Americans would most like to be neighbors with the Obamas in 2017, according to the 10th annual Zillow Celebrity Neighbor Survey.
The annual survey asks U.S. adults which celebrities they would most like to have as a neighbor.
"The Obama family is the top choice for a celebrity neighbor in 2017, earning 14 percent of surveyed adults' votes," according to a Zillow report.
"The family received a lot of attention for their decision to remain in Washington, D.C. post-White House, which likely contributed to their high ranking on the list. The family garnered strong votes among both male and female voters, and across generations."
The report also noted the second and third place "most desirable" neighbors.
"Actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson was a close second with 13 percent of the votes. Johnson is known for his collection of mega mansions, and has sold at least 10 homes in Florida alone over the past decade.
"Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV(r)'s television show "Fixer Upper" came in third with 8 percent, followed by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi (7 percent)."
Twenty-eight percent of surveyed adults said they would not want to live next to any of the celebrities listed in the poll.
Q: Is the U.S. the world's leader in real estate investment?
A: Yes. The United States remains the world's most popular choice for foreign real estate capital, according to the latest annual survey of overseas investors by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate.
Ninety-five percent of global investors surveyed said they planned to increase or maintain their level of U.S. investment, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.
"Nevertheless, investor caution is slowly growing surrounding U.S. real estate. The caution is being sparked over the uncertainty in policies and the legislative agenda of a new administration, rising interest rates, and closing gaps between interest and capitalization rates, says James Fetgatter, CEO of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate."
Q: Are mortgage rates rising?
A: Yes. Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher for the ninth consecutive week.
"Despite the recent jump in mortgage rates since the election, the annual average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest annual average ever recorded in the Freddie Mac PMMS going back to 1971.
"In the latest report, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.32 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week, up from last week when it averaged 4.30 percent.
"A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.01 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.55 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.52 percent."
Q: Are mortgage applications picking up?
A: Not at this point. In the latest report, mortgage applications decreased 12 percent from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The results included adjustments to account for the Christmas holiday.
Q: What remodeling projects are most likely to boost the value of a home above the cost of the project?
A: First, consider the landscaping. This will give the "curb appeal" that is needed for important first impressions.
Inside, the renovation of kitchen and bathrooms seem to be winners with prospective buyers.
To find out more about Jim Woodard and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. Jim Woodard's email: [email protected]