Real Estate

Toys ‘R’ Us Closures Prompt Spike in Retail Vacancies

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 5, 2018 - 1:00am

Vacancies are growing in the retail sector after the closings across the country of the former toy giant.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Young Adults Don’t Like to Live Alone

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 5, 2018 - 1:00am

More young adults are taking on roommates and housemates or living with their parents.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Have a Negative Yelp Review? Too Bad, Court Says

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 5, 2018 - 1:00am

A California Supreme Court decision this week may have national implications for those who have customers review their business and services online.

Categories: Real Estate

Lower Rates Lately Aren’t Enticing More Borrowers

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 5, 2018 - 1:00am

Even a sharp drop in mortgage interest rates last week wasn’t enough to get mortgage applications moving much.

 
Categories: Real Estate

June’s Hottest Housing Markets Offer Some Surprises

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 5, 2018 - 1:00am

Californian cities no longer dominate realtor.com®’s top-performing housing markets. Find out which cities are getting more buyers looking and seeing homes selling faster.

 
Categories: Real Estate

5 Tips to Help You Find a Starter Home

RisMedia Buying 101 - July 4, 2018 - 4:01pm

(TNS)—First-time homebuyers might well wonder: Where are all the starter houses? They’re right to ask, because starter homes are becoming increasingly scarce in many housing markets. Housing inventory is low and home prices are soaring.

What’s a first-time buyer to do?

Here are five tips for finding a starter home:

Be realistic about today’s market. Sellers clearly have an advantage in the current market. Inventory is low, which keeps pushing home prices to record levels, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Buyer competition is fierce, as homes in the lower price ranges fly off the market.

Unfortunately, that leaves many first-time buyers––especially those with tight budgets––on the sidelines. If you’re searching for your first home, be realistic about what you can afford and what amenities come with that budget. (Hint: You may have to forgo top-of-the-line appliances and shiny quartz countertops.)

A starter home isn’t necessarily your forever home. Be prepared to make some compromises to get your foot in the homeownership door.

Adjust your wish list. Buyers shopping for their first home need to be open-minded about the location, size and condition of the home they want to buy, says Tim Deihl, associate broker with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston.

For many buyers, a classic starter home, which traditionally doesn’t have many amenities, is more achievable.

“If your first home is the place you’re going to have your family, maybe build an addition and stay there forever; that’s one set of criteria. If your starter home will be a financial launch pad into a larger, better home, that’s a different approach,” Deihl says.

Another strategy: Look for an older home in a well-established neighborhood. Resales typically cost less than brand-new homes, says Bradley Hunter, chief economist for HomeAdvisor.com, a home improvement matching service based in Golden, Colo.

Older homes typically need more maintenance and repairs, which offset some of the savings; however, Hunter says, buyers who choose a used home might be able to do repairs and renovations over time, pacing themselves to make the cost manageable.

Hire the right real estate agent. When you’re up against stiff competition, working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the local market is key.

Look for an agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Savvy agents should be able to answer your questions about neighborhood amenities, local schools and nearby home values.

A good agent shines when it comes to negotiating the deal and writing a strong offer letter backed with solid data. Your agent can suggest certain strategies to win in a competitive market, such as limiting contingencies or writing a personal letter.

Ask friends and relatives to recommend agents they have used and were happy with. Also, interview two or three different agents. Find out how they prefer to communicate with clients and how often you’ll get updates. Finally, research the agents you’re considering online to see what past clients have said about their work.

Rethink location. If you’re thinking about starting a family in the future, don’t focus too much on your home’s location, size and school district just yet, Deihl says. Resetting those parameters can make it easier to buy a first home.

“Buyers may be in a position where schools won’t impact them for six or seven years,” Deihl says. “That’s a good opportunity to buy in the city, make some money and roll that into a community where they want to be longer-term with the kids.”

Buyers who sacrifice location for affordability can find themselves in a neighborhood far from major job centers with a long daily commute and expensive transportation costs. Sometimes that trade-off makes sense, but not always, says Cathy Coneway, a broker for Stanberry & Associates REALTORS® in Austin, Texas.

“You have to look at how much you make and how much you can afford to spend for gas,” Coneway says. “You might actually be better off buying a house that’s closer to town so you have more cash flow for property taxes, insurance and living expenses.”

Make a strong offer. When a well-priced starter house comes on the market, the quest to buy it can be “super competitive,” Deihl says.

One way to strengthen an offer is to present a loan preapproval that includes everything but a title search, appraisal and hazard insurance, says Jay Dacey, a mortgage broker at Metropolitan Financial Mortgage Co. in Minneapolis.

A strategic phone call might help, too.

“We call the listing agent and say, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Jones submitted an offer on your property. Not only are they preapproved, but they’ve gone through the underwriting approval process with our bank,'” Dacey says. “That makes the offer stronger.”

Other ways to entice sellers: Offer above asking price (if you can afford to), keep repair requests to a minimum, make a larger down payment or give them more time to move after closing.

© 2018 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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

The post 5 Tips to Help You Find a Starter Home appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

When and How Much Should You Water Your Lawn?

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 3, 2018 - 1:00am

Help your clients learn lawn care tips that will boost their curb appeal.

Categories: Real Estate

Freddie: Young, Aspiring Homeowners Stuck Until 2025

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 3, 2018 - 1:00am

The rising cost of housing is the biggest hurdle for young adults to overcome, and they may be sidelined for several more years to come.

Categories: Real Estate

Single Women Over 55 Double Their Buying Force

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 3, 2018 - 1:00am

They’re the fastest-growing buyer segment since 1981, according to new research.

Categories: Real Estate

Agent Celebrates Fourth of July With 1,000 Flags

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 3, 2018 - 1:00am

Real estate pro Silvia Madriaga has decorated her community in Destin, Fla., with American flags for the past 19 years.

Categories: Real Estate

More Investors Plan to Cash in on Short-Term Rental Trend

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 3, 2018 - 1:00am

A higher percentage of vacation and rental property owners say they will convert their homes to STRs this year, according to NAR research.

Categories: Real Estate

Big Cities With the Best Rental Bargains

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 3, 2018 - 1:00am

See which ZIP codes offer the most promise for urban dwellers hunting for cheaper rent.

Categories: Real Estate

Coworking Spaces Influence Shift in Commercial Demand

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 2, 2018 - 1:00am

Landlords and investors are showing interest in offices that can be rejiggered for communal use, which may lead to changes in leasing practice.

 
Categories: Real Estate

4 Renovation Myths Reality TV Shows Propagate

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 2, 2018 - 1:00am

Home improvement programs misguide consumers about the time and effort it takes to remodel a home. Disavow your clients of these common misconceptions.

Categories: Real Estate

Does a Shark Tank Make This Home Stand Out?

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 2, 2018 - 1:00am

Luxury developers are incorporating extravagant amenities into spec homes to steal buyers’ attention.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Some Design Trends Create Noise Pollution in Homes

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 2, 2018 - 1:00am

Luxury owners spend big bucks for “acoustic consultants” to solve noise problems enabled by open floor plans and smart-home gadgetry.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Millennials Take Extreme Measures to Afford a Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 2, 2018 - 1:00am

More than a third are working a second job just to cover a down payment, while others use more oddball tactics to build savings.

 
Categories: Real Estate

Report: Urban Population Growth Rivals That of Suburbia

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 2, 2018 - 1:00am

Even as people flock to live downtown, concerns about housing affordability in urban cores remain, according to a new report.

Categories: Real Estate

Blockchain Lending: Reduced Fraud or Increased Risk?

RisMedia Consumer News - June 30, 2018 - 12:04am

Traditional lenders are transforming, adopting cutting-edge technology to stand apart from competitors and introduce an added level of security to financing. From AI-run algorithms to smart contracts, obtaining a mortgage could soon be a vastly different process than buyers experienced just 10 years ago. Industry disruptors, however, are looking to shift from the traditional model completely, threatening to take over the role typically performed by bank intermediaries, which buyers are accustomed to.

One new business claims it is the first company to apply blockchain to mortgages. Block66 is a blockchain-based marketplace for lenders, from which they can access vetted buyers looking to finance their mortgage. Co-founded in 2017 by CEO Joe Markham, CPO James Tuckett and COO Kamil Mieczakowski, the platform is set to launch in early 2019. The most significant benefit the company is advertising? Reduced risk for mortgage fraud.

“We created Block66 to offer new opportunities for borrowers and end the time-consuming and paper-driven processes in the mortgage industry,” said Joe Markham, founder and CEO of Block66, in a statement. “Our platform will make it easier for everyone to find what they need so mortgages can be approved and funded faster. By storing the history of each transaction on the blockchain, we will provide a valuable audit trail for lenders, which will help mitigate mortgage fraud.”

Additionally, Block66 states the addition of blockchain to a real estate transaction will reduce costs for buyers, as they will not have to be vetted via banks; instead, applicants’ information will be made public to any lenders using the platform. Block66’s loans, which will become asset-backed tokens, will reportedly play a role in leveling the lending playing field, allowing all types of investors (not only big banks) to participate, and giving way to increased applications for buyers who would not be considered worthwhile by larger banks.

“The idea behind mortgage tokenization is to bring in smaller lenders,” said Markham. “They are often reluctant to tie themselves to longer repayment plans but are more willing to lend capital to customers who aren’t always favored by traditional banking institutions, even though they are creditworthy.”

The risk? While bank intermediaries are often more costly—resulting from the manpower needed to not only vet candidates for creditworthiness, but to ensure financials are in order and paperwork is completely submitted—they often add another layer of security to the transaction that the new technology cannot be trusted to replicate at this time. Often, these banks become reliable vendors for real estate agents who have partnered with them, providing buyers with vetted mortgage lenders who not only get clients to the closing table, but also prioritize customer service and become community resources.

There are other challenges, as well. Smart contracts are not yet recognized by courts on a global level, an obstacle for Block66 when transacting across borders. Additionally, while applicant and property information is publicly displayed on the blockchain, the technology is still new, adding uncertainty into the equation for smaller banks who do not typically risk lending long-term loans. Applicants may still find ways to bypass this technology-based security and fraudulently represent the assets or financial history necessary to buy.

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 Blockchain Lending: Reduced Fraud or Increased Risk? appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

8 Nabbed in Cybercrime Ring Targeting Real Estate

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 29, 2018 - 1:00am

The FBI, along with authorities overseas, has accused alleged fraudsters of using fake emails to steal millions from people and companies involved in property transactions.

Categories: Real Estate

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