Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chicago Home Sales, Prices Jumped in March

The Chicago and Illinois housing markets got a vital shot in the arm on Thursday, as March figures revealed existing home sales shot up significantly. Median prices also stabilized, ending a long streak of declines. As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the head of the Illinois Association of Realtors says the latest figures suggest the… Read more »

WI: Home Sales Gaining Momentum

Existing home sales in Wisconsin continued to improve in March, apparently helped by an improving economy, record-low interest rates and an unseasonably warm winter. It is too soon to tell if this means the housing market has hit bottom and finally is in recovery, but the signs are good, said Michael Held of Coldwell Banker… Read more »

One in Ten New Mortgages Already Underwater

More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years now owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and Federal Housing Administration loans that require only a tiny down payment are partly to blame. That figure, provided to Reuters by tracking firm CoreLogic, represents about one out… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Dan Charette, St. Petersburg

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Dan specializes in high-end water front properties in the St. Petersburg area, including condos, new homes, and commercial real estate. He regularly works with big companies who relocate their… Read more »

IA: Des Moines Home Sales Spiked in March

Home sales in the Des Moines metro area spiked nearly 26 percent in March over a year earlier and were up 46 percent from February, a new report shows. “We’re just talking about one month, but I’ll take it and another one just like it,” said Rick Tollakson, chief executive of Hubbell Realty, a West… Read more »

Alabama Home Sales and Prices Up in March

Statewide home sales totaled 3,374 during March, a 9 percent improvement from a year ago, according to the Alabama Center for Real Estate. The organization, based at the University of Alabama, also said year-to-date statewide home sales are up 11.4 percent over the same time period last year. Last month’s average selling price was $141,005,… Read more »

MO: St. Louis Home Sales Improving

Home sales and prices are up in St. Louis for the first time in months. Coldwell Banker Gundaker president Jim Dohr tells KMOX News that Fannie Mae recently completed a survey on consumer confidence. “It’s improving dramatically, specifically related to St. Louis real estate,” Dohr says. “Seventy three percent of those surveyed in March feel… Read more »

New Orleans Home Sales Up, Prices Stagnant

Spring marks the beginning of a new season – not just for weather, but for housing. It’s considered by real estate experts to be the start of the home buying busy season. Local realtor Claudette Reuther said low interest rates may be helping with an uptick in sales. “The past few months have really picked… Read more »

DC: Care Needed When Replacing Historic Roofs

Walk, bike or drive on 8th St. S.E., near Eastern Market and you will see a long block of homes with old slate turret roofs, with built-in gutters below and finials, the decorative metal ornaments, at the peak. A turret is a small tower that projects vertically from a building and were originally castle appendages…. Read more »

Lake Chapala, Mexico – Perfect for Retirement

by Michael Rosenblum, Absolut Fenix Realty, Lake Chapala, mexico Retirement home or permanent home, a great place with great weather Tired of frigid winters? Fed up with sweltering, humid summers? Had it with the rat race and high cost of living? Think you can’t afford to retire? Think you’re too young? Well think again. Not… Read more »

MS: Home Sales in Ocean Springs Surpass Gulfport for First Time in Decades

A stronger housing market, increased small-business lending and many construction projects in progress were some of the positive economic signs Coast leaders discussed Thursday at the Sun Herald’s quarterly Business Roundtable. The meeting was hosted by Keesler Air Force Base. Houses for sale are spending less time on the market, and for the first time… Read more »

The Five Cheapest Places to Retire

At home, prices are rising. It costs more to put gas in the car, buy groceries, and pay for health insurance. At the same time, retirement savings eroded in the market downturn. And with interest rates at near-zero today, it’s difficult to rebuild. More than ever, retirees need to stretch their dollars. Here are 5… Read more »

Home Market Improving in New Jersey

The spring real estate market has sprung and with it are exceptional opportunities to own a home throughout the state. According to David Schoner, vice president of Coldwell Banker New Homes & Condominiums, the residential brokerage firm, “confidence is building in the home industry and with it, we see an increase in sales and prices…. Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Ken Latz, Seattle

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Ken has been a Seattle resident since ’88, and he is very familiar with the city and all of its diverse neighborhoods and suburbs. He with Gerrard, Beattie &… Read more »

Whole Towns For Sale in Wyoming, Montana

Buford, Wyoming, the nation’s smallest town, will lose its long-time – and only – resident on Thursday when the outpost along Interstate 80 is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The minimum bid for Buford, 10-plus acres with a convenience store-cum-gas station situated between the capital city of Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, is $100,000 for… Read more »

