The Howell Realty Group Real Estate News and Information

 

Aug. 24, 2019

Bawa Medical - Grand Opening Event Boca Raton

Bawa Medical Grand Opening

Saturday, September 7TH AT 6 PM 

7000 West Camino Real, Suite 200 Boca Raton FL 

Live Performance By American Idol's Tyra Juliette 

FREE Digital Skin Imaging

IPAD Drawing

Live Hydra-facial Demonstration 

CLICK TO GET ON THE VIP GUEST LIST - REGISTERING NOW

I am so excited for my dear friend Dr. Kanwal Bawa,  She is opening a new medical business in Boca Raton and we wanted to make sure you were invited to this amazing event.  Dr. Bawa is not your average physician – she offers unique treatments and brand new, state-of-the-art equipment. Dr. Bawa is proud to offer exceptional quality in every procedure she performs. She underwent specialized training and certification for hair transplantation and restoration, scalp PRP, Vampire Facelift®, Facial® and Breast Lift®, as well as the O-Shot® and P-Shot® for sexual enhancement. Her goal is to help patients feel good on the inside and out.

So click on the this link and GET ON THE VIP GUEST LIST - REGISTER NOW! 

 

I would love to see you there. Please share this invitation with family and friends.

Bawa Medical Boca Raton

Posted in Local Events
Aug. 23, 2019

Media Overload

5 Easy Steps to Avoid Overwhelm from Media Overload

 

When someone is thinking about buying or selling a home, they want to be well-informed. They want to make the right decision for themselves and their family. They scour the internet for any information they can find about the housing market.

Today, there is an abundance of information available. It is often conflicting news. It can easily lead to confusion and concern, perhaps even causing a potential buyer or seller to cancel their plans to move altogether. Instead, the best things to do are sit down and take a deep breath.

In a recent article, Jeff Davidson, a recognized speaker on the subject of productivity, explained:

“The pace at which new information arrives will accelerate every day…Too often, the reflex to take action only exacerbates your time-pressure problems. Do not bite off more than you can chew, and acknowledge that often, the wisest response to too much competition for your time and attention is to simply slow down to assess the best way to proceed.”

To that point, here is an easy five-step process to follow if all of this information seems overwhelming:

  1. Calm Down – Don’t let the confusion lead to concern or panic.
  2. Slow Down – As Davidson suggests, just “slow down to assess.”
  3. Think – Remember the reasons you wanted to move in the first place. Are they still important?
  4. Plan – Determine whether or not the new information should change anything. If you need further clarification on some points, reach out to a real estate professional in your area for a better understanding.
  5. Act – After thorough consideration, feel good about your decision, whether you decide to move or not.

Bottom Line

Don’t let the plethora of seemingly conflicting information on the housing market stop you from moving forward with your life. Let’s get together to ensure you get the valuable counsel you need so you can make the right decision for you and your family.

 

 

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.
Posted in For Buyers
Aug. 15, 2019

Busting the Myth About a Housing Affordability Crisis

Busting the Myth About a Housing Affordability Crisis | MyKCM

It seems you can’t find a headline with the term “housing affordability” without the word “crisis” attached to it. That’s because some only consider the fact that residential real estate prices have continued to appreciate. However, we must realize it’s not just the price of a home that matters, but the price relative to a purchaser’s buying power.

Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by 3.5% over the last year.

Let’s look at three different reports issued recently that reveal how homes are very affordable in comparison to historic numbers, and how they have become even more affordable over the past several months.

1. National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Housing Affordability Index:

Here is a graph showing the index going all the way back to 1990. The higher the column, the more affordable homes are:Busting the Myth About a Housing Affordability Crisis | MyKCMWe can see that homes are less affordable today (the green bar) than they were during the housing crash (the red bars). This was when distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales saturated the market and sold for massive discounts. However, homes are more affordable today than at any time from 1990 to 2008.

NAR’s report on the index also shows that the percentage of a family’s income needed for a mortgage payment (16.5%) is dramatically lower than last year and is well below the historic norm of 21.2%.Busting the Myth About a Housing Affordability Crisis | MyKCM

2. Black Knight’s Mortgage Monitor:

This report reveals that as a result of falling interest rates and slowing home price appreciation, affordability is the best it has been in 18 months. Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske explains:

“For much of the past year and a half, affordability pressures have put a damper on home price appreciation. Indeed, the rate of annual home price growth has declined for 15 consecutive months. More recently, declining 30-year fixed interest rates have helped to ease some of those pressures, improving the affordability outlook considerably…And despite the average home price rising by more than $12K since November, today’s lower fixed interest rates have worked out to a $108 lower monthly payment…Lower rates have also increased the buying power for prospective homebuyers looking to purchase the average-priced home by the equivalent of 15%.”

