Conservative, liberal or moderate – this video shows why everyone should support NAR’s stance to reform our tax code and protect middle class homeowners.
This was originally posted by Brian Copeland, President of Tennessee Realtors, on Facebook. He writes, “How is it possible for REALTORS to reach across all aisles (liberal, moderate, conservative) and come together on an issue? Easy. Check out the reasons these three very different minded REALTORS are answering the Tax Reform call for action. As Bob says in this video, “The budget was passed last night at midnight. The game is on today. You better pushin’ buttons!” Answer the call here…now! Thanks #teampurple Leigh Thomas Brown, Mabél Guzmán, and Bob Turner for sharing.”
The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2017 will be the year that the housing market races forward again.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.
Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
“Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 10.8%…which is the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 19 straight months and is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.”
“More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago.”
“The dismal number of listings in the affordable price range is squeezing prospective first-time buyers the most. As a result, young households are missing out on the wealth gains most homeowners have accrued from the 41% cumulative rise in existing home prices since 2011.”
“The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices.”
“Tight housing inventory remains a constraining factor limiting stronger sales growth…
We expect further price growth to entice more homeowners to list their homes, particularly as existing homeowners have greater equity.”
If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.
from Simplifying the Market™ http://ift.tt/2jTIlrH
(TNS)—Whether your bucket list consists of big travel goals such as taking a cruise around the world or simpler wishes such as a weeklong road trip, travel costs money. The surest way to make your travel dreams come true is to set money aside designated for those bucket list adventures. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Save the Change
You might be surprised at how quickly your change adds up when you implement this old school way of saving money. Try using an actual bucket to remind yourself why you are tossing in pennies and nickels every evening.
Step Up to Saving Bills
Amplify your change bucket with stacks of bills. Clear a spot on your nightstand or desk drawer the size of a dollar bill, then start stacking. (Odd Tip: The boxes for iPhones 6 and up are just about the right size for stacking dollar bills, so now you finally know what to do with that sturdy white box you’ve been hanging onto.) When your stack reaches the top of the box or the drawer, take it to the bank.
Open a Separate Bank Account
When your bucket change and bills start stacking up, open a bank account dedicated to travel. A simple savings account that you can transfer money into from your checking account works best and usually won’t incur fees.
Consider a PayPal Account
Why not use something as simple as PayPal as your travel fund? You can transfer money into it from your checking account any time, then let it become your out-of-sight, out-of-mind bucket list fund. Bump up the balance by selling stuff you don’t need on eBay. The money goes right where you want to save it, not in your wallet. When travel time gets closer, get a PayPal debit card to use for the trip.
Buy Travel Gift Cards for Yourself
If money really tends to slip through your fingers, try buying yourself gift cards from the airline you plan to use for your bucket list travel. You will be amazed at how quickly a stack of $25 gift cards can add up to the cost of a flight. Watch for seasonal bonuses from the airline that can make your stack of cards grow even faster. Be sure to keep your cards in a secure spot—one you will remember.
Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card
While it’s okay to study up on all the card offers out there, keep in mind that the card that will get you to your bucket list soonest is the one with rewards you actually want to use. Don’t apply for cards from airlines you rarely fly on, or from a cruise line that is not actually on your bucket list. Pick a card that closely aligns with your travel goals, then use that card for day-to-day purchases instead of reaching for your debit card. Try paying your bill weekly to keep from running up the balance or topping it with interest charges.
Set Up a Stash
Start an investment account with as little as $5 with Stash, an app on your smartphone. Stash lets you set up an investment account with your goals and risk level in mind. Link it to your bank account, set up automatic weekly investments, then let Stash do the work for you.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
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In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale through rose-colored glasses.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?
The first step in your home buying process should be to get pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.
The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:
- ‘Must Haves’ – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered. (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms)
- ‘Should Haves’ – if the property hits all of the ‘must haves’ and some of the ‘should haves,’ it stays in contention but does not need to have all of these features.
- ‘Absolute Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must haves,’ most of the ‘should haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!
Having this list flushed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration, while also letting your agent know what features are most important to you before starting to show you houses in your desired area.
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- Watching the Big Game at home with your friends & family offers many advantages.
- There’s more room to entertain a large crowd, and you don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord if you cheer too loudly!
- The kitchen is big enough to make as many appetizers as you want, and if some of your guests are only there to watch the commercials, they can do so on a different TV in another room!
from Simplifying the Market™ http://ift.tt/2jKt24v
Pool tables are often a fixture of basement remodeling; they’re a great way for children and adults to enjoy their time. However, installing these tables may not be as easy as one would think. Imagine finishing your basement remodel and realizing your spacing is off and you don’t have enough room to play. It’s a nightmare that happens far too often.
Below we’ve placed a guide, put together by PoolDawg, which informs people of exactly how much space they’ll need in order to properly use their pool table. Logically, these measurements may change slightly from person to person depending on stance, height and comfort level.
Check it out:
Proper Pool Table Spacing created by PoolDawg
The post Buying a Pool Table for That New Remodel? Check Out This Spacing Guide First appeared first on RISMedia.
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Is spring closer than we think? Depending on which groundhog you listen to today, you may have less time than you think to get your home on the market before the busy spring season.
Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their homes on the market as buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. However, the next six weeks before spring hits also have their own advantages.
Here are five reasons to sell now.
1. Demand is Strong
Foot traffic refers to the number of people who are out, physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show that the number of buyers out looking for their dream homes in December reached the highest mark since February 2016.
These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now! Take advantage of the strong buyer activity currently in the market.
2. There Is Less Competition Now
Housing inventory just dropped to a 3.6-month supply, which is well under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices; however, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last four years. Many of these homes will be coming to market soon.
Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home, while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).
The choices buyers have will increase in the spring. Don’t wait for this other inventory to come to market before you sell.
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
One of the biggest challenges of the housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. There is less overall business done in the winter. Therefore, the process will be less onerous than it will be in the spring. Getting your house sold and closed before the spring delays begin will lend to a smoother transaction.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to rise by half a percentage point by the end of 2017.
5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
That is what is truly important.
from Simplifying the Market™ http://ift.tt/2kWqcv7
The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.
Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).
The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”
The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only six states had a weak demand level.
The Index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”
As you can see from the map below, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.
Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!
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Improving your credit score can sometimes be a lengthy project. Consumer advisor Brian Acton tells Yahoo Finance if you are planning to apply for a mortgage or other major loan, there are five strategies you can use that can help bump up your credit score in as little as 30 days:
Become an authorized user. You can piggyback off someone else’s good credit by having them add you as an authorized user to an account they’ve had for some time. As an authorized user, you can benefit from this responsibly managed account once it is added to your credit profile. (Understand, however, that if you use the account irresponsibly, both your credit scores will suffer.)
Request a credit limit increase. If you have a timely payment history with your credit card issuer, the issuer will likely grant you a limit increase if you ask for it. Since your credit utilization rate figures heavily in your credit score, an increase in the limit can help your score—so long as you resist increasing your spending.
Pay down your cards. Because—as indicated above—a lower balance positively affects your credit utilization rate, make the effort to curb your current spending and use any extra funds you can muster to pay down existing debts.
Check for credit report errors. An error on your report can weigh down your score, while removing one can result in great improvement. Since most credit reporting errors are resolved in about 30 days, pull your report from AnnualCreditReport.com and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. If something seems amiss, such as an unreported debt payoff, disputing it right away can make a big difference in your credit score.
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So you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market that you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee your dream of making this house yours comes true!
Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 Tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:
1. Understand How Much You Can Afford
“While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”
This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ really should take place before you start your home search process.
As we’ve mentioned before, getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).
2. Act Fast
“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.”
According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes for sale is currently at a 3.6-month supply; This is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.
Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.
3. Make a Solid Offer
Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:
“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”
Consider ways of making your offer stand out! Many buyers write a personal letter to the seller letting them know how much they would love to be the new homeowners. Your agent will be able to help you figure out if there are any other ways your offer could stand out above the rest.
4. Be Prepared to Negotiate
“It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.
Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”
If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home. If the inspection uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can typically re-negotiate the terms or cancel the contract.”
Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local professional on your side who is an expert in their market is your best bet to make sure the process goes smoothly. Happy House Hunting!
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