Welcome to Janet & Graham Ford - Tulsa Real Estate Sign in | Help

Rent Prediction: Prices Flatten in 2016


Rent appreciation will level off over the next 12 months, slowing to an annual rate of 1.1 percent by December 2016, according to the new Zillow® Rent Forecast. The national Zillow Rent Index at the end of 2016 is projected to be $1,39 -- compared to $1,381 in December 2015.

Zillow is forecasting a decrease in the rate of rental appreciation amid a rental affordability crisis that has renters in some markets spending almost half of their income on rent.  Some of the fastest growing metros had double-digit annual rental appreciation at the end of 2015.

Zillow expects rental appreciation to slow down most significantly in Nashville, Tenn., San Francisco, Portland, Ore. and Denver. Rents in San Francisco saw 12.5 percent appreciation in 2015. Zillow forecasts rent in San Francisco will grow half as fast in 2016 -- 5.9 percent.

Even with the slowdown, rents will remain unaffordable in many of the major markets across the U.S., especially on the West Coast. Renters in San Francisco and Los Angeles can expect to spend 40 percent of their income on a rental payment.

"Hot markets are still going to be hot in 2016, but rents won't rise as quickly as they have been," says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "The slowdown in rental appreciation will provide some relief for renters who've been seeing their rents rise dramatically every single year for the past few years. However, the situation remains tough on the ground: rents are still rising and renters are struggling to keep up."

The slowdown in rental appreciation indicates that supply of new multi-family homes is catching up to demand. Substantial new housing supply is becoming available in Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Seattle, and other markets.
The Zillow Home Value Index rose 4 percent year-over-year in December 2015, to $183,500, according to the Zillow®December Real Estate Market Reports.

For more information, visit www.zillow.com/research/data.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

Mortgage Applications Shoot Up 21 Percent


Mortgage applications increased 21.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 8, 2016.  The previous week's results included an adjustment for the New Year's holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 21.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 76 percent compared with the previous week.  The Refinance Index increased 24 percent from the previous week.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 18 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 74 percent compared with the previous week and was 19 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"MBA's purchase mortgage application index reached its second highest level since May 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, second only to the week prior to the implementation of the Know Before You Owe rules," says Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics.

"Bolstered by strong fourth quarter growth in jobs and continuing low rates, the results are similar to levels we saw in early December, suggesting that the purchase market's strong finish to 2015 may be continuing.  While refinances also increased on a holiday-adjusted basis, refinance activity was down 38 percent relative to a year ago when rates dove below 4 percent," Fisher continues.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 55.8 percent of total applications from 55.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.1 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 14.4 percent from 14.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.2 percent from 12.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.8 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.12 percent from 4.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.38 from  0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.  The effective rate decreased from the last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 4.02 percent from 4.09 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.90 percent from 3.95 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.42 percent from 3.47 percent, with points increasing to 0.39 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.14 percent from 3.19 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

For more information, visit http://www.mba.org/.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Get the Best ROI with Your Next Home Improvement Project


Home is where the heart is, but sometimes it’s also where a homeowner’s savings plan comes into account. Homeowners may have a long wish list of home renovations and projects, and sometimes the work is never done. While return on investment (ROI) may not be the biggest consideration in a homeowner’s mind when deciding which projects make it to the top of the list, knowing which projects see the highest returns may be helpful in the decision-making process.


 
Happiness in the home can be a part of the ROI, but other cost vs. value factors vary by region and even by room. ROI, as defined in Remodeling’s 2015 Cost vs. Value report, can be broken down as the percentage of the estimated average cost of a renovation project that is projected to be recouped in resale value, as aggregated from real estate and appraisal estimates.
 
According to Huffington Post, the most common remodeling job request projects in the United States are in the bathroom. A mid-range bathroom addition costs approximately $39,578, as complied in Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report. The ROI was estimated at 57.8 percent. For those needing a bathroom remodel, the cost averaged $16,724 with an ROI of 70 percent. Upscale additions and remodels naturally went up in cost, but the ROI didn’t quite hit the level of a mid-range upgrade, with 58 percent and 59.8 percent, respectively. Bathroom remodeling projects that were big in 2015, according to Forbes, included custom vanities, feature floor tiles, bigger showers and plant life.

Kitchen remodel job requests accounted for 69 percent, the second most common in the U.S. A major mid-range remodel averaged at about $56,768 with an ROI of 67.8 percent, while minor remodels saw an ROI of 79.3 percent and a cost of about $19,226. A major upscale remodel could cost upward of $113,097, with an ROI at 59 percent. According to My Home Ideas, trends in 2015 included built-in coffee centers, dual-fuel ranges, Italian cooking gadgets, designer dishwashers and wine refrigeration.

