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The Renter Budget: Most and Least Costly Cities

Daily Real Estate News - August 26, 2017 - 12:01am

Renters’ budgets are being stretched in many cities—but some more than others, according to a new study by GOBankingRates. The most costly:

  1. San Francisco, Calif.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $3,395
  1. San Jose, Calif.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,505
  1. New York
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,395
  1. Washington, D.C.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,271
  1. Jersey City, N.J.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $2,200

The least costly:

  1. El Paso, Texas
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $555
  1. Detroit, Mich.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $600
  1. Wichita, Kan.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $625
  1. Tucson, Ariz.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $628
  1. Fresno, Calif.
    Median Rent (One-Bedroom Apartment): $650

Source: GOBankingRates

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Categories: Real Estate

5 States Where Residents Lead Richer Lives

Daily Real Estate News - August 26, 2017 - 12:00am

Select states have a quality of life that surpasses others in areas such as employment, housing and safety. A recent study by GOBankingRates ranks the top five:

  1. New Hampshire
    Median Household Income: $66,779
    Median Home List Price: $278,000
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 1.99
  1. Wyoming
    Median Household Income: $58,840
    Median Home List Price: $238,125
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 2.22
  1. Virginia
    Median Household Income: $65,015
    Median Home List Price: $299,950
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 1.96
  1. North Dakota
    Median Household Income: $57,181
    Median Home List Price: $201,500
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 2.39
  1. Delaware
    Median Household Income: $60,509
    Median Home List Price: $260,000
    Violent Crimes Per 1,000 People: 4.99

 

Source: GOBankingRates

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Categories: Real Estate

Nevada’s Creepy Clown Motel Is Now for Sale

Daily Real Estate News - August 21, 2017 - 3:34pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Located in the old gold and silver mining town of Tonopah, Nev., this Clown Motel is most certainly not the place for people suffering from coulrophobia (a.k.a., the fear of clowns). Not only is the lobby filled with hundreds of assorted clowns, from figurines and wall art to assorted trinkets, but each and every room is clown themed, as well.

Freaky enough for ya? It gets worse.

The motel shares a lot with a cemetery full of gold miners who died from a plague. The cemetery is literally right next door. It’s like a real-life horror film. Picture this: It’s after midnight and you’ve just checked into your clown-infested room when you realize: you left your phone charger in the car! No big deal—you’ll just have to leave your room, alone, at night, to run to your car that is more or less sitting in a probably-haunted cemetery full of things that go bump in the night. Not panic-inducing at all! It’s like House of 1,000 Corpses meets Stephen King’s It meets From Dusk Till Dawn. (Is it Halloween yet?)

Image Credit: Travel Nevada

The motel’s owner, Bob Perchetti, is ready to retire and move on from the creepy clown shrine he opened 20 years ago. We can only guess what kind of buyer is going to chomp at this bit—actually, we shudder to think.

The motel is for sale for $900,000, but one condition: the motel must keep its heritage.

Take a further look inside The Clown Motel in this video from Las Vegas Now.

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at nick@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

The Best Cities for Retirees to Call Home

Daily Real Estate News - August 19, 2017 - 12:04am

Ask any retiree what mattered most in their search for a new home, and most will tell you location. A recent study by WalletHub ranked the top locations for soon-to-be retirees, weighing cost of living, health care, quality of life and recreation—and in a not-so-unexpected twist, the top three locations in the ranking were all within the Sunshine State:

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Tampa, Fla.
  3. Miami, Fla.
  4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  5. Atlanta, Ga.

Several other cities outside of the top five were named ideal for retirees, as well. Laredo, Texas was ranked No. 1 based on cost of in-home care and cost of living, while Plano, Texas, and Grand Prairie, Texas, were ranked No.1 and No. 3, respectively, in most employed retirees. (Many people of retirement age are simply forced to keep working due to a lack of savings, according to WalletHub.) Some sprawling metropolitan areas are suited for retirees seeking an active lifestyle; Washington, D.C., for instance, is tied for first for the most museums and senior centers per capita.

