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DAWGS Secures a Piece of Chicago Blues History

The former home of blues legend Muddy Waters, a two-flat located at 4339 S. Lake Park Avenue in Chicago, was vacant and in a state of disrepair. Muddy Waters’ great-granddaughter Chandra Cooper owns the property and is leading the effort to . rehab it and turn it into the Muddy Waters Mojo Museum. When Ms. Cooper needed to re-secure and replace the plywood board-up on her great-grandfather’s former residence; she turned to Chicago-based Door and Window Guard Systems (DAWGS) to do the job.

The DAWGS team promptly secured the first floor of the residence with their steel door and window guards. When the DAWGS installation team saw the poor condition of the second floor windows, they offered to remove and replace the plywood with steel window guards at no cost to the nonprofit organization. The DAWGS team, being headquartered in Chicago, was pleased to be able to support such an important initiative to honor Chicago blues legend Muddy Waters. 

The MOJO Museum 

The nonprofit, Muddy Waters MOJO Museum Inc. was established in November 2019. Its mission is to preserve the Muddy Waters legacy, his house, and story through educational experiences, music inspiration and community services.

“We want to really involve the community,” Chandra Cooper, great-granddaughter of Muddy Waters said. “What that looks like is making sure we’re able to bring in children and youth in there to understand what blues is and give blues education. In addition to that, we want to work with blues musicians and give them educational resources as well. One of the things I feel strongly about is empowering women in the blues space as well.” 

On May 28, 2021, in a press release from the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that legendary blues musician Muddy Waters’ (birth name McKinley Morganfield) first Chicago home “is poised to become an official City of Chicago landmark.” “This uniquely significant structure was an epicenter of Chicago’s contributions to modern blues,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. The home served “as Muddy Waters’ home for nearly two decades, providing temporary lodging and rehearsal space for countless household names that defined the art form.” On June 3, 2021, the City of Chicago granted preliminary landmark designation of this house because of its significant historical contributions.

Learn More about the MOJO Museum: ​​https://www.mojomuseum.com/

11 House Design Trends to Watch For in 2021

One thing that 2020 taught us is to be prepared for the unexpected and face its challenges with composure and calm. We look back at the DIY adjustments we had to make in our homes as they were transformed into schools, offices, gyms, and getaway areas – and how we got creative in redesigning and furnishing these spaces. These adjustments will certainly influence changes and carry over into the new year.

With this year winding down and images of new homes, renovations, and additions at top of mind, here are a few design trends that experts predict will be hot in American homes in 2021. From both home exterior and interior design trends to home decor, let’s look at the dominant styles and features that 2021 will bring into the picture.

1.  Islands in the Stream

It’s not surprising that every year, the kitchen has a presence in home design trends. Whether its bold backsplashes, floating shelving that replaces cabinetry, countertops, or walk-in pantries, kitchen elements seem to always get the attention of designers.

In 2021, the focus in the kitchen and a definite “must-have” is double-island design. Just think of all the additional counter space at your disposal with a pair of kitchen islands. You can designate one for meal preparation and serving and the other one solely for dining and gathering/socializing. In addition to all the functional space, double islands also improve traffic flow as the chefs, family members, and guests walk to, from, and around the space.

Another thing to keep in mind – you don’t need a large kitchen to accommodate double islands. It’s just important to have properly sized and designed islands to fit into your kitchen space.

Large, modern kitchen with two islands, one for food prep and one primarily for eating

This fabulous and spacious kitchen in a sprawling one-story Ranch style home comes with two huge islands – perfect for meal prep and dining. The home features 3,623 square feet of living space, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a half bath, walk-in pantry adjacent to the mudroom, a dining area with coffered ceiling, and a family room.

2.  High on High Ceilings

While nine-foot high ceilings are now the industry standard for new construction, some homeowners who long for the grandeur of really high ceilings are including 10- to 12-foot high structures on their “must-have” features. Reminiscent of the ceilings in homes built between 1890 and 1940, modern high ceilings are appealing and enhance the spaciousness and elegance of a home.

