up short of 2016, and what impact the Federal Reserve’s plan to unwind its balance sheet will have on mortgage rates and affordability headed into next year.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

REALTORS® Expect Continued Home Price Growth in Most States in the Next 12 Months

In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the National Association of REALTORS® asks members “In the neighborhood or area where you make most of your sales, what are your expectations for residential property prices over the next year?” Home prices have been on the rise as demand continues to outstrip supply. At the end of August 2017, the inventory of homes for sale stood at 1.88 million homes, which is equivalent to 4.2 months of the current monthly sales pace.  Month’s supply has been falling since January 2015, 27 consecutive months now. With falling inventory, home prices have increased. As of August 2017, the median price of existing homes sold was $253,500, surpassing the peak median price of $229,500 in June 2006. The map below shows the median expected price change of the respondents in the next 12 months at the state level, according to respondents in the August 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1]  REALTOR® respondents expected strong price growth in Washington, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, of more than five percent in the next 12 months. Since January 2012, the year which can be considered as a breakout year for the housing market, home prices have increased by 68 percent as of July 2017, a four-fold increase compared to the 15 percent gain in median household income. Housing starts, although improving, have not kept pace with the 1.5 million estimated demand for units coming from net household formation (about 1.2 million) and units needed to replace obsolete or destroyed homes. Housing starts need to ramp up even further, especially in Texas and Florida, to replace the housing units damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In Texas alone, the Texas Division of Emergency Management of the Department of Public Safety reported that as of September 19, there were 15,458 destroyed residential properties and 61,667 damaged properties (single-family, mobile, and multi-family).[2] [1] To increase the number of observations for each state, NAR uses data from the last three surveys. [2] DSO Spreadsheet 17-0021, Texas Department of Public Safety, https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/sitrep/default.aspx
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your Fall Produce Guide

Do you like to eat locally? While the summer has an abundance of fresh produce for you to grab at your local farmer’s market, as fall hits, many wonder what local produce is still available. Below are the top five things to eat this autumn, available in most regions in the country. Apples! All hail fall, the season of apples! From apple pie to applesauce, apple slaw and more, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy this crispy sweet (or tart!) treat. Look for local apples in your grocery store or drive up to a nearby farm to pick yourself. Broccoli. Although it does grow in the warmer months, broccoli lingers into the fall. Roast up some spears with garlic and olive oil, or pull out your wok for a quick stir-fry. Blackberries. Most of us think of summer as the season for berries, but blackberries are available in some regions well into the early fall. Great for pies, smoothies, muffins and fruit salads, these juicy berries are packed with antioxidants—great for fighting colds as the “sick” season approaches. Cabbage. Stuffed cabbage, baked cabbage, stewed cabbage, coleslaw! This cruciferous veggie is very versatile, and extremely inexpensive. Grab a head or four and get to munching. Cauliflower. Many mistake cauliflower as being void of nutrients due to its pale coloring, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Packed with vitamins, this veggie is great raw, steamed or baked. Some are even getting creative by making cauliflower “rice” and pizza crusts. Hit up Google for some innovative cauliflower recipes. Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Your Fall Produce Guide appeared first on RISMedia.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Instant Reaction: July Owners’ Gains Forecast

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index shows that U.S. prices of single-family homes continue to rise. The national index level in July reached a new high and is up 5.9 percent from a year earlier.  But what does this mean for homeowners? Home prices affect the wealth of homeowners. As the price of housing increases, the wealth of homeowners increases as well. Based on the above increase of home prices, it is estimated that value of owners’ household real estate was increased by 1.3 trillion in the last year and 110 billion came from home price increases in July. That means that 75 million homeowners each gained $17,600 on average in July 2017 from a year earlier.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Homebuying Demand Continues to Outpace Supply in Many States

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents reported that buyer traffic conditions in August 2017 were stable to very strong compared to conditions one year ago in all states except Delaware, according to the August 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] Respondents rate buyer traffic as “Stronger” (100), “Stable” (50), or “Weaker” (0) in August 2017 compared to August 2016. An index greater than 50 indicates that more respondents reported stronger than weaker traffic conditions. Nineteen states had the highest levels of the index, indicating that buyer traffic was very strong, led by Washington, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota, Tennessee, Michigan, Kentucky, and Hawaii. Meanwhile, supply was weaker or unchanged in many states in August 2017 compared to conditions in the same month last year. Seller conditions were “strong” only in nine states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, the REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index (64) indicates that buyer demand is stronger compared to conditions in the same month last year. Meanwhile, supply remained generally tight, with the REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index remaining below 50 (47). An index below 50 indicates that more respondents reported “weaker” than “stronger” seller conditions in August 2017 compared to conditions one year ago. Housing starts, although improving, have not kept pace with the 1.5 million estimated demand for units coming from net household formation (about 1.2 million) and units needed to replace obsolete or destroyed homes. Housing starts need to ramp up even further, especially in Texas and Florida, to replace the housing units damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In Texas alone, the Texas Division of Emergency Management of the Department of Public Safety reported that as of September 19, there were 15,458 destroyed residential properties and 61,667 damaged properties (single-family, mobile, and multi-family).[2] [1] In generating the indices, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations. [2] DSO Spreadsheet 17-0021, Texas Department of Public Safety, https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/sitrep/default.aspx
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Why You Should Stage a Cozy Fire Pit Area

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Fire features, like outdoor fire pits and fire tables, are in demand. The National Association of Landscape Professionals calls it one of the hottest landscape trends for the fall, based on a recent survey of 5,000 of its member landscapers. These hot-spots can be a great way to show off the entertaining potential of your outdoor space. Set up a fire pit with a few outdoor chairs around it. You can even drape a blanket over one chair and add ingredients to s’mores on a table to finish off this perfect cozy fall scene. Consider, taking a picture of your fire pit with the flames at dusk to even add to your listing photos to highlight as a selling point too. (A professional photographer may be best to get this picture so that the lighting is perfect.) Check out these chic fire pit areas featured by designers at Houzz. Photo by Envision Landscape Studio – Browse patio photos Photo by Alderwood Landscape Architecture and Construction – Browse patio photos Photo by Elevation Architectural Studios – More patio photos Photo by Arterra Landscape Architects – Browse patio photos Photo by Draper white – Discover patio design ideas Photo by Sycamore Design – Discover patio design ideas
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Get in Early on Emerging Neighborhoods

Buying in a hot housing market while prices are reasonable is a sure ticket to wealth. Analysts at GOBankingRates recently spotlighted 20 up-and-comers. The top 10 are: 1. Jungle Terrace – St. Petersburg, Fla.
Median List Price (as of July 2017): $239,900
Price Change Year-Over-Year: +44.5 percent 2. Beacon Hill – Seattle, Wash.
Median List Price: $569,995
Price Change Y-O-Y: +31.2 percent 3. Point Breeze – Philadelphia, Pa.
Median List Price: $295,000
Price Change Y-O-Y: +40.5 percent 4. Heather Gardens – Denver, Colo.
Median List Price: $278,750
Price Change Y-O-Y: +27.3 percent 5. Pinehurst – Seattle, Wash.
Median List Price: $350,000
Price Change Y-O-Y: +24.8 percent 6. Hazelwood – Portland, Ore.
Median List Price: $324,450
Price Change Y-O-Y: +22.4 percent 7. Twin Lakes – Las Vegas, Nev.
Median List Price: $182,450
Price Change Y-O-Y: +41 percent 8. Fairgrounds – Indianapolis, Ind.
Median List Price: $179,900
Price Change Y-O-Y: +29 percent 9. Bayside West – Tampa, Fla.
Median List Price: $229,900
Price Change Y-O-Y: +32 percent 10. Highland Hills – San Antonio, Texas
Median List Price: $135,000
Price Change Y-O-Y: +35.3 percent Source: GOBankingRates For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Get in Early on Emerging Neighborhoods appeared first on RISMedia.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Unmarried and Single American Home Buyers

Its Unmarried and Single Americans Week according to the U.S. Census. Here is some information about the home buying habits of single men, single women and unmarried couples from the National Association of REALTORS®’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Single females made up 17% of home buyers in 2016. No matter their relationship status, the most common reason people give for buying a home is a desire to own their own home. Unmarried, first-time homebuyers are the only relationship group, on average, to purchase a home before they turn 30. For more information about Unmarried and Single Americans Week, visit census.gov. To view more of the highlights from NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, visit here.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Homes Typically Sold in 30 Days Under Tight Supply Conditions in August 2017

