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Zoning and Architectural Review Board Restrictions

When you buy a home, you need to be aware of the various things that can limit your control over the property. This is as true for finished lots and single family homes as it is for townhouses, condos, and apartments. It’s a good idea to understand these limitations before you buy, so that you can decide whether you’re willing to live with them or not. After you buy, it’s too late; you’re stuck. Zoning In most jurisdictions, zoning limits how a piece of property can be used. There are many variations of residential zoning. In some, no business activity is permitted. Some allow business activity but no signs. In some, no commercial vehicles can be parked regularly. Some residential zones permit only a single dwelling per quarter acre, per acre or per ten acres. Most limit the owner’s ability to subdivide land. Some allow only single family dwellings while others allow high rise apartments. Still others allow apartments, but limit the height of apartment buildings. Many do not allow mobile homes. Some jurisdictions have “overlay districts” in addition to zoning. These are common in areas with many older buildings and a community desire to preserve them. Additions to homes of this type are obviously restricted, but restrictions regarding the location, style, height, and even whether they’re allowed at all or not, also applies to fences, sheds, walks, gates, and similar ancillary structures. Fredericksburg, Virginia has a forty block “historic district.” Residents of this area must follow normal zoning rules. However, they must also submit an application to the Architectural Review Board for any changes to the visible exterior of their homes. This can be a surprise for some new homeowners in the area. You can find detailed information about zoning, overlay districts and the like fairly easily. Simply visit the courthouse for the county in which the property is located or ask your real estate professionals for assistance.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Zillow: The No. 1 Obstacle for Would-Be Homeowners

For all the hurdles to homeownership, one obstacle is stubbornly more insurmountable than the rest: the down payment. Renters are having trouble stacking up the savings to place a down payment on a home, according to the recently released Zillow® Housing Aspirations Report (ZHAR). Seventy percent of renters surveyed in the report say the down payment is more of a hindrance than debt (cited by 50 percent of those surveyed), job security (38.5 percent) and qualifying for a mortgage (53.2 percent)—though those aspects are barriers, as well. Low supply was a roadblock for just 11.2 percent of those surveyed. “With home values close to record highs, it’s no surprise renters are concerned about coming up with enough money to buy a home,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Rising rents are also a factor—it’s extremely difficult to save when you’re paying record-high rents.” The irony? The difficulty of coming up with a down payment is keeping most renters from saving money as a homeowner. In 33 of the 35 major metropolitan areas, a monthly mortgage is less expensive than monthly rent. Though renters have low down payment options, the long-term savings gained with 20 percent down—a general standard—often outweigh those earned upfront. “While it is possible to put down as little as 3 percent on a home, the trade-off is a higher interest rate and costly private mortgage insurance—a financial trade-off that may make sense for some buyers,” Gudell says. Renters, still, have not lost sight of their homeownership goals. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed are “confident” in their ability to afford a home “someday;” 25 percent have a more definitive timeline, planning to buy a home in the next three to five years. Twenty-two percent of millennial renters, markedly, plan to buy a home in the next one to two years. Only 2 percent of millennial renters plan on never buying a home. Importantly, 66 percent of those surveyed equate owning a home with the American Dream. For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.
For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Zillow: The No. 1 Obstacle for Would-Be Homeowners appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Zillow: 1.9 Million Homes Underwater by Year 2100

Flood damage as a result of rising sea levels over the next 100 years, are expected to impact over $900 billion worth of homes in the U.S. This, according to a recent report by Zillow that analyzes the types of homes that could be underwater by 2100, based on recent climate change estimates. According to the report, less affluent homeowners stand to lose significantly more if their homes are damaged from flooding when compared to their wealthier neighbors. Zillow predicts that 1.9 million homes will be underwater by 2100 if the oceans rise six feet, and more than a quarter of these homes are in Miami. While those with more valuable homes will lose out in dollar amount, a third of the homes in the bottom tier of their metros (32 percent) can potentially suffer a $123 billion loss. This could be life altering for the low-income population whose funds mostly go towards mortgage payments and other bills, making preventative measures against flooding an unaffordable expense. In the next 100 years, we can expect rising sea levels to impact $916 billion worth of homes, most of which are low- to medium-value properties. Top-value homes are at risk in rural and suburban areas, while bottom-value homes are more likely to be impacted in urban areas. Here are the 10 metros that will be hit the hardest: Miami, Fla. New York, N.Y. Tampa, Fla. Fort Myers, Fla. Boston, Mass. Upper Township, N.J. Salisbury, Md. Virginia Beach, Va. Bradenton, Fla. Naples, Fla. “We’ve seen the enormous impact flooding can have on a city and its residents,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “It’s harder for us to think about it on a long-term timeline, but the real risks that come with rising sea levels should not be ignored until it’s too late to address them. With organized and committed planning, cities can help protect both current and future residents. Living near the water is incredibly appealing for people around the country, but it also comes with additional considerations for buyers and homeowners. Homes in low-lying areas are also more susceptible to storm flooding and these risks could be realized on a much shorter timeline as we have seen time and time again.” View more from the report. For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.
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 Zillow: 1.9 Million Homes Underwater by Year 2100 appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Zero Down Real Estate Investing

