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!
Post #1: Atlanta Real Estate Brokerage at Center of Kickback Claims by Texas-based Mattress Firm…Colliers Atlanta, an affiliate of global real estate brokerage Colliers International. One top real estate executive and two Mattress Firm executives face claims that they unjustly enriched themselves.
- When it’s a cash offer.
- When the timing is right.
- When you’re pressed for time.
- When you’ve got a limited buyer pool.
- When you’ve already found your next home.
11-16-2017: How Is The Real Estate Market Reacting To Zillow’s Zestimates Lawsuit Dismissal? A judge has dismissed without prejudice four lawsuits against real estate website Zillow regarding its Zestimates feature…answer: All Estimates Are Just That: Estimates.
- Let your finances in order
- Choose your neighborhood carefully
- Make sure technology is working
Post #2: Homeowners, real estate agents arrested in scheme to sell home with sinkhole damage. Both were member of National Association of Realtors – who’s promise is one of ethics?
Post #3: 2017 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information For Agents And Sellers from National Association of Realtors. The most useful information for sellers and their agents is to be found in the section on the home search process. While the survey results are not significantly different from those of recent years, the trends continue. For example, this year 86% of buyers said They used internet frequently during the search process. In 2003 that number was only 42% and last year 55% of buyers said that they frequently used a mobile or tablet application. That is a newer and growing phenomenon. (Two years ago it was 41 %.) 68% of buyers said that they frequently relied on a real estate agent for information.
Post #1: 2017 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information For Agents And Sellers. The most useful information for sellers and their agents is to be found in the section on the home search process. While the survey results are not significantly different from those of recent years, the trends continue. For example, this year 86% of buyers said that they used the internet frequently during the search process. In 2003 that number was only 42%. This past year 55% of buyers said that they frequently used a mobile or tablet application. That is a newer and growing phenomenon. (Two years ago it was 41 %.) 68% of buyers said that they frequently relied on a real estate agent for information.
Post #2: How Much Do Home Alarm Systems Affect Resale? Well, that all depends – on your location and proximity o crime in the immediate area. And there are some benefits – albeit minor.
Post #3: The pros and cons of using a real estate agent. For both a buyer and seller.
Post #1: Millennials are finally buying homes — but only when they’re Instagrammable. Millennials are turning to elaborate photo-shoots as a way to celebrate the milestone that is buying a first home, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Post #2: This Real Estate Developer Has A Passion For Sustainability. Veronica Mainetti, President of Sorgente Group of America, is committed to developing and restoring buildings that are both luxurious and environmentally conscious.
Post #1: Realtors Blast Tax Plan Again, Present Ideas for Increasing Homeownership. The biggest impediment to sales, Yun said, is the massive shortage of supply in relation to overall demand….lack of inventory has pushed up home prices by 48% from the low point in 2011….nearly two dozen suggestions.
Post #1: New tech firm aims to protect real estate agents from opioid addicts. Now there is a new danger: drug addicts.
Post #2: A Growing Number Of Realtors May Signal A Real Estate Bubble. The number of licensed realtors tends to rise with real estate prices. We are approaching a number of licensed realtors not seen since just before the financial crisis; this may signal a degree of over-exuberance.
Post #3: Home prices rose 7% nationally in September, compared with September 2016, a higher annual increase than was seen in August, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. As a result, 48% of the nation’s top 50 housing markets are now considered “overvalued,” up from 46% in August..
Post #1: Overall, there’s an average of 4 months supply of homes on the market compared with a normal market having 6 months supply. It’s a domino effect becuase alot of potential first time homebuyers are still renting and shortage of new home construction that people in starter homes aren’t moving up into them and creating any opportunities for first time home buyers buying lower priced existing homes. Also, baby boomers who used to sell and downsize are deciding to stay in their existing homes longer and renovate. Also, given the fact that many large investors bought alot of homes in foreclosure back during the crisis and instead of unloading them now and increasingly higher prices, they are enjoying rising rents due to pent up housing demand that can’t be met by low inventory of homes at increasing prices. “Homeowners Renovate and Stay Put” – WSJ, 10-30-2017 – Page A3
Post #2: Real Estate Will Be Fine Under The Tax Cut and Jobs Act. About 64% of Americans own a house. Roughly two-thirds of those homeowners have a mortgage. Only 6% of all mortgages are for $500,000 or more. Put all those numbers together and you will find that home builders and realtors think their world is ending over policy changes to the mortgage interest deduction that impact only about 2.5% of American households. he number who won’t take advantage of itemized deductions anymore is somewhat larger, but still a small minority of households as many homeowners already used the standard deduction.
Post #3: Lennar is making an offer to purchase CalAtlantic Group to make the combined company the largest builder in the country in revenue (over $17 Billion).
