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Chattanooga home prices jump 9.8 percent in past year

Chattanooga home prices continued to accelerate in the first three months of 2017 as sales outpaced the number of new homes put on the market, shrinking the available inventory of houses for home buyers to choose from in the area.

The National Association of Realtors reported last week that the median price of homes sold in Chattanooga during the first quarter of 2017 jumped by 9.8 percent from a year ago to $167,700. Although still 28 percent below the U.S. average home price of $232,100, Chattanooga housing prices continued to rise faster than the nationwide average.

“Inventories are as tight as I’ve ever seen, given the demand among homebuyers,” said Mark Hite, a Keller Williams Realty team leader who is president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors. “Prices are continuing to rise in this environment, and buyers continue to believe that buying a home is a good, sound investment.”

Mark Hite with Keller Williams Realty is photographed in their offices Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mark Hite with Keller Williams Realty is photographed…

Photo by
Doug Strickland
/Times Free Press.

At the end of last month, Chattanooga Realtors were listing 2,965 homes for sale, or 28 percent fewer than a year ago. The reduced inventory cut the average selling time for houses to only 60 days and many homes are selling as soon as they are put on the market.

“Buyer activity is as charged as ever, especially from people who are moving to Chattanooga from out of town,” said Byron Kelly, president of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Chattanooga. “The activity is really kind of through the roof and the market is playing catch up to fill the demand. As a result, prices are going up even faster than appraisers, inspectors and surveyors can keep up with the demand, in some instances.”

Last month, the average home sold at 95.8 percent of its initial listing price.

Kelly said one client his firm is working with has already made five purchase offers for homes on the market, only to be beat out by rival buyers.

“A good house priced well is usually selling in the first four days,” he said.

Nationwide, the first quarter was the strongest sales period in a decade, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $232,100, up 6.9 percent or $14,900 more than a year earlier.

“Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others — especially for those in the starter-home market — which in turn quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.”

Despite a rise in the national family median income to $71,201, the combination of higher mortgage rates and home prices slightly weakened affordability compared to a year ago. To purchase a single-family home at the national median price, a buyer making a 5 percent down payment would need an income of $52,251, a 10 percent down payment would require an income of $49,501, and $44,001 would be needed for a 20 percent down payment.

In Chattanooga during the first four months of 2017, home sales have increased 1.4 percent over last year’s record high, according to the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors. But home sales by local Realtors declined nearly 10 percent last month as tight inventories appear to be limiting some sales.

“The cause of softening sales can be found in the ongoing low supply of homes available for purchase,” Hite said. “But if you are buying a home, there is fresh inventory coming to market daily, so do not despair. At the same time, with interest rates remaining low, it is a great time to invest in a home and lock in these rates for 30 years.”

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.

Protect Your Home, Protect Your Business

It may be impossible to eliminate life’s risks, but you can reduce their impact. Fortunately, members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) can rest easier while also enjoying substantial discounts on home warranties, homeowners insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and other insurance protection offered through the REALTOR Benefits® Program.

Home Warranties
Home systems and appliances eventually break down from everyday wear and tear, but a home warranty from American Home Shield® can help you protect your budget. “Real estate professionals across the country trust our home warranties to help protect their clients from unforeseen budget hits during the listing and buying process,” says Trafford Seymour, vice president of Real Estate Sales for American Home Shield. “By purchasing one of our warranty products for your own investment, you can experience that value first hand.”

Unlike homeowners insurance, an AHS® home warranty is a service contract that covers routine breakdowns of essential appliances and home system components. It’s an excellent complement to help cover gaps left by traditional homeowners insurance. Choose among three plans for your own home or any other residential property you may own:

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  • ShieldEssentialSM covers the most critical home systems that are the most expensive to repair and replace.
  • ShieldPlusSM covers the most critical home systems, plus many common major household appliances.
  • ShieldCompleteSM offers the most comprehensive coverage, including the items in ShieldEssential and ShieldPlus combined, plus some additional home items like garage door openers and doorbells.

Don’t let a broken refrigerator spoil your day. These home warranties from American Home Shield help protect your appliances and include plan features that were previously only available as part of a real estate transaction.

Best of all, NAR members enjoy $50 savings on the first coverage year of whichever home warranty plan you select. Use priority code NAR50 to claim your discount. Learn more at www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/AHS.

