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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Foreclosure Rate Drops to New Post-Crisis Low


Some Highlights:

  • According to CoreLogic, the national foreclosure rate dropped to 1.1% of all homes with a mortgage. This is the lowest percentage experienced since October 2007.
  • April marked the 54th consecutive month of year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory.
  • Only 3% of homes in the United States are in serious delinquency. More and more homeowners are escaping negative equity as prices rise.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Another happy family!! I LOVE this job!

Beautiful Home for Sale in Mapleton!

$284,900, 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, new carpet, HUGE laundry room, granite countertops, separate basement entrance, gorgeous landscaping, quiet neighborhood! MLS# 1368342. Call Kari Dye, Realtor to
see it today! 
 

Top 10 Summer Lawn Care Tips

Top 10 Summer Lawn Care Tips

lawn careSummer heat can take a toll on turf, especially when your lawn care program falls short. If you mow too low, water too much or too little, or ignore early signs of pests, your grass could quickly become lackluster or even completely die in small or large patches. Keep your lawn looking its best all summer long by mastering these 10 summer care tips.

1. Mow at the right height.
In summer, adjust your mower height to leave grass taller. Taller grass shades soil, which reduces water evaporation, leads to deeper roots and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Ideal mowing height varies with grass type. Time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the leaf surface at a time.
2. Water properly.
For the healthiest grass, water your lawn deeply and infrequently. Check with your local water authority or Cooperative Extension office for recommended irrigation schedules. Discover tips on how much water a lawn needs. Learn the basics of lawn watering.
3. Treat for grubs.
Japanese beetles, June bugs (beetles) and European chafers lay eggs in grass in early to midsummer. Eggs hatch into grubs in mid- to late summer. Timing varies by beetle and region. Check with your local Cooperative Extension office to determine the best time to put down grub control.
4. Clean up after your pooch.
The family dog can cause dead spots on a lawn. If you see dying grass due to your dog’s urination, flush the area with water to dilute the urine in soil. The best solution is to create a mulched or pebbled area and train your dog to use that area for bathroom breaks. Also, keep waste picked up and dispose of it properly.
5. Avoid parking on the grass.
Driving or parking on the lawn is never a good idea. It leads to soil compaction, which can cause a host of other problems, including dead grass. During drought or times of excessive heat, it’s even wise to limit foot traffic on grass to avoid damaging turf crowns.
6. Sharpen your mower blade.
A dull mower blade tears grass, creating ragged, brown edges that provide an opening for disease organisms. Sharpen your mower blade regularly. The rule of thumb is that a sharp blade lasts for 10 hours of mowing. Consider purchasing a second blade so you’ll always have a sharp blade at the ready.
7. Let clippings lie.
If you’re mowing grass at the right height, you can let clippings lie on the lawn. This practice is called grasscycling and saves you time, money and fertilizer.
8. Fertilize warm-season grasses.
Warm-season turf grows strongly during summer and needs nutrients. Check with your local cooperative extension office to learn fertilizer schedules for your region. Do not fertilize cool-season lawns during summer. Wait until fall or early spring.
9. Pick up litter.
Summer activities can result in toys, water games, lawn chairs or tools being left on turf. Avoid harming – or even killing – turf crowns by putting away gear after use.
10. Tackle weeds.
Deal with weeds as they appear throughout the growing season. Apply weed control in late summer/early fall to help deal with cool-season weeds, especially if you tend turf in cooler regions and have an established dandelion or perennial weed problem. Do not apply a pre-emergent herbicide in fall if you plan to seed or overseed.

5 Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Pro







5 Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Pro | Keeping Current Matters
Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.
The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you acquire your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible) to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to theNational Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $208,700 compared to $235,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”
Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”
Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

US Housing Market Swings in Favor of Homeownership

US Housing Market Swings in Favor of Homeownership | Keeping Current Matters
According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Indexhomeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting. The results from the first quarter index showed that “16 of the 23 metropolitan markets investigated moved in the direction of buy territory.”
The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question: 

Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?

“The U.S. housing market, when considered as a whole, has swung marginally more in favor of home ownership over renting a comparable property and investing monthly rent savings in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.”
The latest results were released shortly after the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which reported that home prices had climbed 5.4% nationally since March 2015.
Ken Johnson Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states:

“This [growth] appears to be driven by a steady but strengthening job market, rising rents relative to rising ownership costs and recent slower growth in traditional financial portfolios consisting of stocks and bonds.”
Dallas and Denver are two of the major cities that continued to move deeper into rent territory, but they moved at a slower rate than they had in previous quarters. Johnson believes that, in these two markets, “strong economic support…should make for a soft landing in terms of slowing property price growth, increased marketing time for properties and lower probabilities that sellers will actually transact and close during a given marketing effort of their property.”

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Presidential Election and It's Impact on Housing

The Presidential Election and Its Impact on Housing | Keeping Current Matters

Every four years people question what effect the Presidential election might have on the national housing market. Let’s take a look at what is currently taking place. The New York Times ran an article earlier this week where they explained:
“A growing body of research shows that during presidential election years — particularly ones like this when there is such uncertainty about the nation’s future — industry becomes almost paralyzed. A look at the last several dozen election cycles shows that during the final year of a presidential term, big corporate investments are routinely postponed, and big deals are put on the back burner.
The research is even more persuasive on the final year of an eight-year presidential term, when a new candidate inevitably will become president.”
We are seeing this take form in the latest economic numbers. However, will this lead to a slowdown in the housing market? Not according to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the National Association of Realtors.

The Impact on Housing Throughout 2016

Let’s look at what has happened and what is projected to happen by these three major entities.

National Association of Realtors

“In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007.”

Freddie Mac

“Recent data darkened the growth outlook for the first quarter of 2016. However, despite the disappointing economic reports, we still forecast housing to maintain its momentum in 2016.”

Fannie Mae

“Consumers and businesses showed caution at the end of the first quarter…(but) Home sales are expected to pick up heading into the spring season amid the backdrop of declining mortgage rates, rising pending home sales and purchase mortgage applications, and continued easing of lending standards on residential mortgage loans.”

Bottom Line

Even during this election year, the desire to achieve the American Dream is greater than the fear of uncertainty of the next presidency.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price Is Right!

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price Is Right! | Keeping Current Matters
In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.
John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered their price. His article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price, published in Real Estate Economics revealed:
“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”
Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.
Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!
One great way to see this is with the chart below. The higher you price your home over its market value, the less potential buyers will actually see your home when searching.
Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price Is Right! | Keeping Current Matters
A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.
Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home. You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Buyer Cheat Sheet for a Seller's Market


In a seller's market, home buyers need to be willing and able to act fast to snag the home they want. This spring, areas across the country are facing a limited number of homes for sale. Realtor.com® offers up a cheat sheet for surviving a seller's market.
  • Be on call. "If you're only looking now and then when it's convenient, you're probably wasting your time," says James Malmberg, a real estate professional in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He suggests treating house hunting like job hunting. If someone calls with a lead, follow up promptly to gauge whether it could be a good fit and don't linger.
  • Bring the paperwork. To be taken seriously, buyers would be wise to get a mortgage pre-approval letter as well as a "proof of funds" form from their bank to show they have enough to cover a down payment. They'll be able to act quicker when they do find the right house.
  • Limit the contingencies. In a seller's market, buyers may need to drop some of the contingencies to score the house. Sellers prefer the fewest number of hurdles to closing as possible. If your buyers come in with several contingencies — such as "if" they secure financing — the sellers are more inclined to bypass their offer and take another with less hassle. Also, "don't waste your time lowballing a seller," advises Sean Kelley, a real estate professional with Howard Hannah in Pittsburgh, Pa. "Always put in an aggressive offer."
  • Cast a wide net. Search for homes outside prime locations if faced with limited or high-priced choices. Buyers need to carefully consider what they're willing to compromise on. "Sometimes properties sit, even in a seller's market, because of a problem that is scaring other buyers away," such as some renovation work that may need to be done, Malmberg says. Those "flaws," however, might not be a big deal to your buyers. "Finding a house this way can also cut down on the amount of competition you will face," Malmberg adds.


Source: “Surviving a Seller’s Market: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet,” realtor.com® (April 7, 2016)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Stella Got Adopted!!


Adopt a loving pet today from the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter in Spanish Fork. There are several more that need forever homes!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

10 Trends Driving the Next Decade of Home Design


More than 500 residential architects offered their insights into what will be the most significant home design elements over the next 10 years. From the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey, here are the 10 residential design trends to watch for over the next decade:

Over the next 10 years, expect functionality, accessibility, and sustainability to be major themes guiding the look of homes. That could include everything from embracing healthier building materials and furnishings to homes that are designed to be more resilient to bad weather.

1. Smarter homes: Technology will become more prevalent in the operation of homes, including via automated controls for temperature, security, and lighting.

2. Healthier homes: Consumers are becoming more aware of environmental health issues that will likely lead to greater use of low or no volatile organic compounds of paint and composite wood, natural fiber upholstery, carpets without polyvinyl chloride backing, and air purification systems.

3. Disaster-proof: Home owners will call for homes that can hold up better against natural disasters, which may mean elevating residences, windows with impact glazing, dedicated safe rooms, and backup power generation.

4. Energy efficiency: Sustainable design elements that increase a home’s energy efficiency — such as solar panels, water reclamation systems, and tankless water heaters –- will likely grow in demand.

5. Age-in-place: Universal design elements will grow in popularity to help an aging population stay in their homes longer. These design elements will likely include wider hallways, added handrails, and one-level living spaces.

6. All about the kitchen: Kitchens will be the focal point of the home, fueled by open design concepts that allow it to stay front and center.

7. Outdoor living spaces: More home owners will look to invest in sprucing up their outdoor living spaces, beyond just outdoor grills or decks. Instead, look for more home owners adding outdoor kitchens and fully furnished outdoor rooms.

8. Home offices: Home owners, due to changing work patterns and a growth in telecommuting, will likely place a greater emphasis on the need for a space devoted to a home office.

9. Smaller but better designed homes: As home owners demand to be closer to jobs and public transportation, architects will have to build in more accessible locations that are typically more pricey. This will likely bring about smaller but more innovative designs and more personalized design features.

10. Urban influence: With growing calls for an urban lifestyle from younger adults, architects will adopt some of these urban characteristics into their projects, such as with a focus on higher-density development that offer more amenities to residents and offer closer to commercial.

 By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine