Student Loan Debt Affecting Housing Market

Recently, the National Association of Realtors did a study regarding the affect of student loans are having on first-time homebuyers.  Astonishingly, the number of first time buyers are 29% below their peak of 50% in 2009 – the main reason being the growing student debt payments preventing these buyers from obtaining mortgages.  Below is a short 2 minute video explaining the need for some kind of reform to allow the dream of homeownership to be a reality for today’s young professionals.

NAR: Student Loan Debt Affecting Housing Market?

Student loans have gotten out of control.  It seems now that while a student loan costs a borrower interest, it has already started to cost something even more – the ability to buy a home.  This statistic will have a ripple effect on the economy, and some reform to the student loan process must happen in order to avert another type of financial crisis.

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

The Woodlands – Relocation Assistance

About 2 months ago I was referred to be a part of the pool of Realtors assisting employees of CB&I who are relocating to the Woodlands, TX.  One major difference between Louisiana and Texas is that Texas has no state income tax, and therefore has much higher property taxes than LA.   I thought I would share a link that could help those interested to figure out what their new tax basis might be in Texas.

The Woodlands Township

Here you can view many of the different aspects of the area, and the landing page here takes you straight to the tax calculations so you can figure out an estimate of what your taxes might be based on the property value.  There is a Homestead exemption in Texas, so be sure to include that in your analysis.

I have already helped one client get his house under contract in anticipation for his move. If either you or someone you know who may be affected by this relocation or perhaps are considering a move to the general Houston area, I will gladly accept your kind referral!

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

Homebuyer Incentives – Smart or Waste of Time?

When offering incentives to buyers, some are better than others.   This article from Houselogic.com has the tips on the Do’s and Don’ts of homebuyer incentives.  I tend to agree that more times than not, just lowering the asking price rather than offering an incentive will still net you the most money on your sale.


Dos and Don’ts of Homebuyer Incentives

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: September 1, 2010

Be sure you’re sending the right message to buyers when you throw in a homebuyer incentive to encourage them to purchase your home.

When you’re selling your home, the idea of adding a sweetener to the transaction—whether it’s a decorating allowance, a home warranty, or a big-screen TV—can be a smart use of marketing funds. To ensure it’s not a big waste, follow these dos and don’ts:

Do use homebuyer incentives to set your home apart from close competition. If all the sale properties in your neighborhood have the same patio, furnishing yours with a luxury patio set and stainless steel BBQ that stay with the buyers will make your home stand out.

Do compensate for flaws with a homebuyer incentive. If your kitchen sports outdated floral wallpaper, a $3,000 decorating allowance may help buyers cope. If your furnace is aging, a home warranty may remove the buyers’ concern that they’ll have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it right after the closing.

Don’t assume homebuyer incentives are legal. Your state may ban homebuyer incentives, or its laws may be maddeningly confusing about when the practice is legal and not. Check with your real estate agent and attorney before you offer a homebuyer incentive.

Don’t think buyers won’t see the motivation behind a homebuyer incentive. Offering a homebuyer incentive may make you seem desperate. That may lead suspicious buyers to wonder what hidden flaws exist in your home that would force you to throw a freebie at them to get it sold. It could also lead buyers to factor in your apparent anxiety and make a lowball offer.

Don’t use a homebuyer incentive to mask a too-high price. A buyer may think your expensive homebuyer incentive—like a high-end TV or a luxury car—is a gimmick to avoid lowering your sale price. Many top real estate agents will tell you to list your home at a more competitive price instead of offering a homebuyer incentive. A property that’s priced a hair below its true value will attract not only buyers but also buyers’ agents, who’ll  be giddy to show their clients a home that’s a good value and will sell quickly.

If you’re convinced a homebuyer incentive will do the trick, choose one that adds value or neutralizes a flaw in your home. Addressing buyers’ concerns about your home will always be more effective than offering buyers an expensive toy.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who gritted her teeth and chose a huge price decrease over an incentive to sell a languishing property—and is glad she did. A regular contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/dos-and-donts-homebuyer-incentives/preview/#ixzz33nCAYnvI
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David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

Subdivision names – Running out of ideas?

This is a lighter topic I like to ponder from time to time – but have you noticed all the subdivisions with similar words or names in them??  I know that all of this is based on years of marketing research and indeed some words exude more appeal and value than others in our area- hill, estate, lake, shadow, stone, ridge, etc.   But it’s a little funny when you think about the subdivision names and really see if they mean anything at all. For example:

  • Shadows at Manchac – Not even near Bayou Manchac and the only “shadows” are from the bulldozers and backhoes clearing the land.
  • The Lake at White Oak – it’s actually TWO lakes. Perhaps it should be the LAKES at White Oak?
  • The Estates at Worthington Lake – When I think “estates” I think big lots and grand houses – this neighborhood is 1400-1800 single family starter homes on Staring Ln.
  • Shadows of Ascension – Again, the only shadows come from the 300 homes – with more to come!
  • Stone Hill – the last hill of stone I saw was in Connecticut two weeks ago.  We don’t have many here in Louisiana…

I did a search for some of the most popular FIRST words in subdivision names in our MLS and these were pretty interesting:

  • “Lake” – 48 subdivisions.
  • “Lakes” – 23 subdivisions.  Combine them both and you get 72 neighborhoods!
  • “Shadows” – 5 subdivisions.  They are about 10 more with “Shadows” in the name somewhere
  • “Stone” – 15 Subdivisions

These words are obvious subconscious triggers of value in buyers’ minds – so we keep naming new neighborhoods with these words.  I also find a lot of “Crossings”, “Hills”, “Oaks” (especially if there are NO oaks in the area), and “Ridges”.  I don’t know what I find more fascinating – the fact that buyers home purchases can be swayed by simple word choices, or that marketing research has spent years to prove this!

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated