Real Estate

5 Tips for Decorating the Living Room

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 18, 2019 - 12:00am

There’s an art to decorating a welcoming living room. Try these tips to make the most of the space.

Categories: Real Estate

The Best Week to List a Home Is Quickly Approaching

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 18, 2019 - 12:00am

If you time your new listings for the week most buyers start looking, you can hope for quicker sales going into the season.

Categories: Real Estate

New-Home Sales Are Skewing to Lower Price Points

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Home builders are lowering their prices to appeal to more home shoppers.

Categories: Real Estate

Vote for Your Favorite 30 Under 30 Finalist

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Meet the 50 real estate professionals vying for a spot in REALTOR® Magazine’s 2019 30 Under 30 and vote for your favorite finalist.

Categories: Real Estate

2 Agents Hold Threatening Intruder at Gunpoint in Listing

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

A father-son real estate team credits a firearm for helping to save their lives. 

Categories: Real Estate

How Will the Housing Market Fare This Spring?

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Spring is typically the busiest time of the year for real estate. NAR’s chief economist weighs in on whether this spring will be hot for housing.

Categories: Real Estate

30-Year Rates Plunge 10 Basis Points This Week

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Home shoppers are finding some of the lowest mortgage rates in more than a year.

Categories: Real Estate

Report: Agents Say Staging Decreases Market Time, Boosts Sales Price

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Home staging is key to attracting home shoppers, and maybe even more so in an era where consumers are used to watching TV home-makeover shows. Read more from NAR’s newly released Home Staging report.

Categories: Real Estate

Is That Email Really From NAR? How You Can Tell

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Scammers who mimic official correspondence from the association are looking for one of two things from you: personal data or credit card info.

Categories: Real Estate

How to Help Consumers Get Off the Financial Sidelines

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Seminars or community discussions about the financial preparation of homeownership may help pull in more clients this spring.

Categories: Real Estate

Where Having a Pool Pays Off the Most at Resale

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Having a place to swim could potentially boost a home’s sales price by nearly six figures in some locales.

Categories: Real Estate

Dark Colors Make Rooms Smaller? Painting Myths You Should Know

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Don’t fall for one of these commonly held myths that may prevent you from finding the truly perfect hue to enhance your space.

Categories: Real Estate

Bring Pollinator Power to Home Gardens

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Your clients’ yard space can provide a critical habitat to butterflies, bees, and other important pollinators.

Categories: Real Estate

REALTOR® Tells Congress: Entire Country Needs Flood Insurance

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 13, 2019 - 12:00am

With floods increasingly occurring in inland states, NAR is calling for dozens of reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program.

Categories: Real Estate

A Growing Home Trend: Garden Kitchens

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Live plants are being added into cabinetry and even directly into the kitchen island.

Categories: Real Estate

Click-and-Collect Buyers May Prove a Win for Retail Sector

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 13, 2019 - 12:00am

A growing number of consumers are buying online and then picking up in stores, which could bode well for the commercial real estate market.

Categories: Real Estate

10 Real Estate Elites Inducted Into RISMedia’s Newsmaker Hall of Fame

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 13, 2019 - 12:00am

These newsmakers have had a lasting influence on the real estate industry. Find out which leaders are being inducted this year.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR Cheers Bill to Extend Fair Housing Protections to LGBT

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 13, 2019 - 12:00am

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics has prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for years.

Categories: Real Estate

Costs of Wildfire Insurance Soar in California: Could This Impact Affordability?

RisMedia Todays Top Consumer Stories - March 12, 2019 - 3:29pm

Over the past two years, California’s fire-related damages have reached historic highs, bringing on added affordability challenges to those already living in one of the country’s most expensive states.

In 2018 alone, over 6,000 fires in the state burned through 876,147 acres. The Camp Fire proved to be the state’s most destructive wildfire, killing 85 people, destroying over 18,000 structures and demolishing an entire town.

