HUD Offers Guidance to Sniff Out Fake Assistance Animal Requests

For the last couple of years I have seen so many so called “service animals” in places that pets do not belong, however the owner has a certificate that says Fido or Fi-Fi can go with them almost anyplace…..well here in 2020 this is about to change.  Hooray!!!!

The last time HUD released guidance on assistance animals was in 2013.  However HUD has released NEW guidance “Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act” on January 28, 2020 and replaces the previous guidance. It outlines what information a housing provider can request and consider when deciding to grant a reasonable accommodation.

Of course those with disabilities, assistance animals are an intricate part of their lives. However, in recent years there has been an increase in people abusing this area of the Fair Housing Act by saying their animal is an assistance animal when it truly is not. By releasing this guidance, HUD is attempting to address this fraud to ensure the proper accommodations are available to those who truly need them.

Property owners have struggled with how to enforce no-pet policies on their properties with the growing number of renter requests for assistance animals. That’s why the housing market is welcoming the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s newly released guidance and clarity on how to comply with the Fair Housing Act when receiving a request for an assistance animal.

News reports in recent years have grown accusing some renters of using dubious third parties over the internet to buy certifications or registrations that say they need an emotional support animal.  Under HUD’s new guidelines, released Tuesday, landlords and property managers now can require reliable verification of the tenant’s need for an assistance animal and can require documents other than an online certification.

A person with a disability may require the assistance of an animal to help do work, perform tasks, or provide therapeutic emotional support. The requested accommodation must be met if it affects that person’s major life activity and serves as a reasonable request. HUD’s new guidance offers housing providers step-by-step practices for complying with the Fair Housing Act when such requests are made.

Vince Malta, president of the National Association of REALTORS®, stated “This law exists to protect millions of Americans with disabilities who rely on the support of their assistance animals—like those living with depression, military veterans suffering from PTSD, and countless other deserving individuals.  But as NAR has stressed to HUD over recent months, these protections are jeopardized when a small minority seeks to exploit weaknesses in the system.”

NAR welcomed HUD’s new guidelines for moving to stop fraudulent use of assistance animals while protecting the rights of those who require one. The guidance also includes information on the type of animals that are usually appropriate as well as best practices for when the requested animal is not a typical one used in accommodation situations.

“Countless Americans rely on assistance animals to fill a void, providing individuals with disabilities with the means to have a home that supports their quality of life,” says HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “In my many discussions with housing providers and residents impacted by the need for assistance, I recognized the necessity for further clarity regarding support animals to provide peace of mind to individuals with disabilities while also taking into account the concerns of housing providers.”

Just a note from me – I know everyone loves their pets; however not everyone loves your pet. Shopping for a new home? Please leave your pet at home – you do not know if the present owner of home has allergies and the dander your pet leaves can cause harm to someone. Also, you should never bring your pet with you to someone’s home unless invited with that pet. It’s polite to ask first. Why? Well, when you bring your dog to my house and I won’t let him in because our cat doesn’t want him in… you’re going to have to leave and take your dog home… and you’ll miss the puck drop.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want 3 cash offers? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

The 10 Most Promising Real Estate Markets

The National Association of Realtors just released a report identifying the top 10 metro areas it expects to appreciate in the next 3-5 years; taking into account several variables, including domestic migration into the area, housing affordability for new residents, attractiveness for retirees, consistent job growth outperforming the national average, age structure of the population, and the area’s home price appreciation.

In alphabetical order, the markets are:

Charleston, South Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Columbus, Ohio
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Collins, Colorado
Las Vegas, Nevada
Ogden, Utah
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home or investment property? Do you want 3 cash offers? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

What type of Homes are Trending with Millennials?

Did you know that Millennials actually make up a considerable part of the economy?   Their economic strength as a group seems to be growing every day. As of 2019, Millennials are making up approximately 37 percent of home buyers… even more than the Baby Boomers!  So what exactly are these Millennials buying, and what trends are growing along with their increasing representation in the market? Let’s find out.

First-Time Buyers – About 52 percent of Millennials who are buying homes are first-time home buyers. This makes sense for younger Millennials, but even older Millennials who were born in the 80s are also first-time buyers. Before buying, a large number of these Millennials were renting homes. By buying homes, they can enjoy the benefits of ownership and build equity for similar amounts (or in some cases, less) than they were paying each month in rent previously.

