Lawn Fertilization Tips for Fall

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

Believe it or not, in about a week the Autumnal Equinox will take place (the first day of Fall is 9/23) and that means it’s time to start thinking about lawn-care for the upcoming months. The following infographic from The Home Depot lays out exactly what needs to be done to prepare your yard for the winter months so it’s in tip-top shape for Spring. Happy Friday!!!!

Hat tip to The Home Depot.

 

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Americans View Real Estate As The Safest For Long term Retirement 

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

We like these kinds of surveys because they always point out what we real estate investors already know – that investing in real estate is not only a smart choice but the best choice for the long run!  That being said, the folks over Sophisticated Investor conducted a survey asking 2k US respondents which investments they regarded as the safest for long-term retirement investing. They used Google Surveys and targeted men & women between the ages of 35 to 65+ from coast to coast. They asked them which investments (from a list) do you view as the “safest” for long term retirement investing.  By the way, do you have an SDIRA set up yet?

Click here to read the full report at sophisticatedinvestor.com.

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Home Depot's Former CFO Says Millennial Homeowner Habit is Music to their Ears

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

On a recent episode of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money, Jim interviewed the since-retired CFO of Home Depot, Carol Tomé, who shared some of her vast experience with The Home Depot as well as what the future holds.  Tomé was with The Home Depot for 24 years.  Among the many items they discussed were Home Depot’s new B2B personalized experienced program they’re rolling out as well as how millinnenals are now buying homes and seeing them as investments.  Indeed….

“They’ve told us through our research, ‘We want to work on our house because we think it’s a good investment,’” Tomé said in a one-on-one interview with “Mad Money’s” Jim Cramer. “So that’s music to our ears.”

“Homeowners that think of their dwelling as an investment, as opposed to an expense, tend to spend more money on their home, she said. Home equity values — the difference between property value and what’s owed — have more than doubled within the last decade, and that has helped boost sales at the home improvement chain, she added.”

 

Click here to red the full story at CNBC.com.

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Ten Fastest Growing Retirement Cities

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

We have kept our eyes on that rapidly retiring cohort known as the Baby Boomers.  With that in mind, a recent article on Realtor.com caught our attention.  They put their number-crunchers to work to come up with a list of the top 10 cities experiencing a “boomer boom.”  To get their list, they calculated the counties with the greatest numbers of incoming people aged 55 and up (per capita), and identified those places that have seen the biggest increases over the past two years (using U.S. Census Bureau numbers). They then they selected the primary cities from all of those counties.  Indeed…

“Many boomers recognize that cities are a great place to age,” says Daniel Levine, founding director of the Avant-Guide Institute trends consultancy. “Everything is often within walking distance, from restaurants to hair salons. Add the plethora of cultural activities and aging in the city is sort of like one big retirement home…”

Their top ten cities are:

  1. Tuscon, AZ
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. Tampa, FL
  4. Denver, CO
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. Albuquerque, NM
  8. Portland, OR
  9. Sacramento, CA
  10. New Orleans, LA

Click here to read the full story on Realtor.com.

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Construction Employment Rises by 14k in August, Firms Still Shorthanded

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

According to recent data from the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employment increased by 14k jobs in August and was up 177,000, or 2.4%, over the past 12 months.  In addition, they also report that the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience remained near historic lows.  AGC officials said that 80% of contractors reported they were having a hard time finding enough qualified hourly craft workers to hire.

“Construction employment gains would likely have been higher if firms could find even more people to hire,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Our survey found that 91 percent of respondents said their firms expect to hire in the next 12 months, but overwhelmingly, they are finding most craft positions hard to fill. Even as firms are raising pay and benefits, doing more in-house training and investing in labor-saving equipment, labor shortages are changing the way many firms bid, schedule and manage their projects.”

Click here to read the full release at AGC.org.

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HUD Submits Housing Reform Plan to The President

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently submitted a plan to President Trump proposing to overhaul & reform the Nation’s housing system.  The plan was developed along with an accompanying one from the U.S. Treasury department pursuant to a memorandum from the President back in March of this year.  HUD says the plan ensures FHA and Ginnie Mae can continue to serve their important missions effectively, responsibly, and sustainably for many years to come as well as accomplishing four objectives:

  1. Refocuses FHA to its core mission
  2. Protects American taxpayers
  3. Provides FHA and Ginnie Mae the tools to appropriately manage risk
  4. Provides liquidity to the housing finance system

The U.S. Treasury Department submitted a plan to reform the housing finance system through a series of recommended legislative and administrative reforms that are designed to protect American taxpayers against future bailouts, preserve the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and help hardworking Americans fulfill their goal of buying a home.

The full release from is presented below:

THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SUBMITS HOUSING REFORM PLAN TO THE PRESIDENT

9/5/19

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) presented President Donald Trump with a plan for reforming the Nation’s housing finance system. Read HUD’s housing finance reform plan.

On March 27, 2019, President Trump issued a Memorandum on Federal Housing Finance Reform, directing HUD and the Department of Treasury to craft the housing finance reform plans released today. HUD plays a critical role in the Nation’s housing finance system, primarily through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA currently insures 8.1 million single-family forward mortgages, nearly 500,000 reverse mortgages, and 15,500 multifamily and healthcare properties. In addition, the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) guarantees more than $2 trillion in mortgage-backed securities.

“As a direct result of the Trump Administration’s pro-growth policies, unemployment is at 50-year low and American families are earning higher incomes and enjoying more opportunities than seemed possible just a few years ago,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “There is still one piece of unfinished business from the financial crisis: housing finance reform. These changes to our housing finance system will help more American families achieve their dream of owning a home.”

The reform plan presented today ensures FHA and Ginnie Mae can continue to serve their important missions effectively, responsibly, and sustainably for many years to come. HUD’s reform plan accomplishes four objectives:

  1. Refocuses FHA to its core mission;
  2. Protects American taxpayers;
  3. Provides FHA and Ginnie Mae the tools to appropriately manage risk; and
  4. Provides liquidity to the housing finance system.

“FHA and Ginnie Mae should focus on helping families and individuals in their respective programs become sustainable homeowners while minimizing risk to the taxpayer to the greatest extent possible,” said Brian Montgomery, FHA Commissioner and Assistant Secretary of Housing.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also presented President Trump with a complementary housing finance reform plan today.

Click here to read the full release at HUD.gov.

Click here to read the entire HUD plan submitted to the President.

Click here to read the Treasury Department’s release.

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Trump Administration Wants to Privatize Fannie & Freddie

BY  ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

The Wall Street Journal is reporting (reposted on Realtor.com) that President Trump supports returning mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private hands, which they say is a development that could keep the two companies at the center of the housing market for decades.  The WSJ said that if the administration follows through on privatizing the firms, they would essentially return to a status similar to before the financial crisis, with their effective duopolies intact, for lack of a better alternative.

“Our view is that the government footprint has become too big,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview ahead of Thursday’s report. “There are people in Washington who are happy to leave this the way it is for another 10 or 20 years, and that’s not us. We feel an obligation to try to fix this.”

Click here to read the full story at Realtor.com.

Click here to read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

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Condo Owner Busted for Splitting Floor into Tiny Half-Height Apartments

(NY Post) A Lower East Side building owner is facing fines after inspectors uncovered makeshift apartments. NYC Department of Buildings; William Miller

We’ve had several posts about “Tiny Houses” but this one pushes the concept over a bit over the edge.  Apparently, a condo owner in New York City turned his small apartment in to what the NY Post dubs a “mini-village” by converting it into an illegal duplex with 11 sub-units with ceilings as low as 4 and a half feet.  The landlord even put up protective bubble-wrap to keep residents from hitting their heads on the [now]low-hanging pipes (how nice).  According to the article, the unit was raided and shutdown by local authorities citing numerous code violations.  In addition, the unit also shared an illegal bathroom.  Indeed….You can’t make this stuff up:

“The units lacked light, ventilation, fire protection systems and proper egress, the spokesman said….I’ve never seen air conditioners stacked atop one another like that — five air conditioners in three windows,” said Kallos, upon reviewing a photo of the building’s exterior.”

GoogleMaps

Click here to read the full story at the NY Post.

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Home Prices Well Below National Levels in Opportunity Zones

According to new report about Opportunity Zones from ATTOM Data Solutions, roughly 80 percent of the zones had median home prices in the Q2 2019 that were below the national figure of $266k and that half had median prices of less than $150k.  In addition, they compared Opportunity Zones to surrounding regions and found that median Q2 2019 prices in about one in four zones were less than 50% of the typical value in the Metropolitan Statistical Areas in which they exist.  Indeed…

“Opportunity Zones are among the poorest areas of the country, with some of the lowest home prices. This should come as no surprise because the zones are designed to be in or alongside economically distressed neighborhoods,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

Some key findings:

  • States with the highest percentage of census tracts meeting Opportunity Zone requirements include Wyoming (17%), Mississippi (15%), Alabama (13%), North Dakota (12%) and New Mexico (12%). Washington, DC, also is among the leaders (14%). Nationwide, 10% of all tracts qualify.
  • Among the 3,073 Opportunity Zones with sufficient data to analyze, California has the most, with 374, followed by Florida (317), Texas (164), Pennsylvania (154), North Carolina (145) and Tennessee (138).
  • Of the tracts analyzed, 47 percent had a median price in Q2 2019 of less than $150,000. The median ranged from $150,000 to $199,999 in 17 percent, from $200,000 up to the national median of $266,000 in 16 percent and more than $266,000 in 19 percent.

Click here to read the full report at ATTOM DATA Solutions.

 

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Foreclosures Down 18% from 2018

We recently posted about rising delinquencies in the 2nd quarter which also made reference to the fact that foreclosure inventory was at its lowest level since 1995.  According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Midyear 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, there were 296,458 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the first half of 2019.  This figure is 18% lower than one year ago and down 82% its peak in 2010.  They say their data help reinforce the view that foreclosure activity is trending downward.  However they do point out:

“Of course, you still have pockets across the nation where foreclosure activity is seeing some flare-ups. Foreclosure starts is a good indication of markets to watch. For instance, in looking at the largest markets across the nation with the greatest annual increase in foreclosure starts, 4 out of the 5 markets were in Florida.”  Said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions.

Click here to read the full report at ATTOMdata.com.

 

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