New Orleans Real Estate News

Feb. 27, 2018

Craig Mirambell Featured in City Business Article

The current issue of City Business, the business newspaper of metropolitan New Orleans, recently ran an article discussing the housing market predictions for 2018. The author of the article, Andrew Valenti, writes about how historic homes in the Uptown and Garden District neighborhoods were hot commodities when they were on the market in 2017. The author says that, "Many properties in these neighborhoods, such as the $1.3 million home at 1300 Peniston St., lasted mere hours on the market before going under contract." Outside of the city proper, the article talks about the hot housing market in neighborhoods like Old Metairie. Valenti writes that the top four of the ten top selling homes of 2017 came from the Old Metairie area.

After discussing the successes of the market in 2017, the article turns its attention to the predictions for 2018. Mirambell Realty's own Craig Mirambell is quoted in this portion of the article. He talks about how successfully January as been, Craig stated, "This is the best January we've had in the last three years. Low interest rates and a strong stock market have contributed to this positive news." The article talks about how they expect as much as an 8 percent increase in sales volume in 2018. Craig contributed to this article with not only his notice of how successful January has started the year, but also by saying, "We've seen the most activity in Mid-City, Old Metairie, and Uptown." Craig also stated that, "If interest rates stay in the 4 percent range, Mirambell said it's likely that sales volume will increase. If there's available inventory, buyers will be there."

Mirambell Realty is excited to see the continued growth in the market during 2018 and the continued success by our agents. We are also very proud of Craig for being featured in this article.

 

Posted in In the News, News
Feb. 22, 2018

Monthly Agent Spotlight: Mary Dominach

This month we are getting to know Mary Dominach. Mary joined the Mirambell team a couple years ago. Since then she has been rocking and rolling, being one of the most steady earners at Mirambell.

 

Prior to working in real estate, Mary worked for twenty years as a patient liaison in the medical field. Unfortunately the department she worked in closed and she was left searching for work. She ended up finding a position as a large real estate firm as a secretary. After two years working parti time in that position she felt that it was time to get her license. Once Mary was officially a licensed real estate agent she searched out a brokerage to work for.

 

That’s when Mary found herself at Mirambell. She felt like the larger brokerages weren’t personal or intimate enough and that she would get lost in the shuffle at those type of places. She interviewed with Craig and like the close knit family atmosphere here at Mirambell, and well the rest is history.

 

Mary loves real estate. Her past experience as a patient liaison has translated into a kind and understanding persona for her sales business. She is able to really listen to the wants and needs of clients, work back and forth on the phone and find them the right buyer or home. Though she never had worked in any sales type of setting prior to this position all those skills of working with people of all walks of life have made her an amazing real estate agent. She loves to work with buyers because to her is the most rewarding part of the job to see someone so happy to find their home. 

 

Though Mary currently sells mostly in the Metairie and River Ridge area, she would love to get some work in the Garden District. She is absolutely enamored by the gorgeous victorian old homes. She would be thrilled spend her days showing clients the old woodwork and high ceilings. It is definitely her favorite New Orleans architecture style.

 

Mary isn’t all real estate all the time though. Outside of work Mary can be found spending time with her family and adorable little grandson. She loves to go out to eat with her friends and play cards. She is also fond of her trips out to Wolf River in Mississippi to go canoeing. She has also been a long time lover of hiking and white water rafting. She loves getting outdoors and enjoying the world. She also loves to read. Her kindle is chock full of books from all sorts of genres. She doesn’t have one particular favorite type of read, just whatever catches her attention. Currently, she is reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. She is also an avid animal lover. She loves to work with charities or anything to do with animals. She recently signed up to begin to volunteer with the Louisiana SPCA. She hopes to start helping with their adoption drives around the area.

 

If you are looking for an agent currently and would like to work with someone who is jovial and fun like Mary, feel free to call her anytime. She loves showing buyers potential homes and is looking forward to finding her next clients. Contact her here: Mary's Profile

Posted in News
Feb. 5, 2018

Air BnB Your Way into Homeownership?

Saving enough to have a down payment on home is a large hurdle that many first time home buyers face. Many struggle to get over that obstacle. While there are banks and city programs now available to assist in the process of acquiring a down payment, it seems a startup company out of Seattle, Washington has taken a truly unique approach to helping potential buyers achieve homeownership.

Unlike traditional programs to assist with the down payment, the start up Loftium, does not require that the potential buyers live in the home for a certain time period, have a certain credit score, require a cap on income or the purchase price of the home, there's just one big requirement from them. That is you must list at least a room in your home on Air BnB for at least 1-3 years and give them a percentage of the earnings.

