Post #1: 8 things sellers should expect from their real estate agent….besides loyalty?
Post #2: Foreclosures start rising in Houston – is Florida next?
9-20-2017: How real estate developers are luring millennial homebuyers. Offering to pay off their student loans? Nope – pet spas!
9-19-2017: Mortgage Rates Continue Pushing Recent Highs. The good news is that rates’ ascent has been (for the moment) been orderly and moderate.
9-18-2017: Freddie Mac Unveils its HARP Replacement Loan = Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage. The new product, branded as the Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage, will provide refinance opportunities to borrowers with existing Freddie Mac mortgages but who cannot utilize the Freddie Mac “no cash-out” refinance because the LTV of the new loan would exceed that program’s maximum limit.
9-14-2017: The Advantages Of Electronic Mortgage Closing.
Post #1: Five Key Questions For Home Sellers.
Post #2: Zillow Group Acquires New Home Feed.
Post #2: 5 Mistakes Buyers Make.
Post #2: Wall Street Journal (8-26/27-2017 page A2) “Paydown the Mortgage, Forgo Gains” – Good question is “How much cash do you need to have in case of emergency?” Also you need to calculate the benefit of deducting mortgage interest. But what the article didn’t address is your ability to control your discretionary spending after you pay off credit card debt with home equity…or…Are you maxing out your retirement and other investment opportunities?
9-5-2017 – See my new blog post: Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report.
Post #2: Home Builders stock values have risen high as well as the costs and prices of homes. Materials costs are rising as well as severe labor shortages have resulted….median home price today $315,000 today and $236,000 about 5 years ago. If we see the mortgage rates rise we will see pressure on builders and home prices.
Post #1: What is a real estate easement?
Post #1: First-Time Home Seller Tips: Identify a Strong Offer.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
2. Understand Your Home Both Inside and Out
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Post #1: Study: FSBOs Net ‘Significantly’ Lower Profits. “It appears that many sellers are avoiding commissions while netting home prices less than they would with an agent-represented MLS sale. They are avoiding commissions at any price, even one that exceeds a commission rate.”
Post #2: Fortress Builders Building at Marietta Active-Adult Community. To learn more about claiming a new home in this exciting active-adult community and the closing cost incentive, contact the sales center at 404-307-5867 or BarrettPreserve@BuiltByFortress.com
Post #1: Is real estate still a man’s domain?
Post #1: When It Comes To Disclosures, How Much Do You Really Have To Tell? It depends on your state’s laws. For example: In Georgia, there is no contractual requirement for you to furnish written disclosures, but it is required for you to make “material” disclosures to a Buyer such as disclose if you have lead based paint, but you don’t need to disclose if anyone has died in the home.
Post #2: A Georgia seller does not need to inform a buyer if any diseased person ever lived in the home, or if a homicide, felony, suicide, or any other death occurred there (Georgia Official Code Annotated §44-1-16(a)(1)).
Also, the buyer must investigate certain information about the neighborhood where the home is located. Georgia statutes specifically state a seller isn’t required to inform buyer if a registered sex offender lives in the area (Georgia Official Code Annotated §44-1-16 (b)).
Post #1: Buying a Short Sale: 4 Tips to Make Yours the Winning Offer. 1. Have your finances sorted 2. Be ready to wait for approval 3. Don’t expect contingencies 4. Don’t navigate a short sale alone.
Post #2: source: WSJ, 8-11-2017, Page M3 – “Closings take a big leap into the digital age”. A property closing took place totally online without buyers and sellers there at the same time. Not totally unusual but what was unusual was they both signed electronically and no original copies. And even though a survey of homeowners reflected 70% were not in favor of closing without th parties being there.
Post #2: Atlanta Commercial Real Estate News.
Post #1: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?
Post #1: Norton: Technology is changing real estate..– Norton said this technology won’t replace a broke…but what about agents?
Post #2: WSJ, 8-11-2017, page b1. “US home Renata giants plan to merge.” Both Blackstone Group and Starwood Waypoint Homes plan to merge resulting in a total of 82,000 homes with American Homes 4 Rent with 49,000.
