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Builders Predict Big Expansion in Construction

Construction of single-family homes is expected to gradually rise this year, as a growing economy, solid employment gains, and rising household formation buoys builders' forecasts.Last year, the National Association of Home Builders projected 1.16 million total housing starts in 2016, which was up nearly 5 percent from the previous year. Now NAHB is forecasting a 10 percent increase in single-family production for 2017 and a 12 percent rise for 2

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STUDY: Kitchen Renos Lead to Healthier Habits

Many homeowners who remodel their kitchen tend to develop healthier lifestyles, according to the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey. Of more than 2,700 homeowners surveyed, 33 percent who completed a kitchen renovation say the project prompted them to cook more meals at home, eat less takeout, and consume more fruits and vegetables. Owners of all generations report such lifestyle changes after a kitchen redo, but millennials and baby boomers diverg

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Yes, It’s Still More Affordable to Buy Than Rent

In about two-thirds of the country – or 66 percent of the largest U.S. counties -- it’s more affordable to buy a home than to rent one, according to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions.They compared the monthly rents of three-bedroom apartments to monthly payments on median-priced homes (including the mortgages, property taxes, and insurance) across 540 counties.“It feels like buying a home is getting tougher and tougher from an affordability

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REALTORS: Review Restrictive Covenants With Your Buyers

Purchasers buying in a community with a homeowners association need to make themselves aware of an important set of rules known as restrictive covenants or CC&Rs. These are the rules established by the subdivision that they must follow in order to live in there. The rules tend to be geared about maintaining the attractiveness and value of the property.“A reasonable HOA is like heaven,” says Bruce Ailion, a real estate pro and attorney for

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2017’s Best Cities for Jobs

Keep a close eye on these housing markets. Several cities are expected to see explosive growth in their job markets in the coming year. And where jobs are plentiful usually the housing markets get a boost too.Nationally, employment is looking up as well. The national unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6 percent, the lowest since 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.WalletHub compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across

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Rising Rates Dampen Consumers’ Moods

Mortgage rate increases are chipping away at home buyer sentiment, shows the latest reading from Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index. For the fifth consecutive month, consumer sentiment dropped in December and most of that centered on perceptions over rising borrowing costs.The share of consumers expecting mortgage rates to drop over the next 12 months, as well as those who believe their household income is significantly higher today com

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As Commutes Worsen, Cities Get Innovative

Traffic is getting worse across the country. The average American commute time is at a record high: 26 minutes. And more of the public has become “megacommuters,” spending up to 90 minutes in the car each way.Some cities are trying to deflate commute times by adding bike and walk lanes into the infrastructure to encourage more people to get out of the car and find different ways to work or recreation.For example, protected bike lanes are slow

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Which Is Cheaper, To Buy or Build New?

On the surface, buying an existing home seems like the most affordable route to go. After all, the median cost of an existing single-family home is $223,000. On the other hand, the average cost for building new construction averages $289,415.Obviously, there is quite a bit of variations in sorting out those costs. Plus, the price you pay upfront is only part of the equation when deciding to buy an existing home or build a new one.A recent article

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REALTORS: 5 Nasty Business Habits to Give Up in 2017

Vow to make 2017 your best year yet in the real estate business. But that means giving up some bad habits that may stand in your way of obtaining ultimate success. Entrepreneur recently highlighted several of the following “bad habits” that could be hindering your business:Having a sense of entitlement.The world doesn’t owe you anything. “If you want success, you need to make it happen,” the article notes. If you want a flood of new cli

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The Problem Aging Owners Are Up Against

Rural areas are expected to see more growth in the 65-and-older population than urban areas over the next few decades, according to a report by the Urban Institute. But for those expecting to grow old in their home, it could prove problematic. Many of the aging homes in rural areas are not suitable for elderly homeowners, the report says.Sixty-one percent of homeowners age 55 and older say they plan to remain in their home as they age, according

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