Real Estate

If You’re a Homebuyer, Pay Attention to Which Grocery Stores Are Nearby

RisMedia Consumer News - 10 hours 39 min ago

(TNS)—The old real estate adage of “location, location, location” could be changed to “Trader Joe’s, Trader Joe’s, Trader Joe’s,” if recent analysis is any indication. A report by ATTOM Data looked at how home values were affected by proximity to different grocery stores, and the results are eye-opening.

It turns out that if Trader Joe’s is nearby, your house might be worth more than if it were close to other grocery chains. The average return on investment, or ROI, for Trader Joe’s-adjacent homes is 51 percent, 10 percentage points more than the runner-up, Whole Foods (41 percent), and almost 20 percentage points more than Aldi (34 percent).

The results were based on an analysis of 1,859 zip codes with at least one of each of these grocery stores: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Aldi. ATTOM, a property data company, looked at current average home values from 2014 to 2019, current average home equity, home seller profits and home-flipping rates to learn whether these stores had any impact on equity, home-flipping returns and price appreciation.

Homeowners near the famous “Two-Buck Chuck” retailer, i.e., Trader Joe’s, also had more equity in their homes, with an average of 37 percent ($247,445). The runners-up were Whole Foods with 31 percent ($187,035) and Aldi with an average 20 percent equity ($53,650).

Aldi came in first place in the gross flipping ROI contest, however, with an average of 61 percent—almost double the second-place store, Whole Foods, which had a 35 percent ROI, trailed by Trader Joe’s with a 31 percent ROI.

Aldi also had the best five-year price appreciation: 42 percent, more than 10 percentage points ahead of Trader Joe’s, which had 33 percent. Whole Foods came in last place with an average five-year, home-price appreciation of 31 percent.

What Your House Is Near Today Might Predict Its Value Later
A popular grocery store is not the only neighborhood amenity that can increase your home’s value, according to experts.

Where you live can impact your investment as much—or even more—as your actual house, so it’s important to know what makes a location desirable, says James Marshall, director of Real Estate Analytics Products at Clear Capital.

Clear Capital’s automated valuation model, called ClearAVM, uses machine learning to predict the values of residential properties across the U.S. One of its findings is that desirable locations can predict home values.

“When we overlay points of interest (like transit, shopping and amenities) on top of prices, we see trends in the distance to these features,” Marshall says. “In urban areas, ClearAVM has found that access to public transit has a large correlation with higher property prices. We have found the same with access to restaurants, coffee shops and groceries in urban and suburban areas.”

While different folks will place more or less value on certain things—one person might love their craft brewery neighbor while another would prefer a yoga studio—there are universally positive (and negative) elements, says Chris Hunt, chief appraiser at Clear Capital.

Some of the positive location amenities that can impact home values and equity include high-ranking schools, hospitals, shopping centers, green spaces and being near the waterfront (think oceans and lakes), as well as access to highways and main thoroughfares.

Negative location markers include things like high-traffic and high-noise areas, crowded commercial properties, high-tension power lines or other utility easements, a poorly maintained home or neighborhood, and not being near the appealing attractions mentioned earlier, Hunt says.

Scope Out the Location Before You Buy the Home
Since buying a home is a major decision that can have serious financial consequences, both good and bad, buyers should think beyond the four walls. A solid investment strategy includes looking at the home’s surrounding location.

Whether you plan to sell your house in a few years or stay put for a lifetime, location will have a bearing on both your wallet and long-term satisfaction.

Take the time to get to know the neighborhood. Do people tend to stay, or is there a lot of turnover in sales? It’s important to get an idea of how a neighborhood might age based on community involvement, how long businesses have stayed there and what locals have to say.

“The beneficial amenities listed previously are those that, over time, tend to hold up as positively, adding to the home’s appeal and overall value impact in the market,” Hunt says. “That said, as neighborhoods mature and homes trade in the market, amenities and influences change, as well.”

Buyers should also consider where they’re buying in order to measure the long-term impacts of certain amenities. For instance, in urban areas, transportation is king, Marshall says. Likewise, in coastal markets, the distance to water is the largest driver of desirability.

“On a more micro level, a property that backs up to green space or has a slight view can fluctuate values on homes that may be next to each other,” Marshall points out.

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

The post If You’re a Homebuyer, Pay Attention to Which Grocery Stores Are Nearby appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR, Labor Officials Meet to Pave Path for Future of AHPs

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2019 - 11:00pm

The association says it’s committed to supporting the Department of Labor's efforts to fendsoff legal challenges to its association health plan rule.

Categories: Real Estate

How You Might Be Sabotaging Your Lawn Appeal

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2019 - 11:00pm

A lush lawn can help improve a home’s aesthetics, if homeowners avoid these two common mistakes.

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Gen Z: They’re Not Too Young to Buy a Home

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Those born in 1995 or after are taking out more credit and increasingly eyeing homeownership.

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Builders Are Lowering Prices: Will It Be Enough?

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2019 - 11:00pm

Homebuilders are starting to lower their prices to better cater to growing demand for smaller, more affordable homes.

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Agent Parodies Garth Brooks' ‘Friends in Low Places’

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2019 - 11:00pm

“My inspector goes to low places …” real estate pro Sean Cochran croons in a spoof on Garth Brooks’ 1990s hit song.

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Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Lows

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2019 - 11:00pm

Borrowing costs remain low, and home buyers and homeowners are taking more notice.

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Where ‘Zombie’ Foreclosures Are Still Problematic

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2019 - 11:00pm

“A handful of areas still face notable problems with homes abandoned by owners after they get hit with foreclosure claims,” a new report finds.

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Kanye West’s Affordable Housing Under Scrutiny

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The Cheapest and Priciest Places to Live in the U.S.

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2019 - 11:00pm

See how your city ranks among 75 metros when factoring in rent costs, average utility and internet costs, fuel prices, and food.

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20M Owners Could Lower Mortgage Payments by Refinancing

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Homeowners could save nearly $270 per month from the recent drops in rates.

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KW, Offerpad Form Agent-Led iBuyer Program

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The partnership expands Keller Williams' reach in the instant-offer movement as it presents sellers in a hurry with greater options.

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Is the Midwestern Housing Boom Getting Too Hot?

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Many of the heartland’s top-performing markets are heating up so quickly that they now face shortages and price hikes.

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Average Mortgage Debt Tops $202K

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 13, 2019 - 11:00pm

Despite an increase, buyers are “more responsible with their mortgage debt than in years past,” a new report notes.

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Latest Data Shows Housing Clash Between Buyers, Owners

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Buyers are eager to take advantage of lower mortgage rates, but sellers are concerned about slowing home price growth, according to realtor.com®.

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Chance the Rapper Name-Drops RE/MAX in a Song

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The real estate firm played a role in how the musician met his wife.

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HUD to Unveil New Condo Guidance That Could Boost Sales

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Updated condo rules are due out Thursday, which could help more would-be buyers become eligible for an FHA-backed mortgage.

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These Are the Biggest Mistakes People Make With Social Security

RisMedia Consumer News - August 13, 2019 - 2:02pm

(TNS)—Navigating Social Security can be cumbersome, to say the least. Even basic questions such as when you should retire can come to take on an immense and sometimes desperate tone as you try to make a decision that doesn’t screw up your retirement beyond repair.

Bankrate spoke with some experts to get their take on some of the biggest mistakes you can make with Social Security. Here’s what you should try to avoid doing as you navigate Social Security’s labyrinth.

Stick to a One-Size-Fits-All Strategy
The biggest mistake people make is “they do a quick Google search and take information that is meant to be very much at the macro level, and thus not individualized,” says Daniel Milan, managing partner of Cornerstone Financial Services. Often, they “fail to take into account their own household budget, financial needs and outside investment income.”

Since life situations can be different, it’s necessary to have a personalized approach that helps you optimize your retirement. And Social Security is not a “one-size-fits-all” experience. Social Security is complex. While that’s partly by design to help as many people as possible, it still creates a lot of headaches for those nearing retirement. While many retirees have a straightforward experience, others need and can receive specialized aid from the program.

“There are so many different strategies that exist when it comes to collecting benefits, and so many variables to consider, that listening to advice painted with a broad brush can prove to be detrimental,” says Cory Bittner, co-founder and COO of Falcon Wealth Advisors.

“Creating a financial plan and understanding the inner workings of it should be a prerequisite before making the decision to file to collect benefits,” says Bittner. He suggests people look for a financial adviser who is a fiduciary and is experienced at planning for retirement.

Misunderstanding How Much Money You’ll Receive
If you’ve been working and contributing to the Social Security fund, then you’ve likely received a statement of benefits, an estimate of what you might likely receive in the future. But that figure can be misleading in several ways, and you need to understand what’s driving the estimate.

“People see their statements, the dollar amount that is listed on the front, and assume that’s what they will start receiving monthly whenever they begin filing for their benefits,” says Bittner.

“However, the amount reflected on the front page of a Social Security statement is typically the amount someone will receive if they wait until their full retirement age to begin collecting benefits, and it assumes they work until that age and contribute to Social Security,” he says.

So if you stop working immediately at the earliest age to collect your benefits and don’t wait, don’t expect the full amount. In addition, this dollar amount is pre-tax, so you’ll have to figure how much tax will be stripped from your monthly check before you actually receive it.

As you’re planning your retirement budget, you’ll need to carefully assess how much money will actually make its way into your pocket.

Assuming Social Security Will Fully Cover Your Expenses
After a lifetime of working, many people assume that Social Security will meet their needs when they can no longer clock in. But unless your budget is minimal, that probably won’t be the case.

“The biggest mistake people make is thinking Social Security will be sufficient to retire on without also cutting one’s standard of living significantly,” says Ryan McMaken, economist and fellow at the Mises Institute, an economics think tank.

“If they try to fund their entire retirement on Social Security, they’re going to quickly find they’ll need to downsize in terms of housing and also in transportation and entertainment,” he says.

“Social Security is only designed to replace about 40 percent of your income,” says Tony Drake, a CFP and founder of Drake & Associates. “Most people will need at least 80 percent of their pre-retirement income to maintain the lifestyle they want in retirement.”

And with all that free time in retirement, you may be inclined to increase your spending well beyond that 80 percent level, Drake suggests. Healthcare is another expense that may consume a much larger portion of retirees’ budgets than they initially suspect.

So with the limited nature of Social Security, retirees who want to live large in their golden years must make sure that they have other sources of income. Many workers turn to their company’s 401(k) plan, but many other attractive options exist to fund retirement.

Not Making Extra Preparations, as a Woman
For a variety of reasons, women need to be extra prepared when planning for retirement. Women typically earn less than men over their working careers, and studies have shown that women have longer lifespans on average compared to men, leaving many widows with substantial financial needs, for example.

“While Social Security benefits are neutral when it comes to gender, there are many factors that women need to consider with regard to their benefits,” says Mary Ann Ferreira, a certified financial planner at Viridian Advisors.

“Women who work outside the home typically miss an average of 11.5 years of employment due to childcare and care of elderly parents.” She also notes the substantial gender pay gap.

And those lower lifetime earnings carry on into retirement, with smaller retirement accounts and a lower Social Security payout.

She sees many women working longer and saving more in order to cope with the challenge. “Many women are considering retiring at 70 rather than the full retirement age of 66 or 67. In doing so, they may boost their Social Security benefits by as much as 24 percent,” she says.

In addition to spousal support benefits that surviving spouses may receive, divorcees may also receive benefits.

“I find that women typically forget that they are eligible for divorced spousal and survivor benefits if they were married for over 10 years,” says John Foxworthy, director of Financial Planning at Foxworthy Wealth Advisors. “If they have been divorced for more than two years, the ex-spouse doesn’t even need to file in order to receive the divorced spouse benefit.”

Foxworthy says that the ex-spouse is not notified of the benefits election, so “there is no need to worry about a long-lost ex-spouse finding out that you are taking benefits on their record.”

Taking Social Security at the Wrong Time
And the question that keeps soon-to-be retirees up at night: When should they take their benefits? That depends heavily on their unique situation, but one of the biggest blunders is even simpler: failing to calculate what the best option is.

“The biggest mistake that I see most regularly is when people elect their benefits without doing the math first,” says Foxworthy. “There really isn’t a ‘do-over’ when it comes to Social Security, and the vast majority of people are leaving money on the table.”

Foxworthy details a situation involving a married couple, both of whom turned 62 years old and were planning on filing for benefits immediately. “We ran an analysis and uncovered a strategy to elect benefits that will get them $221,000 more over their lifetime,” he says. “That much money can have a significant impact on their retirement picture.”

Retirees who can go a few extra years without claiming their benefits can continue contributing to the program and increase their benefits at the same time.

“Claiming Social Security too soon is one of the most common mistakes we see,” says Drake. “Although 62 is the earliest and most popular age to claim your benefits, your monthly check will be permanently reduced by about 25 percent or more.”

To get your full benefit, you have to wait until full retirement age, between 66 and 67, he says.

But there’s potential for more. “There’s an added benefit to waiting to claim after you hit full retirement age. Your benefit increases by as much as 8 percent each year until you reach age 70.”

Bottom Line
Because Social Security is so complex, it’s tough to navigate, maximize your benefits or even just figure out where to begin. Even if you don’t quite maximize your payouts, it’s beneficial to know the mistakes to avoid. Most notably, you’ll want to know how much money you’ll receive and develop personalized strategies—perhaps with a financial adviser—that best fit your needs. 

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

The post These Are the Biggest Mistakes People Make With Social Security appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

How Body Language Gives You Nonverbal Answers

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 12, 2019 - 11:00pm

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NAR CEO Issues Challenge to State, Local Associations

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NAR has struck a partnership with a charitable organization, and CEO Bob Goldberg wants to get more REALTORS® involved.

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