Real Estate

Rental Interest Drives Real Estate Search Traffic

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Hitwise: Traffic from social media sites jumps 61% year-over-year

Visits to real estate websites have jumped 27 percent in the past year, with much of that increase driven by consumer interest in rentals, according to a webinar by Web metrics firm Experian Hitwise.

"Folks are looking for rental properties quite a bit. (There is) not as much activity, unfortunately, around houses for sale," said Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise.

Hitwise reported a 27 percent rise in traffic to real estate-related websites in February, to a 0.48 percent market share among all websites tracked -- the highest level since the first half of 2009.

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How to shoot photos of your home for the real estate market

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How to shoot photos of your home for the real estate market

Remove the clutter, use a wide lens if possible, and whatever you do, get yourself a tripod, advises Kathryn Learie

If you’ve shopped for a home and browsed the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), you may have noticed that often the photos fall short in showing off a place.

If you want to avoid that happening to you and have the time to take the photos yourself, here are some tips that may help:

MLS does not properly support vertically captured pictures. Only take horizontal photos.

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Get Smart About Mobile Real Estate Apps

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Mobile apps are becoming an increasingly important part of real estate. They not only help you keep your business at your fingertips but also allow you to better serve your clients.

If you own a smartphone, mobile apps should be your best friend. With new applications constantly hitting the market, however, it can be a challenge to stay up-to-date with what’s available and, most importantly, what will best help you in your real estate business.

“Mobile apps” are software programs developed specifically for your phone’s operating system. Everyone who uses a smartphone relies on some apps to make it work as a kind of pocket-sized computer. For real estate, the selection of apps runs the gamut from basic productivity tools to highly sophisticated property search and marketing solutions. 

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Sales Slow but Remain Above Last Year!!!

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With the scheduled closing deadline for the home buyer tax credits, existing-home sales slowed in June but remained at relatively elevated levels, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.37 million units in June from 5.66 million in May, but are 9.8 percent higher than the 4.89 million-unit pace in June 2009.

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What To Look For An Equestrian Property

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Experience of owning horses can only be maximized if you have the appropriate property to accommodate the needs of such animals. Searching for an equestrian real estate may be quite an arduous task. But it would be easier once you have formulated your own criteria for the ideal investment asset.

Having huge amount of finances if the first requirement in order to be successful in this pursuit. Firstly, the cost of such estate itself takes up a huge bulk of your expenses. Other costs such as for maintenance of the horses, their shelter and sustenance are obligations on a daily basis. Thus, preparedness is the main key here. Meanwhile, to look out for the best equine property would make you feel every penny spent is worth this undertaking. There are some components that you have to look into so you can fully benefit from purchasing this type of land. .

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The Lowdown on the First-time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit

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Still sitting on the fence about buying your first home? If you want to take advantage of the federal government’s tax credit of up to $8000, you have until the end of November. But there are a lot of other good reasons for buying now.

Along with the tax credit, low interest rates and a large existing-home inventory as well as incentives from new-home builders make it a buyer’s market in many areas of the country.

Real estate experts say if you have good credit, a steady income and want to take on the responsibilities of home ownership, it’s a great time to buy your first house. But because it often takes weeks for first-time buyers to find a home, it pays to have everything lined up for the purchase that should optimally take place no later than mid-November. .

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10 Common Errors Home Owners Make When Filing Taxes

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Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary—know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.

As you calculate your tax returns, consider each home tax deduction and credit you are—and are not—entitled to. Running afoul of any of these 10 home-related tax mistakes—which tax pros say are especially common—can cost you money or draw the IRS to your doorstep.

Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes

You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind—that is, you’re not billed for 2010 property taxes until 2011. But that’s irrelevant to the feds.

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Quiz: Property Marketing

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Even great listings can benefit from skillful property marketing.  Take this quiz to find out if you know what it takes to grab the attention of prospective buyers and make the home's best features stand out.

1. Which of the following is not a good tactic for marketing a starter home?

1. Suggest various scenarios for financing the home, including sample downpayments and monthly mortgage payments

2. Emphasize the advantage of homeownership (e.g., the mortgage interest tax deduction and the possibility of building equity)

3. Advertise the home in a local dining-out guide targeted toward young adults

4. Hire a professional designer and photographer to create a four-color brochure of the home’s highlights

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The Basics of Making an Offer

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A written proposal is the foundation of a real estate transaction. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your written proposal.This proposal not only specifies price, but all the terms and conditions of the purchase. For example, if the sellers said they'd help with $2,000 toward your closing costs, be sure that's included in your written offer and in the final completed contract, or you won't have grounds for collecting it later.

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Exotics are for a Rare Breed

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These loans can be beneficial under the right circumstances
Home loans used to be fairly simple. They came in fixed rates and lasted 30 years and people stayed in the home until it was paid off and then threw a party. But then the late ’70s rolled around with 18 percent interest rates and the balloon payment was born. Since then, lenders have opened the door for home ownership to more and more people with a variety of mortgage types and terms.
Although consumers largely benefit from the choice of so many loan products, they also need to be far more diligent in understanding what they are getting than the old fixed-rate or no-house days. If they aren’t, they will likely suffer the consequences emotionally and financially. .

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FSBO Woes: Why It's So Hard to Sell Your Own Home

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For most people, a for-sale-by-owner transaction simply isn't in the cards
Granted, some people are able to sell their own homes without the services of a real estate agent. Some of these successful do-it-yourselfers are very experienced home sellers. Others are transferring ownership of their home to a child, a coworker or a tenant who's already living in the home. These circumstances are the exception, not the norm, however. For most people, a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transaction simply isn't in the cards. Here are five reasons why. .

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