Still Hot: The House Flipping Market

Even with the current short inventory for available homes for sale, house flipping continues to be a lucrative incentive for profits. One of the keys to flipping success is the balance of supply and demand — the market your client chooses has to have a healthy dose of both. Of course, the current lack of inventory affects the rule. According to Money, the average flipped house is getting smaller — only 1,422 square feet, on average. Even so, RealtyTrac reports that, in 2016, gross profits for flipped houses was almost $63,000, with a 49.2 percent gross return on investment. The nation’s ...

The Luxury Real Estate Market for 2018

For the luxury market, 2018 will be a year of adjustments, according to the luxury-watch website Mansion Global. The rewriting of the United States tax code is one of the major reasons for the changes. The American tax code has experienced its biggest overhaul in decades, particularly affecting foreign investors and second-home buyers in the luxury market. Congress is imposing limits on tax deductions for property taxes and interest on mortgages. The new tax law limits your deduction for state and local income and property taxes to a sum total of $10,000 ($5,000 if you’re married and file a ...

How Tax Reform May Affect Real Estate Agents

The National Association of Realtors®(NAR) worked hard to make sure the new tax bill would include some advantages for real estate agents. As a result, many agents and brokers will see a significant deduction on their business income. The new tax law brings lower tax rates for just about all individual filers. This current tax reform is the largest change to the system in 30 years. It was passed in December 2017 and took effect as of January 2018. As a result of the bill, NAR is projecting a slower growth in home prices of 1-3 percent in 2018, even as ...

The Most Gentrified Cities in America

Gentrification is the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or -middle-income families or individuals, raising property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses, according to Dictionary.com. The site also defines gentrification as the process of conforming to an upper- or middle-class lifestyle, or making a product, activity, etc., appealing to those with more affluent tastes. However you define it, gentrification has been a controversial mixed blessing, to say the least. Depending on what side you’re on, the process is either a new lease on life for a troubled, decaying neighborhood, or ...

Catch the Boomerang Buyer!

Life happens in cycles, and a new one is about to offer you a big opportunity. The homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages during The Great Recession are eligible to buy homes again. Those bankruptcies are coming up to be discharged — many have already been — and those homeowners may be contacting you. Between 2007 and 2014, more than 12.8 million homes began the foreclosure process. That’s 29 percent of all homes with a mortgage. In 2009, when foreclosures were at their highest, more than 650,000 homes entered foreclosure in a single quarter. That’s 1.5 percent of those with ...

Construction Outlook 2018

An increasing reliance on technology (drones, virtual reality), a continued interest in live/work/play urban nodes, growing concern over infrastructure, and changes in demographics are what will be influencing construction in 2018. In addition, construction is what will help the country bounce back from the natural disasters of 2017, which included hurricanes, wildfires, and heat/cold waves. Specific construction trends that are expected to continue to increase in 2018 include modular/prefab structures. The perception that prefab is cheap and poorly constructed is quickly changing — Today, top architects are becoming interested in the benefits of this business, which include decreasing profit margins and lowering construction ...

America’s Hottest Urban Suburbs

The idea of the American suburbs reflecting a Fifties sensibility of white-picket fences, enclosed backyards, shopping malls and car culture — may be gone forever. But the suburbs themselves are not gone, or anywhere near the end of its role in American culture. Instead, suburbs are taking a cue from cities. They’re reinventing themselves to appeal to the young people who prefer an urban, live/work/play environment, complete with walkable communities, green spaces and hip, vibrant gathering centers. The CBRE Group reported that only 30 percent of Millennials live in cities. The other 70 percent are part of a migration from urban ...

Mortgage Rate Outlook for 2018

The stock market entered 2018 on a wild roller coaster. But here’s the slightly more stable story for mortgages thus far: According to the mortgage agency Freddie Mac, mortgage rates held below 4 percent for 26 straight weeks in 2017. Freddie predicts that 2018 will be a year of rising rates again. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.95 percent during the first week of January 2018 to 4.15 percent by month’s end. This marks only the second time in the past year that rates have increased 20 basis points (read as 0.20 percent) within a four-week period. There is a consensus among ...

Relevant Advice for your Clients — Get a Roommate

Almost one in three U.S. adults are living with an adult roommate, according to new findings by the Pew Research Center. This roommate situation is not traditional in the sense of a romantic partner or an undergraduate college student. What’s the reason for the rise? We’ve all heard about Millennials still living in their parents’ basements due to stifling student loans and being unable to afford a home of their own. That’s largely true. The other situation comes from the other end of the spectrum: many Baby Boomers are moving in with their adult children. Almost 79 million U.S. adults – ...

Should you Work with a Hybrid Brokerage?

The old days: brick-and-mortar real estate brokerages, with human, hands-on real estate agents who guide clients through the process of buying and selling property. The coming days: technology agencies, almost exclusively available online, where an entire deal can be handled in the digital realm. It’s not as surprising as it first sounds. Ninety percent of homebuyers use the Internet as their go-to research tool, according to a joint study by The National Association of Realtors® and Google. These days, a home search starts with the Internet, viewing the property on smartphones, and learning negotiating tutorials on YouTube. The real estate agent is ...