When it comes solely to weather, however, California cannot be beat: Glendale, Riverside and Bakersfield ranked in the top three for “mild weather,” followed by Scottsdale, Ariz., and Henderson, Nev.

Source: WalletHub

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Categories: Real Estate

Are You Checking Email on Vacation?

Daily Real Estate News - August 14, 2017 - 3:45pm

(TNS)—How does the U.S. stack up when it comes to taking vacation time?

As vacation spending in the U.S. surpasses $1 billion, people are definitely getting away more—but what is the quality of that vacation actually looking like?

An Ipsos Global poll looked at the way the world vacations and found that more and more people are spending time away from home, but fewer are fully disconnecting while gone.

Six in 10 respondents in the 25 countries surveyed said they have spent or would spend at least one full week away from work.

The three countries where the most people take a vacation away from home are India (80 percent), Great Britain (72 percent) and China (70 percent). There were just three countries where a majority said they would not be taking time away from work and home life: Hungary, South Korea and Japan.

In the U.S., 61 percent said they would likely spend a week or more on vacation.

Across all countries, 65 percent of travelers said they use all of the vacation time that they are given; however, this number has fallen over the past decade, declining the most in China, Japan, Italy and Australia.

While people are taking more time away from home, that doesn’t mean they are disconnecting. Less than half of respondents say they don’t check work emails when on vacation. This was slightly better in the U.S., where 52 percent say they don’t check their emails while away.

Since 2009, the number of those who check work messages increased across almost all countries surveyed.

Where are people staying the most connected? Vacationers in Italy, Japan, Spain and Belgium can’t seem to put their phones and laptops away while they are away. There are just two countries where the number of people staying in touch with work has decreased: Mexico and Brazil.

Overall, a strong majority of Americans have or plan to take time off this year. What we really need to work on is putting the phone down when we do.

©2017 Travelpulse
Visit Travelpulse at www.travelpulse.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Categories: Real Estate

Want to Save for a Down Payment? Skip the Pre-Wedding Shenanigans

Daily Real Estate News - August 13, 2017 - 1:03pm

Would-be homeowners can easily plunk down savings for a home—if they forgo their friends’ one last hurrah before the big day.

A recent report by Zillow reveals the cost of destination bachelor or bachelorette parties can equal up to one-third of a down payment on a median-priced home. With attendees spending an average $1,106 (for destination bachelorette parties) and $1,532 (for destination bachelor parties), according to The Knot, partaking in just nine pre-marriage celebrations—or three each year for three years—would total 34 percent, or $13,788, of a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home.

Without question, the amount of parties needed to rack up one-third of a down payment varies by market:

Bachelor and bachelorette getaways are just one of several stereotypically “millennial” spending choices called into question as of late. Earlier this year, one real estate developer singled out avocados, telling Australia’s “60 Minutes”: “When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each.”

“Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases someone will ever make, and for most first-time buyers, that means years of saving money to afford a down payment,” says Jeremy Wacksman, CMO at Zillow. “Attending your friends’ bachelor or bachelorette parties can be a trip of a lifetime. While everyone’s budget and priorities are different, big-ticket expenses like vacations can add up surprisingly quickly—a lot faster than a $19 avocado toast.”

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

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

5 of the Best Cities to Flip Houses In

Daily Real Estate News - August 2, 2017 - 3:40pm

Flipping a house can be a profitable endeavor—especially in cities where flips thrive. The best cities, according to recently released findings from a study by WalletHub, boast a combination of a desirable quality of life, cost-effective renovation expenses and prime market potential.

The following cities, based on those criteria, are best for flips:

  1. El Paso, Texas
    El Paso earned the No. 1 ranking in WalletHub’s study, with a total score of 69.6. El Paso has the third-lowest bathroom remodeling costs, on average, of the 150 cities evaluated.
  1. Sioux Falls, S.D.
    Sioux Falls earned the No. 2 spot in the ranking, with a total score of 69.52.
  1. Fort Wayne, Ind.
    Fort Wayne earned the No. 3 spot in the ranking, with a total score of 67.38.
  1. Peoria, Ariz.
    Peoria earned the No. 4 spot in the ranking, with a total score of 66.6. Peoria has the fourth-lowest whole-home remodeling costs, on average, of the 150 cities evaluated.
  1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
    Oklahoma City earned the No. 5 spot in the ranking, with a total score of 66.56. Oklahoma City has the fifth-most real estate agents per capita of the 150 cities evaluated.

Source: WalletHub

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Categories: Real Estate

Ranked: 10 Affordable Towns With High-Rated Elementary Schools

Daily Real Estate News - July 30, 2017 - 1:02pm

Communities with sought-after schools often command a premium for homebuyers. Realtor.com® recently uncovered 10 towns where not only public elementary schools earn high marks, but also home prices make the grade—in affordability.

1. Aurora, Ill. (60503)
SchoolsHomestead Elementary School (rating 10/10 on GreatSchools), The Wheatlands Elementary School (8/10), Wolfs Crossing Elementary School (10/10)

The 2017 median household income in Aurora is $114,118 with a 2017 median listing price of $259,900. Aurora is 45 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 47 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

2. Stone Mountain, Ga. (30087)
School: Wynbrooke Elementary School (9/10)

The 2017 median household income in Stone Mountain is $71,678 with a 2017 median listing price of $218,950. Stone Mountain is 38 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and compared to the U.S. overall.

3. Hampton, N.J. (08827)
SchoolUnion Township Elementary School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Hampton is $118,810 with a 2017 median listing price of $297,000. Hampton is 60 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 37 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

4. Royersford, Pa. (19468)
SchoolsBrooke Elementary School (9/10), Evans Elementary School (8/10), Limerick Elementary School (9/10), Spring-Ford Intermediate School 5th/6th (9/10), Upper Providence Elementary School (9/10)

The 2017 median household income in Royersford is $83,264 with a 2017 median listing price of $246,125. Royersford is 21 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

5. Kingwood, Texas (77345)
Schools: Deerwood Elementary School (9/10), Greentree Elementary School (10/10), Hidden Hollow Elementary (9/10), Shadow Forest Elementary School (10/10), Willow Creek Elementary School (10/10).

The 2017 median household income in Kingwood is $123,201 with a 2017 median listing price of $323,750. Kingwood is 46 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

6. Rosemount, Minn. (55068)
School: Shannon Park Elementary School (10/10)

The 2017 median household income in Rosemount is $93,743 with a 2017 median listing price of $299,900. Rosemount is 30 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

7. Bowie, Md. (20715)
Schools: Whitehall Elementary School (8/10), Yorktown Elementary School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Bowie is $107,865 with a 2017 median listing price of $345,350. Bowie is 29 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 27 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

8. Huntington Woods, Mich. (48070)
School: Burton Elementary School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Huntington Woods is $120,265 with a 2017 median listing price of $400,000. Huntington Woods is 15 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 27 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

9. Stow, Mass. (01775)
School: Center School (8/10)

The 2017 median household income in Stow is $139,622 with a 2017 median listing price of $504,750. Stow is 45 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 23 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

10. Chandler, Ariz. (85226)
Schools: Kyrene De La Mirada School (9/10), Kyrene De La Paloma School (8/10), Kyrene De Las Brisas School (9/10), Kyrene del Cielo School (10/10), Kyrene Traditional – Sureno Campus (9/10), Paragon Science Academy K-12 (9/10)

The 2017 median household income in Chandler is $80,130 with a 2017 median listing price of $324,155. Chandler is 30 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area, and 20 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

“When searching for a new home, finding something affordable in a good school district with family-friendly features, such as large backyards, tops the list of homebuyer priorities,” says Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research for realtor.com. “These markets offer strong public schools and affordable homes, making them a great fit for homebuyers with elementary school-age children.”

The ranking was determined by identifying ZIP codes within the top metropolitan areas in the U.S. that contained at least one public school ranked eight out of 10 or higher by GreatSchools, then calculating affordability by factoring in the ZIP code’s median income and median-priced home with monthly mortgage payment and other cost data.

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

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Categories: Real Estate

Study: How Have Borrowers Made Out Since the December Rate Hike?

