New home prices fall, but good luck finding one!

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New home prices fall, but good luck finding one!

Buyers who’re seeking a brand new home are benefiting from lower prices on newly constructed properties, according to a report by While real estate prices have been increasing on the whole, that’s not quite so true when it comes to new constructions, which have seen prices fall to their lowest level in 12 months. cites Commerce Department data as showing that the median price for a new home has fallen by 6.9 percent in the last month to $312,400 as of April 2018. That’s an increase of just 0.4 percent year-over-year, the Commerce Department said.

“This could be a sign that builders are trying to build at lower price points,” Danielle Hale,’s chief economist, said.

That is of course great news for anyone shopping for a home who is on a tight budget, Hale suggested. “The largest share of home buyers and home shoppers in the market are looking to buy entry-level homes,” she added.

There are also some extremely affordable properties to be had, even though these are few and far between. Commerce Department data shows that five percent of all new home sales were priced at $150,000 or less in April, which is the largest share properties in this price bracket have had since August 2016.

However, new homes are still more expensive than existing properties, even if their price tags are falling. The average newly-built home remains 24.8 percent more expensive than the median existing home, which costs $250,400 according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

In addition, buyers are still hard-pressed to actually find a new property in their city, said one market analyst.

“The absolute level of [new-home] sales remains quite low compared to current demand levels and the overall population. But you can’t sell what hasn’t been built,” said Freddie Mac’s Len Kiefer in a statement. “As long as single-family home construction remains at a low level, so too will new home sales.”

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Cap Rates Lesson – Commercial Real Estate

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Cap Rates Lesson – Commercial Real Estate

Presented by Bisnow with Professor Peter Linneman source

Home or Business Security: These Features Benefit Both

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Home or Business Security: These Features Benefit Both

When it comes to break-ins, homes account for the majority of targets with businesses a close second. These crimes are often committed as the opportunity arises (with little planning), although some thieves will profile a location up to a month in advance.

An “easy target” is the main focus of most would-be burglars regardless of their level of prep work. In general, however, the risk of burglary depends on your geographical area, with some states and cities having higher-than-average crime rates than others. This article shares how to create deterrents to reduce your chances of being a victim.

Home? Business? You Need These Security Features
Outside of costs and labor, the security market blends features between home and business offerings. What works for the home is effective for a business, and vice versa. So, consider the following security measures for either location — or especially if you have both.

As noted, burglars look for “easy targets” when profiling potential places to break into. What better way to deter their actions than completely blocking access to the home or business? Fencing is both a long-term investment in privacy and security. Block easy access and prying eyes and you’ll lower your risks.

Fencing options could include:
• Residential chain link fence — low privacy, medium security
Commercial concrete fence — high privacy, high security
• Combination PVC fencing — high privacy, medium security
Of course, blocking access can create a greater temptation for burglars. After all, if a home or business is fenced in and gated then it surely has valuables to protect, right?
This, then, calls for…

Security Systems
Home and business security systems are your next line of defense. While their effectiveness is often determined by your local police response time, security systems ultimately aid in deterring malicious intent by virtue of the obstacle they create. Furthermore, few thieves are willing to stick around for very long if an alarm is blaring throughout the building.

What should the security systems include?
• Motion detection and lighting
• Live video monitoring and DVR
• Power and data backups
• Proper installation and layout
• Quick security company response time
• Physical branding like signage
A bright flood of light, screaming sirens, and visible deterrents like video cameras will quickly send burglars fleeing. More experienced criminals may be brash enough to power through the panic and continue their actions, but at least you’ll have video evidence for police and insurance reports.

What happens if a burglar scales the fence and drives forward despite security systems? They’re at the doors and windows ready to make their move. What now?

