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 […]

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 […]

, ,

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 […]

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 […]

,

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 […]

,

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 […]

,

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 […]

, ,

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%) […]

,

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 […]

, ,

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

,

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 […]

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 […]

, ,

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]