Colebrook Connecticut Real Estate & Colebrook CT Homes for sale From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Colebrook, Connecticut — Town — Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut Coordinates: 42°00′05″N 73°05′04″W / 42.00139°N 73.08444°W / 42.00139; -73.08444Coordinates: 42°00′05″N 73°05′04″W / 42.00139°N 73.08444°W / 42.00139; -73.08444 Country United States State Connecticut NECTA None Region Litchfield Hills Incorporated 1779 Government • Type Selectman-town meeting • First selectman Thomas D. McKeon Area • Total 32.9 sq mi (85.2 km2) • Land 31.5 sq mi (81.5 km2) • Water 1.4 sq mi (3.8 km2) Elevation 961 ft (293 m) Population (2005) • Total 1,540 • Density 49/sq mi (19/km2) Time zone Eastern (UTC-5) • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4) ZIP code 06021 Area code(s) 860 FIPS code 09-16050 GNIS feature ID 0213410 Website http://www.colebrooktownhall.org/ Colebrook is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,471 at the 2000 census. Colebrook was named after Colebrooke, in the English county of Devon. Contents [hide] 1 Geography 1.1 Principal communities 2 Demographics 3 Transportation 4 Notable locations 5 Notable residents 6 References 7 External links  Geography According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.9 square miles (85 km2), of which 31.5 square miles (82 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (4.40%) is water. The Algonquin State Forest is located within the town.  Principal communities Colebrook center North Colebrook Robertsville  Demographics See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income As of the census of 2000, there were 1,471 people, 566 households, and 419 families residing in the town. The population density was 46.7 people per square mile (18.0/km²). There were 656 housing units at an average density of 20.8 per square mile (8.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.01% White, 0.68% African American, 0.61% Asian, 0.88% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.45% of the population. There were 566 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.2% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were non-families. 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.01. In the town the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.5 males. The median income for a household in the town was $58,684, and the median income for a family was $64,286. Males had a median income of $42,647 versus $35,987 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,789. About 1.4% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over. Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005 Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage Democratic 299 8 307 27.36% Republican 267 10 277 24.69% Unaffiliated 503 30 533 47.50% Minor Parties 5 0 5 0.45% Total 1,074 48 1,122 100%  Transportation The town is served by Route 8, Route 182, and Route 183.  Notable locations Rock Hall (Colebrook, Connecticut), listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Notable residents Abiram Chamberlain (1837–1911), the 60th Governor of Connecticut was born in Colebrook. Donald Barr, (1921–2004), novelist, educator, and book reviewer for the New York Times, retired to Colebrook in the 1980s. Jonathan Edwards (the younger) (1745–1801), theologian, lived and preached in Colebrook for four years. Short story writer Harris Merton Lyon lived in North Colebrook. James Phelps (1822–1900), judge, Connecticut Representative and Senator, and US Congressman was born in town. Lancelot Phelps (1784–1866), US Congressman and father to James Phelps was a longtime resident. Ammi Phillips (1788–1865), artist, was born in Colebrook. Thomas Robbins (minister) (1777–1856), Congregational minister, bibliophile, and an antiquarian died in Colebrook. Julius Rockwell (1805–1888), judge and US Congressman for Massachusetts was born in town.  References ^ U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates ^ “American FactFinder”. United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. ^ “Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005” (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20060923151511/http://www.sots.ct.gov/ElectionsServices/lists/2005OctRegEnrollStats.pdf. Retrieved 2006-10-02. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (February 10, 2004). “Donald Barr, 82, Headmaster And Science Honors Educator”. The New York Times. ^ Max J. Puzel, The Man in the Mirror: William Marion Reedy and His Magazine, University of Missouri Press, 1998, pp. 256-259 
Home Values Performed 42 Percent Better When Located Near Public Transportation During Last Recession Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / WASHINGTON (March 21, 2013) – Location, location, location near public transportation may be the new real-estate mantra according to a new study released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Data in the study reveals that during the last recession, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service. “When homes are located near public transportation, it is the equivalent of creating housing as desirable as beach front property,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “This study shows that consumers are choosing neighborhoods with high-frequency public transportation because it provides access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region. Other attractive amenities in these neighborhoods include lower transportation costs, walkable areas and robust transportation choices.” “Higher home values reflect greater market demand for areas near public transportation,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Transportation plays an important role in real estate and housing decisions, and the data suggests that residential real-estate near public transit will remain attractive