Post #1: What You Need to Know About Tenants-In-Common Real Estate Investing. Sometimes used by unmarried couples buying a home together when the owners have different percentages of ownership – Flexibility – Some advantages of TIC.
- Seeing a home “as-is”.
- Not working with an expert agent.
- Letting the important things slide.
- Living strictly in the moment.
- Skipping an inspection.
Post #1: Mortgage services like Quicken Loans, Regions Mortgage, Huntington National Bank, USAA, and Navy Federal are all ranked very high in customer satisfaction. Overall satisfaction dripped if customers waited 5 or more minutes. Suggested ways to mak your customer service experience more pleasant:
Remember: relationship and reputation of lender is imperative.
Source: WSJ, 10-20-2017, Page M5
Post #2: Internet scams target businesses and real estate transactions. Law enforcement officials say the internet is becoming one of the most popular ways for scammers to steal people’s money or identities, be they personal or business-oriented.
11-2-207: Housing starts fell almost 5% in September and remain almost 40%below 50-year average; apparently lack of new Home construction prevents those in starter homes from moving up, thereby creating a domino effect preventing others to sell and move; baby boomers aren’t in a hurry to trade up or move away Loren and are deciding otherwise to stay; also, during the mid 2000’s housing crisis, many foreclosed or distressed homes were snatched up by investment companies that now have de died to wait for prices to go higher before selling.
Source: WSJ, “Homeowners renovate and stay put” 10-30-2017, page A3.
Post #1: Places that pay you to move there? If you’re willing to make a move and fit the qualifications, many rural American towns – and whole states – are offering attractive incentives aimed at attracting new residents and reviving their communities.
Post #2: Ron Siffen’recent opinion in Marietta Daily Journal – main reason why many cities abandoned rail transit is that fewer consumers chose that mode because it wasn’t more time efficient than driving. Cobb County plans to operate bus route 10-X in 2018 at half the ridership of the BRT and cost $10 million, not $500 million. Also, operating costs were expected to be a third of what the BRT would have been. Ron recommends the express bus system in managed lanes. Can bus trip get there in reasonably competitive trip time.
My thoughts: Either get with large employers to run 10-20 people vans to transport employees to eliminate autos or negotiate deals with Lyft/Uber to transport people/employees.
Post #1: First-Time Homebuyers Are Knocking: Are They Being Let In?. Supply is so strained that 42 percent of homebuyers as a whole paid either at or over list price, the Profile shows. On average, first-timers made a 5 percent down payment, and 25 percent of them reported the most challenging aspect of buying a home was saving for it. The majority of first-timers accumulated a down payment on their own (with 50 percent taking a year or more), while some received a gift from a friend or relative.
Post #2: REALTOR® Association Sues City Over Mandatory Pre-Sale Inspections – Is this legal under the US Constitution? City of Santa Barbara, alleging that its Zoning Information Report (ZIR) ordinance “as applied and on its face…imposes unconstitutional conditions on the Fourth Amendment right of homeowners to be free from unreasonable searches.”
Post #1: Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has decided to only partially repeal the state and local tax deduction, bending to concerns of colleagues from high-tax states.
Post #2: Generally speaking, most insurance policies cover fire and smoke damage, but you need to read your homeowners insurance policy to be sure. Sometimes additional living expenses if property is damaged. Make sure you review your coverage for any home improvements; additional extra structure often up to 10% of home’s value; actual cash value not enough to cover “replacement cost”; keep an inventory (written and video) of the contents in your Home and keep it outside the home; consider an extended replacement policy; check to see if your policy covers rebuilding to current building codes; and check inflation protection.
Post #1: How to know when to drop the asking price on your home. If a listing is overpriced and sits on the market for too long, it gets stale. Potential buyers will see the time on market and click past your listing, often without even looking at it. Bu some sellers are willing to take that risk and wait for the right price….will they succeed? It all depends on a waiting game.
Post # 2: High demand and low supply have made it a seller’s market pretty much all over the country, and especially for lower-priced homes. That does not mean every house will sell or sell quickly. Price is still important, especially as some markets begin to overheat.
The low number of listings has made the market more competitive, pushing prices higher at a fast clip. Nationally, prices are up about 7 percent from a year ago, and in the hottest markets they are up double digits. Still, a house can be overpriced, and today’s savvy house hunters can smell an overpriced house a mile away.
Pending home sales unchanged in September
If a listing is overpriced and sits on the market for too long, it gets stale. Potential buyers will see the time on market and click past your listing, often without even looking at it.
Post #1: US new home sales soar to highest level in a decade. New home sales leapt 18.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, the most in a decade, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales rose in all regions including the South, where they increased nearly 26 percent.
