Categories
Finance Information Money Personal Finance Products and Services Real Estate Wealth

Residential Real Estate Contractor Mistakes

Contractor Mistakes

NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2013, Your Contractor Did What?! 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Home Renovations Aren’t a Disaster

 

According to the experts on RealtyPin.com, the right home renovations can make or break the time you spend in your home. They can also make or break the time it takes to sell your home. However, you can’t end up with the right finished product unless you hire the right contractor. That means you’ve got to avoid these major mistakes:

Grading the 2012 Housing Market

1. Picking a contractor based on price
Yes, I know you want to save some money, but the last thing you should want is for your home to look like a corner-cutting haven. It’s one thing to get a good deal. However, a contractor that offers prices that are too good to be true usually does so for a reason – and it’s not a good one. Think about it – if your contractor is offering you a price that’s far less than what everyone else is offering, why? How is he going to make up the difference? By using lower-quality materials? Doing the work faster and, thus, upping the chances of making sloppy mistakes?

Renovation advice: The Top 4 Things Experience Can Teach You in a Home Renovation

2. Not checking to see if your contractor is insured
Most homeowners assume that because their contractor “looks” professional, he must be insured. Boy, is that a risky game! If your contractor isn’t insured and something goes wrong (like if one of the employees gets injured while working on your project), you could be liable for it. Do you want to risk being sued because you didn’t think to ask if your contractor was insured before the work began? I didn’t think so!

Renovation tips: Why “Invisible Renovations” Aren’t Good Enough

3. Not getting a written contract
A good contractor will put everything in writing – including a detailed description of your entire project, approximate completion dates, a payment schedule, and even a list of materials (especially if it’s high-end stuff). That way, there will be no confusion along the way and no risk for anyone going back on their word.

Browse homes for sale in: San Diego Phoenix San Antonio Dallas San Jose Miami

4. Making the final payment before the work is finished
No matter how great your contractor seems, never ever hand over the last check before the work is finished – including all of the clean-up. After all, if everything has been paid for, what incentive does your contractor have to finish the job?! In fact, when you and your contractor are drawing up your contract, make sure to specify that the final payment will not be made until everything is complete and your home is completely back to normal. That means that all inspections have been passed, all dumpsters have been removed, and everything else has been cleaned up and your home is ready to show off to the world. Otherwise, your project may never end!

Looking for a new home for sale? Visit Realtypin.com

Media Contact: James Paffrath , RealtyPin.com, 1-(866) 960-8649, james@realtypin.com

SOURCE: RealtyPin.com

Categories
Market Real Estate

Home Prices Rise in all 19 Redfin Markets, Sales Volume up 9% for 2012 in December in Redfin Real-Time Home Price Tracker

Home Prices Rise in all 19 Redfin Markets, Sales Volume up 9% for 2012 in December in Redfin Real-Time Home Price Tracker

 

Selling Velocity Flattens as Inventory Reaches its Lowest Level in 22 Months

 

SEATTLE, Jan. 11, 2013, Technology-powered real estate broker Redfin (www.redfin.com) today released its Real-Time Home Price Tracker for December 2012, showing home prices increasing 11.3 percent year over year while dropping just 0.4 percent from November to December across 19 major U.S. markets. Inventory plummeted 33 percent year over year, its largest drop in 2012. The report also showed:

 

Monthly and yearly sales volumes rose:

 

  • The number of homes sold increased 3.4 percent from November 2012, with a 4.1 percent month-over-month drop. In total, 2012 sales volume was up 9 percent from 2011.

 

Home-selling velocity remained flat in December:

 

  • The percentage of listings that sold within 14 days of their debut was flat at 27.5 percent. In all of 2012, 26 percent of listings were under contract within 14 days, while just 17 percent of listings sold that quickly in 2011.

