Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Friday, 09 July 2021 12:00 Written by


deanna high res headshotIn 2009, Deanna Lambson, a U of U graduate, elementary teacher and mother of 6 decided to help the children at her local elementary school use technology in healthy and positive ways. She discovered that although there were a few lessons here and there saying 'Don’t post personal information!' or 'Be kind online', there was a huge void when it came to teaching kids how to navigate through a media saturated world. No one wanted to touch the topic of pornography. Deanna noted, “No one knew what to say. And no one knew how to say it to little ones as young as kindergarteners."

Deanna was determined to change that. She enlisted the help of Sarah Jane Weaver and Lisa Anderson to develop a program to teach principles of media safety in a kid-friendly way. “Our goal is to help kids WANT to make healthy choices online. Our purpose is to leave kids feeling strong and empowered. And they do!” After a week of memorizing and discussing power boost messages, kids know what to do when they encounter media that isn’t good for them. They have the power over what they view, what they post and what they share.

“The response to our first White Ribbon Week program was astounding.” Deanna said. “Many parents told us that their kids were coming home and teaching younger siblings the skills they were learning from the program. The kids really got it and that was exciting!”

The program, “I’ve Got the Power!" quickly spread to other schools, was endorsed by the Utah State PTA and utilized nationwide. Deanna and her growing team have since published “Let’s Get Real”, “Be a Media Detective” and “Brain Power!”. Together they have formed a nonprofit organization, whiteribbonweek.org, to provide materials and support to other schools across the county. “We just wanted to help as many kids as possible," says Deanna. "We provide the step by step program so any volunteer can lead a successful White Ribbon Week."

“White Ribbon Week is fun!” says Deanna. "If you see a bunch of kids excitedly searching the school for hidden messages while wearing media detective mustaches, you’ll know white ribbon week is in full swing!”

Deanna is a frequent speaker and presenter. She and her husband Don live with their six children and three fainting goats in Sandy, Utah.

Posted On Friday, 09 July 2021 00:00 Written by

Clearly, agents need to be on top of the latest innovations to help their clients, so here’s a quick rundown of two new tech tools that will add more profitability to your toolkit. It’s hard enough to keep up with the demands of buyers and sellers, but when we add new technologies into the mix in the form of apps, platforms, and services, it can be overwhelming!

Here’s a few tips on what’s available to you to help buyers buy and seller’s sell: 

No agent on site? No problem!

What if you could show a property without being there? You may be thinking, ”virtual tours have been around for years,” what’s so novel about that? 

I’m not talking about virtual tours at all! There is a new innovation in the showing game, called Occupi (www.getoccupi.com/).  This app was developed when an agent kept complaining to her tech-head boyfriend that a showing got cancelled after she drove an hour to let the prospects in, or worse a “no-show” after battling New York traffic for hours.

Anthony Esper is the genius behind this app that allows a buyer to walk through a property without the agent.  The pre-screening is intense, including background checks, facial recognition, identify verification, and more.  Timing while in the property is also defined, and an intricate code system changes the lockbox access after every showing.

This is a real convenience in areas where parking is at a premium and nearly impossible for a buyer, listing, and a selling agent to find a spot.  This service conveniently provides access to apartment rentals, vacant properties, commercial locations, and foreclosures. It alleviates the issues that come with tardy agents and their buyers or building superintendents that are “off premise”. The result? The listing agent saves time and reduces stress!   

Next level up for second home purchases: 

People are on the move!  There is a noticeable upswing in buyers looking for second homes, but the owner has to manage and pay for that property while it sits unused for months at a time.  Enter Pacaso, the new way to own a second home!

This great innovation comes from Austin Allison, founder of DotLoop and other real estate portals. This latest launch involves real home ownership for multiple parties in one piece of real estate. Simply put, Pacaso (www.pacaso.com) offers co-ownership, where the company will manage the home, and you own it, or your percentage of a home with a handful of like-minded owners. Unlike the old “time-share” concept, Pacaso specializes in top second-home destinations with all the management done for you.  Recent reports show that families want more flexibility with their second homes and don’t want to be locked into specific future dates. Pacaso has created an easy scheduling system to allow booking time in a second home “anywhere from two days to two years in advance”.  

