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Economic growth and relative affordability were top draws for the metros. Salt Lake City ranked first, followed by Miami and Orlando, Fla., as No. 2 and No. 3.
Sellers may overlook some steps that can ease their stress. Realtor.com suggests that sellers should remember to clean everything and to test the doorbell.
Commerce Dept.: New home sales rose 6.1% in Feb. to the fastest pace since July, up about 13% from a year ago. Builders also have ramped up new-home construction.
Freddie Mac: Long-term mortgage rates are down from their highest levels of 2017. Last week, the 30-year FRM was 4.30%; the 15-year FRM was 3.50% and now is 3.44%.
It just got cheaper to do listing presentations on an iPad as Apple drops the price. The cheapest version, however, also comes with a few less bells and whistles.
Some people go to the gym; other people value a gym that they swear they'll go to one day. In either case, gym access can boost buyer demand for a home listing.
A Residential Energy Services Network and Appraisal Institute collaboration is adding HERS scores (Home Energy Rating System) to appraisal forms in a few states.
In the current competitive market, 55% of homebuyers will consider going over budget, and they would spend, on average, an additional $37,809 to get into a home.
While higher rates make it more expensive for buyers, rising rates could also push fence-sitters into action and convince banks that they can approve more loans.
Tight supply still an issue: Single-family home median price up 12.5% year-to-year to $225,000 as sales stayed relatively flat. Condo median price up 11.7% to $167,500; sales up 4.1%. Total U.S. sales down 3.7% month-to-month, up 5.4% year-to-year.
Closing times dropped way down last month, falling from 51 days in Jan. to 46 days in Feb., according to the latest Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report.
Insurers buy reinsurance to reduce risk, but most reinsurance businesses exist outside the U.S. Fla. TaxWatch says a border tax proposal would increase the cost of reinsurance and homeowners would end up paying for it via higher property insurance rates.
Proposed $190M budget cuts for updating flood maps could lead to higher costs if insurers stop trusting older maps or homeowners must make up the difference.
With high buyer demand and fewer home listings, home shoppers are finding a lot more competition this spring, especially in hot markets Denver, Seattle and Boston.
A purchase is stressful in the best of times, but buyers who are prepared for some common problems find it easier to roll with the punches and stay focused.
May an association remove a tree outside a unit without permission? Can owners change a vote after it's submitted? Do nominating committees still pick candidates?
Survey: Most buyers and sellers said they jumped into the market too quickly, even though the sellers spent about five months doing pre-sale prep work.
Is "home sharing" OK? Miami-Dade is one of the first Fla. counties to threaten owners with higher property taxes if they rent out rooms via Airbnb-type services.
Congress passes budgets, but a president's budget can influence the process. Under Pres. Trump's proposals, HUD funding would be cut 13%, but some programs would be hurt more than others, says NAR. Top casualty: Community Development Block Grants.
Potential problem averted: If Fannie/Freddie-backed rating firm downgraded Fla. insurers, it could have halted closings and made current owners find new coverage.
As an independent contractor, what will Trump administration tax reform do for you? It's unclear but it will depend, in part, on your corporate tax structure.
NAR research: Most appraisers are satisfied with their work, according to a new Appraiser Trends Study, but they're worried about the rise of automated appraisals and unhappy with appraisal management companies.
Study authors say three non-Fla. cities worry them, but the overall the market status is "great news for homeownership and for financial returns to ownership."
In a new scam, an email from a contact has a file attached, but it can only be read after logging into Google – and that gives scammers access to the password.
In 2000, 13% of 65-plus Americans were still in the workforce, but experts predict it will rise to 32% in the next five years as "the context of aging" changes.
Ragan Communications announced that the state association's Form Simplicity animated video was a national winner in PR Daily's 2016 Video Awards. 
What do your clients know about their homeowners' insurance? Many don't understand what is – and isn't – included in their policy.
Single-family production increased 6.5%, "consistent with rising builder confidence in the housing market," says NAHB president. Multifamily dropped 3.7%.
Average rates hit their highest level for 2017 again. 90% of experts polled by Bankrate.com think they'll continue to go up over the short term, while only 10% foresee stability – none predict a decrease.
Legal QandA: Can condo management put up a sign that partially obscures a waterfront view? The answer: Probably yes but there are exceptions. Check assoc. docs.
The U.S. is in a "rising interest rate environment." That means there's a greater chance mortgage rates will go up rather than down – but it's never a sure thing.
Some sellers want extra time to move. Some buyers like the rent that helps defray maintenance costs before they move in. But the deal can be problematic.
Listings should hit the market soon, but buyers still outnumber sellers – and an expected mortgage rate increase means buyers should act sooner rather than later.
Millennials (66% of them) topped the list of groups trying to negotiate real estate agent commissions last year, according to a Redfin survey. But every group appears to be negotiating more: In June 2016, only 52% tried it.
The national flood insurance program ends Sept. 30, and Congress has just started to look for ways to rework and continue the program, which is deep in debt.
House size seems like a fact rather than an opinion, but appraisers, developers, builders, Realtors, tax assessors and architects all measure space differently.
Job gains and hope are "igniting consumer confidence across the country," per NAR's latest HOME survey, but fewer renters think it's a good time to buy.
From Amazon Echo to Google Home, voice control is hot in smart homes – but, by definition, it's noisy, and some experts think text commands will soon take over.
Investors buy homes that need repairs, fix them up and sell them for a profit. But buyers should make sure all those like-new home upgrades aren't just cosmetic.
In Ellie Mae's latest buyer survey, 57% went through the entire mortgage process working with a real person, and 28 percent used a hybrid online-in-person system.
CoreLogic: 1M U.S. borrowers regained equity in 2016, and 63% of all homeowners saw their equity increase – but 1 in 10 Fla. borrowers are still underwater.
A WalletHub study finds Fla. 10th best for total state and local taxes paid, 25th for real estate taxes, and eighth best for the cost of sales and excise taxes.
Starting July 1, the big three credit firms will stop including most tax liens and civil debts. The change will boost some borrower's scores, but a few experts say the move to keep info from banks will likely lead to an increase in foreclosures.
Even a part-time landlord has access to a lot of rental property tax deductions, providing the rent all or part of a home for at least 15 days per year.
Fla. property insurance companies have requested increases from 3% up to 14.5%, but the burden could be higher for S. Fla. owners than neighbors farther north.
"The evidence suggests ... that homeownership decisions by younger households have much more to do with affordability than location and lifestyle preferences," study authors said.
More non-bank lenders are now offering FHA loans, and the past-due payment rate rose slightly. Experts disagree on whether that's good or bad.
Many buyers seeking a "smart home" see it as an upgrade rather than something they already have since "connected homes" are still in the early-adopter phase.
Secretary Carson says it might not be that bad, but the more than $6B cuts to be considered would target community development block grants and public housing money.
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