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Real Estate News

Homeowners Making Improvements Despite Political Uncertainties

Homeowners are springing more for upgrades to their homes, despite unknowns that have the potential to impact their spending—a full 60 percent more than what they spent in 2016, according to a new report by HomeAdvisor.

“Home improvement activity is showing resilience in the face of political shifts,” says Brad Hunter, chief economist at HomeAdvisor. “While there is a sharp divide in how homeowners feel about the economy and the current presidential administration, that divide is not affecting their willingness to take on home projects.”

Thirty-five percent of the homeowners surveyed for the report, the 2017 True Cost Report, are confident the Trump Administration will put policies in place that will improve their finances—but 80 percent will carry out upgrades, anyway.

The report also found:

HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

Source: HomeAdvisor

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Homeowners Making Improvements Despite Political Uncertainties appeared first on RISMedia.

Knowledge Reigns Supreme in Resort and Second-Home Marketplace

Louis Price, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker in New Buffalo, Mich., has seen his business gravitate toward second homes over the last several years. Serving the Lake Michigan area, his client base trends toward second-home seekers from Chicago who are looking for homes by the lake.

That’s why when Price first learned about the Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) certification offered by the National Association of REALTORS®, he knew he needed to get it.

“When I found out about the certification, I thought, ‘the more knowledge I can get about second homes and resorts, the better off I’ll be, and the better I can serve my clients,'” says Price.

During his class, he learned about the attitudes of second-home buyers, and the differences between those looking for investment properties and those looking to get away and relax.

“It really brought me up to date on the thought process they go through and helped me better figure out how to deal with their needs,” says Price.

With a better understanding of their mindset, Price believes he has better credibility with clients. Many are impressed that he’s furthering his knowledge and like that he’s an expert in the area.

“I think it carries extra weight with buyers and sellers, but it also carries extra weight with other real estate professionals, because they know I have the experience in resorts and second homes, so if they bring me an offer, or I bring them an offer, they know I’m aware of what’s going on in the market,” says Price. “There’s a respect there.”

A REALTOR® since 1983 and a multimillion-dollar producer many times over, Price feels it’s important to always improve his knowledge base. With less than 1 percent of real estate professionals having earned the designation nationally, Price often champions the certification, telling other agents why they should follow his lead.

As a member of the National Resort and Second Home Real Estate Committee, his responsibilities include staying up to date and protecting the interests of property owners and real estate professionals when it comes to second homes and resort properties.

“The big question from buyers is, ‘Will I be able to rent this house out?’ Some people don’t want to live in a rental community, so having that knowledge and knowing what different associations are doing is important for success,” says Price.

While he’s seen an increase in business lately, Price feels that his RSPS certification makes him a preferred choice for those looking for second homes and resort properties.

“The second home and resort business has been on an upswing the last couple years,” concludes Price. “Prices are going up a bit, but it’s also been a very good time for buyers.”

For more information, please visit NAR.realtor/resort.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Knowledge Reigns Supreme in Resort and Second-Home Marketplace appeared first on RISMedia.

Mortgage Rates Ramp Back Up

The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate ramped back up above 4 percent this week after wandering below 4 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The 30-year, fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.03 percent.

“The 10-year Treasury yield rose about 10 basis points this week,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The 30-year mortgage rate moved with Treasury yields, rising six basis points to 4.03 percent.”

Per the survey, the 15-year, fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.27 percent, while the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable mortgage rate averaged 3.12 percent.

Last week’s dip below 4 percent was the first time the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate averaged lower than 4 percent since the election in November, when it broke through the mark.

“Despite recent swings in mortgage rates, the housing market continues to show signs of strength—both existing– and new-home sales in March exceeded expectations, and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted another solid gain,” Becketti says.

Source: Freddie Mac

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The post Mortgage Rates Ramp Back Up appeared first on RISMedia.

The Top 25 Most Creative Cities in America

If you’re a creative person, looking for a city that ignites your creative flair, where should you live? Perhaps you dream of becoming a writer—which city will provide the muses and inspiration you need? Maybe you want to go to an art school in a city where you’re surrounded by artists in your community and not just your classes. We set ourselves the challenge of finding out what cities creatives flock to, or should flock to, to live.

But first, how do we define creativity? The term has been used to describe personality types, professions, fields of study, and hobbies, but it’s also used when creating something, problem-solving, and reaching that “eureka” moment. For the purposes of this study, we defined creativity as producing work that is original and relating to four factors: the person, the process, the environmental influences, and the product created.

We analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics and determined four measurable metrics: creative jobs, creative schools, performing arts companies, and motion picture and video companies. These four metrics all reflect original work from a person, a process, environmental influences, and a product. We then took these metrics and ranked cities to determine the 25 most creative cities.

