Monthly Archives: November 2012

Housing Starts Soar!

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses housing starts.

Housing starts reached an 894,000 annualized unit pace in October, which is the highest in over 4 years, and up 42 percent from one year ago.
Even with this huge gain, further increases are needed. The 50-year historical average is 1.5 million per year. Now that the household formation is bouncing back and reaching about a million, housing starts need to be at least 1.3 million just to keep the overall vacancy rates stable after accounting for 300,000 or so uninhabitable units that are demolished each year.
Multifamily starts made a larger gain of 57 percent compared to single-family starts, which increased 35 percent. Falling vacancy rates and solid rent gains have tipped developers to focus more heavily on new apartments.
The West region showed the biggest increase with a 73 percent gain. Inventory levels are very tight in California, Seattle, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Naturally, homebuilders are responding to these market incentives and conditions. However, California lags well behind Texas in housing starts even though California has a larger population and is experiencing a more acute housing shortage because of tight land regulations and high fees associated with taking out housing permits. In Texas, just about anyone can dig earth by simply putting on a construction helmet. So expect a faster home price acceleration in California.
The northeast region experienced a slight downturn over the month and only an 11 percent gain from one year ago. Since Hurricane Sandy was at the very end of October, the lower starts are attributed to market forces in the region and not yet related to the storm. A large overhang of shadow inventory still looms in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. All three are judicial foreclosure states and hence it takes forever to turn it into an REO. Some delinquent homeowners are said to game the system by not paying mortgage but finding tenants to collect on rents.
Housing starts are likely to reach 1.1 million in 2013 and then rise to 1.4 million in 2014. That translates into a huge percentage gain of 50 percent in 2013 followed by another 25 percent gain in 2014. But such levels will still be insufficient to meet the rising housing demand. Housing shortage conditions will last for a while.

Source:
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist
Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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Painting for a Home Sale

Making the proper impression is a major factor in attracting prospective home buyers and keeping their interest. One of the best ways to do that when selling a home is to repaint key areas of the home. The entire thing does not necessarily need a new paint job, unless the current one is significantly flawed.

Important areas

According to Paint Quality Institute expert Debbie Zimmer, determining where to apply fresh paint is as much a psychological question as anything else. As a result, the front door can be a key spot. Before prospective buyers come inside, this will form part of their first impression of the property. If it looks shabby, that perception may color their opinions of the rest of the home, even if it is in better condition. Aside from being pleasant in its own right, an attractive front door conveys the impression that the sellers have taken care of the home, a good first impression to make.

The area just inside the door is also important. This is the first part of the home’s interior that prospective buyers will get a clear view of, and can profoundly affect their opinion of the home and their ability to picture themselves living there. Zimmer notes it may be particularly important to look over any rooms where children and pets have spent significant amounts of time. The Washington Post notes that new paint can appeal more strongly to buyers who wish to avoid working on a home themselves, whereas colors they do not care for may cause them to begin thinking about the time or money they would need to spend repainting.

Coloring

To make it easier for potential future residents to imagine themselves living in the home, Zimmer recommends selecting white, off-white or another quiet color, since these appeal to most people. Home sellers should carefully consider whether to do any repainting themselves, keeping in mind that rushed or visibly unprofessional work may need to be fixed.

One real estate agent told The Washington Post repainting has an added advantage. It can make a home look much better in photographs, an important consideration in an era where buyers commonly examine a number of houses online before determining which to visit.

photo credit: Chiot’s Run via photopin cc

Source: Coldwell Banker LLC

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10 Property Investment Tips


2012 is being touted as the year to invest in properties. But before you pounce on the first okay looking apartment you see, here are some tips to make sure that your investment will be worth it.

1. Do your research!

Knowledge, especially in the real estate industry is more than half the battle. Before you jump to the more exciting part such as house visits, make sure you have a working knowledge of the real estate market.

Know the differences between mortgages and moulding, so you won’t be clueless about what your broker is talking about. Having enough knowledge would also make you more attuned to reading between the lines of real estate listings.

Lastly, know what you want in a house. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for saves a lot of time and effort.

2. Make sure you can afford it

While you might have scraped up enough savings for the down payment, make sure you have enough monthly income for the mortgage and other hidden payments.

Buying a home is not something to scrimp on, so make sure you have more than enough cash on hand just in case your dream house is selling for a slightly steeper price than what you have projected.

3. Don’t be in a hurry

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your dream house can’t be found in a short time either. Resign yourself to the fact that several of your weekends might have to be allotted for open houses and house visits with your broker.

Don’t look for a house to invest in when you desperately need one too. My suggestion is to rent for the time being so you won’t feel pressured to plunk your money down in an investment that you don’t love.

4. Start with your current networks

Before attacking the real estate section of your city’s newspaper, casually ask friends or families if they know of any houses for sale. Usually the recommendations of people close to you are more trust worthy that the best worded ad in the paper.

Asking your networks would also alert you to some hidden gems that might be selling at a bargain. So inform your friends and family once you are thinking of investing in real estate, their tips might prove to be invaluable to your hunt.

5. Go for the long haul

It doesn’t make sense to invest in a property that you can only see yourself living in for a short span of time. Make sure to consider not just your present needs but also future ones such as an extra bedroom for your future kids.

Another option for finding properties that are too good to pass up is to buy it then have it rented out, just make sure you have the money to spare in case you won’t find renters immediately.

6. Ask for help from someone more experienced

Having a real estate agent is costly, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you are a newbie to the real estate market. Just make sure to hire an agent that is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.

Once you’ve hired an agent, don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions because that’s what they’re there for. Chances are, they would even appreciate your proactivity in looking for a house and will be more inclined to help you out.