From vaulted to beamed, barrel, tray, and coffered, there are many high-ceiling variations that you’ll see in homes. These are a few of the more popular ones.

  • Conventional – The norm in most homes, this ceiling is usually nine feet high and is a flat, seamless surface.

Great Room with high ceiling and transom windows in a mid-century modern home

Truly a Great Room, this fabulous space in an amazing L-shaped one-story, 3,665-square-foot Modern home features a simple conventional high ceiling with recessed lights. The home has three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a split bedroom layout, large terrace with stacking patio doors, fireplace, family room, main floor laundry, and mud room.
  • Vaulted – Usually associated with churches and basilicas, a vaulted ceiling is any ceiling constructed with a self-supporting arch, with many variations to achieve different looks. Most commonly found in Great Rooms, open kitchen-dining rooms, and sometimes bedrooms and bathrooms, vaulted ceilings have been transformed over centuries and seen in traditional and contemporary homes. Among vaulted ceiling styles are barrel vault, groin vault and dome vault.

Vaulted ceiling with natural timbers in Great Room of Vacation style home

This Great Room of a two-story, three-bedroom Vacation home becomes a comfortable, bright, and airy space with its vaulted ceiling and large windows. The home has a master suite on the main floor with two bedrooms and a family room on the lower level.
  • Barrel-Vaulted – This simple and popular style resembles a barrel cut in half and dates back to Babylon and Sumerian architects who used clay mortar and fired brick. It is also  known as a tunnel vault or wagon vault. You can incorporate barrel vaults in foyers, hallways, kitchens, bedrooms, master baths, and Great Rooms.

Beautiful master bath with soaking tub and barrel-vault ceiling

A barrel-vaulted ceiling is perfect for this luxurious master bath in a Ranch home with Arts and Crafts detailing. The home includes three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a half bath, an open concept kitchen, keeping room, and mudroom, which connects to the three-car garage.
  • Tray Ceiling – Described as a raised portion of a ceiling that creates a second, higher ceiling, this type of vaulted ceiling is also known as an inverted or recessed ceiling. It features a center section that is several inches (or a foot or more) higher than the rest of the ceiling. It presents a lot of design options to make the ceiling into a focal point – like the use of colors painted on the trim, installing hidden tube lighting along the perimeter of the tray, or hanging a chandelier, pendant light, or ceiling fan.

Master bedroom with high ceiling that has a tray design

Bedroom with tray ceiling and detailed decorative trimwork

Top: This luxurious master suite in an amazing one-story Rustic style home with 3,469 square feet of living space features a tray ceiling with recessed lights and painted trim The lovely home has an open-floor-plan Great room with amazing kitchen and large family room and dining area, two bedroom suites, a half bath, grand foyer, and two 2-car garages, one on each side of the house. Bottom: This bright bedroom also has a tray ceiling but with more elaborate trimwork than the room shown at top.

3.  Keep ‘Em Separated!

“Free-standing tubs are on trend now,” according to Debra Purvis of Design House Inc. And house designer Herb Shearer says that “more and more people are taking the tub (especially jacuzzi tubs) out and enlarging the showers as well as going with a Roman walk-in type shower.”

Large, sumptuous master bath separate tub and shower and two vanities

This stylish master bath in a 1.5 story Contemporary Colonial house plan features a huge walk-in shower and separate stand-alone tub. The 4,443-square-foot home has a covered front porch, five bedrooms, five baths, a huge kitchen with an island and breakfast nook, and an outdoor living space that includes a pool.
  • Rethink the Bathroom – Over the last 10 years, the popularity of the half bath and Jack and Jill bathroom has been on the rise. As Shearer explains, a bathroom was generally built for the use of bedroom occupants – and placed around a hallway so that guests could also get access to it easily. But modern times and designs have changed this format and concept.

