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Kartrite Hotel and Indoor Waterpark at Resorts World Casino

The Kartite Hotel and Indoor Waterpark will open in 2019.  Here is a brief update.  Find more news and information here.  Coupling the casino, golf course, and waterpark brings Sullivan County, NY Hospitality to a new level.

Resorts World Catskills–Comprehensive Update

It’s been two months, and the casino is settling in.  The anticipation, and now reality, of having a full scale gambling and extended entertainment venue in Sullivan County, NY is beginning to take shape along many fronts.  Read the extended article and listen to the podcast for a fuller understanding of the what Resorts World Catskills is doing and how it is effecting the local economy and infrastructure.

Across All Buyers, Millennials Have the Most Purchases

Across All Buyers, Millennials Have the Most Purchases

In housing, generations intersect regularly. Who’s downsizing? Who’s driving the market? Who’s trading up?

The generation impressing on the market most today? Millennials, according to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, recently released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Millennials are accounting for 36 percent of purchases, ahead of baby boomers at 32 percent, Generation Xers at 26 percent, and the Silent Generation at 6 percent.

NAR_Generational

“REALTORS® throughout the country have noticed both the notable upturn in buyer interest from young adults over the past year, as well as mounting frustration once they begin actively searching for a home to buy,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, of the study. “Prices keep rising for the limited number of listings on the market they can afford, which is creating stark competition, speedy price growth and the need to save more in order to buy. These challenging market conditions have caused—and will continue to cause—many aspiring millennial buyers to continue renting unless more Gen Xers decide to sell, and entry-level home construction picks up significantly.”

Millennials are buying homes with higher values, but the same square footage: $220,000 for 1,800 square feet, versus last year’s $205,000 for the same size, reveals the study. They are close to family and friends, as well, and prefer to reside near them—an attribute in common with other generations.

“The sense of community and wanting friends and family nearby is a major factor for many homebuyers of all ages,” Yun says. “Similar to Gen X buyers who have their parents living at home, millennial buyers with kids may seek the convenience of having family nearby to help raise their family.”

Additionally, 52 percent of the millennials in the study have at least one child—an indicator of the likelihood of a move—and another 52 percent purchased in the suburbs. Eighty-five percent purchased a single-family; just 2 percent went with a condominium.

“While there is an overall trend among households young and old to migrate towards urban areas, the very low production of new condos means there are few affordable options for buyers, especially millennials,” says Yun.

All generations enlisted a real estate professional for their transaction, according to the study. Ninety percent of millennials are most likely to purchase through a REALTOR®, with 75 percent believing they can educate them about the process. Ninety percent of millennials are most likely to list with a REALTOR®, as well, and at least 84 percent of every other generation partnered with a REALTOR®.

“Especially in today’s fast-moving housing market, consumers of all ages want a REALTOR® to guide them through the exhilarating, yet nerve-wracking experience of buying or selling a home,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

Pending Sales Cave Under Mortgage Rate, Supply Pressures

 

January’s pending home sales caved, dropping 4.7 percent in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). All four of the major regions in the U.S. experienced fewer sales, with the Northeast 9 percent lower, the Midwest 6.6 percent lower, the South 3.9 percent lower, and the West 1.2 percent lower.

January 2018 Pending Home Sales Infographic

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, January’s activity is attributable to mortgage rates and supply, which have created conditions that are stifling transactions.

“The economy is in great shape, most local job markets are very strong and incomes are slowly rising, but there’s little doubt last month’s retreat in contract signings occurred because of woefully low supply levels and the sudden increase in mortgage rates,” says Yun. “The lower end of the market continues to feel the brunt of these supply and affordability impediments. With the cost of buying a home getting more expensive and not enough inventory, some prospective buyers are either waiting until listings increase come spring or now having to delay their search entirely to save up for a larger down payment.”

Inventory in January was 9.5 percent lower than what it was in January 2017; mortgage rates have shot up simultaneously. As of February 22, the average, 30-year, fixed mortgage was 4.40 percent—and it could increase to 4.75 percent over the next year, forecasters speculate.

NAR’s REALTORS® Confidence Index, however, indicates there is traction, even with January’s figures sliding.

“Even though contract signings were down, REALTORS® indicated that buyer traffic in most areas was up January compared to a year ago,” Yun says. “The exception was likely in the Northeast, where the frigid cold snap the first two weeks of the month may have contributed some to the region’s large decline.”

There are other positives, says Yun.

“As new multi-family supply catches up with demand and slows rents, some large investors may begin putting their holdings of affordable single-family homes up for sale, which would be great news, particularly for first-time buyers,” Yun says. “Furthermore, sellers last year typically stayed in their home for 10 years before selling (an all-time high); although higher mortgage rates will likely discourage some homeowners from wanting a new home with a higher rate, there are possibly many pent-up sellers who may look to finally trade-up or move down this year.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

Sullivan County NY Sales Data 2018

For 2017, home sales in Sullivan County NY increased by 2.2 percent with end of year total accounting for 590 home purchases.  Median prices rose from $128,000 to $135,000 accounting for a 5.5 % increase from 2016 levels.  Medium pricing is defined by 50 percent of homes sold fall above $135,000 with the remaining 50% falling below that number.  (See Local Realtors: Pace of home sales largely returning to prerecession levels)

Local Sullivan County brokers anticipate stronger sales for 2018 with many more showings occurring in the usually slower winter months.  The “Casino Effect” has shaped the Monticello, NY market to some extent by creating excitement and new motivation for home buyers to consider buying while commercial investors continue to eye the area to determine long term investment potential.

Overall, realtors® are optimistic 2018 will continue the upward trend with m.)ore buyers and somewhat higher pricing due to stronger demand.  The rental market is being driven by the new casino housing demands while other businesses continue to expand job opportunity creating a better return on investment for rental property.

Resorts World Catskills Direct Web Link

OPENING DATE:  FEBRUARY 8, 2018

Welcome to Resorts World Catskills

Click on above link for full information on this brand new Destination Resort.  Graphic contained in this post is the property of Resorts World Catskills.

Vacant Home: Decorate to Sell

You may be forced to leave your home vacant if you need to move for a new job or family matter, and can’t wait around for your home to sell. While some think that an empty house might be more appealing because it makes the home seem bigger, there are many in the real estate industry who feel the complete opposite.

For one, a vacant house may give the impression to potential buyers that something is wrong with the house and it had to be abandoned. This could also make them fearful that things will fall apart quickly.

Of course, if you’re already in a new place, your things have come with you, so it’s not like you can just buy all new things. But you need something in place to attract homebuyers.

Remember, people aren’t just looking to purchase a house, they want a home. Without furniture, art, rugs, lighting, décor, etc., there are no emotional connection points in the house when people come to look around.

And, with no items to focus on, potential buyers will be on the lookout for imperfections, such as scratches on the floor, nail holes in the wall or dirty grout in the kitchen—things that stand out in an empty structure.

If visitors only see flaws in a house and aren’t thinking about the potential, that’s going to mean less offers, possible price reductions and more days on the market.

And buyers are sharp. They know a vacant home means that someone most likely has already committed to another place, and may come in with a low-ball offer thinking you are more desperate to sell.

Enter a home stager, who can do his or her magic and bring a vacant home to life. Now, when potential buyers come to view the house, they will see a beautifully designed home complete with a lived-in feel. And since stagers are experts on making a house look the way people want, it might even command a better price.

By hiring a stager, you can create a look that house hunters will gravitate toward and walk away with a stronger offer.

Stereotyping Sellers-Buyers & Brokers

Hope is an abiding attitude in the real estate business.

Sellers “hope” their house will sell.  They want a quick purchase, at the highest price.  Delayed maintenance shouldn’t impede negotiations and a comparative market analysis doesn’t mean pricing at current market value.  As in”  “I want to net out at this number, can’t or will not lose money, will not cut the grass, paint, or complete any fixes that will help sell my home.”

Buyers “hope” they can buy a home of their dreams, that it’s truly affordable, the school system is perfect, the local park is a few blocks away, and the taxes are “reasonable”.  “I need a seller’s concession to help with closing costs, a fire place, and finished basement.  “If you can’t find that for me Mr. Broker or Agent, I’ll find someone who can.”

Broker’s “hope” their seller understands proper pricing is the number one reason why one home sells more quickly than another similar one down the block.  The CMA, Comparative Market Analysis, pinpoints recently sold properties within a short distance of the one to be sold, adjusts some for positive features like an in ground pool, special or extraordinary interior or exterior features (water front-100 acres included-rentable chalet, and so on) or a negative adjustment for substantial delayed maintenance, mold, no landscaping, buried oil tank, etc..

Broker’s “hope” their buyer clients understand you can really only accomplish two primary goals regarding home ownership within a budget-LOCATION AND PRICE or PRICE AND LOCATION.  Any additional factor like more acreage, great school district, pool, deck, finished basement, wine cellar, high end appliances are a true bonus.

No one should ever lose hope.  But-Sellers and Buyers need to realistically evaluate a broker’s guidance on how best to sell or buy real estate.  This advice isn’t about inflating your broker or agent’s ego.  It’s about your money and how best to use your real estate professional’s years of experience to get what you want.

These buyer/seller/broker hopes are somewhat stereotypical snap shots.  Individual sellers, buyers, and broker/agents vary in great degree.  Putting people in boxes does little to forward the real estate process.

If you, the seller or buyer develop the trust and confidence in your real estate professional, stick with that person and listen critically.  Then, ask the needed questions, get the answers, and get on with moving in a positive direction toward closing.

Headed for Another Housing Bust?

‘Rapid Price Increases Will Not Last Forever’

The current growth in home prices is echoing the lead-up to the recession. Is history repeating itself?

The answer is likely not, according to a recently released realtor.com® report. Building is lacking in many markets—one hallmark 10 years ago was over-construction—and credit standards are more stringent, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com.

 “As we compare today’s market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it’s important to remember rising prices didn’t cause the housing crash,” Hale says. “It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains—versus today’s truer market vitality—that created the environment for the crash.”

In 2016, home prices (the national median home sales price) were 2 percent higher than they were in 2006, the report reveals. Pre-recession prices have returned in 31 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In contrast with 2006, however, are today’s credit conditions. Currently, the median FICO score for a mortgage is 734; the median in 2006 was 700.

 Builds and flips are also different from 2006—starkly. The credit environment, among other factors, is keeping a lid on unfettered flipping and over-construction. In 2006, one household formation generally equaled 1.4 single-family housing starts; in 2016, that number shrank to 0.7 single-family starts. Flips accounted for 5 percent of sales in 2016; in 2006, they comprised 8.6 percent.

“Lending standards are critical to the health of the market,” says Hale. “Unlike today, the boom’s under-regulated lending environment allowed borrowing beyond repayable amounts and atypical mortgage products, which pushed up home prices without the backing of income and equity.”

Additionally, economic indicators point elsewhere. Employment was healthy then and is now, but inventory is limited more today—at a 20-year low. Presently, the average months supply is 4.2; in 2007, the average months supply was 6.4.

 “The healthy economy is creating more jobs and households, but not giving these people enough places to live,” Hale says. “Rapid price increases will not last forever. We expect a gradual tapering as buyers are priced out of the market—not a market correction, but an easing of demand and price growth as renting or adding roommates becomes a more affordable alternative.”

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

What to Ask a Mortgage Lender before You Sign Anything

Looking at homes for sale can be the fun part of buying a house. The real work comes when you’re picking a mortgage lender that can give you the best loan for your circumstances.

After detailing your income, expenses, down payment and a monthly mortgage you can afford, a lender will run a credit check and should be able to tell you the best options for the interest rate and loan product.

Here are some questions to ask as you comparison shop for a lender:

What’s the interest rate?

This will be based on your loan and credit score, and determines your monthly payment. The lower the interest rate, the lower the payment. Improving your credit score can help lower the interest rate you qualify for.

Fixed rate or ARM?

Fixed-rate loans have the same interest rate for the life of the loan, from 10 to 30 years. Interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, change after an initial period, such as a year, and then at regular intervals.

Ask how often an ARM rate will change, the index its tied to, and what the cap is on the interest rate during one period and the life of the loan. Make sure you can afford the higher rate. An ARM will have a lower interest rate than a fixed-rate loan, and can be a good idea if you’re not planning on living in the home for long.

How much is the monthly mortgage?

Answering the first two questions will get you to this answer. It’s a number you should already have in mind before looking for a house, and should be an amount you can afford.

Be sure to include other monthly costs, including insurance, taxes and, if required, private mortgage insurance, or PMI. This insurance is often needed if you don’t have a 20 percent down payment and is meant to protect the mortgage company if you default on the loan.

Any fees?

One-time fees called “points” are due at closing and each point paid will lower your interest rate by 1 percent. Another option is to not pay any closing costs upfront and to have them rolled into the loan in exchange for a higher interest rate.

If you want to lock in the interest rate and points for a certain amount of time in case rates go up, you may have to pay a fee.

Also ask if there are fees for making extra mortgage payments so you can pay off the principal amount early. Some loans don’t have prepayment penalties, but some do.

A lender should be able to help you find the best home loan for your finances. Just be sure not to sign a contract with them until you’re satisfied you’re getting the best deal with the best mortgage lender you can find.

I hope you found this information helpful. Please contact me for all your real estate information needs today!