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Author Archives: Karen Highland

Interest Rates and Home Affordability

Interest Rates and Home Affordability

The Impact of Interest Rates on Home Affordability

The total cost of a Frederick home is really determined by two factors:  the price of the home and the cost of financing, assuming the buyer is not paying in cash, which is about 90% of the time these days. The effect of interest rates on home affordability is larger than any other factor.

While many homesellers are chiefly concerned about the price of their home, home buyers should pay special attention to interest rates. As interest rates go up, the cost of borrowing goes up, and borrowing power goes down.

Interest Rates and Home Affordability

The interest rate plays a big role in determining your monthly mortgage payment. But how big a role?  This chart shows how the payment is impacted as interest rates go up:

 7.00
$1,198  1,231  1,264  1,297  1,331
 6.75  1,167  1,200  1,232  1,265  1,297
 6.50  1,138  1,169  1,201  1,233  1,264
 6.25  1,108  1,139  1,170  1,201  1,231
 6.00  1,079  1,109  1,139  1,169  1,199
 5.75  1,050  1,080  1,109  1,138  1,167
 5.50  1,022  1,050  1,079  1,107  1,136
 5.25     994  1,022  1,049  1,077  1,104
 5.00     966     993  1,020  1,049  1,074
 4.75     939     965     991   1,017  1,043
 4.50     912     937     963      988  1,013
 4.00     859     883     907      931     955
 3.50     808     831     853      875     898

 $180,000
-10%
 185,000
-7.5%
 190,000
    -5%
 195,000
   -2.5%
 200,000

 

You can see that as rates go up, the monthly payment goes up. If the interest rate goes up 1/2 %, you can afford roughly 2 1/2% less in the home value. (These are general numbers, calculated on a mortgage calculator.)

You may have delayed your home purchase decision because of concern over where PRICES may be heading. OR, you may be trying to save for a higher downpayment. Many would-be home buyers are under the mistaken notion that they need to have 20% of the purchase price saved in order to buy a home today. This is a false notion, as there are many loan products available today that require much less than that amount.

FHA loans currently require a downpayment of 3.5%. There are also many conventional loan products that require 10%, 5%, and even as low as 3% down, with contributions from family allowed. And lastly, VA loans are truly no money down loans available to Veterans.

To make the best financial decision for you and your family, also take into consideration where the overall COST of the purchase may be heading. The chart really makes clear the correlation between interest rates and home affordability.

Interest Rates are Headed…

After several years of historically low interest rates, the Fed raised the benchmark federal funds interest rate this week (December 14, 2016).  Even with Wednesday’s 0.25 percent hike, interest rates remain at near-record lows. Many mortgage experts are projecting that rates will continue to rise, but not rapidly. As they go up, affordability goes down.

As the economy strengthens, rates tend to go up…although today’s markets are increasingly global. Many things effect rates, not just or own economy. It’s never easy to predict today. Check out Bankrate for rate trends, calculators and general information.

Contact us for our list of preferred lenders to see how much you qualify for today.
The Highland Group     

eXp Realty
Frederick, Md 21701
301-401-5119

Frederick Real Estate Market Report November 2016

Frederick Real Estate Market Report November 2016

Real Estate Market Activity for Frederick County –November 2016

provided by the Highland Group

Real Estate activity in Frederick County is UP! Eveything’s UP. Here is a snapshot of Frederick County real estate statistics:

Real Estate Statistics in Frederick Md

Average Home Sales Price:  $324,357 , up from last year by 12%, and up 7% from last month’s average of $301,300.

  • Average Single-Family Sales Price:  $372,612, up 13% from last year at this time.
  • Average Attached Home Sales Price:  $234,611, up 2% from last year.
  • 199 single-family homes sold,  4% More
  • 107 townhomes and condos sold, 10% More 
  • A total of 306 homes sold in November, 24% more than last year’s number of 247.

Median Home Sales Price:   $294,000 compared to $250,000 last October: up 18%

Average Days on Market (DOM) the time it takes to get a contract: 59 days, down 22% from last year (76). This is a direct reflection of Demand in our market.

