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Is Now a Good Time to Rent? …Nope!

People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home, but nobody ever asks when a good time to rent is. Regardless, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 first quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Rent Increases

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether or not you should renew your lease, you might be pleasantly surprised at your ability to buy a home of your own instead.

Bottom Line

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy, please give us a call.  We can help determine if you are able to today!

via Keeping Current Matters Thank you for your relevant content!


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What’s Up With Housing This Week?

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Millennial House HuntingHouse Hunting in Florida, Millennial Style…
Millennials are a strong, and growing, segment of the home real estate market, but they approach the task differently than their parents do.
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SustainabilityImproving Building Performance Through Initiatives, Incentives, and Mandates.
Several U.S. cities offer design- and code-related programs to encourage architects and developers to pursue sustainability more vigorously.

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HomeownershipIs America Shifting From Renting Back to Owning?
Homeownership rate ticks up in 1Q, much more than renter households.

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Design Ideas3 Design Schemes That are Heating Up This Summer
It’s important to stay focused on the purpose of home improvement. Be prepared to suggest both classic and off-the-wall ideas to help your client manifest their design dreams.

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Construction Labor ShortageConstruction Industry Still Missing Workers.
This lack of workers has become one of the “under-reported factors” behind the rise in home prices.

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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com


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Did You Know That Homeownership Can Impact Your Family’s Health?

The Impact of Homeownership on Family Health

People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. But you will see that there are also social benefits of owning your own home.

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Here is the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the health of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:

  • There is a strong positive relationship between living in poor housing and a range of health problems, including respiratory conditions such as asthma, exposure to toxic substances, injuries and mental health. Homes of owners are generally in better condition than those of renters.
  • Findings reveal that increases in housing wealth were associated with better health outcomes for homeowners.
  • Low-income people who recently became homeowners reported higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and higher perceived control over their lives.
  • Homeowners report higher self-esteem and happiness than renters. For example, homeowners are more likely to believe that they can do things as well as anyone else, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors.
  • Renters who become homeowners not only experience a significant increase in housing satisfaction but also obtain a higher satisfaction even in the same home in which they resided as renters.
  • Social mobility variables, such as the family financial situation and housing tenure during childhood and adulthood, impacted one’s self-rated health.
  • Homeowners have a significant health advantage over renters, on average. Homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health. When adjusting for an array of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing–related characteristics, the homeowner advantage is even larger at 3.1 percent.

via Keeping Current Matters


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Top 12 Tips for a Safer Holiday Home

Safer Holiday Home

Our world is full of risk at every turn—from perilous jobs to dangerous driving conditions. That’s why we all love to get back to our homes and not worry about everyday safety hazards. It’s great to feel comfortable and safe at home, but is it as safe as it can be?

Your home should be your haven: the place where you will be protected from harm. It should be a top priority, and yet every year 1200 people or more visit the emergency room during the holiday months due to accidents and unintended injuries sustained from hidden dangers around the home.

With a sharp eye and preventive action you can reduce the chances of lurking safety dangers for everyone who visits your home.

