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Spend A Lot of Time in Your Car?

Apr 23, 2018 by

For every 1,000 miles driven, $ 500 in tax deductions can be produced, but the IRS needs documentation of all business and personal trips. The QuickBooks Self-Employed automatic mileage tracker can help.

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Hot Home Trend: Vertical Gardens

Apr 23, 2018 by

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Want to add some greenery or a garden to a backyard but tight on space? Try a vertical garden. By going up with your plants instead of spreading them out, you’ll be able to squeeze a garden in even the smallest of spots.

Vertical gardens are considered a hot landscaping trend. Use trellises, planting walls, and other structures to attach plants too. The vertical gardens can also double as a way to add privacy to a small deck or patio.

Create a vertical wall of planters, such as by using mason jars of ornamental grasses. Or, plant a variety of vegetables or flowers. Attach multiple containers to a frame or wall and then fill them up with plants.

But a vertical garden still requires a lot of upkeep. Be sure to prune plants appropriately. Also, you’ll want to make sure the upper levels of the plants don’t overshadow the lower areas and the garden stays vibrant and green.

Read tips on getting started with a vertical garden from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Photo Credit: Photos by Linda Oyama Bryan for Mariani Landscape, Lake Bluff, Ill., a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals

Photo courtesy: Dennis Hammett, Ebby Halliday REALTORS(R)


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Economic Forecast: Expectations High, but Less Long-Term Optimism

Apr 22, 2018 by

The latest Urban Land Institute (ULI) Real Estate Economic Forecast predicts modest fluctuations across the board for 27 economic/real estate indicators. The three-year forecast is completed semi-annually, surveying over 48 economists and analysts at 36 real estate organizations.

A leading concern? Rising interest rates. ULI forecasts interest rates to be 0.4 percent higher in 2018 and 2019 than previously estimated. The 10-year U.S. Treasury rate is also expected to rise, to 3.1 percent in 2018 and 3.4 percent in 2019, and then stay flat in 2020.

However, according to a recent ULI webinar—featuring Mark Wilsmann, managing director and head of Equity Investments at MetLife Real Estate; Martin Stern, senior managing director at CBRE; Richard Barkham, global chief economist at CBRE; Diana Reid, executive VP at PNC Financial Services; and Stuart Hoffman, senior economic advisor at PNC Financial Services—economists are not as optimistic for the long term.

“After 10 years of negative interest rates, that monetary tightening is happening in both U.S. and China,” said Barkham. “I think it will slow a little bit more than in these forecasts. Because there is more debt in the global economy than prior to the financial crisis, there is some downside risk after mid- to late 2019. On balance, I would take a little bit more of a pessimistic view after 2019.”

With rising rates incentivizing buyers to act fast, housing shortages will continue to prove a challenge. ULI’s forecast has 2018 single-family housing starts pegged at 923,000 homes—lower than the previous estimate—with an increase to 987,500 starts in 2019 before falling off to 925,000 in 2020. Hoffman believes multi-family homes are more at risk, as millennials are aging and looking for properties that they can better afford.

While new construction or redevelopment projects could ease the growing stress on the market’s low inventory, a shortage in workers and rising costs for building materials are impeding the effort.

“There’s less construction financing and less interest in doing new development deals for both cost and financing rationale,” said Reid. “Every lender and every development is looking at demographic changes, city changes…what is going to be the demand? How much rental, how much for sale housing, how much office space, how much industrial?”

Hoffman believes that job growth is a key driver in demand and companies are “facing a war for talent.” Reid echoed his sentiments, and also believes the search for top talent will impact the rental market.

“Costs of construction are going up and getting worse, and there’s a focus on how to solve that,” Reid said. “The size of the population that is looking for rental housing at affordable rates so they can have a good, clean place to live when they get the job, and become part of a growing workforce, is really at a crisis moment, and there will be more of a focus on that.”

ULI’s forecast expects job growth to fluctuate in 2018 and 2019, rising up to 2.2 million new jobs the first year and only 1.89 million the following year. Long-term optimism is low—ULI predicts 2020 may see a drop off to only 1.38 million—but still above the long-term average.

Real GDP growth runs along the same vein, forecasted to increase to 2.8 percent in 2018 (above October’s 2.4 percent prediction) before dropping to 2.5 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020. Predictions can change, however, as the U.S. economy has multiple influencers, including the current political climate—pending trade conflicts, the new spending bill and the new tax law have already impacted predictions since the last survey.

“The tax cut has set the seeds for the next two or three years,” said Stern. “We’re on a sugar high–every forecast is a little better than it was before—but with that, it’s clear we’re not going to get the kind of growth rates that are not going to have increases in debt. There’s a little bit more upside risk toward interest rates that could tend to slow the economy in 2020, not a lot of cap rate appreciation in property, and we need an infrastructure program that doesn’t add to the deficit. The forecast is right, but I’m seeing a little more upside risk than others are seeing.”

Dominguez_Liz_60x60_4cLiz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Which Remodeling Personality Type Are You?

Apr 22, 2018 by

What’s your home improvement persona: The Sensible Improver, the Project Planner, the Reliable Renovator, the Visionary, or the Extrovert? View this infographic from the Home Projects Council to learn the five main home remodeling personality types.


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Awesome NAR Data You Can Use

Apr 22, 2018 by

Awesome NAR Data You Can Use CLICK HERE to GET IT!

The post Awesome NAR Data You Can Use appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

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