Number of Homes Sold:  There were 322 new pendings (homes that went under contract) 4% more than last November. The demand is certainly staying steady heading into winter, pent-up demand.

Total Listings in Frederick Md: 1,058, down 16% from 1,266 last year. The inventory is decreasing, but still close to what is usually considered a normal number for Frederick County. We’re seeing a balanced market, for the most part, with a 3-4-month absorption rate.

** If demand is still strong for the season and inventory is decreasing, this is a good time to sell!

Keep in mind: In some price ranges, in some areas of the county, there is naturally a higher demand and the market is more competitive for buyers. Some neighborhoods, like Urbana, Middletown and several in the city of Frederick, are in high demand, and have lower absorption rates.  Some smaller communities on the outskirts of Frederick County, Myersville, Thurmont, Woodsboro, are less in demand and homes take a little longer to sell. When we drill down to the neighborhood level, there are differences in demand as well. All reasons to consult an to find out supply and demand in your area.

Sellers got 96% of list price on average, compared to 94% at this time last year. The fact that this number is higher than last year shows that the demand is still strong, even though the holidays are approaching when the market usually slows down.


See Homes for Sale in Frederick Maryland


What’s Notable:

  • This Fall did turn out to be a good market to sell. If you’ve been waiting for values to rise, this year has been a good, steady year of rising values. If you’re waiting for a market with less competition, this winter is it. The inventory is pretty low, while the demand is still high.

What’s My Frederick Home Worth?


  • Interest rates have risen just to above 4% recently, but that’s still incredibly low! See today’s rates.
  • The inventory has decreased this Fall, which is usual for the season, and is lower than last year, but with steady demand, we might see more of a seller’s market. Up until now, we’ve seen a balanced market in most communities in the county. We will expect multiple offers on the homes that are in great condition and priced at market… and this will continue to put upward pressure on home prices. Homes that are priced well and in the best condition, and in areas of demand, are sold in weeks or even days.
  • Cash deals were 14% of sales. As appreciation is expected, we’re still seeing Investors and flippers in the Frederick market. 46% of loans were with Conventional financing, outpacing FHA loans, which were only 19%. 9% were VA. Interestingly, 12% were “other” financed.
  • **The majority of home sales took place in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range. 33%. Interesting note: The majority of listings are in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, and then the 2nd highest number of listings are in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range.

November 2016 Market Statistics provided by MRIS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Information System)

*MRIS – Metropolitan Regional Information System – These statistics are not guaranteed but are considered accurate. Frederick County Real Estate Market Update for November 2016.

Contact Chris Highland to see homes for sale in Frederick Md.


301-401-5119

Ten Reasons to Sell Your House This Holiday

Ten Reasons to Sell Your House This Holiday

The Holidays are Are A Great Time to Sell Your Home!

Thinking about selling your home? Maybe to downsize, or move up, or even go somewhere warm?

Many sellers are waiting for spring, but why wait? Why wait for more competition? The Holidays are a great time to sell your home. Here are 10 good reasons to NOT wait:

  1. There is a good supply of buyers this year. Motivated buyers, not just recreational buyers. There are serious buyers who need to relocate for various reasons.
  2. There is less competition during the Holidays, which is a good thing when you want to stand out. Most buyers are looking online, and they’ll find you much easier when there are fewer homes on the market.
  3. You home looks great! Christmas decorations are lovely.
  4. Your neighborhood looks great too.
  5. Buyers who are searching have more time to look when they are off work during the holidays.
  6. Your REALTOR understands it’s the holiday season and you can show your home when you want.
  7. Everyone is in a good mood, because it’s the holidays.
  8. Sell your home now and you’ll be in a better negotiating position, without a home to sell.
  9. Interest rates are super low right now.
  10. If you sell now, you won’t have to mow the lawn ever again!

Contact the Highland Group and we’ll help you get it sold!

What is “Buyer Agency” in Real Estate?

What is “Buyer Agency” in Real Estate?

