Monthly Archives: October 2016

7 Less Commonly Known Factors That Can Affect Home Value Estimates

Source: PEMCO Realty

Beyond size and schools

We know how the obvious parameters such as school quality, crime rate, lot size, square footage and neighborhood upkeep can affect property values. Did you know that the name of your street might influence your home’s value, good or bad?  Here are some less obvious elements that can affect home values.

See Agents Should Help Guide Sellers on Pricing

  1. Your house number can matter

Dismissing what many consider superstition won’t keep a buyer or two from overlooking your home if the house number doesn’t add up to good numerology. For example, if your address is 1129 Johnson Avenue, adding 1+1+2+9 comes up to 13 and adding 1+3 makes your house a 4. In numerology, this is good for investments and security but not so good for excitement and adventure. Whether a homebuyer is into numerology or not, he or she may balk if your address is 13 Payton Place because of 13 being a universally considered an unlucky number. You may choose to price competitively, especially if the neighboring 11 Payton Place is for sale.

  1. The name of your street can be a big deal

People typically prefer living on streets that have names versus street numbers, and this is a nationwide preference (unless you’re in Atlanta and New York, where there’s no difference, or in Denver, where numbers are actually favored). In a Trulia study, a house located on a “street” is the least expensive by price per square foot, while a home located on a “boulevard” price per square foot was the most expensive.

  1. Trader Joes

If you live within a mile of a Trader Joes, Whole Foods or Starbucks, your property value can rise. According to a RealtyTrac analysis, homeowners near a Trader Joe’s saw an average home value increase of 40%, while those near a Whole Foods saw a little less, 34%.

  1. A death on the property

This can be a deal-breaker for some. If you’re selling a home in states such as California, you must disclose if there was a death on the property within the last 3 years. Home sellers in states such as Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania do not need to disclose if a death occurred. Of course, if a prospective buyer directly asks if a death occurred in your home, whether or not you are required to disclose it, the best thing to do is be truthful.

  1. Crown moldings

It’s not enough to put a lot of time into selecting the perfect serene and neutral paint color scheme that you hope will attract the largest number of buyers, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of crown moldings. Unlike one of the other desirable home amenities such as high ceilings, you can easily add crown moldings.

See Upgrading Your Kitchen Can Help Sell Your Home

See Get More, Spend Less: How to Inexpensively to Get the Best Price for your Home

  1. Weird or bad neighbors

One of the first questions prospective buyers ask sellers is “how are the neighbors?” Neighbors can be a factor in home values gained or lost. Neighbors with odd yard artifacts, statues and weird exterior paint schemes are a few of the things that can make it harder to sell your home.

  1. Big trees

While it’s common for home developers to cut down most or all of the trees on a property to build homes, according to the National Tree Benefit Calculator, large mature trees almost always enhance property values. If you have the space to add trees, take a trip to your local nursery and discuss what might be best for your property.

If you’re considering selling your home, please contact a PEMCO Realty agent today! Whether you’re in Atlanta, Denver or Honolulu, we will guide you through the selling process.




RealtyTrac. Better to own near Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods?

Trulia Real Estate 101. 8 Surprising Factors That Can Affect Your Home’s Value

Affordable Housing Assistance Lacking for Low-Income Families

Source: RISMedia

Low-income families already vulnerable due to strained finances have had to contend with lengthy waiting periods and closed waiting lists for affordable housing, a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reveals.

Importantly, affordable housing applicants are being shut out of the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program, according to the report, entitled Housing Spotlight: A Long Wait for a Home. Fifty-three percent of HCV waiting lists were found to be closed to new applicants, and 4 percent were found to be available only to certain types of applicants.

“Most of the poor families that are unable to obtain affordable homes spend more than half of their limited incomes on housing,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC, in a statement on the report. “They face impossible choices between paying the rent or paying for food, medicine, transportation, or child care.”

According to the report, 65 percent of the HCV waiting lists closed to new applicants were closed for at least a year, with those on the waiting list having to wait a median of at least 1.5 years for assistance. One-quarter had to wait at least three years.

The amount of households on HCV waiting lists, on average, is 2,013, the report found.

