Who owns the interior and exterior photos of your home?

Are Google’s satellite photos of your home an invasion of privacy or does everyone not care because they now see into their neighbor’s back yards?

Take it one step further, when you are marketing your home to the public, do you also have interior photos of the home to show features of your home to prospective home buyers? Do you care to share your personal furnishings with the general public, some of whom are either nosy neighbors (i.e., self-proclaimed decorating critics) or maybe local criminals? And what does it matter if you do show photos, you are moving, right? So why care? Even the nosy neighbors are going to come over to see inside and get ideas for their home.

Well, how about the new Home Buyer caring not to show the interior views of a home to total strangers and where all possible access points, alarm panels, or otherwise revealing the interior of your new home. It’s one thing to see the photos of home interiors to compare features of various possible homes, but once you move in and even though you change furniture placement, paint, or flooring…do you feel uncomfortable that basically your home is viewable from anyone in the entire world?

Can you remove previous photos of your new home’s interior or exterior from the internet? Probably not entirely. Or perhaps the realtors can use your home’s exterior photo to advertise previous properties that have been sold. Also, Realtor Multiple Listing Services (MLS) normally delete those photos after a specified length of time (i.e., probably about 90 days after to use as sales listing or appraisal comparables). I’m sure if you pressed the issue with them, you can request them to do so and they should comply. Please consult with your real estate agent to address concerns, or contact the local MLS to remove photos.

In these days of smartphones and the number of cameras out there, even the potential Buyers visiting the home will snap photos of interior to help remember the homes they visit…are you ok with that?

Bottom line: In this day and age, if you are really paranoid of who sees the interior of your home, you have concern and not sure how you can stop it in the short run…maybe an enterprising unemployed attorney will file a class action lawsuit, but not sure of the extent of “damages”???

Source of ide for blog Post: Some buyers don’t want to show off the photos of their new home.

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Violent Crimes Against Real Estate Agents

This blog post is dedicated to those in the real estate industry who, while performing their real estate duties, were either killed or severely injured by worthless human beings. May they rest in peace and their families be comforted with their memories.

Real estate is sometimes a dangerous occupation…especially if you are alone in a model home in a new subdivision or showing properties to unknown prospects.

Given the wrong circumstances at the wrong time, it can be downright deadly. About 10 years ago, I recall a couple of agents in a new home subdivision in Acworth, Georgia who were at the model home and a man murdered both of them. He was convicted of the murders but I believe he still is alive today – lucky him but he didn’t give his victims a chance to live.

My hope and prayer is that this senseless killing stops. I also wish that builders install security cameras throughout the model homes so if something happens, they can get a better image for police to track those animals who perform these violent acts of crime. And agents need to be on the alert when single men stumble into the model home with nobody else around.

Inman News reported that in 2012 (the latest year for which figures are available), there were 50 workplace fatalities in the real estate industry subcategory. Source: http://www.inman.com/2014/04/28/real-estate-workplace-deaths-again-on-the-rise/

These cases are but a few and I could list more, but I plan to update this blog post when I encounter another case.

NEWS: Even though a Florida statute has been proposed to increase penalties for crimes against real estate professionals, is this the right thing to do to favor one group of people over another, or equal treatment under the law? I believe it is a knee jerk reaction to real estate professionals complaints. If anything at all, review the penalties for all crimes to see if they are commensurate of the crime.

10-8-2016: Killer of Dallas-area real estate agent gets execution date.

10-7-2016: Real estate agent stabbed while showing North Las Vegas home.

10-3-2016: Man who beat, bit, stabbed McKinney real-estate agent to death loses appeal to Supreme Court The agent had been beaten, bitten and stabbed and the medical examiner testified at trial that 10 of her 33 stab wounds were fatal.

6-21-2016: Man found guilty of raping real estate agent. Well, it wasn’t a murder, but it was a major crime against a real estate agent.

6-14-2016: Police ask for help solving 36-year-old (1979) murder of real-estate agent.

5-17-2016: 2 men arrested in October shooting that killed real estate agent in San Jose.

3-22-2016: Real estate agent shot dead near home in Lapu in the Philippines. And yes, agents are murdered in other countries too.

Read more: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/89955/real-estate-agent-shot-dead-near-home-in-lapu#ixzz43dCDXHw5
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Update 11-4-2015: The Ashley Oakland murder in Des Moines, Iowa on April 8, 2011 “still” remains unsolved.

7-18-2015: Realtors taking huge steps to protect real estate agents

7-7-2015: Woman sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in the death of 50-year-old Beverly Carter.

6-3-2015: St. Petersburg police searching for man who held two real estate agents at gunpoint . This didn’t result in a murder, but it’s a crime using a gun against a real estate agent – almost as bad!

2-28-2015: The killing of Vern Holbrook, owner of Aspen Real Estate, was premeditated by a man who started plotting to kill Holbrook after his plans to purchase Aspen Real Estate fell through.

2-8-2015: Just a warning to real estate agents… Safety Alert: More Agents Report Strange Calls

12-26-2014: Many Realtor organizations continue to develop training and precautionary warnings for realtor safety. Florida Realtors group released a new 75-minute safety video on Oct. 29 that covers self-protection and tips on avoiding harm. Source: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/12/26/3560201/after-killing-real-estate-agents.html

11-23-2014: Roswell, New Mexico police are investigating the death of a prominent real estate agent – David Duer.

10-5-2014: Just to show you how long this trend of murdering real estate agents has been going on is disclosed by the recent news of the murderer of real estate agent Dorothy Greene in Nevada back in 1989 has just died.

9-30-2014: Arkansas real estate agent found in shallow grave after meeting with fake cash buyer alone at a vacant foreclosure.

8-5-2014: Man Pleads Guilty to Murder of Ohio Real Estate Agent The suspect pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, and kidnapping in connection with Martin’s death on Sept. 20, 2010. The real crime here is that it took almost 4 years to nail this scumbag!

—Update 10-2-2014: One of the two killers sentenced to life without parole

—Update 10-1-2014: Should sentencing matter if the convicted murderer of Ohio agent was abused as a child and served in the Military?

—Update: 9-19-2014: Second suspect guilty of killing Youngstown real estate agent

Washington state – Earlier in 2014, 4 people were accused of fatally injuring a 78-year-old Yakima real estate agent while he was showing a home alone. Source: http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/jan/31/murder-charged-in-yakima-real-estate-agents-death/

Update: 10-31-2014: 3 sentenced for ambushing Yakima real estate agent

Iowa Real Estate Agent was murdered in a model home of a new home subdivision. Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/iowa-real-estate-agent-murdered-in-model-home/

Texas Murder of real estate agent in a model home in a new subdivision http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/2365016/the-murder-of-real-estate-agent-sarah-walker”

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Property Trespass – Do Drones commit trespass on your property in your Airspace?

Do you have any rights to the airspace above your home?

Yes you do….or maybe you don’t.

New rules on small drones kick in today: What you need to know.

Real estate law and guidelines have alway stated you own from the center of earth through the sky on below and above your property.

However, government allows developers, utility companies, and themselves to install pipes, wires, lines, etc. throughout your property to deliver home based services people need or demand. Normally, these are called “utility easements” and are declared in existence whenever you purchase our home and can be discovered through a property survey. Also, commercial and military planes and other aircraft have been allowed to pass over your “property” in to permit passing in the interests of commerce and other reasons including free movement of goods, services, people, and military training exercises.

Does the use of a drone aircraft invade not only your privacy, but does it also commit property trespass?

Who knows what data is collected and how far into your home with a good quality camera can peer (through windows), or of your real or personal property can to examine details of your private property? Who controls the data collected and how fast do you think it could spread given our whet appetites for instantaneous social media broadcasts?

Will local governments now use drones to capture detail about your property like dimensions, exterior or interior improvements, or verify if your home improvements have satisfied zoning or permitting requirements?

Example #1: Did you pull a permit for that new deck, pool, or other addition to your home? They county may be watching.

Example #2: Can the county use a drone to fly over your driveway or backyard to examine the condition of property (based on a neighbor complaint of potential code violation) either too many cars parked in the driveway or backyard hidden from view by a fence or some other obstruction that the homeowner uses to prevent access by county employees?

Congress delegated to the FAA the ability to define “navigable airspace” and the authority to regulate “navigable airspace” of aircraft by regulation or order. 49 U.S.C. § 40103(b)(1).

So where do private or commercial drones fit in to that freedom or air restriction above your home and create a “property trespass” situation?

Definition of airspace trespass: An entry into another’s airspace is a trespass even if the trespasser doesn’t touch the surface of the earth. Airplanes may trespass by flying low over a person’s property, for example. An airplane trespasses by flying low enough over the surface to interfere with the owner’s reasonable use and enjoyment of her surface.

Not to mention the fact your privacy is threatened even if the drone doesn’t pass into your “airspace” but alongside your property viewing you inside or outside your home. Does that matter to you?

Bottom line: Expect a number of violations of your privacy and trespass for years to come while the FAA decides on just how far a drone can travel into YOUR airspace until YOU stand up and express your concern to your local, State, and Federal officials!

FAA can be contacted via email at UAShelp@faa.gov or call 844-FLY-MY-UA.


Source: Navigable Airspace: Where Private Property Rights End and Navigable Airspace Begins.

Source: 49 U.S. Code § 40103 – Sovereignty and use of airspace.

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Who pays for tree cleanup on your property?


Is that your final answer?

In general, whereever the tree falls, it’s your problem.

Yep – regardless if that big, ugly tree in your neighbor’s yard falls on your property, it’s on your nickel…

However, it is suggested that you contact your insurance agent to verify that fact.

And be careful trimming a fallen tree yourself. Wear appropriate personal injury protection…branches trapped against a fixed object often spring back and can send you flying…

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, 8-21-2016, A7.

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Realtor and Internet Real Estate Websites – Garbage In – Garbage Out?

If you look at any one of the hundreds of “real estate agent controlled” multiple listing services (as well as the major search engines most people rely on like Zillow, Trulia, RedaFin, realtor.com, etc,.), they are a plethora of detailed information from detailed written descriptions, scientific wild ass guess value estimates, and hundreds of data fields where features can be chosen (or omitted) so that consumers/clients can pick and choose from several desired features to find their “dream home”.

But wait —- there’s more!

Yes, much more…more information available to select every single feature you want in a house – or can you?

For example, if you have a client in need of a ranch style home and prefers to have a basement but NO stairs from the garage to the house, there’s a way to do that. Many multiple listing services have a field for “Parking” and in that fields, there is usually a selection called “Drive Under” which denotes you park under the house and walk up a flight of stairs to the main home level. If the data is correctly entered on each listing, then the possibilities can be reduced down to the ones that fit those exact criteria and the prospective home Buyer more easily finds a more suitable home.

In theory, you can select a search for homes with those you desire. But what happens if that selection is not entered with accurate information by the real estate agent, their assistant, or an office clerk who usually enters that information? Your client oriented search portal selection of homes will populate with houses that have undesirable criteria which will result in client frustration over seeing home choices that don’t fit what they want. Is that best serving our clients’ needs?

It all depends…on the client to which you are referring and whether or not they buy the house.

Will real estate professionals organizations ever correct the incorrect data (i.e., garbage) problem?

NO, they WILL NEVER CORRECT inaccurate data…

Wanna know why?

Because the real estate listing agent has one, and only one, responsibility to their Sellers: to get an acceptable offer. So if they market the home to the widest possible market without being accurate and get enough traffic to the home, then by sheer numbers they should get an offer and let the Seller determine if the offer is good enough to sell the home in the free, open real estate market!

So, do we just tell our clients “hey, live with it-sometimes information is wrong”?

It seems we have chosen not to solve the age old issue when computer databases were first born, generated, and maintained…


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How far away from high tension power lines is it “safe”?

I don’t know…I’m not a health expert.

I’ve heard many things…back of yard is ok….further than 100 yards…never…doesn’t matter…etc, etc,.

Concerns about high tension power lines and their effect on your medical condition were raised in 1979 and more recent studies draw parallel to childhood leukemia and power lines, yet still don’t “conclusively” draw a direct causal relationship through any Electronic Magnetic Field (EMF).

A Federal program was authorized by the US Congress in 1992 to study the issue. It was called EMF – RAPID (Electronic and Magnetic Fields Research and Public Information Dissemination). A major objective of the program was to determine if exposure to electric and magnetic fields affects human health.

In 1995, the American Physical Society (APS) issued a policy statement that there was NO direct causal relationship with developing cancer from exposure to EMFs. Recently published research suggests that electric fields can influence the growth of brain tumors.

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council (NRC) published a review that said it’s less likely that MFs (Magnetic Fields) in residential and business environments have important effects on health.

But the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) said EMF exposure has some evidence of exposure and its correlation to leukemia.

…Bottom line answer: It all depends on what research you believe and if you trust the source of information in order to make the decision whether it’s important to you. Just remember, Agent Orange never affected Vietnam vets and DNA testing has never found any convicts in jail that were not-guilty!

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others. Be careful – if it sounds too good, it probably is!

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Impact fees and their “negative” impact on starter homes

Question: When will Government learn?

Answer: After everyone else has seen the terrible effects of its actions…and then it will be a little bit longer.

State and local governing authorities institute laws or ordinances allowing the local municipality to charge an impact fee. This fee helps to finance part of the infrastructure such as streets, schools, transportation, fire, police, environmental litigation, utilities, and other governing expenses. Of course much of the support of infrastructure is financed by property taxes, but sometimes it is not enough and the newer roads and development related costs of new houses/buildings creates a large expense that must be paid back over several years. To hedge the excessive debt, a fee is charged to each lot developed. This average U.S. impact fee is about $21,000 (About $2,500 in Houston up to $72,000 in San Francisco.

Since starter homes are lower priced for lower income residents, the impact fee is harder to pass onto homeowners (alot less difficult with higher margin homes) and therefore is mostly absorbed by builders and becomes more of a burden on builder profit margins. And builders don’t like to take risks just to make next to nothing at all on homes.

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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US H-1B Visas – US Protectionism or Excuse for Companies to Fire US Paid Workers?

My question: Why do we keep laying off skilled and capable US citizens for lower paying unskilled (but US trained) foreign workers?

Is the US that void of talent? Has Congress been manipulated into thinking we don’t have smart enough people in the US to learn any job? Is Congress just paying back political contributions from companies?

Now, I don’t mind companies seeking the best talent wherever they can and smart people exist all over the world, but I wish they would search only “after” their current capable employees are given the opportunity. So many times I’ve seen “very” capable individuals (willing to take a cut in pay to stay) released from companies and replaced with less skilled and cheaper employees who have to be trained by the overworked exiting employees. Why? It doesn’t improve bottom line as much as a company thinks it does.

For 2016, the US Government has received more than 236,000 (233,000 in 2015 and 172,500 in 2014) applications (for 85,000 available visas) from US companies for skilled worker (H1-B) visa. About 20,000 of the 85,000 applications are for foreign workers with advanced degrees from US universities. Source: WSJ,4-13-2016,A2.

The more we try to weave a web around the immigration and US citizen employment issues (including the lucrative almost $100 Billion outsourcing market), the more we stab ourselves in the back.

According to a 8-29-2013 article on Page B8 of the Wall Street Journal, the (noble) current legislative attempts by US Congress will prohibit H1B visas from companies employing lots (>75% of US based employees) of foreign computer science workers (i.e., India,China, South Korea,etc,.). Furthermore, the companies with >15% of US based employees on H1B visas can’t perform hardware or software services, and will further restrict use of H1B visas..unless…more US workers are employed (by telling Sally or Billy NO, you’re not going to be a liberal arts major) or….by US companies laying off US citizens and hiring H1B visa employees who fall far below the 75% threshold….or…

Several companies split up and spinoff and operate under different (i.e., non-Indian,non-Chinese, non-south Korean, etc,.) companies and game the system….which is what most companies do – find the loopholes around it.

Interesting side note: about 120,000 new computer science jobs will need to be filled in 2013 and roughly 52,000 (less than half) will be produced from US colleges. So there will be a shortage to be made up by whom – Martians?

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.

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EB-5 Visas – Real Estate development in exchange for Green Cards in the US

Update 4-15-2016: A complaint filed in federal court Tuesday alleges that the owner and chief executive of a proposed Vermont ski resort “systematically looted” more than $50 million raised from dozens of foreign investors in what the agency called a Ponzi-like scheme. My question: So, are they going to pull the investor green cards?

Update 4-15-2016: It is estimated that over 18,000 EB-5 Visas will be requested…It seems that the bulk of the projects completed are in more affluent areas, even thought the program was designed to renovate blighted areas…but the dirty little secret – municipalities are connecting poor areas to affluent areas to qualify the affluent area to be enhanced first…and some developers are getting low interest loans which save them millions of dollars. Source: WSJ, 4-13-2016,C8.

Update 12-10-2014: Approximatey 11,000 foreign investors are taking advantage of this law – getting their green cards the old fashioned Chicago way – payoffs!

Well, if you thought it didn’t get silly enough, let’s screw the Americans struggling to build or start a business and the owners and give visas to those outside the US to start a business and employ people here…regardless if they are citizens who are employed.

Hey, if starting a business in the US an be offered to foreigners, why aren’t US citizens breaking the door down to start a business? Answer: Besides the program having fraud and mismanagement (which is no reason to change things under this administration), because the US Government is making it harder to start a business by a US citizen.

And the EB-5 program gives foreign business owners a foothold in the US based on two factors:

(1) Investing at least $500,000 (not sure if their money or may include a US commercial loan). Heck: that’s one decent fast food franchise owned by a foreigner not a US citizen; and

(2) The business must employ at least 10 people in the first two years of operation (that’s a long time and I don’t know if it means all 10+ must be US citizens).

If both criteria above are met, then the temporary EB-5 visa can be converted to a permanent Visa/Green Card.

But who are we kidding – are these visas really that necessary since

It appears that about 3,700 of the 6,4000 (about 57%) applicants were approved for EB-5 visas

Source: WSJ, 1-21-2014, A3

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Daily Real Estate News


Post #1: How Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana Sparked a Homebuying Frenzy.

Post #2: How Does Your Real Estate Agent Get Paid? (Besides handsomely, extremely well, or too much for the effort they put into the deal….).

12-1-2016:What scent works best for selling your house? (a) fresh cookie aroma (b) Vanilla plug-ins (b) citrus?


Post #1: 3 things to expect in real estate in 2017.

Post #2: The 5 Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2017.


Post #1: When people moved in 2015-61% stayed in same metro area while only 25% moved to a different state-a 15 year-low.

Post #2: 5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in December.

11-28-2016: 6 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agency – When Buying/Selling a House. Expertise – maybe…Access to other properties – maybe –all the other benefits are marginal…Especially connections to contractors – most contractors are inconsistent and may do well on another property and mess yours up.


Post #1: Smart Homes: The New Frontier For Cyber Crime.

Post #2: Buying A Home Over The Holidays: The Smartest Real Estate Decision You Can Make .

Post #3: 2016 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information For Agents and Home Sellers .

11-22-2016: 6 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agency – When Buying/Selling a House.

11-21-2016: Buying A Home Over The Holidays: The Smartest Real Estate Decision You Can Make


Post #1: Mortgage Rates Jump Back to Highs.

Post #2: Housing Starts Explode to 9-Year High.

Post #3: Now, here’s August 2016 news….another “jerk your chain” headline???? Even though many say the picture for residential housing looks positive, sales of previously owned homes rose at the best pace since 2007, and housing starts have risen as well; but residential housing permits fell more than 2% in 2016. WSJ – August 2016.


Post 1: Is the Seller’s Housing Market Finally Over?

Post 2: Understanding real estate agent commissions.

11-16-2016: Can this happen in the US with our Federal Housing Discrimination laws? Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

11-15-2016: First-Time Buyers Expected to Return to Housing Market.

11-14-2016: Real estate fraud ‘mastermind’ sentenced to 24 years in jail.

11-11-2016: Important Things To Know About Home Inspections. And be aware that they only are to reveal potential or existing issues and may limit the liability of inspector to the cost of the inspection.

11-10-2016:FHA Paid Claims for an Estimated 239,000 Properties That Servicers Did Not Foreclose Upon or Convey on Time.

11-9-206: Three Tips to Get a Higher Home Appraisal.

11-4-2016: The Foreclosure Gender Gap: Foreclosure Rates Higher for Male Homeowners Than Female Homeowners.


Post #1: Sample Home Electrical Inspection Checklist.

Post #2: Do You Really Need A Home Inspection? – Tracey’s Real Estate Tip Of The Week.


Post #1: U.S. Pending Home Sales Rebounded in September.

Post #2: Millennials are the new driving force in U.S. real estate, Zillow says.


Post #1: Report: Real estate market putting downward pressure on commissions.

Post #2: Redfin testing a 1 percent home listing fee in metro Denver.


Post #1: ReMax to launch mortgage business.

Post #2: The worst thing about working in real estate.

10-25-2016: How Homebuyers Can Receive Down Payment Assistance.


Overall prices about 2% lower than peak in 2006; home price increases mostly due to shortage of inventory than the surge of Buyers; main reason for lower homeownership rate is lack of mortgage availability; total inventory of homes for sale has fallen 37% since 2011; and even though 1 million new households were formed in 2015, only a little more than 600,000 homes were built. WSJ,8-11-2016, A1.


Post #1: Wells Fargo has seen their portfolio of PCI loans – mortgages of deteriorating mortgage quality or underwater (owing more than property values were worth) – drop which will allow more interest payments faster than before all due to rising home property values and employment. These PCIs were leftovers from when Wells Fargo bought out Wachovia. Basically, with many of these loans probably going to get refinanced, they won’t be outstanding as long as expected. (Source: Wsj..10-16-2016, C6)

Post #2: Wells Fargo agreed to pay $3.45 million to the Federal government per Justice Department finding that they delayed letters to 8,000+homeowners in bankruptcy for more than the minimum 21 day requirement. The US Justice Department said Wells Fargo failed to file >100,000 notices involving homeowners in bankruptcy. Source: WSJ, 8-26-16, C3.


Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Fannie Mae sets official date for using trended credit data.

Appliance manufacturers downsizing products for 2 reasons: people are moving into smaller homes and more people are expanding into other spaces of the home requiring smaller appliances. Wsj..10-20-16, D1


Post #1: Does A Mortgage Broker Have Fiduciary Duty To The Borrower? .

Post #2: U.S. Home-Builder Gauge Edges Lower in October.

10-18-2016: Eminent Domain – The main concern when acquiring properties is “whether (the city) can reach an agreement with the owners on value.

10-17-2016: Why saying too much to a real estate agent at an open house can get you into trouble .


Post #1: Realtor Pleads Not Guilty To Stealing Real Estate Signs.

Post #2: Zillow stock could surge on back of ad-hungry real estate agents.


Post #1: Home sellers forgo agents, go FSBO.

Post #2: Mortgage applications down 6% as rising rates take a toll


Post #1: Homeowners on the Move Are Choosing More Affordable States.

Post #2: How Bank of America is getting more involved with the home-buying process.

10-11-2016: Freddie Mac pilots new lending program for first-time buyers. Some features (a) ease income and documentation requirements that come with a standard mortgage application; (b) allows mortgage applicants to include the income of other people who live with them; and (c) income from second jobs will also be taken into consideration.

10-9-2016: EB-5 program set to expire – again.

10-8-2016:Five essential tips for networking in real estate.


Post #1: Hackers target pending real estate transactions in Colorado. Be careful where you are getting your closing fund wiring instructions. Please call your closing agent/attorney and verify the wiring instructions you received were the proper ones.

Post #2: Your Home: Real estate myths debunked.


Post #1: Five Habits That Real Estate Brokers Should Get Into.

Post #2: Updates to FHA Single Family Handbook Offer Clarity for Appraisers.


Post #1: Shortage of real estate appraisers is hurting the housing market.

Post #2: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came to agreement with lenders in February 2016 to resolve mortgage failure disputes using arbitration at times as opposed to strict 100% loan buybacks. Source: WSJ, 2-3-16, C3.

Post #1: Mortgage Rates Rise Quickly on Overseas Concerns.

Post #2: Startup ‘games’ continuing education for agents.


Post #1: Do you need a real estate agent to find yourself a home?.

Post #2: Why some home buyers are ditching the real estate agent and turning to start-ups.

9-30-2016: What Business Leaders Need to Know About Latest Real Estate Trends.


Posting 1: Drone use in real estate is soaring, say Realtors at Long Beach conference.

Posting 2: ​4 Reasons Millennials Aren’t Investing in Real Estate (& How To Change That).

9-28-2016:What Is an HOA?.

9-27-20156: Four real estate myths debunked.

9-26-2016: How to Negotiate Real Estate Commissions When Selling Your Home.

9-25-2016: On Real Estate: Choosing Your Broker.

9-24-2016: Existing home sales down in August.

9-23-2016: The Housing Market Paradox – Mortgage rates are low, but so is homeownership.

9-22-2016:Are You Ready to Apply for a Mortgage?.

9-21-2016: The Housing Market Paradox – Mortgage rates are low, but so is homeownership.

9-20-2016:Title issues can complicate real estate transactions.

9-19-2016:Nevada Supreme Court hears case on real estate crisis foreclosure sales. Did the sale violated the due process clauses of both the Nevada and U.S. Constitutions by extinguishing its property rights without providing notice? The Nevada Supreme Court had previously ruled that paying off the super-priority lien held by an HOA extinguishes all other pre-existing liens, including the original mortgage. In the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision released in August, the appeals court panel said the “opt in” notice requirement in Nevada law violated the constitutional rights of the mortgage lenders. If the appeals court ruling is upheld, the sales could be nullified because of the 9th circuit ruling, restoring the status of the foreclosed homes with the mortgage lenders again holding the priority liens on the properties.

9-16-2016: How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?.

9-15-2016: Is fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beginning to play games with relaxing underwriting standards to get more homes sold at the risk of increased foreclosures? Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Fannie Mae sets official date for using trended credit data.

9-14-2016: Three of the most expensive mistakes Texas homebuyers make.

If passed as is, new EB-5 bill could see RE deals crumble. It would become more expensive to buy an EB-5 visa, but still allow developers to side-step rules to develop in blighted areas and avoid the real intent of developing poorer areas.

9-13-2016: Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Fannie Mae sets official date for using trended credit data.

9-12-2016: How Bank of America is getting more involved with the home-buying process – Bank of America Real Estate Center. The Bank of America Real Estate Center includes property-search functions, home valuation information, and tools and information related to buying and selling a home.


Never forget 9/11 – peace and blessings to all our soldiers, police, fire and first responders – thank you all! May God Bless You!

9-9-2016: Nevada Supreme Court hears case on real estate crisis foreclosure sales.

9-9-2016: The Top Three Questions Sellers Ask – Tracey’s Real Estate Tip Of The Week.

9-8-2016:The Volcker Rule (from the Dodd-Frank BS) is supposed to prevent “commercial bans” from risky securities trading. Yet the major reasons for the recent financial system meltdown was not only the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, subprime, and liar loans; but also a liquidity crisis due to over leverage and bad mortgages at non banks (i.e., investment capital firms) such as Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, and Merrill Lynch. Leave it again to the federal government to listen to the cause and correct a problem that doesn’t exist.

9-7-2016: Crowdfunding Transforms Real Estaet Investing.9-7-2016:How Overseas Buyers Can Get a Mortgage for a U.S. Home.

9-6-2016: Utah real estate agent gets 6 months in jail over waterless subdivision .

9-2-2016: Many homeowners are now delinquent on their HELOCs (Home Equity lines of credit that normally defer principal payments and allow low payments for 10 years and reset to much higher payments). About 850,000 HELOCs are resetting (payments can increase hundreds of dollars) in 2016 and projections are another one million to reset in 2017. To put the dollar volume in perspective, the average HELOC is around $55,000. However, those with both a 1st mortgage and HELOC are more likely to default. For instance, about 5% of homeowners with a 1st mortgage are underwater…more than 15% of those with 2 mortgages are underwater. WSJ, 8–12-2016, C1.

9-1-2016: CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) plans to rewrite rules to require credit collection companies to know more about the debt on which they are trying to collect. To give perspective on size of the debt collection industry, there are about 9,000 businesses with almost $14 Billion in annual revenues. Also, there are approximately 70 million US consumers having a at least one debt in collection. The CFPB also estimates at least 8 million borrowers are in default of total debt of about $110 Billion and that number will probably swell with growing default of student loans. Source: WSJ, 7-28-2016, C2.


  • About 6% of homes in the US are underwater compared with 17% with 2 or more mortgages. WSJ, 8-12-2016, C2.
  • About 33% of millennials polled fear rising home prices are rising or getting too high as biggest issues… see WSJ 8-30-2016, C1
  • It’s forecast that spending on home remodeling/improvements will grow faster than new residential construction thru 2019-WSJ, 8-22-2016, A3

8-30-2016: Housing Market: Why Millennials Are Getting Priced Out.

8-29-2016: About 13% of homeowners owe more than the home is worth compared with 31% in 2012. WSJ, 6-20-2016, C8.

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.

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