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Financial News Icons Say Now Is the Time to BUY!

We received some tough news on housing last week. Prices are still softening. There was a lot of negativity surrounding these reports. The news caused more consumers to be concerned. However, the real question is what this means to you and your family. This could actually be great news if you are buying (either as […]

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Are Home Prices Headed Up or Down?

Here are two headlines that appeared in print last week: LA Times: Case-Shiller Home Price Index Hits New Low Forex: CoreLogic: Home Price Index Increased 0.7% In the Los Angeles Times story, David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, was quoted as saying: “This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip […]

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What Impact Will QRM Have on Housing Demand?

The federal government would like to dramatically decrease their role in the financing of residential real estate. To that goal, they have proposed the guidelines for a ‘Qualified Residential Mortgage’ (QRM). How would these proposed guidelines impact the demand for housing? Here is what three different entities are reporting: CoreLogic “Roughly 39% of homebuyers in […]

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Should You Rent or Buy in this Market?

Families are trying to determine whether or not now is the time to buy a home. Some are advising these families to sit out the current real estate market and instead rent for the next year or two. We do not agree with this advice. Homeownership means a lot to a family. We also realize […]

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How To Make An Offer that Will Be Accepted

You have finally found the house of your dreams. It is priced right and is receiving a lot of attention from other buyers. You don’t want to miss this opportunity so you are ready to put in an offer with the real estate agent immediately. What can you do to guarantee your offer is the […]

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Happy Birthday To Me

Turning 49 on Monday, I was struck about how different the world of communication has become. In years past, a dozen friends would have called me…a few would have even sent me a card in the mail. But this year, it was very different. Only two calls were received and no regular mail. But, I […]

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Do You Own the Foreclosure You Just Purchased?

Back in February, we posted a blog titled MERS: a MESS We Should Know About. In that post, we warned that MERS, a system most mortgage entities have used in transferring the ownership of mortgages, might turn out to be rather problematic. It seems MERS is now creating challenges in the foreclosure process. DSNews reported […]

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Appraisals: Why You Must Now Sell Your House Twice

Banks have become very conservative when lending mortgage money today. With the current foreclosure challenges in the country, we can’t really blame them. The requirements now necessary to qualify for mortgages have gotten much more stringent and it seems will get even more stringent as we move forward. The banks want to make sure the prospective […]

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National Housing Survey: What America Thinks

Each quarter, Fannie Mae releases their National Housing Survey. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. We like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting each time it is released. Here they are for the most recent report: The Most Important Reasons to Buy […]

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Look Past the Headlines

Earlier this week, Trulia and RealtyTrac issued a press release regarding a survey completed for the two companies by Harris Interactive. The press release, American Expectations for Housing Market Recovery Falters , reported: “As more cities across the nation experience double dips in home prices, more than half (54%) of U.S. adults believe recovery in […]

Mortgage Money IS Available…For Now

One comment that I hear from real estate agents and lay people alike is that “it’s hard to get a mortgage; so hard, in fact, that no one can get one”.  This is just NOT true!  In reality, lenders are lending at a healthy pace.  Interest rates continue to cooperate and there are many programs […]

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Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

We often talk about the COST of buying a house vs. the PRICE of the home. The price obviously is a major component of the cost. The other major component is the interest rate on your mortgage. A small hike in mortgage interest rate can have a dramatic impact on your monthly payment. For that […]

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Even the Naysayers Are Saying To Buy Now!

Business School professors Eli Beracha of East Carolina University and Ken H. Johnson of Florida International University have done extensive research on which makes more sense financially: to rent or own a home. They published, Lessons from Over 30 Years of Buy versus Rent Decisions: Is the American Dream Always Wise? In their paper, the professors do […]

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Moving Up? Doing It Now May Make Sense

An issue that may have a gigantic impact on the housing market later this year is the lowering of the conforming loan limits. Without an act of Congress, these limits will return to the lower limits that existed prior to 2008. Today, we want to shed light on this issue and what it means to […]

Time to Buy a House? What People Actually Believe

When determining people’s feelings about buying a house, we prefer to trust polls and surveys which report on what people are actually thinking instead of taking the word of a ‘talking head’ on television or a newspaper trying to draw subscribers. A perfect example: the three separate surveys which have come out in the last few […]

How Much Money Would You Deposit In This Investment?

Conventional wisdom does not always apply. Consider this investment: You determine the length of time and monthly amount you want to contribute. You can always contribute more, but never less. If you do contribute less, all previous contributions will be forfeited. The monies you deposit are not safe from a loss of principal. The monies […]

Homeownership: Building Family Wealth

The question facing many families making a move today is whether it makes more sense to rent or buy. We have been very upfront in discussing our unwavering belief in homeownership. It is for that reason that today we want to quote from a study issued by an institution with no ties to the real […]

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Shedding a Little Light on Shadow Inventory

Last week, we posted a blog titled: The Impact of Distressed Properties on Neighboring Values. In the article, we said there would be more distressed properties coming to market in the next six months and that these properties would put added downward pressure on prices of other homes in the area. Some questioned our assumption […]

The 4 C’s of Mortgage Underwriting

With Spring upon us, and new buyers out looking for houses, I thought today might be a good time to review the basics of what lenders look for as they decide to approve (or deny) mortgage applications. For at least 25 years, I have heard them called “The 4 C’s of Underwriting”- Capacity, Credit, Cash, […]

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Almost 14,000 Houses Sold Yesterday

One of the biggest misconceptions in today’s housing market is that homes are not selling. That is simply not true. Last month’s Existing Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that homes were selling at an “annual rate of 5.10 million”. That’s an average of 13,973 every day – 365 days a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]