As baby boomers continue to retire, you can see an increase in the number of northerners looking for a warm weather spot to spend the winter months. Although Florida and Arizona are the best-known snowbird destinations, there are plenty of other places throughout the South and West that would make attractive winter homes. People just need to learn about them. Here’s how you can help them do that. Golf courses There are very likely millions of people who could be tempted to buy a home that would provide them a …

Real estate offers a wide world of opportunity, but you will be most successful when you narrow down your skills and focus on a specialty. Set a goal to become the go-to agent for a specific area or type of property or client. However, finding what type of real estate excites you — or choosing among many — can be challenging. Ask yourself the following questions when drilling down to your specialty niche: What do I know most about my community? Research what type of people live there (for instance, …

You could be the best real estate agent in the world, but if your sellers are not doing what they can to bring quality to the home showing, all may be lost. REALTOR® magazine polled 50 buyer agents, revealing the biggest deal breakers when it comes to home showings. After 20 years of showings, Elke W. McMenemy, ABR, CIPS, broker-owner at St. Augustine Real Estate Inc. in St. Augustine, Fla., told the magazine that she has  practically seen it all, from the “fully loaded litter boxes” to the “roach-infested ovens.” …

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) now represent 6.4 percent of the dollar volume on mortgage applications as of August 2019, according to cnbc.com. For reference, it was at its highest point, in 2005 (pre-recession), ARMs consisted of 49.7 percent of the market. The reason: The decrease in mortgage rates have occurred due to the continuing increase in home prices. Usually ARMs have always been popular with buyers who don’t expect to stay long in their purchased property, especially if they are first-time homebuyers. Their strategy is to move before the adjustable rate …

Find an undervalued property, fix it up and sell it. This house-flipping game is popular among many investors, but of course, like almost anything in business, it’s never as easy as it sounds. However, if you take the real estate maximum of “location, location, location,” you can possibly zero in on where house flipping is most lucrative, and why. Clues to look for, according to auction.com: Property values are trending up for the foreseeable future. Shorter turnaround times from purchase to sale. Labor and construction materials are readily available, at …

Residential properties that include guest houses are generally uncommon, but can offer a variety of benefits when it comes to selling the property. The major advantage of a guest house is that it may increase property value. It’s an added bonus that could be well appreciated by enterprising potential buyers who may see the property as a way to make money. This could be realized as an Airbnb plan or long-term rental. In particular, if the property is located near a vacation spot such as a beach, mountains or tourist …

One of the most challenging sectors in real estate is also one of the toughest businesses there is: restaurants. Since the end of the Great Recession, the U.S. restaurant real estate market has experienced great activity. However, according to QSR, the transactions are starting to taper off. One of the key indicators: vacancy rates. Although the current national vacancy rate is low, they’re expected to rise a bit, to 12.1 percent as of the beginning of 2019, according to Statista data. Locations that were hit hard when it comes to …

A short sale happens when a homeowner agrees to sell their property for less than the amount owed on a mortgage loan. This sale cannot happen without the lender’s approval. The usual result is that the seller will continue to owe money to the lender after the sale. However, it’s also considered a viable alternative to foreclosure, with the seller’s credit remaining intact. Usually, a short sale comes into consideration when the seller falls behind in their mortgage payments, often by several months. Rather than let the situation continue to …

As of April 2019, mortgage rates seem to have stabilized, just in time for the spring homebuying season. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased (slightly) to 4.28 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. That’s down from 4.29 percent. Let your homebuyers and refinancers know that these rates are arriving at a 15-month low.  A year ago at the same time, the mortgage rate was 4.49 percent. Most prevalent: zero-down loans and new underwater refinance options that have been unveiled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to …

Existing (as opposed to new) home sales fell 1.2 percent as of January 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That works out to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.94 million units. Specifically, existing homes sales are a monthly measure of sales volume and prices of homes considered single-family, condos, and co-ops nationwide. Unlike new homes, existing homes are owned and occupied before being listed on the market. These type of homes make up more than 90 percent of total home sales. The data reported represents completed transactions. …