to buyers going forward. A sound transportation system not only benefits individual property owners, but also creates the foundation for a community’s long-term economic well being.” The study, The New Real-Estate Mantra: Location near Public Transportation, investigates how well residential properties located in a half-mile proximity to high-frequency public transportation or in the “public transit shed” have performed in holding their value during the recession compared to other properties in a given region. While residential property values declined substantially between 2006 to 2011, properties close to public transit showed significantly stronger resiliency. The following are a few examples from the study: In Boston, residential property in the rapid transit area outperformed other properties in the region by an incredible 129 percent. In the Chicago public transit area home values performed 30 percent higher than the region; in San Francisco, 37 percent higher; Minneapolis-St Paul, 48 percent; and in Phoenix 37 percent higher. The study looked at five regions, which illustrate the types of high-frequency public transit systems throughout the U.S. High-frequency public transportation includes subway (heavy rail), light rail and bus rapid transit. This sample accurately projects the nationwide average (42 percent) variance among properties located near high-frequency public transportation and those that are located further away from public transit. The following table provides examples of the impact of high-frequency public transportation in the five study areas. Comparisons to the public transit shed versus the region show that the public transit shed provides access in some instances to more than three times more jobs per square mile as compared to other areas in a given region. (Note: not shown in the chart below but living near bus rapid transit in Boston resulted in access to five times more jobs per square mile compared to the region.) The table also illustrates that transportation costs are reduced by up to $351 a month for households residing in the public transit shed. Access to # Jobs Per Square Mile Monthly Transportation Costs Public Transit Shed Region Public Transit Shed Advantage Public Transit Shed Region Public Transit Shed Savings Boston 170,334 57,563 2x more jobs $746 $1,097 $351 San Francisco 172,581 56,933 3x more jobs $746 $1,112 $346 Chicago 139,908 56,300 2x more jobs $775 $1,074 $300 Minn-St.Paul 132,132 37,484 3x more jobs $840 $1,164 $324 Phoenix 88,241 32,290 2x more jobs $1,006 $1,181 $175 “Stable property values in areas with public transit access have a number of policy implications,” said Melaniphy. “As Congress and state and local governments look for ways to accelerate economic growth, this study shows that investing in public transportation is a boon to revitalizing our economy.”“When consumers choose a home, they also choose a lifestyle. Shorter commutes and more walkable neighborhoods matter to a growing number of people, especially those living in congested metro areas,” said Yun. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For additional commentary and consumer information, visit www.houselogic.com and http://retradio.com.
HouseLogic Helps Homeowners Get the Tax Breaks They’re Due Media Contact: Michelle Wardlaw / 202-383-1042 / Tax season is underway, and homeowners gearing up to meet the April 15 filing deadline can find the tax tips and insights they need at HouseLogic.com, the award-winning comprehensive website for homeowners from the National Association of Realtors®. HouseLogic’s “Homeowner’s Guide to Taxes” can help filers take advantage of the tax benefits that come with homeownership while avoiding common home-related tax mistakes. “From the mortgage interest deduction to energy tax credits, many homeowners can take advantage of a variety of tax strategies that can lower their tax bill,” said Pamela Kabati, NAR senior vice president of communications and HouseLogic spokesperson. “For example, a family who bought a home last year with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 4.5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file this year.” HouseLogic also offers tips to keep homeowners from making unnecessary mistakes on their taxes. “9 Easy Mistakes Home Owners Make on Their Taxes” identifies common errors like deducting the wrong year for property taxes, confusing the escrow amount for actual property taxes paid, and neglecting to take the private mortgage insurance deduction. Homeowners who make certain energy-efficient home improvements may be eligible for certain tax credits, and owners who had a portion of their mortgage forgiven as part of a workout plan, short sale, or foreclosure don’t have to pay income tax on the forgiven debt, provided the mortgage was secured by a principal residence and the total amount of the outstanding debt is not more than the original purchase price plus improvements. Among the tax questions you’ll find answers to at HouseLogic.com: • How to Deduct PMI • How to Deduct Mortgage Interest and Equity Loan Costs • How to Amend Your Tax Return • How to Claim Your 2012 Energy Tax Credits Homeowners should consult a tax professional for any advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances; the information on HouseLogic should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. HouseLogic is a free source of information and tools from the National Association of Realtors® that helps homeowners make smart decisions and take responsible actions to maintain, protect, and enhance the value of their home. HouseLogic helps homeowners plan and organize their home projects and provides timely articles and news; home improvement advice and how-tos; and information about taxes, home finances, and insurance. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Video” tab on the website.
