December 2013 Your Home Newsletter

Prevent Identity Theft

Tis the season for holiday shopping, but it’s also the season for holiday thievery. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego, Calif., estimates that 15 million people are victims of identity theft every year. The not-for-profit group reports that it gets more calls about lost and stolen wallets and purses during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. To make sure identity theft does not

spoil your holidays, the ITRC has several tips for safeguarding your personal data.

 

  • Never share your social security or credit card numbers in a public environment. Instead of verbally sharing requested sensitive information, write it down for the clerk, then take the slip of paper home with you. Also: when talking on your cell phone in public, don’t give out any personal information that could be overheard.

  • Keep store receipts in your wallet, not inside the bag with your purchase.

  • Carry only what you need when shopping, and keep purses, backpacks and bags zipped or fastened shut to deter pickpockets.

  • Use debit cards judiciously or leave them at home — they are a direct link to your bank account. By using credit cards instead, you can review the billing statement afterward and dispute any suspected fraudulent activity.

  • When shopping online, print out the Web page describing the item(s) you ordered, as well as any email messages and contact information for the online seller.

  • Do not provide your social security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name in an email or within a website.

  • Make sure the latest anti-virus software is installed on your computer before shopping online.

 

Consumer Survey Preference Highlights

Recently, the National Association of Realtors’ Smart Growth Program released the latest version of its Consumer Preference Survey, which aims to shed light on the characteristics that people desire in their neighborhood and the trade-offs folks are willing to make to live in that preferred setting. At its core, the survey pits a traditional suburban community with separated-land uses necessitating driving to destinations vs. a smart growth community with a mix of land uses where walking, biking, and transit are viable for most trips. We also asked a battery of questions on various transportation modes and the respondents’ use of these modes and inclination to fund various modes. Read More. - See more at: http://karblog.org/#sthash.rosSxi2J.dpuf  

 

 

Area Home Sales Statistics for Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati

If you would like more information about sales in your specific community, send me an email at mikebeckerhomes@fuse.net and let me know how I can help you.

 

Northern Kentucky

In October, Northern Kentucky sales of existing homes were still going strong.  The inventory of active listings is still at the lowest average for a few years.  With these low inventories, homes are still selling.  It’s a great time for homeowners who are considering selling to get off the fence and get into the market.  Right now is a great time to list your home as buyers are actively looking for new listings to come on the market.  Call me at 859-380-5771 if you might be interested in buying or selling a house!

  

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Cincinnati

 

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Home Shoppers Value Energy Efficiency

Homes with energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly features are more important to prospective buyers than other features, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Nine out of 10 recent home buyers say that heating and cooling costs were somewhat or very important when considering a home for purchase. Nearly four out of 10 buyers say a home’s heating and cooling costs were very important when shopping for a home, followed by energy-efficient appliances and lighting, each at 24 percent.

Buyers in the North and South regions of the country placed a greater importance on heating and cooling costs, most likely due to more extreme temperatures in those areas. Also nearly 60 percent of buyers who purchased homes built in 2011 said HVAC costs were very important, compared to less than 30 percent of owners whose homes were built before 1910.

“Going green has proven to be more than a trend; many people now seek out this way of living and want homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment,” says 2013 NAR President Gary Thomas. “As energy savings and green building features are becoming more important to buyers, sellers and businesses, it comes as no surprise that consumers are placing a higher value on properties with those features.”

Rent Affordability Crisis is Here

Since the housing crisis began in 2008, approximately 4.6 million homes were lost to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic. The vast majority of those homeowners became renters. Even as housing recovered, credit tightened, pushing even more potential buyers out of homeownership and into rentals, both apartments and single-family rental homes. There are now 43 million renter households, or 35 percent of all U.S. households, the highest rate in over a decade for all age groups, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies; 4 million more renters today than there were in 2007. For those aged 25 to 54, rental rates are the highest since the center began record keeping in the early 1970s. Read More. - See more at: http://karblog.org/#sthash.rosSxi2J.dpuf

 

Did You Know?

Approximately 35 percent of candle sales occur during the winter holiday season.

Source: National Candle Association

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