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  • "Santa Monica Neighborhood Among Most Expensive In LA" - Patch.com"Real estate in California is expensive, but in Los Angeles County it can seem exorbitant – like that record-breaking $1 billion property that hit the market in Beverly Hills. Yup, that's billion with a 'B.' But what about average home prices countywide? PropertyShark, a website that provides in-depth real estate data, analyzed neighborhoods in Los Angeles and found the median home prices in Quarter 3 of 2018. Surprisingly, they found that L.A. area's top 20 most expensive neighborhoods are overall twice as pricey as NYC's 20 most expensive..."
  • "C.A.R. releases its 2019 California Housing Market Forecast" - PRNewsWire.com"A combination of high home prices and eroding affordability is expected to cut into housing demand and contribute to a weaker housing market in 2019, and 2018 home sales will register lower for the first time in four years, according to a housing and economic forecast released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.). C.A.R.'s '2019 California Housing Market Forecast' sees a modest decline in existing single-family home sales of 3.3 percent next year to reach 396,800 units, down from the projected 2018 sales figure of 410,460. The 2018 figure is 3.2 percent lower compared with the 424,100 pace of homes sold in 2017..."
  • "Who is taking a stand on affordable housing in Pittsburgh?" - NextPittsburgh.com"Since the turn of the century, Pittsburgh has emerged as a story of reinvention and rebirth in the face of a changing economy. While the gains from our emergence as a hub of research and technology are real and hard-won, they don’t tell the whole story. Since the year 2000, housing — perhaps the most basic human right — has become significantly less affordable in Pittsburgh. According to a study commissioned by the city’s Affordable Housing Task Force, the average cost of a rental home has increased by $116 monthly, far exceeding the rate of inflation, while the median income of renters has remained stagnant at around $26,000 per year..."
  • "Requested amendment to downtown project could be 'deal-breaking' for Tulsa Development Authority" - TulsaWorld"Urban renewal and city officials have concerns over a developer’s request to remove the retail portion of a proposed downtown project. The Tulsa Development Authority tabled the item at a meeting Thursday. Developers Neal Bhow and his son Shaun Bhow of Hartford Crossing LLC have asked the TDA to amend an agreement for a development at 111 S. Greenwood Ave., allowing them to eliminate a proposed ground-floor food hall and dropping the building from five stories to four. The proposal for 55 housing units remains unchanged..."
Buying your first home (what to expect in 2018) - an offrs.com review

Buying your first home (what to expect in 2018) - an offrs.com review

There's a first-time for everything and when it comes to home-buying, small misunderstandings can mean significant loss in ROI or even the loss of the investment entirely down the road. Be sure to share this with your first-time homebuyer today.

As seen on Kinja.com, here is...

 

What Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs to Know

Congratulations! You’re ready to buy your first home. If you’re like most first-time homebuyers, it’s a very exciting time. But, since it’s something you haven’t done before, you need to make sure that you research the process, find out what to expect and what you can do to make the experience a success. Here are the most critical things a first-time home-buyer needs to know to get started.

 

Avoid Becoming “House Poor”

Okay, so you’re fired up about buying a house, but don’t forget that there are other things you like to (and have to) spend your money on. It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of house-hunting and end up paying more than you’re comfortable with. Just because you’re approved for a particular mortgage amount doesn’t mean you should use all the approved funds to buy your home.

 

Calculate the Cost of Home Ownership

You need to do the math. The cost of home ownership goes far beyond the mortgage payment. Make sure that you add in:

  • Property Taxes and Home Insurance: These two items are often included in your monthly mortgage payment, but keep in mind that many online mortgage calculators don’t take these into account.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20 percent, you may need to include Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) in your monthly mortgage cost.
  • Homeowner Association (HOA) Fees: If you move into a neighborhood that has an HOA, you’ll need to factor in a monthly HOA fee.
  • Utilities: Your utilities may be higher in your new home, so don’t underestimate the cost.
  • Maintenance: Even newer homes need occasional maintenance, so make sure to consider maintenance in your budget.

Decide What You Want to Pay Each Month

Based on the potential cost of a new home, decide what you’re willing to spend on this alone, each month. Your calculations may indicate that if you buy the most expensive home you can... you won’t have enough money each month to do the other things you enjoy doing. If that’s the case, set a price range for your new home that will let you have that desirable lifestyle that you also yearn for.

 

Get the Professional Services You Need to Get Started

You’ll need the services of a number of professionals as you go through the purchase process, but you need to start with these two.

  • A Real Estate Agent:? Find an agent that has experience working with first-time homebuyers. Choose wisely, and they can be a big help in ensuring that you enjoy your home buying experience. Hiring a relative or friend who just got their license, or who isn’t familiar with the neighborhoods you want to look in may not be the best approach.
  • A Mortgage Lender: Don’t delay finding a mortgage lender. You need to get pre-approved before you even start looking for a home. You’ll get a clear idea of what your mortgage costs will be, and you’ll put yourself in a strong negotiating position with home seller leads.

Clarify Your Needs and Wants

Realistically, you’ll never find a perfect house, so it’s important to make a list of things you need and things you want. The things you need should be those things that you don’t want to compromise on, while the things you want aren’t set in stone. You might even want to prioritize your “need” list. These lists will help you stay focused as you’re looking at prospective homes. For example, you may want a wrap-around porch, but you need to be in a particular school district. Review and revise the list with your real estate agent.

 

Have Fun!

There are other things you’ll need to know as you get farther into your home search. However, when you address the issues described above, you’ve set a good foundation for success! Remember to go in prepared but to make it a fun experience. Being ready to jump if you need to doesn't have to mean a stressful experience.

 

offrs collects and provides topical insights, statistics, reviews, humor and best practices gathered from real estate professionals and consumer homeowner industry peers. If you're a broker or agent interested in learning more about seller lead generation or automated marketing services and solutions, visit www.offrs.com or continue to browse our growing collection of industry articles at www.offrs.net.
 

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