Real Estate

Every State’s Most Googled Finance Questions

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

When consumers have questions about income taxes and mortgages, where do they turn? The internet.

Categories: Real Estate

Expectation vs. Reality: Planning for Ownership

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

One in five parents say they expect their child to own a home by age 25, but this doesn’t always match real life.

Categories: Real Estate

Real Estate Community Voices Support in Health Care Fight

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that provisions of a Department of Labor rule—which has made access to association health plans more widespread—were unlawful. NAR and others in the industry are speaking out.

Categories: Real Estate

The Top Choice for 2020 Color of the Year

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Forecasters are starting their guesses early for next year’s best shade.

Categories: Real Estate

Millennials Willing to Go Into Debt for Travel Experiences

RisMedia Todays Top Consumer Stories - June 10, 2019 - 3:06pm

(TNS)—People love traveling, whether it’s meant to get away and relax or to reconnect with family and loved ones. However, a new survey reveals that some people are so willing to travel even if it may hurt them financially.

The home-sharing platform Vrbo conducted a survey of American travelers with the help of Ipsos and found that millennials aren’t willing to put off their vacation, even if they can’t afford it.

“Forget what you thought about millennials traveling on a shoestring,” said Karen Fuller, senior director of Global Market Research at Vrbo. “Our results revealed that they are actually the most likely to go into debt for travel, which is consistent with the notion that millennials like to accumulate experiences, not things.”

Comparatively, only 27 percent of Gen Xers and 15 percent of baby boomers were willing to go into debt for travel.

As Fuller explained, millennials are focused on having experiences, rather than material things. This matches up with the survey findings that discovered that 45 percent of millennials will “travel purely for exploration in 2019.”

In terms of Gen X, 20 percent said they’ll travel for a special occasion this year, while 44 percent will travel for a milestone event such as a birthday or anniversary. Baby boomers are the least likely to travel for a hobby or activity such as hiking or skiing, compared to 23 percent of millennials.

©2019 Travelpulse
Visit Travelpulse at www.travelpulse.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Millennials Willing to Go Into Debt for Travel Experiences appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Millennials Willing to Go Into Debt for Travel Experiences

Daily Real Estate News - June 10, 2019 - 3:06pm

(TNS)—People love traveling, whether it’s meant to get away and relax or to reconnect with family and loved ones. However, a new survey reveals that some people are so willing to travel even if it may hurt them financially.

The home-sharing platform Vrbo conducted a survey of American travelers with the help of Ipsos and found that millennials aren’t willing to put off their vacation, even if they can’t afford it.

“Forget what you thought about millennials traveling on a shoestring,” said Karen Fuller, senior director of Global Market Research at Vrbo. “Our results revealed that they are actually the most likely to go into debt for travel, which is consistent with the notion that millennials like to accumulate experiences, not things.”

Comparatively, only 27 percent of Gen Xers and 15 percent of baby boomers were willing to go into debt for travel.

As Fuller explained, millennials are focused on having experiences, rather than material things. This matches up with the survey findings that discovered that 45 percent of millennials will “travel purely for exploration in 2019.”

In terms of Gen X, 20 percent said they’ll travel for a special occasion this year, while 44 percent will travel for a milestone event such as a birthday or anniversary. Baby boomers are the least likely to travel for a hobby or activity such as hiking or skiing, compared to 23 percent of millennials.

©2019 Travelpulse
Visit Travelpulse at www.travelpulse.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Millennials Willing to Go Into Debt for Travel Experiences appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Bank of America Offers Zero-Dollar Origination Fees

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

The lending giant has made several recent moves to reduce the borrowing costs of would-be home buyers who face affordability constraints.

Categories: Real Estate

Airbnb Guests Raise Concerns About Surveillance

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

The majority of short-term renters say they’re worried about hidden cameras watching them during their stay at a vacation property.

Categories: Real Estate

There’s a ‘Hybrid Closing’ Option for Tech-Averse Clients

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Even as paperless transactions simplify the homebuying process, not everyone wants to go completely digital.