What is Buyer Agency in Real Estate?

Representation

If you’ve bought or sold real estate in Maryland since 1999, you’ve been given an “Agency Disclosure” amongst the myriad of paperwork your real estate agent hands you.  The Agency Disclosure is not a binding agreement to anything, it is merely a statement disclosing the various types of agency a Maryland Realtor® offers.

Maryland is a progressive consumer advocacy state, and as such, was on the cutting edge of Agency, compared to many of the states in the U.S. Before Jan. 1, 1999, all Real Estate agents represented the seller. ie. worked for the seller. There was no representation for a buyer, no one to negotiate on their behalf, legally.  Prior to that time, there was a lot of confusion, a lot of misleading information, and a lot of ignorance of the issue.

What Is Agency?

At the first scheduled face to face meeting the Realtor assisting you is Realtorrequired by the Maryland Real Estate Commission to provide a notice entitled “Understanding Whom Real Estate Agents Represent”.  This explains the following forms of Agency or representation:

A.  Agents Who Represent the Buyer
1.  As of October 1, 2016, there is no more Presumption of Buyer’s Agency – what used to be the instance where there was no written agreement, but the agent could show houses to the buyer.  There was the presumption that the agent was working for the buyer. During the course of working with the agent, the buyer would typically sign an agency agreement, certainly before making an offer on a house. The agent cannot be paid unless there is a written agreement.

After October first, of this year, the Maryland Real Estate Commission did away with presumed agency. Now, as per law, the first time a buyer meets with an agent, they must sign a buyer agency agreement. Read more about how the change in the Maryland Agency laws will affect home buyers.

2.  Buyer’s Agent – When working with a buyer, an agent must get a written agreement between the buyer and themselves. Then the agent represents the interests of the buyer, may negotiate on their behalf and has a fiduciary duty to the buyer. It is also known as Buyer Representation.

3.  Dual Agent – this one is tricky because it is different in different states. In Maryland, a real estate agent may not represent both the buyer and the seller. It really is a conflict of interest in a negotiation. Usually, when an agent finds themselves working with a buyer who wants to write an offer on the agent’s listing, the Broker will assign another agent from the same firm to represent the buyer. In the situation where a buyer and seller are working with agents from the same brokerage, the Broker is the Dual Agent. He or she must stay neutral in the representation of the buyer and the seller.

B.  Agents Who Represent the Seller
1.  Seller’s Agent – The agent that lists and markets the property.  He exclusively represents the seller, his duty is to the seller, even though he may assist a buyer who is unrepresented. In the case of an unrepresented buyer, the listing agent is must give fair and ethical treatment to the buyer

2.  Cooperating Agent, or Subagent of – An agent from a different brokerage than the seller’s agent, can assist the buyers in purchasing, but has a duty to the sellers.

To tell you the truth, we rarely see a “cooperating agent”. Most buyers want a buyer’s agent if they are working with an agent other than the listing agent.

Why A Buyer Should Have Representation

Why do you want representation? A buyer’s agent offers a lot of value to today’s home buyers. The buyer’s agent is earning their money commission from the home sellers if the listing agent has agreed to share the commission with a cooperating agent. So it is no cost to the buyer.

When you consider the many moving parts of a negotiation, it is a big benefit to the buyer to have an agent representing them, helping them create a negotiating strategy. They also benefit with an experienced local agent helping them determine an offering price. A buyer’s agent will be able to do a comparative market analysis, CMA, that will help the buyer make a good offer. As a buyer, you don’t want to overpay, but you also don’t want to lose in a competitive bidding scenario. You want to make sure that the home will appraise close to your offer price, too, if you are financing the house.

Real estate agents are working in the local market every day. They see the inventory, know the values, and they are negotiating all the time. Most homeowners buy and sell every 7 or 8 years. Without an agent representing you, you are at a disadvantage. It’s great to have an advocate on your side.

So, I hope that makes it clearer. Sometimes it takes a conversation to really explain these things well. Be sure and ask your Realtor to explain it, not just hand you a disclosure about Agency.

