Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Always nice making the deans list@ Sotheby's

Always nice making the deans list@ Sotheby's #jamesonsothebys#premiersothebys

Friday, November 11, 2016

Buy or Rent in the Windy City?

Buy or Rent in the Windy City?

With soaring rent prices across the country, it leaves many to wonder if buying is the better option.

While it may be a surprise, the answer is yes – in fact, it’s cheaper anywhere in the U.S. depending

on how long you live somewhere. According to Trulia, buying a home is 37.7 percent cheaper than

renting on a national basis, which is a .5 percent increase from this same time last year.

Chicago, Illinois, is a perfect example of where it is cheaper to buy than rent. High priced rentals

are common in Chicago’s metro areas where residents appreciate the city’s walkability,

architecture, art scene, cuisine, and are willing to pay a premium for these luxuries. But, Chicago’s

suburban neighborhoods are growing in popularity as people move outside the city limits to

purchase homes at very affordable prices.

A recent study by Trulia examines the cost benefits of homeownership versus renting. The Rent

vs. Buy Report’s methodology assumes a buyer secures a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20

percent down payment and lives in the home longer than seven years. However, using the Census’

2014 American Community Survey and a Trulia consumer poll, information suggests that the math

is slightly different for Millennials, who tend to move every five years or less and can only afford

a 10 percent down payment. Furthermore, Trulia also looked at where and by how much mortgage

rates and home prices would have to increase to erase the benefits of homeownership by reaching

its tipping point.

In Chicago, median home prices hold at $216,875 and the median rental rate is $1,750 per month.

However, if the median home prices rose to $357,844, the home buyer advantage reaches its

tipping point and vanishes. While, mortgage rates have dropped since last year, rising home prices

have consumed some of the financial benefits of lower mortgage rates. But, homebuyers fear not!

The professionals at Jameson Sotheby's will help you land the Chicago home of your dreams, and

for the right price. And right now, mortgage rates are on your side of the bargain.

Mortgage rates would need to rise 145 percent over today’s current rate of 3.7 percent, and home

prices would have to go up significantly for Chicago’s real estate market to reach that tipping

point. This scenario is extremely unlikely to happen anytime soon, considering the Federal Open

Market Committee (FOMC) has only raised rates once over the past ten years. Furthermore, home

prices would have to grow to their tipping point with minimal change to rental rates for this

scenario to unfold. For an expert’s detailed opinion, consult with Ron Goldstein at

While buying is always cheaper in the long run, there are still markets that offer competitive

prices. To show how each metro varies, Trulia grouped metros into three different categories:

where home buying beats renting by the largest margin, the slimmest margin, and metros on the

tipping point. Miami, FL, takes the top spot on this list where home buying beats renting by the

largest margin, while Honolulu, HI, has the slimmest financial advantage of homeownership. The

range between the two metro cities is 53.2percent cheaper to buy than rent in Miami, compared to

17.4 percent in Honolulu. Conversely, Chicago, IL, falls right in the middle of these two ranges at

36.9 percent.

Therefore, if a buyer is able to put a 20 percent down payment on a home and live in the home for

more than seven years, then home ownership is the way to go. With the information at hand, it

truly is less expensive to buy a home compared to renting a home in many of America’s largest

metro cities, including Chicago.

By Tara Scott-Johnson

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election 2016- Impact on Real Estate

“The last time we had real estate dealmakers as U.S. Presidents were founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who loved their property holdings and made sure the U.S. Constitution protected them,” Inman publisher Brad Inman wrote earlier this year. “That was a big deal.”
How will an impending Trump presidency change the real estate market? Here are eight possible outcomes.

Will he use real estate to kickstart the economy?

Trump has used real estate himself as an investment, and although he hasn’t said much about his housing platform, what he has said indicates that he’s interested in boosting homeownership.
Much of Trump’s platform has centered around deregulating the financial market in order to more fully revive it, and that alone could also give a boost to real estate.

What will happen to mortgage rates?

Many different factors affect mortgage rates — they change each day based on what the market is doing — and last night, we saw a little bit of market panic, which can be expected due to an unforeseen event (most polls showed a Clinton win).
However, as of this morning, they have already bounced back a bit.
similar effect was seen post-Brexit, with markets dropping after the unexpected vote to leave the European Union, but a few months later, it’s business as usual again.
The international economy also has an effect on the exchange rate, and there could be some disturbance as the result of an unforeseen event.
“Mortgage rates are falling because investors are seeing safe yields in U.S. mortgage backed securities, reflecting their confidence in the relative safety of the U.S. housing market,” wrote Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin this morning in a statement. “Furthermore, the Fed is likely to delay a December rate hike because of global economic turmoil. Both effects mean short term win for borrowers, and we’ll likely see an increase in mortgage refinancing if rates continue to plummet.”

Could it become easier to borrow money?

One way that a Trump presidency could make it easier for consumers to own homes would be to lower premiums for FHA loans or cutting guarantee fees for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Neither of those have been specifically mentioned as priorities for his campaign — and Fannie and Freddie present their own problem, as seen below.

Will there be cutbacks in federal programs?

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan cut back on many federal programs (such as mental health care) in order to trim the national budget.
Some programs, such as those involving affordable housing, might have more of an effect on real estate than others, but Trump has not indicated which programs he would be most likely to target for cutbacks.
“While local and state policies are likely to be unaffected, major programs — such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Section 8 housing vouchers — could be on the table for reform,” said McLaughlin.

What about regulations?

This is something that Trump — and the Republican party as a whole — has been vocal about.
Banking regulations
In July, the party approved its 2016 platform. That platform includes significant changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and there has been talk of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act, which imposed regulations on lenders, and replacing it and the CFPB with something else.
Loosening regulation on lending could potentially boost homeownership by making it easier for consumers to obtain loans.
Building regulations
In August, Trump also told a meeting of the National Association of Home Builders, “There’s no industry, other than probably the energy industry, that is more overregulated than the housing industry … Twenty-five percent of costs to build a house are regulations. I think we should get that down to 2 percent.”
If construction is deregulated to some extent, this could mean more affordable homes for consumers.
Employer/independent contractor regulations
What happens to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also known as Obamacare) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations is up in the air now.
And if Republicans are successful in getting rid of some or all of PPACA or OSHA, then that could mean lower operating costs for small business, including real estate brokerages. It could also mean that agents are no longer required to purchase their own health insurance as independent contractors if PPACA is repealed or amended.

Will the mortgage interest deduction go away?

Last year, a tax plan that Trump shared specifically and explicitly mentioned that he would preserve the mortgage interest deduction.
Trump’s current plan (more abbreviated than the previous version) does not go into detail about the mortgage interest deduction.

Will there be reforms at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), are currently under government conservatorship — and although figuring out what to do with the behemoths is bound to be difficult, it’s also likely to fall into Trump’s lap.
The GSEs are projected to run out of funds in 2018, so if we don’t have a plan by the time that happens, we’ll need one.

What about immigration?

This is a big unknown — if Trump does, indeed, tighten immigration policies as outlined in his platform, then the United States could see some softening in markets that rely heavily on overseas investors, who might face additional difficulties or hurdles in purchasing property.
However, Trump’s immigration policy has undergone many changes since he first announced his candidacy, and immigration reform won’t be an easy bill to push through, so it’s difficult to determine whether this will influence the real estate market to any large degree.