Where Should Creatives Hang Their Hats?
And the winner is…New York City! In a hard-fought battle of creative clout, even though it didn’t win any one category, overall New York City came out on top as a melting pot of both jobs, schools, venues, and opportunities for creatives. It was the second city with the most creative jobs, the fifth for creative schools, third for performing art companies, and third for motion picture and video industries. The biggest surprise in the top five, and a bit of a unicorn really, was Minneapolis, at No. 5 overall. When it comes down to deciding where to live, while New York is a classic for a reason, the average housing price is $1,624,710, while average in Minneapolis is $517,222. For the starving artist types, seems like Minnesota might be the place to get the best bang for your buck.


Which City Has the Most Creative Jobs?
Los Angeles Is the Best for Creative Employment Opps

With more artists and film-related jobs than any other city per capita, Los Angeles was pretty much guaranteed to be the top city for creative jobs. The top 10 also contained New YorkSeattleMilwaukee, and Kansas City, among others, demonstrating that there are rich hubs of creativity all across the country.


Where Are the Most Creative Schools?
San Francisco Educates the Creative Mind

San Francisco has often been hailed as a creative beacon, and after comparing it against the other cities on the roster we deduced that, given that it has the most creative schools on our list, it lives up to the hype. Students can decide between schools such as the California College of Arts, the Academy of Art University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and more, depending on their specialty.


Which City Has the Most Performing Arts Companies and Venues?
Nashville Is the Music and Arts Stage

Nashville has grown and evolved just as much as the music that is the common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and its people. The creative scene is flourishing, and is home to more performing art companies per capita than all the other cities—almost double San Francisco, which is the No. 2 spot. In other good news, the average housing price in Nashville is $456,740, which is almost half the average price of San Francisco, which comes in at $851,543. Interestingly, New Orleans was in the bottom half of the list, even though it is considered to be the home of jazz and Mardi Gras.


Which City Has the Most Film and Video Companies?
Los Angeles’ Hollywood Reigns Supreme

Los Angeles, of course, had the most motion picture and video companies per capita. Home to Hollywood, this wasn’t exactly shocking, but in terms of cost of living, film types may have may be able to trade in the typical LA shoebox apartment for some extra space in St. Louis, which was the No. 4. Out of 1,5111 cities overall, St. Louis ranks 223rd overall for homes over $200,000, and is the 59th most populated.


It’s important to remember that creativity can be measured in hundreds of ways. It comes from the people, from what you do, from what’s around you, and of course from what you make. No matter which city you’d like to live in, the power to exercise creativity always lies within yourself.

A version of this article originally appeared on Homes.com.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post The Top 25 Most Creative Cities in America appeared first on RISMedia.

Real Estate Industry Sounds Off on Trump Tax Plan

President Trump’s proposed tax plan has been met largely with disapproval from the housing industry, with several constituents concerned about a change that would double the standard deduction—and, in effect, invalidate the tax benefits of owning a home.

“For roughly 75 million homeowners across the country, their home is more than just a number,” said National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Bill Brown in a statement on the plan. “It represents their ambitions, their nest egg, and the place where memories are made with family and friends. Targeted tax incentives are in place to help people get there. The mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction make homeownership more affordable, while 1031 like-kind exchanges help investors keep inventory on the market and money flowing to local communities. Those tax incentives are at risk in the plan released [this week].”

The outcome of the changes, should they be enacted, could be devastating to homeownership, according to Brown.

“Current homeowners could very well see their home’s value plummet and their equity evaporate if tax reform nullifies or eliminates the tax incentives they depend on, while prospective homeowners will see that dream pushed further out of reach,” Brown said.

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Granger MacDonald shared similar sentiments.

“Doubling the standard deduction could severely marginalize the mortgage interest deduction, which would reduce housing demand and lead to lower home values,” said MacDonald in a statement.

The changes could have an inverse impact, as well, on lower-income households, according to Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

“By raising the standard deduction, Mr. Trump’s tax plan would lead to fewer households claiming the mortgage interest deduction (MID)—a $70 billion tax write-off that primarily benefits higher-income households,” said Yentel in a statement. “Without additional reforms to provide a greater tax benefit to low- and moderate-income homeowners and to reinvest the savings into providing affordable rental homes to those with the greatest needs, Mr. Trump’s proposal would amplify MID’s regressive effect; only the wealthiest Americans would benefit.”

Brown, in addition, pointed to the majority share of federal income taxes paid by homeowners, cautioning that they could shoulder even more responsibility if the changes take effect.

“As it stands, homeowners already pay between 80 and 90 percent of the U.S. federal income tax,” said Brown. “Without tax incentives for homeownership, those numbers could rise even further.

“Common sense says that owning a home isn’t the same as renting one, and America’s tax code shouldn’t treat those activities the same either,” Brown said. “While we appreciate the administration’s stated commitment to protecting homeownership, this plan does anything but.”

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn reiterated the administration’s intent to preserve homeownership in a briefing on the plan.

“Homeownership, charitable giving and retirement savings will be protected,” said Cohn.

Stay tuned to RISMedia.com for more developments.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Real Estate Industry Sounds Off on Trump Tax Plan appeared first on RISMedia.

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