How to Deal with a Pest Nightmare: Termite Infestation

REaltytimes.com, July 31st, 2014
The summertime sun is shining, birds are chirping and … the termites are chomping away at your house. Just as you begin your cleaning routine, you rub-a-dub your way to uncovering a termite infested home. Don’t beat yourself up, you’re not alone.
Full Story: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20140731-How-To-Deal-With-A-Pest-Nightmare-Termite-Infestation.htm

Follow Len and Leslie Marma of Success! Real Estate on their facebook business page, “Marshfield Matters” ….. click LIKE to receive real estate info and what’s happening in Marshfield.  

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The Growth of Latino-Owned Farms in the USA

Posted: 31 Jul 2014 KCM CrewThe growth of Latino-Owned Farms in U.S.A | Keeping Current Matters

Today we are pleased to have the VP of Spanish KCM, Jeymy Gonzalez, as our guest blogger. Jeymy has personal experience with the challenges Hispanics may face during the real estate process and works to assist this community with guidance and education. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew

A recent Fox News Latino article talks about the healthy growth of Latino-Owned farms. According with the Census of Agriculture “there has been a 21 percent increase in ownership in the last 5 years.” Most of those farms are small or mid-sized with greatest concentrations living in Texas, New Mexico and California.

“The Latino-owned farms have become key providers of certain produce.” The article mentioned for example; Latinos own two-thirds of the strawberry farms in California.

This increase is the result of the work of Organizations like Rural Coalition that represents small farmers and producers in the U.S. and Mexico, the recruitment efforts to bring inminority and women farmers by the USDA, and large economic forces, as NAFTA, who led new farm owners to work their way up from being laborers.

There is a great opportunity for real estate professionals who focus their business on farms and ranches. The USDA Census of agriculture published a table with the Farms with Hispanic/Latino Principal operator and The KCM Crew put it together on this map for you!

Latino Owned Farms in the USA | Keeping Current Matters

You can help these Latino operators become farm owners & fulfill the American Dream!

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Constructive Conflict in your Homeowners Association

REaltyTimes.com, July 30th, 2014 
While conflict is inevitable in a homeowner association, there are choices about how it’s dealt with. When handled constructively, conflict can create a healthier awareness and better relationships.
Full Story: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20140730-Constructive-Conflict-In-Your-Homeowners-Association.htm

Follow Len and Leslie Marma of Success! Real Estate on their facebook business page, “Marshfield Matters” …… click LIKE to receive real estate info and what’s happening in Marshfield.  

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Buying a Home? You Don’t Need to do it Alone

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 KCM Crew

Buying a Home? You Don’t Need to Do It Alone | Keeping Current Matters

Last week, Discover Home Loans released an interesting survey which revealed how prepared home buyers are for the actual mortgage process. The survey reported that 94 percent of prospective buyers believe they are making a good investment decision if they buy a home. The survey also explained that 66 percent of buyers reach out to real estate agents to help determine whether buying a certain home would be a good investment. However, there is less certainty regarding the mortgage process.

Most buyers overwhelmed

The majority of potential buyers are actually overwhelmed with the plethora of information available about the home financing process.  Here are some interesting highlights from the report:

  • Nearly 66% feel overwhelmed with the amount of information available
  • 76% of those under the age of 30 feel overwhelmed
  • 76% of first time buyers feel the same way
  • 54% of those buyers who have previously owned also were overwhelmed
  • 59% of buyers turn to mortgage bankers to help evaluate mortgage terms and comparing offers
  • 49% of buyers turn to real estate agents to help evaluate mortgage terms and comparing offers

There is help available…use it!

Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans, gives great advice:

“The industry is becoming more transparent in an effort to help homebuyers become informed about changes that may affect their process. The sheer amount of information can lead to confusion and stress. Those looking to purchase should work closely with their lender and realtor to make sure they are comfortable with mortgage terms and understand the impact a loan will have on their finances.”

Bottom Line

The purchasing of a home can put great pressure on a family. Reach out to the best mortgage and real estate professionals in your market for assistance throughout the process.

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Tax Returns are not Sacred

REaltyTimes.com, July 29th, 2014 
Today, lenders insist that borrowers sign IRS Form 4506, entitled ‘Request for Copy of Tax Return’. In my opinion, this is the most objectionable documents required at settlement. By signing this form, you are giving a blank check to the holder of the document to have complete access to your Federal Income tax return(s). It is a virtual invitation to pry into what you thought are your private tax returns.
Full Story: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20140729-Tax-Returns-Are-Not-Sacred.htm

Follow Len and Leslie Marma of Success! Real Estate on their facebook business page, “Marshfield Matters”   …… click LIKE to receive real estate info and what’s happening in Marshfield.  

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Buying a House? 4 Reasons to DO IT NOW

 

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 KCM Crew

Buying a House? 4 Reasons to DO IT NOW | Keeping Current Matters

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 30.8% (most optimistic) and 9.4% (most pessimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Although the Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage are currently around 4.2%, Freddie Mac is projecting that rates will increase to 5.2% by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

As a research paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard Universityexplains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

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Selling your House? 5 Reasons to Do It Now!

 

Posted: 21 Jul 2014 KCM Crew

Selling Your House? 5 Reasons to Do It Now! | Keeping Current Matters

Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? Can buyers qualify for a mortgage?  These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are five of those reasons.

1. Demand is Strong

There is currently a pent-up demand of purchasers as many home buyers pushed off their search this past winter & early spring because of extreme weather. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of buyers in the market, which feel off dramatically in December, January and February, has begun to increase again over the last few months. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as prices increased over the last eighteen months. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future. Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen.  Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by the end of next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market and pricing it so it sells. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

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