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You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics to Tips and Tricks, to Anything and Everything!!

Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 23, 2018

As Renting Becomes More and More Unaffordable, Homeownership Is On The Rise

When people think “affordable housing,” they typically think of renting. However, that’s no longer the case. According to Realtor.com’s most recent Market Outlook Report (from September 2017), rents rose year-over-year in an astonishing 78% of counties across the US. In fact, renting has become so unaffordable, it’s officially become more expensive than homeownership. According to a recent study by Zillow, homeownership is more affordable than renting in the majority of metro markets across the US.

 

This unexpected shift in affordability is steering people away from renting and straight into their own homes. According to a recent article from Realtor.com, the homeownership rate in the US rose year-over-year for the fifth consecutive quarter in April 2018 to 64.2%. The country also lost 286,000 renter households, which is the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines.

 

The Takeaway

If you’re still a renter, the time to transition to homeownership is now. Rents are continuing to rise, and if you continue to rent, you’re throwing away money that could be better spent on owning your own home—and building your wealth in the process.

 

May 17, 2018

What Is A 1031 Exchange?

One of the most common real estate investment transactions is the 1031 Exchange. Simply put, a 1031 Exchange (also called a “like-kind” exchange) is the swap of one investment asset for another which defers capital gains taxes on profits. 

A like-kind asset refers to selling one class of investment for a similar type of asset. For example, an investor currently holds several multi-family properties, such as duplexes, and wishes to sell them all in order to purchase a larger multi-family property, such as an apartment complex. This would qualify as a like-kind exchange. 

There are specific IRS rules which must be carefully adhered to in order to qualify for the deferred capital gains tax. The sale must take place through an intermediary. Title companies are one such option and when coupled with the use of a real estate agent, the easiest. The new asset must also be identified within 45 days of the sale of the current asset and the sale must conclude within 180 days. Finally, the asset must be held for over 1 year before it is eligible for use in a 1031 exchange. 

Serious investors use the 1031 exchange to buy and sell assets as new opportunities present themselves, while shielding themselves from immediate capital gains liability. 
 

May 15, 2018

Ways To Raise Your Credit Score

Tips to Raise Your Credit Score

Buying a new home is an exciting time. It can also be stressful if you are unsure about your credit or know that your credit is not as high as you’d like it to be. Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in how much of a home loan you can qualify for and the interest rate you’ll pay. The good news is there are easy ways to increase your credit score. By following a few tips, you can make sure your report accurately reflects your use of credit and create a plan to improve your scores if necessary.

Check for Errors - Errors on a credit report is very common. Make sure that everything is current and accurate. 
 
Pay Down Credit Card Debt – One of the easiest ways to boost your score is to lower your credit card balances. Aim to have no more than 50% of available credit in use. 
 
Remove Negative Accounts – If you have old collections or bad debt, negotiate with the creditor to pay some/all of the debt in exchange for removing the record. 
 
Keep Old Accounts Open – About 15% of your score has to do with how long you’ve had credit accounts. 
 
Pay on Time – This might sound simple, but always pay your bills on time.
 
Consider a Bankruptcy – If you’re really in over your head, it might be time to take a step back and declare bankruptcy. This resets the clock and allows you to plan for a future purchase. 

Credit issues do not have to last forever. By understanding what affects your credit, you can make real changes which will increase your score. 
 

May 10, 2018

How To Know When It's Time For A New Roof

 

It’s easy to tell when you need to replace your carpet or repaint the walls; you see them every day and when they look old or dingy, it’s easy to notice. The wear and tear on your roof is a different thing. How often do you spend the time looking up at your roof and really analyzing how it looks? If you’re like most people, the first indication you get that it’s time for a new roof is when water starts leaking into your home. Before that happens, here are some signs that your roof needs to be replaced:

• It’s old: most roofs have a 20-year warranty, if it’s older than that, consider replacing
• It shows wear and tear: peeling or bubbling paint
• Roof material/debris is evident around the home: signs it’s breaking down
• Leaks and/or water stains: check both the garage as well as your attic for evidence of leaks
• Your energy bills are rising: Unexplained increases in your utility bills could be signs of heat or cold invading your home

