Friday, January 29, 2016

Sell My Home and Save?

Did you know that you can sell your home and save on commission? Yes, you heard that right. Would you pay anyone 3% of YOUR equity if you had the tools and resources to list your home? Savvy Lane gives sellers the ability to list a home on the MLS for a one time flat fee, as little as $95.

Savvy Lane is licensed brokerage that helps you handle your MLS listing. Once we list your home on the MLS all questions, offers, phone calls, etc  are directed to the seller. However, since we are a licensed brokerage we are here to help. Our professional team can set up a comparative analysis report (CMA) to help with pricing, look over any offers and answer any questions. Our team is available 7 days a week.

What will you do with the thousands you save listing with Savvy Lane?

Benefits of listing with a flat fee listing brokerage:


  1. Listed on the MLS exposing your home to thousands of buyers. 
  2. Your listing is syndicated to top third party each sites that all buyers are search on. 
  3. Save thousands of dollars in commission fees. 
  4. If you sell to a buyer that is not using an agent you pay no commission. 
  5. You can cancel your listing at any time.
  6.  Savvy Lane can help with a CMA to determine a marketable selling price. 
  7. Savvy Lane will help go over offers and help with every step of the selling process. 
  8. 7 day a week customer service hours. 



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sell your home. Keep the commission.

Sell your home. Keep the commission. Start your free home listing today at SavvyLane.com

Savvy Lane is for homeowners looking to sell their home and save money by keeping the commission, SavvyLane.com is a for sale by owner service providing a full suite of easy to use tools designed to maximize exposure, connect directly with buyers, and sell their home through the Savvy Lane step-by-step process.
Savvy Lane is the world's most advanced online real estate marketing system to sell your home fast and keep more money in your pocket. 
Savvy Lane helps you sell your home and keep the commission.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How Healthy Is Your Real Estate Market

Are you thinking about moving to a new home? If so, you aren't alone. Americans are now spending an average of just 15.4 years in their houses, 2014 census data show, down from a nationwide average of 17.1 years in 2012, according to a study by New York financial technology company SmartAsset. The study shows that residents in Nevada stay in their homes the shortest span of time, for an average of just 12.21 years. Washington, D.C., a city recreated with each election cycle, has the second shortest home ownership rate, at 12.22 years. At the other end of the scale are West Virginia and Pennsylvania, where residents tend to hunker down for nearly 18 years on average after paying closing costs. SmartAsset said it came up with its report by crunching and interpreting data from Zillow and the Census Bureau. Full Article


Monday, January 25, 2016

Beige book: Fed sees Western U.S. real estate as 'robust'

Western U.S. real estate markets are “robust,” according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book analysis of regional economic conditions.

The Fed eight times a year publishes a compilation of local business snapshots from its 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. We checked into what the Fed’s San Francisco branch – which oversees California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii – had to say about its real estate markets as 2016 started.

We note the Fed’s change in description of market conditions from “grew at a robust pace” in this month’s report vs. “activity advanced” a year ago vs. “very low levels” in January 2011. Full Article

Quoting directly, here’s what was said about Western real estate in 2016’s first Beige Book:  Real estate market activity grew at a robust pace across most of the District. Demand for new residential units remains high, with contacts in many West Coast cities reporting ongoing reductions in vacancy rates.

Residential construction activity grew substantially, with a somewhat stronger market for multifamily units than for single-family units.

Housing prices rose further across the District, and contacts expressed concerns over affordability for low-income buyers.

On the commercial side of the market, lease rates for existing units have increased, pushing sales prices higher across the District. Yet, new commercial construction remains concentrated in a few hot markets, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle.

Contacts noted continued shortages of labor and materials and construction delays in those areas, with one reporting that commercial contractors had stopped accepting new construction projects in the final months of the year.

Compare that analysis to a year ago ...  Real estate activity advanced during the reporting period. The pace of new single-family home construction increased modestly in some areas of the District, with relatively more activity in urban areas than in rural areas.

However, some contacts cited increasing costs of materials and labor and a shortage of available lots in some areas in their projections that the pace of new construction will fall back in 2015. Indeed, these contacts reported that the pace of construction permit issuance has declined.

A few contacts indicated that home sales picked up a bit in December, but some contacts reported that insufficient inventory is damping the pace of sales.

Multifamily residential real estate construction activity was strong in many areas of the District during the reporting period. Retail, office, industrial, or infrastructure projects also were widespread. Most contacts viewed the pace of construction as healthy.

However, one contact reported that some investors are concerned that, given planned construction, there soon will be an excess supply of multifamily units in their area.”

And five years earlier:  Demand in District residential and commercial real estate markets was largely unchanged at very low levels. The pace of home sales remained quite slow throughout the District.

In addition, an abundance of foreclosed properties and short sales kept inventories of available homes elevated in most areas, which put downward pressure on prices and the pace of new home construction.

Demand for rental space grew in some areas, however, with a Seattle contact noting a modest increase in construction of apartment buildings there.

Conditions continued to be weak on balance in commercial real estate markets, as vacancy rates stayed high in many parts of the District; rent reductions and other concessions by landlords remained common.

In a positive sign, however, investor demand for well-leased office buildings continued to boost market values in some of the District's major commercial markets, such as San Francisco.


Zillow’s hottest housing markets for 2016

As the U.S. housing market continues its recovery, there are some markets that are leading the way based on income growth and steady employment. In this article, Catherine Sherman of Zillow highlights ten of the strongest housing markets for 2016.

Housing experts predict U.S. home value growth around 3.5 percent this year. But which markets are leading the charge?

To determine the hottest real estate markets for 2016, we looked at the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) Forecast, recent income growth and current unemployment rates. These variables were scaled and combined equally to form a “hotness score.”

Here’s a look at some of the top metros:

Denver, Colorado. The ZHVI is expected to increase 5 percent year-over-year in the Denver metro, where the unemployment rate is a low 3.1 percent. Neighborhoods in Aurora, CO – Delmar Parkway, Highline Villages and Centretech – are the hottest. Denver’s Ruby Hill is also among the metro’s hottest ‘hoods.

Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, the ZHVI is expected to rise 5.4 percent year-over-year. Northwest Bellevue is the area’s hottest neighborhood with the median home value predicted to increase 9.2 percent to $1.15 million year-over-year. Seattle’s University District, Holly Park and Olympic Manor are also hot spots.

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth market is holding strong with a 4 percent unemployment rate and solid income growth. The median home value is also expected to go up by 5.6 percent year-over-year, according to the ZHVI Forecast. Holford, Oak Lawn and M Streets are the hottest neighborhoods.

Richmond, Virginia. Richmond, VA is seeing the strongest income growth of the top 10 markets, and unemployment is low. The housing market is also expected to be hot, with the ZHVI increasing 2.2 percent year-over-year. Church Hill, Carytown and The Fan should be the hottest hoods in terms of home value growth.

Sacramento, California. Sacramento’s median home value is predicted to rise 5.1 percent year-over-year. The Southeast Village, Folsom Road and Hagginwood neighborhoods should lead the way with a ZHVI Forecast over 8 percent.

Portland, Oregon. Portland, OR is the 10th hottest market for 2016 with the median home value expected to rise 5 percent. Woodlawn is predicted to have the most home value growth (7.2 percent year-over-year), followed by Parkrose (7.1 percent) and Sumner (7 percent).

Full Article


Friday, January 22, 2016

Where You Work Should Help You Decide Where To Buy

If you're entering into the real estate market for the first time, you'll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That's three of the key factors... I'm kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern.  Full Article

However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and somewhat close to freeways, it's a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work.

These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that's the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you're not going to have to do it every day. But your long commute could still become a key factor when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Some lenders may factor in your long commute as part of your overall debt-to-income ratio, (DTI) which will directly impact how much money you can borrow. Regardless of whether the lender takes your extended commute into consideration, buyers should. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to the office can hurt your pocketbook.

A study from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology reported that transportation expenses for households in the largest metro areas increased 44 percent from 2000 to 2010. And about 600,000 full-time workers have a huge commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to get to the office, according to U.S. Census data.

Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they'll be on the road before they're home at night. They also don't factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.

If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute. Craigslist.com and eRideShare.com help connect people with others who live and work nearby. Some cities even have their own sponsored program for free online matching services for carpooling. You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you'll miss rush hours. This way you're not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic.

