Top News Of The Week

- A ‘Starbucks-Effect’ on Home Prices?
- Super Termites Are Eating Up Homes
- Top Towns for an ‘Affordable’ Retirement
- The Growth of Two Homes in One
- Detroit Buyers Mostly Pay Cash for Homes
- Seniors Consider Property Tax Deferrals to Stay in Homes Longer
- Gen Z May May Be Serious Competition for Millennials in Housing
- Non-Banks Are the New Mortgage Kings
- This Commercial Giant Says Shopping Malls Aren’t Dead
- The Home’s Yard Is Costing Buyers More
- Homeownership Lags for Black, Latino Millennials
- Would the White House Pass a Home Inspection?


A ‘Starbucks-Effect’ on Home Prices?
Here’s something that might make your latte extra sweet if you’re a homeowner. A new study by Harvard University suggests having a Starbucks near your home can increase your home’s value.

This “Starbucks effect” can occur within a year of a new store opening near your neighborhood. Homes nearby see an average home price increase of HALF a percent. On a $300,000 home, that could mean a price jump of $1,500.

Researchers say it may not be the fact that Starbucks opened that caused nearby home prices to increase, but it may be more of an indicator of gentrification and wealthier residents moving in.

Super Termites Are Eating Up Homes
Termites – chew up more than 5 billion dollars in property damages annually, according to the National Pest Management Association.

Now, it could be getting even worse.

New warnings of a “super termite” from China are popping up along the U.S. coasts and more inland.

Ted Lieb with Gillen Pest Control told Houston’s KHOU 11 News “super termites”swarm in the millions. Within 20 days, they can consume an entire two by four! They can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages to your home.

Now, most pest control companies offer free inspections. And if you invest in regular treatments, their work is usually guaranteed….good thing, since most homeowner insurance policies don’t cover termite damage.

Top Towns for an ‘Affordable’ Retirement
Baby boomers will be the largest generation ever to retire. And they’re on the hunt for that next big retirement hot spot.

REALTOR®.com pinpointed the best places for retirees in 2018. They started with cities where at least a quarter of the population is already at least 60 years old, and then ranked them based on affordability.

Topping the list, Sebring, Florida, where the median price for homes for sale is currently at $180,000. Other top affordable places for retirees: Sierra Vista, Arizona; Ocala, Florida;and New Bern, North Carolina.

The Growth of Two Homes in One
Creating two houses – on one lot? It’s a growing solution among cities experiencing housing shortages. These accessory dwelling units, as they’re often called, may consist of a backyard guest house, a basement apartment with a separate entrance, or a converted garage.

Kevin Casey, the CEO of New Avenue Homes, talks to Multi Housing News about the growth of these homes in the San Francisco area…where housing availability and affordability are huge challenges.

Some homeowners with accessory dwelling units are finding they can rent out the extra house. Generating income, and making their overall housing costs more affordable.

Detroit Buyers Mostly Pay Cash for Homes
In Detroit, the majority of home buyers pay cash when they buy.

Low housing prices mixed with more affluent buyers are reviving Detroit’s housing market, making cash deals a whole lot more common.

Listen to this: 87% of all single-family and condo buyers in Detroit paid cash for their purchase in the first half of this year. That’s compared to 28% nationwide, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Housing costs do tend to be lower in Detroit. The median price of a home nationwide is $234,000. In Detroit, the median cost of a home is a fraction of that – at only $32,000.

Seniors Consider Property Tax Deferrals to Stay in Homes Longer
The rising cost of property taxes may mean the difference for some retirees on whether they can stay in their home, or will be forced to sell. But now? There’s a growing option for seniors: Defer your property taxes.

In about two dozen states, property tax deferral programs are available to older homeowners who want to put off paying real estate taxes for as long as they remain in their homes.

When the owners eventually sell or pass away, the state claims the balance of what they owe, plus interest, from the home’s equity.