The Top 12 Home Safety Tips

  1. GOOD LIGHTING— Adequate lighting reduces the risk of tripping and falling both inside and outside your home. This is especially important in winters when days are shorter. Critical areas that need to be illuminated are the stairs, outdoors, and foyers. Make sure your street number is well lit and visible from the street to aid first responders find your home. The fix: Make sure adequate wattage is utilized and long-life bulbs and motion detectors are in place.
  1. ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS?— Electrical issues, like a flickering light or a dead outlet, can be mild annoyances that actually signal serious dangers. If not addressed promptly, a faulty electrical system can result in house fires and shocks. The fix: If you’re experiencing any problems with your electricity, contact a professional right away. In your daily life, make sure electrical cords are not frayed or pierced and extension cords are securely connected. Do not run too many cords to a single outlet. Unplug small appliances, space heaters, and power tools when not in use.
  1. DO ROUTINE CLEANING— Not maintaining your appliances leads to a greater chance of accidental home fires. The fix: Do simple tasks regularly like cleaning grease off your stovetop, emptying the lint trap on your dryer, and keeping your chimney clean and clear.
  1. SMOKE AND GAS DETECTORS— Every home needs functional warning devices that detect smoke and gases. The fix: When purchasing smoke alarms, make sure they also detect carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is especially dangerous because it is colorless and odorless. Replace the batteries every six months—or whenever you change your clocks. Create an emergency evacuation plan, build a preparedness kit, and practice regular safety drills with your family to ensure awareness of procedures.
  1. SECURE YOUR HOME— Many homes now have the latest technological advancements but still rely on locks and hardware from decades ago to keep you safe from intruders. The fix: Do an audit of all entry points to your home—doors and windows and screens. If any do not have secure screens, locks, and deadbolts, have them installed. For those entry points that do already have door knobs, handles, and locks, make sure that they are in good working condition.
  1. WHEN YOU ARE AWAY— We all enjoy long weekends and out-of-town vacations, but unfortunately that leaves your home vulnerable to intruders. The fix: Create the illusion that someone may still be there. Leave a TV or stereo on in the room where a burglar would most likely break in. Have neighbor pick up mail and the daily paper. Turn down phone ringers, keep blinds drawn, and don’t leave unsecured valuables in the home even if you think they are well-hidden. Never hide keys around the home or garden, and don’t leave notes on the door that suggest you are out of town.
  1. HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS— Even if you are an expert and know your way around electrical, plumbing, car or other household repairs, proceed with caution. A poor repair could be a recipe for disaster. The fix: Call a professional or ask me for a referral from our trusted sources.
  1. VEHICLE CAUTION— Remember that there is danger even before you drive on the street. If you are backing your car up, watch out for children and pets on the sidewalk and road. The fix: Be cautious and proceed slowly when driving vehicles in or out of your driveway. If your driveway does not have good visibility in both directions, walk down and look in both directions before you get in your car.
  1. MAKE IT SAFE FOR VISITORS— If you are hosting friends and family, consider what additional safety challenges they may face. The fix: Put yourself in the shoes of a small child and look for low, hard edges, sharp objects, easy-to-open cabinets with chemicals and cleaning agents. Look for falling and tripping hazards that may fell seniors.
  1. BRACE YOURSELF— Heavy objects are rarely braced in the home. Appliances, artwork, televisions, and aquariums present real hazards if they are knocked down by a person or a natural disaster. The fix: Strap and brace heavy objects and use security hardware for large artwork.
  1. UNCOVER HIDDEN DANGERS— If your home was built before the late seventies, there’s likely lead in the paint under the top coats on your walls and windows, and there might be traces in the varnish used on many hardwood floors. In addition, asbestos often can be found in insulation and “popcorn” ceiling textures. The fix: Hire a licensed contractor to test for possible contaminants and remove them safely, especially prior to a remodel.
  1. MOTHER NATURE— Your homeowners insurance will cover you in many instances, but did you know that you may not be insured against natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes? They typically require an additional policy. The fix: Contact your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate replacement coverage as home values escalate and coverage amounts can stay static. Discuss costs for adding disaster policies for the natural disaster most likely to hit your area. Finally, having a disaster and communication plan can minimize the risks.

Safety Dangers to Kids You May Not Think About

Do you have small children who live with you? Even if you don’t, with the holiday season rapidly approaching, your home may welcome friends with young children and older family members. This makes now the ideal time to survey home your home for potential safety problems.

OPEN WATER

Did you know that as little as an inch of water can be a major hazard? A pail of water in the yard, large puddles from a storm, even a washing machine can induce a small child to trip or fall into and become at risk. The fix: Watch for open ice chests and other standing water, and don’t leave toilet seats open.

SMALL BATTERIES

Button-sized lithium batteries power small electronic devices, including remote controls, watches, musical greeting cards, and ornaments. When accidently swallowed, they can get stuck in the esophagus and generate an electrical current that can cause severe chemical burns and tissue damage. The fix: Only let small children play with mechnical devices and toys under supervision, and make sure to put these items away when not in use.

WINDOWS AND STAIRS

Every year, more than 5,000 kids end up in the emergency room after tumbling out of a window. Combat that by installing window guards or window stops so kids can’t fall out. Stairs are another potential hazard for youngsters with less-than-perfect balance. The fix: Baby gates can prevent young kids from venturing up or down. Steps should always have firm footing and be clear of objects as even older people can slip and fall or trip on items left on the stairs.

