Monthly Archives June 2015

Selling Your Home? Here Are Some Tips

Even when the market is hot, you’ve got to make sure your listing stands out from competing homes. Pictures move the masses and if you’re not careful, they can move prospective buyers away from your listings online. 1) Home buyers love browsing photos on the internet. The more photos you have online the more time a prospect will spend viewing and connecting with your listing. Good quality photos can show off all the special features of your home. 2) When shooting outside, make sure the sun is behind you. The light will act as your own natural “studio light” brightening up
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Categories: News.

Retire Here, Not There: Montana

No Montana home would be complete, it seems, without hiking boots, skis and fishing poles. Residents and visitors alike can roam through the Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, ski relatively uncrowded resorts like Bridger Bowl and Big Mountain, or fly-fish in the chilly rapids of the Bitterroot or Yellowstone Rivers. “The scenery and lifestyle here are a huge draw,” says Bill Beecher, a financial planner at Beecher Financial Planning in Great Falls, Mont. So far, at least, that kind of popularity hasn’t led to overdevelopment. In recent years, some residents have been fiercely protective of Montana’s natural resources. Posh ski
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Categories: News.

Report Family Gifts of Real Estate to the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service has a low-profile but sweeping effort under way to use state land-transfer records for evidence of omissions in reporting gifts of real estate to family members. The IRS state and federal gift-and-estate tax program is finding people who haven’t filed Form 709 to report U.S. gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes to the IRS. New tax rules have made big gifts to family members popular this year, as Congress raised the limit on how much a person can give in a lifetime to $5 million without having to pay gift tax. Still, any time a gift to
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Categories: Agents newsletters.

Real Estate’s Road to Recovery

Report shows strong improvement in Flathead County’s sales and foreclosures Supporting the widespread perception that Flathead County’s real estate market is recovering, an annually anticipated report shows solid improvement in sales and foreclosures in 2012, and slight gains in new construction. Housing remains affordable with low interest rates and buyer confidence appears to be on the rise. Yet signs of the downturn persist, with bank-owned properties still making up a large percentage of sales. And land sales and subdivision activity remain near their historic lows. Those trends are gleaned from a 2012 Flathead County real estate market report released by
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Categories: Agents newsletters.

New Bridge For Whitefish

The Montana Department of Transportation is reconstructing and widening U.S. Highway 93 to provide improved safety and operations for the traveling public.  The work includes a bridge replacement over the Whitefish River, clearing, grubbing, grading, gravel, storm drain, curb and gutter, plant mix surfacing, signing, striping, fencing, landscaping, retaining wall, guardrail, and other miscellaneous items. The work is scheduled to be completed by July 31, 2014.
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Categories: Agents newsletters.

Look To Our Forests To Boost Our Economy

Two years into a slow economic recovery, many Montana rural communities are still struggling to create jobs. The unemployment rate in rural counties is just under eight percent compared to six percent for Montana’s metropolitan counties. In hard economic times, Montana has relied on its forests for jobs and income. Today, logging cannot lift the state alone, but logging combined with forest and watershed restoration work can be the basis for job growth in Montana’s rural counties. Restoration work utilizes the same skills, knowledge, and equipment already present in Montana’s timber industry and often includes commercial and small-diameter timber for
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Categories: Agents newsletters.

Kiplinger’s Housing Forecast: Positive Signs Offset the Negative

The median home price in the U.S. has plunged nearly 40% in a little over five years, but the worst is definitely over, according to a recent report by Kiplinger: The market has finally wrung out the last excess valuations born of the housing bubble. Before you break out the party hats, note that this doesn’t mean prices across the nation are poised to rebound anytime soon. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analytics, said the housing market is in a “suspended state,” with positive and negative factors offsetting
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Categories: Agents newsletters.

Kelly Appraisal Reports Strong Numbers For 2013 Sales

The number of non-distressed sales are up 53% and the number of REO sales are down 49% from this time last year. Short sales are down 38%. The median price of REO sales was $146,199 at this time in 2012 compared with $149,900 this year, and the median price of non-distressed sales was $216,450 in 2012 compared with $226,500 this year. Based on year-over-year comparison of the non-distressed sales, a 4.6% increase in prices is suggested. This data, as well as the overall sales, does indicate that as the demand increases, prices are also starting to increase.
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Categories: Agents newsletters.

How To Make Your Home Look Larger Without Remodeling

 When Mark Goldey and his wife Lisa decided to lease out their three-bedroom apartment, they rearranged it to entice renters. They de-kidified it, warehousing their two toddlers’ toys in a side TV room, and pushed the TV room couches out to the living room—it may seem counterintuitive, but furniture can actually make a room feel larger.  Their agent, Jason Saft of Citi Habitats, encouraged the Goldeys to display their glass artwork in prominent places that would reflect light around the room and draw attention to the high ceilings. He color-coded the books on the shelves, arranging larger, darker books lower and
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Categories: News.

Home Price Index Sees Record Growth

WASHINGTON — Prices for U.S. homes leapt in April, posting record monthly growth and the fastest year-over-year growth in seven years, according to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller data released Tuesday. With gains in 19 of 20 cities, the 20-city composite index rose 2.5 percent in April, the largest monthly growth on record. The data go back to 2000. After seasonal adjustments, prices rose 1.7 percent in April. Compared with the same period in the previous year, prices in April rose 12.1 percent, the fastest annual pace since 2006, according to the report. Still, the 20-city composite index indicated prices remain about
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Categories: News.