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Integrity in Real Estate
Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

Finding the Best and Most Spacious Cities for Renters on a $1,500 Budget

Tue, 07/19/2022 - 12:00

Apartment space is still king, but with the recent upheaval in the rental market, the costs are also worth considering. With this in mind, RentCafe recently released new data that calculated how much space renters can get for $1,500 a month in the top 50 best cities for renters*.

Here are the highlights:

  • Amarillo, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma are the hidden gems where renters can get the biggest bang for their buck and live large in rentals that boast as much as 1,400 square feet. What makes these locations stand out are larger-than-average apartment sizes and lower rent prices.
  • San Diego, California apartments offer the least space on our list—just 463 square feet for $1,500—which is just one-third of the space that Amarillo, Texas apartments do for the same monthly rent. Other big cities such as Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee and Dallas, Texas are also in the lower part of our chart, with under 850 sq. ft. for this amount.
  • Cities in the South completely dominate our top, taking 38 out of the 50 spots. Smaller locations also abound, as seen even at the very top, with a total of 30 out of 50 small towns and suburbs ranking among the best cities for renting on a $1,500 monthly budget.

To view the full study, visit: https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/rental-market/market-snapshots/how-much-space-for-1500-in-best-cities-for-renters/

*Using a mix of 17 metrics, RentCafe previously issued a reprot to determine the top 50 best cities for renters. View that report here: https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/rental-market/market-snapshots/best-cities-for-renters-in-2022/.

The post Finding the Best and Most Spacious Cities for Renters on a $1,500 Budget appeared first on RISMedia.

6 Proven Methods to Run Your Team Like a Brokerage

Tue, 07/19/2022 - 02:03

Most team leaders we coach want to accomplish work/life balance while running a highly profitable, growing and successful team with year-over-year increases in sales, revenue, marketshare and profit. This can be achieved, yet it requires many disciplines and systems in place in order to create results and incredible month-after-month growth and sustainability.

Making the shift of growing from a mid-size team to a large team will require you to think and act like a brokerage. After all, many of our teams are as large in sales production and GCI to offices within a larger brokerage or franchise.

If you are trying to scale and grow your team by agent count, production, profitability or all three, here are six proven methods that will have you operating at peak performance:

  • Set expectations and create weekly accountability. You set the tone and the bar for your team every day, and especially when they join you. How you onboard agents and what your expectations are will define their success. Be sure to communicate exactly what is expected in writing. Setting goals and laying out the actions that must be executed daily and weekly to achieve those goals is also your role. Additionally, having weekly accountability meetings with each of your agents and team members will create thriving team members and amazing success.
  • Know your numbers. It surprises me how many team leaders/owners don’t know their numbers. You need to know weekly and monthly revenue. Your most important number is the top-line revenue to your team after you pay your agents. Your break-even number is also important. Create a system to track your KPIs for the month for:
  • Monthly revenue for new and closed sales
  • Number of new listings and sales units per day/month
  • Number of new recruits (licensed and new)
  • New mortgage, title, insurance and home warranty or other partner affiliates that are part of your tracking system.

Share your monthly listing and new sales goals at every meeting. You must be driving the momentum of new listings and sales—and you can do this through sales meetings, coaching and communicating constantly.

  • Conduct sales meetings that drive listings and sales. Having a weekly, not monthly, sales meeting will create wildly successfully results and a winning team culture. Share the goals for listings and sales for the month, quarter and year with your team. They contribute to the success of the team, and success is contagious. Meeting in-person and making your sales meeting content invaluable will ensure that your team benefits from attending and that they each experience great value from the meeting.
  • Coach and build the middle for increased top line revenue. Coaching your agents to success means working with them individually. Provide new and experienced agents valuable coaching on a weekly basis on lead generation, conversion strategies, how to set listing appointments, how to use your tools to succeed and how to close. Team leaders and managers across the country use my exclusive GoldMine Pipeline Strategy to build a $10 million pipeline of buyer and seller leads. These agents’ combined pipelines result in $75 – $175 million in combined pipelines, which leads to $450,000-plus in team revenue for the entire group’s combined pipelines. It will dramatically double and even triple your team’s production and revenue. Click the link below to get my free eBook for my exclusive GoldMine Pipeline System and Strategy and start it today with your team. You too can see the potential business of each of your agents as well as your own and then see the total for your entire team. It’s pretty amazing, and it will help drive all of you to even greater success.
  • Recruit on purpose with a plan. Most team leaders do not have an on-purpose, written recruiting plan for growth. There are many strategies to successfully recruit both new and experienced agents to your team. Having a plan for how many agents you want to join on purpose will create the scaling of agent team members for you every week and month, and with an on-purpose and strategic plan, you will get to the size team you desire. Write the plan to include creative ways to attract new and experienced agents to your team. You need to know your value and be able to communicate it in a way that each recruit will see the monetized value you offer for them to join your team. Show the value and how they can grow their business dramatically through your training and systems while only having to focus on listing and selling, and you will be able to recruit successfully. Track and measure your recruiting efforts weekly. Focus on having a minimum number of recruiting appointments each week for new and experienced agents.
  • Provide agent incentives and a compensation package. All sales industries have incentives because they incentivize agents to perform at a higher level. Include contests, prizes, awards, and monthly and even weekly recognition. Using gamification and leader boards as well as celebrating individual and team goal achievement will help you create the culture and team that you want for retention, development and recruiting. Trips, cruises, spa days, happy hours and shopping days are all some of the best trip incentives I have seen. The incentives you create into your culture will build your team’s listings and sales production, but it will also build trust, loyalty and a thriving team that is one 100% committed to their business and achievement of the team’s overall goals as well.

You can create the greatest winning sales team you want, but it all starts and ends with your commitment, dedication and leadership. Communication is the key to creating a highly successful team, and it must be a culture of constant and consistent communication. Each person on your team must be bought into your vision and mission both individually as a group. Share it and live with them every day. Help them achieve greatness and you will be hitting your team goals as well.

Download Johnson’s Exclusive GoldMine Pipeline Strategy to get your agents closing more leads into listings, sales and ultimately income. This system can double their production, fast. Go to www.goldminepipeline.com for her Free EBook and the Worksheet. These are just a few of Johnson’s proven and exclusive leadership and development strategies that produce amazing results quickly. For more information about Johnson’s exclusive turnkey, team solutions to scale your team, contact Sherri Johnson at www.sherrijohnson.com/onetoone for coaching plans.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 25 years of experience in real estate as a top agent, broker, and executive responsible for over 750 agents and over $1.7 billion in annual sales volume. Sherri offers her exclusive and proven methods through custom, one to one coaching and tailored consulting services. Sherri is a highly sought-after keynote speaker delivering high energy and real solutions audiences love.  Sherri has been named a RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker in 2020 and 2021 as an Industry Influencer and Thought Leader. She is the author of the Sherri Johnson Academy, an on-demand learning platform as well as the 90-Boot Camp. Sherri is a preferred coach, consultant and speaker for top 10 international brands and brokerages and can dramatically increase your company’s revenue and profits. Visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.

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What Do Coaches Do, Anyway?

Tue, 07/19/2022 - 02:02

One of the most common misconceptions people have about working with a business coach is that coaching is only valuable for novices—that once you’ve attained a certain level of experience, retaining a coach is no longer really a justifiable expense since the results will only be modest.

As a coach, I understand this attitude completely. But it comes from a critical misunderstanding of the function of a coach: the belief that coaches are primarily teachers. Many people think of business coaches as figures who are there to show them the ropes, mentors who can impart helpful tricks and tips. While it is true that a coach can help their clients broaden their knowledge of their field, teaching is well down the list of essential coaching functions.

So if coaches aren’t simply teachers or mentors, what do they do? Let me share three of the most important things I focus on as a coach.

  1. Accountability

Perhaps the single most valuable thing a coach can provide is accountability. You can set goals for yourself and your business all day, but unless you work consistently toward meeting them, they’ll never be achieved. And I’ve never met someone who doesn’t struggle to hold themselves accountable now and then. Sometimes it’s a question of motivation, but other times we can get so busy working on daily tasks that we can’t see the forest for the trees. A coach can not only help keep you on track, but remind you about why you started on that track in the first place.

  1. Focus

Focus and accountability go hand in hand, which is why a good coach will help their clients stay laser-focused on what matters. This goes beyond a reminder about goals or a check-in call to see whether certain tasks have been accomplished. Developing focus means developing priorities, and implementing tools and systems to help make working on those priorities as productive and efficient as possible. Staying focused on the essentials is crucial at any stage in a business’ growth.

  1. Objectivity

At any experience level, it can be hard to detach yourself from your business enough to have an objective view of what is going on. The more time and effort you have invested in an enterprise, the harder it can be to keep your emotions and aspirations out of your interpretations of key business figures. Conflicts with team members or business partners can also make it hard to see clearly.

A coach can provide that objectivity. While a coach would know your business and goals, they don’t work in it every day, and their only investment is seeing you succeed. So they have the ability and the imperative to talk to you honestly about your business. They can be both a valuable sounding board for ideas and a tie-breaking vote between partners.

Having a coach is vital for continued success in all stages, not just for starting out. Olympic athletes have as much need for coaching when they are competing at their peak as they do when they are developing, and the same should be true as a business grows. The more success you see and the more complicated your operation becomes, the greater the need to have a coach by your side. There is no level at which a good coach won’t be worth the investment.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Get free access to some of the very same tools and resources he has used to create success in his clients’ businesses.

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Providing the Modern Consumer More Choices Than Ever Before

Tue, 07/19/2022 - 02:01

The biggest question every real estate brokerage faces in 2022 is: “How do we serve the modern consumer and deliver value to the modern agent?” At the end of the day, both can choose to do business with anybody.

With 4,000 real estate agents in 60 offices across 26 states—and growing—we’ve turned things up a notch with a new direction and surging energy at JPAR Real Estate.

Our approach: The modern real estate agent is no longer a salesperson. The modern agent is an advisor. It’s what the modern consumer wants and expects.

It’s why we launched JPAR Sure Sale, powered by zavvie, more than a year ago. As a result, we provide the modern consumer with more choices in selling and buying a home than ever before.

JPAR Sure Sale is the key to delivering the right experience for every consumer. Homeowners can sell their homes traditionally, as most choose to do, or they can swap their current home for a new one—just as easy as they swap a car. Or they can get an iBuyer offer.

Our cash guarantee options turn our buyers into power buyers who get their offers accepted more often while helping our sellers know with certainty that they have a sale.

There is no more one-size-fits-all for consumers. Instead, we give them a full menu of options versus trying to sell them one specific dish, shifting the conversation dynamic between agent and consumer.

Being a full-service brokerage

JPAR, at its core, is a full-service brokerage with a flat-fee capped financial model combined with productivity standards and service to the community’s heart.

What does that mean to today’s customer?

As a brand, we treat our agents like royalty, and in turn, that’s how our agents treat their clients. This is how we deliver exceptional experiences.

With JPAR Sure Sale, it’s no longer about “let me get your listing at 6%.” Instead, it’s about going through all the options.

Life events can create urgency. An iBuyer offer might be the perfect solution for a customer when speed is driving their decision. That may be different than what their neighbor would do because they have more time.

JPAR Sure Sale allows others to trade up to their next home before selling their current one.

We’ve achieved stellar agent adoption with JPAR Sure Sale because we solve problems for a profit—and when you deliver a solution that works, people adopt it.

Imagination Statement

Real estate agents are independent contractors who can hang their shingle anywhere they want. There are no golden handcuffs, and consumers are the same way. So, we must earn our agent’s business every day. It’s part of our culture to check with our agents daily to ask if we are earning their business to earn our customer’s business. JPAR Sure Sale is one part of the value we offer our agents.

For more information, visit https://www.jpar.com/.

