Real Estate

Where Salaries Go the Farthest

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

Salaries can stretch further on housing and other costs if you live in one of these cities.

Categories: Real Estate

More Owners Are Using Their Equity Again

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

Home prices continue to rise and more homeowners are tapping into their home equity, making home-equity lines of credit and cash-out mortgage...

Categories: Real Estate

Most Important Features Millennials Want in Their Homes

RisMedia Consumer News - August 28, 2017 - 3:10pm

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

There have been a lot of studies, think pieces and discussions trying to figure out millennials. Business owners were skeptical about hiring millennials a few years ago and now, as this younger generation continues to grow and succeed in life, the housing market seems to be the next millennial-facing industry.

There’s no doubt that millennials have finally entered the housing market. In fact, they currently make up 35 percent of buyers throughout the United States. Approximately 68 percent of all first-time home buyers fall into this age bracket, as well. But what do they want inside their homes?

Let’s take a look and see what millennials are looking for when it comes to buying a home.

Separate Laundry Rooms – Say what you will about millennials and their laundry habits, the majority of millennial homebuyers are searching for homes with an additional room just for laundry. Roughly 92 percent of homebuyers want a separate laundry room, coming in as the No. 1 thing millennials are looking for.

Outdoor Lighting – The second most desired feature for millennial homebuyers is exterior lighting. Roughly 90 percent of all people searching for a home in the current market want exterior lighting to illuminate their landscape.

Energy-Efficient Appliances – Another aspect of home-buying that cracks the top 10 for millennials is having energy-efficient appliances inside the home. (In fact, across every generation of homebuyers, 90 percent of people are looking for this feature.)

Hardwood Floors – Millennial homebuyers also prefer hardwood floors for their homes. Rather than choosing carpeting, approximately 82 percent of homebuyers are searching for properties with open hardwood floor plans.

There are still plenty of millennials who aren’t ready to buy a home just yet—but it looks like these are the kinds of features they will be looking for when they are ready to enter the housing market.

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The post Most Important Features Millennials Want in Their Homes appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

What to Buy (and Not Buy) in September

RisMedia Consumer News - August 28, 2017 - 3:07pm

The perfect storm of Labor Day, back-to-school and end-of-summer clearance sales make September ideal for bargain-hunters. From consumer watchdog DealNews.com, here’s the scoop on what’s best to buy in September—and what purchases to put on the back burner:

Summer Apparel – No surprise here—retailers ranging from big-box outlets to designers blow out summer styles in September. Pro tip: Buy for your family now and stow it for next year.

Grills/Patio Furniture – Like summer apparel, leftover grill and patio furniture inventory goes on sale in September. Look for items stacked at the front of hardware and home stores for the best bargains.

Big-Screen TVs – The best big-screen buys in September are on mid-size models (the perfect size for apartments or dorm rooms), but larger sizes are often marked down, as well.

Mattresses – Historically, the best times to purchase a new mattress were in April or May—but Labor Day sales are becoming another contender. Pro tip: Double-down on a deal by using coupons on top of sale prices.

Laptops – Seventy-five percent of laptops are discounted considerably for back-to-school season. Big-box electronics providers are your best bet for the best deals.
 
Previous Generation iPhones
 – There are appreciable savings to be had on older iPhones in September, when the new model typically rolls out. Rock-bottom bargains on these devices can be found on online auction sites, like eBay.

Textbooks – Both buyers and sellers of textbooks can expect deals in September, when need is highest.

DealNews.com advises shoppers to hold off on buying washers, dryers and other large appliances, as well as some electronics, in September. While the month brings decent sales on these items, Black Friday sales in November have historically yielded better savings.

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

The post What to Buy (and Not Buy) in September appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

REALTORS® Promise to Send Help to Texas

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

The REALTOR® Relief Foundation is asking NAR members to donate funds to support victims of Hurricane Harvey. Here’s how to make a...

Categories: Real Estate

Simple Home Fixes to Attract Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

Here are three tips to pass on to clients looking to make quick, effective updates before listing their home.

Categories: Real Estate

Harvey Sparks Flood Insurance Disaster

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

The majority of the thousands of Texas homes submerged in floodwaters after Hurricane Harvey slammed the coastline over the weekend do not have...

Categories: Real Estate

3 Remodeling Mistakes That Hurt Resale Values

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

“Projects that take a home significantly beyond community norms are often not worth the cost when the owner sells the home,” says...

Categories: Real Estate

Suspicious Buyer Puts Mass. Agents on Edge

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

Two local associations have issued safety alerts to members after reports of a man displaying odd behavior during open houses and showings.

Categories: Real Estate

Each Generation’s Favorite Renovation Projects

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

The average homeowner is spending more money on a greater number of home improvement projects. But who’s doing what?

Categories: Real Estate

Fannie Loosens ARM Down Payment Rules

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

Borrowers may now have an easier time qualifying for an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Categories: Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Eyes 2nd National Pet Adoption Event

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

During its annual event last year, the real estate franchising giant and its partner, AdoptAPet.com, helped 20,000 dogs find homes in one weekend...

Categories: Real Estate

You Don’t Have to Make a Down Payment on a VA Loan—Should You Anyway?

RisMedia Buying 101 - August 27, 2017 - 12:02pm

(TNS)Many VA borrowers know that the VA home loan doesn’t require a down payment.

