Real Estate News – October 2017


By Jeffrey W. Carroll



Home Sellers Are Making Bank in Today’s Market

Home sellers are making bank in today’s market, realizing an average profit of 24.1 percent, or $39,900, in 2016, according to a recent study.

Sellers on the West Coast—where home prices have skyrocketed since the recession—saw higher returns. Sellers in Oakland, California took home the highest profits at 78 percent, or $235,000.

Duration is key. The average seller turning a $39,900 profit, the analysis shows, held on to their home for seven years and five months. The average seller in Oakland hung on to their home for seven years and three months.

The top 10 markets:

City, Median Years Owned, Dollar Gain on Sale, Annual Dollar Gain on Sale, Percent Gain on Sale

Oakland, CA 7 years, 3 months $235,000 $33,913 78.0%

Portland, OR 9 years, 1 month $145,026 $16,714 64.7%

San Jose, CA 9 years, 8 months $271,150 $30,562 56.5%

Denver, CO 7 years, 7 months $119,500 $18,162 56.0%

Los Angeles, CA 9 years, 8 months $200,000 $23,200 53.7%

Sacramento, CA 6 years, 11 months $82,500 $12,000 53.6%

Seattle, WA 9 years, 2 months $185,000 $20,840 53.1%

Philadelphia, PA 7 years, 11 months $40,225 $4,194 51.7%

New Orleans, LA 8 years, 7 months $81,000 $10,475 51.5%

Boston, MA 7 years, 10 months $182,500 $25,036 49.6%

“The housing market can change a lot in 10 years, and you see that reflected in this top 10 list,” says economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions people will make in their lifetime, and it really paid off for sellers in these cities. Every city on this list has been growing extremely fast over the past decade, with the majority passing peak home value hit during the housing bubble.”

The ability to amass wealth over the long term makes real estate the No. 1 investment for most Americans, despite proven results from stocks and other vehicles.

“It’s extremely difficult to time the market, but if you’re a longtime homeowner in one of these cities, you could potentially see a great return on your investment,” Gudell says.

Think Twice Before Storing Your Credit Card Information

The convenience of saving your credit card information on your favorite sites is appealing – no more scrambling for your card, no more entering all that information – especially when it comes to purchases made on your mobile device.

Due to increasing incidence of data theft, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) encourages consumers to take into account the risks involved in storing their credit card information online.

This is an important consideration due to the increasing volume and variety of data theft over the past several years. The theft of personal information from medical insurance companies, restaurants and retailers has understandably made consumers wary about how their information is handled.

The BBB offers the following suggestions for protecting your financial information:

You can say no. In most cases, merchants will ask if you’d like them to keep your number on file. You have the right to say no. If a merchant isn’t clear about their policy, ask about it.

Remove your credit card information. Some online merchants automatically store your credit card info without asking, so after you’ve made a purchase, log into your account and find the option to remove your payment information from a company’s files.

Stay safe when you’re out and about. Avoid making any transactions over a public Wi-Fi network that does not require a password. Hackers can set up a fake network with a name similar to that of the location where free Wi-Fi is offered. If you connect to it, they can get into your files and steal your information. Ask for the name of the location’s Wi-Fi network before connecting.

Use credit, not debit. Whether you use a debit or credit card, you are protected from any liability due to fraud. Debit cards, however, allow cybercriminals to empty your bank account after a data breach.

Keep a close watch on credit and bank statements. Be vigilant about scanning your statements for unusual or unauthorized charges. If anything looks suspicious, call your financial institution right away.

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By Jeffrey W. Carroll