Cities with good mass transit are attracting buyers and providing options that help avoid putting extra unwanted miles on their vehicles. It makes sense. Sometimes the commute, if they don't have to drive, is a welcome break giving workers time to catch up on a good book, movie, or extra work. Plus, some cities have waterway ferries that make it a beautiful and enjoyable commute.  If you're shopping for a home and considering the long commute, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. Also, do a little research. You can visit commutesolutions.org to use their online calculator to determine the true cost of your driving commute. Having a road map that shows your expected expenses will help you accurately budget for them.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

See Your Listing On These Sites and Hundreds More

With the accessibility of all MLS listings on various websites, survey shows 90% of buyers start looking for properties on the internet. Using our Flat Fee MLS Brokerage gives For Sale by Owners more exposure then any traditional Broker. With our full package we manage all your Local and National Exposure. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Savvy Lane- a Leading Flat Fee Brokerage

 If you are going to list your home for sale, consider this question: Can you afford to give up a percentage of your selling price - perhaps as much as 7% - to find potential buyers for your property? You'd probably rather not if there's a viable alternative. Many homeowners have turned to real-estate brokerage firms that charge a flat fee to list and sell a home.

Although many sellers find comfort in having a listing agent guide them through the sale of their home, answer phone calls and other inquiries and negotiate the transaction, some owners would prefer to manage portions or all of the transaction themselves, especially if it can save them thousands of dollars. A flat-fee real-estate agent might be a good choice for these sellers. They usually can help list and market the house and may even suggest legal and closing services that are available at a flat fee rather than at a percentage of the selling price. A flat-fee agent also can help FSBO sellers who aren't comfortable handling all aspects of a sale.

Savvy Lane is a leading flat fee brokerage that helps "do it yourself" home sellers, much like H&R Block helps tax payers. As a top Flat Fee Brokerage, we made the MLS listing process available to everyone. We turn any homeowner into a listing agent by providing the same exposure, forms, tools, signs and assistance to help you sell effectively, but most importantly save you thousands in listing commissions (avg. $10,000). Your property is syndicated to the local MLS and National Real Estate sites to maximize exposure to millions of buyers. And don't forget, our professional licensed agents are here to help.

He have helped thousands of home sellers list and successfully sell their home. What are you waiting for? Call us to help you get started.


Five 2016 Housing Market Predictions

Most economists agree that housing prices and sales will continue to grow in 2016, just at a slower pace. Call it a slowdown, but not bad news. Moderate growth is more sustainable, and better for buyers.

Next year holds a few interesting developments, some good for housing, some bad. Easier credit will bring in more buyers, but higher mortgage rates, continued low inventory and the wildcard of a presidential election will weigh down growth. Full Article 

Prediction 1: Prices and sales will grow half as fast  As price growth ebbs and mortgage rates rise, more homeowners will stay put. Sales will grow about half as fast as they did this year and prices will rise at a more normal 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, down from almost 6 percent this year.

Prediction 2: Easier Credit  Americans for whom a mortgage has been just out of reach will have a better shot at qualifying for one in 2016.

Lenders will embrace new ways to measure creditworthiness and mortgages will evolve to serve a changing American household. For example, credit scores will better evaluate a person’s rental history and utility bill payments. More loans will allow buyers to include income from room rentals, live-in parents and extended-family members.

We think enhanced credit access will offset the expected increase in mortgage rates.

Prediction 3: More (and Older) First-Time Buyers  We expect first-timers to make up a bigger portion of the market than they did this year. The reason is simple: The market will be more welcoming to them thanks to the aforementioned slowing price growth and easier access to loans. This year’s market dropouts have saved for bigger downpayments and will be ready to give the market another shot early next year. And more of those millennials who had been holding off on buying for various reasons will finally be ready and able to in 2016.

Prediction 4: Slower market, slowing closings  The 2015 housing market was the fastest we’ve seen at Redfin. From January to October, the typical home was on the market for 36 days, four days faster than the same period in 2014. We expect the market to slow in 2016 as government-backed loans become more common and cash sales become less so. Because of low inventory, bidding wars will still be in force next year, but there will be a lower ceiling on price escalation as 2016 buyers won’t be willing or able to go as high as buyers have in recent years.

Prediction 5: Continuing Inventory Shortage  The biggest risk to the 2016 market will be the continuation of inventory shortage, especially in the affordable segment of the market. The number of homes for sale shrank from 2014 to 2015 in 45 of the 60 metro tracked by Redfin. Inventory across all 60 metros is down 4 percent from a year ago.

Despite dramatic growth in home values in recent years, many homeowners who might otherwise like to move can’t because they still don’t have enough equity. Although the second quarter of 2015 saw improvements in home equity nationally, 9 percent of homeowners are underwater on their mortgage and another 18 percent don’t have enough equity to refinance or get a new loan.

