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Keep Your Cool – Here’s What Really Happens at Closings

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Article shared from House Logic

After all of the components of the home buying process — negotiations, appraisals, inspections, and insurance — it’s very exciting to (finally) get to closing. But do you know what really happens during this final appointment? Closing on a home can be nerve-racking simply because many first-time buyers don’t  know what to expect or what to bring along.

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2 Ways To Get The Most Money From The Sale Of Your Home

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photo courtesy of KCM

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

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Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties

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Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties (Photo courtesy of Keeping Current Matters)

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2018 Rental Affordability Report, “buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 240 of 447 [or 54% of] U.S. counties analyzed for the report.”

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How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth In 2018

legacy-rising prices

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home this month (January). If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

legacy-rising prices graph

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.2% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $10,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $45,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

What does this mean to you?

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

6 Outdated Features in Your Clients’ Homes

outdated bath

Home buyers say they want the latest design trends in their next property—but 70 percent admit to having outdated features in their current house, according to a new consumer survey by home builder Taylor Morrison. The most common of these outdated features are:

  1. Linoleum floors (40 percent)
  2. Popcorn ceilings (29 percent)
  3. Wood paneling (28 percent)
  4. Ceramic tile countertops (28 percent)
  5. Shag carpeting (19 percent)
  6. Avocado green appliances (8 percent)

“This is why real and virtual house hunting is so popular,” says Taylor Morrison Chair and CEO Sheryl Palmer. “We all love to daydream and envision ourselves in a beautiful new environment. But keeping up with ever-evolving preferences for paint colors, home features, new technologies, and how we expect to use our homes over the years is difficult. We also know that home interior preferences vary by generation, by home style, by region, and even by city.”

Taylor Morrison found that the features home buyers say they most desire are:

  1. Better energy efficiency (62 percent)
  2. Personalized floor plans (58 percent)
  3. Easier maintenance (56 percent).

Also, the interior features home shoppers called most essential are:

  1. Wood flooring (65 percent)
  2. USB and Ethernet ports (44 percent)
  3. Whirlpool tub (36 percent)
  4. Sun room (34 percent).

Source: “Home Is Where the Shag Carpet Is?” BUILDER (Nov. 16, 2017)

shared from DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS on REALTORMag

Double-Digit Growth in the Wild West: Is a Bubble Next?

Row of new houses painted various colors in Seattle WA

Demand is forcing home prices out West to keep ticking up, even though the home-buying and -selling season is winding down, according to the September Zillow® Real Estate Market Report. Appreciation is highest in the San Jose, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., metropolitan areas, where prices have rocketed (in order) 10.3 percent, to a median $1,052,500, and 12.4 percent, to a median $455,800, year-over-year. Appreciation nationally is 6.9 percent, to a median $202,700.

Rents out West are also on a swift upswing. Rents in Riverside, Calif. have climbed 6.0 percent year-over-year—the most of the metro areas in the report—to a median $1,833. Rents in Seattle have gone up 5.5 percent to a median $2,189; rents in Portland, Ore., have increased 4.7 percent to a median $1,863; and rents in Los Angeles, Calif., have risen 4.5 percent to $2,714. Appreciation nationally is 2 percent, to a median $1,430.

“In these West Coast markets, heightened demand is being met with limited supply of homes for sale, which naturally causes prices to rise,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “That limited supply and high demand dynamic is a widespread phenomenon impacting high-growth metros like Seattle, as well as slower-moving markets, like Indianapolis.

“It might be easy to assume another bubble is emerging, with home values growing 10 or 12 percent per year, but don’t worry—the market is reacting to basic economic laws, and is behaving exactly the way we would expect it to given good overall growth, limited supply of homes for sale and decent housing affordability thanks to low mortgage interest rates,” Gudell says.

Nationally, there are now 12 percent fewer homes for sale compared to one year ago, the report shows.

Zillow_Sept_17

 

article written by Suzanne De Vita, RISMedia’s online news editor.

