First-time home buyers facing rise of student loan debt

According to the National Association of REALTORS® Student Loan Debt and Housing Report 2016, released on Monday, 41 percent of first-time home buyers have student loan debt.student debt cover

But, among recent home buyers (not first-time buyers), only one-quarter have student loan debt and the typical amount is $25,000. Even among successful home buyers, this amount of debt is cited as a difficulty in their home buying process. To evaluate those trends, SALT® and the National Association of REALTORS® teamed up to conduct a survey of student loan borrowers who are current in repayment.

According to the report, the U.S. currently has a student debt load of $1.3 trillion, which accounts for 10 percent of all outstanding debt. The magnitude of the debt continues to grow in size and share of the overall debt in the economy. While this amount of debt has risen, the homeownership rate has fallen, and fallen more steeply among younger generations.

The results of the survey demonstrate the impact that student loans, even among those who are managing to pay their bills on a timely schedule, have on their housing situation. Among survey respondents, Twenty-two percent were delayed by at least two years in moving out of a family member’s home after college due to their student loans. While 18 percent are currently homeowners, 17 percent live with friends or family and do not currently pay rent.

student debt

Source: Student Loan Debt and Housing Report 2016 (pg. 10)

Among those non-homeowners, 71 percent cite student loan debt as the factor delaying them from buying a home. This is most frequently the case due to the fact that the borrowers cannot save for a downpayment because of their student debt.

Download the full report here.

Comment!

Stay cool and save money this summer

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/eyedias.

The dog days of summer are here. How do you, your family and clients prepare your homes in order to stay cool.

Here you’ll find strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the spring and summer.

If you haven’t already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most.

Use Your Windows to Gain Cool Air and Keep Out Heat

  • If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
  • Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.

Operate Your Thermostat Efficiently

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

Use Fans and Ventilation Strategies to Cool Your Home

  • If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).

Keep Your Cooling System Running Efficiently

  • Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
  • Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.

Don’t Heat Your Home with Appliances and Lighting

  • On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
  • Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
  • Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight.
    • Learn more about strategies for efficient daylighting.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.

Keep Hot Air from Leaking Into Your Home

Lower Your Water Heating Costs

Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home.

  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.

Engery US Depart HomeCooling101_long

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Comment!

New Legal Hotline video: 2016 New Laws Pt. 3 – Property Management

Legal video 2016 2016 New Laws & Property Management

In this four part video series, Laura Farley discusses the 2016 new laws. There were a number of bills amending the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA) and other statutory provisions that impact property management and rentals.

Topics addressed in these laws include:

  • Court ordered termination of rental agreements;
  • Protective orders in domestic relations cases where the victim is not a tenant or authorized occupant under the lease;
  • Landlord’s obligations to pay the cost of both relocation and remediation when there is mold in the dwelling unit;
  • Updated definition of single-family residences to include condominium units;
  • Confidentiality and copies of tenant records;
  • Landlord’s obligation to repair damages noted on a move-in inspection report when repairs not specifically required by law;
  • Tenant’s obligation to maintain installed carbon monoxide detectors;
  • Landlord’s ability to make repairs and invoice the tenant for deficiencies discovered in a routine inspection; and
  • Landlord’s ability to recover damages, costs and reasonable attorney fees if the tenant refuses access to show the property for sale/lease without reasonable justification.

Click here to watch the video.

Laura Farley serves as the VAR Deputy General Counsel, monitoring regulatory bodies that effect REALTORS® in Virginia, staffing the Legal Hotline and teaching CE courses. She also serves as liaison to the Standard Forms Sub-committee and the Grievance Committee.


Upcoming VAR events include:
Webinar 2016 New Laws & Forms, June 21, 2016
Relocation Day, August 11, 2016
VAR Annual Convention, September 19-21, 2016
Property Management Conference, November 16-18, 2016

 

 

 

Comment!

Sign-up for the VAR 2016 New Laws & Forms webinar today!

2016-New-Laws_VARbuzz-Art

Wondering what changes are coming from the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session? Sign-up today and reserve your space!

Webinar: New Laws & Forms
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST

Register today for this upcoming webinar presented by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

Laura Farley and Heidi Schlicher will provide an overview of new state laws that will impact your business and your clients. In addition, Laura will also provide a summary of the changes to the VAR Standard Forms prompted by the updates to the law and changes in business practice that go live July 1, 2016.

Laura_Farley_2015Laura FarleyDeputy General Counsel, VAR
As deputy general counsel, Laura monitors regulatory bodies that effect REALTORS® in Virginia, staffing the Legal Hotline and teaching CE courses. She also serves as the committee liaison to the Standard Forms Sub-committee and the Grievance Committee.
Photo Heidi_Schlicher_2015Heidi SchlicherDirector of Political Operations, VAR
As director of political operations, Heidi actively engages members of the Virginia General Assembly on real estate related issues, furthering the policy initiatives of Virginia REALTORS®. She is a registered lobbyist with the Commonwealth of Virginia, and also serves as the committee liaison for VAR’s Public Policy Committee, the Virginia RPAC Trustees and the Virginia Federal Political Coordinators.

Comment!

Virginia REALTORS® offer direct financial aid to victims of February tornadoes

The Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR), in conjunction with local associations, has been awarded $50,000 by the national REALTOR® Relief Foundation to support Virginia residents affected by the destructive tornadic storms in late February of this year. Responding to the ongoing need of rehousing those who were displaced by damage and loss, VAR will administer the funds through an online application process, open now to residents in the affected communities.

VAR will review applications and issue funds directly to eligible residents until the money is fully expended.  RRF guidelines specify the qualifications for receiving support. Direct financial assistance through this fund is exclusively for housing relief in the areas severely affected and for victims who lost or sustained significant damage to a primary residence. Each applicant is eligible for up to $1,200 in support for either mortgage expense or the cost of temporary shelter due to displacement from a damaged or lost home.

For more information on these funds, visit www.varealtor.com/relief.

Please help us restore comfort by sharing this information with residents in need in the affected communities, specifically Appomattox, Sussex, and Essex Counties, and surrounding areas.

1 Comment (keep it going!)

“Dare to Dream” in recognition of National Homeownership Month

June is National Homeownership Month – a time for special recognition of the impact of owning a home and achieving a cornerstone of the American Dream. Homeownership is powerful for individuals, communities, and our economy. Not only does owning a home afford families a space of comfort, it helps build financial security through equity and create leverage for future investments. Homeownership creates residential longevity that strengthens communities through stable local spending, civic engagement, and the revenue of real estate taxes for improvements to roads, utilities, and schools. Our economy benefits when homes are bought and sold and from the financial capacity that families and communities gain through homeownership. Bankers, insurers, retailers, decorators, landscapers, and movers are just a few of the business people that thrive through homeownership; add to them the restaurants, shops, doctors, and services near where people live and it’s easy to see that homeownership is an enormous benefit to everyone.

Join Virginia REALTORS® in sharing the impact of homeownership – it’s the best investment in our future.

HUD

Comment!

Congratulations to Virginia members – REALTOR® Emeritus Status

Virginia Association of REALTORS® would like to recognize all members who received the REALTOR® Emeritus Status from NAR. A REALTOR® member who has held membership in the National Association as a REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, or both, for a cumulative period of forty (40) years is eligible for REALTOR® Emeritus status.

Certified REALTOR® Emeritus members do not pay dues to the National Association and are exempt from the Quadrennial Ethics Training requirement.