Homeowners Insurance
Liberty Mutual, NAR’s exclusive auto, home and renters insurance provider, offers quality coverage and exclusive savings of up to 10 percent for NAR members.1 Expert agents can help you determine the best insurance options to fit your needs and protect your home, possessions and personal liability.

In addition to great discounts on excellent coverage, Liberty Mutual fits your lifestyle, offering convenient payment options, 24-hour claims assistance and a mobile app that simplifies the claims process.

To enjoy all your Liberty Mutual benefits, be sure to mention that you’re an NAR member when speaking to an agent. Learn more at www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/LibertyMutual.

Errors and Omissions Insurance
Victor O. Schinnerer Company and NAR have partnered to provide a first-class errors and omissions (EO) insurance program to REALTOR® firms and members.

Several premium credits are available, as allowed by state law, including a credit for being an NAR member, holding select NAR designations, continuing education, use of standard contracts, use of home warranties, risk management programs, etc. Longevity credits are also available.

Schinnerer has also compiled numerous “war stories” that brokers can download and distribute at sales meetings to illustrate various ways EO insurance can protect a real estate professional who might be “caught in the crossfire.” To learn more about the Schinnerer program for REALTORS®, and to read the war stories, visit www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Schinnerer.

Discover Your Benefits
These special discounts and benefits are open to all NAR members; however, individual program availability and eligibility may vary by partner program. See partner websites for details, terms and conditions.

Designed with you in mind, the REALTOR Benefits® Program is your official (NAR) member benefits resource, bringing you savings and special offers just for REALTORS®. Program partners are carefully selected, so you can be assured they understand the unique needs of real estate professionals and are committed to your success. Make www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits the first place you stop when you shop for your professional and personal needs.

We’ve Got You Covered With NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program
Learn more about savings for members.

Home Warranties: www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/AHS

Homeowners Insurance: www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/LibertyMutual

Errors and Omissions Insurance: www.NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Schinnerer

1 Discounts are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.

Bob Goldberg is senior vice president, Sales Marketing, Business Development Strategic Investments, Professional Development, Conventions, for the National Association of REALTORS®.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor/realtorbenefits.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

Second Century Ventures adds Adwerx and immoviewer to 2017 …

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Two more innovative technology companies have been selected to join REach®, a growth technology accelerator program from the National Association of Realtors®’ strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures. Adwerx, a digital advertising provider, and immoviewer, a 3-D virtual tour technology company, will join the seven other companies announced last month as part of the fifth REach class.

REach provides early-to mid-stage companies with access to NAR’s industry expertise, influence and key relationships to help launch companies into the real estate, financial services, banking, home services and insurance industries.

“This year we had a record number of applications, which demonstrates REach’s value proposition to participating companies and the tremendous opportunity there is for them in the trillion dollar real estate industry,” said Dale Stinton, president of SCV and NAR CEO. “We are excited by the talent and diversity of innovation among the nine selected companies and are eager to kick off our 2017 cohort with the final addition of Adwerx and immoviewer.”

Adwerx provides cost-effective, highly-targeted and localized online advertising for real estate brokers, agents and listings. “By participating in the NAR REach program, Adwerx is in a great position to expand our footprint in real estate and strengthen our relationship with NAR. The opportunity to be part of the class of 2017 is perfect timing for us with the launch of our enterprise offering of marketing automation to brokers and franchises,” said Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson.

The newest trend in real estate listing marketing is 360 degree virtual tours, and immoviewer’s 3-D virtual tour software makes the process simple and affordable. “As the European market leader in 3-D virtual tour technology and the first international company to be selected to participate in the REach program, we are excited about the opportunity to accelerate and expand the use of this technology among real estate professionals in the U.S.” said immoviewer CEO Ralf von Grafenstein.

The seven other organizations making up the 2017 REach class are Centriq, an app that transfers home repair and maintenance knowledge from the seller to the buyer and keeps agents connected to their clients after the transaction; HouseCanary, a leading source for residential valuations and analytics; Notarize: a remote electronic notary service; Occly: a portable alarm solution that helps protect real estate professionals and properties; Pearl Certification, which certifies homes with features that contribute to its comfort, energy performance, indoor air quality and value; Relola, a site for agents to share insights about local listings, neighborhoods and service providers with clients; and Trusted Mail, a certification program that uses facial-biometrics to sign and encrypt email and attachments to protect against wire fraud and email spoofing.

NAR’s 2017 REach accelerator companies will be showcasing their innovative technology solutions this week during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., at the trade expo on Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at booth #1731.

