Homeowners: May Is the Best Month to Sell

If you are considering listing this spring, now is the time.

May is the best bet for home sellers, according to an analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions, which found that the average seller gains 5.9 percent more than market value—the highest of all months—in the fifth month of the year.

June is profitable for sellers, as well, with an average 5.8 percent premium, with June 28, pointedly, reeling in 9.1 percent—the best day of the year. May 29 and May 31 are also high-returning, with an 8.2 percent premium and an 8.3 percent premium, respectively.

For homeowners, the key is timeliness. According to the analysis, the advantage drops off sharply after June, with a 3.8 percent premium in July, a 4.2 percent premium in August, and back down to a 3.2 percent premium in September. Through the remainder of the year, the average seller earns between 1.6 percent and 2.6 percent over market value—considerably less than had they acted during the May peak.

The analysis findings’ are reminiscent of spring 2017, when May 1 through May 15 was found to be the ideal listing window. The difference now is that inventory is tighter—down 7.2 percent year-over-year—and, although homeowners are getting multiple offers, there is the burden of buying another home at the record prices they are today.

Still, it is a seller’s market, and the numbers have it: In the first three months of 2018, the average seller recouped 29.5 percent, or $53,369 at resale.


For more info, visit: RIS Media


Is 2018 the year to buy a house?

Home buyers aren’t going to catch much of a break this year.

Sellers will remain in the driver’s seat as buyers continue to face affordability issues thanks to low housing supply.

“The challenges for buyers in the market haven’t changed that much from last year” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage website HSH.com.

What’s more, home loans are expected to get more expensive as the year progresses.

Here’s what home buyers and sellers can expect from the housing market this year:

Homes will remain in tight supply

The supply of housing still won’t be able to keep up with demand this year, experts predict. And the homes that do hit the market will sell fast.

A balanced housing market tends to have about six months of supply, according to Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin. In December, the market had less than three months of supply, and homes were selling five days faster than the year before.

Richardson expects 3% more sales this year compared to 2017. But competition will be fierce.

“First-time buyers are going to have to juggle a lot of balls,” she said. “As long as we have an inventory shortage we will have bidding wars.”

The good news is that home building is expected to increase 10% this year, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, to reach around 1.3 million new single-family homes. But that’s still not enough to keep up with population growth and job creation.

Builders had been focusing on the more profitable luxury market during the housing recovery. But Gumbinger expects them to shift downmarket.

“They have been shifting toward more middle-market and starter homes,” he said. “Rather than the 3,500-square-foot home, the focus has been more lower cost.”

Home prices will slow

Home prices have risen exponentially in many housing markets — especially those with thriving job markets. Experts expect home values to continue to rise nationwide — but at a slower pace.

“Prices cant go up at the pace they have been in those hot markets forever,” said Gumbinger. “Because of the difficult in affordability, sales will slow in those marketplaces.”

Richardson is expecting a 6% increase in home prices nationally this year while Yun predicts a more temperate 2% gain.

Yun said southern states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia could see stronger home price appreciation as Americans seeking more affordable housing and strong job markets continue to move in.

Loans will get more expensive

After sitting below 4% for much of 2017, mortgage rates are expected to rise — a little.

“This will be the year mortgage rates make some measurable increases,” said Yun. “Not anything significant or alarming, but it could hit 4.5% by year end, and that will tame some of the home-buying enthusiasm.”

Mortgages have already crossed the 4% threshold in 2018, hitting 4.04% last week.

“Be as prepared as you can,” recommended Gumbinger. “Get your credit as high as it can be, get your loan paperwork in order and easy to get to.”

For more info on this article, visit: CNN MONEY

What You Need to Know About Buying a Home in Spring 2018

A home in the real estate market in spring 2018.

Starter-home hunting? Here’s how to find an affordable one in a challenging market.

Smart choices can help homebuyers in this spring’s tight housing market.

Springtime means warmer temps, blooming flowers—and real estate season. But the market is different from year to year, and spring 2018 is a uniquely challenging one for buyers, especially those looking for starter homes. This is due to several factors: low inventory, higher prices, and rising interest rates.

“The spring market so far this year is crazy busy!” says Kelly Deschamp, an Illinois real estate agent. So what’s your strategy going to be for buying a home this spring? Here’s what you need to know to decide.

The price of starter homes is going up the most.

If you’re looking for a starter home this spring, adjust your expectations. With high demand and plenty of competition, prices are rising for starter homes to the tune of 9.6 percent more this spring than last year. Trade-up and premium homes are also more expensive this year—7.5 percent and 5.2 percent more, respectively. If you’re looking for a starter home, consider older or smaller options. Even better, look for a fixer-upper. There are 8.3 percent more fixer-upper starter homes than there were six years ago. That’s good news for anyone willing to put a little elbow grease into their investment.