Mark Johnson is president of JPAR Real Estate and CEO of company-owned operations. As a visionary, strategist and lead evangelist for the JPAR Real Estate enterprise, he heads up one of the Top 35 brokerages in the nation and one of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies.

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What You Need to Know About a Condemned House

Tue, 07/19/2022 - 02:00

Every now and then you may be driving through a particular neighborhood and see a home that is all boarded up. There are likely to be multiple no trespassing signs posted on the lawn and house.

What you are likely seeing is a condemned house. Condemned houses are usually not found in affluent areas. They are more commonly found in lower-income areas.

If you are like many others, you’re probably wondering how the home got to the point where it needed to be condemned.

If you are an investor or a contractor, you may also be wondering if the property will end up being sold. Many condemned homes end up being sold.

Unfortunately, it is often through the mortgage lender taking the home via a foreclosure.

Let’s have a look at some of the key things you need to know about condemned properties.

What are condemned houses?

The local government has deemed the house to be unfit to live in and has condemned it because of the deplorable condition.

When houses are deemed to be condemned, it’s almost always because the property has become a safety hazard.

Nobody will be able to occupy the home. When there are people living in a house that has been condemned, they will be forced to move out.

An owner or renter will not be able to move back into the house unless the condition that brought on the condemnation has been remedied.

When a homeowner makes all of the necessary repairs or renovations, the local municipality will usually allow a return.

What are the reasons a house is condemned?

There are a few circumstances that can cause a house to be condemned. One of the most common is multiple housing code violations that are creating safety issues for the occupant or even the general public.

Sometimes an owner will do a significant amount of work to a home without pulling the necessary building permits.

Shabby work ensues, which causes serious issues with safety surrounding the property. When conditions are deemed unsafe, a local building inspector has the power to put a condemnation order in place.

Other times, there can be serious sanitary conditions that create a health menace to the public. The perfect example would be a hoarder house, which has endless amounts of stock piled junk, including dead animals.

These types of properties can be infested with disease and other issues that can harm others.

When there are no sanitary living conditions present, a house can be condemned.

Another instance that can lead to condemning a property is when a black mold infestation occurs. Black mold can cause serious respiratory issues, especially for those who already have a health condition.

When conditions are bad enough, a death could occur in a home.

Another form of condemnation is through eminent domain

Sometimes, condemning a property has nothing to do with the condition. The government might want the property for some purpose.

In cases where the state or federal government wants a piece of land, they can take it by what’s called eminent domain.

When taking someone’s property occurs through eminent domain, they must be justly compensated. The government would need to pay the owner the current fair market value.

What happens to a condemned house?

When you own a condemned house, there will be a court hearing that determines whether the government has the right to declare condemnation. Usually there will be ample evidence that this is the case.

When a judgment is affirmed, the owners will need to vacate the property.

The government may require the house’s owner to make necessary repairs in order for the house to be deemed in good standing.

If the owner of a property does not want to make repairs, or the property is beyond repair, the government may mandate that the owner have it demolished at their expense.

Condemned houses often attract thieves who will vandalize the property even further. One of the common things that happens is the copper piping is removed and sold for cash.

Can you sell condemned houses?

Usually you can. The most common buyer for a condemned property is a real estate investor or building contractor.

Some will choose to fix up the property (if possible), while others will tear down the house to build a new home.

Final thoughts

Buying and selling a condemned home requires due diligence. Make sure you are educated on the subject before moving forward.

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England.

The post What You Need to Know About a Condemned House appeared first on RISMedia.

Foreign Buyers Down, but More Money Coming in

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 12:04

The number of foreign buyers continued to fall last year despite an easing of pandemic restrictions—though price appreciation of homes in domestic markets actually caused the overall dollar amount of these transactions to jump by 8.5%, setting a new record average price, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

The annual Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate found the median home sale price to a foreign buyer hit $366,100, with the average jumping to $598,200 as international buyers spent $59 billion on domestic residential real estate, even as their overall numbers remained lower.

“For the second year in a row, restrictions and general caution tied to international travel during the pandemic slowed home buying by wealthier foreign buyers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a statement. “Even so, domestic home-buying demand was exceptional and, therefore, boosted home sales nationally.”

Brokers and agents have qualitatively started seeing an uptick in foreign real estate investment, even if that market segment is down from recent highs. At the same time, Yun warned that other macro factors could continue to dampen demand from international buyers who otherwise would love to own a home in the United States.

“Affordability challenges along with the inability to find the right property were the top reasons given for prospective international buyers who showed interest but ultimately did not purchase a home in the United States,” Yun said.

At the same time, some foreign buyers will not be affected by rising mortgage rates as many are more likely to make all-cash offers, Yun noted, adding that international flights have increased in recent months as well.

Who, where and why

The top countries where foreign buyers came from have remained mostly the same, with China and Canada topping the list again (with $6.1 and $5.6 billion spent, respectively). India ($3.6 billion), Mexico ($2.9 billion) and Brazil ($1.6 billion) rounded out the top five.

Top destinations for international buyers in the United States also remained mostly unchanged from previous years, with Florida still on top, claiming 24% of all foreign home investment. California came in at a distant second (11%), followed by Texas (8%), Arizona (7%), and New York and North Carolina, tied at 4%.

Country of origin continued to dictate where foreign nationals were looking to buy a home, with California still the top destination for Chinese buyers, with 31% choosing the Golden State. Chinese buyers also spent the most on average, at just about $1 million.

A majority of the top-dollar amount spent by international buyers (58%) was by people already living in the country—recent immigrants or those with visas. That number was up 5.2% from last year.

A plurality of investors planned to use their new properties as vacation homes, rentals or both. Canadians were most likely to purchase a property as purely a vacation home, while Colombian buyers were most likely to say their property was purely meant as a rental. Almost three in four (74%) Indian buyers were purchasing a home as their primary residence.

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O Canada, Say Hello to Rocket Mortgage

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 12:03

When you’re the largest home mortgage lender in the U.S., it’s only a matter of time before you branch out. That’s been the case for Rocket Mortgage, which is pushing north into the Canadian mortgage market.

Rocket recently announced that it would start doing business north of the border in August, opening another operation called Rocket Mortgage Canada. The move will be made possible with a rebranding effort set to take place at Windsor-based Edison Financial—another Rocket Companies subsidiary.

Both companies expect the rebrand, which will happen on August 8, to help Rocket Mortgage “revolutionize” the Canadian mortgage lending industry, emphasizing “harnessing technology to simplify the home loan process.”

“In America, Rocket Mortgage is synonymous with industry-leading, proprietary technology that creates an unmatched client experience,” said Bob Walters, CEO of Rocket Mortgage in the U.S., in a press release. “We’ve spent the last 37 years defining and redefining the way mortgages should be done in the U.S.—and now we have the opportunity through this rebrand to share everything we’ve learned with our neighbors to the north.”

According to Walters, Rocket’s approach to mitigating the complexities of getting a home can provide a needed service and improve the product offering in the Canadian market.

Edison Financial, a digital mortgage broker launched by Rocket Companies, has been serving clients in Canada since March 2020. The mortgage brokerage has access to thousands of loan products from more than 50 lenders, working closely with banks and lenders to match clients with the best product for their financial needs.

“Our mission when we launched over two years ago was to use technology to improve the mortgage experience in Canada, making life easier for homebuyers and homeowners,” said Hash Aboulhosn, president of Rocket Mortgage in Canada, in a press release. “I’m excited for what’s to come as we continue to positively impact the way Canadians view getting a home loan.”

Since its launch two years ago, the Windsor-based company has grown from four team members to 140, accruing $1 billion (CAD) in annualized submitted volume.

In a recent interview with RISMedia, Walters said the move into the Canadian market was predicated on results found in a marketing survey that showed that aided and unaided brand awareness was high over the border.

Admittedly, Walters acknowledges that Canada’s market differs from the American home loan marketplace that Rocket has excelled in over the years. With a mortgage market dominated by seven banks and no GSEs like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, he says the expansion is primarily due to Rocket’s ability and desire to improve the mortgage product offering and process for Canadian homebuyers.

“When I got into this business, you largely had to walk into a bank office,” Walters says. “It was intimidating. It was scary, especially when you think about a world where you talk about historically underserved communities.

“The ‘why’ is that for the people getting financing either to buy or refinance a home, is it a better transaction for them now than it was a year ago or two or three, and did we contribute to that?” he continues. “I think demonstratively the answer is yes.”

In addition to the name change, Rocket also announced plans to become a direct lender in Canada later this year. The name change will not affect clients currently in the mortgage process.

After becoming a lender in Canada, Rocket Mortgage will continue offering options from other lender partners alongside its products—connecting homebuyers with the best solution for their circumstances.

The post O Canada, Say Hello to Rocket Mortgage appeared first on RISMedia.

Builder Confidence Plummets Toward Negative Territory

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 12:02

After months and months of unbridled optimism, homebuilders are increasingly worried about the housing market as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) measuring builder confidence remains in free-fall, approaching an overall negative attitude toward the future.

A 12-point drop in July was the largest single decline in the index since the onset of the pandemic, moving close to the equivalent of bear market territory at 55. Anything below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good.

Key findings:

All three HMI components posted significant declines in July. The metric measuring current sales conditions dropped 12 points to 64, the measurement tracking sales expectations for the next six months declined 11 points to 50 and the index traffic of prospective buyers fell 11 points to a dismal 37.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast fell six points to 65, the Midwest dropped four points to 52, the South fell eight points to 70 and the West posted a 12-point decline to 62.

The takeaway:

“Affordability is the greatest challenge facing the housing market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz in a statement. “Significant segments of the home-buying population are priced out of the market. Policymakers must address supply-side issues to help builders produce more affordable housing.”

“Production bottlenecks, rising home building costs and high inflation are causing many builders to halt construction because the cost of land, construction and financing exceeds the market value of the home,” said NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter in a statement. “In another sign of a softening market, 13% of builders in the HMI survey reported reducing home prices in the past month to bolster sales and/or limit cancellations.”

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Guaranteed Rate’s New Digital Personal Loans Take Less Than 10 Minutes to Apply

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 12:01

Guaranteed Rate has announced the launch of its new end-to-end digital Personal Loans. Online applications for these ultra-fast digital loans take as little as just 10 minutes to complete, and customers could receive up to $50,000 within hours, the company stated.

Guaranteed Rate says with rising interest rates and soaring inflation, many Americans are looking for the fastest and most effective ways to consolidate high-interest debt and get access to low-interest funds they can use for home-improvement or other life projects. They say their new Personal Loans solve those needs in record time. These loans offer low rates (starting at 5.74% APR*), a super-simple online application that takes a few minutes, and flexible repayment options from 1 to 5 years, the company said.

“Guaranteed Rate’s awesome Fintech platform is designed to provide our customers with fast and frictionless financial products,” said Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli. “And our new end-to-end digital Personal Loans are a fantastic example. In less than 10 minutes, customers can complete our online application and have their money within hours with absolutely no human contact.”

Guaranteed Rate’s new end-to-end digital Personal Loans are available initially by invitation only in 10 states (AL, CA, FL, GA, IL, MA, MO, NJ, OH and TX), with plans to expand rapidly to the rest of the country, the company said. The amounts for these loans range from $4,000 to $50,000, with fixed rates starting at 5.74% APR. Guaranteed Rate’s Personal Loans have no fees—no origination fees, no NSF fees and no late fees. Funds are received in a lump sum, and payments can be made over 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months, according to a release.

“Personal Loans are a really smart way for customers to reduce the cost of high-interest credit card debt or to help finance unexpected purchases,” said Anand Cavale, Guaranteed Rate’s executive vice president and head of Unsecured Lending Products. “We know that customers need and want their money fast and they want the process to be hassle-free and super-simple. Our new Personal Loans product over-delivers on those needs.”

