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House hunters are increasingly going mobile with their real estate searches, according to a new survey by The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm. The report shows that growth in real estate searches on tablets and smartphones has tripled in the past year, while desktop searches have mostly stayed flat. The Search Agency analyzed data from its real estate clients in order to identify online search trends from July to August as compared to the same time period last year. Read more.
Consumers shopping for a home might want to pick up the pace: Getting a mortgage will likely become more challenging and costly next year. Loan limits for popular mortgages are scheduled to drop in January, according to a Wall Street Journal report this week. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is planning to slash the maximum size of mortgages eligible to be backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which currently run as high as $417,000 in most parts of the country and up to $625,500 in pricier cities, including New York and San Francisco. That same month, new mortgage rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau go into effect, which restrict the types of mortgages lenders can provide. The changes could leave next year’s mortgage applicants with fewer and more expensive financing options to choose from than what’s currently available, experts say. Read more.
Post republished with permission from Whitefence Savings - http://savings.whitefence.com
Buying a foreclosed home can seem like a dream. What could be better than getting a home for a fraction of the market value? Some may even say that the deals sound like they could be too good to be true. In some cases, those doubters aren't too far off the mark. There are some hidden dangers in buying foreclosure properties that, if you're not aware of them, could be disheartening and disappointing. If you are pursuing this route in buying your new home, be sure to look out for these hazards and hidden costs. Read more.
July was a record month for home sales in Louisville as 1,102 properties were sold. This is a 13-percent gain over last month and a whopping 29.5-percent increase over July, 2012.
The total number of homes sold is also the highest since June, 2007. Wow.
Heading into the new year, I think most experts thought 2013 was going to see improvement in the Louisville real estate market. I’m not sure many predicted this kind of success.
What we saw during June was very encouraging, especially the rise in home values. That kind of spike was very dramatic and also quite rare. Read more.
Guest post by Angelo DiGangi of Home Depot
Residents of the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts are fluent in hurricane preparation. Cities and towns along major rivers are well-versed on flooding, and those living in Oklahoma know a thing or two about tornadoes. But Superstorm Sandy's attack on the northeast last year proved that no region is safe from a natural disaster, despite past natural trends.
Unlike hurricanes, some natural events – like earthquakes and tornadoes – give little notice before striking; however, in all cases, it is possible to emerge from a disaster more quickly and easily with proper preparation.
Following are basic steps that homeowners can take to prepare for a natural disaster.
Prepare to Be Powerless
You never realize how dependent you are on electricity until you are without it. Power outages happen frequently and can be caused by seemingly insignificant events, like innocent summer storms, although larger scale catastrophes can leave the power out for days and even weeks. Whether you live in an apartment or on an estate, it pays to prepare for when the power to goes out.
- Consider candles: Candles are compact, easy to store, and may provide the light you need during a power outage. You will be able to find your way around your home, complete any necessary tasks, and even read the kids a book to calm them while the storm passes. Remember that you will need a flame to light the candles, so store matches or a lighter where you keep them.
- Flashlights and Headlamps: Similar to candles, flashlights will allow you to navigate a pitch-black house with ease. The benefit here, though, is that flashlights won't blow out, particularly if you need light to secure a busted window or venture into the basement to pump out any water that may be leaking. Keep a cache of batteries, and if you are entering the time of year...
Millions of young Americans are unemployed or underemployed, living with roommates or at home with Mom and Dad — instead of buying homes of their own, a new study found. And it isn’t just the economy that is holding them back, experts say: Many were also spooked by the property crash of 2008. The number of “missing households” — that is, Americans who would be owning or renting a home now if prerecession economic trends had continued — hit 2.4 million as of March, according to an analysis of raw monthly government data by real-estate marketplace Trulia. That is down slightly from its peak of 2.6 million in 2011, but up 100,000 from the year prior. And 18- to 34-year-olds account for more than half of the missing households, according to the data. “Household formation is the most important indicator of the housing recovery that isn’t making great strides,” says Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko, who did the analysis. Read more.
Anyone who has lived in Louisville for any length of time will tell you that no city in America has better dining options for a city its size (some would argue for any city, period). Accordingly, Eater.com has just posted its list of the 18 essential Louisvile restaurants. We all have our favorites (and I'd say this list is missing a few), but this is a great place to start if you're new to town. Read it here.
Home prices are moving up at a quicker pace, rising in May by their largest annual amount in more than seven years with more to come, according to the latest report released by CoreLogic. Home prices increased 2.6 percent in May over April and have shot up 12.2 percent compared to last year’s prices. CoreLogic economists are predicting that home prices will rise by another 2.9 percent in June, making the yearly price gain 13.2 percent year-over-year. Read more.
Here is a link to a site that does objective, 3rd party reviews of many major homeowner's insurance carriers, as well as the types of products they offer. http://www.reviews.com/homeowners-insurance/
Here’s a sign of how tight inventory levels have been lately: More homes are selling in a flash—finding a buyer within 24 hours of being listed. Sound unlikely? Angela Catanzaro thought so, too, until her Broward County, Fla., home received a written offer one day after their listing hit the Internet. The home she and her husband decided to buy was also on the market for less than a day; they pounced on it after struggling to find quality properties that didn’t “need work.” They plan to close on both transactions this month. “We weren’t anticipating our home to sell so fast, so we asked if it was OK to stay until June so our daughter could finish school,” Catanzaro said. Read more.
The time has almost come for you to move into your new dream home, but there are steps you need to take on the final walk-thru to ensure everything is kosher. One of the main things that happen on your final walk-thru is double-checking to see any unexpected repairs weren’t taken care of or anything major has happened since the last time you took a look at the house.
You don’t even need to have taken real estate investing courses to understand and know all of the things that go into making sure your new property is at the point where you are ready to sign on the dotted lines.
Here are some quick tips on what to have on your checklist during the final walk-thru:
Test All Appliances
Make sure that not only all of the appliances that were agreed upon are still in the house, but make sure that they are all properly working. Do not hesitate to test everything, whether it is the stove, dishwasher, fridge, freezer – whatever it may be, test it. The last thing you want to do it assume that they are all functional and then when you move it, you are already out a few thousand dollars trying to replace what you expected to be working.
Check All Repairs
Not only should you test the appliances to make sure they are working properly, but you also need to check to make sure all of the agreed-upon repairs have been taken care of and none are outstanding. The house needs to be in the condition that both parties agreed on and the walk-thru is the final time to verify the repairs were indeed fixed.
Inspect Walls and Floors
By the time you go through the final walk-thru, the previous owners have already moved their items around and out of the house. That being said, make sure to inspect...
Home prices continued to speed upward in March, posting their biggest year-over-year gain since April 2006, according to a widely-followed index. Property values shot up almost 11 percent in March over the past year according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. March's gain comes on top of a more than 9 percent gain in February, sparking fears that some U.S. housing markets might be overheating. Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Francisco all posted appreciation rates of more than 20 percent. Even the smallest gains -- 2.6 percent in New York, 4.8 percent in Cleveland and 6.7 percent in Boston -- were characterized as "quite substantial" in the report. Read more.
This Post Was Re-Printed With Permission of Whitefence Savings. http://savings.whitefence.com.
Relocating can be a difficult decision to make, but what if it’s for your job? Here are 20 reasons hard workers give for relocating their families for work.
1. More Money One great reason to relocate is that you’ll receive a raise to go along with the move. Money can be a major determining factor when it comes to relocation for professional reasons. If it’s a large enough raise, it can help you live a more luxurious life or give you the chance to start a college fund for your kids when you didn’t have that opportunity before. Read more.
After a long and painful downturn in the housing market, home prices in many—but not all—regions of the U.S. are showing signs of recovery. According to Zillow, a real estate listing website, home values rose 5.1% across the U.S. between February 2012 and February 2013. Many local housing markets are performing considerably better than the country as a whole. Home values rose more than 13% in 10 of the 30 largest housing markets for which Zillow has data, and rose more than 20% in five of them. Read more.
With the housing rebound in full swing, “pocket listings” are growing in many parts of the country as some sellers look to preserve their privacy, and brokers use them to trigger an aura of exclusivity to a listing. But some in the industry worry that exclusivity may be crossing an ethical line. Pocket listings refer to situations in which real estate agents purposely keep sales information about a home off the multiple listing services, and brokers only show that house to people they expect to actually purchase it. The National Association of REALTORS® does not have an official policy on pocket listings, spokesman Walt Molony told CNNMoney. But some real estate boards say they don’t like the practice. Read more.
Residential Real Estate 101
This article was contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail.com.
As a real estate investor or a first-time buyer, you need to understand what type of residence may be a good investment depending on market conditions. You may want a property that will provide positive cash flow. You may want to buy and hold property that can produce income each month. Or you may want to find a property in excellent condition in which to live.
