Some helpful reminders to get ready for winter – no matter where you live.
Some helpful hints for Down Payment Assistance from California Association of REALTORS®. In a Buyer’s market, sometimes the seller will credit buyer’s closing cost which helps with funds out-of-pocket too. When the market swings to a buyer’s market, check out your options – Dawn
August 20, 2018
Some home buyers express concern that photos of their properties continue to live on real estate websites after they’ve closed on the purchase, and they’re asking real estate professionals to help take them down, citing privacy and security issues. In a column in Chicago’s Pioneer Press, a buyer named “Deborah” wrote about her efforts to get the listing photos of her home removed after she bought it. Deborah says the seller’s agent refused her immediate request, saying other real estate companies like to see the photos and use them as comparables and for appraisals.
But Deborah was concerned that the interior of her home was still viewable. In the column, she calls for the industry to launch a new provision for home buyers so that they can opt out of keeping listing photos online indefinitely—similar to a “Do Not Call” list.
Generally, secondary photos of sold properties can be “suppressed” from an MLS’s data feed to third parties at the listing agent or managing broker’s request. However, the primary listing photo—which most often is an exterior shot of the property—likely will remain available to view.
Lesley Muchow, deputy general counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®, says homeowners can request that third-party sites remove property photos that are still visible after closing. Homeowners also may want to ask their agent to intervene in getting photos suppressed from the MLS and its feeds.
Courtesy NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® July 16, 2018
You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse; but without your market expertise and sales skills to back them up, sellers who choose to sell their home on their own just may experience “seller’s regret” when they see how much less they get for their properties. FSBOs earn an average of $60,000 to $90,000 less on the sale of their home than sellers who work with a real estate agent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Here’s the breakdown:
- All agent-assisted homes: $250,000 (median selling price)
- All FSBO homes: $190,000
- FSBO homes when buyer knew seller: $160,300
With this kind of discrepancy, why would any seller choose to go it alone? Some may want to avoid paying an agent’s commission—but even factoring that in, FSBOs still stand to make less on their home sale. “Talk to an agent and find out what they suggest for the commission, and then do the math yourself,” researchers write on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog. “The closing price for the agent-assisted seller is likely going to be way above a FSBO. [But] in reality, homes sold by the owner make less money overall.”
Homeowners seem to be hearing the message: Only 8 percent of sellers last year—an all-time low—chose to sell their home themselves, according to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. That figure has been falling since 2004, when 14 percent of homeowners sold their own homes.
Of the share of FSBOs last year, 38 percent of the homes were sold to a buyer that the seller knew, such as a friend, neighbor, or family member. The majority of FSBO transactions, however, were sold to buyers the owner did not know.
What is an ADU and Why You Should Care
ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit and they might just be your next edited home. You might know ADUs by their other, quasi-affectionate names such as granny-flats, mother-in-law-apartments and so on. They are dwellings–either attached or detached from a main house–that exist on a lot with another house. Many ADUs are buit above garages such as the one pictured above.
ADUs have myriad benefits such as:
- Creating a secondary rental income.
- Increasing the occupancy of a given plot of land.
- Creating more communal living, while still providing autonomy and privacy for both homes.
- People who may have once needed a large home–e.g. parents whose children have moved out–can move into the ADU and rent out the main home.
ADUs are not lean-to’s; they are real homes that require building permits and some investment. A great resource is accessorydwellings.org, which goes into the ins-and-outs of ADU construction, financing, zoning for every state and other issues.
For those looking to install an ADU on their property, but who don’t want the headache of designing a custom home, there are many prefabricated options like the model above by Blu Homes.
What’s great about ADUs is that they provide a way of optimizing traditional the American home, whose lot size is often considerably larger than its home. We realize many people who want to live an edited life live in traditional American homes; moreover they neither want to move into a micro apartment in the city or a tiny house in the country. The ADU provides a great way of working with existing resources, while providing extra income, increasing the efficiency of a property and creating a more community-oriented lifestyle.
Do you have experiences living or building an ADU? Tell us about it.
Top picture by Pete Sloutos, courtesy of Peter Brachvogel, BC&J Architects
Preparing to list a Modular Home I ran across this article that explains it well. Not to be confused with a mobile home – now called manufactured homes – the difference is often in the permanence. For instance modular homes are placed on a permanent foundation; whereas manufactured homes are built on a steel chassis with wheels attached so the trailer can be moved or towed. – (My Notes – Dawn)
When you are buying a home, you might hear the terms modular homes, manufactured homes and site built homes. It’s important to understand how they all differ, no matter whether you are purchasing an existing house or plan to build on land that is subject to restrictions. The differences can affect a home’s price and its resale value, and even dictate whether or not it can be built on your land.
What Are Site Built Homes?
- They are constructed entirely at the building site.
- Common construction materials are 2 by 4s and 4 by 6s precut wood used for framing and trusses.
- They conform to all state, local or regional codes where the house is located.
- Often called ‘stick-built’ houses, they make up the majority of all new homes constructed today and are the favored way to build a home.
- A well-built, cared for site-built home generally increases in value over time, although its location plays a key role in value.
What Are Modular Homes?
You might find this hard to believe, but the photograph on this page is of a modular home. It looks just like a regular house built on top of a slab with 2x4s, doesn’t it? You cannot really tell the difference these days. Modular homes are typically very well built. Here are more facts about modular homes:
- Modular homes are built in sections at a factory.
- Modular homes are built to conform to all state, local or regional building codes at their destinations.
- Sections are transported to the building site on truck beds, then joined together by local contractors.
- Local building inspectors check to make sure a modular home’s structure meets requirements and that all finish work is done properly.
- Modular homes are sometimes less expensive per square foot than site built houses.
- A well-built modular home should have the same longevity as its site-built counterpart, increasing in value over time.
- Read more facts about modular homes
- What Are Manufactured Homes? Formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers, but with many more style options than in the past.
- Manufactured houses are built in a factory. They conform to a Federal building code, called the HUD code, rather than to building codes at their destinations.
- Manufactured homes are built on a non-removable steel chassis.
- Sections are transported to the building site on their own wheels.
- Multi-part manufactured units are joined at their destination.
- Segments are not always placed on a permanent foundation, making them more difficult to re-finance.
- Building inspectors check the work done locally (electric hook up, etc.) but are not required to approve the structure.
- Manufactured housing is generally less expensive than site built and modular homes.
- Manufactured homes sometimes decrease in value over time.Read more facts about manufactured homes
What Do the Differences Mean to You?
Restrictive Covenants and Deed Restrictions
- Communities generally have no restrictions against traditional, site-built homes. Many housing developments do set minimum size requirements and stipulate you must build a house that conforms to published restricted covenants or be approved by an architectural review committee.
- Most developments allow modular homes. Some do not, but, in those cases, the restrictions seem to have been imposed because of an ongoing confusion about the differences between modular homes and manufactured homes.
- Restrictive covenants and deed restrictions often exclude manufactured homes.
Investigate the deed restrictions thoroughly before purchasing land for any type of new home. Further, obtain a copy of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, also known as the CC&Rs for your new neighborhood. Study the plat map and know where your easement boundaries lie to make sure you do not place your modular home on top of any easements.
Are Prefab Modular Homes the Same as Shipping Containers?
Shipping containers can also be called a modular home but they are generally very different from your typical modular home.
A conventional modular home looks very much like a traditional stick-built home. It is hard to tell the difference. Whereas a shipping container home, constructed from an actual shipping container and not a replica, looks like a shipping container home, made from corrugated metal.
A single pod modular home built from a shipping container can be used as a cabin, getaway or tiny home. For more space, consider joining together two shipping containers.
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, CalBRE #00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.