Categories: Real Estate

Cops, Agent Nab Fake Buyer in Million-Dollar Transaction

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

A real estate pro in Louisiana recognized that the buyer was using fake income verification documents and reported it to police.

Categories: Real Estate

Buyers May Need 124 Hours to Decide on a Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Your clients are taking a longer time to find a home—and may view the property they want more than once before deciding to make an offer.

Categories: Real Estate

Your Website’s Color Can Affect Its Traffic

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

How to ensure the appearance of your site attracts—not repels—new visitors.

Categories: Real Estate

Nearly 6 Million People Can Now Cut Their Mortgage Payments With Refinancing

RisMedia Todays Top Consumer Stories - June 9, 2019 - 12:02pm

(TNS)—The average interest for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is nearing 4 percent again, ushering the way for millions more homeowners to save money by refinancing.

The recent drop in rates means that 5.9 million people can potentially save money by refinancing their existing home loans and securing a lower rate—two million more than last month, according to a recent report by Black Knight. The combined savings totals $1.6 billion, or an average of $271 per person per month.

The sharp drop in rates comes as a surprise, as most experts were betting that rates would be on the rise, says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst. For borrowers, however, this is an unexpected gift.

“The fact that this swoon in rates has occurred as and when it has underscores the fact that accurately predicting the future of rates is difficult indeed. So, instead of trying to outsmart the market, go with what you know for certain, which is where rates are right now,” Hamrick advises. “Between the pace of the news cycle and economic developments, the environment can change with release of a single presidential tweet. In an uncertain environment, seize upon certainty where you can find it.”

Why Your Credit Score, Income and Debt Matter
Before you spend the time applying for a mortgage refinance, be sure you check your balance sheet and credit first. Applying for a refinance is similar to getting a mortgage in that lenders will consider your FICO score, debt-to-income ratio and employment history when evaluating your application. Your interest rate is a reflection of your financial situation, and banks tend to reward low-risk customers with better rates.

Borrowers want to aim for a credit score of over 740 and a loan-to-value ratio of 75 percent or under to nail down the best rates, says Melissa Cohn, executive vice president at Family First Funding LLC in Toms River, N.J. The income needed for a loan is dependent on the bank’s qualifications; for self-employed borrowers, additional proof of income may be required to meet loan prerequisites.

Homeowners who have improved their credit score since getting their original mortgage should see if refinancing makes sense for them. For every 20-point increase in credit scores, the interest drops about 0.125 percent. So, if someone had a 680 credit score and now has above a 760, this alone will improve their rate by about 0.5 percent, says Daniel M. Shlufman, Esq., mortgage banker at Classic Mortgage LLC in Maywood, N.J.

For folks who are hoping to lock in a better rate but are not currently financially ready to do so, create a financial game plan now for a better position down the road. This includes paying down debt and saving money for an emergency fund (so that credit cards are not the go-to in a pinch).

“Anyone who has owned a home for a modest period of time can attest that unexpected expenses are the rule, not the exception. In addition, life brings its own surprises and added expenses,” Hamrick says. “For young families, that might include the birth of a child and related added expenses. By boosting your own finances, effectively paying yourself, you’ll also be boosting your creditworthiness which can only help one achieve financial goals overall.”

The Best Scenarios for Refinancing
Falling rates might seem like a money windfall if you have a higher interest rate than what’s available today, but make sure refinancing bolsters your bottom line. Expensive lender fees can actually put you in the red if you decide to refinance and the savings don’t outweigh the expense.

Generally, you need a drop in the rates of 0.5 to 1 percent (depending on the monthly savings and the closing costs) to justify doing a refinance, Shlufman notes. The rule of thumb is that the savings should be enough to recoup the closing costs within about 18 months to make a refinance justifiable.

“If the closing costs are $3,600, you would need a savings of about $200 per month on the mortgage payment for a refinance to be worthwhile,” Shlufman says. “The larger the loan, the more likely a refinance will make sense, since most of the closing costs are fixed (e.g., appraisal fee, recording fees, etc.) while the monthly savings will be much greater.”

If You’re Paying PMI, Pay Attention
Refinancing also makes sense is if you have private mortgage insurance, or PMI, and the house value has increased so that there is equity of at least 20 percent. Refinancing into a lower rate not only shaves off interest costs, but also knocks out monthly PMI payments, which are typically 0.5 to 1 percent of the total loan on a yearly basis. For borrowers with a $200,000 mortgage and a PMI payment of 1 percent, for instance, that’s a savings of $2,000 per year or $167 per month.

FHA loan borrowers are another group that can potentially benefit from refinancing into a conventional loan. Since PMI is more expensive on FHA loans, those qualified borrowers might save a small mint by reducing or eliminating their FHA PMI and locking in a lower rate, Shlufman says.

Those who want to reduce their terms and go from a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to a 15-year loan might be able to ax an additional 0.5 percent from the top, since 15-year loans usually have lower rates. That might also mean larger monthly payments, but overall less interest paid over the life of the loan. Adjustable-rate mortgage holders can also profit from dropping rates; the timing might be right to lock via a fixed-rate mortgage as rates continue to hover around the 4-percent mark.

Finally, folks hoping to tap their equity while reducing their interest rate can take advantage of cash-out refinances. These are low-interest loans that allow homeowners to borrow against their equity by replacing their existing mortgage with a new loan for a higher amount and receiving the balance in cash. These can be useful for people who want to make home improvements, as the interest is tax-deductible.

©2019 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Nearly 6 Million People Can Now Cut Their Mortgage Payments With Refinancing appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Nearly 6 Million People Can Now Cut Their Mortgage Payments With Refinancing

Daily Real Estate News - June 9, 2019 - 12:02pm

(TNS)—The average interest for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is nearing 4 percent again, ushering the way for millions more homeowners to save money by refinancing.

The recent drop in rates means that 5.9 million people can potentially save money by refinancing their existing home loans and securing a lower rate—two million more than last month, according to a recent report by Black Knight. The combined savings totals $1.6 billion, or an average of $271 per person per month.

The sharp drop in rates comes as a surprise, as most experts were betting that rates would be on the rise, says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst. For borrowers, however, this is an unexpected gift.

“The fact that this swoon in rates has occurred as and when it has underscores the fact that accurately predicting the future of rates is difficult indeed. So, instead of trying to outsmart the market, go with what you know for certain, which is where rates are right now,” Hamrick advises. “Between the pace of the news cycle and economic developments, the environment can change with release of a single presidential tweet. In an uncertain environment, seize upon certainty where you can find it.”

Why Your Credit Score, Income and Debt Matter
Before you spend the time applying for a mortgage refinance, be sure you check your balance sheet and credit first. Applying for a refinance is similar to getting a mortgage in that lenders will consider your FICO score, debt-to-income ratio and employment history when evaluating your application. Your interest rate is a reflection of your financial situation, and banks tend to reward low-risk customers with better rates.

Borrowers want to aim for a credit score of over 740 and a loan-to-value ratio of 75 percent or under to nail down the best rates, says Melissa Cohn, executive vice president at Family First Funding LLC in Toms River, N.J. The income needed for a loan is dependent on the bank’s qualifications; for self-employed borrowers, additional proof of income may be required to meet loan prerequisites.

Homeowners who have improved their credit score since getting their original mortgage should see if refinancing makes sense for them. For every 20-point increase in credit scores, the interest drops about 0.125 percent. So, if someone had a 680 credit score and now has above a 760, this alone will improve their rate by about 0.5 percent, says Daniel M. Shlufman, Esq., mortgage banker at Classic Mortgage LLC in Maywood, N.J.

