Beaches are a nice place to be. So is the forest, and so, too, are boats.
Well, you can have it all in one chunk of property with this over-the-top estate for sale near Bremerton.
Fronted along 1,500 feet of Entai Beach — not far from the Bremerton-Seattle ferry — this 65-acre estate boasts not one but four homes, each with a large deck and each with a water view.
Not too bad.
The main house has a large front room, a fireplace and more, while another home nearer the beach includes a hot tub, as well as a boat house and a whole lot more. There are three fireplaces total, and room for 28 people to sleep between the four homes (that’s nine bedrooms and five and three-quarters bathrooms).
Most of the property is heavily forested, but areas around the homes include manicured lawns and easy beach access.
If you’re a boating type (and you’d better be if you’re buying this place), you can take advantage of a long dock with deep-water moorage for your vessel. The dock would probably also do the trick for swimming, fishing or possibly relaxing while finishing a novel.
The property naturally includes garages and outbuildings and a host of other details.
This fantastic estate is listed for $4,950,000 and you can get more information here.
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — New Mexico’s housing market is looking up. Real estate experts say home prices are the best they’ve been in years, rebounding closer to what they were before the 2008 recession. That could be good news for your investment.
Sam Keller and his wife Karen are hoping they’re going to find the right home in the improving market. They’re looking to downsize, but stay in Albuquerque.
“We like Albuquerque. It’s home to us,” said Sam Keller. “When we bought our last house, the market was much better. It has been at the bottom (and) it’s started back up, so therefore, we’re on the right end of buying now.”
Steve Anaya, the C.E.O. of the New Mexico Realtors Association, sees a lot of potential in the housing market.
“This is probably the strongest summer we’ve seen since 2008,” Anaya said.
Statewide, 18 counties report an increase in the number of homes sold so far this year, compared to last.
Median home prices are climbing closer to where we were in 2008 in Albuquerque. Back then, the median, single-family home price was an $199,000 in the second quarter of 2008. In the same time period in 2015, which includes June, it’s $184,000 in the metro area. Compare that to $177,000 during the same time in 2014 and $165,000 in 2011 after the economy went south.
Anaya says fewer foreclosures are part of the reason.
“We have gotten several of the foreclosures out of the system, so we’re starting to see an increase in the median price,” said Anaya.
He also says that could be significant for anyone who wants to see their investment increase.
“If you’re looking for a home today, now may be the time to do it because I think the stars are lining up for folks.”
But a strong real estate market depends on a diverse economy and Anaya says New Mexico needs to continue to grow.
“If we can do that, I think all these other things will fall into place, but it really is all about jobs,” said Anaya. “Good job growth, everything else will fall into place.”
The Greater ABQ Association of Realtors points out that home equity takes longer to increase in neighborhoods with higher foreclosure rates.
You can view the full June 2015 market report here.
Plea deal revolves around 2008 construction loan for an office building in downtown Lake Oswego
Real estate developer and Lake Oswego resident Roger Pollock agreed to a plea deal last week in connection with federal bank fraud charges relating to a loan he obtained for the construction of an office building on A Avenue.
Pollock, 54, is best known as the owner of the now-defunct Buena Vista Homes, whose projects included 141 houses built in Happy Valley. The fraud charges relate to a loan Pollock obtained for construction of an office building at 412 A Ave that was never built.
According to the grand jury indictment handed down in May 2014, Pollock on two separate occasions in July 2008 rerouted loan funds from Banner Bank into another bank account at Northwest Bank. The two loans — in the amount of $489,924 and $183,949 — were then sent out of the United States to be used for projects that did not relate to the office construction in Lake Oswego, according to the indictment.
Then-U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall wrote last year that Banner Bank’s loans to Pollock totaled more than $7 million.
On Thursday, Pollock agreed to plead guilty to making a false statement to a bank, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and five years of supervised release.
In exchange, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will dismiss an additional charge of bank fraud and a charge of making a false statement to a bank, and will bring no additional charges related to the financial fraud investigation.
