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How Interest Rates are Impacting Buyers and Sellers

Home sales are a part of the economy that is affected fast and significantly when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. Buyers are directly and immediately impacted but sellers are also seeing the fallout. Beginning in March, we have now had five interest rate increases with three of them being three-quarter-point hikes. Interest rates have not risen this fast and this high since the 1980s. Rising mortgage rates are continuing to slow housing market demand, resulting in slowing sales and less home price appreciation. 

Over the last six months, mortgage rates started at about 3%, jumped to 3.5%, then leaped to over 4%, then up to 5%, and now appear to be firmly above 6.25%. Each rate increase means more buyers are coping with steeper monthly payments and sellers are experiencing less demand for their homes with pressure mounting on sellers to reduce prices to make houses more affordable for buyers. And more rate hikes are likely to come as the Fed gave warnings of serious economic hardship ahead at its September meeting. The bottom line is that unaffordable housing prices, a bear stock market, hot inflation, and the war in Europe are weighing on almost everyone with an interest in the economy.

From a Home Buyer’s Perspective

For buyers, higher interest rates weaken their competitive bargaining power because higher monthly mortgage payments prevent them from bidding on houses that they would have qualified for several months ago. Today, instead of looking at houses close to what they have been dreaming of while saving the down payment, they are forced into purchasing a home in a lower price range due to qualifying for a lower loan amount. The major factors affecting preapproval are the size of the down payment and the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio. When a buyer’s monthly payment will be higher due to a high interest rate, they have to go with a lower loan amount which means a less costly house. This is forcing people down into lower cost houses which have been and remain in low supply. 

For buyers, it is going to get worse at the lower end of the market. In a more balanced market, sellers would typically not rise the asking price when interest rates rise. Sellers would likely even lower the price if offers were not coming in. However, in the current market, inventory is low, and buyers may remain priced out of the market. Also, to be considered during inflationary times with rising interest rates is more pressure on regular household budgets. Not only is everything in the stores costing more, but interest payments on existing debt are going up.

From a Home Seller’s Perspective

The few sellers that are in the market have developed an attitude that prices will continue to rise based on recent history. They still believe they will receive multiple offers, often at or above the asking price. Sellers are only accepting offers from preapproved buyers and will want to continue doing that. What might be changing is for sellers to check that the preapproval is based on current interest rates. Sellers might also want buyers to lock in their preapproved interest rate as soon as possible since more rate hikes are in the future. Sellers also need to prepare themselves for the fact there are going to be fewer preapproved buyers in the market. Fewer offers are going to come in and it’s going to take longer to sell a house. The times when a house sold within a week or two after being listed are probably behind us.

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How to Invest in Rental Properties Out-of-State

Owning real estate is a worthwhile investment, but what happens when available properties in your area are out of your budget? If you live in a place like San Francisco, you’re surrounded by some of the highest home prices in the country. Can you still own real estate as a way of investing? The answer is yes, but you have to think out of the box.

Rental Properties

The key is to buy real estate in places that are more affordable, yet still have growing populations and promising home values. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of out-of-state investing, as well as some tips to help you do it successfully. 

Why Invest in Out-of-State Properties?

If you live in an area with high real estate prices, you may want to invest in out-of-state properties. This allows you to get into the business of real estate at a price point you’re more comfortable with.

Here are other reasons for considering this method of real estate investing:

Diversification: The best way to mitigate risk is to diversify. If one market in your portfolio sees a downturn or crash, you will likely benefit from having properties in other regions.Tax benefits: Every state has different tax implications, and some are better than others. Owning property in a state with more allowable tax deductions or investor-friendly laws can help you achieve the best return on investment (ROI).   Personal use: Perhaps you’re interested in eventually moving, or maybe you simply want a vacation home. Many people buy out-of-state rental properties in locations they enjoy to take advantage of favorable market conditions.

Challenges to Consider When Investing Out-of-State

Like anything in real estate investing, there are challenges to buying out-of-state rental properties. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is the initial investment of time. It always pays off to spend a significant amount of time researching the area you’re considering. 

