Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fading Distinction Between City and Suburb

Source: The Atlantic

Are American communities experiencing “the Great Inversion," i.e. a reversal of fortunes in which cities grow as suburbs decline?  While the traditional suburban lifestyle continues to be widespread, new research shows that key features of suburban life not only remain commonplace in the suburbs but are often continued by high-income people even after they move to cities.
Making sense of the story
  • Using data from Canada's 2006 census on before-tax average income, the researchers grouped the census metropolitan areas into eight "neighborhood types" based on three key variables: homeownership rate, share of population living in a detached single-family house, and share of people who commute by car.
  • The most interesting finding concerns the "consistently positive relationship between suburban ways of living and higher incomes." Richer people, the researchers found, tend to own single-family homes and drive cars even when they live in highly urbanized neighborhoods.
  • The study shows that even though there is a diverse range of suburban and urban neighborhoods, the affluent people who live in them lead relatively similar lifestyles.
  • Consequently, when the rich move back to cities, they take their preferences for and abilities to purchase larger homes or condos and private cars.
  • The rich are more suburbanized regardless of where these suburban ways of living occur—a downtown condo or a suburban detached home.
  • Households making $100,000 per year are more than three times as likely to live in suburban rather than urban neighborhoods, whereas households making $0 to $19,900 per year are almost five times less likely to live in suburban as opposed to urban neighborhoods.
  • As housing costs rise and commuting becomes more arduous, higher income people live closer to the urban core in condos and rentals.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Home Buyers DOs and DON'Ts

Doing your homework before you buy can make all the difference and avoid mistakes when buying a home:

  •  Identifying all available financing options based on your monetary situation
  •  Understanding the local real estate market to determine pricing and location options
  •  Narrowing your search to what is available in your price range
  •  Familiarizing yourself with local schools, shops and other neighborhood amenities
  •  Obtaining a proper home inspection to identify problem areas that could prove expensive
  •  Don't make any other major purchase (such as, Car, Appliances, Furniture) or otherwise moving  money around that could affect your credit rating
  •  In some financing situation, buying before you sell can affect the down payment and could necessitate  interim purchase financing
  •  Not buying with resale in mind
  •  Don't looking for the "perfect" home rather than the best home for your family's needs
Purchasing a home is one of the single largest and most complex investment you’ll ever make, it’s wise to utilize the help of a Realtor who can guide you through this monumental step in your life.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Is Property Value Continuing to Rise?

Source: California Association of Realtor
July 2014

Talking Points …
  • REALTORS® generally expect home prices to increase in all states over the next 12 months, with most of the heavy growth in Florida, Texas, and California, according to the REALTORS® Confidence Index from the National Association of REALTORS®.
  • The median expected price increase is 4 percent. Approximately 41 percent of respondents reported that properties were on the market for less than a month when sold, and about 5 percent were on the market for more than six months.
  • REALTORS® reported continued weakness in seller traffic and a decline in buyer traffic. Low supply relative to demand, tougher lending standards, and the lackluster growth in income and savings were reported to be constraining sales.