“Congress can make more housing affordable to the lowest income people by significantly increasing investments in deeply targeted and highly effective tools like Housing Choice Vouchers, Public Housing and the national Housing Trust Fund,” Yentel said.

Bills on the docket, according to the NLIHC, include the Pathways out of Poverty Act (H.R. 2721), the Ending Homelessness Act of 2016 (H.R. 4888) and the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 3237).

“Home is the foundation for success in every aspect of our lives,” said Yentel. “Investing in homes is an investment in education, healthcare and economic mobility. As a nation, we understand the housing affordability crisis we face, we have the solutions, and we know how these solutions benefit families, communities and the economy. We lack only the political will to rebalance housing policy and target resources towards those with the greatest need. When we achieve that, we will end the long wait for a home for the nation’s lowest income families.”

To view Housing Spotlight: A Long Wait for a Home in full, click here.

Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

Worth the Wait: Homebuyers Save Thousands in the Off-Season

Source: RISMedia

Timing is everything, even in real estate.

Homebuyers in the nation’s densest metro areas could save thousands by purchasing a home in the off-season, according to a new analysis by NerdWallet. Sale prices fall an average of approximately 3 percent, or by $8,300 on a median-priced home, September through November, the analysis found.

Sale prices, as well, tend to keep tracking downward through January and February. NerdWallet’s analysis, which dug into housing activity from the last two years as reported by®, recognized an overall average declining trend of 8.45 percent, identifying January as the month with the most metros experiencing the lowest sale prices.

The most considerable drop-offs from summer (June through August) to fall were in three distinct markets: Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn., Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio, and Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., according to the analysis. Sale prices in each fell around 8 percent, or by $20,417, $11,450 and $13,386, respectively.

Related: The Perks of Buying a Home in the Fall 

In context, the median listing price in September is projected to be $250,000, a new high for the month, recently reported. Listing price, however, often differs from sale price—of the 50 metro areas NerdWallet analyzed, the difference between the median listing price and median sale price averaged roughly $17,000 from September to November. Given these findings, homebuyers this fall and winter can expect to have an advantage over sellers, even with record list prices.

Buyers in fall may also have leverage in terms of selection. forecasted the median age of listings in September at 77 days, five days more than in August. With listings longer on the market (and less buyers to compete with), those purchasing past the peak summer season could have the upper hand in negotiations.

Mortgage interest rates, additionally, remain low—though the Federal Reserve hinted at a benchmark rate hike this December. Homebuyers, for now, still have the opportunity to secure a low rate.

Overall, these signs—and now, significant savings—point to an off-season in favor of homebuyers.

Learn more from NerdWallet’s analysis here.

Single-Family Starts Surge Ahead of Estimates

Source: RISMedia

Single-family housing starts came in above estimates in September, signaling sustained strength in the owner-occupied housing sector.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports single-family starts in September at a rate of 738,000, or 8.1 percent more than the estimate of 724,000. Units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 250,000 over the same period.

Privately-owned starts, however, stumbled, down 9 percent at 1,047,000 from an estimate of 1,150,000 and below last September’s rate of 1,189,000—an 11.9 percent decline. Single-family housing completions, in addition, fell 8.8 percent below estimates in September, at 687,000 from 753,000. Privately-owned completions also moved downward 8.4 percent, to a rate of 951,000 from the 1,038,000 estimate.

“[The September] data spawned some ominous headlines, but if you look closer this is actually a very encouraging report about new construction to come in the months ahead,” says® Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “True, housing starts dropped—but we have to take that with a grain of salt because it came from such thin data. On the other hand, the permitting data released today blew by analysts’ expectations. It also showed that this year’s most troubling trend in new construction has clearly reversed: Permits are outpacing starts, which indicates that developers and builders are finally planning for more growth ahead. That’s great news for both the economy and the consumer.”

“The headline number in this month’s report doesn’t tell the full story,” says Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans, of the decline in privately-owned starts. “Single-family starts made significant gains in September, which is welcome news to a housing market that has continued to lack inventory, especially in entry-level sectors.”

“A persistent lack of growth in new construction has given us low vacancies in rentals and very low inventories of homes for sale,” Smoke adds. “That has produced above-average increases in rents and prices—but [the September] data is a good sign that we could be turning the page on this troubling scenario. Let’s hope this trend persists!”

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