The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is a more accurate measure of house price changes than either average or median house price and looks at changes in the sales prices of individual houses over time. However, The Case-Shiller data is slow. It runs almost 2 months behind and the data is a 3-month moving average so that May data that comes out at the end of July is really the average for March-May a rolling quarterly index.
Based on repeat transactions, single family homes, collected on closed transactions of all residential properties during the months in question. The main variable used for index calculation is the price change between two paired sales of the same single-family home. Home price data are gathered after that information becomes publicly available at local recording offices across the country. Available data usually consist of the address for a particular property, the sale date, the sale price, the type of property and are then combined, using a market-weighted average, to create the Composite of 10 and the Composite of 20. Moreover, each sales pair in each metro area is also allocated to one of three price tiers – low, middle and high – depending on the position of the first price of the pair among all prices occurring during the period of the first sale.
Windermere agents from the 5 local offices joined forces to deliver over 360 cloth masks and 185 face shields to local food banks, senior living facilities and the Sheriff’s Office. With help from Bellingham Makerspace, a volunteer non-profit which organized material acquisition and Lithtex Northwest which cut the polycarbonate clear sheets, agents assembled the face shields and sewed masks for donation.
“Our agents wanted to help our community during this COVID pandemic and particularly, those organizations which have seen the greatest need for PPEs” said Rob Washburn, one of the owners of Windermere Whatcom. “The response from these organizations was so overwhelmingly positive and the need still so great, our agents have decided to continue to sew and assemble the PPEs.” Donations went to the food banks in Ferndale, Blaine, Everson and the Lummi Reservation, the Sheriff’s Office in Whatcom County and senior living facilities at Shuksan, Stafholt Good Samaritan, Lynden Manor.
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Rental homes have several distinct advantages compared to alternative investments. These advantages coupled with the opportunity for a higher yield make it a clear choice for some investors.
- Most investments must be paid for in cash. Stocks can be purchased with 50% cash but if the value goes down, more cash has to be used to keep the margin at 50%. Rentals can readily be financed with only 20-25% down payment.
- Most loans made for business or investment purposes are at a floating interest rate compared to the prevalent fixed-rate mortgage on non-owner occupied real estate.
- Terms for investment loans if possible are generally six months to a year with a possible renewal but real estate commonly has long term loans up to 30 years.
- Real estate has a long-term history of appreciation.
- Real estate enjoys tax advantages like long-term capital gains treatment, cost recovery and tax deferred exchanges that are not available to many other types of investments.
- Single family homes and similar properties give the investor a reasonable amount of control to make improvements and manage the property which are limited to simply determining when to buy and sell for other investments.
The ins and outs of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities and other investments are unfamiliar with most people. It is obviously possible for anyone to invest in them but the lack of knowledge about how they work could make it more difficult to have a successful outcome. On the other hand, homeowners can use their experiences to select, manage and sell with much more confidence using a single family home for rental purposes.