An Iran deal would help drivers – and homesellers

Virginia Pilot
Philip Walzer
July 9, 2015.

Whatever happens in Iran and Greece, gas prices almost surely will fall during the remainder of the year, analysts say.

That will benefit not just drivers, but also homeowners looking to move, according to a Virginia researcher.

A drop in gas prices pumps up the average sales price of a house while slicing the time it takes to sell it, said Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University.

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Are You Ready to Own Your First Home? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself Now

Are You Ready to Own Your First Home? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself Now

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If you feel like it might be the right time to finally buy your first home, your excitement is probably mixed with a bit of apprehension. After all, owning a home is a huge financial commitment, from paying that pricey down payment to keeping up with monthly mortgage bills. And without a landlord to call, you’ll also be taking on a slew of new responsibilities to maintain the home and property (think raking leaves, shoveling snow and fixing leaky sinks). Of course, owning a home can offer many attractive benefits, including increased space and privacy and the ability to build wealth over time.

How can you determine whether you’re ready to take on the responsibilities of homeownership? We asked a handful of real estate and financial experts to weigh in. Here are six key questions they suggest asking yourself now.

Can you cover upfront costs?

Hopefully you’ve been socking away your hard-earned cash over these past few years because you’ll face some expensive upfront costs when purchasing a home. For starters, you should have enough money saved to cover a 20% down payment in order to secure the best possible interest rate on your mortgage and put yourself in the best negotiating position with your lender, says Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.

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The Closer the Broker, the Quicker the Close

The Closer the Broker, the Quicker the Close
Homes Closer To Brokers’ Offices Sell Faster – WSJ

Proximity to your real-estate agent’s office can translate to a faster sale, a Journal of Housing Research study finds

Homes Closer To Brokers’ Offices Sell Faster – WSJ

It is well known that location is key to selling real estate. Ocean views, a good school district, access to transportation—each can boost a home’s marketability.

Now add to the list proximity to your agent’s office.

A recent study in the Journal of Housing Research from faculty at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., finds that for every mile between a property and its listing agent’s office, average time on the market goes up 0.36% and the overall likelihood of selling goes down 0.5%.

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Getting the Most Out of Your Home Inspection

Getting the Most Out of Your Home Inspection

Buyers should check the credentials of the home inspector they’re hiring, especially if the inspector comes recommended by their real estate agent. If a home purchase deal falls apart because of problems found in a home inspection, the agent won’t sell the house and earn a commission, says Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

If there are concerns about a specific system — such as a pool, HVAC unit or septic system, for example — then it can be worth the extra cost to hire an expert, Waller says.

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Should You Sell Your House or Renovate It?

Should You Sell Your House or Renovate It?

by: Geoff Williams

Should You Sell Your House or Renovate It? – US News

The math may sway you. Sell or renovate? If you’re leaning toward selling, but are toying with making upgrades to increase the sticker price, know this: A major renovation won’t always spell a big payoff.

 “My wife and I just went through this debate,” says Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. They did their due diligence and collected estimates, but realized renovating would be very expensive. “We didn’t think we would ever be able to recoup the cost of the investment when it came time to sell,” he says.

So they decided to buy a new house – and keep the old one so they could rent it out for another income stream.

“I examined the decision purely from an investment perspective,” he says.

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Treatment Centers Can Impact Home Prices

Treatment Centers Can Impact Home Prices

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2014

Residential substance abuse treatment centers can impact the price of neighboring homes, according to a study that uses MLS data to show just how much it can potentially hamper nearby values.

Centers for treating substance abuse are increasingly being located within residential neighborhoods, and the number is expected to grow. Many property owners respond with a “not in my backyard” attitude when a center is proposed, with nearby residents arguing that recovering addicts could bring higher crime risk to their community.

Researchers Claire Reeves La Roche, Bennie D. Waller, and Scott A. Wentland at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., used MLS data from central Virginia to estimate the impact of substance abuse treatment centers on nearby home values. They also used the data to figure out whether homes near substance abuse treatment centers stayed on the market for a longer amount of time.

They found that home values within one-eighth mile of a residential treatment center is associated with an 8 percent reduction in home prices when measured against comparable homes that are farther away. The discount is magnified even more when the treatment centers are for those that specifically treat opiate addiction, which includes addictions to heroin or morphine. In those cases, home values are reduced by up to 17 percent, researchers found.

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Should You Use a Credit Card to Pay Taxes?

Should You Use a Credit Card to Pay Taxes?

By Miranda Marquit

“Generally speaking, you should not use a credit card for expenses like paying taxes,” says Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University. “However, there may be situations in which it makes financial sense.”

When to consider using a credit card to pay taxes

Waller suggests that using a credit card can be reasonable in a pinch. “If there is a 10% penalty for not paying your property taxes by a certain date, but you can use a credit card and will be able to pay off the credit card within a couple of months, it probably makes sense,” he says.

Being able to quickly resolve the problem, as long as you can repay the debt quickly, is the key. “This assumes that you will not allow these charges to be carried on the card for longer than two or three months,” Waller says.

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This is still the easiest way to lower your mortgage payments

 This is still the easiest way to lower your mortgage payments

Yahoo Homes

By Sarita Harbour
July 16, 2014 9:23 PM

Looking to reduce your monthly mortgage payments? Depending on your situation, refinancing could still be your best option for achieving this goal.

“Refinancing is a great way to lower your mortgage payment,” says Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

And while rates are higher today than they were a couple years ago, for some homeowners, today’s rates are still low enough for refinancing to make sense.

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5 things to consider for Brevard real estate

5 things to consider for Brevard real estate

First-time homebuyers

Still, lending standards aren’t going away. And they’ll couple with rising interest rates, which discourage some first-time homebuyers, says Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

“Compounding the difficulties for buyers is the rapidly increasing student loan and credit debt debacle that looms over the economy,” Waller says. “This will severely limit the purchasing ability for first-time home buyers and low to mid-income homebuyers.”

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Seven Real Estate Trends to Watch For in 2015

Seven Real Estate Trends to Watch For in 2015

2014 marked the best year in economic recovery since the recession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that there may be more opportunities for home ownership in 2015. The economic improvement indicates that the housing market is expected to see gradual growth in home prices and inventory, however increasing mortgage rates and strict lending standards may still put home ownership on hold for some. Real estate experts share their 2015 housing market predictions below, and offer insight on the current market, where it’s headed, and how it will impact buyers and sellers in the coming year.

1) Strict lending standards and rising interest rates may prevent Millennial homebuyers.

Despite a steadily growing economy, mortgage qualifications aren’t expected to relax in the upcoming year. While interest rates hovered around 4% in 2014, chief economists at Freddie Mac anticipate rates to surpass 5% by the end of 2015 due to the rebounding economy. Millennials, aged 18 to 24, may struggle to qualify for traditional financing due to lack of established credit and down payment resources.

Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University, adds, “Compounding the difficulties for buyers is the rapidly increasing student loan and credit debt debacle that looms over the economy. This will severely limit the purchasing ability for first-time homebuyers and low to mid-income homebuyers.”

 

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