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Top 5 A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

A+ reasons

Some Highlights:

  • Hiring a real estate professional to buy your dream home, or sell your current house, is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make!
  • A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process.
  • Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions & can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family!
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Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell?

Your children have finally moved out and you and your spouse now live alone in a four-bedroom colonial (or a similar type of house). You have two choices to make:

  1. Remodel your house to fit your current lifestyle and needs
  2. Sell your house and purchase the perfect home

Based on the record of dollars spent on remodeling and renovations, it appears that many homeowners are deciding on number one. But, is that the best long-term solution?

If you currently live in a 3-4-bedroom home, you probably bought it at a time when your children were the major consideration in determining family housing needs. Along with a large home, you more than likely also considered school district, the size of the property and the makeup of other families living in the neighborhood (example: you wanted a block with other kids your children could play with and a backyard large enough to accommodate that).

Remodeling your home to meet your current needs might mean combining two bedrooms to make one beautiful master suite and changing another bedroom into the massive walk-in closet you always wanted. However, if you live in a neighborhood that historically attracts young families, you may be dramatically undermining the value of your house by cutting down the number of bedrooms and making it less desirable to the typical family moving onto your block.

And, according to a recent study, you will recoup only 64.4% of a remodeling project’s investment dollars if you sell in the future.

Your home is probably at its highest value as it stands right now. Instead of remodeling your house, it may make better financial sense to sell your current home and purchase a home that was built specifically to meet your current lifestyle and desires.

In many cases, this well-designed home will give you exactly what you want in less square footage (read...

Number of Buyers Putting Down Less Than 10% Hits 7-Year High

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According to Black Knight Financial Service’s Mortgage Monitor Report, 1.5 million Americans have purchased a home with down payments under than 10% over the last 12 months. This is great news for buyers as this marks a 7-year high.

Many mortgage programs offered by agencies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allow buyers to put down as low as 3% to purchase their dream homes. The strength of the housing market has aided buyers who used low-down-payment programs to buy. As a recent CNBC article points out,

“Defaults on recent low down payment loans, so far, are slow, but that is as much a factor of the good credit quality as it is the strength of the housing market. Home prices are rising incredibly fast, meaning those borrowers are gaining equity in their homes quickly.”

Low down payments aren’t just great for first-time homebuyers. These programs have allowed homeowners who want to capitalize on the equity they have in their homes to use the profit from their sale to pay off high-interest credit cards, fund education or even start a business.

According to a new Census Report, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, home equity was used to start 7.3% of all businesses in the United States, which equates to over 284,000!...

Where Are Home Prices Heading in The Next 5 Years?

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey:

Home values will appreciate by 5.0% over the course of 2017, 4.0% in 2018, 3.2% in 2019, 3.0% in 2020, and 3.0% in 2021. That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.64% over the next 5 years.

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Global Forgiveness Day

forgiveness in the sand

Global Forgiveness Day began in 1994 in Vancouver, Canada. Today is all about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about anyone else but yourself. A weight is lifted off your chest when you sincerely forgive yourself and others after conflict occurs. Forgiveness is for you and your mind and heart.

If you haven’t already, make this day of forgiveness an impactful day and forgive this year. No one wants to live with a heavy heart. Let yourself forgive and you will feel a boost in your attitude and mindset.

Ways to display your forgiveness:

  • Send flowers with a message (highly recommended local florist is Flora Couture located at 9516 W. Flamingo Rd Ste 130 Las Vegas, NV 89147. Give them a call to create your next flower arrangement! 702-221-1220) 
  • Send a card with a handwritten letter attached 
  • Cook someone their favorite dish and invite them over to talk over dinner 
  • Give someone a call (instead of texting) and let them know that you have forgiven them. 


The Possible Benefits That Can Come from The Act of Forgiveness:

  • Lessened Anxiety
  • Happier Disposition 
  • Healthy Relationships 
  • Overall Better Sense of Well Being 
  • Lower Blood Pressure 
  • Heightened Spiritual Awareness 


Check out this Huffington Post article to read more about the ...

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750

The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today’s market.

One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that many millennials have not yet considered purchasing homes simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

A recent article about millennials by Realtor.com explained that:

“About 72% of aspiring millennial buyers said they’re waiting because they can’t afford to buy…”

The article also explained that 29% of millennials believe their credit scores are too low to buy.The problem here is the fact that they think they will be denied a mortgage is keeping them from even attempting to apply.

Ellie Mae’s Vice President Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they won’t qualify for a mortgage:

“Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO® Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”

So, what credit score is necessary?

Below is a breakdown of the FICO® Score distribution of all closed (approved) loans in July from Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report.

fico score chart

Over 52% of all approved loans had a FICO®...

Home Prices Up 6.64% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC]

home prices up chart

Some Highlights:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more!
  • Alaska & West Virginia were the only states where home prices are lower than they were last year.
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Study: FSBOs Don’t Save Real Estate Commission

fsbo house

One of the main reasons why For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) don’t use a real estate agent is because they believe they will save the commission an agent charges for getting their house on the market and selling it. A new study by Collateral Analytics, however, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)

Why would FSBOs net less money than if they used an agent?

The study makes several suggestions:

“There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids on with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.

“Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing...

Want to Keep up with the Joneses? Now’s the Time

Does your current house fit your needs? Does it seem like everyone else is moving up and moving on to more luxurious surroundings? Are you wondering what it would take to start living your dream life?

Market conditions around the country have presented an opportunity like no other for those who are looking to make the jump to a premium or luxury home.

The National Association of Realtors reports that national inventory levels are now at a 4.3-month supply. A normal market, where prices appreciate with inflation, has 6-7-months inventory. The national market has echoed the conditions felt in the starter and trade-up markets as inventory has declined year-over-year for 25 consecutive months.

The chart below shows the relationship between the inventory of homes for sale and prices.

monthly inventory chart

According to Trulia’s latest Inventory Report, the inventory of homes for sale in the two lower priced markets has dropped by double digit percentages over the last 12 months (16% for starter and 13% for trade-up homes). While the inventory of homes in the premium home category has dropped by only 4%.

This has created a seller’s market in the lower-priced markets, as 54% of homes were on the market for less than a month in the last Realtors Confidence Index, and a buyer’s market in the luxury market, where homes were on the market for an average of 160 days according to the ...

More Boomerang Buyers Are about to Enter the Market

We previously informed you about a study conducted by TransUnion titled, “The Bubble, the Burst and Now – What Happened to the Consumer? The study revealed that 1.5 million homeowners who were negatively impacted by the housing crisis could re-enter the housing market between 2016-2019.

Recently, HousingWire analyzed data from the US Bankruptcy Courts and revealed that 6 million Americans will have their bankruptcies disappear off their credit reports over the next five years and that this could “possibly send a flood of more homebuyers into the housing market.”

The chart below shows the total number of bankruptcies filed by year in the US over the last 10 years. The light blue bars represent over 3.3 million people who have already waited the 7 years necessary for their reports to no longer include their bankruptcies.

boomerang chart

How would this “send a flood of more homebuyers into the housing market”?

As the article mentioned, in 2010 the number of chapter 7 bankruptcies increased to nearly 1.14 million. Now, 7 years later, they will begin to fade from credit histories, enabling prospective buyers to become homeowners again once their credit scores improve.

As we can see from both reports, the homeownership rate has the opportunity to increase drastically over the next few years with all of these boomerang buyers returning to the market.

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Why Is It Important to Use a Professional to Sell Your Home?

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the first step that “…44% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.

However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers who reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process....

Taking On a Fixer Upper

fixer upper house

Are you in the market looking to purchase a fixer-upper? That’s awesome! Just make sure you are prepared for all the work that can potentially need to go into this type of house. Buying a diamond in the rough is exactly what a homeowner is looking for at times and other times they don’t realize what they are getting themselves into.

A few things to get you started if you are deciding to buy a fixer upper are:

1. Examine all the things that need repaired and figure out which of them you can take care of yourself. Can you re paint the kitchen walls? Will you need assistance with the electrical work needing to be done?

2. For all the repairs needing to be done by an outside professional, calculate the estimated cost before you decide to make an offer on the house.

3. Just like a house in normal condition, hiring an inspector to come take a look at your potential fixer upper purchase is a great idea. They will be able to uncover much more in the structure, electrical, and plumbing areas of the house.

4. Remember to include your inspection contingencies into your offer. This way the sellers are given the options to either do the repairs themselves or give you cash in the amount that the repairs will cost you, when you close.

Buying a fixer upper is not for everyone and you should be sure you have the time, the finances, and the effort to put into a project like this. Your fixer upper is only what you make of it.

Another good idea to help you during the...

To Stage…or Not to Stage? That Is the Question! [INFOGRAPHIC]

to stage or not to stage graphic

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their Annual Profile of Home Staging.
  • 50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers.
  • 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.
  • The top rooms to stage to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.
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58% of Homeowners See a Drop in Home Values Coming

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According to the recently released Modern Homebuyer Survey from ValueInsured, 58 percent of homeowners think there will be a “housing bubble and price correction” within the next 2 years.

After what transpired just ten years ago, we can understand the concern Americans have about the current increase in home prices. However, this market has very little in common with what happened last decade.

The two major causes of the housing crash were:

  1. A vast oversupply of housing inventory caused by home builders building at a pace that far exceeded historical norms.
  2. Lending standards that were so relaxed that unqualified buyers could easily obtain financing thus enabling them to purchase a home.

Today, housing inventory is at a 20-year low with new construction starts well below historic norms and financing a home is anything but simple in the current mortgage environment. The elements that precipitated the housing crash a decade ago do not exist in today’s real estate market.

