It turns out homebuyers are really into barn doors.
When Zillow looked at design features that sell homes at the best price and with the shortest listing time, that feature topped the list.
Anything craftsman-style, like rectangular farmhouse sinks, also got homes off the market at a premium.
Zillow Digs screened over 2 million listings for homes sold between January 2014 and March 2016 and looked for the keywords that had the best effect on how much more than the expected price and how much faster they sold.
Here are the top 15 design features:1. Outdoor Kitchen
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 3.7%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 192. Tankless Water Heater
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 433. BacksplashPercent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 46
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.2%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 42
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.3%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 28
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 48
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.9%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 36
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 5.4%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 14
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.0%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 50
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.9%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 63
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 7.9%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 58
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 9.6%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 45
Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 13.4%
How many days faster than expected the home sells: 57
Sure, you’ve saved up for a down payment on a new house, but if you have average credit, you may have a hard time qualifying for a mortgage and buying the home of your dreams. The good news is, you can do a lot to improve your score before you apply. With these tips, you’ll have a much better chance of getting approved and locking in an affordable interest rate.
If you’re up to your ears in credit card debt, lenders will probably think twice before offering you a mortgage because both your credit utilization ratio and your debt-to-income ratio will be high. That’s why it’s a smart idea to start paying off those balances before sending out mortgage applications.
Make more than the minimum payments on your cards each month. Not only will this boost your credit score and lower your overall debt load, but it will also save you money on interest and show potential lenders that you’re serious about repaying what you borrowed.
Mistakes happen. And when they do, you don’t want to be the last person to know about them. Get free credit reports online from the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, and go through them line by line, checking for inaccuracies. If you come across an error, file a dispute as soon as possible.
Both Equifax and Experian have online dispute forms you can complete, and TransUnion has a form you can fill out and mail in. After submitting these forms, the credit bureau will contact the source, and the claim will be investigated within 30 days. You also have the option of sending a letter of dispute directly to the credit reporting companies with copies of supporting documentation. Remember to send these via certified mail to ensure the company receives your dispute.
If you’re moving into a new house, you may also be interested in getting a new car for your driveway and furniture to fill your rooms, but hold off on applying for new credit cards and auto loans until you’ve locked down that mortgage. You want your credit report to look as clean as possible when you send in your application, and many new inquiries may raise red flags for lenders.
Nerd note: While delaying the credit card applications could be a good call, it’s generally not a good idea to close all your paid-off cards at the same time. If you do this, your credit utilization ratio may go up and your credit history may appear shorter and less varied, which could also hurt your score. Instead, plan on keeping your accounts open, at least until your mortgage is approved.
Shop around for a mortgage with the best rates, but don’t let your search drag on. After about a month, your FICO score may start reflecting your applications as separate inquiries, which could ding your credit score. This could potentially be an even bigger problem if your lender uses the less common VantageScore or an older version of the FICO score, which consider mortgage applications as separate inquiries if they’re not within two weeks of each other. To stay on the safe side, keep your search focused and brief.
If possible, get pre-approved for a mortgage before even shopping for a house, so that if you do find the home of your dreams, you won’t have to worry about getting approved for a loan later.
You’re focused on getting a mortgage now, but remember to protect your credit score after you’ve been approved. Once you make your down payment on your new house, your savings may take a hit and you may feel tempted to start relying on credit more heavily. In the short term, that may be OK, but making it a long-term habit could do some serious damage to your credit score.
If your savings account is dwindling, consider cutting back on fixed expenses and work toward saving six months’ worth of living expenses. This way, in case of an emergency, you won’t have to use your credit card as a crutch. By protecting your credit score, you’ll also have an easier time applying for mortgages and other credit lines down the road.original post: www.nerdwallet.com
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac modified nearly 24,000 loans during the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of 76% over the third quarter. The modifications, along with the suspension of foreclosures that began November 26, reduced the number of foreclosures by nearly 27% during the quarter, according to data released by James B. Lockhart, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as part of the Foreclosure Prevention Report for the fourth quarter for 2008.
The FHFA report details the actions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have taken to prevent foreclosures and keep people in their homes. It analyzes data provided by the companies with adjustments to account for the impact of the foreclosure suspension. The suspension, originally set to end Jan. 9, 2009, was later extended to Jan. 31, 2009.
RealtyTrac®, one of the leading online marketplaces for foreclosure properties, released its U.S. Foreclosure Market ReportTM for Q1 2009, which shows that foreclosure filings - default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions - were reported on 803,489 properties in the first quarter, a 9% increase from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 24% from Q1 2008. One in every 159 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 341,180 properties in March, a 17% increase from the previous month and a 46% increase from March 2008. The March and Q1 2009 totals were the highest monthly and quarterly totals since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005 despite a decrease in bank repossessions (REOs), which were down 13% from the fourth quarter of 2008 and 3% from February totals.
“In the month of March we saw a record level of foreclosure activity - the number of households that received a foreclosure filing was more than 12 percent higher than the next highest month on record. Since much of this activity was in new foreclosure actions, it suggests that many lenders and servicers were holding off on executing foreclosures due to industry moratoria and legislative delays,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It’s also likely that the drop in REO activity can be attributed to these processing delays, rather than to any of the foreclosure prevention programs currently in place. It’s very likely that we’ll see the number of REOs increase again now that most of the moratoria have been lifted.”
“On a positive note, it appears that demand is up in some of the harder-hit areas, particularly on bank-owned REO properties that first time homebuyers and investors see as bargains,” Saccacio continued. “But it’s unlikely that this increased demand will be enough to offset the growing number of foreclosures in the pipeline, accelerated by rising unemployment rates.”
Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure rates in first quarterNevada continued to document the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in the first quarter, with one in every 27 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing - more than five times the national average. Foreclosure filings were reported on 41,296 Nevada properties during the quarter, an increase of 19% from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 111% from Q1 2008. Bank repossessions in Nevada were down 3% from the previous quarter, but defaults increased 27% and auction sale notices increased 35%.
Arizona posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate for the first quarter, with one in every 54 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and California posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 58 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 in the first quarter were Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Idaho, Utah and Oregon.
Five states account for nearly 60% of nation’s first quarter totalCalifornia, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois accounted for nearly 60% of the nation’s foreclosure activity in the first quarter, with 479,516 properties receiving foreclosure filings in the five states combined.
With 230,915 properties receiving foreclosure filings during the quarter, California accounted for nearly 29%% of the nation’s total. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 35% from the previous quarter and 36% from Q1 2008, and the first-quarter total was state’s highest quarterly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in the first quarter of 2005.
Despite a 12% decrease from the previous quarter, Florida’s first quarter total was still second highest in the nation. Foreclosure filings were reported on 119,220 Florida properties, a 36% increase from the first quarter of 2008. The state posted the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate during the quarter, with one in every 73 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 49,119 Arizona properties in the first quarter of 2009, the third highest total among the states, and 41,296 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2009, the fourth highest total among the states.
Illinois posted the nation’s fifth highest total, with 38,966 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the first quarter - a 32% increase from the previous quarter and a 68% increase from the first quarter of 2008. With one in every 135 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the state’s foreclosure rate also ranked fifth highest among the states.
Rounding out the states with the 10 highest foreclosure activity totals in Q1 2009 were Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Virginia.
For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com
Article from http://rismedia.com
Spending on remodeling is expected to reach $316 billion this year alone and the number is still climbing, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute. So make sure you know exactly how big a renovation you can afford and whether it justifies the time you intend to spend in your revamped home.
The Nest, a home-improvement Web site, says before making any big changes to your home you should ask yourself these big questions:
A final tip: if you do plan to follow through with a large-scale renovation, do the smallest room in the house from start to finish -- the insulating, rewiring, painting, refinishing, tiling -- so you gain a sense of accomplishment.
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