Not all projects, of course, are room-centered. Window/door replacement accounted for 44 percent of home remodeling job requests in 2015. This included window replacement, entry door replacement and steel, with ROIs of 72.9 percent, 78.8 percent and 72 percent, respectively. Finished basements also were high on the list, with 27 percent of remodeling job requests. Coming in with an average cost of $65,442 in 2015, the ROI on these projects was 72.8 percent.

Contributed by Northshore Fireplace

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

 Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

U.S. Home Values Gained $1.1 Trillion in 2015


The value of all homes nationwide grew $1.1 trillion in 2015, and is expected to end the year at $28.5 trillion total. The value of the entire housing stock grew 4.1 percent over the past year, slower than the 6 percent growth in 2014.

The total value of all homes has regained $5.3 trillion since hitting its lowest point during the housing bust in December 2011, but is still $782 billion below the bubble peak value of $29.2 trillion, reached in October 2006.

The dollar amount itself underscores the significance of housing to the U.S. economy. In the third quarter of 2015, the U.S. gross domestic product was $18.1 trillion, $10 trillion less than the total value of the housing stock.
 
"This reminds us of the large role housing plays in the overall economy," says Zillow® Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "Total home value growth slowed this year, but there was still a significant increase in overall value, and many markets are more valuable than they've ever been. At the same time, more renter households and rising rents combined to set new records in rental spending in 2015. Americans are spending a lot of money on housing, and that will make affordability an important issue next year."

Housing value isn't distributed equally across the country. California is home to about 12 percent of the U.S. population, but the state accounts for nearly a quarter of the country's total home value, driven by highly valued markets like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Total Rent Paid
Americans shelled out nearly $20 billion more in rent in 2015 than in 2014 as people around the country set up 1.8 million new renter households and median monthly rents rose at a record pace.  In all, renters spent $535 billion on rent in 2015 – nearly as much as the total budget of the Department of Defense ($575 billion), according to a new Zillow rentals analysis.  In 2014, they spent $516 billion.
 
Renters of single-family homes and apartments spent about the same amount on rent this year, with apartment renters paying $239 billion and single-family home renters paying $245 billion.

Renters in the New York/Northern New Jersey metro area spent the most on rent in 2015 – about $56 billion. Los Angeles-area renters spent nearly $35 billion, and San-Francisco renters spent $17 billion. About two-thirds of the total rent paid in 2015 was spent in the 50 largest metros.

November Real Estate Market Report
Home values rose 3.9 percent annually in November to a Zillow Home Value Index of $183,000, according to Zillow's November Real Estate Market Reports. Denver home values grew fastest for the tenth consecutive month at 15.5 percent annual appreciation. Miami joined Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose, and Portland as other metros seeing double-digit growth.

Rents also continued their steady climb, growing 3.8 percent annually to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,382. The pace of rental appreciation has slowed over the past four months. Only San Francisco and Portland saw rents grow at a double-digit pace, as Denver and San Jose slipped back into single-digit growth.

For more information, visit http://www.zillow.com/.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Wildlfire Danger Update: Is Your Home One of 46 Million at Risk?

By John Voket


Last year, I began following the issue of wildfire threats and the potential risks more property owners may be taking as they move into areas designated as Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).

The issue was a recent subject of a notice straight from the White House, confirming that the increase in wildfires is particularly dangerous in WUI zones, where houses, structures and people are at risk of loss, injury and death.

So, how many homes are we talking about here? Short answer: the WUI now contains 46 million single family homes, several hundred thousands of businesses, and a population of more than 120 million.

Since 1990, 60 percent of new homes built in the United States have been built in the WUI, increasing the amount of land at risk in the by 4,000 acres per day, nearly 2 million acres per year, according to the report. Many of those homes and businesses located in the WUI are at greater risk from wildfire because of the impacts of climate change, threatening both structures and lives.

As fire risks in these areas increase, the report says government agencies continue to partner with fire professionals and local leaders to increase understanding of "how wildfires interact with communities in terms of structures, terrain, and weather."

Taking aim at this increasing wildfire risk, including properties in the WUI, the President’s FY 2016 Budget proposal would provide the necessary resources for the U.S. Forest Service as well as the Department of the Interior to address wildfire suppression and rehabilitation needs without resorting to detrimental transfers from other critical forest landscape resilience priorities, the report says.

As more and more agency resources are spent each year to provide the firefighters, aircraft, and other assets necessary to protect lives, property, and natural resources from catastrophic wildfires, the report says fewer funds and resources are available for other agency work - including the very programs and restoration projects that reduce fire threats on public and private land.

