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Real Estate

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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It's all about the subtext now baby

“Buyers are liars” is a saying that many real estate agents seem to verbalize when things don’t work out with a home buyer. It’s an insulting false aphorism that is proclaimed as an attempt to shift all responsibility by saying that the buyer was deceptive and did not cooperate. And when things fall apart with home sellers, the same agents won’t take responsibility and start hurling insults such as whacko, ignorant, or greedy. Of course, if the relationship becomes contentious, then you can imagine that the name calling becomes increasingly harsh.

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Real life confessions in real estate

When asked about their real estate agent, consumers logically list characteristics such as savvy, sharp, and knowledgeable. Some may even describe their agent as efficient, or someone who made the process easy for them.  These descriptions usually attest to the agent’s business acumen and typically focus on the agent’s ability to market a home and/or negotiate a contract. However, one trait that is often overlooked is “authenticity.” 

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Hopeless romantics lost in real estate

Realtors® are guilty of romanticizing, if not glorifying, buying and selling a home. And it’s probably true for many, that initial thoughts of buying or selling a home (and everything that goes along with it) are sanguine. And yet, shortly after they are faced with details of the move, many are hit with the reality that the process is full of potential pitfalls and setbacks. Buying and selling a home can be a confusing endeavor, that can become overwhelming if you’re not mentally prepared.

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And now the inevitable market freeze

Two seemingly mundane and unrelated news items were reported over the last couple of days without much attention, but could be a warning that housing activity is slowing. First are reports of disappointing home sales during February, while the other is about mortgage principal write downs.

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Know your roof and other projects

People often ask why I frequently talk about home maintenance, and specifically the importance of maintaining the roof. The reason is simple; many issues can develop with an improperly maintained or neglected roof. Besides allowing water to penetrate directly into the inside of your home from a leaky roof, water can also penetrate a basement when the roof and gutters are not properly directing water away from the foundation.

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Ignoring housing during elections

During the 2012 presidential election, housing seemed to take a back seat as the real estate market was still emerging from a foreclosure crisis and recession just four years earlier.  Fast forward to today and homeownership is hovering near a 30-year low; homeownership is out of reach to many due to tightened mortgage qualifying and increasing home prices; while Americans’ incomes are being squeezed by rising rents.

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