There’s No Place like the City

Toto’s definitely not in Kansas anymore.

Rural areas are dwindling as more and more residents move into cities. According to a recent report from Trulia, metros have seen a commanding growth in jobs and home prices, while rural areas have been dwindling.

While this trend began well before the recession, the study shows that the move to metro areas have increased in recent years. The theory comes from people withdrawing from isolated areas and gathering in more of a weightier employment center.

As most homebuyers have seen, this has put an incredible amount of pressure on the housing demand in cities. Trulia’s report found that home values in the largest metro areas from mid-2012 to mid-2018 grew 53.1%, whereas rural counties saw a 27.9% increase in home value.

A population rise in cities = a mismatched market for homebuyers. Home values have been steadily increasing in these metro areas, with very little construction making headway. Luxury homes seem to still be available, but homebuyers looking for starter homes in the city are feeling the pinch.

There’s no place like home – and to many – finding a home in the city has been quite the challenge.

95% of our Customers Rated Alliance Title’s Customer Service as Good or Excellent!

Did you know…

95% of our customers rated Alliance Title’s customer service as good or excellent!

When asked what factor is most important when recommending a title and escrow company, 85% of customers believe “timeliness and accuracy of title reports” rank above the rest when deciding which company to close with.

Here’s what our customers are saying…

“I had questions weeks before closing. Brandy helped me out before, during, and I even had something I thought of after. Truly exceptional service in terms of professionalism, courtesy, and extremely quick reply times” – Dan & Amber M.

“Very professional and prompt” – Wayne & Sharon D.

“Paperwork was prepared and others were edited if not correct! It was comforting to feel we could relax and trust all would be okay! Awesome service, thank you!” – Verna N.

“Everything went smoothly. No hassles, and we would recommend to anyone” – Mark & Monique C.

 

*Based on customer satisfaction survey responses

A Rise in Home Value and a Latte, Please

Coffee: it does more than just help you get out of bed in the morning – it also helps your home value.

A recent study released by Harvard Business School found that when a Starbucks pops up in your neighborhood, your home can increase by 0.5% within a year.

The conclusions from the study pinpoint how the expansion of restaurants, bars, cafés, grocery stores, and Starbucks chains can be a sign of gentrification. However, the study argues that these openings don’t necessarily attract affluent residents – but rather, how these openings mesh in with the neighborhood.

The study explains, “The most natural hypothesis to us is that restaurants respond to exogenous changes in neighborhood composition, not that restaurant availability is driving neighborhood change.”

If you’re a realtor, or in the process of thinking about selling your home, it might be worth seeing what new construction might be coming near the neighborhood. It’s important to know how to market your home to potential buyers, and if the neighborhood is changing, your approach might need to change.

And who knows? You might just see a spike in caffeine and home value.

Employee Spotlight – Kauri Moll

Kauri Moll has been an Escrow Officer for Alliance’s Meridian, ID branch for the past 15 years. If she were to define her job description, she would interpret it as making dreams come true! Although Kauri’s job isn’t always easy, she keeps a smile on her face and consistently has her clients feeling comfortable and at ease.

Of the Alliance Core Values, “Service” is Kauri’s favorite. She explains, “If I am service oriented, then our company and our promise stands out. It helps clients understand that we care and that their transaction is the most important transaction.” Kauri strives to make a difference in her client’s lives and help them accomplish their goals and dreams.

When asked whom she admires, Kauri points to the working mother. She explains that “being a single career mom myself, I have huge respect for those moms out there who are able to manage a career, a household, and wrangle their children along the way!”

When she’s not in the office, Kauri loves spending her time outdoors! Whether it’s through hiking, backpacking, hunting, or fishing, you can find her exploring new places and soaking in the rays.

Kauri’s favorite quote, “wanting less is a better blessing than having more,” helps her keep things simple and back to the basics. She believes that money and things don’t buy happiness – but instead to cherish your family and friends and make memories.

Now that you’ve gotten to know Kauri a little more, write her in on your next transaction! Kauri looks forward to helping make your next transaction a wonderful and positive success.

 

Kauri Moll – Escrow Officer at Alliance’s Meridian Branch
2965 E Tarpon Dr. Ste. 180
Meridian, ID 83642
208-846-8558
Kauri_moll@alliancetitle.com

2020 Brings Clear Vision – and a New Real Estate Market

It seems as though economists are quite convinced of their upcoming vision for the year 2020.

The housing market is still a seller’s paradise – with slow construction and aging-in-place homeowners, buyers are having to seriously compete for the house of their dreams.

According to real estate economists surveyed by Zillow and Pulsenomics LLC, the industry won’t switch to a buyer’s market until at least 2020. About 75% of 100 economists agree with the statement.

Some signs that the market is still favoring sellers: inventory dropping and home value appreciation rising. The data also shows that home values are expected to rise to an additional 5.9% at the end of 2018.

We’ll have to wait to see if their predictions are correct; but as for now, it looks like sellers will be holding the cards for a little while longer.

Staying Safe on the Job

September is right around the corner – and since 2003, the National Association of REALTORS® has devoted the month as REALTOR® Safety Month.

NAR’s 2017 Member Safety Report shows that 44% of females and 25% of males have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or safety of their personal information.

It’s easy to fall into a routine and let your guard down – we’ve all been guilty of becoming a little lazy in some shape or form. But it’s always important to refresh your thinking and list out positive and simple methods to make sure you’re feeling safe and secure while on the job.

Meet in a public space. Have a “second meeting only” policy – the first time you meet your clients should either by in your office or another public location before agreeing to a private showing. This allows you an opportunity to evaluate them and for your intuition to do some work. Always require that your clients bring some form of identification that you can file (but be sure to discard properly when no longer needed).

Tell others where you’ll be. Before attending your open house or your showing, be sure to let your colleagues, friends, or family members know of your location. Give them the name of your client and the address you are planning to meet at. NAR’s Safety Report also demonstrated that 28% of Realtors use the “Find my iPhone feature” when out for the job.

Allow your clients to lead. When walking through the property, it’s safer to let them guide you through the house, rather than yourself. By having them lead, you are able to always have them in view.

Be mindful of exits. Always know where you can quickly exit and avoid showing basements or attics. This goes hand-in-hand with being mindful of where the property keys are!

Listen to your gut. If you feel as though something is off, or you feel uncomfortable, follow your intuition. You know the saying, “better to be safe than sorry.”

Making a Difference in Our Community

Like you, we care about the community we live and work in and enjoy taking an active part in helping the community thrive. Volunteering in local events gives us the opportunity to give back.

We’re hosting our 7th annual ‘Closing the Hunger Gap’ food drive campaign and partnering with local food banks to collect nonperishable food and monetary donations to help end hunger in the communities we serve.

Our companywide goal this year is to collect 27,000 pounds of food.

Stop by any Alliance Title location to donate nonperishable food items or make a monetary donation to help us end hunger! While you’re in, check out the food art installations – what we call Canstructures – designed by that local office, and vote on your favorite one!

Thank you for your continued support as we work together to close the hunger gap!

Team up with your local Alliance Title Business Development Representative or visit our Closing the Hunger Gap page for more info.

Employee Spotlight – Joy Denning

Joy Denning is a Title Officer for Alliance’s Blackfoot, ID branch. Having been with the branch for the past 25 years, Joy brings plenty of experience and happiness into the office. Joy appreciates helping customers understand their commitments and answering their questions. She also records, supervises recordings, and completes inspections.

Of Alliance’s core values, Joy considers “Teamwork” to be at the heart of her job. Joy explains, “I could not do my work without everyone else on my team. We have a great office and all work together. My team in Boise is also wonderful to jump in and help us satisfy our customers and answer my endless questions. It sometimes takes all of us to get the deal closed.”

Joy’s favorite aspect of work involves researching. She enjoys the inspections and comparing what she has studied on paper in relation to how the building truly sits on the land.

When asked whom she admires most, she looks to her parents. Joy explains that “they lived through the depression, at a time when the most valuable thing they had was their family and integrity. They sacrificed so much.” Her favorite quote, “children honor thy parents and parents be worthy of that honor” deeply reflects her appreciation of her family.

Outside of work, Joy enjoys spending time in the outdoors. She loves to go camping, biking, hiking, fishing, or taking pictures when she travels to new places.

Now that you know Joy a little better, write her in on your next transaction!

Joy Denning – Title Officer at Alliance’s Blackfoot Branch.
246 W Pacific St., Ste. A.
Blackfoot, ID, 83221
208.785.4573
joy_denning@alliancetitle.com

#alliancetitle #employeespotlight #spotlight #title #escrow

Millennials, Who? Gen Z, the New Crowd in Real Estate

Drum roll please….there’s a new generation entering the housing market: Generation Z. Those born between 1995 and 2010 already comprise 21% of the American population, according to Zillow – and many of them already have their eye on the housing market. 62% of Gen Zers believe owning a home is a key staple of the American Dream.

So what generational trends will the housing market see?

For both commercial and home real estate, we’ll see things like: bigger communal spaces, smart home technology, minimalistic design, and eco-friendly construction.

Gen Zers are wanting spaces that actually serve a purpose other than just being. They’re looking for retail stores to offer opportunities to build relationships – through social media and in-house events – rather than just being looked at as another number.

In terms of office space, those that find themselves in Generation Z want less visual clutter and more opportunity to destress – think “quiet areas” and meditation rooms.

While Generation Z still doesn’t surpass the buying power of Millennials in real estate, developers are looking ahead – and already tailoring changes.

Buyer / Seller Guides – What are Closing Costs?

At Alliance Title, we take pride in providing the best overall closing experience for our agents, lenders, and customers. Closing costs can seem a little confusing and overwhelming; through our Buyer / Seller Guide, we assist you through the process. Let’s go through the “What,” “Who,” and “When” of closing costs.

What

Other than the down payment and cost of the property, closing costs are additional fees that need to be paid at the time of closing.

This may involve:

  • Escrow fees
  • Title insurance premiums
  • Tax prorations
  • Loan fees
  • Deed recording fees
  • Real estate commissions
  • & more

Who

There are many differences that usually play out between buyer and seller when it comes to closing costs. Listed below is the standard distribution, but it might differ on what works best for each party.

The buyer pays for:

· The lender’s title policy premiums

· Escrow fees

· Recording charges for all documents in     buyer’s name

· Tax proration

· HOA prorates and transfer fees

· All new loan charges

· Fire premium insurance for the first year

The seller pays for:

· Owner’s title insurance premiums

· Escrow fees

· Real estate commission

· Document recording and release fee for     deed

· Any loan fees required by buyer’s lender

· Payoff of all loans in seller’s name or   against the property

· Interest accrued by lender being paid off,   statement fees, etc.

· Any judgements, tax liens, etc. against the    seller

· Any and all delinquent taxes

 

When

Most buyers anticipate receiving their keys the day of closing; however, this usually doesn’t happen until a day, or a few days, after signing.

The transaction does not ‘close’ until all the funds have been cleared and provided to the title company, and the deed to transfer title is recorded at the county courthouse.

 

Whether you’re buying or selling a commercial or residential property, the professionals at Alliance are excited to help make your next transaction a success!