For folks who are hoping to lock in a better rate but are not currently financially ready to do so, create a financial game plan now for a better position down the road. This includes paying down debt and saving money for an emergency fund (so that credit cards are not the go-to in a pinch).

“Anyone who has owned a home for a modest period of time can attest that unexpected expenses are the rule, not the exception. In addition, life brings its own surprises and added expenses,” Hamrick says. “For young families, that might include the birth of a child and related added expenses. By boosting your own finances, effectively paying yourself, you’ll also be boosting your creditworthiness which can only help one achieve financial goals overall.”

The Best Scenarios for Refinancing
Falling rates might seem like a money windfall if you have a higher interest rate than what’s available today, but make sure refinancing bolsters your bottom line. Expensive lender fees can actually put you in the red if you decide to refinance and the savings don’t outweigh the expense.

Generally, you need a drop in the rates of 0.5 to 1 percent (depending on the monthly savings and the closing costs) to justify doing a refinance, Shlufman notes. The rule of thumb is that the savings should be enough to recoup the closing costs within about 18 months to make a refinance justifiable.

“If the closing costs are $3,600, you would need a savings of about $200 per month on the mortgage payment for a refinance to be worthwhile,” Shlufman says. “The larger the loan, the more likely a refinance will make sense, since most of the closing costs are fixed (e.g., appraisal fee, recording fees, etc.) while the monthly savings will be much greater.”

If You’re Paying PMI, Pay Attention
Refinancing also makes sense is if you have private mortgage insurance, or PMI, and the house value has increased so that there is equity of at least 20 percent. Refinancing into a lower rate not only shaves off interest costs, but also knocks out monthly PMI payments, which are typically 0.5 to 1 percent of the total loan on a yearly basis. For borrowers with a $200,000 mortgage and a PMI payment of 1 percent, for instance, that’s a savings of $2,000 per year or $167 per month.

FHA loan borrowers are another group that can potentially benefit from refinancing into a conventional loan. Since PMI is more expensive on FHA loans, those qualified borrowers might save a small mint by reducing or eliminating their FHA PMI and locking in a lower rate, Shlufman says.

Those who want to reduce their terms and go from a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to a 15-year loan might be able to ax an additional 0.5 percent from the top, since 15-year loans usually have lower rates. That might also mean larger monthly payments, but overall less interest paid over the life of the loan. Adjustable-rate mortgage holders can also profit from dropping rates; the timing might be right to lock via a fixed-rate mortgage as rates continue to hover around the 4-percent mark.

Finally, folks hoping to tap their equity while reducing their interest rate can take advantage of cash-out refinances. These are low-interest loans that allow homeowners to borrow against their equity by replacing their existing mortgage with a new loan for a higher amount and receiving the balance in cash. These can be useful for people who want to make home improvements, as the interest is tax-deductible.

©2019 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Nearly 6 Million People Can Now Cut Their Mortgage Payments With Refinancing appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Ryan O’Hara Resigns as CEO of Realtor.com®

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

A search is underway for a replacement to lead the real estate digital giant.

Categories: Real Estate

Ransomware Attack in Baltimore Puts Other Cities, Firms on Alert

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

Let Baltimore be a lesson on the widespread affects of a malware attack on city services. So far, 1,000 pending home sales have been delayed because of it—and the number will only grow.

Categories: Real Estate

Home Flipping’s Popularity Returns, But Don’t Expect High Profits

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

Economists are sensing an urgency among home flippers. Here’s why.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Drop to 2-Year Lows

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

This marks the sixth consecutive weekly decline for mortgage rates, but to get the current rate, buyers may need to shop around.

Categories: Real Estate

Your Buyers Are Losing Sleep Over Moving

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

Moving houses isn't only stressful before and during the event—anxiety can linger for many nights.

Categories: Real Estate

What’s So Hot About ‘Cold’ Investments Lately?

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 6, 2019 - 12:00am

The uptick in online grocery shopping is fueling what could be an “explosive” growth opportunity for investors over the next five years.

Categories: Real Estate