Name Local Association
Elizabeth M. Abernathy Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Lyne W. Aslett Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
Elizabeth M. Barthle Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Thomas A. Bauer Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Robert R. Brown Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
John S. Cheadle Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Betty Sue Copenhaver Martinsville, Henry & Patrick Counties Association of REALTORS® Inc
Patricia H. Copley Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
Gayle Elliott Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Inc.
C. E. Gatton Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Donnie G. Green Southern Piedmont Land & Lake Association of REALTORS®
Sue Kline Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
John P. Lawlor Dulles Area Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Cherie A. Pagett Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Ann M. Palmateer Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
Gracie L. Peacock Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
Judith M. Pisciotta Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Jon D. Querolo Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
William L. Rhodes Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.
Robert “Brar” E. Rutherford Blue Ridge Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Charles Franklin Simmons Southern Piedmont Land & Lake Association of REALTORS®
Robert M. Stirling Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Katherine F. Watkins Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Donald W. Weaver Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Jeanne P. West Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association Inc.

1 Comment (keep it going!)

Sign-up for the VAR 2016 New Laws & Forms webinar today!

2016-New-Laws_VARbuzz-ArtWondering what changes are coming from the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session? Sign-up today and reserve you space!

Webinar: New Laws & Forms
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST

Register today for this upcoming webinar presented by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

Laura Farley will provide an overview of new state laws that will impact your business and your clients. Laura will also provide a summary of the changes to the VAR Standard Forms prompted by the updates to the law and changes in business practice that go live July 1, 2016.

Laura_Farley_2015Laura Farley, VAR Deputy General Counsel
As deputy general counsel, Laura monitors regulatory bodies that effect REALTORS® in Virginia, staffing the Legal Hotline and teaching CE courses. She also serves as liaison to the Standard Forms Sub-committee and the Grievance Committee.

The 2016 New Laws video series is presented to you by the VAR Legal and Member Communications teams.

Comment!

New VAR Legal Hotline video: 2016 New Laws Pt. 2 – Home Inspectors & POA/Condo Acts

Legal video 2016 New Laws Pt. 2 – Home Inspectors & POA_Condo ActsIn this four part video series, Laura Farley discusses the 2016 new laws. Two more of VAR’s initiatives in the 2016 General Assembly session were a bill requiring home inspectors to be licensed (House Bill 577) and an omnibus bill to update the Condominium Act and Property Owners’ Association Act (House Bill 741 and Senate Bill 453).

The home inspector law requires all home inspectors to be licensed, effective July 1, 2017. The delayed implementation date is to allow the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) to create new regulations that will allow certified home inspectors to transition to licensed home inspectors and set out the requirements for new home inspectors to get licensed. Home inspectors fall under the Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspector Board at DPOR.

The Condo/POA Act bill sought to correct issues that have come up recently and to conform the two Acts. Changes included:

  • Prohibiting associations from:

o   Conditioning or prohibiting rentals;
o   Charging any annual or monthly fee for rental units, except as expressly authorized by law;
o   Requiring owners to use an association lease or addendum;
o   Charging any deposit;
o   Having the ability to evict a tenant or require an owner to execute a power of attorney;
o   Require a copy of the lease – the association is allowed to require the names and contact information for tenants, authorized occupants and authorized (managing) agents.

  • Conforming the two laws with how delivery of the association documents are handled in resale situation.
  • Extends the number of days for the payment of fees for association documents being charged at settlement from 45 days to 60 days to handle concerns over delayed settlements after the implementation of TRID.

Click here to watch the video and look for the next video, 2016 New Laws – Property Management next week.

Comment!

Single women now represent the second largest home buying group

Single women are a growing force in real estate, and now represent the second largest home buying group, right behind married couples, according to new research from MGIC Connects, as featured in NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine article last week.

Women-Homebuying-Facts-Mortgage-Infographic

Source: REALTOR® Magazine

Married couples are still the largest buying segment at 54 percent, but single women are next at 18 percent. Unmarried couples represent 15 percent of buyers whereas single men comprise 11 percent.

While women are a growing force in real estate, men tend to fare the best when it comes to home ownership values. NAR recently featured a RealtyTrac report which showed that homes owned by single women tend to be valued 10 percent higher than homes owned by single men. What’s more, homes owned by single men tend to appreciate 16 percent more than homes owned by single women.

Read the full REALTOR® Magazine story, Pay Attention to Single Female Home Buyers here.

Comment!