Daily Real Estate News - July 29, 2017 - 12:01am

Borrowers on the whole were able to accommodate the interest rate hike initiated by the Federal Reserve in December, with most successfully continuing to manage their monthly payments after the rate went up, according to a recent analysis by credit reporting agency TransUnion. Of the 63 million borrowers assessed in the analysis—borrowers whose monthly payments are affected by the market rate—just one million became delinquent three months following the rise.

Researchers followed borrowers’ payment behavior through March 2017 using TransUnion’s aggregate excess payment (AEP) algorithm, which takes into account credit card and mortgage payments, among others. Roughly 10.5 million of the borrowers evaluated were determined to be at a higher risk for failing to adapt to the rate rise. Their prediction ended up bearing out only for a fraction.

“We’re pleased to see that only 10 percent of those consumers we had considered at elevated risk of payment shock from a rate increase exhibited delinquency over the study period,” says Ezra Becker, senior vice president of Research and Consulting at TransUnion. “Most consumers appeared able to reallocate their available cash, or make small changes to their spending habits, to effectively absorb the December rate increase.”

Seventy percent of the one million borrowers who became delinquent also carried higher balances in March than they did prior to the hike.

“Minimum payments are as much a function of balances as they are of rate,” Becker says. “Increased balances can lead to liquidity constraints regardless of how rates move. Consumers should always be careful to manage their credit usage within the limits of their income.”

Source: TransUnion

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Categories: Real Estate

Japandi Style: Embracing Minimalist Beauty and Nature in Home Decor

Daily Real Estate News - July 27, 2017 - 4:10pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

It’s been known that those who long for simplicity in living space look towards Japanese culture and design for inspiration, but there are also those who admire Scandinavian functionality above all. Seemingly opposite, these two trends somehow merged together and today we have a beautiful blend of over-exaggerated and strict design trends. Where functionality meets aesthetics, we welcome and embrace Japandi, a wonderful combination of strict Japanese minimalism and beautiful Scandinavian design.

Even though there are elements of Scandinavian extravagance and elegance, Japanese minimalism is predominant in Japandi style. Scandinavian trend prides itself with minimalism as well, but there are a lot more colors and details that draw attention than in traditional Japanese style. You should focus on using only the things that really matter in your home, and get rid of anything that creates unnecessary clutter. It’s about perfect balance and pastel color palettes, with statement accent walls, details and materials. You should turn to nature and find inspiration there—cotton, linen, wool, stone, wood, and plenty of greenery are the main characteristics of this style.

Image Credit: Grovemade via Unsplash

Beauty in Details
If you have a lot of decorative bits and pieces that create a lot of clutter in your home, you should change that. This doesn’t mean that your home should have bare walls and floors, but when you’re picking decorations, you need to do so with care. Popular, trendy patterned designs of rugs, curtains, throw pillows and tablecloths are not the right choice. If you need to add a little something to break the strict minimalism in colors, choose items with simpler, earthy tones and delicate patterns. If, however, your furniture is textured and decorated already, you should tone everything down with plain and elegant details.

Image Credit: kaboompics via Pixabay

Dreamy Living Room
Japandi is a great way to make your living room warm and textured, yet still quite simple. You should focus on your furniture and minimize use of any accessories. Think raw forms, bold lines and sleek, modern-style furniture—wooden sofas with cotton and linen throw pillows, bulky, heavy armchairs, and modern coffee tables. Pick which pieces you’d like to be more noticeable and unique—coffee tables, shelves or sofas, and have fun looking for them. Use natural materials for cushions, curtains and sofa covers and try to get matching ones. Bring in some plants in terracotta flower pots and there you have it—a perfect minimalist living room.

Image Credit: (Left) Dane Deaner via StockSnap; (Right) Sylwia Pietruszka via StockSnap

Perfect Bedroom
A wonderful way to create an oasis of peace and serenity in your bedroom is to decorate it in Japandi style, as the perfect blend of calming zen and Scandinavian cold gives the best decor. As a result, your bedroom will be cool and have a calming effect, a trait you’ll appreciate after a long and stressful day. You can keep your wooden statement bed, but tone down the other pieces in the room—wardrobe, chairs and nightstands. (On the other hand, a bulky wardrobe will look great when paired with a minimal, yet bold bed.) Cold pastels and warm wood are a great combo, and when you pair it with recessed lighting, you get the perfect bedroom.

Image Credit: (Left) Cheryl Winn-Boujnida via Unsplash; (Right) milivanily via Pixabay

Paradise Bathroom
The bathroom is a place where you should feel at peace, so it’s important to focus on design and decor, too. A simple and effective way to achieve harmony in your bathroom is to look to nature for inspiration once again. Wood and stone are perfect, since they look rustic and sophisticated at the same time. If getting wood is too complicated and costly, faux wood panels combined with a large statement wooden mirror work wonderfully with stone basins and bathtubs, or even simple stone or wood vinyl wallpapers. Bring a couple of pots with plants and a nice moss mat and it will look just right.

Image Credit: quinntheislander via Pixabay

Bring Japandi to Your Home
Embracing minimalism means that your old furniture should be replaced with something sleek, elegant and functional, and you’ll need to be clearing out all unnecessary clutter in order to get more space. If you were hoping to follow the trend but not really throw your furniture away, you can always get a storage unit and move it there until you need it again. You won’t have to spend a fortune to do so, since there are many affordable lock-up storage solutions.

For some, Japandi is a way of life. Not only is this design easy to achieve, but its subtle decor statements, raw forms and beautifully balanced mixtures of natural wood and bold colors allow you to create clutter-free spaces. Japandi is a wonderful way to turn your home into your own personal paradise.

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Categories: Real Estate

Home Price Change Expectations Flat

Daily Real Estate News - July 22, 2017 - 12:02am

Many homeowners have enjoyed a return to positive equity in recent years, with home prices on a consistent upward trend in most markets. How high will values go?

Potentially not much further, according to consumers in the June 2017 Survey of Consumer Expectations by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who held firm on their expectation of a 3.5 percent change in prices—the same expectation given in May.

Consumers, in addition, anticipate the median inflation rate to be 2.5 percent in one year and 2.8 percent in three years. The likelihood of finding a job, based on their perceptions, grew to 59.2 percent in June, and the likelihood of losing a job shrunk to 13.5 percent. The share of consumers surveyed with improved finances over the last year soared to 34.8 percent—a record.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

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Categories: Real Estate

Real Estate Reigns as Americans’ Preferred Investment

Daily Real Estate News - July 22, 2017 - 12:01am

Real estate is the long-term investment of choice for Americans, who in a recent survey by Bankrate.com placed it ahead of bonds, cash, gold and stocks as the best method of building wealth over time. Real estate is now the chosen vehicle for the third consecutive time in the survey:

  • Real Estate (28 percent)
  • Cash (23 percent)
  • Stocks (17 percent)
  • Gold/Other Precious Metals (15 percent)
  • Bonds (4 percent)

Stocks have never been highly favored in the survey, despite their tendency to produce significant returns for investors who have a wide enough window to weather swings.

“We’ve begun to see rising yields on savings accounts,” says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. “However, the preferences for cash and real estate indicate that too many people are leaving money on the virtual table by failing to be sufficiently exposed to the stock market, where higher long-term returns are found. This is especially the case for younger investors, who are in the best position to weather the inevitable short-term market volatility.”

Source: Bankrate.com

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Categories: Real Estate

5 Movie Homes in Real Life

Daily Real Estate News - July 18, 2017 - 4:03pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Movie fans, looking to lurk around some of your favorite film locations? You’re not alone. Stalking cinema hot spots is an obsession for many, and we’re no exception. Below are five iconic movie homes in real life.

Gone Girl’s Missouri New Build

Image Credit: Alexandrea Morrow

Much of 2014’s nail-biting thriller “Gone Girl” (based on the best-selling novel of the same name) took place in this massive Missouri new build. The home used in the film is truly located in Missouri—a Hollywood rarity. The five-bedroom, six-bathroom home stretches over 4,413 square feet and was last estimated at $559,528.