And for those who have built solid equity and locked in a low mortgage rate, the upcoming rate hikes will only lessen the appeal of selling and getting a new loan on their next home.

Even though there are signs of life in new construction, much of the new building will be focused on rentals. Less than two-thirds of new construction is targeted for single-family homes, despite growing demand for affordable homes by next year’s buyers.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

7 Top Home-Buying Mistakes You Should Avoid

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make and there is a lot of stress that comes with it. If you can avoid these seven mistakes the process will be a lot easier.
What other tips do you have for someone purchasing a home? Full Article 

1. Don’t … buy a house if you’re planning to move again soon.  If you’re a renter, it can be frustrating to write that rent check every month and have no home equity to show for it at the end of the year. But if you aren’t certain that you’re going to stay put for a few years, it’s probably not the right time to buy—equity or no equity. “Some people tend to buy a house knowing that they’re going to be relocating after a few years,” says LearnVest Planning Services certified financial planner Ellen Derrick. “Don’t buy property and automatically assume that you’ll be able to rent it out or sell it when you move.”  

What to do: If you aren’t in an area with a strong rental market that would allow you to cover the mortgage on your home if you move elsewhere, then stick with a rental for now.

2. Don’t … bust your budget. Shopping for houses can make you a little giddy. Look at this one! And this one! For a little bit more, you could get granite countertops, plus an office nook! You’re dealing with such large numbers when you’re browsing real estate that it might not seem like such a huge deal to stretch another $10,000 or $15,000 to get the home you really love. But that’s not a game you want to play. “People look at the top end of their affordable monthly payment, and they don’t really think about what happens if their income goes down or they have to change jobs,” says Derrick. (If you’re wondering what percent of your budget should go toward housing, check out the 50/20/30 Rule.)  

What to do: Get preapproved for a mortgage. Not only will this prove that you’re serious to your realtor and to home sellers, but it will also give you an idea of your upper limit. “Remember that the lender is there to make you a loan, and the more money you borrow, the better it is for them,” Derrick says. “They want you to max out. I would take the pre-approval number and cut about 20% off.”

3. Don’t … forget about added costs.  Buying a home isn’t just a matter of replacing a rental payment with a mortgage payment. There are also maintenance costs, utilities (which will likely cost more) and property taxes. “People tend to forget about both property taxes and insurance when they’re thinking about how much house they can afford,” Derrick says. “The actual monthly payment could end up being well out of your price range when you figure those things in.”  

What to do: Ask the homeowners about their average utility costs and property taxes, get a homeowner’s insurance quote and budget about one percent of the home’s purchase price for annual maintenance. Then run the numbers to see if you can afford the home. (And don’t forget about closing costs. The average cost to close on a $200,000 mortgage is about $3,754, according to Bankrate.com, but your broker should be able to give you an estimate.)

4. Don’t … put down a nominal down payment.  Even with lenders tightening requirements to qualify for a mortgage, it’s still possible to buy a house with as little as 3% down. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you’ll have very little equity in your home when you first move into it. So if something comes up, and you have to sell, you’ll end up owing more than you can get out of the sale once you factor in closing costs. It puts you in a precarious position. Even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) every month until your equity in the home exceeds the 20% mark—and that could take years. (If you can’t put 20% down, your loan is technically considered risky—PMI is insurance that protects the bank if you default on your mortgage.)  

What to do: Consider whether it’s prudent to buy a home now if you’re nowhere near having a 20% down payment. Yes, interest rates are low, but if you have to borrow thousands more because you don’t really have a great nest egg, it may be a wash in the end. You could avoid years of PMI, and owe a lower monthly nut, if you spend a year or two saving aggressively toward a down payment.

5. Don’t … neglect to get everything in writing.  You wouldn’t be the first home buyer to assume that the kitchen appliances come with the deal—only to discover an appliance-free kitchen on the final walk-through. “I’ve heard of buyers going ten rounds because the seller took the drapes down, and the buyer expected them to be left,” Derrick says. “I’ve seen all kinds of deals blow up over stuff like that.” Common points of contention: window treatments, hot tubs, light fixtures, shower and bath fixtures, ceiling fans and big appliances, such as washers and dryers. Replacing something you thought was staying could cost hundreds, so it’s not a small thing.

What to do: Go through your contract with a fine-toothed comb. If the item that you expected to be there isn’t, ask about it—and get it added in writing.