Seattle Waterfront Home Sales Up in March

Sales of waterfront homes in the Greater Seattle region increased significantly in March. The total number of homes sold on the waterfront stood at 52 for the month. Compared to February’s 44 waterfront home sales, the increase of 18% was a significant swing, potentially signalling a swift increase in the strength of the waterfront market…. Read more »

Forclosures Surged in First Quarter in North Carolina

More U.S. homes are entering the foreclosure process, setting the stage for a surge in properties repossessed by lenders this year. That trend includes North Carolina where nearly 3,700 properties are now at some stage in the foreclosure process, a jump from 2,992 in February and 2,541 in January. The North Carolina number includes 822… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Michael Sullivan, Durham, North Carolina

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Michael is a Triangle Area real estate agent who specializes in relocation to and from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. He knows the area inside and out, and can… Read more »

Best Places in the US to Buy a Home

Buying a home is not a decision to be taken lightly. Personal finance gurus warn against purchasing unless you plan to keep it for a minimum of five years and, since the housing bubble burst, many say it’s best to buy only if it fits your lifestyle – not your investing portfolio. For first-time home… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Frank Sharp, Tucson

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Frank is a full-service Tucson real estate agent, and will bring his detailed knowledge of Tucson’s neighborhoods and his real estate skills to bear when helping his clients buy… Read more »

Canadians Snapping Up Florida Real Estate

Cash buyers continue to dominate the Miami international real estate market, snapping up 65% of home sales in and around the city, according to the latest numbers from the Miami Association of Realtors. Cash purchases took up 66% of sales in January, with the majority of buyers going for condominium sales in March (79%). “Almost… Read more »

FL: Orlando Real Estate Inventory at Five Year Low

The Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) reported this week a third consecutive jump in Orlando’s median price plus yet another drop in inventory and a month-to-month increase in sales are strong signs of continuing improvement in Orlando’s housing market. “These factors also indicate a shift toward favoring sellers, and the downward slide in inventory means… Read more »

Tampa-St. Pete Real Estate Market Improving?

The Pinellas Realtors Organization says for the first time since it has kept sales records, there is less than one home for sale per home buyer. That is viewed as evidence the local real estate market is at or near a bottom. “We’re going to see the bottom because of the inventory,” PRO president David… Read more »

Is Canadian Real Estate Market Overvalued?

Canadian real estate agents may have recorded the first year-over-year sales drop in 11 months in March, regional data suggest, as the Vancouver market plunged. The value of purchases reported by 11 regional real estate boards fell 1.1 percent from a year earlier to C$12.4 billion ($12.4 billion), as the number of homes sold fell… Read more »

Hawaii’s Next Real Estate Boom?

First, congratulations to my spouse C. for passing the Hawai’i Real Estate licensing examination. After several weeks of seemingly living apart in the same house while C. was studying real estate laws and regulations, we are together again.* Recently, at a Honolulu economic forum Dr. Carl Bonham, Executive Director of the University of Hawai’i Economic… Read more »

House Hunting in Montreal

“The market in Montreal is vibrant and active,” said Liza Kaufman, a partner in Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec. Ms. Kaufman attributes the robust housing market in the Montreal area to persistent uncertainty in the stock market, which makes real estate an attractive investment. Although the market slowed somewhat after its 2008 peak, “prices never really… Read more »

DC: 14th Street in Flux

Construction on 14th Street N.W. in Washington is nothing new — anyone who frequents the uber-gay area has been seeing chain-link fences, closed sidewalks and cranes for months as various massive projects are underway. But with ground now broken for the Louis, the former Utopia spot at 14th and U that will be a mixed-use… Read more »

Fort Lauderdale – A Top Choice For Real Estate and Relaxation

Like the weather, the Fort Lauderdale luxury real estate market is heating up! In addition to the plethora of things to do and see in this world-class destination, the area boasts wonderful diverse neighborhoods in which to live. Every neighborhood in East Fort Lauderdale , offers homes with different architectural styles, floor plans and amenities… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Mortgage Professional: Babak Bijarchi, Tustin, California

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Babak is a great listener – as a Southern California mortgage professional, he will pay attention to his clients’ needs and goals – and help them find the best… Read more »

Phoenix, Tampa and Orlando Projected to Have Greatest Real Estate Price Increases in 2012

South Florida’s housing market will continue to improve in 2012 as home prices rise 6 percent through the rest of the year, a California research firm says. That forecast from Clear Capital would put Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties among the 10 highest-performing large metro markets in the country. Demand from foreign investors is… Read more »

MB: Winnipeg Housing Market Improves

Competition is fierce in the Winnipeg housing market, even before the busy spring season. Re/Max’s spring Market Trends report finds local home sales are on par with past years — because there aren’t enough houses for people looking. Especially in the under $250,000 market, the real estate company says, homes get five or six bids…. Read more »

Idaho Foreclosure Rate Drops

RealtyTrac’s November numbers show a substantial drop in Idaho’s foreclosure rate. The state currently has the sixteenth highest rate of foreclosure in the nation, a big improvement from its August fifth place finish. The Boise market has been hardest hit in the housing crisis, with foreclosures concentrated in Ada and Canyon Counties. Idaho’s housing boom… Read more »

WY: Buy a Whole Town for $100K

In the real estate world right now, it’s clearly a buyer’s market. Years of foreclosures and price drops have brought about a sharp rise in investment and vacation home sales, while the market also presents buyers with ample opportunities to pick among properties ranging from city homes under $10,000 to mansions owned by sports superstars,… Read more »

DE: Rehoboth Beach’s Gay Community Growing

Each year, Steve Elkins looks at a room full of Rehoboth Beach summer police officers and asks if anyone knows someone who’s gay. No one used to raise a hand, said Elkins, founder of a nonprofit gay and lesbian community organization. But last year, when he asked the question, someone called out: “I’m gay.” Then,… Read more »

New England Vacation Home Sales Slumped in 2011

Bucking a national trend, New Englanders bought fewer second homes last year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Nationwide, vacation home sales rose 7 percent to 502,000 in 2011, up from 469,000 in 2010. But in the Northeast, 75,300 vacation homes were sold last year, compared to 89,100 in 2010, a 15 percent… Read more »

USA: Mountain State Housing Markets Improving

Residential housing in the mountain states of Colorado, Utah and New Mexico is looking stronger than many others, but that’s partly because the comeback hasn’t been as steep. Simply put, homes in the region didn’t appreciate in value over the last decade as much as in the coastal regions, Arizona or Nevada. What didn’t go… Read more »

Massachusetts Home Sales Jumped in First Quarter of 2012

The volume of Massachusetts home sales increased in the first quarter by 9.7 percent as the number of transactions increased 12.54 percent, compared to the same period last year, creating an overall picture of stability in the Bay State’s housing market, according to data provided from the MLS Property Information Network. First-quarter sales volume has… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Jack Mondin, San Antonio

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Jack is a proven business professional more than forty years of experience in customer service, negotiating fair market property values in a timely manner and making the transaction totally… Read more »

AR: Home Sales Up 15% in February

Home sales in Arkansas rose 15.4 percent in February compared with the same month last year, the Arkansas Realtors Association reported today. The association said 1,610 homes sold in the state in February, compared to 1,395 during the same month in 2011, while the average price of a home rose just over .04 percent to… Read more »

Central Indiana Real Estate Market Improving

If you’re buying or selling a house, you should know homes are selling at a faster pace in central Indiana. Within the last year, Fishers resident Cory Williams has twice tried to sell his house. Williams said he took his house off the market when prices dropped. “I decided to take it off the market… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Eric Greene, Long Beach

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Eric Greene is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker coastal alliance, the top real estate office in Long Beach, California. Eric has extensive knowledge of the Long Beach… Read more »

Will Montreal’s Gay Village Continue to Thrive?

In a widely published 2007 Associated Press story headlined “Gay Villages disappearing,” New York author Don Reuter, researching a book on the rise and fall of a dozen U.S. gay neighbourhoods, rhetorically asks, “What makes these neighbourhoods gay? Not much.” Reuter predicts that outside large gay meccas like New York and San Francisco, neighbourhoods with… Read more »

Finding the “Perfect” Home

Everybody wants the “perfect” house. But what is the perfect house? Well, for everyone it is different. In fact, buyers’ home criteria range from A to Z. What one person loves in a home, may very much be the opposite for another. Some may want a cute house, in a nice quiet neighborhood with a… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Vicky Blanche-Young, Asheville, North Carolina

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Hi! I’m Vicky Blanche-Young, a Realtor with Keller Williams in the Asheville, North Carolina area. I serve Asheville, Buncombe County, and the surrounding region. I love working with the… Read more »

The World’s Best Real Estate Markets

There are several factors that play into a prospective homebuyer’s decision to purchase property overseas, and that’s why Ronan McMahon has created a Global Real Estate Index. The index lists the 27 best real estate markets in the world based on things like value for money, appreciation potential and ease of buying, as well as… Read more »

Southern Florida Home Prices Start to Rise as Inventory Drops

Home prices in Miami-Dade and Broward counties jumped for the third consecutive month in February despite flat or declining sales volume, as the inventory of listings dwindles, real estate figures released Wednesday show. Realtors say that heightened demand for bank-owned properties and an improvement in the processing of short sales has resulted in rapid absorption… Read more »