Least & Most Challenging Markets for First-Time Homebuyers

Recent data by Zillow reveals that first-time homebuyers make up 46 percent of all homebuyers in the nation. They face greater challenges than those who have previously purchased homes as they are more likely to surpass their budget. Zillow makes it easier for those looking to find an affordable first home by listing the least challenging and most challenging housing markets, which will help inform them on the best place to make their investment.

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Combatting Gentrification in The City by the Bay

Coming in as the seventh most expensive city in which to buy a home, according to Coldwell Banker’s Real Estate Home Listing Report, San Francisco—where the average cost of a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house is $1,672,100 and the median household income is $78,378—is home to a housing market that has unabashedly driven out long-time residents and businesses with its skyrocketing property prices.

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7 Financial Tips to Help Prepare for a Natural Disaster

In recognition of National Preparedness Month, it is crucial to prepare yourself and your home for the unexpected. The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) is reminding Americans about the importance of getting their financial affairs in order and offer tips to help them prepare before a natural disaster strikes.

“Having access to pertinent documents and emergency funds is critical in the days and weeks following a natural disaster,” says ICBA Chairman Rebeca Romero Rainey. “Devising a strategy ahead of time can help alleviate victims from undue pressure during an incredibly stressful time. Doing so will also help minimize financial uncertainty, and limit the long-term impacts from damaged, destroyed or lost financial documents.”

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What is the Future of U.S. Housing?

It is no secret that foreign buying activity in American real estate has been vigorous in recent years, with billions of foreign dollars rushing into the market. The diversification and protection of wealth is a major factor in these purchases, driven by calculated investment decisions and often coerced by unpredictable economies overseas. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that between April 2015 and March 2016, foreign buyers spent $102.6 billion on residential properties in the U.S. Despite this gargantuan figure, it is amazingly 1.3 percent lower in dollar volume from the previous year.

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The Buying Power of Asian Americans

The housing market has been turbulent for the past decade, but 2016 has started with a positive trend. According to the Nationwide Economics’ Health of Housing Markets (HoHM) Report, the Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM) for the third quarter of 2015 was higher than 100, their neutral number, and this typically designates a healthy market. The report also confirms that the Metropolitan Statistical Areas’ (MSA) LIHHM performance has been improving since 2012. Continue reading

House Flipping in the United States

Indicative of a competitive housing market with stable demand, house flipping is a practice with a lasting effect throughout the country. According to Business Insider (BI), despite comprising a steady amount of all home sales, the current national flip rate of 5 percent is comparable to non-housing bubble years and significantly lower than the 8.6 percent rate of 2006. Continue reading

Drones: An Exciting New Tool for Real Estate Professionals, and One Full of Risk

The Landy Insurance Agency is a NAWRB strategic partner and steadfast supporter of our mission to provide women and women-owned businesses the tools and awareness for growth and success. Dedicated to providing their clients with the utmost service, Landy is experienced in recognizing pertinent industry issues, developments and initiatives. One of the newest topics Landy is working to address is the use of drone technology in the real estate industry. Discover the ways in which drones are changing the industry and what you can do to protect your business when utilizing today’s latest technology.

Drone technology may be more than a fad but rather, an exciting new tool for many real estate professionals to survey, assess and show properties. Laws around drone use are still in developmental stages, if in existence at all. Similarly, drone usage in real estate is new and untested. What is clear is that real estate professionals can put themselves at risk through the use of drones, and the insurance industry has not yet formulated a cohesive response to coverage. Therefore, current policy coverages and exclusions will need to suffice until drone usage is more specifically addressed in E&O and General Liability policies. Continue reading

Office Space Prices

The cost of housing is something we are all familiar with; from paying your own rent or mortgage to having relatives in other states, we inevitably remain aware of what it costs to live in the United States. But do you know how much office spaces cost? The rates of commercial real estate like office buildings are indicative of the amount of business being conducted in an area and can be used to better understand a region’s current and future economy. Continue reading