For all those sellers who are pleasantly enjoying more home equity, this part-time solution may be the right move for their needs.  Selling is an option as you work with a real estate agent who markets the home just like a regular real estate listing. 

There are a lot of shiny objects to chase in real estate, but smart agents do their research and find the solutions to best serve their clientele. Check out Occupi and Pacaso and see how these services can elevate your value proposition!

Posted On Thursday, 08 July 2021 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00 Written by

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” –Henry David Thoreau

As we celebrate Independence Day in the United States, the summer real estate and mortgage markets offer us opportunities to celebrate our own financial freedom and independence.  Home sellers see their home values hit higher than they could have ever imagined.  Homebuyers are buying their homes with the lowest mortgage rates we have seen in years. Homeowners have a unique opportunity to restructure their mortgage terms to remodel their homes and lower overall debt costs. 

Looking into the future for the real estate and mortgage markets, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, predicts that we will see more houses available for sale in the second half of 2021 due to the government forbearance program ending and homebuilders building more homes.  

Lawrence Yun continues his predictions saying, “Home price growth will steadily moderate with the increased supply of homes for sale, but the decline in prices is unlikely.”   Mr. Yun explains that the low mortgage rates are compelling more and more homebuyers into the home buying arena. In addition, low inventory looks to keep the real estate market strong into 2022. 

Aside from the home buying market, renters are not feeling as much freedom as rents continue to increase. As a result, more renters are pulling up stakes and striking out to buy their own homes. Millennials are leading the charge, making up the largest segment of the home buying market. Generation Z is stepping into action too. 

The Federal Reserve is talking about winding down the celebration on low mortgage rates with their plan to taper their mortgage-backed-security purchases.   As a tool to keep the mortgage rates at historic lows last year, the Federal Reserve started buying billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities each month. However, now that the job market looks like it may be moving back to normal, the Fed has indicated they may wind down the aggressive buying, which would pressure mortgage rates to rise.  

Here are some areas that are trending:

1. First-time homebuyers make up over 30% of homebuyers in many areas around the nation.
2. Intergenerational bonding has been a growing trend for the last decade.  This trend occurs when parents move in with the adult children or children and grandchildren to move under the same roof with the parents or grandparents. 
3. High home values and low mortgage rates create an excellent opportunity for homeowners to refinance and restructure their debt, remodel their homes or reinvent their lifestyle.
4. Relocation for people who are making moves for employment in a post-pandemic marketplace.

As real estate and mortgage professionals, how can we get invited to be on the journey with our customers who want to buy a home or sell a home?  How can we position ourselves to be the resource for those clients who want to remodel their homes or restructure their finances? Become known as a specialist in areas of expertise that interests the people who will be your customers.

Posted On Monday, 05 July 2021 00:00 Written by

Half the year is done, and opportunities remain strong. As many are complaining about the typical items like “lack of inventory” or “rising interest rates”; my clients across the country are checking in up more than 9% in total units over the same time last year. So somehow, people who are working are making it happen!

It’s not hard to see why people are swayed by the media and those YouTube “experts” with their doom and gloom forecasts, it’s hard to see the reality looking through the distorted lens of much of the information. Yes, home sales in the month of April were down 4.4% year over year. This helped fuel the speculation of the end of the housing market. Then the May numbers come in UP 8% year over year and nobody seems to have much to say?

It doesn’t stop there, mortgage applications are down 6.9% - 5% on the purchase side and 8% on the refinance side; but the large number of cash buyers seems to be offsetting a good part of that, and its easy to see that houses coming on to the market are still being met with multiple offers in just a matter of days! Oh yes, home prices are up 13.8% on average but even more so at the entry level or starter level, which says to me, people still want to own their own homes!

Refinances aren’t done yet either; as values continue to rise, many of those people looking to cash out or escape MI and couldn’t just late last year, are seeing that become a reality. It’s important to call all your potential refinances from the past year who couldn’t make it work and talk to them about how it might work today!

Remember Friday is the monthly jobs report. The last couple of jobs reports did cause some volatility in the bond market. This, when coupled with the holiday weekend, might make it worth while to pay attention if you have some floaters out there 

Happy Birthday America! As always, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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