So whether it's a change in the way property is insured, built, located or taxed - the increasing threat of WUI wildfires is going to have some direct impact on nearly 50 million homeowners in the coming years. As a result, I will continue to bring you regular reporting and updates on this important issue.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

6 Easy Ways to Rejuvenate Your Kitchen By David Glenn

 

From installing new cabinet doors to renovating old furnishings, there are many ways to modernize and brighten your kitchen without committing to a complete renovation. Painting, changing cabinet doors and drawer pulls, or adding a kitchen island are all options that you can use to modernize your kitchen. By choosing colors, patterns and styles that you really love, you can transform your kitchen into the most-loved room in the home.

New Look for Old Cabinets
Cabinetry can be updated rather than replaced when you are looking for an easy way to modernize your kitchen. Install glass pantry doors http://www.sanssoucie.com/etched-glass/piece-types/pantry-doors with recessed lighting to turn a stack of antique dishes into a display, or refinish the countertops with a bright new color to change the look of the cabinets. Add new drawer pulls after installing new cabinet doors to tie the theme of the room together.
 
Paint
Painting is an easy and affordable way to modernize your kitchen. Opt for bright colors, like yellow, to create an open, friendly atmosphere, or choose deeper colors, such as red, to make the space cozy and inviting. Bright white is a classic option that lasts for several years, even when you change the decor in your home often. Don't be afraid to experiment with color. Deep aqua, for instance, may not be a traditional color for the kitchen, but works just as well as yellow or white when paired with matching decor. Freshen the trim in a complimentary color to finish the project.
 
Flooring Options
Changing the look of your kitchen floor is easy when you opt for click-together flooring or marmoleum tiles. Marmoleum is similar to linoleum in appearance, and is sold in bundles of tiles. Mix and match marmoleum tiles in different colors or patterns, or opt for a more traditional look by installing a neutral colored floor.
 
To install the marmoleum, just apply the recommended adhesive to the tiles, and glue the tiles down in the desired pattern. Another option is to use click-together flooring. Click-together vinyl flooring is easy to clean and care for, and is installed on top of the existing floor.
 
Change the Theme
Trends in home decor change frequently. One of the easiest ways to change the appearance of your kitchen is to toss old items in favor of sleek, modern choices. Stainless steel canisters, bamboo dish drainers and light muslin dish towels are just a few options that are popular today. Opt for a theme that you really love to ensure your new kitchen decor stands the test of time.
 
Add a Backsplash
If you have a neutral room and want to add some personality, add a colorful backsplash. To make a tile mosaic behind the kitchen sink or oven, pick up tiles in the desired color and size, and apply them using grout. You can be as creative as you'd like, but using tiles that are all the same size simplifies the project. If you want to create a pattern, lay the tiles out in the desired pattern before setting them in place to prevent mistakes.
 
Install an Island
If you are pressed for counter space, an island is an addition that you will appreciate day after day. Choose an island that features ample storage space to streamline meal prep, and opt for a design that suits the overall layout of the kitchen. Even those with small kitchens can use a portable island to simplify meal prep and add a touch of style to the kitchen.
 
To make your own budget-friendly kitchen island, renovate a console table by painting it and adding wheels. Sand the table lightly before painting to ensure the paint adheres to the table. To complete the project, add a decorative drawer pull to hold kitchen towels, and add matching hooks for your most-used kitchen tools.

This original post was published on RISmedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate news and trends.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

 

America's Rental Housing 2015: Record Number of Renter Households Face Severe Affordability Issues


Multifamily housing construction has accelerated to its fastest pace in nearly 30 years but has still not been sufficient to meet surging demand. Rental vacancy rates are now at their lowest point since 1985 and inflation-adjusted rents are rising 3.5 percent annually.  With renter incomes stagnant, last year was another record-setting year in the number of renters paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, according to the 2015 report on rental housing released recently from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. While lower-income households are most likely to experience these cost burdens, the report finds that rental cost burdens increasingly afflict even moderate-income renters earning as much as $45,000 per year.

The report, America’s Rental Housing: Expanding Options for Diverse and Growing Demand, finds that 43 million families and individuals live in rental housing, an increase of nearly 9 million households since 2005 – the largest gain in any 10-year period on record. And the share of all US households that rent rose from 31 percent to 37 percent, the highest level since the mid-1960s. While the supply of rental housing has increased, primarily through conversion of formerly owner-occupied units and, to a lesser extent, new construction, rental demand has increased even faster. Rising demand has put upward pressure on rents and reduced vacancies; meanwhile, new additions to the rental market have primarily added units with above-median rents.
 
