Hope is No Longer A Good Strategy

There is no one that wants the housing market to recover more than I do. Over 50% of my investment portfolio is comprised of real estate. My job is to teach real estate professionals what is happening in the market and why it is happening. It would be a lot more fun if I could […]


Halfway Through The Year…Some Random Thoughts

June 30th is a good time to take a pause an assessment of where we are…call it a reflection: The Tax Credit is gone. Although we are likely to see an extension of the closing portion of the credit, there looks to be no new beneficiaries of this program.  Years from now, we will look […]

Yet Another Dumb Reason for Not Buying a Home

We have been addressing some of the more questionable reasons people give for not buying a house each Wednesday. Two weeks ago, we covered Dumb Reason #1: Real Estate is no longer a good investment. Last week, we covered Dumb Reason #2: Renters are happier than homeowners. We will cover the third reason today: Dumb Reason […]


Home Buyers Tax Credit Extension Update

UPDATES!  Friday 7/2 12PM: Done! The president has signed the bill. Wednesday 6/30 10:30PM: Tax Credit Deadline Extension and Flood Insurance Extension passed by Senate. Headed to the President!!! (Isn’t in main stream media yet but we got it from a VERY reliable source). Wednesday 6/30 1:30PM: The Associated Press is reporting that politics may […]


Why is Real Estate So Confusing Today?

May Shows a Continued Strong Pace for Existing Home Sales –  National Association of Realtors (NAR) June Existing Home Sales Report headline Is May’s Home Sales Decline an Alarming Signal of What’s to Come? – headline of an article in Housing Wire Both of the above headlines appeared this past Wednesday. They seem to be […]


Communication IS the Lubrication

Catchy headline, yes?  But I have been reflecting lately on how we can improve the “client experience”, and I was reminded of something I heard mortgage icon Greg Frost say way back in 1994.  From a stage in Palm Desert, California, Greg proclaimed that “Communication is the lubrication of a well-oiled transaction.”  I, like the […]

Another Dumb Reason Given Not to Buy a Home

We will be addressing some of the more questionable reasons people give for not buying a house each Wednesday for five weeks. Last week, we covered Dumb Reason #1: Real Estate is no longer a good investment. We will cover the second reason today: Dumb Reason #2: Renters are happier than homeowners. I sort of […]

Is Your Pre-Approval Worth The Paper It’s Printed On?

For decades lenders have been shouting to the rooftops that buyers should “Pre-Qualify BEFORE You Buy!”  Admittedly, we were trying to get access to prospects as early as we could to, hopefully, bond with them and eliminate our competition.  Today though, a Pre-Approval has become the cornerstone of most real estate transactions. You see, by […]


5 Dumbest Reasons Given for Not Buying a Home

It is so easy to kick someone who is down. It doesn’t take much effort and there is little fear of retaliation. Many people are jumping on the band wagon riding against homeownership in this country. People are pontificating on every aspect. Whether it is pricing or the more intrinsic values of owning a home […]


The Post Tax Credit Housing Market (Part 3)

How will home prices be impacted? The tax credit and most other government programs aimed at stimulating the housing industry have expired. Real estate is now on its own two feet and stepping into the second half of 2010. It appears that demand has fallen off a bit since the expiration of the tax credit […]

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The Post Tax Credit Housing Market (Part 2)

What will housing demand look like for the rest of 2010? It has been an interesting six weeks since the last of the government programs for buyers, the Home Buyer Tax Credit, has expired. Demand has slowed down but has not come to the screeching halt some had expected. The million dollar question is ‘What […]

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The Post Tax Credit Housing Market (Part 1)

Here we are six weeks after the expiration of the Homebuyer Tax Credit. Armageddon did not take place. Homes are still selling. Certain price points are actually selling quite well. The question remains what will happen to the overall housing market as we proceed through the year. There is still much uncertainty as to what […]

Countdown to June 30th

As the Tax Credit Expiration Date comes barreling towards us, we in the mortgage business are facing some challenges we haven’t seen since December 1986 (when the tax law changes that were becoming effective in January 1987 required an flood of closings onto the docket).  Today, I want you to understand the challenges and provide […]

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The Appraisal: A True Evaluation of a Home’s Worth?

Every house for sale in today’s real estate market must be sold twice. First, you must find a buyer ready, willing and able to purchase the home. Second, you must sell the value of that house to a bank so they will agree to lend money based on the negotiated price. The second sale may […]


News Alert! The Luxury Market Has Returned

There is no longer any question that luxury homes are beginning to sell.  The high-net-worth client has marked 2010 as the year to again start purchasing real estate and their desire is turning into sales. Financing is beginning to open up in the ‘jumbo’ market and prices are starting to reflect true values as upper […]

Is FHA Trying To Become LESS Popular?

There is a buzz in the real estate and mortgage world that says that FHA is moving towards changing how they charge insurance premiums – again!  And the proposal I am hearing is going to reduce the number of people who are eligible for the FHA Program, as well as make the program less attractive. […]

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Supply and Demand: How it applies to Real Estate

Supply and Demand. It is a relatively easy concept to understand. Most of us learn it in high school. The price of any item is determined by two variables: the demand for that item and the current supply of that item. If I had one of only seven Spanish gold coins known to exist, the […]

Why Are Interest Rates Going Down?

For months the alleged experts (including me) espoused the logic that after the Fed exited the Mortgage Backed Securities Purchase Program on March 31, interest rates would move up.  But here we sit, 60 days later, and rates are at their lowest point of the year.  What’s up with that? Let’s start with some general […]


It’s Not About Foreclosures. It’s About Pricing!

Many of our readers question why I spend as much time as I do on the foreclosure situation in the country. I want everyone to know that it is NOT an obsession with depressing news. I strongly believe that the wave of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) coming to market will dramatically impact house […]

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Where Will Home Prices Be in 2012?

This week we have discussed how difficult it is to establish the value of a home in today’s market, what factors will impact prices in 2010, the effect distressed properties will have on values, and the challenges faced by appraisers in establishing value. Today, I want to tackle future values… specifically where prices will be […]

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Who Cares What The Purchase Price Is… WILL IT APPRAISE?

The classic definition of what a home was worth has always been “what a reasonable buyer will pay a reasonable seller.”  That’s because MOST real estate transactions have historically involved reasonable people– people not under duress.  But today, with the enormous number of foreclosures, bank-owned property, strategic defaults, and short sales, all the reasonableness has […]


Why is Pricing a Home So Difficult?

We looked at the significance of a house as a home this past Friday. I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend and had the chance to personally feel the intrinsic value of a home. However, it would be unprofessional of us not to acknowledge that each house also has a market value, which is the price […]

To Pay Points Or Not To Pay Points?

That is a question I have heard for all my years in the mortgage business.  There is no black-and-white answer to this question; hence, the reason for the discussion today. Let’s begin with a definition of “points.”  First the expression “points” is a shortened version of the more technical name “Discount Points.”  Discount Points will […]


And The Survey Says!

Every day on our blog we try to give you insights from industry experts on issues that matter the most in real estate. Today we want to give you the thoughts of some non-professionals. People like us. Friends and neighbors who have personally experienced the ups-and-downs of the housing market over the last few years. […]


If Supply Goes Up, Prices Will Go Down

HOUSING SUPPLY Today I want to cover the impact the expired tax credit and the Fed’s exit of the mortgage market will have on home prices as we move forward. Whenever we talk about pricing, we must look at two variables: supply and demand. We covered buyer demand in yesterday’s blog, No Tax Credit.  How […]