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Fournier Law Blog

Intelligent legal insight from our team of experienced attorneys.

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Spring Brings Surge in Existing Home Sales

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springbringsThe spring homebuying season is off to a promising start with existing home sales reporting their highest annual rate in 18 months. According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops increased 6.1 percent from February to March for a total of 5.19 million homes sold. The housing market, which so far this year had been more stagnant than analysts projected, has not seen March’s volume of sales since September 2013. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, attributes the sales boost to “the combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market.”

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Six Persuasion Principles Every Real Estate Agent Should Practice

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sixpersuasionSuccessful real estate agents rarely get that way by accident. On the contrary, they conduct themselves in a specific way that makes people want to work with them and for them. Andrew Gale, founder of FlyerCo.com and a guest contributor for Inman News, pinpoints the six principles of persuasion that successful real estate
agents use to improve the quality of their influence with buyers, sellers, and other agents. Gale taps into popular wisdom espoused by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, best selling author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion in this insightful article tailor-made for real estate professionals.

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Rents Outpace Home Values in April

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If you are on the fence about whether it’s smart to stop renting and buy a home, the latest housing report from Zillow may give you a nudge toward homeownership. The report reveals that rents grew at their fastest rate in two years last month surpassing home value growth. Industry experts worry that the increasing cost of rent may actually make it more difficult for renters to afford a home when they are ready to buy. Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries said, “More income going to rent means less going to savings for a down payment and other costs, keeping renters renting longer and feeding into the high demand that is contributing to rising rents in the first place.”

To learn more, read the entire article.

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Real Estate Snags Its Own Spot in the S&P 500

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Real estate is moving out of the shadow of the financial sector to claim its
own category on the S&P 500 Index according to a recent article
in The Wall Street Journal.  The change, which will take
effect in 2016 to allow investors time to comment on the new
categorization, is in response to strong investor demand. From a
strategic standpoint, investors are seeing real estate as its own asset
class and want to be able to further segment the asset allocation for
their portfolios. The new category will be comprised of the top 22 real
estate companies.

Read the full article to learn more.

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Real Estate Outlook 2015: 5 Predictions From Freddie Mac

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For the majority of neighborhoods around the country, the housing market was slow in 2014. Is more of the same in store for 2015? That’s the question Freddie Mac seeks to answer with their new projections for next year’s housing market. This week, they released their Economic and Housing Market Outlook, which, according to an article in DS News, predicts that the real estate market will improve gradually in 2015 as the economy gets stronger. In particular, Freddie Mac expects new construction to see a positive bump with total housing starts growing 20 percent in the next 12 months.

Read the complete article to see all five Fannie Mae predictions.

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New Survey Reveals Mobile Apps and Websites are More Effective than Yard Signs and Open Houses

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If you’re looking to attract new buyers to your property, a
traditional yard sign and open house may not be the way to go according
to the latest annual survey released by the National Association of
Realtors. Eighty-eight percent of all home buyers surveyed said they
used an online website to search for a home versus 48 percent who said
they used yard signs and 44 percent who said they used open houses.
This shift toward looking for housing information online was not
exclusive to younger buyers. Seventy-three percent of homebuyers 65 or
older said they used the Internet to help them search for a new home.

Read the full story.

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More Couples Jump Into Homeownership Before Marriage

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Mortgage before marriage is an increasingly popular choice among couples. Is this a trend you’re finding in your real estate business? Let us know below.

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Major Savings for Homebuyers Effective January 26, 2015

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A drop in mortgage insurance premiums this week makes FHA loans even more attractive. Find out how much borrowers can save on mortgage payments here.

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Lending to Apartment Developers Is Up 18.5% While Banks Remain Cautious With Single-Family Builders

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Banks are giving the green light to large apartment development projects in record numbers according to a new report issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The overwhelming vote of confidence from lenders for the multi-family housing market has some speculating whether the market is getting overheated and may be headed for the same problems single-family home builders experienced in 2008. Others say high rent prices and low vacancies are indicators that multi-family housing is still an issue for millennials and other non-homeowners. Diana Olick, CNBC’s real estate correspondent, explores the concern in herl atest RealityCheck column.  Read the entire story.

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Latest Ellie Mae Report Debunks Myths About VA Loans

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Promising new data from Ellie Mae and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggests that real estate agents and their veteran clients should take a harder look at VA mortgage loans. Until recently, four widespread myths about the hard-earned loans have discouraged both realtors and veterans according to a recent article in Inman News. One of the biggest myths is that VA loans take longer to close than traditional mortgage loans. The Ellie Mae report released late last month proves that myth simply is not true. On average, VA and FHA loans close within 40 days making them comparable to the 39-day closing average for conventional mortgages.

Read the entire article to debunk more myths about VA loans.

 

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