Affordability is on the rise.

Don’t get too bummed about rising prices. Compared to historical housing costs, homes today are actually more affordable than they were in past decades.

Why? Two words: mortgage rates. To take out a mortgage loan in the 1980s, you’d likely pay up to 16 percent in interest—compare that with today’s mortgage rates of around 4.5 percent. For a $200,000 loan, at 4.5 percent interest, you’d pay $1,013 a month (before taxes, insurance, and other fees), but with 16 percent interest, you’d pay $2,690.

Finding the right neighborhood matters.

Trulia research found that homeownership is dropping in some neighborhoods and remaining steady in others, even within the same city. Many home buyers prefer neighborhoods full of homeowners, so figuring out the character of an area is essential. Here’s a tip: Hot spots for homeownership share one attribute—increased household incomes.  Research neighborhood demographics to pinpoint median incomes and homeownership rates.

Plus, you can find out if a neighborhood is right for you with the Trulia’s new What Locals Say feature. It reveals what neighborhoods are really like, powered by the people who know them best—the locals who live there.

Spring 2018 Homebuyer Tips

  • Arrange your financing.

    If you wait until after you’ve found a home to start the mortgage pre-approval process, you might lose the home in this market to someone who already has their financing ducks in a row. “You must get your loan squared away and be ready to close in 15 to 21 days, max,” says mortgage adviser Jason Fox.

  • Act fast.

    To be successful and not make a rash decision, be as prepared as possible before you start looking by knowing the type of home and neighborhood you desire.

  • Put down a decent amount of earnest money.

    The more earnest money you contribute, the more serious you look to the seller. “So on a $400,000 purchase, be ready to put up $7,500 to $10,000,” says Fox.

  • Be prepared for bidding wars.

    In hot markets, buyers should be prepared for bidding wars. Fortunately, bidding wars aren’t always just about money. A shorter closing, willingness to rent the house back to the seller, a super-quick inspection period, and offer letters can help make a lower offer the best offer.


Fore more information about this article, visit: Trulia Blog

My top 10 predictions for real estate in 2018

Compass goes public, economy soars, Congress pivots on homeownership tax benefits and more

Two years ago as we approached the year 2016, I predicted Donald Trump would be elected President. My crystal ball hasn’t always been so prescient. Last year I guessed that in 2017 Zillow would expand overseas and NAR would pick a woman CEO (stupid me).

I was right about the soaring housing market and Redfin’s public offering, but otherwise this year did not unfold exactly as I had anticipated. Ibuyer Opendooris indeed growing but at a much slower pace than I expected. Consider this a warning about this year’s predictions for 2018.

Here goes.

1. Tax reform legislation, which will be signed by President Trump by the end of this year, will be amended next year and Congress will give back the homeownership bennies taken away in the original bill. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will take credit for using its steroids-like political muscle to manipulate the politicians.

2. Speaking of NAR, the powerful trade group will not squash RPR or Upstream. fan of Bruce Springsteen, CEO Bob Goldberg will quickly discover that singing a new hit tune is difficult when the old band (trade group bureaucracy) controls the score and the set.

3. Compass will successfully go public. Last month, the fast-growing real estate technology company announced its plans to expand into 10 new markets in an ambitious bid to grab 20 percent market share in the 20 largest U.S. cities by 2020.

In a data driven world, how well do you know your recruits?
You can’t build a relationship with generic marketing materials READ MORE

4. Backed by Fidelity National Financial (FNF), Pacific Union Real Estate will expand outside California.This year, the San Francisco-based brokerage went on a Southern California buying spree acquiring Partners Trust, a luxury brokerage with 240 agents, on the heels of snatching up the John Aaroe Group.

5. FNF will merge its brokerage operations with its real estate software company holdings (Commission, Inc., Real Geeks and SkySlope), spinning off a NewCo and laying plans to go public in an effort to capture a Redfin-like tech/brokerage valuation (nearly $2 billion).

6. The StreetEasy data squabble will fizzle out with Zillow winning again.New York brokers will realize that their customers don’t give two hoots about the politics of data and just want their listings on StreetEasy.

7. Zillow will face some regulatory sniffing around about its Premier Agent ad placement program, which allows a Zillow agent advertiser to preempt the listing agent on a home listing. But the scrutiny will go nowhere. (Full disclosure; I was duped by this advertising slight of hand when I bought a home this summer — calling who I thought was the listing agent but really an advertiser).

8. In 2018, Keller Williams will do exactly what it did this year, grow like a weed.

9. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) CEO, Pam O’Connor, will retire.Describing itself as “a global community” of brokers and agents, LeadingRE is the best kept secret in town with 572 brokerage members and 130,000 realtors in 65 countries. O’Connor has been the master behind the company’s growth.

10. EBay, Google and Facebook will all expand their real estate business through acquisitions and investment. The real estate opportunity is irresistible.

BONUS: The economy and the housing market will grow like crazy. Job creation is at record levels; unemployment is at a 17-year low; wages are feeling upward pressure and companies are investing at a fast and furious pace. A backdrop of political uncertainty will not slow down the global economic thoroughbred that is galloping at a full run. Left in the dust will be housing affordability in many major metro markets, which will further galvanize local political activism and polarize more communities.

Fasten your seat-belt, 2018 will be a fun and scary but prosperous ride.


For more info on this article, visit: inman.com

What These Homeowners Wish They’d Known When They Bought

Too early, too late, too rushed… Sometimes homebuyers take the leap only to wind up feeling like they bought at exactly the wrong time.

What happens when you buy a house that seems just right, but the timing turns out to have been all wrong?

Buying a home is so much about nailing the timing. Everyone has a story of a missed opportunity, of not buying before the market exploded. Of course, being too early to the party can also backfire—rushing the decision before you know the area well or buying a fixer straight out of college, before you’ve really figured out where you want to be and what you want to do.

Regrets of all sorts are all too common among buyers. According to a 2017 Trulia survey, 44 percent of Americans have a regret about their home or the process they went through when choosing it. And bad timing can undo the best-laid plans. It can cost big bucks, too, at a time when more than half of buyers find homes unaffordable. So you’ll want to avoid expensive and stressful timing mistakes by reading below. The homeowners in them wish they had known what they’re about to tell us.

Prisca Weems of New Orleans

regrets when buying a home

When she bought

When Prisca Weems was a newly minted graduate from the architecture program at Tulane University in 1995, she was looking for a house to practice her skills on. “A real history project,” she explains. She found it in New Orleans’ Eighth Ward for $53,000: a barely loved and hardly maintained 1850s Center Hall cottage with what had once been slave quarters out back.

She and her soon-to-be husband, Oliver, knew it would be a major project, but they were game to embark on it together. The idea was to convert the former slave quarters into three apartments. They figured the rental income would be their golden goose. “That way, we’d only need one income and could take turns working. It was a nice plan,” she remembers. Nice, that is, until Oliver, a British national, was unexpectedly deported when the couple re-entered the country from their honeymoon in India. “We thought the house would give us freedom,” she says. “Then my husband was deported, and all I did was work to support the house.”

This plot twist did not fit in with Prisca’s plans at all. She had sunk $160,000 into renovations, but now her life was across the Atlantic. The house began to feel more like a ball-and-chain. “I could have sold it,” she says. “But I didn’t know that I’d be able to get a similar foothold in real estate again.” So, she lived in London, managing the property from afar, until she divorced in 2004 and returned to New Orleans. “I’d been in the house for a year when Katrina hit. After that, all I did was work for 12 years to support the repairs.” The house upkeep strapped her financially, with most of her earnings going to fix rotting floorboards, peeling paint, and battered plantation shutters.

“Let’s just say that this was a different relationship with a house than I’d expected.”

What she learned

Over time, Prisca says, “I realized that for creative people, a house is not about an investment and certainly not about freedom since it takes up space in your brain.” For those in the early stages of life, she recommends really taking inventory: “Is it more important to have a house that’s cool and attractive or to live a life that’s cool and attractive? In retrospect, I wish I had spent my money living well rather than taking care of a house.”

It’s taken years and years, but the house has finally become the golden goose Prisca always hoped it would be. It’s located in what’s now the trendy Tremé, and after bringing the home back to life and hiring a property manager, Prisca has been able to rent out the apartments and list a studio on Airbnb. These days, she’s off pursuing a creative project in the South of France, living off the rental income on a house that has tripled in value.


Vance and Kristen Adams of Henderson, Nevada

regrets when buying a home

When they bought

In 2005, Vance Adams had settled into his transplanted life in Las Vegas quite well. Just two years in, and he had scored a sweet job and gotten married. The couple didn’t plan to stay in the city long-term, but when they found out a baby was on the way, Operation Leaving Las Vegas was put on pause.

“I was caught up in the emotion of where we were in life: a killer job, a new marriage, a baby on the way. What you do next is buy a house,” he remembers. “Plus, the real-estate market was booming. I thought, if we’re going to be here for two years, let’s not rent—let’s buy and build up some equity.” Vance and Kristen bought a three-bedroom house in an established subdivision in Henderson, Nevada for $283,000.

It seemed like a solid choice, but it wasn’t long before the housing market crashed, more than halving their home value to $105,000. In the end, the couple had to sell the loan to a company that allowed them to stay on as renters while they recouped. The house today has still not regained the price they paid for it but they’ve left the state and are currently…renting.

What they learned

Vance sees now that buying decisions tend to be emotional. He says, “When I feel excited about a purchase, now I check myself. I seek counsel. I’m in no rush.” Unless you’re planning on living in one place forever, he now believes in renting. “If you’re planning to leave, a house can tie you down and become a money pit.” Although the Adamses do now plan to stay put, so far they have put off buying until the market cools down.


Toby Studley of Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

regrets when buying a home

When he bought

Toby Studley isn’t a gambler. He’s not a regular at casinos, and he rarely buys a Lotto ticket. So the irony isn’t lost on him that he bet the house on a rumored casino opening in the Pennsylvania ski resort town of Seven Springs. It all started 12 years ago when he spent a weekend in Seven Springs. He had grown up in the Washington D.C. area, three-and-a-half hours away and had skied this mountain as a kid. While there, he heard buzz about a few developments, including a casino, that were in the pipeline, and thought, “I should buy a condo on this mountain.”

“Everything then happened really fast,” he remembers. Until it didn’t … Twelve years later, ground remains unbroken on the casino, and the value of the two-bedroom condo he bought for $170,000, has long since plateaued. When the novelty of having a ski pad wore off, tinges of regret arose. “If instead I had bought a similar place in Washington D.C. near the NBA’s Washington Nationals stadium, the value would have tripled by now.” He’s been toying with the idea of selling his mountain condo but hasn’t for fear that the jackhammers would immediately break ground and he would miss out on the boom.

What he learned

Resort areas tend to be speculative, Toby now realizes. “I banked on a rumored development, and it never materialized. Before jumping into a deal based on a proposed development, I recommend visiting the city planning commission to find out the real status.” Also, chat up the year-round community. “They might say, ‘Oh thatPshtt. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that one …’”

While the conditions for skiing have become hit or miss over the past 12 winters and the casino is still only an idea, Toby has made his peace with his purchase for one simple reason: “It’s fun. I open it up to friends. I enjoy having a vacation place.” Although the condo isn’t quite the jackpot he’d hoped for, he figures it’s not a complete bust either.


For info on this article visit: Trulia Blog


RE/MAX Fine Homes TV show: Episode 2/24/2018



Canaday Group, RE/MAX Fine Homes

This Is The Best City in California To Live

This Is The Best City in California To Live

Mission Viejo is the best city in California to live, according to new rankings. A list compiled by 24/7 Wall Street notes that Mission Viejo is one of the more expensive places in the United States when it comes to goods and services — which are “on average 29.3% more expensive than they are nationwide.” But while Mission Viejo has a high cost of living, it’s the most livable city in the state and one of the most livable cities in the country—not least of all because it’s safe.

“Area residents are largely untouched by crime,” 24/7 Wall Street writes. “There were 78 violent crimes in the city for every 100,000 residents in 2016, far fewer than the 386 incidents per 100,000 Americans nationwide.”

The median home value in the state is $667,100 and the poverty rate is 4.7 percent.

Through its analysis, 24/7 Wall Street found that the majority of cities that made the list are home to a large share of college-educated adults than the share of college-educated adults nationwide (31.3 percent). Educated populations, 24/7 Wall Street writes, are more resilient to economic downturns.

Another trend noted by 24/7 Wall Street is that the violent crime rate for almost every city on the list is lower than the U.S. rate. The presence of cultural amenities and entertainment venues was another common factor for the cities.

To determine the best city to live in every state, 24/7 Wall Street considered the 550 cities with populations of 65,000 or more. If a state had no cities with a population of at least 65,000, all cities in the state with a population of 40,000 or more were considered.

Data was collected in nine categories:

  1. Crime
  2. Demography
  3. Economy
  4. Education
  5. Environment
  6. Health
  7. Housing
  8. Infrastructure
  9. Leisure

24/7 Wall Street used data from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Service, the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and ATTOM Data Solutions. For each category, specific measures contributed to a city’s overall score.


For more info, visit: Patch.com

Dana Point Heritage: Classic Surf film Inspires artist Bill Limebrook

images: http://bit.ly/2nCeUPJ
When pioneer surfer Greg Noll wasn’t charging down the face of a wave or shaping longboards, he made a number of films, highlighting surfing and fellow pioneers of the sport. In “Search for Surf,” Noll meets up with Bruce Brown – creator of the acclaimed surf documentary “The Endless Summer” – to rekindle the memories.
“So many classic guys and surf spots,” comments artist and veteran surfer Bill Limebrook, watching Noll’s film. “I was able to see the first good image of pro surfer Ron Drummond in this video,” says Limebrook, who’s creating a series of ten sculptures that pay tribute to surfing icons, including Drummond, for a public park that will border South Cove. “I was beginning to think there were no pictures of him, thankfully, I found one.” Other surfing legends that will be featured in the park include Phil Edwards and Bruce Brown.

Watch Greg Noll’s “Search for Surf” here.

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