Mortgages: Is What You Believe Actually True?

What if everything you believed to be true about mortgages, wasn’t actually true after all?  Would you rather know now or later? In my experience, I have come to understand that many, if not most, clients come ‘pre-conditioned’ by what has long been termed “conventional wisdom”.   For generations, people have been told that when buying […]

,

Real Estate: GOLDen Opportunity of This Decade

Everyone wants to comment on the current real estate market. They want to talk about how now is not the time to buy a home. Some even argue owning a house has never been a great investment. Most say it will be a long time before real estate again begins to appreciate. It all sounds […]

, ,

Month’s Shadow Inventory: State by State

Last week, we reported on the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook and gave you a map showing the percentage of overall sales that distressed properties represented in each state. Today we want to show you another map from the same NAR outlook. This one shows the number of months shadow inventory by state: NAR […]

, ,

Double Dip or Double Your Money? … or Both?

Last week, MacroMarkets LLC announced the results of the March 2011 Home Price Expectations Survey, compiled from 111 responses of a diverse group of economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists. Many media sources reported on the survey’s comment about a projected ‘double dip’ in prices. What the media didn’t aggressively cover was […]

, ,

Distressed Properties: Discounts and Difficulties

Most buyers want to make sure they get a ‘good deal’ when they purchase something. Purchasers of real estate are no different. That is why many decide to buy a distressed property (a foreclosure or a short sale). The National Association of Realtors (NAR) last week reported foreclosures, on average, sell at a 22% discount […]

,

The 4 Stages Of Wealth Building As A Homeowner

One of the primary objectives of owning a home is to let the home appreciate over time and become a pillar of a family’s financial strength. But before we can discuss “wealth”, we need to identify the stages to get there. Stage 1 Having “Emergency Cash” is the first stage. It’s having $5-7,000 liquid for […]

, ,

Distressed Sales: State by State

We have often written on the impact foreclosures and short sales have on the value of the house next door. The Center for Responsible Lending has done great reporting on the subject. It seems distressed properties will be a challenge we will need to deal with for some time. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) […]

We Think We’re Going to Believe Grandpa

There are those currently debating the financial advantages of owning a home. Some are looking at studies and reporting that homeownership has never really been a great investment. One of these people is Jack C. Francis, a former Federal Reserve economist and professor at Baruch College. He said in a recent CNBC article: “For generations, […]

,

Did Modification Programs Work?

The government decided early on that the market would not be able to absorb the number of foreclosures that the financial crisis was creating without crushing house values. This was one reason that they funded the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This past week, the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) weighed in with their opinion on TARP’s […]

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity for Buyers?

Business Insider’s Money Game interviewed real estate expert Barbara Corcoran earlier this week. This is what she said about buying in this market: “We have a regular real estate miracle happening right now. We not only have record low prices, but we also have cheap money.” A second real estate icon, Donald Trump,  just a […]

Killing An Elephant With A Bazooka

There’s an old saying that talks about “killing a flea with an elephant gun”. I think that may somewhat trivialize the issue at hand and I don’t want to do that. The issue is a big one, a serious one. So, I modified the saying just a bit to establish that I understand the gravity […]

, , , ,

The Impact Foreclosures Have on House Prices

Home values are again beginning to fall. What has caused this renewed downward pressure on prices? It can be directly tied to the number of distressed properties in the region which have shredded values in some  marketplaces. Foreclosures and short sales impact prices in two major ways. They are discounted competition to the house next door […]

What Homeownership Truly Means

Last week, my son and I were flying home after spending a week at The LeadingRE Conference in Las Vegas. He said he couldn’t wait to sleep ‘in my own house’ again. That made me think of this blog post I wrote last year. – Steve   My Son, His New Home, and What It Means […]

, ,

If Prices Are Falling, Why Are the Rich Buying?

There is an interesting phenomenon taking place in the real estate market. While house prices are falling, the rich are starting to purchase. DataQuick Information Systems reported last week that sales on homes $1 million or more rose 18.6% last year after four consecutive years of decline. This is at the same time that sales […]

,

Will I Get More Money If I Wait?

Sellers in any real estate market are looking to get the best possible price. If you are looking to sell in the next year, today’s price may well be the best price. Home values stabilized somewhat in 2010. Many hoped that was a sign that values had bottomed out and we would see price appreciation […]

,

Judging An Agent’s Listing Presentation

I brainstorm with dozens of real estate agents every month. I have sat down with literally hundreds of them over the years. And one of the primary questions I ask them is “Why would I list my home with you?”. I am constantly amazed that over 90% of them give the same exact basic answers. […]

,

Hire a Smart Duck

You can learn so much just by observing nature. Last week, I was staying at a fabulous hotel in southern California. My wife and I were having lunch at an outside table at the hotel restaurant. It was impossible not to notice the ducks that gathered around the tables at the restaurant looking for food. […]

,

Homeownership: What Americans Think

There is a growing number of people debating whether the government should continue its level of support for homeownership. Mortgage assistance is being pulled back and even the mortgage-tax-deduction is now up for debate. We want to look at how the people of this country view owning a home and the reasons they buy. Last […]

Redistributing Wealth to the RICH?

Many people are placing the concept of homeownership under attack. There is more and more debate whether we should limit government assistance to homeowners. The administration just came out with their Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market: A Report to Congress. The report acknowledges the advantages of homeownership: “…which has helped millions of middle class families […]

,

Honesty Is the Best Policy

For years, many buyers weren’t honest about their income and some loan officers didn’t care. The loans were bundled by Wall Street and sold to investors who were told anything but the truth about their value. For years, some real estate professionals prodded appraisers to move that appraisal up ‘just a bit’ and most sellers […]

,

It Takes A TEAM

Today, people say: “It takes a village to raise a child”. The realities of today’s life (two family incomes and such) have extended a family to lean on others (neighbors, relatives, teachers, etc.) to protect and teach our young people about culture, history and acceptable behaviors. Teams, because of their ability to provide specialized solutions […]

,

For Buyers:The Financial Opportunity of a Lifetime?

We often point out that a buyer should be more concerned about the COST of a home rather than the PRICE. Price obviously is a component of cost. However, unless you buy all-cash, you must also be concerned about the financing of the purchase. The price and the financing together determine the cost of a home. Today, […]

, ,

If Your Goal Is to Buy Low, Buy Now!

There is a very famous saying which asserts “Sell High, Buy Low”. It is obviously great advice no matter what the investment. Below is a graph showing the cycle of investments. It shows the points of maximum risk and maximum opportunity when purchasing. We want to sell high (point of maximum risk) and buy low (point […]