Under the plea agreement, Pollock will be required to forfeit $183,949, which is the value of what was obtained as a result of the fraud. He will likely be ordered to pay up to $1.5 million in restitution.
A couple of months ago, we wrote a column called “Big changes are coming to the settlement process.” In that piece, we talked about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is modifying much of how a real estate transaction is completed at settlement. The CFPB refers to this project as TRID, which stands for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure. TILA is the Truth in Lending Act that was passed in 1968, and RESPA is the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act that was passed in 1974.
In response to the real estate bubble, and the lending abuses that were part of that, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 created the CFPB and tasked that new agency with combining TILA and RESPA to improve consumer disclosures associated with a real estate lending and settlements. That generated TRID.
As we reported in our May 13 column on TRID, it was originally slated to go into effect on Aug. 1. We thought that was a pretty aggressive timetable, given that TRID has nearly 2,000 pages of regulations and will fundamentally change how banks, title companies and real estate agents conduct settlement. Apparently a number of like-minded voices were also heard, and the implementation of TRID has been pushed back to Oct. 3, 2015. Not everyone was happy about that, since many of the businesses that would be impacted invested substantial amounts of time and money to be ready by Aug. 1. Nevertheless, the new deadline will give everyone a little more breathing room. The lending and settlement industry is highly computerized, and rewriting all those programs to accommodate TRID is no small matter. In fact, TRID has actually spawned a cottage industry of software companies that help banks, title services and real estate brokers all coordinate the settlement process and meet TRID requirements.
In our previous column, we noted that the CFPB was still working on the final design of TRID. Now, they have completed much of that work, and we have a much better idea of what TRID will look like.
First and foremost, TRID will change what the settlement statements look like. The settlement statement, which is commonly called the HUD-1, used to be only two pages long. Then, the government decided to simplify it and make it clearer. The result was an increase to four pages and a document that in many ways was less clear than the one that preceded it. With TRID, the settlement statement will now become 8 or 9 pages. Another major change is that there will be separate documents for both the buyer and the seller. In the past, the HUD-1 contained all the information necessary for both sides of the transaction.
Although doubling the pages makes it sound like the settlement statement will become more complicated, the new forms are actually quite user-friendly. The primary goal in all of this is to help consumers clearly understand how their home loan works and better track the estimates they were given regarding loan costs against the actual numbers they get at settlement. Some tweaking might be required, but we think the new statements are fairly clear, easy to read, and for the most part, they seem to accomplish the stated goals of TRID.
An additional objective for TRID was to provide borrowers with the disclosure of loan information prior to settlement. The CFPB wanted to reduce the instances where buyers would get to settlement and find that their loan costs were higher than anticipated, but since all their possession were on a moving truck in the parking lot, they didn’t have much choice other than to pay up and go to settlement. Under TRID, borrowers must be given the loan disclosure forms three days prior to closing. And, if certain changes are made to the numbers found in the settlement statement, that three day review period must start over, possibly delaying settlement.
At first, there was a lot of concern about this three day period, because a lot of changes are often made at the last minute, changes that frequently impact the settlement statement. When we wrote our last column, the CFPB wasn’t very clear about what changes would be allowed and which ones would not. Since then, we now have more guidance. According to the CFPB website, only three changes will require a new 3-day review period. They include:
1)The APR (annual percentage rate) increases by more than 1/8 of a percent for fixed-rate loans or ¼ of a percent for adjustable loans. A decrease in APR will not require a new 3-day review if it is based on changes to interest rate or other fees.
2)A prepayment penalty is added, making it expensive to refinance or sell. For us here in Maryland, that’s not an issue, because prepayment penalties are not allowed on residential mortgages.
3)The basic loan product changes, such as a switch from fixed-rate to adjustable interest rate or to a loan with interest-only payments.
