5 Errors Home Shoppers Should Avoid!!!

Real estate professionals say they keep seeing buyers make the same mistakes over and over again in a home purchase. Among some of the common errors they see:

  • Unrealistic time tables: With a regular sale, “assuming you’re preapproved and it’s straightforward, you can probably do it in 30 days, but 45 is more common,” says Ron Phipps, immediate past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. But he advises home buyers to prepare for 45 to 60 days. And if it’s a foreclosure property, they may encounter lien and title issues that could cause delays stretching that to 60 to 75 days, even up to 90 days. And for short sales, that timeframe will greatly depend on whether the lenders have already agreed to it and a preset price, but it could take anywhere from 45 days to even up to nine months, Phipps says.

 

  • Ignorance with financing: Home buyers should learn more about the mortgage process, learn the terminology, and know what questions to ask in shopping around for the best mortgage rate. For example, Carolyn Warren, author of “Homebuyers Beware,” cautions buyers to never tell a lender, “This is my first time, and I don’t know how it all works — and I need you to guide me through the process,” she says. “It’s like putting a sign on your forehead that says, ‘Charge me more.’”

 

  •  “Trash talking” when negotiating: If the home is painted pink and the buyer insists it needs to be repainted, he could risk jeopardizing negotiations. Instead, Phipps suggests that when making an offer, buyers should stress what they like about the home. “Don’t make it adversarial,” he says. A price reduction should be talked about in terms of what the home is worth to that buyer, he says.

 

  • Getting in over their heads: Buyers may be tempted to stretch their budget in order to get the house of their dreams. Phipps suggests buyers don’t stretch themselves so thin that they miss out on having a reserve fund in case they need to make any unexpected repairs once they move in. “In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

 

  • No Reserve Fund:  After finally finding that “dream home,” what buyer isn’t tempted to stretch as far as possible — and drain all available savings — just to make the numbers work? It’s one of the big homebuyer mistakes, Phipps says.Often, buyers fall in love with a property, and they try to rationalize the decision, he says. “You need to be disciplined about it.”Too often, buyers set a price range and then fall in love with something that costs more. So they figure they’ll borrow the difference, Phipps says.But you need a reserve fund — something you hold back to address unexpected problems, like the refrigerator that quits in mid-July, or the “like-new” water heater that dies the day after you move in. Or the realization — after seeing the neighbors sunbathing once too often — that you need a privacy fence, pronto.”In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/5-errors-home-shoppers-should-avoid

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The 10 ‘Emptiest’ Housing Markets

Empty homes still plague a lot of cities across the country. In fact, since 2000, vacant properties have risen by about 43 percent nationwide, according to Census Bureau data. (Homes are defined as vacant by “unoccupied rental inventory” or homes unoccupied that are for-sale.) 

Vacant properties can affect home values nearby. For example, a study earlier this year found that a vacant home has the potential to decrease the value of nearby homes by at least 1.3 percent, according to the Cleveland Federal Reserve. In higher income neighborhoods, the impact can be even more drastic—possibly lowering nearby home prices by 4.6 percent. In low poverty areas, each additional vacant or tax delinquent home was found to reduce values of surrounding properties by between 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent.

The following are the six cities with the largest home owner and rental vacancies based on the last 12 months: 

 

1. Orlando, Fla.
Home owner vacancy rate: 2.2%
Rental vacancy rate: 18.8% 

The emptiest city in the United States is Orlando, Fla. The 12-month average for rental vacancies stands at a staggering 18.8 percent, while in the first quarter of 2012 this number was 22 percent, highest in the nation. Florida’s third largest city also has an above-average homeowner vacancy rate, but this metric has been rising during the past two quarters, according to Census Bureau data. Despite its housing woes, Orlando has been able to avoid the financial woes of other cities, such as Harrisburg, Pa., and San Bernardino and Stockton, California.

 

2. Dayton, Ohio
Home owner vacancy rate: 5.4%
Rental vacancy rate: 11.3%

The good news is that Dayton’s homeowner vacancy rate has been trending downward since its peak in the third quarter of 2011, when it stood at 6.5 percent. However, even this improving number gives Dayton the distinction of having the highest average homeowner vacancy rate in the country, according to the Census Data. And Dayton’s average rental vacancy rate, at 11.3 percent, is higher than the 75 city average of 9.2 percent. The Census Bureau calculations put Dayton’s gross vacancy rate at 16.9 percent, more than 6 percent above the large city average, and the highest in the country.

 

3. Memphis, Tenn.
Home owner vacancy rate: 3.1%
Rental vacancy rate: 15%

Memphis’s proportion of vacant homes, both owned and rentals, puts it third overall, thanks to an average rental vacancy rate of 15 percent that is the fifth highest in the nation and the 3.1 percent homeowner vacancy rate that ranks 13th.

 

4. Detroit
Home owner vacancy rate: 1.7%
Rental vacancy rate: 16.9%

Detroit was one of the hardest hit cities in the recession, and with an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent as of May, it’s little wonder that its 16.9 percent rental vacancy rate is the second highest in the country. Surprisingly, though, the homeowner vacancy rate remains below the 75 largest metro area’s average of 2.18 percent. According to the Census Bureau, at the end of 2011, Detroit had a gross vacancy rate of 12.2 percent, a level the city has virtually maintained since 2006.

 

5. Richmond, Va.
Home owner vacancy rate: 2.4%
Rental vacancy rate: 15.1%

With a rental vacancy rate of 15.1 percent, Virginia’s capital ranks fourth among all major U.S. cities for empty rentals over the past year, with the first quarter of 2012 showing a 19 percent rental vacancy rate. However, Richmond’s homeowner vacancy rate ranks only 27th among the country’s 75 largest metro areas, and stands just 0.2 percent higher than the average for large metro areas.

 

6. Las Vegas
Home owner vacancy rate: 3.9%
Rental vacancy rate: 11.9% 

Over the past five years, the Las Vegas housing market has experienced one of the country’s most dramatic boom-and-bust cycles. The city continues to feel the pain. At the end of 2011, Las Vegas ranked second in the country for gross vacancy rates, at 16 percent, and currently has an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent. In the past 12 months, Las Vegas’ rental vacancy rates have dropped from a high of 13.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to a low of 11 percent in the first quarter of 2012, the most recent number available. Although Las Vegas remains one of the most vacant U.S. cities, homeowner vacancies are a bright spot, dropping from 5.5 percent over the past year to 2.3 percent in the most recent quarter.

 

7. Atlanta
Homeowner vacancy rate: 4.2 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 11.3 percent

Atlanta’s average homeowner vacancy rate is the third-highest among major U.S. cities, standing at 4.2 percent. Fortunately for Atlanta, the rate has been dropping since early 2011, when it stood at 5.4 percent. The trend for rental vacancies has been worse for Atlanta, however, rising from 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 12.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

 

8. Houston
Homeowner vacancy rate: 1.9 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 15.5 percent

Houston is home to the nation’s third-highest rental vacancy rate over the past 12 months, standing at 15.5 percent. The city hit a three-year high for rental vacancies in 2009, when the rate rose to 18.4 percent in the third quarter of that year, according to Census Bureau data. However, Houston’s homeowner vacancy rate has been recovering, dropping below the average for the 75 largest cities for the past three quarters to as low as 1.1 percent at the end of 2011.

 

9. Tampa, Fla.
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.2 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 12.8 percent

It’s no secret that the Florida real estate market has seen better times — and the situation in Tampa appears to be getting worse. In May, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure activity in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area rose by nearly 111 percent from May 2011, with one home in every 304 in foreclosure. The rental vacancy market has been following this downward trend, with the rental vacancy rate going up or remaining flat every quarter since the beginning of 2011.

 

10. Toledo, Ohio
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.8 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 11.5 percent

Of the 75 largest U.S. cities in the first quarter of 2012, Toledo recorded the highest rate for homeowner vacancies, at 5.6 percent. However, in three of the past four quarters listed by the Census Bureau, that rate has hovered between 3 and 3.6 percent, significantly bringing down the city’s 12 month average, and its overall ranking in this list. Regardless, the 3.8 percent 12 month average still ranks Toledo as the fifth highest in the country for homeowner vacancies alone.

Article fromhttp://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/the-10-emptiest-housing-markets?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Top 10 Cities for ‘Social Seekers’

 

Coldwell Banker is kicking off a five-part Best Places to Live series, which ranks cities on various lifestyle categories, such as best cities for social seekers, suburbanites, adventurers, and more. 

“As our previous research shows, Americans believe that their home is a reflection of their identity and that clearly goes beyond the property line and into the communities where they live,” says Budge Huskey, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “By ranking the best places to live by lifestyle interests and personalities, we’re able to get to the heart of what makes individual cities and towns so special.”

For its first survey, Coldwell Banker lists the top spots for “social seekers,” that is the perfect places “for the hip, trendy and fun at heart — those who would rather go out than stay home any night of the week.” To compile its list, Coldwell Banker factored in access to public transportation, number of bars and restaurants, nightlife, and entertainment. 

According to the survey, the top 10 places for social seekers are: 

  1. Manhattan, N.Y.
  2. San Francisco
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Seattle, Wash.
  6. Brookline, Mass. 
  7. Arlington, Va.
  8. San Diego
  9. Portland, Ore.
  10. Mountain View, Calif. 

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/top-10-cities-for-social-seekers

The Top Ten Emptiest Cities!!

It’s no secret that the U.S. housing market has seen better days. From falling home values and impaired labor mobility, to backed-up inventories and a flood of foreclosures, there are countless ways that real estate affects the economy at large.

One of the unfortunate results of a bad housing market is an increase in vacant homes, which has grown by 43.8 percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Homes can be vacant for a number of reasons, but are defined as both rental inventory that are unoccupied and “for rent,” as well as homes that are unoccupied and up for sale. As of the 2010 Census, there were approximately 15 million vacant housing units in the country, with an 11.4 percent gross vacancy rate nationwide.

Much like the range of diversity in home values from city to city, homeowner and rental vacancy rates vary dramatically depending on where you live. Every quarter, the Census publishes data on homeowner and rental vacancies in the 75 largest U.S. cities that reveal which metro areas have the highest number of empty homes. The cities listed here are ranked by CNBC.com according to equal-weighted rankings in both rental and homeowner vacancies, which reveal the most significant outliers in both categories relative to other major U.S. cities.

So, what are the emptiest major U.S. cities?

 

10. Kansas City, Missouri

Rental vacancy rate: 11%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.7%

Although the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area has seen rental vacancy rates drop significantly — from 17.2 percent in the second quarter of 2010 — homeowner vacancies have gone up by nearly 30 percent over the same time. Interestingly, homeowner vacancies were higher in Kansas City prior to the housing crisis, hitting 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2007.

 9. Houston, Texas

Rental vacancy rate: 17.4%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 2.3%

Houston is home to the country’s second-highest rate of rental vacancies at a staggering 17.4 percent. The rate has been relatively high in the past three years, however, and has fluctuated between 18.6 percent and 13.1 percent over that time. Homeowner vacancies in the city have fared much better, currently below 2010 levels and down from the first quarter of 2011.

 8. Detroit, Michigan

Rental vacancy rate: 17.2%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 2.4%

Detroit has been one of the hardest-hit cities of the recession, and remains in a poor position, with an unemployment rate at 12.9 percent. Detroit also has a 17.2 percent rental vacancy rate, the third highest in the country, but the homeowner vacancy rate is down by nearly half from 2008.

 7. Dayton, Ohio

 Rental vacancy rate: 10.7%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 4.7%

The homeowner vacancy rate in Dayton, Ohio, is the highest it’s been since the first quarter of 2009, when it stood at 5.6 percent. Although homeowner vacancies are at a high, rental vacancies have been down dramatically, falling from an all-time high of 26.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the Census Bureau.

 6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 Rental vacancy rate: 13%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.9%

Although Baton Rouge, La., doesn’t have some of the most extreme vacancy rates in the country, the proportion of the city’s empty homes are relatively high for both rentals and owned homes. With rental vacancies at 13 percent, Baton Rouge is the 12th emptiest city in that category, while its 3.9 percent homeowner vacancy rate ranks it 11th among major cities.

 5. Atlanta, Georgia

 Rental vacancy rate: 11.8%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 5.4%

Atlanta’s homeowner vacancy rate is the fourth highest among other major U.S. cities, standing at 5.4 percent. The rate has been rising since early 2010, when it stood at just 2 percent. Rental vacancies have been much worse for Atlanta — in 2010, the rental vacancy rate never dipped below 13 percent and was as high as 14.9 percent at the beginning of the year.

 4. Memphis, Tennessee

 Rental vacancy rate: 13.5%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 4.0%

For both rentals and owned homes in Memphis, the proportion of vacant homes is high compared to most other major U.S. cities. With a rental vacancy rate of 13.5 percent, the city is the 11th highest in the nation, while the 4 percent homeowner vacancy rate ranks the city ninth.

 3. Toledo, Ohio

 Rental vacancy rate: 19.3%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.6%

Of the 75 largest cities in the U.S., Toledo, Ohio, has the highest rate for rental vacancies at 19.3 percent, although in the third quarter of 2010 the rate was much higher, at 24.1 percent. Toledo also has a high proportion of empty homes, at 3.6 percent, which ranks it 17th among major U.S. cities.

 2. Indianapolis, Indiana

 Rental vacancy rate: 13.5%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 5.2%

The capital of Indiana is also one of the emptiest major cities in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau. The 5.2 percent home vacancy rate in Indianapolis ranks it fifth in the country, while the 13.5 percent rental vacancy rate places it 10th. With these levels, the city is more vacant than nearly every other major U.S. metro area.

 1. Tucson, Arizona

 Rental vacancy rate: 15.9%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 6.8%

The emptiest city in the U.S. is the second largest city in Arizona: Tucson. With rental vacancies at 15.9 percent, the city is seventh most vacant among major cities, while the 6.8 percent homeowner vacancy rate is the highest in the country as of the second quarter of 2011.

 Full article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blog/list

Top 10 Cities With Highest Listing Price Increase

Which cities are seeing median list prices increase the most? Nationally, median list prices have risen 1.60 percent to $190,000, according to year-over-year listing data from September 2011 by Realtor.com, based on 146 markets.

Yet, in some cities, median list prices in that time frame have risen more than 20 percent. Florida cities, in particular, are continuing to see some of the largest rebounds in list prices. 

Here are the 10 cities that have seen the largest percentage increases in median list prices based on year-over-year data from September: 

 

1. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. 

Year-over-year median list price increase: 34.46% 

Median list price: $215,000

2. Miami, Fla. 

Year-over-year median list price increase: 25.63% 

Median list price: $250,000

3. Naples, Fla.

Year-over-year median list price increase: 23.41% 

Median list price: $369,000

4. Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.

Year-over-year median list price increase: 16.53%

Median list price: $233,000

5. Punta Gorda, Fla.

Year-over-year median list price increase: 14.07%

Median list price: $169,000

6. Shreveport-Bossier City, La. 

Year-over-year median list price increase: 12.22% 

Median list price: $176,750

7. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.

Year-over-year median list price increase: 11.93% 

Median list price: $129,500

8. Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Year-over-year median list price increase: 11.77%

Median list price: $112,000

9. Daytona Beach, Fla.

Year-over-year median list price increase: 11.32% 

Median list price: $178,000

10. Boise City, Idaho 

Year-over-year median list price increase: 10.58% 

Median list price: $150,000

 

Full article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/10-cities-where-list-prices-are-rising

Top 10 Cities with Highest Price Drops.

California cities have seen their home values drop by the largest percentage in the last five years, with some metro areas posting losses of up to 67 percent in that time period. California cities occupied six of the top 10 metro areas with the largest drops, according to a recent Zillow study based on its home-value estimates and Zillow Home Value Index. 

Overall, “there will be many ups and downs in home values before this is over, and we continue to expect a true bottom in 2012, at the earliest,” says Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “There are still hazards in the form of a full foreclosure pipeline, high negative equity, and fluctuations in demand.”

The following are seven cities that have seen home values drop the most since the housing boom, according to Zillow: 

1. Merced, Calif.

July 2011 Zillow Home Value Index: $106,514

Zillow Home Value Index 5 Years ago: $328,813

Value difference (by percent): -67.6%

 

2. Modesto, Calif.

July 2011 ZHVI: $128,777

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $352,599

Value difference: -63.5%

 

3. Stockton, Calif.

July 2011 ZHVI: $150,061

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $404,036

Value difference: -62.9%

 

4. Las Vegas

July 2011 ZHVI: $117,084

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $303,656

Value difference: -61.4%

 

5. Vallejo, Calif.

July 2011 ZHVI: $190,521

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $468,071

Value difference: -59.3%

 

6. Salinas, Calif.

July 2011 ZHVI: $282,289

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $664,404

Value difference: -57.5%

 

7. Daytona Beach, Fla.

July 2011 ZHVI: $95,193

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $220,436

Value difference: -56.8%

 

8. Bakersfield, CA

July 2011 ZHVI: $120,113

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $273,854

Value difference: -56.1%

 

9. Fort Myers, FL

July 2011 ZHVI: $125,575

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $289,671

Value difference: -56 %

 

10. Phoenix, AZ

July 2011 ZHVI: $122,880

ZHVI 5 Years Ago: $276,888

Value difference: -55.6 %

 

Complete article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/markets-where-home-prices?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Picture curtosey of http://www.nevadacounty.com/2011/03/home-prices-drop-february/