Tag Archive: Home

Homeowners and real estate investors are always concerned with the question, “What is my property value?”. For any residential property, the number one determinant of price is location. The infrastructure, demographics, income, political climate, and educational environment in a town, will influence home prices more than the home’s physical condition.

Transportation improvements tend to drive prices higher. The construction of new transportation hubs, such as train stations, airports, or highways, often means that the community has a positive economic outlook. If a region is undertaking considerable improvements in transportation, demand for real estate is often higher, and so are home values.

An area that is experiencing population growth may also have higher home values. If population growth in one town is outpacing growth in adjacent towns, then people are moving to that town for a reason. Since demand for homes will inevitably be higher, prices will be higher, in that area. When selling a home in a high-growth area, sellers should be able to communicate to buyers the reasons for purchasing a home in their location.

Growth in average income reflects favorably on a town. When average income is increasing, people in the town have more money to spend, and, as a result, more buying power. High income levels will translate into high home values, thanks to the high-income jobs which are usually behind those great incomes.

Political leadership is an often-overlooked factor in determining home values. Towns which are run by innovative, flexible, and entrepreneurial people will inevitably attract good things, and higher property values. Contacting the mayor’s office, or the Office of Economic Development, will provide homeowners and investors with a great deal of information about a town’s economic and political climate.

Education is one of the most significant determinants of a town’s appeal. Good test scores, staff who care about children, and students who come to school ready to learn, are all characteristic of excellent educational systems. A number of websites are available, which rate area schools, and offer information about area test scores.

Location influences home values like no other factor, including physical appearance. When areas are prosperous, jobs are growing, and population is booming, people will be drawn into that area, and demand for homes will increase. When homeowners ask, “What is my real estate value?”, and then look around to see that their home is in a thriving area, then they may be assured of a positive answer to their question.

A larger place can often feel like a huge leap of faith. Moving from an apartment, moving from a smaller house or moving to your very first house can be a stressful experience. People often think about moving to a larger house when more money comes their way, when they want to start a family or simply because they would like a change of scene. Regardless of the reason, you’re going to find yourself with a lot more space than you’re used to. If your lucky you might even have a front or/and back garden! It can be daunting to see all that empty space, and may leave you wondering if the removals company has forgotten something. However, a bigger space is the perfect opportunity to put your own stamp on a place. There are a lot of things you’re going to need and need to do. Here are 10 tips to help you get comfortable in your new home:


It’s important to take your time when unpacking into a house. Get to know your new house before moving day even if that means multiple visits and obtaining the blueprints. Create an inventory of all the boxes and what’s inside them, as well as where each box should end up.

Buying new furniture

You should prioritise by putting essentials first, luxuries can always come later once you have settled. Always check what you have space for and buy any new furniture after you have arrived to save on delivery costs.

Gardening equipment

Your new lawn and/or garden is a huge asset and quite a responsibility. you will have to tend to it at some point, lest you want a overgrown jungle as a garden. Get yourself a mower and some basic gardening supplies to keep nature in check.

Your new neighbourhood

Everybody needs good neighbours, so you’re going to have to make a bit more of an effort. Apartment living tends to be a lot more private and keep-to-yourself than neighbourhoods. It is rare to find yourself in an unfriendly or unwelcoming neighbourhood so go introduce yourself by hosting a house warming party or simply!

Heat, electricity and water

Your apartment building probably organised your utilities when you moved in, but you’re going to have to sort this one out yourself in your new home. It is best to set-up the main utilities in the house before you arrive – nobody wants to spend their first few days in the cold or dark!. Give yourself several weeks to cover the likely connection delays.

Crockery and cooking utensils

If you were supplied these in your apartment then it’s time to get a few basics for your new kitchen. You apartment may not have come with them, or you may have bought your own anyway, but in any case you’ve got a lot more room now.

Time to get a washing machine

Your apartment may have come with a washing machine, or maybe you used a shared laundry room. Unless you already own one, a washing machine will nearly always be a necessary purchase, but you can forego a dryer if you have a garden for a washing line.


No house comes perfect. If you lived in an apartment you will have had the landlord sort out most problems but now you’re in a house you will probably be donning the tool belt for light renovations and maintenance. Get a basic tool set for anything you might encounter. Your new found tools will be responsible for hanging up your home’s first pictures and paintings.

Bedding and towels

If your apartment came with these it’s definitely time to get some more. An empty cupboard does not mean you need to rush out to the shops; take your time and get the important essentials first.


If you have a nice lawn and plenty of space what better way to settle down than to get a cat or a dog? Owning a pet is a rewarding experience; they make a great addition to your family.

Remember a house is only as good as what’s inside, so see this as an opportunity to shape it as you see fit. Maybe you’re moving to settle down with a family, because of work, or just for a change of scene. Regardless of the reason, you’re going to find yourself with a lot more space than you’re used towhich will naturally made more homely with all your various possessions and furniture.


Last but not least, if you need to find a local courier or man and van to carry out the removal service for you, go on Google or Yellow Pages.


The National Association of Realtors released the Pending Home Sales Index for August today.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of home purchase contracts that were signed in the monthly reporting period.  Once “pending” sales contracts are closed, they are considered an Existing Home Sale. Because the Pending Home Sales index tells us how many contracts were signed, it is considered a forward indicator of Existing Home Sales.  A signed contract is not counted as an  Existing Home Sale until the transaction actually closes. 

The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. However, many closings have been delayed recently from a rush of buyers into the system and slow processing of short sales, in addition to the heavy volume and a more thorough loan underwriting process.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August from a downwardly revised 78.9 in July, but is 20.1 percent below August 2009 when it was 103.0. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. “Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market,” he said. “However, the pace of a home sales recovery still depends more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence.”

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HIT A 7-MONTH LOW IN SEPTEMBER….this implies we shouldn’t be expecting another rise in Pending Home Sales when that data is released on November 5. It also means we should be expecting an uptick in Existing Home Sales. Get ’em to the table loan originators!

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.9 percent to 60.6 in August and remains 28.8 percent below August 2009. In the Midwest the index rose 2.1 percent in August to 68.0 but is 26.5 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 6.7 percent to an index of 90.8 but are 13.1 percent below August 2009. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 101.1 but remains 19.6 percent below a year ago.

Although Yun expects a continuing steady rise in home sales from favorable affordability conditions and some job creation, he cautioned any sudden rise in mortgage rates could slow the recovery. “Current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. However, recent rising trends in producer prices at the intermediate and early stages of production, along with very high commodity prices, are raising concerns about future inflation and future mortgage interest rates,” he said. “Higher inflation would mean higher mortgage interest rates. In the meantime, housing affordability is hovering near record highs.”