Real Estate

Carson: NIMBY Should No Longer Be an Issue for Affordable Housing

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 22, 2019 - 2:00am

HUD Secretary Ben Carson calls for more affordable housing and reassures homeowners that they shouldn’t fear it.

Categories: Real Estate

Lower Mortgage Rates May Sprout Early Spring Buying Season

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 22, 2019 - 2:00am

For the third consecutive week, mortgage rates continued to inch lower.

Categories: Real Estate

Bank Vows to Close a Mortgage in 3 Weeks or Give Borrower $1K

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 22, 2019 - 2:00am

Chase Home Lending has launched a closing guarantee program that is aimed at speeding up the time it takes to get to the settlement table.

Categories: Real Estate

Three Generations in One Apartment Building? That Was the Grandparents’ Idea

Daily Real Estate News - February 21, 2019 - 5:02pm

(TNS)—When the three generations of the Haven clan—eight members in all—gather for a family get-together, no one has to travel very far.

The patriarch and matriarch—Clayton, 84, and Sharon, 76—live on the ground floor of a 1910 apartment building in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego. Their son, Matt, 45, his wife, Carla, 44, and their three children—Chris, 15, Molly, 13, and Nate, 12—live on the second floor in a 1,300-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment that was converted out of two one-bedroom rentals. Their daughter, Amy, lives in a street-facing, 350-square-foot studio with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves installed by her father.

This close living arrangement might seem to hold the potential for family squabbles or regular invasions of privacy, but the Havens seem content with this communal life they have created.

“We know how to leave each other alone when we need to,” Amy says. “It’s so much easier for my parents, and they have the room they need. I think it works because we are considerate of one another.”

The way we age-in-place has changed dramatically in the last decade—co-housing instead of assisted living, accessory dwelling units instead of naturally occurring retirement communities—but concern about aging parents is the same as it always has been. While many children struggle to find suitable living arrangements for their parents, the eldest Havens came up with a unique solution to the pressures of Southern California’s cost of living, and family needs: They downsized and consolidated into a two-story apartment building they’d used for rental property, and divided up the six units to accommodate physical needs, as well as the need for privacy for the rest of the family.

The elders now get to live on the ground level with plenty of relatives to check in on them. Their children also get some financial relief by moving in and paying close to market rent—and keep an eye on their parents in the process—and the three grandkids get to grow up with a sense of family.

Three years ago, Clayton and Sharon sold their three-story, 2,200-square-foot home in San Diego and moved into the apartment building they had bought 20 years ago as an investment property. (The couple retired after wide-ranging careers that included his work as a light-rail consultant and hers writing and editing for interior design publications.)

The home had become a “major maintenance burden,” Sharon says. “I was tired of stairs. We decided to sell it, move into our rental apartment and travel. We felt like this was our window to make our own decisions.”

With one in five Americans now living in multigenerational households, according to the Pew Research Center, it’s not surprising that son Matt and his family chose to leave New Jersey and move in, too.

“They wanted to move to California but knew they couldn’t afford the home prices or rents,” Sharon explains.

Matt’s sister, Amy, a special-education teacher, was already renting a street-level studio in the apartment building.

Following the sale of their home, Clayton and an assistant worked to gut and renovate each unit, tackling the foundation, plumbing and electrical in the process. On the second floor, two one-bedroom apartments were combined to create four bedrooms for Matt’s family of five. Clayton and Sharon occupy the back, ground-floor apartment, as well as a freestanding cottage behind the building. That left a studio apartment to use as a guest room or Airbnb rental.

After Clayton suffered a stroke while traveling in Costa Rica last year, Sharon became pragmatic about the future of the spare unit.

“If we need more care as we age, we can move a full-time caregiver into that apartment,” she says.

Walking down the street, you can’t miss the colorful purple-and-green Harlequin accents on their building between a Thai restaurant and auto shop. Far from their former quiet cul-de-sac in Mission Hills, their new neighborhood is filled with restaurants, a brewery, coffeehouses and a theater.

From their home base, the Havens have easy access to public transportation and can walk to the laundromat and gym. School is three blocks away, and Matt, a pastry chef, can ride his bike to his job at the San Diego Convention Center about eight miles away.

Each unit is unique and addresses each person’s needs in a small amount of space. Sharon and Clayton each have an office, and Clayton, who follows a special diet, cooks meals in the apartment kitchen tailored to his needs. Once or twice a week, the family meets for meals in a bougainvillea-filled courtyard between the building and cottage. The couple spends evenings together in the cottage, a clean and modern unit filled with masks and artworks from their travels.

“I don’t miss the house,” Clayton says. “This has solved all of our problems. I have a much easier time maintaining things. And we get to see each other in passing every day.”

Sharon believes the family’s around-the-world tour in 1989 helped them learn how to live peacefully together.

“We took our kids out of school when they were 14 and 16 and backpacked around the world for a year,” she says. “We learned about community and how to respect one another.”

The biggest adjustment has been “the realities of dense urban living and getting used to smaller spaces,” Sharon says.

Still, there are rewards. For Amy, the apartment allows her to maintain her privacy while keeping an eye on her dad.

“There are seven us who can tend,” she says. “I like that I can check on my dad.” 

©2019 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Categories: Real Estate

Video: Spotting Scam Emails

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 21, 2019 - 2:00am

A new video featuring NAR Vice President of IT Liz Sturrock focuses on what real estate professionals should know about scam emails.

Categories: Real Estate

Millennials Prove Their Buying Force Has Arrived

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 21, 2019 - 2:00am

Young adults are now taking on more mortgages than any other generation and are upping their purchase power in some surprising locations.

Categories: Real Estate

Existing-Home Sales Roll Back to 2015 Levels

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 21, 2019 - 2:00am

But NAR’s chief economist is optimistic that a reversal is in sight. Read more from NAR’s latest housing report.

Categories: Real Estate

The High-Priority Home Features for Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 21, 2019 - 2:00am

Home shoppers get practical about what they consider “essential” or “desirable” in a property.

Categories: Real Estate

6 Emerging Home Automation Products for Savvy Clients

Daily Real Estate News - February 20, 2019 - 4:50pm

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD). 

Each January, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) showcases cutting-edge technology by companies from around the world. The show even has an entire section of its website dedicated to smart homes. This year, home automation showed up in a big way, including these unveilings for tech-loving current and potential homeowners.

For those serving younger homebuyers, remember that these groups have immense buying power and will be demanding more and different homes and home features than older generations. In the future, some of these may include:

  1. Smart Mirrors
    As if smartphones and smart televisions weren’t enough, mirrors are also becoming a “smart” product, including three very different options:
  • Capstone Connected Home is launching a Google-enabled smart mirror that responds to voice or a touchscreen keyboard, like your favorite tablet. Watch videos, view your schedule, check traffic and weather, access Google Drive and type out an email while getting ready for work! (Available soon; price not disclosed.)
  • A different type of smart mirror from LG scans your body and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend the most suitable clothes from different categories (work, casual, formal). Select among suggested offerings and have items delivered to your door. (This is still in the concept stage.)
  • A third smart mirror from Artemis uses AI to recommend makeup and hair styles, which are displayed over your image, providing a preview of what looks best. More than 50 health, beauty and wellness integrations are expected. The CareOS mirror is scheduled to hit the market later this year with an initial price tag of $20,000!
  1. A ‘Disappearing’ Television
    Want to watch television on a large screen, but don’t want that large screen monopolizing your living space? LG has been playing with flexible screens for several years, and is finally bringing one to market. Its 65-inch 4K version OLED television rolls up and down from a base that includes a high-end, built-in sound bar. There’s also an option to display the top fourth of the screen to view music controls, smart home gadgets, etc. It’s expected to become available this spring at “premium pricing.”
  1. A Peephole Smart Camera
    Ring, the makers of several popular video doorbells, are adding a Door View Cam that converts a front door peephole into a smart security camera. Like other Ring devices, the camera includes video recording and a two-way intercom that connects to your smartphone. (Available later this year for $199.)
  1. Robot Vacuums With AI
    Need a smarter robotic floor-keeper? The Deebot Ozmo 960 from Ecovacs uses artificial intelligence and visual interpretation (AIVI) to create a vacuum that won’t suck up the wrong things while cleaning up after you. (Available later this year; price not disclosed.)
  1. An AI-Infused Oven
    Want to throw your food in the oven without deciding how it needs to be cooked? Juno launched the first smart oven, and now Whirlpool has a competing countertop product that identifies foods, selects the appropriate cooking temperature and sends cooking status notifications. It also has an in-oven camera and uses voice activation via Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. (Limited quantities available for preorder at $799.)
  1. Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Smart Light Bulb
    Nanoleaf already makes triangular and square light panels but is adding a hexagon-shaped smart light to its Canvas line. The panels can be arranged in endless combinations to create programmable wall (or ceiling) art that reacts to touch or, in rhythm mode, will respond to music. Use them to add ambient lighting schemes to any room or play simple games (Simon, Whack-a-Mole, Candy Crush, etc.). The new hexagons will be available later this year, presumably priced similarly to current Canvas starter kits ($250 for nine tiles).

