Harwich Port Realtor Recognized for Community Service Efforts

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NAR reveals how long student debt delays homeownership

An overwhelming majority of Millennials with student debt do not own a home, and believe this debt is the cause for the delay, a new study from the National Association of Realtors and nonprofit American Student Assistance showed.

The study revealed the typical delay is about seven years.

But home buying isn’t the only factor affected by student debt. The study showed student debt is holding Millennials back from financial decisions and personal milestones such as saving for retirement, changing careers, continuing their education, marrying and having children.

“The tens of thousands of dollars many millennials needed to borrow to earn a college degree have come at a financial and emotional cost that’s influencing Millennials’ housing choices and other major life decisions,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

“Sales to first-time buyers have been underwhelming for several years now, and this survey indicates student debt is a big part of the blame,” Yun said. “Even a large majority of older Millennials and those with higher incomes say they’re being forced to delay homeownership because they can’t save for a down payment and don’t feel financially secure enough to buy.”

In today’s market, only 20% of Millennial respondents own a home and the majority of them carry a student debt load that surpasses their income level at $41,200 versus an average annual income of $38,800.

Most of the survey’s respondents, 79%, indicated they borrowed money to pay for the education at a four-year college and about 51% said they are repaying a balance of more than $40,000.

Among those Millennials who do not own a home, 83% indicated their student loan debt has affected their ability to buy. The median amount of time Millennials expect to be delayed at buying a home is seven years, and 84% expect to postpone buying a home for a least three years.

And even among older Millennials who already own a home, student debt still continues to influence their decisions and prevent them from buying a trade-up home.

“Millennial homeowners who can’t afford to trade up because of their student debt end up staying put, which slows the turnover in the housing market and exacerbates the low supply levels and affordability pressures for those trying to buy their first home,” Yun said.

NAR explained that in order to keep the housing market moving, more options are needed to help reduce student debt levels for future students and help Millennials better manage their current debt levels.

“Student debt is a reality for the majority of students attending colleges and universities across our country,” ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy said. “We cannot allow educational debt to hold back whole generations from the financial milestones that underpin the American Dream, like home ownership.”

“The results of this study reinforce the need for solutions that both reduce education debt levels for future students, and enable current borrowers to make that debt manageable, so they don’t have to put the rest of their financial goals on hold,” Eddy said.

Currently, some lenders offer programs which allow those with student debt more options when it comes to home buying, including lenders who use Fannie Mae’s recently adopted policies which allow for student loan cash-out refinances and other options.

“Realtors are actively working with consumers and policy leaders to address the growing burden student debt is having on homeownership,” NAR President William Brown said. “We support efforts that promote education and simplify the student borrowing process, as well as underwriting measures that make it easier for homebuyers carrying student loan debt to qualify for a mortgage.”

However, this is just one study of many. In 2015, TransUnion announced the results of its study which seemed to show student loans have absolutely no impact on housing.

Another study from Fannie Mae showed that student debt does, in fact, delay homeownership, however college grads are much more likely to become homeowners at some point than those who don’t attend college.

ZipLogix makeover could clean up transaction management

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

ZipForms is about much more than forms.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) member benefit has long been an everyday partner to countless agents across the country.

Understandably though, as CRMs document automation tools and transaction management suites have rapidly proliferated throughout the industry, “free” tools provided by your largest professional association are easy to feel indifferent about, especially when a savvy sales team for another product is in your ear about a cool new app.

But members take note: The new version of zipLogix, zipForms parent, is demonstrating much of the same document and transaction management might as any platform in the industry.

The new zipLogix dashboard, now the gateway into a user’s workflow, is sharply designed, balancing subtle color-coding with a clear division of information-access points throughout…

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty names August top producers

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty has announced the firm’s top producers for the month of August. For the Rehoboth branch, the top listing agent was Dennis Barnes. The top selling agent was Frank Hornstein. The top overall agent was Skip Faust. For the Lewes branch, the top listing agent was Joanie Hannigan. The top selling agent was Ruth Sivils. The top overall agent was Dolores Desmond.  

Barnes has been a career Realtor for 15-plus years specializing in all aspects of the business, including residential, investment properties, land development, second homes, farms and commercial. He enjoys spending time with his family, riding motorcycles and volunteering to help veterans and youth in the community.   

Hornstein recently joined Coldwell Banker Resort Realty. He has a bachelor of science degree in management from Penn State University. Prior to real estate, he owned and operated his own business, Plantworks Design Group in Washington, D.C. Before moving to the area full time, he enjoyed weekend visits for over 15 years. 

Faust, a licensed Realtor since 1986, is a Lewes native. He has been recognized as Delaware’s No. 1 agent for the Coldwell Banker Brand for 20 years and is a member of the President’s International Elite Circle, ranking him within the top 2 percent of all Coldwell Banker sales associates internationally. He is actively involved as a coach, board member and mentor with Lewes Little League.

Hannigan, a licensed Realtor since 2007, first moved to Delaware in 2002 when she helped her family open Serendipity Restaurant. She is a founding charter member of the Sussex County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors and served as its president in 2012 and in 2014 as state governor. She remains an active member of the chapter. 

Sivils, a licensed Realtor since 2003 and associate broker since 2010, is past president and an active member of the Sussex County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. She volunteers her free time with Habitat for Humanity building homes. She has also served on the board of directors for the Sussex County Association of Realtors.  

Desmond, vice president and broker of record of the Lewes office, has been licensed since 1997. She has been recognized as a top producer for the last nine consecutive years, and is a member of the President’s Multi-Million Dollar Circle. Desmond has earned her Certified Distressed Property Expert designation, specializing in short sales and helping homeowners find alternatives to foreclosures. She is a charter member and past board member of the Sussex County Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. 

Barnes, Hornstein, Faust, Hannigan, Sivils and Desmond are all members of the Sussex County Association of Realtors, the Delaware Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Barnes, Hornstein and Faust may be reached at 20184 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth or by calling 302-227-5000.  Hannigan, Sivils and Desmond may be reached at 800 Kings Highway, Lewes or by calling 302-645-2881.

REALTORS® Relief Foundation Accepting Donations for Hurricane Victims

The REALTORS® Relief Foundation, a 501(c)(3) administered by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is collecting monetary donations at www.nar.realtor/rrf to provide housing-related assistance to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the organization recently announced. NAR’s Leadership Team has already approved a $600,000 donation by the organization to the Foundation, and REALTORS® collectively have donated $1.2 million so far.

Every dollar donated goes directly to victims of disasters, NAR covers 100 percent of administrative expenses.

“The devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is enormous, and our thoughts and support go out to all those affected,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “The National Association of REALTORS® wants our members and the consumers they serve to know that the REALTOR® family is here for them; we encourage one and all to join NAR in donating to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation at www.nar.realtor/rrf.”

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The REALTORS® Relief Foundation was established 16 years ago after the 9/11 attacks. The foundation is dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to those whose lives have been impacted by disasters. Donations are tax-deductible

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

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

Real items

Coldwell Banker brings on associates; newcomer earns title

A host of agents recently joined one of the larger real estate companies in the Charleston area and will be based in the Goose Creek branch.

The sales pros affiliating with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage include Joe Swisher, Lisa Carter, Jennifer Dalling, Bethany Hooper and Heather O’Neill. Hooper also earned a Pricing Strategy Advisor certification.

A lifelong Connecticut resident, Dalling brings two years experience in real estate sales and more than 15 years in the home construction and remodeling industries to the Goose Creek office.

“My knowledge, networking tools, resources and recent experience relocating myself allows me to understand the stresses of such a drastic move and I will help make this transition a smoother, more stress free experience,” she says.

Reach Dalling at 203-913-0076 or jennifer.dalling@cbcarolinas.com.

