8-26-2014: FHA Streamlines Process to help Delinquent Homeowners avoid Foreclosure and remain in their homes. Specifically, FHA will:
- Require servicers to convert successful 3-month trial modifications into permanent modifications within 60 days instead of the average four-to-six months;
- Allow borrowers with three missed mortgage payments to qualify for a partial claim to bring their arrearages current versus the previous four-month minimum;
- End the traditional stand-alone Loan Modification option so borrowers can access the FHA-HAMP option, with its greater payment relief, sooner; and
- Eliminate the minimum 12-month delinquency term to qualify for FHA’s special forbearance option. This will allow servicers extend this option to unemployed households sooner in their delinquency.
8-25-2014: Finding the Right Home Inspector.
8-24-2016: U.S. New Home Sales Rise to Highest Level Since 2007.
8-23-2016: Why giving clients straight talk as an agent is beneficial.
8-22-2016:5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home.
8-18-2016: September interest rate hike could happen, Fed minutes show.
8-17-2016:A home inspection helps you make an informed decision.
8-15-2016: Title Company Sues Realty Firm Over Wire Fraud. Someone spoofed the closing escrow agent email account and sent an email to FATC’s escrow from their email account purporting to be from the Escrow Agent. The email said the Escrow Agent was having problems with his bank, Bank A, and that the funds should be wired to an account at Bank B. Funds were wired, but fraudulent account and offshore….ooops!
8-14-2016: Contractor lien must be cleared before refinancing…and Step #1 – List your house…Step #2 – take a vacation.
8-12-2016: Free FICO scores are given to customers of over 40 lenders including Wells Fargo, Ally Financial, American Express, JP Morgan Chase, and others. WSJ, 8-9-2016,C3.
8-9-2016:How To Become A Real Estate Agent. Rule #1, it’s not as easy as it looks in real life!
8-8-2016: How to Avoid Buying a Money Pit. (Hint: Structural, Roof, HVAC, PLumbing, Electrical, other systems and Landscaping.)
8-7-2016: Federal watchdog expands anti-money laundering disclosure rules for high-end real estate buyers.
8-6-2016: 3 tech trends impacting real estate this year.
8-5-2016:How a Condo Association Could Kill a Sale
8-4-2016:Lawmaker offers new ‘lead-safe’ proposal. Local politician proposes a visual inspection of a property instead of performing a more thorough test for lead based paint in order to be deemed “lead safe” before they could be rented. Kind of like a sniff test – could have lead based paint but who cares, as long as I didn’t “see” LBP.
8-3-2016:The Worst Home-Buying Advice People Actually Believe
8-2-2106: 7 Steps Every Homeowner Should Know About Selling For Top Dollar. Remember, be honest and know thy neighbor’s property value…
8-1-2016: U.S. Pending Home Sales Edged Higher in June by a small percentage and were mixed in areas around the country.
7-30-2016 Jury rules against pastor in consumer real estate fraud case. Home-buying program in Kansas City was a scam – upfront payments on real-estate contracts, then failed to pay back taxes and make repairs that had been promised.
7-23-2016: 7 Easy Tips to Stage Your Home’s Exterior.
7-22-2016: Lawmaker offers new ‘lead-safe’ proposal including allowing initial inspections to be visual, doing away with the proposed requirement that residences would be swabbed with dust wipes and tested for lead paint dust before getting a “lead safe” certificate.
7-21-2016: The pros and cons of buying a brand-new home
7-20-2016: 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent
7-19-206: Title Company Sues Realty Firm Over Wire Fraud. Moral of story, always call the title agent/closing attorney/escrow office to verify any transfer of funds “before” wire transfer of funds is ordered and executed.
7-13-2016:Florida real estate agents could get protections from crime
7-12-2016: How to get a good real estate deal like a flipper (even if you don’t want to be one).
7-11-2016:How to answer an age-old real estate question – Rent or Buy?
7-10-2016: A good real estate agent: how to find, hire one.
7-9-2016: About Real Estate: Intrafamily loans tricky for new home buyers
7-8-2016: Fannie/Freddie Joint Venture Creeps Forward
7-8-2016: First-Time Buyers: Must-Know Advice Before You Buy
7-7-3026: Banks are pushing home-equity lines of credit which allow homeowners to draw down the equity in their homes . Average credit line credit line in 2015 was 119,007. the big push now is to make up for the falling levels of mortgage origination and refinancing. The use of risen back up to about 5% below their all time peak in 2006. Requiring 20% equity minimum and I are going to Fico scores. Source WSJ-March 28, 2016 C1
7-6-2016:Fannie’s and Freddie’s Plan to Cut Mortgage Balances May Be Near.
7-5-2016: Hackers Perpetrate Wire Transfer Fraud In Real Estate Transactions
7-4-2016:30 tips to get your mortgage approved.
7-3-2016: Finding the Right Mortgage for You.
7-1-2016:The Staying Power of Crowdfunding in Real Estate
6-30-2016: Ex-real estate appraiser sentenced for tax conviction
6-29-2016: 5 things real estate agents wish you wouldn’t do.
6-29-20156-28-2016:How Much Can a Full-Service Real Estate Agent Do to Help Sell Your Home?.
6-27-2016: One of the biggest trade-offs is commuting. buying vs. renting….overspend on a down payment for the house itself and leave themselves without enough money for furnishings and emergency expenses……extremely high long-term price expectations… the most powerful emotional drive at work in a sale is loss aversion—not wanting to sell a home for less than what you paid for it..
6-26-2016: Home builder confidence is rising due to several factors (Source: WSJ,6-22-2016, B2) :
- Slow and steady economic recovery in the US
- modest wageg growth
- positive consumer confidence
- lower unemployment levels
- tight inventory levels; and
- rapid emergence of first time homebuyers
6-25-2016: Obama has requested for 4 billion… Obama has requested $4 billion took accelerate autonomous car technologies. Traffic fatalities increased 9% in 2015…distracted drivers..drunken driving..drowsiness…liability and regulatory confusion prevent self driving car technology to flourish. Source WSJ, 3-14-16, B3
6-25-2016: Let me digress a bit here from Real Estate – But reading the Georgia Natural Gas (GNG) mailer-filler with their latest bill regarding their Automatic Draft policies, Statement #6 caught my attention and made me bust out laughing…
It says…”6. Resolving Errors: If you notify GNG that an error…occurred, GNG will investigate promptly….except…will determine whether an error occurred within ten (10) business days of receiving a notice of the error….if GNS is unable to complete its investigation within ten (10) business days, GNG may take up to forty-five (45) days …to investigate whether an error occurred…”
But I have to remember this policy had to be approved by…wait for it….the Georgia Public Service Commission and Georgia Department of Consumer Affairs…So the State of Georgia is in full compliance that billing errors may take longer to resolve than committing the error in the first place…alot longer!
6-24-2016: The U.S. Housing Market in 9 Charts.
6-24-2016: Buying a Foreclosed Home: Info You Need to Know.
6-24-2016:Would-be homebuyers are stumped: The Wall Street Journal estimate February sales of previously owned homes fell 2.6% from a month earlier. On a year-over-year basis, sales are expected to have risen by about 7%.
6-23-2016: Is it Time to Retire the Real Estate Agent?
6-23-2016:Lack of New Home Construction Is Bad Omen for Buyers (Not enough new inventory).
6-22-2016: Four (4) Reasons to Not Pay Off Your Mortgage Early. However, if you can get better than 4% return on a safe investment, go for it…but with 10 year T-Bills <2% and bank balances paying <1%, eliminating 40% of your monthly cash outflows also makes sense.
6-21-2016:To help public housing residents find jobs and educational opportunities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $32 million in grants to public housing authorities and non-profit organizations across the nation to hire or retain service coordinators to help residents achieve economic and housing independence.
6-21-2016: 5 Mortgage Mistakes Homeowners Regret Making
6-20-2016: Which are the top crowdfunding sites for real estate investing?
6-19-2016: In Real Estate, A Picture Is Worth $1,000 or More…probably alot more!
6-18-2016: Banks Are Falling Back in Love With Mortgages
6-18-2016: Millennial buyers are finding their own houses. They feel more comfortable relying on online information and sources, but still require help maneuvering around the details.
6-16-2016: FHFA Authorizes Principal Reduction for GSE Loans.
6-16-2016: Fannie Mae’s new headquarters deemed too fancy for troubled agency.
6-15-2016: What impact do professional sports teams have on immediate and local real estate market?
6-15-2016: How to Create a Pool Maintenance Schedule >.
Student Debt May Delay Homeownership More Than 5 Years.
6-14-2016: Want to own a home? Say no to student loans.
6-14-2016:10 Mortgage Numbers You’ll Be Glad You Know
6-13-2016: Should you get into real estate crowdfunding?
6-12-2016: Here’s a lesson on earnest money. The amount of the earnest money deposit is negotiated between the buyer and the seller….Without both signature on a release forms, the earnest money cannot be released. If the buyer and seller cannot agree, it becomes a legal matter and attorneys must be retained by the parties to try to resolve the issue…
6-11-2016:3 Tips for Homebuyers in a Fast-Paced Real Estate Market.
6-10-2016: 7 Things Renters Really Should Check on Their Lease & be sure to mark your calendar with important dates.
6-9-2016:Wow, now Facebook is planning to search the internet in order to…get this..find out more data about non-Facebook users so it can…wait for it…send more ads to an unsolicited request! But never fear, because Facebook has all kinds of information on each Facebook user given up at their own volition. Source: WSJ, 6-1-2016, B5B.
6-8-2016: Jumbo loans (in most cases, larger than $417,000), which became increasingly more attractive since their interest rates dropped below non-jumbo mortgages, accounted for about 23% of J.P. Morgan’s total mortgage lending business in 2014. The top 10 US banks accounted for about 10% of jumbo mortgages. Jumbo loans are attractive to large banks for the purposes of avoiding fines and penalties under the 2010 Dodd Frank law which come with federally backed FHA, VA, and Fannie.Freddie backed mortgages. Source: WSJ, 6-2-16, A1.
6-7-2016: Zillow to pay $130M to settle lawsuit with Move over alleged trade secret theft. (Note: Move, who operates Realtor.com (which is the website for the National Association of Realtors), is owned by News Corp.)
6-6-2016: 5 things needed at home to “age” in place and not move after reaching retirement age – no steps; lever handles; switches reachable from chairs; one level; and wide doorways/hallways for wheelchairs. Source: WSJ, 6-6-2016, R4.
6-6-2016: This one keeps me up at night… The same Takata airbags that have been linked to deaths and personal injuries from rupture are…get this…legally permitted to be installed on…new cars…but there’s a silver lining…these same quasi-“defective” air bags will be replaced in “new” cars by 2018. Source: WSJ, 6-2-2016, B3.
6-5-2016: Good news for real estate? S&P/Case-Shiller index is back up to within 4% of 2006 peak before the last housing bubble. Lack of inventory, fewer first time home buyers, and a large influx of high income residents to big cities make it very competitive for lower priced homes. While at the same time, lower income mortgage applicants have a harder time meeting stringent loan guidelines. Source: WSJ, 6-1-2016, A1.
6-3-2016: Solution to pay-day lenders? Why not have your employer float you a small loan? A recent survey found that almost 40% of employees find it difficult to meet monthly household expenses. Some employers are partnering with Kashable, Ziero Financial, and other vendors in not only providing lower cost loans, but budgetary education to correct bad financial behavior. They are also preventing more and more employees from borrowing from their future (i.e., 401K plans). According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, about 20% of all employees borrow money from their 401K plans. Source: WSJ, 6-1-2016,B5.
6-2-2016:Dear Mom and Dad: Can You Give Me a Mortgage?
5-27-2016: Home improvement investments that pay you back.
5-26-2016: New home sales in the US are skyrocketing.
5-25-2016:It take 5+ years for 18-34 year olds w/o student debt to save 20% down on a home; 10+ yrs for those with debt; homeownership <35 down to 34% (lowest level since 1994); and even though college grads earn $23,000 more than non-college grads, they only save 10% of that extra - they spend more on rent, transportation, and entertainment. Source: WSJ, 5-23-16, A3
5-24-2016:Real estate agents warning buyers of new scam.
5-23-2016: Top 10 cities for singles looking for love and real estate.
5-22-2016: 6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Aren’t Extinct.
5-20-2016:What Happens When a Homeowner Dies Before the Mortgage Is Paid?
5-19-2016:There is NO WAY on this earth that Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac will be released from bondage – it’s too much of a cash cow for the US Government. Also, Fannie Mae reported 1Q16 income at $936 million, from which $919 million will be paid to the US Treasury for dividends. (Source: WSJ, 5-6-16, C8) Any questions as to the Government ever giving up this cash cow? I didn’t think so.
5-18-2016:Making money the old fashioned way – lawsuits – More than 10 large US banks agreed to a settlement of almost $2 Billion to reimburse a handful of hedge funds (about $150 million each) for how they traded credit derivatives after the 2008 financial crisis hit. It doesn’t stop there…there may be up to 14,000 potential eligible participants in the settlement. Source: WSJ, 1-11-2016, C3.
5-17-2016: Real Estate Agents, Appraisers Voice Concerns over FHA Appraisal Policies – with an FHA-insured loan, the appraiser not only determines market value but also inspects the home to ensure it meets certain minimum property standards. Requiring appraisers to take on home inspection-type duties to ensure standards are met.
5-16-2016: Computerized robot beats human real estate brokers.
5-15-2016: Home Builders still confident but higher labor and land costs are concerns.
5-14-2016:Hey – this is a one time review and once it’s done…go out for an ice cream cone and don’t dwell on it…Policies about what happens when a borrower dies can vary widely among lenders, and terms are usually buried in the fine print of mortgage contracts.
5-13-2016: Computerized robot beats human real estate brokers…except when it came down to lying, then agents beat robots every time.
5-12-2016:Seven (7) things homeowners want their homes to have.
5-11-2016:Ever wonder just how much your “stuff” weighs when you determine a household move?
5-10-2016:JP Morgan plans to issue $1.9 Billion in mortgage backed securities comprising of about 6,000 mortgages, 75% are conventional conforming and will only include the riskiest loan elements (which means higher interest rate). US Financial institutions issues about $62 Billion in MBS in 2015 compared to about $1.9 Trillion in MBS just before the financial crisis hit. Source: WSJ, 3-15-2016, C2.
5-9-2016:Home buyers should beware of electronic fraud, say real estate agents
5-8-2016:Millennials set to drive change in real estate market
5-7-2016:Tucker-Northlake Master Development Plan
5-6-2016:Special TRID edition of Borrower Do’s and Don’ts
5-5-2016: During and immediately after the mid 2000’s financial crisis, banks were understating their loan loan loss provisions. The International Journal of Business and Financial Research published a study by Burka Dolar entitled “Income Smoothing Practices of U.S. Banks Around the 2008 Financial Crisis”. The study revealed that during the financial crisis, banks were understating their losses. As a result, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is proposing rules to require banks to record loan losses alot quicker than they do now. Source: WSJ, 2-22-2016, C6.
5-4-2016:In some states, trusts can be used as a type of entity that acts much like a corporation in shielding the real owners of the real estate from personal liability…Not in California.
5-3-16:Hackers scam homebuyers by pretending to be real estate agents
4-29-2016: Think Sex Offenders Drive Down Home Prices? Not Necessarily
4-28-2016: Real estate title scams steal homebuyers’ money and dash ownership dreams.
4-28-2016: Some Good News for Real Estate. The number of contracts signed to buy existing homes rose higher than expected.
4-27-2016: Millennial impact on real estate
4-27-2016:Which kind of real estate agent is the right one for you?
4-26-2016:Plenty of blame to go round in real estate crisis in Canada
4-25-2016: Recent survey reveals that real estate is still rated as the best long-term investment by Americans.
4-22-2016:Are single women refraining from buying real estate?
4-21-2016:Appeals Court questions constitutionality of CFPB, attacks Director Cordray
4-19-2016: Here’s Why Investors Continue to Beat Out First-Time Home Buyers
4-19-2016: New U.S. Program to Offer Mortgage Relief to 33,000 Underwater Borrowers.
4-18-2016:Fannie’s and Freddie’s Plan to Cut Mortgage Balances May Be Near
4-15-2016: 4-28-2016: The Florida Homeowners’ Association Act (Chapter 720, Florida Statutes) – permits owners to speak on each point. Does your state or HOA allow you to voice your opinions on each topic discussed?
4-14-2016: Appeals Court questions constitutionality of CFPB, attacks Director Cordray.
4-14-2016: Having HOA Neighbor Knowledge
4-14-2016: Why It’s So Tough to Get a Mortgage—and How to Increase Your Chances.
4-13-2016: Appeals Court questions constitutionality of CFPB, attacks Director Cordray. Big question: How far does CFPB authority reach. More specifically in this case: “Does the CFPB have authority to assess huge $109 million fine when another law judge already assessed a $6+ million judgment?
4-11-2016: The Essentials Checklist for Newly Married Homeowners
4-10-2016: The US Treasury 10 year note (that is used to parallel movement in mortgage interest rates), settled at 1,77% on 4-8-2016. Core consumer price index was 2.3%. This means that the effective rate of growth of the 10 year note is negative.
4-9-2016: About 246 million desktop & laptop computers were sold in 2015, but that was down 11% from previous year. (Not real estate related, but very interesting.) Source: WSJ,4-6-2016,C12
4-8-2016: 1st time homebuyers can be…Landlords?. Not so fast there oh wise one…there’s alot to consider on this one before you jump on this train. Consider the pros and cons first…
4-8-2016: Tight home inventory levels are helping to drive up prices. Typically, there is a 6 month inventory of homes, but currently running about 4 months. Source: WSJ, 3-21-2016, C1
4-7-2016: Why Home Buyers Really Need to Hurry.
4-6-2016:HOA must accommodate religious beliefs.
4-5-2016: Cancer Risk From Lumber Liquidators Laminate Wood Flooring Was Underestimated: Report. This is related to the safety of products manufactured in China. It was questioned by the California Air Resources Board (CARB)and a $2.5 million out of court settlement resulted. WSJ, 3-23-16, B3.
4-4-2016: Things to keep in mind when choosing a home inspector.
4-3-2016: 5 Tax Benefits of Owning a Second Home.
4-1-2016:Foreclosure firms are becoming an endangered species – See more at: http://realtybiznews.com/foreclosure-firms-are-becoming-an-endangered-species/98732507/#sthash.WaT0S25z.dpuf
References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.