There are lots of features you can add at this level:
High-tech security door with panel access
• Thick door builds and unbreakable windows
• Video doorbells and user access features
It’s worth noting these features are worthless if you’re forgetful. This includes leaving windows and doors unlocked during the off-hours. Or, failing to keep entry-points closed and monitored during operations.
Which brings us to…

General Awareness
Did you know most burglars live within a close proximity of the targeted building? Or, that many company burglaries are done by employees? These individuals are hidden in plain sight. Their intimate knowledge of the target and area gives them easy access and escape.

What can you do to deter this?
• Start a community watch with neighbors to report suspicious individuals or activity (this is applicable to business parks, too, by working with business peers to be on the lookout)
• Set user-access profiles to who is allowed in different areas of the business such as senior-only accessibility to safe areas where private documents and valuable items are kept.
• Not displaying your home or business as an easy target by removing easy-to-notice tip-offs like overflowing mailboxes, or open social updates about vacations (revealing an empty location).
• Training others security basics and the value of reporting suspicious activities

This doesn’t mean you need to become overly paranoid about your neighbors or employees, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on local activity. If things seem off and it turns out to be nothing then carry on, but if it does you may have prevented a burglary.

Safety in Numbers, Moving Forward
No one wants to be a victim of burglary but it happens to countless people every day. You can greatly reduce your chances of being one of them by installing features found in this post. And, by working together to add security throughout the neighborhood and business location — together, there is safety in numbers.

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Home sales fall again as low inventory leaves buyers with fewer options

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Home sales fall again as low inventory leaves buyers with fewer options

Existing home sales have failed to gain much traction in the past month, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors released last week.

The NAR said that total existing home sales for April, which includes all transactions involving single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops, fell by 2.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in April. That means sales are 1.4 percent lower than one year ago, and marks the second month in succession in which sales have fallen on an annual basis.

The NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said we can pin the blame firmly on the lack of inventory of available homes to buy.

“The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,” Yun said. “Realtors say the healthy economy and job market are keeping buyers in the market for now even as they face rising mortgage rates. However, inventory shortages are even worse than in recent years, and home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford.”

What little inventory is available is selling rapidly, and often at above list price, the NAR said. It cited its most recent data, which reveals a median home price for all housing types in April of $257,900, up 5.3 percent from one year ago.

With regard to inventory, this did at least increase somewhat by 9.8 percent to 1.80 million homes for sale throughout the country. However, inventory is still down 6.3 percent compared to one year ago, standing at a four-month supply at the current pace of sales. The average home stayed on the market for an average of just 26 days in April, down from 29 days in April 2017. Some 57 percent of listed homes were sold within less than a month, the NAR said.

“What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid price,” Yun said. “Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April, and the share of homes sold in less than a month was at an all-time high.”

The NAR’s latest report also put all cash transactions at 21 percent of sales, which is unchanged from a year ago. Most of these cash sales involve housing investors, who purchased 15 percent of all homes in the last month.

As for distressed sales, which includes foreclosures and short sales, we’re seeing far less of these. They made up just 3.5 percent of all April sales, which is down 5 percent from a year ago and the lowest percentage since the NAR began tracking this data in October 2008.

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George Soros warns of impending financial crisis

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Billionaire investor George Soros is warning that the world could be set to enter a new financial crisis due to U.S. dollar surges and capital flight from emerging markets.

Soros in a speech in Paris this week said these factors could put the world’s financial markets at risk, Bloomberg reported:

The “termination” of the nuclear deal with Iran and the “destruction” of the transatlantic alliance between the EU and the U.S. are “bound to have a negative effect on the European economy and cause other dislocations,” Soros said. He said one of the effects would be a devaluing of emerging-market currencies.

“We may be heading for another major financial crisis,” he warned.

Soros’ warning echoes a similar prediction from experts surveyed by Zillow Group in its recent Q2 Home Price Expectations Survey. That survey saw almost half of all respondents predict a new recession by 2020 at the latest, citing concerns regarding the Federal Reserve’s decisions about U.S. monetary policy.

Soros also pointed to problems within the European Union, mainly in Italy where a populist movement that made big gains in recent elections failed in its attempts to nominate its choice, Paolo Savona, for the country’s finance minister.

Italy’s president instead vetoed Savona’s nomination and appointed a new prime minister. However, the incumbent prime minister is likely to lose a vote of confidence in Italy’s parliament, and if so that would result in new elections as soon as this July. As a result, Italy’s financial markets went crashing downwards last week.

In addition, with populist movements spreading across Europe, many analysts fear a repeat of Brexit in other countries.

This chaos is seemingly being exported across the Atlantic. A recent report from Seeking Alpha warns that U.S. banks are now taking a hit as investors worry about the political dramas in Europe.

U.S. Treasury yields are also falling, with the Federal Reserve Funds saying there’s just a 78 percent chance of interest rates being hiked at the Reserve’s June meeting, down from its previous prediction of a 94 percent chance of a hike.

“The Italian vote will probably be sometime this fall, so it at least appears as there won’t be an immediate resolution,” economist Brent Nyitray, formerly of iServe Residential Lending, said in a note to clients. “Bottom line for the mortgage originators, like the Brits did in 2016, the Italians just might have saved your year.”

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My First Real Estate Deal – Grant Cardone

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My First Real Estate Deal – Grant Cardone

Want FREE Training And Inspiration Every Day: Sign Up For Grant’s 10X DAILY email. —- ▻Where to follow and listen to Uncle G: Instagram: https://www.instag… source

Home & Interior Design Gems

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Home & Interior Design Gems

In this week’s episode, Natalie the gemologist unboxes some stylish gemstones that you can use to decorate your house or apartment! Sisk Gemology Reference Book:… source

Here’s how much Americans value homeownership

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Here’s how much Americans value homeownership

Homeownership is so desirable among Americans that they’re willing to make extreme sacrifices, even if it means giving up some of their basic rights, if it means getting a chance to buy a home, according to a new survey.

The survey, carried out by Unison Home Ownership Investors and Atomik Research, found that would-be buyers would forgo their dream car, vacations and even their right to vote if it meant getting help with a 10 percent down payment.

Some 22 percent of 1,000 buyers surveyed said they’d give up their right to vote in exchange for a 10 percent down payment that they wouldn’t need to pay back. The survey found that millennials (26 percent) were the most likely to forsake their right to vote, followed by Gen X (20 percent) and baby boomers (7 percent). Another interesting finding was that 14 percent of men and 9 percent of women would give up their driving license for the same down payment.

Moreover, 44 percent of buyers said they’d be willing to give up their dream car, and 38 percent said they’d forgo taking a vacation for the next five years in order to own a home.

Homeownership is so desirable that it even affects relationships too. Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the survey said they’d be more inclined to date or marry someone who already owns a home than someone who doesn’t. This was true of all generations, with 58 percent of millennials, 59 percent of Gen X’ers and 56 percent of baby boomers all saying they’d prefer to enter into a relationship with a current homeowner.

As for more realistic ways in which to come up with a down payment, crowdfunding is a growing preference for many. Some 26 percent of would-be buyers said they’d consider this method, while 29 percent would like to use an equity or homeownership investment.

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Zillow introduced changes to its Premier Agent leads program

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Zillow introduced changes to its Premier Agent leads program

Zillow is introducing changes to its Premier Agent program that it first announced in April which it said should be beneficial to consumers. However, agents themselves are still uncertain if that’s the case.

Before, under the old rules, real estate agents could purchase leads from Zillow which would be delivered either by email or phone. If the agent didn’t answer the phone in time, they’d be able to call the lead back at a later time, HousingWire reports.

However, Zillow reckons there were a number of problems with this system, the main one being that consumers didn’t always get an instant connection to a real estate agent when trying to get information about a specific listing. Meanwhile agents themselves often complained about the value of the leads, saying that many times they found callers were already working with another agent and only wanted questions answered. The old system also allowed several agents to buy the same zip codes, which meant that if they missed the call and another agent called the consumer first, that lead was lost.