O’Neill says, “I am excited to provide the highest level of customer service to my customers and clients. I pride myself in putting their needs as top priority and making their experience smooth and enjoyable as possible, while giving them the best representation in every transaction,” she says.

Reach O’Neill at 757-406-0843, or Heather.oneill@cbcarolinas.com.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is a leading residential real estate brokerage company with 28 offices and more than 1,100 sales associates serving the communities of North and South Carolina. For more information or to view local properties, visit ColdwellBankerHomes.com. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is a subsidiary of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company.

Swisher, Carter and Hooper each ” look forward to providing the best customer service and helping buyers and sellers achieve their needs” thanks to their area knowledge.

Contact Swisher at 843-819-7823 or joe.swisher@cbcarolinas.com, Carter at 843-557-7287 or lisa.carter@cbcarolinas.com and Hooper at 843-597-8427 or bethany.hooper@cbcarolinas.com.

Trina Woods, branch manager of the Goose Creek Office, says the company is “very happy” to welcome the five brokers the Coldwell Banker network and that their “knowledge of the area and commitment to excellent customer service leads to making customers for life.”

Meanwhile, Hooper gained a certification for her expertise in determining property values.

The National Association of Realtors recognizes the countrywide Pricing Strategy Advisor designation. It offers the PSA certification to Realtors to uphold skill and competence, make the best use of technology and commit to approach the assignment of pricing properties “from various prospectives,” the NAR says.

“The market demands accurate property value assessments, so NAR is excited to provide Realtors with enhanced tools, education and expertise to determine the most accurate value for a home and give their clients a leg up when buying or selling,” says NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida.

Hooper passed a required one-day course on “Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA” (comparative market analysis). The workshop provides Realtors with the experience to select appropriate “comparables” — recently sold nearby properties with similar characteristics to a particular residence or site — make “accurate adjustments, guide sellers and buyers through the details of comparative market analyses and the underlying pricing principles that inform them and interact effectively with appraisers,” according to the Realtors association.

In addition to completing the course, participants are required to view two online seminars. The certification equips Realtors “to guide clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values,” the association says. Visit www.pricingstrategyadvisor.org.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage describes itself as a “leading residential real estate brokerage company” with 28 offices and more than 1,100 sales associates serving  communities in South Carolina and North Carolina. It’ss a subsidiary of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company. For more, visit www.ColdwellBankerHomes.com.

Northrup teams up with major Charleston area real estate company


A magazine backer and mother recently joined Carolina One Real Estate as an agent in its Mount Pleasant U.S. Highway 17 North office.

After raising three children in Pittsburgh, Lisabeth Northrop and her husband Bill relocated to Charleston in 2015 to start Mt. Pleasant Lifestyle, a luxury community publication. This year, “fulfilling a 30 year desire,” she obtained her real estate license and chose Carolina One Real Estate to begin her new career.

Carolina One Real Estate says it’s “happy to welcome” her to the East Cooper office’s team.

Northrup was born in Kinnelon, New Jersey, and grew up there. After high school graduation, she moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where she would graduate from the University of South Florida in Tampa with a social work degree.

In her leisure time, she enjoys home decorating, reading, bible study and competitive swimming, according to the Charleston-area agency.

Carolina One Real Estate Services showcase a full service mortgage division, around a dozen sales offices and departments specializing in commercial real estate, insurance, new homes, property management, relocation, title services and vacation rentals. Visit www.carolinaone.com.

Houston Association of Realtors: HAR’s temporary housing website responds to needs after Harvey

One of the basic necessities of life is shelter. With this in mind, the Houston Association of Realtors has launched a temporary housing section of its Texas real estate search site, HAR.com.

With the goal of helping as many people as possible who had their homes damaged or destroyed along the Texas Gulf Coast, the site will allow Realtors, property owners, landlords and property managers to post homes that they agree to make available on a temporary basis.

Some of the homes posted may be available for reduced rent or even free, depending on the owner.

If someone would like to post a home available for anywhere from one week to 12 weeks, they may visit www.har.com/temporaryhousing and input the requested contact and property information.