 

This unique company currently only provides down payment assistance in the greater Seattle area but has hope that with continuing success that they could expand nationally. Their service they say allows people to get into their dream home and helps them setup a passive income stream. Loftium provides their customers with up to $50,000 towards the down payment of a home the greater Seattle area. With such a large sum, the potential homebuyers are able to get into their new home with the necessary 20% down payment that keeps them from having to pay mortgage insurance.

While this does seem like a great concept and is proving to be extremely successfully in Seattle. There are a few potential wrinkles that could arise as Loftium continues to expand its services. Since they don’t currently have requirements on residency, one could easily use their services to buy a home and solely rent it on Air BnB. Which, in an area like New Orleans, could further the problem of out of state investors pushing local residents out in favor of profiting on short term rentals.

 

A second issue that comes to mind, which Loftium even addresses in their FAQ page on their website, is the matter of taxes for people who use their service. Currently Loftium provides the money for the down payment as a check directly to the home buyer. Which in turn is a large sum that would have to be reported on taxes as a source of income. Therefore new homebuyers would have to pay at tax time a large sum back to the government for receiving this assistance.

 

While there are a few issues Loftium or a company similar to them would have to iron out before this concept could spread nationally. It is an interesting take on addressing the issue of acquiring funds for a down payment. This startup is a first of its kind but with more and more millennials wanting to seek homeownership it is likely that finances will become more creative in ways to provide the younger adults of America with pathways to owning a home.

 

*Information for article taken partially from: The New Tribune

*To learn more about Loftium click here.

Posted in In the News
Jan. 30, 2018

Super Bowl Makes for a Super Boost to the Host City's Housing

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events every year in America. It would be common sense to think that such a massive event would have a huge impact on the tourism of the host city. But does the Super Bowl caused trends in the real estate market for the host city?

Realtor.com researchers have found that there is at least a 50 percent jump in the number of listing near the stadium where the game is held leading up to the Super Bowl. But in the long term impact of the big game varied and larger impacts on lower-cost neighborhood.

 

The researchers at Realtor.com examined recent Super Bowl host cities and compared how many consumers viewed listings on their site one month prior to the big game and then during the month in which the Super Bowl occurred. They also studied how the number of home sales and median list prices changed in the 12 months following the game.

 

They found that in Houston, Texas, the 2017 host of the Super Bowl, that the number of listings in the months during and just before the game surged by 30%. The zip code closest to the stadium saw a 52% jump. Four of the five zip codes in Houston that saw the biggest spikes in listings were within 8 miles of the stadium. However, due to Hurricane Harvey, home sales for 2017 dropped overall by 18%. 

 

In Santa Clara, California, the researchers found that though the Super Bowl seemed to have little change on the housing market around Levi Stadium, there was a 3% positive growth in the median home price in the stadium’s zip code since Santa Clara hosted the big game in 2016.

Glendale, Arizona was the host for the 2015 Super Bowl. Listings in the Phoenix metro rose 31% in January and February 2015 compared to only 22% across the country. Listings in the zip code where the stadium is located saw a 100% spike in listings. Since the Super Bowl left town the median home price in the stadium’s zip code has had a 24% positive change.

 

In 2014, East Rutherford, New Jersey was the host city for the Super Bowl. They did not see any long term benefits fro housing after being the host of the big game, but listings in the zip code where the stadium is located spike 150% around the time of the game. Also, the area around the stadium saw a 17% increase in page views while the rest of the metro saw a 4% drop. Since 2014, the median home price in the stadium’s zip code has dropped by 3%.

 

Lastly, our lovely city of New Orleans played host for the big game in 2013. During 2013 listings around the Superdome rose by 67%. And since the Super Bowl left town we have seen a 25% increase to the median home price in the zip code around the stadium. The current median home price in the 70112 area is at $398,500.

 

 

*article information taken from: realtormag.com

Posted in In the News
Jan. 3, 2018

New Year's Resolutions for Homeowners

Yesterday we posted resolutions for those looking to buy a home, but maybe you already are a homeowner and you want some resolutions that will help you make the most out of your homeownership experience. Don't worry we've got you covered here are five resolutions to make 2018 your best year as a home owner yet!