Zero down? Why would a seller want to walk away from closing with nothing? Well, they wouldn't, and that brings up the most important point about real estate investing with no downpayment: The seller almost always needs cash at closing, but it doesn't have to be YOUR cash. A Zero Down Example I'm selling a small rental property right now, with payments of $400/month. The buyer has a good credit report, and the $5,000 downpayment covers closing costs and even a foreclosure, if necessary. So at this point, I don't care where he gets the downpayment. A $6000 cash advance on a low-interest credit card for example, would cost him about $135 per month, and give him enough for the downpayment and his closing costs. In this case, with rent around $600 per month, he would be okay. In some cases, however, that extra $135 might cause negative cash-flow. So be sure that however you do it, the numbers work. By the way, I would have set the payments at $350, if he had asked, because it's the price and the interest rate that are important to me. Other Zero Downpayment Methods While there are sellers (like myself) that are able to offer terms and low downpayments, usually you have to find a way to get at least 70% of the price to them in cash. Think in terms of how to get a primary loan, then how to raise the money for the remainder. A couple examples follow. Some banks still do "no doc" loans, meaning they don't require verification of income, source of downpayment, etc. They generally loan only 70% to 80% of the property value, but if the seller is willing to take a second mortgage from you for the other 20% to 30%, you are in with no money down. The seller gets 70% or 80% in cash, plus payments for years to come. You'll have two payments, of course, so be sure the numbers work. You can borrow against your home or other property to come up with downpayment money. If you borrow for a "vacation," and leave whatever you don't spend in your checking account for a while, you can use it without violating bankers rules about borrowing for a downpayment. Even if you live in a small town, there are usually a few "note buyers." These are investors that buy land contracts, mortgage loans and other "notes" at a discount. If a seller takes a purchase money mortgage from you for $100,000, for example, a note buyer might pay him $85,000 for it. So how does that help you or him? An example: A seller prices his property at $195,000, and expects to sell it for $180,000. You offer $205,000 in the form of a mortgage  for $160,000, and another for $50,000. You have arranged for the sale of the first mortgage at closing for $136,000 to a note buyer. The seller gets that cash now, plus payments from you on the second loan for $50,000. Notice that this adds up to $186,000, which is more than he expected to get out of the deal. These are just some of the ways you can buy with zero down. Real estate investing is about making the deal work for all parties. Find a way to get what you want, and get the seller what he wants. That is more important than having big cash on hand.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Zen and The Art Of Workshop Organization

Does your workshop need some work? We got in touch with Bonnie Joy Dewkett, from The Joyful Organizer, for tips on making the most out of your workshop. Whether you have a small home workshop in the corner of your garage, or a spacious work area in a standalone building, organizing the area and providing adequate storage will bring order and a sense of calm to what can otherwise be a cluttered, chaotic place. If your workshop is in disarray and it’s hard to find the things you need to tackle projects, you’re more likely to procrastinate. On the other hand, an inviting, well-organized area with space to work encourages creativity and productivity. Clearing your work space can also clear your mind. We got in touch with Bonnie Jow Dekett, from The Joyful Organizer, for her tips on making the most out of your workshop.

Once you’re ready to organize your workshop, where do you start? It’s usually best to have a clean-out session first to discard any items that are no longer functional or that you don’t use. Getting rid of these things will give you a better idea of how much room you actually have to work with as you begin designing your area. "Walk around the space with a trash bag. Fill it with items you don’t use or want anymore. This is a great way to build momentum and you’ll fill up the trash bag much faster than you think," Dewkett mentions.

Next, ask yourself what tasks are particularly difficult to execute in your current space, and what things are routinely hard for you to either find or to keep organized. For example, do you dread it when a project requires hammering because it takes forever for you to find a hammer and locate the right nails? Or, does it take you longer than you’d like to find a sewing kit when you need it? Consider what types of projects you’d like for your area to accommodate, and envision where and how they would be completed.

Once you have an idea of your needs and goals, it’s time to get to work. Here are some ideas for workshop organization and storage that may help you:
  Graph It It’s worth the time it takes to measure your area and draw out the space on graph paper. That way, you can see if your plans fit the space before you make any purchases or start moving heavy items around.
 
  Look Up The professional organizer explains how you should consider storage ideas for a cohesive and organized design. She says, "Use vertical space. There are lots of awesome organizers you can add to a space….over door shoe racks are great on the backs of doors and can hold small craft items, tools and office supplies. Shelving above doorways and desks is also a great way to use wall space instead of surface space to hold supplies." Be sure to carefully secure items that are vertically stored to avoid accidents and injuries.
 
  Salvage Items Home stores and hardware stores feature a wide selection of pre-made cabinets, shelving and workbenches that can work beautifully in your workshop, but they can also be expensive. Salvaged items can perform the same functions while offering significant savings. If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, or if you know someone who is, consider reusing old cabinets and counter-tops by re-purposing them for your workshop. You can do the same thing with old bookcases or office shelving.
 
  Peg It Utilizing a pegboard is a great way to create vertical storage for the numerous small tools that populate some spaces. In addition to hanging it over a workbench, pegboards can extend to the walls of your space to hold brooms, clamps, garden equipment and a variety of other items.
 
  Be Transparent If you decide to purchase storage containers, consider buying clear ones to make it easier to see what’s inside without having to read labels or open them.
 
  Recycle, Reuse You don’t have to buy a fancy storage system for nails and screws. Old coffee cans and plastic kitchen containers with lids work just as well. A hanging shoe organizer can be placed in an area to hold spray cans, paintbrushes and rolls of tape. Egg cartons can hold nuts, bolts or other small items as well. The cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels can help organize extension cords (label the tubes with the length and type of cord inside), and metal file cabinets can hold sharp tools, like blades and saws.
 
  Roll Around Put rollers or casters on the bottom of woodworking equipment, storage equipment and other items to make it easy to move them out of the way when they’re not in use.
 
  Hang ‘em High String a clothesline with clips to hang and organize things that are bulky or difficult to store. Use brackets to keep seldom-used objects, like ladders, stored near the ceiling. Bungee cords can help corral hoses, lumber, pipe and other long items too.
 
  Be Magnetic Add a magnetic bar to your wall or pegboard to store metal tools, like wrenches and drill bits.
 
  Let There be Light Put overhead lights on motion detectors so you don’t forget to turn them off when you leave, or add task lighting over the workbench in other areas where you’ll be working frequently.
 
  Consider Aesthetics Dewkett also goes into detail on how prioritize your wants and necessities can benefit the energy of a space. "While you can easily over do it with clutter, I like to have a balance between beautiful items and functional items. On my desk I have some small picture frames and plants. These inspire me and make me feel comfortable, even when I’m working long hours." Everything doesn't have to be functional, but make sure it all offers a purpose.
 
  Incorporate Personal Hacks Make sure the are is your own. Dewkett says, "Using headphones can be a great way to cut down on external distractions. I suggest making sure the space is COMFORTABLE. If it’s messy, dimly lit or hard to use, you’ll never want to work. Making sure the space fits your personal preferences and needs is key to creativity and productivity." Source: American Home Shield

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your New Real Estate Motto: ‘Helping Beats Selling’

Marketing Expert Kelly McDonald offers indispensable advice for connecting with prospects and clients. Think of the U.S. as a “salad bowl”—rather than a “melting pot”—that integrates many different cultures as you develop marketing strategies to reach a diverse set of prospects and clients. Marketing expert and author Kelly McDonald offered attendees a range of tips to foster strong and meaningful connections in her Monday session, “How to Market and Sell to People Not Like You,” at the REALTORS® Conference and Expo. Be relevant in your marketing. “Identify what people want, and give it to them,” McDonald said. You may have lots of information about the features and attributes of a property to share with buyers, but that matters much less than keying in on “why it benefits them. You have to be able to make sure people understand ‘why I should care’ about what you’re telling them.” Adapt to the needs of your clients and prospects. People need you to understand and relieve their pain, but you need to know what the pain points are,” McDonald said. She cited an example of an auto glass repair company that set up an introduction system so that customers knew which technician would be coming to their home. They sent along a photo in advance, so clients knew who to look out for. “This addressed the strong need women have for a sense of security and great personal service, she said. Keep your communications short. Your clients and customers don’t have enough time in their lives as it is, so present information “in bite-sized portions,” she said. Use white space between paragraphs and bullet points to increase the chance people will read what you send them. “Whenever possible, shorten your voicemail and emails, and use pictures and graphics to make your points.” Cultivate your ‘pilot fish.’ It’s important to know what you’re doing wrong, but you may not learn what that is until you ask someone with whom you’ve done business. “People won’t tell you if you don’t ask them,” she said. “And don’t be afraid of acknowledging the problems. You can’t fix them if you don’t know about them.” Foster a culture of empathy when hiring. “It’s more important to hire the right person than the right resume,” McDonald said. “Don’t be afraid to recruit from new ponds” because you can always get them up to speed on the tasks and skills needed for the job. “Awesome people are awesome no matter where they are working.” Don’t be defensive when you’re wrong. If something is going haywire with a transaction, people only want to hear five words from you: “We’ll take care of it.” The blame game is never productive, so “stop offering excuses when things go wrong. People want to know how you’re going to take care of problems, so unless they ask for a lot of details about how something went amiss, don’t go there,” she said.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
Live Like Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis How to Use Predictive Analytics in Your Real Estate Business Hi, My Name Is…Owner of a Valuable Home It’s no secret that moving is a headache. You need to purchase packing supplies, change your address, clean your current home, and more. Luckily, technology can make the process less painful. Whether you’re choosing the best mover or expertly packing your belongings, there’s an app for it. Read on for useful apps to help you streamline your moving process. Unpakt
Book, manage, and pay for your move all within the Unpakt app. No need to fill out multiple request forms or call different movers for quotes. Simply enter your move details into the app to see moving prices in several cities across 37 states. Hire a mover via Unpakt online or on iOS and Android. TaskRabbit
Get your home or apartment ready for the move by hiring a Tasker to complete home repairs, deep clean your home, and disassemble your bed frame. Services are available in most major cities. Get your chores done with TaskRabbit on iOS and Android. MagicPlan
Take pictures of your new home or apartment before your move and use them to create detailed floor plans with MagicPlan. These floor plans allow you to view your space in 3D, decide where to put your couch, and plan DIY projects. Visualize your space with MagicPlan on iOS and Android.
Wunderlist
Plan your move with Wunderlist, a to-do list web app. Create lists, set deadlines, schedule reminders, and share your list with friends and family helping you move. You can also assign tasks to people you’ve shared your to-do list with. Make your to-do list online with Wunderlist. Sortly
Pack with the help of Sortly, a digital organizer. Use the app to take inventory of what you packed in each box so you know where to find your wine opener, your favorite jeans, or your drill. With the premium account, you can create QR code labels for your boxes, access your account online, and export your lists via PDF and Dropbox. Pack like a pro with Sortly on iOS. Internet Speed Need Tool
Determine your ideal internet speed with this web app. The tool also shows internet providers in your area that offer your recommended speed—helpful if you’re moving to a new area. The internet speed you need will vary depending on how you use the internet. You may need faster speeds if your kids play video games, if you recently upgraded to a smart TV, or if you run an online business from home. Determine the speed you need online with the Internet Speed Need Tool. Postmates
Order late-night meals, cleaning supplies, basic toiletries, or lunch from virtually any store or restaurant in your city. Postmates will deliver the best your city has to offer right to your doorstep—saving you a trip while you’re busy unpacking. Postmates is available in over 200 cities. Start receiving deliveries through Postmates on iOS and Android. Nextdoor
Socialize with your new neighbors on Nextdoor, a private social networking app that over 145,000 neighborhoods use to stay connected. Find a babysitter, learn about a rash of car break-ins, and hear about neighborhood events all in one place. Meet your neighbors through Nextdoor online or on iOS and Android. Thumbtack
Hire house cleaners, interior designers, carpet cleaners, painters, home security companies, and more, with Thumbtack. Find professionals—in all 50 states—for anything you need in your new home or apartment. Hire a professional via Thumbtack online or on iOS and Android. While these apps might not make moving completely pain-free, they can help you get your home ready to move, hire the best mover, and find services in your new neighborhood. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, technology can help you save time, money and energy. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
Live Like Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis How to Use Predictive Analytics in Your Real Estate Business Hi, My Name Is…Owner of a Valuable Home It’s no secret that moving is a headache. You need to purchase packing supplies, change your address, clean your current home, and more. Luckily, technology can make the process less painful. Whether you’re choosing the best mover or expertly packing your belongings, there’s an app for it. Read on for useful apps to help you streamline your moving process. Unpakt
Book, manage, and pay for your move all within the Unpakt app. No need to fill out multiple request forms or call different movers for quotes. Simply enter your move details into the app to see moving prices in several cities across 37 states. Hire a mover via Unpakt online or on iOS and Android. TaskRabbit
Get your home or apartment ready for the move by hiring a Tasker to complete home repairs, deep clean your home, and disassemble your bed frame. Services are available in most major cities. Get your chores done with TaskRabbit on iOS and Android. MagicPlan
Take pictures of your new home or apartment before your move and use them to create detailed floor plans with MagicPlan. These floor plans allow you to view your space in 3D, decide where to put your couch, and plan DIY projects. Visualize your space with MagicPlan on iOS and Android.
Wunderlist
Plan your move with Wunderlist, a to-do list web app. Create lists, set deadlines, schedule reminders, and share your list with friends and family helping you move. You can also assign tasks to people you’ve shared your to-do list with. Make your to-do list online with Wunderlist. Sortly
Pack with the help of Sortly, a digital organizer. Use the app to take inventory of what you packed in each box so you know where to find your wine opener, your favorite jeans, or your drill. With the premium account, you can create QR code labels for your boxes, access your account online, and export your lists via PDF and Dropbox. Pack like a pro with Sortly on iOS. Internet Speed Need Tool
Determine your ideal internet speed with this web app. The tool also shows internet providers in your area that offer your recommended speed—helpful if you’re moving to a new area. The internet speed you need will vary depending on how you use the internet. You may need faster speeds if your kids play video games, if you recently upgraded to a smart TV, or if you run an online business from home. Determine the speed you need online with the Internet Speed Need Tool. Postmates
Order late-night meals, cleaning supplies, basic toiletries, or lunch from virtually any store or restaurant in your city. Postmates will deliver the best your city has to offer right to your doorstep—saving you a trip while you’re busy unpacking. Postmates is available in over 200 cities. Start receiving deliveries through Postmates on iOS and Android. Nextdoor
Socialize with your new neighbors on Nextdoor, a private social networking app that over 145,000 neighborhoods use to stay connected. Find a babysitter, learn about a rash of car break-ins, and hear about neighborhood events all in one place. Meet your neighbors through Nextdoor online or on iOS and Android. Thumbtack
Hire house cleaners, interior designers, carpet cleaners, painters, home security companies, and more, with Thumbtack. Find professionals—in all 50 states—for anything you need in your new home or apartment. Hire a professional via Thumbtack online or on iOS and Android. While these apps might not make moving completely pain-free, they can help you get your home ready to move, hire the best mover, and find services in your new neighborhood. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, technology can help you save time, money and energy. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your Fall Produce Guide

