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August National Showing Index Shows 7.1% Year-Over-Year Increase

August National Showing Index Shows 7.1% Year-Over-Year Increase

CHICAGO, IL/ September 22, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Showings on the national level increased 7.1 percent in August from the same period last year, according to the August 2017 ShowingTime Showing IndexTM.

The Northeast Region had the highest year-over-year increase in showings at 10.3 percent, while the West Region posted a slight month-over-month increase, unusual for August, resulting in a 4.1 percent gain. The Midwest Region was up 7.1 percent, while the South had a 4.5 percent increase in showings over August 2016.

“August continued to be busy across the country compared to last year,” ShowingTime Chief Analytics Officer Daniil Cherkasskiy said. “The South Region, as a whole, still saw a year-over-year increase despite Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston and other areas of the region. We anticipate seeing a bigger impact from Hurricane Irma on the South Region in next month’s Showing Index.”

The Showing Index, released the third week of each month, will eventually be released on a weekly basis. Local MLS indices will also become available for select markets in October, distributed to MLS and association leadership to provide them with another resource to share with members and to communicate to local media.

“The local MLS version will show a more complete view of buyer activity,” ShowingTime President Michael Lane said. “Over time, MLSs, associations and their subscribers will be equipped to measure buyer demand week over week, month over month and year over year.”

The ShowingTime Showing Index, the first of its kind in the residential real estate industry, is compiled using data from property showings scheduled across the country on listings using ShowingTime products and services. It tracks the average number of appointments received on an active listing during the month. ShowingTime facilitates more than 4 million showings each month.

To view the full report, visit www.showingtime.com/index.

About ShowingTime
ShowingTime is the leading market stats and showing management technology provider to the residential real estate industry, with more than 1.2 million active listings covered by its services. Its products are used by more than 180 MLSs and associations representing more than 900,000 real estate professionals across the United States and Canada.

Source: 24-7PressRelease

Habitat for Humanity Washington D.C.’s “Women Build: She Nailed It” Exceeds Campaign Expectations, HUD Secretary Ben Carson Provides Keynote

Habitat for Humanity Washington D.C.'s "Women Build: She Nailed It" Exceeds Campaign Expectations, HUD Secretary Ben Carson Provides Keynote

WASHINGTON/ Sept. 22, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — The Honorable Benjamin S. Carson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), praised the extraordinary leadership of DC Habitat’s “Women Build: She Nailed It” initiative during his keynote speech at a “celebration reception” at the beautiful National Museum of Women.

The elegant reception for nearly 300 guests, including several DC Councilmembers, corporate donors, media, and volunteers, highlighted DC Habitat’s “Women Build: She Nailed It” campaign in the Arts building on September 14, 2017 to promote affordable homeownership for low- and moderate-income women in need of housing in the District of Columbia.

Launched on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017, the multi-month campaign surpassed its $500,000 fundraising goal to provide permanent, safe and decent new homes to local families and to engage broader community support, it was announced. The initiative enjoys the support of all six current and former First Ladies of the United States on its honorary committee, bipartisan members of Congress, and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser who attended last year’s ground-breaking ceremony in Ivy City (Northeast DC).

“The least I can do for my mother—and the least we can do for all the women who helped us and inspired us—is to give more Americans like them a shot at homeownership, opportunities for prosperity, and protection from the storms that life may throw at them and their families,” said Dr. Carson, citing his personal experience of growing up in Detroit.

Dr. Carson recognized the leadership of Susanne V. Slater, DC Habitat’s President and CEO, Corinne McIntosh-Douglas, DC Habitat Board Chair, and Debbie Ames Naylor, Executive Vice President and President, Mortgage Banking, PenFed, and Chair of the Women Build Steering Committee, who led the fundraising efforts for the 2017 Women Build campaign.

“This event recognizes their achievements, and especially calls attention to those who have worked and built and battled against long odds, who deserve our help and acclaim so that they have a fighting chance to get ahead,” said Carson, who was accompanied by his wife, Candy Carson, cofounder and Board member of Carsons Scholarship Fund.

