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Tuesday, February 28 2012
Great News for housing…FINALLY!
Home sales in the U.S. probably climbed in January to the highest level since May 2010, adding to evidence the housing market is regaining its footing, economists said reports this week will show.

 

Combined purchases of new and existing houses rose to a 4.97 million annual rate from 4.92 million in December, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Claims for jobless benefits held near the lowest level since 2008, bolstering consumer confidence, other reports may show.

 

A strengthening job market, combined with record affordability driven by the drop in home prices and mortgage rates, will probably keep underpinning demand. Nonetheless, the Federal Reserve and Obama administration are striving to find ways to lend the industry additional assistance amid concern that mounting foreclosures will continue to hinder the recovery.

 

“Home sales have bottomed, and from here on, we should see a moderate pickup,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “Hiring is improving slowly, so that’s helping.” More policy efforts are needed as “we still can’t rely on housing to recover on its own,” she said.

 

The National Association of Realtors will release data on existinghouse sales on Feb. 22. Purchases increased 0.9 percent to a 4.65 million annual rate, following a 4.61 million pace in December, according to the Bloomberg survey median.

 

Sales of new homes climbed to a 315,000 annual rate from 307,000 the prior month, the survey median showed. The report is due from the Commerce Department on Feb. 24. Last year marked a record low for the industry in data going back to 1963, as builders sold 302,000 homes, down 6.2 percent from 2010.

 

More Homebuilding

 

Reports last week indicated housing is on the mend. Builders broke ground on more homes than forecast in January, helped by warmer weather, and construction permits also advanced. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence climbed in February to the highest level since May 2007.

 

Beazer Homes USA Inc. (BZH) reported that orders jumped 36 percent in the final three months of 2011 from a year earlier, and closings on new houses surged more than 60 percent. The Atlanta-based builder said it expects to sell more properties this year than last.

 

“While our visibility into the economic conditions for the remainder of the year is limited, I believe that we will benefit from a gradually improving housing market,” Allan Merrill, chief executive officer, said on an earnings call on Feb. 2.

 

Build Shares

 

Investors also are upbeat about prospects. The Standard & Poor’s SupercompositeHomebuilding Index (S15HOME) has advanced 21 percent since the end of last year, outpacing an 8.2 percent gain in the broader S&P 500.

 

Policy makers are working to help distressed homeowners. The top five mortgage lenders this month reached a $25 billion settlement with 49 states and the U.S. government over the use of faulty paperwork in foreclosures.

 

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank’s efforts to spur growth are being blunted by impediments to mortgage lending, and called for more steps to heal the housing industry.

 

“The economic recovery has been disappointing in part because U.S. housing markets remain out of balance,” Bernanke told homebuilders on Feb. 10 in Orlando, Florida. “We need to continue to develop and implement policies that will help the housing sector get back on its feet.”

 

One asset has been the improvement in employment. The jobless rate fell in January to a three-year low of 8.3 percent, and payrolls rose by 243,000 workers.

 

Fewer Firings

 

Firings are also waning, Labor Department figures may show on Feb. 23. Initial joblessclaims rose last week to 355,000 after reaching a four-year low the prior week, according to the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey.

 

Greater affordability is also supporting home demand. The National Association of Realtors’measure of whether households earning the median income can afford a median-priced house at current interest rates reached a record in the last three months of 2011.

 

Among other reports this week, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment rose to 72.8 in February from a preliminary reading of 72.5, economists in the Bloomberg survey predicted. The data will be released Feb. 24.

                        Bloomberg Survey

==============================================================
                        Release    Period    Prior     Median
Indicator                 Date               Value    Forecast
==============================================================
Exist Homes Mlns          2/22      Jan.      4.61      4.65
Exist Homes MOM%          2/22      Jan.      5.0%      0.9%
Initial Claims ,000’s     2/23     18-Feb     348       355
U of Mich Conf. Index     2/24     Feb. F     72.5      72.8
New Home Sales ,000’s     2/24      Jan.      307       315
New Home Sales MOM%       2/24      Jan.     -2.2%      2.6%
==============================================================
Source: Bloomberg http://www.crackerjackagent.com/blogs/1787/167/spring-2012-homes-sales-expected
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, February 23 2012
Market Watch
January 2012 closed volume was the best January our market had seen in four years. Closed sales in January 2009 through 2012 have been; 197, 198, 220 and 241. Although January is typically the slowest month of the year for real estate closings this 9.5% increase in 2012 following the 11.1% increase in 2011 suggests that our market is showing steady improvement. Our local figures mirror the nation which also had a bump in January volume. 
Although resale home sales are off to a good start new home construction is still slow.  Just a little over 300,000 new homes were built nationwide last year. Prior to the financial crisis new home construction had not been less than 1 million units for 15 consecutive years. This slowdown will also improve. The short explanation is that there is too much supply and too little demand.  There are currently about 1 ¾ million vacant homes in the U.S. Until the number of vacant homes declines there is not enough demand to warrant significant new home construction. A normal number would be in the 1 ¼ million range. The good news is that the number of vacant homes continues to decline. I believe we are 12-18 months from getting back to normal levels. In the meantime I expect continued but gradual improvement the real estate market.
Recently our MLS (multiple listing service) became a BLC (broker listing cooperative). The reason for this change is that national aggregators of real estate information have, in many cases, hijacked the term MLS. REALTOR organizations did not trademark the term decades ago and it is now too late. By switching to a BLC we will be better able to assure the public that our information is both complete and accurate. Many national companies advertise and solicit leads through their websites. They offer valuation data and show homes for sale. Unfortunately their data is almost always incomplete and frequently inaccurate. The best way to get accurate, complete real estate information is to contact me or go to FCTuckerEmge.com or TuckerMobile.com I can help you with any real estate information you need and you can be sure the information is complete and accurate.
You can reach me by phone at 812-499-9234 or by email at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 31 2012

January’s typical Evansville homebuyer assumes that buying a pre-owned residence saves money. Period. And in fact, most often that is true. Buyers rightly expect that pre-owned houses are more affordable than comparable new homes for sale. But what about the buyer who can qualify for a slightly higher mortgage? Would it be a better idea for them to also consider new homes for sale rather than to simply fixate on the immediate cash savings that go along with buying an older property?
 
The fact is, there are both benefits and drawbacks that deserve looking at no matter which choice you wind up making.
 
One practical advantage to buying new homes for saleis that you know that you and your family will be living in a house built to conform to the latest standards in materials and construction. Evansville building codes are continually adopting advances in energy efficiency and materials sustainability. They automatically reflect the community’s experience with construction techniques: what works and what doesn’t; what lasts longest; what’s safe. With contractors and inspectors both working the insure that new homes for sale are built to code; the result is an extra dose of peace of mind when it comes to the durability you can expect in a new home.
 
Another advantage to buying a newly built house is the pleasure and convenience of living in a home with brand new features. No time-consuming and costly remodeling will be needed to obtain the extra pride of ownership that go with a sparkling new kitchen and bathrooms boasting the latest fixtures. And it’s often the case that newly-built homes for sale better reflect today’s lifestyle patterns. Twenty-first century floor plans apportion space in ways that agree with most people’s living preferences, so new homes for sale in today’s market are more likely to accommodate modern entertainment systems (just as they frequently leave less space for gigantic dining room tables).
 
In contrast, one disadvantage to purchasing some of the new homes for sale can be a tradeoff in lot size. Though not always the case, older developments sometimes reflect an earlier era which accommodated smaller populations featuring less crowded landscapes. 
 