Do you like to eat locally? While the summer has an abundance of fresh produce for you to grab at your local farmer’s market, as fall hits, many wonder what local produce is still available. Below are the top five things to eat this autumn, available in most regions in the country. Apples! All hail fall, the season of apples! From apple pie to applesauce, apple slaw and more, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy this crispy sweet (or tart!) treat. Look for local apples in your grocery store or drive up to a nearby farm to pick yourself. Broccoli. Although it does grow in the warmer months, broccoli lingers into the fall. Roast up some spears with garlic and olive oil, or pull out your wok for a quick stir-fry. Blackberries. Most of us think of summer as the season for berries, but blackberries are available in some regions well into the early fall. Great for pies, smoothies, muffins and fruit salads, these juicy berries are packed with antioxidants—great for fighting colds as the “sick” season approaches. Cabbage. Stuffed cabbage, baked cabbage, stewed cabbage, coleslaw! This cruciferous veggie is very versatile, and extremely inexpensive. Grab a head or four and get to munching. Cauliflower. Many mistake cauliflower as being void of nutrients due to its pale coloring, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Packed with vitamins, this veggie is great raw, steamed or baked. Some are even getting creative by making cauliflower “rice” and pizza crusts. Hit up Google for some innovative cauliflower recipes. Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post Your Fall Produce Guide appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your Condo View – Enjoy it While You Can

Downtown condo living, complete with easy access to transit, shopping, a short walk to work, no maintenance yard and best of all, the view. It was the birds-eye view of the city, the mountains, and the breathtaking sunset that sold you on the place – no one mentioned it was only temporary. What happens when the view that came along with your 33 story condominium disappears because a neighboring building is built only 18 feet away? That is what happened to Benjamin Shanfelder when he purchased a unit in the downtown Seattle Cosmopolitan building in 2005. He realized that other condos were slated for nearby developments, but at the time, the height restrictions limited the number of floors of an adjacent building. The rules were changed and a 34 story condo was constructed right next door, eliminating Shanfelder’s view, sunlight and privacy. Whose responsibility was it to inform the new tenants that the city regulations had changed? According to city requirements, the developer and the adjacent property owners should be notified; however, future tenants are on their own to discover these new developments. A new construction does not automatically assume the condo owner will lose their view. Different areas of the city have different separation requirements based on density. Some areas require no separation where as others mandate a minimum 60 to 200 feet. Potential buyers cannot depend solely on their realtor or developer for zoning information. A bit of research before purchasing their property may save some nasty surprises down the road. Here are some areas to consider: Get as much information as possible from the developers regarding nearby proposals for developments, zoning restrictions and whether they have invested in air rights for the surrounding real estate to protect views. Visit the city planning office and look up the zoning laws for the nearby sites. Look up the addresses for any project applications and add your name and email address to the notification list for changes or new developments. Speak to the city planners about possible changes to the existing zoning laws. Let your comments be heard at design review hearings about future projects. Spend the extra money to hire a land-use lawyer to complete this due diligence on your behalf.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Younger Boomers: Purchase Multigenerational Homes

Younger Boomers, buyers ages 52 to 61 years, make up 16 percent of all home buyers in 2016. The median age for this group is 57 years old and they were born between 1955 and 1964. This age group is the most likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 20 percent. Their reasons for purchasing a multigenerational home are children or relatives over the age of 18 years moving back in (20 percent), health/caretaking of aging parents (15 percent), to spend time with aging parents (11 percent), and children over 18 years that never left (10 percent). For Younger Boomers, the primary reasons they purchased homes are a job-related relocation or move (11 percent), desire to be closer to friends and family (10 percent), and the desire for a smaller home (10 percent), more than other generations. Compared to other buyers, they are the most likely to say that they did not have much choice and they had to purchase when they did (22 percent). Younger Boomers are the least likely to purchase in the suburbs (49 percent) and most likely to purchase in rural areas (13 percent) compared to other generations. They have the second highest median household income at $93,800. They also purchase the second most expensive homes of all generations with a median home price of $230,000. This generation of buyers also purchase the second largest homes in size at a median square footage of 1,900. Younger Boomers are the most likely to consider heating and cooling costs very important. This age group is the least likely to compromise on the price of the home as well as the quality of and distance from schools. Younger Boomers move from their previous residence at a median of 15 miles from their previous residence. Younger Boomers are the most likely to look online for properties for sale as their first step in the home search process (53 percent). They are also the most likely to utilize online video sites as useful search information on homes (63 percent). Younger Boomers are the most likely to use money from a 401K or pension fund including a loan for the downpayment of their home purchase. This age group is the most likely to feel that the mortgage application and approval process is easier than expected (24 percent). Younger Boomers are the third largest share of home sellers last year at 20 percent. They have the second highest median incomes for sellers at $111,100 and sold the highest median priced homes at $279,800. Younger Boomers are the most likely to sell a detached single-family home and sell the largest homes at a median of 2,200 square feet. They are the most likely to offer home warranty incentives to help sell the home.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Young Hispanic and Latino Membership on the Rise at NAR

In the last several years, the percent of NAR members that identify as Hispanic and Latino have steadily increased. Hispanic and Latino members have for many years made up the largest racial and ethnic composition after Caucasian members. In the 2017 Member Profile, we see that trend continue. In 2017, nine percent of all members identified as Hispanic or Latino, five percent Black or African American, and five percent Asian or Pacific Islander. When we segment the data by age and years of experience, we see a growing number of young Hispanic and Latino members that are entering the real estate business. For members with two years of experience or less, the share increased to 13 percent of all members that identified as Hispanic or Latino. In 2015, that share was only eight percent. In just two years, the number of new Hispanic or Latino entrants to the business has nearly doubled. For members that are 39 years of age or younger, the percent of all members that are Hispanic or Latino jumps to 15 percent as well. In 2015, that share was nine percent, nearly doubling again.   We segmented the data further to examine the gender breakdown of the new members entering the field. Here is what we found: Of the members that are 39 years or younger and are male, 17 percent were Hispanic and Latino—greater than any other age group. Of those that are 39 years or younger and are female, 14 percent were Hispanic and Latino. Of the members that have two years of experience or less and are male, 15 percent were Hispanic and Latino—higher than any other category for years of experience. Of those that have two years of experience or less and are female, 11 percent were Hispanic and Latino.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

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

(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 For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post You Don’t Have to Make a Down Payment on a VA Loan—Should You Anyway? appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

You Deserve To Retire In Paradise - 5 Reasons To Choose Belize

If you are considering relocating or retiring in Belize you should be interested to know that it has become a shining star in the international media. Internationally acclaimed magazines and newspapers are consistently publishing articles on Belize and how truly wonderful this small tropical paradise is. We decided to boil it down to five reasons to retire here.  So here you go: 1.  The obvious…the place is beautiful Belize is a gleaming gem of the Caribbean which until recently has been give little attention.  Its sun baked white sand beaches would make great scenery for any Pirates of the Caribbean movie. How big is Belize?  Its size is approximately 8,866 square miles, the mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide. Belize also consists of over 200 cayes (islands), ranging in size from a few hundred feet to 25 miles long and four miles wide; most of which are located inside the 200 mile Belize Reef. Belize has hundreds of miles of undeveloped beaches which are perfect for fishing, diving, scuba diving, yachting and more.  Belize also has ruins of the ancient Mayan civilizations with excellent tour services.  There are also tropical mountain ranges which are perfect for hiking and birding activities.
2.  Its relatively cheap Belize’s government recently has enacted a retiree incentive program that permits U.S., Canadian and United Kingdom citizens to establish official residency in Belize and to live there free of most Belize taxes. Under the new program retirees can’t work in Belize, but income from outside Belize isn’t taxed, and retirees can bring in household goods, a car, a boat and even an airplane without paying import duties. The overall cost of living is generally lower than the United States.  The average Belizean makes less than 6000 USD a year.   3.  Its relatively safe Belize is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the British Commonwealth. The country has a tradition of democracy and free elections.  Belize has a constitution, which includes a bill of rights.   Although no place in the world is completely safe the crime in Belize is relatively low in comparison to other Central American countries.  
4.  It’s a good long term investment The country of Belize has no capital gains taxes and has a well established off-shore banking system similar to Cayman Islands and Switzerland.  Full property insurance is available and is underwritten by Lords of London. 5.  It’s easy to get to Belize lies on the eastern coastline of Central America, bordered on the north by Mexico, on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. It is separated by sea from its neighbor to the southwest, Honduras. The Belize International Airport is offering direct flights from major US cities. Direct flights are available from many major cities in the United States and more are being added. Belize international airport is currently expanding the runways so to accommodate direct flights from Europe.  Right now major airlines including American, Continental and Taca (El Salvador) offer direct flights from major US cities including Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

You can have a nicer home

Your home is a huge investment! Do you want to increase its worth? Do you want to improve how you feel about your home when you walk in the door after work? Do you want to show off your home proudly to your family and friends? Do you want to enjoy the greater convenience and room that comes with a bigger, nicer house… without having to buy an entirely new one? And when it comes time to sell your home, do you wan to get more money for it? Sure you do! You know that a new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new guestroom, or a landscaped yard will add value to your home. As will new furniture, a new patio, a new garage, or a new roof. But you also may not have the cash on hand to pay for it. How are you going to pay for it? To increase the value of your home, you need cash. To get cash you may need to get a loan. You should consider getting a UK Home Improvement Loan. And when you do, you’ll see the value of your home climb, and your home improvement dreams will come true! In fact, many people are turning to a UK Home Improvement Loan to make their home improvement dreams come true. A UK Home Improvement Loan is loan you can get that is based on the security you can offer through your property. It can be obtained with low interest rates, and because it’s secured, you have more repayment options available to you. That’s the amazing thing about home improvements. They are one of the last remaining investments in which you can spend a little and get a lot back. And if you don’t have the money readily available, no problem! You can still make money when you improve your home by using a loan and paying it back on time.
 
Want an addition on your home? How about a remodeled kitchen? Want to furnish the basement? What to build a garage? Want to add a deck? Want to make a guesthouse for your mother-in-law? Whatever home improvement project you choose, you can probably find a UK Home Improvement Loan to match the term and repayment details that suit your income and credit rating.
 