Family Homes -The majority of home-buying Millennials are buying single-family homes. This is in part because over 50 percent of them are either married or in long-term relationships.  This is interesting – in 2018 there were more married couples among home-buying Millennials than there were in any other generational group that was in the market for a house. A significant number of Millennials also have children under the age of 18 living at home, which increases the need for a family-friendly home.

Motivation to Buy – The majority of Millennials who have bought homes within the last year did so simply because they wanted to own a home of their own – and stop paying rent . Some wanted to own a larger home, be closer to friends and family or were moving due to job relocation, but the general desire to own a home was listed as a reason for buying. A lot of this came down to the opportunities that were presented; over 50 percent of Millennials report that it was “just the right time” to buy a home, while the second most common reason (that they didn’t have much choice and had to buy when they did) was only reported by around 10 to 15 percent of Millennials.

Back to the Suburbs – One big trend among Millennial home buyers is that they were buying homes in the suburbs. This wasn’t restricted only to Millennials; 51 percent of all homes purchased in 2018 were located in suburban areas or subdivisions. The Millennials fell pretty close to this statistic, with small towns being the second most common location. The majority of the homes Millennials purchased were previously owned.  The Millennials as a group are not moving into newly built subdivisions.

 

Biggest Factors – There are a number of factors that affected the purchasing decisions of Millennials. The presence of public transit or proximity to work was one major factor, with many Millennials trying to minimize commuting costs. Heating and cooling efficiency also played an important role. In general, Millennials were more willing to compromise on price than on a home’s condition, but only around 20 percent were willing to compromise on the distance of their new home from work.

Home Shopping Trends – By far, the majority of Millennials started their home search by looking online to try and find properties for sale. Around 15 percent spent even more time online than that, starting their search by researching the ins and outs of the home buying process before even starting to look at properties. Beyond online sources, Millennials trusted real estate agents the most for information about homes for sale.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

The iBuyer Breakdown

Are you being driven mad by phone calls from people wanting to buy your house?

Have you been seeing the ads everywhere and wondering what’s up with these so called “iBuyers”?

Well, I’ve got you covered. Check out the following video explaining what’s going on.

 

Don’t say yes too quickly and ALWAYS have someone in your corner to protect you!

If you have questions or are curious about how much your house is worth, don’t hesitate to call me.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

Extra! Extra! Great News for Condo Buyers!

Looking to buy a condominium? You could be eligible for a government-backed loan by the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) with a lower down payment under new rules that were announced Wednesday.

The new regulation and policy guidance set a new condo approval process and allows for some individual condos to be eligible for an FHA mortgage even if the condo project isn’t FHA approved. The loans only require a 3.5% down payment and allow for lower credit scores than conventional loans according to The Wall Street Journal.

Officials said the new rules would make it easier for condo buyers to apply for FHA-insured financing and open up more mixed-use projects to FHA backing. “Today we are making certain FHA responds to what the market is telling us,” FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery said. “This new rule allows FHA to meet its core mission to support eligible borrowers who are ready for homeownership and are most likely to enter the market with the purchase of a condominium.”

The FHA stated that 84 percent of condo buyers it backs had never owned a home before getting their FHA loan. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the change will open homeownership to new first-time buyers as well as seniors. “Condominiums have increasingly become a source of affordable, sustainable homeownership for many families and it’s critical that FHA be there to help them,” Carson said.

Only 6.5% of the 150,000 condo projects in the U.S. are currently approved for FHA’s mortgage insurance programs. Officials said the new policy, which will go into effect on Oct. 15, will open somewhere between 20,000 and 60,000 condo units to FHA-backed financing each year, which means more choices for home shoppers.

For an individual unit to be eligible for approval under the new rules, officials said it will have to be located in a completed project that is not approved. For projects with 10 or more units, no more than 10 percent can be FHA-insured. Projects with fewer than 10 units can have two FHA-insured units.

This is wonderful news for first time buyers that want to purchase a condo.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

 

2018 housing numbers are in for the Las Vegas valley

LV-Appreciation-2018_Page_1

If you would like to see home price appreciation in the Las Vegas valley by zip code, just click here… before you do though… try to guess how much your zip code appreciated.

Was your guess close? Some areas appreciated by double digits!

2019 may (or may not) present a different picture. There are currently more than double the number of homes for sale compared to a year ago… and closed sales are down approximately 15% compared to a year ago. If you remember your economics class, when the supply increases and the demand decreases… well… that changes things.

What do you think will happen to home prices in 2019 in the Las Vegas valley?
Comment below.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

UNLV report says economy will remain strong

Campus Beauty shotsFebruary 2, 2017(Josh Hawkins/UNLV Creative Services)

Dr. Stephen Miller, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV released his economic forecast report on Nov. 29 at Park MGM during a breakfast hosted in conjunction with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.  This event was attended by more than 400 business and community leaders

According to Dr. Miller’s report the Las Vegas economy will remain strong over the next two years with business optimism high, however the “softness in tourism” will continue when it comes to visitors and hotel occupancy. He was more subdued and concerned when speaking about in tourism.

“Based on our assessment of national and Nevada trends in 2017 and 2018, we believe that the Southern Nevada economy will continue to see improvement in 2019 and 2020,” Miller said. “The data are telling us a very positive story about the Southern Nevada economy. It’s on an upward trend, and the economy is on solid ground.”

CBER (The Center for Business and Economic Research) projects the economic growth in the Southern Nevada economy will generally outperform the national economy, since it started the recovery later and from a much deeper hole than faced at the national level, Miller said.

Miller went onto say that the economy has been bolstered by an increase in construction and will be aided in part by population growth, which will increase just above 2 percent in 2019 and 2020. Job growth will remain strong through 2020.

Dr. Miller also stated “On the negative side, the level of uncertainty as expressed in the gyrations of the stock market and the potential for policy errors by the Fed in responding to the expansion in economic activity promulgated in large measure by the corporate and personal tax cuts.  The Fed’s concern about an overheating economy could lead to pushing interest rates too high, too quickly and plunging the national economy into recession. The risk that this occurs seems small at the moment, but it is a risk all the same.”

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Happy New Year – 2019 should see more growth from the housing market

 

Here we are in the first week of the year 2019 in the Las Vegas Valley and indications for the housing market look good for this year.  Reports from Real Estate Analysis companies show that Las Vegas is still one of the strongest markets and will continue through the year.

People from all over the country are moving to Las Vegas for many different reasons – the Southern Nevada area is still very affordable so you can a bigger bang for your buck.  Retirees like that as well as people that no longer can take the cold weather in many parts of the country.

With the Raiders moving here, many employees, not just the team, are moving here since their headquarters will be located in Henderson.  Other companies like Google are bringing non-gaming businesses jobs to the Valley.

New home builders are still actively developing new neighborhoods in all areas of the valley with Summerlin offering not just single-family homes, now including new attached townhomes and condos in both low-rise and high rise buildings.  In 2018 we saw Las Vegas have a 15 percent appreciation and it predicted that 2019 will be half at seven percent. The appreciation level continuing to rise, even at a slower pace, is a positive sign (the national average is three to four percent).

If you are thinking about buying an investment property, now is the time to act.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

 

Looks like there are going to be more changes to laws on short term rentals.

As we are all aware Las Vegas and Clark County has seen a growth in population and the housing market in the last few years.  With growth comes change – and we will see changes in laws regarding short term rentals.

Make sure to check the HOA rules on rentals to start before you do anything. Almost all HOAs have a minimum of 30 day leases required and some are as much as a year.

To bring those who do not know the current rules here are what is currently on the books:

1) City of Henderson – minimum 30 day lease

2) Unincorporated Clark County – Minimum 30 day lease

3) City of North Las Vegas – no rules at this time

4) City of Las Vegas – You must apply for, and get approved, for a special use permit – only 167 approved to date – approval process includes inspections by the city, the neighbors giving their approval, the HOA approving, getting city and state licenses, paying hotel room tax, etc.

As a recent article in the RJ stated – there are approximately 3,000 illegal short term rentals in the city of Las Vegas and another 4,000 in the county. Last year, in the entire valley, there were over 500,000 booked nights in the short term rentals. In 2012 it was less than 20,000.  That is quite a difference!

If you don’t think the hotels have taken notice of this jump in short term rentals you may be enjoying the recent marijuana law changes too much.

Last week, Lois Tarkanian, proposed a revision to the law eliminating short term rentals in the City of Las Vegas. There are a number of reasons for this:

First and foremost– a short term rental is a commercial enterprise (like a liquor store or an auto repair shop) and people don’t want those in residential areas.

Second – the number of complaints the police, and government officials, have received have skyrocketed. Complaints such as loud parties at all hours of the night, cars parking and blocking neighbors driveways, trash and damage to neighboring homes, fighting, belligerent people, the list goes on and on.

Third- many lawsuits by other commercial businesses (like liquor stores or auto repairs shops) have been denied because they wanted to open in a residential neighborhood.

Fourth- lawsuits by owners who have been denied permits to have a short term rental stating that the process is unfair.

Fifth – lawsuits by people living in the city and county against the city and county for not enforcing the laws that are on the books.

There is a lot of support in the council for this change, and you can bet there is a lot of money pouring in from the hotels to encourage passage of this law. It was not in the article but the county code enforcer said that the city is not processing any more applications until this is resolved. He also said that the city, county and Henderson are “aggressively” going after people who are illegally doing short term rentals sending out up to 500 cease and desist orders per week. People, who are trying to hide their addresses from the ads and think they won’t get caught, are getting caught by code enforces posing as potential tenants. With a $1000 a day fine, this is turning into a big money maker for the various cities and counties. I guess someone has to foot the bill for all the Tylenol (from the headaches…)

I did a short 4 minute video on this subject in February 2018 – click on this link to view (https://youtu.be/gk5FszAemUs)

As I learn more I will pass it along!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Home Appraisals are (usually) Necessary When Buying a Home

Whether you are buying or selling, if the buyer is not paying cash (and on occasion, even if they are) the home appraisal is a one of the most important steps in the process and could make or break a deal on either side. So what exactly is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is an expert opinion of a home’s value and it assures the lender that their loan will be in line with the fair market value of the property. A home appraiser is a licensed professional who has completed the required training, apprenticeships, and exams to carefully and impartially provide opinions about the value of real property, according to the the world’s leading organization of professional real estate appraisers.

This means your appraiser is not going to give a low estimate because they didn’t like your furniture. But rather, according to the Appraisal Institute, appraisers put together a series of facts, statistics, and other information regarding specific properties – then analyze this data, and develop opinions of value. The appraisal report will include recent sales information for similar properties (comps), the current condition of the property, and the location of the property as to how the neighborhood impacts the property’s value.

In most cases the buyer will need to cover the cost of the appraisal. Both the buyer and the seller should meet with their agent and find out what comparable homes in the area have recently sold for, which will give clues as to how much the property will ultimately appraise for.

If an appraisal comes in lower than you feel it should, the seller’s agent can use his/her knowledge of the area to challenge the appraisal. Home prices in the Las Vegas valley have been increasing so quickly that the comps that sold six months ago don’t yet reflect this improvement. There may not be adequate comps in your area, so the appraiser might have referenced comps from a less desirable community.

You have the right to see a copy of the appraisal report. Look it over as carefully as you look over your credit card statement each month you might just find errors or omissions and if that is the case the appraisal can sometimes be corrected.

If the appraisal is not adjusted enough to get to the original contract price, and both parties still want the sale to go through, it could make sense to split the difference, with the seller dropping the price a bit and the buyer adding cash to the down payment. For example, if the difference between the sales price and the appraised value is $10,000, the seller could lower the price by $5,000 and get the buyer to bring another $5,000 to closing. This solution depends entirely on the relative willingness and financial positions

of the two parties. Of course, neither party is obligated to compromise and if a new agreement is not reached, the buyer and seller can part ways and (most real estate contracts contain a provision that states) the buyer will have their earnest money returned to them.

When an appraisal comes in low, don’t panic. Remember to stay calm, assess the situation, and let your agent walk you through the process. Often, there is a fair and equitable resolution for all. It just may take some extra time.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff