Top House Hunting Apps

Many would agree that one of the most stressful task you will complete in your lifetime is trying to find a new home. To make the task even more daunting is not having enough time to physically visit each home. However, if you’re one of the many individuals that has a smartphone this task can be accomplished with a tad bit more ease.

There is is an app for everything. Everything. Below you will find several apps to help with your house hunt.

Homesnap

Homesnap is an app that allows you to submit a photo regarding a home and in turn provides information about that exact home. The app also provides you with the option to connect with real estate agents, friends, and spouses directly through the app.

Additional features include:

  • Search for homes by school zones
  • Open house listings by date

Dwellr

Dweller, administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, provides users quick and simple access to This app is actually run by the U.S. Census Bureau and gives you access to information regarding specific cities and neighborhoods they are looking to reside in.

Additional features include:

  • Population
  • Demographics
  • Viewer rating for specifics that include climate and job type

Zillow

Zillow allows users to search by city/state or zip code to view listings.

Additional features include:

  • Price filters
  • Bedroom/bathroom filters
  • Square footage filters
  • Age of home

Realtor.com

This app is free on both Android and iOS systems.

Additional features include:

  • Nearby restaurants, banks, shops, etc.
  • 3D view of neighborhoods and homes
  • School and district search filters

 

Getting Started on Real Estate Investing

Looking for a new financial opportunity ? Investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are great ways to make money for the young investor. However, real estate investing has a particular advantage over these traditional investments practices. Why? Investing in real estate grants you, the investor a degree of autonomy that is simply not possible with stocks, bonds, and mutuals funds. Sure, you may be able to control in which stocks you put your money in, but you simply cannot control the volatility of an unpredictable stock market.

Investing in real estate is more than a one-and-done investment, but works instead like a business. According to Donovan Ryckis, advisor at J Donovan Financial: “It will require time, management, and due diligence above and beyond most investments.” On the plus side, you have almost complete power over decisions related to the property. In a way, you become your own CEO, even if you’re only managing one property. So how do you start investing in real estate successfully? Check out these great tips from Jeff Brown of US News and World Report.

Buying A Vacation Property

Buying a vacation property is only suggested if you intend to use your vacation property. You can rent out the property for short-term renters while you’re not using it for your own personal luxury. You will want to find a property that is affordable, but that is still close to the main attractions and town-centers. Just remember that vacation home markets are susceptible to volatile markets unlike other forms of rental properties. When the economy is in a slump, luxuries like vacation homes take a toll.

Buy a Full-Time Rental

Renting a home or a property is one of the oldest forms of producing an alternative income. You can either buy a home or a condo and choose to rent it out, or rent out your current home or property. Many people decide to convert their homes into, two family homes in order to collect rent while maintaining their living space. It’s a stable form of making money and should be considered. Just watch out for bad renters.

Flipping a House

Unlike in reality shows, flipping a home is very difficult. The process will most likely take a few months as well as decent sums of money. You will need knowledge of how homes are built, and expertise on how to make the changes you want. Brown’s article suggests staying away from this step if you are neither patient, nor construction savvy.

Investing in your Own Home

Investing in your own home means adding new value to your home. Certain remodeling and renovation projects can add a great deal of value to your home. Things like a kitchen remodeling, adding a patio or a deck, or renovating your basement can add extra value to your home. Not to mention, you can also enjoy the immediate benefits of doing so as the homeowner. Once you sell, your home’s overall price should appreciate.

Buy into Real Estate Investment Trusts

REITs act much in the same way that mutual funds do, however in terms of real estate instead of stocks and bonds. Certain REITs specialize in certain property types such as residential or commercial, so make sure you know which ones are best for you. REITs also spread risk among many different properties, and are professionally managed by experts in the field.

 

New housing model to keep families together at an affordable cost

The prices of properties in Vancouver have been climbing at a rapid rate. One of the concerns that this causes is that of the younger generation that is growing up today. Many young people will want to move out from home without traveling too far from their parents. With the high housing prices in the Vancouver area, the younger generation will struggle to purchase homes that are in the communities that they have grown up in. One couple has created a model that could be the solution to this, at least in the more suburban areas surrounding Vancouver.

This couple is Kathleen Higgins and her husband John, who is an architect. They live in North Delta, and recently gained approval from Delta Council or a revolutionary new housing model. This housing model allows adult children to stay near their parents at an affordable price. The couple’s plan involves subdividing their 66-by-100-foot property into two 33-foot lots.

The lot currently accommodates a 4-year-old rancher, but when this plan goes into action, this will all change. The rancher will be replaced with two new duplexes on each of the smaller lots. Of the four dwellings, one would be occupied by the couple, and the other three will be bought by their two adult sons, and/or other homebuyers.

Kathleen and John Higgins first began working on this model seven years ago. They noticed that when old ranchers such as their own were sold, developers would demolish the property and build much larger homes on the land. These homes had very large price tags, and were out of reach for a number of young people.

The Higginses strongly believe that this new model they have created is a brilliant rezoning effort that could help others seeking affordable housing in the Lower Mainland. This model will be applicable in suburban areas, but it may not work in the city of Vancouver.

