Real Estate

A Familiar Brand Is Updating Its Look

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 21, 2017 - 11:00pm

RE/MAX has refreshed the image of its iconic hot air balloon, adding a more modern feel to the franchise’s logo.

Categories: Real Estate

Watch Mortgage Rates for Affordability Impact

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 21, 2017 - 11:00pm

Rising interest rates can decrease affordability more than home price increases, according to new research.

Categories: Real Estate

Nevada’s Creepy Clown Motel Is Now for Sale

RisMedia Consumer News - August 21, 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:

Located in the old gold and silver mining town of Tonopah, Nev., this Clown Motel is most certainly not the place for people suffering from coulrophobia (a.k.a., the fear of clowns). Not only is the lobby filled with hundreds of assorted clowns, from figurines and wall art to assorted trinkets, but each and every room is clown themed, as well.

Freaky enough for ya? It gets worse.

The motel shares a lot with a cemetery full of gold miners who died from a plague. The cemetery is literally right next door. It’s like a real-life horror film. Picture this: It’s after midnight and you’ve just checked into your clown-infested room when you realize: you left your phone charger in the car! No big deal—you’ll just have to leave your room, alone, at night, to run to your car that is more or less sitting in a probably-haunted cemetery full of things that go bump in the night. Not panic-inducing at all! It’s like House of 1,000 Corpses meets Stephen King’s It meets From Dusk Till Dawn. (Is it Halloween yet?)

Image Credit: Travel Nevada

The motel’s owner, Bob Perchetti, is ready to retire and move on from the creepy clown shrine he opened 20 years ago. We can only guess what kind of buyer is going to chomp at this bit—actually, we shudder to think.

The motel is for sale for $900,000, but one condition: the motel must keep its heritage.

Take a further look inside The Clown Motel in this video from Las Vegas Now.

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at nick@rismedia.com.

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

The post Nevada’s Creepy Clown Motel Is Now for Sale appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

New Program to Help Buyers Bypass Appraisals

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 20, 2017 - 11:00pm

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac’s latest offering could save borrowers up to $500 in fees and speed up the closing process by 10 days.

Categories: Real Estate

10 Cities Where Homes Are Getting Cheaper

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 20, 2017 - 11:00pm

Housing prices aren’t on the rise everywhere. In these cities, buyers have actually seen them drop in recent months.

Categories: Real Estate

Are Open Floor Plans Losing Appeal?

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 20, 2017 - 11:00pm

Designers say they’re getting more requests for a “broken floor plan,” sectioning off space in large areas to create more...

Categories: Real Estate

Where Millennials Choose to Live With Parents

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 20, 2017 - 11:00pm

In these cities, nearly half of the young adult population is still bunking with mom and dad.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Company Touts 8-Day Closings

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 20, 2017 - 11:00pm

Lending firm 360 Mortgage Group announces a new platform that promises to drastically reduce the average closing time of 43 days.

Categories: Real Estate

Townhouse Construction Stalls—Temporarily

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 20, 2017 - 11:00pm

Despite a decrease in housing starts for this building type, buyers looking for walkable urban environments are expected to boost demand.

Categories: Real Estate

The Best Cities for Retirees to Call Home

RisMedia Consumer News - August 18, 2017 - 11:04pm

Ask any retiree what mattered most in their search for a new home, and most will tell you location. A recent study by WalletHub ranked the top locations for soon-to-be retirees, weighing cost of living, health care, quality of life and recreation—and in a not-so-unexpected twist, the top three locations in the ranking were all within the Sunshine State:

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Tampa, Fla.
  3. Miami, Fla.
  4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  5. Atlanta, Ga.

Several other cities outside of the top five were named ideal for retirees, as well. Laredo, Texas was ranked No. 1 based on cost of in-home care and cost of living, while Plano, Texas, and Grand Prairie, Texas, were ranked No.1 and No. 3, respectively, in most employed retirees. (Many people of retirement age are simply forced to keep working due to a lack of savings, according to WalletHub.) Some sprawling metropolitan areas are suited for retirees seeking an active lifestyle; Washington, D.C., for instance, is tied for first for the most museums and senior centers per capita.

When it comes solely to weather, however, California cannot be beat: Glendale, Riverside and Bakersfield ranked in the top three for “mild weather,” followed by Scottsdale, Ariz., and Henderson, Nev.

Source: WalletHub

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Categories: Real Estate

Key Steps in the Mortgage Underwriting Process

RisMedia Buying 101 - August 18, 2017 - 11:01pm

(TNS)—An underwriter is an entity, typically a company, accountable for analyzing and assuming the risk of another entity. Underwriting typically happens behind the scenes but is an important aspect of mortgage approvals. The mortgage underwriting process has five key steps: verification, appraisal, title search and insurance, flood certification, and surveying.

Verification
After the housing crisis of the mid-2000s, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enacted rules to protect borrowers. Under these new rules, lenders must be sure a borrower is qualified. Verifying the information you put on your application is top priority.

The lender’s team of underwriters will check the information on your application and supporting documents. They will call your employer, for example, to confirm that you work at that job and that you are paid what you said you’re paid. If you’re self-employed, you may need to supply a lot more documentation. The amount of verification involved depends on how risky your lender perceives you to be.

Appraisal
The lender wants to be sure that the price of the property you’re buying is comparable to the values of similar properties. The lender will get an independent appraisal of the property prior to closing, and the results could affect the rate and terms of your mortgage. A licensed appraiser will provide an expert’s estimated value based on a physical inspection and comparables, or “comps”—prices paid for comparable properties that have recently sold in the neighborhood. An appraisal typically costs between $300 and $500.

Title Search and Title Insurance
After the appraiser has looked at the physical side of your house, a title company looks at its legal history. Your lender doesn’t want to lend money against a house that may have claims on it. That’s why a title company performs a title search.

The title company will research the history of the property, looking for encumbrances such as mortgages, claims, liens, easement rights, zoning ordinances, pending legal action, unpaid taxes and restrictive covenants.

The title insurer then issues a policy that guarantees the accuracy of the work. Your lender will require a title policy that protects the lender. In some cases, two policies are issued—one to protect the lender and one to protect the property owner.

Flood Certification
Flood insurance is not part of a standard homeowners insurance policy. If your property is in a flood zone, your lender wants to know about it. The lender will hire a specialist to analyze your property and neighboring sites to determine if the home is in a flood zone; the report is called a flood certification. If you’re in a flood zone, you’ll be required to buy flood insurance.

If you think you may be in a flood-prone area, you can check out any property on FloodSmart.gov before you even start searching for your new home.

Survey
Finally, some lenders will require that a home’s property boundaries be verified by a professional survey.

While all of this information is being gathered, you can help by taking these steps:

  • Provide complete documentation with your application.
  • Respond promptly to your lender’s request for more information.
  • Call your lender and real estate agent to check on your loan application status.
  • Help contact employers and others who may need to provide documentation.
  • Keep records of your conversations with your lender.

Visit Bankrate online at www.bankrate.com.

©2017 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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The post Key Steps in the Mortgage Underwriting Process appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Do You Suffer from Nomophobia?

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

Nomophobia is the fear of being without a working smartphone, and research says an increasing number of people have it.

Categories: Real Estate

Wood Construction Upping Fire Risks

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

Officials are warning of increased dangers as more developers turn to wood framing as a more affordable building material.

Categories: Real Estate

How Sellers’ Needs Differ By Generation

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

Learn how to tailor your customer service, sales tactics, and communication when working with sellers in various age ranges.

Categories: Real Estate

Study: FSBOs Net ‘Significantly’ Lower Profits

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

A study for clients who are ever considering selling a home on their own. 

Categories: Real Estate

Will These Lower Rates Entice Buyers?

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

Fixed-rate mortgages continued to drop this week, lowering borrowing costs for home shoppers.

Categories: Real Estate

Where Underwater Homes Haven’t Dried Up

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

Recent equity gains have helped many homeowners, but not everyone is out of the woods yet.

Categories: Real Estate

5 Simple Ways to Stage the Exterior of Your Home Before an Open House

RisMedia Buying 101 - August 17, 2017 - 2:54pm

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

If you’re selling your home, chances are good you’re familiar with the concept of staging your home. Real estate agents recommend your home look its best to prospective buyers, and home staging is a great way to ensure you receive top dollar.

Did you know you should stage the exterior of your home, too? Failing to update the look of your home’s exterior can cause buyers to get a bad first impression when they initially arrive to view your home. Whether your target is luxury homebuyers or you are selling your starter home, staging the exterior will have a major impact on the sale of your home. If you want to put exterior home staging to work, here are five elements you should consider tweaking.

Clean Your Exterior Windows and Screens
Nothing says poor maintenance like dirty windows and window screens. If your windows are caked with dust or muck from the last rainstorm, open house visitors are going to wonder what other maintenance jobs you haven’t attended to. Don’t give visitors the opportunity to question whether your home has been properly maintained or not; clean those windows and screens before hosting an open house.

Refresh Your Gardens and Walkways
Just like dirty windows are a real estate faux pas, so are unkempt flower beds. Weeds and overgrown bushes tell visitors you can’t be bothered with the small stuff. Spend a day removing weeds and trimming flowers, or hire a professional landscaper to refresh your gardens. It is amazing what a refreshed garden can do to your home’s curb appeal.

Refresh Your Home’s Siding
No, you don’t have to replace your home’s siding prior to an open house. A quick power wash could be all it takes to remove years of dust and grime. You can attempt this task yourself, but it might be worth your while to hire a professional—some homeowners have been known to damage their home’s siding by using too forceful a water stream.

Update/Clean Door Fixtures and House Address Signage
Something as simple as a new door knob or address signage can give your home a refreshed look. You needn’t spring for a new door; just update the face plate and/or door knob. Purchase new address numbers from the local hardware store and you’ll have tweaked the look of your home’s exterior in just a few minutes.

Clean Patio Furniture
Whether you have chairs on your front veranda or a dining set on your back deck, tired patio furniture can cost you big dollars when it comes time to negotiate with a potential homebuyer. Dilapidated patio furniture instantly gives a bad impression and can cause potential homebuyers to request replacement furniture as part of their deal. Spruce up your existing furniture with a quick power wash, or replace it if it is beyond cleaning.

Simple tweaks to the exterior of your home can have a big impact on your home’s final selling price. By spending just a few days improving the look of the outside of your home, you can increase the amount buyers are willing to offer and make your home the cleanest real estate listing on the block. Will you be trying these exterior home staging tricks when you list your home for sale?

Charles Muotoh is the owner of dcrealestateguru.com, a full-service real estate firm focused on leveraging digital marketing strategies to serve buyers and sellers of real estate in the Washington D.C. area.

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

The post 5 Simple Ways to Stage the Exterior of Your Home Before an Open House appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Buyers Want Bigger Yards Over Bigger Homes

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 16, 2017 - 11:00pm

Home shoppers say they’re willing to make big sacrifices in order to get a property with a great outdoor space, according to a new survey....

Categories: Real Estate

Report: 1 in 4 Homes Now Equity Rich

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 16, 2017 - 11:00pm

A new report from ATTOM Data Solutions found that more than 14 million U.S. properties were considered equity rich at the end of the...

Categories: Real Estate

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