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Source: https://w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/anvload.html?key=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%3D%3D“>RI Living shares tips for moving

Tips to get ready to move

The Fall home selling season will soon be upon us. If you’ve been thinking about moving – perhaps you want to move to a larger home, downsize, or even sell a vacation home – now is a great time to start getting ready. Joe Luca, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, will provide some tips to help you get your home, and yourself, ready to move this fall.

-Enhance curb appeal
Do some end of season clean-up of your yard
Make sure entry ways are clean, uncluttered and appealing.
Fresh paint goes a long way, (inside or out) so if your front door is peeling or faded, etc., give it a coat of paint
-Staging
Declutter
Clean out closets
Find a secure or hidden place to put valuables and prescriptions
Clear off counters of all but a few things.
Get rid of pet smells – wash slipcovers, washable floor coverings, etc. (and never leave your pet home during showings.)
-Prepare for the buyer home inspection – It’s a good idea to get your own home inspection prior to selling to determine what issues could cause problems. The more you can take care of ahead of the game, the better of you will be.
On the buying side – The supply of homes for sale is beginning to grow so you will have more options to choose from.
-Double check your credit history. Make sure there are no issues that need to be addressed.
-Narrow down the area you’re interested in and register on RILiving.com. You can input what you’re looking for and get emails when a new home comes on the market or the status of an existing listing changes.

John Dolbec will get you Pre-approved for a mortgage.  401-266-4413

Gentry Moving will move your belongings. 401-785-1600

Source: RI Living shares tips for moving

RIAR-MLS-Logo-SmallTips For Moving

I see the relocation of the Paw Sox differently than many Rhode Islanders; in fact, I see this “business relocation” as an opportunity for Rhode Island business and political Leaders to identify and pursue a superior alternative for Pawtucket.  As a Full Time REALTOR® with years of experience in commercial real estate, I believe that McCoy Stadium could be a venue for multiple sports and not remain simply a baseball field.

My opinion is based on the following observations:

  • Public funding of sports venues, aka corporate welfare, is a scam. I believe it is acceptable for businesses to be lured by government entities with tax stabilization plans and/or other incentives.  However, if their business model or  plan, cannot convince private sector lenders to finance their proposed business venture/expansion, perhaps it is flawed, or management/ownership is not  up to the task.
  • The Paw Sox owners demonstrated that they don’t have confidence in their business model without $38 million in government assistance.  As a result, they made a business decision in which the State of Massachusetts will provide $32.5 million and the city has agreed to guarantee the construction debt, meaning it will assure bondholders it can cover any shortfalls if necessary.  The team will pay the Landlord, the City of Worcester, “rent” which comes from revenues.  The State of Rhode Island had a similar arrangement with 38 Studios which didn’t work out well for the tax payers.  This arrangement will increase the bonded indebtedness of the City of Worcester.
  • R.I. has a lot to offer, without giving money away so let’s approach this with some self-confidence and swagger.  R.I. political and business leaders should have no problem getting a replacement, perhaps one who can do it with private-sector funding like Bob Kraft did in Foxboro.  It may take time, but we CAN do it – and we’ll be better off for years to come.

In addition, I would like to share that the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® (RIAR) has for the past two years participated in MIPIM (www.MIPIM.com), the largest real estate conference in the world.  RIAR has chosen to invest in sending representatives, including yours truly, to explore MIPIM as a viable platform to bring exposure to real estate opportunities for our members, and to broadcast the opportunities Rhode Island has to offer international investors, developers, and businesses.  This conference is attended by over 25,000 real estate professionals from around the world.  Only 248 of them are from the United States so there is significant upside opportunity. There are over 5,000 investors looking for investment opportunities, whether as partners or lenders.  In fact, our colleagues in San Diego established a relationship with an individual lender that yielded development in excess of $100 million in the greater San Diego area.  It took a couple years from start to finish but funding was identified and the deal consummated when there were no stateside lenders who would “step-to-the-plate”.

Rhode Island could benefit greatly from such exposure and relationship-building.  Our cost of living is 20 to30 percent lower than neighboring states, the fiscal health of Rhode Island is superior to Connecticut, we are an hour from Boston and a few hours to New York City.  We also have the internationally recognized City by the Sea. Newport as a gem that is too often overlooked.  Businesses can choose from marine, air, rail or surface transportation for their materials.  Our extensive highway network puts businesses located here within a short drive to the best universities in the world- universities which churn out graduates by the tens of thousands every year, providing a tremendous resource for well-educated employees.  Rhode Island offers a great quality of life that is valued by the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit us.

Rhode Island has all of this to offer and most of our inhabitants are completely oblivious to these assets, so how can we expect non-Rhode Islanders to know about us and the opportunities our state provides.  That is why we need to trumpet our assets to the rest of the world.  If you look at a map of the United States, it is hard to find Little Rhody even if you know where to look. So, if you are not from here, don’t know where to look, and don’t even know about us, we will be overlooked by our larger neighbors, Boston and NYC.

RIAR has taken the initiative and non-REALTORS® will benefit from our leadership on this issue.  Though I’ve only  attended MIPIM two times, I have established relationships that could be productive for RIAR members and the State of Rhode Island.  We are just one organization and while we will continue our outreach, the State of Rhode Island could use others to trumpet our assets.

The relocation of the Paw Sox IS an opportunity for Rhode Island.  We need to approach it like professionals.  This is NOT a debilitating blow and we should not act like it is.  We need to think back to when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl over the Atlanta Falcons.  The Patriots were down 21-3 at the half, and then 28-3 at the start of the second half. They did NOT let that overwhelm them. Players and coaches mentally and physically battled back to win. They “did their job” because they are professionals.  Perhaps Rhode Island business and political leaders should look at this as an opportunity to show that we are professionals and we can get  the job done.  So, let this be a “call to arms” to business and political Leaders in the great State of Rhode Island to band together and do our job to market our great state.

GentryMoving                      1st Home Mortgage        REMAX_mastrBalloon_RGB_Rresnick logo

 

REALTORS® across the country are lobbying for a long-term extension and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is set to expire at the end of July.

Rhode Show

Source: Why realtors want reform for National Flood Insurance Program

 

GentryMoving1st Home Mortgage

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So you think you want to sell your house; “NOW is the Time To Sell” the headlines claim.  Where do you start? What do you do first?  The FIRST thing ALL prospective sellers should do is to find an experienced, credible, Full Time, REALTOR®.  Why Full Time? The sale/purchase of a house is usually the largest financial transaction of a person’s life.  There is a significant amount of money involved, and even more potential liability if something is over-looked, forgotten, or omitted during the transaction.  This is true for EVERY transaction.  If the REALTOR® is “part time”, working only on weekends, or summers, is the amount of potential liability reduced?  Does the part-timer only need to know some of the regulations, only use some of the most current forms, and only comply with some of the laws? No, No, and No.  None of these factors are static, and in fact, changes occur on a regular basis as our culture, the economy, methodologies, and technologies evolve and advance.  Will the part-timer take time away from the “real-job” to keep up on the aforementioned items? Hmm   As a Full Time REALTOR®, it is a big commitment for me to keep up on everything while still providing my Clients with top notch service.

Additionally, Market Knowledge is important.  Market Knowledge is not just what houses are selling for in a given geographic area, but it is also what buyers are looking for, what they want in a home. This is not something that can be researched on MLS.  If I am not aware of what the market is doing, what buyers want in a home, I may have to invest more time before my client can consummate a transaction. Which may have the unintended consequence of a missed opportunity.  The Seller may not find the best buyer, the Buyer may miss “the perfect house.”

The first reason it is important to consult a Full Time, experienced REALTOR® as soon as you are thinking about selling your house is that he/she will advise you what you need to do to prepare your house for sale.  Whether it is de-cluttering, or updating the interior, minor yard work, or major landscaping on the exterior.

GentryMoving

If a MAJOR de-cluttering is necessary you may want to put some of your belongings in storage and Gentry Moving & Storage is highly recommended.  Accept the guidance of the Full Timer.

The second reason is that appropriate pricing is also necessary.  Houses that are priced to the market sell the quickest and sometimes sell for over asking price.  Would you feel more comfortable accepting the suggested listing price from someone who supports themselves and their family by selling houses, or from someone who does it in their “spare time”?  Does this mean that Part-Timers shouldn’t be in the business? NO.  However, if they are, they should probably have a mentor, or team-leader, who could review, or provide guidance for the benefit of the Consumer. Rely on the market knowledge of the Full Timer.