Second Century Ventures is an early-stage technology fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors® that leverages the association’s 1.2 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries.  SCV systematically launches its portfolio companies into the world’s largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services, and insurance. SCV seeks to define and deliver the future of the world’s largest industries by being a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities, and new talent.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.                                                        

Information about NAR is available at www.nar.realtor. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/second-century-ventures-adds-adwerx-and-immoviewer-to-2017-reach-accelerator-class-300460036.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

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Rose earns military relocation certification

PORTSMOUTH — Pat Rose with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage was awarded the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional Certification.

The National Association of Realtors awards the MRP certification to Realtors who help military personnel, veterans and their families find housing that lets them make the best use of their benefits and serves the unique needs of military life. When military staff and their families relocate, the services of a real estate professional who understands their needs and timetables can make the transfer easier, faster and less stressful. Realtors who earn this certification know to work with active duty military buyers and sellers, as well as veterans.

“Service members may only have a couple of days to view properties and make an offer, and others might be deployed at the time and need someone who can represent them while they’re away,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II in Coral Springs, Florida. “Working with a Realtor who understands the singular complications that arise with military service can help make the home buying process simpler, faster and less stressful. The MRP certification lets home buyers and sellers know that a Realtor knows the ins and outs of military housing benefits, such as zero-down payment loans and the specific needs service members and veterans have when searching for their new home.”

The certification provides NAR’s members with resources to accommodate current and former military service members at any stage of their military career and is an approved elective for NAR’s Accredited Buyers Representative designation. To earn the MRP certification, Realtors must be in good standing with NAR; complete the MRP certification core course; complete a reading providing background information on the military, included acronyms and understanding military culture, and complete two webinars. For more information, visit www.militaryrelocationpro.org.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is at 2 International Drive, Suite 205 at Pease International Tradeport.

Tax Reform Could Deliver a Tax Hike for Homeowners: New Research

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — While tax reform proposals swirling around Washington, D.C., promise lower tax bills for American families, new estimates indicate that many middle-income homeowners may actually see a tax increase if those proposals go through.

The study, “Impact of Tax Reform Options on Owner-Occupied Housing,” illustrates the effects of a tax plan that echoes certain elements of the “Better Way for Tax Reform” or “Blueprint” proposal released last year, as well as the White House tax reform outline released in April, to which the National Association of Realtors® responded

While most individuals would see a tax decrease under such a proposal, the study estimates that many middle-class homeowners could in fact see a net average tax increase. Homeowners with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would see their taxes rise by an average of $815. The study also estimates that combined tax savings from claiming the mortgage interest deduction and real estate property tax deductions would drop 82 percent between the 2018 and 2027 period.

“Tax reform and lower rates are worthy goals, but only if we can achieve them in a fiscally responsible way,” said NAR president William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “Balancing tax reform on the backs of homeowners isn’t an option.”

The study, which was commissioned by NAR and prepared by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), estimates that this tax increase would result from the interaction of several provisions in the reforms under consideration. For many homeowners that currently benefit from the mortgage interest deduction, the elimination of other itemized deductions and personal exemptions would cause their taxes to rise, even if they elected to take the increased standard deduction. For others, the elimination of the state and local tax deduction alone would result in higher federal income taxes.

 In addition to increasing taxes on many middle-income homeowners, the report finds that such a proposal could cause home values to fall by an average of more than 10 percent in the near term. In areas with higher property taxes or state income taxes, the drop could be even greater. Although the study doesn’t directly analyze the “Better Way for Tax Reform” plan or the recent White House outline, it examines a proposal with many similar elements.

Those elements include lowering and consolidating marginal tax rates to only three rates, setting a top income tax rate of 33 percent, doubling the standard deduction, eliminating all itemized deductions (other than charitable contributions and mortgage interest) and personal exemptions, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and capping the tax rate on pass-through business income at 25 percent.

PwC estimated that roughly 35 million households will claim the mortgage interest deduction in 2018, three quarters of which have incomes between $50,000 and $200,000. According to NAR, roughly 70 percent of those eligible for the MID claim it in a given tax year.

“A tax reform proposal that hikes taxes for homeowners is a raw deal, and consumers know it,” said Brown. “Leaders in Washington who are driving tax reform have shown every indication that they have the best of intentions, and we’re hopeful they’ll consider our study as this process plays out in the months ahead.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.2 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. 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tax-reform-could-deliver-a-tax-hike-for-homeowners-new-research-300460156.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

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