“Habitat for Humanity’s mission of empowerment, of offering people a hand UP, not a hand-OUT, is one I have always embraced,” said DC Habitat’s Slater. “DC Habitat’s ‘Women Build: She Nailed It’ campaign highlights the contributions of so many incredible women who have invested in bringing the DC community together to build and raise money for affordable housing. I am so proud of our team, and most especially of Debbie Ames Naylor, for her incredible hard work and determination in bringing needed resources to this worthy project.”

“It’s been such an honor to help serve this underserved community of women by helping them achieve the dream of affordable housing,” said Ames Naylor, adding that PenFed Credit Union is a legacy sponsor and has donated a total of $500,000 over the past several years including $100,000 this year. “I am so proud to have met deserving women like new Habitat homeowner Andrea Morgan, who has proven to us all that she is a female warrior.”

Ames Naylor noted that DC Habitat’s Women Build initiative recognizes the challenges facing women in the nation’s capital, especially women who serve as the head of their family and have little hope of achieving the dream of homeownership.

To address these needs, DC Habitat focuses on helping local women and their families build strength, stability, self-reliance and community through affordable homeownership opportunities. DC Habitat offers a hand-up, not a hand-out so that families working alongside us can achieve the dream of homeownership.

The spectacular reception took place in The Great Hall of The National Museum of Women in the Arts from 5:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. In addition to Secretary Carson, special guests included Debra Alfarone, TV Journalist and WUSA9’s Weekend Evening Anchor, as Emcee; DC Habitat homeowner Andrea Morgan, who shared her story of empowerment; Polly Donaldson, Director of the DC Department of Housing and Community; Shanel James, Miss US International 2017 and a Howard University graduate, and government, private sector, and community leaders.

Since the launch of the “Women Build: She Nailed It” campaign in early 2017, more than two dozen all-volunteer construction builds with DC Habitat’s corporate and nonprofit partners have been scheduled. Those include PenFed, Avalon Bay, Edgewood, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Kiwanis Club, Leidos, and MidCity Financial, among others. Additional construction builds are planned this fall.

DC Habitat would like to offer its appreciation to the many sponsors and supporters of “Women Build: She Nailed It” including PenFed Credit Union, Kiwanis, Greater Washington Community Foundation, Fannie Mae, Mortgage Bankers Association, Wells Fargo, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Freddie Mac, Leidos, National Presbyterian Church, titleclose, Torti Gallas + Partners, Edgewood, MIDCITY, AvalonBay, Cognosante, ARTEMIS Real Estate Partners, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty, and others.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which is currently supporting Hurricanes Harvey and Irma response and recovery efforts through the #HabitatHammersBack campaign.

About DC Habitat:
According to Professional Builder magazine, 2015, Habitat for Humanity International was the 15th largest homebuilder in the United States. Since DC Habitat’s founding in 1988, 200 homes in Washington, D.C. and abroad have been built or rehabilitated, utilizing the help of 2,000 to 5,000 volunteers each year. DC Habitat currently has 44 new homes in its construction pipeline and plans to substantially increase the number of D.C. families served to 450 families through homeownership opportunities, critical home repair and counseling by 2020.

SOURCE: Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. (DC Habitat)

Athletico Physical Therapy Acquires The Work Center

Athletico Physical Therapy Acquires The Work Center

OAK BROOK, Ill./ Sept. 22, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Athletico Physical Therapy announced a definitive agreement to acquire The Work Center, a leading industrial rehabilitation provider with nine clinics in the St. Louis, Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri areas specializing in physical and occupational therapy for work-related injuries.

This acquisition marks Athletico’s first entry into the Columbia and Jefferson City markets and strengthens its existing presence in St. Louis. Following the closing of the transaction, Athletico will serve patients at nearly 400 locations across ten states. The Work Center clinics will remain open and fully staffed to serve current and new patients. Athletico’s CEO and President, Mark Kaufman, will continue to lead the company, which will maintain its headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.

“We’re very excited to combine forces with The Work Center, a reputable provider of workforce performance solutions and Industrial Rehabilitation,” said Kaufman. “In addition to expanding our geographic footprint, this purchase also enables Athletico to provide greater support to our patients through broader industrial service offerings and a menu of injury prevention programs, which help organizations of all kinds to save money and increase productivity.”