Amid strong demand and tight supply, REALTORS® reported that  properties that sold in June–August 2017 were typically on the market for less than 31 days in 29 states and in the District of Columbia, according to the August 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] Properties sold quickly in states such as Washington (19 days), Utah and D.C. (20 days) Minnesota, Nevada, and Tennessee (21 days), California, Colorado, and Kansas (22 days). Only in seven states did properties typically stay on the market for two months or more: Wyoming, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Vermont, and Connecticut. Nationally, properties typically stayed on the market for 30 days in August 2017 days (30 days in July 2017; 36 days in August 2016).[2]  For comparison, properties were typically on the market for 97 days in 2011.  Nationally, 50 percent of properties that sold in August 2017 were on the market for less than a month (51 percent in July 2017; 46 percent in August).[3] Only five percent of properties were on the market for six months or longer. At the end of August 2017, the inventory of homes for sale stood at 1.88 million homes, which is equivalent to 4.2 months of the current monthly sales pace.  Month’s supply has been falling since January 2015, 27 consecutive months now. With falling inventory, home prices have increased. As of August 2017, the median price of existing homes sold was $253,500, surpassing the peak median price of $229,500 in June 2006. [1] In generating the median days on market at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations. [2]The survey asks, “For the last house that you closed in the past month, how long was it on the market from listing time to the time the seller accepted the buyer’s offer?” The median is the number of days at which half of the properties stayed on the market. [3] Days on market usually refers to the time from listing date to contract date.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Homebuyers Welcome the First Day of Fall

Today is the first day of fall, and for homebuyers the crisper air means a golden opportunity to jump into the housing market. While all seasons offer reasons for people to get involved in real estate, September and October bring specific advantages for interested buyers. Eager sellers Many sellers try to sell their home in spring or summer. When fall comes around and their home is still on the market, sellers may be getting eager and willing to make a deal. Fall buyers can take advantage and maybe find their dream home within their budget. Tax advantages At the end of the year, people start to think about what year-end tax breaks they might be eligible for. Homebuyers have the opportunity for tax deductions, such as the mortgage interest and property tax deductions, which put money back in their pocket. Sweater weather Buying a home after the sweltering heat of summer and before the cold of winter is ideal for homebuyers. Fall weather conditions make the task of moving a little bit easier and allow new homeowners to get settled in their homes for the holiday season. Connect with a Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, to learn more about buying a home.
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

What We’re Reading: September 18-22

Pumpkin spice, New Vocabulary Words, Greening the Workspace, Bitcoin Real Estate Deals and Animal Photography
Sick of Pumpkin spice already? (Personally, I was never into it in the first place)       flavourcurator.ca   Could binge watching TV be killing you or wrecking your sleeping habits? Retrofitted houses stand up to the latest Hurricane in Florida. New vocabulary is the spice of life and Merriam-Webster has once again expanded their dictionary. Just because the language is ever-changing, doesn’t mean you can’t strive for impeccable speech. CRT LABS has a green wall in the Chicago office. It turns out that green walls have many of the benefits of a green roof. Looking for ways to beautify the exterior? Try some of these unique border ideas to spice up your garden. Animal photography – just because! This real estate deal is the first to use solely cryptocurrency! Bill Gates wishes he could go back and make this an easier process. Bookstores are dying faster than ever these days, but these are a cause for celebration!

View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Potential First-time Buyers Still on the Sidelines