Post #2: WSJ, 7-29/30-2017, B4 “The Winners and Losers of a Tax Overhaul”
Ok – we know now that Congress can decide anything – even inaction – when it comes to real change…but it’s interesting that proposals for eliminating the mortgage interest deduction (worth $65 Billion in tax revenue); charitable deductions (worth about $60 Billion); and elimination of deduction for state and local taxes (worth more than $100 Billion) are being considered.
Post #1: WSJ – 7-26-17 A2 “taxpayers report fewer identify thefts”
Although there are fewer reports of IRS related identity theft, criminals are attempting to breach computer systems of tax preparers, payroll companies, and employers to gain personal information about employees. Or, wherever large Mounts of personal data are stored…like the cloud?
Post #2: Why seniors should consider a reverse mortgage. Using a reverse mortgage to pay for long-term health care—such as a long-term care insurance premiums, payments to caregivers or nursing homes, and modifications to make a home more accessible—may be a wise financial move for seniors, but be sure to consult a professional financial advisor.
Post #1: Jones Long Lasalle Income Property Trust (from Chicago) reportedly just closed on its $47 million purchase of The Reserve apartment complex in Johns Creek, GA which equates to about $224,000 per unit of the 210 units. That’s alot for apartments renting from $1,100-1,800/month rent…maybe they will convert them to condominiums soon (next 1-3 years)for $300K+ and reap big return?
Post #2: How drones are changing the real estate business. Realtors try to use eye-catching visuals that will help sell homes.
Post #1: 10 tips for first-time buyers<>.
Post #2: Mbultiple articles on real estate issues. Mortgage Industry Complaints, Millennials Buying Homes, Seller Disclosure Guidelines, and More.
Post #1: Wall Street Journal – June 12, 2017-R2
Fannie Mae – allows the homebuyer with student debt to use housing debt at a lower interest rate,to pay off stid not loans. Anyone can use financing – it doesn’t have to be the student. Fannie Mae no longer considers student loan, car loan, credit card debt that is paid in past 12 months by someone else in the debt to income ratios. Even some states are offering inc notices. Maryland offers a 2nd mortgage up to 15% of the mortgage which isn’t required to be paid back, but 20% is forgiven each year the homeowner stays in the house. New York of feral up to $15,000 down payment assistance. Ohio offers both down payment assistance and discounted mortgage interest rate to recent college grads.
7-25-2017: Broad institute of mit and Harvard and 3 others own Crispr-Cas9 patents and submitted 22 patents for evaluation of proposed pool including intellectual property rights. Crispr is the defense system of bacteria using protein Cas9 to edit genes in plants, animals, and people. Main question: who should control its use…research or industry and should the government help allocate its use? Wsj, 7-10-17, B4.
Post #1: Freddie Mac news: Home prices are up, inventory is down. And that just means there’s a free market system in residential real estate…somewhat free.
Post #2: Illinois borrowed $17 billion to pay pensions that are unfounded by $130 billion…Chicago public schools borrowed $400 million @6.4% to pay pension obligations.
7-21-2017: How to Buy a Home.
7-20-2017: Sacramento realtors say squatting is on the rise.
7-18-2017: Focus on Finance: When do you need a real estate survey? Note: Be sure to check with your closing attorney to determine impact on your enhanced title insurance coverage.
Post #2: Almost Half of Americans Have Buyer’s Remorse About Their House.7-14-2017:
Post #1: The difference between a real estate market correction and crash? Hint: 10% drop – more or less.
Post #2: NAR said 2016 may be best year for existing home sales volume since 2006 WSJ-8-25-16, C8 (Probably because new homes are so damn expensive.)
7-7-2017: June 28, 2017 WSJ, Page B8 Worker Shortage Squeezes Developers – About 2/3 of developers surveyed said they are having a challenge to finish jobs on time since they can’t find qualified contractors for concrete, interior finishing, masonry, electrical and plumbing. (My comment from experience and what I’ve witnessed in real estate: “NO”, illegal immigrants don’t have those skills either since most learn “on the job” what the developer/builder wants done.
7-6-2017: Protecting Yourself During a Move.
7-5-2017: Delaware raises its transfer tax to 4% of property price at closing. How will it affect the state’s economy? What is the transfer tax in your state? In Georgia, it is currently $1.00/$1,000 of property price paid at closing.
Post #1: Real estate broker accused of taking items from home. Allegedly sold $400,000 worth of personal and household belongings without homeowner’s permission.
Post #2: Fake Florida Board of Realtors scam alert. Elaborate scheme to get realtors to send $200+ to criminals.
Post #3: Scumbag Alert: Real estate agencies contacted by man attempted to lure women to properties. I assume this happens in other instances since some realtor photos make a female agent appear to be a sexy or more provocative looking female. Some photos I’ve seen makes realtors look like whores!
6-22-2017: WSJ, May 30, 2017, Page A1 – Credit Picture Brightens…At least 6 million people will have their personal bankruptcies removed from their credit picture in the next 5 years.,,,Average FICO credit score in the US was 700…Mortgage foreclosures usually stay on credit reports for 7 years and personal bankruptcies stay for 7-10 years…Chapter 13 bankruptcies (those who work out payment plans) stay for about 7 years.
6-20-2017: Zillow’s real estate ‘Zestimates’ under fire. An Illinois real-estate broker filed a lawsuit based on the Zestimates and their accuracy. Even though Zillow offers disclaimer about acccuracy of Zestimates, people often use these estimates as real property values.
6-15-2017: Using the Reverse Mortgage to purchase a home. Get a reverse mortgage loan of between 47% to 52% of the purchase price of the new home. It may be required to sell your current home to make the remainder of down payment.
6-13-2017:Buy A Home With A Reverse Mortgage.
Post #2: Real estate agent accused in killings prompts new law in South Carolina – and maybe across the country? Even though the application forms ask about previous federal criminal history, many states do not perform background checks as a condition of real estate licensing.
6-2-2017: How to Get Denied for a Mortgage After Preapproval. (Hints: Employment-debt-moving money – credit score changes too much.)
5-30-2017: 3 home insurance myths you need to dispel. Not everything is covered-no; flood insurance-no; and market value insured-no…
5-24-2017: New home sales are down over 11% in April but national Association of realtors said that we’re on a slow and study upward trajectory on existing homes and the supplies of new homes should be rising as well. This should be good news for those that are in the market search for better inventory and for sellers to move to more choices. Source: WSJ, 5-24-2017, page A2.
5-19-2017: How to Get Along With Your Contractor.
5-17-2017: The biggest regrets people have after buying a home. Not buying a bigger house. This was the No. 1 regret listed in studies. About 41% of homeowners said they were not aware of all of their loan options. About 1 in 5 home buyers wished they had had more information about their homes. Other findings in report from Nerdwallet were interesting.
Post #2: About 4% of employers offer mortgage assistance to relocating employees; 3% offer down payment assistance; 8% offer reimbursement of fees paid to real estate agents. The movement of employers now is to offer a lump sum amount to employees and not detailed coverages. It is suggested that employees try to negotiate for the best deal and consider the income tax implications of a lump sum payment for relocation. WSJ 5-5-17, Page M4.
5-15-2017: Real Estate’s New Normal: Homeowners Staying Put. The median length of time people have owned their homes rose to 8.7 years in 2016, more than double what it had been 10 years earlier. And now that interest rates have begun to turn up from their historic lows, the housing market may face a problem called “the lock-in” effect, where homeowners are reluctant to move, since moving might entail taking out a new mortgage at a higher rate.
Post #1: Do Schools Really Impact Property Values? YES…YES…and YES!
Post #2: 7 Snapchat tips for agents (i.e., How to better market to millennials).
5-11-2017: Is the Traditional Real Estate Model Under Pressure? (California may BAN Dual Agency?)
5-8-2017: A drop in new home construction (labor shortages, increased zoning regulations, rising prices of building materials, and caution among builders) and strong demand from Buyers pushing prices up is causing National Home Price Index to rise. With small chance of supply gut in near future, economists expect prices to continue to rise. Nationally it is estimated that home prices are 4% overvalued.
Source: Rising Home Prices Stir Overheating Fears – WSJ, 4-26-2017, Pge A2
Post #1: NAR report highlights growing appraisal problems. Also, combined with financing issues comprises over 50% of issues preventing closings. Over 50% of mortgage originators interviewed in a separate survey said they had experienced difficulty with appraisals. But is this the fault of appraisers, or agents/homeowners pricing their homes too high?
5-2-2017: Minnesota Commerce Warns of Wire Scam involving Real Estate – spreading across the US. The scam profile: Criminals hack into the computers or email accounts of real estate professionals; find out when closings are happening; then send fake email containing instructions to wire funds to a different account. This works pretty well since most all closing attorneys don’t accept Certified Checks any longer for funds since they can’t be verified as legitimate.
4-21-2017: Commercial Lending Falls Amid Growing Risks.
4-20-2017: Why world tensions are making mortgages cheaper.
4-19-2017: Using Smart Home Devices to Help Seniors.
4-18-2017: What Happens When a Buyer Backs Out Last-Minute.
4-17-2017: What a New Glass-Steagall Act Wouldn’t Do.
4-13-2017: Appraiser Opinions Keep Falling Short of Homeowner Expectations…ut some cities are bucking that trend.
4-11-2917: America now divided over Bible verses. And I would say to those who ask “what does this have to do with real estae?”…well, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands!
4-6-2017:Buyer Beware: Real estate scams exposed.
4-5-2017: Mortgage interest rates respond to the 10 year Treasury notes since most homeowners stay in their homes closer to 10 years than what used to be the typical 30 years.
4-3-2017: Cost of Construction permitting has risen over past decade including storm water capturing devices, customized architectural plans, and $15,000 to remove a tree on a property, as well as other new regulations. The average cost of compliance with regulations has risen 30% in the past 5 years. WSJ, July 23-24, 2016.
3-31-2017: ‘No Knock’ Registry Is a Jab at Real Estate. Is this coming to a town near you? Doe it also include mailings and posted advertisements like “We Buy Houses”?
3-30-2017: Veteran with A Purple Heart received a free house. Isn’t that good news? Wells Fargo said that since 2012, the bank has donated about 300 homes, with a value of more than $50 million, to veterans in all 50 states. Wells Fargo has donated more than 200 through the Military Warriors foundation.
Buyer Beware: Real estate scams exposed. Never wire money to anyone in a real estaet transaction unless first verifying the Bank and Account info is legitimate.
3-23-2017: 10 Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster.
3-22-2017: How millennials are changing the real estate market. Millennials are in fact very civic-minded and believe in equality for all…willing to buy a smaller place in a less desirable area …increasing number of millennials accessing the internet exclusively on mobile devices, agents should also look into marketing avenues and mobile apps that could enhance their businesses.
3-21-2017: Ask the HOA Expert: Mold Conditions.
3-20-2017: What are Atlanta’s real estate hotspots of 2017?
3-15-2017: After peaking at all time high of 69.2% in 2Q04, the US homeownership rate fell in 2Q16 to 62.9% (lowest rate in 50 years) but more likely skewed by the higher rate of renter household formation. WSJ, 7-29-16, A2. However, by January 2017, the rate has risen to 63.7%. Encouraging sign of growth?
3-13-2017: Understanding VA Minimum Property Requirements.
3-6-2017: How pot is firing up this real estate. A Cannabis REIT? – Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIPR)
2-28-2017: Gap between housing affordability and availability will grow in the months to come. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests homebuyers at many income levels could see an inadequate amount of listings on the market within their price range in coming months.
2-27-2017: Tight inventory of homes on the market causing decline in sales you say???? Yeah, plenty of crap homes on market and not enough decent inhabitable homes for decent prices…everybody wants alot for the crappy homes!
2-20-2017: U.S. Congress passed a law years ago that first time home buyers who purchase a home between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009 would be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit. As I understand it, $500 tax credit per year for 15 years or until the property ownership is transferred. If the ownership transfers prior to the 15 year period, then all cumulative tax credits are now owed to and to be paid back to the IRS upon ownership transfer. Furthermore, the US Congress passed another bill that made those first time homebuyers who purchased homes after December 31, 2008 and before December 1, 2009 would now be eligible for an immediate $8,000 non refundable (isn’t required to b paid back to the IRS) tax credit. I wonder how many homeowners are stuck in this position now that home prices are returning to re-crisis levels and they are ready to sell their homes and move?
2-16-2017: Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP) = 105,000+ loans sold to private investors & 10,000 remained in homes – worth taxpayer payout? Also per WSJ, 7-1-2016, A2 article – homeowners got to stay in 20% of the DASP homes. Regardless of actual %, was the payout from US taxpayers (via lower sales price of loan and through FHA loan losses) worth it?
2-13-2017: Before anyone blames Trump for playing favorites with mortgage lenders, it was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (or more correctly Mel Watt (an Obama appointee) in charge of FHFA approved it. Fannie and Freddie agreed to arbitration over appeals from lenders in cases where Fannie and Freddie accused lenders of loan mistakes and compel them to buy back the mortgage loans. The result is that if lenders have a path to prove their innocence in arbitration, then they are more willing to make loans. Source: WSJ, 2-3-2016, Pag C6.
2-3-2017: Question of the day: When a life insurance policyholder dies, is it up to the insurance company or the beneficiary to follow up to ensure payment?
1-31-2017: YEs – yes, I know this the topic of REITs or Real Estate Purchase and Leasebacks aren’t my typical thing, but I found this a little humorous and sad at the same time. Online transactions are crushing “brick and mortar” retailers like Macy’s and Sears. But there is hope for future revenues and expenses. Macy’s is now partnering with Brookfield (property management company) to offer 50 real estate properties (100 more to come in 2017) for subleasing or development for other retailers or companies thereby generating lease revenue. Sears has created Seritage Growth Properties (who bought almost 300 Sears/Kmart properties and rents most back to Sears) to use their real estate assets to generate income as well. Sears and Macy’s got some level of cash infusion selling these properties and now are in a position to terminate any long term leases of stores that are not profitable. However, they have a good idea to sub-lease space in their stores for products and services that “can” make money and therefore, pay “rent”. AJC, 1-29-2017, Buyer’s Edge, Page 4.
1-30-2017: Real estate investors (many are small companies) may lose important tax tool – Section 1031 deferred tax exchange. US Congress may eliminate or seriously restrict the use of tax-deferred exchanges – property swaps – under Section 1031. This applies to commercial & rental properties only – Fixer-upper houses and other real estate held for short periods and then flipped to new buyers do not qualify for tax-deferred exchanges, nor do owner-occupied residences.
1-26-2017: Post #1: City of Chicago to expand $1 lot program to 4,000 vacant properties.
1-24-2017: 2016 Saw Mortgage Distress Recede Strongly.
1-20-2017: Trump suspends the January 9th FHA mortgage insurance rate reductions on day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Why? Congressional Republicans believe the fund isn’t sufficient to cushion taxpayer bailouts during any economic downturn since these loans are more risky than conventional loans.
1-12-2017: Real estate scam bilks buyers, sellers during transactions. Email hackers and spoofers will pretend they are from closing attorney or real estate offices and send an email to you reportedly stating there has been a change of financial institution routing information. Normally, you may follow those instructions. However, you should call the closing office to verify any financial institution routing transaction information first before you execute any wiring transmission to the closing office. Cybercriminals who have hacked into the email accounts of real estate brokers, title companies and consumers who are in the process of buying or selling a home.
1-11-2017: Foreclosures Approach Normal Level.
1-9-2017: Breakdown of FHA’s Multifaceted MIP Cut. Annual FHA MIP drops by 25 bps effective February 1st and beyond.
1-6-2017: A New Twist on Owner Occupancy Fraud.Borrowers are applying for loans with the stated intent of investment property, using rent income to qualify for loan, then moving into property as personal residence….mortgage fraud!
12-31-2016: Wish for a Happy New Year in 2017 for you!
Vision #3: Speical Inman Report – Outlook for 2017 Real Estate. See full Inman Real Estate Report for 20176 here.
Vision #6: Top 5 real estate trends for 2017.
Vision #7: 2017 Real Estate could be bumpier. Although it’s not true that TRID has been implemented smoothly (there are still errors and as an agent, I don’t receive document before closing so when I see mistakes, it’s too late!) Interesting that PMI will no longer be tax deductible.
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!