FAMILY PETS

Cats can scratch a child not used to playing with finicky felines. The family dog may be big and loving but can outweigh a child by five times. Children can be easily knocked down, nipped, or even bitten by a dog not used to the activity of small children. The fix: Monitor play activity and make sure your pet is not getting anxious or annoyed.

CORDS

Babies can be strangled by cords on blinds and shades. The fix: Excessive cords of all types should be removed or secured down. Always keep cribs away from windows with loose cords.

Now’s the Time

With the upcoming holidays at hand, now is the perfect time to survey your home and address potential safety hazards to yourselves, your family, and your friends. It doesn’t take long, most fixes are very inexpensive and simple to do, and your efforts will pay dividends in peace of mind for years to come.

If you would like our advice on how to make your home safer and need a list of trusted sources for home repairs, please contact us today. We want to help ensure that your home is safe and secure for your family.


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Housing News of Interest

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Florida Association of Realtors4 out of 5 people think homeownership a good investment.
NAHB: “Most Americans believe owning a home remains an integral part of the American Dream” – policymakers need to encourage and protect homeownership.

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Trending Bathroom PhotosTop 10 Trending Bathroom Photos on Houzz
Whether you love sleek contemporary washrooms or rustic loos, Houzz has you covered. Here are great ideas featured in the most popular bathroom photos over the past three months.

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Janet YellenThe Case for a Rate Hike Has Strengthened…
The case for raising U.S. interest rates has strengthened in recent months because of improvements in the labor market and expectations for moderate economic growth, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday.
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Urban Millennials

Millennial Preferences Are Reshaping U.S. Cities
’18-hour cities’ lure millennials with better career and lifestyle options and a mix of housing, retail, entertainment and green-space options.

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PRO LogoPinellas County Real Estate Statistics for July 2016
This summer the Pinellas County Housing Market has been nothing short of sizzling. For July we see some stats start to cool off, but every indication remains that our market continues to be strong.

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Construction DetailsSuccess is in the Details: Understanding Your Product at a Micro-Level
When it comes to selling homes, our knowledge of the building process can be the difference between making a successful sale and not.

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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com

 


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Interesting Housing News

In case you hadn’t heard, we are having another Coffee Corner next Friday, the 26th, at 9:30am. Please join us and learn about:  Changes to The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA)

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Presidential Election and the Real Estate IndustryWill the Upcoming Presidential Election Affect Job Growth and/or the Real Estate Market? Does the political party the president belongs to determine job growth and real estate demand?

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"Henry" LoansLow Down Payments Would Reward High Earners in ‘Henry’ Loans…  Mortgage lenders may loosen jumbo-loan down payment requirements for a so-called “Henry”—an acronym for ‘High Earner, Not Rich Yet.’

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AgrihoodsHomes built adjacent to functioning farms?
Welcome to “Agrihoods” — pastoral ventures with healthier foods as their focus. This farm-to-table residential model has been sprouting up everywhere from Atlanta to Shanghai.

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Big banks are fleeing the mortgage marketMore Big Banks Just Say ‘No’ to Mortgage Lending.
Some analysts think big banks will retreat entirely, leaving mortgages to small banks and online lenders.
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Importance of HomeownershipImportance of Homeownership Finally Makes Political Debate. Tuesday, one of the candidates running for President spoke out about the importance of homeownership in America.

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Barbi's Smart HouseThe future is here: Even Barbie has a smart home.
Barbie’s Dreamhouse now has voice-activated smart home commands.

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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com

 


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Interesting Housing News

Higher Interest RatesShould I Pay a Mortgage Interest Rate over 4%? 
Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago; a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

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Building EquityThinking of Buying a Home? Equity Matters A LOT…  Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.

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Lux Condo Marketing PlanWill a Retail Gimmick Work for Selling Lux Condos? Do you think the “buy-a-pair, give-a-pair” business model be successful with housing?

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FHA & CondosThe FHA has, for a long time, had to deal with complaints about their condo standards.  RealtyTrac.com explains, they’ve loosened the way the owner-occupancy percentage is calculated, which could open up the condo market.

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Home Trends That May Not Work5 Home Trends That Might Not Always Work.
Just like in the world of fashion, builders and their clients shouldn’t blindly follow trends when it comes to home design.

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http://www.TitleSecurityFL.com