7. Buy what you love

This is a no brainer. Make sure you are positively head over heels in love with a house before signing the contract. This love for your new home will be what will fuel you to make all those monthly payments at the bank.

8. Check out your neighbors and the rest of the community

Remember that you aren’t just buying the house in isolation, you are also buying into the whole community as well. Make sure that your neighbors are people you are comfortable with and that their lifestyles won’t clash with yours.

Having great neighbors is a priceless asset in the city, so make sure that you can readily make friends with the couple next door to borrow an extra cup of sugar or when you need an emergency baby sitter.

9. Accessibility is gold in the city

Even if you find the perfect house, it’s a bummer if you can’t spend time in it because your daily commute takes more than a couple of hours. Be realistic and find a home that is near your workplace and all the other places you’re used to going to.

10. Read the fine print

Lastly, don’t get caught up in the excitement of being a homeowner at last. Read everything that you sign and speak up if there’s something that sounds fishy in the contract.

Source: IncomeTherapy.com

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Amazing Highland Village, Texas Home For Sale!


Impeccably Clean Energy Star Rated Milan floor plan by Stillbrooke in Highland Village, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood

$429,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
5 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 3,630 sqft
Lot: 8,276 sqft
Location
2720 Chapel Springs Drive
Highland Village, TX 75077
USA
To get updates on open home dates and other property events, please click the “Like” button below:


Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Rent Prices Continue to Rise Faster than Asking Prices

Rent prices are climbing faster than asking prices and are rising in metros where asking prices are falling, according to a report from Trulia.

Year-over-year, nationwide rent prices were up 5.1 percent in October, while asking prices were up 2.9 percent during the same period when including foreclosures.
Out of the top 25 rental markets in the United States, Houston led with a 16.5 percent yearly increase. Miami and Oakland took the next two spots with a 10 percent gain in rent prices, Trulia reported.
Denver was ranked number 4 with a 9.4 percent increase and Seattle fifth for its 8.8 percent improvement.
Chicago, which saw a 5.3 percent yearly dip in asking prices in October, still experienced a 7.7 percent gain in rent prices during the same one-year period.
Asking prices also fell in Albuquerque, dropping 2.2 percent, but rent prices moved up by 3.1 percent.
The trend was reversed in Las Vegas, where asking prices were up 10.9 percent from October 2011, while rent prices moved downward by 1.8 percent. In Memphis, rent prices were also down, falling 0.6 percent, yet asking prices increased 7.1 percent over a one-year period.
Overall, most metros saw rent prices and asking prices increase. Out of the 100 largest metros, 69 took part in the yearly gain in asking prices.
“In markets like Denver, San Francisco, and Oakland, where prices and rents are both rising, higher prices mean higher down payments, but rising rents make it harder to save enough,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a release.
When tracking asking price increases among metros, Phoenix led with a reported 24.9 percent yearly gain. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida ranked second with a 15.7 percent increase, followed by San Jose (12.7 percent); Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan (11.8 percent); and West Palm Beach, Florida (11.3 percent).
“Home prices are climbing in most local markets and in eight of the eleven swing states,” Kolko added. “Rising prices have taken pressure off the presidential candidates from having to come up with detailed plans to help the housing market, and that’s a big reason why they haven’t focused on housing in the 2012 campaign.”
Trulia’s findings are based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed by the company.

Source: Esther Cho DSNEWS

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How to Keep Your Home Remodeling Budget in Check

Whether individuals are planning on putting up their house for sale or are simply trying to make it more comfortable and modern, home remodels can be a large undertaking. To help make costs more manageable, most homeowners develop a budget that allows them to make their homes more beautiful without going into debt. It’s easy to stray away from a remodeling budget and wind up spending more than initially planned. To avoid financial setbacks, individuals should familiarize themselves with the most common mistakes and the best ways to avoid them.

Failing to comparison shop

Visiting the nearest home improvement store or furniture factory is certainly one of the most convenient and time-effective ways to begin a remodel project. However, it may not be the most affordable. Remodels can be expensive, depending on the type of update, the materials being used and the size of the home. For this reason, shopping around and examining different types of materials can help save owners between hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Owners should also not hesitate to look at large warehouses and outlets that may have the same materials they are looking for at a more affordable price. Lastly, individuals should speak with a professional about the quality, durability and shelf-life of various materials before making a decision on which to use. They may initially feel like they are getting a top-quality, durable product, but find that another material is actually stronger and more affordable.

Hiring the cheapest contractor

Most homeowners want to save money on contractor costs, but hiring the contractor that offers the cheapest rates without doing background research can backfire. Homeowners should ask for references, examine a contractor’s background and speak with several potential contracting companies before making a decision. This can help owners avoid hiring a professional that does poor work and being forced to pay more to have the job corrected. Learn more about finding the right contractor.

Splurging on new furniture

Replacing furniture after remodeling a room can be as costly as the remodel itself. However, there are other options to giving a room a fresh look that don’t involve tossing old furniture. If owners like the size and shape of their current couches and chairs, it can be more cost-effective to have them reupholstered with new materials. Consumers can also save money by selling items they plan to toss at a yard sale, and using the proceeds to purchase new items, MSN Real Estate reports.

Source: Coldwell Banker LLC

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Located in the gorgeous gated community of Vilamoura in Flower Mound, Texas!


Located in the gorgeous gated community of Vilamoura of Flower Mound, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$809,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
5 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 4,300 sqft
Location
3701 Valencia Court
Flower Mound, TX 75022
USA
To get updates on open home dates and other property events, please click the “Like” button below:


Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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