This is because there is no evidence that shows that within the city of Vancouver, subdivision and compact dwelling units lead to a truly affordable housing option. The issue here is the high cost of land. Take the West Side for example. There, even properties that feature tear downs tend to command around $2 million. This means that a cluster of small houses on any lot, even subdivided, would still be fairly pricey, even if this cluster would be more affordable than a single big house.

Also, many people who live in the city of Vancouver are not big fans of this densification. The city of Vancouver allows three residences to exist on lots zoned for single-family housing. These residences would include a basement suite and a lane way house. The residences, however are for renting rather than for sale. The Higginses plan could definitely take hold in less costly areas, however, such as North Delta. Kathleen and John Higgins have created a new model that will help suburban young adults live on their own while remaining close to home and spending a pretty penny.

 

Will Canada’s Real Estate Boom Extend Into 2016?

At the beginning of 2015, many predictions were made about the Canadian real estate market. People thought that the housing bubble would burst and the result would be a housing market crash. But the Canadian real estate market proved these predictions wrong, breaking a number of records. The hottest spots were Toronto and Vancouver, while the rest of the country’s housing markets moved towards a more stable market. But will this high remain into 2016?

According to Gurinder Sandhu, the executive vice president of RE/MAX Integra Ontario-Atlantic Canada region, the three housing markets that currently make up Canada’s real estate sector will most likely continue to do so. Sandhu expects the Vancouver markets to continue to excel, while the rest of the country may experience modest price increase. The markets that are oil dependant, however, are likely to experience fewer transactions and reduction in prices, thus pushing down the average prices of Canadian real estate.

But how exactly will the changes in the real estate market affect the people of Canada? And what should we do in light of the real estate market being at possible risk in 2016? Well of course, this depends on your situation. Whether you are looking to buy a home or sell one, here is some advice for you in Canada’s 2016 economy:

For home buyers:

If you’re looking to buy a home in Canada in 2016, you are lucky in that you have a bit of time to do so. This is because the market is likely to be steadier than has been in the three- year period from 2012 and 2015. In this three year period, prices drastically and consistently increased, thus leaving home buyers scrambling to get homes before they became too expensive. In 2016, buyers will have time to shop around before buying properties. However, in Toronto and Vancouver, buyers may need to prepare for tougher mortgage quirements. If you’re looking to buy properties in oil-producing provinces such as Alberta and Newfoundland, there is likely to be an erosion of housing prices in this area. But don’t get too excited: the eroding job market could ultimately create tougher lending conditions.

For home sellers:

If you’re in Canada and looking to sell your home, expect a slower market. This means that multiple offers will no longer be the norm. Homes will be on the market a bit longer while buyers shop around. But there are a few types of homes that should sell quickly with no problem: single family detached, semi-detached or row homes in Vancouver and Toronto. These housing types made up the majority of sales in 2015 in the Greater Toronto Area. In oil producing areas, there are likely to be job losses in 2016 due to low oil prices. For this reason, it may be best to wait to list until oil prices rebound, thus creating a larger job market.

There is no way of knowing what will happen in Canada’s real estate market in 2016. But from a number of predictions, it appears that the market will remain stable with Vancouver and Toronto continuing to experience real estate booms. If you’re looking to buy, sell, or invest in Canadian real estate, make sure you do your research and take all aspects of Canada’s real estate market into consideration.

World Economy 2016

With 2015 concluding last week, it gives us the opportunity to make resolutions for the year ahead. But what will be some resolutions for the global economy in 2016 ? The global economy can also have significant impact on the real estate market as well. The reason is because if the economy is not performing well it could lead to people not looking to buy houses or having people not being able to pay mortgages.  It is too early to tell on how much of an effect it will have and we may not have the answers for awhile, but here are some ideas on what to expect in from world economy in 2016.

The United States and China are two of the largest most important economies in the world and how the two economies perform have a drastic effect on everyone else.  For the U.S, the Federal Reserve has raised interests rates for time since 2006, which is huge deal. This can obviously cause much of a concern for economies that have started to be on the rise .  According to bbc.com the change in the United States interest rate will  “likely to lead to higher borrowing costs, and lower currencies, because money will be moved to the US to benefit from the rising interest rates there”  However, so far there has been nothing to worry about in the financial world since this has occured, but you never know what could happen down the line.  

China, is another prolific economy and they have encountered some negative economic growth recently. However, due to  the slow economic growth there has not been a sufficient crisis that anyone has to be concerned about, but  it is still nothing to brush away.  The decline in manufacturing was seen to be as an issue for China and the with this type of decline it has had a major impact on global commodity prices such as oil, metals and food.

Oil has been yet another concern for the economy. The price of oil is not as expensive as it was a year ago, but many consumers feel they are not seeing the full benefit of it. Professor Kenneth Rogoff, a former IMF chief economist said that people in some countries are using oil “as an opportunity to cut subsidies rather than allowing consumers to get the full benefit”.


For more information, check out: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35191325