Home Prices Rise in August

Home prices rose slightly at 0.2 percent in August, slower than the 0.6 percent rise in July, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index released Tuesday.

However, data through August 2014, released this week in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, continue to show a deceleration in home price gains. The 10-City Composite gained 5.5 percent year-over-year and the 20-City 5.6 percent, both down from the 6.7 percent reported for July. The National Index gained 5.1 percent annually in August compared to 5.6 percent in July.

On a monthly basis, the National Index and Composite Indices showed a slight increase of 0.2 percent for the month of August. Detroit led the cities with the gain of 0.8 percent, followed by Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas at 0.5 percent. Gains in those cities were offset by a decline of 0.4 percent in San Francisco followed by declines of 0.1 percent in Charlotte and San Diego.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 5.1 percent annual gain in August 2014. The 10- and 20- City Composites posted year-over-year increases of 5.5 percent and 5.6 percent.

“The deceleration in home prices continues,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Despite the weaker year-over-year numbers, home prices are still showing an overall increase, as the National Index increased for its eighth consecutive month.

“The large extent of slower increases is seen in the annual figures with all 20 cities; the two composites and the national index all revealing lower numbers than last month. The 10- and 20-City Composites gained 5.5 percent and 5.6 percent annually with prices nationally rising at a slower pace of 5.1 percent. Las Vegas continues to see a sharp deceleration in their annual home prices with a 10.1 percent annual return, down just below three percent from last month. Miami is now leading the cities with a 10.5 percent year-over-year return. San Francisco, which has shown double-digit annual gains since November 2012, posted an annual return of 9.0 percent in August.

“Despite softer price data, other housing data perked up. September figures for housing starts, permits and sales of existing homes were all up. New home sales and builders’ confidence were weaker. Continued labor market gains, low interest rates and slower increases in home prices should support further improvements in housing.

As of August 2014, average home prices for the MSAs within the 10-City and 20-City Composites are back to their autumn 2004 levels. Measured from their June/July 2006 peaks, the peak-to-current decline for both Composites is approximately 16-17 percent. The recovery from the March 2012 lows is 28.8 percent and 29.5 percent for the 10-City and 20-City Composites.

All cities except Cleveland saw their annual gains decelerate. Las Vegas showed the most weakness in its year-over-year return; it went from 12.8 percent in July to 10.1 percent in August. As a result, Las Vegas lost its leadership position as it moved to second place behind Miami with a 10.5 percent year-over-year gain. San Francisco posted 9.0 percent in August, down from its double-digit return of 10.5 percent in July.

All cities except Boston and Detroit posted lower monthly returns in August compared their returns reported for July. San Francisco showed its largest decline since February 2012; it was the only city that showed a negative monthly return two months in a row from -0.3 percent in July to -0.4 percent in August.

More than 27 years of history for these data series are available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.spdji.com.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Real Estate FAQs: Should I Avoid an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

Financing Your Home Purchase

 

Mortgage Info

Q:  Should I Avoid an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

A:  Because adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, fluctuate with the market, they offer less stability than fixed-rate loans.  If an ARM is adjusted upward, monthly payments will increase, and for a lot of people that can be too big a risk to take.  On the other hand, should rates drop dramatically, homeowners can reap the benefits of lower rates without refinancing, thereby saving thousands of dollars.

Lenders first introduced ARMs in the 1980s when interest rates soared into the double digits, forcing many people out of the home buying market.  They tied the rate to a variable national index, such as U.S. Treasury bills.

Today, many first-time buyers who have difficulty qualifying for a home loan, still settle for adjustable rate loans because the initial, “teaser” interest rate of the mortgage is normally two or three points lower than a fixed rate loan.  ARMs are particularly attractive if you plan to be in your home a short time.  They tend to adjust yearly or every three years, usually within certain limits, or caps, that prohibit the interest rate from shooting up too high.  Make sure terms such as these are spelled out in any ARM agreement you choose.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

10 Investment Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

By Dan Hechtkopf and Reid Heidenry

1. View the home as a form of recreation, not an investment.
If you buy one, make sure, above all, that this is a house and an area you enjoy. It will be worth the cost if you spend as much time there as possible, put your heart and soul into caring for it or plan to keep the home in the family for future generations.

2. Approach joint property investments carefully.
These types of agreements can start wars even in the warmest families. Set down some rules about the percentages of ownership accorded each party and what rights those percentages confer.

