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Real Estate

Buying a second home for vacations

A trip to the beach or mountains may have you wondering about owning your own vacation home. And as it happened you’re not alone! An April 1st 2015 National Association of Realtors® press release estimated that vacation home sales bounced back to peak levels in 2014 with a massive 57.4 percent increase over 2013 sales! In contrast, during the same period there was an estimated 7.4 percent decrease in investment home sales, and an estimated 12.8 percent decrease in owner occupied home sales (realtor.org).

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Regular maintenance is a savvy move

The playwright Oscar Wilde must have been fond of the idiom “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing,” because he used it in back-to-back works; first in "The Picture of Dorian Gray," and then a variation in "Lady Windermere's Fan." Today, corrupted forms of Wilde’s phrase are wrongly attributed or misquoted – but the point is well made. More psychologist then poet, Wilde seemed to characterize a core consumer behavioral trait of seeking short term gain vs long term value.

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It’s a long way down to holiday road

Preparing your home for your summer vacation is much like preparing it for the winter or severe weather. Much of the plan is conventional wisdom and incorporates penny-pinching advice intended to prevent a potential hazard. The goal is to anticipate and minimize problems while you’re away by safeguarding the home’s systems and implementing a security plan.

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Looking forward to bursting a bubble

The March S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (spindices.com) was announced May 31st to reveal a 5.2 percent increase in home prices. Although down from last March’s 5.3 percent increase, home prices seem to be appreciating at a regular pace, with the metro areas of Portland, Seattle, and Denver leading the way with double digit gains (year-over-year price increases of 12.3 percent, 10.8 percent, 10.0 percent respectively).

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Curious political real estate relations

Elections have vastly changed in mood and intensity. It used to be that the candidates debated about substantive issues looking for win-win solutions, including housing. Maybe some of you remember how both the Clinton and Dole campaigns showcased their ideas of expanding the capital gains exemption during the 1996 election. Housing doesn’t seem to be a platform issue anymore. Elections have become divisive and nasty, even among the electorate; and for many Americans – the trending (real estate) election issue is – who is moving to Canada!

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Welcome my friends to the machine

Many erroneously describe Gordon Moore’s prediction as the doubling of computing power every two years. “Moore’s Law” is more accurately described as the doubling of transistors on a chip every two years. The point is that computer power is on a steep path of improvements; and the prediction has been accurate since Moore’s 1965 paper “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits” (Electronics; April 19, 1965). What does Moore’s Law have to do with real estate? Everything. Many industries have benefited as computer processing power increased – including real estate.

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Don't send buyers to the competition

Home sellers should be concerned about the reports of a tumbling luxury home market. The stalwart of the American real estate market since the recession (and possibly skewing home price indices) is showing signs of weakness. Leigh Kamping-Carder of the The Wall Street Journal reported that 50 percent more homes priced $5 million or more reduced prices during this past January, compared to January 2015 (More Luxury-Home Sellers Drop Their Asking Prices; wsj.com; April 12, 2016). Additionally, Kelsey Ramírez reported for HousingWire about a Redfin home price analysis that indicated weakened luxury home prices; the sector realized a 1.1 percent annual decrease during the first quarter of 2016 (Luxury home prices decrease for first time since 2012; housingwire.com; May3, 2016).

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Floreen's plan to increase your taxes

The legislative process encourages discourse for proposed legislation.  The result is a bill that is passed or defeated.  Regardless, proposed housing market and real estate legislation is not typically exciting; and in fact the minutia of the bill can be downright boring and/or confusing.  However, there are occasions when proposed legislation has the potential to affect home owners and buyers such that it can create a brouhaha.

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A seller's guide to this year's market

It’s that time of year again; the real estate market is getting hot along with the temperature. And that’s about the only thing most are able to predict about this year’s real estate market. Since the Great Recession, early forecasts about home buying and selling trends have typically missed the mark; the trends have varied, sometimes significantly, from year to year. Notwithstanding a very active season, many will be in for a surprise; some will be pleased about their home sale, while others not so much. And if you are selling a home, I’ve provided some tips to help you cope with this year’s housing market.

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