The Highland Group
eXp Realty
Frederick, Md 21701
301-401-5119/cell  410-777-5714/Broker

Search for homes in Central Maryland

Thankful

Thankful

Thankyou to our clients, friends, neighbors and family for the opportunity to help you with your real estate needs. We’ve been helping families make Frederick and central Maryland home for nearly 25 years, and we are grateful for the opportunity to build our business in this lovely community.

Frederick County Real Estate Market Update October 2016

Frederick County Real Estate Market Update October 2016

Real Estate Market Activity for Frederick County –October 2016

provided by the Highland Group

Real Estate activity in Frederick County has increased over last fall. Here is a snapshot of Frederick County real estate statistics:

Real Estate Statistics in Frederick Md

Average Home Sales Price:  301,362 , up from last year by 14%, and up 2% from last month’s average of $294,596.

  • Average Single-Family Sales Price:  $345,763, up 6% from last year at this time.
  • Average Attached Home Sales Price:  $241,756, up 8% from last year.
  • 196 single-family homes sold, compared to 189, 4% More
  • 146 townhomes and condos sold, compared to 130, 12% More 
  • A total of 342 homes sold in October, 7% more than last year’s number of 319.

Median Home Sales Price:   $270,000 compared to $265,000 last October: up2%

Average Days on Market (DOM) the time it takes to get a contract: 70 days, up slightly from last year (68). This is a direct reflection of Demand in our market.

Number of Homes Sold:  There were 354 new pendings (homes that went under contract) 4% more than last October. The demand is certainly staying steady heading into Fall, pent-up demand.

Total Listings in Frederick Md: 1,147, down 17% from 1,386 last year. The inventory is decreasing, but still close to what is usually considered a normal number for Frederick County. We’re seeing a balanced market, for the most part, with a 3 month absorption rate.

** If demand is still strong for the season and inventory is decreasing, this is a good time to sell!

Keep in mind: In some price ranges, in some areas of the county, there is naturally a higher demand and the market is more competitive for buyers. some neighborhoods, like Urbana, Middletown and several in the city of Frederick, are in high demand, and have lower absorption rates. The communities on the outskirts of Frederick County, Myersville, Thurmont, Woodsboro, are less in demand and homes take a little longer to sell.

Sellers got 97% of list price on average, compared to 94% at this time last year. The fact that this number is higher than last year shows that the demand is still strong, even though it is fall, when the market usually slows down.


See Homes for Sale in Frederick Maryland


What’s Notable:

  • This Fall is turning out to be a good market to sell. If you’ve been waiting for values to rise, this year has been a good, steady year of rising values. If you’re waiting for a market with less competition, this is it. The inventory is pretty low, while the demand is still high.

What’s My Frederick Home Worth?


  • Interest rates have risen just slightly to about 3.7% recently, incredibly low! See today’s rates.
  • The number of sales have continued to be healthy as we enter the Fall months, with a higher demand than last year, we had a higher number of homes go under contract than last year, sometimes “Pending” is a term you may see. The total waiting to close is 671, compared to 629 at this time last year, an increase of 7%.
  • The inventory has decreased going into the Fall, which is usual for the season, and is lower than last year, but with steady demand, we might see more of a seller’s market. Up until now, we’ve seen a balanced market in most communities in the county. We will expect multiple offers on the homes that are in great condition and priced at market… and this will continue to put upward pressure on home prices. Homes that are priced well and in the best condition, and in areas of demand, are sold in weeks or even days.
  • Cash deals were 14% of sales. As appreciation is expected, we’re still seeing Investors and flippers in the Frederick market. 37% of loans were with Conventional financing, out pacing FHA loans, which were 27%. 11% were VA. Interestingly, 11% were “other” financed.
  • **The majority of home sales took place in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range. 34%

National Real Estate Statistics

  • Year-to-date, new home sales are running 13.4% ahead of the number in 2015*
  • The annual survey of recent homebuyers shows that 88% financed their purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors®, up from 86% last year. First–time homebuyers financed 96% of the home price, on average, while repeat buyers typically financed 84%. *
  • The average rate on 30–year fixed–rate mortgages in Freddie Mac’s survey climbed 7 basis points to 3.54% during the week ending November 3.

