Five easy tips for spring cleaning your kitchen (via Winnipegs Real Estate Blog)

Five Easy Tips for Spring Cleaning the Kitchen With the emergence of spring, comes an abundance of natural, fresh and plentiful of light. This could initiate you with the rearranging and cleaning of your grimacing Kitchen. Spring is the perfect time…


Top Valentine's Day Gifts - Fun Facts

Top Valentine’s Day Gifts - Fun Facts (via www.savor.co)

Valentine’s Day generates over $13 billion of sales each year. Who said you can’t buy love? Whether it’s candy, flowers, cards or jewelry, your sweet is expecting a gift. According to Statistics Brain, 53% of women would end their relationship…


5 Stats Every House Hunter Should Know

Article written by Forbes Magazine http://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2014/02/07/5-stats-every-house-hunter-should-know/
Buying a new home can be quite the undertaking, and in many ways, it’s a numbers game. Here are five stats, numbers and percentages you’ll need to be familiar with to give you that winning edge. 90% Of All Home Buyers Begin Their Home Shopping Online Let your fingers do the walking. Did you know that today 90% of all buyers begin their house shopping online? It’s the best way to get familiar with the market, the houses, the prices, the neighborhoods and the current inventory, without leaving your home or office. With every click of that mouse, you become a more educated, smarter home shopper. And a smart buyer gets a better house – and pays less. You can search for properties, compare similar properties, research the neighborhood, calculate commute times, rate schools and even pull up crime stats for you area. It’s so easy for anyone to get instant access to a property’s current value and even get a good ballpark idea of prices in each neighborhood. But most important, you will get an invaluable education about how much or how little your money will buy. 5-7 Years Statistically, based upon the national rates of home appreciation and prices, most homebuyers should consider buying only if they plan to live in their home for 5 years, minimum. Otherwise, financially it may not make sense. If you have to sell again relatively soon, you could lose money. Generally, a home is not a good short-term investment because the transaction costs are too high. Yes, you will have been paying down some of your mortgage monthly, but when you factor in paying an agent between 4-6% of the sales price and monthly costs, this can amount to more than the average long-term annual national home price appreciation rate. So, depending upon your metro area, if you have to sell after only a few years, it might made more financial sense to keep renting. Number of Days on Market When house shopping, knowing how long a home has been on the market can help you gauge if it’s priced too high, has too many flaws or if something else is a factor. On Trulia, you’ll find this important stat right under the photos of the for sale home. days-on-market-trulia Great homes in the right neighborhoods that are priced correctly tend to spend the least amount of days on the market. Homes in fringe neighborhoods that may be overpriced compared to comps, or have major structural or cosmetic issues, tend to sit on the market much longer. These homes with long for-sale shelf lives aren’t all duds. Some of them may be slightly overpriced and just need a bit of TLC. With a little imagination and the right guidance from an agent, this could be your dream home! Dollars Per Month cost-per-month-trulia This is how much the home will cost you out of pocket every month: your mortgage and estimated taxes and insurance. You can find this on Trulia TRLA -0.69% on every for-sale home’s listing page. Having this “stat” right up front lets you tailor your shopping choices to those homes you can actually afford. 43% of Your Income This is a very important stat and a new development in the housing market. Under the brand new “Qualified Loan” mortgage rules, in general, the borrower’s debt, including mortgage payments, can’t total more than 43% of gross monthly income (although there are exceptions to that cap for the next several years). Also, points and fees are limited to 3 percent of the loan amount. ALL: What are other key stats buyers and sellers must consider?


Latest Real Estate Numbers Give Reason to Hope

By Alison Rogers @RE_RookieJan. 28, 20143 Comments Suburban homes in Massachusetts Alex Maclean / Getty Images
Housing price data for November, fresh out of the oven, shows dazzling year-over-year gains but a slowing in month-to-month prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Price Index that’s a composite of 20 metro areas jumped 13.7% year-over-year, beating even the past two month’s 13.3% and 13.6%. The continued march upward will certainly hearten housing bulls, as prices are currently only 20% off their bubble peaks of Spring/Summer 2006. Separately, last week the National Association of Realtors reported that volume was good, with 5.09 million homes sold in all of 2013. In addition to crossing the psychological barrier of the 5 million mark, that’s a 9.1% jump from the year before. Monthly price figures, however, softened 0.1% from October to November. That’s typical of housing, which is a seasonal market — buyers tend to bid high when the weather is better — but it’s also the first decrease in a year, which should encourage housing bears. Dr. Stan Humphries, the chief economist of real estate listing website Zillow, noted that “individual markets are showing signs of slowing down, which is helping to set up a mixed bag this year for buyers and sellers.” Overall, the fact that these data reflect somewhat higher interest rates — 30-year mortgage rates began to break through the 4.25% level in October — shows that housing is generally in recovery. Even if mortgage rates continue to rise (which is likely with the Federal Reserve tapering its purchases of bonds), buyers will probably continue to stay in the market the rest of this year. (The NAR’s forecast is for volume to stay level even as mortgage rates rise to 5.4% by year’s end, with prices jumping 6%). Every city in the composite 20 showed year-over-year gains, led by Las Vegas (up 27.3%) and San Francisco (up 23.2%). Thirteen cities posted double-digit jumps, a widespread pattern of strength that included Chicago (up 11%); Detroit (up 17.3%), and Tampa (up 15.7%). Some relative laggards like Boston (up 9.8% year-over-year) and Cleveland (up 6.0% year-over-year) registered monthly increases (0.2% and 0.3%, respectively). Of course rising prices are no news to homebuyers, who have also been faced with thin inventory in many cities around the country. What looks likely is that this spring brings some relief from the latter problem but not the former. In other words, shoppers may have more properties to choose from in the spring — which is traditionally the case — but they might not get any cheaper. To take a medium-length view based on the data, if you examine a chart of pricing data for the past five years, it looks like a “W” shape with five troughs instead of two. What the past couple months’ reports tell us is that those who are in the market to buy, and who are counting on a sixth dip, may find themselves on the sidelines for a rather long time. Read more: Latest Real Estate Numbers Give Reason to Hope | TIME.com http://business.time.com/2014/01/28/latest-real-estate-numbers-give-reason-to-hope/#ixzz2s6cxLf8P