Once the process has been completed, the property will be posted on HAR.com and be searchable by those looking for temporary housing.

Since HAR.com displays properties for sale or lease across the state of Texas, this temporary housing service is available in any areas that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Realtor community has come together in support of those affected by the storm in a variety of ways.

HAR contributed $250,000 to the Texas Realtors Disaster Relief Fund, which is administered by the Texas Association of Realtors.

The San Antonio Board of Realtors contributed nearly $110,000 ($10 for every member) to the effort. The National Association of Realtors also contributed $1 million to the same fund. More than $1 million was dispersed in the first week following Hurricane Harvey, with a total of $2.6 million and counting contributed by individuals, associations and businesses.

While the fund has currently stopped accepting new applications for assistance due to the overwhelming response, it continues to accept donations to help as many people as possible. You may contribute by visiting TexasRealEstate.com and clicking on the red banner at the top of the page.

Many local and state associations and Multiple Listing Services have reached out to offer assistance to those in Texas who were affected.

HAR heard from associations in North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Nevada and many others.

The Florida Association of Realtors put together 25,000 shelter kits that included all the necessities like soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush and more.

RealTracs, which is the MLS for Middle Tennessee, offered its own disaster relief fund to assist Realtors and their families in Texas.

Additionally, national real estate franchises, brokers and real estate-related corporations have contributed in aggregate millions of dollars, as well as their other resources to the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort.

A few tips for investment buyers

En esta imagen, tomada el 12 de septiembre de 2017, el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, habla durante una reunión de su gobierno en la Casa Blanca, Washington. (AP Foto/Alex Brandon)

No more 6% commission – these brokers will sell your house for a flat fee

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No more 6% commission - these brokers will sell your house for a flat-fee

In an increasingly crowded and competitive real estate market, brokers are messing with traditional models, and that could mean big savings for sellers and buyers.

For decades, the 6 percent commission for real estate agents has been pretty standard, but then came 2 percent and 1 percent offers from new brokerages, and now, just a flat fee.

London-based Purplebricks, which is barely 3 years old, launched its new U.S. business in Los Angeles on Friday, after raising $60 million in special stock offering.

It offers the full services of a regular real estate brokerage for just $3,200. That includes professional photography, 3-D virtual tours, help with staging, home tours and listings on all the major online platforms.

Buyers who choose Purplebricks as their agent will receive a $1,000 rebate on closing. The model has been successful in the U.K., and the company expanded into Australia in 2016.

“I think what’s great about our model is it’s new in the U.S., but it has been proven in the U.K. within three years,” said Eric Eckardt, Purplebricks’ U.S. CEO. “When they launched in the U.K., they weren’t the first flat-fee model, but the way they approached the market, with a full hybrid offering, with the customer service from listing to closing, with a local real estate professional to provide all the services associated with that — it has really been a competitive differentiator.”

Purplebricks is not the first flat-fee model in America. Reali recently launched in San Francisco with much the same offering but a higher flat-fee of $4,950, likely because of San Francisco’s higher median home price. It is now expanding to Sacramento, California.

“The differentiation we make is not just our agents or fees,” said Reali CEO Amit Haller. “We created significant technology and a strong efficiency of our agents. That’s what allows us to reduce costs so significantly at the consumer level.”

Haller said that as his company reaches other, lower-priced markets, the flat fee may decrease.

Both Reali and Purplebricks focus heavily on technology, which is taking over the real estate business in general. Haller started in tech and then moved to real estate.

“In general, the real estate market is being disrupted by many people, and I think that many of us, as a company, we expect a lot. We are going after the same war,” Haller said. “We want to change things for the consumer.”

On the agent side, the draw is that real estate professionals no longer have to negotiate commissions and haggle with other agents. Purplebricks is also giving agents another incentive: exclusive territories.

