All posts by Ellen

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How do you know when its time to drop the price?

High demand and low supply have made it a seller’s market pretty much all over the country, and especially for lower-priced homes. This does not mean your home will sell quickly. The price of your home still plays a big part. Prices are up about 7 % from a year ago, which in my opinion is good. Still, a house can be overpriced, and home buyers today know very well a good deal from a bad one. 

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A home sitting on the market for too long looks bad.  Your better off dropping the price and getting it sold. If you and/or your agent are considering a price cut, first research your neighborhood, right down to the ZIP code, to see how long it takes most homes to sell. Then look at homes that sold after a price cut. Once a price is reduced, all listing websites will be able to see that, and some will send an alert to buyers. 

Olick, Diana. “How to know when you should drop the asking price on your home.” CNBC, CNBC, 27 Oct. 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/10/27/how-to-know-when-to-drop-the-asking-price-on-your-home.html.

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Low Rates – Higher Demand

Refinancers and home shoppers are coming back to lenders last week due to a slight decrease in mortgage rates. Total mortgage application volume for refinancing’s and home purchases rose 3.6 percent week-over-week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. However, the volume still is nearly 19 percent below the same week a year ago. Interest rates were lower a year ago.

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Home purchase applications increased 4 percent last week and are up 9 percent compared to a year ago, the MBA reports. Applications for refinancing rose 3 percent, but remain down 36 percent from a year ago. However, economists say that is likely to change.

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Source: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Rise 3.6% After Rates Dip,” CNBC (Oct. 18, 2017)

Source: DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

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5 Ways To Lower A Heating Bill

Winter is right around the corner and those heat bills rack up quicker then you think.

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Here are some steps to lowering your bill:

1. Find untraditional heat sources. More efficient sources of heat are available, especially if the home is in a milder climate or if the home can be broken into zones.

A heat pump can help lower your electric bills by 50 percent if you currently use electricity to heat your home. Heat pumps cost about $7,500, but will pay for themselves with reduced energy costs. Radiant heat costs between $6,000 and $14,000 if covering your whole home, but you can often install it in a single room for around $700. Paired with a heat pump, this will keep your home warm while significantly lowering your energy bills.

2. Add extra insulation. The amount of insulation that your home needs is directly tied to the type of heat source you have. Many homes are actually underinsulated for their climate and their heat source, resulting in their furnaces or radiators having to work harder than they need to and causing a spike in energy bills.

3. Take care of your furnace. Furnaces are one of the most common ways to heat large homes. Unfortunately, they often have a wide range of efficiency that could be costing you more in monthly bills than they need to. If your furnace is less than 10 years old, make sure to schedule regular maintenance to keep it running at peak efficiency.

4. Make the switch to gas. If you’re currently heating your home with electricity or oil, you’re likely spending more each month than you would if you switched to natural gas. Gas furnaces are much more efficient than oil or electric heaters, which can save as much as 30 percent on energy bills each month.

5. Complete an energy audit. Your home may be losing a great deal of the energy you use to heat it, without you even realizing it. An energy audit—or a comprehensive look at how your home uses and loses energy—will help you find ways to make your home more efficient overall.

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Credit: DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS. “5 Tips For A Lower Heating Bill.” Realtor Magazine, 11 Oct. 2017, realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/10/05/5-tips-for-lower-heating-bill.

 

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Porches Are Returning For New Homes

New homes are now coming with front porches more and more. Sixty-five percent of new single-family homes being built in 2016+ are having porches included. It’s only the second time since tracking began that new single-family homes with porches have moved back above 65 percent. For comparison, in 2005, 54 percent of new homes had porches.

Different regions of the U.S. are showing higher preference for porches. The E/S/C (East-South-Central) region of the of the U.S. had a really high share of new homes started in 2016 with porches at 86%.

The data reports do not indicate much information about the look of the porches. But, other reports conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs, show that open front porches on new homes are more common than side porches.


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7 Things Top Producers Do Everyday

Being a top producer isn’t easy. But the hard work is necessary if you want to be the best. You need to always have the mindset that even if you think you’re the best, someone else is better so you need to be even better then you think they are.

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Here are some steps to become a top producer:

-       Create a schedule and routine

Having a schedule is crucial to a successful business. You need organization to stay on top of all your daily activities.

-       Prioritize activities

You need to do activities that will better your business. Even if that means doing things you don’t like such as “cold calling”.

-       Spend your days looking for business

You need to have business on your mind 24/7 or it wont work. Your food shopping? Look for business. Your at your kids soccer game? Look for business.

-       Create clear goals and plans

If you have goals, you will have something to work towards too. Everyone needs something to motivate them.

-       Become skilled

With any job, you want to be skilled at it. You need to know the in’s and out’s that way you can be the best at what you do. This requires a lot of studying.

-       Don’t be afraid to fail

Failing is part of becoming the best. If you fail, it only makes you become more focused and helps you realize what to do better next time.

This business and any business is about growth and learning. Follow these steps to become a Top Producing Agent.

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Why Snap Chat Is Great For Selling Homes

Social Media is a great channel to promote your Real Estate business. People are all over Facebook and Instagram, but not many understand how valuable Snapchat is. Snapchat has 158 million active daily users creating over 2.5 billion snaps daily. You would be using a platform that has an already built-in audience.

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With Snapchat theres options for business marketing. Its fairly inexpensive too. You can create filters and AD’s to pop up for snappers. The largest generation of homebuyers (millennial’s) are also the biggest users of Snapchat.

 

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Snaps last 1-10 seconds, which sounds like nothing but it is a lot of time. And, you can post as much as you want. Your snap can also last 24 hours if put on your story, you can save it to your memories or you can send it personally to whomever you’d like.

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Home Predictions for 2018

New homes are expected to be a “primary driver in sale” as 1.33 million housing starts are predicted next year compared to 1.22 million in 2017. Total home sales are expected to increase about 2 % from 2017 to 2018, according to the report.

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Homeowners likely will continue building equity next year. In the second quarter of 2017, the dollar volume of equity cashed out was $15 million, up $1.2 million from the first quarter. As home prices rise, cash-out activity has been rising, too.

Homeowners will most likely continue building equity within 2018.

Economists also predict that the uptick in housing starts, coupled with a moderate increase in mortgage rates, will help slow the run up in home prices next year. Freddie Mac forecasts a 4.9 percent increase in home prices in 2018, lower than the 6.3 percent growth seen so far this year.

Credit to: http://realtormag.realtor.org

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Why Homes In Disaster-Prone Areas Tend To Be More Valuable

 

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Hurricane Irma hit some of the most valuable real estate in the United States. Home values in natural disaster prone areas have been skyrocketing. Government data on storms, flood, EQ and wildfires are found that those with high risk of natural disasters saw home prices rise 55% since 2012.

ATTOM’s U.S. Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index looked at more than 3,000 counties and the risk of earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires in each. The firm also analyzed homes sales and price trends in more than 800 counties during the first six months of the year.

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Check out more info in the link’s below!

https://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/natural-disaster/

https://therealdeal.com/2017/09/22/heres-why-homes-in-disaster-prone-areas-tend-to-be-more-valuable/

 

And please click on the link below to send donations!

https://www.unicefusa.org/donate/help-save-childrens-lives/29161?ms=ref_dig_2015_web_header_donate

https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey?scode=RSG00000E017&utm_campaign=Harvey&gclid=CjwKCAjw6ZLOBRALEiwAxzyCW9V6Avzf2y1rZjAr7f1AgvAA5c5LnDtDfXz2P15TZ6T2HQutqZlWjRoCtZEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CP3RyYeLudYCFQ5bDAodwdgMgQ

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REALTORS® Promise to Send Help to Texas

With the awful destruction of Hurricane Harvey, Texas is a sad place right now. People are left with no homes. Family members are dead. Animals left to fend for themselves. Its like a scene from a war movie. With the destruction the National Association of REALTORS® is calling on members nationwide to donate funds to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation to support storm victims. 

“This may require our REALTOR® family’s largest effort since Hurricane Katrina—or even 9/11,” RRF President Martin Edwards wrote in an internal memo to NAR directors and staff. “Hopefully, REALTORS® across America will heed the call to donate without precedent, as the on-the-ground membership in Texas will be stretched beyond belief.”  - DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

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Any donation could help!

 

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Small Home, Big Yard

Properties that offer a great outdoor space are taking a higher priority among home buyers. In fact, home shoppers recently surveyed and said they would be willing to sacrifice some space from a larger house in order to get a bigger yard. (DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS)

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More people want an outdoor space for children to play and to hold family gatherings.  Also, according to surveys Women wanted outdoor space more than men (62 percent of women surveyed saying they prefer less home square footage for a larger yard, compared to 51 percent of men).

Not only do people prefer a larger yard but they basically want an outdoor living space. People are willing to pay extra to have a modernized outdoor area with a living room theme. For example: glass walls that open to the yard, tiles that match the home and extend it for a seamless flow from inside to outside. Outdoor kitchen islands and cabinets are on top of the list as well.

Maybe one day indoor homes won’t be a thing and we will live outdoors in our yards.

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