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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%) […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

What Homeownership Truly Means

Last week, my son and I were flying home after spending a week at The LeadingRE Conference in Las Vegas. He said he couldn’t wait to sleep ‘in my own house’ again. That made me think of this blog post I wrote last year. – Steve   My Son, His New Home, and What It Means […]

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If Prices Are Falling, Why Are the Rich Buying?

There is an interesting phenomenon taking place in the real estate market. While house prices are falling, the rich are starting to purchase. DataQuick Information Systems reported last week that sales on homes $1 million or more rose 18.6% last year after four consecutive years of decline. This is at the same time that sales […]

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Judging An Agent’s Listing Presentation

I brainstorm with dozens of real estate agents every month. I have sat down with literally hundreds of them over the years. And one of the primary questions I ask them is “Why would I list my home with you?”. I am constantly amazed that over 90% of them give the same exact basic answers. […]

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Hire a Smart Duck

You can learn so much just by observing nature. Last week, I was staying at a fabulous hotel in southern California. My wife and I were having lunch at an outside table at the hotel restaurant. It was impossible not to notice the ducks that gathered around the tables at the restaurant looking for food. […]

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Homeownership: What Americans Think

There is a growing number of people debating whether the government should continue its level of support for homeownership. Mortgage assistance is being pulled back and even the mortgage-tax-deduction is now up for debate. We want to look at how the people of this country view owning a home and the reasons they buy. Last […]

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Honesty Is the Best Policy

For years, many buyers weren’t honest about their income and some loan officers didn’t care. The loans were bundled by Wall Street and sold to investors who were told anything but the truth about their value. For years, some real estate professionals prodded appraisers to move that appraisal up ‘just a bit’ and most sellers […]

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It Takes A TEAM

Today, people say: “It takes a village to raise a child”. The realities of today’s life (two family incomes and such) have extended a family to lean on others (neighbors, relatives, teachers, etc.) to protect and teach our young people about culture, history and acceptable behaviors. Teams, because of their ability to provide specialized solutions […]