“They will be independent contractors,” Eckardt said. “We are the only real estate firm we’re aware of in U.S. that will offer a model where if you work with Purplebricks we’re going to assign you a group of territories defined by ZIP codes that no one in our office can compete with, so as an agent you own that market.”

Agents will earn a portion of the flat fee and also a portion of the commission split on the buy side, whether they sell a Purplebricks listing or any other listing on the open market, Eckardt said.

Last year, flat fees were paid to agents in just 2 percent of all home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. The association has no definitive stance on the flat-fee model.

“We encourage all business models to come in,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “We don’t favor one business over the other, and we let the Realtors in a very competitive market do their best to get the consumers.”

Consumers in Los Angeles seemed split on the idea of a flat-fee model. Michael Degala bought a home eight months ago and remains skeptical.

“Because they’re getting paid the $3,200, they’re not working for something,” Degala said.

Randall McArthur sold his home in 2013 and paid a 6 percent commission to his agent. He was more intrigued with the flat-fee idea.

“We would have thought about it, sure. I mean you look at a $6,000 commission versus $3,200, and you’d have to say, what am I getting for that money?” McArthur said.

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Adults who opt not to have kids cause ripple effects in US housing market

With a decrease in the number of people having children, smaller homes are gaining favor. Photo: Creighton A. Welch, STAFF / CWELCH@EXPRESS-NEWS.NET

Sara Moran’s closet in her Colonial house, built in 1920, once served as a nursery for a past homeowner. But Moran and her husband don’t need that nursery. They have no plans to extend beyond the confines of their two bedrooms and small yard in Stratford, Conn.

“Because we’re not going to have kids, I don’t really worry about having a big yard. Same with having more room,” she said. “We’re never going to have kids and ever feel like we’re going to be expanding.”

The fertility rate in the United States has fallen to its lowest levels since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began keeping records in 1909. The general fertility rate is the total number of births per 1,000 women age 15 to 44. According to provisional data, the rate last year was 62 births per 1,000 women.

The decrease in the number of people having children affects the real estate market and decisions.

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“Clearly, it’s not a one-year change,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “It’s been occurring throughout the years here in the U.S. and many developed countries (with) smaller family size, delayed marriages, fewer kids, so all these trends, and how does this impact housing or could impact housing for the long haul.”

In 2015, just over 70 percent of households had no children living there, a growth of three percentage points over 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey.

The numbers grow starker when filtered by age. Compared with four years earlier, the number of people 25 to 29 years old and 35 to 44 who didn’t have kids in their household grew by more than 5 percent. The number of 30- to 34-year-olds without children rose by 4 percent.

Those statistics for people age 25 to 44 outpace the 3 percent growth in childless households across all age groups.

Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said people generally look for 800 square feet of home per person in the household.

Moran said not many people want a two-bedroom house such as hers because they anticipate having children. But she and her husband, who bought their home in 2015, are content with their 1,200 square feet.

“Even our real estate agent said, ‘It’s going to be too small. You’re going to want to move,’ ” Moran said. “I kept saying, ‘Well, I’m not having children, so it doesn’t really matter.’ ”

About 90 percent of buyers with children younger than 18 at home bought a detached single-family house, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. But for those without children at home, that number fell to 79 percent. Instead, more chose townhouses and condos.

Part of the reason for this trend, besides wanting less space, is people without children tend to prefer urban areas. Those desires go hand in hand.

“We’re seeing this trend in many metro markets, so clearly there is a consumer desire and preference for wanting to move closer to the city,” Yun said. “That’s generally associated also with smaller-sized homes because those big McMansions that are being built are typically out in the more distant suburbs where the land is plentiful.”

Buyers without children said their neighborhood choice was more influenced by convenience to friends, family, shopping and entertainment, according to the 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

This mirrors trends on the home building side. Builders have less land available to develop in desirable urban areas, leading to smaller yards and lot sizes, Dietz said.

But Dietz said many people still want a suburban feel, perhaps with townhouses.

Experts agreed that there is demand for medium-density, walkable neighborhoods closer to city centers – and for smaller homes.