Today, the powder room or half bath is more centrally located in the home – away from bedrooms – and is used mostly by guests.

The hall bathroom has been modified to a Jack and Jill to serve only the bedrooms and their occupants. Simply put, this is a full bathroom – with two sinks, a toilet, bath/shower – shared between two bedrooms, with doors entering from each room. (Remember the Brady Bunch?) For the privacy of occupants, there should be locks on the bathroom and bedroom doors.

Half bath, or powder room, by the stairway in a Country Farmhouse style home

This attractively painted and furnished powder room in a four-bedroom Country-Farmhouse style home is conveniently located near the locker area and staircase leading to a bonus room above the garage. The 2,686-square-foot-home has 10- and 11-foot-high ceilings, covered front and rear porches, a spacious kitchen, and two full baths.

4.  Multi-Functional Spaces

“Stay-at-home” has definitely changed the look of our homes. They are now – not only our dwelling places – but also schools, offices, gyms, recreation areas, and “staycation” destinations.

One of the newest home trends – and challenges – in 2021 is creating versatile and convenient multi-functional spaces in the home that accommodate all these needs – without adding costs or altering floor plans. With more people working from home (WFH), quiet spaces that allow privacy will be included in the interior design of homes to serve as home offices, Skype, and Zoom rooms.

For example, if the home has both an eat-in kitchen and a separate dining room (that’s used only on big holidays), store the dining table elsewhere and repurpose that room into office or schoolwork space. If the master suite has a small space used as a sitting room, you can convert that into a home office. Be creative with the available space in your home.

/Sitting room that is separated from rest of house and could be used at office or Zoom room

This cozy bonus sitting room in a stunning 1.5-story Country Craftsman style home can also serve as both a home office/workstation and videoconference room. The 2,499 square-foot, home includes three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a covered porch, patio, grilling terrace, and optional mother-in-law apartment.

5.  Staying Active – And Healthy

While exercise rooms at home have been around for years, they take on a new importance in 2021 because of the pandemic. Most health clubs and gyms across the country are closing or at reduced capacity, and with stay-at-home directives, people are just not motivated to get out of the confines of their space to exercise.

So dedicated spaces for home gyms and play areas will be particularly important in 2021. Families need getaway time and space to “play” and unwind. Any outdoor space or indoor corner with a wall can serve as exercise space.

Game room and bar area in the basement of a luxury home

Complete gym setup in spare bedroom

Top: A fabulous playroom in an amazing two-story, 6,563-square-foot European style home has all the makings of a multi-functional space. With a little muscle and imagination, the ping pong and foosball tables can be moved around to fashion an exercise section; and movable room dividers can create a separate zone. Bottom: if there’s not space dedicated to a gym, you can take over a spare bedroom as this homeowner did.

See Home Design Trends 6-11 | Read Full Article [www.theplancollection.com]

These are the Best (and Worst) Places to Buy a Single-Family Rental

Investor profits are declining on single-family rentals. According to new data from ATTOM, the average rental yield is just 7.7% in 2021 — down from 8.4% in 2020.

The problem in many markets is rising home prices, which have jumped significantly since the pandemic began.

As ATTOM Chief Product Officer Todd Teta put it:

The single-family home rental business is less profitable this year compared to last year across most of the country, with yields on the average deals decreasing. That’s happening as home prices on properties that investors are paying for — in most areas — are rising considerably faster than rents, which is cutting into their profit margins.

Fortunately, the trend isn’t sweeping. Not all counties have seen a decrease in rental yields. In fact, in some, profits actually jumped considerably.

Are you planning to invest in rental properties this year? Let’s take a look at some of these more profitable pockets now.

The best markets for SFRs

If you want to max out your rental yields, then little Schuykill County, Pennsylvania, home to Pottsville, is your best bet. SFRs in the area are showing 26% returns this year.

