Monday, September 24, 2018

Let's Talk...

What Happens 

When Starbucks 

Comes To Town?

The Harvard Business School found that housing prices increase 0.5% within a year of Starbucks moving into town.
How did this esteemed business school find out? The Harvard Business School used Yelp.
Edward Glaeser, Harvard economist and chief researcher for this study, used Yelp data to complement statistical data from “tried and true” sources such as the US Census Bureau and Census Bureau. Why? “Because data from Yelp is likely to be more up to date than government sources and Yelp data makes the individual front and center to any questions being asked.”
The goal of this study was to determine whether housing prices increased due to Starbucks moving into town or whether affluent customers who patronize Starbucks moved into that town.
Glaeser said the Yelp data “reveals the latter…the most natural hypothesis… (affluent customers who patronize Starbucks moved into town)…the most natural hypothesis…that restaurants respond to exogenous changes in neighborhood composition and that restaurant availability is not driving neighborhood change.”
The broader point of Glaeser’s research is that gentrification (the process of rebuilding homes and businesses accompanied by an influx of middle class and/or affluent people at the expense of earlier, often poorer, residents within a neighborhood or zip code is “strongly associated” with increases in the numbers of grocery stores, cafes, bars, restaurants. In plain English, the more “high end” retail and service businesses in town, the more “high end” customers come to town.
Glaeser said that though the presence of a Starbucks is less important than the community itself having people who come to the town to consume Starbucks’ products. “…we think this variable (the number of consumers who drink/eat Starbucks) is likely to be a proxy for gentrification itself.”
Additional studies on the effect of Starbucks on home prices corroborate the findings of this most recent study.
Housing consumers, expect to see higher returns on the sale of your house and/or expect to pay more to buy a house when Starbucks comes to town.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Let's talk... Great Tips!

Check this out...

The minutes spent waiting at the baggage carousel can be among the most gut-wrenching, palm-sweating and butterfly-in-stomach-inducing of the entire travel experience. The terror of not seeing your bag ride down the conveyor belt keeps even the most well-seasoned traveler awake at night.
But luckily, airlines are better than ever at reuniting lost bags with their owners. About 97 percent of all lost bags are found and returned within two days, according to the Los Angeles Times. And there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your lost luggage is among that statistic.
As with most aspects of travel, the best plan is foresight. A secure luggage tag with legible information can help bring lost bags back home.
All luggage tags should list the owner’s name, email address, and a phone number.
Whether or not to include an address, however, is contentious, and you might want to refrain from putting your home address on your luggage. “If you can avoid listing your home address, you will be less likely to be targeted for a robbery while you are away,” according to USA Today. However, the address of where you’ll be traveling is a good point of contact for luggage lost on the outbound flight (just include it on a small slip of paper in addition to the permanent card in your luggage tag). If you’re worried about luggage being lost on the return flight, consider listing a work address instead of home.
When traveling abroad, avoid a luggage tag with a flag or anything that could identify your nationality. Also, get a luggage tag with a cover so your information can't be scanned by someone near you.
Finally, as a backup, draft an email that includes a photo of your luggage, its dimensions and your contact information (phone number and work address) that you can forward to the airline in the event your luggage goes missing.
Soon, the issue of what to put on your luggage tag may not even be an issue. Digital luggage tags already provide a secure way to track your bags and allow airport workers to scan for private information. Rimowa’s electronic tag (built into the suitcase) or bagID baggage tags can display travel information and allow airport workers to track luggage.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Let's Talk...

The Best Places to Live in America

These spots combine economic 

growth, affordability, and quality 

of life. 

See all 50.

Money's annual list of best places to live in the U.S. takes into consideration factors like economic growth, crime, public school performance and affordability, using 135,000 different data points on 583 places, according to the magazine. This year the town of Frisco, Texas took the top spot, along with Ashburn, Virginia and Carmel, Indiana.

In partnership with


Friday, September 14, 2018

Let's Talk Hot Off The Press
August Housing Market in Naples Continues to Show Strength!

Naples, Fla. (September 14, 2018) - Closed sales of properties during August increased 5 percent to 719 homes from 685 homes in August 2017 according to the August 2018 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Inventory during August also rose by 2 percent and was driven by a surge of 218 more properties added to the market in the two lowest price categories reported, compared to August 2017.
"I'm really encouraged by activity in the lower end of the market during August," said Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., who, along with several broker analysts reviewing the August Market Report, thinks we'll continue to see an uptick in inventory through the end of the year. "Historically, August is where we begin to see an increase in inventory as sellers get ready for our busy winter season."
Hughes went on to point out that the majority of the new inventory in August appeared in the single-family home market for properties below $500,000. Yet interestingly, closed sales during August were driven by activity in the condominium market, which experienced a 21 percent increase.

According to Jeff Jones, Managing Broker for Engel & Völkers Naples and Bonita Springs offices, "If you look at year over year numbers, the upper end continues to drive our market." As such, pending and closed sales of properties above $1 million increased by double digits, year over year ending August 2018. 
As to whether heightened Red Tide activity affected the Naples housing market in August, Bill Coffey, Broker Manager of Amerivest Realty Naples, responded by stating, "There were only 14 fewer pending sales in August compared to last year. And remember, we are still working with only 11 months of data since Hurricane Irma essentially halted activity for nearly a month last year."
Overall pending sales in August fell 3 percent; but pending sales of condominiums in the $500,000 to $1 million price range soared 28 percent in August. And pending sales for single family homes above $300,000 increased as well, with an impressive 62 percent increase for single family homes in the $2 million and above price category.
The NABOR® August 2018 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® August 2018 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 

Overall median closed prices fell 3 percent in August to $319,000 from $328,000 in August 2017, and it fell 13 percent for properties above $300,000 to $446,000 from $510,000 in August 2017. The only place prices increased was in the $500,00 to $1 million condominium market, which saw a 13 percent increase to $672,000 from $595,000 in August 2017.
Geographically, the median closed price increased 16 percent for homes in the South Naples area. This increase was reflected in a combined 37 percent increase in the single-family home market and 21 percent increase in the condominium market. 
According to Adam Vellano, West Coast Sales Manager, BEX Realty - Florida, "One indication that homeowners were pricing homes to sell in August was apparent in the MLS as 50 percent of the inventory that sold during the month had been on the market for over 100 days."

Let's Talk soon about your next move to Naples!
To View the August 2018 Market Statistics Link Click below... 

Michelle J. DeNomme, REALTOR, GRI
Cellular Phone I  239.404.7787
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty
Office: 239.659.2400
E-Fax Number: 239.236.5550
Twitter: DeNommeRealtor

Office Address: 621 Fifth Avenue South Naples, Florida 34102

Member Of Naples Board Of REALTORS 
Member Of Florida REALTORS 
Member Of National Association Of REALTORS 
Graduate Of REALTOR Institute (GRI)

The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples Community. NABOR® is a local board of REALTORS® and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 6,000 plus members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board of REALTORS® nationwide. NABOR® is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR® Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Let's Talk... Phenomenal Listings!

Let's Talk Buyer opportunity today! Newly Renovated!!! Let's make 105 Clubhouse Drive at The Wilderness Country Club and Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary your next Home Sweet Home! Nestled with in the lush landscape of this beautifully maintained development you will find that this Condominium offers you private Golf Cart Garage with Golf Cart. Located on the 1st Floor in D Building is magnificently situated with expansive views of the Golf Course from your private first floor lanai and Florida room. Talk about Move In Ready! Newly Renovated marvelously furnished 2 Bedroom and Two Bath unit of overall sq. ft. of 1,846. Renovations featuring New Flooring, Kitchen renovation, Light fixtures, Painting and so much more! WCC Golf Membership is required. Splendid views encapsulate you as you enjoy stepping out for a glorious stroll over to your very own community pool and Grill area. As an owner you can start your day at the Wilderness Country Club with Lunch before a round of Golf or perhaps a game of tennis or possibly it's your day to sit back and simply enjoy the tranquility poolside! Contact me today about Your Buyer Opportunity of $1,000.00 Credit at Closing!

Wilderness Country Club
105 Clubhouse Drive, Unit D-156
This QR Code will take you right to our Listing
Go To Your App Store For Quick Scan!

Let's Talk...Golden Gate City Single Family Home With Newer Roof 2016! You don't see this very often .36 Acres! Talk about the perfect home that just might fit your criteria! This home encompasses approximately 2,684 sq. ft. overall and living area under air of 1,738 sq. ft. with Two Car Garage and yes, your private Swimming Pool and Spa! The Master Suite is located within the split floor plan design. This split floor plan has not one, not two BUT three additional Bedrooms and one Bathroom. The living space is an open floor plan concept for living and dining that is near the kitchen and Family room area. The back yard is fenced in with large grassed in area with screened in pool area that is just perfect for entertaining with family and friends. If you have toys this is the home for you... there is Not One but Two Side Gates that are perfect for Boat or RV parking! Let's Talk Today as you know this home won't be on the market long!!! Let's talk about making this wonderful Home Your Next Home Sweet Home! Being Offered As Is Condition with Right To Inspect.

4972 21st Avenue SW
In Golden Gate City
This QR Code will take you right to our Listing
Go To Your App Store For Quick Scan!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Let's Talk...

New tax laws boosting Fla.’s luxury housing market

MIAMI – Sept. 5, 2018 – The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 has sent wealthy northeasterners fleeing to Florida's luxury home market, which has been a boon for South Florida luxury property developer BH3.
The law put a $10,000 limit on taxpayers' ability to deduct state and local taxes (SALT) from their federal taxable income in 2018, and that's had a huge impact on high-income taxpayers in some states: Taxes reach 8.82 percent in New York, 8.97 percent in New Jersey and 6.99 percent in Connecticut.
"SALT has crippled the high-end home market in northeast tri-state areas while luxury home sales in Florida have surged," says Daniel Lebensohn, co-founder of BH3. "Over the past several months, we've seen a tremendous increase in buyer interest from the northeast in the remaining units at Privé, our 8-acre private island community in Miami featuring two 16-story condo towers with 155 high-end units. Many of our new buyers named SALT as the motivating factor for seeking a residence in South Florida."
Since the law passed, New Yorkers ranked first among those looking for Miami properties on Miami's MLS, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.
In addition, luxury home prices jumped 16 percent in the second quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, according to Redfin Corp.

Source: World Property Journal (08/21/18) Gerrity, Michael

Let's Talk... Hot Off The Press!

Housing Predictions Ahead: REALTORS(R) Chief Economist Provides Market Insights
By RISMedia Staff
RISMEDIA, Thursday, September 06, 2018— Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), says concerns that the housing market has peaked and is headed toward another slowdown are purely speculative, regardless of recent sales declines in some regions.

What's in store for the future? Markets should slow down; however, this is due in part to insufficient supply and swiftly rising home prices instead of weak buyer demand. Yun predicts existing-home sales will drop 1 percent to 5.46 million in 2018 (down from 5.51 million in 2017). Home price growth, however, should remain strong, increasing an estimated 5 percent nationwide. And with an anticipated hike in inventory supply come 2019, home sales should stay afloat—existing home sales are predicted to rise 2 percent with home prices estimated to increase by 3.5 percent, according to Yun.

"Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher than normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage and near record-low defaults and foreclosures, which contributed to the last recession. Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory and accompanying unsustainable home price increases," said Yun in a statement.

Low inventory levels, which have fallen for three consecutive years, along with bidding wars, are prevalent across the country. And while homebuilding has jumped 7.2 percent year-to-date to July, Yun says new construction is sorely needed to continue filling the gap. Carefully considered policy decisions should help alleviate the shortage.

"The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply issue is addressed," Yun said. "Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to perspective homebuyers who are consequently—and increasingly—being priced out. In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth."

"Rising material costs and labor shortages do not help builders to be excited about business,” added Yun. "But the lumber tariff is a pure, unforced policy error that raises costs and limits job creations and more home building."

Friday, August 31, 2018

Let's Talk... Hot Off The Press

Pending home sales have dropped for 

seven straight months

NAR says that sales are slowing because of high pricing
By Dennis Lynch | August 29, 2018 02:00PM

A house for sale and National Association of 
Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun 
(Credit: Pixabay)
Pending sales for existing homes nationwide dropped by 0.7 percent in between July 
and June, and have now fallen for seven straight months on an annual basis.
The National Association of Realtors’ study of those sales suggests that the slowdown
 is because of high pricing. Pending sales in July were down 2.3 percent year over year. 
The organization’s analysis is based on contracts signed for existing single-family 
homes, condos and co-ops, also making it an indicator of what closed sales could 
look like in a month or two.
The western U.S. saw the biggest year-over-year dip in pending sales, dropping 
by 5.8 percent. Sales in the southern U.S., which has been one of the stronger 
egions in recent years, dipped by 0.9 percent.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said those declines “weighed down” the 
overall national numbers. He said the latest numbers are a reflection of overheated 
markets, pointing to the western U.S. as the prime example.
Years of inadequate supply and strong job growth “have finally driven up home prices 
to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it,” Yun said.
The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index suggested that pricing may 
be hitting a ceiling in many major U.S. metros. Home prices in 20 cities part of 
the index rose at their slowest pace since 2016. Climbing mortgage rates are also 
likely affecting the pace of price growth and sales.
Yun added that if new home construction picked up, prices would likely come 
down to a point that first-time buyers could afford again. First-time buyers spent 
around 23 percent of their income on a typical starter home in the second quarter, up 2
 percent from the first quarter.
He predicted sales of existing homes this year would drop by 1 percent to 5.46 
million and pricing would increase by around 5 percent.Tags: home priceshome sales

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Let's Talk...