Many of these programs are underused, state officials say. For example, only about 10% of eligible homeowners in Oregon participate in such a program.

To see if your state offers one, check with your state’s treasury office.

Gen Z May May Be Serious Competition for Millennials in Housing
They may be young, but members of Generation Z are eager to become homeowners! That’s according to a new survey from PropertyShark.

Gen Z—is the generation even younger than millennials. But – 83% of them say they plan to buy a home by 2023.

Is this all a case of youthful optimism? Well researchers note that already about 100,000 Gen Zers are homeowners, even though the oldest of that generation is just barely 23. And they have lower default rates on their mortgages, so far, than any other age group.

But, Gen Zers do agree with their millennial elders: College debt will likely be their biggest barrier to becoming homeowners.

Non-Banks Are the New Mortgage Kings
The most popular place to get a mortgage is not a bank any longer.

Bank giants are seeing big competition from specialized lenders who attract borrowers, in some cases, with less strict qualification standards.

Nonbanks issued 22% of U.S. mortgages last year, up from just 9% in 2009. That’s in a new report from Inside Mortgage Finance.

A nonbank called Freedom Mortgage, for example, originated more mortgages than either Bank of America or Citigroup last year.

Six of the ten biggest U.S. mortgage lenders are now nonbanks, including, among others, Quicken Loans, PennyMac, Caliber, and United Wholesale.

This Commercial Giant Says Shopping Malls Aren’t Dead
E-commerce — led by the Amazon’s of the online world —are changing our shopping habits. Some industry analysts have declared the shopping mall all but dead!

But one of the world’s largest real estate asset managers is betting big that malls are in fact, alive and well!

CBRE Global Investors has purchased a 49% stake in three malls in a deal valued at more than one billion dollars.

Bob Slentic is the CEO of The CBRE Group and he told CNBC that talk about the death of the mall? Is greatly exaggerated.

The three malls that CBRE purchased a stake in are the Cumberland Mall in northwest Atlanta; Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, Minnesota; and The Parks Mall in Arlington, Texas.

The Home’s Yard Is Costing Buyers More
The parcels of land that American homes sit on…are getting more expensive!

Census Data show that single-family lot prices reached a new record high in 2017. Half of the lots were priced at or above $47,000. Remember, this gets factored in when you buy a home.

We’re seeing record highs of more than $64,000 in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Iowa.

And also, in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana—lots used to be relatively inexpensive. But now, lot prices are peaking there, averaging more than $56,000.

The National Association of Home Builders notes that a shortage of buildable lots is prompting the higher prices.

Homeownership Lags for Black, Latino Millennials
A new study reveals an alarming discrepancy in the homeownership rate among minority millennial homeowners.

Millennials of color have rates nearly 15 percentage points lower than their white counterparts, according to a study from the Urban Institute and Better Mortgage.

The report suggests the discrepancy is from “intergenerational wealth” among millennial minorities. This refers to wealth that is passed from one generation to the next. Minorities may be at a disadvantage there.

Young adults are more likely to be homeowners if their parents are homeowners.

The report’s researchers call for enhancing financial education at the the high school and college levels to make homeownership more accessible to all.

Would the White House Pass a Home Inspection?
A new report shows a long list of repairs needed at the the White House.

So, an interesting question posed to home inspectors at REALTOR®.com: Would the White House pass a home inspection?

Overwhelmingly, inspectors said: No

Considering, the East Room’s ceiling is cracked and reportedly posing a major safety concern. And the Navy mess kitchen has significant water damage … those were just a few of the red flags inspectors noted

The White House was built in 1792. Over that time, it’s seen lots of repairs, a fire, and constant updates from new tenants.

Los Angeles Real estate developer Tyler Drew says that if the White House was ever for sale, he’d tell home buyers to run for the hills. From a long list of repairs to undoubtedly the lack of permits from those so-called secret doors and passageways .. Tyler says it’s scary to think what you might find behind those presidential walls.

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