Other small- and mid-sized counties with top returns include Bibb County, Georgia (18.1%); Baltimore County, Maryland (16.2%); La Salle County, Illinois (14.1%); and Chautauqua County, N.Y. (13.7%).

If smaller markets aren’t your thing, there are a handful of large metros with decent-sized yields as well, including:

  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio (9.9%)
  • Dallas County, Texas (8%)
  • Tarrant County, Texas (8%)
  • Franklin County, Ohio (7.9%)
  • Bexar County, Texas (7.9%)

It’s not too surprising that Cuyahoga, home to Cleveland, tops the list of major metros. The area has seen rents climb nearly 5% in just the last year. Throw in that home prices are forcing many households to stay in the rental game (they’re up 13% annually), and the foundation for strong rental returns is set.

The worst places for SFRs

At the bottom of the barrel is Williamson County, Tennessee, where Nashville is located. Rental returns are a mere 3.7% in the area, making it the least profitable spot for SFR investors in the country.

It also has a pretty high rental vacancy rate, according to Housing Tides data. A whopping 8.5% of units are currently vacant, well above the national vacancy rate of 6.5%.

Santa Clara County, California, home to San Jose, along with San Mateo and San Francisco counties (both in the Bay Area) took the No. 2, 3, and 4 spots at the bottom. This isn’t too surprising, either. The region has an 8.5% vacancy rate, and in San Fran, rents have dropped a whopping 8.1% over the year.

The bottom line

Choosing your location wisely has never been more important — especially if you invest in single-family rental properties. Before buying that next investment, make sure to study up on the local market as well as forecasts for the area. Our deep-dive market reports can help you make the best decision for your portfolio.

Read Full Article [Source: www.millionacres.com]

Servicers Prepare for Forbearance Exits

As recently reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), there are approximately two million U.S. homeowners currently in forbearance plans. The number of homes in foreclosure declined for the 15th consecutive week, now comprising just 4.16% of all mortgage volume.

“This current housing market is much different than the great financial crisis,” said Miller. “Homeowners have more resources, support, and options—including historically low interest rates—providing the opportunity to reduce your loan and mortgage payments through a refinance.”

Servicers have been working hand-in-hand with the government and regulators to guide homeowners through these new unchartered waters. Just as the pandemic hit the nation with unprecedented situations never before faced, homeowners who were impacted financially through unexpected pandemic-related job loss were able to take solace in the fact that mortgage servicers were there for them to provide options.

“We really had to act quickly to create products and offer guidance,” said Word. “We also had to shift our resources where we could better support the customer. For the last few years at Mr. Cooper, we have really grown our performing portfolio and really were not seeing the same delinquent transfers as we had years prior. We were able to partner with the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises], the CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau], and the FHFA [Federal Housing Finance Authority] to make sure we had the right solutions in place for the customer, making them aware of these solutions.”

Options the industry presented to homeowners seeking relief included the Standalone Partial Claim, the Owner-Occupant Modification, the Combo Partial Claim and Loan Modification, and the FHA Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Despite the struggles faced, the number one priority noted by Word is to keep the customer in their home.

“A big misconception for those not in the industry, and I deal with these customer calls on a weekly basis, they think in today’s environment, the servicer is out to foreclose and get their property back,” said Word. “We know that’s not the environment we are in. The number one priority is to keep the customer in the home. Being able to partner with the GSEs and CFPB speaks volumes to the differences between the financial crunch of 10-12 years ago to where we are at now. We are able to have a dialogue and get answers to grey area questions, so we are all marching down the same path together.”

The focus shifted to the future and what lies ahead as the foreclosure moratoria deadline of June 30 rapidly approaches.

“As an industry, we can navigate through these challenging times together, while keeping the homeowner’s interest at heart,” said Miller.

The U.S. economy continues to gain momentum, and with that trend, mortgage servicers are finding more and more exiting forbearance plans, and resuming their payments. According to the latest from the U.S. Department of Labor, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 376,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s level of 385,000, and the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000.

“As some of the programs begin to expire, we don’t want to lose sight of options available to keep customers in their home,” said Word. “We will keep a heavy focus on digital, giving the customer the ability to self-serve, and also have the support here if they need us.”

One byproduct of the pandemic is that many servicers had to pivot and shift their assets to other departments and train their workforce on other aspects of the industry. Diversifying the workforce became a plus for most as firms now had employees who could transition to other roles and fill in gaps where needed once the moratoria is lifted to handle an impending influx of volume.

“We have the ability to flex team members and move them from the more default servicing-oriented businesses to support more of our origination-oriented businesses,” said Miller. “They have been helping with the large volume on the origination side, and it’s great for those employees from a career perspective as they learn more about the entire mortgage ecosystem as a whole.”

Read Full Article: [Source: www.dsnews.com]

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Declines at Unprecedented Pace

The mortgage delinquency rate is improving at an unprecedented rate, researchers say. That’s thanks in large part to a gradually recovering labor market.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Q1 report, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.38% of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter. The MBA includes loans in forbearance if the payment was not made based on the original terms of the mortgage. The research shows the delinquency rate dropped 35 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2020. Experts at the MBA say there has never been such a substantial decline in the delinquency rate over such a short period of time.

Marina Walsh, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis attributes the rapid improvement to an increasingly positive employment outlook and government stimulus programs.

“Mortgage delinquency rates continued to decrease in the first quarter of 2021, as a rebounding job market and stimulus checks helped borrowers stay current on their mortgage payments,” Walsh said. “Mortgage delinquencies track closely to the U.S. unemployment rate, and with unemployment dropping from last year’s spike, many households appear to be doing better.”

In April’s employment statistics report, jobs gains came in at 266,000. The U.S. has now regained approximately 63% of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic. It’s still “far below consensus expectations,” says First American Economist Odeta Kushi, but homeowners seem to be suffering slightly less, fiscally.

“As of the first quarter of 2021, low-earning job losses were down 7.8% year over year, while high-earning job losses were down 1.9%. This is one reason why housing has been resilient – this service sector-driven recession has disproportionally hurt younger, lower-wage workers who are less likely to be homeowners or homebuyers,” Kushi said.

That said, the mortgage delinquency rate, which peaked at 8.22% in the second quarter of 2020, has dropped by 184 basis points to 6.38% within three quarters. In addition, this quarter’s earliest stage delinquencies— the 30-day and 60-day delinquencies combined—dropped to the lowest levels since the inception of the survey in 1979, Walsh said.

Read Full Article [Source: www.dsnews.com]

What Not To Do In A Hot Housing Market

Tips From Flippers

In a highly competitive real estate environment marked by a shortage of homes and escalating prices, many hopeful homebuyers are willing to do or pay almost anything to win the deal.

But for real estate experts who have been buying and selling homes for decades, including personal investments, they advise people to take a more prudent approach to home buying.

“In this market, you’re getting 30 minutes to make a $500,000 decision,” says Mindy Jensen, author of “First-Time Home Buyer: The Complete Playbook to Avoiding Rookie Mistakes” and real estate agent in Longmont, CO. “Homebuyers are making a very emotional decision based on being in the home for a few minutes. That’s not the best situation.”

Lately, the pace of home buying is so furious that consumers have gotten caught up in the pandemonium—some of which is fueled by FOMO (fear of missing out), says Jensen. This collective desire for homeownership has incited people to move across the country, raid their retirement savings, waive contingencies meant to protect them and stretch their budget to lock in a home. But when the dust settles, some people will likely be left with a big mortgage and a lot of regret.

And then there’s the Cabbage Patch doll dilemma: what Louise Rocco, a real estate agent at Exit Bayshore Realty in Tampa, Florida, refers to from the 1980s when a high demand for Cabbage Patch dolls outnumbered the supply, leading to underground sales and even riots.