Florida Weekly Correspondent

WEDNESDAY - APRIL 25TH, 2001: “Lunch very good — 210 people — smooth as silk, good preparation… Dinner was good, 100 or so with six... Find out more...
Let's Talk... Hot off the Sand!

LINES in the SAND 

A dispute between beachfront property owners and the public in Florida’s Panhandle and a new state rule designed to mediate that dispute has called into question the future of one of the Sunshine State’s most precious resources: 825 miles of sandy beach.
LINES in the SAND | Naples Florida Weekly ON THE BEACH IN FRONT OF THE RITZ-Carlton Naples, there is no visible line drawn in the sand indicating what part of the beach is public and whi...       

Monday, August 27, 2018

Let's Talk...

Today’s Millennial Homebuyer
In the last quarter of 2017, millennials accounted for 23 percent of newly originated mortgage dollars. On average, millennial homebuyers are 31 years old with an income of $64,000. The average mortgage balance for younger millennials is $167,000 and $210,000 for older millennials.
When it comes to credit scores, 77 percent of millennials with a mortgage have a 661 VantageScore or greater with an average score of 716 and 16 trades on file. Geographically, millennial homebuyers are most prevalent in the South and West regions.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®

Study: Most millennials need to 

improve their credit score

COSTA MESA, Calif. – Aug. 24, 2018 – Experian released a study on the borrowing behaviors of millennials, the largest credit population in the United States. The study found that only 39 percent of millennials without a mortgage have a prime or better score, and the majority face higher delinquency rates.
“This data presents good news for younger, thin-file millennials interested in buying a home,” says Michele Raneri vice president analytics and business development at Experian. “We’re seeing that small changes in financial behaviors such as building a history of on-time payments and improved credit practices can help lenders shift from viewing millennials as high-risk to low-risk relatively quickly. Knowing where you stand from a credit perspective is critical to improving or maintaining your financial well-being.”
To better understand the borrowing behaviors of millennials, Experian looked at personal loan trends, credit scores, bankcard behaviors and mortgage trends of 60 million younger adults.
According to a recent study from the National Association of Realtors®, 86 percent of millennials believe that buying a house is a good financial investment – Experian’s research found that only 15 percent have a mortgage today.
In addition, with 61 percent of millennials near prime or worse, many need to improve personal loan and bankcard usage habits to obtain lower rates when they’re ready to secure a mortgage.
“Often, young people start their credit journey with a couple of mistakes first, but in the end, these mistakes create opportunities to learn how to use and build credit responsibly,” says Rod Griffin, director of consumer education and awareness at Experian. “This study presents clear areas of opportunity for millennials as they age and prepare to enter the mortgage market.”

Key findings
  • In the U.S., the average consumer VantageScore is 677 and credit scores generally become more prime (661-780) as people age. Younger millennials (age 22-28) have an average near-prime score of 652 with older millennials (age 29-35) at the prime score of 665.
  • Millennials without a mortgage have an average age of 28, income of $33,000, 623 VantageScore and eight trades on file. Of them, 39 percent are viewed as prime or better (661 or higher).
  • Personal loan originations are dominated by older generations. Over the last four years, millennials account for 21 percent of all new personal loan dollars with a 40 percent increase in balances since 2011.
  • Younger millennials have an average per loan balance of approximately $7,300 while older millennials have an average balance of approximately $11,700.
  • Nationally, delinquency rates on personal loans are on the decline at 1.32 percent. Millennial delinquency rates in the fourth quarter of 2017 stood at 2.08 percent for younger millennials and 1.51 percent for older millennials.
  • As of the fourth quarter in 2017, millennials account for 20 percent of new bankcard dollars. On average, younger millennials carry a balance of just under $3,000 with older millennials carrying approximately $7,500. Millennial bankcard delinquency rates are higher than the U.S. average of 1.54 percent – 2.33 percent for younger millennials and 2.18 percent for older millennials.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Let's Talk Hot Off the Press...
July Housing Market in Naples Defies National Trends

Naples, Fla. (August 24, 2018) - According to the National Association of REALTORS July market report, existing home sales in America decreased for the third straight month as a result of the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation's housing market.
Conversely, homes sales in the Naples area were up 8 percent in July according to the July 2018Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). The nation has only a 4.3-month supply of home inventory, while Naples has a healthier 6.25-month supply of inventory.

"The Naples area overall median home price increase in July 2018 seems to be the only statistical category where we match national trends," said Kathy Zorn, broker/owner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Pristine, "Naples saw an 8 percent increase in its overall median closed price in July 2018 compared to July 2017; whereas nationally, median closed prices went up just 4 percent. But median closed prices for properties over $300,000 in the Naples area decreased 2 percent in July 2018 compared to July 2017."
Interestingly, while July's overall inventory fell 1 percent to 4,871 properties from 4,928 properties in July 2017, inventory increased 5 percent in the $300,000 and below price category. In fact, inventory for single-family homes in this price category jumped 21 percent in July to 345 from 286 in July 2017. 
"There are 1,154 single family homes and 1,722 condos for sale under $500,000 currently," said Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. "Economists predict home sales in America during 2018 will not be as good as 2017. However, we're seeing the opposite in the Naples area. Granted our sales were hampered by a hurricane in 2017, but there are no signs that interest in buying a home in Naples this year might drop because of temporary climate or environmental phenomena. We have a healthy inventory, an increase in closed sales, price stability and a decrease in the days on the market compared to July 2017."
July also saw a huge 39 percent jump in condominium closings in the Naples Beach area. Closed sales for August look strong too in this segment as pending sales for condominiums in the Naples Beach area increased 55 percent in July 2018 over July 2017!
Overall pending sales in Naples were up 11 percent in July, with only one price segment ($500k-$1M) reporting a decrease compared to July 2017.
"Pending sales for luxury condominiums [$2 million and above] in July were up 150 percent," said Budge Huskey, President, Premier Sotheby's International Realty. "The strength of the luxury market segment for both single family and condos continued into the summer months, a reflection of sustained confidence among the affluent witnessing the longest economic expansion cycle in the nation's history and record corporate earnings."
How buyers are purchasing homes in Naples is very different than the national average home buyer, as well. Cash sales accounted for only 20 percent of home purchases in July nationally. But in Naples, cash sales accounted for 50 percent of all home sales in July. 
The NABOR® July 2018 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® July 2018 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 

According to Cindy Carroll, SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., inventory in neighborhoods west of US 41 are beginning to tighten. "I think we can expect some upward price pressure in areas where the inventory supply level is below 4 months, like Pelican Bay."
Carroll also noted that the number of affordable homes in areas like Golden Gate City and South Naples is growing. "In April 2018, Golden Gate City had a 1.3-month supply of inventory; today it's at a 3.7-month supply. While a majority are priced on the high end of the $0-$300,000 price category, it might still provide some new opportunities for first-time homebuyers." 
In response to the question of whether home sales will be affected by a longer-than-average red tide occurrence, Huskey responded, "Clearly it's a situation we are all watching closely, yet currently there's no reflection in the pace of home sales. While impossible to ignore if at the beach on a day in which it's more prominent, a block or two east you wouldn't be aware of any issue and inland sales represent the vast majority of all activity in the market."
If you are looking to Buy a New Home or Sell Your Home in Naples, contact me today by e-mail or by calling 239.404.7787 so that I can provide you with an accurate market comparison so you can determine the right asking Purchase or Listing price. 
I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Let's Talk... 
6 Costs Homeowners Overlook
and How to Pay for Them...
By the Experts at Hippo
RISMEDIA, Friday, August 17, 2018— For many people, a house is the biggest investment they'll ever make. And whether you're a first-time homeowner or you're buying your third property, you're bound to end up covering some unexpected expenses. Here are six costs homeowners tend to overlook and how to pay for them:
1. Property taxes
Be prepared to pay property taxes and keep in mind that they rarely decrease. Homeowners often pay them every month along with their mortgage payments. If your loan is backed by the Federal Housing Administration, you're required to have an escrow or impound account.
If you don't have to make property tax payments through an escrow account, they may be due at the end of the year. In some counties, you might pay them in installments.
2. Homeowners association fees

