According to the NAR 2013 Community Preference Survey, 60 percent of respondents favor a neighborhood with a mix of houses, stores, and other businesses that are within walking distance, rather than neighborhoods requiring driving between home, work, and recreation. Respondents indicated that while the size of a home or yard does matter, most are willing to compromise size for a preferred neighborhood and less commuting. Check out the press release, survey results and the analysis. Read More.
At last month’s annual mortgage-industry trade show, most political and industry analysts agreed that there aren’t great odds that Congress will pass a bill addressing the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before 2014, let alone 2016.
But several developments unfolding right now could make the next five or six months among the more consequential periods for housing-finance policy since the companies were taken over by the government five years ago. Here are three reasons why. Read More.
Long-time NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik will retire from the association at the end of November. Janik joined the association in 1977 as a summer law clerk and was named general counsel in 1987. During her tenure, NAR has faced significant legal challenges, including an antitrust lawsuit in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Justice challenging NAR’s policy on the display of listings on the Internet. Janik sat down with REALTOR® Magazine’s Robert Freedman in October to get her thoughts on the biggest issues the association has faced and what lies ahead. Read More.
In order to attract the next generation of clients and agents, brokers have to control their reputation online. The best way to do that is to treat the Web sites where consumers post reviews as social media sites.
“Yelp has been a game changer,” said Vanessa Bergmark of Red Oak Realty in Oakland, Calif. She said many of her agents now get a majority of their leads from Yelp because her brokerage decided to be proactive about using the social review site to promote the company. Read More.
Federal regulators will allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue funding higher-priced mortgages, at least through the middle of next year. President Barack Obama had called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator of the two mortgage giants since September 2008, to lower the limits by the end of this year in order to shrink their role in the market. FHFA acting director Ed DeMarco, however, said the timing is not right just yet. Read More.
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.