All posts by highlandcapital

First-time Buyers Steer Existing-Home Sales Higher in September

WASHINGTON (October 20, 2016) — Existing-home sales rebounded strongly in September and were propelled by sales from first-time buyers reaching a 34 percent share, which is a high not seen in over four years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions saw an increase in closings last month, and distressed sales fell to a new low of 4 percent of the market.


Total existing-home sales 1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, hiked 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in September from a downwardly revised 5.30 million in August. After last month’s gain, sales are at their highest pace since June (5.57 million) and are 0.6 percent above a year ago (5.44 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the two-month slump in existing sales reversed course convincingly in September. “The home search over the past several months for a lot of prospective buyers, and especially for first-time buyers, took longer than usual because of the competition for the minimal amount of homes for sale,” he said. “Most families and move-up buyers look to close before the new school year starts. Their diminishing presence from the market towards the end of summer created more opportunities for aspiring first-time homeowners to buy last month.”

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What is an easement and how does it affect my property value?

What is an easement?

If you’ve ever purchased real estate it’s quite possible that the property may have been subject to an easement. Easements are common and a lot of properties have them without the owner even being aware of it.

The easement is something that is included in the legal description as well as other documents when you purchase real estate  but you may not be aware of it unless you read the fine print.

An easement is a property interest that allows the easement holder to use property that he or she does not own or possess.

It does not allow the easement holder to occupy the land, or to exclude others from the land, unless they interfere with the easement holder’s use.

The person who owns the land is allowed to use the easement and they can also prohibit everyone else from using it except for the holder of the easement. A common example of this that I see when appraising homes is a driveway that goes across one person’s property to get to another one.

This is not uncommon when a portion of a larger parcel is sold off and the easement is put in place so that a driveway can be created to provide access to the interior lot from the street.

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property management

Property Management Selection – Successful Hire Secrets

Experience is one of the most important factors when selecting a property manager, particularly experience that is asset-type and market specific, Cushman & Wakefield SVP and IREM president-elect Mike Lanning tells We spoke exclusively with Lanning about some of the less-obvious reasons to choose one particular property-management firm over another, the role of propertyleadership in property management and how property management fits into an owner’s overall strategy. What are the lesser-known reasons for using a property-management firm?

Lanning: I think experience is one of the most important factors when selecting a property-management firm, and it also depends on the property type an owner owns—multifamily, office, industrial or retail. It’s also important to match up the objectives of an ownership group with a property-management firm, and it’s difficult to hire a firm that focuses on multifamily when you own retail properties or even a company that focuses on office management if you have an industrial portfolio. It’s important to match experience with the property type.

Also, when the property is entrusted to someone else to manage, the owners/investors need absolute assurance that their investment is protected. Coming from the IREM perspective, it’s important to have an educated asset or property manager to provide local expertise and real market insight. This can make a significant impact on a property’s bottom line. As a professional property-management firm, we work on behalf of the client, so Cushman & Wakefield is a third-party property-management firm, and we are creating a level of confidence earned through experience. We feel we’re transparent with our clients, adhere to code of professional ethics and have integrity beyond reproach. Management companies across the country bear the AMO accreditation through IREM so that the owner knows the company will stay on top of their properties, provide local expertise and bring true market insight to the assets they manage. How does leadership come into play in property management?

Lanning: Property managers lead the team that includes brokerage, marketing and overseeing a group of vendors that service the property, so it’s important to develop leadership skills because you have to be a leader of a team. We think that’s important. We think that basic real estate skills will always form the prerequisite for successful real estate management. You must be prepared to analyze marketing statements and leasing plans, manage engineering functions and all the rest of the responsibilities that go under that job, but leadership and relationship management skills become more important as your career progresses. The higher up you are in an organization, the more you have to manage people and relationships rather than the properties themselves. Instead, you’re managing the people who manage the properties, so leadership competencies really distinguish top real estate professionals from real estate technicians handling day-to-day responsibilities.


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housing market

Housing Market Forecast : Experts Weigh In On 2017 Real Estate


The year 2016 proved to be a hot one for real estate.

Home values, prices and sales showed some of their strongest numbers since before the economic downturn a few years ago.

And mortgage rates were downright cheap.

But there’s no guarantee favorable conditions for buying and borrowing will continue in the months ahead.

Consequently, it’s fair to ask the question: Will housing prices keep climbing into 2017?

Industry experts weigh in. Though no one can tell the future, their housing market forecast can help first-time home buyers make better decisions this year and next.

Should you buy now, or wait? Here is advice from leading experts. Continue reading

5 Negotiation Tactics That’ll Win a Home Bidding War


The National Association of Realtors reported at the end of July there were 2.13 million existing homes available for sale across the country. That might seem like a big number, but that figure is actually 5.8% lower than during the same month one year ago. And the inventory of homes for sale has fallen for 14 straight months.

This means that when you do find a home that you’d like to buy, you might be bidding against other potential buyers who want the same property.

How do you increase your odds that you’ll actually win such a bidding war? Here are five tips that can make a difference:

1. Get Pre-Approved

The single most important step in winning a bidding war is to make sure that you are preapproved for a mortgage loan.

In a preapproval, a mortgage lender will run your credit and ask for you to prove your monthly income and debts. You’ll have to send your lender such documents as your two most recent paycheck stubs, last two bank statements, and last two tax returns. Your lender can then determine how much money it is willing to loan you for a mortgage. To close the process, the lender will send you a preapproval letter stating that it is willing to loan you a certain amount of dollars.

Having this preapproval letter makes you a stronger buyer. A seller knows that you can qualify for a mortgage loan, and that the home sale is less likely to fall through if the seller accepts your offer. If a seller has to choose between a preapproved buyer and one who’s never met with a lender? The odds are high that the seller will choose the buyer who boasts that preapproval letter.

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