6. Don’t … skip the inspection.  Even if the home looks like it’s in winning shape, it would be foolish to skip a thorough once-over by a professional. “People tend to think that the inspection and the appraisal are the same thing,” Derrick says. “They’re not.” An inspector is there to spot the things you don’t know to look for, like if the chimney is in great shape or whether those little cracks in the foundation are a big deal. He’ll look for signs of water damage and check the insulation in the attic. If there are conditions that will need repair, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to drop the price. In other words, the inspection is worth every penny.  

What to do: Get recommendations from your realtor or friends who’ve bought in the area, and have a professional inspection done before you close on the house.

7. Don’t … think a brand-new home entitles you to brand-new everything.  “A lot of people buy this nice house, and then look at the ratty car sitting in the driveway and think, ‘We better buy a new car,’” Derrick says. Or you suddenly have a formal living room but no formal living room furniture—so you buy some! It’s a mistake to feel like you suddenly have to upgrade all of your stuff to match the shiny new home. “You don’t want to get yourself into a pile of credit card debt just so you can keep up with the house,” Derrick says.  

What to do: Live in your house for a while, so you can figure out what you really need. Then save up for it!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

35 Ways You Can Spend to Save in 2016

Being a savvy shopper makes you a smart saver.   Should college be free for everyone? Yes No Advertisement  Powered by  credit card and computer MORE 5 Money-Saving Tools to Try Before You Buy Anything Why Millennials Are Saving at a Younger Age Than Any Other Generation How to Tell If You Can Retire on Your Savings According to a recent survey by Fidelity, year after year Americans’ top financial resolutions are to save more and spend less. While the impulse to save is a good one, the fact that people are making the same resolutions each year suggests they aren’t sticking to their promises. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make 2016 the year you succeed.

“There are hundreds of ways to save money, but if you want to be good at it, it needs to become a habit, a mind-set, a lifestyle,” said Brent Shelton, a shopping expert with the deal site FatWallet.com. “Once it’s ingrained in the way you spend, it will get a lot easier, you’ll get smarter and find bigger and better ways to save.”

1. Take Advantage of Deals in the New Year

January is a bargain-hunter’s paradise. For example, you can save up to 90 percent on holiday d├ęcor during after-Christmas sales, according to Teri Gault, money-saving expert and CEO of TheGroceryGame.com. Winter coats, apparel and outdoor gear also tend to be deeply discounted after the holidays. Additionally, Gault recommends using January sales to shop for home goods like sheets, bedding and furniture.

2. Embrace Mobile Shopping

If you want to save money in 2016, it’s wise to take advantage of mobile shopping opportunities. According to Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor with DealNews.com, mobile shopping is one of the fastest-growing areas of retail, and sellers are pushing their mobile apps harder than ever before.

Not only do these apps provide an easy way to shop, but retailers often offer users exclusive discounts and savings. Still, Glaser cautions shoppers against making impulse purchases. For best results, only take advantage of deals for items you actually need.

3. Watch Out for Rising Prices

Experts advise consumers to adjust their shopping lists in 2016, as the prices of several grocery items are expected to rise in the New Year. According to Glaser, eggs will be more expensive because the poultry industry is still recovering from an avian flu outbreak. Further, rates for full-fat dairy products will climb with demand because of data showing low-fat diets aren’t necessarily better. Extended drought conditions will also lead to shortages of almonds, avocados, chocolate and – say it isn’t so – coffee, causing price hikes.

To counter rising prices, you can limit your purchases of these items, stock up when they do go on sale, look for lower-priced brands and purchase conventional, rather than organic, options.

4. Negotiate With Service Providers

Head off rate increases for services such as cable TV in the New Year by taking the time to call your providers.

“Ask about any new promotions you may qualify for when old ones expire,” said money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. For example, you could save money by bundling your cable TV and Internet services or going paperless by setting up automatic bill payment.

5. Cut the Cost of Your Smartphone

Many people try to save money by signing up for wireless plans with less data. However, if you regularly exceed your data allotment – and get hit with fees as a result — your cost-cutting efforts might backfire. To avoid data overcharge fees in 2016, you can use the free My Data Manager app to track your data use and alert you before you go over your limit.

On the flip side, you might have overspent on wireless service in 2015 by paying for more data than you actually used. To find out how much data you’re wasting, you can use an app such as Onavo Count or 3G Watchdog to monitor your data use. You also can visit MyRatePlan.com to find the right mobile plan based on the number of minutes, messages and data you use.

Full Article