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Posts from the ‘Real Estate Information’ Category


Seven Real Estate Trends to Watch For in 2015

Seven Real Estate Trends to Watch For in 2015

1) Strict lending standards and rising interest rates may prevent Millennial homebuyers.


5 things to consider

5 things to consider for Brevard real estate

First-time homebuyers

Still, lending standards aren’t going away. And they’ll couple with rising interest rates, which discourage some first-time homebuyers, says Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

“Compounding the difficulties for buyers is the rapidly increasing student loan and credit debt debacle that looms over the economy,” Waller says. “This will severely limit the purchasing ability for first-time home buyers and low to mid-income homebuyers.”


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Eight Experts Weigh in on Managing Student Debt

Eight Experts Weigh in on Managing Student Debt

So what’s the best way to deal with student loans?

According to Bennie D. Waller, Chair of Accounting, Economics, Finance and Real Estate as well as Director of the Center for Financial Responsibility at Longwood University, it starts before graduation day. Students need to think about the demands of their chosen careers, and if the cost can really be justified.

“Students need to first consider taking on too much student loan debt in conjunction with their choice of degrees/career. [They] should resist borrowing if expected salaries of their degree does not substantiate the amount of student loan debt they are considering. For example, many students want to be an actor, but very few ever make it to Hollywood. How can they best decide? Cost/benefit analysis.”

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10 biggest mortgage mistakes

Avoid these costly home loan pitfalls

A mortgage is the biggest debt most of us will ever carry, and a home is the most expensive purchase we will ever make.

That’s why it’s so important to avoid pitfalls like letting the bank decide how much house you can afford or failing to check your credit before you try to buy.

These mistakes can cause you to pay more than you need to, prevent your loan from closing or even lead to foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Don’t let the unfamiliarity and enormity of taking out a home loan scare you.

People make smart mortgage choices every day. They get home loans with great interest rates, low fees and predictable, fixed monthly payments, and they make a budget ahead of time and think about their long-term plans so they don’t get in over their heads.

Our guide to the mortgage mistakes you should avoid will turn you into a savvy borrower so that owning your home will be a joy, not a burden, and will help you achieve long-term financial security.

By Amy Fontinelle contributing editor

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The Return of Stated Income Loans

by Aaron Crowe on October 07, 2014

Small business owners and the self-employed who have difficulty being approved for a traditional home mortgage because they can’t provide pay stubs or tax returns to show their income are getting some relief.

Stated income loans are being offered by companies such as Unity West Lending and Westport Mortgage, according to a Reuters story, giving such borrowers a chance to buy properties that they could rent out. Also called “liar loans” before the housing bust, the loans have gotten a bad rap because some borrowers produced fake bank statements or at least “fudged” their income to buy houses they couldn’t afford.

Instead of having to provide tax returns or pay stubs, stated income loans require demonstrating an ability to repay through verifiable bank or brokerage statements and enough assets to make six to 12 months of payments.

Still, the loans have a place in the lending environment, mainly self-employed people just starting out and small business owners with startups, says Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, VA.

“However, lenders may be venturing down a road that was a contributing problem to the housing crisis,” Waller says.

See full story here


4 Things to Know Before Suing Your Landlord


A bad landlord can make even the best apartment feel like a trap. If issues progress past the point where you can have a rational discussion and you stand to lose money, you might consider suing your landlord.  If you do decide to pursue legal remedy, there are a few things you should know before — and after — you serve your landlord.

Weigh Your Options Before Suing Your Landlord

There’s no point in suing your landlord for a few hundred bucks when court and attorney fees could cost thousands. Weigh the return on investment before you hire a lawyer.

Bennie Waller, a landlord and real estate professor at Longwood University, found out the hard way back when he was in college. “I was younger and trying to prove a point,” says Waller. While his attorney told him he would win the case, the cost to hire a lawyer would have been more than the amount he was suing for, so he dropped it. “Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride, take it and move on,” Waller adds.

Come to Court Prepared

According to Waller, tenants have a hard time winning most cases, because they don’t have the right documentation.

“Make sure that you have all communications with the landlord in terms of the issue,” says Waller. Use emails and certified mail rather than phone calls when talking to your landlord about problems. If you have witnesses to bolster your case, bring them as well.

Be sure to document any pre-existing damages on the property. Even if a hole in the floor isn’t related to the issue you’re suing for, an unscrupulous landlord could try to place the blame on you. “Landlords hate to return deposits,” Waller notes. “They hate it. So if there’s an opportunity to take advantage, they’ll take it.” If you have evidence of damage prior to your arrival at the property, be sure to bring it.

Taking Your Landlord to Court

The amount you’re suing for will determine which court you’ll go to, but in most cases you’ll wind up in small claims court. Rules and compensation limits for small claims court vary by state, so ask your small claims clerk about local fees and rules.

Keep in mind these fees can be several hundred dollars.

“Generally, the individual doesn’t have the capital or the general wherewithal of a landlord,” says Waller. “Many times a landlord can thread out a poorer tenant with fees.”

Chances are your landlord has a lawyer, especially if they manage multiple properties. However, landlords who manage only one or two homes may not.

Know Your Rights When Suing Your Landlord

If there are clauses that can cost you money, like mandatory cleaning, they will be in the lease. Likewise, your landlord can’t surprise you with rules not in the lease.

Check your state’s tenant’s rights laws if you feel your landlord is overstepping boundaries. While things may be tense, your landlord can’t evict you without proper cause and an eviction notice while you are on the lease. Check the lease for other stipulations — for example, if you waived your right for a notice to vacate, your landlord doesn’t have to give you prior notice before suing you for eviction.

Not all disputes have to end in court. First, talk to your landlord. The landlord may be willing to settle. If not, you may be able to arrange for arbitration, which is cheaper than going to court.


Are You Looking for a MBA In Real Estate?

Real Estate is an increasingly complex, highly competitive, and fast-paced industry, and tomorrow’s professionals require advanced knowledge and training to excel in this field. Graduate studies in real estate are in demand more than ever because an MBA in real estate can open doors to greater job and career opportunities. Developed especially for working real estate professionals, Longwood University’s NEW online MBA in real estate will take you to the next level!

Join me today as my guests, Abigail O’Connor, Asst. Dean and MBA Director of Longwood University, Dr. Bennie Waller, Professor of Finance and Real Estate, and I discuss this NEW exciting online experience. Talent is becoming a key concern for commercial real estate executives and boards—according to Deloittes’ 2014 Commercial Real Estate Outlook. Students with an MBA in real estate will be ready to become leaders in this field.

The program, designed for both residential and commercial professionals, will carry a core curriculum in accounting, finance, economics, and development along with real estate courses such as advanced real estate appraisal, real estate finance and development, real estate law and taxation, commercial real estate, and decision making within the legal and ethical environment.

Listen to show here


A landlord’s dos and don’ts

by Kate Ashley

Several years ago, Bennie Waller gave a renter a discount on an apartment because he agreed to sign a two-year lease.

“Thirty days after he moved in, he got transferred, and he said, ‘Well, I’m going to move out’,” said Waller, 50, a real-estate professor who owns several rental properties with his wife in Virginia. He learned the hard way to add a cancelation clause. “If you walk away early, you can buy your lease out for three months’ rent.”

For Waller — and others who have taken the rental-property plunge — being a landlord comes with a sometimes steep learning curve. Sure, it can be profitable or it can be a way to keep a home or flat you don’t want to sell just yet. But there’s more involved than just purchasing a rental property and collecting a monthly payment, including finding and screening potential tenants, caring for the property itself, and handling maintenance and legal issues as they arise.



Research reveals critical role of agent when selling a property fast

Research reveals critical role of agent when selling a property fast

[Watch the Video Interview with Dr. Bennie Waller]

Want to sell your home quickly? Amid all the chatter about power-washing your siding and weeding your flower beds, sellers often overlook one crucial factor: choosing the right real estate agent.

Several studies by Bennie Waller, professor of real estate at Longwood University, reveal the outsized effect that real estate agents have not only on home prices but also on speed of sale.

Be careful of agents spread too thin

When it comes to selling your house, more isn’t always better—at least not in terms of agent listings. Real estate agents with 15 or more listings may take as much as 26 percent longer to sell your home, according to a recent study.

“People often choose a real estate agent after seeing her face on billboards all over town, which leads them to assume the agent will do a great job selling their house,” said Dr. Scott Wentland, who conducted the study with Waller. “But an agent can only devote so much time to a client. The question is: Will that agent sell your house faster because she’s a better agent, or will her workload dilute her efforts? We found it will take longer to sell your house.”

But can a busier agent command a better price for your home? Not according to the data—the amount of inventory has a negligible effect on home prices.

Are they selling their own properties?

Real estate agents sell their own properties a lot quicker—and for more money—than they sell yours. In fact, your house could languish on the market up to 46 percent longer if your real estate agent is selling his own property at the same time as yours.

“Agents who sell their own properties while working for clients tend to reallocate their time to support their own sale,” said Waller. “This certainly affects clients negatively and argues for increased transparency on the part of agents.”

Furthermore, the price you’ll get for your property is lower, on average, if you use an agent who is also listing his own properties. The study estimates that those properties sell for 1.5 percent lower than comparable sales, corresponding to a price reduction of about $2,300. “We are talking about an economically significant amount of both time and money,” said Waller. “If you are interested in selling your house quickly, knowing what the broker is up to can mean the difference between a property that sells and a house that doesn’t.”

Pay attention to distance

Gas prices hit everyone’s wallet hard, but it especially hurts those who are in their cars often—including real estate agents. As gas prices continue to rise—$4 a gallon doesn’t seem very far off some days—home sellers who want a quick sale need to pay attention to the numbers at the pump and consider choosing an agent who is closer to their property.

“Increasing gas prices and commuting distance reduce a property’s sale price and liquidity,” said Waller, who has completed a study on the impact of gas prices on real estate sales. “Just a one-dollar price increase at the gas station combined with a 20-mile round-trip commute to your house extends the average time on the market by 24 days—nearly a month.”

For many properties, the study shows that increased gas prices contribute to a lack of effort by the agent. In addition, if the agent is inexperienced or at a new firm, resources may be scarce and insufficient to offset increased transportation costs. –

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