  1. Make Larger Payments: So you already made the leap into buying a home, maybe it was last year or many years prior but now you can really take control of that home and start to make dents into the loan. Any additional payments, in excess of your normal monthly mortgage payment, will make a big difference in your loan over time. You do not need to make these extra payments monthly, go with as you financially can, but a few extra hundred dollars put towards your mortgage loan this year can save you thousands in interest over the course of the loans lifetime. Create a spreadsheet to track your monthly spending so you can really see where your money is going each month and find ways to shave off some spending in certain areas like that daily coffee run or weekend take out. All that money you save you can put towards an extra big mortgage payment that could help to shorten the loan term or save you in interest costs.
  2. Consider Refinancing: Whether you have owned your home for 6 months or 6 years refinancing your mortgage could be a great option to make 2018 your best financial year ever. Refinancing a mortgage loan can help to lower your monthly mortgage payments or even shorten the loans terms. To really make a massive impact on your finances this year try making larger payments for the first half of 2018 on your mortgage and then in the second half of the year plan to refinance the mortgage loan. You will really see the savings pile up then!
  3. Review Your Homeowner's Insurance: Even though it is much easier to let your insurance rollover year to year so that you don't have to worry about review insurance documents, you may be missing out on great savings. Take some time in 2018 to review your current homeowner's insurance plan and to shop around a bit. You may already have the best deal out there but you won't know that until you do a little research first. That time spent could mean major extra bucks in your wallet this year.
  4. Clean Out the Clutter: Though some people wait until spring to clean out and organize their homes, why wait!? There's no better way to start a year off than in a freshly cleaned home. Studies have shown that having clutter around will decrease your productivity. Studies have also shown that clutter can lead to anxiety and stress, making it difficult to relax and enjoy your home. So make the most of this year by sorting out the things you don't need or use anymore. You've invested so much financially and personally into your home, it should be a place that promotes productivity and relaxation.
  5. Be Pre-cautious: The start of a new year is the perfect time to review the condition of your property. Make sure your home is safe inside and out so that you and your family can enjoy 2018 to the fullest. Check your foundation for any holes or cracks so that you can address the problem before it escalates. Do the same for your roof. Inside, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Create an annual home maintenance checklist of normal routine things that should be tested or checked. This list could include things like checking the status and condition of the furnace, evaluating the insulation of the water pipers or inspecting the central air conditioning unit. Throughout the year you can refer to this list so you stay on top of your home's overall condition. It will help you minimize the element of surprise and the overall cost of emergency repair bills. 

 

*article information taken from: New Year's Resolutions for Homeowners

Posted in News
Jan. 2, 2018

New Year's Resolutions for Homebuyers

The new year is upon us, it is officially 2018! If you are thinking of making your first home purchase this year, we have some great resolutions you can use to make 2018 your best year yet!

 

Homebuyers:

  1. Fix your credit: If you plan to make your home buying dreams come true in 2018, you will need to take care of any credit issues you may have. Your credit score will strongly influence what your mortgage payments and interest rate will be. If you think your score might not be as strong as you'd like reach out to get help before applying for a loan. There are a plethora of services and advisor available to help you get your credit in order prior to applying for a mortgage loan, just search for financial advisors in your area.
  2. Catch up on any bills or late payments: Doing this will help improve your credit score, also it will help you see how much money you have to really work with every month.
  3. Do not apply for any new credit or loans: Not only will taking on new debt lower your credit score but it will also add to the bills you have every month making it harder to save for your down payment and closing costs. Wait on that furniture loan until you are soundly in your new home and know your monthly spending will allot for the extra bill every month.
  4. Lower your balances on any credit card or loan you may have: There's a lot of work that goes into buying home and though it may seem daunting to be trying to save for the out of pocket expenses of buying a home, you also need to be working towards getting your outstanding debt lowered. The lower your balance to credit line ratios is the better it is for your credit score. And as we have already mentioned the better your credit score the better mortgage and interest rate you can get.
  5. Start saving: Though there are many grants available that will help first time home buyers in accessing funds for a down payment, there are still many costs that come with purchasing a home. The grants for down payments usually only provide about 3-5% of the home purchase price as a down payment, the ideal down payment to avoid having to pay mortgage insurance is about 20%. Saving a bit on the side every month to put toward this will only help lower your monthly costs in the long run. Also, closing costs, moving expenses, a cash reserve for any unexpected repair; there are a lot of costs involved in becoming a homeowner and it is best to start pinching pennies now and save as much as you can.
  6. Do research: Just like any other big purchase in life you are going to want to do your research. Research the home values in the neighborhoods you are looking. See if the value of the homes are increasing or declining over time. Research the various mortgage lenders available. See what interest rates they offer, what sort of programs they have for first time buyers. Before making the jump into home ownership make sure you are making your decisions smartly and are well informed.
  7. Lastly gather your documents and get pre-approved: After you have done your research, started to save, and fixed up your credit; it is time to head to the lender of your choosing with all your documents in hand. Most lenders are going to want documents to verify your employment and income. Also they will likely want the last two years of income tax returns, W-2's, bank statements, and pay stubs. The lender then will get your pre-approval for a mortgage loan in order and this will give you a clear pictures for where you stand. The pre-approval will allow you too see just how much home you can buy and what your payments may look like. Once you are pre-approved don't make any changes financially that will alter your credit standing. If your credit or financially standing alters too much you may not get final approval on your loan at the time of closing, so keep working hard on your finances all the way to that finish line!


