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All-Cash Sales Up Nationwide

The market share of all-cash purchases is on the rise, despite declines in distressed sales and investor activity, according to the National Association of REALTORS.

Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, said the findings are counterintuitive. "Distressed home sales, most popular with investors who pay cash, have declined notably in the past two years, yet the share of all-cash purchases has risen," he said. "At the same time, investors have declined as a market share, indicating other changes have been underway in the marketplace."

All-cash purchases rose from 29 percent in 2012 to 33 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Distressed home sales declined from 26 percent of the national market in 2012 to 15 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Roanoke Named One of Most Affordable Cities

The website recently published a list of the six most affordable cities in America for retirees. And Roanoke made the list!

Cities were chosen based on low tax rates, low cost of living and amenities including recreational activities, cultural events and entertainment.

Among the reasons Roanoke made the list: the cost of living is 11 points lower than the national average, the state sales tax is relatively low and the city and surrounding area are home to lots of outdoor activity options and entertainment venues. Cultural diversity also factored into quality of life in Roanoke.

The other cities on the list (in no particular order) are Spokane, Wash; Savannah, Ga; Pittsburgh, Pa; Lousiville, Ky; and Columbus, Ind.

FHA Accepting E-Signatures

If you're working with FHA, you might be able to save some time and aggravation by taking advantage of electronic signatures on some documents. Both NAR and VAR have been encouraging FHA to accept electronic signatures for some time.

According to VAR's Chief of Policy and Advocacy Martin Johnson, "There is no doubt REALTORS who embrace digital transactions can provide their buyers and sellers with a more cost-effective, safer and efficient transaction. Our land records are digitally stored with our circuit court clerks. Virginia law allows for digital signatures on any document, including real estate contracts. Virginia law allows for electronic recording of deeds and deeds of trusts, and for electronic notarizations. The last step in the process was to ensure that FHA would accept the documents."

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