These trends in rental markets, along with a 9 percent decline in renters’ incomes since 2001, have pushed the number of cost-burdened renters (paying more than 30 percent of income for housing) up from 14.8 million in 2001 to 21.3 million in 2014.  Even worse, the number of these households that are severely burdened (paying more than half their incomes for housing) went from 7.5 million to 11.4 million, also a record. Overall, 49 percent of renters are cost burdened, 26 percent severely so. Both of these shares have increased substantially since 2001, when they stood at 41 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
 
Renter households with dependents and relying on a single income are especially likely to face severe cost-burdens, including 38 percent of single-parent families. Large shares of minorities are also severely burdened, including 33 percent of blacks, and 30 percent of Hispanics, compared with 23 percent of whites. The consequences are far-reaching: in 2014, lower-income households who paid more than half their incomes on rent spent 38 percent less on food, 55 percent less on healthcare, and 45 percent less on retirement savings than those living in affordable housing. The growing affordability crisis among lower-income households is not adequately addressed by rental subsidies, where households who qualify for subsidies far outstrip their availability by a ratio of 4 to 1.
 
Rental Housing Demand Increasing Faster Than Supply

“Record-setting demand for rental housing due to demographic trends, the residual consequences of the foreclosure crisis, and an increased appreciation of the benefits of being a renter has led to strong growth in the supply of rental housing over the past decade both through new construction and the conversion of formerly owner-occupied homes to rentals,” says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center For Housing Studies at Harvard, which publishes its report on the state of rental housing in the U.S. every other year. “Yet the crisis in the number of renters paying excessive amounts of their income for housing continues, because the market has been unable to meet the need for housing that is within the financial reach of many families and individuals with lower incomes. These affordability challenges also are increasingly afflicting moderate-income households.”

Housing Policy Not Addressing Affordability Challenge 

“Housing assistance programs have been unable to fill the gap, with some core programs subject to draconian reductions. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which has not suffered the same cutbacks, remains critical to addressing both production and preservation of affordable rentals but by itself cannot address all need,” says Herbert.  “In 2015, rental housing in America is a tale of two markets, where upper-income renters are finding a healthier supply of housing choices and landlords and private sector investors are benefiting from higher rents, but too many families earning less than $50,000 per year are having to make trade-offs between putting a roof over the their heads and food on the table.  These negative trends are poised to go from bad to worse, as the most cost-burdened populations – minorities and the elderly – grow, and incomes continue to grow more slowly than rental costs.”

Trends and the Outlook for Rental Housing
 

“More families are renting and too many of them are struggling as supply fails to meet demand and stagnant incomes fail to keep up with rising rents,” says Julia Stasch, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which provided principal support for the report and has invested more than $300 million to preserve and expand affordable housing and support more balanced housing policies. “The affordability of rental housing is a critical national issue that deserves more attention and more action from policymakers.”
 
For more information, visit http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Foreclosure Starts at Lowest Level in More Than 10 Years


Foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 104,111 U.S. properties in November, a decrease of nearly 10 percent from the previous month and down more than 7 percent from a year ago. This news comes from RealtyTrac®'s recently released U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for November 2015.

The 10 percent monthly decrease in overall foreclosure activity was caused largely by a 15 percent monthly drop in foreclosure starts, with 41,208 properties starting the foreclosure process for the first time in November, the lowest monthly total since May 2005. Foreclosure starts have decreased on a monthly basis for seven of the last eight months — with the exception of a monthly increase in October — and November was the fifth consecutive month where national foreclosure starts decreased on a year-over year basis.
 
“Banks are continuing to work through the backlog of lingering foreclosures, pushing bank repossession numbers higher in the short term even as foreclosure starts drop to new lows,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “This also means the share of active foreclosures tied to bubble-era loans is shrinking, with 59 percent of all loans in foreclosure originated between 2004 and 2008. While that is still a disproportionate share of active foreclosures, it continues to decrease from 61 percent earlier this year and 75 percent two years ago.”
 
Bucking the national trend, there were nine states where foreclosure starts increased from a year ago, including Oklahoma (up 246 percent), Arkansas (up 180 percent), Virginia (up 39 percent), Maine (up 5 percent), and Massachusetts (up 14 percent).
 
Bank Repossessions up 35 percent Year-to-Date

There were a total of 40,329 properties repossessed by lenders (REOs) in November, up 10 percent from the previous month and up 60 percent from a year ago — the ninth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in REOs. Through the first 11 months of 2015 there have been 410,249 completed foreclosures, up 35 percent from 303,064 REOs during the same time period in 2014.
 
REOs increased from a year ago in 41 states, led by Tennessee (up 608 percent), Mississippi (up 341 percent), Texas (298 percent), Nebraska (up 295 percent), New York (up 270 percent) and New Jersey (up 205 percent).
 
Those states that saw the most completed foreclosures for the month included Florida (6,435 REOs), Texas (3,107 REOs), California (2,567 REOs), Illinois (2,338 REOs), and Georgia (2,302 REOs).
 
Scheduled Foreclosure Auctions at Lowest Level since December 2005

A total of 36,409 U.S. properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction during the month, down 22 percent from the previous month and down 27 percent from a year ago.
 
Scheduled foreclosure auctions — which can be foreclosure starts in some states — decreased from a year ago in 31 states, including Hawaii (down 87 percent), Florida (down 58 percent), Georgia (down 48 percent), Texas (down 46 percent), Oregon (down 39 percent), Colorado (down 34 percent), and Washington (down 33 percent).
 
There were 10 states where scheduled foreclosure auctions increased annually , including New Jersey (up 82 percent), Maryland (up 6 percent), New York (up 3 percent), Massachusetts (up 39 percent), and New Mexico (up 109 percent).
 
Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada and Illinois Post Highest state Foreclosure Rates

A total of 4,631 Maryland properties had a foreclosure filing in November, down nearly 10 percent from the previous month, but still up 13 percent from a year ago — making Maryland number one in the nation for foreclosures for the second month in a row. One in every 516 Maryland housing units had a foreclosure filing in November, more than twice the national average. Foreclosure starts increased 13 percent from a year ago after six consecutive months of year-over-year decreases.
 
The state of New Jersey accounted for 6,448 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in November, a foreclosure rate of one in every 553 housing units — second highest among the states. New Jersey foreclosure activity in November decreased 15 percent from the previous month, and was down 13 percent from a year ago — the first annual decrease after eight consecutive months of increases.
 
One in every 662 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate. Florida’s foreclosure rate has ranked in the Top 5 each month in 2015.  Florida foreclosure activity decreased 13 percent from the previous month and was down 30 percent from a year ago. Florida foreclosure starts decreased annually by 36 percent, the fourth consecutive month of annual decreases. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Florida decreased 58 percent from a year ago, the 12thconsecutive month of decreases.
 
Nevada foreclosure activity decreased 23 percent from the previous month, but increased 2 percent from a year ago, giving the state the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 771 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Nevada foreclosure starts decreased 17 percent annually, the fifth consecutive month of decreases. Scheduled foreclosure auctions decreased 12 percent annually, the fourth consecutive month of decreases. Nevada bank repossessions increased 89 percent, the eighth consecutive month of increases.
 
After two consecutive months of annual increases, Illinois foreclosure activity decreased 21 percent from the previous month in November, and the state posted the nation’s fifth highest foreclosure rate: one in every 859 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
 
Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest in November were South Carolina at No. 6 (one in every 873 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Ohio at No. 7 (one in every 1,014 housing units); Georgia at No. 8 (one in every 1,083 housing units); Indiana at No. 9 (one in every 1,089 housing units); and North Carolina at No. 10 (one in every 1,139 housing units).
 
Atlantic City Posts Top Metro Foreclosure Rate for Fifth Consecutive Month

The Atlantic City, New Jersey metro area remained in the No. 1 spot among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more for the fifth consecutive month in November. One in every 307 Atlantic City housing units had a foreclosure filing in November, more than four times the national average. Atlantic City maintained the top spot even though overall activity was down 16 percent from the previous month and down 6 percent from a year ago. Bank repossessions in Atlantic City increased for the ninth consecutive month.
 
Foreclosure activity in November increased 32 percent from a year ago in Trenton, New Jersey, and the metro area posted the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate: one in every 346 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased annually in Trenton for the seventh consecutive month, and bank repossessions increased annually for the 10th consecutive month.
 
Foreclosure activity increased 9 percent from a year ago in Ocala, Florida, and the metro area posted the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate: one in every 449 housing units with a foreclosure filing).
 
Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 highest were Baltimore, Md. at No. 4 (one in every 482 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Reading, Penn. at No. 5 (one in every 502), Tampa, Fla. at No. 6 (one in every 512), Columbia, S.C. at No. 7 (one in every 523), Fayetteville, N.C. at No. 8 (one in every 536), Jacksonville, Fla. at No. 9 (one in every 552), and Daytona Beach, Fla. at No. 10 (one in every 567).

For more information, click here.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

HUD and VA Team up to Help Homeless Vets Find Permanent Homes


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced a nearly $12 million to 79 local public housing agencies across the country to provide a permanent home to veterans experiencing homelessness. The supportive housing assistance announced this week is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

HUD is providing $6.4 million to 27 local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to provide permanent supportive housing to an estimated 821 Veterans. These vouchers are being awarded through the HUD-VASH Project-based Voucher Set-Aside competition, announced in June 2015. These PBVS will enable homeless veterans and their families to access affordable housing with an array of supportive services.

HUD is also providing 52 PHAs with a total of $5.4 million Extraordinary Administrative Fees (EAF) to support their HUD-VASH programs and reduce the amount of time that it takes for a Veteran to locate and move into permanent housing.

“It’s unacceptable that anyone who wore our nation’s uniform falls into homelessness and even calls the streets their home,” says Secretary Julián Castro. “Although we’ve made tremendous progress in preventing and reducing Veteran homelessness, these vouchers continue to build upon our shared mission to end veteran homelessness once and for all.”

"The Department of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and our federal and local partners should be proud of the gains made reducing veteran homelessness," says Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, "but so long as there remains a veteran living on our streets, we have more work to do. The vouchers made available today are a vital tool in our joint effort and when combined with the wrap-around health care and education and training services VA can provide, we can make sure veterans across the country have a home."

Last month, HUD and the VA announced a demonstration to offer a permanent home and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Through this demonstration, HUD is making available $4 million in grant funding to Indian tribes and Tribally Designated Entities (TDHEs) to fund this rental assistance and associated administrative fees. HUD and VA anticipate awarding approximately 600 vouchers to Indian Tribes and TDHEs to help house and serve an estimated 600 Native American veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at the extreme risk of becoming homeless.

For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

3 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Credit Score -

Format: ???
Duration: --:--

Foreclosure Starts Increase in October


Foreclosure starts rose in October, according to the recent RealtyTrac® U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for October 2015, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 115,134 U.S. properties in October, an increase of 6 percent from the previous month but still down 6 percent from a year ago. The report also shows one in every 1,147 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
 
The 6 percent monthly increase in overall foreclosure activity was caused primarily by a 12 percent monthly jump in foreclosure starts, with 48,605 properties starting the foreclosure process for the first time in October. The October monthly increase was the largest month-over-month increase since August 2011, when there was a 24 percent month-over-month increase. Despite the month-over-month increase, foreclosure starts in October were still down 14 percent from a year ago.

“We’ve seen a seasonal increase in foreclosure starts in October for the past five consecutive years, so it’s not too surprising to see the monthly increase this October,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “However, the 12 percent increase this October is more than double the average 5 percent monthly increase in the past five Octobers, and the even more dramatic monthly increases in some states is certainly a concern. The upward trend in foreclosure starts in those states in some cases could be an indication of fissures in economic fundamentals driving more distress and in other cases is more likely an indication of long-term delinquencies finally entering the foreclosure pipeline.”
 
October foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 34 states, including California (up 21 percent), Florida (up 13 percent), New Jersey (up 15 percent), Illinois (up 20 percent), Maryland (up 300 percent), Washington (up 34 percent), and Michigan (up 37 percent).

Bank Repossessions Increase Annually in 36 States

There were a total of 36,582 properties repossessed by lenders (REOs) in October, down 9 percent from the previous month but up 31 percent from a year ago — the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in REOs. Despite the annual increase, REOs in October are about one-third of their peak of 102,134 in September 2010. Through the first 10 months of 2015 there have been 369,920 completed foreclosures, up 33 percent from 277,815 REOs during the same time period in 2014.

REOs increased from a year ago in 36 states in October, including New York (up 320 percent), New Jersey (up 275 percent), Texas (up 119 percent), North Carolina (up 89 percent), Nevada (up 83 percent), and Illinois (up 62 percent).

Those states that saw the most completed foreclosures for the month included Florida (5,760 REOs), California (2,697 REOs), Illinois (2,624 REOs), New Jersey (1,960 REOs) and Texas (1,776 REOs).

Scheduled Foreclosure Auctions Increase Annually in 17 States

A total of 46,698 U.S. properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction during the month, up 12 percent from the previous month but down 22 percent from a year ago.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions — which can be foreclosure starts in some states — increased from a year ago in 17 states, including New York (up 47 percent), Massachusetts (up 45 percent), North Carolina (up 24 percent), New Jersey (up 17 percent), and Maryland (up 3 percent).

Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada and Illinois Post Highest State Foreclosure Rates

A total of 5,126 Maryland properties had a foreclosure filing in October, up 100 percent from the previous month, but still down 14 percent from a year ago. After dropping out of the top five state foreclosure rates in September for the first time in 2015, Maryland’s foreclosure rate jumped to No. 1 in October thanks to the surge in foreclosure starts. One in every 466 Maryland housing units had a foreclosure filing in October, more than 2.5 times the national foreclosure rate.

