Category Archives: Real Estate

The Real Downton Abbey on Airbnb

With the “Downton Abbey” movie premiering on Sept. 20, many of the show’s fans may be wondering: What would it be like to live like Lord and Lady Grantham in such a posh place?

Well, here’s your chance: Highclere Castle, the real-life Downton, located in Hampshire, England, will soon be up for booking on Airbnb! And best to set your alarm to beat the crowds.

Reservations open Oct. 1 at noon, British Standard Time. Only one night is available: Nov. 26. The cost of this unforgettable experience is shockingly cheap, at $159. Making the deal that much sweeter, Airbnb will donate a portion to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Source: Inside the Real Downton Abbey—Now Up on Airbnb | realtor.com®

Top Ten Hottest Houses this Week

Here’s the top ten most viewed listings (and they’re not all super expensive.)

The cover picture is from a $14.8 million dollar home on Dale Hollow Lake on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. As a child, we’d sometimes spend a few days on a houseboat at Dale Hollow. Lovely spot…

It isn’t owned by an A-lister, but that fact didn’t put a damper on the public’s interest in a massive, 61-acre estate in Byrdstown, TN. The $14.8 million lakefront spread racked up the most clicks this week and wound up as the week’s most popular home on realtor.com®.

The gated mansion sits just two hours outside Nashville, high on a bluff overlooking Dale Hollow Lake. The huge, 31,600 square-foot home casts an imposing shadow on the rugged and pristine terrain below. It was completed in 2017 and is currently owned by an entrepreneur, according to listing agent Charlie Neese.

“The current owner believes it to be the second-largest house in the state at the moment,” says Neese. The agent then dashed our hopes for a country music connection. “The owner is an entrepreneur, not a celebrity from Nashville. It’s such a unique property, that’s the reason it’s attracting so much attention.”

Source: Massive $14.8M Tennessee Mansion Is the Week’s Most Popular Home | realtor.com® (Click to see all ten homes)

Land Special of the Week

This week’s gem is Stagecoach Trails Parcel 3529 located on Arroyo Rd. not too far off Alamo via Calamity Jane.

Another luscious beauty at Stagecoach Trails. A lovely parcel with stunning views of the Hualapai mountains and up close Flattop too.

Starry nights, and beautiful vistas Great private location, yet not too far off County maintained Alamo Rd.

Loaded with Joshua trees, Ocotillo, Red Barrel cactus, & a wide variety of desert flora including amazing Spring displays of wildflowers. Really nice!

Continue reading Land Special of the Week

$125M Oceanfront Compound in Malibu Reportedly Finds a Buyer

Summer is ending with a bang for Malibu real estate. The oceanfront estate reportedly owned by NBCUniversal executive Ronald Meyer has found a buyer, Variety reports.

The listing price was a gasp-inducing $125 million, but the final sale price has yet to be disclosed.

Source: $125M Oceanfront Compound in Malibu Reportedly Finds a Buyer | realtor.com®

(All photos: Realtor.com)

Mortgage Market Reopens to Risky Borrowers

Whenever the lenders get easier, and especially when they start loaning on vacant land, you know we’re in “bubble time.”

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The risky mortgage is making a comeback.

More than a decade after home loans triggered the worst financial crisis in a generation, the strict lending requirements put in place during its aftermath are starting to erode. Home buyers with low credit scores or high debt levels as well as those lacking traditional employment are finding it easier to get credit.

The loans have been rebranded. Largely gone are the monikers subprime and Alt-A, a type of mortgage that earned the nickname “liar loan” because so many borrowers faked their income and assets. Now they are called non-qualified, or non-QM, because they don’t comply with postcrisis standards set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for preventing borrowers from getting loans they can’t afford.

Borrowers took out $45 billion of these unconventional loans in 2018, the most in a decade, and origination is on track to rise again in 2019, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. Such mortgages aren’t guaranteed by government agencies and typically charge higher interest rates than conventional loans.

Source: Mortgage Market Reopens to Risky Borrowers | realtor.com®

Be Safe with DIY Home Security Systems and Sensors

Good article on the many security systems today that can be customized for every security need.

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With today’s wireless connections, homeowners can build their own network of cameras, sensors, and interconnected hubs without being tied to a single vendor or ongoing contracts.

Owners can even monitor the home themselves or set up a month-to-month contract with a monitoring company. Today’s systems give your clients peace of mind. They’re even great for vacation properties and rentals.

“DIY systems give customers the flexibility to build the system they want and the freedom to include the devices and sensors that fit their specific needs. This is important because no two households are the same,” says Chris Carney, CEO of Abode.

SimpliSafe, for example, was one of the first self-install home security companies that came on the market 10 years ago. Now, new technology is helping the market grow and making advancements in the products available, according to SimpliSafe CEO Chad Laurans. “With our app, for example, you can stream video from your doorbell or cameras on your phone, or you can see alerts and let people in and out of your house,” he says.

These affordable DIY security solutions also provide real estate professionals and home sellers a competitive edge when listing a home for sale. “This can increase the marketability of the home and potentially increase the value of the listing,” says Carney. “An agent can easily deploy a whole-environment solution built around an Abode system including a smart lock, thermostat, and connected lights, all for under $1,000 and all easily controlled by one app.”

A system can also be given as closing gift to protect the new home and “help establish the real estate agent as someone that buyer will call on again or recommend to a friend,” he adds.

Via Realtor.com

Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continued to hover near historical lows this week, lowering borrowing costs for home buyers and refinancing homeowners.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.60% this week, unchanged from last week’s average. “The sound and fury of the financial markets continue to warn of an impending recession; however, the silver lining is mortgage demand reached a three-year high this week,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“The decline in mortgage rates over the last month is causing a spike in refinancing activity—as homeowners currently have $2 trillion in conventional mortgage loans that are in the money—which will help support consumer balance sheets and increase household cash flow. On top of that, purchase demand is up 7% from a year ago.”

Source: Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Lows | Realtor Magazine

$100M Malibu Home Under Construction Is Most Expensive New Listing

A home under construction in Malibu, CA, called the Case 5, is on the market for $100 million. The nine-digit price tag cemented its spot as the week’s most expensive new listing on realtor.com®.

Set to be completed in late 2020, the home is part of a collection of five new homes inspired by midcentury modern residential design. Prices will range from $50 million to $100 million.

The magnificent development in one of the nation’s priciest markets is the brainchild of designer Scott Gillen and his firm Unvarnished. In 2017, the longtime Malibu resident set a city record when he scooped up 24 coastal acres for $50 million.

For those unfamiliar with Gillen, the developer was once a filmmaker and director before turning his attention to high-end home design.

Source: $100M Malibu Home Under Construction Is Most Expensive New Listing | realtor.com®

Your Own Private Island – Just $350,000

If owning a private island in the Caribbean sounds like a pipe dream to you, you’re in luck: An island in Belize just hit the market for an affordable $350,000, which is cheaper than the median home prices in major markets like New York, Seattle, San Diego and Portland.

The 1-acre island is located seven miles off the coast of Southern Belize, which is about 20 minutes by boat, according to 7th Heaven Properties.

Source: You can buy this private island in the Caribbean for $350,000—take a look

Island off Belize for sale (Photo : 7th heaven properties)

Home Prices Gain in Second Quarter

We have a great need for housing in Mohave County. Prices have risen to “bubblicious” levels once again. Most who grew up here can no longer afford to own a home. No relief yet…

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Home prices in the second quarter continued to rise in the majority of housing markets across the country.

Ninety-one percent of 178 metros tracked saw home price gains in the second quarter, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS®, released Wednesday.

5 Priciest Markets in Q2

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., metro area: $1,330,000 (median existing single-family price) San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.: $1,050,000 Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif.: $835,000 Urban Honolulu, Hawaii: $785,500 San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.: $655,000.

5 Lowest Cost Markets in Q2

The five least expensive metro areas in housing in the second quarter were: Decatur, Ill.: $97,500 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio: $107,400 Cumberland, Md.: $117,800 Binghamton, N.Y.: $119,300 Elmira, N.Y.: $119,400.

The national median existing single-family home price was $279,600 in the second quarter, up 4.3% from a year ago.

Ninety-three of the 178 metros tracked saw price growth of 5% or more. Ten metro areas posted double-digit increases, mostly in more modestly priced markets like Boise City-Nampa, Idaho; Abilene, Texas; Columbia, Mo.; Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.; and Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J.

Tight inventory conditions, particularly at lower price points, are prompting home prices to accelerate in several markets, notes Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Source: NAR: Home Prices Post More Gains in Second Quarter | Realtor Magazine