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Four Things to Know About the Housing Market in 2021

What to know about the 2021 housing market

Last year was an exceptional one for the housing market, which boomed in the second half. The National Association of Realtors’ January existing-home-sales data show the continuation of some of the same trends this year—as well as some key changes and rising challenges.

Single Family Sales Remain Strong—But Condos Are Making a Comeback
Existing-home sales in January reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million, faster than the 6.61 million FactSet consensus expected, and an increase of 0.6% from December’s revised rate. Sales were up 23.7% compared with last January, the release said. That high rate shows the resale market is still hot after home sales shot up in the second half of the year. January’s seasonally adjusted rate is one of the highest since April 2006, second only to the rate reported in October 2020, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said on a conference call with reporters. While single-family sales remained strong at a rate of 5.93 million, condo and co-op sales made a greater leap. Sales of condos and co-ops increased 4.1% month over month and 28.8% year over year, compared with a single-family sales increase of 0.2% month over month and 23% year over year. “Single family was far preferred over condominium during the last year,” Yun said, “but now the condominium market is making a comeback.” Single-family homes still made up a far greater share of transactions in January, at 89% of all sales on an unadjusted basis.

Luxury Leads the Way
Single-family-home sales jumped 23% compared with last January—but the picture varies by price point. Homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 comprised the greatest share of homes sold at 40.1%. Sales in this category grew 27% year-over-year. More-affordable-home transactions shrunk. Sales of homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 were 2% lower than the same month last year, while sales of homes under $100,000 fell 28% compared with last January. The greatest growth came from homes priced above $1 million, sales of which grew 77% compared with last January. “Upper-end sales growth is very strong, while, in the lower priced category, it is either down, or increases are very minor,” Yun said. Buyers’ enthusiasm for higher price points could help explain existing homes’ median sales price of $303,900—a slight decrease from previous months, but 14.1% higher than the median price one year ago.

Inventory Remains Tight
A historically tight supply of existing homes for sale could have cut into transactions in 2020—a trend that shows little sign of slowing in 2021. Housing inventory set another record low in the first month of the new year, Yun said on the call, falling to 1.04 million units. Months’ supply, or how long it would take at the current sales pace to sell every home listed, remained at 1.9 months, flat with December but down from 3.1 months last year. “Sales could be even higher, but just inventory is simply not there,” Yun said. Strong housing demand and short supply gave builders a boost in 2020—but, entering 2021, the industry is contending with rising costs. January new-home construction data released earlier this week showed a dip in the seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts, which the National Association of Home Builders attributed partially to the high price of materials. “We have to get more inventory,” Yun said on the call. “I know [builders] are facing these lumber prices and other material costs, but we need to build more homes to bring more supply onto line.

Mortgage Rates Are Going Up
Low inventory isn’t the only concern hanging over the residential real-estate market as it approaches the spring selling season. Rising rates could also weigh on sales, said Yun, citing upward pressure on the 10-year Treasury yield, “a forerunner for mortgage rates.” This isn’t the first time during the Covid-19 crisis that fears of higher mortgage rates have arisen. Builder stocks dropped in October as the 10-year yield rose to a four-month high. At the time, the rise in the 10-year yield did little to impact mortgage rates due to the unusually wide spread between the two. But the spread would continue to thin. Mortgage rates began to increase from their all-time lows in early January. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.81% this past week, its highest point since mid-November, according to Freddie Mac. And buyers shouldn’t expect rates to drop, Yun said. “It is inevitable that, in the upcoming months, mortgage rates will be rising,” he said, citing factors like more stimulus or improving economic prospects as potential contributors to a rising 10-year Treasury yield. While rates will rise, they will remain low by historical standards, Yun says. He predicts that mortgage rates could reach an average 3% by the middle of 2021.

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

Will Foreclosures Boom in 2021?

Given the number of Americans who have struggled financially during the coronavirus pandemic, you’d think foreclosure numbers would be booming. But actually, according to new research on household debt by The Ascent, foreclosure rates are down this year. While there were around 50,000 foreclosures in November 2019, there were just 10,000 in September 2020. But things could change in a very unfavorable way come 2021.

Right now, there’s a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions that’s set to expire in January 2021. And while it could get extended, that’s not guaranteed. Once that protection runs out, homeowners whose mortgage lenders were already in the process of pursuing foreclosure before the pandemic will have the option to pick up where they left off.

Right now, a large number of homeowners are getting a reprieve from paying their mortgages. One provision of the CARES Act, the coronavirus relief bill signed into law in late March, was that borrowers were entitled to up to 360 days of mortgage forbearance, during which time they could hit pause on their payments. But once forbearance runs out, borrowers will have to start catching up on their missed payments and making good on their regular payments. And that could prove problematic for some people — namely, those whose finances are in bad shape due to the pandemic.

That said, if a second relief bill passes into law, it may include provisions for struggling homeowners that are comparable to what the CARES Act allowed for, so borrowers with mortgages in forbearance need not give up hope. There’s also a good chance mortgage lenders will try to work with borrowers to avoid a widespread foreclosure crisis.

Furthermore, some borrowers may have the option to refinance their mortgages and substantially lower their monthly payments in the process, making it possible to keep up. And for those who simply can’t afford their homes any longer, selling before they’re foreclosed on may be easier than it has been in the past. Often, foreclosure happens when a homeowner can’t pay a mortgage but also can’t sell a home for enough money to repay that loan in full. But home values have skyrocketed during the pandemic, so borrowers who need to unload their homes may be able to sell with relative ease, especially since low mortgage rates are currently contributing to incredibly high buyer demand.

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

The Top 10 Housing Markets of 2021

Wouldn’t it be great to look into the future? You could see just how quickly the world will recover from this deadly pandemic, get the winning lottery numbers—and learn just which real estate markets will be a solid investment.

By analyzing data and trends, the realtor.com economics team put together a list of the housing markets that are expected to sizzle next year. The nation’s top markets of 2021 are tech hubs with strong job markets, state capitals where buyers can get more square footage for their money, and smaller cities that are affordable alternatives to the larger, coastal metropolises. Seven of the metros that cracked the top 10 are either established or burgeoning tech hubs. Half are state capitals, and four are in California, where prices just keep on accelerating.

Now these markets aren’t cheap—not even close. Just one has a median list price lower than the national median of $348,000. But most are still less expensive than San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. They’re siphoning off these big-city residents who can now work remotely due to the pandemic and are moving to lower-priced areas where they can afford larger homes. And they don’t have to compromise on big-city amenities—bars, restaurants, and cultural institutions are all accounted for, when it’s safe to frequent them again.

These markets are expected to experience higher price growth and more sales than the rest of the country. Median home list prices are anticipated to rise 6.9% in these metropolitan areas, compared with 5.7% nationally. Sales are to increase 13.1% annually versus 7%.

“The housing markets in tech towns are thriving because that industry is doing well,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. However, she adds, “a lot of companies in the [San Francisco] Bay Area have given workers the flexibility to work remotely. … [Many] of the markets on our list are the places that tech workers leaving the Bay Area look to relocate to.”

To come up with the ranking the team factored in past sale prices and number of sales; the rate of new construction; and previous and anticipated economic, household, and income growth in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. (Metros include the main city as well as nearby smaller towns and urban areas.)

So which markets will rise to the top in 2021?

1. Sacramento, CA

Median home price: $554,000
Anticipated home price change: 7.4%
Number of home sales: 17.2%

2. San Jose, CA

Median home price: $1,199,050
Anticipated home price change: 10.8%
Number of home sales: 10.8%

3. Charlotte, NC

Median home price: $368,820
Anticipated home price change: 5.2%
Number of home sales: 13.8%

4. Boise, ID

Median home price: $445,000
Anticipated home price change: 9.1%
Number of home sales: 9.8%

5. Seattle, WA

Median home price: $629,050
Anticipated home price change: 9.7%
Number of home sales: 8.9% 

6. Phoenix, AZ

Median home price: $412,260
Anticipated home price change: 7%
Number of home sales: 11.4%

7. Harrisburg, PA

Median home price: $262,000
Anticipated home price change: 3.8%
Number of home sales: 14.4%

8. Oxnard, CA

Median home price: $824,000
Anticipated home price change: 5.5%
Number of home sales: 12.5%

9. Denver, CO

Median home price: $520,000
Anticipated home price change: 5.4%
Number of home sales: 12.5%

10. Riverside, CA

Median home price: $475,050
Anticipated home price change: 5.5%
Number of home sales: 12.4%

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

Best Places to Invest In Real Estate in 2021

Value or location?

That’s just one question investors ask themselves before investing in the real estate market.

Demographic data, real estate trends and personal criteria are all important factors, but the most important thing is location.

First, you need to determine the type(s) of rental property you want to add to your portfolio. There is a range of property sizes and different sets of characteristics to choose from.

Next, have a defined budget. Property valuations change depending on location, size and features, so knowing your budget will help you know where to start your search for your desired investment property. There are going to be a variety of costs, too, including closing costs, operating costs and property taxes, among many others. Your goal is to make a profit, so consider overall costs and recurring expenses that align with your budget to preclude you from taking a loss.

What are your real estate investment goals and how long will it take to achieve them? These are more questions real estate investors should keep in mind before getting ahead of themselves.

The aforementioned factors are essential to help shape your real estate investing plan, which will serve as a guide for when you probe investment opportunities in different locations. Here’s what you need to know about which places offer the best real estate investment properties in 2021:

  • Residential properties.
  • Industrial properties.
  • Commercial/retail properties.
  • Vacant land.

Residential Properties

As people continue to work from home, they may find that they need more space as they continue to move out of cities and into the suburbs. With much of the workforce reducing their commute or eliminating it completely, the amenities of a city center may not be a sticking point for renters, making a suburban setting more appealing.

The ongoing pandemic has people looking for more outdoor space and home offices, says Moira Taylor, co-owner and CEO of Taylor Made Realty in Atlanta. “Investors should consider the suburbs of major metropolitan areas, as they’re an ideal investment and have seen an increase in buyer demand in places like Atlanta, New Jersey, San Francisco and other major city suburbs,” she says.

Taking note of these trends, real estate investors may turn to the suburbs for residential rental opportunities. An important question investors should ask themselves is: “Can I earn enough in rent to cover costs?” says Bill Walker, the chief operating officer for Kukun, a real estate data company based in Menlo Park, California.

“I like to do a complete analysis of all of the different costs that I expect to have from renting out the property with a good idea of what I’m going to earn in rental income,” Walker says.

If you have about 20% more in a monthly payment coming from rental income, you have a nice profit cushion, he says.

Places where you tend to find these opportunities are in the Midwest markets like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kansas City or Dallas, Walker says.

Vacation rental properties are also residential investment properties to consider as a way to diversify your investment portfolio. A common risk associated with vacation rentals is the property doesn’t offer consistent year-round rental business. But Walker says that investors who choose a “four seasons of opportunity” property, where tenants can stay all year, could be an attractive investment that offers upside in both good and bad economic times.

He cites areas like the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania, Lake Tahoe in Nevada and California, the Outer Banks in North Carolina, Big Bear in California and the Eastern Shore in Maryland.

Regarding vacation rentals, Walker says, “Demand seems pretty stable in great economic environments and poor economic environments.” Even during the Great Recession when it would be challenging to sell properties, he says vacation rentals were staying afloat because people still wanted to take vacations enabling investors to keep their business going.

“During COVID-19 times, we’re finding that if it’s within driving distance of major cities or metro areas, people want a change of scenery in a place where they can go out even if it’s not in a way we think of traditionally,” Walker says.

Airbnb – the online vacation rental company making its initial public offering debut on Dec. 10 under the ticker ABNB – has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, but its business was able to quickly bounce back a couple months later. According to the company’s prospectus summary, as millions started to take domestic travel with the ability to work from home, guests ended up taking longer Airbnb stays. The need to travel even locally can be viewed as a resilient aspect of the vacation market and Airbnb’s business model.

Industrial Properties

Industrial rentals, which generally consist of large-scale properties used for storage, warehousing, manufacturing or distribution may be a thriving investment in the new year. The e-commerce boom that took effect this year, caused by people spending considerable time in their homes, is lining up to continue in 2021. This trend requires companies to house their products in real estate that facilitates easy distribution.

Industrial real estate has certain property characteristics. Eric Maribojoc, director of the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship at George Mason’s School of Business, says, “These facilities will need to be close to population centers with easy access to major highways. They will need to be in neighborhoods that can tolerate a lot of truck traffic and with a workforce available for warehouse and fulfillment operations.”

Griffin Industrial Realty (GRIF) is an industrial real estate company that develops, owns and manages industrial facilities. GRIF properties tend to be located near major highways and densely populated markets. The company has its very own construction team, so they are experienced in the development and management of industrial projects.

Given the complexity of managing this type of real estate asset class, investors may be more comfortable investing in an industrial stock such as Public Storage (PSA), the world’s largest self-storage company, based in Glendale, California. PSA continues to develop more facilities and expand locations. As of Sept. 30, the company has opened new projects in Florida, Missouri, Minnesota and California, with the development of more facilities to come.

Commercial/Retail Properties

Real estate investors may have gotten spooked by the mass exodus from cities into the suburbs, thinking to take a step back from commercial real estate properties.

But Art Scutaro, executive vice president of project management at National Realty Investment Advisors in Secaucus, New Jersey, says, “When commercial real estate drops in value in major cities, that creates opportunity.”

He says now is the time to buy.

“I think major cities buying up real estate now will get a great deal in any major city,” he says.

But Scutaro points to the problem of not having cash flow from tenants to sustain the mortgage. This means that investors will need to be able to cover expenses until the market recovers.

If you’re holding cash, then you’re in a great position to buy up any type of commercial real estate in major cities, Scutaro says, including hotels, offices or retail spaces because you can negotiate the price down lower as people are desperate to sell.

Vacant Land

Investing in vacant land may be better suited for a more seasoned investor or real estate company that’s experienced with handling issues like permits, zoning restrictions and financing these types of projects. Industry professionals who have experience can easily deal with what may seem a major challenge to an individual investor. In this case, investing in a homebuilder or a real estate investment trust may be a better option as investors will gain exposure to the investment without the hassles associated with building large-scale properties.

Taylor says areas where the climate is warmer year-round are good investments when looking for vacant land opportunities.

“States like Florida have seen a surge of buyers since the onset of the pandemic which will continue to drive property values up as well as land value,” Taylor explains. “With families having to be home more, outdoor spaces are increasingly important and especially having access to them all year long in a warmer climate.”

For a balanced real estate investment, investors can consider Toll Brothers (TOL), a leading national builder of luxury homes in the real estate market. TOL has years of experience in the construction and management of new homes and rental communities. The company has mastered the home construction process and has built a solid reputation throughout its years in the business.

The pandemic put a dent in the construction business – with TOL’s home sale revenues down 2% in the first quarter, down 11% in the second quarter and down 7% in the third quarter, but TOL has the wherewithal to meet the challenges ahead. The latest quarter marked the highest third-quarter contracts in TOL’s history, according to a company report. TOL is a trusted and well-capitalized home builder, with a market cap of $6.2 billion. TOL stock is up about 20% year to date, with the current stock price around $45.

Takeaway

Real estate investing can be a rewarding long-term investment. Despite challenging market conditions, there are real estate investment opportunities in either residential single-family rental properties, multifamily commercial properties, industrial real estate as well as vacant land that you can consider in 2021.

Original Article  [Source: www.msn.com]

10 Tips for Securing Your Vacant Property During Cold Weather

Cold weather conditions present new risks to vacant properties. Freezing temperatures can make vacant properties hotspots for squatters, fires, vandalism, and theft.

Make sure you have taken the necessary steps to safeguard your vacant property assets with DAWGS steel door and window guards and our cold weather checklist.

DAWGS Cold Weather Checklist for Vacant Properties

  1. Check with your property insurer to find out if they have any specific cold-weather requirements to keep your property covered.
  2. Turn off the water at the exterior. Make sure that the water supply is turned off completely at the main supply point.
  3. Open all faucets and drain all water lines to prevent pipes from bursting.
  4. Check gutters for trapped water, ice, or other blockages. If unchecked this can cause pipes to shatter
  5. Clean the property to keep pest infestations at bay.
  6. Turn off the utilities such as gas and electricity. This will reduce the risk of a gas leak and deter potential squatters.
  7. Inspect your home for openings that animals could use to enter. Make sure your fireplace flue is closed, as bats, birds and squirrels can get inside this way.
  8. Unplug all unnecessary appliances
  9. Remove all fire hazards
  10. Check the roof for damage. Ice and snow can make roof issues worse if not kept in check.

By following these steps, and securing your property with DAWGS, your properties will remain safe during the cold weather months.

 

How 2020 broke the housing market

So many homes are selling that we could run out of new houses in months

Have you thought about moving amid the coronavirus pandemic?

Is your Instagram feed littered with captions reading “Surprise! We bought a house!” underneath photos of couples posing with sets of keys and whimsically colored front doors? Have you seen unbearably long lines for open houses in your own neighborhood?

If it seems like the hottest pandemic purchase is a home, well, it’s not just your hunch telling you that.

A shocking volume of homes are selling rapidly, according to recent data. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report in late September finding that existing home sales had hit a 14-year high in August. Separately, Bloomberg reported that if homes continued to sell at that rate, the US would run out of new homes inventory in just over three months, the shortest such time frame in records dating all the way back to 1963.

It’s only been sinking since then.

In September, total housing inventory hit a new record low, of just 2.7 months supply, per the National Association of Realtors. In October, it sank even lower, to just 2.5 months.

As the fall progresses, builders have tried to remedy the shortfall, starting construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million in September, a 1.9% increase from the previous month and an 11% increase year-over-year, per Census data.

Buying a home right now isn’t nearly as affordable as low mortgage rates promise, with low supply continually ratcheting home prices up. And it’s only going to become more expensive, potentially dashing future homeowners’ dreams.

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

Housing Market Forecast and Predictions for 2021

Shelter-at-home orders and other measures were put in place just before springtime this year, which is usually the best time of year for listing and selling homes. However, 2021 poses to be a much more stable year for real estate, according to Realtor.com.

Low inventory, a higher number of buyers than sellers, and historically low mortgage rates sent housing prices upwards quickly. It also made fall the hot time of year for sellers instead of the warmer months.

But 2021 should send things back to where they once were and continue pushing new trends that were emerging even before the pandemic.

Since mortgage rates of around 3% have become the norm, they don’t feel as exceptional and won’t entice buyers as they have in the recent past.

Realtor.com predicts home sales to come in at 7.0% above 2020, building momentum through the spring and continuing through the end of the year. Economic growth from coronavirus vaccines and more normal consumer spending will fuel this trend.

As for home prices, they’re still going up, but they’re slowing down. 2020 is looking to end 7.6% over 2019. But 2021 should only increase by around 5.7%. This will be aided by many millennials trading up and adding inventory to the market.

Speaking of inventory, 2020 saw half a million fewer homes on the market than the previous year. However, “newly listed homes” should be more numerous by the end of 2021. And we may even see an increase in inventory—a first since 2019.

The big trends to watch out for, however, are an increase in first-time buyers, people wanting at-home offices, and suburban migration.

Millennials make up the largest generation, and on their heels are the Gen-Zers who are entering their home-buying years. The older Millennials, those approaching 40, will be looking to trade up and purchase bigger homes to accommodate growing families. These two generations have been able to save money due to shelter-in-place orders and less going out in general, meaning they’ll have more money for down payments.

Remote work was already a growing trend before the pandemic forced more white-collar workers to stay in their homes. And it looks like many will continue to primarily work away from the office, adding to the appeal of the suburbs. Look for an increase in listings mentioning home office space or even close-to-home remote-working options, like coffee shops.

Since commutes have changed, so has the need to be downtown. More people are comfortable with the idea of commuting further if they have to than before, according to a summer survey.

Sellers will continue to have the upper hand throughout the entire year due to an accelerated buying process—thank you, lower inventory. But all in all, 2021 should feel more normal and predictable than 2020.

Read full article: [Source: www.dsnews.com]

Resurrecting Zombie Homes

A solid economic recovery and red-hot housing market helped drive the vacant “zombie” foreclosure rate to new lows in the first half of 2020, even as the coronavirus crisis threatens to trigger a resurgence in these vacant properties stuck in foreclosure limbo. 

However, that trend quickly changed in the third quarter, when the zombie foreclosure rate jumped to the highest level in three years, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions. The report shows that the zombie foreclosure rate—the percentage of all properties in the foreclosure process that are vacant—jumped to 3.7% in Q3 2020, up from 3.0% in Q2 2020 to the highest rate since Q3 2017.   

The Q3 2020 zombie foreclosure rate was still below a peak of 5.8% in Q1 2014, while the actual number of zombie foreclosure properties was down 82% over that same time period—from 43,311 nationwide in the first quarter of 2014 to just 7,960 in the third quarter of 2020. 

Where Zombies Are Rising 

The zombie foreclosure rate increased in Q3 2020 compared to the previous quarter in 127 out of 158 metropolitan statistical areas (80%with at least 100,000 residential properties, according to the data. The actual number of zombie foreclosures increased from the previous quarter in 72 of the 158 metro areas (46%), including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, and Phoenix. 

Additionally, seriously delinquent loans secured by vacant properties could represent a more significant rise in zombie foreclosures soon. Although there is no definitive data on vacant properties with mortgages that are at least 90 days late, applying the same 3% “zombie” foreclosure rate to the 1.8 million mortgages that were seriously delinquent in June—that according to Black Knightwould translate into an additional 56,000 zombie foreclosures waiting in the wings. Given the recent sharp rise in seriously delinquent loans, that 56,000 would represent a 197% increase from the previous month and a 312% increase from a year ago. 

Great Recession Zombie Foreclosure Invasion 

Local markets and neighborhoods with high zombie foreclosure numbers back at the peak in Q1 2014—still in the midst of the cleanup from the housing carnage left over from the Great Recession—struggled to deal with the flood of abandoned foreclosures.   

“Many homes did not make it through foreclosure because servicers did not move quickly enough, either due to capacity issues or due to the decline in home prices reducing their incentive to foreclose,” said Julia Gordon, President of the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting homeownership in distressed neighborhoods. “In other cases, the robosigning scandal—in which the foreclosing parties could not demonstrate their ownership of the loan—caused judges to stop foreclosures across the board, for both occupied and vacant properties. That ultimately had unintended negative consequences for neighborhood stabilization.”  

Gordon noted that more refined foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation tools are now available and familiar to local government agencies and mortgage servicers, and at least so far, housing prices have not collapsed, making an extended delay in the foreclosure process unnecessary and unproductive.  

“You want the right tool for the job, and stopping the foreclosure process as a whole for every property—especially for vacant properties—is not the right tool,” she said. 

Zombie Buyers Still Active 

Texas-based real estate investor Aaron Amuchastegui said he’s purchased nearly 1,000 vacant houses at foreclosure auction over the past 10 years—and he continues to find zombie foreclosures that have been sitting vacant for months or even years.  