Although 2017 sparked more fires, the damages were less severe, contained to 505,956 acres of scorched land. These latest figures, however, are much higher than the five-year average for California, 5,756 fires and 233,483 acres burned.

What does this say about the future?
“Several years of drought, millions of dead trees and grassland fuel and four consecutive years of devastating wildfires, including the deadliest and most expensive in our state’s history, have taken a toll on the availability and affordability of homeowners insurance in California,” says Byron Tucker, the deputy insurance commissioner for the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

Wildfires are expected to increase as temperatures rise and summer droughts lengthen, according to a report released by the Trump Administration last year. Insurance companies are backing out of existing policies, choosing not to renew, or are hiking up prices in response. Allstate, for example, reduced its policy count for California home insurance by around 50 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Similarly, Travelers Cos. will not be renewing some of its California policies to reduce the level of risk it takes on in its portfolio.

“We expect that, for homeowners in any area that presents a high risk of wildfire loss, there are likely to be fewer options for coverage—insurance will be more expensive and harder to get,” says Tucker. “We have noted an uptick in non-renewals in high-risk areas due to fire risk and we are monitoring the situation closely.”

What are other insurance options?
While the state offers the FAIR Plan, founded in 1968, to insure properties that the private sector will not cover, it is often a last-ditch effort for residents. The plan has strict limitations and is expensive, especially for residents located in brush/wildfire areas who may be charged higher premiums.

Some Californians are finding that wildfire coverage provided by surplus insurers, although also pricey and susceptible to steep increases, may be the only option after finding out their insurance provider will not renew their existing policy. According to WSJ, these companies sold 49,000 homeowner policies with $122 million in combined premiums in 2018, an increase from the 30,500 policies taken out in 2014.

“Surplus lines insurers are required to be licensed to sell coverage in California; however, they are not part of what we call the admitted market, which requires insurers to be subject to the regulations under Proposition 103,” says Tucker. “So, while consumers may find success in securing coverage from a surplus lines carrier, they do not have the same robust Department protections provided under Proposition 103.”

What is Proposition 103?
“California consumers enjoy the protections of Proposition 103, which requires insurers first obtain approval from the Insurance Commissioner before they change their rates,” says Tucker. “Under Proposition 103, insurers are required to prove their rates are justified by presenting data that are verifiable and reliable. The Department’s independent actuaries review insurer rate filings to make sure what they are requesting is justified, and the Commissioner has the authority to reject or adjust rates that are not justified.”

With fire incidents increasing in areas across California, however, many of these rate increase proposals are being approved. According to a 2017 report by the CDI, homeowners have described paying an annual premium of $800-$1,000, which increased to as high as $2,500-$5,000 upon renewal even after conducting wide-ranging mitigation. 

Could this impact housing affordability?
According to the Traditional Housing Affordability Index released by the California Association of REALTORS®, the percentage of homeowners able to afford a median-priced, existing single-family home ($564,270) increased in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 28 percent. The California index, however, has come in under 35 percent for the past several years, with the median price of property extremely high compared to the national median of $257,600.

Additionally, the Zillow Home Value Index says California’s home values have increased 4 percent since last year and are predicted to rise 7.3 percent by next year. With the combination of increasing home values and insurance costs, California could experience a continued hit to housing affordability in the coming years, especially in areas that typically experience wildfires.

The state is making moves to focus on fire resistance and reduce property losses through the California Fire Plan, finalized this past summer. These strategies will allegedly limit the destruction of wildfires and introduce new construction that is less susceptible to fire damage. Will residents of fire-prone areas see a drawback from these pricing swells, or will wildfire insurance premiums continue to tick up, ultimately impacting housing affordability?

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at [email protected].

The post Costs of Wildfire Insurance Soar in California: Could This Impact Affordability? appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Costs of Wildfire Insurance Soar in California: Could This Impact Affordability?

Daily Real Estate News - March 12, 2019 - 3:29pm

Over the past two years, California’s fire-related damages have reached historic highs, bringing on added affordability challenges to those already living in one of the country’s most expensive states.