These are just a few of the many new and improved consumer electronics products releasing this year and beyond. Other categories include new smart smoke and CO2 detectors, smart power strips and smart speakers.

To learn about serving clients buying or selling resource-efficient homes, consider checking out our NAR’s Green Designation Program online bundle of courses. 

And to up your game in buyer representation of today’s evolving buyer consumer, you may want to look into our Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Designation course online, on special this month at 25% off. 

This adapted article originally appeared on the ABR® Designation’s Home Buyer’s Blog on Jan. 28, 2019. 

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

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Categories: Real Estate

Slow Start, but It’s Not Over Yet: 5 Things to Know About This Year’s Flu Season

Daily Real Estate News - February 20, 2019 - 4:39pm

(TNS)—As influenza season trudges on, public health officials report fewer cases than last year’s severe and deadly season.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released recently shows a more effective vaccine compared with the previous two seasons and called this season a low-severity year so far for influenza—classified as having a fever, cough and body aches—but local doctors and public health officials also point out that flu season is far from over, with the illness typically lasting into April. They say those who haven’t received the flu shot this season could still benefit from one.

Here are five things to know about this year’s flu: 

More Typical Season
While this season seems mild compared with last year’s harsh one that sickened 49 million and killed nearly 80,000 people across the country, doctors say this year’s flu actually is typical of years prior to the 2017-18 season.

The CDC estimated this year’s flu season so far has sickened between 13.2 million and 15.2 million nationwide. This includes an estimated 9,600 to 15,900 deaths, according to public health estimates.

Slow Start
Doctors say the season was slow to start and they’ve noticed an uptick of patients this month. Dr. David Dungan, a Lombard internist and pediatrician with DuPage Medical Group, says while he’s had fewer patients than last year, he’s also noticed an uptick in recent weeks.

“I don’t think we should rest yet,” he says. “This is typical; this is why they give us a wide window of influenza season.”

While Dr. Erin McCann, a Chicago pediatrician at Amita Health, says she’s also seen “a lot more flu in the last couple weeks,” she’s noticed those who have had a flu shot have shorter, milder cases.

Vaccine Success
According to the CDC report, the 2018-19 flu season vaccine is 47 percent effective overall and 61 percent effective for children ages 6 months through 17 years. That compares with 40 percent vaccine effectiveness across all age groups for the previous two seasons.

“They must’ve gotten it right,” Dr. Faith Myers, pediatrics chair at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., says of this year’s flu shot.

Myers says her Lemont pediatrics practice is “as slow as it’s ever been” during a flu season, and the only patients she’s seen with influenza didn’t get the flu shot. Last year, she saw even immunized patients get sick, she says.

CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund says the main strain of influenza circulating this year is H1N1, a strain “the vaccine tends to perform a little bit better against.” Last year, another strain, H3N2, was more predominant, she says. That could have contributed to the severity of the season because while the vaccine protects against H3N2, it’s not as effective at doing so.

While preliminary study data can show vaccine effectiveness, Nordlund says that percent could change—and even increase—when the CDC studies vaccine effectiveness again at the end of the season. There were some limitations to studying this year’s vaccine midseason, she says, because there are fewer people getting sick this year to test, especially given the slow start to the season.

‘It’s Not Too Late’
Dungan, along with the CDC and other public health officials, encourage anyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot to make sure to get one, even though it takes two weeks to become effective.

Dungan also points out that during another H1N1-predominant season, people were still getting sick in May. It was unusual, he says, but it’s possible.

The milder season “should give people confidence the vaccine will be helpful to them,” Dungan says. “It’s not too late.”

Nordland adds that the milder season should give people confidence that the vaccine is working, pointing out that the vaccine aims not only to prevent flu but to lessen the duration and the severity. She also says last year’s harsh season could’ve caused the bump, nationally, in the number of people getting a flu shot this year.

“Everyone remembered how bad it was,” she says.

Multiple Peaks
While local influenza cases had a spike in late December and trended upward again at the start of this month, according to local public health data, it’s not unusual to have a few peaks in a season, says Dr. Marielle Fricchione, medical director of the immunization program with the Chicago Department of Public Health.

“We’re still hearing from doctors and hospitals about high volume,” she says.

Influenza B has barely made an appearance locally or across the country. It’s typical for that strain to show up closer to spring, delivering another peak, Fricchione says. The second wave is another reason doctors recommend flu shots even late into the season.

“It’s worth it,” she says. 

©2019 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Categories: Real Estate

NAR Accelerator Program Eyes Next Big Tech for Commercial Sector

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 20, 2019 - 2:00am

What’s the next big groundbreaking tech to help revolutionize the commercial industry? Second Century Ventures, a strategic investment arm of the National Association of REALTORS®, is on the hunt.

Categories: Real Estate

Sharp Eyes Prevent Tragedy on Commercial Property Tour

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 20, 2019 - 2:00am

A discerning eye saved a group of Philadelphia real estate investors from a near tragedy when touring a recent property.

Categories: Real Estate

Housing Affordability: ‘It’s at a Crisis Level’

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 20, 2019 - 2:00am

Homebuilders say rising costs are limiting their ability to add more housing stock.

Categories: Real Estate

Are Green Features Being Valued Enough in List Prices?

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 20, 2019 - 2:00am

REALTORS® are a big part of making sure they are, panelists said at a session Tuesday at the 2019 Builder Show in Las Vegas.

Categories: Real Estate

Former Fannie Employee Took Bribes to Discount Properties

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 19, 2019 - 2:00am

A former Fannie Mae sales agent was found guilty of accepting millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in discounting foreclosure properties and selling them for below market value.

Categories: Real Estate

Study: Reluctant Refinancers Missed Out on Saving Thousands

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 19, 2019 - 2:00am

Many homeowners are unwilling to refinance, thinking that some offers from banks may be “too good to be true.” But that could be a costly mistake.

Categories: Real Estate

How to Cozy Up a Large Space

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 19, 2019 - 2:00am

Spacious areas can sometimes feel cold and unwelcoming. Here’s how to add some warmth and comfort.

Categories: Real Estate

The 10 Most Common Defects Found in Home Inspections

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 19, 2019 - 2:00am

More than 1 million house repairs have required more than $11,000 in costs, according to a recent review.

Categories: Real Estate

Use Caution When Sending Automated Texts

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 15, 2019 - 2:00am

If automated text messaging is part of your marketing strategy, you could be setting yourself up as a tempting target for plaintiff’s lawyers.

Categories: Real Estate

Google Plans to Invest $13B In Real Estate

NAR Daily News Magazine - February 15, 2019 - 2:00am

The tech giant is proving itself as a powerhouse buyer of real estate across the country.

Categories: Real Estate
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