3. Don’t buy outside the country.
In other countries, rules about title and ownership are not as clear as they are in the United States. In many countries, you run the risk of your property being ransacked or nationalized.

4. Research all four seasons before you buy.

It’s a good idea to visit the area in which you plan to buy during every season.

5. Make sure the house and location make a good rental.
If you’re really going to work to rent out the property, make sure it’s well suited for vacationers.

6. Work with an agent who knows the area.
The agent can also be a great resource for little-known information on hidden bonds and community events.

7. Don’t buy a timeshare.
Even in a good economy, it’s hard to sell a timeshare.

8. Buy an existing home instead of land.
To build a house from the ground up, you may have to deal with coastal authorities, local building restrictions, aggressive homeowners associations and sketchy contractors.

9. Factor in extra costs.
In additional to the loan, you’ll have to cover taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities. If you live more than an hour away, you might have to factor in the cost of a caretaker or property manager.

10. Buy only what you can afford.
You simply enter what you make and what you owe, and the calculator will tell you how much more the banks will lend you.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Q: How Do You Choose a Good Condo?

A: Seek ownership in a well-maintained building, and pay special attention to the financial health of the condo association. Lax maintenance may be a sign of financial trouble, which could result in higher maintenance fees and problems trying to resale the property later.

Things to consider:

Get a copy of the latest financial statement from the condo association.

Ask the board of directors – which is elected by the unit owners from among themselves – if major repairs or improvements are imminent. If so, find out how much they will cost and whether there is enough money in the reserve to cover them.

Check the by-laws, rules and the covenants, codes and restrictions (CC&Rs). You may find, among other things, that they prohibit or restrict pets and the renting of units. Some may require that the board have the right of first refusal on the sale of any unit.

Learn everything you can about the homeowners association, including legal disputes and conflicts. Start by reading the minutes of the association meetings.

Find out the owner-to-tenant ratio. Because many condominiums are often purchased as investments, there could be a high percentage of tenants in the building.

 

 

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

5 Financial Risks to Consider in Retirement

Most people don’t know that 80 percent of mountain-climbing accidents don’t occur on the way to the summit – they happen on the way down, says financial expert and extreme sports enthusiast David Rosell.

Although arriving at the top of the mountain is considered by many mountaineers to be one of life’s greatest accomplishments, I can tell you firsthand that summiting is not the ultimate goal for climbers,” says Rosell, CEO of Rosell Wealth Management and author of “Failure is NOT an Option,” (www.DavidRosell.com).

“They know that most climbing accidents and deaths occur on the descent. With this in mind, they will tell you that their objective is to reach the summit and get back down alive to see their family and friends. They understand that the second half of their journey presents the greatest risk and requires the most planning.”

“Likewise, we need to think of retirement as the descent from the financial mountain, which can be treacherous.”

Retirees and pre-retirees need to evolve from the traditional view of retirement, especially with so much legitimate concern about an unprecedented retirement crisis on our immediate horizon, he says. According to a 2013 report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, 45 percent of working-age American households have no retirement savings.

That’s on top of the 3.5 million baby boomers who have been retiring each year, and will continue to do so for more than a decade.

To help his clients thrive while experiencing descending their own financial mountains, Rosell briefly touches upon five major financial risks many experience during retirement.

• Inflation: During the second half of your financial journey, it’s critical that you’re able to maintain your purchasing power. Inflation simply means that every year your money buys a little – or a lot – less than it did the year before. Currently, inflation is 3.5 percent, which doesn’t sound like much. However, even if the rate holds steady and doesn’t increase, prices will have doubled in 20 years.

• Longevity: According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, the over-80 population is increasing five times faster than the overall population. By 2030, the demographics of 32 states will resemble those of Florida today. With more golden years to play, you’ll want the funding to make them fun! “Today,” Rosell says, “going gray means time to play.”

• Health/long-term care: Sadly, the escalating costs associated with long-term care during retirement can make the possibility of outliving one’s retirement income a reality for many. Statistics reveal that as we age, there’s an increased probability of our eventually needing assistance with basic daily activities. The truth is that most of us will need long-term care in our later years.

• Market risk: Economic recessions have occurred throughout the history of modern economics and always will, averaging one almost every nine years. If the market loses 50 percent one year and then increases 50 percent the following year, where are you? Many people get this wrong; after the fall and subsequent rise of 50 percent, you will have lost 25 percent. “This happened twice in the last decade,” Rosell says.