Whenever you move into a new home or condominium, you become part of a community. In many cases, there are fees associated with the maintenance and general upkeep of shared common areas. The money collected might cover snow removal, landscaping or repairs to a meeting room.
Monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees for standard single-family homes tend to cost between $200-$300, but rates can vary depending on several factors, including how recently a housing community was built and the kinds of amenities that are available. That's why it's best to know how much fees cost upfront. In West Hollywood, Calif., for example, residents in Sierra Towers condos get access to a 24-hour concierge service and valet parking, but spend around $4,000 per month on HOA fees.
3. Insurance premiums
If you own a home, another cost you should include in your budget is insurance. The average annual homeowners insurance premium costs $1,120, according to recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, but the amount you pay may be higher or lower based on where you live and the kind of policy you choose. Homeowners insurance typically covers personal possessions, liability for injuries that take place on your property, the structure of your house and additional costs associated with living elsewhere if your home is severely damaged. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you might need a supplemental policy like flood insurance.
4. Repair and maintenance costs
Repairing or replacing a roof, furnace or air conditioner can be expensive, and at some point, you might have to address plumbing issues or trade in some old appliances.
The cost of home maintenance is another thing you'll have to factor into the cost of homeownership. You'll need money to keep your yard, gutters, carpet and everything in between in tip-top shape.
Financial experts generally recommend setting aside 1 percent of your home's value to cover the cost of unexpected repairs and maintenance. If you're trying to save money, you're better off doing some of the work yourself. Just make sure you have enough funds for the materials you need to get the job done.
5. Costs associated with selling a home
Having a home that's well-maintained not only lets you enjoy your house while you're living there, but also prevents you from being saddled with additional costs when you're ready to sell it.
Replacing your roof or furnace might be something you want to put off, but failing to make necessary repairs or meet demands made by potential homebuyers could hurt your market value or cost you a sale.
6. Pest control costs
Pests are a real concern for many homeowners. Over time, all sorts of critters—like termites, ants, spiders and rodents—might invade your home. Depending on how serious the problem is, you might need to fumigate your house.
If you're interested in buying a home, make sure you hire an inspector to check for bugs and termites that could cause structural damage. While lenders don't always require homebuyers to pay for pest inspections, it's important to have one done. You don't want to close on a house only to find out later that there's an issue. Termite inspections generally cost between $75-$150, according to Angie's List.
Build a rainy-day fund!
It's always better to be prepared for a storm than to be caught in a downpour without an umbrella. Despite the high costs, owning your own home can be a rewarding experience.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping enough money in your savings account to cover unforeseen costs. Make sure you account for all of the hidden expenses and fees associated with buying a home and budget accordingly.
This appeared first on RISMedia's Housecall.
Hippo is an InsureTech company that's reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the U.S. and will be available to more than 60 percent of the nation's homeowners by the end of 2018.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    Let's Talk... Hot Off the Press!!!

    The Highlights is an exclusive monthly series from SunTrust Mortgage, Inc., 
    dedicated to providing you with breaking industry news, trends and other 
    helpful tips for your business and clients! If there's ever a topic you'd like 
    to discuss further, just reach out to your dedicated Loan Officer.
    Owning a home is part of the American dream and is an exciting time 
    for your clients. But as your clients are preparing to get the keys to 
    their new home, hackers and cyber thieves are looking to turn your 
    clients dream into a nightmare. Wire fraud scams are a growing problem 
    that can cost your clients a huge financial loss.
    According to American Land Title Association, here are some best 
    practices to help protect your clients:
    Call, don’t email: Ask your clients to confirm all wiring instructions 
    by phone before transferring funds. Use the phone number from the 
    title company’s website or a business card.
    Be suspicious: It’s not common for title companies to change wiring 
    instructions and payment information.
    Confirm it all: Ask the recipient to confirm not just the account 
    number but also the name on the account before sending a wire.
    Verify immediately: Have your client call you or the title company 
    to validate that the funds were received. If your client detects that 
    the money was sent to the wrong account within 24 hours, it gives 
    them the best chance of recovering their money.
    Forward, don’t reply: When responding to an email, hit forward 
    instead of reply and then start typing in the person’s email address. 
    Criminals use email addresses that are very similar to the real one for 
    a company. By typing in email addresses makes it easier to discover if 
    someone is trying to commit fraud.
    If your client feels like they have been a victim of wire fraud, have 
    them call their bank immediately and issue a recall notice for the wire 
    transfer and report the crime to
    For more information, contact me today.
    Steve Somsen
    Mortgage Loan Officer
    NMLSR# 657351
    SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.