Fed Signals Drop in interest for now
Federal Reserve signaled that its march toward higher interest rates may be ending sooner than expected. The Fed’s chairman, Jerome H. Powell, said economic growth remained “solid” and the central bank expected growth to continue.
In a sharp reversal of the Fed’s stance just six week ago, Mr. Powell said the Fed had “the luxury of patience” in deciding whether to raise rates again.
Slowing growth in Europe and China has made a strong case for the halt in interest rates.
Drop in existing home sales have been a boon for Investors after months of increases
After two consecutive months of increases, existing-home sales declined nationally in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. None of the four major U.S. regions saw a gain in sales activity last month.
Total existing-home sales decreased 6.4 percent from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million in December. Sales are now down 10.3 percent from a year ago.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says current housing numbers are partly a result of higher interest rates during much of 2018.
According to National Real Estate Investor Retail-to-Industrial Conversions Are Gaining Traction
With growth on ecommerce and increasing needs for real-estate investors focused on other property types are shifting toward industrial real estate, notes Ross Litkenhous, Washington, D.C.-based global head of business development at the Toronto-based Altus Group, a global provider of commercial real estate software, data solutions and advisory services. Link to full report
Dallas & Austin among the best performing cities according to Milken Institute’s annual survey
Austin took third place in the analysis, up six spots from last year. Dallas dropped two spots to fifth. Here are the rest of the cities
- Provo-Orem, Utah
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif
- Austin, Texas
- San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif
- Dallas, Texas
- Raleigh, N.C
5 Things Buyers and Sellers Need to Know about Foundation Repair. This is a Guest Post by Granite Foundation Repair
Literally speaking, the foundation is the base of your home. It’s the load-bearing portion of the house that supports everything above it. When it’s strong, you can rest assured that your home will last for generations to come.
But when it’s weak, a myriad of many things can plague your home. Cracks could appear on your walls, foundations and/or floor. The roof could sag or bow. The floor could appear uneven. At the very worst, your home could come crumbling down.
As a buyer or seller, there are important things you should know about foundation repairs. Knowing them will help you make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with the sale or purchase.
1. The foundation problems could run deep.
When it comes to foundation issues, even problems that don’t appear significant can quickly become serious headaches. That’s why it pays to take even the “small” issues seriously. Underestimating them could prove to be disastrous.
Cracks, for example, might look minor. However, some could be deceptive as they could be hiding significant issues that aren’t as obvious.
The only way to know exactly what is happening with your foundation is to hire a foundation repair expert. The expert will be able to determine the cause of the problem, explain how the problem occurred, and provide different solutions to the problem.
Now, you don’t have to be an expert to spot signs of foundation damage. So when viewing the property, make sure you check for things like:
- Cracks on the floor, walls, and/or foundation. Cracks usually occur when foundations move.
- The house appearing to be settling into the ground. You may also notice that doors and windows aren’t functioning as they should.
- The concrete slab foundation appearing to move in an upward direction. This is what experts refer to as foundation heaving. This problem is generally common in areas that have poor soil conditions like Texas.
- Floors appearing to be bowing, dipping, or sagging. This is also a telltale sign of foundation movement.
- Cabinets and counters separating from the wall. When foundations move, counters, cabinets and lots of other things also tend to become out of level as well.
2. Repairing foundation problems doesn’t come cheap.
You can only estimate the cost of foundation repairs after you have known exactly what you are dealing with. Hairline cracks resulting from normal settling can usually be patched up quite inexpensively.
However, if the problem involves major foundation issues, then the costs can run the gamut. According to experts over at Granite Foundation Repair, the costs can go north of $15,000.
3. Repairing foundation problems isn’t a DIY project
Buying or selling a home isn’t as simple as buying or selling a car or other piece of personal property. It’s a major financial (and emotional) undertaking.
As such, diagnosing and repairing foundations is best left to professionals. The last thing you want is an erroneous diagnosis that could end up costing you your most valuable investment.
Additionally, your lender or insurance company may require that the resolved issues have proper documentation.
4. Buyers may face financing challenges.
Many conventional financial institutions require that homes be structurally sound in order to get financing. And if the lender agrees to finance your home, you risk facing higher interest rates or having to provide a bigger down payment.
On the upside, however, you can use this as a major bargaining chip to get a better deal.
5. Sellers may need to make concessions.
Selling a home with foundation issues isn’t easy. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You only need to consider your options and employ smart strategies.
One option that you have is to fix the issues first and then sell the home. If you decide to take this route, then it may mean investing some money (perhaps a lot) out of your own pocket.
Once you have fixed the issue, you may also be required to disclose that information to prospective buyers. While it may be required by law, having this on your property’s record may actually work against you.
Many potential buyers may become discouraged after learning your home has had foundation issues. You may, nonetheless, try to offset the impact by pricing your property accordingly.
The other option is to sell as-is. Generally speaking, be prepared to sell it for about 20-25% lower on average. House flippers, in particular, may see this as an opportunity to make repairs and then sell it for a good profit.
Foundation damage is more common than you think. One out of every four homes in the US had signs of foundation problems, according to a 2012 study conducted by the National Association of Builders.
So when thinking of buying or selling a home needing foundation repair, these are the 5 main things to pay attention to the most.
For any question on foundation our Foundation Expert – Jim Oursler can be reached at at email@example.com
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