People Try Living In A Tiny House


People Try Living In A Tiny House

If you are ever wanting to downsize and get a #tinyhouse I think this  Buzzfeed video is a great little insight!

~ Enjoy ~

Home Prices Rising, Too Much in Some Areas


Home Prices Rising, Too Much in Some Areas

CoreLogic’s February 2017 Home Price Index Report (HPI) reported gains both year-over-year and month-over-month. Home prices including distressed sales rose one percent month-over-month, and seven percent year-over-year.

For March, CoreLogic predicts a 0.4 percent increase in home prices, and a 4.7 percent year-over-year increase. February was the 61st consecutive month of year-over year home prices, including distressed sales, although CoreLogic notes that the national increase is no longer in the double digits.

Single-family home prices are still below the national peak of April 2006, but CoreLogic predicts that prices will reach a new peak in October 2017. Eleven states hit new highs in February: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Only two states showed negative price appreciation: Connecticut and West Virginia.

Some areas, particularly in the western U.S., are still harmed by low inventory. In much of California, Washington, and Oregon, home prices are considered “overvalued” as prices were over 25 percent above sustainable levels.

“Home prices and rents have risen the most in local markets with high demand and limited supply, such as Seattle, Portland, and Denver. The rise in housing costs has been largest for lower-tier-priced homes. For example, from December to February in Seattle, the Core Logic Home Price Index rose 12 percent and our single-family rent index rose 6 percent for all price tiers compared with the same period a year earlier. However, when looking at only low-cost homes in Seattle, the price increase was 13 percent and the rent increase was 7 percent.”

Of the 102 markets listed as overvalued, sixteen of them are in Texas. The amount of overvalued homes is expected to increase into 2022, according to CoreLogic. Still, several markets have shown signs of undervaluation. Many states in the eastern and northeastern U.S. have markets that are undervalued,  though that number is expected to slightly decrease in the next few years.

For the full report from CoreLogic, click here.

Sellers’ Biggest Hurdle? Finding Another Home


Sellers’ Biggest Hurdle? Finding Another Home

The greatest challenge for home sellers this year appears to be finding another home to buy. That’s according to a new survey by Redfin, which found that for almost 66 percent of sellers, the biggest concern they have is finding a new property.

“It’s a seller’s market, but the catch is, most sellers need to buy as well,” said Eileen Lorway, a Redfin real estate agent in the Boston area. “This is a conversation I have with many clients at our first meeting.”

A frequent part of the conversation, Lorway said, were stipulations designed to keep sellers from ending up homeless, or at least unreasonably displaced, once they close the sale.

“We discuss options like ‘seller to find suitable housing’ contingencies for the sale contract, ‘purchase contingent on sale of current home’ options for the buy offer, rental options, stay-with-family options and bridge loans,” she said. “Sellers who are buying need to think outside the box a little bit. It’s not easy, but we often do end up closing on sale and purchase on the same day.”

Redfin’s poll of 800 agents found that more than half reported homes selling faster this year than last. Half also reported that competition for homes that do go on the market now is more fierce. About 57 percent of agents poled said they have been involved in at least one instance of a home receiving 10 or more offers this year; a mere 2 percent said they have yet to be involved in a bidding war at all.

Not insignificantly, nearly a third of agents said that sellers are becoming more demanding. And almost half said though it’s very much a seller’s market, more sellers are making unrealistic demands and asking unrealistic prices for their properties.

Lorway said she encourages sellers who are also buyers to think about selling first.

“They should consider temporary rental options, or moving in with relatives after they sell,” she said.

Half of agents reported that the typical down payment for successful buyers in their market was less than 20 percent. This, Redfin reported, means there are other ways to make an offer competitive‒‒working with a reputable local lender who can guarantee to the seller’s agent that the loan will be approved quickly, for instance, or building a rapport with the seller.

“I recently had an FHA-backed offer with 3.5 percent down beat out four other offers, each of which had conventional 20-percent down loans,” said Tim Zielonka, a Redfin agent in Chicago. “The sellers were at the showing. I introduced them to the buyers and pointed out that both were huge enthusiasts of both vintage bicycles and classic cars, which put them at ease with one another and enabled them to form a natural connection. Had they not discovered this shared interest, my clients may not have gotten the property.”

Fannie Mae: Education & Homeownership Linked


Fannie Mae: Education & Homeownership Linked


Young adults are 3.5 percent less likely to own a home now than they were before the Great Recession, according to a working paper released by Fannie Mae on Thursday. Additionally, the homeownership rate among this demographic has dropped from 45 percent to 35 percent.

The paper, titled “The Shifting Determinants of Young-Adult Homeownership Before and After the Great Recession,” analyzed factors like race, income, education and more on the homeownership rates of young adults aged 25 to 34, as well as trends among the age group.

According to the paper, “more than half of the decline in homeownership among young adults can be explained by individual, parental, and regional characteristics.”

But while overall homeownership rates are lower with young adults today, the paper found there are factors that increase a person’s likelihood to buy. Education, in particular, is a positive influencer.

“Having a bachelor’s degree or higher is associated with a 6 percentage point increase in the likelihood of homeownership, compared with someone who lacks a high school diploma,” the report stated.

But this wasn’t the case before the Great Recession. This may be, the paper posited, because education is a proxy for permanent income or financial literacy.

“Education might also proxy for financial literacy, which could help young households navigate the home purchase and mortgage finance processes,” the paper reported.

According to the paper, educational attainment improves the likelihood of homeownership rates across all races, but particularly blacks and non-Hispanic whites.

“Compared to non-Hispanic white households with less than a high school diploma, the likelihood of homeownership increases by 10.3 percentage points for non-Hispanic whites with a high school diploma, 15.3 percentage points for those with at least some college, and 12.4 percentage points for those with at least a bachelor’s degree,” the report stated. “Black households experience a stepwise increase in the probability of homeownership at each level of education, culminating in a 11.1 percentage point higher likelihood of being a homeowner for black households headed by a college graduate compared with blacks who have less than a high school diploma.”

Overall, the paper found that non-Hispanic whites are more likely to own a home than blacks. Those in married households and households with children are also more likely to own. Income and wealth were also positive influencers.

View the whole paper at

Watch out for Natural Gas Leaks

~ Recently my family experienced a terrifying moment, when my 1 yr old nephew started having a seizure at home. He was quickly taken to the hospital and test were run and he was sent home. A day after being sent home he began throwing up, every couple of hours. When he was taken to his family doctor it was determined he was experiencing Natural Gas Poisoning from the family’s home. Due to this unexpected revelation I have looked up some information for you so that you can prevent anything like this in the future. I hope that this helps keep your family safe and sound. ~
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Benefits for Section 8 landlords in LA County

Benefits for Section 8 landlords in LA County

Benefits for Section 8 landlords in LA County

Last year the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACLA) revealed its plan to offer new incentives to landlords who participate in the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

Spurred by an ever-growing waiting list of Section 8 applicants, the HACLA has since created two programs to encourage landlords to accept housing vouchers:

  1. the Landlord Veteran Incentive Program (VIP), which provides landlords financial and move-in assistance to hold vacant units for veteran applicants; and
  2. the Homeless Incentive Program (HIP), which offers landlords funding and move-in assistance to house homeless tenants and families.

The programs are part of two larger projects to reduce homelessness in Los Angeles County:

  • the Homes for Heroes Initiative; and
  • the Homeless Prevention Initiative.

Both initiatives are funded in part by the LA Board of Supervisors, bringing LA closer to its goal of reducing homelessness across the county — an effective plan that has so far reduced the homeless veteran population by 41% from 2015 to 2016.

Program assistance to landlords

Section 8 — funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by local housing agencies — provides rental assistance to low-income, senior and disabled tenants. The program requires tenants pay rental amounts equal to 30% of their monthly income and subsidizes the remainder of the monthly rent, paid directly to the landlord on the tenant’s behalf.

However, Section 8 tenants in LA County struggle to find landlords who accept housing vouchers. Landlords often pass up Section 8 applicants due to:

  • fears Section 8 tenants are financially unreliable and, thus, a risk; and
  • the relatively low rent limits allowed by the Section 8 program, which induce landlords to opt for tenants who can afford higher rental amounts.

For example, as of 2016, Section 8’s rental limit for a one-bedroom unit is $1,166 across LA County. Any portion of the monthly rent in excess of the limit is to be paid by the tenant directly. With rents across LA County often exceeding these modest rent limits, Section 8 tenants are inevitably priced out of the market and unable to compete with other tenants.

The HACLA’s newest programs aim to offset the risk to landlords by providing financial incentives. Both VIP and HIP provide monetary assistance, which includes:

  • one month’s free rent to hold vacant units;
  • coverage of a security deposit;
  • funding for minor repairs;
  • utility assistance; and
  • furniture essentials.

Landlords participating in VIP or HIP also receive additional assistance to ease them into the program, such as:

  • expedited housing inspections;
  • a dedicated HACLA staff member to assist with the program;
  • qualified referrals from HACLA to fill vacancies; and
  • reliable rental payments directly from the HACLA.

Further reducing risk to landlords is the HACLA’s Damage Claims component, which permits landlords to file a claim for damage to their unit after a Section 8 tenant moves out. Any amount for repairs beyond the security deposit will be reimbursed to the landlord by the HACLA following a move-out inspection.

Landlords interested in participating in LA County’s Section 8 programs need not worry about complicated rental procedures, since they follow much of the same protocol encountered in regular landlord-tenant transactions — with a few additional steps. To take part in VIP or HIP, landlords need to:

  • complete a pre-Request for Tenancy Approval form;
  • schedule an inspection of their vacant unit with the HACLA;
  • enter into a signed agreement with the HACLA to hold a unit for a homeless or veteran tenant;
  • await referral from the HACLA for a qualified tenant to occupy the unit; and
  • once a tenant is placed, enter into a lease agreement with the tenant.

More information about VIP and HIP is available on the HACLA’s website:

The Ultimate Guide to Funky Home Smells

~ Especially when you are selling your house these are great things to look for and assess so you can list your home in it’s best light! ~

The Ultimate Guide to Funky Home Smells

| Mar 30, 2017

There are two definitions of funky: 1) something that’s cool, and 2) something that smells bad. For our purposes, we’ll be talking about the latter—and the tragic consequences if this stench is emanating from your home.

The problem is, you may be so accustomed to your home’s smell that you don’t even notice when your guests are knocked off their feet when they enter your home. And whether you’re just entertaining or are hoping to sell your home, off-putting smells can be a huge turnoff, even if your home is immaculate otherwise. To help, here’s your ultimate guide to all the odors that can assail your home and how to get rid of them once and for all.

Rotten food

Cause: Your refrigerator and garbage disposal are basically burping up decaying food.

What to do: Purge your refrigerator on a regular basis, and clean the shelves and drawers to remove rotten spilled liquid. Yes, this is gross. Do it.

“Use distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and a microfiber cloth,” says cleaning expert Leslie Reichert. To rid your sink of stink, clear rotting food from the blades of your garbage disposal by putting ice cubes down it with some salt and frozen lemon peels.


Animal odors

Cause: The most common nose-crinkling smells in a home are caused by the furry friends that live with us, usually because they don’t always relieve themselves where they should. Odors can also be due to a lingering stench on animal fur, says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

What to do: If a cat or dog uses a carpet as a toilet, use a pet enzyme removal product such as Resolve on the offending area to remove all trace of the scent and find an effective way to deter your pet from a repeat performance in a spot it may consider its own.

For litter boxes, sprinkling a bit of baking soda can work wonders. If shedding is your nemesis, vacuuming the fur (off the floor and furniture) and spot-deodorizing should do the trick.

If all of the above do not work, removal of the offending furniture or rug is often the only way to resolve the issue, says Lesh.


Smelly carpets

Cause: Think of carpets as large sponges that absorb all the smells in your home—from pet odors to sweaty feet to pungent cooking, and beyond.

What to do: For large olfactory challenges, call in a steam cleaner. For smaller yet troublesome areas, put some cheap vodka in a spray bottle and lightly mist the carpeting.

“When the vodka evaporates, it will take the smells with it,” Reichert says.


Stinky AC

Cause: Your air conditioner dehumidifies the air as it cools, but stagnant water can collect in an AC unit, allowing mold and mildew to grow in the lingering moisture. This can result in a smell similar to sweaty extremities wafting from air vents, says Richard Ciresi, a multiple-unit franchisee of Aire Serv in Louisville, KY. And, in addition, if someone in your home smokes, the fumes can get pulled into the condenser coil and recycled into your home every time you run the AC, says Ciresi.

What to do: A quick cleaning and repair to help excess water drain properly should remedy a mildew issue. Since a dirty filter can also harbor mold growth, replace filters regularly. To banish  lingering smoke smells, clean the coil.



Cause: Water’s the culprit! “Basement smell” can severely affect the structural integrity of your home as well as your health. Although water can accumulate anywhere, areas where dampness tends to hide include the attic, basement, and bathrooms.

“If you have a water leak behind a wall or under a floor, wood rot may occur along with mold and mildew odors,” says Lesh.

What to do: Finding small leaks early can help prevent serious water damage and offending stenches.

“I recommend looking at the underside of the attic roof at least twice a year or after heavy rain/snowfall in the spring,” says Lesh. In a basement or crawl space, water accumulation is often caused by poor drainage from the roof. Keep your gutters clean and the downspouts flowing away from the foundation. And always dry out damp areas with a humidifier.


Burnt … something

Cause: You may smell a truly weird odor the first time you fire up your furnace in the fall. But relax, it’s typically from the accumulated dirt that falls into the floor ducts, says Lesh. This scent may permeate the entire house for a while when the debris first heats up.

What to do: Simple—clean the ducts before you turn your heat on each year.


A general stale scent

Cause: Stagnant air holds on to dust, dander, and dust mites.

“This usually happens in the summer and winter as we all keep our homes closed up because of air conditioning and heating,” says Reichert.

What to do: You can battle stale air just by opening a few windows once a week to increase air flow.

“Your home needs to have the air exchanged; and if you open some windows, you allow fresh air into the house and remove those stale odors,” says Reichert.

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