Single Homeowners – Love the Home You’re With

When you think of your ideal partner, what qualities do you begin to list off?

Tall? Great smile? Steady job?

How about – whether or not they’re a homeowner?

Realtor.com released a survey of 500 unmarried respondents and found that 46% of singles nationwide believe a homeowner is more appealing than a non-homeowner. It’s also been noted that single women are the fastest growing group of home buyers today.

So if you’re single, and looking to purchase a home amongst other single homeowners, where could you travel to?

The top cities with single male homeowners:

  1. Detroit
  2. St. Louis
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Cleveland
  5. Pittsburg

The top cities with single female homeowners:

  1. Detroit
  2. Baltimore
  3. Charlotte NC
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Minneapolis

Who says you need to be married to own a home?

Three’s a Crowd: Married Homeowners and Roommates

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…roommates.

New data from Trulia shows that in 2018, 280,000 U.S. households included married couples living with a roommate. This rate has doubled since 1995 – which is the first year this data was ever tracked.

Trulia’s research found that every $100,000 increase in the median metro home value equates to a .25% increase of married couples with roommates.

Where is this happening?

It looks like the west coast is playing a larger role in these living situations. Trulia claims that “In housing markets with the highest rates of married couples living with roommates, including Honolulu and Orange County, the share is between four and five times the national rate.”

So, while it’s exciting to be a newlywed and planning the adventure of marriage, a roommate might alleviate the burden of mortgage payments for homeowners.

Employee Spotlight – Ingrid Davis

Ingrid Davis is Alliance Title’s Senior Advisory Title Officer for the Emerald Centralized Title Services (CTS) branch in Boise, Idaho. Having spent the last 14 years with Alliance, Ingrid has become an integral part of the team – and we are so lucky to have her! Ingrid works with national accounts, assists and advises clients/lenders on how to clear curative items, handles clients/lenders requests for revisions, proofs title commitment for accuracy prior to distribution, and reviews documents for insurability.

Working with Alliance since 2005, Ingrid still believes there is always something new to learn: “between the team’s combined experience and the resources available to us, we are always working together to find different resolutions to unusual situations.” Not only does Ingrid appreciate the continued growth in the industry, but she also enjoys working with customers from across the country.

Of the Alliance Core Values, “Service” has become Ingrid’s favorite. She explains, “A person who takes pride in what they do will always go the extra mile to provide great service. Being in the service industry, we need to excel and always go above and beyond the customer’s expectations in order to stand out. It is what sets us apart from the competition. I believe in taking pride in a job well done.”

When asked whom she admires most, Ingrid makes no hesitation in talking about her mom. She illustrates that “my mom has the biggest heart and is extremely generous. I truly believe that she is one of the most wonderful persons in the world. So lucky to have been blessed with the best mom.”

Make no mistake, Ingrid is an incredibly diligent employee. But when she’s not working hard in the office, Ingrid loves to spend time reading and watching movies. She also enjoys traveling, visiting family and friends, or going shopping with her siblings.

Ingrid’s favorite quote, “You can quack like a duck or soar like an eagle,” is something her mom used to say everyday while she was growing up. Ingrid “believes this applies to our work world. People can accomplish great things without having to make a big deal about it and letting the whole world know what they’re doing.”

Now that you’ve gotten to know Ingrid a little more, stop by Alliance Title’s Boise branch to write them in on your next transaction! Ingrid looks forward to helping ensure your home closing will be a smooth and positive experience.

Ingrid Davis – Senior Advisory Title Officer at Emerald CTS Branch in Boise
9465 W Emerald, Ste. 120, 83704
208.378.1666
Ingrid_davis@alliancetitle.com

Real Estate Tip of the Week: SEO Strategy

Words – keywords – are pivotal. In order to show up in Google searches, you need to be using prominent keywords in your industry to stick out above the rest.

That’s where SEO strategy comes in. Search Engine Optimization is all about matching your keywords to the audience you want – in your case, real estate. And with 70% of customers preferring getting to know a company by the articles rather than advertising, it’s critical that you implement SEO into your social media and blog postings.