The third reason is marketing your home.  There are many ways to market houses and houses at different price points, in different neighborhoods, with different demographics, may need to be marketed a little differently.  Dos it make sense to use aerial photography so show a property from 200′ above if there is a cemetery nearby? No. It may if it has a large nicely landscaped yard,  that would add value to the house because it highlights something that adds value

The fourth reason is an experienced REALTOR® will be able to explain how the transaction will proceed. What the Seller should expect from Listing, to Offer negotiation, to Inspection, to Walk-through, and finally Closing.  At which time it is highly recommended that the Seller use the services of an experienced real estate lawyer like Resnick and Caffrey.

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Many things have been said about the millennial generation (Born 1981-1996) over the years.  The negative generalizations that are frequently applied to this generation in the media are “entitled,” “narcissistic” and “lazy.” (Incidentally, they are tired of being blamed for just about everything.)  However, there are some facts worth considering

 

In 1992                                                            In 2018

Average Home Cost:

$80,626                                                            >$265,000

Average Student Debt:

$5,200                                                               >$35,000

Average Family Income (after taxes)

$59,000                                                              $86,419

Fixed Mortgage Rate:

9.71%                                                                  4.65%

 

Today the average home costs 300% more, student debt averages almost 700% more but family income is only 46% greater than in 1992.  The good news is that the average fixed rate mortgage is about half what it was in 1992.  Unfortunately, the average millennial, due to high student debt, has a credit score of 625  (per NerdWallet) so they may not qualify for the lowest mortgage rates available. A Millennial today is worth 21% less than his 1983 counterpart while the net worth of a 60 year old is twice what it was in 1983.  So young folks are getting poorer while older folks are getting richer.  Is it any wonder that New Home Creation by this generation after graduating from post-secondary educational institutions has been delayed 2-3 years? The Quick Answer is “No”.   These are the contributing factors that support the statistics that show millennials are worse off than their parents.

GOOD NEWS: This generation is not willing to engage in profligate spending like some preceding generations.  They are more likely to move back home to save money to pay down student debt.  Contrary to messages on late-night comedy shows, they do not want  to move back home into their parents’ basement to play video games.  In fact, my personal experience with Millennials is that they are not likely to purchase a home for a price as high as their mortgage pre-approval will allow.  Other generations frequently spend every dollar that their pre-approval will permit.  It is not uncommon for millennial buyers to have a mortgage pre-approval for an amount that is 10-20% greater than what they actually want to spend.  Why? these buyers witnessed first hand when friends, neighbors, or family members were unemployed, and/or under-employed, and had to Short Sale their homes, or worse, experience a foreclosure.  That experience is still very fresh in their memory, so they are willing to take the steps necessary to lessen the chance that they will have such a traumatic experience.

Can anything be done to mitigate this situation? Possibly.  The National Association of REALTORS®  has a Federal Policy Position that would provide tax relief to student debt holders and employers who assist their employees’ student loan debt burdens.  In addition, the National Association of REALTORS® supports policies that provide tax relief to those borrowers with forgiven student debt.  We need to convey to our political representatives in Washington DC that there are things that can be done to address the student debt issue…if we work together.

Not all is “gloom and doom”.  This is the most educated generation, and the most tech-savy generation, in history.  As the economy rebounds real wages will increase, and due to their fiscal discipline, these consumers will be well-positioned to save money at a rate that has not been seen “in generations” 😉

The millennial generation is fantastic for the housing industry because their shear  numbers indicate that demand for homes will not abate for years.  So all of my REALTOR® colleagues across the country can rest assured that the demographics favor a sustained positive environment for home sales.  For everyone else this is also good news because when the housing market is strong the economy is not likely to falter.

Finally, the northeastern part of the country is experiencing seasonal weather. For two consecutive days the sun has shone and it’s great to feel the warm rays on my skin.  This warm weather also harkens the season for home-selling; the busiest time of year for REALTORS.  Lawns become greener, tree buds appear, and hopefully all those yard projects were completed if you were thinking about putting your home on the market.  

It definitely is a seller’s market, so NOW is the time to call a REALTOR to take the final steps to put your house on the market. In the event that you haven’t done anything, don’t despair, there are some simple things you can do to “put your best foot forward.” 

  1. CURB APPEAL should be at the top of your list because the first thing that people will see when they look at an online listing is typically a picture of the front of your house.  Make your house “Pop” with a nice green lawn (you can always fertilize it yourself) straight edges along walkways, the driveway, and curbs. Trim shrubs so they are not overgrown. Scrape peeling paint and touch it up with a matching color. 
  2. AIR QUALITY is something that may seem trivial but if it is not fresh it will leave a lasting, negative, impression.  If there are smokers in your house, lingering pet odors (especially urine), mold/mildew odors, dampness odors, or other smells, get rid of them! You don’t want your house to be remembered for a bad smell; and don’t try to “cover them up” with fragrances or scented candles because buyers and their REALTORS can “smell right through” those tricks. 
  3. PAINT- chipping and peeling paint is noticeable and easily rectified. You can attempt it yourself or hire a pro.  It shouldn’t take long and won’t cost much.
  4. CLEANLINESS is also super important. Dirty windows, dusty sills, dust-bunnies on the floor, are things by which you don’t want to be remembered. If you don’t have time, hire someone to do it for you because it will be worth it.

If you have any questions about preparing your home for sale email me at JosephLuca@remax.net

April 11 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the federal Fair Housing Act. Why is the commemoration a top priority for the National Association of REALTORS®?
The right to own property, and to own a home, is the foundation of our business.

NAR has taken an active role in promoting, and educating REALTORS® about, equal housing opportunity for 50 years.


The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
NAR incorporates all of those requirements, as well as equal opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, into our REALTORS® Code of Ethics, because it makes our association, our industry, and our country stronger.

FAIR Housing Commemoration

 

NAR’s commemoration of the Fair Housing Act is vital because it highlights how far we’ve come in promoting equal housing opportunity—both as a society and as an association—and, more importantly, that our work is on-going.
When Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1968, many in organized real estate had a far different view of fair housing. The new era of openness and equality in the sale or rental of housing clashed with hardwired beliefs at that time; and many believed that fair housing law posed a threat to individual property rights.

President Lyndon Johnson, as he signed the Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968, famously declared that the right to fair housing “is now a part of the American way of life.”
That right also became every REALTOR®’s responsibility. For all the progress made to raise awareness and end discriminatory practices, as specified in the law and the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, the challenges for the industry and society persist. Fifty years later, REALTORS® commitment to upholding the principles of fair housing remains a top priority.

Despite all of the strides that have been made in Fair Housing, we must learn from the past. Housing is not a special interest; it is a human right. NAR and the RI Association of REALTORS® is committed to safeguarding this right.

Our vigilance must continue so that future generations may also enjoy the benefits of Fair Housing.

Some areas of concern include:

1. How to avoid Steering claims in the age of big data;
2. How emotional support animals like therapy dogs are finding their way into fair housing law;
3. Illegal discrimination based on familial status.
While we may not be able to predict the adversity of our society, or the challenges of the market place, in the future, we must always work together as a nation, and as REALTOR® professionals, to protect the right of Fair Housing for ALL who live here in the greatest country on earth.

As was widely expected, The Federal Reserve raised interest rates, and indicated that they will continue to do so throughout the year.  This actually indicates that things are good in our economy… a positive sign that consumers are spending money, and prices are being pushed upward by the forces of supply and demand.  Interest rates are like a “brake system” on a train, when things start moving too fast apply the brakes, to slow the train down.  Likewise, when the economy starts to “move too fast”, prices are getting pushed higher (Inflation) so a slight increase in interest rates will temper, or slow down, these price increases.  Inflation, like our debt, diet, and data, needs to be managed so it  doesn’t become a problem.  Which was why The Fed repeatedly lowered interest rates during the depths of The Great Recession – to spur economic activity (buying stuff.)

1st Home Mortgage

What will this mean for me?  If you have a 30 year mortgage of $250,000, at a fixed interest rate of 5%, the monthly payment (not including taxes and insurances) would be about $1,342. A rate increase to 5.25% would raise your monthly payment by about $35.  Most consumers spend more than that on coffee every month.  Will that be detrimental for some consumers? Probably.  However, rising incomes, should mitigate that affect.  The US unemployment rate is 4.1%, and Full Employment is considered to be about 5%.  Many economists believe that this dynamic pushes wages higher so (theoretically) more people should be able to afford the extra $35/month.

