Existing Home Sales on Track to Expand

Realtor.org | Following the housing market’s best year since the recession, existing-home sales are expected to increase in 2016 at a moderate pace; according to an economic forecast forum here at the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

The pent-up demand for buying in recent years finally broke out in a meaningful way in 2015, fueled by sustained job growth in many parts of the country and rising home values, giving homeowners the incentive to sell – a trend that Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, expects to continue into next year.

“Sales activity in 2016 will once again be primarily driven by the ongoing release of more pent-up sellers finally realizing their equity gains and using it towards the down payment on their next home,” said Yun.

Here is why it pays to be a home owner

Daily Real Estate News | Home owners’ net worth is significantly higher than renters. A typical home owner’s net worth is $195,400 compared to a renter’s $5,400, according to the Federal Reserve’s last data from 2013.

The Fed’s next survey of household finances, which is conducted every three years, is due out in 2016 and the renter to home owner gap is expected to widen further due to price increases.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, predicts the figure to jump to $225,000 to $230,000 in median net worth for home owners in 2016 and around $5,000 for renters.

If that proves correct, the typical home owner will be ahead of a typical renter by a multiple of 45 on a lifetime financial achievement scale.

As a professional in the mortgage lending industry, I have built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. That means you can count on me to always look out for your best interests, and to keep you informed throughout every step of the lending process.
Please do not hesitate to call if you have questions about the information you find here on our web site. - Brad Evans, Sr. Loan Officer. Direct: (877) 323-6803 | EMAIL | WEBSITE | FREE LOAN CONSULT

 

Pre-Recession Gains from home renovations

Houzz.com | More than two-thirds of home renovation firms are reporting that 2015 year-to-date revenues and profits are at or above pre-recession levels. What’s more, one in five firms are reporting revenues and profits are significantly higher, according to the second quarter Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks confidence in the home renovation market among 5,000 industry professionals.

Landscape and outdoor specialty firms are notably the most positive about year-over-year gains, according to the barometer. Also, architects in the West and South are most confident in year-over-year improvements in the home renovation industry.

Please do not hesitate to call if you have questions about the information you find here on our web site. - Brad Evans, Sr. Loan Officer. Direct: (877) 323-6803 | EMAIL | WEBSITE | FREE LOAN CONS

Americans Have Once Again Fallen In Love with Real Estate Investing

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No one will dispute that the pendulum has finally swung the other way.

Americans have once again fallen in love with real estate investing. As the market continues to rebound, real estate investors that were sitting on the sidelines are getting back in the game.

According to Bloomberg, millionaires view real estate as the top investment strategy for this year.

Commercial property values in the US have risen dramatically since hitting the bottom in 2009; as much as 71% in areas as far back as in 2012.

Prices topped out in 2006-2007 in most areas around the country then a major bust followed. Prices bottomed out somewhere around 2011. According to Wealth Daily, there are folks out there that believe we are in another bubble that is sure to burst.  Some folks are of the opinion that the economy is being propped up by low interest rates and bank bailouts.

Could they be right?

I have no idea.  I’m pretty sure we just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

Even though prices have risen on both residential and commercial real estate, there are deals still to be found. Since mortgage rates are still extremely low this means it’s still a great time to invest in real estate.

How Does this Affect the Rental Market?

The rental market is thriving.

The vast majority of people that lost their homes to foreclosure prefer renting single family homes rather than apartments.  There has been a stigma attached to renting apartments that isn’t there when you are renting a single family home.

These same tenants who were previously homeowners typically take better care of the property. They also prefer renting from private landlords over big management companies.

The reason is that private landlords are much more likely to entertain a creative solution when it comes to getting them back in a home.  If they have been a good tenant, they will most likely view them as a good candidate for a lease option or even a seller financed deal.

Sweat Equity

Folks that become “accidental” renters often have such a strong desire to get back into a home they will take on the challenge of a house that needs some work.

If their credit is less than stellar and they don’t have a lot of money down, sweat equity is one way a landlord can get folks into one of their properties that needs updates or even some deferred maintenance.  This situation will allow the tenant to spread out those much needed upgrades over a period of time.

Inflation is Rent Friendly

If you are a landlord, it’s likely that you used OPM (other people’s money) to purchase that rental.

You bought the house with a fixed mortgage payment (or you should have) so that cost remains the same except for taxes and insurance.

As home values go up, so do your rents.  Not only does your cash flow increase, but over time your equity in the property also expands leaving you with a property that is worth much more money than you originally paid for it.

If you are a real estate investor that also does at least a few wholesale deals a year, you can pay down these mortgages with lightning speed.

I believe this is one of the fastest ways to expand your wealth; paying down your mortgages using big chunks of cash from wholesaling. Making improvements to the property along the way also builds equity.

If you have been sitting on the fence wondering if the time to invest in real estate has passed you by, just get off the fence and do it. Real estate is a business that has cycles.

Original article via biggerpockets.com

 

Customer Service is everything

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1. Listen

People want to be heard and understood. It is critical to listen to what people are saying to ensure we truly understand their needs. Simply by listening to our customers, we can anticipate their needs and provide prompt, friendly service. The same goes for your business.

2. Smile & Be Friendly

The most basic rule of customer service and the most important. Even smiling when answering the phone projects a friendly attitude.

3. Take That Extra Step, Go The Extra Mile

Opening a door, carrying products out to a vehicle, offering a beverage to a customer or business associate while they wait, making deliveries to customers businesses; it doesn’t take much to improve someone’s day and leave a lasting impression.

4. Be Honest

No one knows everything about everything. Even the experts. If there is something we do not know or are unable to answer, we find a resource that does.

Be honest with your customer and explain that you will find the answers they are seeking. They will appreciate your honesty and that you are taking that extra step for them.

5. Keep In Touch

People appreciate follow ups. Whether it is an update to let them know where a project is at and how things are going, a call to let them know when their purchase will be arriving, or a follow up after the job is done to ensure that they were satisfied with their product or service that they received.

Great customer service is one of those elements of business that is easily done, but too often over looked. By implementing the 5 customer service steps that we at Protocol implement everyday in your business, you will see a sharp increase in customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referral. There’s no better marketing than that.

Original post by  Lisa Church

Five Bathroom Ideas for a Modern Home

The bathroom tends to be the one room that gets neglected when we are decorating, as it can be difficult to create the look and feel that we really want to achieve, especially when the majority of us inherit a bathroom suite, and the tiles when moving home. But, there are plenty of ways to create a bathroom you’ll love, even if you aren’t planning on replacing the bath, so make sure to check out these five modern bathroom ideas.

Add depth and interest with color

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If you have an all-white or neutral bathroom why not add extra depth and interest by adding pops of colour? There are plenty of ways in which you can inject color into your bathroom, such as with towels, bathmats and shower curtains, you could even add some colorful artwork. Painting a feature wall is another great idea too, as is bathroom furniture with glossy coloured finishes.

New taps

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With so many styles around than ever before, fitting new bath and basin taps will instantly modernize your bathroom. Sleek designs with a single lever handle aren’t just easy to operate, but enhance the modern look perfectly. Still a popular choice are open spout taps, which create a beautiful waterfall effect for a calm and restful feel.

Update the tiles

Updating the tiles will transform the look of your bathroom, and with so many designs to choose from you can create a truly individual look. If you don’t have the time to chisel the old tiles off, you could opt for tile transfers to cover up an old pattern, or to add life to plain white tiles.

Introduce new bathroom accessories

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If there are toiletries cluttering up the side of the bath or the surfaces of a shower tray, treat yourself to a new shower caddy to tidy up those shampoo and shower gel bottles. If your shower is looking a bit on the tired side add new shower accessories such as a shower head or shower hose to give it a revamp.

Bathroom lighting

Hudson Reed Lincoln mirror cabinet

Fitting a new light fixture provides a great way to add modern style to your bathroom, and there are plenty of designs around that are suitable for this space. When choosing new bathroom lights, don’t forget that the fitting needs to be the correct IP rating for the particular zone of the room that you will be installing it in. In addition to a new ceiling light you may want to fit an illuminated mirror or mirrored cabinet too. Or, to really set the right kind of mood for your evening bath why not fit a dimmer switch?

Original aritcle & photos courtesy of  

 

Modern Bathroom Ideas via Pinterest

Good credit and YOU

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have good credit. Good credit will provide you with freedom and more choices throughout your lifetime. It will give you better interest rates on car loans, a variety of credit cards to pick from, the best mortgage rates out there and many other things. So how exactly do you establish good credit?
1. Don’t miss a payment
2. Keep your credit card balance less than 30% of your limit
3. Have a minimum of two trade lines
4. Keep the number of credit checks to a minimum
5. Check your own credit annually

For more information or help on how to establish or re-establish your credit call me anytime 877.323.6803

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