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Want to Enjoy an Extra Hour of Sleep?

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Selling Your Home – Top 4 Most Common Pricing Mistakes

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What you should know about the real estate market

 When it comes to assessing a home’s value, homeowners tend to be overly
optimistic. However, appraisers are much more cautious, as they have to predict a
realistic value for the home that the bank can use to extend credit to a buyer.
 There are five areas where homeowners often misjudge the worth of their abode:
The outside, basic systems, the basement, the market, and a remodel.
 On the outside, if an appraiser sees overgrown bushes and chipped paint, he is likely
to slice as much as 3 percent off the value of an average-size home. According to
one appraisal firm, that’s because curb appeal is important, and an unkempt yard is
a sign that there may be other issues.
 A brand-new roof generally does not affect the value an appraiser assigns a house;
however, if a roof is in disrepair, a homeowner should replace it to increase the
chances of a buyer making an offer.
 A recently finished basement with a half bath can add as much as 2 percent to the
value of a home, but homeowners shouldn’t expect the value to increase as much as
it would with the addition of first-floor space, which can increase value by as much as
20 percent.
 Although similar homes in the area may have recently gone into contract for more
than the asking price, this will have little to no effect on the value an appraiser
assigns a house. Appraisers are bound by the data of recent comparable sales,
meaning he must abide by the actual sale prices of homes in the area.
 An expensive, custom-made, built-in entertainment center may be perfect for the
current homeowners, but it could lead the appraiser to make a negative adjustment
to the valuation because cost doesn’t equal value. Renovations that are trendy will
be assessed at the cost of ripping them out. Timeless improvements, however, such
as deep sinks or new wooden cabinets will add value.

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Sell Home Quickly with No Staging Budget

What you should know about the home sale market

 When considering listing a home for sale, homeowners are advised to do many
things – get rid of clutter, increase curb appeal, spruce up entryways, etc.

 Paying attention to how the home looks and smells are critical because it’s one of the
first impressions people will have of the house. Bring a neighbor over and ask what
he or she sees and smells upon entering the home.

 Painting the front door is one of the easiest and best things a homeowner can do
because it makes the house look inviting and smell new.

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Fannie and Freddie won’t lower mortgage principal, regulator says

Los Angeles Times

Fannie and Freddie won’t lower mortgage principal, regulator says

After a lengthy review, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the agency that oversees Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac, decided it will not allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower the
amount some underwater homeowners owe on their mortgages despite new financial incentives
from the Obama administration.

Read the full story

http://on.car.org/T52GIj

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Shrinking supply of homes for sale has upended market dynamics

Los Angeles Times

Shrinking supply of homes for sale has upended market dynamics

One of the sobering fundamentals shaping real estate this summer is shrinking inventory: The
supply of houses for sale has fallen significantly in most areas compared with a year earlier,
sometimes dramatically so.

Read the full story

http://on.car.org/OsBy2L

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How Forgiveness fits in Housing-Fix Toolkit

The Wall Street Journal

How forgiveness fits in housing-fix toolkit

Policy makers are wrestling with a dilemma about the overhang of mortgage debt from the
housing decline: To forgive or not to forgive?

Read the full story

http://on.car.org/Re1io4

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For renters, buying a home pays off after three years on average

Los Angeles Times

For renters, buying a home pays off after three years on average

A new analysis by real estate website Zillow shows that, on average, a renter thinking about
buying a home will reach what it calls the “break-even horizon,” after just three years. The
break-even horizon compares what it would cost to buy or rent the same home in a number of
U.S. markets over time.
Making sense of the story
 The analysis takes into account a host of factors potential buyers should think about
when considering a home purchase, including the down payment, mortgage and rental
payments, buying and selling costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs, and tax
deductions. The analysis adjusts for inflation and forecasts home value and rental price
appreciation.
 Zillow said that the data should help homeowners get a rough and immediate sense of
whether buying makes sense in a particular area in relation to their financial situation.
 Additionally, many analysts believe that a housing bottom has been reached, which may
help renters determine if now is the right time to buy. However, analysts also say they
are not expecting home prices to return to the same levels as during the real estate
bubble.
 There is also some concern about the strength of the housing recovery, with home sales
slowing in June as inventory remained tight and buyers paid higher prices. At the same
time, rents are rising, housing affordability is at record levels, and mortgage interest
rates remain very low. These factors are prompting many renters to consider
homeownership.

Read the full story

http://on.car.org/Nd9108

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Rents Increase as Vacancies Dry Up

The Wall Street Journal

Despite the sluggish economy, average rents increased in all 82 markets tracked by Reis Inc., a
real estate data firm. Average rents are now at record levels in 74 of those markets and now
top $1,000 a month on average in 27 of them, including Miami, Seattle, San Diego, Chicago,
and Baltimore.
Read the full story

http://on.car.org/NkHq09

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Homeowners Offered New Earthquake Policy Options

The California Earthquake Authority, hoping to increase the small percentage of people who
have quake insurance, has introduced a line of policies called Choice that gives homeowners
more coverage and premium options.
Read the full story

http://on.car.org/Nu1w

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