Renting: Truly a Better Option?

After the last five years, more and more people are hesitant about purchasing a home. We definitely understand their concern. However, is the alternative option actually a better choice? Renting in the current housing market might not make good financial sense. Just this week the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies released a report […]

Should You Get a Second Opinion?

Buying and/or financing a home are major decisions for anyone. We all look for referrals from friends, family and co-workers who have gone through the process successfully. But we wonder… “Are there geographical differences?” “Has the market changed since they did their transaction?” “How has the ever-changing technology impacted real estate since their closing?” “Are […]

An Open Letter to President Obama (and Congress)

Dear Mr. President, It was great to hear you talk about your vision for our country recently. Your words touched me: So this is our vision for America — this is my vision for America — a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no […]

Is It Time to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio?

Studies now show that over 20% of the houses with mortgages in the country are underwater (where the loan amount exceeds the value of the property). Some bought their house at the top of the market and saw prices come tumbling down over the last few years. Losing this value has caused challenges for many […]

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Your Retirement Home: Is Now the Time to Buy?

The last several years have wreaked havoc on many people’s plans for retirement. They have seen their nest egg dwindle and in some cases disappear. Many have pushed back the date they will stop working and some have stopped even thinking about what part of the country to which they plan to relocate. For some […]

Foreclosures: Bringing Clarity to the Confusion

Headlines created by the numerous foreclosure reports often contradict each other. One headline announces foreclosures are rising while the next talks about the decrease in foreclosure numbers. This has led to tremendous confusion regarding the issue. Let’s bring some clarity to the data. There are five individual stages of the foreclosure process that are reported: […]

5 Reasons To Hurry Up And Get Your FHA Mortgage

With the likely installation of QRM looming, it is clear that FHA mortgages will clearly become more popular merely because of the lesser down payment requirements. And as we have all learned, when the demand for something goes up, and the supply remains constant, prices go UP…that is, it becomes more expensive. Talking Point One […]

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Will the Cost of Buying Increase Even If Prices Fall?

We have discussed the proposed modifications to the mortgage process several times in this blog already. We want to make sure our readers understand the potential impact to the cost of financing a home these changes will have. The cost of buying a home may increase even if prices continue to soften. The total cost […]

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What Do Homeowners Say About Homeownership?

There is no shortage of experts that want to let us know how Americans feel about owning a home after the collapse of the residential market in the last five years. They MUST be devastated. They MUST feel trapped like prisoners in their own homes. They MUST be sorry they ever bought the house. These […]

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QRM: The Other Side of the Argument

There is little doubt that the ease in which mortgage money was issued early in the last decade was one of the major reasons for the housing crash. What constitutes a ‘quality residential mortgage’ (QRM) definitely should  be redefined. However, several organizations see the newly suggested guidelines going too far. The newly proposed QRM definition offered by the government […]

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Survey: A Home Is Still the Best Long Term Investment

After a five-year swoon in home prices, many assume that housing may have lost its luster as an investment. However, a nationwide Pew Research Center survey shows this drop in values has done little to shake the confidence of the American public in the investment value of homeownership. According to the survey: Fully eight-in-ten (81%) […]

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NEWSFLASH: There Is NO Inventory!!!

I was in a conversation with one of the most productive agents in our area recently and he told me that there were “no homes for him to sell”. I thought he had a brain cramp. Look at all the ‘For Sale’ signs, all the homes on MLS, all the short sales and foreclosures plus […]

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Why the Wealthy Are Buying

We have taken the stance that real estate is currently a great investment. There have been MANY that have let us know that they think we are crazy. Today, let’s look at a few prominent people, media sources and one very important group that agree that now is the time to buy. Fortune Magazine and The […]

4 Financial Reasons to Buy Now

As Dean Hartman said last week, the purchase of a home is a personal decision. However, we want to give everyone four great financial reasons why you should not wait before taking the plunge into homeownership. Interest Rates Are Increasing Interest rates have increased almost 3/4 of a point in the last six months. Most […]

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Pricing Is ALWAYS Local … Most of the Time

We understand that real estate is intensely local. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling a home, you should sit with a real estate professional familiar with your local area. However, that does not mean that what is happening nationally doesn’t apply to your market. What is taking place with home values is a […]

Rental Costs Are About to Takeoff

We are often asked whether it is better to rent or buy in the current housing market. The answer to that question is: “It all depends”. There are certain situations where renting short term probably makes sense. It may make sense if you are retiring to a different region of the country and are not […]

Real Estate and Financing Are PERSONAL

Every day we are bombarded with statistics and data.  Housing starts are up, housing starts are down; more job losses, unemployment is improving; foreclosures, short sales, housing inventory, interest rate movements and much more.  It’s enough to make your head spin. There’s an old saying that claims: “All real estate is local”. It infers that […]

Where Have All the Foreclosures Gone?

The inventory of foreclosed homes for sale has been dwindling for almost six months. Everyone is wondering if the worst of our challenges with distressed properties are behind us. We are sorry to report that isn’t the case. We must realize that the problems banks have experienced with their paperwork on these properties has done […]

OK. You Win. Stop Listening to Real Estate Agents!

Each day we attempt to give truthful insight on the current housing market. If we report what is perceived as negative news, some in the real estate community come down on us hard. However, when we explain that we think now is a great time to buy, we get an avalanche of feedback from the […]

QRM: Is the Pendulum Swinging Back Too Hard?

There is no doubt that one of the main reasons for the housing collapse was that mortgage underwriting became too lenient. It seemed anyone who wanted to purchase a home found someone to give them a mortgage; whether they actually qualified for it or not. These buyers eventually couldn’t make their monthly mortgage payment and […]

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Many headlines in the media right now are proclaiming the total collapse of the housing market. What makes it seem very believable is the headlines are based on two reports from the National Association of Realtors (NAR): the Existing Home Sales Report and the Pending Home Sales Report. However, all is not what it seems. Both […]