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.
The $72,000 question you should be asking your real estate agent – “SHOW ME WHERE THE MONEY GOES?” To pull it off, scammers hack into real estate agents emails and then quietly monitor communications, waiting until they are about to close in on a deal. The scammer then sends buyers money wiring instructions under the identity of the agent, which routes the payment to offshore accounts. So ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS call the applicable party to verify where any wire transfer of funds is going to BEFORE SENDING wire transfer.
12-23-2016: MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
Post #2: The tax benefits of home ownership.
Post #2: Smart Homes: The New Frontier For Cyber Crime.12-8-2016:
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: 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.
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.
11-11-2016: 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.
11-9-206: Three Tips to Get a Higher Home Appraisal.
Post #1: ReMax to launch mortgage business.
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.
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: Home sellers forgo agents, go FSBO.
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.
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 #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.
9-28-2016:What Is an HOA?.
9-27-20156: Four real estate myths debunked.
9-25-2016: On Real Estate: Choosing Your Broker.
9-24-2016: Existing home sales down in August.
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.
9-19-2016: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.
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.
9-12-2016: 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!
9-8-2016: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.
9-2-2016: 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
8-29-2016: 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.
8-22-2016:5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home.
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!
8-12-2016: 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.)
8-4-2016: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.
8-2-2106: 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
7-19-206: 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.
7-10-2016: A good real estate agent: how to find, hire one.
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
7-4-2016:30 tips to get your mortgage approved.
7-3-2016: Finding the Right Mortgage for You.
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: 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
6-18-2016: 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.
6-15-2016: How to Create a Pool Maintenance Schedule >.
6-14-2016: Want to own a home? Say no to student loans.
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…
6-9-2016: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.
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.
5-22-2016: 6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Aren’t Extinct.
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.
5-14-2016: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.
5-10-2016: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.
5-5-2016: 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.
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
4-15-2016: 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: Having HOA Neighbor Knowledge
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?
4-10-2016: 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.
4-3-2016: 5 Tax Benefits of Owning a Second Home.
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