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Thursday, April 19, 2018   /   by Scott Shine

Killeen Texas has nearly closed the black and white homeownership gap

David Michael Jones can't resist describing the house he bought a year ago in a suburb of Killeen, Texas — it's 2,800 square feet, set up on a hill, with a formal dining room and an enormous master bedroom that includes a bathroom big enough to do cartwheels in.

"To me, I'm on top of the world," says Jones, 68, a reverend and father of nine. "It's my world, but I'm on top of it."

Jones credits his ability to buy such an ideal abode, in large part, to his long career with the military. He retired with a full pension and disability benefits that total about $70,000 a year, and obtained special home loan financing through the Veterans Administration in a place where houses are plentiful and affordable. And as a fully disabled veteran in Texas — resulting from his post-traumatic stress disorder, diabetes and hypertension — he doesn't have to pay property taxes either.

Jones' path to real estate bliss is far from the norm for African Americans.

Fifty years ...

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Thursday, March 29, 2018   /   by Scott Shine

Why Buyers May Lose If They Don’t Act Now

Rising mortgage rates could have a big impact on the direction your buyers choose when shopping for real estate, economists warn. “Every time the interest rates go up, you eliminate a group of people who can no longer afford to buy a house,” Don Frommeyer, a mortgage broker at Marine Bank in Indianapolis, told realtor.com®. “Some people may have to rent for a period of time until they make more money—or buy a smaller house.”

To avoid further complications in their plans, your buyers may want to speed up their home search this spring, as interest rates are forecasted to move higher in the coming months. Forty-four percent of home buyers say rate increases likely will force them to settle for a smaller, less expensive home that requires a longer commute to their jobs, according to a realtor.com® survey. First-time buyers may be most affected by rising costs, as increasing home prices and interest rates price some out of the market.

Mortgage r ...

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Thursday, March 29, 2018   /   by Scott Shine

NRT (Coldwell Banker) is the #1 Residential Broker for the 21st Year in a row!

I am very proud to announce that, for the 21st year in a row, NRT has been ranked the #1 residential real estate brokerage in the nation in both closed sales volume and closed transaction sides by REAL Trends 500. NRT closed 346,942 transaction sides and had more than $178 billion in closed sales volume in 2017. Click here to download the full report to view the data.

This is an important differentiation that you can use in your marketing and client discussions. The marketing team is working on a number of items for you to share with your prospects and sphere, including InTouch eCards and flyers, and social media assets that will be available soon on our local intranet. The listing presentation is also being updated in Moxi Present with the 2017 statistics, and will be live in the next few weeks.

Congratulations to every affiliated agent and employee who made this incredible achievement possible. Your hard work, professional excellence and continued commitment to delivering tru ...

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018   /   by Scott Shine

Home Buyer Alert: Credit Bureau Trigger Leads

You’ve probably never heard of a “mortgage trigger lead.” But as a consumer, you might be shocked to learn that in an era of massive data breaches and hacks — witness the Equifax debacle — they even exist.

So what’s a trigger lead?

When you apply for a home mortgage or a preapproval, the loan officer pulls information about you from the national credit bureaus. One or more of the bureaus then convert the fact that you are shopping for a mortgage into a commercial product — a trigger lead — for immediate sale to competing lenders. This allows those competitors to contact you and solicit your business before you get locked in to the lender to whom you’ve applied.

Trigger leads are created and sold super fast, often within 24 hours of your loan application. Out of the blue, your phone might ring and suddenly you’re the target of a pitch from a competitor offering a deal that may be real, deceptive or no better than th ...

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Thursday, February 01, 2018   /   by Scott Shine

February 2018 Market Report

The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications, are reporting on housing statistics nationally that indicate a robust real estate market with shrinking inventories and increased demand. These experts suggest that increased cost of new builds and the Millennial Generation entering the market have conspired to create a tighter housing market. By most measures, 2017 was "the best year in over a decade".  Even so, experts disagree on what will happen in 2018 and beyond.
Locally, we see the same trends as the national picture. In January 2018, we see fewer active listings in Bell and Coryell Counties than at any time in the past 12 months. At the same time, the number of sales in December was higher than any December since 2015.  Our local market boasts high demand (buyers) and less inventory (sellers) for the first time in a long time.  The dwindling inventory, coupled with the increased cost of building new homes, forecasts  ...

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