Buybacks have gotten a bad rap from both Republicans and Democrats. But stocks would be trading at a massive discount without them.Marketsread more
Fiat Chrysler and France's Renault could soon partner up to take on the sweeping changes to the global auto industry, according to a report in the Financial Times. The...Autosread more
Microsoft shares have gained 133% since November 2015, outperforming a tech "basket of unicorns" over that stretch.Technologyread more
The president's state visit comes amid tensions with carmaker Toyota over potential auto tariffs. Trump has repeatedly threatened Japanese and European carmakers with tariffs.Traderead more
The IRS is about to release a new draft of Form W-4, which will more closely reflect the changes stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For workers, that means they'll need...Personal Financeread more
When commercial real estate investor Manny Khoshbin spent $2.2 million on the fastest production car in the world, he had no idea it would very quickly also become the...Autosread more
The Mega Millions jackpot has spilled over $400 million. It would be the ninth largest winning since the game began in 2002.Personal Financeread more
Trump was speaking at a meeting of Japanese business leaders in Tokyo during his state visit to Japan on Saturday.Marketsread more
The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season.Energyread more
The federal minimum wage has remained $7.25 per hour since 2009. But several states, and even some companies, have since taken matters into their own hands to pay employees a...Workread more
Stocks rose on Friday, but notched weekly losses as investors worried the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.US Marketsread more
SAINT PAUL, Minn., Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Homebuyers have never been able to compare the true cost of owning one home versus another, until now. Local Realtors throughout Minnesota and Western Wisconsin for the first time can show consumers the "true costs" of homeownership, using powerful new technology provided by NorthstarMLS.
By contacting a local Realtor®, a consumer will be able to search and compare their TLC or "True Lifestyle Cost" to own a home among more than 35,000 single-family homes listed for sale today on NorthstarMLS. This new information resource shows that sometimes homes priced the same, but located in different towns, can have significantly different total costs of ownership. Moreover, sometimes more expensive home options yield lower total costs of homeownership.
"Most people buy a home based solely on the size of their mortgage payment and property tax rates," said Claire Killen, Broker/Owner of Emerald Real Estate in Minneapolis and Chair of NorthstarMLS. "But that's only about two-thirds of the true monthly cost to own, which can vary house-to-house based on so many factors: Commuting expenses, different auto insurance rates, utility bills, daycare costs, family size and so much more," Killen added.
To close this information gap, Realtors use TLCengine integrated into NorthstarMLS. Each NorthstarMLS listing now includes the powerful TLC calculator and reports to help consumers with the information they need to compare the true costs among properties when shopping for a home.
This new technology takes "big data" – which includes over 31 unique lifestyle cost variables – to help local Realtors show consumers a benchmark to compare ownership costs among different homes, customized to each consumer's search criteria.
For example, one spouse may work for Target in downtown Minneapolis, while the other spouse works for Cargill in Wayzata. If they want to compare homes listed for sale in Edina, a communities located between their places of employment, a "True Lifestyle Cost" or TLC search with their Realtor can yield two homes with the same price – but the difference in the cost to own can be as much as $250 a month or more (see image). After just a few years, that's a difference of thousands of dollars.
Krishna Malyala, founder of TLCengine, explains these cost estimates help local Realtors provide consumers real world data that will get even more accurate over time.
"This cost engine gets smarter and smarter as local agents will be able to add the actual expenses provided by the seller for every home they list," Malyala said. "We're turning big data into smart data through expert crowdsourcing," he added.
Killen believes consumers will benefit immediately from this breakthrough technology, noting anyone can get access to this valuable decision-making tool by contacting a local real estate agent who is a member of NorthstarMLS.
"This will help bring more clarity to the home buying process," she said. "Consumers will see for themselves that buying a bigger home in the suburbs that is priced less may actually cost more than living in the city, when you roll up all the costs, including commuting, parking, gas and insurance," Killen explained.
Killen points out that the new TLCengine data will "lift the veil" allowing Realtors to show consumers how the cost to own can vary greatly among homes that are priced the same, with the same features and neighborhood amenities. Realtors will be able to help consumers compare home costs among different neighborhoods and different cities. Home buyers are encouraged to contact their local Realtor®for a free TLC (True Lifestyle Cost) report. Local agents have access to the reports through NorthstarMLS, which operates throughout Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
"When a consumer can see what it really costs to own a home, they will be able to make a better purchase decision and that's crucial. Buying a home is likely the biggest financial decision they'll ever make and they no longer have to make that decision with less than 70% of the information," Killen said.