Indeed, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which guarantees this type of mortgage, is practically famous for its zero-down option, which opens the doors of homeownership to veterans, active duty service members, surviving spouses and other VA-eligible buyers. Many VA borrowers have little or no cash to purchase their first home.

VA loans also don’t require mortgage insurance, which is usually the case when you don’t put down 20 percent.

Though a down payment isn’t required for a VA loan, borrowers can still make one. Should they? Or is the no-money-down strategy so attractive that a down payment never makes sense?

The answer depends on the borrower’s type of military service, homeownership experience, cash position and other factors.

Down Payment Lowers Funding Fee
The main benefit of making a down payment is paying a lower funding fee.

The funding fee supports the loan guaranty, which encourages lenders to offer VA loans at lower rates and with easier qualifying guidelines.

Borrowers typically finance their funding fee as part of their loan amount, rather than pay it upfront at closing.

VA borrowers in the Reserves or National Guard pay a slightly higher funding fee with or without a down payment.

Borrowers who have a service-connected disability are generally exempt from funding fees.

First-Use Funding Fees Lower With Down Payment
The funding fee for eligible first-time homebuyers is 2.15 percent of the loan amount with no down payment.

With a 5 percent down payment, the fee is reduced to 1.5 percent. With 10 percent or more down, it drops to 1.25 percent.

Subsequent Funding Fees Higher
The funding fee is 3.3 percent for VA buyers who use the program to buy their next home if they don’t make a down payment.

With a down payment, the funding fee for subsequent-use again drops to 1.5 percent with 5 percent down, and 1.25 percent with 10 percent down.

For example, the monthly principal and interest payment for a $200,000 home loan with no down payment, a 3.5 percent interest rate and 30-year term is $898.

Financing the 3.3 percent funding fee adds $6,600 to the loan amount and raises the payment by $30 to $928.

A 5 percent down payment reduces the fee to $3,000 and the payment to $912.

That means the borrower would save about $16 each month.

Down Payment Lowers Monthly Payment
Don’t forget that a down payment also lowers the borrower’s base loan amount and monthly mortgage payment.

“The 5 percent down payment factors in (to the savings) as well because you’re financing 5 percent less,” says Mike Dill, corporate trainer at Guaranteed Rate.

For borrowers who need to “target their payment within a certain range,” to use Dill’s characterization, a down payment could mean the difference between qualifying for the loan and not qualifying.

Down Payment Finances Future Closing Costs
A down payment could make it easier to sell a home if the buyers want to move before they build equity through monthly payments or appreciation and without paying closing costs out of pocket.

Closing costs to sell can be 6 percent or more of the home’s value.

“If you didn’t have any equity, potentially you’d have to write a check for that amount,” says Michael Frueh, director of Loan Guaranty Service at the VA in Washington, D.C.

The alternative could be a default or even foreclosure.

Other Uses for Your Cash
Despite these advantages, only 22 percent of VA buyers made a down payment in 2015, according to Frueh. The other 78 percent bought with no money down. The VA doesn’t track how many subsequent-use borrowers rolled over equity from a prior home they sold toward a down payment.

Frueh says the average VA borrower has only about $10,000 at closing.

That cash might be better used for home-related purchases, repairs or other purposes. As Dill says, “The advantages of putting money down are so slim compared with keeping that money in case you have repairs or as a safety net.”

Consider Return on Investment
Borrowers could invest the money they didn’t use for a down payment in other assets or use it to pay off consumer debt, such as an auto loan, credit card or student loans.

A borrower who purchased a $200,000 home and later sold it for $300,000 could net $80,000, use $30,000 to make a 5 percent down payment for a new $600,000 home and keep $50,000 in cash, tax-free.

Visit Bankrate online at www.bankrate.com.

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

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Categories: Real Estate

The Renter Budget: Most and Least Costly Cities

RisMedia Consumer News - August 25, 2017 - 11:01pm

Renters’ budgets are being stretched in many cities—but some more than others, according to a new study by GOBankingRates. The most costly:

  1. San Francisco, Calif.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $3,395
  1. San Jose, Calif.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,505
  1. New York
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,395
  1. Washington, D.C.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,271
  1. Jersey City, N.J.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,200

The least costly:

  1. El Paso, Texas
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $555
  1. Detroit, Mich.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $600
  1. Wichita, Kan.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $625
  1. Tucson, Ariz.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $628
  1. Fresno, Calif.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $650

Source: GOBankingRates

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Categories: Real Estate

5 States Where Residents Lead Richer Lives

RisMedia Consumer News - August 25, 2017 - 11:00pm

Select states have a quality of life that surpasses others in areas such as employment, housing and safety. A recent study by GOBankingRates ranks the top five:

  1. New Hampshire
    Median Household Income: $66,779
    Median Home List Price: $278,000
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 1.99
  1. Wyoming
    Median Household Income: $58,840
    Median Home List Price: $238,125
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 2.22
  1. Virginia
    Median Household Income: $65,015
    Median Home List Price: $299,950
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 1.96
  1. North Dakota
    Median Household Income: $57,181
    Median Home List Price: $201,500
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 2.39
  1. Delaware
    Median Household Income: $60,509
    Median Home List Price: $260,000
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 4.99

 

Source: GOBankingRates

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

The post 5 States Where Residents Lead Richer Lives appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

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