My Blog

Today's Prices Compared to Peak [INFOGRAPHIC]

December 13, 2013 10:27 am


Moving Tips Agents Should Give Their Clients

December 12, 2013 10:24 am

If you’re a Realtor, you know how stressed clients who are moving can get, especially if they’re moving for the first time or haven’t moved in a long while. But as an industry professional, you can offer them more guidance than you think. They already trust you to sell their home or find them a new one – why not also help them weather the other parts of moving, too? Here are some ways you can assist your clients in the moving process.
  • Give them advice for finding a reliable moving company.

Good News for the Economy = Bad News for Rates

December 11, 2013 4:24 pm

The economy is improving. As an example, the latest employment report showed that the unemployment rate hit a five-year low. We must realize that, as the economic news gets better, the government will consider whether or not to continue the programs they put in place to stimulate the economy. One such program is the Fed’s purchasing of assets which has led to historically low long-term mortgage rates. Analysts at Capital Economics noted in a recent HousingWire article: "The 203,000 increase in November's non-farm payrolls, along with the drop in the unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7.0%, gives the Fed all the evidence it needs to begin tapering its asset purchases at the next FOMC meeting later this month." Whether such ‘tapering’ occurs this month or early next year is questionable. The fact that mortgage rates will spike when it does occur is more a guarantee. Here are the thoughts of a few Fed presidents regarding whether it is in fact time to cut back on this stimulus program:

Selling Your Home During the Holidays? Now is the Time!

December 11, 2013 10:24 am

In today’s competitive real estate market, sometimes the standard, run-of-the-mill open houses aren’t yielding much success, and some sellers are choosing an alternative and effective method, that has been dubbed, “extreme open houses.” With catered refreshments, prizes and entertainment, these events are causing quite a stir in the real estate world. By that, we mean that sellers are throwing elaborate parties in the guise of an open house, with hope that someone will buy their home. Some sellers hire local musicians and throw a fully catered party, equipped with champagne and expensive hors d’oeuvres. During the holidays, people are in a festive mood, and throwing a party is always a good idea to draw their attention. The biggest advantage of an extreme open house is that potential buyers can see your home in a different light, giving you a chance to display some of your home’s attractive features. For example, if you are cooking food at your party, your guests can focus on your kitchen. Or, if you’re throwing a barbeque, you can get a chance to show off your favorite patio, drawing attention to some of your home’s best selling points. Instead of showing a cold, empty home, you can attract potential buyers with a warm and vibrant home full of nice furnishings. Throwing a party in a warm and inviting home is a good idea even when you invite people who don’t intend to buy your home, since many of them will tell their friends about it.

Keep it simple


Harvard: 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home

December 10, 2013 10:24 am

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. This year he released a new paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home. Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study: 1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.  “Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.” 2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.