Cher Horowitz’s Mega Mansion

Image Credit: Blogspot

This Los Angeles home has been featured in several Hollywood productions, but in one of its most well-known appearances, it served as the setting for Cher Horowitz’s lux pad in the cult darling “Clueless.” With that famous staircase (perfect for kissing your step brother), seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, this private palace is a cinema gem in Encino. The home, currently off-market, has an estimated value of $4,649,217.

Pulp Fiction’s Seedy Drug Den

Image Credit: ItsFilmedThere.com

Quentin Tarantino fans likely remember Lance’s low-lying ranch home in “Pulp Fiction.” Most infamous for the scene in which Lance resuscitates Uma Thurman—er, I mean Mia Wallace—after her drug overdose, this Los Angeles home has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and was most recently valued at $700,318.

The Tenenbaums’ Harlem Home

Image Credit: Pinterest

Wes Anderson fans can rejoice at the sight of this Harlem townhouse, the location of the Tenenbaums’ family home in his 2001 gem “The Royal Tenenbaums.” With four bathrooms and no listed bedroom count, Anderson and co. apparently rented the home for six months during production. The home is currently valued at $4,286,169.

A Home to Crash a Wedding In

Image Credit: Strawberry Milk

This gorgeous waterfront Maryland property, featured in the 2005 comedy hit “Wedding Crashers,” is actually an inn, so while you can’t live in the home Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn debauched in, you can pay to stay. The Greek Revival, built in 1816, overlooks the Chesapeake Bay and was originally used as a private residence.

*All estimates are based on Zillow at the time of publication.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

Survey: Housing Came out on the Other Side—Mortgage Market, Not So Much

Daily Real Estate News - July 15, 2017 - 12:01am

Most homeowners are content with the current status of the housing market, believing not only that they made a smart choice by owning, but also that conditions in their area have gotten better since the recession, according to the results of a new survey.

Ninety-one percent of homeowners and 83 percent of renters surveyed recently by Digital Risk perceive homeownership as “a good investment,” with 87 percent of homeowners seeing their home’s value hold or rise—some more than 20 percent.

Homeowners believe there is room for improvement, however, when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. Although 75 percent of those surveyed report that they supported “efforts over the past decade to make the mortgage process safer and more consumer-friendly,” just 22 percent of homeowners and 13 percent of renters think progress has been made.

“There’s no question that the housing sector continues to be a major driver of growth and recovery in the U.S. economy,” says Jeff Taylor, co-founder and managing director of Digital Risk. “It’s important to remember how far we’ve come in a decade. The fact that the American Dream of owning a home is once again considered a smart investment suggests the housing market has years of strong performance ahead of it—provided that more borrowers clearly understand the criteria and ‘pathway’ to obtaining a mortgage.”

“It’s no secret that Americans support a healthy housing market with clear rules and procedures,” says Rose Bogan, senior vice president of Governance, Risk and Compliance at Digital Risk. “Still, lenders and borrowers alike recognize that consumer protections can be accomplished in a more straightforward, efficient way. The challenge moving forward is for lenders to smartly use technology and procedures to adapt to shifting regulatory requirements as seamlessly as possible.”

Source: Digital Risk, LLC

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Categories: Real Estate

Apartment-Hoppers: Stay Put and Save

Daily Real Estate News - July 12, 2017 - 4:05pm

Renters can save thousands of dollars by renewing a lease instead of moving to a new rental, according to a recently released analysis by Zillow—a golden opportunity to put savings toward a down payment on a home.

Researchers arrived at an average $3,946 in savings by assessing the most recent rent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Their findings reveal that the market rate rent rose more than the rent for a tenant who remained in the same rental for five years or more: 5.6 percent versus 3.6 percent between 2014 and 2015.

The savings depend largely on location:

“Renters have a decision to make almost every year—do they stay in the same place, or should they look for a new unit?” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “With the country in the middle of an affordability crisis, it’s important for renters to understand how much they can save if they renew their lease instead of finding a new rental. Nationally, rental rates have slowed and the savings from renewing are not as significant for renters today; however, in some of the hottest rental markets, where rents are still rising aggressively, continually renewing a lease can mean saving thousands of dollars.”

