Going Apartment Hunting in Nashville

Apartment hunting can be both fun and difficult. It is a serious commitment that you are making where you are going to sign yourself into a lease for an extended period of time, but it can be fun and exciting to take the next step and a move into a new place. So, when you begin looking for a new place, enjoy the process of looking for a place that fits you well. There are different types of places that are available. Nashville apartments for rent are varied, they can be new or old, located in bigger apartment complexes with amenities or smaller buildings or converted homes. Apartment hunting is a great way to narrow down what appeals most to you when you see it in person, not unlike looking for a new home to buy.

Financial crisis ready to reenter housing

download-35The time frame for borrowers who were significantly hit after the financial crisis to improve their credit score is about to happen, opening the door for a lot of consumers to reenter the housing market.

According to Experian’s latest analysis, foreclosures, short sales and bankruptcies remain on a credit report for seven years, which means these items are due to fall off the credit files of 2.5 million consumers between June 2016 and June 2017.

And even better for the housing market, the analysis shows that 68% of these consumers are scoring in the near-prime or higher credit segments, meaning the opportunity for this group to qualify for mortgage loans is growing.

The new Experian study looks at these potential borrowers and analyzes the consumers who foreclosed or short-sold between 2007 and 2010 and have since opened a new mortgage.

The study refers to these consumers as “boomerang borrowers” and shows that they have responsible credit behaviors and improving credit scores.

“With millions of borrowers potentially coming back into the housing market, the trends that we’re seeing are promising for both the mortgage seeker and the lender,” said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and new business development at Experian.

“In the coming years, boomerang borrowers will be a critical segment of the real-estate market,” said Raneri. “While many of these borrowers have gone through a very difficult time, it is encouraging to see them taking control of their finances with better credit scores and all-around better credit management.”

The study also found that the people in the short-sale category are rebounding at a higher rate than those who foreclosed, and are making their payments on time.

Let’s Use Facebook to increase real estate

download-34In a move that shows how much better companies are getting at reaching their desired audiences no matter where they are, Zillow announced a partnership this week withFacebook that will allow Realtors and real estate agents to target potential homebuyers directly on their Facebook feed.

According to Zillow, the partnership is part of its Premier Agent program and is called Premier Agent Direct.

“Premier Agent Direct combines the power of the most visited real estate network with one of the most widely used social media platforms, allowing real estate agents or teams to expand the targeted audience they advertise to through a simple, easy platform using Zillow Group’s precision targeting,” Zillow said in a release.

According to Zillow, the technology identifies home shoppers who are using Zillow orTrulia and allows real estate agents to connect with them on Facebook.

Using the program, agents can feature a specific listing or automatically highlight new listings or recently sold homes. Plus the program allows agents to target potential homebuyers in a specific area.

“Premier Agent Direct helps agents more efficiently work their farm area and either extend or eliminate the need for a direct mail campaign by using precision targeting to connect with local home shoppers and sellers on a medium they are using every day,” Zillow said.

According to Zillow, the Premier Agent Direct program is now available on mobile and desktop.

 “We have worked incredibly hard this year to create new opportunities for agents to connect with buyers and sellers so they can scale their businesses with greater ease – the new products are the results of those efforts,” Greg Schwartz, Zillow Group’s chief business officer, said.

“Through this new publishing platform, we have created a way to significantly increase the agent’s reach to consumers who are in a transaction mindset,” Schwartz added. “With precision targeting, we know these people are using Zillow and Trulia, and now there’s a new opportunity to connect with them on Facebook.”


Top spots with the most haunted houses

download-33It’s the season for boots, pumpkin pie, caramel apples and maybe even haunted houses. In these 10 cities, however, passing by haunted houses becomes just a little too real.

Across the U.S., over 40,000 single-family homes are vacant and have a homeowner who is now deceased, according to an ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of public record data

Here are the top 10 zip codes with the most haunted houses, or homes that are left vacant after the homeowner passes away. One city stands out above the rest.

10. Youngstown, Ohio

In the zip code 44506, one in every 83 homes is “haunted.”

In one home in the city, the Punderson Manor, in the dining room in the late 1970’s, people claim that for a period of approximately three hours late one night, the ghost of a man who appeared to be a lumberjack seemed to hang from the rafters.

9. Gary, Indiana

In the zip code 46404, one in every 81 homes is “haunted.”

Are homes here really haunted? That’s hard to say, but we do know that the city is currently ranked fourth in homicide rates, and it was once ranked first.

8. Birmingham, Alabama

In the zip code 35207, one in every 81 homes is “haunted.”

One of the most haunted places in Alabama is in Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces, [pictured below] which has many reports of paranormal activity over the years.

7. Jackson, Mississippi

In the zip code 39203, one in every 74 homes is “haunted.”

At the Old Capitol building in Jackson legend claims that the office of a man who reportedly died at his desk is haunted by his ghost.

6. Detroit, Michigan

In the zip code 48217, one in every 71 homes is “haunted.”

In Detroit, the Masonic Temple seems to be haunted. When the founder’s wife left him over money problems Mr. Mason jumped to his death from the temple. Security guards claim they still see sightings of Mr. Mason and visitors often report an eerie feeling of being watched.

5. Mobile, Alabama

In the zip code 36610, one in every 69 homes is “haunted.”

Two separate homes in the city were joined together in the mid-1800s to form an inn. Since then, the apparition of a lady in white has been seen pacing the balcony of Room #007, as well as chandeliers swinging when no one is around, furniture getting moved around and lamps being unplugged.

4. Braddock, Pennsylvania

In the zip code 15104, one in every 57 homes is “haunted.”

This desolate town [pictured below] lost 90% of its peak population, and looks like the nightmare at the end of the American Dream, according to an articleby Jim Straub and Bret Liebendorfer for Monthly Review.

3. Duquesne, Pennsylvania

In the zip code 15110, one in every 56 homes is “haunted.”

After the city took over Fisher Hall, formerly the Fisher Scientific building, it did major renovations, except on the second floor. After that, severalmysterious happenings led the staff to believe the floor was haunted.

2. Gary, Indiana

In the zip code 46402, one in every 52 homes is “haunted.”

The city makes its second appearance with yet another zip code that makes the top ten of most haunted. One home in Gary [pictured below] seems to have been overtaken with ghosts, eventually leading to it being demolished.

1. Gary, Indiana

In the zip code 46407, one in every 41 homes is “haunted.”

Three different zip codes in the city appear in the top 10 haunted places, and there’s no shortage of ghost stories. It seems even the state parks in the areahold claims of being haunted. Dunes State Park is said to be haunted by the ghost of artist Paul Wilson.

Women need for buying a home

Single-women increased their share in the market, hitting levels not seen since 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey.

While married couples make up the largest share of homebuyers at 66%, and had the highest income at $99,200, single women are increasing their role. Last year the share of single women fell to its lowest point since 2002’s 15%, but this year they seem to be making a comeback. Single women represented 17% of the market this year, the highest point since 2011

“Despite having a much lower income ($55,300) than single male buyers ($69,600), female buyers made up over double the amount of men (7%),” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“Single women for years have indicated a strong desire to own a home of their own, as well as an inclination to live closer to friends and family,” Yun said. “With job growth holding steady and credit conditions becoming somewhat less stringent than in past years, the willingness and opportunity to buy is becoming more feasible for many single women.”

What’s more, a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac, shows that women are better than men at paying their mortgages on time, and are better with finances in general.

However, while men may be slower to enter the market, homes owned by single men have a 10% greater value, and appreciate 16% more than homes owned by single women, according to an analysis released by RealtyTrac.

But single women aren’t the only ones increasing their share in the market – although first-time homebuyers have been decreasing every year for three straight years, 2016 seemed to bring an end to the trend, according to the survey.

The results of the survey, which dates back to 1981, do not include investors or vacant homes.

After a three-year decline, the number of first-time homebuyers increased to 35% of market sales, its highest since 2013’s 38%, the survey showed. This is up from last year’s 30-year low of 32%. The first-time homebuyer 35-year average rests at 40%.

“Young adults are settling down and deciding to buy a home after what was likely a turbulent beginning to their adult life and career following the Great Recession,” Yun said.

“Demand increased over the past year because of a robust job market for those with a college degree and renter fatigue at a time when homeowners continue to see their equity rise,” Yun said. “Even with the affordability challenges many buyers face, the allure of homeownership is not lost among the younger generation. Those under age 35 made up 61% of first-time buyer transactions.”

While the increase is encouraging, the lack of housing supply could still cause problems for first-time homebuyers if they continue to move towards homeownership.

“First-timers’ ability to enter the market more convincingly over the next year greatly depends on supply improvements at the lower end of the market and if wages can finally awaken from their sluggish pace of growth,” Yun said.

Equity wealth doubled

Home prices increased in September year-over-year and month-over-month, a trend that brought home equity wealth significantly higher over last five years, according to the latest Home Price Index and HPI Forecast released by CoreLogic.

Home prices, including prices on distressed sales, increased 6.3% from last September, and 1.1% from August 2016, according to the HPI.

“Home-equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, largely because of the recovery in home prices,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “Nationwide during the past year, the average gain in housing wealth was about $11,000 per homeowner, but with wide geographic variation.”

Going into next year, CoreLogic predicts that home prices will only continue to rise, with the company estimating an increase of 5.2% from September 2016 to September 2017. Monthly, home prices are expected to increase 0.3%.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

“Home-price growth creates wealth for owners with home equity,” CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi said. “A 5% rise in home values over the next year would create another $1 trillion in home-equity wealth for homeowners.”

Housing burns to the ground

A massive fire destroyed several housing complexes in an area that desperately needs housing inventory, California’s Bay Area. Here are some of the pictures from the fire, and what was left at the end.

The fire completely destroyed several apartment complexes that were under construction, according to an article by Joseph Serna for the Los Angeles Times

The report of the fire first came in at about 5 a.m. this morning on the 300 block of Lester Avenue. The building, just months away from opening, contained 40 apartment units.

The fire came at a time when the city desperately needs more housing inventory as more people move out from San Francisco and into surrounding areas. In fact, Oakland, California, has surpassed surrounding cities to become the area’s most heated real estate market.

First and foremost, if you apply for a new credit card or higher spending limits on existing cards for the holiday season, the card issuers will probably request your credit score from one or more of the national credit reporting companies (CRCs), Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The same is true if a new car is on your shopping list or if you choose to open a store credit card account. Just as they would at any other time of year, those score inquiries from lenders can cause a dip in your credit score.

The shopping-season strategy here is twofold: You want to maximize your score before applying for this holiday-related credit, and you want to avoid having these holiday loans lower your score in advance of any major borrowing you may be planning in the early months of the new year.

Biggest profit ever

Don’t look now, but Zillow Group just turned in its best quarter ever.

The online real estate giant said Tuesday that it brought in record revenue in the third quarter, earning $224.6 million in the quarter, which represents a 35% increase over 2015.

And even more than record revenue, Zillow revealed that it ended a nearly three-year run in the red, as the company posted a profit in the third quarter, its first quarterly profit since the fourth quarter of 2013.

And even more than that, Zillow’s profit during the third quarter was its largest quarterly profit ever.

For the record, Zillow went public in 2011, posting its first quarterly results in August 2011 for the second quarter of 2011.

According to Zillow, it posted GAAP net income of $6.8 million, or 3% of its revenue, in the third quarter of 2016, compared to GAAP net loss of $26 million, or 15% of revenue, in the same period last year.

The third quarter’s profit represents a 126% year-over-year increase from last year.

Zillow’s adjusted EBITDA was $59.5 million in the third quarter, an increase of 102% year-over-year.

“Our third-quarter performance was terrific,” said Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff.

“We delivered another quarter of record revenue, and Adjusted EBITDA exceeded our expectations,” Rascoff continued.

“Traffic to Zillow Group’s mobile apps and websites increased year-over-year and revenue growth in our Premier Agent marketplace accelerated,” Rascoff added. “With all of our marketplaces performing strongly, we expect to end 2016 in a strong position to continue executing on our strategic priorities.”

The Zillow Group websites, which include brands like Zillow, Trulia, SreetEasy, HotPads and Naked Apartments, saw more than 164 million average monthly unique users, an increase of 16% year-over-year.