The state of New Jersey accounted for 7,559 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in October, a foreclosure rate of one in every 471 housing units — second highest among the states after New Jersey’s foreclosure rate ranked No. 1 in September. New Jersey foreclosure activity in October decreased 4 percent from the previous month, but was still up 87 percent from a year ago — the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in New Jersey foreclosure activity.

One in every 579 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing in October, the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate. Florida’s foreclosure rate has ranked in the Top 5 each month in 2015.  Florida foreclosure activity increased 8 percent from the previous month but was still down 23 percent from a year ago.
Nevada foreclosure activity decreased 6 percent from the previous month, but increased 1 percent from a year ago, giving the state the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 593 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Illinois foreclosure activity increased 21 percent from the previous month, and the state posted the nation’s fifth highest foreclosure rate: one in every 680 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest in October were South Carolina at No. 6 (one in every 751 housing units with a foreclosure filing); North Carolina at No. 7 (one in every 901 housing units); Ohio at No. 8 (one in every 968 housing units); New Mexico at No. 9 (one in every 1,020 housing units); and Washington at No. 10 (one in every 1,102 housing units).

New Jersey, Maryland and Florida Cities Post Highest Metro Foreclosure Rates

October marked the 4th consecutive month where the Atlantic City, New Jersey metro remained in the No. 1 spot for having the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more. One in every 257 Atlantic City housing units had a foreclosure filing in October, more than four times the national average. Atlantic City foreclosure activity in October increased 14 percent from previous month — driven by a 26 percent monthly spike in foreclosure starts — and increased 134 percent increase from a year ago.
 
Foreclosure activity in October increased 177 percent from a year ago in Columbia, South Carolina, and the metro area posted the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate: one in every 333 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 highest were Baltimore, Maryland at No. 4 (one in every 429 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Fayetteville, North Carolina at No. 5 (one in every 460 housing units); Jacksonville, Florida at No. 6 (one in every 465 housing units); Miami, Florida at No. 7 (one in every 480 housing units); Rockford, Illinois at No. 8 (one in every 486 housing units); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida at No. 9 (one in every 514 housing units); and Tampa, Florida coming in at No. 10 (one in every 543 housing units).
 
For more information, visit http://www.realtytrac.com/.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Winter Improvements Add Value, Appraisers Say


Did you know winterizing your home has the potential to increase its value? According to the Appraisal Institute, making specific improvements ahead of colder months is often well worth the investment.

“Fall is an ideal time for homeowners to take stock and make the appropriate updates for the cold months ahead,” says Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle.  “Routine improvements can make a winter indoors more enjoyable and, in some cases, increase the value of a home.”

Home improvements with the highest cost-to-value ratio include steel entry door replacement, mid-range and upscale garage door replacement and wood window replacement, according to a recent Hanley Wood Cost vs. Value Report. Replacement projects tend to generate higher returns on value than major room remodels, including those of kitchens and baths. At the time of resale, for instance, a bathroom remodel recoups 70 percent of its cost, but a steel entry door replacement recoups almost 102 percent.

Along with making these improvements, homeowners can winterize with some simple, energy- and cost-efficient measures:

• Check for air leaks around walls, ceilings, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.

• Look for ways to use controls such as sensors, dimmers and timers to reduce lighting use.

• Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.

• Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.

• Close curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in the warming sunlight.

Additionally, taking steps to winterize outside of the home can protect investments in landscaping, a deck or roof, all of which can potentially add to property values. Consult with an appraiser before making decisions on which outdoor winterization projects to undertake.

Source: Appraisal Institute

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

6 Designer Tips to Make Your Home Look Expensive


Creating a stylish interior for your home is rarely a problem when money is no object. But when funds are in short supply, says interior designer Cheryl Eisen, there are plenty of tricks for achieving the luxe look you want.

Eisen, a long-time New York-based home stager who works for high-end clients, shared six practical if inexpensive tips with readers of Harper’s Bazaar:

  • Use larger area rugs – The bigger the area rug, the larger the room will appear. You can save some money by fastening together two smaller, less expensive area rugs instead of purchasing one large one.
  • Less is more – When it comes to shelving, opt for a minimalist look rather than cramming them with books. Stand several books upright, interspersed with vases and other décor items of various heights and colors.  
  • Go bold or go home – Every room needs a focal point, and often it is eye-catching wall art. Use a large canvas you love on one wall or create a triptych with three separate pieces that form one visual image.
  • Go for flair in the bedroom – Create a little dramatic flair in the bedroom by painting the wall behind the bed darker than the others – or by covering it with grass cloth or another textured wall covering.
  • Love a room with a view – If you’re lucky enough to have a great view from your living room or office, frame it with neutral curtains so the eye is drawn to the windows and the view behind.
  • Be eclectic – Decorate rooms with natural palettes, adding pops of color and texture with accessories. (A popular color scheme today is white, gray and beige.) Then search Craigslist or an upscale second hand store for eclectic pieces like a vintage chair and/or pillows in bright hues and varied shapes.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved. By Barbara Pronin

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Scary Home Problems That Could Raise the Dead

Contributed by Anita Alvarez


Foundation issues, mold problems, water damage – these are just a few home problems that can bring the strongest homeowner to his knees. While painting a room, replacing a broken light fixture and even minor electrical repair jobs may be within your purview, some jobs should be left to the pros.

Foundation issues
Perhaps the most dreaded home problem of all, foundation issues are no joke. Foundation issues can reveal themselves as cracks in the walls, uneven floors or trouble opening and closing doors. Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it better. In fact, the foundation problem will only grow worse as time goes on. While most foundation issues are easily resolved, they are costly. Because the problem requires accessing and repairing what holds up the majority of the home, it is an expensive fix and you should always hire a professional to do the job.

Mold problems
If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, you have reason to be alarmed. Once mold spores take root, they colonize quickly, feeding on common items in the home like clothing, paper, cardboard, etc. In addition, mold poses a significant health hazard, so it’s a problem you shouldn’t ignore.

Mold cleanup requires strict adherence to guidelines so that the individuals performing the task aren’t exposed to the spores and to ensure that the mold is comprehensively removed. It’s best to let a mold remediation professional resolve this frightening problem.

Water damage
Water damage is a serious and costly problem. Water stains on the ceiling are one sign that there’s a significant problem above it. At the top of the home, roof issues like ice dams, missing shingles or damaged flashing could be allowing moisture access to the home.

When water reaches the structure of the home, it can cause the wood to rot or mildew and moisture issues will form shortly after. If water damage has already made its way to your ceilings, call a pro to assess the roof, attic and ceiling, determine the root of the problem, and come up with an effective repair strategy.

These spine-chilling home problems might cost you a pretty penny, but you can largely avoid them with regular maintenance. Have a professional assess the condition of the foundation, roof and basement – as well as the home’s plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems – to ensure you won’t be confronted with a shockingly expensive, dangerous problem.

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Are You Cybersecure? New Smart Home Security and Privacy Checklist Released


In support of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) have partnered to create a Smart Home Checklist that offers guidance to help homebuyers, renters and sellers manage the privacy and security of their smart homes and devices.

Today’s homes are being built and retrofitted with smart apps and devices to monitor things like security, temperature and lighting.  Homeowners and renters should be cognizant that these devices may be collecting personal information, or have unpatched vulnerabilities or passwords set by previous homeowners, vendors or maintenance personnel.  As evidenced by some of the largest data breaches, access through one device can compromise an entire network.  While homebuyers are increasingly embracing an “always on” lifestyle, they may not be aware of the potential privacy or security risks.

“As smart technology becomes more prevalent in our homes, it’s important that we all take precautions to protect our data and privacy,” says NAR President Chris Polychron. “The Online Trust Alliance’s Smart Home Checklist takes a common-sense approach to protecting sensitive information and offers sound advice for anyone who uses smart technology in their day-to-day lives.”

“Although we enjoy the benefits of a connected lifestyle, we must not lose sight of the risks a smart home may pose to our privacy and physical safety.  As evidenced by some privacy practices and recent vulnerabilities with smart cars, TVs and baby monitors, consumers need to be aware of and manage smart devices in their homes,” says Craig Spiezle, President and Executive Director of the Online Trust Alliance.  “Following these recommendations will help consumers better protect their privacy and identity and prevent their personal data from falling into the hands of cybercriminals and being sold to the highest bidder.”

Not unlike turning over all keys and remote controls, the homebuyer and renter should ensure that the seller, previous tenants and unauthorized third parties no longer have access to the home’s or apartment’s critical systems and devices. 

Recently the OTA released a draft of its Internet of Things (IoT) Trust Framework, providing guidance to device manufacturers, retailers and application developers to address the top security, privacy and sustainability risks for connected devices, smart homes and wearable technologies.  The Framework is the result of input from industry, government and non-profits including NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology.

The Center for REALTOR® Technology, NAR’s Technology Research & Development group, is leading the IoT initiatives for NAR. Aside from educating its membership, CRT is also working closely with universities, vendors, NGOs and government agencies in the name of homeownership and the role of NAR’s 1.1 million members in improving quality of life for homeowners using IoT devices.



For more information, visit otalliance.org/smarthome.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

More Posts Next page »