• The sequence of returns: Gains or losses, or the order in which you receive your returns, can have a major impact on your retirement portfolio. It can mean the difference between having enough income in retirement and running out of money too soon. Be careful when an analysis states that you should achieve your goals by obtaining a specific rate of return. In most cases, this statement has not accounted for the sequence of returns.

“These are by no means the only tricky slopes that may have an affect on your retirement,” Rosell says. “Just as you have worked a lifetime to have money for your golden years, now is the time to manage your wealth wisely.”

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

A Home Inspection Primer—Negotiating the Fixes

By John Voket

In our last segment, I began reviewing the sometimes complex process of performing and utilizing home inspections as an important component of a home buying transaction.

The site helpinghomesellers.com offers a wealth of information regarding home inspections. In this segment, we’ll take a look at negotiating home inspection issues using the site as a guide.

According to the consumer information site, most contracts provide the opportunity to negotiate any repairs to the satisfaction of the buyers. This includes either doing some or all the repairs and/or compensating the buyers with cash.

Although a whole house inspection may turn up an expensive repair, sellers may be able to negotiate a cash settlement that is less expensive than what the repair would have cost. Offer money to the buyers so they can choose how the repair is completed.

Helpinghomesellers.com illustrates a classic example where a seller’s furnace died just prior to closing. The buyers understandably wanted a new furnace, and the cheapest one to be found was $1,900.

Without telling the buyer the amount, the agent, representing the seller, recommended that the seller offered to give the buyers $1,400, pointing out they could use this money towards installing any type of furnace they wanted.

Otherwise, the seller was obligated to just install a new one that worked. The buyers took the money and the seller saved $500.

Avoid repairing items that lend themselves to a subjective interpretation as to how well the repair was done. Say a garage roof needs some serious shingle repair and replacement.

After completion, what if the buyers don’t think the new shingles match the originals that well? Instead, helpinghomesellers.com says offer the buyers money so that they can repair this type of problem by themselves and you’ll save a whole lot of problems..

Money, unlike repair work, is not subject to interpretation. It sure beats sweating out the buyers’ approval, which is often done at the eleventh hour walk through.

A dollar settlement is almost always acceptable to buyers and it eliminates last minute problems.

Source: helpinghomesellers.com

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

The Changing Landscape of Rentals

By Erin Ruane, Executive Director, Homes.com Rentals

America’s recent recession brought about many changes to the housing market, with one major impact being an increase of single-family rental housing units. Freddie Mac reports that the single-family rental market, not to be confused with multifamily, has expanded 16 percent (about 3 million units) since 2007 to total around 11 million single-family homes across the country now occupied by renters.

Factors contributing to the rise of those looking to rent a home rather than buy include uncertainty with jobs, negative equity and a large amount of foreclosures. Certain demographic trends, particularly with younger renters, are also driving this increase, such as a desire for amenities, flexibility and a desire to live in more urban environments.

A survey of renters conducted by Opinion Research Corporation showed that single-family rental homes are the fastest growing housing option in America, with 3.6 million homes built for owner occupancy now serving as rentals because owners lost them through foreclosure.

Based on MBA’s National Delinquency Survey, the foreclosure rate has skyrocketed from around 1 percent in late 2005 to around 4.3 percent today. With more than a million homes still in the national foreclosure inventory, that number is expected to rise as many of those will be converted to rentals in the ensuing years.

This trend is expected to continue, with five to six million new renter households being created within the next 10 years, likely caused from low inventories of homes available and tight credit conditions, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Many investors jumped into the market and snapped up single-family houses with the goal of renting them out to make bigger returns in key markets.

Not surprisingly, Homes.com has seen 34 percent of its traffic searching for rentals (single-family homes), and this number seems to be rising monthly.

According to data from the 2012 U.S. Census and analyzed by the National Multifamily Housing Council, 32 percent of U.S. households are renter-occupied, with 33 percent of renters living in single-family homes.

Who’s Renting?

The National Association of REALTORS® expects a strong demand for apartments to drive up rents 4.6 percent this year, leading many people to explore the possibility of renting a home.

Because of student loans, a tough job market and stricter mortgage requirements, millennials lead the pack of renters, with 43 percent of all renters falling under the age of 30. Gen Y are not the only renters, however, as 37 percent fall into the 30-44 year old bracket, with 22 percent between 45-64 and 16 percent over 65.

