February 2013

Found 21 blog entries for February 2013.

blogs.wsj.com - Add a photo, earn an extra few thousand dollars. Adding at least one photo to a residential real-estate listing can up the final sale price by 3.9%.

Photos are already fairly established in listings. Roughly 85% of online listings include photos, says Ken H. Johnson, an associate professor of finance at Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate. But the type of photo matters, he adds.

A few other tips: 1.  Remove large pieces of furniture, 2.  Consider a paint job, 3.  Remember the front door, 4.  Look for details,  5.  Be your own editor.

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blogs.wsj.com - Homeowners, rejoice—Friday really is the best day of the week. In Mansion on Friday, we reported that homes listed on Fridays sold for 99.1% of the seller’s original asking price, the highest percentage of any day of the week.

Homes listed on Fridays also spent the least number of days on the market (81 days), and homes listed on Tuesdays earned the most home tours (2.41 home-tour requests), on average, according to an analysis by real-estate brokerage Redfin.

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homes.yahoo.com - Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked cookies, but don't expect that aroma to sell your home, new research suggests.

Homeowners are often coached to create pleasing aromas when potential buyers pay a visit. But complex smells, like baked goods and potpourri, are likely to damp enthusiasm for a fast sale for top dollar.  The best scents? Lemon, green tea, cedar, basil, and vanilla.

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homes.yahoo.com - Are you ready and eager to buy your first home, but not sure if you'll qualify for those historically low mortgage interest rates that are splashed across every real estate section?

Well, you are right to be excited, since rates really are extremely low by historical standards. Here are some tips on how to get a low mortgage rate.

 1.  Improve your credit
 2.  Decrease you liabilities
 3.  Put at least 20 percent down
 4.  Emphasize you job stability

 

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blogs.wsj.com - The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday what home buyers in many parts of the United States have known for months: it’s becoming a seller’s market.

The number of homes listed for sale in January fell by 4.9%, leaving 1.74 million properties on the market. That’s the lowest since December of 1999, when there were 1.71 million homes on the market. By contrast, there were 2.91 million homes on the market two years ago at this time.

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blogs.wsj.com - Rising home prices have helped lift more Americans out from being underwater—that is, owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth. But trying to quantify just how many borrowers are moving back above water is producing a wide range of estimates.

Zillow said in a new report Thursday that around 2 million homeowners moved back above water last year. The online real-estate company estimated that 13.8 million borrowers were underwater at the end of the year, down from 15.7 million a year earlier, a decline of around 12%. U.S. home prices rose by 5.9% last year, though bigger price gains in some of the hardest hit housing markets had an outsized impact on returning borrowers in those regions to positive equity.

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money.cnn.com - Permits are a sign of builders' confidence in the market. It's also less affected by weather than housing starts. Last month, builders filed for permits at an annual rate of 925,000, up about 2% from December and up 35% from a year earlier. It was the best month for permits since June 2008.

Meanwhile, the pace of housing starts slowed to an annual rate of 890,000 in January, down 9% from December, when there was a spike related to repairs from Superstorm Sandy. But even the lower pace of starts was up 24% from a year ago.

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  • #1 Built-in Aquariums
  • #2 Built-in Electronics
  • #3 Eliminating a 3rd or 4th Bedroom
  • #4 Over-improving the basement
  • #5 Expansive outdoor living space out of Sync with the climate

It can be a balancing act to polish to the point of perfect return, especially if you expect to sell the house soon. Consider putting in one moderately priced focal point improvement that can make the room memorable. For example, one — just one — built-in specialty appliance in the kitchen can be a selling point. That appliance might be a warming drawer, a wine cooler or a five-burner stove with a griddle instead of the standard four-burner stove. Even then, calculate your payback in terms of a shorter selling time, not in terms of dollar return. - zillow.com

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homebuyer_275Median home prices in January continued to stay above year ago levels while falling month-over-month, according to a recent report from RE/MAX. At the same time, inventory remained low, causing a shortage in supply while pushing up home prices, RE/MAX explained.

At $155,000, the median sales price in January sat 6.6 percent below December’s sales price, but was still 8 percent higher compared to January 2012.

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homepricesrise_1000mortgagenewsdaily.com - Home prices in December posted the largest annual increase in nearly seven years according to CoreLogic's Home Price Index (HPI) report.  December was also the 10th consecutive month in which home prices increased nationally.

The index that included distressed sales (sales of owned real estate and short sales) increased by 8.3 percent compared to December 2011, the largest increase since May 2006.  With distressed sales excluded the HPI increased 7.5 percent year over year.  Prices were up 0.4 percent including distressed sales and 0.9 percent excluding distressed sales compared to November. 

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