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

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Categories: Real Estate

Hi, My Name Is…Owner of a Valuable Home

Daily Real Estate News - July 10, 2017 - 4:05pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Call it a household name.

A new analysis from Zillow finds a home owned by a person named Alison or Stuart is likely to be worth roughly two-thirds more than the typical home in the U.S.—for both of them, that equates to over $332,000. The link varies based on location, with some names suited more to one region than others given sociocultural influences.

Ali and Stu are joined by the likes of Anne, Geoffrey, Marina and Peter, to (ahem) name a few, but conventionally female names overtake conventionally male names by a wide margin. The names tied to the most valuable homes also have homes with more living space, generally upwards of 1,550 square feet.

Image Credit: Zillow

At first glance, the names boasting the most valuable homes in each state are common: Janes, Jills and Julies, plus a Martha for good measure. Look again, though—homeowners named Suzanne tend to have the most valuable homes in not one, but two states. Suzanne!

 

 

 

Image Credit: Tenor

Nevermind that home values in Georgia are relatively lower than those in other housing markets. Nevermind that Nevada was ground zero for the collapse. Two states. Two states!

I know what you’re thinking—I thought of it, too:

Note: Zillow’s got everyone covered with a neat tool matching virtually every name ever given with homeownership-related data. Select yours to see the stats!

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

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

Ask the Expert: What Advice Do You Have for Homebuyers Forgoing a Home Inspection?

Daily Real Estate News - July 6, 2017 - 4:03pm

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

Q: What advice do you have for those thinking of buying a home without waiting for a home inspection?

A: As housing markets continue to heat up, many buyers are forgoing the important step of getting a home inspection. While this isn’t a widespread phenomenon, it can easily occur when a particular market heats up. In fact, when a market gets hot, buyers are afraid that if they put in an offer contingent on the outcome of a home inspection, they may lose the home to others who are willing to take the risk of buying the home without that contingency.

While some have been able to dodge the bullet, others have purchased homes without inspections, only to find that there are thousands of dollars in repairs needed.

In fact, a recent home inspection revealed a crack in the cement floor of a garage attached to a home. While the crack appeared to be tiny, the home inspector later revealed that it was there as a result of a giant oak tree next to the garage. The roots were so huge that the floor would eventually be broken by the tree’s growth. By removing the tree, the cost was only a few hundred dollars; however, the inspector noted that five years down the road, the entire garage floor would have needed to be jackhammered and replaced, costing thousands.

Understanding the importance of home inspections, many of our franchisees offer an immediate post-closing inspection for the sake of catching items that, while small at the moment, can grow into something very large and costly.

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

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Categories: Real Estate

How ‘Free’ Is Your State?

Daily Real Estate News - July 2, 2017 - 1:03pm

How “free” is your state?

A recent study conducted by WalletHub identifies the most and least “independent” states based on health- and wealth-related dependencies in five categories: “consumer finances,” such as credit scores and emergency savings; “government,” or federal funding; “international trade,” such as jobs supported by exported goods; “job market,” such as employer-offered retirement savings and the unemployment rate; and “personal vices,” such as drug use and gambling.

The most independent state, according to the study, is Colorado, with the lowest unemployment rate; the second-highest share of households that have emergency savings; the second-lowest share of jobs supported by exported goods; the second-lowest share of GDP generated by exports; and the fourth-lowest share of households relying on food stamps and/or other assistance.

The least independent state is Louisiana, with the highest share of GDP generated by exports; the third-highest share of adults with gambling disorders; the third-lowest median credit score; the fourth-highest unemployment rate; and the fourth-highest share of jobs supported by exported goods.