A real estate professional would obviously prefer to sell a home or find a home for their client to buy, rather than going the rental route. A savvy agent will think more about the immediate financial gains, but there are long term gains to be had as well.

Those renting may wind up eventually buying the home or will save up enough money to purchase another home, and will call on your relationship with them for guidance. Keeping your clients happy is the main goal.

In an analysis by Premier Property Management Group, out of Memphis, Tenn., it’s revealed that single-family home tenants are 25 percent more likely to remain in their current homes five years or longer, compared to just 22 percent of apartment dwellers, so it seems more stable than multifamily rentals.

Studies show that half of all renters, including approximately 60 percent of single‐family renters, anticipate becoming homeowners in the next five years. Of those, families with three or more members clock in at around 64 percent, and those with children under 13 register about 69 percent.

While the housing market is turning around in the early months of 2014, economic uncertainty and new regulations on mortgages should keep the rental market going strong in the months ahead. With more rental housing choices available today, property managers are more challenged than ever to make sure their vacancies attract tenants and rent quickly. Visit Homes.com for marketing solutions and resources to support property managers looking to fill their existing vacancies and add properties to their portfolios.

For more information, visit www.connect.homes.com.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

The Mortgage Professor: Can you Afford that House?

By Jack Guttentag

(MCT)–The house purchase season is now in full swing, and many would-be purchasers are wondering whether or not they can afford the price quoted on the house they would like to buy. Alternatively, they may not have started their house shopping and may be wondering what price range they should be exploring.

The availability of mortgage financing is obviously a critical feature of the affordability equation, and it is quite different today than when I addressed the issue before the financial crisis. Interest rates are lower for borrowers with good credentials, which may increase the amounts they can afford to pay. But rates are not necessarily lower for borrowers with less-than-stellar credentials, and more borrowers today are unable to qualify at all. In particular, the income used to qualify would-be purchasers today is not the income they believe they have but the income that they can document, which can be much lower.

Mortgage affordability must be calculated three times using three different rules. I call these the income rule, the debt rule and the cash rule. The final affordability figure is the lowest of the three.

When affordability is measured on the back of an envelope, which real estate brokers often do, usually it is based on the income rule alone, ignoring the other two. This can result in error.

The income rule says that the borrower’s monthly housing expense, which is the sum of the mortgage payment, property taxes and homeowner insurance premium, cannot exceed a percentage of the borrower’s income specified by the lender. If this maximum is 28 percent, for example, and John Smith’s documentable income is $4,000, monthly housing expense cannot exceed $1,120. If taxes and insurance are $200, the maximum mortgage payment is $920. At 4.5 percent and 30 years, this payment will support a loan of $181,572. Assuming a 5 percent down payment, this implies a sale price of $191,128. This is the maximum sale price for Smith using the income rule.

The debt rule says that the borrower’s total housing expense, which is the sum of the monthly housing expense plus monthly payments on existing debt, cannot exceed a percentage of the borrower’s income specified by the lender. If this maximum is 36 percent, for example, the total housing expense for Smith cannot exceed $1,440. If taxes and insurance are $200 while existing debt service is $240, the maximum mortgage payment is $1,000. At 4.5 percent and 30 years, this payment will support a loan of $197,361. Assuming a 5 percent down payment, this implies a sale price of $207,749. This is the maximum sale price for Smith using the debt rule.

The required cash rule says that the borrower must have cash sufficient to meet the down payment requirement plus other settlement costs. If Smith has $15,000 and the sum of the down payment requirement and other settlement costs are 10 percent of sale price, then the maximum sale price using the cash rule is $150,000. Since this is the lowest of the three maximums, it is the affordability estimate for Smith.

When the income rule sets the limit on the maximum sale price, the borrower is said to be income-constrained. Affordability of an income-constrained borrower can be raised by an increase in the maximum monthly housing expense, or by access to additional income — by sending a spouse out to work, for example.

When the debt rule sets the limit on the maximum sale price, the borrower is said to be debt-constrained. The affordability of a debt-constrained borrower (but not that of a cash-constrained or income-constrained borrower) can be increased by repaying debt.

When the cash rule sets the limit on the maximum sale price, the borrower is said to be cash-constrained. Affordability of a cash-constrained borrower can be raised by a reduction in the down payment requirement, a reduction in settlement costs, or access to an additional source of cash — a parent, for example.