Guaranteed Rate says its new digital Personal Loans are just one example of the new fintech solutions the company is developing. “Guaranteed Rate’s tech team is laser focused on providing the best and most effective, fast and easy-to-use Fintech solutions in the industry that have never been available before. We have listened to our customers and are giving them what they want and need,” says Ramesh Sarukkai, Guaranteed Rate’s chief product and technology officer.

To learn more about Guaranteed Rate’s new Personal Loans, visit rate.com/personal-loans.

The post Guaranteed Rate’s New Digital Personal Loans Take Less Than 10 Minutes to Apply appeared first on RISMedia.

HUD Announces 24 Programs to Join Biden-Harris Administration Justice40 Initiative

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 12:00

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda to advance environmental justice, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has released a list of its programs included in the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative.

According to a release, President Biden created the Justice40 Initiative to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

“HUD’s mission is rooted squarely in service to disadvantaged communities and to ensuring equity and justice for the communities we serve. As an agency, we are committed to supporting neighborhoods that have been disinvested for generations and overburdened by pollution and the impacts of climate change,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “I am happy to announce that 24 of HUD’s programs align with President Biden’s goal to address environmental injustice by investing in underserved communities.”

The programs included in the announcement create affordable and sustainable housing and meet a range of different housing needs for individuals and communities, including single- and multi-family housing and housing for seniors, persons with disabilities, and tribal communities, the HUD release stated. The programs also serve communities that have been impacted by disasters, and that need to partner with the federal government to spur local economic growth. These HUD programs align directly with President Biden’s initiative to address environmental justice and make sure no communities are left behind, HUD said.

By releasing HUD’s list of covered programs, communities and the general public will have greater visibility and transparency into the role HUD plays in the federal government’s coordinated effort to support disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution and other impacts of climate change, HUD said.

HUD’s 24 programs covered in the Justice40 initiative are as follows:

Covered programs list for HUD:

  1. Choice Neighborhoods
  2. Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery
  3. Community Development Block Grant—Entitlement/Non-Entitlement Grant*
  4. FHA Mortgage Insurance for Single-Family Housing (MMI Fund)
  5. FHA Mortgage Insurance for Multi-Family Rental and Other Housing (GI/SRI Fund)
  6. HOME Grants
  7. Housing for the Elderly—New Units
  8. Housing for Persons with Disabilities—New Units
  9. Housing Trust Fund
  10. Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes Grants

Native American Programs:

  1. Competitive Set Aside for Construction and Rehabilitation
  2. Indian Community Development Block Grants
  3. Native American Housing Block Grants
  4. Title VI Loan Guarantee Program
  5. Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grants
  6. Public Housing Health Hazards
  7. Rental Assistance Demonstration
  8. Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)
  9. Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (Housing Choice Vouchers)
  10. Project-Based Rental Assistance
  11. Public Housing Fund
  12. Housing for the Elderly – Contract Renewals
  13. Housing for Persons with Disabilities – Contract Renewals
  14. Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

  1. Project-Based Rental Assistance †
  2. Public Housing Fund †
  3. Housing for the Elderly – Contract Renewals †
  4. Housing for Persons with Disabilities – Contract Renewals †
  5. Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS †

More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov

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Are We Doomed to Repeat the 2000s Housing Crisis?

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 02:04

The early 2000s housing crisis left many Americans financially devastated after losing their real estate investments and homes. It’s no surprise that people are still wary of this crisis repeating itself whenever there’s an extreme flux in the housing market—like our current market, almost two decades later.

However volatile our current market may be, it’s important to note that we are not doomed to repeat the 2000s housing crisis. Let’s explore where these two instances differ and why current homeowners should rest assured that history will not repeat itself.

What happened during the 2000s housing crisis?

There were a few key factors that contributed to the housing crisis in the early 2000s, beginning with skyrocketing rates of mortgage fraud, which caused an earlier recession and led to the Federal Reserve lowering its interest rates from 6.25% to 1% in an attempt to put off inflation. This caused the cost of lending to increase, with many borrowers seeing a 60% increase in repayment.

It didn’t help that the Federal Reserve was not strictly regulating the loan screening and approval process, allowing banks to approve risky mortgages. Inevitably, when people could not make their mortgage payments, the housing bubble burst, and thousands of homes were foreclosed upon.

Why is this current housing crisis different?

It’s understandable why people are worried that the 2000s housing crisis will repeat itself due to the increase in foreclosures following the pandemic. In the first quarter of 2022, the moratoriums that allowed homeowners to pause their mortgage payments for 18 months if they suffered from pandemic-related hardship expired, leading to an increase in foreclosures. However, the situation is not nearly as bad as before. Here’s why.

First, real estate foreclosures are approximately 57% of what they were in 2020. So, even though foreclosures increased when the moratoriums expired, the number of people who could not afford their mortgage payments was still lower than the number who could not afford them before the pandemic.

Secondly, buyer demand is still high, which means that those who cannot afford to pay their mortgage can opt to sell their house instead. This prevents further foreclosures and helps to maintain some stability. Additionally, most people facing foreclosure have positive equity in the house.

Finally, banks are stricter when it comes to the loan screening process and approvals, limiting the amount of “risky mortgages” that could lead to foreclosures if the market suddenly inflated again.

While there are still people facing foreclosure, the process has extended to a couple of years, and there are more options for homeowners to bounce back.

As the local real estate expert, knowing how to answer questions about issues such as the housing crisis can help you build your reputation.

As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning helps hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals each year achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their career via continuing education and professional development courses.

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Mortgage Credit Availability Decreased in June

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 02:04

Mortgage credit availability decreased in June according to the latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that analyzes data from ICE Mortgage Technology, released last week.

The MCAI fell by 0.3% to 119.6 in June, MBA reported. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. The Conventional MCAI increased 1.2%, while the Government MCAI decreased by 1.7%. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 1.4%, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 0.6%, MBA said.

