Here are a few important questions you, as a seller’s agent, may get from clients. It would be wise to have answers prepared for the all important listing appointment. Some of these would also apply to agents working with buyers.
Real estate professionals are used to being asked questions by buyers and sellers, but not all questions are created equal. In this column, we take a look at five of the most important questions to ask before you decide to work with a particular agent. Read More.
The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas:
“The bipartisan ‘Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act’ introduced today in the Senate by Sens. Robert Mendendez, D-N.J.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; and Mary Landrieu, D-La., and in the House by Reps. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., will help millions of homeowners who are facing sudden and extreme increases in flood insurance premiums, which are an unintended consequence of legislation to reform the National Flood Insurance Program.” Read More.
Locally, Kentucky media is already picking up the issue and reporting on the effects the increases are having on the housing market:
Cost of flood insurance concerns Realtor group (Owensboro)
Flood waters bring rising rates for homeowners (Louisville)
Flood insurance rate spikes impacting Louisville home sales (Louisville)
Using personality test data from over one million people, researchers have identified three distinct personality regions in the country. On the page, each state is colored by the region it belongs to and shaded according to how strongly its personality matches that profile. If you look close, Kentucky doesn’t seem to in any of the regions as it sticks out with its own style ranking (kind of).
Want to know where you belong on this map? Click “Take the Test” and answer the 10-question survey to see which state most closely matches your personality. Read More
More people are getting home loans with lower credit scores and smaller down payments. Last month, the average FICO score for a closed home loan was 732, down from 750 a year ago, shows data from mortgage tracker Ellie Mae.
The average down payment was 19%, vs. 22% a year ago. What’s more, almost one-third of closed loans had FICO scores under 700, vs. 17% a year ago. The top FICO score is 850. Is anyone seeing this in their markets with their clients? Read More.
A trade agreement between the United States and the European Union would mean a net increase of 8,820 jobs for the state of Kentucky, according to a study by the German think tank Bertelsmann Foundation.
The study showed that the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership now being negotiated would mean an increase in Kentucky exports to the EU of $3.1 billion, or about 40 percent of the $5 billion in Kentucky goods exported to Europe in 2012. Read More.
You may have avoided joining, but now that almost 50 million Americans use it, and three times that number use the microblog internationally, you may be wondering if there’s actually something valuable about Twitter that you’re missing.
218 million people use Twitter. 22% are in the US, and a whopping 78% are international users. And this global reach highlights some of Twitter’s greatest strengths. If you follow users who are in your area, Twitter offers a hyper-local news source that many parts of the world (and the United States) don’t have. Unlike newspapers, the information on Twitter comes through in real time. During an emergency or a live event, Twitter can be one of the most comprehensive sources of first-person information. On the down-side, this is not journalism; it isn’t vetted or put in context, but it’s distributed information-sharing that has never existed in the world up until now. Read More.
Housing inventory is stiflingly tight in many locations, making it a challenge to find, much less land, your dream home.
The number of available houses in the hottest markets has dropped dramatically over the past year, says the National Association of Realtors: In the Boston area, for one, inventory levels are down 29% vs. 2012. And Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco aren’t far behind.
“Some homes are flying off the market in a matter of days,” says Paul Bishop, VP of research for NAR.
Shopping in a popular spot? You’ll have to go beyond the usual sellers’ market tactics, such as getting prequalified for a mortgage. These strategies will help you find homes first, stopping a bidding war before it starts. Read More.
All it takes is a one-percentage point increase in mortgage interest rates because of a debt ceiling breach by the federal government for home sales to drop by up to 450,000 units, NAR President Gary Thomas testified yesterday at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
“This is a bump in rates immediately because of the crisis, so it’s going to have a detrimental effect on the housing industry, which obviously has a detrimental effect on the overall economy,” he said. Read More.
When you buy a new house, it seems like there are a million moving pieces and thousands of documents that need your signature. But how closely did you pay attention when you chose your home insurance policy?
Paula Pant, founder of AffordAnything.com, a money management website, says that most people gloss over their policy and either end up paying more than they need or simply not enough.
“That’s a lose-lose situation,” she says. “You need the Goldilocks policy: not too much and not too little.”
To make sure you’re adequately covered, here are a few questions to ask to help you figure out how much home insurance you need. Read More.
The average interest rate for the most popular kind of home loan, the 30-year fixed rate, fell to 4.22%, down from 4.32% a week earlier. Rates, as measured by a weekly Freddie Mac survey, have dropped from 4.57% since the Federal Reserve unexpectedly announced three weeks ago that it would not alter its stimulus program of buying Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
Most industry experts had thought the Fed would start to taper off those purchases, which bring liquidity to the mortgage markets and help keep rates low. Read More.