“Both of our companies were founded by clinicians and have a strong focus on patient care and satisfaction,” said Michael Fallwell, Founder and President of The Work Center.  “These common values are why this partnership makes sense. We also bring several distinct services and approaches to the industry that will complement each other’s strengths and allow us to expand on what we collectively offer patients.”

About Athletico
Athletico Physical Therapy provides the highest quality orthopedic rehabilitation services to communities, employers and athletes in nearly 400 locations throughout ten states with more than 4500 employees. Athletico is committed to our patients and referring physicians through our patient-centric focus, positive work environment, attention to quality and high standard of care. Athletico measures patient outcomes and satisfaction and is dedicated to continuous improvement. Athletico was named #1 Workplace in Chicago, “Best Physical Therapy Practice in the Nation” by ADVANCE magazine, Top Workplace in the Nation, and has been recognized as a leader in employee volunteering and charitable giving. Our services include physical and occupational/hand therapy, workers’ compensation, women’s health therapy, concussion management and athletic training. For more information, or to schedule a free injury screening, please visit www.athletico.com and follow us on Twitter at @Athletico.

SOURCE: Athletico Physical Therapy

Building Engines Helps Clients Become Measurably Better at Third Annual TRANSFORM Property Management Summit

Building Engines Helps Clients Become Measurably Better at Third Annual TRANSFORM Property Management Summit

WALTHAM, MA/September 22, 2017 (PRWEB) (StlRealEstate.News) — Building Engines, leaders in commercial real estate (CRE) property management innovation, announced today the completion of the 2017 TRANSFORM Property Management Summit.

The event drew CRE leaders representing over 250 million square feet of office, medical office, retail, and industrial property across the US and Canada. Held at the Revere Hotel near Boston Common, TRANSFORM was the third annual property management summit hosted by the CRE technology organization.

“Building Engines is dedicated to helping clients become measurably better,” said Building Engines CEO David Osborn, “and TRANSFORM is a critical part of that mission. Every year we look forward to this event, as we learn a lot from our clients in this collaborative exchange of ideas. This is an environment for clients and their peers to share best practices and insights, to help them become more effective when they get back to their own buildings.”

Event highlights included:

*The release of the inaugural State of Commercial Real Estate Operations Annual Report, a first-of-its-kind research study that unveils the operational practices that most distinguish high-performing commercial properties from their competitors in the marketplace. To see a live analysis of the findings, join Building Engines on October 18th, 2017 for a webinar event. Registration details: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3698311099611402754

*An exclusive, client-only preview of several new additions coming to the Building Engines platform in the coming months focused on helping organizations become measurably better.

*TRANSFORM keynote speaker Dr. Margaret Serrato, workplace strategist at Herman Miller, who captivated attendees with examples of how cutting-edge corporate occupiers are redesigning their workplaces to address the enormous pressure they face to manage cost, facilitate collaboration, and attract talent to their offices.

*A panel of property management executives from leading CRE organizations, who discussed the operational KPIs used to manage their teams. The session featured Amanda Schroeder, Operations Manager at Lillibridge; Joe De Faria, Director of Property Management at CREIT Management L.P.; and Brendon Ford, Operations Manager at Lerner Enterprises.

*A comprehensive Training Zone, in which clients learned one-on-one how to increase their operational effectiveness in sessions led by members of Building Engines’ Client Success Team.

*Entertaining Boston experiences including a cruise of Boston Harbor, sponsored by Building Engines partner RealPage (https://www.realpage.com/property-management-software/commercial/), and a Red Sox game at historic Fenway Park.

“TRANSFORM is a fantastic opportunity for Building Engines to connect with our clients, work hard to progress the commercial real estate industry, and of course have some fun,” commented Osborn. “Thank you to all who attended and worked behind the scenes to make it happen. We were thrilled to host a large group in our own home town once again, and we look forward to continuing the tradition in 2018.”

About Building Engines

Building Engines is a cloud-based provider of property management software for progressive operations teams at commercial office, medical, retail, and industrial real estate properties. Our web and mobile applications seamlessly connect property management teams with the activities, data, and insights they need to improve operational efficiency, mitigate risk, improve tenant satisfaction and engagement, and make more informed operational decisions.

Clients of Building Engines include many of the leading public REITs, private owner/managers and third-party management firms in the United States and Canada. For more information about Building Engines, please visit: http://www.buildingengines.com.

ArriveHome Launches Real Estate App with REcolorado, Giving Home Shoppers the Fastest Way to See a Property for Sale

ArriveHome Launches Real Estate App with REcolorado, Giving Home Shoppers the Fastest Way to See a Property for Sale

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo./ Sept. 22, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — ArriveHome LLC, a real estate technology company, and REcolorado, the provider of the top home search site REcolorado.com and largest multiple listing service (MLS) in Colorado, today announced the launch of the new ArriveHome app for iOS and Android mobile devices. Additionally, the two companies announced a partnership that will give REcolorado’s 22,000 subscribers exclusive access to the app.

ArriveHome is a first-of-its-kind home search app that that gives prospective homebuyers the fastest way to access a real estate agent and tour a home for sale in their desired neighborhood. By showing “live” locations of real estate agents within the app’s map, homebuyers can select a home, pick a nearby agent, and see the home immediately.

“In today’s competitive housing market, time is of the essence. ArriveHome is excited to work with REcolorado to deliver an all new home buying experience, that makes seeing a home as quick and simple as requesting a ride with a smartphone,” said Jeffrey Narlinger, ArriveHome co-founder. “With ArriveHome, home shoppers see available agents who are “live” on the app in their desired neighborhood and waiting for their request, or they can use the app to work more efficiently with their existing agent.”

Using ArriveHome, home shoppers can see customer reviews of agents, read the agent profiles, and watch video profiles of the agents. Then, the home shopper can find agents who are immediately available and within minutes of a home they are interested in viewing. To immediately contact the agent, they can shoot agent’s a quick text or give them a call, all while inside the app.

REcolorado provides listing information to ArriveHome directly from the MLS. This means home shoppers can see the latest homes that hit the market, view a home’s features, and connect with a real estate agent in real time to see the home immediately. If consumers have a relationship with a real estate agent, the app lets them track their agent’s location and availability.

“REcolorado is committed to bringing new and innovative technology tools to the market that streamline the process of bringing agents and consumers together, while providing up-to-the-minute information,” said Staci Wood, vice president and chief product officer of REcolorado. “ArriveHome gives agents the tool they need to reach active home shoppers, connect immediately to potential leads, and instantly respond to requests. This maximizes the agent’s time and efficiency by driving real-time location and availability connections, which will result in a dramatic shift in the current real estate home search process.”

Today’s home shoppers want to see homes immediately. According to a recent study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, 94 percent of home buyers said response time was very important. The same study found that 88 percent of home buyers expect a response from their agent within one hour, and 42 percent of buyers expect an instant response from their agent.

In addition to being a platform for instant responses, ArriveHome is a cost-effective marketing tool for agents. Unlike many other home searching apps, ArriveHome’s service-based platform is driven by agent activity and not an agent’s ad campaign, which provides more transparency for everyone.
In Colorado, ArriveHome is exclusively available to REcolorado subscribers on iPhone and Android. ArriveHome’s full-time development team is constantly making upgrades and enhancements to the platform. Nationwide expansion plans for ArriveHome are already taking shape as the company forms partnerships in additional markets.

SOURCE: REcolorado

Article Sheds Light on Hard Money Lending Through Self-Directed IRAs

Article Sheds Light on Hard Money Lending Through Self-Directed IRAs

Asheville, NC/September 21, 2017 (PRWEB) (StlRealEstate.News) –Hard money lending can be a tricky but substantial way for investors to earn money. Now, a recent blog post at American IRA is explaining how hard money lending works from two perspectives, including investors who might use hard money lending through a Self-Directed IRA to generate long-term wealth.

Such investments can require a high tolerance to risk. But there are benefits to hard money lending as well, including diversification of assets. In the blog post at American IRA, CEO Jim Hitt explains how hard money lending can work on both sides of the equation.

According to the post, hard money lending is often a second resort for those who can’t secure traditional funding, such as through a bank loan. These loans are typically for real estate ventures, often for small-to-mid sized real estate enterprises. In many cases, a hard money loan is appropriate for investors who need to invest both capital and time to “unlock” the value of a potential property down the line.

This means that the investor won’t be able to establish cash flow early on and begin paying off the loan right away. This puts off the maturation of the loan until later, when a balloon payment will see the investor receive the value they were promised. That’s where the Self-Directed IRA can come in handy, as this growth would then take place within a tax-protected account. For obvious reasons, an investor with long-term risk tolerance would be ideal for hard money lending, whereas retirement investors without a lot of money to put aside toward hard money lending would not.

“The goal with this post was to point out that there are more avenues on both sides,” said Jim Hitt. “For the borrower, there is more than just a local bank to secure possible funding for what could be a lucrative venture. For the lender, a Self-Directed IRA can be an ideal way to protect assets and keep some money out of the public stock market and separate, which helps investors avoid putting all of their eggs in one basket.”

About:
American IRA, LLC was established in 2004 by James C. Hitt in Asheville, NC.

The mission of American IRA is to provide the highest level of customer service in the self-directed retirement industry. Mr. Hitt and his team have grown the company to over $250 million in assets under administration by educating the public that their self-directed IRA account can invest in a variety of assets such as real estate, private lending, limited liability companies, precious metals and much more.

As a self-directed IRA administrator they are a neutral third party. They do not make any recommendations to any person or entity associated with investments of any type (including financial representatives, investment promoters or companies, or employees, agents or representatives associated with these firms). They are not responsible for and are not bound by any statements, representations, warranties or agreements made by any such person or entity and do not provide any recommendation on the quality profitability or reputability of any investment, individual or company. The term “they” refers to American IRA, located in Asheville, NC.

Metro Chicago Real Estate Market Saw Faster Sales of Fewer Homes in August, While Median Price Continued to Climb, RE/MAX Reports

Metro Chicago Real Estate Market Saw Faster Sales of Fewer Homes in August, While Median Price Continued to Climb, RE/MAX Reports

ELGIN, Ill./ September 21, 2017 (PRWEB) (StlRealEstate.News)  —August home sales in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market continued to show the impact of a limited supply of property listings. Compared to August 2016, total sales fell 2.5 percent to 11,505 units, the median sales price climbed 3.5 percent to $240,000, and the inventory of homes for sale was down 7.8 percent to 34,619 units.

The most obvious result of the limited inventory has been the rapid pace at which homes are selling. Residences sold in August were on the market for an average of 66 days before finding a buyer, down from 76 days a year earlier. The August average matched that recorded in July, which was the lowest average market time for any month since RE/MAX began tracking that data in 2005.

“The inventory situation doesn’t appear to be improving yet,” noted Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “As was the case in July, the August inventory decline was most pronounced among detached homes. Those listings dropped 8.7 percent, while listing of attached homes fell 5.1 percent.”

However, he also pointed out that a declining inventory doesn’t necessarily mean fewer sales.

“One example of that was in Kane County where August sales were up 2.5 percent although the inventory there declined 12.7 percent and represented less than a three-month supply of homes. In contrast, sales fell 2 percent in Chicago, but the inventory rose 3.4 percent from last August, and there was a 3.2-month supply of homes,” Kreider reported.

Sales data used by RE/MAX is collected by MRED, the regional multiple listing service. It covers detached and attached homes in the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. Detached homes are typically stand-alone single-family dwellings. Attached homes include condominium and cooperative apartments along with townhouses.

August sales were lower in five of the seven metro counties and in Chicago, with McHenry joining Kane in recording a modest increase. The median sales price advanced in five counties and Chicago, led by increases of 12.3 percent in Lake and 10.3 percent in Kane. Other gains were 4.7 percent in Cook, 1.9 percent in DuPage, 6 percent in Will and 4.1 percent in Chicago. The median was unchanged in McHenry and fell 2.7 percent in Kendall.

Average market time was under 70 days in six counties and Chicago, with the 83-day average in Lake being the one exception. Kendall had the lowest overall average at just 49 days.

Sales of distressed properties, including foreclosures and short sales, continued to dwindle as a factor in the metro market, accounting for only 7.5 percent of all August sales compared to 12.2 percent a year earlier.

Detached Homes
Detached-home sales slipped 3 percent in August to 7,292 units in the metro area compared with the same month last year. However, that total was 3.5 percent higher than the previous month. The median sales price climbed 3.8 percent to $260,000. Average market time was 75 days, a day less than July and the lowest result for any month since 2005.

Detached-home sales rose 4.7 percent in both Kane and Will, but fell in the five other metro counties and in Chicago. The median sales price rose in all seven counties and Chicago led by an 11.2 increase in Lake and 6.2 percent gain in Kane.     Average market times were 80 days or less in Chicago and in every county but Lake, where the average was 94 days.

Attached Homes

Sales of attached homes were only slightly slower in August than they had been a year earlier, falling 1.7 percent to 4,213 units. The median sales price rose 7.8 percent to $204,900 and average market time fell to a speedy 51 days.

Demand for attached units appears especially brisk in some suburban areas,” said Kreider. “Sales volume rose 20 percent in McHenry and 19 percent in Will. Average market times were under 50 days in five of the suburban counties, including an average of just 19 days in Kendall.”

The median sales price rose in six of the seven counties and in Chicago, but was unchanged in Kendall. The sharpest increases were 8.7 percent in Will, 8.3 percent in Kane and 7.9 percent in Cook.

“Attached homes, whether condos or townhouses, are often a moderately priced alternative for those who want to buy but are frustrated by the limited supply of affordable listings in the detached market,” noted Kreider.

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In 2016, RE/MAX Northern Illinois agents averaged 18 transaction sides. RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989 and is continually growing. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of more than 2,250 sales associates and 103 independently owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its mobile real estate app, available for download at http://www.illinoisproperty.com, provides comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 110,000+ sales associates in 100+ nations.

EDITOR’S NOTE: RE/MAX® is a registered trademark. Please spell in all caps. Thank you. This release is posted at blog.illinoisproperty.com.

American Consumer Credit Counseling Helps Consumers Understand Common Mortgage and Home Purchasing Terms

American Consumer Credit Counseling Helps Consumers Understand Common Mortgage and Home Purchasing Terms

Boston, MA/ September 21, 2017 (PRWEB) (StlRealEstate.News) –Consumers looking to purchase a home should be very familiar with the different mortgage options available and the common terms used by lenders. Taking out a mortgage loan is a big decision, and if the consumer doesn’t pay it back on time, the lender can foreclose on the home and sell it to pay off the loan.

To assist with the home buying process, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling has compiled a list to help consumers better understand common mortgage and home purchasing terms.

“The home buying process can be confusing, especially when you have to deal with the technical terminology used by lenders,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, based in Newton, MA. “Purchasing a home is usually the single biggest investment consumers will undertake. It is essential that anyone looking to buy a home understands all the details and terms associated with mortgages.”

According to a survey by Bank of America, 86 percent of millennials believe that owning a home is more affordable than renting compared to 54 percent of first-time buyers of all ages. When it comes to the down payment, 78 percent of millennials and 75 percent of first-time buyers of all ages say they would pay for their down payment with savings set aside for a home. Almost all respondents (87 percent) say they would take advantage of assistance programs when purchasing a home, but only 47 percent believe they would qualify for these programs.

American Consumer Credit Counseling has compiled a list below to help consumers understand mortgage terms.
1.    Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM): a mortgage in which the interest rate is not fixed but is tied to an index and is periodically adjusted as the rate index moves up and down. The initial rate is lower than the fixed mortgage. Such ARMs commonly provided for an option to convert to a fixed rate mortgage.
2.    Amortization: a repayment method in which the amount you borrow is repaid gradually through regular monthly payments of principal and interest. During the first few years, most of each payment is applied toward the interest owed. During the final years of the loan, payment amounts are applied almost exclusively to the remaining principle.
3.    Annual percentage rate (APR): the actual cost of borrowing money, expressed in the form of an annual rate to make it easier to compare the cost of borrowing money among several lenders or sellers on credit. The APR includes all the financing costs of a mortgage, including points, origination fees and other finance charges and mortgage interest.

4.    Appraisal: a written estimate of a property’s current market value, based on recent sales information for similar properties, the current condition of the property and how the neighborhood might affect future property value.
5.    Balloon (payment) mortgage: a mortgage providing for specific payments at stated regular intervals, with the final payment considerably more than any periodic payments. Usually paid over a short-term, such as five to seven years. This type of mortgage may be beneficial if you move before the final payment, as you can benefit from a slightly lower rate. Although it has favorable rates, it can cause problems, even foreclosure, if the borrower can’t afford the final payment when it is due.
6.    Closing costs: fees incurred in a real estate or mortgage transaction and paid by the borrower during the closing of the mortgage loan. However, sometimes these fees are paid by the seller. These typically include a loan origination fee, discount points, attorney’s fees, title insurance, appraisal, survey and any items that must be prepaid, such as taxes and insurance escrow payments. The cost of closing is usually about 3 percent to 6 percent of the mortgage amount.

7.    Down payment: the difference between the purchase price and that portion of the purchase price being financed. Most lenders require the down payment to be paid from the buyer’s own funds. Gifts from related parties are sometimes acceptable and must be disclosed to the lender.
8.    Escrow account: account held by a lender containing funds collected as part of mortgage payments for annual expenses such as taxes and insurance, so that the homeowner does not have to pay a large sum when these are due.
9.    Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage: the FHA is a federal agency established by Congress in 1934. The FHA insures mortgage loans made by FHA approved lenders on homes that meet FHA standards. FHA loans require lower down payments than conventional mortgages and have less stringent income requirements. These loans are mostly for low-to-moderate income borrowers.
10.    Fixed rate mortgage: a mortgage with an interest rate that remains constant for the life of the loan, generally repaid over 15 or 30 years. This type of loan allows the borrower to plan a budget based on the consistent cost. A fixed rate mortgage is perhaps the most common, traditional type of mortgage.
11.    Home equity line of credit: a loan providing you with the ability to borrow funds at the time and in the amount you choose, up to a maximum credit limit for which you qualified. Repayment is secured by the equity of your home. Simple interest (interest-only payments on the outstanding balance) is usually tax-deductible. This line of credit is often used for home improvements, major purchases or expenses, and debt consolidation.
12.    Home equity loan: a fixed or adjustable rate loan obtained for a variety of purposes, secured by the equity in your home. Interest paid is usually tax-deductible. Often used for home improvement or freeing of equity for investment in other real estate or investment. Recommended by many to replace or substitute for consumer loans whose interest is not tax-deductible, such as auto or boat loans, credit card debt, medical debt and education loans.
13.    Housing and urban development (HUD): a U.S. government agency established to implement federal housing and community development programs. HUD oversees the FHA.
14.    Index: a published rate used by lenders to calculate interest adjustments on ARMs (index + margin = interest rate). Some indexes are more volatile than others. Common indexes include the Cost of Funds for the Eleventh Federal District of banks or the average rate of a one-year Government Treasury Security.
15.    PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance): these are items that are frequently included in the monthly mortgage payment to lenders. Some lenders may allow you to pay taxes and insurance yourself.
16.    Point: a fee or charge equal to one percent of the principal amount of the loan which is collected by the lender at the time the loan is made. It is collected only once. Generally the lower the interest rate, the more points you’ll pay.
17.    Prequalification: the process of determining how much money a prospective homebuyer will be eligible to borrow before application for a loan.
18.    Prime rate: lowest commercial interest rate charged by a bank on short-term loans to its most credit-worthy customers.
19.    Variable rate: an interest rate that changes periodically in relation to an index. Payments may increase or decrease accordingly.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

Interluxe Launches New Version of Groundbreaking Online Luxury Real Estate Marketplace

Interluxe Launches New Version of Groundbreaking Online Luxury Real Estate Marketplace

CHARLOTTE, N.C./ Sept. 21, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Interluxe, the world’s premier auction marketplace for high end real estate, went live recently with a completely redesigned and enhanced platform. The company, founded in 2013, has pioneered sales of luxury real estate through an exclusive online auction platform has represented property in over 27 states and territories both nationally and abroad. The new platform presents a giant leap forward to provide an improved user experience enhanced with the latest technologies to create a more engaging online home purchasing experience.

 The website’s modern and clean look, combined with improved user experience and functionality, provides users with a convenient way to find, inspect, and bid on luxury properties all through a enhanced online platform.  Users can browse properties by filtering locations, property features, and now lifestyle types.  Additionally, users can create specific search alerts to be notified when a property that meets their criteria comes available.
“We sought out to build the most comprehensive and user friendly luxury real estate auction experience possible,” says Interluxe President Scott Kirk. “Leveraging data and testing feedback we’ve generated over the last few years we built a superior customer experience to provide greater engagement for users to find and purchase their next home with the convenience and efficiency that online shopping provides.”

Interluxe is the only platform dedicated to luxury real estate that offers buyers the ability to bid across all digital devices, including desktop and mobile. Users are presented with intuitive features that improve searching and participating in auctions such as the ability to set maximum bids.  By setting a maximum bid, users can now have the system place proxy bids up to their maximum amount automatically outbidding competing offers.  New functionality also involves interest tracking.  “When a user is looking at a property, takes a 3D tour, or watches a video, we can use that intelligence to provide them with additional content or offers that may enhance their experience,” says Kirk.

In addition to showcasing the company’s global database of distinctive properties, the site exemplifies another step forward for an executive team that has marketed over $500M of luxury real estate auction sales to date. The company’s rapidly expanding network of high net worth luxury buyers and agents resulted in record-setting sale prices in 2016; and 2017 is projected to be even more successful. “With a fully recovered real estate market and the industry’s leading platform for connecting buyers with sellers, we expect strong growth for the foreseeable future,” Kirk says.

About Interluxe: Interluxe is the next step in the evolution of the real estate industry. Its streamlined and intuitive online auction platform allows sellers, buyers and agents around the world to interact, facilitate transactions and achieve the best possible outcomes, all within 45 days. Since its founding in 2013, Interluxe has represented properties throughout the U.S. and Canada and is expanding to more international territories. If your or someone you know is looking to purchase or sell a distinctive luxury home contact us today.  More information is available at www.Interluxe.com.

SOURCE: Interluxe

Cargill to build state-of-the-art biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kansas

Cargill to build state-of-the-art biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kansas

MINNEAPOLIS/ Sept. 21, 2017 (StlRealEstate.News) — Cargill has announced today plans to build a state-of-the-art $90 million biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kansas. Set to open January 2019, it will produce 60 million gallons of biodiesel annually.

 “This new facility will enable Wichita to be a competitive supplier in the biofuels market, bringing value to the suppliers and customers we work with, and connecting farmers with industrial customers by supplying quality biomass-based diesel,” said Pat Woerner, biodiesel commercial leader for Cargill’s Agricultural Supply Chain business. “Biofuels are good for the U.S. farm economy and can bring capital investment to agriculture while boosting economic development in farm communities.”

Opening the facility in Wichita will strengthen Cargill’s biodiesel operations in the heart of the Midwest where it already has biodiesel plants in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri. Unlike other traders of biodiesel, Cargill is an integrated producer managing the entire supply chain from origination to production to delivery.

“We are excited to bring this new facility to our farmers and customers in Wichita,” said Warren Feather, oilseed managing director for Cargill’s Agricultural Supply Chain business. “At Cargill, we’re prepared to handle demand for biofuels while balancing it against the need to nourish a growing global population.”

Construction of the new 42,000 square foot facility begins December 2017. Located at 1401 N. Mosley, Wichita, Kansas, it will employ approximately 35 full-time employees. The plant will be located next to its oilseed processing plant and replaces an existing oil refinery managed by Cargill’s Global Edible Oil business. Cargill has invested significantly in oil and shortenings products and remains committed to the food industry. Cargill’s Global Edible Oils business will transfer existing edible oils production to alternate Cargill facilities.

Cargill offers biofuels from a variety of renewable resources, including corn, soybeans, sugar cane, palm oil, and biogas. It produces ethanol and biodiesel in the U.S. and the EU, ethanol in Brazil, and biodiesel in Argentina.

Cargill has a presence in 12 Kansas communities and employs more than 4,000 people.

About Cargill
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.

About Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain North America
Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain connects agricultural producers to food, feed and industrial customers through a seamless supply chain. We help our customers compete in the global market and efficiently deliver products from origins to destinations through our originating, storing, trading, marketing and processing of grain, oilseeds, crop inputs products and services, and a global cotton business. We have operations in Canada, United States and Mexico, and more than 4,600 employees serving customers in grain elevators, export/import facilities, oilseed crush plants, biodiesel facilities, and farm service centers. Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain is a unit of Minneapolis-based Cargill, Incorporated.

SOURCE: Cargill