3. First American’s Real House Price Index:

While affordability has increased recently, Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist explains:

“If the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declines just a fraction more, consumer house-buying power would reach its highest level in almost 20 years.”

Fleming goes on to say that the gains in affordability are about mortgage rates and the increase in family incomes:

“Average nominal household incomes are nearly 57 percent higher today than in January 2000. Record income levels combined with mortgage rates near historic lows mean consumer house-buying power is more than 150 percent greater today than it was in January 2000.”

Bottom Line

If you’ve put off the purchase of a first home or a move-up home because of affordability concerns, you should take another look at your ability to purchase in today’s market. You may be pleasantly surprised!

 

 

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

 

Posted in For Buyers
July 24, 2019

Experts worry that some foreign-owned apps, such as FaceApp (Russia) and TikTok (China), send data overseas.

The Howell Team - FaceApp's Privacy Concerns

FaceApp’s Photo-Aging Fun Raises Privacy Concerns

Not all apps are created equal – or in this country. Experts worry that some foreign-owned apps, such as FaceApp (Russia) and TikTok (China), send data overseas.

NEW YORK – Seems like nearly everyone on Twitter is accepting the #FaceAppChallenge by posting photos of themselves having aged.

They are using FaceApp, a downloadable program available on Apple’s App store and the Google Play store, which lets you apply filters to your photos to transform your appearance – to make you look younger or older, have a different look, or even more masculine or feminine. Those can be shared online and on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

FaceApp, which uses artificial intelligence to create “neural face transformations,” first gained prominence in spring 2017. But a new wave of interest has made FaceApp the top free app in both the Apple and Google app stores, according to measurement site App Annie.

Some privacy and security experts have expressed concerns that users granting the Russian-based FaceApp access to photos on their smartphones is a grand giveaway of privacy and personal information.

What does FaceApp say it may do with your photos?

Users must grant access to their photos to use the app, but FaceApp’s Terms of Service and Privacy notifications don’t explain how deep its access may go.

However, in the company’s Terms of Service, it says users grant FaceApp “a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce … create derivative works from … and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.”

James Whatley of digital marketing firm Digitas noted on Twitter that FaceApp’s “terms of service page is a DOOZY.”

Silicon Valley lawyer Elizabeth Potts Weinstein reiterated the concern that using FaceApp gives the company “a license to use your photos, your name ... and your likeness for any purpose including commercial purposes.”

Should I be concerned?

Yes, say privacy experts, since it is uncertain what else FaceApp can access and how it might be used. Access to other information the app gets could be used for marketing purposes, too, as its privacy notifications says that “may help us or others provide reports or personalized content and ads.”

Most users don’t read these notices, says Jason Hill, lead cybersecurity researcher at CyberInt Technologies, a Tel Aviv, Israel-headquartered firm.

“Users should always be cautious when permitting an app access to their personal information, be it social media profiles, photos or contacts,” he said. “Furthermore, individuals should consider that they may not only be exposing themselves to an app provider as, when permitting access to a social media profile and it’s photos, may inadvertently permit access to images containing others.”

While there “is no immediate evidence to suggest that FaceApp is performing any nefarious task,” Hill said, “as in any case when an app or service is requesting personal information or access to profiles, users should be cautious of oversharing.”

Various pieces of your digital profile – acquired through various apps and social networks – could be compiled.

“For example, collating photos associated with a user could, where present, allow image metadata, such as the location that a picture was taken, to be mapped and correlated with access logs, gathered when the user accesses the service, that will associate details of their IP address, ISP and the device (including browser, operating system and hardware).” Hill said.

What about other apps?

Popular video app TikTok is another app to be concerned about. David Carroll, a professor of media design at The New School in Manhattan, has said since FaceApp is based in Russia and popular video app TikTok is based in China, it’s “safe to assume those governments can readily access your data.”

Tech firms based outside the U.S. are “subject to different standards or governance for data handling,” CyberInt’s Hill said. “Whilst many individuals may not be concerned by this, users working in government, military or sensitive roles may want to consider the ramifications of potentially exposing their personal data to foreign entities.”

Copyright 2019, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Mike Snider. 

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb. 14, 2019

Love Covers a Multitude of Wrongs

February 2019 Newsletter

Love Covers a Multitude of Wrongs 

I was cruelly led to believe when I was young that Valentine’s Day was reserved ONLY for those closest to us. That it was weird to wish strangers or acquaintances a Happy Valentine’s Day. That would be equal to telling them I love them. But aren’t we supposed to love others?

Of course, I’m bringing up Valentines because its February, the month for Valentines, and it’s a BIG deal… bigger than just flowers or dinner with that special someone.  

I may have shared this story with you before, but dear friends of mine were planning their wedding back in 1997, they revealed to all in attendance words that would convey their LOVE for each other. Some of those words included:  Some of those words included: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always “perseveres”. 

February 2018 Homeward Bound - Billy Howell

Click to Download Your Copy Now

 

When you read these words, it sure sounds like love is NOT reserved for just those close to us but rather it’s a verb lived out on and for others.  Others being anyone and everyone. I’m so proud of my team for buying in to and adapting in action LOVE towards clients, prospects, vendors and even our competition.  I’m confident this is why we have been recognized as the real estate sales team others measure themselves by.  

So, the secret to our success is pretty much summed up in this month’s newsletter theme: L-O-V-E. Not as a noun, but as a VERB. In fact, when we find ourselves with a decision to make, it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong filtering through this question: What does love to require of me?

We do love helping people sell and buy the place they call home. We love helping our past clients (who are never really past clients) increase their wealth investing in real estate. We love giving a portion of our income and time to Worthy Causes. I love watching team members grow both personally and professionally. I love competitors as it makes us better at helping others get what they want.  And people say we are better than good at doing just that! And we work each day to SHOW love toward everyone. It is what is required of us (our belief system). 

Also, as you know, we love making guarantees! Like our Buyer Satisfaction Guarantee: Love the home or we’ll buy it back or sell it for Free! Or our Seller Guarantee: Your Home Sold or We’ll Buy It! And we guarantee that a portion of our income WILL go to a very worthy cause like Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

We are on a mission to raise $10,000 for Children’s Miracle Network. We do this by donating to them a portion of our income from homes we sell.  As you know Children’s Miracle Network does awesome work in helping kids fight through and survive nasty life-threatening diseases like cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia and others.  They also lead the way in early diagnosis of Autism and rapid recovery from spinal cord injuries. 

Most don’t know though that Children’s is a non-profit, so they depend on sponsorships and donations to provide their world class care and keep costs for families of these beautiful kids to a minimum. So, when you or anyone you know does business with us, not only do we deliver on our award-winning service, you can rest assured a very worthy cause benefits as well. 

 If you or anyone you know is considering selling, give me a call or pass on my number.  Thank you in advance for your referrals! My number is 561-327-1930.

Over the decades of helping thousands of families sell or buy the place they call home, we have met some wonderful, loving, caring people.  People like you!  And, referrals of those you know considering buying or selling will receive the award-winning service we are known for and the beautiful kids at Children’s Miracle Network will benefit as well. 

I hope you and your family are well and this Valentines brings you much joy and happiness.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Billy Howell
The Howell Team
Your Home Sold Guaranteed
561-327-1930

Posted in Newsletter
June 15, 2018

June 2018 HomewardBound Newsletter

I just put the finishing touches on this months “HOME”WARD BOUND REAL ESTATE NEWS FROM ME, Billy Howell

Billy Howell's Homeward Bound News June 2018

           CLICK TO DOWNLOAD NOW!

June 2018 Homeward Bound News Letter

In this month's issue:

* Donald Trump's B'day gift rerouted to you.

* Special LIFE TIME Guarantee

* Supporting the Way Side House & Ryan J. Mandel Scholarship Fund.

* How Your Referrals Help The Kids!

*And more in this months “HOME”WARD BOUND REAL ESTATE NEWS FROM ME, Billy Howell

Billy Howell's Homeward Bound News June 2018

Make a difference www.howellreferralrewards.com 

Enjoy! 

Billy Howell

March 5, 2018

Your Referrals Really Do Help The Kids at C.M.N!

** Do you Trust The Ground Hog To Get it Right? **
In March Issue of 'HomeWard Bound':

* That Special Place in Your Home.
* A Time For Every Season Under the Sun!
* How your Referrals Help the Kid
* That Pesky Ground Deciding Who Smiles

And More in this month's 'HOMEWARD BOUND' REAL ESTATE NEWS FROM BILLY HOWELL.

Click Image to Enjoy! 

Homward Bound March - Your Referrals Really Do Help The Kids

Posted in Newsletter
Jan. 17, 2018

Bitcoin fever grips U.S. real estate

NEW YORK – Jan. 15, 2018 – Bitcoin offers foreign investors a way to dodge currency controls at home and US sanctions.

Bitcoin fever has hit the U.S. real estate market, especially that of Florida, offering foreign investors a way to dodge currency controls at home and U.S. economic sanctions.

As of the end of last year, the digital currency was listed as a way to pay for some 75 properties for sale, especially in south Florida and California, according to the real estate firm Redfin.

"Bitcoin accepted" is a message now seen in the description of homes for sale in the Miami area.

One seller is going even farther, saying he will take only Bitcoin (33 of them to be exact) for his half-million-dollar downtown condo in the Florida metropolis.

Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster ride of late, shooting up to nearly $20,000 a piece in mid-December and then dropping sharply around Christmas. It started the year at around $14,000.

Its use in real estate transactions is novel, and agents are wary because of its high volatility.

"I'd be blown away if a year from now, we see hundreds of real estate transactions in Bitcoins," said Jay Parker, Florida CEO for the Douglas Elliman brokerage agency.

Still, such transactions can be useful for foreigners who want to invest in the United States and cannot otherwise do so, said economist and Bitcoin expert Charles Evans of Barry University. "This seems to be driven by international investors who are circumventing inefficient banking and currency controls at home, and by U.S. cryptocurrency enthusiasts," Evans told AFP.

"The governments in those countries restrict the amount of money that their residents are allowed to transfer abroad through the banking system. Bitcoin enables individuals there to bypass such restrictions," he added.

This could be a draw for investors, who even before the Bitcoin rage were already hot on the real estate market in south Florida. Nearly half of all foreign buyers of property in south Florida are from Latin America.

According to the National Association of Realtors, over the past five years, investors from Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina – in that order – have led purchases in this part of the state.

Bitcoin offers another advantage for some foreign investors: it lets them dodge U.S. economic sanctions. Evans cited the example of Venezuela, which imposes strict currency controls and is enduring runaway inflation that surpassed 2,600 percent in 2017.

What's more, many senior officials in the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro have been hit by sanctions imposed by Washington, which considers his administration a dictatorship.

Evans said there is also a lot of interest in Bitcoin among Iranians, whom he described as "doubly hit" with restrictions in Iran and international sanctions.

Bitcoin could make it harder to launder money through real estate in South Florida, some say.

The cryptocurrency "is a terrible medium for large-scale money laundering, because all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the publicly available transaction record known at the blockchain," said Evans.

Although Bitcoin has been associated with the drug trade and cyberattacks, blockchain "leaves a lot of fingerprints," former Florida representative Jose Felix Diaz told Politico. "So if you're using it for illegitimate reasons, the state and the federal government should have every tool at their disposal to go after you," Diaz said.

Last year, Diaz sponsored a bill-turned-law that includes Bitcoin in Florida's laws for fighting money laundering.

Real estate agent Parker said money laundering via Bitcoin is far from posing a risk because "the beneficial owners of the real estate are always going to be able to be traced."

Parker said the fad of doing real estate deals in Bitcoin could be as volatile as the currency itself.

"I think it's a gimmick. There's not much risk. The only risk is if the currency crashes before you can liquidate it," said Parker. "I think the people that are using Bitcoins to try to market their properties are doing it with the very purpose of getting you to write about it, getting their properties exposure," said Parker.

© 2018 Khaleej Times. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

Posted in Uncategorized
Oct. 16, 2017

Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting in 39 States!

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge (LA), and 33.1% nationwide!

A study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owning a home at the state level and concluded that in 39 states, it is actually ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ cheaper to own (represented by the two shades of blue in the map below).


               

One of the main reasons owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.91%.

Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

You initially believed that using an agent made sense. It probably still does. Contact the Howell Realty Group to discuss the possibilities.

 

Oct. 3, 2017

A Tale of Two Markets: A 6-Month Update

Six months ago, we reported that the mismatch between the type of inventory of homes for sale and the demand of buyers in the US was causing the formation of two markets.

In the starter and trade-up home categories, there were significantly more buyers than there were homes for sale, causing a seller’s market. In the premium, or luxury, home categories, the opposite was true as there was a surplus of these homes compared to the buyers that were out searching for their dream homes, which created a buyer’s market.

According to the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market is at a 4.2-month supply. Inventory is now 6.5% lower than this time last year, marking the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases.

Looking at the latest report from Trulia, we can see that not much has changed, and in fact, recent natural disasters across the country have made inventory conditions even more dire.

Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.”

The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below.



Nationally, buyers are searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short with the listings available, which is leading to a highly competitive seller’s market in these categories.

Premium homebuyers, on the other hand, have the best chance of less competition and more inventory of listings in their price range with a 14.7-point surplus, which is creating more of a buyer’s market.

Bottom Line

You initially believed that using an agent made sense. It probably still does. Contact the Howell Realty Group to discuss the possibilities.