Here are a couple quick tips on SEO planning for your personal real estate brand:

Organize Keywords

Keywords are essentially the terms you want to show up in searches. Before sitting down and typing out your post, think about who you want to reach. Write down a list of keywords you want to rank and show up for on Google search pages.

Keyword Placement

Where you put your keyword is another very important step. For the page you’re trying to rank for (a blog post, perhaps), you’ll want to place the keyword in five areas. Below, they’re combined with the example keyword, “Boise Condos.”

  • The URL: https://www.yourwebsitenamehere.com/boise-condos
  • Page Title: The Top Boise Condos to Hit the Real Estate Market
  • Within the copy of the article: Usually with SEO, you’ll want to have the keyword sprinkled in 1-2% throughout the article. So if you have a 500 word blog post, you’ll want to write the keyword around 5 times.
  • When saving your images: boise_condos.jpg.
  • Image Alt Tag: usually on whatever platform you’re using to post, it’ll allow you type a description in a keyword box.

Keyword Synonyms

Before, Google would only consider ranking pages that had the exact keyword used in it. Now, Google will use synonyms as the same keyword – for example, “suburb” and “neighborhood.” It’s important to use a variation of the keyword, as it not only helps you and your ranking, but it helps your article sound less robotic.

When it comes down to it, SEO is a long-term game. You won’t see a dramatic change overnight. But, with consistency, and interaction between other blog posts and social media posts (commenting is another great key to link back to your brand!), you’ll be one of Google’s best friends.

Decluttering your Home to Spark Joy

It’s time for Marie Kondo to ask you, “Does this spark joy?”

Sometimes, organizing your home can be the very last thing you want to do. But it’s proven that an organized and decluttered home helps decrease stress – so why not start of this year right?

When you’re trying to sell what you no longer need, Craigslist is usually the top website on everyone’s list. However, there are plenty of other moving and decluttering apps to use on your next spring cleaning day!

ThredUp

This app will help you donate any of your unwanted clothes and accessories. ThredUp will send you a bag to fill with your donations; afterwards, you ship the bag for free by dropping it off at any Post Office or FedEx location – and once your bag has been processed, you’ll earn cash or credit for the items they’ve accepted. They’ll donate the ones they believe won’t resell.

VarageSale

A clever take on a garage sale, VarageSale brings it to you virtually. You sign up through Facebook and become connected to your “Community” – essentially the city you live in and are willing to buy/sell items.

You can sell anything from clothing items to furniture pieces – everything is categorized and easy for you to find. The app also has a messaging feature, so you’re able to talk with owners through the app and not have to give out your personal phone number.

Decluttr

If you’re not really willing to talk to strangers, Decluttr is the app for you when you’re trying to get rid of tech gadgets.

This app will help you downsize on CDs, DVDs, Blue-rays, video games, or books. You scan the barcodes of the items, and Decluttr will decide the price they’re willing to pay for. If you’re happy with the offer, they’ll send you packaging that will ship for free. While it might not bring you the most bang for your buck, it’s safe and easy.

May the Mortgages Be with You: Rates and the Market Place

What goes up, must come down.

At least, that’s what is predicted to happen to mortgage rates in the upcoming weeks.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average was at 4.46% during the week of January 31st. This was the first time in 2019 that we’ve seen a rise in rates – about one basis point compared to the previous week.

However, critics and professionals agree that a slower-growth economy seems to be underway. Fixed-rate mortgages follow the 10-year U.S. Treasury note; demand for assets like these seem to grow popular as investors believe a slow in economic growth is imminent.

While the slowdown might be a huge relief for potential homebuyers, the housing market is still seeing small inventory. So for now, it’s all about give and take.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: Wire Fraud

Being tricked into doing something for a prank is one thing, but being tricked into wiring thousands of dollars to a scammer – that’s a completely different story.

As a real estate agent, it’s critical to help guide your client from falling into a trap of wire fraud. In 2017, the Internet Crime Compliant Center saw a 480% increase in the number of complaints filed last year in the real estate industry. The amount stolen in these wire transfers was a $19 million dollar difference than in 2016.