5 Smells That Sell Houses

Winter wreath in entrance door

What’s that smell? The sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses to connect buyers to a home. While a bad smell can really deter buyers, a good smell can tempt buyers to a sale. From “green” scents to seasonal scents, discover the right smells for triggering positive emotions and home sales.

  1. Clean Smell
    Most of us associate “clean” with strongly scented cleaning products and disinfectants. It can even make buyers nostalgic. But remember, a little goes a long way. You should dilute your cleaning solutions so buyers don’t get overwhelmed.
  1. Citrus
    Using actual fruit is one way to get a clean smell without all the cleaning products. Lemon, orange and grapefruit scents are best. One great tip is to grind up lemon or orange rind with a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal. This will freshen up the kitchen, one of the most important rooms in the house.
  1. Natural Smell
    Sometimes the best scent is no scent at all. Try using “green” cleaning supplies, baking soda and other non-scented products that neutralize odors. The idea is that simpler is better, so you want to avoid complex, artificial smells from potpourri, sprays and plug-ins, which can actually distract buyers and turn them off.
  1. Baked Goods
    Nothing can make a house smell more like home than freshly baked goods, but be sure to stick to simple smells like vanilla, cinnamon and fresh bread. You don’t have to really bake anything. One trick is to boil some water and throw in a few cinnamon sticks an hour before a showing.
  1. Pine
    Don’t we all love that fresh pine scent? Especially with the holidays around the corner, it’s a great scent to greet buyers when they walk in the door. If you don’t want to put up a live tree, you can simply hang a wreath of tree trimmings or some fresh garland. You can’t go wrong with setting a holiday mood to inspire a sale.

article written by American Home Shield and shared from RISMedia

Solutions To Saving Money On Your Next Move

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com

Buying a house and moving in is gonna cost you. There’s no way around it. Right? Well, actually, there may just be a way to make it not quite so painful. A willingness to negotiate and put in a little work plus a little inside info on special deals you can take advantage of can help you cut some costs. Here are eight ways to save money on your move and move in.

1. Don’t take it all with you

Furniture you’re no longer in love with or appliances like washers and dryers or the fridge you have in the garage can be a pain to move. You can potentially save money (and time and hassle) by including them in your home sale. First-time buyers or someone moving from out of state may appreciate your old stuff far more than you, and you don’t have to pay to haul it to your next place.

2. Leave the flat screen

If you have a mounted flat screen TV that’s at least a few years old, consider leaving it behind too. The cost of taking it down and repairing the wall behind it plus the care involved in moving it might not be worth it. Flat-screen technology is always improving while costs are coming down, so it’s a good excuse to buy something bigger and better without spending a lot.

3. Negotiate everything

If you’ve been looking for a house or have bought one before, you’re probably already aware of closing costs. But you might not be aware of how much you can negotiate with your lender.

“Shop around before choosing a mortgage lender, but don’t stop there,” said Bankrate. “When you receive your good faith estimate  of closing costs, or GFE, the negotiation hasn’t ended.” This itemized list of estimated closing costs includes lender’s fees as well as items such as appraisal charges and title insurance premiums.

“The lender or broker charges some fees, and third parties charge others. The first step is to find out which are loan origination fees and which are third-party fees. Don’t guess. Ask the lender or broker.”

Bankrate advises that while “some items are non-negotiable: taxes, city and county stamps, recording fees, prorated interest and reserves,” negotiating on others that can “be waived or reduced” can save you money.”

4. Barter for services

Need a handyman and have appliances or furniture you’re getting rid of? You just might be able to make a deal. Ask around for referrals and then introduce a barter system into the equation during your first conversation. You might be surprised what you can get for what you’ve already got.

5. Move Smart

Once you’re out of college, or maybe out of your first post-college apartment, thinking about renting a U-Haul and moving yourself (or with a few good friends) seems less than desirable. But if you’re willing to sweat a little (ok, a lot) you can save a bundle. Just remember two important things to entice and thank your friends: Pizza. And beer.

If you don’t want to do the whole thing on your own, think of ways you can save by doing a hybrid move:

  • Do the packing and unpacking yourself
  • Have everything on one floor. Stairs can add considerably to the cost of a move.
  • Pare down. Maybe you don’t need to bring all that stuff with you. Selling it will earn you a few bucks and save you a few more.

6. Consider moving and storage hybrid options

A company like PODS  or U-Pack  might be a solution for you if you need self storage wrapped into your move. Essentially, the company drops off a mobile storage unit at your house and you pack it up yourself. They then pick it up and move it for you. You can tack on storage at the end if needed, making this a particularly good solution for those who have time between their move out and their move in. This type of move can cost up to 35 percent less than traditional movers, but keep in mind you will be doing the labor – just not the driving.

7. Take advantage of special offers

Move-in offers for cable, Internet, and phone service can save you a lot of money. But they often come with a catch that could cost you down the line. Look out for special limited-time offers – one-year or six-month specials that expire, leaving you with much higher rates after the introductory period.

8. Don’t rush the renos

Chances are, after you move in, you’re going to start receiving all kinds of junk mail asking if you want to refi, redo your lawn, and apply for 72 different credit cards. In what seems like an endless pile of junk mail will be some special offers for new homebuyers, but they might not arrive for a month or more. Look out for coupons from handymen, companies selling flooring and window coverings, home furnishing companies like Bed Bath and Beyond and World Market, and offers from landscapers with discounts for new clients. If you’re planning to shop, renovate, or do some work on your interior or exterior, taking advantage of a few of these offers can help shave down the cost.

WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI and shared from RealtyTimes

5 Ways Your Listing Can Go Cold in a Hot Market

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Sometimes a great listing hits the market and just doesn’t sell. The reasons may be easy to pinpoint, but other times it takes some work to determine what the problem is. Here are some of the biggest reasons your listing may be stagnating on the market.

Clutter
First impressions are everything; if a potential buyer walks into a listing that has clutter everywhere, they can’t truly visualize and see the home for what it truly is. Buyers can’t fall in love with a house that has clutter everywhere. Make sure your listing isn’t buried under furniture, knick-knacks, papers and laundry. Also make sure everything from the floor, ceiling, and walls is spick and span.

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Staging
If clutter is not the issue but your listing is still not selling, you may want to consider staging. Staging has been found to not only decrease the amount of time a listing spends on the market, but also increase the selling price. Find staging tips here.

Price
The initial listing price of a home is instrumental in how quickly it sells. Many sellers assume setting the price high and coming down later or being willing to accept a reasonable counter-offer if they don’t get much traction is a safe way to ensure they get the highest price for their home. In reality, starting with a high listing price just ensures that the buyers who are most compatible with the listing either don’t see it or move on because it’s outside what they’re comfortable paying. The buyers who are looking at homes for the price you set will see that there are other houses at the same price with more expensive upgrades.

Details
If the price is right and your listing is squeaky clean and clutter-free, you may want to check your listing details. For example, an extra zero can turn your $450,000 listing into a $4,500,000 listing, where it’s probably not going to get much traction. Double-check to make sure your information is accurate, make sure the description is interesting and informative, and your photos are professional and numerous. View a list of powerful words you can use in your listing description.

Disrepair
If everything else seems in order and your listing still isn’t selling, the problem may be the house itself. According to the 2016 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, only 19 percent of buyers were willing to compromise on the condition of the home. Major repairs, such as a new roof or updated water heater, may be necessary to attract a buyer.

 

 

Article written By Mark Mathis, General Manager of Broker and Agent Sales for Homes.com and shared from RISMedia

Why these four entrepreneurs moved to Longmont

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Longmont Economic Development Partnership CEO Jessica Erickson, left, interviews entrepreneurs John Rokos, Jessica Tishue, Dan Lance and Doug Campbell during Longmont Startup Week about why they came to Longmont. BizWest/Jensen Werley.

LONGMONT — Entrepreneurs and business leaders believe Longmont has the ingredients needed to be a hub for Colorado’s tech and startup community.

Four small-business owners spoke at a panel during Longmont Startup Week about why they were attracted to the area, why they stayed and what it has been like operating a business in Longmont.

John Rokos, founder/CEO, Enemy Tree LLC

Rokos moved to the area from San Francisco, after spending six years working at Tesla and prior to that as the brand manager for White Out at Big Pens.

