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Community Information

Found 11 blog entries about Community Information.

If you follow business and financial news, you hear a lot about which way the wind is blowing in the housing market. Including on Marketplace. From housing starts and new home sales, to existing home sales and various price indices, figuring out what all these numbers mean can be head-spinning.

Even one of the biggest homebuilders recently looked at all the signals coming from the housing market and, basically, shrugged. In January, Stuart Miller, executive chairman of real estate company Lennar, told analysts the company wouldn’t give a forecast for the year. “We’ve been careful not to give too much guidance looking ahead because there’s uncertainty,” he said in an earnings call.

How to make sense of it all? First, keep in mind that some of

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  • U.S. home sales fell in January to their lowest level in more than three years and house prices rose only modestly.
  • The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales dropped 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units last month.
  • That was the lowest level since November 2015 and well below analysts' expectations of a rate of 5.0 million units.

U.S. home sales fell in January to their lowest level in more than three years and house prices rose only modestly, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales dropped 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units last month.

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Seattle-area home prices dropped more than anywhere else in the country, according to the new Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. The index showed the region’s largest monthly drop in home prices since the late stages of the housing bust.

Just this past May – which in hindsight appears to have been the peak of the current market – homes in Seattle were selling on average for 6.3 percent above the list price. Now, they’re going for 0.6 percent below asking.

The actual list price of homes is dropping at a similar rate. In all, sales prices have dropped nearly 7 percent, or $55,000, in Seattle since the spring.

The last time the average home here sold for below list price was during a brief lull at the end of 2014.

It’s important

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Baby It's Cold Outside!

It’s Winter Solstice – a good time to take a fresh look at your bills to see if you can reduce them. For example, try these tips to cut your power usage and lower your electricity bills.

Switch to LED bulbs. About four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, LEDs last for years. The “lumens” number indicates the amount of light emitted; use this to compare bulbs.

Install a programmable thermostat. With this device, you can automatically adjust the temperature to reflect where you are in your day – busy at home, away at work, asleep, etc. It keeps your home comfortable when you’re there and reduces energy use when you’re out.

Unplug unused electrical devices. All electronic devices sip small

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Is Your Millennial Real Estate Game Lacking?  

Maybe it's time to adjust your strategy.

"They have to give up their coffee three times a week."

"They need to keep their car until it's paid off and then continue to drive it for years."

"If they really want to buy a house, they need to change their lifestyle."

These are just a few of the comments overheard on a recent day as two presumably hungry mortgage professionals met over lunch within earshot of our table at a local restaurant. Curiously, they both seemed to agree that these strategies were key to turning millennials into homeowners.

The strategies don't seem out o f line, really... unless you actually know some millennials and are in touch with how they act, who they are, what they like, what they want, and what…
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We all know that living near a good school increases the value of your home. But who knew a neighboring cemetery can adversely affect your property value? Or that proximity to a hospital isn’t a good thing?

In fact, we now know – or should know – that nothing is more important when selling your home than your neighborhood. So if you’re buying, think ahead; purchase your dream home in the wrong location and you may be buying into a nightmare. Here are some location no-nos:

  • Research has found that living near a cemetery will lower your property value by 12.3% and having a hospital nearby means when you sell you can expect an impact on your sale price of 3.2%. Also note: make sure you move near a “good” school; a “bad” school will reduce your
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1. GET EDUCATED ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THE APPRAISAL VALUE DETERMINATION PROCESS TO KNOW WHAT THE EXPERTS CONDUCTING THE EVALUATION PAY ATTENTION TO

This article’s purpose is not to give an exhaustive description of the appraisal procedure, but rather provide the sellers with a few pieces of advice on how to improve its results. But, we’re going to base the further info considering these most important facts about house appraisal:

  • its real purpose is to figure out whether the home’s value expressed in the monetary equivalent (the selling price)coincides with the average prices of similar local properties, which have been recently sold or which are currently available on the market;

  • it takes the evaluation

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Homeowner association boards are elected to handle HOA business. Some do it better than others because of training and natural ability. While good business practices are fundamental to getting the job done right, "people" practices are equally important.

And even though HOA elections are not typically barraged with candidates, the membership does care what the board does. When the board doesn't do it right, some members simmer at a slow boil, some bellow and others beat the tar and feather drums. The picture isn't pretty for well intentioned boards.

A truly effective and perceptive board understands the need to keep business transparent. This "glass house" style of management is difficult for some directors to deal with since it seems…
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The major credit reporting agencies have a big change in the works that could bolster a lot of people’s credit scores.

As part of its National Consumer Assistance Plan (the result of a settlement brokered with 31 state attorneys general back in 2015), Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are planning to significantly reduce the amount of tax-lien and civil-judgment information found in consumer credit files.

Details have yet to be finalized, but “there will be less of that type of data in credit reports moving forward,” Stuart K. Pratt, president and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade association that represents the credit bureaus, confirmed to Credit.com. Testing is currently underway and a final plan regarding the information

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The Science Behind Green Building

Sustainable building takes most of us back to the classroom for a refresher on the physical properties of energy, air, and water. Green building practices, as well the selection of the appropriate building materials, revolve around a few basic principles of science. Science is what sustainable building relies on, principles that once understood can guide you every step of the way, including:

    • A house is a system of interrelated parts.
    • Energy loses some of its potential each time it is converted from one form to another, which explains why passive solar heat is much more efficient than electric heat.
    • Form follows function when it comes to design, meaning that construction should be
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