- Hurricanes Likely to Have These 3 Effects on Housing
- Inventory will be tighter while house prices will see short-term growth
- Rebuilding activity will be slow due to tight labor market
- Delinquencies will increase
- Who pays when my neighbor’s tree falls on my house?
- Who pays for hurricane damage if I’m under contract?
- Do I still have to close? Will the deadlines in my contract be extended?
- How can I better protect myself in the next transaction?
Post #2: Getting a mortgage? Don’t get tricked into high title insurance fees. You might not have understood that the insurance underwriter — the company that actually insures against title problems affecting your new home — didn’t end up with the majority of the premium charges you paid. In fact, it may have only received just 10 -20% of your total fees; the title agent or settlement attorney pocketed the other 80-90%. You could also have missed the monetary side deals that may exist between the realty brokerage firm and the title agency or settlement attorney.
Post #1: Health care: an emerging real estate asset. With the current shortage of hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities, an ageing population and the rise of medical tourism, there is a pressing need for additional healthcare facilities in the region over the coming years.
Post #2: Home Price Appreciation Moves Back Toward 7% – CoreLogic. Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis from August 2017 to August 2018, and by 0.1 percent from August to September.
Post #1: Buyer Beware: Health and Safety Dangers in a Fixer-Upper. Long-outdated houses are often fraught with serious structural, electrical, plumbing and air quality problems. Before you take a sledgehammer to any walls, it’s necessary to thoroughly check the property for health and safety hazards and make any needed updates the No. 1 priority.
Post #2: OIG Criticizes Ginnie Mae Oversight of Non-banks. Ginnie Mae, is a wholly owned U.S. government corporation that guarantees and securitizes pools of mortgages originated through FHA, Veterans Administration, and Rural Housing Administration programs.
Post #1: New York Real Estate Commission: What’s a Fair Amount? Although the typical real estate commission is 6 percent, there is nothing about that figure that’s set in stone, or the law. Commissions are negotiable.
Post #2: The plot to kill consumer protection. The CFPB scrutinizes everything from financial products to college loans to rent-to-own operations. It’s also charged with protecting people from deception and abuse, while informing them of their rights. CFPB established itself as the only Washington agency more responsive to consumers than to lobbyists. Since 2011, it’s handled 1.2 million complaints, returning over $12 billion to consumers. Of those complaints, how many were materially or factually based? From 2008 to 2017, the number of commercial banks (community and otherwise) did fall from 7,175 to 4,982.
Post #1: Why doesn’t the NFL and NFL players stand up and support Comprehensive Crisis Intervention Training across the US like Memphis and Miami police departments did? Results of training – 71,000 police calls and only 150 arrests…officers have liked the training because it saves lives – both blue and all other colors!
Post #2: Population of attorneys in the US exceeded 450,000 and law schools add 34,000 each year…Trial lawyers are a major source of Democratic Party funding. One Dr. was named in a suit, even though the plaintiff’s medical adviser confirmed he had no involvement in the patient’s outcome. This doctor’s attorney attended many deposition meetings running up a tab of tens of thousands of dollars in charges that were dropped when the trial started.
Post #1: Why Use a Real Estate Agent? Paperwork – Access to Homes – Closing – etc.
Post #2: Goldman Sachs Group acquired Genesis Capital (company that backs investors to buy, restore, and sell homes – i.e., flipping homes). Genesis makes an average $1 million loan with rates up to 12% over a one year duration. About 35% of house flippers today use borrowed funds to co0mplete projects. Due to the current environment of rising home prices and lower inventories is driving more and more financial institutions to loan money to house flippers.
Post #3: 10 essential questions to ask your real estate agent before buying or selling a home…straight out of Ilyce Glink’s the 100 Questions everyone should ask
Post #1: Report: Atlanta has one of country’s largest new delinquent real estate loans. Hint: Mall at Stonecrest!
Post 2: Real Estate Advice: The ways to ‘refi’ a mortgage. (One way – shorten the term?)
Post #2: Wire Fraud Creeps Through Real Estate Industry. A growing trend among hackers is to rummage through consumers’ email inboxes to identify people in the process of buying a home or land.
Post #1: 3 Reasons Experienced Investors Love Putting Their Money in Real Estate. 1. Real estate is great for diversification. 2. Real estate can involve high returns and low risk. 3. Real estate offers easy entry.
Post #1: Property investors regain their appetite for real estate as first home buyers also return. In seasonally adjusted terms, the value of investor loans jumped 4.2 per cent over the month to $12.6 billion despite higher interest rates and tighter bank restrictions in the sector.