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If you are considering Selling your house, you should act sooner and not later. Inventory is tight, so there is not much competition at this time; but more people may list their homes for sale increasing the competition. You best option is to contact a Full Time, Experienced, REALTOR® to get the answers to your questions for your situation.  Feel free to call me, Joe Luca at 401-580-9797.  All questions are welcomed and answers are free and without obligation.

GentryMoving

REALTOR® Colleagues and Consumers alike have had questions and comments since the RI Statewide Multiple Listing Service (MLS) introduced the “Coming Soon” status on the MLS. First of all, for the Consumer, a “Coming Soon” status is nt an Active Listing, it is considered to be “Off Market”; which means the house CANNOT be shown by the Listing Agent. This is probably fine if you are not ready to show your house because you need to de-clutter, make repairs, or take care of other “last minute” items…as long as it is completed in less than 30 days, because the listing will automatically switch to Active and will have to be shown to Buyers. A Coming Soon listing is NOT an opportunity for the Listing Agent to show the home to Buyers without other REALTORS® haveing the opportunity for their Buyers to see the house. If the Listing Agent attempts to do this, he or she is doing the Seller a disservice because other Buyers will not have an opportunity to make a potentially higher offer on the house. If this happens to you, or someone you know, call the local Board of REALTORS® because it is a violation of MLS rules and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics is the demarcation line between individuals buying and selling their own real estate, licensees selling the real estate of others (who are required to only abide by the law,) and REALTORS®. We are held to a higher standard of conduct. We “police” our members for the protection of the consumers and other members.

REALTORS® demand a higher level of business conduct and professionalism from our members, and we are always striving to provide better service for the consumer. Full time REALTORS® treat the job as the profession it is by continually taking classes and attending webinars in addition to the required Continuing Education classes mandated by the state licensing body.

If you are interested in a Coming Soon listing feel free to give ma a call at 401-580-9797.

 

Much has been written, spoken, debated, and lamented, about the lack of housing inventory in states from the Northeast, to the Midwest, to the West Coast.  There are myriad reasons and explanations for why, and most of them are probably accurate to some degree.  Many may even help alleviate the pressure on the market to stem the reduction in housing sales.  However, most of these ideas would take time.  While the Free Market is efficient in the long run… it is not necessarily so in the short run. It certainly is not responding quickly to the needs of first time home buyers in the market today.

When I was installed as President of the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS, I called upon my colleagues to Engage, and Inspire others to Engage, in order to remain relevant and productive in our current and ever-changing economy. Now is the time for us to Engage. Politically Engage .  This is also the time we should Inspire others, including consumers, to Engage.  We must inform our legislators and municipal officials that our economy needs to be unbridled by the regulatory restraints that are preventing First Time Home Buyers from participating in the American Dream of Home Ownership.  We have witnessed our national economy quickly rebound, with consecutive fiscal quarters of 3%+ growth, after the federal government eliminated numerous regulations which were restricting economic activity.  Why can that not be done at the state and municipal level so that builders can build houses that lower income families can afford?  Why should “the little guy”, who is too frequently an immigrant, not be able to buy a home because there is nothing available, or nothing is affordable?  This should be not be acceptable in the United States of America.  We must Engage with our legislators and municipal officials, to convince them that it is essential and vital that those at the lower income levels not be precluded from participating in the American Dream of Home Ownership.

As Architects of The American Dream, REALTORS® protect Private Property Rights.  The National Association of REALTORS® is against any obstacles to home ownership:

  • Unnecessary fees to buy a home,
  • Restrictive regulations/policies that infringe on the home-buying process,
  • Restrictive underwriting policies that may “freeze out” some from buying a home,
  • Increasing regulations and fees for consumers to retain ownership,
  • Anything else that may infringe or impede on the home sale process.

REALTORS® need to Engage, and lead the way for consumers to Engage, with the political process. Why shouldn’t everyone that qualifies for a mortgage be able to buy a home?  Why shouldn’t they participate in the American Dream of Home Ownership?  REALTORS® can make it happen so we should make it a reality.  If you want to Engage but don’t know how, email me at JosephLuca@remax.net.

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