Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Survey: Married LGBT Couples Swarm the ‘Move-Up’ Market

More lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples are purchasing homes since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriage more than three years ago, according to the second annual LGBT Real Estate Report produced by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. Nearly 50 percent of NAGLREP members reported an increase in married LGBT couples buying homes. Further, 41 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed say they expect a significant number of LGBT clients to “move up” as opposed to downsizing in the near future. They also report the LGBT community is showing increasing interest in second homes or undergoing a major home renovation with their current home.

LGBT homeowner chart. Visit source link at the end of the article for full text.

© National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

“Homebuying and selling decisions are often predicated on such life events as marriage, children, new jobs, death and divorce, yet our members believe LGBTs have a more pragmatic approach based on financial security,” says Jeff Berger, NAGLREP founder. “It will be interesting to see over time how marriage and engagement drive interest in homeownership along with children, since 62 percent of our members believe the number of LGBTs with kids is increasing since marriage equality.”

The survey found that the LGBT people choosing to remain renters is mostly due to concerns about their financial status or living in an area where the cost of homeownership might be too high.

“These findings are eye-opening for us and we hope for all of the real estate community,” Berger says. “There are a variety of reasons LGBTs may not be as aware of the emotional and financial benefits of homeownership but we now recognize the need for further, and potentially more targeted, education and enlightenment.”

NAGLREP, which was founded in 2007 to advocate on the behalf of the LGBT community, is a corporate partner with the National Association of REALTORS®.

Source: 
LGBT Real Estate Report 2018-19,” National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

Survey: Most Buyers Seek Financing Before Showings

The first step buyers most often take in their home shopping pursuit is to check up on financing and to make sure they can even afford a home, according to a new survey of 1,000 recent buyers. The survey was commissioned by loanDepot and mellohome, a real estate services provider. The majority of these customers—nearly 74 percent—sought financing first in their homebuying journey before looking at homes. For first-time buyers, that percentage jumps to 85 percent.

Person using calculator

© krisanapong detraphiphat – Moment/Getty Images

“This is definitely a shift from 10 years ago,” says Chris Heller, CEO of mellohome. “It emphasizes how customers are changing their approach to home buying. In the past, they relied on a real estate agent to drive the entire process. Now the customer is taking charge and doing a lot of the groundwork before they even get an agent involved.”

Heller says that buyers are learning that getting their financing in check upfront can better prepare them to shop for a home “with confidence and puts them in a more advantageous, competitive position, especially in tight markets.” A preapproval letter for financing can help when they go to make an offer, he says.

Consumer opinions about home buying infographic. Visit source link at the end of the article for full text.

© LoanDepot

Home buyers reported more anxiety about the housing market and the tight inventories of homes for sale. Nearly 67 percent reported that finding the right home was not easy, followed by stresses over coordinating paperwork and the overall home loan experience. Buyers described the homebuying process most commonly as “time consuming” and “challenging.” Further, the time it takes to secure a mortgage was listed as a top stressor among the majority of buyers surveyed.

Also, buyers expressed concerns that their real estate agent and loan consultant weren’t communicating with one another. But that may stem from miscommunication, researchers note.

“On 100 percent of transactions, agents and lenders are talking with one another,” says Heller. “The fact that customers aren’t aware of that tells us that more transparency and thorough communication by the real estate professional is warranted. We all need to do a better job.”

Helping Clients Who’ve Inherited a House

Buying and selling real estate can be an emotionally-charged venture, especially when it involves property that belonged to a family member who’s recently passed away. It’s up to the real estate professional to provide guidance to clients who are making important decisions regarding what’s usually the biggest asset in an estate—the home.

Table with last will and testament, pen, coffee cup, glasses, and newspaper

© FabioBalbi – iStock / Getty Images Plus

But it’s not always straightforward. Take the recent death of legendary singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin, which initially posed a quandary for her four surviving sons, for example. “Because she didn’t leave a will, her $80 million fortune—including Franklin’s numerous real estate holdings—likely will take longer to divide, and the process could become complicated,” says Alex Lehr, broker-owner of Lehr Real Estate in San Carlos, Calif., and the author of The Unexpected Sale: Guidance For The Executor/Administrator Of An Estate.

To help navigate handling a house that’s part of an inheritance, Lehr offers these five tips.

  1. Deciding to keep, sell, or rent. Unfortunately, competing interests among siblings can make this decision difficult, Lehr points out. “Caught in the middle, the executor has to ask the heirs to keep their emotions under control and put the rational facts on the table,” Lehr says. If medical bills, tax issues, or other stressors require cashing out, then selling is usually the best option, he advises. It also produces a specific amount of money that can be divided equally among those involved.
  2. Establishing the value of the home. Whether listing the property for the beneficiaries or assisting an heir who wants to buy the house, it’s important to start by giving your clients a cost market analysis and directing them to get an appraisal. “Alternatively,” Lehr says, “the executor can put the property on the market with the expressed provision that one of the heirs has the right of first refusal to match the highest offer.”
  3. Figuring out the extent of repairs needed. Often homes need updates or repairs before being listed for sale. Help clients determine how much work is worthwhile before putting the home on the market, which will depend on the property and circumstances, Lehr says.
  4. Deciding to sell furnished or unfurnished. Beneficiary clients not only have to make decisions about a property, but also the possessions inside the home. “It’s not unusual for an inherited home to be filled with a 30-year accumulation of stuff,” Lehr says. He generally recommends thinning out furnishings and offering a more limited number of pieces with the property.
  5. Determining if an investment property is realistic. If your clients are leaning toward keeping the home as an investment, they need to make sure the viability of the relationship between the beneficiaries will last long-term. “Could they get divorced, go bankrupt or bring other entanglements?” Lehr asks. The real estate professional must also help them consider the local rental market and what it will take to maintain the property, he says.
Source: 
Alex Lehr, lehrrealestate.com

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