“Mortgage credit availability decreased slightly in June, as significantly higher mortgage rates compared to a year ago slowed refinance and purchase activity and impacted the overall mortgage credit landscape. Credit availability was mixed by loan type, with the conventional index up 1.2% and the government index down 1.7%,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Although there was reduced supply of lower credit score, high LTV rate-term refinance programs, the decline was offset by increased offerings for conventional ARM and high balance loans. With higher rates and elevated home prices, more prospective buyers are applying for ARMs, but activity remains below historical averages.”

Added Kan, “The decline in the government index was driven by the reduction in offerings for streamline refinance products from FHA and VA, which is the continuation of an ongoing trend reported in prior months.”

To learn more about the ICE Mortgage Technology platform click here.

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6 Highly-Motivating TED Talks You Can Apply to Your Real Estate Business

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 02:03

Being a real estate agent can be tough. It consists of long days, fickle clients, failed closings, and so much more. But it’s also highly rewarding. Finding a client the perfect home or selling a property for a family desperate to move—not to mention the financial rewards that come with being a great agent—all feel wonderful. Still, when times are tough, it helps to have a source of motivation, inspiration, and insight. For that, turn to these six highly motivating TED Talks.

10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

In real estate, how well you communicate with people is absolutely critical to your success. Some days, it can feel like you are talking to a brick wall, completely incapable of getting through to your clients, coworkers, and others. In this TED Talk, Celeste Headlee, an experienced radio host, tells you how to conduct great conversations with just about anyone.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

In this brief video, Angela Lee Duckworth tells the story of leaving a high-profile job in management consulting to teach 7th-grade math in a New York public school and what she learned as a result. She talks about how grit and passion are often much more predictive of success than factors like I.Q., talent, and looks.

How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

You can’t leave it up to your company to create a work-life balance for you. In this honest presentation, Nigel Marsh cuts through the rubbish and offers an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time, and productivity, along with plenty of encouragement on how you can make it happen.

Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen!

As a real estate agent, you are in the service industry. Your job is to help people, to guide them to make wise decisions, and to help them fulfill their dreams. If that feels like an overwhelming responsibility, it is. It’s definitely one you shouldn’t take lightly. In this impassioned speech, Ernesto Sirolli talks about how the first step in helping anyone is to listen to them—before you act. While his examples focus on aid workers and helping communities, the advice applies to anyone in a position to share knowledge.

How to Make Stress Your Friend

As a busy agent, stress is inevitable. You will work for people who stress you out and deal with situations that seem impossible to overcome. However, stress doesn’t have to be all bad. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal confesses to perpetuating the belief that stress is all bad, and shares how one study radically changed her opinion of stress. Now she wants to show you how to make stress your friend.

Why the Buildings of the Future Will Be Shaped by You

In real estate, it is critical to keep an eye on the trends that will change the industry. In this talk, Marc Kushner shares a history of architecture along with insight on how the public will become an essential part of designing buildings. The result, he says, is architecture that will do more for us than ever before.

McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at mckissock.com/real-estate.

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Delivering Long-Term Value in a Post-Pandemic Market

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 02:01

The past two years have seen an incredible amount of change in the real estate industry. With most people working from home during the pandemic, we saw a mass exodus from urban areas, only to see consumers flock back to big cities this year. U.S. home sales hit a 15-year high of 6.1 million homes in 2021, with home values increasing at the fastest rate since 1975, according to Fannie Mae.

With more than 70% of today’s buyers searching for homes online, real estate agents have had to rapidly transform their business and rethink their approach to client engagement, embracing new technology and strategies. Examples include hosting virtual open houses via Zoom or Facebook Live, offering 3D virtual tours and virtual staging of houses, among other CRM or proptech innovations.

But for all the incredible changes we’ve seen over the past two years, perhaps the biggest or most impactful is the shift that real estate companies have made to deliver value to clients beyond the initial purchase or sale of their home.

For the first time ever, real estate companies are able to deliver a truly omni-channel experience throughout their homeownership journey. This means not only meeting clients where they are across digital, social, mobile and other channels, but also applying better data and contextual insights to deliver unique value to clients beyond their initial move.

As we all know, there is a long list of updates homeowners need to manage over the years, from figuring out the best home insurance to selecting the right service providers or contractors. With the rise of home management and concierge platforms like MoveEasy, agents can deliver value to clients across their entire journey as homeowners. For example, based on the unique context of a home improvement project, such as a roof replacement, the platform will automatically surface related savings for the clients on home insurance, warranties or new solar options.

According to a recent Bankrate survey, 64% of millennials have at least one regret after purchasing a new home, with maintenance costs and updates being the most common. In short, clients are not only looking for trusted guidance from their real estate partner, but also consistent value and opportunities to save money. Delivering exclusive savings and discounts to homeowners can make a huge difference for agents when it comes to driving client loyalty and referrals.

In fact, according to a study published in Harvard Business Review, customer loyalty directly correlates to the number of channels a customer uses to interact with a brand. To stand out, real estate agents need to stay top of mind across channels while also delivering consistent value to deepen the connection with clients year after year.

Venkatesh Ganapathy is CEO and co-founder of MoveEasy, a national, full-service homeowner concierge platform designed to help the 130 million homeowners in the U.S. with all of their moving and home management needs. For more information, visit www.moveeasy.com/real-estate.

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Peak Season Is Here—Use Your Member Perks to Make the Most of It

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 02:00

The summer selling season is in full swing. As a busy real estate agent, you need products that save you time, money and stress.

Because we understand you and your business, NAR REALTOR Benefits® knows what deals and discounts will bring you the most benefit. That’s why we partner with select companies to create exclusive, customized offers that specifically help you save on solutions that boost your business and best serve your clients. Whether for professional or personal needs, make nar.realtor/RealtorBenefits the first place you stop when you shop.

Top tech tools to save you time

You can shorten your to-do list and take tasks off your plate by letting technology do them for you. From speeding up transactions with faster computers to using cutting-edge lockbox technology, NAR REALTOR Benefits® has solutions in place that can help.

  • Lenovo lets you take advantage of exceptional everyday deals, up to 45% off select computing technologies, including award-winning ThinkPad® notebooks, highly acclaimed Yoga convertible laptops, Smart Displays, accessories and more. For more information, visit nar.realtor/lenovo.
  • SentriLock provides REALTORS® with an innovative and reliable lockbox solution designed specifically for the real estate industry. As the leading electronic lockbox provider and manufacturer, SentriLock operates in support of REALTORS®, offering a secure, easy-to-use system. Start providing the best-in-service technology and experience at nar.realtor/sentrilock.
  • Dell meets all your personal and professional computing needs as one of the largest technological corporations in the world. Get ready to receive exclusive membership discounts on best-in-class products, services and technology. Start receiving your membership benefits and discounts to transform your business at nar.realtor/dell.

Explore the ever-expanding rental market

Renters are tomorrow’s buyer, so why not get to them first? With more and more people deciding to rent, now is the time to explore rental listing opportunities. Nearly 40% of the U.S. population is currently renting, and the number is even higher in primary markets.

  • Rental Beast, a rental listing platform, gives NAR members access to rental training and coaching resources at Rental Beast University. That’s your first stop to better understand every aspect of the rental process, to expand your book of business and to build a pipeline of qualified future buyers. NAR members can also utilize Rental Beast’s online tool, Apply Now, to speed up applicant screenings as well as the tenant application process. Learn more at nar.realtor/rental-beast.

NAR REALTOR Benefits® is the exclusive member benefits program of the National Association of REALTORS®, bringing savings and special offers just for NAR members. In one year, over 800,000 REALTORS® gained an edge by leveraging at least one NAR REALTOR Benefits® offering, saving $74 million on member benefits from industry-leading companies. Program partners are carefully selected and understand the unique needs of real estate professionals. Learn more and save by visiting NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits.

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4 Big-Picture Principles for Door-Knocking and Cold-Calling

Sun, 07/17/2022 - 02:00

Door-knocking and cold-calling are practices that can make a difference, especially for newer agents or in competitive markets. For some, it’s frightening. For others, it’s exciting. But for most, it’s going to be a part of their real estate business—at least to some degree. While every agent needs to develop their own technique and every market offers its own nuances, there are some broad principles that absolutely can maximize the value you get from pounding the pavement.

Here are four fundamentals to keep in mind before you pick up the phone or start hitting doorbells:

Start straightforward

There is no need to beat around the bush regarding who you are or why you’re there. While there are many ways to get to the point (that is, that you are a real estate agent hoping to get their business) make sure you get to it quickly without too much razzle-dazzle. No one wants to try to figure out what a stranger on their porch or on the phone wants from them, and being up-front is the best way to earn some trust right off the bat.

Be topical and relevant

Even if you do a lot of research, probably most people know plenty about the broad, factual developments in their community. But if you can bring up recent news, even if it isn’t directly related to housing or real estate, you will gain a lot of quick credibility. Besides talking about homes you might have sold nearby (when applicable), see if you can mention a new local business that opened, recent concerts and festivals or hot local news. You will come off more like an active member of the community rather than an outsider.

Let them speak

Striking a balance here is hard. You want to make sure the focus stays on you and your services, but you also do not want to simply rattle off a script and hope it sticks. Don’t be afraid to let someone talk about what is important to them, and allow them to steer the conversation when appropriate. While some people might make you reel them back into real estate-relevant topics, others will help you see new angles through which you can appeal to them and their specific situation—if they have the chance.

Differentiate your declinations 

A quick “no” and a closed door or dial tone is probably best left alone, but if someone lets you get even halfway through your pitch, don’t forget them. Respect when people tell you they aren’t interested, but make sure they know you will still be around when or if anything changes. If you have time, note what your conversation was about in your database along with any details you were able to glean about them. These people could very well come back to you in the future, or you might later want to target them for a specific marketing or mailer campaign.

How to best cold-call or door-knock is almost always something you will learn specifically by doing it, discovering your own strengths and taking measure of your market. But these broad principles, when applied to you specifically, can go a long way toward turning an often arduous practice into something that is very worthwhile.

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A Broker’s Guide to Creating the Ultimate Lead-Generating Machine for Agents

Sat, 07/16/2022 - 02:00

WHAT: Today’s challenging real estate landscape is a battle of the future for brokerages and their ability to control the agent-to-consumer relationships, which will have a dramatic effect on future brokerage profitability and ability to retain customers for life. In this webinar, hear about the latest technology empowering brokerages and agents to beat portals to the consumer and create the coveted lifetime customer relationship—the key to repeat and referral business.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 2:00 P.M. ET

Register Now!

Sponsored by

 

 

Speakers

Moderator: Creig Northrop, founder and CEO of Northrop Realty, a Long & Foster Company, is one of the nation’s most successful residential real estate brokers. Leading The Creig Northrop Team with his wife Carla Northrop for 18 years, they have been named the No. 1 team in the nation for an unprecedented three times. Since partnering with Long & Foster in 2018, Northrop has expanded to 13 regional offices, including three new offices in Delaware and 300+ agents resulting in over $3 billion in sales.

Shannon McGee is the sales director for IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading real estate CRM and marketing automation solution. McGee is responsible for customer onboarding, retention and support. She possesses years of experience and knowledge of CRM systems and holds a lot of enthusiasm for business automation.

 

Amy Snook, assistant manager at Lang Realty, has spent the past 19 years in the real estate and title insurance field and had the honor of holding the position of 2021State President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Florida, as well as the title of Director of Florida REALTORS®. Currently she and her business partner, Noreen Payne, lead a successful real estate team serving the Palm Beach County market.

Joe Gazzo, vice president and principal broker of the Ohio Region for Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realty, is celebrating his 40th year in the real estate industry. Gazzo holds decades of renovation and building experience, which has won him a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the National Association of Home Builders for sales volume, while being a custom builder himself.

Each month, RISMedia’s webinars draw more than 1,000 agents and brokers from across the country, eager for exclusive insight from the industry’s most profitable professionals. For a recap of our recent webinar, Leading Brokers Examine Today’s State of the Valuation and the M&A Landscape.” please visit RISMedia’s Housecall. To access all RISMedia webinars, subscribe on YouTube.

