Gay Realty Network

Real Estate News With a Gay Slant

Confessions of a Remodeler

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Fixer-UpperIn late 2011 I leased a small beach cottage with an option to buy. Every once in a while you can still negotiate such a deal, but it’s rare.

In the spring of 2013 I exercised my option and became the owner of Chez Soleil, a charming getaway and secondary office where I would conduct business, host retreats, entertain clients and write the great American novel while basking in the sun on the deck overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

Since then, I have been remodeling. Seriously remodeling.

After a year and a half of renting the 1948 cottage, I had the place redesigned in my head at least a dozen different ways, with details down to the color and shape of the knobs on the kitchen cabinets decided. I was just waiting for settlement so I could begin and the wait was killing me.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Valerie Blake – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Existing Home Sales & Prices [INFOGRAPHIC]

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moeller team

courtesy of: keepingcurrentmatters.com

New Euro Cafe for Philly’s Gaborhood?

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Philadelphia's gayborhoodCenter City is crisscrossed by tiny alleys that time, developers, and the 21st century largely forgot, so you may not have noticed an orange liquor application on what appears to be an orphaned carriage house on Cypress Street, behind Vetri’s parking lot, the University of the Arts, and the Center City One condo building.

It’s literally in the shadow of the Kimmel Center, whose glass roof gleams a half-block west across Broad Street. If neighborhood resident Ram Krishnan has his way, the turquoise-trimmed building will become a European-style cafe called The Republic.

Krishnan, a world-traveled consultant who bought the place last year to keep it from becoming another parking lot, said he is not looking for a big, splashy affair at what was the Scribe Video Center, which helped everyday people document their lives on video. Previously, the house was owned by Frederick and Edith Massiah, whose children include Common Pleas Court Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson and the filmmaker Louis Massiah.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Michael Klein – See the Full Story at Philly.com

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Pennsylvania.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Image via Apple Maps

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?

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The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.

“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.

So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?

NAR explains the correlation like this:

“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”

Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

How long will rates stay low?

No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.

“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.” 

Don’t wait too long

The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.

BOTTOM LINE

NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”

If you are in a position to buy a home make sure that you meet with a local real estate professional with their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the market. Don’t let a delay in purchasing impact your family’s financial future.

courtesy of: keepingcurrentmatters.com

Top 20 Terms to Know for Real Estate Transactions

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Realtor Hedy Goldman

Realtor Hedy Goldman

The process of buying or selling a home can be complicated. With the multiple state, city, and local regulations, as well as legal contracts to consider, many buyers and sellers find the process fraught with confusing and difficult to understand industry jargon.

In order to cover all the bases and to ensure a smooth, stress-free experience where the interests of all parties are protected, all prospective buyers and sellers are advised to consult with an experienced professional on every transaction.

Even with the help of a professional, informed consumers are in the best position to protect their interests and get the most value for their investments. General knowledge of the basic elements of real estate contracts and terms is a great tool for buyers and sellers of all degrees and experience levels.

Buyers and sellers – terms you need to know

1. Amendments – Any change, addition, or correction to parts of a contract that does not alter the principal of the overall contract.

2. Appraisal – An estimate of the value of property after an inspection or evaluation.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Hedy Goodman – See the Full Story at SDGLN

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

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If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of RealtorsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

courtesy of: keepingcurrentmatters.com

Record High Apartment Prices in Manhattan

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New York Real EstateThe average apartment price in Manhattan hit a record $1.72 million in 2014, as the New York wealthy and overseas rich continue to seek safety in the New York skyline.

While sales volume is slowing, prices continue to rise in New York as strong demand competes for historically low supply. The average sale price for the year topped the previous peak in 2008, of $1.591 million, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers.

For the fourth quarter, average sales prices topped $1.74 million, up 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013.The median sales price for the quarter was up 15 percent from a year ago, to $980,000–the second highest for a quarter.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Robert Frank – See the Full Story at CNBC

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in New York.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Living Small With Style

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apt9

We recently profiled Chicago lifestyle architect Jay Michael, who specializes in creating innovative designs for small spaces. Decorating micro apartments can be a challenge, but also an opportunity to refine one’s aesthetic. As Michael said, “I think that I’ve realized that in a lot of ways, less is more, and that’s a great way to live. Less encumbered, if you will.”

In the spirit of that less-is-more credo, here are small apartments with big style, as well as some crafty tricks to make even the most petite space look elegant.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Evan Beltran – See the Full Story at Dot 429

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

This is Why Manhattan Needs Mass Transit

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Manhattan Bridges

A single visit to Manhattan makes it pretty obvious that most people there depend on the subway, buses, bikes, cabs, and walking for transportation. Just 16 percent of people who commute into Manhattan for work do so by car — by far, the lowest percentage of any US city.

But what would Manhattan look like if everyone drove into the city instead of taking public transport?

According to Vancouver highway engineer Matt Taylor, the island would need 48 new bridges that would each have to carry eight lanes of traffic.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Joseph Stromberg – See the Full Story at Vox.com

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in New York.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

10 Easy Tips to Get Your House Ready to Sell

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exterior-window-washing-2Most people know the basics about getting their home ready to sell: remove any clutter and excess furniture, fix what’s broken and set your rooms to look like a model home would. But buyers have more and more inventory to choose from in this market and the details matter. Here are 10 enhanced Staging Tips

1. Wash your windows

Have your windows professionally washed. Clean windows will let in more light and make your rooms sparkle. Certainly, buyers will definitely notice if your windows are dirty.

 2. Take care of the details

Small details can make your home look dumpy without you even realizing it. Freshen up rooms with new switch plates and outlet covers if yours are grubby from fingerprints or yellowed from aging. Polish handles and hardware and use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove minor spots and scuffs on walls.
3. Focus on curb appeal
Freshen up your landscaping, add bark to flower beds, trim bushes and trees. Invest in a new doormat and take the time to scrub down your front door since it’s probably covered with dust, dirt, and oils. Better yet, repaint it and add some new house numbers and a new porch light.4. Don’t forget your side yard

Turn that dead space into a selling point by creating a potting station or kitchen garden, or even set up breakfast nook with a café table and chairs.5. Stage every room

Empty rooms show poorly. “Stage” a spare bedroom with an air mattress and bed frame. Create a living room arrangement by throwing matching slipcovers over clashing chairs and sofas.6. Paint inside and out, brighten up the trim and doors

Walls aren’t the only things that need a fresh coat of paint. Dingy door and window frames will drag down the prettiest of rooms. Repainting wood-toned trim white will also make your space brighter.7. Employ scents

Employ soothing, spa-like scents like vanilla and lavender in bathrooms and bedrooms.8. Make your space look bigger

Lay down a striped rug to make your floor seem more expansive. Use a clear shower curtain to open up a small bathroom.

 
9. Organize your closets

Make your storage look custom with do-it-yourself shelves, hangers, and bins. Organize clothes by type and color for added impact. Remove the clutter.10. Tidy up the garage

Install overhead or wall shelves to store bikes and sporting equipment. Create a workshop area in one corner — show buyers it’s more than just a place to park cars.