Of course it’s your budget that will largely determine which combination of neighborhood and new or pre-owned home that will make the best fit for you and your family. The wisdom of planning carefully before investing hard-earned money in any property goes without saying. Since you are looking forward to many years of occupancy in either a pre-existing or new home for sale, I hope you will contact me for a consultation. I know the area and can help you sort out the choices that are available right now. You can call me at 812-499-9234 or you can email me at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 19 2011
A real estate purchase is one of the best investments you can make — so be certain to protect your land ownership against possible title problems that can hinder the transfer and marketability of your real property. These problems are defects and occur before the date of the policy and remain undisclosed until sometime later. Even the most thorough search of the public records cannot reveal some the "hidden" hazards.
A one-time premium will safeguard your property from actual loss and defense costs (unless specifically excluded), up to the policy amount, resulting from any risk covered by your policy. A mortgage policy protects only your lender against tide defects. Purchasing an owner's policy of tide insurance will protect your interests.   Title insurance covers tide defects such as:
1.             Forged deeds, mortgages, releases of mortgages and other instruments.
2.             False impersonation of the true owner of the land or of his consort.
3.             Instruments executed under fabricated or expired power of attorney (death).
4.             Deeds apparently valid but actually delivered after death of grantor or grantee, or without
consent of the grantor.
5.             Deeds by persons of unsound mind.
6.             Deeds by minors.
7.             Deeds not properly delivered.
8.             Deeds that appear to convey title but are really mortgages.
9.             Outstanding prescriptive rights not of record and not disclosed by survey.
10.      Descriptions apparently, but not actually, adequate.
11.      Duress in execution of instruments.

12.       Defective acknowledgment due to lack of authority of notary.   (Acknowledgement taken
before commission or after expiration of commission)
13.       Deed or property recited to be separate property of grantor, which is in fact, community or
joint property.
14.       Deed from bigamous couple. (Prior existing marriage in another jurisdiction)
15.       Undisclosed divorce of spouse who conveys as sole heir of deceased consort.
16.       Undisclosed heirs.
17.       Misinterpretation of wills, deeds and other instruments.
18.       Birth or adoption of children after date of will.
19.       Children living at date of will but not mentioned therein.
20.       Discovery of will of apparent intestate.
21.       Discovery of later will after probate of first will.
22.       Administration of estate and probate of wills of persons absent but not deceased.
23.       Conveyance by heir, devisee or survivor of a joint estate who murdered the decedent.
24.       Deed from trustee of purported business trust, which is in fact, a partnership or joint stock
association.
25.       Deed of executor under non-intervention will when order of solvency has been fraudulently
procured or entered.
26.       Deeds to or from corporations before incorporation or after surrender, or forfeiture, of
charter.
27.       Claims of creditors against property conveyed by heirs/devisees within prescribed period
after owner's death.
28.       Mistakes in recording legal documents.      For example, incorrect indexing, errors in
transcribing and failure to preserve original instrument.
29.       Record easement, but erroneous ancient location of pipe or sewer line, which does not
follow route of granted easements.
30.       Special assessments where they become liens upon passage of resolution and before
recordation or commencement of improvements for which assessed.

31.        Want of jurisdiction of person in judicial proceedings.
32.        Failure to include necessary parties in judicial proceedings.
33.        Federal estate and gift tax liens.
34.        State inheritance and gift tax liens.
35.        Errors in tax records. For example, listing payment against wrong property.
36.        Ineffective waiver of tax liens by tax or other governing authorities repudiated later by
successors.
37.        Corporation franchise taxes as lien on all corporate assets, notice of which does not have to
be recorded in the local recording office.
38.        Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials, but not binding on municipality.
39.        Tax homestead exemptions set aside as fraudulently claims.
40.        Lack of capacity of foreign personal representatives and trustees to act.
41.        Deeds from nonexistent entities.
42.        Interests arising by deeds to fictitious characters to conceal illegal activities on the premises.
43.        Deed in lieu of foreclosure set aside as being given under duress.
44.        Ultra vires deed given under falsified corporate resolution.
45.   Conveyances and proceedings affecting right of servicemen protected by the Soldiers and
Sailors Civil Relief Act.
46.        Federal condemnation without filing of notice. Federal law does not require filing of notice
of taking in local recording office.
47.        Break in chain of title beyond period of examination or public records where running of
adverse possession statue has been suspended.   True owners are incompetent, absent or
incarcerated or the sovereign holds title.
48.        Deed from record owner of land where he has sold property to another purchaser on
unrecorded land contract and the purchaser has taken possession of premises.
49.        Void conveyances in violations of public policy:   payment on gambling debt, payment for
contract to commit crime or conveyance made in restraint of trade.
 
 
 
 
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 28 2011

Home sales in the Evansville area were up nearly 15 percent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same period last year, with Gibson County the only county in a four-county Southwestern Indiana metro area showing a slight decline.

At the same time, Gibson County led the way with a sharp increase in median home prices, an apparent result of near-back-to-normal operations at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana near Princeton.

Median prices also rose in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. The median increase in the four-county area was more than 10 percent better than in the July-September period last year, with a decline reported only in Posey County.

Still, the developments last quarter are part of a year where home sales in Vanderburgh and the three surrounding Hoosier counties together are lagging behind those in the first nine months of 2010. But average home prices for the year to date are up. Sales so far this year are 4.8 percent behind last year, but the average sale price is up 4.6 percent and the median sales price is up 3.1 percent.

The new quarterly statistics are "part of a period of stabilization we've seen over the past two years" in local residential sales, said Bob S. Reid, president of Appraisal Consultants Inc. of Evansville, which compiled the data. "Property values are holding, and sales are steady also," he said. The period from 2007 through most of 2009 saw a substantial decline.

Read more here: Evansville Courier-News

Source: http://www.americantowns.com/in/evansville/news/home-sales-point-to-continued-039-stabilization-039-period-7209434

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 20 2011
                                             
2011 continues to be a year of distinctly different halves. For the first five months of this year local sales, in units, compared to last year were down almost 13%. For the past 3 months the same comparison shows that unit sales are up over 12%. I believe that by year end we will have sold slightly more units than we did in 2010 and I’m positive that the dollar amount of sales volume will be significantly higher than last year; perhaps close to 10% higher.
 
The supply of homes for sale on the market has also been more stable and more in balance. For the 10 months starting last July there was an average of just over 10 months supply, with a high of over 13 months supply. Since May we have averaged just under 8 months supply with a high of less than 9 months.
 
I recently read an article in Inman News discussing the 10 markets nationwide that have fared both best and worst in housing price recovery over the past 5 years. The markets studied are all larger than our area, but not surprisingly when I compare our local data to the national figures we are very well. The worst areas consisted of 6 markets in California, two in Florida plus Phoenix and Las Vegas. The decline in prices ranged from 67% to 56%. The best markets were less concentrated and ranged from a 17% increase to a .6% increase. The study was based on July prices only. Locally our average July price was up 1.9% from July of 2006, which would have ranked us in the top ten nationally. While I don’t place a great deal of confidence in some of the national studies I see, I do have a lot of confidence in our market and I’m happy I live in the Midwest. I expect the remainder of this calendar year to stay relatively consistent for our local real estate market, even in light of some disturbing national economic trends.
 
We are pleased to report that for the month of September we have added 3 new listings. Our listing inventory is low compared to years past. This is good for our sellers. From our side we certainly would like this number to increase. We are kindly asking you to keep an ear out for any information you can pass on to us when you hear that someone in your circle of friends is interested to sell their home.
 
Please let me know if I can help or any of your friends price their current home or look for your next home. You can always find me at FCTuckerEmge.com or TuckerMobile.com, and keep in mind weekly area open houses are now posted at TuckerOpenHouses.com starting Thursday of every week.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 25 2011
a happy home
Did you know that a typical U.S. home emits more carbon dioxide than two average cars? Or that the average U.S. household spends $1,900 per year on utility bills? Earth Day is just around the corner, and serves as a great reminder to consider new ways to become more eco-friendly. Below, tips for your home that will benefit the earth and your wallet.
 
Start with heating and cooling
Heating and cooling systems drain more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Consider programmable thermostats, upgrades to current equipment, regular replacement of filters, and drawing the shades on your windows to save energy use and cost.
 
Address leaks
Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, basement walls, floors and crawl spaces to increase the comfort of your home while reducing heating and cooling needs.
Watch your watts
Changes to your lighting are one of the most immediate ways to reduce energy costs. Use energy-efficient bulbs and consider occupancy sensors, dimmers and timers for high-use areas such as the kitchen, living room and outside.
 
Monitor appliance consumption
Shop for new appliances with two price tags in mind: the initial cost of the appliance itself, and what it will cost you to operate that machine over its lifetime.
 
Want to start conserving but don’t know where to start? Here’s a simple guide to the steps you should take to maximize energy and cost savings.
 1.            Find out which appliances or areas of your home use the most energy. This can be done with your utility company, or you can do an audit yourself.
 2.            Compare your current energy costs with your
areas of greatest energy loss. Determine your energy efficiency investment solution and how long it will take to pay off in the long term.
 3.            Weigh factors such as “How long will I be in my home,” “Does the work require a contractor?” and “What is my budget and how much do I have for maintenance and repair?” before developing
a plan.
 Learn more about smart energy conservation by visiting www.energysavers.gov
WARRANTY WISDOM
Home service agreements give you the assurance that there is someone to help at any time with problems on covered items. A HomeTrust home service agreement gives you the protection you need against breakdowns of covered appliances and major systems such as plumbing, heating, electrical and air conditioning.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2011

The majority of America’s potential home buyers and sellers—68%—believe that the real estate market and property values will recover in the next year or two, according to a survey released today by Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc., a Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE:PRU] company.

That’s way up from last April, when only 47% of people who answered a similar survey thought home prices would recover that fast. Despite the market volatility of the past few years, 86% of Americans believe real estate is a good investment.

The Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey reveals that six in 10 respondents are more interested in buying real estate (58%) and are optimistic about buying given the momentum of the economic recovery (59%).

It also shows that although the price of many Americans’ homes declined during the recession, 89% recognize they can also buy a new house at a lower price.

“A key takeaway from the survey is although consumers recognize that it is a good time to buy, they are concerned about their ability to sell their homes. This is one of the reasons the market is still struggling to recover,” said James Mallozzi, chief executive officer of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc.

For those on the fence about buying, uncertainty about selling an existing home (77%), concern about getting a fair price for the home (67%), and emotions (58%) are holding them back.

Despite the tough market, 78% of Americans who sold a home were satisfied with the sale. Of these, 32% were very satisfied with the final price of their home and 46% were grateful they were able to sell given market conditions. A relatively small number, 22%, were disappointed or resentful about the price they received for their home.

Source: Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/americans-confident-recovery-real-estate-market/#ixzz1GQ2CqDfH
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 24 2011

2010 on par with 2009;
Median sale price of homes increases for the 13th month out of the last 15

Today’s release of the “Indiana Real Estate Markets Report” by the Indiana Association of REALTORS® (IAR) provides the usual month-over-month comparison and because of timing, also provides a comparison of calendar years that supports the association’s past recommendation for reviewing housing data in the long-term.


Statewide, when comparing 2010 to 2009:
The number of closed home sales decreased 6.6% to 57,765; and
The median sale price of homes increased 1.8% to $112,000.
The Report at a glance:
 
Statewide Housing Market Overview
(Monthly Indicators)
Sortable County Tables:
One-month & Year-to-date Views
Trailing three- & 12-month Views
Reportisode:
"The Long View"

“The federal homebuyer tax credit was only in play for a third of last year.  And yet, the numbers show the market on par with 2009, which might take some who listen to non-local news by surprise,” said Karl Berron, Chief Executive Officer.
“Admittedly, activity is not as high as we want it to be,” he continued.  “The good news is that prices are up, which is important to not just homeowners and families, but also to communities and the state.  In fact, the median sale price of homes has increased 13 out of the last 15 months."


The usual month-over-month comparison shows that statewide, in December 2010:
The number of closed home sales decreased 8.9 percent from December 2009 to 4,288;
The number of pending home sales decreased 10.3 percent from December 2009 to 3,247;
The average sale price of homes increased 4.4 percent from December 2009 to $132,811; and
The median sale price of homes increased 3.9 percent from December 2009 to $109,000

.
“Again, the nation’s economic turmoil and the federal home buyer tax credit make it impossible to fairly evaluate the marketplace in the short-term, especially with regard to activity,” said Berron.  “That’s why we’ll focus on the long-term; at least until the impact of the tax credit recedes. 


“Most industry experts and the association’s leadership believe real estate markets will continue to improve, albeit slowly,” he continued.  “What we do know is that there’s no better time to be a buyer than now.  Interest rates remain low, though ticking upward, and there is a higher than normal inventory of homes available.”


Established in May 2009 and found online under the Reports tab of www.IndianaIsHome.com, the “Indiana Real Estate Markets Report” was the first-ever county-by-county comparison of existing single-family home sales in Indiana.  In March 2010, IAR added statistics on other types of existing detached single-family (DSF) home sales – condominiums, duplexes, townhomes, mobile homes, etc. – to the report.
This past August, the report became even more robust.  It now tells how the statewide housing market is performing according to eight different indicators, each with one-month and year-to-date comparisons, as well as a historical look.  It also provides specific county information for 91 of Indiana’s 92 counties in a sortable table format, allowing for consistent comparison between local markets.  IAR obtains the data directly from 26 of the state’s 27 Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), including the Broker Listing Cooperative® (BLC®) in central Indiana.


IAR represents approximately 16,000 REALTORS® who are involved in virtually all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange or lease of real property in Indiana. The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the world’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Source: IAR

 

Posted by: AT 09:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 21 2011
Existing-home sales rose sharply in December, when sales increased for the fifth time in the past six months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 12.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million in December from an upwardly revised 4.70 million in November, but remain 2.9 percent below the 5.44 million pace in December 2009.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales are on an uptrend. “December was a good finish to 2010, when sales fluctuate more than normal. The pattern over the past six months is clearly showing a recovery,” he said. “The December pace is near the volume we’re expecting for 2011, so the market is getting much closer to an adequate, sustainable level. The recovery will likely continue as job growth gains momentum and rising rents encourage more renters into ownership while exceptional affordability conditions remain.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $168,800 in December, which is 1.0 percent below December 2009. Distressed homes rose to a 36 percent market share in December from 33 percent in November, and 32 percent in December 2009.

“The modest rise in distressed sales, which typically are discounted 10 to 15 percent relative to traditional homes, dampened the median price in December, but the flat price trend continues,” Yun explained.

Inventory Levels
Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 4.2 percent to 3.56 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 9.5-month supply in November.

NAR President Ron Phipps said buyers are responding to very good affordability conditions despite tight mortgage credit. “Historically low mortgage interest rates, stable home prices, and pent-up demand are drawing home buyers into the market,” Phipps said. “Recent home buyers have been successful with very low default rates, given the outstanding performance for loans originated in 2009 and 2010.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.71 percent in December from 4.30 percent in November; the rate was 4.93 percent in December 2009.