Buyers Value Storage Space, In-Law Suites, NAR Survey Finds Media Contact: Leanne Jernigan / 202-383-1290 / Email Purchasing a home is an important life decision, and many factors can influence the home choices buyers make. The National Association of Realtors® 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences examines the features buyers prefer when it comes to purchasing a home, as well as the differences in preferences when it comes to factors such as region, demographics and household composition. The survey captures buyers who purchased a home between 2010 and 2012. “Deciding where to live comes with a lot of options, but buyers quickly realize that some features are more important than others when it comes to choosing the right house for them,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “Buyers need to have a clear idea of what features are important to them and know where they are willing to compromise; in this respect, Realtors® can bring buyers home. Realtors® visit hundreds of homes with buyers each year, and have a unique understanding of what buyers value in their local markets.” Geography and demography strongly influence what buyers value in a home. The typical recently purchased home was 1,860 square feet and was built in 1996. Repeat buyers, buyers of new homes, married couples and families with children typically purchased larger homes. First-time buyers and single women tended to buy older homes. The typical buyer purchased a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Slightly over half of the homes purchased were on a single level. Southerners tend to buy newer homes; they were more likely to want a home less than five years old and in a wooded lot with trees when compared to other regions. Not surprisingly, buyers in the South also placed a higher importance on central air conditioning. While more than three-fourths – 78 percent – of all buyers purchased a home with a garage, garages were more popular among new-home buyers, Midwesterners, and suburbanites. Forty-one percent of homes purchased had a basement, but this feature was more popular among buyers in the Midwest and Northeast. Northeastern buyers also value hardwood floors more than people in other regions. Southerners typically bought the largest home at 2,000 square feet. Those in the Northeast followed closely behind with a typical home purchase of 1,850 square feet. Among buyers 55 and older, 42 percent considered finding a single-level home very important, compared to just 11 percent of buyers under age 35. Single women also placed higher importance on single-level homes, while single men wanted finished basements. Both single men and married couples placed higher importance on new kitchen appliances. Among all 33 home features in the survey, central air conditioning was the most important to the most buyers; 65 percent of buyers considered this feature very important. The next most important feature was a walk-in closet in the master bedroom; 39 percent of buyers considered this feature very important. Closely behind was having a home that was cable-, satellite TV-, and/or Internet ready, as well as an en-suite master bathroom. When it came to actually buying a home, among buyers who considered central AC and cable-, satellite TV-, and/or Internet ready very or somewhat important, 94 percent bought a home with these features. The next most common feature was an eat-in kitchen; 89 percent of buyers who thought this was important purchased a home with an eat-in kitchen. Buyers value some features so much that they are willing to spend more money to have them. Sixty-nine percent of buyers who did not purchase a home with central AC would be willing to pay $2,520 more for a home with this feature. Sixty-nine percent of buyers who did not purchase a home with new kitchen appliances would be willing to pay $1,840 more for a home with this feature. A walk-in closet in the master bedroom was the third most common feature on which buyers would spend more. Sixty percent of buyers who did not purchase a home with a walk-in closet would be willing to pay $1,350 more for a home with this feature. The features on which buyers placed the highest dollar value were waterfront properties and homes that were less than five years old. Thirty-two percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $5,420 more for a home on the waterfront, and 40 percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $5,020 more for a home that was less than five years old. The rooms that buyers were willing to pay the most for were a basement and an in-law suite. Thirty-three percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $3,200 more for a home with a basement, and 20 percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $2,920 more for a home with an in-law suite. When it came to rooms that buyers want in a home, 55 percent of buyers thought it was very important to have a living room, although buyers in the Northeast placed more importance on a home with a dining room. Buyers aged 55 and older placed more importance on a bedroom on the main level of the house. Buyers aged 35 to 54 placed more importance on a laundry room, while those with children placed more importance on a family room. The two most common rooms buyers were willing to spend more for were a laundry room and a den/study/home office/library. Sixty-three percent of buyers who did not purchase a home with a laundry room would be willing to pay $1,590 more for a home with this room. Forty-four percent of buyers who did not purchase a home with a den/study/home office/library would be willing to pay $1,920 more for a home with this room. Although 97 percent of recent buyers were satisfied with their home purchase, there are always features buyers would like that they don’t have, said NAR Vice President of Research Paul Bishop. “Most satisfied homeowners still said they would like more or larger closets and storage space. In addition, nearly half of recent buyers would prefer a larger kitchen, and two out of five would prefer a larger home overall.” Within three months of a home purchase, 53 percent of buyers undertook a home improvement project. The typical buyer spent $4,550 on various projects. Remodeling the kitchen was the most common home improvement project; 47 percent of buyers undertook a project in the kitchen. Bathrooms were a close second at 44 percent. Forty-one percent of buyers who made home improvements added or replaced lighting, and 37 percent added or replaced appliances soon after becoming a homeowner. In October 2012, a sample of households that had purchased any type of residence real estate during 2010 to 2012 and still owned the property was surveyed. The survey sample was drawn from a representative panel of U.S. households monitored and maintained by an established survey research firm. A total of 2,005 qualified households responded to the survey. Households were sampled to meet age and income quotas representative of all home buyers drawn from the 2011 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Fed to Keep Rates Low, But for How Much Longer? Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, March 21, 2013 The Federal Reserve’s policy-making committee announced it will continue to hold down short-term interest rates, which in turn will help keep mortgage rates low. But there is question of how much longer the central bank will do this. The Fed said it will continue to buy $85 billion a month in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, but would reduce its asset purchase — known as “quantitative easing” — if job growth continues at its current pace. Last year, the Fed committed to holding short-term interest rates near zero for as long as unemployment remained above 6.5 percent. In February, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent. Many economists don’t expect unemployment to drop to levels around 6.5 percent until 2015. However, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke noted Wednesday that there is not consensus among the policy-making committee on how much longer to continue quantitative easing. The committee recognized progress in the economy and job growth in recent months, noting “a return to moderate economic growth following a pause late last year.” Bernanke has testified to Congress that quantitative easing has helped revive the housing market. Mortgage rates have fallen near all-time lows, with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.63 percent on March 14, according to Freddie Mac. In November 2012, 30-year rates fell as low as 3.31 percent. Housing is “coming back, it’s real, and it’s going to be a positive driver,” said Jeff Fettig, the chief executive officer of Whirlpool Corp., the world’s largest appliance maker. “For every 6 percent increase in existing-home sales you see a 1 percent demand increase in appliances.” Source: “Fed to Maintain Stimulus Efforts Despite Job Growth,” The New York Times (March 20, 2013) and“Bernanke Seen Keeping Up Pace of QE Until Fourth Quarter,” Bloomberg (March 20, 2013)
Study: ‘Green’ Home Owners Less Likely to Default Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, March 21, 2013 Owners of energy-efficient homes are one-third less likely to default on their mortgage, according to a new study released by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Community Capital and the Institute for Market Transformation. “Consumer and industry acceptance of energy efficiency is high,” says Roberto G. Quercia, one of the author’s of the study. “But the lack of broad consideration of potential energy savings in the mortgage underwriting process still prevents many moderate- and middle-income home buyers from fully enjoying the cost savings. Since our study findings now show that energy efficiency is strongly and consistently associated with lower mortgage lending risk, lenders and policymakers have one more reason to promote it.” Researchers evaluated 71,000 single-family home loans, originated between 2002 and 2012, from 38 states as well as the District of Columbia to assess the link between home energy efficiency and mortgage default risks. About 35 percent of the homes evaluated were Energy-Star rated for efficiency. “It stands to reason that energy-efficient homes should have a lower default rate, because the owners of these homes save money on their utility bills, and they can put that money toward their mortgage payments,” says Cliff Majersik, executive director of IMT. “We long believed this to be the case, and now this study proves it. Successful housing market reforms will require reconsidering the risk factors in mortgage default, including energy costs.” The study’s authors recommend that Congress might even consider requiring an energy audit or rating as part of the mortgage underwriting process, given the study’s findings. Source: UNC Center for Community Capital and Institute for Market Transformation
Existing-Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February Media Contact: Walter Molony / 202-383-1177 / WASHINGTON (March 21, 2013) – February existing-home sales and prices affirm a healthy recovery is underway in the housing sector, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months, while prices show 12 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases. Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in January, and are 10.2 percent above the 4.52 million-unit level seen in February 2012. February sales were at the highest level since the tax credit period of November 2009. Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said conditions for continued housing improvement are at play. “Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing both home sales and rental leasing to rise. Though home prices are rising much faster than rents, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable,” he said. “The only headwinds are limited housing inventory, which varies greatly around the country, and credit conditions that remain too restrictive.” Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 9.6 percent to 1.94 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.7-month supply 2 at the current sales pace, up from 4.3 months in January, which was the lowest supply since May 2005. Listed inventory is 19.2 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.4-month supply. The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $173,600 in February, up 11.6 percent from February 2012. The last time there were 12 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases was from June 2005 to May 2006. The February gain is the strongest since November 2005 when it was 12.9 percent above a year earlier. “A strong rise in home values is contributing to housing wealth recovery, which has risen by $1.4 trillion in the past year and looks to top that increase this year,” Yun said. “The extra consumer spending arising from growth in housing wealth is expected to be $70 billion to $110 billion this year.” Distressed homes4 – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 25 percent of February sales, up from 23 percent in January but down from 34 percent in February 2012. Fifteen percent of February sales were foreclosures, and 10 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in February, while short sales were discounted 15 percent. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.53 percent in February from 3.41 percent in January; it was 3.89 percent in February 2012. NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said interest rates remain extraordinarily low. “In the history of mortgage interest rates since 1971, the 30-year fixed rate has been below 4 percent in only 15 months, and those have all been in the past 15 months,” he said. “Even with rising home prices, affordability remains historically favorable because home prices over-corrected during the downturn. This means there is still great value for buyers in the current market.” The median time on market for all homes was 74 days in February, which is 24 percent below 97 days in February 2012. Short sales were on the market for a median of 101 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 52 days and non-distressed homes took 77 days. One out of three homes sold in February was on the market for less than a month. First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in February, unchanged from January; they were 32 percent in February 2012. All-cash sales were at 32 percent of transactions in February, up from 28 percent in January; they were 33 percent in February 2012. Investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 22 percent of homes in February, up from 19 percent in January; they were 23 percent in February 2012. “There was an upward bump in the shares of investor and all-cash closed purchases in February. These sales result from purchase offers during the holidays when shopping activity by traditional home buyers slows, but investors, who typically pay cash, remained active,” Yun said. “This is a seasonal pattern, but we’re now seeing a general increase in buyer traffic, which is 25 percent above a year ago.” Single-family home sales slipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.36 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.37 million in January, but are 8.7 percent above the 4.01 million-unit pace in February 2012. The median existing single-family home price was $173,800 in February, which is 11.3 percent higher than a year ago. Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 8.8 percent to an annualized rate of 620,000 in February from 570,000 in January, and are 21.6 percent above the 510,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $172,500 in February, up 13.9 percent from February 2012. Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 630,000 in February but are 8.6 percent above February 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $238,800, which is 7.6 percent above a year ago. Existing-home sales in the Midwest slipped 1.7 in February to a pace of 1.14 million but are 12.9 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $129,900, up 7.7 percent from February 2012. In the South, existing-home sales increased 2.6 percent to an annual level of 2.01 million in February and are 14.9 percent above February 2012. The median price in the South was $150,500, up 9.3 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the West rose 2.6 percent to a pace of 1.20 million in February and are 1.7 percent above a year ago. With limited choices and multiple bidding, the median price in the West rose to $237,700, which is 22.7 percent above February 2012. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For additional commentary and consumer information, visit www.houselogic.com and http://retradio.com. # # # NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology. 1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs. Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions. The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns. Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos. 2 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis). 3 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to a seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received. The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports. 4 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org. The Pending Home Sales Index for February will be released March 27, and existing-home sales for March is scheduled for April 22; release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.
