Employees relocating to a new market for a job know all too well which features and amenities they want most in their next home and the location: it needs to be larger than their previous home, with an upgraded kitchen and be located in a good school district, yet not too far from work, according to Cartus Corp survey taken last week.
Cartus, a leading provider of domestic and global relocation services, received responses from 267 of America’s top real estate brokers who specialize in working with transferees. The brokers, all members of the Cartus Broker Network, were asked (among other things), “What specifics about a home are most important to transferees?” The following ranks the top five things transferees want from their next home (percent ranking either 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale):
A larger home than former residence — 70 percent
New construction — 64 percent
Single story — 37 percent
Multi-story — 26 percent
Smaller home than former residence –17 percent
“A job transfer is a major life change for employees and their families, and finding a home that fulfills their needs is important and enables the employee to transition to the new job efficiently and with little disruption to family lifestyles and routines,” says Gerry Pearce, executive vice president, broker and affinity services for Cartus.
“What we found most interesting was not only what’s on their dream home wish lists, but what isn’t.”
At the Heart of the Matter: An Upgraded Kitchen
For transferees, an upgraded kitchen is definitely considered the heart of their home, ranking highest on the list of desired amenities (percent ranking either 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale).
However, amenities such as smart-home technology, media room/home theater, and fitness rooms, didn’t crack the top three most-popular items.
Upgraded kitchen — 91 percent
Master bedroom on first floor — 60 percent
Finished basement — 44 percent
Pool/spa – 23 percent
Outdoor kitchen — 11 percent
Smart-home technology (i.e., control via phone/tablet for heat, electricity, electronics, media, security, etc.) — 10 percent
Media room/home theater — 7 percent
Fitness room – 4 percent
Transferee Dream Home Location: School District and Proximity to Work Rank Highest
When it comes to dream home locations, transferees’ two top choices (percent ranking either 1 or 2 on a 4-point scale) revolve around family and the job: Location within a specific school district (91 percent) and less than 30 minutes commute to work (84 percent) garnered the top two spots. Rounding out the top five are: In-town location, close to shopping, dining, etc. (18 percent), proximity to mass transit pick up/drop off (17 percent), and proximity/availability of parks and recreational facilities (10 percent).
Real estate brokers surveyed appear to be moderately optimistic about whether their market will benefit from greater numbers of employees being transferred: 55 percent believe employees being transferred into their market will increase in 2014 over last year, 42 percent believe their market will remain the same, and only 3 percent think there will be fewer transferees moving into their market.
Additionally, the majority of brokers believe that transferees will take advantage of expected low interest rates throughout 2014 and will purchase their next home (86 percent) versus rent (14 percent).
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RismediaConsumerNewsAndAdvice/~3/zMCI1sK_lAE/
(MCT)—Now that we’re at least on the same calendar page as spring, it’s time to tackle a reader’s question about removing pine sap from her car. Thanks to all for their suggestions.
Trish Davidson says that she makes Christmas wreaths and rubs her hands with olive oil to remove the sap.
Lindsey Nair of Roanoke, Va., says any kind of vegetable oil, as well as peanut butter, would work. Let the oil soak into the sap spots overnight to loosen them.
Susan Grantham of Tallahassee, Fla., uses rubbing alcohol, putting some on a soft cloth and rubbing gently. If there’s some haze, the sap is still there, she says, so you might go over the area with a little car wax. It works on windshields and glass, too. Road tar? Try lighter fluid.
Arline Ritz solved a similar problem with Bluemagic Road Tar Bug Gel ($5 at Pep Boys). The product claims to safely remove road tar, tree sap, and bird droppings without damage to car and truck finishes, including clear coats, plastic, and fiberglass.
Dick Amrhine in Fredericksburg, Va., says lemon oil would probably work. It is sold under the name Goo Gone.
Q: A small Queen Anne chair began to put out an odor that is quite offensive and brings to mind the smell you notice when entering an antiques shop.
After researching on the Internet, we sealed the chair in a plastic bag with lava rocks inside for two weeks. It did not help. Later, it was placed indirectly in the sunlight for several weeks, and it made a slight improvement. It has been reupholstered over the original fabric and padding.
Please let me know if I can save this sentimental chair or will it have to be disposed of? We have had it in our possession for 20 years without any odor.
A: Everyone suggests baking soda, so you might want to try it. We would always use it on the carpet when the dog had an accident, and it worked to a point.
Is the odor emanating from the wood or the upholstery? The upholstery might have gotten damp, since putting it in the sunlight helped, and that musty smell might be mold or mildew.
Perhaps a furniture expert is next.
©2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RismediaConsumerNewsAndAdvice/~3/W_DM-DisxKQ/
When buyers hear the term “short sale,” they typically think about distressed sellers and good deals — especially in markets where prices have ticked upwards. But the word “sale” can be misleading. In fact, many real estate agents have renamed “short sales” as “long-and-drawn-out sales.”
Here’s why short sales often take a long time to complete.
Banks and Bureaucracy
In a short sale, you need the seller’s bank to approve before you can close. Banks require dozens of pages of paperwork to evaluate whether or not to approve a short sale. Since the seller is asking the bank to accept a sale price that’s less than the mortgage amount, the bank needs to verify that a short sale is the right thing to do. Banks want to make sure the seller is indeed unable to stay in the home and can’t afford to pay off the difference between the market value and the bank’s loan amount.
Just as a bank scrutinizes a buyer’s finances in order to approve their loan, the financial institution wants to closely examine the seller’s finances to be sure that it is not giving its money away. With many thousands of dollars at stake, banks don’t want to rush through this process. By comparison, when you’re buying from a person, he or she is more motivated to keep things moving.
Paperwork Gets Lost in the Process
Banks require many documents, disclosures and signatures to complete a short sale. Many times they request that they are faxed in. If just one signature or page is missing from a file, the bank will likely hold off on the process until the file is complete. Given that these banks are losing money on short sales, they don’t allocate the same amount of resources they would to the customer service department for paying (and profitable) customers. With limited staff and so much paperwork, things get lost — and then the short sale process drags on.
Two Lenders = Double the Time
Many times a short sale seller has two loans. The larger loan is being shorted while the second, smaller loan — usually a home equity line of credit — is being completely wiped out. Often, these loans are with two separate banks. Each bank has its own system that doesn’t in any way communicate with the other bank’s system. The second bank may approve the short sale but put on a 30-day expiration. If the first bank’s approval comes at day 31, the seller must go back to the second bank and start over. As you can see, this too can drag out the short sale.
How to Expedite a Short Sale
Is it possible to work the system and speed up short sales? Absolutely.
If you’re selling a home as a short sale, don’t use an agent who doesn’t not have short sale experience. There are so many areas where short sales can get tripped up, so look for an experienced agent who knows how to push through the process.
If you’re a buyer and you found a short sale home you love, determine if the agent is an expert in short sales. If the agent doesn’t have much (or any) short sale experience, expect a long, rocky road.
Short sales are a different animal from traditional home sales — from how they’re priced, how they’re marketed and the lengthy sales timeframe. A savvy short sale agent will know exactly what they’re dealing with and what to expect, and can shorten the process immensely.
For more strategies about how to buy short sales and distressed properties, read Brendon DeSimone‘s new book, “Next Generation Real Estate.” Brendon’s practical real estate advice is regularly sought out by print, online and television media outlets including FOX News, CNBC, USA Today, Bloomberg, FOX Business and Forbes. A licensed Realtor and an active investor himself, Brendon owns real estate around the U.S. and abroad and is licensed to sell in California and New York. Consumers often call on Brendon for advice and to help them find a real estate agent. You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ZillowBlog/~3/1r1XLZ9hPQg/
“It’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries, who is taking the stage at Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) to explain how this double entendre applies to big data.
Zillow grew into a billion-dollar company on the back of big data and now offers consumers valuable real estate insights into home values, market trends, rent prices and more. During this SXSW session, Stan will share how companies aiming to become big data enterprises can turn data into knowledge, and why it is critically important to do so.
If you’re attending SXSW, come join Stan’s session on Monday, March 10 at 1:15 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center. Follow @StanHumphries and use the hashtag #SmartData to follow along.
Also roaming around the SXSW festivities are a few other Zillow folk, so keep your eyes peeled for:
Whitney Curry, Zillow Social Media @WhitneyT
Madison Slinker, Zillow Social Media @madslinker
Lauren Riefflin, Zillow Public Relations @laurenriff
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ZillowBlog/~3/YR3CUYPfr-s/
It’s as if the entire and improbably coincidental scenario had been scripted for a reality TV show: An outlandishly-behaved teenager named Justin Bieber flees Los Angeles and his sprawling home for Atlanta to make room for his replacement, the freshly divorced youngest sister of the ubiquitous Kardashian family.
Quick, someone check with TV producer and entertainment industry titan Ryan Seacrest, who brought us “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” Maybe this entire house flipping deal between Justin Bieber and Khloe Kardashian was ordered up by the people over at the Nielsen ratings.
Khloe Kardashian has reportedly purchased Bieber’s “grand manor” property inside the exclusive and gated Oaks section of Calabasas — the very home that Bieber purchased in April 2012 for $6.5 million but only after the Biebs was shut out of purchasing a majestic modern home by Ashton Kutcher.
Justin Bieber sings “Never Say Never” to Kim and Khloe Kardashian, which was appropriate given the real estate adventure that followed. Source: Celebuzz.
Several sites, including Yahoo! and The Real Estalker, are reporting that they’ve confirmed Kardashian’s purchase of the 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom, 10,000-square-foot mansion. The 1.28-acre property was the scene of some of Bieber’s terrible teen antics, including an egging of a neighbor’s yard, the drug arrest of one of Bieber’s cohorts and, the straw that seems to have ended the Bieb’s “magical” run in Calabasas: A dispute with former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, who was so concerned about Bieber’s speedy driving habits that he called the police.
Whether Bieber decided he’s had enough of southern California’s limelight, or whether the Hollywood crowd has successfully squeezed Bieber from its hive, it’s probably a good move on everyone’s part.
Bieber has been house hunting in Atlanta (between “arresting” trips to Miami and Panama) and Kardashian has been looking for a new place to set up shop after divorcing NBA player Lamar Odom, so the new arrangement makes sense. Just weeks ago, Kourtney Kardashian and her partner, Scott Disick, purchased Keyshawn Johnson’s custom-built home.
This means two of Kris Kardashian’s daughters will be within a stone’s throw — or egg toss, as Bieber proved — from each other in Calabasas. Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, is hanging around the Calabasas neighborhood, too. She and her baby with fiance Kanye West are living at Kris Jenner’s home while their Bel-Air mansion is being renovated and redecorated ahead of the big Paris wedding.
Laura Vecsey is a freelance writer for Zillow Blog. Read more from her here.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ZillowBlog/~3/OWVRDfdxRtg/