Big news this week from CNBC. Amazon partners with Realogy, sending the real-estate brokerage giant’s shares soaring. “The largest residential real estate brokerage company in the nation is partnering with the largest online retailer in the world in a strategy designed to boost sales for both.” In some cases, Amazon is giving a $5,000 credit to customers when they buy a house through Realogy! When do you think Amazon will start listing homes on their site?
2. INTERNATIONAL HOUSING BUBBLES
For those of you who are interested in what’s going on in international real estate, the Visual Capitalist has Mapped: The Countries With the Highest Housing Bubble Risks for us. “In recent years, experts have been closely watching several indicators that point to rising bubble risks in some housing markets. Further, they are also warning that countries like Canada and New Zealand may be overdue for a correction in housing prices.” If you or anyone you know believes investing in real estate is as good of a place as any to park money, this information may be helpful. When things get risky, it may be time to move to another safer investment.
3. WIN, LOSE, OR DRAW?
CBS News reports Americans still think they can make money flipping houses. “Nearly one-third of Americans believe real estate is a better way to invest money for the long term, according to a Bankrate.com survey released this week. Younger people are more likely to say so, with 37% of 23-to-28-year-olds ranking real estate above stocks, bonds, gold and savings accounts as an investment.” You may want to read the rest of the story to see if real estate is indeed the best way to invest money long term.
4. CREDIT INVISIBLE
Did you know Mortgages are now available for borrowers without credit scores? HousingWire reports “Waterstone Mortgage, a national lender based in Wisconsin and licensed to lend in 48 states, announced Tuesday that it is now lending to borrowers who do not have a credit history. According to the company, its “Non-Traditional Credit Program” will use other payment history indicators like cell phone bills, rent, utilities, and insurance premiums when underwriting a borrower.” When I read the article I learned 18% of the adult American population which means they either have a limited credit history or none at all.
5. VIRTUAL STAGING
Looking to sell your home? Make sure it has web appeal. CNN reporter Anna Bahney writes “By providing an image of an empty room to a virtual staging service that digitally enhances it with a high-end sofa and thoughtfully placed artwork, agents and homeowners avoid the hassle of hauling in a whole new look. Plus, it’s a fraction of the cost.” An agent in the article reports her average staging can cost between $4,000 to $8,000, and virtual staging will cost her $100 to $150. It’s important to note, there are local MLS rules every agent should adhere to when it comes to staging virtually since it can lead to misleading representations of the home.