connie vallone

It’s Good to Be a Seller: Sales See Highest Profits Since 2007

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Selling, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Pricing your home, Sellers, Selling Your Home, Texas, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on February 14, 2017 at 10:56 am

It’s a good time to be a seller.

 Home sellers in 2016 saw the highest profits since 2007, averaging a 21 percent gain, or $38,206, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report. Sellers in San Jose and San Francisco, Calif. saw the highest gain, at 69 percent, as well as those in Santa Rosa, Calif., at 52 percent, Los Angeles, Calif., at 49 percent, and Seattle, Wash., at 48 percent.

Forty-four percent of housing markets reached all-time price peaks in 2016, according to the report, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas ($230,571), Houston, Texas ($214,795) and Atlanta, Ga. ($181,000). The median home price in 2016 was $218,175, a 6.8 percent increase from 2015 and a 45 percent increase from the 2011 low. The highest median home prices were in New York County ($1.4 million), San Francisco County ($1.175 million) and San Mateo County ($1.075 million).

The share of distressed sales—bank-owned (REO) sales, foreclosure auction sales (“sheriff’s” or “trustee’s”) and short sales—in 2016 tumbled to 16.2 percent from 18.8 percent in 2015, a nine-year low. Atlantic City, N.J. saw the most distressed sales at 43.8 percent, followed by Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va. at 33.2 percent and Rockford, Ill. at 29.2 percent. More foreclosure auctions were sold to third-party buyers in 2016, comprising 28.5 percent of all completed auctions.

“The housing market hit several important milestones in 2016, with distressed sales at a nine-year low and home prices at a 10-year high, just barely below the pre-recession peak in 2006,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This was all good news for home sellers, who realized their biggest average profits since purchase nationwide in 2016. Even distressed property sellers are benefitting from this hot seller’s market, with a record-high share of homes at foreclosure auction being purchased by third-party buyers, rather than reverting back to the foreclosing bank.”

 

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Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Do you have real estate questions?   Contact Connie Vallone at (713) 249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com.

10 Easy Ways to Safeguard Your Home and Prepare for an Emergency

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Marketing your home, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on February 10, 2017 at 8:36 am

When disasters strike, they come without warning. This is why you need to prepare for emergencies ahead of time. These 10 tips will help safeguard your home and family, and save you time, money, and stress should an emergency occur.

Protect your home from break-ins. A home invasion occurs every thirteen seconds in the U.S. This alarmingly high rate means it’s essential to safeguard your home from burglars by investing in a home security system.

Know potential threats and emergencies relevant to your location. If you live in the Midwest, tornados are a bigger threat than floods. If you live in California, earthquakes are a real danger. Teach your family about the natural threats common to your location and what to do should one occur. Having a plan and instinctively knowing what to do can save your life in the event of a disaster.

Inspect your outdoor lighting. Make sure to check your outdoor lights to see if any need to be added or replaced. Well-lit homes help deter burglars and prevent accidents. 

Perform regular home safety checks. Every month, inspect your home for signs of broken or damaged items. Make sure your roof, basement, attic, pipes, and foundation are in good condition. Check your door locks, garage door, and windows for any broken parts. Regularly fixing up your home will help maintain its value and keep it in great condition. 

Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. An average of $12 billion in personal property is lost in fires each year. Protect your home and personal items by routinely testing your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Not only will this protect your home and property, but it can also save your life.

Inspect your fire extinguisher. Check the pressure gauge to see if the needle is in the green, and replace or service it if it isn’t. Also examine the hose and nozzle for cracks—you’ll need to replace your fire extinguisher if the handle is missing the locking pin or broken. Should a home fire occur, you will be prepared to handle the situation because your fire extinguisher will be in great working condition.

Create an emergency communication plan. Discuss what everyone in your home will do in case of a disaster. Talk with each family member about their responsibilities, where you will meet, and how to communicate with one another. If communication lines are down, it’s important to have a central meeting location established so everyone can meet and regroup. Discuss different disaster scenarios and come up with a communication and action plan that everyone knows and can enact if necessary.

List relevant contact information and make it easily accessible to everyone. Keep contact information on hand in case of an emergency. While you may keep numbers in your cellphone, it’s smart to keep a hard copy of key contacts in your home. This list can include your primary care physician, poison control, and a trusted neighbor.

Keep 72-hour emergency kits in your home and car. The CDC recommends putting together an emergency kit that includes the following.

  • One gallon of water per person, per day
  • Non-perishable food that is easy to prep
  • A can opener
  • Important medication
  • A radio
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Toilet paper 

Compile and regularly update your home inventory. If you need to file an insurance claim after a blizzard or burglary, it’ll help to have an itemized inventory for your valuable home goods. Store instruction manuals, serial numbers, and important receipts in files that you can access easily when needed.

Incorporate these ten safety hacks into your to-do list and you’ll be able to safeguard your home, property, and family should a disaster or emergency occur.

Sage Singleton is a home and community safety expert for SafeWise. Singleton has written for a variety of audiences ranging from government sites to lifestyle magazines. In her free time, she enjoys wedding planning, traveling and learning French.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com

7 Things to Remove From Your Home When You List It

In Curb appeal, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Staging, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Marketing your home, Moving, Preparing to Move, Pricing your home, Sellers, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on February 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

When listing your home, there are a lot of things to think about. How you stage your space should definitely be at the top of that list. While you may not have the means to bring in a pro stager, you can put your best foot forward by removing the following from your space.

Family photos. While these treasures may mean the world to you, personal items like this make it difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in your space. Pack up these photos for the move—you’ll need to do this eventually anyway, so consider it a head start.Connie Vallone

Odors. From a musky basement to the closet where the kitty litter box is kept, odors in your home are a huge turn off. Rip up mildewed carpet, open windows, light candles–whatever you need to do to keep a buyers nose from wrinkling.

Clutter. While you may love your corners stacked high with books and your shelves piled with mementos and knick-knacks, clutter can be distracting for buyers. Pick a few key items to leave out on shelves and pack the rest away.

Non-neutral design elements. Black lights in the basement or lacy, frilly curtains in the sunroom may seem fun to you, but these bold design elements can throw a buyer. Create a neutral atmosphere wherever possible.

Junk. Clear any old, unused items from your closets, storage spaces, basement and attic. You’re going to have to get rid of these items when you move anyway, so you may as well do this now so your buyer can envision their own items filling up these spaces. 

Pets. While it may not be possible to banish your furry friends while your home is for sale, you can make sure they’re out of the way when a buyer is visiting. You never know what allergies or fears buyers may have, so put the animals outside or bring them over to grandmas for an hour, if possible.

Worn-out furniture. That sagging, stained couch in the basement may not be a big deal to you, but it can be an eyesore to an outsider. An empty space is better than a poorly furnished space, so adjust where needed. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com