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Inventory Improvements Continue, Even as New Listings Dip Due to Holiday

Fri, 07/15/2022 - 12:03

When will things go back to “normal?” That was a burning question on practically every real estate agent and pundit’s minds throughout the pandemic. After all, the past year and a half of feverish market activity, razor-thin supply and record-low mortgage rates weren’t going to last forever.

Fast forward to the 2022 summer market, and experts at realtor.com® are expecting a significant rebalancing as the housing market develops what’s being called a “new normal” in their latest Housing Trend analysis.

As of June 9, the report shows that the median listing price increased by nearly 16%. While the double-digit gain maintains the general upward trend of price tags, experts note that they’ve started seeing signs of decelerating gains in recent months amid rising inventory and softening demand.

The latter has largely been the result of a trio of factors—prices, mortgage rates and inflation—that have exacerbated the housing affordability gap that has been brewing in the housing market for the past couple of years.

The report indicates that the slowdown in price growth is likely to continue for the rest of the year.

New listings also dipped by 6% during the week ending July 9 compared to the same period last year. While that breaks from several weeks that saw an uptick in listings hitting the market—8% and 5% jumps in the prior two weeks, respectively—experts attributed the lull to the holiday weekend, and expect it to normalize in the coming weeks.

The uptick in new listings has been a boon for housing supply levels lately as active inventory climbed by 28% that week, according to the report, which also showed that the number of days a listing spent on the market dropped by a day.

Highlights

  • The median listing price advanced by 15.9% over last year.
  • New listings—a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale—declined 6% from one year ago.
  • Active inventory continued to grow, rising 28% above one year ago.
  • Homes spent one day less on the market than this time last year.

The takeaway

“This year’s summer housing markets are feeling the heat of record-high home prices on top of scorching inflation at a 40-year high,” said George Ratiu, senior economist & manager of economic research for realtor.com®. “As households pay much more for cars, clothing, food, gasoline and services, there are fewer dollars left over from each paycheck at a time when housing affordability is a growing challenge.

“For a household with a $75,000 income, only 23% of homes on the market are affordable, down from 50% of inventory in 2018. While these trends are resulting in a cooler summer home-buying season than usual, the road ahead points toward a promising shift, away from 2021’s severe undersupply and win-at-all-costs competition. As the Fed continues to fight inflation, borrowing costs will keep rising, cooling demand at a time when we’re seeing more homes for sale. In turn, prices will continue to adjust to a new equilibrium.”

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Mortgage Rates Shift Upward

Fri, 07/15/2022 - 12:02

After a precipitous drop a week ago, mortgage rates shifted upward this week moving from 5.30% to 5.51%, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), from Freddie Mac released Thursday.

Key findings:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.51% with an average 0.8 point as of July 14, 2022, up from last week when it averaged 5.30%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.88%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.67% with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.45%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.22%.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.35% with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.19%. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.47%.

What the experts are saying:

“Mortgage rates are volatile as economic growth slows due to fiscal and monetary drags,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “With rates the highest in over a decade, home prices at escalated levels, and inflation continuing to impact consumers, affordability remains the main obstacle to homeownership for many Americans.”

Nadia Evangelou, NAR senior economist and director of forecasting, commented, “Mortgage rates resumed their upward trek as inflation continues to run at 40-year highs. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 5.51% from 5.30% the previous week. With the potential of a more aggressive rate hike from the Federal Reserve at the end of the month, mortgage rates will likely rise even further. However, even with this increase mortgage rates will continue to be historically low – below 8% – in 2022. Meanwhile, data shows that the typical family can barely afford to buy the median-priced home. In the previous year, families were earning about 50% more than the qualifying income. In contrast, families currently earn about 3% above the qualifying income. This translates to about $2,200 more than the qualifying income. Nevertheless, if buyers decide to use a down payment lower than 20%, then they cannot afford to buy the typical home. Their income is about 9% lower than the qualifying income,” Evangelou concluded.

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John L. Scott Real Estate Announces Fresh Look Real Estate Acquisition

Fri, 07/15/2022 - 12:01

John L. Scott Real Estate has announced that it has acquired Fresh Look Real Estate, a Bellevue, Washington-based brokerage with brokers serving clients in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, Washington. All 28 of Fresh Look’s current broker associates, plus five brokers in training will join the John L. Scott Kent North office, the company noted.

Established in 2016, Fresh Look Real Estate is headed up by Founder and Designated Broker Antonio (Tony) Lopez. Lopez will now serve as the sales manager for John L. Scott Kent North, joining the office’s leadership team alongside Jim Willner and Eric Shull, a release stated.

John L. Scott said Fresh Look has a reputation for providing high-quality service and support to clients in Puget Sound and the surrounding areas. As Lopez began interviewing companies to merge with, he discovered a shared passion for client service and broker associate success with John L. Scott, he said.

“John L. Scott’s commitment to DEI and promotion of ongoing growth and development were key reasons behind the decision to combine forces,” said Lopez. “I am looking forward to supporting the growth of John L. Scott Kent North through developing existing brokers and bringing on new broker associates who fit the company’s forward-thinking culture.”

In addition to his involvement in the local real estate industry, Lopez is president and board member of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), Seattle chapter. Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion was a critical component of Fresh Look, and Lopez said John L. Scott’s work in the DEI space was a big draw.

John L. Scott Kent North Office Leader Eric Shull said he is looking forward to working with Lopez and getting to know the Fresh Look team.

“Tony’s commitment to excellence and supporting broker growth is right in line with the culture we live out every day at John L. Scott Kent North,” said Shull. “I am confident we will do great things in the years to come with the support of Tony and his stellar team.”

The change will bring the broker count of John L. Scott Kent North to 178, the company noted. The John L. Scott-KMS Renton and Kent North offices began in 1977 as Kamas Realty. Both offices became John L. Scott franchises in 1992 and transitioned to company-owned offices in 2019.

For more information, visit John L. Scott Real Estate.

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