Real Estate Update June 2008

Real Estate Agent with TREG Chicago


Sandrine Larsen
June 2008
Real Estate Update
Mipeco Realty Inc.
"Services you need for the price you deserve"

Copyright 2008 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.

Daniel Turney


Rates Rise
      In Freddie Mac's results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.08% for the week ending May 29, 2008, up from the previous week when it averaged 5.88%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.16 %.
      While existing house prices continue to decline, new home sales unexpectedly rose in April and the number of month's supply of new homes for sale fell from 11.1 months in March to 10.6 months in April.

Mortgage Rates
Source: Realty Times

U.S. averages as of May 29, 2008:

30 yr. fixed:   6.08%
15 yr. fixed:   5.66%
1 yr. adj:        5.22%

Moreover, the median sales price for new homes rose 1.5 percent in April from the same month in 2007, representing the first yearly increase since November 2007.

Make Some Money With Your House

   F or owners of vacation homes or properties in tourist-friendly areas, here's a money-making tip. If there's a major sporting event or arts festival in their town, make some extra money by renting your primary or vacation home to tourists and moving elsewhere for a couple of weeks.
     If you rent your home for 14 days or less in a given year, you don't have to pay any tax on the rental income, says Bob Scharin, senior tax analyst for Thomson Reuters.
     If you rent your vacation home for more than 14 days, you'll have to report the income on Schedule E. That's not as bad as it sounds, because you'll also be permitted to deduct expenses.

Assessing The Value
Of Your Property

    Have you ever wondered how often your county assesses the value of your home?
     Property assessments are typically conducted from one to three years, regardless of whether values have gone up or down. Instead, the goal is to determine fair market value and establish a basis for property tax bills.
     However, when a property is sold or refinanced then in some jurisdictions the value may be brought current to reflect the latest financing or sale changes, regardless of the most recent assessment.
     For specifics, contact your local assessment office. They typically have a brochure or web page to explain their version of the process.

8 Tips for Low Cost Staging
    In a tough sales market, staging can help move a property.
     Barb Schwarz, who claims to have invented home staging in the early 1970s, estimates that about one in four homes nationwide are now staged.
     Julie Dana and Marcia Layton Turn state in their book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell, that a seller stands to gain as much as $9,000 on a $200,000 house if it's staged.
     Shelly Wagner, a Detroit-based stager, estimates that the cost per room for staging is $100 - small potatoes if it really helps a home sell. Here are some ideas from Wagner for effective, low-cost staging:
Remove scatter rugs and knickknacks from every room.
Get rid of everything on the kitchen counters, including appliances.
Remove as much as you can from closets.
Hire a cleaning service if necessary to make the house spotless. Scrub floors, walls, and windows. Pay special attention to the microwave, oven, and refrigerator.
Focus on the feature rooms, the living, dining, and master bedrooms. Additional bedrooms are best left empty or minimally furnished.
Arrange the furniture to show off each room's best features.
Set the dining-room table with napkins, plates, and flatware.
When showing the house, turn on soft instrumental music.

Equal Housing
Sandrine Larsen

Daniel Turney

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