To remedy these problems, Zillow is introducing its own representatives to screen incoming calls. Their job is to ensure the caller is actively looking to buy or sell a home, that they’re not already working with an agent, and are ready to speak to one whom they will consider working with. Only callers who pass the screening process will be connected with agents. Should the first agent not pick up, the caller will automatically be transferred to a new agent.

“We’ve implemented these changes to deliver higher quality leads to agents while also ensuring a great experience for consumers looking to connect with agents,” a Zillow spokesperson told HousingWire. “This will allow potential buyers to schedule time to speak to an agent when it’s convenient for them and the agent. And, when an agent misses a call for any reason, they don’t lose their place in the queue, they receive the next connection.”

Consumers can also request specific agents, in which case they’ll be passed onto that agent first and stick with that agent regardless of whether or not the initial call is answered. However, these cases are likely to be rare, Zillow said.

“Our data shows the majority of home shoppers do not specifically select an agent when submitting an inquiry on a listing,” the company said. “However, when a home shopper does select an agent, that lead is much more likely to convert.”

Zillow also warned agents that its lead volume might change, though it said those it does provide will be of a higher quality.

“We’re now focusing on quality over quantity,” the company said. “Each lead you receive will be validated, ready to speak to you and directly connected to you by phone.”

Zillow says the new program will be introduced in the U.S. throughout this year.

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Fully Integrated Home Security With the iCamera Keep Pro

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The iCamera Keep Pro and The Home Security Revolution

Nothing is more important than feeling safe and protected in the privacy of your own home. The outside world is challenging enough without feeling unsafe in what should be your place of refuge.  That’s why families go to such great lengths to protect their homes from break-ins, fires, and other disasters.

Until recently, protecting your home required a hodgepodge of different services and devices. But with all the smart home security technology available today, this is no longer necessary.  Now you can find the same peace of mind with a much simpler system.

The iCamera Keep Pro is a breakthrough piece of smart home technology. It’s already playing a central role in many DIY surveillance systems. Effective as a standalone camera or as part of a comprehensive system, the iCamera Keep Pro is one of the slickest smart cams on the market.

Functionality and Features

There’s a lot to like about the iCamera Keep Pro. Its compact size allows you to place it in just about any position in your home without being an eyesore. The iCamera Keep Pro also has a first of its kind motion sensor. This unique technology allows it to detect, follow, and record any event that occurs in your home. It also offers 1080p HD streaming video and 4 megapixel resolution that lets you zoom in on an area without any distortion.

The Keep Pro tracks unusual events in your home with motorized panning, night vision, and 2-way audio. Just as importantly, it has sound detection capabilities that help it alert you if smoke or carbon monoxide alarms go off while you’re away from home. It then immediately sends a notification to an app on your smart phone, letting you respond to possible emergencies in real time.

The Keep Pro also features massive storage capabilities.  It comes with a an SD card slot for local storage and offers free cloud storage as well.  Another remarkable feature of the iCamera Keep Pro is its ability to divide your living space into ‘custom activity zones.’ This division serves two important purposes. First, you can prevent false alarms by designating areas where certain types of events are to be expected. Second, these custom activity zones allow you to focus the camera on doors, windows, and other possible points of entry.

In addition to its sharp resolution and distortion free 8x zooming, the Keep Pro also features a 140 degree field of vision.  If anything moves within this field, the camera begins recording and tracking.  Once recording is triggered, the camera uses its 350 degree panning abilities to lock onto and follow its target.

Total Integration for Maximum Protection

The versatility of the Keep Pro is one of the keys to its appeal. It provides incredible protection even as a standalone device. But the Keep Pro is even more effective when used as part of a iSmartAlarm DIY security system.

The iSmartAlarm security system has an ever expanding list of features. These  include a video doorbell, remote viewing, and complete control from your smartphone.  With the sophisticated technology of the iCamera Keep Pro at the center of your security system, you’ll have more safety and peace of mind than you’ve ever imagined.


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