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9 Home Upgrades That Don’t Add Value When Selling

Upgrading your home isn’t as simple as it might seem. Installing marble countertops or a big swimming pool in the backyard might seem like a no-brainer, but you’re just as likely to lose money as you are to boost your home value. 

The reason is simple: You’ve got to upgrade to the market, not your personal tastes. Even if prospective buyers like the $20,000 wine cellar you added, they may not want to pay $20,000 extra when it comes time to negotiate the sale price. If they don’t, you’ve just lost a lot of money that you could have put toward home-selling expenses

Whether you’re selling with a five-star agent or posting your for-sale-by-owner listing online, you’ll want to consider your home upgrades carefully. Here are the most common upgrades that don’t add value when selling your home.

1. Carpeting

Although new carpet was once considered a tried-and-true upgrade, wall-to-wall carpeting is no longer a popular feature for today’s buyers. Many buyers have concerns about allergens and contaminants in carpet, and they would prefer a simple wood floor. That should be good news because refinishing or installing a new wood floor usually costs less than new carpeting. 

2. An Expanded Owner’s Suite

Combining a smaller bedroom and the owner’s suite to create a bigger space with a sitting area and walk-in closet can result in a very attractive and eye-catching home. The problem is that you’ll lose an entire bedroom. In general, the more bedrooms a home has, the more it sells for. That means whatever bump in value the deluxe owner’s suite provides will be canceled out by the decline in value from losing a bedroom.

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Everything You Need To Know About Selling A House With A Bad Roof

You can sell a home that needs a new roof if you’re willing to make repairs. It actually happens more than you think. There are always sellers that know that their home needs a new roof, but they want to list and sell it “as-is”.  But, there are a lot of things you need to consider before selling your home.

If you want to sell a house with a bad roof, there are some things you need to know.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

There Are Two Ways To Sell Your House When You Have A Leaky Roof

If you’ve noticed that your ceiling has water stains, damaged siding, or deteriorating flashing around chimney flues and vents, you need to deal with the problem immediately. You might be able to fix the damage yourself by replacing some of the shingles or flashing, but if not, you could end up having to replace the whole roof.

You could sell your house without having to replace the entire structure. Instead, let the buyer replace the roof.You’ll first need to replace the roof yourself and then sell the house.

We’ll go through the specifics of each method when it comes to selling your home. We’ll discuss what’s good and what isn’t so good about both options.


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Top Tips for Great Sleep this Autumn

Summer, it’s been a blast. Though as the last of the BBQ’s sizzle out and the mornings get a little darker it’s time to get set up for the cozy season. This may mean making a few changes to our routines to ensure we stay healthy, especially when it comes to bedtime. As we transition into Autumn, many of us can experience disrupted sleep. The effects this has on your mood can be heightened as the clocks go back with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) affecting 1 in 3 people across the UK. If you struggle with sleep this time of year, grab yourself a pumpkin-spiced latte and enjoy a read of these top tips to stay rested all Autumn. 

Light it up

Not a fan of dark mornings and shorter evenings? You are not alone. This is one of the main reasons people do not look forward to Autumn, though with a few easy tweaks you can let the light in! Exposure to light in the morning is important to help regulate your circadian rhythm, whether this means opening the blinds in the morning or using a light therapy lamp. Lighting up your bedroom room in the morning helps signal to your pineal gland that it’s time to start the day. Getting as much natural light throughout the day as possible will also boost your mood and keep your internal body clock ticking down the hours till bed. Make it part of your Autumn routine to get your boots on and enjoy a leaf-crunching walk around the park, followed by a nice hot drink when you get home!

Find the perfect mattress

Is there anything better than that last ten minutes in bed on a cold morning? Nope! As long as you have a great mattress. If there’s ever a time to invest in better bedtimes it’s Autumn, and your mattress is the first place to start. Sleep is personal, though we can all benefit from one that offers proper spinal support, optimum comfort, and motion control to prevent disturbances throughout the night. A Bamboo Hybrid Mattress ticks all the boxes, with a breathable BioCell Foam that regulates body temperature and a hypoallergenic bamboo cover to take care of skin. A thermo-regulating mattress will keep you sleeping comfortably for seasons to come. In the quest for great sleep this Autumn, it’s worth finding ‘the one that will make bedtime perfect. 