The CFPB website says that no other changes will require a new 3-day review period. As an added point of explanation, they note “There has been much misinformation and mistaken commentary around this point. Any other changes in the days leading up to closing do not require a new 3-day review, although the lender will still have to provide and updated disclosures. For example, the following circumstances do not require a new 3-day review: 1) Unexpected discoveries on a walk-through such as a broken refrigerator or a missing stove, even if they require seller credits to the buyer. 2) Most changes to payments made at closing, including the amount of the real estate commission, taxes and utilities proration, and the amount paid into escrow. 3) Typos found at the closing table.”
These clarifications were critical in alleviating many of the fears real estate agents and others in the industry had about TRID. Many settlements are marked by the types of changes the CFPB said would not require a 3-day delay. Had the CFPB included those in the list of what does trigger a new 3-day period, it would have caused a tremendous disruption in how home sales get to settlement. The CFPB requirements with TRID are actually quite reasonable. Importantly though, consumers should realize that this 3-day period is not there as a means for withdrawing from the contract. It is just there to give borrowers time to absorb the information they will be seeing at settlement and give them an opportunity to get more of an explanation about their loan from their lender. The 3-day period is NOT a chance for buyers to change their mind about buying the house. Also, real estate agents should be aware that just because the loan disclosure information must be made available three days prior to closing, that does not mean the money or the loan package will be ready three days before closing. Unfortunately, those important pieces will show up at the last minute like they always have. Consumers might not realize, but the money that funds the loan, pays all the settlement expenses and the documents that guide the whole process, are a just-in-time sort of thing. Agents and settlement officers are often pacing the floor, minutes before settlement, waiting for an email notification that the money and loan package have arrived.
In total, it looks like TRID will actually be a positive for the process. But like any change, it’s going to create some turmoil for a bit of time. As a result, if you’re looking to settle on a house sometime this fall, give yourself plenty of time and make sure that your real estate agent, lender and title company are fully up to speed on TRID. If they aren’t you’d be well served to find someone else to do the deal.
Bob and Donna McWilliams are real estate agents with Champion Realty. Bob is also the Assistant Manager at Champion’s Annapolis office and the Legal Liaison with Champion’s corporate parent, HomeServices of America and Berkshire Hathaway. They can be reached at 443-994-9589 or email McWilliams@BobDonna.com
Single-family foreclosures and short sales are down over 32 percent compared to this time last year while ‘traditional’ sales are up 24 percent. Statewide June marked the 43rd month in a row – more than three and a half years – that median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Brevard County’s real estate market continues to go up.
Here’s the broken record player for you one more time….sales up, inventory down, sales up, inventory down, sales up, inventory down. Also, there are now less ‘distressed’ properties for sale.
Single-family foreclosures and short sales are down over 32 percent compared to this time last year while ‘traditional’ sales are up 24 percent.
Statewide June marked the 43rd month in a row – more than three and a half years – that median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties.
“Properties are selling quick” says Realtor Jennifer McCoy with RE/MAX Elite’s McCoy-Freeman Group.
“I am seeing this firsthand and buyers need to be ready financially when a new listing hits the market in their criteria and act quick before it’s gone” say McCoy.
A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for June 2015 compared to June 2014:
• Closed Sales are up 10.0% for June 2015 in which the number of units closed were 968 compared to 880 in June 2014, with a decrease in cash sales by -6.6% compared to June 2014.
• New Pending Sales are up 3.3% and New Listings are up 7.8%.
• Median Sales Price for Brevard County Single Family Homes are up 21.4% to $170,000 compared to a year ago, which was $140,000.
• Median Days on the Market are down -16.7%, which is 30 days compared to 36 in June 2014.
• Months Supply of Inventory is down -24.0% to 2.9 months compared to 3.9 months in June 2014.
• Traditional Sales are up 24.0%, with a median sales price of $179,890.
• Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -25.6%, with a median sales price of $116,050.
• Short Sale Closings are down -38.5%, with a median sale price of $147,000.
