banner w/ balloon


National Flood Insurance Program Expires Soon. What it Means for Homeowners


On September 30, less than six months from now, the National Flood Insurance Program will expire. The National Association of REALTORS® is working closely (link is external) with federal regulators and members of Congress to strengthen the program (link is external) and clear the way for a private market to take hold, but REALTORS® warn the program’s September 30 reauthorization deadline is a threat to consumers.

Policyholders in over 22,000 communities across the country depend on the NFIP to protect homes and businesses from flooding. Without the reauthorization, the NFIP cannot issue new policies or renew existing residential or commercial policies that expire. That is bad for consumers and potential homebuyers, as well as the broader economy. When the NFIP last expired, NAR estimated that 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result. That is 40,000 sales every month.


Talk with an insurance provider about how expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program would hamper the ability to offer mortgages or insurance policies on properties in a flood zone. Then talk with a REALTOR® about what it means in their business and for their clients who are pursuing homeownership. Also look at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s most recent data (link is external) on how many policies are in effect in your state.

Landscaping Mistakes Made by New Homeowners

For many, homeownership means having a yard. Having an outdoor space and landscape to tend to is a dream come true for many previous apartment dwellers. However, for someone who has never had to care for a yard before, it can be easy to make costly mistakes. Overusing fertilizer is one of the most common mistakes made by amateur gardeners. Too much fertilizer can stunt plan growth and burn, or even kill, grass. Cutting grass too short is another prevalent problem. While it may keep homeowners from having to mow as often, cutting grass short means it cannot absorb the sunlight it needs to thrive, effectively starving it.


Check out HouseLogic’s article on the ways new homeowners accidently ruin their yards (link is external). Speak with a gardener for the most appropriate lawn care techniques for the climate in your area. Chat with a REALTOR® about what qualities homebuyers look for in an outdoor space.

Renters Believe They Need More Money than Necessary to Buy a Home

According to NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 87 percent of non-homeowners believe they need a down payment of 10 percent or more to buy a home. However, the same report shows that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for the last three years. This means renters who believe homeownership to be financially out of reach may have options. Potential buyers should concentrate on improving their credit score and managing their debt level.


Take a look at NAR’s Aspiring Home Buyer Profile for more information about the current issues affecting renters. Speak with some renters in your area about their plans and opinions regarding homeownership. Chat with a REALTOR® in your area about former renters they helped make the leap to homeownership.

Should a Homeowner Take the Lowest Bid for a Remodel?

March 24 , 2017

How does a homeowner know when to spend a lot of money on a home project versus when it is all right to go a cheaper route? When taking bids for a renovation project, it can be tempting to take the lowest offer, but if the highest bid comes in at $75,000 and the lowest is $30,000, there could be a reason the low bid is so low. Owners should look at NAR’s Remodeling Impact Report to see what the average cost of a particular project is and compare those costs to their bids. Sometimes taking the higher bid saves more money in the long run.


Check out HouseLogic’s collection of articles on ‘nickel and diming’ (link is external) homes. Speak with some homeowners in your area who have completed renovation projects and if or where they regret trying to save money. Ask a REALTOR® about renovation projects that have caused problems at resale and how those could have been avoided

The Most Irish City in America

About 32.7 million Americans—or 10.2 percent of the U.S. population—claimed Irish ancestry in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, do you know which U.S. city is the most Irish of all?® researchers scoured the data in the 300 largest U.S. cities to find the percentage of Irish-Americans living there.

New England boasts the most Irish descendants in the nation, with Manchester, N.H., leading the pack. Nearly one in five residents living in Manchester claim Irish heritage.® flagged the following cities as the Irish epicenters of the U.S. (based on the percentage of the population claiming an Irish ancestry):

  1. Manchester, N.H.: 19.4%
  2. Lowell, Mass.: 17%
  3. Pittsburgh, Pa.: 16.2%
  4. Naperville, Ill.: 15.9%
  5. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: 15.4%
  6. Worcester, Mass.: 15%
  7. Centennial/Highlands Ranch, Colo.: 14.8%

Source: “Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day? Here Are the 10 Most Irish Cities in America,”® (March 16, 2017)

Home Is for the Entire Family, Including the Furry Members

March 15, 2017  

Families come in all shapes and sizes and with all different kinds of members, and for those that include a pet, finding a place to call home comes with a few more considerations. According to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 81 percent of Americans take their pets into consideration when deciding on their next living situation. In fact, 89 percent of those surveyed said they would not give up their pet because of a housing restriction or limitation. And if a home is not ideal for an animal, one-third of pet owners would not even put in an offer on a home.


Check out the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Animal House: Remodeling Impact report for more information about how animals work into real estate decisions. Speak with a REALTOR® in your area about questions and considerations pet owners have when considering purchasing a home