Transaction Types
A parallel NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 33 percent of homes in December, up from 32 percent in November, but are below a 43 percent share in December 2009.

Investors accounted for 20 percent of transactions in December, up from 19 percent in November and 15 percent in December 2009; the balance of sales were to repeat buyers. All-cash sales were at 29 percent in December, compared with 31 percent in November, but up from 22 percent a year ago. “All-cash sales have been consistently high at about 30 percent of the market over the past six months,” Yun said.

Single-family home sales jumped 11.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.64 million in December from 4.15 million in November, but are 2.5 percent below the 4.76 million level in December 2009. The median existing single-family home price was $169,300 in December, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales surged 16.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 in December from 550,000 in November, but remain 5.2 percent below the 675,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $165,000 in December, which is 7.4 percent below December 2009.

Performance by Region
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 13.0 percent to an annual pace of 870,000 in December but are 5.4 percent below December 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $237,300, which is 1.4 percent below a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 11.0 percent in December to a level of 1.11 million but are 4.3 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $139,700, up 3.3 percent from December 2009.

In the South, existing-home sales increased 10.1 percent to an annual pace of 1.97 million in December but are 2.5 percent below December 2009. The median price in the South was $148,400, unchanged from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West surged 16.7 percent to an annual level of 1.33 million in December but remain 1.5 percent below December 2009. The median price in the West was $204,000, down 5.6 percent from a year ago.

— NAR
http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2011012001?OpenDocument
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, December 16 2010

  It’s almost a new year, so let me make some specific and bold
  predictions about real estate sales in 2011.  Sales, compared to 2010, will
  be greater in January, about the same in February and will be less in March,
  April and May.  What does this mean about the state of real estate and where
  we will be after the first half of 2011?  The answer is, absolutely
  nothing.  In case you are wondering why I’ve started this month’s Market
  Watch as I have, let me explain.  The real estate market has experienced two
  tax credits that have expired since November of 2009.  In both cases the tax
  credits boosted, then slowed real estate transactions.  My predictions only
  reflect the reality of the real estate market returning to normalcy, without
  unusual stimulus.

       The national press will be full of articles discussing significant year
  over year changes in the real estate market.  Don’t be fooled by assuming,
  based on these articles that there are really big changes occurring in real
  estate sales.  We will not really have meaningful year over year information
  until July of next year.

       My advice for now would be to take advantage of very low interest rates
  that are sure to rise. Home prices locally have already stabilized, in fact
  the average sales price in our market has climbed from $117,592 for all of
  2009 to $122,430 through the first eleven months of 2010. If you or someone
  you know does not currently own a home, and is financially qualified, there
  will not be a better time to buy in the foreseeable future. The net worth of
  a homeowner, on average, is 41 times greater than the net worth of a person
  who does not own his or her home.  If you are contemplating moving to a
  different home let me give you realistic expectations about the value of
  your current home and show you the cost of the home you would like to own.

       Kathy and I would like to take this opportunity to extend our best
  wishes for a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 19 2010
Posted by: AT 05:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 04 2010

Pending home sales have increased for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 4.3%, but is 20.1% below August 2009. The data reflect contracts and not closings. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. “Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market,” he said. “However, the pace of a home sales recovery still depends more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence.”

Although Yun expects a continuing steady rise in home sales from favorable affordability conditions and some job creation, he cautioned any sudden rise in mortgage rates could slow the recovery. “Current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. However, recent rising trends in producer prices at the intermediate and early stages of production, along with very high commodity prices, are raising concerns about future inflation and future mortgage interest rates,” he said. “Higher inflation would mean higher mortgage interest rates. In the meantime, housing affordability is hovering near record highs.”

Regional pending home sales

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.9% in August and remains 28.8% below August 2009. In the Midwest the index rose 2.1%, but is 26.5% below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 6.7%, but are 13.1% below August 2009.  In the West, the index rose 6.4%, but remains 19.6% below a year ago.

Source: NAR



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/pending-home-sales-show-another-gain/#ixzz11PKEp9me
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 01 2010

Using U.S. Census data, the nonprofit Tax Foundation has uncovered where the highest property taxes in the country are paid relative to the median value of the homes. Some of the locales may surprise you.

New Jersey came in first — no surprise there — but New Hampshire, which has no state income tax and prides itself on that, had the next-highest real estate taxes as a percentage of home values.

Louisiana had the lowest median taxes compared to property values, another ho-hum finding. But the second-lowest taxes compared to values are in pricey Hawaii.

The national median for real estate taxes is 1.04 percent of a property’s value. Here’s the list of the top 10 states with the highest median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home value as well as the ranking of states with the lowest:

States with the highest taxes:

1. New Jersey (1.89 percent of property value)
2. New Hampshire (1.86 percent)
3. Texas (1.81 percent)
4. (tie) Wisconsin (1.76 percent)
4. (tie) Nebraska (1.76 percent)
6. Illinois (1.73 percent)
7. Connecticut (1.63 percent)
8. Michigan (1.62 percent)
9. Vermont (1.59 percent)
10. North Dakota (1.42 percent)

States with the lowest taxes:

1. Louisiana (0.18 percent)
2. Hawaii (0.26 percent)
3. Alabama (0.33 percent)
4. Delaware (0.43 percent)
5. West Virginia (0.49 percent)
6. South Carolina (0.50 percent)
7. (tie) Arkansas (0.52 percent)
7. (tie) Mississippi (0.52 percent)
9. New Mexico (0.55 percent)
10. Wyoming (0.58 percent)

Source: 2009 U.S. Census Data and Tax Foundation calculations

http://www.realtor.org/rmodaily.nsf/pages/News2010100101?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 29 2010
A real estate purchase is one of the best investments you can make — so be certain to protect your land ownership against possible title problems that can hinder the transfer and marketability of your real property. These problems are defects and occur before the date of the policy and remain undisclosed until sometime later. Even the most thorough search of the public records cannot reveal some the "hidden" hazards.
A one-time premium will safeguard your property from actual loss and defense costs (unless specifically excluded), up to the policy amount, resulting from any risk covered by your policy. A mortgage policy protects only your lender against tide defects. Purchasing an owner's policy of tide insurance will protect your interests.   Title insurance covers tide defects such as:
1.             Forged deeds, mortgages, releases of mortgages and other instruments.
2.             False impersonation of the true owner of the land or of his consort.
3.             Instruments executed under fabricated or expired power of attorney (death).
4.             Deeds apparently valid but actually delivered after death of grantor or grantee, or without
consent of the grantor.
5.             Deeds by persons of unsound mind.
6.             Deeds by minors.
7.             Deeds not properly delivered.
8.             Deeds that appear to convey title but are really mortgages.
9.             Outstanding prescriptive rights not of record and not disclosed by survey.
10.      Descriptions apparently, but not actually, adequate.
11.      Duress in execution of instruments.

12.       Defective acknowledgment due to lack of authority of notary.   (Acknowledgement taken
before commission or after expiration of commission)
13.       Deed or property recited to be separate property of grantor, which is in fact, community or
joint property.
14.       Deed from bigamous couple. (Prior existing marriage in another jurisdiction)
15.       Undisclosed divorce of spouse who conveys as sole heir of deceased consort.
16.       Undisclosed heirs.
17.       Misinterpretation of wills, deeds and other instruments.
18.       Birth or adoption of children after date of will.
19.       Children living at date of will but not mentioned therein.
20.       Discovery of will of apparent intestate.
21.       Discovery of later will after probate of first will.
22.       Administration of estate and probate of wills of persons absent but not deceased.
23.       Conveyance by heir, devisee or survivor of a joint estate who murdered the decedent.
24.       Deed from trustee of purported business trust, which is in fact, a partnership or joint stock
association.
25.       Deed of executor under non-intervention will when order of solvency has been fraudulently
procured or entered.
26.       Deeds to or from corporations before incorporation or after surrender, or forfeiture, of
charter.
27.       Claims of creditors against property conveyed by heirs/devisees within prescribed period
after owner's death.
28.       Mistakes in recording legal documents.      For example, incorrect indexing, errors in
transcribing and failure to preserve original instrument.
29.       Record easement, but erroneous ancient location of pipe or sewer line, which does not
follow route of granted easements.
30.       Special assessments where they become liens upon passage of resolution and before
recordation or commencement of improvements for which assessed.

31.        Want of jurisdiction of person in judicial proceedings.
32.        Failure to include necessary parties in judicial proceedings.
33.        Federal estate and gift tax liens.
34.        State inheritance and gift tax liens.
35.        Errors in tax records. For example, listing payment against wrong property.
36.        Ineffective waiver of tax liens by tax or other governing authorities repudiated later by
successors.
37.        Corporation franchise taxes as lien on all corporate assets, notice of which does not have to
be recorded in the local recording office.
38.        Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials, but not binding on municipality.
39.        Tax homestead exemptions set aside as fraudulently claims.
40.        Lack of capacity of foreign personal representatives and trustees to act.
41.        Deeds from nonexistent entities.
42.        Interests arising by deeds to fictitious characters to conceal illegal activities on the premises.
43.        Deed in lieu of foreclosure set aside as being given under duress.
44.        Ultra vires deed given under falsified corporate resolution.
45.   Conveyances and proceedings affecting right of servicemen protected by the Soldiers and
Sailors Civil Relief Act.
46.        Federal condemnation without filing of notice. Federal law does not require filing of notice
of taking in local recording office.
47.        Break in chain of title beyond period of examination or public records where running of
adverse possession statue has been suspended.   True owners are incompetent, absent or
incarcerated or the sovereign holds title.
48.        Deed from record owner of land where he has sold property to another purchaser on
unrecorded land contract and the purchaser has taken possession of premises.
49.        Void conveyances in violations of public policy:   payment on gambling debt, payment for
contract to commit crime or conveyance made in restraint of trade.
 
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 26 2010

New home construction edged up slightly in July but applications for building permits tumbled to the lowest point in 14 months, a sign of continued stress in housing. 

Construction of new homes and apartments rose 1.7 percent in July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Still, applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, fell 3.1 percent. 

A rebound in housing is considered critical for a sustained economic recovery. But builders continue to struggle with weak demand for new homes caused by high unemployment and a glut of foreclosed homes on the market. 

The July increase in housing construction pushed total activity to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 units. Building activity in June was weaker than first reported. It fell 8.7 percent to an annual rate of 537,000 units, the slowest pace since October of last year. 

Housing construction got a boost earlier in the year when the government offered buyers up to $8,000 in federal tax credits. But after the incentives expired at the end of April, sales and constructions activity slumped. 

Driving the July increase was a 32.6 percent surge in construction of apartments and condominiums, which jumped to an annual rate of 114,000 units. The bigger single-family sector declined 4.2 percent, falling to an annual rate of 432,000 units. 

The drop in building permits left applications for new construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 565,000, the slowest pace since May 2009. 

Construction activity surged 30.5 percent in the Northeast and was up 10.7 percent in the Midwest. However, construction fell 6.3 percent in the South and was flat in the West. 

In advance of the report on housing starts, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday that its monthly index of builder sentiment dropped to 13 in August. That was the lowest reading in 17 months. Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment about the housing market. 

The last time builders' index was above 50 was in April 2006. 

Builders say consumers remain worried about the weak economic recovery and the sluggish jobs market. Among those who are buying, many are opting for deeply discounted foreclosed properties.

Sourcee: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/17/new-home-construction-edges-percent-july/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 13 2010

 

 

Market Watch For August 2010

Two months have passed since the expiration of the homebuyer’s tax credit and we’ve had time to see how the market would react.  As I predicted, we did see a decline in closed transactions from May and June levels as a result of a decrease in written transactions from the previous months.  And while the news isn’t great, it’s better than expected.  July brought an increase in written contracts up 37% from May and up 22% from June.  I believe July written contracts are more representative of the remainder of the year than either the spectacular numbers we saw in March and April or the depressed numbers we saw in May and June.

The tax credit has expired, but there really has never been a better time to buy.  I mentioned briefly last month that interest rates were attractive but I don’t think many potential buyers realize how much more house the same payment buys today than it did not long ago.  Thirty year fixed rates are now about 4.25%.  On a $100,000 loan that monthly payment (before taxes and insurance) is only $492.  That is $75 a month less than the payment at 5.5% and $140 a month less than the payment at 6.5%.  Buyers can buy the same home and have more money in their pocket or buy a bigger home with the same payment.  Either way rates are great and will not stay at this level.  Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this opportunity.

While you are shopping for your home don’t forget that TuckerMobile.com allows you to search for any listed home from any smart phone.  It is easy to search by price, address or MLS number and you can save your search results.  Please call me at 812-499-9234 if you have any questions. 

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kevin Eastridge Broker/Owner of F.C.TuckerEmge Realtors this year’s recipient of the Realtor of The Year 2010 Award.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and I’ll update you again next month. 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 19 2010

 


Market Watch For July 2010

We now have results from June closings and as I suggested, closed transactions declined from April and May.  Although June closings were almost 21% below May levels they were still slightly higher than the average for the preceding twelve months.  I do not expect July closings to be significantly different from June.  2010 will be something of a mirror image of 2009 for closed transactions.  The second half of 2009 was significantly stronger than the first half of 2009.  I believe that the first six months of 2010 will be stronger than the second six months of 2010.  The reason for this disparity in both years is the timing of tax credits.  The initial homebuyer tax credit expired in November of 2009.  The tax credits were subsequently extended and they expired in April of 2010.  I do not expect any renewal of these tax credits.

The best news going forward is that interest rates are at some of the lowest levels in history.  Since home prices are lower than they were a few years ago, and rates are great, you can buy more house with a lower monthly payment than at any time in recent history.

 We have also made shopping for homes easier than ever.  We just introduced Tuckermobile.com. This allows you to shop for homes quickly from your smart phone.  Now you can find everything from anywhere, any time.  Simply go to Tuckermobile.com and you can search by Street name, MLS number, zip code or any of several other options.  You can also save properties you select.  If you have signed up for MyFCTuckerEmge.com any saved properties you select on Tuckermobile.com will automatically appear on your saved searches.  All of this is free.  All of this is automatic.  None of it requires a download and it gives you 24/7 access to the entire MLS system from your smart phone.

 I can’t do anything about the temperature outside but I can help you shop from where ever you are comfortable.  Give me a call if I can help with any of your real estate needs and as always I really appreciate referrals if you know of someone else that is thinking about buying or selling.

Wishing you a great summer and we look forward talking to you soon.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:17 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 27 2010

The Report, found online at www.IndianaIsHomge.com, was the first-ever county-by-county comparison of existing single-family home sales in Indiana. In March, statistics on other types of existing, single-family home sales - condominiums, duplexes, townhomes, mobile homes, etc. - was added to the report.

IAR obtains the data directly from 26 of the state's 27 Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), including the Broker Listing Cooperative® (BLC®) in central Indiana. To date, the Report represents 98% of the housing market statewide and 91 of 92 Indiana counties.