The current increase in home prices is the result of a standard economic equation: when demand is high and supply is low, prices rise.

If you are one of the 58% of homeowners who are concerned about home values depreciating over the next two years and are hesitant to move up to the home of your dreams, take comfort in the latest Home Price Expectation Survey.

Once a quarter, a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market...

National Tell a Joke Day

child laughing

You think you’re funny? You can find out on this humorous, 16th day of August. On this day, we celebrate national tell a joke day. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to joke telling. To help you figure out where your joke telling strengths come from, we have put together a quick list of ways to tell jokes and a description of each method…. 

1. One-liner jokes: These are usually more of remarks or quick incomplete sentences. This type of joke can either silence the crowd or have everyone in the group rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL). 

2. Knock-knock jokes: This is perfect to use when you want to guarantee group interaction. No one wants to hear crickets after you’ve said a one liner. 

3. Full comedic act: This can be used when you love being in the spotlight. You should know how to sum up a long story into a less than 3-minute skit. Someone who is comfortable with all eyes on them is the person who should use this joke method. 

Jokes are intended to make people happy and to make them laugh until their stomachs hurt. Laughter is the best medicine.  

Las Vegas is one of the best places in the world for comedy. We are home to tons of popular comedians that know how to entertain their audiences. While there are numerous comedy shows to catch in Las Vegas, a few popular headliners are: 

Sellers: Your Home is an Oasis in an Inventory Desert

oasis scene

First-time homebuyers are flocking to the real estate market by the thousands to find their dream homes in order to make their dreams of homeownership a reality. Unfortunately for many, the inventory of starter and trade-up homes in the US has struggled to keep up with demand!

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale dropped 7.1% year-over-year to a 4.3-month supply and is down for the 25th consecutive month.

Some homeowners may be hesitant to list their homes for sale because they are worried that they will also have a problem finding a home to buy and move in to. This is a legitimate concern; no one wants to sell their home quickly and not have anywhere to live.

But there is good news! If you are thinking of moving up to a luxury or premium home, there is more inventory available in these markets and you may even get a great deal on a home that has been on the market for a while.

If you are the owner of a starter home and you are looking to move into a trade-up home, or if you are just looking to relocate to a new area in a home of the same size, there is still hope!

In many markets, homeowners are building contingency plans into their contracts. This means that the homeowner builds in extra time before they close in order to find their dream home and they are upfront about the contingency with any buyers who come to see the house.

Your home is an oasis to buyers who are searching for homes in today’s market. The right buyers will sympathize and wait for you and your family to find your next home.

Bottom Line

Don’t let the fear of not finding a home...

Homes Are Selling Quickly Nationwide

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report, which revealed that homes were on the market for an average of 28 days in June. This is a slight increase from the 27 days reported in May, but down from 34 days reported a year ago.

54% of homes across the country were on the market for less than a month in June!

Among the 27 states with homes selling in 30 days or less are Washington, Utah, California, and Colorado. The map below was created using results from NAR’s Monthly Realtors Confidence Index Survey.

average day on market map

Bottom Line

Buyer demand is increasing as the inventory of homes available for sale remains low. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, let’s meet up so I can help you take advantage of current market conditions!

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Homeowner’s Net Worth Is Still Greater Than a Renter’s

fish pic

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

The latest survey data, covering 2014-2016 will be released later this year. In the meantime, Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist estimates that the gap has widened even further, to 45 times greater ($225,000 vs. $5,000)!

Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You

As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 84% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision....

Hiring an Inspector For Your New Construction Home

inspection checklist

The majority of real estate professionals will suggest hiring an inspector before purchasing your new construction home. The potential disaster you may face in the future, is not worth the couple hundred dollars you will save if you don't hire an inspector.

The amount of money that you could spend on repairs can be up to 5 times the amount an inspector would have cost you.

Some items that an inspector would be able to spot in your new construction home:

  • Proper installation of your roof.
  • Check that the plumbing and electrical were properly installed.
  • Checking for insulation in your walls.

You can ask for multiple inspections to take place including a final walk through inspection. This is the time that your inspector can take the opportunity to teach you about your new construction home. You should have a list of questions prepared to ask your inspector. Your inspector should be able to tell you things to prepare for such as home maintenance that you’ll need to have done down the road. 

Not reading your inspection report is one of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make. Skimming the surface of the inspection report will not do you or your home any good. If needed, the report will lay out the repairs and potential issues in detail for you to understand.

That is why you should take the time to fully read and comprehend what the inspection report is telling you. This way you know...

What States Give You the Most ‘Bang for Your Buck’? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Thinking of moving across the country? How far will your money take you?
  • The majority of states in the Midwest and South offer a lower cost of living compared to Northeast and Western states.
  • The ‘Biggest Bang for your Buck’ comes in Mississippi where, compared to the national average, you can actually purchase $115.34 worth of goods for $100.
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