A lingering pet smell can really put a damper on an otherwise appealing home. But there are proven ways to get animal odors out of houses. They’re worth learning since they are bound to come of use in a long career in real estate. Start with the vacuum Before we get into specialized techniques, you have to have the basics covered. That means a thorough vacuuming to pick up every remaining pet hair in the house. Pay particular attention to carpeted areas, since they have likely accumulated thousands of hairs …

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 …

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 …

First, this may make you feel a little better: audits by the IRS are actually rare. However, in the event that you are audited, there is virtually nothing you can do to stop it. With that in mind, though, CBS News reports that only three percent of Americans who earned at least $1 million last year were audited by the IRS. The main reason for fewer audits: funding cuts. CBS News reports that the agency has reduced its staffing from 100,000 employees in 2010 to just over 79,000. As of …

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 …

The economy may be adding jobs, but most new jobs are at the low end of the pay scale, according to Forbes; inflation-adjusted earnings for the average worker actually has not increased in the last ten years. As a result, demand for rentals — both single-family and apartments — will continue to remain high. Real estate investors should concentrate on properties where asking rent does not rise above 25 percent of the average rent, according to Ingo Winzer of Local Market Monitor. That’s where you’ll find the largest concentration of …

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. …

Representing investor clients is a very different ballgame than dealing with conventional buyers and sellers. But while seasoned investors generally don’t need much guidance when it comes to the basics of turning a home into a rental property, homeowners who are looking to convert their house into a business often need a lot of help. Here are some things they need to know. Is it legal? Depending on where you’re located, turning an owner-occupied home into a rental property may not be legal. Restrictions are even more likely if they …

The number of store closings is expected to grow year-over-year, according to a new report from Coresight. However, the report states that the competition of digital sales is not entirely to blame — part of the problem could be poorly run brick-and-mortar locations. According to Coresight, store closures (5,524) actually declined in 2018. In 2017, the store closure total was 8,139. In 2019 so far, 2,187 have already closed. That’s an increase of 23 percent compared to 2018. After this report was published, Payless ShoeSource reported a plan to close …