Statewide, May sales of all types of existing, single-family homes increased 25.9% from the same month last year; median prices saw an increase of 5%. This is the third consecutive month that there has been an increase in sales and the eighth consecutive month that there has been an increase in median prices over the previous year.

"Because those who took advantage of the federal tax credit have until June 30th to close their transaction, we don't yet have a clear idea of what the credit's expiration will mean to our local markets," said Karl Berron, Chief Executive Officer. "Over the next few months, our reports will become more robust, including information on pending sales and other indicators that will help us understand impact of the tax credit.

"The good news is that median prices did enjoy a welcomed five percent increase over last May," continued Berron. "Regardless of the availability of the tax credit, we expect prices to remain relatively stable with the potential for some softness if demand indicators continue to wane."

In coming months, as Berron mentioned, the Report will include information on new listings, pending sales, average sales price, percent of original list price received at sale, housing affordability and month's supply of inventory.

Reportisode #9, archived along the right side of the Reports tab at www.IndianaIsHome.com, is still of interest. It talks about the other incentives available to help consumers achieve their dream of homeownership, namely the Market Stabilization Program created by the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to minimize the negative effects of foreclosures in many Hoosier communities. That program runs through the end of June.

More about "Indiana Is Home"

It is a multi-media project hosted by media professional Pat Carlini and aimed at keeping Hoosier homeowners, would-be homeowners, policymakers and the media well-informed on the ever-changing local real estate markets. Indianapolis-based Boost Media and Entertainment shot and produced all videos found at www.IndianaIsHome.com.

Source: http://www.indianaishome.com/4_0_Reports.asp



Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 26 2010
Existing-home sales remained at elevated levels in May on buyer response to the tax credit, characterized by stabilizing home prices and historically low mortgage interest rates, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Gains in the West and South were offset by a decline in the Northeast; the Midwest was steady.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million units in May, down 2.2 percent from an upwardly revised surge of 5.79 million units in April. May closings are 19.2 percent above the 4.75 million-unit level in May 2009; April sales were revised to show an 8.0 percent monthly gain.

Buyers Face Purchasing Delays
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said he expects one more month of elevated home sales. “We are witnessing the ongoing effects of the home buyer tax credit, which we’ll also see in June real estate closings,” he said. “However, approximately 180,000 home buyers who signed a contract in good faith to receive the tax credit may not be able to finalize by the end of June due to delays in the mortgage process, particularly for short sales.

“In addition, many potential sales are being delayed by an interruption in the National Flood Insurance Program. Florida and Louisiana, also impacted by the oil spill, have the highest percentage of homes that require flood insurance.”

As the leading advocate for homeownership issues, NAR is supporting Senate amendments to extend the home buyer tax credit closing deadline through September 30 for contracts written by April 30, and to renew the flood insurance program. “Sales and related local economic activity would have been higher without delays in the closing process or flood insurance issues,” Yun noted.

Housing Still Affordable
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.89 percent in May from 5.10 percent in April; the rate was 4.86 percent in May 2009.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $179,600 in May, up 2.7 percent from May 2009. Distressed homes slipped to 31 percent of sales last month, compared with 33 percent in April; it was also 33 percent in May 2009.

NAR President Vicki Cox Golder said home prices have been stabilizing all year. “With distressed sales at roughly the same level as a year ago, the gain in home prices is a hopeful sign that the market is in a good position to stand on its own without further government stimulus,” she said. “Very affordable mortgage interest rates and stabilizing home prices are encouraging home buyers who were on the sidelines during most of the boom and bust cycle.”

Pending home sales are expected to decline notably in May and June from the spring surge, but Yun added that job growth and a manageable level of foreclosures are keys to sales and price performance during the second half of the year.

Inventory Falling
A parallel NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 46 percent of homes in May, down from 49 percent in April. Investors accounted for 14 percent of transactions in May compared with 15 percent in April; the remaining sales were to repeat buyers. All-cash sales were at 25 percent in May, edging down from a 26 percent share in April.

Total housing inventory at the end of May fell 3.4 percent to 3.89 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.3-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with an 8.4-month supply in April. Raw unsold inventory is 1.1 percent above a year ago, but is still 14.9 percent below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008.
Single-family home sales declined 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million in May from a pace of 5.06 million in April, but are 17.5 percent above the 4.24 million level in May 2009. The median existing single-family home price was $179,400 in May, which is 2.7 percent above a year ago.

Single-family median existing-home prices were higher in 16 out of 20 metropolitan statistical areas reported in May from a year ago. In addition, existing single-family home sales rose in 18 of the 20 areas from May 2009.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 680,000 in May from 730,000 in April, but are 32.6 percent above the 513,000-unit pace in May 2009. The median existing condo price was $181,300 in May, up 3.4 percent from a year ago.

By Region
  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 18.3 percent to an annual level of 890,000 in May from a surge in April, but are 12.7 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $240,200, down 2.2 percent from May 2009.
  • In the Midwest, existing-home sales were unchanged in May at a pace of 1.33 million and are 22.0 percent above May 2009. The median price in the Midwest was $150,700, up 2.2 percent from a year ago.
  • In the South, sales increased 0.5 percent to an annual level of 2.15 million in May and are 22.9 percent above a year ago. The median price in the South was $159,000, up 1.0 percent from May 2009.
  • Existing-home sales in the West rose 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.29 million in May and are 15.2 percent higher than May 2009. The median price in the West was $221,300, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.

Source: NAR http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010062201?OpenDocument
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 16 2010

As I said last month, sales in March and April were spectacular!  Many of the contracts written in those months closed in May.  Closed volume in May was at its highest level since June of 2007 and was $10 million higher than any month in over two years.  All those closings also reduced our month’s supply of inventory to just over 6 months supply.  That means our inventory of homes is at its lowest level in almost 4 years.  All of that is great news, but real estate results and conditions should not be measured based only on one or two month’s activity.  A longer period of time gives us a more accurate picture.  Pended transactions declined significantly in May, partially as a result of the expiration of the tax credit.  Closings will still be healthy in June, just not at May levels. 

The key question now is where do we go from here?  Although we will not see results like March and April anytime soon, there are several reasons, according to The Kiplinger Letter, to believe that housing sales are on a steady but slow increase.  First home prices are very affordable.  It now takes about 18% of the typical household income to meet principal and interest payments on a single family home which compares favorably with the long term average of 26%.  Second, consumer confidence is improving which is critical to expensive, long term commitments, like home purchases.  As I said a couple of months ago, three quarters of Americans believe now is a good time to buy.  Third, there is a consensus that credit conditions will ease and that mortgage interest rates will remain at their very low level for several more months.  We won’t, and we shouldn’t, go back to the freewheeling days of 2007 but a slight loosening of credit can be helpful without creating unreasonable risks.

The best tip I can give you about shopping for homes is to start at www.TheTrentiniTeam.com or www.FCTuckerEmge.com  We just enhanced and enlarged the size of pictures on all listings and are in the process of making several other improvements which we will roll out later this year.

Kathy and I would like to take this opportunity to whish you happy summer holidays and above all safe travels.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 10 2010

The Federal Reserve’s periodic survey of economic conditions, known as the Beige Book, this week reported growth in all 12 regions for the first time since 2007.

Here’s what the Beige Book had to say about real estate:

Boston. Commercial real estate leasing was flat in some areas and noticeably improved in others.

New York. Commercial real estate leasing has picked up noticeably although vacancy rates continue to rise in some areas. Residential rents appear to have bottomed.


Richmond. Residential real estate markets are improving with the inventory of homes in the Washington, D.C., suburbs falling to its lowest level in 18 months.


St. Louis. Commercial and industrial real estate activity remaina slow, but the suburban office vacancy rate increased in Little Rock; Louisville, KY; and Memphis. It was flat in St. Louis.


Minneapolis. Home construction is rebounding with building permits in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area doublinf year-over-year in May. Vacant commercial real estate increased in Minneapolis.


Kansas City, Mo. Home sales rose, but practitioners are less optimistic about upcoming months.


Dallas. Housing demand has improved, but bankers say many potential borrowers are being turned away because of poor credit.

Source: Associated Press, Christopher S. Rugaber (06/09/2010) http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010061001?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 26 2010

Renting out your house can be a smart financial move, as long as you calculate your costs carefully.

 

You have a single-family house you’d like to rent out. Perhaps you’re temporarily relocating for work, or maybe you inherited your childhood home from your parents, and you’re not quite ready to part with it yet.

 

Renting can be a profitable choice, but it requires an investment of time, money, and organization to make it work. Here’s how to determine whether renting out your house is worth the cost.

Calculate your monthly expenses

You want to charge at least enough to cover your monthly outlay. So the first step is to use our free downloadable worksheet to calculate your costs. Start with regular expenses like mortgage, maintenance, and homeowners association dues.

You may also need to upgrade your insurance coverage. Your agent can advise you about adding landlord insurance, a special type of policy that covers rental properties. As a rule, landlord insurance costs about 25% more than standard homeowners insurance.

If you’re renting the house furnished, make sure you’re covered for the personal possessions you leave behind. Jane Cline, the insurance commissioner of West Virginia, tells owners to prepare a detailed inventory of household items. If you’re renting the house unfurnished, figure in the costs of moving and storing your items.

Check out prospective tenants

As a practical matter, you’ll have to formally check out your prospective renters. MrLandlord.com, an information and service site for landlords, suggests a variety of background checks: credit reports, eviction reports, and criminal background reports. None of these is expensive, but you must get your prospects’ permission.

MrLandlord.com charges $8.95 for an eviction report. A combined credit and eviction report is $14.95. If you want to be especially careful, a countywide criminal report costs $29.95.

Account for maintenance and upgrades

Even with the most scrupulous checks, you can’t be completely sure renters will take good care of your home. Eva Rosenberg, an enrolled agent in Northridge, Calif., advises that if you’re not within easy driving distance of your rental property, you’ll need to arrange for someone else to keep an eye on the place, even if it’s just to make sure the lawn is mowed. If the tenants are neglecting upkeep, you’ll want to know about it sooner rather than later, since it could be a warning sign of trouble down the line.

Of course, even if the renters are conscientious, problems can crop up: boilers will fail; roofs may leak; washing machine hoses can burst. If household systems or appliances need repair or replacement, you’re better off spending the money up front, before the fix becomes an expensive emergency.

You may also want to invest in some of the “extras” that Sue Peters, a broker in Wellfleet, Mass., recommends adding to attract a tenant willing to pay a higher fee. She suggests spending money on air conditioning, expanded-channel cable TV, and a Wi-Fi network.

Don’t want the headaches? Hire a property manager

You can save yourself a lot of time and effort if you engage a management company to oversee the property and take care of the details. Some firms charge a percentage of the rental fee, others a flat monthly fee, based on the extent of services. Joe Aimone of GoRenter in Phoenix, Ariz., says his firm offers a variety of services, starting at as little as $50 a month, including general maintenance, rent collection, and—if necessary—eviction.

A management company can help you figure out how much to charge, find and vet tenants, and prepare a lease. It will also pay the real estate taxes on your behalf and present you with an annual 1099 form. Many management companies maintain 24-hour emergency lines and a roster of approved service people, so they can take care of plumbing or electrical problems and bill you later. A property manager will also see that driveways and sidewalks are shoveled, so you don’t find yourself with an unpleasant claim against your liability insurance.

Expect to pay a management company 8% to 10% of the annual gross rent, on average, with a $50 to $85 monthly minimum.

Keep scrupulous records

Whether or not you use a management company, you’ll have to keep extensive business records. DeDe Jones, CFP, CPA, in Lakewood, Colo., advises owners to save receipts for any expenses and to file them carefully.

The IRS treats maintenance expenditures, like a new hot-water heater, differently from capital improvements, such as a new deck or patio, so you’ll want to consult a tax professional. Meanwhile, keep the two types of receipts separate to make tax prep easier. You’ll have to file Schedule E on Form 1040, which can also serve as a template for the kinds of records you’ll need.

Finally, because of the complex tax and liability issues involved, many financial experts suggest forming a corporation when you become a landlord. An attorney can advise you about whether incorporating makes sense in your situation.

Richard J. Koreto has been editor of several professional financial magazines and is the author of “Run It Like a Business,” a practice management book for financial planners. He and his wife own a pre-Civil War house in Rockland County, New York.

Source: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/costs-renting-out-your-house/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 18 2010

As I said last month, pended transactions (signed contracts for sales not yet closed) for March were great.  Pended transactions for April were simply off the chart.  I believe that pended transactions for March and April combined were the best two month period in local MLS history.  As a result, inventory was just over 7 month’s supply.  I think the important questions, as a result of the past two months performance, are what does this mean and where are we going?

I think we know several things and we can draw some conclusions.  First, closed transactions during May and June will be excellent.  This will continue to keep inventory levels relatively low especially compared to unusually high levels we saw at the beginning of the year.  I also believe that the homebuyer tax credits that expired at the end of April were clearly a factor in these remarkable sales numbers.  The key question is: how big a factor were the tax credits?  If average pended transactions for May-July are only down 25% from April’s spectacular numbers the housing market is in excellent condition.  If pended transactions are down closer to 50% then we still have to wait for a fuller recovery.  I believe that the number will be between 30-40%.  That indicates that things have definitely improved and we are moving in the right direction, but we still have room for improvement.

Two other bright spots are an improvement in closed transactions over $200,000 and an improvement in sales price to list price percentage.  For homes over $200,000 sales are up 31.3% in the first four months of this year compared to the same four months last year.  Sales price to list price in April was 95.83%, the highest percentage in almost two years.  This is another sign of our improving market.

 School will be out soon and I’m looking forward to a great summer.  It’s easy to look for homes anytime, regardless of the weather, at http://TheTrentiniTeam.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 03:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 18 2010
Housing starts rose 5.8 percent in April to an annual rate of 672,000 units, the highest level since October 2008, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Single-family home starts rose 10.2 percent, while multifamily starts declined 18.6 percent, reversing the trend from previous months.

New building permits, a gauge of future activity, declined 11.5 percent to an annual rate of 606,000, the lowest level since October 2009, Commerce also reported.

Source: Reuters News, Lucia Mutikani (05/18/2010) http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010051806?OpenDocument
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 15 2010

 

The recession has changed the consumer’s approach to remodeling and appliance shopping as well as how to pay for those improvements, says Mark Karas, president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

“Any remodel now is budget-driven,” Karas said. “You really have to take a look at what the client is looking at overall.

“I just sold a kitchen to a relative. We’d been trying to plan for five or six years. Just before the holidays, first the oven went, then the microwave, then the dishwasher—those were the signals.”

With the real estate market still in turmoil, Karas said, consumers are taking a more careful approach. He said emphasis is still on kitchen and bath remodeling (“You always get your money back no matter what you spend on a kitchen or bathroom”) but now, in addition to pricing fixtures and contractors, consumers are pricing the home equity loans they’re using to finance them, with some banks offering financing as low as 3.9 percent.

“The rich are always going to be rich so can they do (a remodeling job) out of pocket, maybe. Middle-class homeowners are more likely to go to home equity loans,” said Karas, who also is the general manager of Adams Kitchens in Stoneham, Mass.

“It’s funny. A very good friend of mine is a banker. He just told me people used to come in and they would be told the rate is X and they would go for the loan. Now people are shopping for home equity loans just like they shop for a car. Even bank loyalty is gone.

“Interestingly, we’re in a totally different mindset when it comes to money, projects, and buying. Everybody just takes a totally different approach today.”

At the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Chicago, Karas said the feeling was the economy is coming back, but coming back slowly. Nonetheless, there’s a cautious optimism out there, he said.

As for trends at the show, there was much more emphasis on Energy Star appliances.

“More people are trying to get their products out there,” he said. “Everybody has Energy Star in their lines but not everything is Energy Star. The emphasis now is on looking good, working great and still being Energy Star efficient.”

For example, General Electric introduced its new Hybrid Water Heater, which is billed to cut residential energy usage by more than half. The unit “talks” to the utility grid, powering down or delaying operations during peak periods when prices are highest. GE plans to expand the technology to refrigerators, microwaves and ranges.

Another emerging trend, Karas said, is greater use of LED lighting, both in appliances and for general use. He acknowledged the bulbs are much more expensive than incandescent or compact fluorescents, but they last 20 years and produce no heat. Karas estimates the reduced energy costs pay for the bulbs in three to five years.

“I’m converting my own showroom to LED. … The basic cost is 20 percent higher,” he said. “I just replaced xenon bulbs which were putting out 150 watts; the LED is putting out 30.”

He said you get the same amount of light from a 75-watt hallogen bulb that you get from a 22-watt compact fluorescent and a 16-watt LED. And LEDs have the added advantage of not having the environmental concerns associated with compact fluorescents.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc. http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/new-remodeling-approach-Careful-Shopping/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 13 2010

With the housing recovery still fragile, it’s hard to look ahead with anything but caution. However, the long-term prospects for the market are “incredible,” FHA Commissioner David Stevens told REALTORS® yesterday in the opening forum of the 2010 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

stevens

Young households today represent a demographic block larger than even the baby boomers, and their entry into the housing market promises to help build “an incredible real estate market in the future,” said Stevens. But first the housing market must move from recovery to stability and then to long-term growth, and that will only happen if investors regain confidence in the mortgage market. And for that to happen, the mortgage market must be reformed to reward transparent financing structures.

Stevens credited NAR’s role in helping Congress and the administration stabilize the market through its support of a “mosaic” of pragmatic policies, such as:

• The Federal Reserve’s $1.25 trillion dollar investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage backed securities, which helped keep interest rates historically low.
• The home buyer tax credit, which has so far been taken by 2.2 million households for $16 billion in total returns
• The federal government’s foreclosure prevention efforts, which have helped 1.1 million households.

That mix of programs has led to today’s housing recovery but the job won’t be finished, he says, until the federal government steps out of the picture and the market stands on its own. “We constantly talk about exit strategy,” Stevens said, referring to the administration’s goal of unwinding its mortgage-market interventions.

To help protect the recovery, Stevens urged REALTORS® while they’re in Washington this week to convince lawmakers to pass FHA reform legislation under consideration in the House as soon as possible. That legislation, H.R. 5072, would enable FHA to lower the upfront mortgage insurance premium and instead fold a higher annual premium into the loan, a change that would align FHA with the approach used in the private sector. The legislation would also give FHA more tools for clamping down on bad lenders.

The changes in the mortgage insurance premium are needed to help FHA improve its financial picture and restore its reserves to its congressionally mandated level. Not having the authority it needs to change its premium structure “is costing FHA $300 million a month in money it’s not getting,” he said.

“You are the recovery,” he told the packed room of REALTORS®. “Now we’ve got to finish the job.”

Source: http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2010/05/12/stevens-%e2%80%9cincredible%e2%80%9d-market-ahead/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, April 29 2010

Organizing Your Linen Closet

Sort and Organize - Sort all your towels and sheets to determine which are worth keeping and which should go to charity. Try to limit yourself to three sets of sheets per bed and as few as three sets of bath sheets or towels, hand towels, and washcloths per person.

Make a Plan - First, divide linens into groups: bedrooms, bathrooms, dining, etc. The everyday and the current season should be stored at eye level, and the special-occasion and out-of-season linens farther from reach.

Map the Closet - If you're short of space, think compact. Another good idea is to slip folded sheets into the matching pillowcases. And don't forget the closet door: It's a great place to hang robes or shallow baskets for soaps and toilet paper.

Label Everything - Once everything is in order, label the shelves to help you keep the closet that way. Use adhesive labels or tape a slip of paper to the shelf front to indicate “Master Bath,” “King Fitted,” or “Summer Blankets.”

The key is to use your closet¯however tiny¯for daily linens while moving the less needed items elsewhere. Whatever you do, aim at a system that works best for the person who's doing the laundry.

Source: RealSimple.com

Essential Spring-Cleaning Tools

Microfiber Cloths - Woven from superfine synthetic fibers, these delicate cloths safely clean computer screens, stainless steel appliances, and other surfaces that are easily scratched. Fingerprints and other small smudges can be rubbed off with a dry cloth; a damp one will clear away even stubborn marks.

Chopsticks - Save spare sets of these take-out utensils and repurpose them as stakes for indoor plants and stirrers for paint. Or carefully place one under the edge of just-washed stemware that's resting on a towel to ensure the glasses dry completely.

Corn Broom - Corn brooms are best for rough surfaces, such as a garage floor, driveway, or sidewalk. They will scrape up debris such as leaves and gravel but won't pick up fine dirt. Look for a nonslip handle that is comfortable to hold -- thicker handles cause less strain. 

Bon Ami Polishing Cleanser - This gently abrasive powder leaves enamel stove tops and stainless steel pans spotless, without a scratch. It's also great for routine shower and tub cleaning and removing stains from outdoor furniture. The cleanser is nontoxic and biodegradable and contains no dye, fragrance, or bleach.

Source: MarthaStewart.com

 

How to Save Money on Groceries

Plan your meals and shopping lists around featured sale items - Use your store's weekly sales ad flier to plan your menus for the week. Write your shopping list around the items and brands that are on sale. Taking a few minutes to make a detailed plan will save you the time of making unplanned trips to the store during the week—which can ruin your budget. 

When is the best time to use grocery coupons? Use grocery coupons, ideally when the item is on sale. Buy the Sunday newspaper—75% of grocery coupons come from the newspaper. Buy two to three copies per week to save dramatically. Go online—grocery stores often have their best deals and printable coupons on their websites.

When should you buy the store brand? Be flexible about brands and stores.  Buy the brand that's on sale with a coupon, or get the store brand if it's less expensive. Shop at the store with the best prices for your items that week.

Source: Oprah.com

 


Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Ingredients:

Flour, for work surface

1 sheet frozen puff pastry

5 1/2 oz (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded

1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

EASY Repair Process: Warranty Wisdom

A home service agreement can make your repair process easy. We make the call to arrange for a licensed and insured contractor to take care of your problem. With a home service agreement, you pay a small trade fee for your covered repairs…without it you could pay hundreds. A HomeTrust Warranty® home service agreement gives you the protection you need against breakdowns of covered appliances and major systems such as plumbing, heating, electrical and A/C. Ask your Realtor® about www.HomeTrustWarranty.com.

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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