Post #3: HUD officials stopped debt collections and effectively disposed of government receivables totaling at least $4.4 million without appropriate authorization. HUD terminated debt collections and forgave debts without ensuring that required collection actions were taken and that U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approval was obtained when required.
Post #1: Wells Fargo will refund up to $98 million in mortgage fees. Wells Fargo announced Wednesday that it would be refunding customers who paid rate-lock extension fees that they should not have been charged.
Post #2: How to pay down student debt by buying a house (Hey – you’ll pay either way!). Enter Eagle Home Mortgage…They’ll take 3% of the purchase price—up to $13,000—and put that toward your debt.
Post #1: Crowdfunding Your Way Into a Home. A new crowdfunding platform—HomeFundMe—was recently launched by CMG Financial, a privately-held mortgage banking firm. This could be a game changer, since it’s the first crowdfunding service approved by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Post #2: How many work type VISAs does the US offer? About 185 different types of immigration exist in two main categories of U.S. visas.
Post #2 : Zillow introduces 3D technology app to real estate agents. Its new app allows homeowners and real estate agents to capture the 3D images from their iPhone.
Scientists have long known the brain is a monitoring and thinking system – its attention is drawn toward anything new, intriguing, or otherwise striking. According to a 2015 Journal of Experimental Psychology study conducted found that those who were interrupted by cell phone alerts that their focus wandered and work got sloppier hence indicating distraction of phones. Yes, it doesn’t take this study to understand that cell phone attention distracts people…look at the accident statistics by those who were texting and driving. Another 2015 study reported in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication reflected that when people hear their cell phones ring, blood pressure rises, pulse quicken, and their problem solving skills decline. Another study at UCSD revealed that in one test of “available cognitive capacity” (i.e., those who were to focus on specific tasks) scored poorly and another test of fluid intelligence” (i.e., ability to interpret and solve unfamiliar problems) scored higher when they left their cell phones in another room. The integration of smart phones into our lives has caused a brain drain that can diminish mental skills like learning, logical reasoning, abstract thought, problem solving, and creativity. Another study in applied Cognitive Psychology researchers examined how smartphones affected learning in a lecture class and found that – those who left their phones somewhere else scored a grade higher. In the journal Labour Economics, when schools banned smartphones, examination scores went up substantially. In a study reported in Science, different groups were read statements and then typed them into the computer – half told they would disappear and the other half told they would be saved…the half that thought they would disappear remembered much more than those who thought they were saved. “The art of remembering is the art of thinking” – William James in 1892.
Source: WSJ, “How Smart Phones Hijack Our Minds”, October 7-8, 2017, Page C1-2.
Post #1: Preparing Your Home for a Disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and the Department of Homeland Security all provide advice on preparedness.
Post #2: FORWARD-LOOKING HOMEOWNERS WANT ROOMS THAT DO DOUBLE DUTY. Younger home buyers see flex rooms as a way to customize their homes – baby boomers, hoping to age in place, are asking for flex rooms that could someday be a main-floor master bedroom or a suite for a live-in health aide.
Forward-looking home designers now plan for all those stages.
Post #1: A Guide To HOA Board Responsibilities. For the President-Vice President –
Secretary – Treasurer – All Board Member.
Post #2: Trump mortgage review draws Realtors’ notice. The Trump administration has floated consideration of reducing interest costs up to the current $1 million of mortgage debt as part of a tax reform package under scrutiny.
Post #1: Real Estate Advice: Don’t go for interest-only mortgage. Author’s conclusion: With interest rates as low as they are, there is no reason in my book to take out an interest-only ARM. I think they are a bad idea.
Post #1: Real estate agent to pay fines to resolve water test report. The Buyer Agent falsified water quality reports to bleed price concession from Seller. Totally unethical.
Post #2: Buyer beware! How hackers are stealing real estate transaction down payments. They are hacking into real estate agent emails and sending fake wiring instructions to another criminals account.
10-1-2017: Property Priorities: 5 Things Every Real Estate Lender Should Know. Location is of great importance – Know the property – Ensure the necessary documentation is in place – Look for strong borrowers – The importance of innovative products
9-29-2017: Don’t Fight The Home Inspection. It is imperative for a homebuyer to obtain a home inspection after the contract for sale is signed by all parties.
9-28-2017: What to do when your house doesn’t sell?
9-27-2017: Home not selling? Here’s 10 ways you’re turning off prospective buyers. Things like messy, odors, bad photos, or TMI.
9-26-2017: 8 things sellers should expect from their real estate agent…Besides being ethical???
3 Trends That Will Drive The Mortgage Market in 2018 – Freddie Mac. (1) Increase in purchase mortgage volume; (2) cooling of rate refinance activity, and (3) more borrowers tapping their home equity.
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!