One way to secure your buyer’s confidence in the transaction, is to help educate them in identifying, avoiding, and reporting potential fraud.

Here are the top three ways to help protect your clients from a scammer:

Hacked Email Accounts

Instruct your buyers to pay attention to how the wire instructions are sent. It’s best to pay attention and only accept instructions that are secure and encrypted. If anything at all seems suspicious, directly call your title company.

Verify Transfers

Before your buyer sends the wire, urge them to verify the wire instructions that were sent – have them call the title company or closing agent.

Weary of Changes

It is very rare for instructions to change on a wire transfer – especially if the instructions are wanting the change to be taken care of immediately. If they receive any email or notification instructing them of a change, have them confirm with you (the real estate agent) or the title company.

While it’s unfortunate that wire frauds have climbed exponentially, there are still ways to combat it – and the best way is educating your clients.

Millennial Homebuyers – TLC for Fixer-Upper Homes

Everybody loves a good makeover show – What Not to Wear, The Biggest Loser, Love it or List it – but when it comes to doing the heavy lifting yourself, people run for the hills.

That is, most people run for the hills.

A recent poll released from Clever Real Estate surveyed 1,000 U.S. residents shopping for a home – and 67% of millennials said they would submit an offer on a property in need of major repairs. They are also the generation that completed the most home projects this past year.

The millennial generation has taken longer than most to enter into the real estate market. But while this generational group is entering home shopping later, becoming a homeowner is still their top priority. Clever’s survey found that 72% of millennials prioritize homeownership over marriage or having children.

What kind of homes are millennials looking for?

It seems as though millennials are 52% more likely to buy a multi-family property in comparison to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

They’re prioritizing safe neighborhoods and good schools – 38% of millennials say that safety is a top consideration. They are also 46% more likely than older generations to list school districts as the most important factor in shopping for a home.

Also, fixer-uppers. If they find one that fits within their other criterion, anyway. 

How to Curb Low Inventory Blues

Real Estate is competitive – and it doesn’t get any easier when inventory is low. During times of flat listings, it’s important to remain attentive and confident to keep closing transactions.

Referral-Generating System

Don’t wait for referrals – cultivate them! Ask for, remind, and reward referral behavior. Awareness and engagement with past clients will help you stay at the top of their list.

Geographic Farming

Map those sales territories! Market to these areas with a mix of direct mail, in person contact, and phone calls.

Expired and Withdrawn Listings

Contact the owner to express interest in helping them sell their property and explain possible reasons why they weren’t able to sell before.

Contact your local Alliance Title Representative for more assistance!

#alliancetitle #title #escrow #realestate #inventory #marketing #sales

Todayland: Digital Mortgage Applications

With digital submissions, comes great responsibility.

Most companies – big and small – are moving towards the online and app-based mortgage application process. With most day-to-day activities and processes being digital, it would only make sense for the housing process to jump aboard.

The hope is for these online forms to help with the unease of mortgage applications – no longer are they stressful – they should be easy to fill out and quick to understand. The idea is that these online mortgage applications will create a faster process, which would also allow a quicker closing date.

Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree, explains that “some lenders have an almost completely digital process, and some lenders have a partial digital process. But, ultimately, the industry as a whole, from application to underwriting and processing the application, is moving toward a digital structure.”

Creating a user-friendly experience and an app that provides guidance to an otherwise confusing process is another positive aspect to consider when applying through a digital platform.  

But who are using these new online platforms?

A recent poll from Branded Research found that men are more likely than women to contact lenders online. However, new homebuyers younger than 45 are also more likely than older homeowners to start the process online as well.

Those that have completed their home process through the new online platform seem to be relatively happy with the new switch. Sammie Jones of Hampton, Georgia, is one of the first to comment, saying that he “would do digital every time. It was that profound a difference. It made the mortgage process kind of enjoyable.”

Whether or not you’ve yet to file through a digital mortgage application, it looks like there’s a pretty good shot you’ll use it for your next house.