So whether you want to build a bigger house or furnish it with nicer things, you should consider getting a UK Home Improvement Loan.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

You Can Do WHAT On My Property? Know Your Easement Rights

TRULIA'S BLOG \ REAL ESTATE 101 You Can Do WHAT On My Property? Know Your Easement Rights Property easement on your land? Hope you’re tight with your neighbors. By Laura Agadoni | April 27, 2016         If you’ve got an easement, your potential new neighbor might have a legal right to a portion of your land. Picture this: You’ve fallen in love with a gorgeous home on a corner lot in Fort Lauderdale, FL, but on the day of your home inspection, you’re shocked when your new neighbor drives right through your property on their way to work. A chat with the home inspector and an investigation of property records reveals something concerning: There’s an easement on your potential new property. Your neighbor needs to drive on your land to access theirs — and is fully within their rights to do so. What’s a homebuyer to do? Start by learning the good, the bad, and the ugly about property rights and easements. What are property easements? An easement gives a person or entity a legal right to use someone else’s land. But that doesn’t mean your neighborcan just start growing tomatoes in your yard. An easement is “not a right to possess the property, but rather to use it for a stated purpose,” says Bob Tankel, a Pinellas, FL, attorney who specializes in community association law. For example, a utility company might have the right to dig up a section of your lawn to install or maintain phone, power, and cable (maybe even fiber-optic) lines. What should you know about easements before you buy? Start with the basics: It’s important to know whether there are any easements on a property before you close, where they are, and what type of easements they are. Some easements, for example, remain after you buy the house, but others can be canceled. This depends on whether the easement is an appurtenant easement or an easement in gross. “Appurtenant” means belonging to someone else. So an appurtenant easement is one in which the neighbor sought and now owns the easement, such as in the case of that driveway access. An appurtenant easement stays with the house if you buy it. With an easement in gross, you have more say. If, for example, the property has a path that leads to a fishing pond, the original owner might have granted a neighbor access to the property to get to the fishing spot. That’s considered an easement in gross, and it does not remain once the property changes hands. So if you wish to put up a fence (or just don’t want your neighbor traipsing across your property), you have the right to end the agreement — just be prepared for an awkward first introduction with that new neighbor. What are your property rights and easement rights? If you buy a house with an easement, you’ll need to play ball. Let’s say you bought beachfront property (lucky you!) on a public beach. But what if your new property is the only access point the neighbors have to said public beach? You, in this case, would not have the right to block your neighbors from their fun in the sun by putting up a fence. If you did, you would be trespassing upon a right-of-way easement, also called an “easement by necessity,” and you could be sued. What are the limitations on renovations or expansions? If you plan to build a new home or an addition, it’s especially important to know whether there are any easements on a property before you buy. You can find out by looking over your paperwork. “Written easements are contained in deeds, individual documents, on plats, and in condominium and homeowner association documents,” says Tankel. Let’s say your neighbor received an easement for their solar panels. You then cannot renovate, expand, or even plant a tree that would block your neighbor’s sunlight access. Can easements be challenged? “Easements can be challenged by [property] owners under specific circumstances,” says Tankel. You would need to go to court to make that happen. If the easement holder agrees to terminate, it should be easy. In some cases, easements have an expiration date, which also would make ending the easement fairly easy. But other cases are more difficult. For instance, you might have heard of “squatter’s rights.” There’s a legal term for this: “prescriptive easement.” This happens when a person has been openly using their neighbor’s property for a certain length of time (which typically varies by state) without the owner’s permission. This type of easement isn’t on a title report, so buyers would most likely need to do a physical inspection to uncover an easement of this type, according to Tankel. If you see your neighbors sunning themselves on a dock they constructed on your future lakefront property or they’ve put up a fence on your potential land, those would be big clues. “Prescriptive easements can be challenged by allegations that [the land] has been abandoned,” says Tankel. In this case, it might be a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney for advice. The bottom line on easements It’s within your control to buy a house with an easement, so do your homework! “Buyers need to exercise due diligence to make sure they know the extent of any possible easements,” says Tankel.   This blog was written by: Laura Agadoni Laura Agadoni is a landlord and a journalist whose articles appear in various publications such as The Houston Chronicle, The Motley Fool, San Francisco Gate, Zacks, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, and Arizona Central. Visit her website at www.lauraagadoni.com. - See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/property-right-and-easements/?ecampaign=con_cnews_digest&eurl=www.trulia.com%2Fblog%2Fproperty-right-and-easements%2F#sthash.Q4JrZgTk.dpuf      