“Post-Tesla, my wife was a director of a nonprofit and she was ready for her next challenge,” Rokos said. “We were burned out on the California culture: 24/7 work, the prices of everything. We wanted to be somewhere else with more community.”

Rokos said he and his wife, who are from the Midwest, looked at the four places many entrepreneurs look at: Seattle, Portland, Boulder and Austin.

“The second we pulled into town in Boulder, my wife was into it,” he said. “But when we did the research, the value wasn’t there in Boulder anymore. The prices were almost as bad as the Bay Area. We wanted more community and so we started looking around there. Longmont started to really raise to the top of the stack. It was down the road from Boulder, super affordable and everyone we ran into was so giving of their time.”

Rokos said when he learned about Next Light’s gigabit Internet service, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“It’s got this, that: the people, the talent, the community, and it’s got the fastest Internet in the country,” he said. “We immediately looked at houses and moved here.”

Jessica Tishue, serial entrepreneur, director of marketing, Disruptive Marketing

Tishue moved to Longmont just a few months ago, after building her business in San Diego.

“I had an entrepreneur friend visit me in San Diego,” she said. “I was used to friends being impressed with the glamorous life I had built. But this friend was not impressed at all. They said, ‘Colorado is where it’s at.’ Intrigued, I came to the Boulder/Longmont area and instantly fell in love with the beautiful mountains, quality of life, everyone’s values of sustainability. I kept visiting for three years.”

Tishue said she too was tired of the quality of life in San Diego and the 24/7 work lifestyle. When she started speaking to Jessica Erickson, president and CEO of the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, Tishue said she was blown away with how helpful they were in supporting her.

“The prices in Longmont are really good for homes,” she said. “I have an entire view of the Front Range. Everything I love is around me. I can bike to get my eggs, which is important to me, as is a sense of protection on the land. The taxes are cheaper and the Internet is fat. I’ve only been here a few months, but I feel I’ve made deeper connection here than I felt I ever made in San Diego.”

Dan Lance, owner, The Roost and Jefes Tacos & Tequila

Lance, who also moved from Northern California, has a background in nonprofits and live music, where he combined the two to host and perform live shows to raise money for adoption issues.

While touring with a group of musicians, he came through Boulder and liked the area.

“My buddy, a best friend since college, moved from Reddng to Longmont and loved it,” Lance said. “When we moved, I wanted to be close to friends. So I picked Longmont that way.”

Lance said he was struggling with work at first, until he traveled to Colorado Springs to perform at a venue and saw it was a combined restaurant and performance space.

“I thought, you know what, I could do that,” he said. Lance contacted his now-business partner, Sean Gafner, who was still in California overseeing restaurants as part of a conglomerate. Also wanting to do his own thing, the two decided to partner opening a restaurant concept in Longmont, where 10 percent of the profits would go back to adoption and live music would happen three times a week.

The two opened The Roost, on Main Street, in 2015. A year later, a second restaurant concept also on Main Street, Jefes Tacos & Tequila, opened.

“Denver has the fastest growth for restaurant startups in the country,” Lance said. “Literally, this right here is the place to start a restaurant.”

Lance said the two spots are growing and have been embraced by the Downtown scene.

Doug Campbell, president, Roccor LLC and Solid Power Inc.

Campbell has lived in Longmont for the past 15 years, but opened his businesses in Louisville.

“I had co-workers then who said Longmont was lame, but I ignored it,” Campbell lame. “I drove through here, loved Old Town and bought a house 15 years ago. It’s been really phenomenal to watch the community grow and mature. For whatever reason, all of my businesses were born out of Louisville. When I had the opportunity to pull (Roccor) out of Louisville I brought it to Longmont.”

For Campbell, a benefit to having his business in Longmont is it’s attractive to his customer base, which is mostly international.

“They love coming here to Colorado and Longmont,” he said. “Every visit here they seem to tie it into a weekend to do something. It’s a fantastic community in Longmont and Colorado as a whole.”

 

Shared photo & article by Jensen Werley for BizWest