Study: Americans Are Addicted to E-mail

For many professionals, e-mail may be the best way to get in touch.

Americans are addicted to e-mail and check it constantly, according to a new study by Adobe Systems of 400 interviews with U.S. white collar workers and Adobe’s Digital Index which analyzed 17 billion visits coming from e-mail. Millennials check their e-mail more frequently than any other age group.

Overall, the study found that respondents spend 6.3 hours each weekday checking their e-mail – 3.2 hours checking work e-mail and 3.1 hours checking personal e-mail. Ninety percent of respondents say they check work e-mail outside of work and check their personal e-mail during the workday.

For many people, e-mail is the first thing they check in the morning. Thirty percent of respondents say they check their e-mail in the morning while still in bed. Here’s a breakdown of where most Americans check their e-mails:

  • Watching TV/movies (70%)
  • In bed (52%)
  • On vacation (50%)
  • On the phone (43%)
  • In the bathroom (42%)
  • Driving (18%)

But consumers do have some gripes when it comes to e-mail. Twenty-eight percent of consumers said they found it annoying when you have to scroll to read an entire e-mail and 21 percent said it was annoying to wait for images to load. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they want to see fewer e-mails and 32 percent say they want less repetitive e-mails and less annoying or intrusive ones as well.

Thirty-four respondents say they’ve had to create a new e-mail address or even switch e-mail providers due to an overwhelming amount of spam.

I understand the convenience and necessity for emailing when it comes to communication. Scanning  documents, electronic signatures and many other tasks are in the form of emailing. My only complaint is that often I request the recipient calls me to discuss the message due to the sensitive and important nature of the matter. Most disregard my request which I find unprofessional. Technology has changed and shaped the way we think, act and do business. I’m a bit old school and prefer “hands on” instead of a “click’ Source: Forbes


First-Time Buyer Share Edging Up

First-time home buyers comprised 32 percent of existing-home sales in August, up from 29 percent a year ago, according to the August 2015 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.

“Sustained net job creation, a low interest rate environment with 30-year fixed rates at below four percent for most of 2015, and better pricing of FHA-insured mortgages appear to be helping first-time home buyers,” according to the REALTORS®

Buyers age 34 and under accounted for 29 percent of sales reported by the respondents. Nearly half of buyers were 35- to 55-years-old. Renters, meanwhile, accounted for 38 percent of sales.

REALTOR®s surveyed report that tight inventory, increasingly unaffordable prices, and weak credit profiles that fail to meet tighter underwriting standards are conditions that continue to work against first-time home buyers.

On the local front Redding’s job market is limited to say the least. Good paying full time jobs are hard to come by making it more difficult for a potential buyer. I consider Redding to have affordable housing when compared to other California cities with the same population. But the fact that Redding lacks good paying full time work restricts the pool of buyers.


Mortgage Rates Sink Lower This Week

Averages on fixed-rate mortgages dropped lower this week, continuing to provide a benefit to home buyers and refinancers, Freddie Mac reports.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 22:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.79 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.82 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.92 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.98 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from a 3.03 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.08 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.89 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.91 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.62 percent, with an average 0.2 point, rising from 2.54 percent last week. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.41 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac


Why September Is The Best Month for Buyers

Buyers who are willing to close on a home purchase during the off-peak seasons – like fall and winter – tend to have the upper-hand, according to Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist. September, in particular, is the best month of this year to sign a contract to purchase a home, according to his analysis.

For one thing, supply is rising, providing home buyers with more choices of homes for sale than they’ve had in the past 10 months. In the third week of August, inventory was at 1.91 million units, an increase from 21 percent since January, according to®.

“Normally inventory peaks in August and begins to slow as the nights grow longer,” Smoke says. “But this year the typical seasonal decline will start a bit later. There will be more choices in September than any other month in 2015.”

Also, he says that overall demand is down now that the school year has started so buyers will provide less competition this month too.

“And, of course, with less competition for the most listings all year, pricing power weakens as inventory takes longer to sell,” Smoke says.

As an added incentive to home buyers, mortgage rates are remaining low, for now. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ended the week under 4 percent due to recent stock market turbulence. In June, 30-year rates were averaging 4.2 percent, but have since fallen.

Looking back over the years I have had numerous sales in the Fall. I never gave it much thought until now. It seems to make sense based on my sales. Today10/24/2015 in the Record Searchlight our local newspaper headlines read Home Sales up 17.5% from one year ago. Good news but not great news. There should be more Buyers on the hunt given the interest rates a still very low. And it’s not because the homes aren’t affordable. They are when compared to other cities like Redding. The main reason is Redding does not have job opportunities with reasonable wages. It’s time for our City Council members and County officials to lure more businesses to our area.


5 Common Buyer’s Remorse Culprits

Some home buyers suffer from post-purchase regret.® recently spoke to real estate industry experts to find out what home features tend to spark the biggest regrets among buyers. Topping the list:

1. Buying too big of a home. Buyers may think at the time having a big home is what they want, but after moving in, they may later regret the expense and upkeep of maintaining a big home. Cooling and heating bills can be much higher and just cleaning the place can become a much bigger chore. Also if the room size is big, buyers may find their furniture a mismatch and too small. Urge buyers to bring a tape measure to verify their furniture would work in the space and also to consider the utility bills.

2. Awkward layouts. The kitchen island is often a desirable amenity among home buyers – it can add prep space, after all. But “kitchen islands can be a mistake if you don’t take your ‘work triangle’ into account,” Baumbusch says. She urges buyers to walk around the kitchen and consider their usual prepping and cooking patterns.

3. Not considering what’s missing. Architects and remodelers sometimes will remove something from a room to give it a more modern, cleaner feel. For example, “there is a trend to eliminate the bathtub in favor of just a shower,” Baumbusch says. “Some home owners regret that decision because sometimes they find themselves wishing for a nice long soak after a tough day.”

4. Pools. For some home buyers, the pool can become a selling-point that later turns into a source of regret. Pools can be costly and some buyers may fail to consider the all of the additional costs. For example, there’s regularly monthly maintenance and cleaning as well as pools in seasonal areas often are opened and closed by a professional. “It can cost upward of $600 just to open a pool and prepare it for swimmers,” Baumbusch says.

5. Falling for fads. “Today’s popular ice-white appliances, steel countertops, and Edison bulb light fixtures are yesterday’s saloon doors, linoleum, and brass hardware,”® notes. “If you buy a house just for its trendy look, you may end up regretting it when the styles change, especially if you have to sell the outdated design.” Baumbusch recommends buyers look for timeless features – classic, well-designed homes.

These talking points are right on target. All Buyers should should follow these tips. Too many Buyers make these mistakes believe it or not.  I worked new home sales for 10 years in my 24 years of service. I’ve seen many plan changes occur before ground breaking and even changes during the building process. A savvy new home Buyer is less likely to make mistakes. For the not so savvy Buyer it will be an expensive lesson.