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Would You Hire a Fat Personal Trainer?

Imagine you decided to get into great physical condition in 2011. It was your most important New Year’s resolution. Would you hire an out-of-shape trainer to help you achieve your goal? Of course you wouldn’t. You would want to take advice from a person that already is in the physical condition you hope to attain. […]

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3 Questions You Must Answer Before Buying a Home

If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. And most of that advice is probably negative. Why buy now with prices still falling? Don’t you realize real estate is no longer a good investment? Don’t you know that people who bought five years ago lost […]

Questions You SHOULD Be Asking Your Lender

We have run this post before but want to make sure you still are asking the right questions of your loan officer. Here is a great list from Dean. – The KCM Crew More and more, consumers are learning that there is much more to getting a mortgage than just the interest rate and points.  A good […]

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2011: The Year a House Again Becomes a Home

For almost a decade now, every time we talked about real estate we immediately discussed money. We didn’t talk about the value of a home but instead about the price of the house. We didn’t worry about a roof over our heads but instead the ceiling on our interest rate. We didn’t care as much about […]

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Real Estate 2010: The Year of Intervention

This past year has been very challenging for real estate. The market was defined by outside intervention. This intervention tugged at historic trends. Government involvment caused market fundamentals to be distorted beyond recognition. Unpredictability was the only thing we could predict. Modifications The administration’s announced goal of the modification program was to save 3-4 million families […]

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Dr. Doom, Mr. Bear and Real Estate

Trying to negotiate the current housing market is difficult. There are so many external variables impacting real estate it seems almost impossible to project where sales and prices are headed. But, there were two people who saw the challenges we are currently experiencing back in 2005-2006. They looked at the market and predicted we were in […]

Remember… Pigs Get Slaughtered

The recent spike in interest rates reminds us that though rates generally gravitate lower slowly, they move upwards “quickly and dramatically”.  For months, we have been listening to prospective home purchasers say they want to wait because prices will continue to fall and rates aren’t going up.  Well, my friends, the horse may have already left […]

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Prices Compared To Historic Trend Lines

Last week, we did a blog post on house prices as compared to income levels. We showed that, using historic ratios, house values were lower than previous norms. Many people asked us if we believe that home prices were about to increase. As we said in the post: Some experts are predicting that today’s values […]

The Basics of Credit Scoring

Today, we are going to be centering on the basics of an increasingly important portion of a buyer’s mortgage application – the credit score. First, the 3 major national credit bureaus are: Experian (XP), Transunion (TU), and Equifax (EF)….But better terms to describe their function are: Repository – they are huge “holders” of data; information about you and […]

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Are Homes Actually UNDERVALUED?

We have been barraged with headlines and news stories telling us that home values will continue to soften for the next several quarters. Some experts are predicting that today’s values will drop and not be seen again until the middle of 2012 at the earliest. We concur with these estimates based on the current demand […]

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Demand for Housing Will Increase in 2011

The last Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a substantial 10.4% month-over-month increase. According to NAR the index measures: housing contract activity. It is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. A signed contract is not counted as a sale until the transaction closes. […]

Impact of Rising Rates When Buying a Home

There has been much volatility in the 30 year mortgage rate over the last few weeks. According to Freddie Mac, rates have soared almost a half of a percent in just the last four weeks and now are as high as they have been in the last six months. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, […]

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This is Good News for Housing, Not Bad News

We found it interesting to see how some media outlets reported on the latest Fannie Mae National Housing Survey. It is true that the number of people who believe that now is a good time to buy a home dipped 2% since the June report. However, the report also showed that 68% of people still […]

There Is Still a Tax Credit Available!

As Veteran’s Day passed last week, I forgot to remind everyone to thank those who have served our country AND to remind everyone out there in the blogosphere that eligible Veterans are still able to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credits that expired for the rest of the population a few months back. Yes, […]

Is Your Loan Officer A Leader or Paper Pusher?

Being a PROFESSIONAL Loan Originator in today’s market requires more than just a fancy title on a business card or the affiliation with a recognizable name in lending. As regulators try to continue to minimize the importance of the counsel of talented lenders through tightening guidelines and the guise of transparency, the public needs to […]

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Quantitative Easing and Its Impact on Real Estate

The economy is still struggling. Employment numbers are not improving. The housing market is stagnant. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided that a new form of stimulus was necessary to kick start the job market and the economy. They decided to ‘put more money’ into the market. The term for the new stimulus package […]

Where Are Interest Rates Really Headed?

Almost every mortgage expert predicted that interest rates would skyrocket earlier this year as the Fed backed out of purchasing mortgage-backed-securities. They were wrong and most have refrained from making any new projections ever since. Last week, our own friend and adviser, Dean Hartman, said they may go lower. This week, Market Watch reported on […]

4 Tips To Present a Stronger Mortgage Application

As underwriting guidelines for lenders become more stringent, it becomes clearer what a good mortgage application looks like. As prospective home buyers begin their search, there are a few things they can do to help get their loans approved (and with the best possible terms), and, at the same time, lessen some of the stress […]

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Best Time to Buy AND Best Time to Sell?

If you know a great real estate professional, you might be questioning them right now. They may tell a friend of yours in the afternoon that this is a great time to buy a home and in the evening tell another friend that they have to lower their price in order to sell their home. […]

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Can Rates Go Down Any More?

It appears they CAN and that they WILL. The buzzwords today are Quantitative Easing. It is another of the weapons the Fed has at its disposal to impact the economy, as a whole, and interest rates in particular. Let me explain. In so far as the Fed has already lowered the rates they charge to […]

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The New Foreclosure Mess: A Possible Silver Lining

There is no doubt that the current foreclosure mess is creating havoc in the housing industry. Listings are being removed from the market and many closings are being delayed and, in some cases, even canceled. No one is sure what the full impact of the situation will be or when it will be rectified. However, there […]

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The New Foreclosure Mess: What It Means To You

Last week, we reported on the beginnings of the mess the banks created by using ‘robo-signers’ to fast track foreclosure filings. We detailed the challenge and said that “the process of foreclosing may grind to a screeching halt”. And, it has. Bank of America has announced that it has halted foreclosures in all fifty states. […]

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Where to Rent and Where to Buy

10/11– Here is Forbes’ take on both Zillow and Trulia’s Rent vs Buy calculations. (h/t Cliff Freeman)   ORIGINAL POST We have done many posts on the benefits of homeownership believing that owning a home remains a major piece of the American Dream. We have also posted on the pure financial benefits of purchasing a home. […]

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Luxury Real Estate Market Gaining Momentum

The news about the housing market still seems to be dominated by stories of pending disaster. Headlines report that some believe that there is a 25% chance of a ‘double-dip’ in home prices. We can understand the concern. The last Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that sales were […]

Your Home Is An Investment. Treating It Like One?

There is a pendulum when we look at real estate. On one side is Real Estate as an Investment. On the other is Real Estate as a Home – a place to raise a family, have the pride of homeownership, etc. In the house price frenzy of a few years ago, people looked at their […]