Please keep the Gillitzer family in our hearts and prayers.
Protect a Home’s Pipes From the Cold
Cold weather can put your home’s pipes at risk of exploding. Worst case scenario: Pipes can fill up with so much ice that eventually they burst and then flood a home.
But there’s plenty you can do to keep your pipes safe in the winter, as a homeowner or landlord. Precautions should be ideally taken in the fall, but if you forgot, better to take steps now than none at all.
HouseLogic offers the following tips for protecting your pipes from bursting, including:
Turn on your faucets.
When temperatures have dropped into freezing, turn on your faucets both indoors and out to keep the water moving through your system. HouseLogic recommends aiming for about five drips per minute.
Open cabinet doors.
Open any cabinet door covering the plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom. The home’s warm air can help prevent pipes from freezing.
Wrap the pipes.
If the pipes are already near freezing, wrap them in warm towels to help loosen the ice inside. Cover them with towels and then pour boiling water on top.
Shut off the water.
If your pipes are already frozen, turn off the main water line to the home immediately. Shut off any external water sources, such as garden hose hookups, HouseLogic recommends. This also helps after the ice inside your pipes thaws because you don’t want the water to flood your system.
Read more tips at HouseLogic.
Source: “5 Tricks to Keep Your Pipes From Exploding This Winter,” HouseLogic (December 2017)
Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, December 27, 2017
From all of us a Perrella & Associates
What Buyers Will Give Up for Walkability
Living in areas that are close to shops and restaurants is becoming increasingly attractive for both young and older generations, according to the 2017 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey conducted by American Strategies and Meyers Research on behalf of the National Association of REALTORS®. Researchers polled 3,000 adults from across the United States to find out what they are looking for in a community.
Fifty-three percent of Americans say they prefer to live in a community with homes that have smaller yards but are within easy walking distance of the community’s amenities (rather than homes with large yards where residents have to drive to amenities) according to the survey.
Certain generations show even more fondness for living near amenities. Sixty-two percent of millennials and 55 percent of the silent generation (those born before 1944) say they prefer walkable communities and short commutes, even if it means living in an apartment or townhouse. Meanwhile, Generation X members and baby boomers show a strong preference for the suburbs; 55 percent of them told researchers they have no problem with a longer commute and driving to amenities as long as they can live in a single-family, detached house.
“REALTORS® understand that when people buy a home, they are not just looking at the house; they are looking at the neighborhood and the community,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “While the idea of the ‘perfect neighborhood’ is different for every homeowner, more Americans are expressing a desire to live in communities with access to public transit, shorter commutes, and greater walkability. REALTORS® work tirelessly at improving their communities through smart growth initiatives that help transform public spaces into these walkable community centers.”
Learn how members are transforming town centers with creative reuse, smart growth initiatives, and project funds from NAR.
Women tend to prioritize walkability and public transit more than men, according to the survey. Fifty-four percent of women surveyed said that sidewalks and places to take walks are very important to them when deciding where to live. Thirty-nine percent also said having public transit nearby was important.
Overall, 60 percent of the 3,000 adults surveyed live in a detached, single-family homes. But of those 60 percent, 21 percent said they would rather live in an attached home that offered greater walkability. Sixty percent of those surveyed also said they’d be willing to pay more to live within walking distance of parks, restaurants, and shops. Further, 80 percent of respondents said that sidewalks are a positive factor when purchasing a home.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Choir Concert tonight at 6:15 p.m. at the Lincoln School in Hibbing.
The Hibbing Salvation Army will host a Christmas dinner (feeding program) Friday December 22 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Despite Fed Move, Mortgage Rates Hold Steady
Mortgage rates were in a holding pattern this week, even after the Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to hike its benchmark interest rate.
“As widely expected, the Fed increased the federal funds target rate this week for the third time in 2017,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The market had already priced in the rate hike, so long-term interest rates—including mortgage rates—hardly moved. Mortgage rates held relatively flat across the board, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching down 1 basis point to 3.93 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have been in a holding pattern for the fourth quarter, remaining within a 10 basis point range since October.”
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 14:
30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.93 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.94 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.16 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.37 percent.
5-year hybrid adjustable rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.35 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.19 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
Daily Real Estate News | Friday, December 15, 2017
Study Reveals Best Real Estate Pricing Strategy
Set the asking price just below a round number – that’s the best technique for pricing a home for sale, according to new research published in the Journal of Housing Research.
Read more: Are Higher Home Prices Spooking Buyers?
Researchers found that buyers are more drawn to a house priced “just below” at, say, $199,000 than to a house priced at a rounded number like $200,000.
“Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers,” says Eli Beracha, one of the study’s author. “As a result, they end up selling their house for more.”
Indeed, researchers found that such a “just below” pricing strategy yields a selling price that is about 2.5 to 3 percent higher – or $5,000 to $6,000 more – on a $200,000 house compared with a rounded pricing listing strategy.
Still, rounded priced homes usually have a shorter time on the market and a lower discount relative to listing price, researchers found.
Yet, “sellers’ ability to set higher listing prices for properties using a ‘just below’ pricing strategy outweighs the lower discount and shorter time on the market associated with similar rounded priced strategy homes,” researchers found.
“We tested the age-old debate concerning the best technique to price a home when listing it for sale,” Seiler says. “We find that using a price just below a round number works best, particularly in connection to the left-most digit in the price. So, $199,000 works better than $200,000.”
Source: “Left Digit in Sales Price Affects Home Buyers Most,” BUILDER (Aug. 11, 2016)
Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, August 11, 2016
This year, give back Send in a donation of $30 to buy food for one family in need this Christmas!
States Focus on Helping First-Time Buyers
With rising home prices, more state lawmakers are proposing legislation to help home shoppers tackle the down payment obstacle. More states this year have considered or are considering passing laws to allow for tax-saving down payment accounts to aid first-time buyers.
Three states authorized such accounts this year: Iowa, Minnesota, and Mississippi. Colorado, Montana, and Virginia already have such accounts in place.
The established down payment accounts vary by state. In general, they allow first-time home buyers to save for a down payment or related expenses, like closing costs, in dedicated savings accounts. These accounts typically feature tax breaks for contributions, such as being able to deduct the amount saved that year from state income tax returns. In Minnesota, however, the contribution is not deductible, but savers can subtract the interest earned on the savings from their taxable income. Mississippi, on the other hand, offers a tax benefit in both contributions and gains.
States usually cap the amount that can be saved in these accounts per year. For example, in Mississippi, buyers can set aside up to $5,000 each year as couples, and $2,500 as individuals.
Down payment accounts can be helpful to first-time buyers, particularly with rising home prices, Adriann Murawski, state and local government affairs representative with the National Association of REALTORS®, told The New York Times. NAR has supported legislation to create these accounts within states. Murawski told The New York Times that she hopes other states will decide to follow suit in 2018, such as Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
Source: “How Some States Are Helping First-Time Home Buyers,”
The New York Times (Dec. 8, 2017)
Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, December 12, 2017