“People will pay just about anything. They’ll put in an offer without seeing the house. It’s like the Cabbage Patch doll craze, but eventually, prices will level off,” Rocco says. “And we still don’t know what will happen when the eviction moratorium is lifted. Will those landlords sell? If they do, that could have an effect on prices, too.”

5 Homebuyer Pitfalls in a Hot Market

If you are looking for a house in today’s wild market, real estate veterans urge shoppers to avoid making major mistakes that can hurt them down the line. Here are five mistakes to avoid when your dream house is just one big offer away.

1. Don’t Buy Just Because It’s Pretty (Buy Ugly)

A key difference between a flipper and someone who’s buying to live in the house is emotion.

A real estate investor looks at everything with potential price tags on it. Meanwhile, a live-in buyer wants to picture themselves in the new home, cooking breakfast, entertaining friends, lounging in the backyard, etc. But for major upgrades like an updated kitchen, it can mean thousands of dollars more on the purchase price. For buyers on a budget, looking beyond new countertops and floors could mean getting a house that you can afford and will still have value over a long period of time.

“The secret to getting the most value is to buy something ugly,” says Smike Wallen, a real estate investor in Los Angeles. “When you buy done, you buy high. But if you look for raw structure, you can do the rest yourself if you have patience.”

2. Don’t Ignore the Roof and Windows

Echoing Wallen’s mantra of “buy ugly,” Jensen says that things like dirty carpets and weed-ridden yards don’t matter, but what does are windows and roofs. Depending on the roof, the cost can be $15,000 or more. For windows, buyers are not only paying for replacements, but they’ll also have to cover the energy bills if they do a poor insulation job.

“People see an old kitchen and say ‘I could never live there.’ Of course, you can,” says Jensen. “A gallon of good paint at Home Depot is $35-$30 if it’s on sale. You can get a brand new kitchen at Ikea for $5,000. But, you don’t want to ignore bad windows and a bad roof; those things will really set you back.”

3. Don’t Start Out Underwater

A unique, and perhaps troubling, feature of the current housing market is that people are paying above the appraised value of a home. Essentially, this means that they’re starting out underwater.

For folks who plan on staying in the home long-term, this situation might not have a material effect on their bottom line because time is the friend of equity. The longer you stay in a home the more value you accrue. However, if you buy above the appraised value and you sell in a few years, it’s likely your purchase price has not caught up with what the home is worth on paper. You could then end up paying more money just to sell it.

“I had a seller, a husband and wife, who emptied their 401(k) to buy their dream home. Eventually, they had to sell, and it cost them money to sell their house,” Rocco says, warning interested homebuyers not to purchase above the appraised value. “If you have to sell, the next buyer might not be willing to go above the appraised value and then you’re left holding the bag.”

4. Don’t Waive an Inspection Contingency

Unless you’re buying a fixer-upper or are a seasoned real estate investor who can spot black mold and isn’t intimidated by big repairs, the average homebuyer should not throw an inspection contingency out the window.

Waiving the inspection contingency means you lose your right to walk away from the deal or negotiate repairs if the inspection comes back with major problems. Not only will borrowers have to pay for repairs but in some cases, their insurance can go up.

Essential things such as “old wiring, like aluminum wiring or cloth wiring, can make your insurance costs triple,” Rocco says.

5. Don’t Bypass Condos

Location matters in real estate. So for buyers who want to be in the middle of the action but can’t afford to pay the real estate prices in those hot locations, condos are a good option.

“My team and I have doubled our money on condos in 40- and 50-year-old buildings,” Wallen says.

Wallen recommends looking at older properties because buyers can get more out of their dollar in terms of size and value. The important thing is to be in an area you enjoy living in, which is easier to do on a condo budget.

“If you buy older, you have more options as to where you live. And you can use the extra money you saved and redo it to your liking,” Wallen says. “In a few years, you can rent it out or sell it, and take that money and buy a house.”

[Source: www.forbes.com]

Best Places to Invest in Real Estate Now

With high buyer demand, decreased supply, and low mortgage interest rates, the housing market looks good in 2021. So, let’s dig into some of the best places to invest, along with how to get your foot in the door in an in-demand real estate market. We’ll also be looking at tools to identify properties, investment strategies, and some of the tax deductions you should expect to make use of in your first year of rental property ownership.

What are some of the best places to invest in for 2021?

Dallas, Texas

  • High availability of housing
  • High rental rates relative to housing prices
  • Diverse economy offering employment opportunity at every income level
  • Dallas has the lowest homeownership in the U.S. because it’s more affordable to rent than buy
  • In 2018, the Dallas City Council unanimously voted for a comprehensive housing policy that would produce 20,000 new homes in three years to lure the middle class back to the city.
  • Since 2016, Dallas has added 50,000 new apartment units.
  • From 2020 through 2029, the Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) area is projected to add almost 1.4 million people!

Houston, Texas

  • 4th largest city in the US
  • From 2020 to 2029, Houston is expecting a population growth of 1.24 million residents.
  • Lots of industry! Houston is home to the busiest port in the U.S. in terms of foreign trade; Amazon is building a one-million-square-foot distribution center there in 2021.
  • Home values went up roughly 26% over the last five years and are expected to grow 9.9% during 2021.

Atlanta, Georgia

  • 4th fastest-growing region in America according to the 2020 Census.
  • Atlanta is expected to add 1.2 million jobs over the next 30 years and 2.9 million new residents.
  • In November of 2020, the median home price was up 15% from the same time last year. Homes priced below $200K are selling “6 or 7 times faster” than homes greater than $350k.
  • One of the most landlord-friendly states.

Las Vegas, Nevada

  • A diverse economy serving the health, tech, tourism niches, and more.
  • Property prices are up 10.2% since this time last year. Although the cost of homes is not expected to remain this high throughout 2021, Las Vegas is still a city to watch because of high demand, low inventory, and low mortgage rates.
  • Working remotely has inspired renters from more expensive areas to move to Las Vegas, mainly from Southern California.
  • In 2020, builders signed contracts for over 10,000 new homes.
  • Nevada has no income tax.

Read Full Article: [Source: www.mynd.co]

America’s Top Ten Hottest Housing Markets Right Now.

Should Homeowners Sell High Or Stay Put?

Everyone wants to get in early on the next big thing, whether it’s the latest electronic gadget or an online currency that’s about to take off. And real estate is no different.

All across the country, prices are rising to new heights as the number of homes for sale has dwindled to new lows. While offers of over asking price have become practically standard in this turbocharged market—one in which the COVID-19 pandemic has led many folks to seek out larger homes with more land—some housing markets are still doing better than others, and are likely to remain the places to be even when the worst of the pandemic has passed.

The Realtor.com® economics team and the Wall Street Journal’s data team identified the top markets of 2021, and beyond, in the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index. They identified the areas with strong housing demand and rising prices combined with robust economies, lots of good-paying jobs, and the amenities that make a place desirable. These markets have lots of restaurants, bars, and shops as well as reasonable commutes to work. The quarterly index looked at a pool of the country’s 300 largest metropolitan areas, which include the main city and surrounding suburbs, towns, and smaller urban areas.

The top markets are a mix of higher-end, outdoorsy, resort areas; smaller cities that have been growing at a breakneck pace; and places that provide a more affordable alternative to larger urban areas that are still just barely within commuting distance. Coeur d’Alene, ID, a popular vacation spot, topped the list, followed by Austin, TX, an emerging tech hub that is growing by leaps and bounds.

“The areas that top our emerging housing markets list are places that have weathered the pandemic relatively well,” says Realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale. “Their economies are generally doing better than other markets, and they’re attracting a lot of home shoppers from other areas—likely in part due to the relatively widespread work-from-home flexibility in response to the pandemic.”

