Tracy Tidwell Real Estate Commercial

Monday, December 5, 2016

Consumers Are Scared: Here’s Why

A marketing message that incorporates financial resources or talks in the community about how to finance a home purchase may help motivate some would-be home buyers move forward into ownership.

Ninety-two percent of consumers surveyed say that owning is a better long-term financial decision than renting. Yet, only 30 percent know where to start when it comes to buying a home, according to the survey conducted by Sente Mortgage, an independent mortgage bank based in Austin, Texas.A new nationwide survey reveals that half of U.S. consumers say they lack the financial education needed to purchase a home. What’s more, 44 percent of consumers say they find the home-buying process scary or intimidating.
Younger generations may particularly be lacking enough financial knowledge to move forward. More than 30 percent of millennials say they don’t know the mortgage amount they could afford, and 25 percent say they don’t understand the long-term financial impact of buying a home.
“The home buying process is complex, and it’s clear that for many of today’s consumers, gaps in financial education are leading to some risky purchase behaviors,” says Tom Rhodes, CEO of Sente Mortgage. “Unfortunately, many of the most valuable resources available to buyers go grossly under-utilized, but with the right guidance and support, owning a home can be one of the biggest contributing factors to long-term financial success.”
Many consumers admit to not spending enough time shopping for a mortgage. Eleven percent of consumers say they were more likely to seek advice and recommendations when planning a vacation than when buying a home. Also, consumers were twice as likely to compare options when buying a TV than when selecting a mortgage, Sente Mortgage’s study revealed.
But many buyers say they do trust a real estate agent to guide them accordingly. Sixty-three percent of consumers say they could not navigate the financial side of the home buying process alone, but 51 percent say they entrust the selection of their lender to their real estate agent.
Source: Sente Mortgage

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why Veterans Make Some of the Best Clients

There are 18.8 million veterans and veteran families in the U.S. That’s a huge pool of potential buyers and sellers.
Traditionally, the home ownership rate for veterans of the U.S. military has outpaced non-veterans. In 2006, the ownership rate for veterans was 79.5 percent, which is 12.3 percentage points higher than that of non-veterans, according to data provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.
In 2015, veterans and active-service members comprised 21 percent of all home buyers. Veterans move a median of 75 miles from the home they previously sold to their new home purchased. Active-duty military most often purchase a home due to a job relocation.
They turn to real estate professionals for guidance as they move to new locales.  Veterans and active-service military got their information from real estate professionals more than any other source, according to the 2016 Veterans and Active-Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile. The report, released by NAR, shows that 85 percent of veterans and 86 percent of active-service military purchased their home through a real estate agent.
Real estate professionals are gaining extra training in how to best reach this expansive buyer and seller segment. NAR offers members the Military Relocation Professional certification, for example. It’s a one-day certification program that shows how real estate professionals can reach out to this niche and how to help vets take advantage of military benefits in their home purchases.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Monday, November 21, 2016

Keep Germs Out: Selling During Flu Season

Cold and flu season is in full swing and your homesellers may be worried about the germs that buyers leave behind when they visit their home. The following tips can help keep a seller’s home free of nasty germs: 

Remove your shoes: Shoes can bring in plenty of bacteria and toxins into a home. The average pair of shoes has more than 420,000 units of bacteria on the soles, according to microbiologists at the University of Arizona. A boot tray near the door and a sign at the front door can be gentle reminders to have others please remove their shoes upon entering. You can offer up paper booties too. Also, rugs and mats at all entrances will help catch some of the dirt and germs. 
Wash your hands: Influenza can survive on hard surfaces, countertops, door knobs, and handles for up to 48 hours. But it can easily be killed by alcohol-based hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and soap and water. Following each showing, wipe down light switches, doorknobs, handles, and cabinet pulls. 
Hide the hygiene tools: Stow away the toothbrush in a drawer prior to a showing to help make sure no one comes into contact with it. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Most Millennials Compromise for Housing

A majority of millennials say they’ve had to make compromises in order to find affordable housing. For 43 percent, that means they have put off saving for the future and 41 percent say they’re living with a roommate to curb costs. Thirty-six percent say they have had to move further away from school or work in order to find something affordable, according to a new survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18 to 34 conducted by the NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing.

Sixty-nine percent of millennials are considered “cost-burdened,” which means housing costs eat up more than 30 percent of their income. That said, 67 percent of “cost-burdened” millennials say they are saving for the future purchase of a home, 20 percent are delaying getting married or having children, and 17 percent say they also are putting off paying for preventative healthcare.“This group mirrors much of society, which is also frustrated by the lack of affordable housing and seeking rental options,” says Richard Burns, CEO of the NHP Foundation.
Not surprising, therefore, 63 percent of millennials say that affordable housing is “very important” to them, the survey showed.
Source: “76% of Millennials Make Housing Compromises,” BUILDER (Oct. 27, 2016)

Monday, November 7, 2016

After Election, What Happens to Housing Issues?