“We bought a few houses in March that had actually been vacant and abandoned for two years,” he said, adding that even the borrowers in foreclosure benefit when a zombie foreclosure is eliminated.  

“When a borrower abandons a property, they want the foreclosure to end quickly so they can get a fresh start and start rebuilding their credit. … Borrowers aren’t trying to save these houses; they want to be done with them.” 

Cleveland-based investor Josh Cantwell agreed that a completed foreclosure sale of a vacant property represents a win for distressed homeowners as well as for real estate investors and the local community.  

“We do target those properties on Auction.com and other acquisition sources … that would all fall into this zombie category,” he said, explaining that a vacant property often translates into a motivated seller and a quicker turnaround for investors.  

Cantwell noted that investors are highly motivated to efficiently rehab vacant properties and get them occupied as soon as possible. 

“For an investor to make money … the goal is always occupancy, either by an owner or by a tenant,” he said, adding that he agrees with neighborhood stabilization advocates like Gordon when it comes to giving priority to owner-occupants. “You want to give homeowners that first crack at buying foreclosures, but a lot of them need so much work they are just not appealing, so investors take that role of assuming the risk.” 

Read full article [Source: www.dsnews.com]

Home Renovations for the Pandemic

Renovating for a New Normal

As the country approaches the six-month mark since stay-at-home orders were enacted, and coronavirus cases surge again, millions of Americans are struggling to stay in their homes through a punishing recession. In August, a third of respondents to an Apartment List survey reported failing to make their full rent or mortgage payment on time, the highest nonpayment rate since the rental listings site began conducting the survey in April.

But the pain has not been evenly felt. While many Americans are suffering through a historic economic crisis, those who have not taken a financial hit are focused on ways to make an extended period of isolation more comfortable. Facing additional months of distance learning and working from home, some are making extensive home improvements — permanent alterations that they would not have done absent a pandemic.

As bans on construction have lifted, designers, architects and general contractors have begun fielding calls from homeowners who are looking for ways to improve or expand areas in their home for work, school and exercise. In June 2020, professionals who list their services on the home renovation site Houzz reported a 58 percent increase in requests from homeowners from June 2019, with queries about home extensions and additions up 52 percent. Some homeowners are converting garages into work studios, or adding a shed in the yard for an office. Others are renovating the basement to turn it into a yoga studio or a classroom. Those who may have started projects before the pandemic, are looking at those original design plans and realizing they need an overhaul to work in this new world order.

Read full article [Source: www.nytimes.com]

DAWGS Sponsors COVID-Compliant Halloween Party for Detroit Community Non-Profit

1st Place Winner for Best Halloween Decorations

1st Place Winner for Best Halloween Decorations

When Zachary Rowe, Executive Director for Friends Of Parkside, approached DAWGS to sponsor its Annual Parkside Halloween Party, the DAWGS team didn’t hesitate to help out. Friends of Parkside (FOP) is a non-profit, community-based organization located on Detroit’s east side, in The Villages of Parkside, a public housing community. The purpose of FOP is to promote solidarity and help build self-esteem for the youth in the complex, by providing educational and employment-related resources. 

DAWGS sponsored Parkside’s 2019 Halloween Party, but due to COVID-19, a 2020 traditional Halloween Party was not possible. The children of Parkside were disappointed, and it served as yet another reminder of the impact the pandemic is having on their young lives. In spite of COVID-19, FOP was able to provide the Parkside children with a safe, fun-filled Halloween experience. “I really appreciated Brandon’s quick response to our request. Without DAWGS’ support, the event would not have been possible”, Zachary Rowe said. 

The COVID-compliant Halloween celebration involved delivering treat bags filled with candy, chips, dental care products, books, and other fun items to approximately 200 children between the ages of 3 to 12. In addition, the Friends of Parkside organization held a Halloween costume contest for children and the best Halloween Decoration Contest for parents.

Despite the pandemic, the first FOP “Reverse Trick or Treat” celebration was a success. The children of Parkside and their parents were able to have a safe Halloween celebration.

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