Work it out

If you missed the gym this summer, now is a great time to make up for it. Keeping active throughout Autumn will help release dopamine and endorphins that will boost your mood and keep you energized. Low energy is typical in the darker months, though a daily workout whether a quick stroll or replacing an uber with a bike ride will make a big difference. Firstly, having a routine may help you stay more positive especially when it involves something that is great for your heart, mind, and joints! Secondly, exercise can give your immune system a boost. You are fending off pesky colds and sniffles. Get your trainers at the ready and get your sweat on for a glowing Autumn. 

 Fill up on the good stuff

Autumn is full of things to be grateful for. From better fashion (hello knitted jumpers and warm socks) delicious food and cozy nights on the sofa. Netflix better has some goodies in store. Though most importantly it’s a time to spend with our loved ones and gives us an opportunity to slow down and take better care of ourselves. From filling up with nutritious, seasonal food, less work, more rest, and plenty of hot chocolates. Allow yourself to fill up on the good stuff this Autumn, and who knows… it might just become your favorite season!

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3 Ways to Get Home Values Wrong

One of the most significant roles of a real estate agent representing a home seller is to provide them with an accurate market value. Homeowners use the information provided by agents to make many financial decisions in their life.

The value received could even be an impetus to whether a home seller decides to move or not. Given the stakes are so high, it makes sense that there should be quite a bit of thought that goes into an accurate home value.

There are a few things that can easily throw off home values. Some of the most common ones include using price per square foot, providing the wrong comparable sales, and using Zillow for an estimate of value.

None of these methods will lead to the right results. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

These Methods Lead to Inaccurate Market Values

Using Price Per Square Foot

One of the easiest ways to come up with the market value of a property is using price per square foot. It is also one of the least reliable.

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3 Ways to Improve the Lending Process for Home Buyers

Buying a house is a transaction that’s often shrouded in mystery, with surprises at every turn. For lenders and buyers, the roller coaster that has been the housing market only heightens the need for speed and accuracy. And when time is of the essence, creating a solid partnership between all parties is essential. 

As in many milestone-related transactions, emotions can run high when pursuing homeownership. But one thing is certain: knowledge is power. Help your borrowers be in the best possible position by demystifying the path toward loan approval. Together, you’ll navigate the lending process with less stress and a result you all want: happy new homeowners. 

Loans Concept. Word on Folder Register of Card Index. Selective Focus.

1. Confirm Buyers’ Lending Options and Limits

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of homebuying, especially with so much information available to borrowers. But before your buyers fall in love with a new home, make sure that it’s within reach. Interview borrowers to learn more about their situation, what kind of home they’re looking for, and their current financial obligations. 

Frequently, borrowers establish expectations about home features before price. And with varying costs of taxes, insurance, and other escrow expenses, the loan approval amount can change. Help your borrowers avoid housing heartbreak by confirming how much of a loan they can manage. Use your expertise to help them understand the specifics of their target locations and home types that influence monthly costs. This smart step can help them focus their shopping parameters, which can improve their odds of submitting the winning bid. 

To get started, they’ll need to submit paperwork to confirm what amount they can afford. But this process is often one of the most challenging to complete. With varying processes with employers, coordinating with human resources can quickly erode your timeline. Implement tools that can help you conduct income verification without the hassle. By streamlining the process, you can get accurate data back and an approval letter in the hands of your borrowers. 

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Can My Sister Get More Than Her Half of an Inherited House?

Ask Brian is a weekly column by Real Estate Expert Brian Kline. If you have questions on real estate investing, DIY, home buying/selling, or other housing inquiries please email your questions to askbrian@realtybiznews.com.

