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?

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.

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. 

Great Scott! 2019 Smart Home Technology

When you were a little kid imagining futuristic worlds, what sort of technology were you visualizing?

Disney’s TV movie, Smart House, got a couple things right. While Pat, played by Katey Sagal portrayed the virtual assistant of the home, we now have Alexa or Google Home as our smart assistant. Did your childhood imagination include that?

CES 2019 – Las Vegas’ annual tech show – recently showcased thousands of high-tech products to update your home.

Here are the top smart home products shown at CES 2019 – and who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you to include a couple of these products in your next renovation.

Smart Assistant Accents

While most of us know Alexa or Google Assistant to be a visual product that is easily recognizable, Amazon and Google are creating stylish accent pieces that will help blend into the design of your home.

The Mui Smart Block can be controlled via voice and looks pretty. When being used, the LCD display will light up and interact with your voice.

Smart Mirror

This Google Assistant-embedded mirror will change your morning routine.  From Capstone Connected Home, this mirror allows you to ask it anything you would normally ask from Alexa or Google Home. You’ll be able to compose email and text messages from it – even by typing directly on the mirror!

Mood Lighting

The Apple HomeKit Eve Light Strip was the smart lighting to take the stage this year. The light strip comes with an adhesive on the back, so you can attach to various parts of your home – under your couch, shelves, or behind your TV screen can add that extra flair.

Nothing’s Stronger Than Family – Freddie Mac and Multifamily Support

Freddie Mac announced some pretty extraordinary news this past week that it had set a new record for multifamily production in 2018.

Its multifamily rendering checked in at $78 billion in 2018, beating the previous record of $73.2 billion in 2017. The breakdown includes $77.5 billion coming from loan purchase and guarantee volume, with the other $500 million coming from Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investments.

Financing 860,000 rental units has helped more than 90% of the affordable to low-and moderate-income families that consist of 120% of area median income and below.

Freddie Mac didn’t stop there – they also released additional goals they accomplished this past year, which included a record $8.1 billion in Targeted Affordable Housing Loans and $23.1 billion in Green Advantage loans for energy- and water-saving improvements to workforce housing.  

With the first month of 2019 in the books, it seems as though the new year is bringing a healthy market for multifamily support.

Debbie Jenkins, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac multifamily explains, “Far too many Americans are struggling to find suitable housing at a reasonable price, and we are continuing our work toward innovations that can help. We’re also striving to improve the customer experience through our digital transformation initiative.”

With digital platforms taking over the real estate market, Freddie Mac is eager to embrace new technologies that help shape the commercial loan process experience – with technology’s apparent ease in the real estate world, we’ll all have to keep an eye on Freddie Mac’s 2019 record breaking statistics.

Meet our Coeur d’Alene, ID Branch

To understand the magic of Coeur d’Alene, one must visit the eclectic Northern Idaho city. Surrounded by dozens of lakes created from ice-age glaciers, Coeur d’Alene offers a plethora of recreational activities for any season – as well as jaw-dropping sunsets.

Alliance Title’s Coeur d’Alene branch sits across Riverstone Park and is a skip away from Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The team is heavily involved in community activities and events – they support St. Vinny’s each year with their concert event in the park, Coeur d’Alene’s local college NIC, as well as supporting CASA, the Women’s Shelter, Children’s Village, Boots and Socks through Windermere, Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, the local police and fire department, and the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce.

The CDA branch has an incredible group of professionals who desire to help and go above what is required for their customer base. With a combined work experience of 305 years in the industry, accuracy and a timely nature come naturally to this crew.

Each October, the team hosts an Open House that the community is invited to. With a turnout of 250 guests this past October, the CDA branch was especially appreciative of their guests and clients who participated in games, danced to live music, and ate delicious catered barbeque.

When they aren’t hard at work, each employee finds time to relax and unwind. From Noodling – catching large fish with bare hands – to tight wire walking, attending mosh pits at rock concerts, acing spelling bee contests, and powerlifting, this team includes quite the adventure seekers!

Whether you’re buying or selling commercial or residential property in Kootenai County, the professionals at Alliance Title’s Coeur d’Alene location are excited to help make your next transaction a success!

Alliance Title – Coeur d’Alene
2157 N Main St., 83814
208.667.3402

Relief for Real Estate in Rural Towns

Rural towns haven’t been so rural.

Prisons and military bases are usually located outside smaller towns – typically becoming the biggest employers and economic drivers in the area. While a growing job force is always welcome, it has induced a negative side effect towards real estate in these smaller farming towns.

Counting towards an area’s population, prisons and military bases put these communities over the threshold of eligibility for federal Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs. Essentially, towns with a population greater than 35,000 aren’t considered rural under these guidelines.

However, this regulation seems to be changing.

The U.S. Congress recently passed a big farm bill that only counts a portion of a prison or a military base population against the area’s populace total.

Why does this matter? Well, rural towns can now access RHS programs – programs which provide safe and affordable mortgages for these communities.

These programs are underwritten using specialized data that recognizes particular characteristics of rural towns and properties – such as the absence of various public services.

While this is a huge win for rural towns and the real estate market, this bill won’t be enacted until 2030.

The National Association of Realtors® is optimistic in supporting this bill and is eager to see a swift change in finance affordability in these areas.

Mom and Dad Loans for Millennial Homebuyers

Younger homebuyers – aka, millennials – have had quite the setback when it comes to buying homes; this news hasn’t been all that surprising considering their place in student debt and rising mortgage rates.

But it looks like mom and dad have stepped in to help them achieve a major milestone.

More than 26% of mortgage borrowers who used Federal Housing Administration-insured loans received assistance from a relative to make a down payment – up from 22% in 2011.

FHA loans are predominantly used by those buying homes for the first time; first-time borrowers with weaker credit profiles seek out this government assistance when they cannot obtain a conventional loan. Conventional loans, for the most part, can require buyers to put down as much as 20% of the purchase price upfront, whereas FHA buyers can pay as little as 3.5%.

With the median home value in the U.S. at $221,500 this past November, it becomes easier to understand why these millennial homebuyers are needing the additional help – especially when statistics point out that the median price is 8% higher than last year and 25% higher than a decade ago.

As the real estate market enters 2019, analysts and economists alike will be viewing the millennial home buying trend with a keen eye.

Keep up with all things real estate and follow Alliance Title’s blog.