Posts by Editor

3 Staging Trends that Can Turn Off Buyers

Stagers say popular home design trends may look stylish to owners but not to buyers. Don’t mix too many metals, for example – and neutral wall colors still work best. CHICAGO – Home staging can show off a home in its best light. Adding simple, updated decor can make a space feel warm and inviting. But stagers say a few popular trends in home design should be avoided when prepping a home for sale: Too many mixed metals: Mixed metals are a hot home trend, such as combining brushed nickel with matte black. It can add dimension and depth to
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5 Underrated Ways to Reach First-Time Home Buyers

1 in 3 home sales go to first-time buyers, and marketing efforts to this group can focus on renters or perhaps couples going through some kind of life transition. NEW YORK – Some 33% of all home sales are to first-time home buyers, who tend to be roughly 32 years old, recently married, and have an annual income of $72,500, according to research. However, national research might not apply perfectly in any specific community. In one metro, for example, first-time home buyers may be somewhat older, might not own cars or have other differences, so it’s important to conduct research.
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Jan. Construction Spending Up 1.8% to Record Level

Spending on home construction jumped 2.1% – the strongest gain since August – as single-family construction rose 2.7% and apartment building was unchanged. WASHINGTON (AP) – Spending on U.S. construction projects rose to an all-time high in January, helped by strong gains for home construction and government building projects. The Commerce Department said Monday that construction spending increased 1.8% in January, the strongest monthly rise in nearly two years, pushing total spending to a record seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.37 trillion. Spending on home construction jumped 2.1%, the strongest gain since August. The strength came from single-family home construction
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Will Fla.’s New Toll Roads Help Or Hurt?

Three new toll roads in Florida will create jobs and open up areas for new homes and commuters. However, opinions run hot and cold on the issue as Floridians try to figure out the ways roads will benefit and hurt the rural communities they’re designed to help. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Three new toll roads in Florida will create jobs. That much is clear – but the rest isn’t when it comes to figuring out how the roads might benefit – or possibly hurt – the rural communities they’re designed to help. Will these roads lead to economic ruin or prosperity?
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Can AI Match Luxury Agents With Well-Heeled Buyers?

Until recently, RE technology focused on the middle market, but the luxury market could soon see some disruption as AI helps agents connect with high-net-worth buyers. NEW YORK – Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise, augmenting or changing how industries like real estate and others operate. Until recently, real estate technology firms focused on the middle market where comparable, median-priced homes offer ample data points to feed algorithms that underline new tools and churn novel market insights in real time. However, the luxury market could see disruption as well, as some say AI can help real estate agents connect
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Top Goal for Remote Workers? Feeling Like Part of the Team

Joyce M. Rosenberg While “Are they really working?” worries bosses with off-site staff, a big one should be retention: “How do I build team spirit when we’re never in the same room?” NEW YORK (AP) – Nicolas Vandenberghe’s company has 42 staffers scattered among 36 cities in 15 countries. As technology makes it possible for people to be in constant touch while working remotely, businesses like Chili Piper are becoming the norm. “We have Zoom, Slack, and a myriad of other collaborative tools – do we really need the in-person water cooler meetings?” asks Vandenberghe, whose business makes software to
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Real Estate Q&A: Inherited Home Sales Can Get Tricky

Gary M. Singer Three siblings inherited their sister’s house upon her death, and then one of the brothers died without a will. Can the remaining two siblings still sell the house? FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Question: My sister passed away and left her house to me and our two brothers. The three of us decided to sell the house, but before we could, one of my brothers also passed away. He was single with no children and did not have a will. Can we still sell the house? – Richard Answer: You will be able to sell the house eventually,
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What’s the Fastest Way to Improve a Credit Score?

Buyers may be able to boost their credit scores by 15-20 points in only a few months by paying bills on time and lowering their credit card balance. NEW YORK – The higher your credit score, the better your chance to snag a lower mortgage rate and potentially save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. But one missed payment or a default can instantly bring a credit score down. “Depending on your credit history, a 15- or 20-point shift could mean the difference between being approved or declined – or better terms or higher costs,”
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What Do Homeowners Fear Most? Unexpected Major Repairs

A survey of 1,500 Americans found that only 18% “don’t have any housing worries.” 1 in 3 worry about major unexpected repairs; 17% fear home prices will go down. NEW YORK – Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of equity, so what has them so worried about housing? A new study by LendingTree surveyed more than 1,500 Americans to gauge their expectations of homeownership. Their No. 1 worry? Upcoming repairs needed on their home. Nearly one-third of respondents (32%) cited major home repairs as their top housing-related worry. More than half of respondents surveyed say that homes are becoming
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Mortgage Rates Decline; 30-Year Loan at 3.45%

The coronavirus outbreak spooked markets and investors’ move to bonds pushed long-term mortgage rates lower this week. One year ago, the average FRM was 4.35%. WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. long-term mortgage rates declined this week as growing concern over the economic impact of China’s viral outbreak spurred a steep downturn in global stock markets. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.45% from 3.49% last week. Rates are far below year-ago levels: the benchmark 30-year loan averaged 4.35% a year ago. The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to
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