This report is the earliest monthly analysis of home prices, sales and inventory across 19 U.S. markets, published weeks before any other index, based on the local databases used directly by Realtors to list properties and record sales. Click the following link to read the complete Redfin Real-Time Home Price Tracker. http://blog.redfin.com/?p=10407

 

Market-Specific Highlights and Lowlights:

 

Sales Volumes

 

  • Boston saw the biggest gains, with home sales up 24 percent from December 2011.
  • Inland Empire had the largest drop, with 17.3 percent fewer sales than last year.

Home Prices

 

  • Phoenix continues to lead the nation’s price gains with a 28.8 percent year-over-year increase.
  • The market with the smallest price increase was Chicago with a 1.1 percent jump.

 

Inventory

 

  • There were fewer than 160,000 homes for sale across the 19 markets covered.
  • California continued to fare the worst in terms of diminishing inventory: Sacramento (-68.1%), San Francisco (-68.1%), San Jose (-67.9%), Ventura (-64.6%), Los Angeles (-61.2%), Inland Empire (-57.0%) and San Diego (-56.7%).
  • Phoenix posted the smallest decline in inventory, with 5.2 percent fewer listings than in December 2011.

 

Selling Velocity

 

  • California is home to the five fastest-selling markets, determined by the percentage of homes that sell within 14 days of their debut: San Jose (58.2%), San Francisco (49.5%), Ventura (45.7%), Los Angeles (41.7%), San Diego (41.2%) and Inland Empire (39.2%).
  • California is also home to the slowest-selling market, Sacramento, where 3.5 percent of homes sell after being on the market for 14 or fewer days.

 

About the Real-Time Home Price Tracker


As a broker with access to dozens of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) used by real estate agents to list properties and record sales, Redfin gets data within minutes of a sale, pending sale or listing activation, well before any government, media or analytics organization. Using MLS fields, Redfin is able to distinguish houses from condominiums and townhouses, which often sell for less money. To validate the accuracy of the data and to account for sales not handled by a real estate agent, Redfin compares MLS data with county records as they become available, using sophisticated algorithms to identify and resolve disparities about square footage or price for each address. Data at the local and neighborhood level are available in a spreadsheet, and the report methodology is available as an Adobe document.

 

About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate broker that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin, has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not sales-people, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin’s online tools feature all the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties that don’t pay brokers a commission. The company serves 19 U.S. markets, and has closed more than $5 billion in home sales. Follow us on blog.redfin.com or @redfin.

 

SOURCE Redfin

RELATED LINKS
http://www.redfin.com

 

Categories
Credit Debt Loans Mortgages Real Estate

20.6 Million U.S. Homeowners Own Homes Free And Clear Of Mortgage Debt

20.6 Million U.S. Homeowners Own Homes Free And Clear Of Mortgage Debt

 

Pittsburgh, Tampa and New York Top Metros For Free-And-Clear Homeownership; Age, Credit Score and Local Home Values Help Influence Ratios Of Debt-Free Homeowners

 

SEATTLE, Jan. 10, 2013 — Almost 21 million Americans, or 29.3 percent of homeowners, own their homes outright, unencumbered by a mortgage, according to a recent Zillow® analysis of mortgage data.

 

Analyzing data through the third quarter of 2012, Zillow found that 20.6 million homeowners nationwide own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt.

 

Among the nation’s 30 largest metro areas included in the study, Pittsburgh (38.6 percent), Tampa (33.2 percent), New York (29.7 percent), Cleveland (29.4 percent) and Miami (28.9 percent) had the highest percentage of free-and-clear homeowners. Washington, D.C. (15.5 percent), Atlanta (17.7 percent), Las Vegas (18.3 percent), Denver (18.5 percent) and Charlotte (20 percent) had the lowest percentage.

 

A number of elements influence the percentage of free-and-clear homeowners in a given area, including median home values. Zillow found that areas with lower home values generally have higher outright homeownership rates, as smaller loan amounts are easier to pay back more quickly.

 

Demographic factors including the age and credit rating of primary borrowers also influence free-and-clear homeownership rates. Zillow found that 65- to 74-year-olds are most likely to be free-and-clear (20.5 percent), followed by 74- to 84-year-olds (17.9 percent). This is attributed to the fact that the longer someone owns a home, the longer they have to pay off their mortgage. Interestingly, when examining free-and-clear ownership rates as a percentage of homeowners in various age groups, Zillow found 34.5 percent of 20- to 24-year-old homeowners are free of mortgages.

 

Among homeowners who own their homes outright, 44 percent have a high VantageScore – representing their credit rating – between 800 and 900. Only 15.5 percent of homeowners with the highest credit rating of 900-990 are free-and-clear.

 

“So far we have used our unique data on how much homeowners owe on their homes primarily to identify underwater and delinquent groups of homeowners,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries . “But looking at those homeowners who are free-and-clear is important, too. Homeowners unencumbered by a mortgage may be more flexible than indebted homeowners, and therefore more apt or willing to list their homes or enter the market for a new property. By determining where these homeowners are located, we can also gain insight into potential inventory and demand in those areas, as well.”

 

Zillow’s analysis incorporates mortgage data from TransUnion®, a global leader in credit and information management. All personally identifying information is removed from the data by TransUnion before delivery to Zillow. Overall, the data covers more than 800 metro areas, 2,100 counties and 21,900 ZIP codes nationwide. To calculate the free-and-clear homeownership rate, we compute the number of overall homeowners and number of homeowners with no outstanding mortgage debt by location and demographics. We exclude investor and rental homes.

METRO

FREE-&-CLEAR
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE

METRO

FREE-&-CLEAR
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE

New York

29.7%

San Diego

21.5%

Los Angeles

20.7%

Tampa

33.2%

Chicago

23.8%

St. Louis

27.2%

Dallas-Fort Worth

24.5%

Baltimore

22.5%

Philadelphia

27.6%

Denver

18.5%

Washington, DC

15.5%

Pittsburgh

38.6%

Miami-Fort   Lauderdale

28.9%

Portland

21.8%

Atlanta

17.7%

Sacramento

21.5%

Boston

24.6%

Orlando

24.6%

San Francisco

21.8%

Cincinnati

23.7%

Detroit

28.8%

Cleveland

29.4%

Riverside, Calif.

20.6%

Las Vegas

18.3%

Phoenix

22.9%

San Jose, Calif.

22.1%

Seattle

21.0%

Columbus, Ohio

21.7%

Minneapolis-St   Paul

20.6%

Charlotte, NC

20.0%

For more data on free-and-clear homeownership, including data at the state, metro and county levels broken down by homeowners’ age and credit rating, please see the full research brief or contact press@zillow.com.

 

About Zillow:
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

 

Zillow.com, Zillow, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech and HotPads are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

 

TransUnion is a registered trademark of Trans Union , LLC.

 

SOURCE Zillow

RELATED LINKS
http://www.zillow.com

 

Categories
Economics Government Loans Real Estate

Section 502 Direct Loans and Self-Help Housing top list of cost-effective federal housing programs

New Report Shows How Federal Programs Help Low-Income Rural Families Become Homeowners

WASHINGTON, A new report issued by the National Rural Housing Coalition details how two USDA programs have expanded homeownership opportunities to the nation’s poorest rural families – at little expense to the federal government.

Over the past 60 years, more than 2.1 million low-income rural families have accessed affordable mortgages under the Section 502 Direct Loan program, which is credited with building more than $40 billion in wealth for the nation’s rural poor. The Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Housing program is the only federal homeownership program of its kind; small groups of six to twelve rural families join together on nights and weekends to build each other’s homes, reducing construction costs, earning equity, and making lasting investments in their communities.

The Coalition report presents key findings from their analysis of USDA program data. Overall, the report finds that despite serving families with limited economic means, these programs are among the most cost-effective federal housing programs. Section 502 Direct Loans cost an average $7,200 over the lifetime of the loan – less than the annual cost of other federal housing programs. Likewise, by providing at least 65 percent of the construction labor on each home – often more than 1,000 hours − Self-Help Housing families earn an average $27,000 in equity.

The report also shows that benefits extend beyond participating families to rural communities and the nation. In the past 5 years, the Section 502 Direct Loan program has led to the creation of over 100,000 jobs and $5.2 billion in local income. The Self-Help Housing program has resulted in nearly 18,000 jobs and $1.16 billion local income.

The report includes twelve success stories that illustrate how these programs have been used by rural families to become homeowners.

“Underlying this report is a simple truth: responsible homeownership continues to be the single, best, long-term investment for most Americans, and the primary source of wealth and financial security for low-income rural families,” said Bob Rapoza , Executive Secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition. “For many low-income families, these programs are the only available source of safe, decent, and affordable housing. Instead of cutting funding for these programs, Congress should invest in them as key ways to help improve access to affordable housing.”

SOURCE National Rural Housing Coalition

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ruralhousingcoalition.org

Categories
Business School MBA Real Estate

Rutgers Business School establishes $3 million “Paul V. Profeta Chair in Real Estate”

New faculty position to build research center, MBA concentration, and executive training courses to deliver a new level of sophistication required in the real estate sector

NEWARK, N.J., Dean Glenn R. Shafer announced today the establishment of a $3 million “Paul V. Profeta Chair in Real Estate.” The new faculty position will enable Rutgers Business School to bring in an academic leader to build an MBA concentration in real estate, conduct international research and provide educational and career opportunities for students in an industry vital to New Jersey and the world’s economy.

The faculty chair in real estate was made possible thanks to a $1.5 million commitment by Paul V. Profeta , president and owner of Paul V. Profeta and Associates, Inc., which is involved in real estate investment, management and leasing throughout the country; and a matching $1.5 million from an anonymous donor who pledged $27 million towards an Endowed Chair Challenge to bring 18 world-class faculty to Rutgers, part of the “Our Rutgers, Our Future” campaign.

“Real estate investment is a major factor in the development of the global economy,” said Shafer. “New demands for financial sophistication in real estate, along with expectations for sustainability and increasing regulation, have created an unmet demand in New Jersey for personnel trained in finance, accounting, and supply-chain management in the field of real estate.”

Shafer said that with its international presence and strategic location, “Rutgers Business School plans to become a global thought leader in this under-served yet critical field.”

Funding a faculty chair in real estate was vital according to Profeta, who is a member of Rutgers Business School’s Board of Advisers. “Real estate is such an integral part of the economy, yet there is a huge need for well-trained professionals,” he said. “Having Rutgers Business School focus on real estate will be hugely beneficial for companies involved in this complex sector.”

Profeta (who was raised in Maplewood but spent his childhood “hanging out” in Newark) founded the Profeta Urban Investment Foundation at Rutgers Business School in 2008, which provides free consulting advice and seed capital for minority owned businesses in Newark, N.J. The seed capital that Profeta’s Foundation invests is in the form of interest free loans to the budding businesses he is trying to launch or expand. Through a partnership with The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School, the Profeta Urban Investment Foundation at Rutgers Business School has helped launch and expand several minority businesses in Newark already.

From 1980 until 1989, Profeta served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Graduate School of Business. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

The “Paul V. Profeta Chair in Real Estate” at Rutgers Business School marks the seventh chair to be met in the Rutgers University chair challenge match and is also the seventh chair in the history of the business school.

About Rutgers Business School
Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick is an integral part of one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most distinguished institutions of higher learning: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – founded in 1766. Rutgers Business School has been accredited since 1941 by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – a distinction that represents the hallmark of excellence in management education.

SOURCE Rutgers Business School

RELATED LINKS
http://www.business.rutgers.edu/