*NAR Statistics

October 2016 Market Statistics provided by MRIS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Information System)

*MRIS – Metropolitan Regional Information System – These statistics are not guaranteed but are considered accurate. Frederick County Real Estate Market Update for October 2016.

Contact Chris Highland to see homes for sale in Frederick Md.


301-401-5119

How Changes in Maryland Real Estate Laws Will Affect Home Buyers

How Changes in Maryland Real Estate Laws Will Affect Home Buyers

Changes in Maryland Real Estate Agency Laws

If you’ve purchased a home in Maryland any time since 1999, then you should have been made aware of Maryland Agency Laws – who represents whom in a real estate transaction. Maryland has been on the leading edge of consumer advocacy for many years, so the Maryland Real Estate Commission has worked hard to protect the consumer. They’ve created laws to ensure that home buyers, as well as home sellers are aware of the opportunity for representation during the home buying process. Many states in the country still don’t have laws to address to the subject for Buyer Agency.

On October 1, 2016, new laws regarding agency have taken effect, and they will have an impact on home buyers. Here’s what home buyers need to know:

As of October 1st, there will be three types of agency:

  • Agents who represent the seller – including the Seller’s Agent and the Subagent (can assist the buyer in purchasing a property, but his or her duty of loyalty is only to the seller.)
  • Agents who represent the buyer – the Buyer’s Agent
  • Dual Agents – dual agency arises when the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent both work for the same real estate company

What has changed since the 1999 Agency Laws were put into place? On October 1st, there will no longer be the type of agency called “Presumed Agency”. For the last 15 years, when a buyer met with a real estate agent, and didn’t want to sign a Buyer’s Agency agreement, the agent could continue to help the buyer by providing services as a Presumed Agent. That presumptive representation is no longer recognized in Maryland.

What Does this Mean for A Home Buyer?

Before the advent of Buyer’s Agency Laws in 1999, every agent worked for the seller, and represented the seller’s best interests. The Maryland Real Estate Commission wants to ensure that Home Buyers know their rights and understand that they have Buyer Agency available to them. Consumers need to understand that ALL agents are mandated by law to represent the seller’s best interest when there is no Buyer’s Agency Agreement in place.

Please be aware that all real estate agents are required by law to give “Fair and Honest” real estate services, but without a written buyer’s agency agreement, the law states that the agent represents the seller.

After October 1st, home buyers are now presented with a disclosure which explains the various forms of Agency in Maryland, as well as a Buyer’s Agency Agreement. It is the law. When visiting an open house, a new “Open House Disclosure”, notice will be placed visibly, which explains that the agent conducting the open house represents the seller. Real Estate agents are required to educate buyers and sellers on their rights upon the first meeting.

Agency is More Than Information

Today’s home buyers are well aware that this is the “Information Age”, and are able to obtain vast amounts of information on houses, neighborhoods and lifestyles. But this is the important part about Buyer Agency: Without a written agreement, you cannot get any information that is tailored to your interest. Buyer Agency is designed to give the buyer representation. Immediately upon reading these statements, many home buyers will have questions…

  1. “What if I don’t want to make a commitment, I just want to see a house?” Consider that a real estate agent has expertise that comes from hundreds, if not thousands, of real estate transactions over their career…why not take advantage of that knowledge? Especially appealing should be the fact that the knowledge can be used for your interests.
  2. “What if I don’t like that real estate agent?” All Maryland contracts are required to have a cancellation clause. You can hire a real estate agent for an hour if you really want to.
  3. “I just met the agent 2 minutes ago, I really don’t want to sign something.” That is your right. The law is in place to let buyers know their rights and options. Buyers have the right to enter a home purchase agreement unrepresented.

This is a cursory overview of the changes in Maryland Agency Laws. For a full explanation and view of the documentation, visit the Maryland Real Estate Commission Website:  https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/mrec/

Frederick County Real Estate Market Update September 2016

Frederick County Real Estate Market Update September 2016

Real Estate Market Activity for Frederick County –September 2016

provided by the Highland Group

Real Estate activity in Frederick County is not slowing down for the Fall. Here is a snapshot of Frederick County real estate statistics:

Real Estate Statistics in Frederick Md

Average Home Sales Price:  294,596 , slightly down from last year by 5%, and down 5% from last month’s average of $313,500.

  • Average Single-Family Sales Price:  $336,134, down 3 1/2% from last year at this time…$348,677.
  • Average Attached Home Sales Price:  $224,861, down 6 1/2% from last year’s $240,546.
  • 230 single-family homes sold, compared to 219, 5% More
  • 137 townhomes and condos sold, compared to 112, 22% More 
  • A total of 367 homes sold in September, 11% more than last year’s number of 331.

Median Home Sales Price:   $270,000 compared to $279,900last September: down 3 1/2%

Average Days on Market (DOM) the time it takes to get a contract: 58 days, down from last year (68). It’s taking a shorter time to sell than previously. This is a direct reflection of Demand in our market.

Number of Homes Sold:  There were 366 new pendings (homes that went under contract) 2% more than last September. The demand is certainly staying steady heading into Fall, pent-up demand is the term we’re seeing a lot.

Total Listings in Frederick Md: 1,172, down 16% from 1,398 last year. The inventory is decreasing, but still close to what is usually considered a normal number for Frederick County. We’re seeing a balanced market, for the most part, with a 3-4 month absorption rate.

** If demand is still strong for the season and inventory is decreasing, this is a good time to sell!

Keep in mind: In some price ranges, in some areas of the county, there is naturally a higher demand and the market is more competitive for buyers. some neighborhoods, like Urbana, Middletown and several in the city of Frederick, are in high demand, and have lower absorption rates. The communities on the outskirts of Frederick County, Myersville, Thurmont, Woodsboro, are less in demand and homes take a little longer to sell.

Sellers got 98% of list price on average, compared to 96% at this time last year. This number has been steadily higher over the last year, illustrating the rise in home values.


See Homes for Sale in Frederick Maryland


What’s Notable:

  • Interest rates have risen just slightly to about 3.7% recently, incredibly low! See today’s rates.
  • The number of sales have continued to be healthy as we enter the Fall months, with a higher demand than last year, we had a higher number of homes go under contract than last year, sometimes “Pending” is a term you may see. The total waiting to close is 726, compared to 647 at this time last year, an increase of 12%.
  • The inventory has decreased going into the Fall, which is usual for the season, and is lower than last year, but with steady demand, we might see more of a seller’s market. Up until now, we’ve seen a balanced market in most communities in the county. We will expect multiple offers on the homes that are in great condition and priced at market… and this will continue to put upward pressure on home prices. Homes that are priced well and in the best condition, and in areas of demand, are sold within a week, or even in days.
  • Cash deals were 14% of sales. As appreciation is expected, we’re still seeing Investors and flippers in the Frederick market. 43% of loans were with Conventional financing, out pacing FHA loans, which were 25%. 10% were VA. Interestingly, 10% were “other” financed.
  • **The majority of home sales took place in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range. 29%

September 2016 Market Statistics provided by MRIS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Information System)

*MRIS – Metropolitan Regional Information System – These statistics are not guaranteed but are considered accurate. Frederick County Real Estate Market Update for August 2016.

Contact Chris Highland to see homes for sale in Frederick Md.


301-401-5119

eXp Realty Partners with Home-Building Non-Profit New Story

eXp Realty Partners with Home-Building Non-Profit New Story

Home Is Essential to Well-Being

As Realtors® we are in the day-in, day-out business of helping people find “home”. We see up close the importance of that nest to every homeowner. The launching pad for all of the activities, relationships and ventures that make a life. Home is so essential to building a life, whether your home is a mansion or a condo, in the city or the country. All security, nurture and sustenance to carry on in this world comes from your home.

kids-jumping2xAs the family is the fundamental building block of society, the home is the security of the family. Imagine if your home was as precarious as a tent. Dirt floors. No door. No clean water. No safety or security. That’s how millions of destitute people live around the world.

