Foreclosures Easing Up? Not Exactly

There has been much conversation about how distressed properties will impact home prices as we move into the second half of 2010. And it appears that no matter how much data is available, there still remains a feeling that the situation is improving. People look at the foreclosure filings and say things are in fact […]

Can Option ARMs Bear the Weight of Interest Rates?

In a previous post, we talked about our concerns regarding the number of families in 2010 that were going to have their Option ARM mortgages resetting or recasting. The term ‘reset’ deals with the change of interest rate. The term ‘recast’ deals with the actual change in the mortgage amount. In either case their mortgage payment could be affected. […]

Puzzled Banks Now Buying Time

Often I get asked why banks are not foreclosing on borrowers even after they do not make mortgage payments for many months. Actually, the answer is quite logical. To fully appreciate the banks position we must understand that the current housing market is like a Rubik’s cube. Every action the bank takes creates a challenge […]

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I’m Fine, It’s My House That’s Drowning.

First American Core Logic just released their Fourth Quarter 2009 Negative Equity Data Report last week. Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. The reason this report is so important is that studies have shown that there is a direct […]

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Foreclosure and Delinquency Rates by State

There has been much talk recently about the number of foreclosures currently held by the banks and when they may be released to the market. The number has been estimated at approximately 1.7 million properties. I believe that the banks will be forced to bring them to market in the near future. Why will banks […]

Today’s Real Estate Headlines – True or False?

Almost every day, as I do my research, I come across a headline that grabs my attention. Many times it leads me to believe that there is a contrarian view to one that I currently hold on an issue in real estate. I immediately read the article only to find out that the headline and […]

Shadow Inventory: It’s Impact in 2010

We have often talked about a ‘shadow inventory’ of homes about to come to market. The two big questions are: What does this ‘shadow inventory’ actually consist of? How will it impact home values in 2010? Standard and Poors has just come out with a paper which sheds some light on these questions. Let’s look at the report. […]

Crazy Foreclosure Alternatives?

Homeowners can’t pay their mortgages and are being forced from their homes. Others can pay but decide to just ‘walk away’ instead. Both scenarios have created a flood of foreclosures that neither the government nor the banking industry can handle. The modification programs, though genuine in their effort, have failed. The banks can’t handle what […]

The Domino Effect of Delinquencies

Yesterday, I posted a blog on foreclosures. In that post I said: We still have a very serious foreclosure problem in the vast majority of neighborhoods in this country. It will become even a bigger challenge as 2010 moves forward. Some of our readers contacted me and asked why I felt so strongly on this […]

Another Foreclosure Headline Debunked

It amazes me how many times media will report on a press release and assume they know what the release is saying by just reading the headline and perhaps the first paragraph. This week was no exception. Several newspapers repeated a headline on Realty Trac‘s press release claiming U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 10% in January And many papers repeated the first […]

Upper End Foreclosures Stacking Up

Last month I posted Are Foreclosures Coming to the Luxury Market? Well apparently they are. In an article from Housing Wire, Fitch Ratings reported on jumbo mortgages (where the initial principal amount is above the $417,000 conventional loan limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In higher-priced markets the limit is $729,750): The new […]

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Challenges and Opportunities in Housing

A quote from Housing in America: The Next Decade. “Sooner or later, something fundamental in your business world will change… strategic inflection points do not always lead to disaster. When the way business is being conducted changes, it creates opportunities for players who are adept at operating in the new way. This can apply to newcomers […]

The Cost of Walking Away

There is a very interesting cultural change taking place throughout the country. And it is the direct result of the current challenges in the housing sector. It seems that there is a wave of support for the concept of walking away from your financial obligations in regard to your mortgage. The stigma attached to those […]

Walking Away from Negative Equity

Today let’s look at negative equity and attempt to determine what impact it will have on a housing recovery in 2010. Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an […]

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Delinquencies: Roadblock to a Housing Recovery?

The current economy has devastated the finances of so many families in every income bracket and in almost every neighborhood in this country. More and more people are falling further and further behind in their mortgage payments. In the past people would take a second job or borrow money from family to catch up. Today, […]

The Long “Option ARMs” of the Loan

When the housing market was going strong between 2004 and 2006, many buyers were purchasing houses they were not able to afford with conventional financing. That created a need for less conventional mortgage products known as option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages). These mortgages allowed a buyer to either pay less of an interest rate during the […]

The Impact of Foreclosures on Real Estate in 2010

Going into 2010 things were looking rather ‘bullish’ for the housing industry. Sales were up and prices seemed to be stabilizing.  But in the last few weeks we are starting to see how fragile the recovery actually is. Obviously, when the government ends its support after the first quarter (no longer holding down interest rates […]

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Are Foreclosures Coming to the Luxury Market?

There is no doubt that prices in the lower end of the market have fallen rather dramatically over the last several years. Much of this loss in equity occurred as people were unable to pay their mortgages, and the homes went to foreclosure. Many were quick to dismiss this dilemma as the result of questionable […]

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Looking Back: Top 10 Real Estate Stories of 2009

The last week of December is always an interesting time. As we plan for the next year, we like to look back on all the important stories and events of the last year. We will gather around the television or paper and endlessly quiz each other on the multitude of Top 10 Lists that inevitably appear. Here […]

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Strategic Defaults: Naughty or Nice?

You can’t pick up a paper or turn on a television today without hearing about the foreclosure situation in this country. There is no doubt the current economy and unemployment numbers have devastated the finances of many families and thus made it impossible for them to pay their mortgage. However, what many don’t realize is that […]

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Foreclosures Force Values Down

In our last post, we discussed that, though the modification process has helped hundreds of thousands families keep their homes, there still will be millions of people who will still be faced with foreclosure. There is no avoiding this. And even though the administration is trying to get banks to be more flexible, the fact […]

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Modifications: is it really the Magic Pill?

I want to begin by saying that modifications have saved hundreds of thousands of families from being forced from their homes. We should be thankful the process exists. If anyone is having trouble with their mortgage and thinks they may be eligible for a loan modification, call 888-995-HOPE or go to http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/. That being said, […]

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Families Fall Behind on their Mortgage. What’s next?

In our last post, we discussed the possible impact distressed properties might have on the values of homes in the surrounding area. We documented how the current economy has devastated the finances of so many families in every income bracket and in almost every neighborhood in this country. In order to bring some insight to the […]

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How will the value of YOUR home be impacted by the current economy?

Our current economic difficulties have wreaked havoc on millions of households across this country. We all have either heard or read about families losing their homes to foreclosure. Obviously, that is a critical challenge at this time in history. However, I am not sure we realize that these tales of heartache not only effect the home that […]

Strategic Defaults

For the last few months, I have been discussing that more and more homeowners are actually ‘strategically’ defaulting on their mortgages. By that I mean that some homeowners that have the financilal capability to pay mortgage have just decided not to. Northwestern University teamed up with the University of Chicago to study this situation. They […]