Entries by The KCM Crew

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MERS: A MESS We Should Know About

The greatest hurdle standing in the way of a complete housing recovery is the backlog of distressed properties that must be liquidated. The banks must release these properties to the market in a controlled fashion. If released too quickly, they will crush house values. If released too slowly, the recovery will be further delayed. However, the control […]

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When Did ‘EXPERT’ Become a Dirty Word?

Our founder, Steve Harney, occasionally asks to do a personal post on what he sees as important  to our industry. Today is one of those days. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew The world around me is evolving rapidly. Sometimes I wonder if I can even keep up with all the advances and changes. One big […]

Real Estate: Like a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

The real estate market has experienced difficulty over the last five years. From 2000-2006, house values climbed to unsustainable heights. Since then, we have seen much of this appreciation disappear. Now many  look at the housing market as dead and lying in the ashes of its previous glory. However, there is growing evidence that, just […]

Foreclosures: The Eye of the Storm

We have seen many headlines recently reporting that foreclosures and foreclosure sales have decreased over the last few months. However, though the headlines are technically accurate, they don’t reflect what is actually taking place. Foreclosure statistics are being impacted by the issues surrounding the challenges with faulty paperwork which the banks have spent the last […]

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Loans Just Got MORE Expensive

The administration recently announced increases to the insurance premiums that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) charges. FHA is the dominant loan program in the marketplace today.  The FHA has two types of Mortgage Insurance Premiums – Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP)  and the  Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium (MMIP). Let’s see how these impact a borrower’s ability to purchase. UFMIP […]

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Where Are Mortgage Costs Headed?

We have received many questions regarding the government’s plans for limiting federal support of the mortgage process. We realize that there is much confusion and concern surrounding this issue. However, The KCM Crew does not get involved in discussing the possibilities of future legislation nor are we in the business of lobbying for certain outcomes. This will be […]

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Selling Your House? 5 Reasons To Do It NOW!

The conventional wisdom when selling a home has always been to wait until the ‘Spring Buying Season’. Over the years, that has seemed to make sense and is now accepted as a good strategy for those who want to sell their house and receive the best possible price. This real estate market has shattered many previously […]

“Own Thy Own Home”

The title of this blog is the advice given in a book of financial wisdom, The Richest Man in Babylon, written by George S. Clason in 1930. The book has become a classic having sold over 2 million copies in 26 languages. The advice is just as important today as it was when written almost a […]

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The Cost of Waiting for Prices to Fall

Many purchasers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for home prices to hit bottom. They want to guarantee that they are purchasing at the best possible price. Like them, we also believe that prices still have some room to fall in most markets. However, we disagree that waiting is a good financial decision. The buyer should […]

Grieving Can Be Good!

In many municipalities, it is that time of year when homeowners have an opportunity to grieve their taxes. In most places, your real estate tax bill is determined largely by the value of your home. With the tumble in home values continuing, many homes have an over-assessed value attached to them. So, if you own […]

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Uncertainty in Economy vs. Opportunity in Real Estate

There are many people sitting on the sidelines right now afraid to pull the trigger on a real estate purchase. Some are first time buyers; some are thinking of moving up to the home of their dreams; others are looking to purchase a vacation home or perhaps a future retirement home. Fear has prevented them […]

The First Question You Should Ask Your Listing Agent

What is the most important thing a seller should look for when hiring a real estate agent to sell their house? We are often asked this question. Is it the size of the company they are licensed with? Is it their marketing program? Their years experience in the business? Should you choose the agent who […]

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As We Were Saying…

Several months ago, we explained that there would be an opportunity to sell your house at a higher price in the first quarter of this year than you could later in the year. Our believe was that the robo-signing mess would delay foreclosures coming to the market and that your home would sell at a […]

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Like Comparing Apples to Oranges

Over the next several months, there is going to be some confusion about how well the real estate market is doing. Some headlines are going to announce several consecutive months of increased sales. Other headlines are going to talk about a near total collapse in housing. Both headlines will be based on facts supplied by […]

Does Anyone Think These Things Through?

Let’s start with an acknowledgement…the mortgage industry got messed up in the boom times.  People will debate for years to come whose fault it was (loan officers, appraisers, the government, the secondary market, Wall Street, the Big Bad Wolf, Sasquatch and others). Today, we will ignore blame and look to how the Regulators are attempting […]

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What Exactly Is Shadow Inventory?

It is difficult to read an article about real estate today without the term ‘shadow inventory’ being mentioned. But, what exactly is shadow inventory? It refers to the inventory of homes not yet for sale that will eventually come to market in the near future. Most definitions include properties already foreclosed on and owned by […]

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This Is a Job for Superman, Not Clark Kent

We found this past weekend’s New York Times article, You Don’t Have To Pay It, very interesting reading. It was a piece on whether it makes sense to pay a 6% commission to your real estate agent in today’s market. In the article, there are sellers, buyers and even agents debating what is the right number that […]

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Does It Make Sense To Buy a Home?

The financial turmoil we have experienced over the last five years has definitely taken it’s toll. It has especially been a difficult time for real estate. Nationally, values have fallen over 25% and there may be more softening in prices to come. We realize that this has caused difficulty, and in some cases, heartbreak for […]

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Where Are Housing Prices Headed?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been reporting great news recently. Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report and yesterday’s Pending Sales Report both showed consecutive months of increases in the number of homes sold. Finally, buyers are jumping off the fence and taking advantage of one of the most opportune times to purchase a […]

What The Crystal Ball Says About Rates

Predicting what will happen with interest rates is risky for a person’s credibility.  Last year at this time, I (and the KCM Crew) believed rates would climb after June and for very logical reasons: the end of the Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) and the end of the Tax Credit. What we didn’t anticipate was […]

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Does Health Care Bill Contain 3.8% Home Sales Tax?

As the states and the new Congress renew the debate about the Administration’s Health Care Bill, we are again getting many questions about a possible 3.8% tax on home sales that some claim is in the bill. To answer these questions, we have decided to re-run a blog post we did last year. – The KCM […]

The Real American Idol – HOMEOWNERSHIP!

Simon Cowell would have to be considered congenial compared to the critics of real estate in the last few years. But like the popular TV show, where the ultimate winner is not chosen by a select few but instead by the vote of the nation, homeownership again has proven to be the choice of the people. […]

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Distressed Inventory to Step Out of the Shadows

We are beginning 2011 with much more positive news about real estate than we have had in several years. The pending sales numbers (houses going into contract) have been climbing for several months. Last month’s Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors showed an increase of over 12%. Demand definitely seems to […]

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Is the Housing Market Starting to Come Back?

It seems that the housing market is finally showing signs of a recovery. We are not suggesting that it will come roaring back and we will see 2006 numbers again. However, the National Association of Realtors released their December Existing Home Sales Report yesterday. The report showed a 12.3% increase in closed transactions over the month before. […]

What IS Risk Retention and How Will It Affect You?

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. The law’s far reaching impact will take years to understand, but as professionals we do know that Title IX (Risk Retention) will have a dramatic impact on consumers and the mortgage industry. What is Risk Retention? Risk Retention […]