Two surveys of elite Real Estate Brokerages indicate that in 2009, RE/MAX Significantly outperformed its national competitors. To read the full article, please click on the link below.
If you are thinking of Buying or Selling a home, now is a great time! Please contact me at 704-968-1965 for more information.
By Dan McLeister
Need help in selecting environmentally friendly flooring? Think green.
No, we’re not talking Astroturf here. In this case, “green” means the use of environmentally friendly materials that are either readily renewable or made from recycled products. Several green certification programs and directories are available to help remodelers, builders and homeowners make that selection.
For example, the National Wood Flooring Association looks to The Forest Stewardship Council to certify wood flooring products as green when the material comes from forests operated under sustainable forest management practices. Other organizations, such as BuildingGreen Inc. (http://www.buildinggreen.com), publisher of the GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building News, qualify and list other green flooring alternatives, such as natural linoleum, cork and concrete
For the complete story, please visit:
Thinking about buying or selling? Call Becky Smith of RE/MAX Metro and Carolina Realty Team at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com
By Les Christie, staff writerDecember 31, 2009: 3:39 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Starting Jan. 1, new rules go into effect that simplify and clarify exactly what mortgage lenders will charge for a loan.
The initiative from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)requires that a new “Good Faith Estimate” form be given to all applicants, one that makes it easier to compare true costs of loans from different lenders.
For the full story go to:http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/31/real_estate/new_mortgage_rules/index.htm
Buying or selling in 2010? Call Becky Smith of RE/MAX Metro and Carolina Realty Team at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
Mortgage rescue: Credit score killer
By Tami Luhby, senior writerDecember 28, 2009: 8:37 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Most troubled homeowners view President Obama’s foreclosure rescue plan as a way out of their financial troubles.
But many don’t realize that entering a trial mortgage modification can actually hurt their credit.
For the full story, go to http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/28/news/economy/loan_modifications_credit_history/index.htm
Buying or selling in your plans for 2010? Call Becky Smith of Carolina Realty Team and RE/MAX Metro at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
December on Lake Wylie is a completely different experience than boating during the summer months. There are only a few boats out on the water. The lake itself is still beautiful with wildlife and scenic views.
Interested in waterfront property? Call Becky Smith of RE/MAX Metro and the Carolina Realty Team at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
Renovating doesn’t pay off like it used to
By Les Christie, staff writerDecember 19, 2009: 8:57 AM ET
By Les Christie, staff writerDecember 19, 2009: 8:57 AM ET
(CNNMoney.com) — Home remodelers are getting less bang for their bucks. For the fourth straight year, renovation jobs have added less to resale values relative to their costs, according to an annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report released this week by the National Association of Realtors.
The average remodeling job cost $50,908 in 2009 and added $32,497 to the value of the home, a ratio of 63.8%. That was down from a cost-to-value ratio of 67.3% in 2008, when the average was $49,866 and the added value was $33,568.
For the full story: http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/18/real_estate/return_on_renovations/index.htm
Thinking of buying or selling? We can help. Call Becky Smith of RE/MAX Metro and Carolina RealtyTeam at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
Lake Wylie boat parade took place on December 12, 2009. It was festive and an exciting time to be at the lake! The parade started at T-Bones. T-Bones and the adjacent public access to Lake Wylie was buzzing with activity!
Looking for property in Lake Wylie or surrounding area? Call Becky Smith at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
Lake Wylie boat parade is only 6 days away! Make your plans to enjoy the Christmas lights on the lake at this years event!
Looking for property in the Lake Wylie area? Call Becky Smith of RE/MAX Metro and Carolina Realty Team at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
Housing recovery is being propelled by affordability, bringing entry-level buyers back into the market.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Propelled by the first-time homebuyers tax credit, nearly half of home sales are now being made by first-time purchasers, according to an industry report released Friday.
In fact, 47% of all Americans who purchased homes this year had not owned one during the previous three years, according to a press release Friday from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That was up from 41% of sales in 2008 and 36% in 2006.
The tax credit boosted markets by giving first-time buyers a credit of up to $8,000 they could deduct from their income taxes. The credit is fully refundable: Even a buyer who pays less than $8,000 in income tax gets the full amount of the credit back.
The credit was recently extended through the middle of 2010 and expanded to include many existing homeowners. That has the industry buzzing.
“The credit is working better than first projected — it now looks like we’ll have 2.3 to 2.4 million first-time buyers this year,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR. “With expansion of the tax credit to additional buyers through the middle of next year, and no major unforeseen events impacting the economy, home prices should rise between 3% and 5% in 2010.”
NAR forecasts that existing-home sales will total slightly over 5 million in 2009, a 2% increase compared with 2008. Next year, they predict a gain of 13.6% to 5.69 million units. That should draw down inventory and prop up home prices, according to Yun, but, he cautioned: “Risks, such as unemployment, remain.”
Critics of the tax credit call it a poorly targeted method of boosting sales. The credit added, by nearly the most positive evaluations — including NAR’s — fewer than 400,000 sales to the total this year, about 20% of all first-time purchases.
Since all first-timers get the credit, whether it persuaded them to buy or not, that would mean about $40,000 was spent by the government for every extra sale, critics say.
Indeed, many in the industry trace the improvement in the housing market to much better affordability, rather than the tax credit.
Not only have home prices fallen more than 30% from their peak, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index, but mortgage rates have remained extremely low all year, keeping monthly payments low.
Most sales have been of existing homes. New home sales, as well as new home construction, have remained mired in the doldrums.
NAR predicts total new home sales will total a mere 397,000 this year, rising to 549,000 in 2010. During the housing boom, new home sales were far higher, more than 1.35 million in 2005, for example.
While new home sales are still very low, the inventory of new homes for sale has been dropping. That’s because very few new homes are being built. Existing home inventory has also fallen a bit.
“We’ve seen a steady downtrend in housing inventory for well over a year,” said Yun.
Any home price rise will also have a healthy impact on the foreclosure plague. Falling prices are a major contributing factor driving foreclosures. As home values fall, homeowners are less able and less likely to continue to make monthly payments.
Mortgage borrowers often fall behind because there’s no home equity cushion to tap should they run into unexpected expenses.
Too, when home values really plummet and owners fall way underwater, owing far more than their home is worth, it sometimes makes good financial sense to give up trying to pay for the home.