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

You CAN Buy Your New Home Before You Sell Your Old One

Buy Before You Sell. Too Risky Right? Wrong! Common Home Owner Myth: I can’t buy a “new” house without first selling my “old” one. That is the way it is supposed work…right? You can’t have a new house without getting rid of the “old” one. Not so. Take for example, the story of one of our clients. They had a house (beautiful house, worth about $600,000) and had no intention of leaving. However, one day this house in their neighborhood went on the market. You know the house. It is the one where every time you go by, you wish it was yours. Unfortunately, this house would never be for sale. Out of the blue, the unbelievable happens: the house goes up for sale. Now most would call this a stroke of luck, then it would dawn on them... “We can’t have that house. Obviously, something unforeseen as happened, and they’ll want a quick sale. Waiting for us to sell our house first, won’t be acceptable to them. I guess we are out of luck.” Luckily, this client called us to structure a safe way for him to get his dream home today, buy some time to get his “old” house sold, make both homes affordable during the marketing period, and leave him the exact same long term financing on the “new” home he otherwise would have had. Now that’s a tall order! But we did it. And, so can you! Here are 2 ways to buy a new house without selling your “old” one first. Pull the equity out of your existing house using a Home Equity Line of Credit or a 2nd mortgage. If you could snap your fingers and sell your home, this would be what you’d use to buy the “new” home anyway. So just get it out now. Now, reserve enough of this money to make your “old” house payment for 6-12 months. Your house will take this long to market and with the money set aside you won’t be tempted to take a low-ball offer. Use the remainder as down payment and get your new first mortgage to complete the purchase. When the “old” house sells, both mortgages are liquidated and you are left with one house and one mortgage…the exact same situation you’d have had if you sold your “old” home before you bought the “new” one. But you accomplished it without the wait and the missed opportunity! Another way to achieve the same result minus the “old” house payment reserve is to use an 80% first mortgage and a 20% 2nd mortgage also called 100% financing, to buy the new house. You won’t have to put any money down and when your “old” house sells, you use the proceeds to pay off the 2nd. The only difference is you don’t get any “extra” money to use to offset two house payments during the marketing period. Many of you, have existing lines of credit or other sources, so this may not be necessary. Both scenarios leave you with great permanent financing on the new house. The 80/20 or 100% financing scenario costs a little more in discount points than a traditional structure, but it’s only to the costs and not the rate. Refer to our website to learn more about 100% financing in our free report called, “Buy With Zero Down!”. The biggest hurdles you’ll need to clear are 1) making two housing payments and 2) getting loan approval with two housing payments. Here’s how you do both: When you pull the money from your existing house, reserve enough to cover up to 12 months mortgage payments for the “old” house while it is on the market. That way you don’t have to come out of pocket for the payment. Gee, that was easy! Hurdle 1 cleared! Since most loans are approved through a computer these days, you’ll need a mortgage broker who knows how to use the automated approval computer systems that FNMA and other agencies and lenders use. These approval systems are a Godsend when it comes to creative financing in today’s modern mortgage arena. It may seem strange to you, but to the computer, your financial picture and your need for financing, are simply numbers. It doesn’t care that some of those numbers include 2 housing payments. The new systems are allowing many of our clients an approval with abnormally high debt ratios, sometimes as high as 60%! This is very prevalent, especially with clients who have strong credit and assets after closing…like a 401K. This is your window for approval. Now, you know you’ll not be spending 60% of your income on debt, because you put the money aside in Step 1 to cover the “old” house payment, but the computer doesn’t know that or care. If done right, you’ll get the approval even with very high debt ratios. Note: Beware! Don’t let an unscrupulous mortgage broker get you to commit mortgage fraud just so you can buy before you sell. Stick with our plan. If you get approved fine. If you don’t, live with it. One way they’d break the rules to get you approved is to “doctor up” a lease agreement on your “old” home to offset the payment and show the computer a lower debt ratio. Don’t do it…it’s a Federal crime! How do you start? 1) Get approved through the computer system
2) If you need to pull equity out of existing house; start it now
3) Write offer on new house
4) When offer is accepted, put existing house up for sale; not before At Integrity First Mortgage, we use these strategies to get our clients into houses every day. So don’t worry. It is ok to step out of the box sometimes and put away some of the outdated concepts about financing a house. Lastly, don’t forget you can net a lot more for your “old” home with our revolutionary way to sell your house without paying a real estate commission, (6% commission on a 600,000 house is $36,000!). Look below in my resource box for more information. Happy House Hunting!  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

You Better Know What’s Next

If you’re interested in mastering the art of working with buyers, you need to always be able to answer the question, “What’s next?” Even though logic tells us a homebuyer will work diligently toward buying a home and only take steps toward that end, there are typically more missteps than correct steps throughout the process. Why? Because the buyer isn’t the process expert—you are. Why do we sometimes let our buyer clients get themselves so far off track in the process? The answer is simple: It’s because we don’t keep them focused on what’s next. As an example, how often have you invested time showing homes to a prospective buyer only to learn later that qualifying for a loan is a problem? It’s only because you weren’t focused specifically on what’s next. Below are some specific tools that will help you stay totally focused on what’s next during the process of attracting new buyer prospects. The Magic Script. I know everyone hates scripts—and early in my sales career, I felt exactly the same—but scripts are the key to being able to focus fully on your prospect. Once you’ve mastered what to say next, you can stop worrying about that and focus instead on your buyer and their needs. At Workman Success Systems, we use a script called LPMAMA when a buyer inquires about a specific home. The letters stand for Location, Price, Motivation, Agency, Mortgage and Appointment. We believe these are the key elements to understanding enough about the buyer and their needs to move the process forward. This script works with our buyer information sheet, which is used to collect important buyer information. A, B & C Buyer Lead Management. You should always know exactly where a buyer is in the process and have them categorized correctly. We use the following categories: “A” buyers need to purchase a home in the next 30 days. These are buyers who you have an appointment scheduled with. Once you’ve finished an appointment with a buyer client in this category, you should schedule the next appointment before parting ways. It’s the only way to keep them an A. “B” buyers need to purchase within 90 days. Follow up with these prospects during the weeks of the 1st and 15th each month. “C” buyers need to buy in more than 90 days. Follow up with this group every single month during the week of the 8th. These are just a couple simple yet effective tools you can use to make sure you’re always focused on what’s next. Sometimes it’s that little nudge toward the next step that can make the difference in actually closing a sale or not. Cleve Gaddis of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now his real estate team closes $60 million in sales annually in Atlanta, Ga. He loves to share his sales strategies and to see others succeed. He’s the host of the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show which can be heard on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO every week. Contact him at Cleve@GoGaddis.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com. The post You Better Know What’s Next appeared first on RISMedia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Year-to-Year Comparisons of What Realtors® Have Been Saying About the Housing Market

This blog post was written by Karen Belita, Data Scientist. In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the National Association of REALTORS® asks members if they have additional comments or information regarding the demand, demand-supply conditions, changing buyer profile and preferences, mortgage/credit issues, or other issues impacting the market in their own words. The additional comments supplied by the members are a glimpse of their personal point-of-view of the current housing market, which can intuitively support the data collected on the housing market. Looking back at the comments in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey from 2009, some of the most popular words and phrases were “short sale,” “foreclosure,” and “bank.” The comments indicate that distressed properties were overwhelming the market, which was a reflection of the financial crisis in the United States that started in 2007, and poured into 2009. Four years later, in 2012, the same words were still popular in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, which indicated that members were still noticing or were concerned about distressed properties, although, data indicate that the market was starting to turn at this time. Conversely, four years later, in 2016, there was shift in what the members were commenting about. Words referring to distressed properties were scarce. The most frequent words and phrases in 2016 were: “low inventory,” “inventory low,” “multiple offer,” and “inventory.” This indicates that the main concern or issue of the members was the low inventory in the real estate market, especially relative to the number of buyers. The word frequency represents the most popular words and/or phrases within the collection of comments from the members. Word frequency is represented as size in the word clouds below.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Year-to-Year Comparisons of What Realtors® Have Been Saying About the Housing Market

This blog post was written by Karen Belita, Data Scientist. In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the National Association of REALTORS® asks members if they have additional comments or information regarding the demand, demand-supply conditions, changing buyer profile and preferences, mortgage/credit issues, or other issues impacting the market in their own words. The additional comments supplied by the members are a glimpse of their personal point-of-view of the current housing market, which can intuitively support the data collected on the housing market. Looking back at the comments in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey from 2009, some of the most popular words and phrases were “short sale,” “foreclosure,” and “bank.” The comments indicate that distressed properties were overwhelming the market, which was a reflection of the financial crisis in the United States that started in 2007, and poured into 2009. Four years later, in 2012, the same words were still popular in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, which indicated that members were still noticing or were concerned about distressed properties, although, data indicate that the market was starting to turn at this time. Conversely, four years later, in 2016, there was shift in what the members were commenting about. Words referring to distressed properties were scarce. The most frequent words and phrases in 2016 were: “low inventory,” “inventory low,” “multiple offer,” and “inventory.” This indicates that the main concern or issue of the members was the low inventory in the real estate market, especially relative to the number of buyers. The word frequency represents the most popular words and/or phrases within the collection of comments from the members. Word frequency is represented as size in the word clouds below.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Working with an Inspector

The rule of real estate is to get your money's worth.  When you are looking into finding a place, you will want to make sure that the rule immediately applies.  One way to make sure that you are getting more for your money is by finding the right inspector.  This will allow you to find a property that is worth the up keep.   The job of an inspector is to find everything that might be a larger problem in the house before you move in.  This will begin by checking the electricity, water supply, plumbing, furnace and heat supplies, and the general build of the home.  They will take a part of their day in order to make sure that everything is built up to standard and that it won't cause problems before you move in.   If there is something that the inspector says is wrong with your home, you will have the ability to ask for repairs or money back for the home.  There are several who will save thousands of dollars by having an inspector look at what is in the home and how it needs to be changed.  Because of this, you will want to make sure that the right inspector is coming to your home.   Most likely, your real estate agent will have a specific inspector that they like to work with.  However, you can find one on your own and have them inspect the home as contract work.  You want to make sure that they will do a thorough job and that they have your best interests in mind.  This will help you to walk into your home without any surprises and with potential replacements before you move in.   Working with an inspector is an essential part to buying a home.  It will help to determine and define the quality of the home and can help you to get the best deal in the end.  Before you sign the final papers, make sure that the inspector you have worked with has looked through everything.  This will help you to begin making your house into a home.    

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Working With a 1031 Exchange

There are several ways to benefit off of owning property and being involved in real estate.  Not only does this come from finding the right property, loans and people to work with, but also moves into finding the best ways to save money while you own a property.  One of the well known ways to save an extra dollar is by becoming involved in a 1031 exchange.   A 1031 exchange is a specific tax form that can help with the profits and losses that you have received for the year.  They are usually used for those that own extra real estate property as an investment.  This form will allow you to roll-over the profits that have been made from a sale made from a real estate property.  From here, you can purchase another property instead of paying the tax back on the property that was already purchased.   The major benefit of a 1031 exchange is that it allows for you to be able to delay specific taxes and instead invest into other properties.  If the property is invested in, then the taxes that are taken from capital gain will not be used later on.  A second benefit to a 1031 exchange is that it allows for more equity to be a part of the investment.  Because of this, each time you invest in a new property from the 1031 exchange, the properties will gain a higher value.   The one thing to keep in mind if you are considering a 1031 exchange is that the new investment has to be what is known as like kind.  This means that the investment must be the same as the property that has already been made.  Before getting into a 1031 exchange, it is important to consider this point, as it can cause for problems with new investments later.  However, if you have enough that was made out of the purchase for the 1031 exchange, you can purchase more, or fewer, amounts of the same type of property.   If you are moving into building your own type of benefits from real estate, then knowing about the 1031 exchange is important.  This will help you with getting more out of your property and laying the foundation for your success in real estate.    

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Words That Will Save You Big Time In Rehab Real Estate

Power Tip! Have you ever wanted just one phrase that you could say at the right time, and it save you hundreds, or thousands of dollars? When it comes to getting the best price from contractors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC techs, you name it, there is a simple phrase that often works like magic in reducing your costs. These specialties are always competing for work. However, if you ask any of them they will likely tell you that they are extremely busy! They might be. They might not. There's a game going on here. They need to appear very busy so their services are in demand and support the prices they will ask for. At the same time, you need to appear to be willing and able to get prices from many sources. (Don't just make it appear that way, get multiple bids whenever it's practical!) It's a balance that must be struck. The good part is that now you know the game...so play both sides since you know what the other side's play.
How to turn the tables     * Have an idea of what the job will cost. Just a ball park idea will do.
    * If you are told something that you think it high, ask why so high. There might be more to it than you know. The reason for the high price might be reasonable. Discuss alternatives.       (For example, if you electrician points out that the breakers you need are especially expensive, ask if he's got any used breakers that are still in good shape.)
    * Then use the magic phrase... Here it is... "Is that your final and best price?" Very often the person you are talking to will squirm a bit at this point. They are having to think...     "Is my price fair?"     "Am I over pricing something here?"     "Can I save this customer some money?"     "Does the customer know something I don't?" While your contractor/laborer thinks about this, don't say a word. I've experienced many reactions from "That's the best I can do" to "If you give me the job, I'll knock it down to..." Often I've gotten a range of options that could save me money. More often than not, it saves my money! It works like magic if:     * They understand that they aren't your sole source of the service they provide     * They know you are willing to wait for the best price     * They know you aren't a push over     * They know you might be a source of future income But, it WILL work like magic when properly applied. In my own experience, I can point to many thousands of dollars of savings using this simple question. We like to save money by keeping prices for services reasonable, true enough. At the same time, I advocate and approach of "don't let anyone get hurt." If you award a job to someone and it winds up costing them more than expected, I help that person out. I don't want someone to lose money on a job and leave with a bad taste in their mouth and never want to do work for me again. Be aware of when someone gets hurt. That said, watch out for those that claim to get hurt with each job. Try out that phrase today. It works in many situations...not just rehab real estate, but in just about any competitive environment.  

Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

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