Jack Guttentag is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

©2013 Jack Guttentag

Distributed by MCT Information Services.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

How to Buy a House with Less than 20 Percent Down

When many people start the process of buying a house they assume putting 20 percent down is required. However, this is not the case and many lenders and mortgage brokers offer options for borrowers looking for mortgages that have a small down payment. Don Frommeyer, CRMS, President of NAMB (The Association of Mortgage Professionals), shares his advice for potential homeowners searching for mortgages with less than 20 percent down payment.

“There are a couple of things you’ll want to make sure you have before researching mortgages, including solid credit standing and a steady income,” says Frommeyer. “The options are out there and exist to make sure that people have the ability to buy and invest in real estate, even in today’s competitive housing market and tight credit environment.”

Frommeyer suggests the following tips when buying a house with a low down payment:

– Maintain a Strong Credit Score: Credit score is one of the first things lenders look at when determining who is a qualified borrower. Make payments on time and keep in mind that even small mistakes may take some time to clear from credit scores.

– Look Beyond Your Local Banks: There are many options available outside of traditional bank mortgages. Mortgage brokers offer a wide range of mortgage loans with zero down payments; an example is VA Loans. Veterans of the military and qualified retired veterans are eligible to use this benefit for a 100 percent loan. They also offer FHA loans to qualified borrowers for as little as 3.5 percent down. And in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers low down payment options with financing to 100 percent. A good mortgage broker will have all of these options available and will have a variety of lenders that they can put these through to stay competitive in the market. And even conventional loans have the ability to do loans with 5 percent down payment.

– Document Income and Assets: Lenders look for a steady income and sufficient savings to ensure borrowers can meet monthly payments. Make sure to have all account statements ready to establish proof of funds; lenders look for savings accounts that indicate the borrower will be able to cover a few months of payments. In addition, hold jobs for at least two years or within the same industry to demonstrate longevity and stability.

– Be Prepared to Pay More Monthly: When you do loans with limited funds down, most will require some sort of mortgage insurance to complete the loan. Conventional loans require Private Mortgage Insurance on loan to values above 80 percent. FHA loans have Mortgage Insurance on all of their loans and the VA only has a funding fee.

– Explore Options: Frommeyer suggests going to at least two lenders to be able to compare good-faith estimates. This allows you to look at two completely different options and this will help talking to more than one source when looking for a mortgage. Compare the fees, estimates, closing costs, etc. thoroughly before selecting any loan.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Which Upgrades Are Worth It to Help You Sell Your House?

Is it finally time to sell your house?

That’s the question on homeowners’ minds as house prices just posted their largest annual gain since 2005. Congrats to those no longer "underwater" on their mortgages, even as interest rates remain tantalizingly low. But here’s the catch: Those same higher prices can make buyers as choosy as a restaurant reviewer.

"A house with a $1,600 mortgage payment last year now has a $2,000 mortgage payment," one broker told the Wall Street Journal. "Buyers are saying, ‘I better like it.’"

To increase your home’s "like" quotient, read on to see which upgrades are worth making and which aren’t.

Worth It: A new front door. Strictly in terms of return on investment, a steel one topped the list of Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2014 – recouping 96.6 percent of the average price. But a fresh coat of paint can work wonders, too.

Not Worth It
: A home-office remodel. We know what you’re thinking: With so many more people working from home, wouldn’t it be brilliant to rewire the space for electronic equipment, say, and install commercial-grade carpeting? Not really. The magazine gave it the lowest return on investment (48.9 percent), and the guy who oversaw the study says, "Home offices don’t sell houses."

Worth It: A back-up power generator. It’s the biggest gainer in the study, jumping 28 percent over last year, and plays especially well in areas brutalized by storms.

Not Worth It: Major bathroom work. "You could install the most spectacular jetted tub, and it still might not suit a buyer," says Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate in Montclair, N.J. "Meanwhile, you’d have spent tens of thousands of dollars."

Worth It: Roofing replacement. There’s a reason this ultimate "curb appeal" enhancer consistently makes Remodeling’s list and is up 11.2 percent over even last year: A roof is the first thing prospective buyers notice even before exiting their cars, and you can kiss that sale good-bye if yours looks like it’s been through hell.

Not Worth It: Major kitchen renovations. Again, the key word is "major," and again it’s a "taste" issue.

Source: GAF

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.