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos Report for June 2015 compared to June 2014:
• Closed Sales are up 25.8% for June 2015 in which the number of units closed were 278 compared to 221 in June 2014, with an increase in cash sales of 40.9% compared to June 2014.
• New Pending Sales are up 20.7% and New Listings are up 18.3%.
• The Median Sales Price for Townhouses/Condos is up 8.5% to $134,500 compared to a year ago, which was $124,000.
• Median Days on the Market are down – 8.7%, which is 42 days compared to June 2014, which was 46 days.
• Months Supply of Inventory is down – 21.3%, which is 3.7 months compared to June 2014, which was 4.7 months.
• Traditional Sales are up 36.6%, with a median sales price of $148,000.
• Foreclosure/REO Sales are down – 11.6%, with a median sales price of $62,250.
• Short Sale Closings are down – 66.7%, with a median sale price of $410,000.
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The real estate market is reaping the benefits from the economic recovery.
Americans bought homes in June at the fastest rate of the past eight years. So much that the availability of property is having trouble keeping up with the demand.
Local realtor Shelly Hildebrandt credits the preparedness of the buyer and seller alike.
“It seems like there was a little bit of a scare there early on in the year that the rates might go up, but we just haven’t seen that. So I think people are just taking advantage of that, they seem to be prepared, they know what their credit scores are, they’re working with lenders and getting their pre-approval and seeing what programs are available are out there and available for their particular type of buying situation,” Hildebrandt said.
Hildebrandt described the ebb and flow of the real estate market, saying Pittsburg stays pretty consistent. Partially due to Pitt State students sticking around.
“Lots of time people come and they’ll stay for quite awhile, they’ll go ahead and settle here because they love Pittsburg and they love the Pitt State idea and the camaraderie that goes with it,” Hildebrandt said.
The National Association of Realtors reported that properties posted last month typically sold within 34 days of being listed.
Overall sales improved across all regions of the United States.
The drumbeat of positive news on the residential real-estate front ended with a thud Friday as sales of new houses slumped.
Purchases fell 6.8 percent in June to a 482,000 annualized pace, the weakest since November and lower than any forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, Commerce Department data showed in Washington. Making matters worse: Readings for each of the prior three months were revised down.
The report was at odds with recent data that showed demand for existing homes climbed in June to an eight-year high, construction began on more projects and builders were gaining confidence. Even economists who had projected new-home sales cooled last month were quick to say the severity of the setback was probably overstated because these figures tend to be volatile from month to month.
“The outlook for housing still remains positive” thanks to more jobs, rising household formation and low interest rates, said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies in New York, whose estimate of 525,000 was the second-lowest in the Bloomberg survey. “Of all the housing numbers, this is probably subject to the most revision. I don’t think you want to hang your hat on it necessarily.”
The median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 548,000 pace for new-home sales. Forecasts ranged from 510,000 to 569,000.
The reading for May was trimmed to 517,000 from a previously reported 546,000, which had been a seven-year high.
The revisions suggest the June data is also likely to be tweaked. The report said there was 90 percent confidence the change in sales last month ranged from a 19.3 percent drop to a 5.7 percent gain.
New-home purchases were up 17.5 percent in June from the same month in 2014 on an unadjusted basis, the Commerce Department’s report showed.
“There’s no question the housing sector kicked into a higher gear in the second quarter, but this might be a dose of reality that the acceleration is not as sharp as it had looked,” said McCarthy. “Is this a blip, or has some of the other data been misleading? We really won’t know the answer to that until next month.”
Adding to the bad news, the median price of a new home was $281,800 last month, down 1.8 percent from a year earlier.
Three of four regions suffered setbacks, indicating broad- based weakness. The West led the way, showing a 17 percent slump. Only the Northeast showed an increase.
Sales of new properties, which are counted when contracts are signed, are usually considered a more timely measure of the market than previously owned dwellings, which are counted when a purchase is finalized.
Sales of existing homes climbed 3.2 percent to a 5.49 million annualized rate, the most since February 2007, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Prices also climbed amid a tight supply of available properties.
Reports last week showed building permits for single and multifamily projects rose last month to an almost eight-year high, and housing starts climbed in June to the second-highest level since November 2007 as builders boosted work on apartment projects.
Executives at housing-related companies such as paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams Co. have also been optimistic.
It’s “not just the homes that are being put in place, the existing homes that are trading hands, but also the overall appreciation in home values that we’ve seen in the market should drive remodeling and repaint activity,” Bob Wells, the company’s senior vice president of investor relations, said on a July 16 conference call. “Three more years to this recovery to reach a peak is certainly foreseeable.”
Looking for a new office in DC? A recent report on the city’s real-estate market could offer a good starting point for your search. Also: The ups and downs of certifications at events.
You may look at stories like this one and wonder to yourself whether your organization can afford to make a real estate move of its own.
If you suddenly feel a desire to start crunching the numbers, a new report from the real estate services firm Savills Studley [PDF] could prove a fascinating starting point. The report, focused on the Washington, DC region, highlights the neighborhoods where you’ll be able to find office space, and at what price.
The study finds that the Washington area’s real estate space in general sells for around $49.79 per square foot, a bit above the U.S. average of $31.81 per square foot. (It varies by the neighborhood; Capitol Hill space costs a lot more than what you’ll find in Northern Virginia.) But with landlords working to keep tenants happy, associations stand to benefit by agreeing to early renewals or restructuring their lease agreements. That might lead some to move: The report notes, in fact, that associations and nonprofits have leased around 1.1 million square feet during the first six months of the year—the highest level since 2011.
Groups such as the New America Foundation and the Edison Electric Institute are among those taking advantage of the real estate market in finding larger new spaces.
“Demand for space remains sluggish as organizations across the board are getting more efficient and taking less space,” the firm’s Tom Fulcher noted in a statement to Associations Now. “This is creating opportunities for nonprofits and association tenants to reduce real estate costs. Because landlords aren’t seeing this ending anytime soon, they are more willing than ever to have early restructure discussions to keep their buildings leased over the long term rather than hoping to renew tenants later at rates that might not be higher than they are now.”
A Certification Conversation
Meetings industry certifications—worthwhile or not? @JeffHurt #eventprofs What’s the True Value of Certification? http://t.co/1VRKmS6TTi
— Sue Pelletier (@spelletier) July 24, 2015
Are certifications at events really worth it? It’s a debate that’s heating up among meetings-world bloggers.
On Thursday, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting’s Jeff Hurt ponders whether relying on certification systems might be hurting education offerings at events:
Much of our conference education programming is built upon proliferating a similar elitist system—industry designations and certification. By default, we deny industry professionals access to certified-approved courses unless they are willing to pay. We then encourage the collection of continuing education units to meet standards, all for a fee of course. Next, we require payment for the attendees to take a stringent knowledge-based test, regardless if they pass it or not. Finally, we make them pay a fee every two to five years to keep that certification. We’ve created elitist customers, an exclusive clique, instead of trying to help the entire industry progress.
MeetingsNet‘s Sue Pelletier, riffing off of Hurt, has some thoughts of her own on the matter, analyzing both the pros and cons of the setup.
“I understand why the system is the way it is—after all, it costs money to set up, maintain, and administrate these programs,” she writes. “And while they may be big money-makers for some organizations, many I’ve spoken with about it over the years say it’s break-even at best. So why do we do it?”
Check out Pelletier’s thoughts on the matter, which will definitely get you looking big-picture at a sacred cow of the events industry.
Other Links of Note
Noticing a big change in your search queries these days? Blame Google. The company just launched a change to its search engine algorithms that’s affecting traffic on a number of sites.
If you’re sick of hearing about millennials, join the club. CMS Wire‘s Noreen Seebacher is a founding member .
