Monthly Archives: May 2016

Increase real estate agent

In a move that shows how much better companies are getting at reaching their desired audiences no matter where they are, Zillow announced a partnership this week with Facebook that will allow Realtors and real estate agents to target potential homebuyers directly on their Facebook feed.

According to Zillow, the partnership is part of its Premier Agent program and is called Premier Agent Direct.

“Premier Agent Direct combines the power of the most visited real estate network with one of the most widely used social media platforms, allowing real estate agents or teams to expand the targeted audience they advertise to through a simple, easy platform using Zillow Group’s precision targeting,” Zillow said in a release.

According to Zillow, the technology identifies home shoppers who are using Zillow or Trulia and allows real estate agents to connect with them on Facebook.

Using the program, agents can feature a specific listing or automatically highlight new listings or recently sold homes. Plus the program allows agents to target potential homebuyers in a specific area.

“Premier Agent Direct helps agents more efficiently work their farm area and either extend or eliminate the need for a direct mail campaign by using precision targeting to connect with local home shoppers and sellers on a medium they are using every day,” Zillow said.

According to Zillow, the Premier Agent Direct program is now available on mobile and desktop.

 “We have worked incredibly hard this year to create new opportunities for agents to connect with buyers and sellers so they can scale their businesses with greater ease – the new products are the results of those efforts,” Greg Schwartz, Zillow Group’s chief business officer, said.

“Through this new publishing platform, we have created a way to significantly increase the agent’s reach to consumers who are in a transaction mindset,” Schwartz added. “With precision targeting, we know these people are using Zillow and Trulia, and now there’s a new opportunity to connect with them on Facebook.”

The top spots with the most haunted houses

images-1It’s the season for boots, pumpkin pie, caramel apples and maybe even haunted houses. In these 10 cities, however, passing by haunted houses becomes just a little too real.

Across the U.S., over 40,000 single-family homes are vacant and have a homeowner who is now deceased, according to an ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of public record data.

Here are the top 10 zip codes with the most haunted houses, or homes that are left vacant after the homeowner passes away. One city stands out above the rest.

1. Youngstown, Ohio

In the zip code 44506, one in every 83 homes is “haunted.”

In one home in the city, the Punderson Manor, in the dining room in the late 1970’s, people claim that for a period of approximately three hours late one night, the ghost of a man who appeared to be a lumberjack seemed to hang from the rafters.

2. Gary, Indiana

In the zip code 46404, one in every 81 homes is “haunted.”

Are homes here really haunted? That’s hard to say, but we do know that the city is currently ranked fourth in homicide rates, and it was once ranked first.

3. Birmingham, Alabama

In the zip code 35207, one in every 81 homes is “haunted.”

One of the most haunted places in Alabama is in Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces, [pictured below] which has many reports of paranormal activity over the years.

4. Jackson, Mississippi

In the zip code 39203, one in every 74 homes is “haunted.”

At the Old Capitol building in Jackson legend claims that the office of a man who reportedly died at his desk is haunted by his ghost.

5. Detroit, Michigan

In the zip code 48217, one in every 71 homes is “haunted.”

In Detroit, the Masonic Temple seems to be haunted. When the founder’s wife left him over money problems Mr. Mason jumped to his death from the temple. Security guards claim they still see sightings of Mr. Mason and visitors often report an eerie feeling of being watched.

6. Mobile, Alabama

In the zip code 36610, one in every 69 homes is “haunted.”

Two separate homes in the city were joined together in the mid-1800s to form an inn. Since then, the apparition of a lady in white has been seen pacing the balcony of Room #007, as well as chandeliers swinging when no one is around, furniture getting moved around and lamps being unplugged.

7. Braddock, Pennsylvania

In the zip code 15104, one in every 57 homes is “haunted.”

This desolate town [pictured below] lost 90% of its peak population, and looks like the nightmare at the end of the American Dream, according to an article by Jim Straub and Bret Liebendorfer for Monthly Review.

Things we learned from home buying

unduhan-5With vacations over and the holidays coming fast, home buying is beginning to slow down. So, given all of the predictions for 2016 (including mine), let’s review the better part of the 2016 home-buying season and see what we’ve learned, with an eye toward 2017.

1. Refis have finally dried up

The death of refis has been greatly exaggerated for a long time now, but given recent data and analysis, it may finally be here. Simply put, rates can’t get any lower, and those who qualified for refis have already done them. Given that refis have been the largest growth driver for the mortgage industry, banks need to find new opportunities to stimulate new purchases and borrowing.

2. Buyers want ‘new’ homes

The good news is that buyers want to own a home and that sales of newly constructed homes is healthy compared to recent years. However, existing home sales are down, partly because homeowners have been too cautious to upgrade. This has resulted in low existing-home inventory, especially at the starter home level.

3. Homebuyer confidence is strong (though maybe not for women)

Millennials, pegged as fiscally conservative, are increasingly more careful about what they do with their money. Still, even with economic, security and political concerns beyond their control, they want to own. But it must be on their terms: They are used to the flexibility and control renting affords, and given that 86% plan to stay in new homes fewer than seven years, prospective buyers need more assurance than a 30-year mortgage provides. Women are far more cautious in this area than men and need an even greater sense of security before they are willing to commit to buying or upgrading.

4. Low rates persist

Despite higher consumer confidence and lower unemployment, key indicators of economic growth such as GDP and international economic concerns such as Brexithave kept Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen from raising interest rates – for now. Having rates stuck so low for so long will likely affect new home sales in the future. When rates inevitably do rise, possibly by the end of 2016, prospective homebuyers will probably overreact and pull back. The good news is that rising rates should lead to falling home prices.

5. Real estate is still local

With the yin comes the yang. While areas like Atlanta are experiencing the highest sales prices on record, other areas, like much of Connecticut, have been hit hard. Jobs and industry are the biggest issues here. GE leaving with 10,000 jobs hurt the Nutmeg state much like dropping gas prices hurt Houston and other oil-producing towns. Given that the average job tenure of a Millennial is 2.8 years, job mobility and the need for housing flexibility can have big impacts on them as homebuyers.

Where does this leave us for 2017? In a word, uncertain. There are a lot of what-if and wait-and-see scenarios right now, but if I had to guess, home prices will likely normalize and drop for several reasons:

1. Naturally, they have to

That’s the way markets work. They go up and down. Fortunately, real estate value has historically risen over the long term. But given the current highs, we may see correction in some overheated markets.

2. Higher rates are likely (at some point)

If it costs more to borrow, home prices will have to come down. Although buyers will head to the sidelines, more convertible-rate homeowners will need to sell as their current low-rate mortgage terms expire.

3. Inventory will rise

With new construction shifting from multifamily to single-family homes, the market should become less competitive.

4. We must still address affordability

Tackling this issue will have some kind of direct or indirect impact on prices if public policy efforts succeed. But again, if people can’t afford homes, the market should naturally adjust.

5. We have an election

Both candidates have mentioned the fallout of the 2008 housing crisis, but neither has offered a vision to safeguard Americans from another collapse. So, many buyers and sellers in the housing market – as within the equity market – are in a wait-and-see mode through early November at least. There are also plenty of ongoing talks about GSE changes, what the CFPB and regulatory policies will be, and how to better handle underlining mortgage risk. Any of these can have impacts on the industry.