Real Estate

Markets Where Prices Hit Record Highs Again

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 30, 2018 - 12:00am

“Never in history have there been more eyes on fewer homes than today,” says a spokesman for realtor.com®, which has released...

Categories: Real Estate

5 Ways to Make a Front Porch Summon Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 30, 2018 - 12:00am

It’s the first space buyers will see during a showing, so don’t neglect to spruce it up. These attention-grabbing ideas can make a...

Categories: Real Estate

Rental Market Sees More ‘Normal Conditions’

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Costs of apartment leases are moderating, and incomes are rising, which is creating a much more financially comfortable situation for renters...

Categories: Real Estate

How Unstaged Rooms Hamper a Home Sale

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 29, 2018 - 12:00am

Sellers may be shooting themselves in the foot when they leave a room empty, dark, or cluttered. Here’s the effect each offense has on a...

Categories: Real Estate

Sotheby’s Brings Augmented Reality to Real Estate

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 29, 2018 - 12:00am

The brokerage has launched an app that lets home buyers instantly see design possibilities by virtually staging an empty room in a listing.

Categories: Real Estate

Startups Aim to Help Renters in Pricey Markets

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 29, 2018 - 12:00am

Some companies are teaching cash-strapped renters how to qualify for an apartment and budget for hikes in rental costs.

Categories: Real Estate

New App Assesses Quake Risk for Californians

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 29, 2018 - 12:00am

The California Geological Survey is helping state residents learn how close they live to a fault line, using interactive maps that can be accessed...

Categories: Real Estate

Study: ‘Affordability Crisis’ Is Worsening

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 29, 2018 - 12:00am

Finding a home in an affordable price range is getting increasingly difficult across the country, not just in expensive coastal markets. 

Categories: Real Estate

Home-Selling Can Come With $18,000-Plus Price Tag

RisMedia Consumer News - March 28, 2018 - 3:37pm

Are you a homeowner listing your property for sale? Consider the expenses that are often overlooked by sellers: cleaning costs, moving costs, painting, staging…

“Even in the hottest housing markets in the country, selling a home takes time and costs money,” says Jeremy Wacksman, CMO at Zillow, which assessed the costs that come with listing in the recently released “2018 Hidden Costs of Selling” report.

“From decluttering and staging to pre-inspections, agents and homeowners often spend months behind the scenes prepping a home—well before it’s listed on the market,” Wacksman says. “If you’re planning to sell this year, try to take some time to research what costs you may be responsible for and how they could affect your profit, or even budget for your next house.”

According to the analysis by Zillow, the average homeowner is on the hook for $18,342 when selling, with $4,985 allocated to prep projects and $13,357 going to the agent’s commission and sales taxes. The data was drawn from Thumbtack, which offers quotes for professional services.

Costs differ by market, the analysis found. In San Jose, Calif., where the median price is one million-plus, the average cost to sell is $81,507; in Cleveland, Ohio, where the median price is $137,600, the average cost to sell is $12,986. (Get the complete data for the largest markets.)

Carrying out improvements, though pricey, is worth it, says Lucas Puente, economist at Thumbtack.

“While there could be some initial sticker shock associated with the costs of selling a home, investing in home improvement projects like painting and home staging often proves to be very valuable in the long run,” Puente says. “Homeowners starting to think about selling should take time to research and budget for the projects that can ultimately help sell their home faster and at a higher value.”

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 Home-Selling Can Come With $18,000-Plus Price Tag appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Contract Signings Start Spring Season on High Note

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

Pending home sales reversed course in February, increasing in most areas of the country even as a shortage of homes for sale and higher home...

Categories: Real Estate

Facebook Accused of Allowing Discrimination in Housing Ads

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

Several fair housing organizations sued Facebook on Tuesday, accusing the social media giant of allowing landlords and brokers to discriminate on...

Categories: Real Estate

Some Owners Making Efforts to Cut Property Taxes

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

The new federal tax law puts a limit on property tax deductions, causing some homeowners to find it beneficial to appeal their property taxes.

Categories: Real Estate

Loan Activity Gets a Boost, Despite Rising Rates

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

An increase in mortgage rates didn’t suppress loan demand in the kickoff to the spring buying season.

Categories: Real Estate

The Cost to Be Single in the City

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

The Economic Policy Institute has updated its family budget calculator to show how far incomes stretch in a number of U.S. cities.

Categories: Real Estate

Bitcoin Radiators: A New Hot Trend?

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 28, 2018 - 12:00am

A European company is preparing to start production on a room heater powered by cryptocurrency mining hardware.

Categories: Real Estate

Ask the Expert: Can a Home Inspection Help the Mortgage Process Along?

RisMedia Buying 101 - March 27, 2018 - 4:43pm

Today’s Ask the Expert column features Dan Steward, president of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Q: Should sellers get a home inspection to help the mortgage process along?

A: If you’re a seller, it behooves you to get your own home inspection prior to putting your house on the market. But why spend money on one when the buyer will surely get their own?

Buyers that see a recent home inspection along with the listing sheet already realize that the asking price of the home is likely justified. They can rest assured that there are no scary surprises waiting for them upon closing. And you can hasten an offer by having that report right in front of serious buyers when they’re considering putting in an offer.

This also establishes a sense of trust between the buyer and the seller from the start. It shows the buyer that you care enough to get details and minor problems with the house detected and fixed before they even put in an offer.