We learned recently that in Haiti alone, there are close to 60,000 people still living in temporary tents as a result of the earthquake seven years ago.* Learning about this need really tugged at our heartstrings. Our brokerage, eXp Realty, has chosen to partner with an amazing non-profit, New Story, that is making a real tangible difference, in a way that is so wonderfully aligned with our industry.

New Story Transforms Slums Into Communities

New Story is a 501c3 non-profit that builds homes for $6,000 in impoverished areas. The infrastructure and salaries are underwritten by private organizations, so that the charity is able to put 100% of our donations to work. The homes are built using local workers and local resources, adding an extra layer of contribution to the local people.

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, New Story has built entire communities which include schools and medical clinics. This creates a real sustainable foundation for a better life. With a safe and stable home, families can maintain their health, parents can focus on jobs and employment, and children can go to school. The trajectory for  their life is changed. Check out this short intro video:

Giving Back

Social Enterprise has become more than just a buzzword over the last few years; it is a standard way of doing business today. Many people appreciate doing business with companies that give back to the community in some way, whether the company is a large corporation, or a mom-and-pop company, or an individual.

The strict definition of social enterprise is an organization whose social aims are the primary goal and profits are secondary. The reality of social enterprise in our society is that there are many levels of the philanthropic element. Some businesses add charitable giving to their business plan. On the other end of the continuum, there are organizations that are completely owned and organized by the community.

Regardless of where the business fits into that broad spectrum, being a part of the community is a growing trend for modern business. There is a growing expectation by consumers to do business where they know that their purchase will make a difference in the community. Most of us agree that we’ve been blessed with the means and opportunity to create businesses and work in jobs that provide for a comfortable lifestyle. Giving back is often an integral part of today’s business plan.

Chris and I couldn’t agree more. Giving back to the community is an expression of appreciation for the blessings we have. For many, it is the way to pass on just a bit of the opportunity we have enjoyed. For us, as well as many we know, it is a way to show thankfulness to God.

Why We Love New Story

In an age of internet information and connection, where transparency is available, people have increasingly come to expect it. And we should. When we see that certain established charity organizations have misplaced millions of dollars, or have severely underperformed in their efforts, we have become skeptical of the nonprofit sector. Rightfully so, IMO. An increasing number of people want to know that their dollars are going to do good, not getting absorbed by large salaries and infrastructure, or simply disappearing.

Transparency is a value that is well aligned with the culture at eXp Realty. As an agent-owned brokerage, we are all part of the future of our company. Chris and I are impressed by the transparency of the Board of Directors at eXp Realty and appreciate the agent-centric model. With that in mind, it is a very natural partnership with a non-profit that shares that value. Check out this video from CEO and co-founder of New Story, Brett Hagler:

What Went Wrong: How to Fix Charity

Millennials Turn “Charity” Upside Down

We hear often these days about the problems with Millennials, but not having ever been one to jump on a bandwagon…I think the naysayers have it wrong. Here are some Millennials who are challenging the non-profit establishment and turning it upside down. They’ve reinvented the model and made it into something that really works. Something transparent and inclusive of all of us who want to participate.

When I Give, I KNOW I’m Making A Difference

The ministry that New Story provides really resonates with Chris and I as Realtors®…to see families safely housed so they can pursue a healthy life, so children can go to school, and they can have opportunity. We love that we can, even in a small way, be part of something large and life changing. Something sustainable, measurable, and long-lasting.

*Of the several hundred homes that New Story has built in Haiti, 100% have withstood the devastation of Hurricane Matthew! That’s sustainable!


If you’d like to be involved, you can join our current crowdfunding effort: Help eXp Realty Transform Lives!

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Or see how to donate, contribute to a family, start a birthday campaign, or start your own Company Campaign: New Story Charity