If you suspect that it’s time to replace the roof, now is the time to investigate your options for replacement or repairs, before you are face much larger damage.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

 

 

May 8, 2018

Build Credit History By Paying Your Rent On Time

 

 

 

 

 
 


Build Credit History By Paying Your Rent On Time
Why Building Your Credit History Is Important

Credit plays an important role in your life — affecting the purchases you make and much more. A credit history is vital in today’s economy and enables you to obtain valuable credit services such as credit cards, mortgages and auto loans. Lenders use credit reports and credit scores to gauge the likelihood that you will pay back a loan. We understand the importance of building credit history and believe that responsible renters should get credit for managing their rental payments.

How Paying Rent On Time Helps Build Your Credit History

Experian incorporates on-time rental payment data reported to Experian RentBureau into Experian credit reports. Your rental payment information will be included as part of your standard credit report and may be incorporated into certain credit scores. The inclusion of positive rental payment history within Experian credit reports allows you to establish or build credit history through timely rental payments.

And, the good news...PG Management Group, LLC reports rental payment data to Experian RentBureau.


If ever you have any questions, please feel free to let us know! And, if you are looking to purchase a property, we are ready to help!


Info Provided by Experian RentBureau
 
 
May 6, 2018

How to Find Your Dream Home When Inventory Is Low?

 

You’ve heard the rumors; it’s a “Seller’s Market.” Well if you are actively searching for a new home, you know that it’s true. The low inventory of homes for sale has made things difficult for buyers. There just aren’t many homes for sale out there and when a nice listing does come to market, it’s met with multiple offers…..often with offer prices over asking.

If you’re a buyer in this market, you might feel overwhelmed but remember that with a solid strategy, you can still find your dream home, even when inventory is low.

The highest offer price in the world is worthless if the transaction doesn’t close.

Here are a few tips for buyers looking in a tight market:

• Talk to a lender before you shop so you’re prepared

• Be prepared to pull the trigger

• Write a competitive offer

• Keep contingencies to a minimum

• Write a clean offer; Make it easy for the sellers to just say yes

When inventory is low, it’s each to feel like the best homes are already gone, but by working with your agent, you can put yourself in the best position to have your offer accepted.

April 30, 2018

Gratitude

Gratitude 

This came from my daughter's school newsletter and I thought I would pass this along...

GRATITUDE

Behavior not feeling:
Think of gratitude as a behavior not a feeling. Never allow your problems to prevent you from saying thank you to others.
Behave your way into gratitude, start saying thank you, today.

Gratitude:
Expands energy.
Expresses respect.
Elevates confidence.
Gratitude lifts leadership out of the mud.

Gratitude says:
I see you.
You matter.
You belong.
I respect what you do.
You contributed to success.
Gratitude enobles both recipient and giver.

Gratitude answers:
Conceit. The narrowness of conceit is broken with gratitude.

Anxiety. The dread of anxiety is weakened with gratitude.

Anger. The heat of anger is cooled with gratitude.

Resentment. The self-destruction of resentment is lifted with gratitude.

Discontent. The darkness of discontent is brightened with gratitude.

Stress. The tension of stress is lessened with gratitude.
Self-importance.The weight of self-importance is lightened with gratitude.

Serious about gratitude:

Schedule gratitude or busyness will push it out. List teammates on a gratitude calendar, for example.

Begin your day by expressing gratitude to three people, then get to work.

Pick up the phone or walk down the hall.

Copy your boss, on gratitude emails.

End your day with an act of gratitude, then go home.

Everyone of your direct reports should hear a specific thank you – from you – at least once a week.

The act of gratitude:
Establish eye contact.
Include appropriate touch.
Name a behavior that produces results.
Say the words, “Thank you.”
Make it personal, “I appreciate you.”
How has gratitude, or the lack of it, impacted your leadership?

Posted in Inspiration
April 25, 2018

Your Four-Legged Friends and The Fair Housing Act

Your Four-Legged Friends and The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits landlords from discriminating based on disability, race, color, national origin, religion, sex and familial status. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and state and local government activities.

Both laws contain provisions which address the use of service or companion animals by people with disabilities. While the FHA covers nearly all types of housing, some types of housing, such as public housing, are covered by both laws. Landlords and property managers are required to make a “reasonable accommodation” for both service and emotional support animals.

What is the difference between a service animal and a companion animal? A service animal is a dog that is highly trained to do a specific task or service for the disabled person. The service can be anything from helping the person navigate through public places to alerting him to an oncoming seizure. A companion animal does not need any specialized training and is there to purely give comfort. Companion animals can be dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, lizards, etc. People may use all sorts of animals to give them the emotional support they need to live a fulfilling life.

If a person needs an emotional support animal to help alleviate the symptoms of a disability, he or she must first make the request to his or her landlord. Most accounts indicate that a request should be in writing and explain how the reasonable accommodation helps or mitigates symptoms of the disability. While the tenant does not need to disclose the disability, a landlord may ask the tenant for documentation.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Notice , a landlord "may ask individuals who have disabilities that are not readily apparent or known to the provider to submit reliable documentation of a disability and their disability-related need for an assistance animal."

IREM’s position on companion animals states: “IREM supports and invites guidance from the government on the issue of companion animals, sometimes referred to as emotional support animals, with respect to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Companion animals are not service animals. Service animals require special training. Companion animals receive no specialized training and are typically for individuals with mental disabilities or those in need of emotional support.”

 

Posted in Pets
April 22, 2018

Create an Evacuation Plan for Your Pets

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.

 

Assign pet evacuation to an adult. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.

 

Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.

 

Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!

 

Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area

Posted in Emergencies, Pets
April 13, 2018

Do You Believe In Any Of These Real Estate Superstitions?

Tons of people think the number 13 is unlucky. Some don’t. But pretty much everyone has at least heard that the number 13 is unlucky.
With Friday the 13th upon us, I thought it’d be fun and interesting to send along some superstitions we come across in the real estate industry, which you may have never heard about…

Lucky numbers

Real estate agents sometimes find themselves working with clients who have superstitions based upon lucky (and unlucky) numbers.
This is often a cultural superstition. And the lucky or unlucky numbers are different from culture to culture.
This can affect whether or not someone will buy a house, if the street address is an unlucky number, or even adds up to an unlucky number.
It can also affect the specific dollar amount they will offer or accept for a house…

What direction a house faces

Does your house face East? If it does, that’s great… for some potential buyers.
But others may not see it that way, and would never buy a house unless it faces South.
Again, these superstitions are typically cultural, and no one direction is right for every culture.
So, don’t worry what direction your house faces…there’s always someone who will be fine with whatever direction it is facing.

Mercury in retrograde

This is less cultural, and more a matter of whether someone is into astrology…
It is believed that when the planet Mercury is in “retrograde” (backward), it is a bad time to enter a contract.
So, if a client is sensitive to this, there is a good chance there isn’t a deal good enough to get them to buy or sell a house while Mercury is in retrograde.

Smudging

Ever hear of smudging? That’s when you burn a sacred plant (often sage), and walk around the house wafting the smoke, in order to get rid of negative energy in a house.
Does that sound crazy? Sound like someone’s been smokin’ the smudge!?
As a real estate agent, I wouldn’t call it crazy…
While an agent may not believe in a client’s superstition, or even understand it…they won’t consider it crazy.
It’s a real estate agent’s responsibility to represent their clients’ best interests.
So I wouldn’t consider any of the above examples (or anything else you could throw at me) crazy…because if it is a concern for my client, it is a concern for me.
Wishing you nothing but luck this Friday the 13th.
P.S. Out of curiosity… do you have any superstitions when it comes to buying and selling a house? Let me know, I’d love to hear!