Category Archives: Blog

Real Estate Agents Mobilize to Shield Homeowners on Tax Plan

Source:  New York Times /


For decades, the real estate industry has benefited from generous tax deductions that raise home values by making it cheaper for people to own property and shoulder their local taxes. Now, as the Republican tax plan makes its way through Congress, the industry is worried that the fallout will harm its business by making homeownership less valuable.

Around the country, real estate organizations are calling legislators, warning clients about their future tax bills and staging protests, all in an effort to keep homeowners as a favored class in the tax code. “We don’t consider ourselves to be Republicans or Democrats,” said Linda Jay, chief executive of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors in central California. “We are the Realtor party.”

Last week, Ms. Jay and other agents congregated in front of the local office of Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, holding signs and chanting, “Save homeownership.”

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Getting the House Ready for Winter

Source:  NY Times / 


This fall has been a balmy one, but winter is coming. For homeowners living in colder climates, the waning hours of daylight signal the time to start readying the home for snowy days and bitter nights ahead.

Like a car, a home needs a regular tuneup: Heating systems need maintenance, chimneys need sweeping and windows need caulking. But keep on top of the hefty to-do list, and the chores become a routine you dutifully follow every year.

“When it starts getting a little cold, we go into gear,” said Jenet Levy, 60, who has lived in a three-bedroom townhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, with her husband, Rory Levy, 61, for 23 years.

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U.S. home sales to foreigners surge 49% to new record

  @AlannaPetroff


Foreigners are getting serious about “Buying American” real estate.

The National Association of Realtors released a report Tuesday that said foreign buyers and recent immigrants spent an estimated $153 billion on American properties in the year ending March 2017. That was a 49% increase over the previous year and the highest level since record-keeping began in 2009.

The purchases accounted for 10% of the total value of existing home sales in the U.S. The report did not include new homes.

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Home prices are sky high, but mortgages are still cheap

Source:  CNN /   @KathrynVasel   June 23, 2017: 10:31 AM ET


Cities across the U.S. are facing major housing shortages, which means buyers have to compete for homes with bidding wars and offers well above asking price.

“Prices are moving up and properties are moving quickly,” said Danielle Hale, NAR’s managing director of housing research.

Builders aren’t building enough houses to keep up with demand and current homeowners are hesitant to list their properties because they’re worried they won’t be able to buy a new home.

Cities across the U.S. are facing major housing shortages, which means buyers have to compete for homes with bidding wars and offers well above asking price. “Prices are moving up and properties are moving quickly,” said Danielle Hale, NAR’s managing director of housing research. Builders aren’t building enough houses to keep up with demand and current homeowners are hesitant to list their properties because they’re worried they won’t be able to buy a new home.

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Real estate CEO: Record-low housing inventory is ‘freaking us out’

Source:  CNBC


The number of homes for sale in America has been falling steadily for the past year, but the situation is apparently getting much worse as spring demand heats up.

“The inventory is reaching historic lows. It’s never declined faster than it did last month. It’s freaking us out — it’s affecting our business; it’s limiting our sales,” said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Seattle-based Redfin, a real estate firm. “We’re going to be fine in terms of market share, but I think the overall industry for the first time is seeing sales volume really limited by the inventory crunch.”

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Eight Simple Ways To Become A Trusted Real Estate Professional

Source:  Forbes


The success of any real estate business depends primarily on the trust and relationships it can build with its customers. Unfortunately, this is not always easy, as too many people generally have a negative opinion of real estate agents. It is estimated that roughly 67.5% of Americans don’t trust real estate agents, with the highest levels of distrust reported among people under the age of 44, according to a Choice Home Warranty survey. The results are backed by the findings of a Gallup poll regarding the honesty and ethical standards of different professions, where only 20% of respondents rated real estate agents’ honesty as high and very high.

Below, eight members of Forbes Real Estate Council offer their advice on how to build trust with your clients as a real estate professional, from making sure you provide the best customer service possible to being genuine, communicating openly and always having your clients’ interests in mind.

Life is good for U.S. home sellers

Source:  CNN Money /   @KathrynVasel  April 27, 2017: 9:29 AM ET


Homeowners who sold in the first three months of this year saw an average price gain of $44,000 from purchase, according to a report from Attom Data Solutions released Thursday. That’s the highest gain since 2007.

“I am guessing we will see it get even better before it gets worse,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom. “If you are considering moving this spring, it could be a really good time to sell.”

Cities with robust local economies have seen strong price growth during the housing market’s recovery. Low housing supply has helped push up prices to create competitive markets where bidding wars and above-asking price sales are common.

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This Italian village is offering $2,175 in cash and $50 rents if you move there

Source  , USATODAY  Published 10:13 a.m. ET May 10, 2017 | Updated 1:37 p.m. ET May 10, 2017


Has the razza del ratto (rat race) got you down? Is life too febbrile (hectic) where you live?

But are you worried you don’t have enough contanti (cash) to live a more peaceful life?

Then you might be interested in the Italian hillside village of Bormida, which is about to offer a payment of €2,000 ($2,175) and rents as low as $50 a month to reverse its declining population.

Bormida, located in the mountainous Liguria region – Genoa, about 50 miles away, is the nearest big city – had declined to 390 residents in 2014, when the current mayor, Daniele Galliano, took office, according to the local Il Secolo XIX newspaper.

Spurred by visions of a ghost town, Galliano began measures to reverse the decay.

Now the population is 394, which may not seem much of a success until you consider that 54 people have either died or moved away against just four births

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$850,000 homes in Indiana, Louisiana and California

Source:  New York Times

Michigan City, Ind.

WHAT A 2007 home with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms

HOW MUCH $859,000

SIZE 2,325 square feet

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT $369

SETTING This low-slung house sits on a quiet lot about a mile from Lake Michigan and its beaches. It is about six miles from the center of Michigan City, which has a population of about 31,000 people and is currently undergoing a revitalization that includes the development of an arts district. It is about 70 miles east of Chicago.

INDOORS Designed by the Chicago-based architecture firm Brininstool & Lynch, the house has a screen of red cedar slats on the exterior and concrete floors with radiant heating throughout. The front door opens into a nook clad in horizontal red cedar boards with a built-in bench and fireplace. The cedar paneling wraps around to a kitchen equipped with gray Arclinea cabinets, Carrara marble counters and backsplash, a Sub-Zero fridge, a Wolf oven and microwave and a KitchenAid cooktop. There is a separate walk-in pantry.

The kitchen is open to the living and dining area, an expansive space with a wall of sliding glass doors that offers views of the property; on one end is a large screened-in porch. Three bedrooms with oversize windows look out to the forest on the other side of the house, and each has an en-suite bathroom with honed soapstone counters and walk-in showers tiled in slate. The master suite is the largest, with two walls of windows and a double bathroom vanity.

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WSJ: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ Onetime Home Asks $9.75 Million

A Washington, D.C., home that housed Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the period shortly after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, is listing for $9.75 million.

Built in the 1790s, the roughly 7,000-square-foot Federal-style brick house has six bedrooms and staff quarters, according to listing agents Nancy Taylor Bubes and Jamie Peva of Washington Fine Properties. Its three stories can be accessed by an elevator, and a cupola at the top of the house offers views of the Potomac River.

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Source:  Wall Street Journal