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Real Estate Investing

New home sales decline for third successive month

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get the latest realty news. You can get our headlines via email as well, or follow us on Twitter. The latest figures from the Commerce Department show that new home sales dipped by 0.6 percent nationwide to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000 units in February. The Commerce Department also revised January’s sales pace upward to 622,000 units, from a previously reported figure of 593,000 units. Sales decreased 3.7 percent in the Midwest and 17.6 percent in the West, which has experienced rapid price growth amid a shortage of homes for sale. They rebounded 19.4 percent in the Northeast and 9.0 percent in the South, which accounts for the bulk of new home sales. The housing market has slowed in recent months as an acute shortage of homes, especially on the lower end of the market, squeezes sales while pushing up prices. Rising mortgage rates could make buying a home even less affordable for first-time buyers, who have been largely priced out of the market. The median new house price was $326,800, a 9.7 percent increase from a year ago. At February’s sales pace it would take 5.9 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, the most since August 2017 and up from 5.8 months in January.

10 Tips for Real Estate Home Buyers

If you call on a house being advertised on the internet or go to an open house, you are working with the seller’s agent. The best approach is talking to family and friends that have bought a house in the last couple of years. Make a list of what you want in an agent. You can include a “wish” list to find your ideal house. However, you want to look at all of the houses on your “must have” list but there is no point in looking at houses that don’t meet your minimum requirements. Once you find your ideal home, take the time to learn about the neighborhood in-depth. Always have a professional inspection of the house. A general inspector may recommend a more detailed inspection by a specialist. Your agent should have talked you through the process in the beginning. Understand your local market.

Is real estate the right investment for you?

There’s a lot of work that goes into any real estate investment, and you need to be aware of exactly what kinds of challenges you’ll be facing. With that in mind, here are a few factors to consider to help you figure out if real estate is the right investment for you. Working with the right agents When you start buying and selling properties you need to make sure that you’re working with real estate agents who will be able to help you every step of the way. Trying to navigate the financial and legal processes involved in investing in real estate can be a serious challenge, and without the right people there to help and support you, it can be almost impossible. Finding the right properties Of course, the most important step when it comes to investing in any property is finding the right property itself. The second option, which is by far the most popular, is to rent the property out to tenants. Of course, there are things to consider if you’re planning on renting out the property. For one thing, you’ve got to think about what kind of tenants you’re looking for. Real estate can be one of the best investments out there, and many people have made entire careers from it. If you’re able to do that, then you could well find yourself making a significant income from your real estate investments.

How to avoid the mistakes of the housing crash and use home equity wisely

The home equity picture in the United States looks pretty similar to what it did pre-recession. But this time around, people seem unwilling — or unable — to use their homes to come up with some extra cash. Cautiousness around using home equity — the difference between how much the house is worth and any debts against the home — is a smart move by consumers, says Greg McBride, CFA, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “There were a lot of people drinking the Kool-Aid of ‘home prices will never decline,’” McBride says. Then they were on the hook for a loan, and that’s why the percentage of underwater homeowners skyrocketed.” Home prices hit a high in February 2007 and then steadily fell until February 2012, a 35 percent drop, based on the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index. About 10 percent of HELOC borrowers indicated they used the equity they extracted from their homes to make a vehicle purchase, according to the census brief. Research from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank and a graduate student at the University of California-Los Angeles shows that home equity extraction funds about 1 to 2 percent of both new and used car purchases and was largely unchanged during and after the housing boom. Home equity’s untapped potential HELOC balances have been steadily declining since 2010. Decreasing originations coupled with the decline in open accounts reaching their end of draw led to a 5.9 percent drop in balances in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the year prior, according to data from the latest TransUnion Industry Insights Report. The HELOC market presents a lot of potential for lenders, says Kristen Bataillon, senior manager of financial services research and consulting at TransUnion.

Perceived Barriers Keep Many From Owning a Home

The U.S. housing market might be experiencing its best year in a decade in 2017 but misconceptions about mortgage and the home buying process were holding back many potential home buyers according to a recent blog published by Freddie Mac. According to the blog, that cited the fifth annual America at Home survey by NeighborWorks America, 74 percent adults and 84 percent of the millennials surveyed felt the homebuying process was complicated. The average millennial also thought the minimum down payment to buy a home was 21 percent and 70 percent adults felt they didn’t have enough money saved for a down payment. The survey, based on responses from 1000 U.S. adults and 500 millennials (adults aged 18-34 years), also revealed how much the burden of student loan debt is delaying homeownership. It found that in 2017, 29 percent of adults knew someone who delayed the purchase of a home because of student loan debt. Among millennials, 38 percent knew someone who delayed buying a home because of student loan debt. In addition, the survey found that relatively few consumers know where to find knowledgeable advice about how to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home with approximately 73 percent of all consumers and 62 percent of millennials saying they were not aware or were unsure about down payment assistance programs in their communities for middle-income homebuyers. Urging home buyers to separate myth from fact, the Freddie Mac blog stated that the average down payment among first-time homebuyers in 2016 was 6 percent and 14 percent for repeat buyers, with programs like the Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage mortgage providing down payment options that were as low as 3 percent. “A great place to start is right where you live. Many state, county, and city governments provide financial assistance for people in their communities who are well qualified and ready for homeownership,” the blog noted.

Foreign Investment in the U.S. Luxury Real Estate Market Reaches a New High

Foreign investments into the United States luxury real estate market have hit a new high, according to a recent market report from Beauchamp Estates in association with Leslie J Garfield & Co. According to the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent were all-cash purchases. “Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that just five overseas countries dominate investment into U.S. residential real estate, accounting for 50 percent of all transactions,” says Jed Garfield, president of Leslie J Garfield & Co. “They are Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Mexico, and India.” Perhaps most interestingly, the report found that around 40 percent of overseas buyer transactions for properties above $2,700 per square foot were concentrated in three major hubs: Miami, Manhattan, and Los Angeles. Miami Beach, North Bay Road, and Palm Beach ranked high among house hunters—but island destinations such as Fisher Island and Bay Point also proved popular because of the associated privacy and security. Gated or secure waterfront homes were the most sought after, and buyers generally purchased a home that was just over 13,000 square feet. “Miami is a leading hub for overseas buyers investing in U.S. luxury real estate,” says Gary Hersham, managing director at Beauchamp Estates. “Miami is extremely popular with high-net-worth buyers from South America—Colombians, Brazilians and Argentinians—with other key overseas buyers being the British and investors from the Philippines.” In Los Angeles, buyers snatched up properties in coastal areas such as Malibu or along the Pacific Coast Highway, as well as in ritzy neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills and Hollywood Hills West. “In Los Angeles, wealthy overseas buyers tend to purchase in gated communities and prefer mansions or family houses located on large plots,” says Hersham. “Our clients from Britain, France, and Israel who make enquiries about Los Angeles tend to work in the film industry, the media, finance, or tech sectors, and their Los Angeles property serves as both a holiday home, business base, and investment.” And in Manhattan, house hunters generally purchased an approximately 9,500-square-foot property on the Upper East Side, Tribeca, or Greenwich Village. According to the report, homeowners looked for duplexes, penthouses, and townhouses, and prioritized properties that were close to Central Park.

How Rising Mortgage Rates Affect How Much You Can Borrow

As interest rates rise, homebuyers are discovering that they can't afford as much home as they could have just a few years ago. Should mortgage rates continue higher, buyers may have to save more for a larger down payment or simply buy less expensive homes, as each marginal increase in rates has a big impact on how much you can borrow. The math behind mortgages Typically, people use a mortgage amount and interest rate to calculate a payment. With a 30-year mortgage at 4.6%, borrowing $200,000 would set you back about $1,025 per month in principal and interest payments. The chart below shows how changes in the interest rate affect how much you can borrow. This approximation can be handy when you think about how a change in interest rates might affect your ability to afford a home in a certain price range. If you wanted to borrow $250,000, but mortgage rates rise 1%, you might have to start shopping for a mortgage around $225,000 or increase your down payment by about $25,000 to keep the monthly payment the same. Obviously, interest rates aren't the only thing that affects home prices. Should rates rise to such a degree that monthly mortgage payments rise faster than incomes, rates would act as a drag on home price appreciation. The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings.

Real Estate Investment: 10 things to check before buying a home

However, as it is one of the largest investments one can make, it is imperative for home buyers to carefully evaluate every single detail, from costs, government policies, taxes to the loan plans. Days are gone when the home buying decision was largely influenced by real estate agents. In present times, the investing decision of the buyers is majorly driven by the latest amenities which the projects offer. Also online, one can easily gather information about property prices, processes of acquiring a property, documents required during the transactions. Hence, before making a final investment, we need to consider several factors such as the residential location, amenities, views, infrastructure status, surroundings, proximity to commercial and recreational centres, transportation facilities, potential capital appreciation, developer, and most importantly, the budget. Investment Purpose Buying a property is an attractive investment proposition. Additional Costs After a buyer completely understands the crux of the property acquiring cost, he also needs to consider the post occupation cost. There needs to be a provision for the later costs which accrue from various expenses like fit out costs, interior costs, maintenance costs, property insurance if any, mortgage payments in case of loan availed. This enables the customer to get a good insight into the project before making a purchase decision. Customer Protection Implementation of RERA has made the industry extremely transparent and ensures customer protection.

Buying a rental property is cheaper in the winter — here are the 26...

Cleveland Increase in annual investment return: 12.25% Median home sale price (winter): $69,950 Median home sale price (summer): $77,500 Savings on home purchase: 10% 22. Dallas Increase in annual investment return: 12.37% Median home sale price (winter): $166,950 Median home sale price (summer): $201,875 Savings on home purchase: 17% 21. Detroit Increase in annual investment return: 12.47% Median home sale price (winter): $132,000 Median home sale price (summer): $165,000 Savings on home purchase: 20% 20. St. Louis Increase in annual investment return: 12.82% Median home sale price (winter): $91,125 Median home sale price (summer): $110,000 Savings on home purchase: 17% 17. New York City Increase in annual investment return: 14.88% Median home sale price (winter): $309,000 Median home sale price (summer): $405,733 Savings on home purchase: 24% 11. Minneapolis Increase in annual investment return: 16.08% Median home sale price (winter): $163,823 Median home sale price (summer): $205,000 Savings on home purchase: 20% 10. Seattle Increase in annual investment return: 17.81% Median home sale price (winter): $389,500 Median home sale price (summer): $517,000 Savings on home purchase: 25% 8. Columbus Increase in annual investment return: 18.61% Median home sale price (winter): $131,000 Median home sale price (summer): $175,000 Savings on home purchase: 25% 6. Chicago Increase in annual investment return: 21.19% Median home sale price (winter): $185,000 Median home sale price (summer): $250,000 Savings on home purchase: 26% 4. Cincinnati Increase in annual investment return: 23.76% Median home sale price (winter): $85,500 Median home sale price (summer): $110,203 Savings on home purchase: 22% 2.

13 Tips You Must Follow When Buying A Rental Property

Should You Buy A Rental Property? Investing in a rental property is not as easy as investing in stocks. Buying rental property is not for everyone. How good is the rental property market of that location? Having a mortgage can also free up cash for repairs if needed for your potential investment. But, if you want to buy a rental property that costs $100,000, you can use other people’s money to make this purchase. Following the housing market decline in 2007, single family real estate investing became favorable options for investors, saving in construction or refurbishment prices. Before buying, you need to be sure it can be used as a short-term rental. rental property investment. Your real life experiences can make you a good investor.


Want to Sell Your Home Smoothly, Quickly & for More Money?...

Selling a house is a process—and if you’ve never done it before, you’ll have no idea what’s involved. Do you need to sell your home? How to Sell Your Home, The Essential Guide to a Fast, Stress-Free, and Profitable Sale is filled with practical tips and tricks from her real-life experiences, both as an agent and as a seller. Mindy shares: How to choose an agent: 9 questions to ask to make sure you’re using the agent who is right for you How to get your home ready to list and show—even if you have a tight budget The right (and wrong) way to market your house The differences between using an agent and trying to sell it yourself What to do during a showing How to handle inspection and appraisal The different types of loans commonly used—and why one loan may be better for your situation than another The common scam you should be watching for What to do if your home doesn’t sell And so much more! This book also explains many terms common to the selling process but probably unfamiliar to you. Learn all the best tips, tricks, and tactics to sell your next investment property or home for top dollar. In addition to the webinar, you will also get: Bonus Ebook: Selling Your Investment Property. Bonus Video: The Absolute #1 Top Tip for Selling Your Home. Real Estate Agent Questionnaire: Mindy shares top questions for interviewing real estate agents in her book. Any questions about the book?