Question from Leslie in CA: Hi Brian, My mother passed away a little over six months ago and left the family house to my sister and me. My sister wants her share of the cash for the house right away, but things are more complicated than the estate just writing her a check. I’m the executor of the estate and there isn’t enough cash to do that. Based on comparable sales in the neighborhood, the house is worth somewhere around $700,000. But there is still a $210,000 mortgage remaining. My sister expects to be paid about $350,000 because she says that is what the house is worth. She insists the mortgage just goes away because our mother died. There was no life insurance. The house is sitting vacant. The first two months of the mortgage were paid from available cash in the estate, but I’ve paid the last four months with my own funds. I’ve tried to explain to her that we need to sell the house soon before this gets any more complicated. She insists that I’m trying to swindle her out of what is rightfully hers and that she just wants her $350,000 and we’ll be done with it. Where do I go from here to settle this fairly for both of us? 

Answer: Hello Leslie. You have a tough situation on your hands. Someone other than yourself, maybe a probate attorney, needs to sit down with your sister to explain what her options are. It sounds like the place to start is by explaining that she inherited half of the equity in the house, which is different than half the market value of the house. That could be a tough conversation if she thinks you are trying to swindle her. And it doesn’t get any easier because the next part of the conversation is to help her understand that owning half of the equity also means that her half of the estate is also responsible for half of the expenses for the house and anything else that is in the estate. 

It will be a judgment call on your part or whoever is trying to explain it to her, but it might go better if her (and your) options are explained to her before trying to explain how much money she is entitled to. I’m suggesting that because different scenarios will offer her different amounts of money depending on what is decided. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney, and this is just my humble opinion.

The option that is used most often is to sell the house and then divide the remaining equity. But that is not going to be the $350,000 half of the market value that she is thinking. At the closing table, the $210,000 mortgage is going to be paid to the lender. The real estate agent’s commission and other closing costs are also going to come out of the sale proceeds. Keep in mind that the sale proceeds will technically go into the estate bank account. Since the house seems to be the largest asset in the estate, other expenses owed by the estate will probably need to be paid. For instance, I suspect there will also be some attorney fees.

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How Can I Make Free Money — 4 Easy Ways To Earn In The Time Of Inflation

Nowadays, everybody needs more money than they’re currently earning. Thanks to the peaks in inflation rates, the rising cost of living, and high energy prices, it became increasingly complex for people to make ends meet. In August 2022, the U.S. faced the highest increase in electricity price since 1981 — a rise of 15.8%. 

The worst news is that such a trend is prevalent worldwide. For example, the U.K. measures Consumer Price Inflation annually, which increased to 8.8% in July 2022, with the most significant contributions coming from housing and household services such as electricity, gas, transport, and food. Many people are taking up side hustles and earning extra money to survive such conditions. While working a full-time job takes most people’s time, there are ways to make cash without putting in much effort. Here are the four best ways to earn free money!

Passive Income Apps

Passive income apps have shaken up the technology world. In the past few years, they have become popular among tech enthusiasts and people wanting to make money without a fuss. That’s why companies like Honeygain came about — they introduced a free Internet-sharing, also known as proxyware, app that pays users depending on the amount of traffic they share with the Honeygain network.

You can earn up to $90 per month when using Honeygain. Every 10GB you share is worth 3,000 Honeygain credits, equal to $3. There are several ways to boost your earnings — turn on special features, participate in their weekly contests that you can find on social media, and refer friends. Thanks to Honeygain’s referral program, you’ll get a forever bonus of 10%, equal to your referral’s daily earnings! Also, Honeygain encrypts your bandwidth, so making money with this app is safe, fast, and effortless.

Online Surveys

Answering online surveys is the perfect way to make money for people who don’t want long-term commitments. Companies are continuously looking for customer feedback and are willing to pay for it! If you research your favorite brands, you might find incredible deals — take a 5-minute survey on the lotion you use and get anywhere from $0.50 to $1. 

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Can You Avoid Capital Gains On the Sale of a Second Home?

You may plan on investing in a second home for personal or financial reasons. You probably want to use it as a holiday retreat, a rental for extra income, or a getaway spot for weekends. However, there may come a time when you find it necessary or smart to sell that second home. While you can profit from the sale of your house, especially if its value has improved over time, you’ll probably also have to pay capital gains tax. Thankfully, you can plan for these taxes and take action to lower them.

Selling a Second Home vs. Selling Your Primary Residence

You’ll probably pay very little or no tax if the property you sold was your principal residence. The IRS has a principle that excludes residences from capital gains taxes. You can exclude up to $250,000 in earnings from the sale of your primary house if you’re single. For married couples filing jointly, the exclusion amount is $500,000.

However, a second home cannot be excluded. A capital gains tax will be due when you sell your second house. You may be responsible for short-term or long-term capital gains tax, depending on how long you’ve held your second house.

Can you sell a second house without paying capital gains taxes? Yes, you may be able to avoid paying all or part of your capital gains taxes. You simply need to adhere to specific rules. Here are a few helpful tips to avoid capital gains tax on your second home.

Reduce Your Net Profit

If you acquired your second house for $400,000 and sold it for $500,000, you might believe your taxable capital gain is $100,000. However, this isn’t always the case. The crucial point in this situation is that the net profit, not the difference between the purchase price and the sale price, is subject to capital gains tax on the sale of the second home.

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Engel & Völkers Launches Dedicated Professional Athlete Advisory Group

Engel & Völkers announced today the launch of its Professional Athlete Advisory Group with the mission to deliver signature services and solutions to fit the unique real estate needs of professional athletes. The newly launched advisory group is part of the brand’s existing Private Office designation, which specializes in servicing the top segment of the global real estate market with expertise and discretion. The Private Office Advisors are the most experienced and successful working under the Engel & Völkers brand, regularly counseling and overseeing real estate transactions for prominent personalities and high-net-worth clientele around the globe. 

“Professional athletes require the utmost discretion, care and attention with their real estate transactions,” said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “When faced with a move, athletes and their families need a local expert who can help them get established in a new community quickly, or, who can take on the listing when they relocate. These transactions are often less traditional and our Private Office Advisors understand the nuances of working with this type of clientele, providing support well before and far beyond the transaction to make their clients’ transitions to new teams and communities as turnkey as possible.”

Engel & Völkers’ Professional Athlete Advisory Group is comprised of licensed real estate professionals who are spouses or parents of professional athletes or even former athletes themselves, while others are simply the “go-to” local resource after years of working with players, coaches and staff. This select group has the direct experience required to understand the demands of a professional athlete’s lifestyle and how to best support it, while also being uniquely positioned with the brand tools and resources to meet the distinct real estate needs of this clientele. This includes working with frenetic training and travel schedules, providing family support, and last-minute relocations.

“Athletes often have competing priorities in their rigorous careers,” added Hitt. “The members of our Professional Athlete Advisory Group are not just real estate professionals, but also take on the role of local concierge, project manager, investment guide and more throughout the process to ensure a seamless, full service experience.”

For more information, visit https://www.evprivateoffice.com/services

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Why Hire Rental Property Management Services?

Those who have attempted to manage a rental property on their own will find that it is not difficult to hire a qualified rental property management agency. Why experience all of that stress yourself when you can hire professionals to take the task off your shoulders? In today’s day and age, having a property manager is not only recommended but required. Property managers offer owners of rental investments nine key advantages.

It may be tempting to undertake this duty on your own, but it can very quickly come to feel like a significant investment of both time and energy. A good property manager not only gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your property is being cared for, but they also have a wide variety of other advantages. Follow the link to find out more helpful information about the topic https://www.wikihow.life/Select-a-Residential-Property-Manager.

Getting quality tenants

A capable manager of rental property, like those from Red Hawk Property Management, will be able to determine who among potential tenants is qualified to rent the property and who is not qualified to do so. Having reputable tenants and screening them thoroughly can help property owners avoid several major difficulties, including property damage, late rent payments, but also legal issues.

You should know that property managers have the resources necessary to identify dependable renters who will maintain the residence for a longer period, pay their rent on time, and look after the property.

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7 Tips To Help You Find the Right Home

Finding a new home can be both exciting and stressful. Maybe you look forward to the many benefits that may come with life in a new home, but you also worry about finding a new place to live. There is also so much you should be careful about when making such an important financial decision.

A lot goes into finding the right home. You don’t want to rush the process if you have time. There is also a lot you need to consider when looking for a new home. Without adequate planning, you could find yourself in a home that doesn’t work for you and your family.

What can you do to find the right home? Read on to learn to see some of our top tips!

Consider Your Needs

How can you find the right home if you don’t know what you want or need from a home? You might already know how many bedrooms you need, but there is more to consider. Maybe you want a lot of outdoor space. How big do you want your driveway to be? Do you need a multi-car garage? Maybe you want a specific type of flooring or different features in the kitchen. Write it all down and organize your wants and needs by priority.

 Research Locations

According to BBX Capital Real Estate, developers of quick move-in homes in St Johns County, Florida, location can make one of the biggest differences. People think about schools and crime rates, but there is so much more to consider. What about the types of local amenities near the neighborhood? You might want to consider accessibility. The ability to get to and from the neighborhood and access different parts of the region can make a big difference. 

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10 Ways to Save Money on Home Renovations

Whether you’ve bought a new home, or you’re sprucing up an investment property, home renovations can add immediate and long-term value to your home. They can also be costly. With mounting material and labor costs, your renovation dreams can quickly put a strain on your budget.

But renovating your home so it better suits your needs can pay off in the long term. Especially if you’re feeling buyers remorse after going through with such a major purchase. Ultimately, making repairs and renovations on your home now can help you fall in love with it, instead of going through the hassle and expense of selling and buying all over again.   

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Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save money without having to give up on your home renovation. With good planning and frugality, you can update your home on a budget.

Here are 10 ways to save money on home renovations. 

Make and Stick to a Budget

The first step to saving money on your home renovation is to set a budget. The second is to stick to it. This sounds basic, but you might be surprised how quickly you can bust your budget once work gets underway. 

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What Is a VA Loan? Benefits, Requirements, and How to Apply

Military borrowers looking to buy or refinance a home might want to consider a VA loan. Backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), this loan option can make buying a home easier for those who might otherwise struggle to afford a mortgage.

While VA loans have a funding fee that borrowers need to pay, they also come with a range of benefits, such as not requiring a down payment. If you’re a current or former service member, here’s everything you need to know about VA loans.

What Is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a new home loan or refinance loan offered through private lenders, such as banks and credit unions, in which a portion of the loan is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since it’s backed by the federal government, lenders consider it a less risky loan than a conventional mortgage.

VA loans are available to those who have served in the military and, in some cases, spouses and of military personnel. You can secure either a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate VA loan.

Benefits of a VA Loan

For those who qualify, a VA loan may offer the most affordable path to homeownership. It carries several benefits, including low mortgage rates. Locking in a lower rate can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the lifetime of your home loan.

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A Top Agent Roundup On the New Jersey Shore

Asbury Park, New Jersey, has been one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States. According to Redfin, in August 2022, prices in the seaside town were up 6.7% compared to last year. In addition, the median home price was $560K, and houses were selling in less than a month. So, with a looming recession hanging over the industry, I thought it would be interesting to see how Asbury Park real estate professionals rank in marketing compared to those in less profitable markets. What I turned up was interesting, logical, and a bit sad. 

Joe Oz (Joseph “Joe Oz” Ossichak) deserves to be called the “Wizard” of New Jersey shore real estate. He’s mastered and optimized his firm’s digital marketing effort, which virtually assures he’s the top dog in traditional marketing and sales in the area. Professionalism is just that way. Like most of the subjects we’ve focused on recently, I discovered him via Zillow. Perfect reviews there, and 

Oz’s website blows the competition in New Jersey away with an SEO ranking of 94/100. And while I am not in love with the aesthetics of the landing, this kind of online billboard still converts effectively. If the agent has a negative going against him, it’s the recent slackness on Instagram and an unbalance follower/following ratio. Oh, and the group’s Youtube effort is very nice but could use more content and promotion. 

He’s perfect on Facebook, posting effectively and with exactly the right frequency for his market. While his marketing and branding prowess could use a shot in the arm from local and national media notice, he’s head and shoulders above this competition. What impressed me most about Ossichak is that he optimizes his efforts even though the properties in Asbury Park tend to sell themselves lately. This says a lot about a person. 

Daniel Effenberger of O’Brien Realty probably has the most potential of any real estate agent in this part of New Jersey. He gets it where aesthetics and engagement are concerned. Facebook shares reflect his personality, and being photogenic does not hurt him either. However, there are a couple of reasons he could become the king of NJ sales. First and foremost, he does not have much competition in Asbury Park. Nobody in the industry in this seaside town seems to care much about using digital tools, media, or advertising to boost sales. 

Daniel Effenberger
Patrick Parker Real Estate Agent

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4 Fundamentals for Social Media Marketing – Tyler Brenner, BHGRE Metro Brokers 

According to Sprout Social, as of January 2022, there are 3.96 billion total social media users across all platforms. The average person bounces between seven different social networks per month. The amount of time adults use social media across all platforms is now higher than ever — 95 minutes per day. TikTok is the fastest-growing social network, with a staggering 105% user growth rate in the US over the past two years.

There is a tremendous opportunity to connect with people on social media. But for those new to social media marketing, the task may seem daunting. Here are four fundamentals to focus on at the start.

Leverage existing social media advertising technology. There are several third-party administrators that can create, schedule and target ads, saving you time. Why learn the ins and outs of creating ads when your expertise is in building relationships? We use Boost by HomeSpotter, a fully brand-funded social media advertising service, but there are plenty of others available, such as Adwerx or Homesnap.Understand your audience. People don’t want a constant stream of salesy ads in their feeds. That means you need to find ways to showcase your real estate business in a more casual, organic way. Take opportunities to capture your day – when you go out for showings, writing contracts, taking training, visiting your office – and show them you love what you do. Incorporate your niche and provide resourceful information in a meaningful way. If you’re perceived as someone both passionate and knowledgeable, you’re already a long way to keeping top of mind when they or someone they know need your assistance. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. There are plenty of social media platforms out there, but I recommend picking one, preferably one that you are most familiar with, and build up your profile and proficiency on that one platform. For instance, you can start delving deeper into Facebook. Once you have mastered Facebook and it’s become a business stream for you, the next logical step would be Instagram, which is image-driven and lends very well to promoting various aspects of real estate. Then you can begin doing Stories or Reels. You should also consider LinkedIn to promote your professional acumen. And finally, TikTok is growing rapidly so consider catering to the HGTV mindset today’s consumer has and include videos in your content mix.Track your results. It’s crucial to analyze how your social media marketing efforts are working, particularly if you are paying to advertise or boost posts. What type of content gets the most engagement? Where are your online leads coming from? You can use the analytics function in each platform or your social media marketing tool to track reach, likes, shares, and lead form fills. I like to call this “test and learn.” Once you know what’s working well, optimize that content or spend, reallocating from tactics that are not performing well.

The bottom line is that social media marketing is fundamental to your bottom line. 

Careful spending and allocation of your time can make the difference between a modest bump or an epic boost in your business. 

Tyler Brenner is the Marketing Director for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, one of the largest brokerages in Atlanta, Ga., with 27 offices and 2,600 affiliated agents. 

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Which Mesa, Arizona Agents Rock Digital Marketing?

According to Reffin, as of August, Mesa, Arizona, home prices were up 9.9% over the previous year. The median price was $450K, and most homes were sold within a couple of months on the market. However, home sales for August were also down by 274 compared to 2021. And things are trending downward now. 