If your home inspector shows you minor items that may come up in the buyer’s home inspection, you can have the issues looked at and repaired before the buyer even has their report done. You will have time for bids on a job instead of rushing to pay a higher price for the work, or, worse, having to deduct from the agreed upon price. In fact, you can show the report and a receipt proving the problem was already addressed by a licensed professional.

Having a good report readily available also shows the buyer that you’ve most likely been maintaining the property all along, which is another terrific plus when selling.

Mitigating risk is key when selling a home. Since laws regarding disclosures vary from state to state, for the most part, you as the seller are responsible even after a closing if something has been hidden or unreported to the buyer. Taking the time to have your own inspection will allow you to have repairs made for a cost that suits your budget, instead of having to deal with credits the buyer may ask for as the result of their home inspection. By getting a pre-inspection, you have proof that home maintenance issues, to the best of your knowledge, didn’t exist at the time of sale.

The only instance when it may not pay for a seller to proceed with a pre-inspection is when they’re selling a fixer-upper. In this case, the buyer already knows what to expect, and they should have a thorough home inspection completed before signing on the dotted line.

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

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

The post Ask the Expert: Can a Home Inspection Help the Mortgage Process Along? appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

6 Things You Must Do Before Buying a Home

RisMedia Buying 101 - March 27, 2018 - 4:37pm

(TNS)—Buying a home is a huge investment—probably the most significant purchase of your life. It’s not something you should do without preparation.

Before you start on the road to homeownership, make sure you are ready.

Improve your credit score.
A high credit score snags you the best deals. “Below 660 or 680, you’re either going to have to pay sizable fees or a higher down payment,” says Barry Zigas, director of Housing Policy for the Consumer Federation of America.

A score of 700 to 720 can get you a good deal, and 750 and above can garner the best rates on the market.

Pull your credit reports and make sure you’re not penalized for old, paid or settled debts.

Stop applying for new credit a year before you apply for a mortgage. Keep the moratorium in place until after you close on your home.

Figure out what you can afford.
There are various ways to determine how much house you can afford. If you’re using an FHA loan, your monthly payment can’t exceed 31 percent of your monthly income. The FHA will let you go higher under some circumstances.

For conventional loans, home expenses should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income, says Susan Tiffany, retired director of Personal Finance Publications for adults for the Credit Union National Association, or CUNA.

Use Bankrate’s calculator to figure out how much house you can afford. Add to that other housing expenses, such as taxes, insurance and utilities. Then, bank the difference between that total and what you’re paying now.

Save for a down payment and closing costs.
You’ll need to save between 3 percent and 20 percent of the house price for a down payment. Your credit history and loan terms help determine how much you’ll need to come up with.

For example, with an FHA loan, the down payment requirement can be as low as 3.5 percent. You’ll need a credit score of at least 580. Home loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, require no down payment.

Another cash expense will be closing costs. The national average for closing costs for a $200,000 mortgage is $2,084, according to Bankrate’s latest survey.

If a big down payment is a hardship, look for down payment assistance. Search online using the city name, the county name and key word combinations such as “down payment assistance,” “first-time homebuyers” or “homebuyer’s assistance.”

Down payment assistance often is based on location or reserved for particular buyers, such as first-time buyers. In a buyer’s market, you can negotiate to have the seller pay a portion of the closing costs.

Build a healthy savings account.
Building up your savings—not just for a home—is very important. Your lender wants to know that you’re not living paycheck to paycheck. If you have three to five months’ worth of mortgage payments set aside, you’re a much better loan candidate. Some lenders and backers, like the FHA, will give you more latitude on other criteria if they see that you have a cash cushion.

That money will also help pay for maintenance and repairs of the home. Most repairs are sporadic, but big-ticket fixes such as a new roof or water heater can come up suddenly and drain your budget.

A good rule of thumb is to assume that you’ll spend 2.5 to 3 percent of your home’s value each year on upkeep and repairs. If you buy a $250,000 home, aim to save $520 to $625 per month.

Get preapproved for a mortgage.
Before you start house shopping, you should get your financing in place.

“The No. 1 thing is (homebuyers) better have everything in order,” says Dick Gaylord, of RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., and a former president of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Gaylord says you should get a mortgage preapproval “before you walk through the first house.” Otherwise, “How do you know how much you can afford?”

Buy a house you like.
Short-term homeownership can be expensive, depending on how much you put down and what it cost you to sell your old house and move.

To get a home that will make you happy, don’t count on a quick purchase. Step back and make certain the house you’re considering is one that will fit the needs of you and your family.

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

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

The post 6 Things You Must Do Before Buying a Home appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Overused Sales Jargon That Turns Clients Off

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Find out some of the words and phrases that are most egregious when giving a sales pitch and why they don’t work with today’s...

Categories: Real Estate

Little-Known Factors Affecting Home Values

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Location, crime, and neighborhood comps are obvious items that can affect your listing’s sales price, but there are more invisible...

Categories: Real Estate

Will ‘Granny Flats’ Resolve Housing Shortages?

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Some economists believe so, and are calling on more municipalities to relax rules to allow these accessory dwelling units to be built on or into...

Categories: Real Estate

Suburban Realty Professionals  ♦  Princeton Office  ♦  96 Wall Street  ♦  Princeton, NJ 08540  ♦  877-221-8787