Here’s an email tool for the paranoid: Dmail, a Chrome extension for Gmail, lets you make self-destructing emails. No, really.
A Charlotte-based firm that makes investments in apartment communities is expected to go public next week, according to IPO tracker Renaissance Capital.
RiverBanc Multifamily Investors is expected to sell 3.8 million shares at a price between $19 and $20, raising $74.1 million at the middle of that range. The proceeds will be go toward buying a predecessor portfolio and making future investments, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investment banks Baird, Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Suntrust Robinson Humphrey are lead managers of the offering, according to Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange traded funds.
RiverBanc was founded in 2010 by CEO Kevin Donlon, according to its web site. From 1997 to 2004, Donlan worked in Bank of America’s capital markets group before founding Helix Financial Group, a commercial real estate advisory firm sold to BlackRock in 2010. Douglas Neal, previously with Neal Capital and Bank of America, is president.
RiverBanc lends and invests nationwide and has a portfolio secured by more than $9 billion of loans backed by 550 properties, according to its web site.
With more than 148,000 students enrolled in institutions of higher education last year, Boston is also home to many recent graduates and young professionals. However, the average age of a broker is 58, according to student startup Vibe Residential.
For that reason, Vibe understands how students and young professionals can be overlooked by brokers. Vibe helps clients within this demographic navigate the greater Boston real estate market by simplifying the often stressful process of renting or buying your first place.
Nike John, founder and CEO, told BostInno, “Friends had realtors who didn’t help them out or set them up with landlords who wouldn’t fix anything or charged a fee and they didn’t understand what they were paying for.”
Founder and CEO Nike John
The company’s business model has been built around a core of hospitality designed to bring full customer service back to the real estate industry. Each client is paired with a single experienced agent, creating a customized experience, decreasing search time and improved accountability.
With such reliability between clients and agents, Vibe works with landlords to develop alternative payment plans that reduce overwhelming upfront costs and provides discounted broker fees when possible, including same day application, referrals from prior rental clients and repeat clients.
To further ease difficult transitions, Vibe has created neighborhood specific brochures called “NecesCity Guides” that list the best grocery stores, dry cleaners, convenient stores, bars, entertainment spots and so forth near your new place. As the company has partnered with several of these featured locations, customers typically experience 10 to 40 percent discounts and can even receive free drinks as a welcoming gift.
Possibly the most significant aspect of Vibe is its management. Backed by two Northeastern students (’15), the team personally recognizes the importance of selectively pairing clients with brokers who understand what they are looking for.
“We just felt like in Boston there’s no one that helps people our age. Anyone can find a broker, but finding someone who’s willing to help you out and understands that everybody our age doesn’t have a high paying job… That means we also don’t have that budget and it’s a commission based sales market, so our goal is to help people on the lower end,” John said.
The real estate startup is currently in the Brandathon, which ultimately partners 12 promising startups with 12 of Boston’s top creative agency teams that present their brand campaigns to judges and a live audience. In addition to free promotion and visibility, the top 12 startup finalists will receive full rights to use the brand campaign created for them. Other prizes vary for those in first, second, and third places. Vibe has made the top 25, and the top twelve will be decided on Thursday night.
As of August 5, Vibe will have an official broker’s license and will be able to have agents at their brokerage, rather than employing agents from other agencies to take clients out under their set of guidelines and expectations. In September, the roommate matching and marketplace app Vibe Lifestyle will be launching. Distinguishing itself from other roommate matching apps, it will offer a more personalized method of putting users together. People may be matched based on favorite restaurants, how early or late they wake up, and more.
“You can meet them well before you even see the place. We also have a marketplace feature for people selling furniture instead of throwing it out,” said John. “The other thing about this app is it will help with short term rentals. A lot of students are only looking for the fall or the spring or the summer semester, but most agencies only do 12 month leases.”
Entering a foreign market by focusing entirely on young professionals and student renters, Vibe Residential aims to build lasting relationships with clients that grow as their real estate needs evolve.