Note: Homes in the top 10 markets aren’t bargains. Median list prices have appreciated by an average 27% in the past year—compared with 14% across the rest of the nation. Prices were an average $519,100, about 42% higher than the $366,100 median price tag across the 300 metros that were analyzed.

For example, in the Coeur d’Alene metropolitan area, the median home list price was $799,000 in March, according to Realtor.com data.

These top markets can command these higher prices because there are buyers who can afford them.

Unemployment is lower in these metros, at 5.54%, than the rest of the country, at 6.3%. Median wages are also a little higher, likely to compensate for the higher cost of living. Many also appeal to buyers from other states and even other countries.

“By design, these are areas that are great places to live,” says Hale. “Many of these areas are smaller, and they all boast great nearby activities—places for hiking, boating, and enjoying the outdoors.”

The problem is these markets, like the rest of the country, simply don’t have enough homes for sale to meet the demand from buyers. That means prices are more likely to stay high—and even continue going up.

“Housing trends in these markets have fundamentals that should mean buying a home is a good investment,” says Hale.

The top real estate markets of 2021

  1. Coeur d’Alene, ID, $799,000
  2. Austin, TX, $520,000
  3. Springfield, OH, $144,900
  4. Billings, MT, $428,500
  5. Spokane, WA, $434,900
  6. Lafayette, IN, $297,450
  7. Reno, NV, $562,000
  8. Concord, NH, $362,450
  9. Manchester, NH, $419,950
  10. Santa Cruz, CA, $1,222,000

Read Full Article: [Source: www.realtor.com]

Metros Most Vulnerable to COVID-19’s Fallout

States along the East Coast, Connecticut through Florida, as well as Illinois, are more vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and its continuing impact on the U.S. economy, according to a Q1 2021 Special Coronavirus Report published by ATTOM Data Solutions, while Western States seem better prepared to withstand a downturn.

Markets were considered at greater or lesser risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with underwater mortgages, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major homeownership expenses. (More about ATTOM’s methodology is available at ATTOM.com.

The researchers showed 33 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2021 were in FloridaIllinoisNew JerseyConnecticut, and North Carolina. 

The only three western counties in the top 50 during the first quarter of 2021 were in northern California, while Louisiana was the only southern state outside of the East Coast with more than two counties in that group.

According to ATTOM, first-quarter trends generally build on those found in 2020, but with smaller concentrations around several major metropolitan areas.

Read Full Article [Source: www.dsnews.com]

Remodeling? Avoid These 10 Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value

Americans spend $400 billion annually on remodeling, but they’re not all adding value to their homes in the process. Whether you’re dreaming of adding a big-ticket item like solar panels or a swimming pool, or you simply want to upgrade your kitchen, gauge how your project will impact your property value before you commit.

We crunched ROI data and spoke with two top real estate agents to round up 10 home improvement projects that do not add value to your home. We’ll break down why these common home improvements won’t increase your property value as much as you expect.

Tools used to complete home improvements.

  1. DIY home improvement projects
  2. Garage conversions
  3. Solar panels
  4. Quirky wallpaper
  5. Custom luxury upgrades
  6. Wine cellars
  7. An oversized home edition
  8. Remodeled basements and attics
  9. New windows
  10. Swimming pools

The Bottom Line: Not all home improvements add value

A final word to the wise: Consider your selling timeline before you embark on a home improvement that does not add value to your home. If you plan to sell your home in the near future, it’s best to spruce it up with a new coat of neutral paint and other improvements proven to add value and increase marketability.

On the other hand, if you plan to stay awhile, Suits shares it’s okay to focus on home improvements that bring you joy, even if they don’t add significant value to your home:

“Do whatever makes you happy. To me, that is really what homeownership is all about. Just realize you might not get every dime back, or you might have to make a modification to it. Chances are, if you love something, someone else might too.”

Read Full Article [Source: www.homelight.com]

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