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Staff Reports



Is the real estate market too hot to keep up with?

Regardless of the general economy and jobs being below national figures in 2015/2016, Ohio professionals in the real estate industry continue to be determined and confident.

Economic forecasters predict 2017 will be an upbeat year for the housing industry. In fact, housing in Ohio has been referred to as “The bread and butter of the American economy.”

Some are saying “it’s a seller’s market.” What does that mean?

There are many factors which affect the real estate market – interest rates, employment, investment growth, legislative changes and new construction, to name a few.

In a seller’s market, there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers. The advantage goes to the seller in a seller’s market causing home prices to rise while buyers are quick to make an offer to secure the property.

Sometimes buyers will compete for a property, driving the price above expectations and in many cases, buyers are willing to overpay to ensure they are the winning bidder so to speak.

This is when things can get complicated…

An already complex home-buying process is now complicated by a low appraisal. Your bank will only fund a loan up to the appraised value. Buyers are then forced to come up with the difference in cash or walk away.

Appraisals, by nature, are backward-looking. In other words, in a hot market, appraisals can’t keep up with how quickly homes are selling, causing appraisals to come in with lower-than expected value.

For example, six months ago the top price was $1,000 per foot and a buyer is willing to pay $1,100 per foot, there are no recorded comps at that price for an appraiser to use.

You can ask the appraiser to make a “market adjustment,” but they don’t have to do it.

What are your options if this happens to you?

  • Appeal the appraisal: Often team effort of homeowner, loan officer and real estate agent working together to find better comps to justify a higher value.
  • Order a second appraisal: Seller’s agent can order a second or even third appraisal. Keep in mind this will most likely cost you $300-$1000 per appraisal.
  • Negotiate with the seller: Often the solution is to negotiate a lower price with the seller. Many sellers will eventually come to terms with the fact that any other appraisal values by potential future buyers will most likely come in at similar value.
  • Walk away: If you have an appraisal contingency in your purchase contract, you can walk away and get your deposit back.

Chip Carpenter | Broker/Auctioneer

United Country Real Estate and Auction Services

Ohio’s premier recreational & lifestyle real estate & auction firm

Distressed properties continue downward trend

(Apr. 26, 2017 – Columbus, OH) Central Ohio foreclosures in the first quarter of 2017 followed its downtrend, decreasing 63.7 percent from a year ago and down over 93 percent from peak supply levels in 2010 according to the 1Q17 Lender-Mediated Properties Report published by Columbus REALTORS®.

Lender-mediated properties are defined as foreclosure, lender owned, short sale, HUD and VA listings.

“The central Ohio housing market continues to absorb distressed properties as we see fewer homes for sale, more demand and less downward price pressure brought on by foreclosures,” said Mic Gordon, 2017 President of the Columbus REALTORS®.

“Only one in 15 lender-mediated properties (6.6 percent) were listed for sale last quarter and they made up just over ten percent of the central Ohio sales. The previous year, 13.6 percent of first quarter sales were lender-mediated and these properties made up 11 percent of the inventory.”

The drop in the share of lender-mediated sales from 13.6 percent to 10.2 percent has helped to enable a 9.6 percent gain in the median sales price of distressed homes over the last year.

The share of new listings that were distressed decreased from 10.9 percent during the first quarter last year to 7.0 percent this year.

Single family homes that were distressed accounted for 11.3 percent of the total home sales during the first quarter. Condominiums in a distressed state made up 3.9 percent of the first quarter sales.

Because the demand exceeds the supply today, both distressed and non-distressed homes are selling more quickly During the first quarter, homes sold in an average of 49 days. Last year, it was taking an average of 62 days to sell a home.

According to the latest Housing Market Confidence Index by the Ohio Association of REALTORS®, 94 percent of central Ohio REALTORS® said they are seeing fewer underwater homes on the market.

“With the healthy recovery we’ve seen, more and more homeowners who owed more on their mortgage than it was worth during the recession are finding that’s not the case anymore,” adds Gordon.

“If you were upside down in your mortgage and unable to sell your home before, I’d recommend contacting a REALTOR® to see if you can take advantage of the current market conditions as homes are very much in demand right now.”

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 7,700 real estate professionals engaged in residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, property management, appraisal, consultation, real estate syndication, land development and more.

The Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champagne, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross Counties.

What Are the Best States for Millennials? The Answer May Surprise You

When you think about the ideal state for millennials to live in, you likely imagine them traipsing around California or New York. But a recent MoneyRates.com study shows the best state for young folks these days is actually… wait for it… North Dakota?

The study looked at eight different aspects to determine the best states for millennials. These criteria are:

  • Job market for young adults (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Young adult proportion of population (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • College tuition affordability (Four-year in-state cost data from the College Board)
  • Residential rental availability (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Residential rental affordability (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Access to high-speed broadband internet (Federal government’s National Broadband Map)
  • Concentration of bars relative to the young adult population (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Concentration of fitness facilities relative to the young adult population (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association)

With these in mind, MoneyRates.com ranked the following 10 states as the best fit for the millennial generation.

1. North Dakota

North Dakota has the second-highest population of people aged 20 to 24, trailing only Utah. One reason why young people are drawn to the state? The job market. Across most of the nation, unemployment for young adults has remained persistently troublesome, but North Dakota’s unemployment rate for people aged 20 to 24 is just 5.3 percent, compared with 8.1 percent for the typical state.

2. South Dakota

It probably comes as no surprise that South Dakota would share some characteristics with its neighbor to the north. Of particular interest to millennials looking for work, these similarities include a strong job market for young adults. South Dakota also ranks No. 1 nationally in the affordability of residential rentals, leaving millennials more money to put into their savings accounts.

3. Nebraska

This is another state that might not automatically be thought of as a mecca for young adults, but proportionately, its population of 20- to 24-year-olds is in the top 10 nationally. Nebraska also scored top 10 rankings for young adult employment and residential rental affordability.

4. Louisiana

Being home to New Orleans makes it easy to think of Louisiana as a party state, but actually it scored only a little better than average in terms of the availability of night life. However, it scored very well for broadband access, rental availability and proportion of young adults in its population.

5. Wyoming

With student loan debt an increasingly troubling issue for millennials, Wyoming offers a very strong attraction: At an average of $5,055 per year, the cost of a four-year public college degree for in-state residents is the lowest in the nation.

6. Iowa

The two greatest strengths for Iowa in this study were that it ranked among the 10 best states in both rental affordability and concentration of bars.

7. Kansas (Tie)

Scores for Kansas were more consistently decent than featuring spectacular ups and downs, though the state did rank particularly well for the availability of high-speed broadband and access to residential rentals.

7. Wisconsin (Tie)

Wisconsin stands out as a particularly good place to work and play – it has the fourth-lowest rate of young adult unemployment in the nation.

9. Montana

Montana has the third-lowest in-state tuition for four-year public college degrees. In addition, the state was in the top 10 for concentration of fitness facilities.

10. Indiana

The top ranks for Indiana would fall into the general category of ease-of-living for young adults. Indiana was in the top 10 for both affordability and availability of residential rental properties, and it also scored well for access to high-speed broadband.

Planting Pro: Tips for a Healthy, Happy Tree

While planting a tree in your yard may seem intimidating, all it takes is a little muscle and some good know-how. Follow these guidelines from the expert arborists at the Tree Care Industry Association:

Measure the height and diameter of the root ball or root spread.

Dig the hole just deep enough to allow the first structural root to be at level grade. The diameter of the hole should be two to three times the diameter of the root ball or root spread.

Set the tree on undisturbed solid ground in the center of the hole. The tree should be planted so that the root flare, the base of the tree trunk where the roots begin to “flare-out,” will be visible above grade.

Backfill with soil from the planting hole, using water to pack or settle the soil around the root ball. Do not tamp soil by stepping on it.

Mulch the planting area with 2 – 4 inches of an organic, composted mulch such as wood chips. Do not mulch up to or against the trunk. Start the mulch six inches away from the tree trunk.

Trees should be pruned after planting to remove broken, damaged, diseased or dead branches.

Stake and/or protect the trunk of the tree if there is a real potential for wind damage or lawn-mower injury. Remove the supportive wires and materials when the staking is no longer needed or the tree could be injured or even killed.

Prune to develop a good branch structure once the tree has become established in its new home, usually 1 – 3 years after planting. Never remove more than 25 percent of total foliage in one year.

Fertilizing is not recommended at the time of planting.

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Staff Reports