*article information taken from: Top Resolutions for Homebuyers

Posted in News
Dec. 28, 2017

Get to Home Ownership in 8 Easy Steps!

Ready to make the leap? Don't be daunted by the home buying process. Here's a road map to access home ownership in 8 easy steps!

Posted in In the News
Dec. 27, 2017

2018 Predictions for Real Estate Trends

With the end of 2017 being just days away we can't help but to look forward with excitement to what the next year holds for us. And even though we can't say for certain what the future holds, economic experts at Realtor.com have forecasted at least four things we can expect from the real estate market in 2018. Here are, what the site is calling, the four game-changers for the 2018 Real Estate Market:

  1. Supply is finally going to catch up to demand. Across the nation for the last three years there has been a significant shortage of supply in the real estate market. The economics team at Realtor.com is predicting that by late 2018 the supply of available homes will finally catch up to the demand of homebuyers. A surge in new home building will be factor to thank for the ease on the tight supply chain. Rather than shuffling homeowners around existing homes, new construction will provide the much needed inventory increase. The ease on the supply in the market will also help to slow the growth of home prices.
  2. Millennial are really going to make an impact on the housing market. Despite most millennial being burdened with heavy student loan debt, more and more are going to be seeking mortgages in 2018. As the oldest members of the millennial group begin to see their incomes increase they will be taking on mortgages for more and more homes, and not just the expected starter ones. Millennial are expected to take up 43% of the home buyers for 2018.
  3. Southern cities are the hot markets. Cities in the south will outsell all other markets in 2018. The home sales growth in the South will likely beat out the national average next year.
  4. The tax reform will likely see fewer homes sold and home sale prices decline. The new tax reform passed by the government is expected to cause less homes to be sold and the prices of homes to be lower. The homes in the upper price tiers would likely be effected most.

Information for this article has been found at: https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/housing-trends-2018/

Posted in In the News
Dec. 22, 2017

City of Kenner First Time Buyer Assistance Program

The City of Kenner Department of Community Development has developed a first time home buyer assistance program similar to the programs we have discussed previously. This program is designed to provide financial assistance to low, moderate, and median income households interested in purchasing their first home. The program has been created to provide access to home ownership for families whose gross annual household incomes are at or below 80% of the New Orleans Area median income as defined by HUD. The city hopes that this program could provide an increase in home ownership rates within the city of Kenner.

Successful applicants to this program will be eligible for a deferred payment loan up to $35,000 to be used toward the down payment, closing cost assistance and to reduce their primary mortgage loan amounts.

 

The grant is a soft second mortgage with will be forgiven according to specify grant terms and an affordability period established by HUD. For example, an applicant receiving $20,000 in program assistance would be required to live in the newly purchased home for ten years in order for the loan to be fully forgiven. When the deferred payment loan is forgiven it will negate the first-time homebuyer from repaying the money received.

 

The amount of the deferred payment loan is based on the financial need of applicant’s household, selling price of the property, and the households assets. Repayment of these funds is required if the home is sold, conveyed, granted or otherwise transferred during the occupancy period, vacated or abandoned as a primary residence during the occupancy period, or used as investment or income producing property.

 

In order for a property to be eligible for the program, the property must be an existing or newly constructed single family residence located in the incorporated areas of the City of Kenner. Also, it must be an owner-occupied property and served as the applicant’s primary residence. The property must also be a single unit dwelling, meet local codes, housing quality standards, and lead based paint standards, be acceptable to the primary lender and insurer of the property and have a sale price that does not exceed the maximum purchase price of $180,000.

 

In order to see if you quality for the program please visit the following link: City of Kenner First Time Buyer's Assistance Program

 

or contact the City of Kenner Department of Community Development at 504-468-7588.

Posted in In the News
Dec. 19, 2017

Santa's House is on Zillow!

While the yearly arrival of our favorite big guy might still be a few days away, that isn’t stopping everyone from taking a peak inside jolly old Saint Nick’s North Pole home.

Zillow.com has updated the stats and facts on Santa’s home. According to the site, Santa had a major face lift done to him home and his Zestimate on the property has increased 6.5% percent since last year to a value of $710,559. 

 

Zillow not only provides details on the work done during Santa’s renovation, which was executed by interior designer Marian Bright and general contractor Doug Fir, but also the site provides photos and virtual tours of Santa’s home and the multiple tiny elf homes surrounding his.

At the following like you can read the interview with the minds in charge of Santa’s home remodel: https://www.zillow.com/blog/insiders-look-santas-house-208441/

 

And at this link you can see the Zestimate listing for Santa’s home: https://www.zillow.com/house/santas-house/

 

Lastly, this link provides the story behind the tiny homes of the elves that live in the North Pole:

https://www.zillow.com/blog/the-untold-story-of-elf-tiny-homes-222721/

Posted in In the News