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Meager Sales Rebound Underscores Tough Market

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 19, 2017 - 11:00pm

Real estate transactions remain near their lowest level of the year, despite buyer interest in most parts of the country, NAR reports.

Categories: Real Estate

How Much Amazon’s HQ2 Will Drive Up Rents

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 19, 2017 - 11:00pm

A “prime markup” is in store for the rental market in the city where the online retailer chooses to base its second headquarters,...

Categories: Real Estate

More Neighborhoods Fall Under HOA Guidance

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 19, 2017 - 11:00pm

There could be as many as 347,000 community associations throughout the country this year, so your clients should be aware of any rules in the...

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Ease This Week

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 19, 2017 - 11:00pm

Borrowers may be able to lock in lower interest rates this week, as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dips to a 3.88 percent average.

Categories: Real Estate

Can Developers Please Both Boomers and Millennials?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 19, 2017 - 11:00pm

The two generations don’t always agree on what they want in a home, posing challenges for builders who are striving to meet both groups...

Categories: Real Estate

Where Price Per Square Foot Is Highest, Lowest

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 19, 2017 - 11:00pm

See how vastly different prices per square foot are in various regions of the U.S.

Categories: Real Estate

‘Hottest Zip Codes’: A Tale of Three States

RisMedia Consumer News - October 19, 2017 - 2:46pm

Realtor.com®’s annual Hottest Zip Codes in America ranking reads like a tale of three states: California, Colorado and Michigan.

  1. Watauga, Texas (76148)
  2. Livonia, Mich. (48154)
  3. Kentwood, Mich. (49548)
  4. Medford, Mass. (02155)
  5. Littleton, Colo. (80123)
  6. Castro Valley, Calif. (94546)
  7. Colorado Springs, Colo. (80922)
  8. Overland Park, Kan. (66210)
  9. Mira Mesa (San Diego), Calif. (92126)
  10. Hilliard, Ohio (43026)

California, Colorado and Michigan nabbed six spots in the top 10 (another zip in California, 95758, stopped just shy at No. 11), thanks to three traits: affordability, good-paying jobs and millennials. Of California’s zip codes in the top 10, the median home price ranges from $536,394 (Mira Mesa/San Diego) to $728,267 (Castro Valley); of Colorado’s zip codes in the top 10, the median home price ranges from $273,222 (Colorado Springs) to $533,873 (Littleton); and of Michigan’s zip codes in the top 10, the median home price ranges from $118,833 (Kentwood) to $223,780 (Livonia).

Generally, homes in the top 10 are more affordable than counterparts in their county or metropolitan area, and the markets themselves have higher incomes, low unemployment and more millennials.

“While low inventory is a challenge, millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history and they are flexing their muscle when it comes to the housing market,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “Increasingly, the hottest housing markets are the ones that appeal to millennial preferences, and right now the standouts are relatively affordable suburbs with local ‘it’ factors such as hiking trails, great restaurants and nightlife.

“With the largest cohort of millennials turning 30 in 2020, we can expect these types of areas to stay in demand in the years to come,” Hale says.

Homes in the top 10 sell in an average 21 days, the ranking reveals, and listings located in the top 10 are viewed four times more on realtor.com than those in the rest of the U.S.

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post ‘Hottest Zip Codes’: A Tale of Three States appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Tips From Industry Professionals on Surviving Real Estate During Hurricane Season

RisMedia - October 19, 2017 - 2:34pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

While the immediate danger is gone and hurricane season is winding down, individuals in the affected areas are still working through a recovering market. Most residents of hurricane-prone areas expect storms to hit, but the buyer and seller population may not be familiar with the ramifications of a hurricane that disrupts a real estate transaction.

Here’s what Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President-Elect Lou Nimkoff and RE/MAX 200 Orlando-based REALTOR® Daniel Wilson have to say about navigating the real estate market during hurricane season:

Trust your gut.
Unfortunately, you may come across individuals that try to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners. Following a natural disaster, service “professionals” who are not qualified to perform a job may try to overcharge for a service claiming an increase in demand. If not careful, you can wind up with a botched repair that costs you thousands of dollars.

“My No. 1 piece of advice to buyers and sellers post-hurricanes is to be aware of everyone that you’re dealing with and make sure that they’re a trusted name in their industry. During times of distress, a lot of companies try and profit from those in need. For example, make sure the roofer that comes to your door knocking for business is an actual licensed and insured roofer. Better yet, look up the business and find their customer reviews online,” says Wilson.

“You need to have a home inspector take a look and make sure any work you had done was done properly,” says Nimkoff.

Have patience. 
The market was hit hard and it will take time for everything to settle down. Not all homes are back on the market after sustaining damage during the hurricanes. In a few more weeks, you could be seeing more activity; however, if you do see something you like, it will most likely sell quickly since inventory is low. If a home fits the bill, jump on it before another buyer comes along and claims it.

“I advise buyers to act on the same day the homes get listed if they’re interested, otherwise they will have a very difficult time in getting their offer accepted once there’s been a multiple offer situation. My theory is: the first agent in the door—with the best offer and continued communication with the other agent—wins!” says Wilson.

“Because it is a seller’s market and there is an unusually high number of sellers, buyers want to be able to try and attract them and negotiate with them quickly,” says Nimkoff.

Get back on the market.
If your home was damaged by the hurricanes and you are trying to sell, fix any issues as quickly as possible so you can get your home back on the market. If your home only sustained minor damage, fix any issues without withdrawing your listing. Time off the market can translate into offers that you could be missing out on. Buyers will start to come out of the woodwork after laying low in the weeks following the hurricanes.

“I have a current seller who needed to have a new roof put on because of the hurricane. We went under contract with a buyer, got insurance to approve the new roof and scheduled a professional to place the new roof on the home—all while still on track with the original closing date of just 30 days from contract to close,” says Wilson.

“You need to make sure that your insurance values are up-to-date. If you do have a loss, you can quickly have it repaired and you don’t have to get into a fight with the insurance company. If you suffered some sort of loss, you need to repair it quickly and properly,” says Nimkoff.

Be flexible and keep the end goal in mind.
Do remember that hurricane season can be stressful. Emotions are high for both buyers and sellers. Work together to achieve your goal while avoiding the drama.

“If you’re going to buy a house during hurricane season, talk to your landlord and say, ‘I need an extra month if I can’t move into my new house.’ Or if you’re selling your home, you have the right to delay the home you are selling so you can work out the issue because of a pending hurricane,” says Nimkoff

“It’s an awfully tight market. A thousand people a day are moving in here. Don’t get too focused [on hurricanes] that you forget about the long-term benefits. We have pretty low interest rates right now,” he adds.

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 Tips From Industry Professionals on Surviving Real Estate During Hurricane Season appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Skills Agents Say Are Most Important

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 18, 2017 - 11:00pm

A new report from NAR cites being a people person as one of the many traits you should have to succeed as a real estate agent. Do you have what it...

Categories: Real Estate

2017’s Hottest ZIP Codes

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 18, 2017 - 11:00pm

Find out which cities are hitting high notes on realtor.com®’s list for the year’s hottest housing markets.

Categories: Real Estate

Hurricanes Pummel New-Home Production

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 18, 2017 - 11:00pm

Fewer new homes are in the works, and economists say recent hurricanes that struck the South brought down the latest housing numbers. 

Categories: Real Estate

Boomers Stuck With Big Homes to Sell

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 18, 2017 - 11:00pm

Baby boomers are growing concerned that they’ll be unable to sell their big suburban homes as younger generations show different housing...

Categories: Real Estate

More Renovations in the Forecast for 2018

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 18, 2017 - 11:00pm

A new report finds annual gains in home renovation and repair spending will surge through the third quarter of next year.

Categories: Real Estate

The Best Places to be a Landlord

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 18, 2017 - 11:00pm

Higher home prices and a tight supply of homes for sale may be the mantra nationwide. But certain markets are still offering lucrative options for...

Categories: Real Estate

5 Steps to Finding Your Best Mortgage Lender

RisMedia - October 18, 2017 - 1:20pm

(TNS)—You’re buying a home and you need a mortgage. How do you choose the right lender—one that will offer not only the best deal, but also good customer service?

You’ll find no shortage of banks, online lenders, mortgage brokers and other players eager to take your loan application. Here are five tips for selecting the best mortgage lender out of the bunch.

Compare Offers and Lenders
Start getting familiar with various lenders and the deals they’re offering by browsing through mortgage rates.

Lenders will “present price differently,” notes Robert Davis, an executive vice president at the American Bankers Association (ABA). “Some lower rates might include fees with it, so the annual percentage rate is different than what you might think.”

Also, understand that some lenders specialize. One might be a good choice if you’re financing a condo, while others might offer a better deal if you’re building your home from scratch. You’ll want to have a general idea of the type of property you’re interested in.

Check With Lenders and People You Know
You might find the right mortgage and the best lender without having to look very far. Go to the bank or credit union where you have a checking or savings account and ask about the types of mortgage deals that are available to current customers.

Compare any offer against what other lenders in your area and online and large national lenders will give you.

“Interest rates change as much as three or four times a day, so get quotes from three different (lenders) to increase your odds,” says Brian Koss, executive vice president of Mortgage Network.

Be sure to ask family members and friends for referrals to loan officers and mortgage brokers who gave them good, professional service and helped them find the most competitive loans.

Decide: DIY or Hire a Broker?
One important decision is whether to seek out a mortgage and lender completely on your own or use the services of a mortgage broker.

A broker can help with your comparison-shopping by gathering quotes from several lenders, but it’s important to understand that a broker isn’t obligated to find the deal that’s best for you.

If you decide to work with a mortgage broker, it’s wise to look at how the loan offers from the broker size up against those you find on your own.

Look at differences in rates, fees, mortgage insurance and down payments—and compare what your bottom-line costs will be.

Talk With Your Real Estate Agent
Be sure to ask your real estate agent for lender recommendations. Smart loan officers rely on that business and take good care of the clients sent their way by local real estate agents.

Keep in mind that agents might have relationships with certain lenders, so when your agent gives you a name, ask whether there is any affiliation.

While some real estate brokerages have their own favored in-house mortgage lending businesses, good agents will not limit their referrals to those particular lenders.

Be Ready for a Possible Hand-Off
Many lenders will end up selling your mortgage to the secondary market, which means you will likely have a different company servicing your loan than your original lender.

This transfer is often outside your control, but you can ask the lender whether it knows if your mortgage will end up being serviced by a different company. If you want a lender you can reach out to immediately if problems arise, finding one who will hold onto your mortgage might be the best option.

“If it’s important for you to have local contact with the lender, then you’ve got to go to a bank that keeps your mortgage,” says Davis.

©2017 Bankrate.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of RISMedia.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 5 Steps to Finding Your Best Mortgage Lender appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Airbnb Now to Build its Own Apartments

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 17, 2017 - 11:00pm

Airbnb may have found a way to settle its disputes with cities over short-term leasing apartments and homes. It’ll build its own apartment...

Categories: Real Estate

Study: Your Listing’s Words Carry Weight

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 17, 2017 - 11:00pm

Properties that contain certain words in their listing comments tend to sell for higher prices, a new study reveals. Find out which words can have...

Categories: Real Estate

Bitcoin Real Estate Deals: A Hot Trend?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 17, 2017 - 11:00pm

“Our buyer has evolved; they’ve moved from mom-and-pops to young people who want to pay with various forms of payment,” the...

Categories: Real Estate

These Lenders Dominate the Mortgage Market

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 17, 2017 - 11:00pm

Here are the most popular lenders borrowers are turning to for financing a home purchase or for refinancing. 

Categories: Real Estate

N.C. Agent Previewing Home Finds Two Dead

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 17, 2017 - 11:00pm

A police investigation in Chapel Hill, N.C., involves the deaths of a senior homeowner and her son, whom a REALTOR® found as she started to...

Categories: Real Estate