Mortgage Rates Jump

Despite the rise in mortgage rates, economic data improved this week – particularly housing activity, which gained momentum with a noticeable rise in purchase demand and new construction. Homebuyers flocked to lenders with purchase applications, which were up fifteen percent from a year ago and residential construction permits increased twelve percent from a year ago to 1.4 million, the highest level in twelve years. While there was initially a slow response to the overall lower mortgage rate environment this year, it is clear that the housing market is finally improving due to the strong labor market and low mortgage rates.

Massive $14.8M Tennessee Mansion Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

It isn’t owned by an A-lister, but that fact didn’t put a damper on the public’s interest in a massive, 61-acre estate in Byrdstown, TN. The $14.8 million lakefront spread racked up the most clicks this week and wound up as the week’s most popular home on®.

The gated mansion sits just two hours outside Nashville, high on a bluff overlooking Dale Hollow Lake. The huge, 31,600 square-foot home casts an imposing shadow on the rugged and pristine terrain below. It was completed in 2017 and is currently owned by an entrepreneur, according to listing agent Charlie Neese.

“The current owner believes it to be the second-largest house in the state at the moment,” says Neese. The agent then dashed our hopes for a country music connection. “The owner is an entrepreneur, not a celebrity from Nashville. It’s such a unique property, that’s the reason it’s attracting so much attention.”

And it wasn’t the only waterfront property attracting your clicks this week. You were also interested in a coastal Maine residence with awe-inspiring ocean views, a kooky Kansas mansion outfitted with tunnels for scuba diving, and a luxe Jersey Shore penthouse overlooking the Atlantic.

Dive right in and experience all of this week’s most popular properties…

See the properties here!

Residential Security Deposits

BEFORE Rental/Lease:

What is a security deposit?
A security deposit is a payment, fee or deposit that a landlord collects from a tenant at the beginning of a lease or rental to compensate the landlord at the end of the term if the tenant (i) does not pay rent, (ii) damages the property, (iii) breaches the agreement or (iv) does not leave the property clean.

Is there a legal limit imposed on residential security deposits?
Yes. For an unfurnished unit, the maximum a landlord is permitted to collect in advance is the equivalent of two months’ rent. For furnished units, the landlord is permitted to collect up to three months’ rent.

May a landlord collect a cleaning fee or pet deposit or other amount in addition to a security deposit?
Regardless of how the security deposit is labeled (cleaning fee, pet deposit, last month’s rent or something else) or how it is divided into different categories, if at all, money that is used by the landlord to protect from financial or other damage is all considered a security deposit and falls within the above 2 or 3-month rent equivalent limits for unfurnished or furnished units.

May security deposit be made in multiple payments?
Yes, if allowed by the landlord. If all payments are due before the commencement date of the lease or rental, but have not been paid, the landlord may have the right to terminate the agreement.

DURING Rental/Lease:

May the security deposit be increased during the lease or rental term?
Yes, for a month-to-month rental, if proper notice is given and provided the overall amount stays within the 2 or 3- month rent equivalent legal limitation, and if no other restriction, such as rent control, applies. A landlord may use.

END of Rental/Lease:

What happens to the security deposit after the tenancy has terminated?
Within 21 days after the tenant vacates the property, the landlord is required to give the tenant a written statement identifying (i) the amount of security deposit received, (ii) the amount of security deposit spent, or anticipated will be spent, along with itemized statements for the expenditures, and (iii) the amount being returned to the tenant.

Is there anything a tenant can do to minimize potential reductions from the security deposit?
Yes, the tenant can clean the property and repair any damage arising during the tenancy. To help identify potential deductions from security deposit, the landlord is required to give the tenant a notice of a right to have an inspection prior to termination.

Solar panel costs

Installing a solar panel system costs an average of $23,079. Depending on the kind you prefer, you could pay as little as $2,000 or as much as $40,000. However, most homeowners pay between $16,258 and $30,306.With energy prices on the rise, this may be the perfect time to go solar. Especially considering that improvements in this field of technology have made it more cost-effective and easier to set up. Homeowners have several options available to them which weren’t on the market in decades past and which fit a variety of budgets. Here are a few things to consider that will affect how much you pay.

Solar Panels Cost Per Watt

There are three types common in the residential market. Each one has its own pros and cons, from price to efficiency. It is important to understand their differences when deciding which will work best for your home and energy needs.

Monocrystalline – $1.00-$1.50 per watt

This technology will get you the most energy efficiency while taking up the least amount of space. Their solar cells are made up of a high-purity silicon which is very efficient at converting the sun’s light into electricity. A sheet of silicon is cut to form solar cells, which are arranged to create panels. These have the longest life expectancy and often come with a 20 to 25-year warranty.

Polycrystalline – $0.90-$1.00 per watt

These have a lower efficiency than Monocrystalline, but they fit better into smaller budgets without taking up a lot more space. In the manufacturing process, multiple crystals of silicon are melted and poured into molds to form the solar cells. This makes the silicon less pure and less efficient, but it cuts down on waste and production cost. The resulting modules are blue in tint.

Thin-Film/ Photovoltaic – $0.70-$1.00 per watt

These are extremely flexible and versatile, made by layering photovoltaic material on metal or glass. They cost less, but they will require a lot more space in order to power residential homes. They also have a shorter lifespan, lasting an average of 14 to 17 years. Therefore, they come with shorter warranties. One benefit of thin-film technology that has the others beat is its high tolerance to heat.The efficiency of thin-film technology will depend on the photovoltaic material used. Amorphous silicon, for example, will only operate at 7%-9%CdTe and CIS/CIGS operate at about 10%-14%.

Estimated Solar Energy System Prices Per Watt

The per-watt price of installing solar ranges from $2.50 to $4.00. You’ll see the greatest difference between the Southern and New England regions. This does not necessarily mean that it is less cost-effective in New England as opposed to other regions. Different states, even different counties, will have varying returns on investment dependent on other factors. These factors include: state and local incentives, average electricity bills, and the amount of sunshine expected per day.Below you will find the average rates of having your system professionally installed, according to region and wattage. These figures do not include any tax credits or incentives. Consider that the average size is 5kw. Hawaii, included in the Western region, has the highest rate per watt at $3.40 to $4.00. Georgia, in the Southern region, has the lowest at $2.75 to $3.50.

Read the rest of the article for complete cost breakdown . . .

Original Article

Mortgage Rates Increase

Pipeline purchase demand continues to improve heading into the late fall with purchase mortgage applications up nine percent from a year ago. The improved demand reflects the still healthy underlying consumer economic fundamentals such as a low unemployment rate, solid wage growth and low mortgage rates. While there has been a material weakness in manufacturing and consistent trade uncertainty, so far, the American consumer has proved to be resilient with solid home purchase demand.