First-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of  buyers who closed a sale in August 2017, according to the August 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1]  The share of first-time buyers has been improving, although slowly, from less than 30 percent in 2013. Many potential first-time buyers are still on the sidelines, evidenced by the share of households who own a home. As of 2017Q2, the homeownership rate for the under 35 years old age group showed only a slight increase to 35.3 percent (34.3 percent in 2017Q1), while the homeownership rate for the 35-44 years old age group showed a slight decrease to 58.8 percent (59 percent in 2017Q1). In absolute numbers, there are six million fewer households who own homes among these age groups in 2016 compared to 2005.[2] What might account for this trends?  On the positive side, employment has been growing and interest rates have been at historic lows. On the negative side, difficulties in obtaining credit, steep price growth compared to income growth, and other factors such as student debt and delayed marriage account for why potential buyers have remained on the sidelines. Sustained employment growth. The share of first-time buyers has been on a modest uptrend since 2014 amid sustained job growth and a low interest rate environment. Since February 2010, the economy has generated 16.2 million non-farm jobs, which has now offset the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Over the past 12 months, 2 million jobs were created.  Low interest rates. Interest rates remain at an all-time low, amid a supportive monetary policy stance. The 30-year fixed home mortgage rate has stayed below four percent for the most part since 2015 and averaged 3.77 percent in August 2017. The Federal Reserve Board has raised the federal funds rate target four times starting in December 2015 which raised rates from 0-0.25 percent to 1.00-1.25 percent, but mortgage rates have not kicked up correspondingly. Economists do see interest rates moving up as the Federal Reserve winds down its $4.5 trillion of investments in mortgage-backed securities and Treasury securities starting in October 2017 at the rate of $10 billion a month. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun forecasts 30-year fixed mortgage rates to average 4.2 percent in 2017 and 4.6 percent in 2018.[3] Strong house price appreciation, lagging income growth. Although employment has been rising, incomes have not increased much, and income growth has lagged behind house price growth. Since January 2012, the year which can be considered as a breakout year for the housing market, home prices have increased by 68 percent as of July 2017, a four-fold increase compared to the 15 percent gain in median household income. Lack of inventory of homes for sale because inadequate new construction explains in part why home prices have increased at a fast pace. Housing starts, although improving, have not kept pace with the 1.5 million estimated demand for units coming from net household formation (about 1.2 million) and units needed to replace obsolete or destroyed homes. With falling inventory, home prices have increased. As of August 2017, the median price of existing homes sold was $253,500, surpassing the peak median price of $229,500 in June 2006.  Financing Constraints. Although interest rates are low, putting in a downpayment appears to pose as a constraint to interested homebuyers. FHA insures mortgages with 3.5 percent downpayment, with corresponding borrower credit scores of as low as 580. However, borrowers pay a mortgage insurance premium for the life of the loan (85 basis points for loans less than or equal to $625,500 with mortgage term of more than 15 years[4]), which may pose as deterrent in obtaining an FHA loan for some borrowers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have started offering 3 percent downpayment loans, but borrowers who put in five percent or less and who have less than 620 FICO score pay an additional 3.75 percent. According to Fannie Mae’s 2017 First Quarter Credit Supplement report[5], the share of single-family business acquisitions with loan-to-value ratio of more than 90 percent has in fact declined from nearly 20 percent in 2013—2014 to 15 percent in 2015–2017. NAR’s survey among its REALTORS® also shows that the share of first-time borrowers who put down 0 to 6 percent has declined from about 70 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in August 2017. Most studies indicate that those who are educated are more likely to have higher incomes and to become homeowners own a home. Student debt, when applied wisely, is a good investment and pathway to a higher standard of living and homeownership. However, student debt has delayed a home purchase for many non-homeowners. According to NAR’s 2017 Student Loan Debt and Housing Report 2017, 83 percent of non-homeowners reported that their student debt has delayed them from buying a home. The median years of delay is seven years among non-homeowners. Delayed marriage. Due to a host of factors, including economic reasons, men and women are postponing marriage. The median marrying ages for both men and women have been increasing since the 80’s, but the rate of increase appears to have accelerated after 2005. In 2005, the median marrying age for women was 25.3 years, while the median marrying age for men was 29.5 years. Everything else remaining the same, the delay in marriage has delayed homeownership by two years. In summary, solid employment growth and a slow rise in interest rates provide a hospitable environment for potential first-time buyers. Income-based repayment for student loans will also ease the burden for potential first-time borrowers. Increasing supply and easing the access to financing are the key challenges facing potential homeowners. [1]The survey asks about the characteristics of the respondent’s most recent sale. These sales can be considered as a random sample of the closed sales for the month. [2] U.S. Census Bureau Housing Vacancy Survey, Table 4SA downloaded from Haver Analytics. [3] NAR’s U.S. Economic Outlook: August 2017,  https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/embargoes/phs-07-31/forecast-08-2017-us-economic-outlook-07-31-2017.pdf [4] Mortgage Letter 2017-07FHA.com, https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=17-07ml.pdf [5] http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/ir/pdf/quarterly-annual-results/2017/q12017_credit_summary.pdf
View the full article
View the full article

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

  • Featured Properties

×