In 2018 alone, over 6,000 fires in the state burned through 876,147 acres. The Camp Fire proved to be the state’s most destructive wildfire, killing 85 people, destroying over 18,000 structures and demolishing an entire town.

Although 2017 sparked more fires, the damages were less severe, contained to 505,956 acres of scorched land. These latest figures, however, are much higher than the five-year average for California, 5,756 fires and 233,483 acres burned.

What does this say about the future?
“Several years of drought, millions of dead trees and grassland fuel and four consecutive years of devastating wildfires, including the deadliest and most expensive in our state’s history, have taken a toll on the availability and affordability of homeowners insurance in California,” says Byron Tucker, the deputy insurance commissioner for the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

Wildfires are expected to increase as temperatures rise and summer droughts lengthen, according to a report released by the Trump Administration last year. Insurance companies are backing out of existing policies, choosing not to renew, or are hiking up prices in response. Allstate, for example, reduced its policy count for California home insurance by around 50 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Similarly, Travelers Cos. will not be renewing some of its California policies to reduce the level of risk it takes on in its portfolio.

“We expect that, for homeowners in any area that presents a high risk of wildfire loss, there are likely to be fewer options for coverage—insurance will be more expensive and harder to get,” says Tucker. “We have noted an uptick in non-renewals in high-risk areas due to fire risk and we are monitoring the situation closely.”

What are other insurance options?
While the state offers the FAIR Plan, founded in 1968, to insure properties that the private sector will not cover, it is often a last-ditch effort for residents. The plan has strict limitations and is expensive, especially for residents located in brush/wildfire areas who may be charged higher premiums.

Some Californians are finding that wildfire coverage provided by surplus insurers, although also pricey and susceptible to steep increases, may be the only option after finding out their insurance provider will not renew their existing policy. According to WSJ, these companies sold 49,000 homeowner policies with $122 million in combined premiums in 2018, an increase from the 30,500 policies taken out in 2014.

“Surplus lines insurers are required to be licensed to sell coverage in California; however, they are not part of what we call the admitted market, which requires insurers to be subject to the regulations under Proposition 103,” says Tucker. “So, while consumers may find success in securing coverage from a surplus lines carrier, they do not have the same robust Department protections provided under Proposition 103.”

What is Proposition 103?
“California consumers enjoy the protections of Proposition 103, which requires insurers first obtain approval from the Insurance Commissioner before they change their rates,” says Tucker. “Under Proposition 103, insurers are required to prove their rates are justified by presenting data that are verifiable and reliable. The Department’s independent actuaries review insurer rate filings to make sure what they are requesting is justified, and the Commissioner has the authority to reject or adjust rates that are not justified.”

With fire incidents increasing in areas across California, however, many of these rate increase proposals are being approved. According to a 2017 report by the CDI, homeowners have described paying an annual premium of $800-$1,000, which increased to as high as $2,500-$5,000 upon renewal even after conducting wide-ranging mitigation. 

Could this impact housing affordability?
According to the Traditional Housing Affordability Index released by the California Association of REALTORS®, the percentage of homeowners able to afford a median-priced, existing single-family home ($564,270) increased in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 28 percent. The California index, however, has come in under 35 percent for the past several years, with the median price of property extremely high compared to the national median of $257,600.

Additionally, the Zillow Home Value Index says California’s home values have increased 4 percent since last year and are predicted to rise 7.3 percent by next year. With the combination of increasing home values and insurance costs, California could experience a continued hit to housing affordability in the coming years, especially in areas that typically experience wildfires.

The state is making moves to focus on fire resistance and reduce property losses through the California Fire Plan, finalized this past summer. These strategies will allegedly limit the destruction of wildfires and introduce new construction that is less susceptible to fire damage. Will residents of fire-prone areas see a drawback from these pricing swells, or will wildfire insurance premiums continue to tick up, ultimately impacting housing affordability?

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at [email protected].

The post Costs of Wildfire Insurance Soar in California: Could This Impact Affordability? appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate