Tag Archives: realestatenews

Built in, Outdoor Bar-b-que Grills

Building an outdoor grill in your backyard can help you enjoy pleasant weather while providing your family with delicious meals. Whether you do it yourself, hire a landscape architect, or get a kitchen specialist to design your outdoor kitchen, you’ll take full advantage of your outdoor space and the comforts and entertainment it can provide.There are many items to consider when installing a built-in outdoor grill, including location, ventilation, type of grill, and features. Will you need to install a gas line to the grill? Will there be water available? Do you plan to have other kitchen functions such as storage, an ice maker and an outdoor dining area?You’ll want to locate the grill at least 10 feet from the house. Use fire-retardant materials such as stainless steel, stone, or bricks for countertops and retaining walls. Most grills have lids to retard fire, but where the smoke blows are also crucial. The BBQGuys maintain that proper ventilation sucks out scorching heat and keeps smoke and odor away from you while you’re grilling and your guests. It also vents grease, fumes and discoloration from your outdoor kitchen surfaces which reduces fire hazards.If you prefer gas, contact your gas company to find a reputable gas contractor and get more than one bid. Charcoal and propane tank grills offer more flexibility in where you install them. Make grilling outdoors more convenient by finishing out the area with amenities like built-in trashcans, side burners, sinks and a drink station.Don’t forget to check into your local building codes; there may be rules you need to follow, and your project could require a building or plumbing permit, depending on the scope of your plans.

Buying a Second Home Overseas

As a world traveler, you may revisit a country area again and again for its beauty, culture, people or lifestyle and decide you’d like to buy a second residence there.For your first step, The Philadelphia Inquirer recommends hiring a property lawyer in the country where you want to buy, as well as having a lawyer stateside to advise you. Some overseas countries don’t allow noncitizens to purchase real estate, while others allow it, but they may have visa restrictions on when you can enter the country.Most U.S. banks won’t lend money for foreign home buying, and some places either don’t have mortgage lending available, or they impose higher interest rates or require hefty down payments of 30% to 50% of the property’s value, according to Investopedia.com. Transaction costs may be higher than stateside, including property transfer fees or stamp duties that can add 10% or more to the sales price, as well as other fees.If you qualify for an overseas loan, you may be required to carry life insurance with the lender as a beneficiary. Ironically, the interest you pay on your foreign home’s mortgage may be tax-deductible in the U.S., if the principal is $750,000 or less. In 2025, the ceiling is scheduled to rise to $1 million. Check with your tax advisor for more specifics before committing to the loan; the actual amount available for deduction can depend on individual factors. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is expanding its services across the globe, and currently has offices in Canada, Mexico, Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Greece, Dubai, Bahamas and India. Contact your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional for a referral to an overseas affiliate.

Outlook for Housing 2022

Housing was one of the strongest sectors of the economy for 2021, but rising interest rates and inflation are causing many to wonder if sales will continue as strong in 2022.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, believes the number of home sales will decline in 2022 but will still outpace pre-pandemic levels, based on continuing demand from homebuyers. More inventory is becoming available from home builders and from homeowners who will no longer receive loan forbearance and may decide to sell their homes instead.

Goldman Sachs economists predict that home prices will climb another 16%, reports Houwzer.com. Yet, Corelogic has lowered its forecast from 2.2% to 1.9%, according to Fortune.comFannie Mae is predicting that mortgage rates will rise to an average of 3.4% next year, while the Mortgage Bankers Association believes rates will rise to 4%.

Fortune.com points out that the Federal Reserve predicted 1.8% inflation for 2021, but the real number is closer to 6.2% set in October – the highest rate since 1990. In real numbers, if a buyer puts 20% down on a $500,000 home, they will have a monthly payment of $1,682 at 2.98%. At 4%, the monthly payment would be $1,910.

So, should you buy a home or wait it out? If economists can’t agree on their outlooks, you probably shouldn’t try to time the market either. Housing is a terrific hedge against inflation, so instead, ask yourself what you can afford and go from there.