The future of housing policy would be more predictable under Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, two housing experts said Friday during the Regulatory Issues Forum at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
Brian Montgomery and Jim Parrott discuss the potential impact of the election on the real estate industry at the Regulatory Issues Forum Friday.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Clinton would be a better president for the real estate industry, but because of her close ties to President Barack Obama, it’s not hard to guess how she’ll preside over housing issues, said Brian D. Montgomery, vice chairman and co-founder of The Collingwood Group LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based business advisory firm. “I think maybe [with Clinton], you could expect more of the same,” said Montgomery, a former advisor to President George W. Bush and former Federal Housing Administration Commissioner.  “I think [Trump] understands the machinations of a deal … but I don’t know how that would play out relative to your trade.”
Jim Parrott, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and owner of Falling Creek Advisors, which advises financial institutions on housing finance, agreed with Montgomery on the uncertainty of how a Trump presidency might change the housing landscape. 
“It’s like trying to guess what my 5-year-old is going to want for lunch tomorrow,” said Parrott, who’s previously held several positions in the Obama administration. “My lack of knowledge about where [Trump] would take the world in that particular space gives me some discomfort. I have no idea, and [housing] is such a precarious, complex, and important section of the economy.”
Other uncertain factors that might be causing market jitters are more legislative and regulatory in nature. Parrott said he wishes Congress and regulatory agencies would decide on a direction in regard to reforming government-sponsored agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as proposed changes to Dodd-Frank. 
“It feels to me like we’re stuck in a sort of policy limbo,” Parrott said. “There’s a haze of uncertainty hanging over the mortgage market,” which, in turn, hurts the real estate industry.
Of course, the upcoming election could change the makeup of Congress as well. Montgomery predicted that if the Republican Party retains control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, they may try to make some moves in the housing space. “They want to get the government out of housing in general,” he said, noting Republicans may focus on winding down the GSEs or making changes to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. He said Congress might feel emboldened to act in the beginning of a new presidential term due to the void that occurs in the adjustment period after the lame duck session. “It’s kind of a blank slate.”
Both speakers agreed that the next president’s choices for Cabinet and advisory positions could make a big difference concerning the future of the real estate and financing industries. Montgomery predicted that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren would take on a significant role if Clinton steps into the presidency, and that may mean a halt to proposed changes to Dodd-Frank. 
But Parrott said both major-party candidates would need a fair amount of advice on these important issues, which is why their staffing choices matter so much. “It will depend a lot on who they hire,” Parrott said. “Clinton is not a lifetime housing person, [so] she’ll listen to those who come to the table. I’m guessing with Trump, it will be the same.”
—By Meg White, REALTOR® Magazine

Monday, October 31, 2016

Scary Good Savings! Deals and Cupons!

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Tracy Tidwell
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Which Architecture Style Is Worth the Most?

Luxury builders have favored the Mediterranean and Tuscan style of homes in recent years, and it’s no wonder: The median list price of that style of home is $749,900.
However, the public’s love with this style of home may be waning. For the past four years, the list price of Mediterranean homes has stalled. On the other hand, more modern home styles are seeing quicker appreciation, surging 37 percent since 2012, according to an analysis by®.
“Modern homes are built to be more energy-efficient, and modern-looking,” says Tim Cannan, president of “It’s easier to heat and cool them, and they’re cheaper to repair as opposed to Mediterranean or Spanish style – those red clay roofs could wind up costing much more. So it’s really the size and scope that determines what people can afford.”
So you know the prices, but which home style is the most popular in the U.S.?
The ranch home is the most popular real estate style in 29 of the 50 states, according to®’s analysis. Ranch homes tend to be able to be built quickly and inexpensively compared to some other styles. Its popularity soared in suburbia with the rise of the automobile culture in the 1960s,® reports.® describes the second most popular architecture style in the U.S. as more “traditional,” which encompasses several classic designs defined by simple rooflines and symmetrical windows.
A closer look reveals quite a few regional architecture differences. For example, in the Northeast, colonial homes – known for their rectangular or box-shaped styles – remain popular. Victorians, on the other hand, are popular in the East Coast and into the Midwest. These homes have intricate moldings and ornate shapes carved into beams, along with pitched roofs, textured shingles, and long front porches.

Differences arise by a state level too. For example,® notes that in Illinois, Georgian home styles are popular while in California the Spanish style rules.You’ll find plenty of Cape Cod homes in New England, and rustic cabins nestled in the Appalachian, Rocky, and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.