Big Predictions for Housing for Next 2 Years


Big Predictions for Housing for Next 2 Years

Home sales are projected to post some big gains in the next two years, according to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly economic outlook.

Fannie Mae economists predict that existing-home sales will rise by 10.5 percent this year, and by 6.2 percent in 2014. The economists made even bolder projections for new single-family home sales — growing 15.1 percent this year and 44.1 percent in 2014.

“We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, continuing to boost household net worth, gradually diminishing the population of underwater borrowers, and reducing incentive for strategic defaults,” according to Fannie Mae’s report.

Fannie Mae projects that mortgage rates will stay low by historical averages this year, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise from an average of 3.5 percent during the first quarter to an average of 4 percent during the final three months of 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2014, mortgage rates are projected to tick up to a 4.5 percent average.

Mortgage applications for purchases are projected to increase by 16.8 percent this year and by 17.1 percent in 2014. However, a decline in applications for refinancing will likely cause mortgage originations to be down 14.5 percent this year and by 31.4 percent in 2014, Fannie economists predict.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or phone me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com

Roland

source: REALTOR Magazine

 

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Investing in Real Estate Is Back In Style


Investing in Real Estate Is Back In Style

With the real estate bubble clearly behind us, many people are again thinking of investing in real estate for rental properties.  Even with its ups and downs, real estate remains one of the best investments for the long term anyone can make.  That being said, I always advise people thinking of investing in real estate to talk to a tax professional who can give you the information you need.

If you are thinking of investing in real estate, now might be the best time to jump in.  Interest rates are still extremely low and there are great bargains on the market.  I will caution you though, that in some markets, inventory of homes is very low which is causing the price of homes to go up.  Even still, the market is still a great time to buy.

If you have real estate rental property, or are thinking of getting some, here are some tips to help make it a financial success.  Remember, a good tenant is your best asset, not the property.

 

1. Respond quickly to complaints about noise or reports of criminal activity, such as drug dealing.

If you have specific rules about noise, enforce them. If you are aware of any crimes taking place on your rental property, take action immediately. Evict drug dealers; consult your attorney if you need help, or consider hiring a property management company that includes evictions in its services. If drug dealing is happening on a nearby property that is not owned by you, work with neighbors, the property owner, and the police.

2. Schedule maintenance and repairs at times convenient to your tenants, and let them know in advance.

Minimize the impact of repairs and maintenance by scheduling them at the times your renters are least likely to be around, typically between 9 and 5, Monday through Friday. Let your tenants know in advance when repair work is being done, and why. Consider the safety and security of your tenants while the work is taking place (for example, if a tenant’s parking spot will be unavailable during repairs, provide another). After the work is finished, send a thank you note.

3. Provide designated parking spots and enforce parking rules.

Having a parking spot with a short walking distance to home is very important for many tenants. Assign parking spots and enforce parking rules. Send warning letters to tenants who break the rules and have their cars towed if they ignore your warning. Also, make sure you have well-marked and sufficient guest parking.

4. Follow through on repair requests and other commitments.

It’s simple: do what you say you’ll do. Recognize that all tenants want their repairs handled promptly, efficiently, and predictably. And remember that many tenants are “renters by choice“. They prefer to rent rather than own partly because they want someone else to be responsible for repairs. Have a repair and maintenance process that helps you consistently meet or exceed tenant expectations.

5. Give your tenants advance notice of upcoming inconveniences that you’re aware of.

Warn tenants about unexpected inconveniences that will be taking place near their home, such as road closures or a planned power outage.  Consider sending out a newsletter, email, or a quick text message informing your tenants, so they have an opportunity to prepare or change their plans. You can also keep tenants updated using a Facebook or Twitter account.

6. Understand that your tenants want to feel safe at home.

Make sure that any outdoor areas used by tenants at night (such as a parking areas, paths, and entries) are well-lit. Keep foliage trimmed, and fences low. Stay on top of repairs. Arrange for a safety and security survey a couple of times a year, and let your tenants know when you’ve made improvements. Also consider giving your tenants some safety guidelines when they move in.

7. Make sure all of your tenants follow the House Rules.

Good tenants are good neighbors. In return, they want the same consideration. They will follow the rules you have developed for your rental property, as long as they are reasonable. All of your tenants should read and sign a copy of your rules when they execute the lease. Explain to your tenants that the rules will be enforced. Consider eviction for serious violations.

8. Consider allowing pets; and if you do allow pets, make sure owners clean up after them!

Tenant retention has been shown to improve if you allow pets, and certainly there are some great tenants out there who are also animal lovers. If you do allow tenants to keep pets, require them to clean up after them in the lease and require them to keep them on a leash when outside the rental unit. Provide “doggy bags” and garbage cans close by. If any tenants are not complying with your pet policy, issue a written warning. If that doesn’t work, ask them to remove the pet from the rental.

9. Be polite, courteous, and professional.

Recognize that being a landlord requires you to have great customer service skills. Never complain about your job or personal life. When the phone rings and the call is from a tenant who is paying you thousands of dollars a year, politely ask how you can be of assistance, no matter how bad your day is going.

10. Create opportunities to appreciate your good tenants.

I have read that you have to thank someone seven times before they really feel appreciated. I’m not suggesting that you maintain a spreadsheet tracking your appreciative words, but you should say “thank you” or send thank-you cards when appropriate. Gestures such as these go a long way in making your good tenants feel welcome and appreciated.

Good tenants know they are good tenants, and they expect to be treated that way. It’s worth the extra effort to keep them–they pay their rent on time, they maintain your property well, and they’re generally pleasant to deal with. If you are reliable, professional, and courteous, they will be too.

I will add one additional suggestion.  If you are thinking of buying or selling talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.  If you are thinking of investing in real estate, partnering with a REALTOR can be a great step in your success.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Study: Buying a Home Is 44% Cheaper Than Renting


Study: Buying a Home Is 44% Cheaper Than Renting

The recent rises in asking prices has been outpacing the increases in rents, but home buying still may make more financial sense, a new study shows. Owning a house was found to be 44 percent cheaper than renting, according to the latest study from Trulia that compared the costs of the two.

The study found that owning is less than half the cost of renting in 46 of the 100 largest metros. “Buying a home is cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metro areas,” according to Trulia.

Falling mortgage rates are helping to keep home buying more affordable; But depending on where you live, the difference between owning versus renting can be big or small. For example, in San Francisco, home ownership was found to be 19 percent cheaper than renting, whereas in Detroit owning a house is 70 percent cheaper than renting.

Interest rates remain extremely low and this may be the best time to buy a home in several decades before home prices start to climb.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the answers you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

source: Trulia and REALTOR Magazine

Homebuilding Soars to Highest Level in 4 Years


Homebuilding Soars to Highest Level in 4 Years

Housing starts surged in February as well as future permits for future construction to the highest levels since 2008 — a sign that the new-home market is picking up steam just in time for the spring buying season, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Overall housing starts rose 0.8 percent in February to a 917,000 annual rate. Single-family housing starts, which make up the biggest bulk of that total, reached their highest level since June 2008. Meanwhile, multifamily starts rose 1.4 percent in February to 299,000 units.

“Demand for new homes and apartments is definitely rising as the spring buying season approaches and more young people move out on their own,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “Builders are responding to this improved demand by putting more crews back to work and pulling more permits for future construction, though this positive activity is being constrained by continuing issues with appraisals and credit availability for both builders and buyers, and also by newly arising challenges such as lot shortages and increased costs for labor and materials.”

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the answers  you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com

Roland

 

Source: National Association of Home Builders and REALTOR Magazine