First-Time Home Buyer? Here’s What Not to Do Date:March 7, 2013|Category:Tips & Advice|Author:LearnVest Our friends at LearnVest offer sound financial tips and advice for every aspect of life. Check out these friendly warnings for prospective home buyers. Insanely low mortgage interest rates — and the knowledge that they’ll eventually go up again — make a lot of people feel like it’s time to buy a house right now. And maybe it is … if you go about it the right way. Buying a home is a major purchase (to put it mildly), and there are plenty of ways to trip up. But don’t worry — we’ve got your primer right here. Don’t … buy a house if you’re planning to move again soon If you’re a renter, it can be frustrating to write a rent check every month and have no home equity to show for it at the end of the year. But if you aren’t certain that you’re going to stay put for a few years, it’s probably not the right time to buy — equity or no equity. “Some people tend to buy a house knowing that they’re going to be relocating after a few years,” says LearnVest Planning Services certified financial planner Ellen Derrick. “Don’t buy property and automatically assume that you’ll be able to rent it out or sell it when you move.” What to do: If you aren’t in an area with a strong rental market that would allow you to cover the mortgage on your home if you move elsewhere, then stick with a rental for now. Don’t … bust your budget Shopping for houses can make you a little giddy. Look at this one! And this one! For a little bit more, you could get granite countertops, plus an office nook! You’re dealing with such large numbers when you’re browsing real estate that it might not seem like such a huge deal to stretch another $10,000 or $15,000 to get the home you really love. But that’s not a game you want to play. “People look at the top end of their affordable monthly payment, and they don’t really think about what happens if their income goes down or they have to change jobs,” says Derrick. (If you’re wondering what percentage of your budget should go toward housing, check out the 50/20/30 Rule.) What to do: Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only will this prove that you’re serious to your real estate agent and home sellers; it will also give you an idea of your upper limit. “Remember that the lender is there to make you a loan, and the more money you borrow, the better it is for them,” Derrick says. “They want you to max out. I would take the pre-approval number and cut about 20 percent off.” Don’t … forget about added costs Buying a home isn’t just a matter of replacing a rental payment with a mortgage payment. There are also maintenance costs, utilities (which will likely cost more) and property taxes. “People tend to forget about both property taxes and insurance when they’re thinking about how much house they can afford,” Derrick says. “The actual monthly payment could end up being well out of your price range when you figure those things in.” What to do: Ask the homeowners about their average utility costs and property taxes, get a homeowner’s insurance quote, and budget about one percent of the home’s purchase price for annual maintenance. Then run the numbers to see if you can afford the home. (And, don’t forget about closing costs.)
5 best markets to sell a home 5 best markets to sell a home In these metro areas, housing prices are rising, and homes with a ‘for sale’ sign are getting snatched up in no time, according to Realtor.com. Oakland, Calif. 1 of 5 Median listing price: $419,000 Average days on market: 14 When homes are put up for sale in Oakland, they don’t last long. In February, houses were on the market for an average of just two weeks before they were sold, according to Realtor.com. As a result, they often attract multiple offers and sell for more than the asking price, according to Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors. Related: 10 great foreclosure deals The housing supply is tight, thanks to real estate investors who make up about 20% of Oakland’s market. These days, most investors keep the homes and rent them out, rather than fixing them up and trying to resell like they used to. “Investors don’t flip anymore,” Appleton-Young said. Despite the competition for homes, prices are still down more than a third from their mid-2006 peak. NEXT: Sacramento, Calif. Source: Realtor.com Realtor.com bases its rankings on median listings prices, supplies of homes for sale, and days to sell new listing. Housing markets include the entire metro areas. By Les Christie @CNNMoney – Last updated March 14 2013 06:22 AM ET
5 best markets to buy a home Looking to buy a home? In these cities, prices are attractive, there are plenty of homes to choose from — and buyers have the upper hand, according to Realtor.com. Southern South Carolina 1 of 5 Median listing price: $269,900 Days on market: 156 This large metro area in southern South Carolina includes old towns like Beaufort, as well as more modern developments like the resort communities on Hilton Head Island. “[The area] has history and charm without the hassles of bigger cities,” said Edward Dukes, a broker with Low Country Real Estate. Related: 5 best markets to sell a home The region was also the best buyers’ market in the nation in February, according to Realtor.com. Home prices dropped 5% from the year before, hitting a median price of $269,900. Homes stay on the market for an average of 156 days, giving buyers plenty of time to shop around and bargain with sellers. But the great deals may not last long. “More deals are closing, there are more multiple bids, and fewer homes on the market,” said Dukes. NEXT: Reading, Pa. 5 best markets to buy a home