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Wallstreet journal report - 08/19/2007


There are several cities in the country where home values are climbing smartly. Portland (OR), Boise (ID), Seattle (WA), Salt Lake City (UT), Houston (TX), Austin (TX), Charlotte (NC) and Raleigh (NC), are among the cities bucking the national trend. Home appreciation there between the fourth quarters of 2005 and 2006 far exceeded the national average of 5.9 percent, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. In some markets, like Boise and Seattle, the appreciation jumped well into the double digits.
There's no single secret to these cities' apparent success, but many of them missed the housing boom of the past five years. From 2001 to 2005, annual appreciation in these cities was between two and five percent, far slower than the seven to 12 percent national average, according to the OFHEO. Now they are playing catch-up. Most of the cities also have one or more strong industries to drive their economies - colleges and technology in Raleigh, banks in Charlotte, energy in Houston and aerospace in Seattle. And all have education levels above the national average.
Today's declining prices nationwide are in part the result of an earlier explosion of short-term investors in Florida, California and other booming markets. Recently, both investors and long-term homeowners have been cashing in or cutting losses in formerly hot markets and settling in areas that avoided the boom, such as the Carolinas, parts of Georgia and Tennessee, areas of Texas, the Western mountain states and the Pacific Northwest. (RealEstateJournal.com)

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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NAR survey - 08/19/2007


Realtors come from varied backgrounds, work mostly on commission and become successful over a period of time, according to a new member survey by the National Association of REALTORS. The typical member is 51 years old, works 40 hours per week and has been in the business for seven years. More than 1.3 million Realtors - about half of all real estate licensees - are characterized in the highly detailed 2007 NAR Member Profile.
Median income was $47,700 in 2006, down from $49,300 in 2004, which had also declined from 2002. Members licensed as brokers earned a median of $73,700 last year, while sales agents earned $34,600. During the last two years, NAR membership increased 23.2 percent. Realtors in the business for two years or less earned a median of $15,300, while those with three to five years of experience earned $44,200. For six to 15 years, the median was $64,600, while members in the business for 16 years or more earned $76,200.
One quarter of all business is from referrals or repeat business from previous clients, ranging from seven percent for newcomers to 41 percent for respondents with at least 16 years of experience. Seven out of 10 are compensated through a split commission arrangement, 17 percent receive a full commission and another three percent receive a commission plus a share of profits.
Thirteen percent of NAR members have been in the business for one year or less, while another 13 percent have been in the business for 26 years or more. Only 10 percent work fewer than 20 hours per week and 30 percent work 20 to 39 hours per week, while 15 percent work at least 60 hours per week. Nearly six in 10 are women, and the typical respondent has been with his/her firm for four years. Five percent are under 30 years of age while another six percent are 30 to 34 years old; 12 percent are 65 or over.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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Green Home building - 08/19/2007


Green home building is poised to be the next great sales pitch in America's environmental renaissance. By 2010, half of new homes built are expected to be classified as "green" as more builders try to appeal to consumers worried about global warming, the environment and rising energy costs. Builders say green homes are more durable and tend to sell much faster than traditionally built houses.
But how do you tell if a "green" home is truly green? There are some 80 different local and state green building organizations and at least two different national groups promoting their own rules on what constitutes a green home. The result: a contentious war over whose rules become the national standard for making a house sustainable.
Perhaps the best known group in green building is the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, a non-profit group that developed its own point rating system for green commercial projects and has certified 800 projects as green since 2000 through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, or LEED. The organization uses consultants under contract to certify projects according to USGBC rules.
In 2004, the Green Building Council rolled out a pilot program for similar grading of residential projects, and today 350 builders are enrolled for 6,000 green homes to go through LEED certification. To get a home certified as green, builders would have to pay about $2,000 for the required inspection. An official program for green homes should be rolled out this fall.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders, a trade group with 235,000 corporate members, is at work on its own green building standards. The process has been a long and arduous one, incorporating input from not only builders, but architects, interior designers and construction product manufacturers. The rules, being developed in collaboration with the International Code Council, will be written for accreditation from the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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Seniors housing market - 08/19/2007


Opportunities abound for Realtors® who are ready to service the senior market
By Brenda W. Casserly, President & COO, ERA Franchise Systems, Inc.

Realtors® cannot ignore the impact that seniors are having on the business of real estate. Activity in the senior segment of the market is steadily increasing due to demographic shifts that have put a higher concentration of the U.S. population in an older age bracket.

As a real estate professional, there's a lot that I find exciting about the senior market. First of all, it is big, and it is growing. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the number of households in the U.S. headed by someone between the ages of 55 and 64 in the market for a home was about one million in 2001. NAHB projects that figure to grow to approximately 1.2 million households in 2006. One forecast projects the number of baby boomers age 65 and over to increase nearly 80 percent during the next two decades.

Another attribute that distinguishes the senior market is the broad range of motives for buying or selling a home. Many seniors wish to sell their homes because their family has grown and they are now seeking a low-maintenance property that frees them up to enjoy a more leisurely lifestyle. Selling a primary residence or a vacation property may free up equity that can be applied toward retirement. The changing interests and capabilities of seniors also influence the need for proximity to transportation, health services, shopping and other activities.

Success in servicing the wide-ranging needs of senior homebuyers is achieved through the right combination of programs, training and marketing. Sales professionals who have built a strong referral network and practice sound prospecting techniques will have a leg up on capturing these diverse and demanding buyers and sellers. Realtors® who make the effort to secure specialized certification will distinguish themselves as especially qualified to service the needs of seniors.

One characteristic that distinguishes seniors from first-time homebuyers is a lower tolerance for uncertainty. The ERA® system offers the ERA® Sellers Security® Plan (SSP), a program designed expressly for homesellers who seek that extra level of assurance. Simply put, the SSP guarantees that a seller who qualifies for the program will sell their home at a pre-determined price within 180 days of listing, or ERA Real Estate will buy it.

According to the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council, 90 percent of seniors do not put their home on the market until they have settled on their new living arrangements, and Realtors® must be prepared to help seniors select a mortgage that meets their needs. ERA Mortgage offers buyers with unique financing requirements the opportunity to choose from more than 100 different loan products. A professionally staffed Agent Help Desk helps sales associates offer products that best match their clients' financial goals.

Specialized certification programs are another means to assure seniors that Realtors® are capable of serving them. Late last year, ERA Real Estate became the first global real estate franchise to deliver the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation in a virtual classroom. The course, offered through the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council (SAREC), was developed to educate sales professionals about the special needs and concerns of senior homebuyers and homesellers.

The transition into a senior lifestyle can be an exciting time. For Realtors® who are prepared to assist the growing community of seniors, it can be a rewarding time as well

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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Preventing Id Theft - 08/19/2007

Could This Be Your Story?

When Janet Romano opened her credit card bill, she got more than she bargained for.

"I'm diligent about matching up my receipts to my bill," Romano said. (We've changed her name to protect her privacy.) "Several of the charges were mysteries to me."

A call to her credit card company began a months-long effort to recover from identity theft and credit card fraud. First, Romano found thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges on her credit card bills. She disputed each charge but the finance charges kept growing. She even found a purchase of an Internet domain name on her bill. That domain name created a Web site that scammed people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Some people using the scam site knew how to look up the name of the site owner. A public directory listed my name and phone number. I actually got messages on my voice mail threatening to break my legs," said Romano.

Romano thinks that identity thieves got her information when she replied to an email asking her to refresh her email account information. It looked like a real request-so real that even a cautious consumer like Romano replied with her personal and financial information. Such email tactics are called "phishing."

Identity Theft is Growing

Unfortunately, phishing is a growing way to steal someone's identity. And it's only one way. Identity thieves can take your personal information from your mail box or your home. They can steal your wallet or purse, or convince you to give out personal information. We all have to be on our guard.

Identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime. It happens when an identity thief obtains some pieces of your personal information. The thief then uses the information about you-without your knowledge-to commit fraud or theft. The identity thief is disguised as you. The trail leads back to you.

You Can Act Against Identity Theft

In this course you will learn more about how identity theft happens. You'll see how thieves get and use your information. Then, you can take steps to be on your guard, so that what happened to Ms. Romano won't happen to you. As with any crime, you cannot completely control whether you will become a victim. But you can minimize your risk. You can be alert to how the crime happens. And you can manage your personal information cautiously.

In this course, you will:

Know what identity theft is
Do a wallet check to protect yourself from identity theft
Take steps to protect yourself from identity theft in your home and on the road
Recognize early warnings of identity theft
Take the first steps if you're a victim of identity theft
Have the numbers to call to get help or more information


Let's get started.

Technical Requirements

To appreciate this seminar experience, it is critical that you have the appropriate software, plug-ins, and network connections. Please take the time to download the latest versions of the plug-ins mentioned below if you do not already have them.

Browser: Internet Explorer 6 and higher, Netscape 7.2 and higher or equivalent browser. Your browser must be JavaScript-enabled and must be set to accept cookies.

Network Connection: The recommended minimum connection is 56Kbps. A faster connection is encouraged to take better advantage of the media elements in the seminar.

Contributors

AARP Consumer Protection Team
This seminar is brought to you by the AARP Consumer Protection Team, which provides tools and education to help consumers protect themselves from financial fraud, abusive practices and other risks to their savings and assets. To support this goal, AARP is 1) developing a wide variety of print resources and messages; 2) partnering with other organizations that share this interest; and 3) advocating for federal and state requirements that protect consumers from identity theft.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, http://www.aarp.org . AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright 2005, AARP.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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ERA Mortgage - 08/19/2007


Tailor-made Mortgages
It's true what they say - no two customers are alike. That's why we cater to each customer's unique financial situation. By offering over 150 different mortgage products, ERA Mortgage can meet the diverse requirements of all of your customers. And, if any of our programs fall short of your customers' requirements, just let us know. We'll work to create a custom mortgage product just for them.

Tools of the Trade
ERA Mortgage leads the industry in the application of technology to the loan origination process. Access to information is key to providing superior service, and we continue to invest in state-of-the-art technology to improve the speed and quality of communication.

MortgageLoanStatus.com provides everything your customers need to track the progress of their loan before closing, and Mortgagequestions.com gives your customers access to a wealth of after-the-sale support. Both Web sites are available 24/7.

* Mortgage loans are subject to qualification, receipt of satisfactory appraisal and verification of income, asset and debt information provided by the costumer.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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ERA Mortgage information - 08/19/2007


Special Financing Program from ERA Mortgage

Interest rate buydown program benefits seller, and buyers

Our Special Financing Program differentiates your seller's home in this competitive market and provides lower monthly payments for the buyer. This means a larger pool of buyers for listings, which can ultimately help sell homes faster.

To learn more about our Special Financing Program, click answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the ERA Mortgage Special Financing Program! You can also read the ERA MortgageMatters article or contact your ERA Mortgage Advisor.

Now Available: Special Financing Ads on the Mortgage Resource Center

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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Seller security plan benefits - 08/19/2007


Program Benefits

The Sellers Security® Plan Slogan "We Will Sell Your House, Or ERA Will Buy It!"® drives inquiries and interest. Often underlying that consumer question... "What's this deal about ERA buying my house?"... is skepticism and doubt.

What are the benefits to a Seller?

There are three unique core benefits of the SSP.



Non-contingency status: Sellers that need to purchase another home but can't because their current home is not sold find this program of great value. The plan provides a guaranteed sale and closing date resulting in increased buying power.


Increases the number of buyers for their home: when a Seller lists with ERA®, prospective buyers can often times take advantage of the SSP in order to sell their house to purchase that ERA® listing. In essence, we increase the pool of buyers for all our listings, especially a home that will attract a move-up buyer. This benefit is another reason to list with ERA® regardless of Seller's interest in the SSP.


A multitude of options: If in the event a Seller needs a contract quicker than one can be market generated, by listing with ERA® a contract can be forthcoming to enable their next home purchase. And if in the event our optimism about their home selling is wrong due to economic conditions outside our control, by listing with ERA® they have the option at any time to proceed with our guaranteed sale program.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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Seller security plan - 08/19/2007


Let's Go Shopping!"

Most other real estate companies can only sell their listings to a cash buyer or a homeowner whose current home is sold and ready to close. You have access to those buyers and more! There are potential buyers for your listings that own a house that would like to buy another but can't because they need to sell their current house first. In addition the down payment for this purchase is often tied up in their current home.

By listing with ERA®, the SSP enables you to turn prospective buyers into qualified buyers for Sellers homes. I have a marketing program that exposes a your house to more buyers netting you more money.

The "Let's Go Shopping!" campaign supports creating buyers for listings.

The newly designed "Let's Go Shopping!" tagline adds another dimension to the exclusive ERA® Sellers Security® Plan program. Once you have listed a home it's time to go shopping. Call or email me for more details.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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Seller security plan - 08/19/2007

Let's Go Shopping!"

Most other real estate companies can only sell their listings to a cash buyer or a homeowner whose current home is sold and ready to close. You have access to those buyers and more! There are potential buyers for your listings that own a house that would like to buy another but can't because they need to sell their current house first. In addition the down payment for this purchase is often tied up in their current home.

By listing with ERA®, the SSP enables you to turn prospective buyers into qualified buyers for Sellers homes. I have a marketing program that exposes a your house to more buyers netting you more money.

The "Let's Go Shopping!" campaign supports creating buyers for listings.

The newly designed "Let's Go Shopping!" tagline adds another dimension to the exclusive ERA® Sellers Security® Plan program. Once you have listed a home it's time to go shopping. Call or email me for more details.

Florida Real Estate with Brandon Jordan, your Northwest Florida Realtor serving Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base and Duke Field, and ActiveRain featured Realtor for Okaloosa County since 2007. We provide this information and much more on our site for you at no charge, so please remember us when you're looking to buy or sell real estate.

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