According to Zillow, its websites captured “nearly three quarters of total market share for the mobile-only real estate category.”

Zillow also said that its market share in September 2016 was nearly two-thirds of the total online real estate category, according to comScore.

Zillow’s marketplace revenue increased 45% to $206.9 million from $142.3 million in the third quarter of 2015. Its Premier Agent revenue increased 33% to $158.3 million from $119.4 million in the third quarter of 2015.

According to Zillow, leads to the company’s Premier Agent advertisers grew nearly 40% year-over-year to 4.6 million during the third quarter.

Zillow also said that the total sales to Premier Agent advertisers who have been customers for more than one year increased 59% year-over-year. Sales to existing Premier Agent advertisers accounted for 71% of total bookings.

The number of of Premier Agent advertisers who spend more than $5,000 per month increased 80% year-over-year on a total dollar basis, and increased 79% year-over-year in the number of agent advertisers.

Additionally, Zillow said that its “other real estate revenue,” which includes agent services, dotloop, StreetEasy, Naked Apartments, rentals and other offerings to endemic advertisers that are not traditional display advertising, increased 182% to $28.8 million from $10.2 million in the third quarter of 2015.

Zillow’s mortgage revenue increased 57% to $19.8 million from $12.6 million in the third quarter of 2015.

The company said that its display revenue fell by 25% to $17.7 million from $23.5 million in the third quarter of 2015. The company said that this decline is primarily a result of the “company’s strategy to deemphasize display advertising and improve the user experience.”

Riding the wave of these positive results, Zillow said that it is raising its revenue outlook to the range of $837 million to $842 million.

Measures for affordable housing

How do you know when California has a housing problem? Besides the low housing supply and rapidly rising home prices, the total of 17 ballot measures could be a give-away.

That’s right, San Francisco is looking at 17 different ballot measures this election for affordable housing, according to an article by Melody Gutierrez for the San Francisco Times.

However, this high number of ballot measures is not unexpected, according to Gloria Bruce, East Bay Housing Organizations executive director, the article states. Many organizations are seeking a solution to the problem.

From the article:

“We aren’t having to convince people there is a problem,” Bruce said. “That has opened a political window for measures that increase resources because we aren’t seeing opposition. That’s huge. People realize this is the time to invest and do what we need to do.”

One measure, for example, would allow the county to give up to $580 million in general obligation bonds to buy or renovate affordable housing or low- to moderate-income families, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities. The money would also be used for home-buyer programs for residents, according to the article. No one filed an opposing argument.

Predictions bring bad news for housing

After last month’s uptick in construction, ADP now predicts yet another drop in its monthly National Employment Report.

Overall, the company predicts an increase of 147,000 in total nonfarm private sector employment in October. This is compared to September’s increase of 156,000

“Job growth appears to be shifting from small to large companies due to the lessening impact the global economic environment had on large companies earlier in the year,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute.

“This is also true because large companies often have the resources to attract workers with better pay and benefit packages,” Yildirmaz said.

“Job growth remains strong although the pace of growth appears to be slowing,”Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said. “Behind the slowdown is businesses’ difficulty filling open positions. However, there is some weakness in construction, education and mining.”

Here is a breakdown of the sectors where the changes occurred:

The goods-producing sector decreased by 18,000 with decreases in these areas:

Construction: Decrease of 15,000

Manufacturing: Decrease of 1,000

Natural resources, mining: Decrease of 2,000

The service providing sector increased by 165,000 with increases in these areas:

Trade, transportation and utilities: Increase of 17,000

Information: Increase of 3,000

Financial activities: Increase of 18,000

Professional, business services: Increase of 69,000

Education, health services: Increase of 22,000

Leisure, hospitality: Increase of 38,000

Other services: Decrease of 2,000

The decrease in construction does not bode well for housing, which is already struggling with low inventory levels and high home prices. Many of the gains, however, occurred in the professional and business sector, which could help consumers afford higher-priced homes.

Last month, ADP predicted an increase of 154,000, just slightly lower than the employment report’s 156,000. In August the report’s 151,000 was further off from theprediction’s 177,000.