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Real Trends 500 ranked NRT LLC #1 Residential Real Estate Company in the U.S. for 15 consecutive years – ranked by Closed Sales Volume for 2011. NRT and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is #1 real estate company with the Highest $$$ volume of sales and #1 real estate company with the lowest average days on the market.

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Contact Vivianne Rutkowski for a professional real estate representation:

Vivianne.Rutkowski@cbmove.com; VivianneRutkowski@gmail.com;

540-229-5429

http://www.cbmove.com/Vivianne.Rutkowski

http://www.RealtorVivianneRutkowski.com

Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ihWmTChfPa4

Real Trends 500 ranks NRT LLC #1 Residential Real Estate Company in the U.S. for 15 consecutive years.

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Worldwide, real estate prices have made large gains over the last five years, which has raised fears in many countries about brewing housing bubbles. (more…)

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More Americans are showing a preference for living closer into the city than the outer suburbs, according to newly released U.S. Census data. The annual rate of growth in American cities and surrounding urban areas recently surpassed exurbs for the first time in two decades. (more…)

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Northern Virginia Public Schools: https://viviannerutkowski.wordpress.com/category/2-re-buyer-resources/nova-schools/

Directs links to Public Schools in  Fairfax County VA, Loudoun County VA, Prince William County VA, Arlington County VA, Fauquier County VA: http://www.realtorviviannerutkowski.com/schoolinfo.shtml

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Living in a high-scoring public school district can raise home values up to $205,000 higher compared to homes located in neighborhoods with low-scoring school districts, according to a new study by Brookings Institute. Brookings analyzed the nation’s 100 largest metro areas to find the differences between living near a high-scoring public school and a low-performing school.

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“We think of public education as being free, and we think of the main divide in education between public and private schools,” Jonathan Rothwell, a senior research analyst at Brookings, told The New York Times. “But it turns out that it’s actually very expensive to enroll your children in a high-scoring public school.” The cost of living in a high-scoring public neighborhood can be higher than paying a private tuition at a school, researchers noted.

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Housing costs near high-scoring schools — those in the top one-fifth of schools in the area — were 2.4 times higher on average, or $11,000 more per year, than homes located in school districts in the bottom fifth, the study found.

Some of the areas with the largest differences in housing costs also have the widest gaps in school test scores,” reports CNNMoney about the study’s findings.

Students from low-income families — classified as those who are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches — were found to be more likely to attend schools that score in the 42nd percentile on state tests, according to Brookings Institute. On the other hand, students from middle- to high-income households, on average, tend to attend schools that score in the 61st percentile.

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SOURCE: Brookings Institute; “Test Scores and Housing Costs” The New York Times;  “Living Near Good Schools will Cost an Extra $200k” CNNMoney; REALTOR Magazine; Vivianne Rutkowski

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Most of us know the housing bubble of 2002-2006 and the subsequent housing crash that followed in 2007 was caused by the deregulation of the lending industry by the government, which brought into the market many sub-prime lenders offering no-downpayment-interest-only-loans,  ARM loans and option ARM loans, and other “exotic” loans.

This easy credit and availability of money artificially increased demand for homes, which in turn artificially increased home prices until they became unsustainable, which led to the housing crash – all in a span of a few short years. (more…)

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Five mortgage insurers have granted Fannie Mae mortgage servicers the authority to complete a short sale or deeds in lieu of foreclosure without getting their separate approval, HousingWire reported.

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Traditionally, mortgage insurance groups have had to give the OK before a short sale could be processed on a property with a guaranteed loan.

Now, without that extra step of mortgage insurers’ approval, Fannie mortgage servicers may be able to speed up short sale approvals on Fannie-backed loans.

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The PMI Group, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, is the latest mortgage insurer to grant Fannie Mae the authority to no longer wait for its approval on short sales starting with February 2012.

The other four mortgage insurers that also gave Fannie Mae the authority are:

  • Genworth,
  • MGIC,
  • Republic Mortgage Insurance Co.,
  • Radian Guaranty.

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Regardless, Fannie Mae has instructed its mortgage servicers to make sure a short sale does not conflict with any existing mortgage insurance coverage before approving it.

More here: PMI Group Latest Mortgage Insurer to Give Fannie Mae Short-Sale Authority

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SOURCE: HousingWire 

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Foreclosures can offer big bargains, but buyers need to be careful that they don’t get over their heads in purchasing a home that may need more repairs than they bargained for.

Foreclosures are usually sold as-is, and homes that are left vacant standing too long can have a lot of maintenance problems.

Real estate experts suggest buyers consider the following questions:

1. How long has the home been vacant? Be cautious of a foreclosed home that has stood vacant for more than a few weeks or had its utilities shut off a long time. A home can deteriorate quickly when heating, cooling, electricity, and running water have been turned off for awhile.

2. How old is the home? Homes that are more than 50 years old may have a failing plumbing system or inadequate electrical wiring.

3. How does the home look? Are there broken windows, gutters hanging down, or damaged siding?  Buyers need to trust their instincts. If the house looks bad from the outside, it’s probably equally bad or worse inside.

4. Is there anything missing? Sometimes former owners remove anything of value from the home, such as built-in light fixtures, bathroom tile, water heaters, air-conditioning units, and hardwoods, says Bill Jacques, president-elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

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Housing experts encourage buyers to get a home inspector to look at the property, even if it is sold as-is, so that home buyers know any repairs needed and cost estimates before they purchase the home.

“Buying a bank-owned home gives you the opportunity to enter the market at a very low price level,” says Dorcas Helfant, a past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. “You can find terrific values among foreclosures, especially if they’re not in too bad shape. But, remember, these houses are discounted for a reason.”

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SOURCE: “Foreclosed Homes May Need Extensive Repairs,” The Oklahoman

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