The remaining four of the top five most independent states are:

  1. Utah
  • Highest Median Household Income
  • Highest Share of Households With Emergency Savings
  • Second-Lowest Share of Adult Binge Drinkers
  • Third-Lowest Share of Households Relying on Food Stamps and/or Other Assistance
  1. Minnesota
  • Highest Median Credit Score
  • Second-Highest Employer-Based Retirement Access/Participation
  • Second-Least Federally Dependent
  • Fourth-Highest Median Household Income
  1. New Hampshire
  • Lowest Unemployment Rate
  • Fourth-Highest Employer-Based Retirement Access/Participation
  1. Wisconsin
  • Highest Employer-Based Retirement Access/Participation
  • Third-Lowest Share of Adults With Gambling Disorders

The remaining four of the top five least independent states are:

  1. Kentucky
  • Most Federally Dependent
  • Fourth-Highest Share of GDP Generated by Exports
  1. Alaska
  • Highest Share of Jobs Supported by Exported Goods
  • Second-Highest Unemployment Rate
  • Third-Highest Share of Households Relying on Food Stamps and/or Other Assistance
  1. Mississippi
  • Highest Share of Adults With Gambling Disorders
  • Lowest Median Credit Score
  • Second-Most Federally Dependent
  • Fifth-Highest Share of Households Relying on Food Stamps and/or Other Assistance
  1. West Virginia
  • Second-Lowest Median Household Income
  • Second-Lowest Share of Households With Emergency Savings
  • Fifth-Most Federally Dependent

Source: WalletHub

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Categories: Real Estate

Top 20 States for Home Renovations

Daily Real Estate News - July 1, 2017 - 12:04am

One of the many advantages of owning a home is the ability to add—and recoup—value. A recent study by Hearth, a FinTech startup, ranked the states with the most homeowners planning to renovate in 2017, with the top 20 states mostly concentrated in the East, Midwest and West:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Kansas
  3. Montana
  4. Rhode Island
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Utah
  7. Michigan
  8. Connecticut
  9. Missouri
  10. Maine
  11. Arkansas
  12. Minnesota
  13. Idaho
  14. Kentucky
  15. Iowa
  16. Nebraska
  17. Massachusetts
  18. Alabama
  19. Tennessee
  20. South Dakota

A sizable share of those in the study reported they would redo their kitchen if their budget were unlimited, as well as their bathrooms, basement and/or living room.

The study also shed light on the ways homeowners plan to finance their projects, with 62 percent of those in the study using cash or savings, 26 percent using a loan, and 12 percent using a credit card. Twenty-eight percent, specifically, use bank loans, while 17 percent use credit union loans and 15 percent use personal loans.

Source: Hearth

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Categories: Real Estate

Consumer Confidence Ticks Back Up

Daily Real Estate News - July 1, 2017 - 12:03am

Consumer confidence ticked back up in June, posting a 118.9 reading in the latest Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. The Expectations reading of the Index fell to 100.6, while the Present Situation reading rose to 146.3. May’s reading was 117.6.

“Consumer confidence increased moderately in June following a small decline in May,” said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved to a nearly 16-year high. Expectations for the short-term have eased somewhat, but are still upbeat. Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating.”

The percentage of consumers who believe business conditions are “good,” as defined by the Index, increased from 29.8 percent in May to 30.8 percent in June; the percentage of those who believe business conditions are “bad,” decreased from 13.9 percent in May to 12.7 percent in June. The percentage of those who expect business conditions to improve decreased from 21.5 percent in May to 20.4 percent in June; the percentage of those who expect business conditions to worsen also decreased, from 10.3 percent in May to 9.9 percent in June.

The percentage of consumers who believe jobs are “plentiful” increased from 30 percent in May to 32.8 percent in June, according to the Index; the percentage of those who believe jobs are “hard to get” decreased, from 18.3 percent in May to 18 percent in June. The percentage of those who expect more jobs in the coming months increased from 18.6 percent in May to 19.3 percent in June; the percentage of those who expect less jobs in the coming months, however, also increased, from 12.1 percent in May to 14.6 percent in June.

The percentage of consumers who expect higher incomes, as well, increased from 19.1 percent in May to 22.2 percent in June; the percentage of those who expect a decrease also increased, from 8.7 percent in May to 9.2 percent in June.

Source: The Conference Board

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Categories: Real Estate