So, with this in mind, now seems like a good time to profile local agents in this market with regard to their marketing and branding prowess. I’ll say this from the outset, don’t expect too much digital wizardry in a niche market that’s been hot as the proverbial firecracker. 

Shawn Rogers, AKA Mister Rogers Homes, is one of Mesa, Arizona’s top real estate professionals. According to our methods (one of them at least), I found him via perfect Google reviews (5.0/154). Rogers is also a Zillow Premier Agent with unblemished reviews (5.0/1077 Reviews). 

His website has a respectable SEO score of 78/100, and on social his team seems eclipse other agents in the region. Over 11,000 engaged Facebook fans, over 1,000 Youtube subscribers, and “bingo,” this Arizona home seller smashes the competition. He’s not into traditional media much, and Instagram does not seem to be his team’s bag. 

So, that’s about it for his digital marketing efforts. From what I can glean from his Youtube channel, the flashy hard sell still seems to work in this part of the country. 


Kenny Klaus via Youtube
Paul Whittle
Graph of the median sale price in Mesa, AZ

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Can You Avoid Capital Gains On the Sale of a Second Home?

You may plan on investing in a second home for personal or financial reasons. You probably want to use it as a holiday retreat, a rental for extra income, or a getaway spot for weekends. However, there may come a time when you find it necessary or smart to sell that second home. While you can profit from the sale of your house, especially if its value has improved over time, you’ll probably also have to pay capital gains tax. Thankfully, you can plan for these taxes and take action to lower them.

Selling a Second Home vs. Selling Your Primary Residence

You’ll probably pay very little or no tax if the property you sold was your principal residence. The IRS has a principle that excludes residences from capital gains taxes. You can exclude up to $250,000 in earnings from the sale of your primary house if you’re single. For married couples filing jointly, the exclusion amount is $500,000.

However, a second home cannot be excluded. A capital gains tax will be due when you sell your second house. You may be responsible for short-term or long-term capital gains tax, depending on how long you’ve held your second house.

Can you sell a second house without paying capital gains taxes? Yes, you may be able to avoid paying all or part of your capital gains taxes. You simply need to adhere to specific rules. Here are a few helpful tips to avoid capital gains tax on your second home.

Reduce Your Net Profit

If you acquired your second house for $400,000 and sold it for $500,000, you might believe your taxable capital gain is $100,000. However, this isn’t always the case. The crucial point in this situation is that the net profit, not the difference between the purchase price and the sale price, is subject to capital gains tax on the sale of the second home.

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Tips for Obtaining a Mortgage During Retirement – You Need a Strategy

You’ve been working all of your life and living within your budget. You’ve never had trouble qualifying for a mortgage because your credit rating was high, your debt-to-income ratio was good, and you bought a house that you could afford. Now, you’re fully retired and want to sell the old family home that still has a mortgage. Your plan is to downsize into a modern, single-level near your children that is in a more expensive neighborhood than the one you’re currently in. You need to take out a new mortgage but will your qualify? 

Or maybe you just want to refinance your existing mortgage.

Possible Obstacles to a Retirement Mortgage

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, lenders cannot discriminate against borrowers based on age. Retired borrowers, like working borrowers, simply need to show that they have good credit, not too much debt, and enough ongoing income to repay the mortgage. Two common obstacles hindering some retirees are today’s higher lender qualifications and what lenders consider to be acceptable income.

You may even have a substantial amount of assets in a 401k or IRA retirement account but that isn’t necessarily income if you are allowing it to continue growing tax-deferred in your 401k or IRA. Qualification and income requirements depend on the lender and the type of mortgage that you’re seeking. You may need to do some shopping around. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed loans come with requirements that lenders must follow. But private mortgage lenders set their own standards and can even waive some if they believe you are a good risk for other reasons.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and some private lenders do have programs designed to meet the different income and asset sources of retirees but not all loan offers are fully up to speed on how to handle assets that don’t show up on W-2 or 1040 IRS forms. The place to start is by asking the loan officer if he or she has experience qualifying loans based on retirement income sources rather than only on steady monthly income.

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