Investing in Residential real estate
The most common form of investing in real estate is buying residential properties. For the most part, it provides a place to live for the owner or the tenant. Either way, this is the safest type of investment for many average income families. The degree to which the house is treated as investment depends on the buyer's personal situation and interest. One characteristic of all these residences is that they can generate a constant income. The other characteristic common to them is that the property will require monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities and repairs wherever needed.
Residential properties, in general, come in different styles, sizes and shapes.
1. A single-family house - This can be a tiny home about 500 square feet size, or a mansion with a 8000 square feet living area. Single family houses come in ranch style homes with one or more bathroom, or they can be townhouses. All these homes' architectural styles may vary, the structure may be unique, such as bungalows, slatboxes, colonials and so on. But the one common element in all these houses is that they are all designed for a single family to live on the property.
2. Duplexes and Triplexes - Much like a single-family...
Are you sure you want to be a landlord? I have clients who love to regale me with stories about their fun experiences with tenants. Like the one who took almost every fixture when he moved out: carpeting, curtain rods, towel bars, you name it — even a toilet, believe it or not. Indeed, putting up with tenants can be a real pain. But that negative consideration is offset by improving real estate markets in many areas and favorable tax rules that aren't available for other types of investments. In fact, favorable tax rules are a big reason why so many fortunes are made in real estate. The other big reason is that leveraging real-estate investments with mortgage debt can greatly multiply the upside potential. Read more.
By Guest Blogger Doug Chapman at www.homedaddys.com. The thought of moving makes most all of us cringe thinking about how much time and effort is going to be put into the process. It is a daunting task, even an inconvenient task, but we have all done it in our lives probably more than once.
It doesn’t matter if you are moving into a new house or a new apartment, whether you are single or married with kids, there are going to be hassles involved throughout the duration of the move. However, the iPhone provides movers with a great selection of apps that will help streamline the move so that you are able to accomplish everything you need to during the course of the entire course of moving.
Here are five of the best apps that will help you from the time you open your garage doors, pack up your storage unit, and move into the house. Every step of your move:
Moving List (by New Gravity Ventures)
This app on the iPhone is a no brainer to get and it only costs $2.99. It provides you with a checklist for ideas and suggestions for tasks that are needed when you are ready to move. It covers a variety of things that you must have when you get ready to move, from checklists of hiring a moving company to ways of saving money during the move. It also gives you the best ways to prepare the moving boxes with packing tape and other supplies, and it makes sure to give you a time line of when to get everything ready as well as when to call and get your utilities done.
Moving To Do List (by Red Box Productions)
If you want a cheaper app (and I mean monetary, not in actual context), this is also a great. It is $1.99 and allows you to create your own checklist for a nearly anything, from selecting what type of move it is, to adding photos and sounds, to choosing from an “extensive...
By Guest Blogger Doug Chapman at www.homedaddys.com.
Selling your house is a process that not only will cause tense moments, but it will also make you do things that you haven’t done since you moved in – CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE! That was a joke, sort of.
Regardless, when you are getting ready to stage your house, you want it to be in tip-top shape so that the prospective buyer can walk right in and feel like it is their home right from the start. There are many things you can do to make it a neutral house, and most of them just take a little elbow grease or some light lifting to accomplish.
Here are four ideas to take into consideration when you are about to put your house on the market:
Upgrade The Fireplace
You need to get rid of the ragged, old brass screen that probably has kinks all through it. Replacing it is inexpensive, but it will go a long way when potential buyers come through the living room. Make sure you also give the entire fireplace a makeover, you know cleaning it entirely like you probably haven’t done since you moved in the house! Polish it all so that it lights up the room, and it will make your living room that much more appealing than you ever imagined.
Light The House
When buyers come into the house, the last thing they want to see are dark rooms. Even if they are coming at night, make sure to open the curtains and let the light come through the windows. Feel free to add additional lighting fixtures throughout each room and make sure the bulbs on each lamp are new so they don’t start flickering during the tour! Increase the watts on your light ...
Existing-home sales edged up in January, while a seller’s market is developing and home prices continue to rise steadily above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Sales rose in every region but the West, which is the region most constrained by limited inventory. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million in January from a downwardly revised 4.90 million in December, and are 9.1 percent above the 4.51 million-unit pace in January 2012. Read more.