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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 […]

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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 […]

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5 Reasons You Should Consider Selling Now

If you plan on moving anytime in 2011, you should strongly consider selling your house now rather than waiting. Here are five reasons why: 1.) This is when your house will get the most exposure The spring, and particularly the month of May, is when most buyers enter the real estate market. This surge of […]

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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 […]

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The Impact of Distressed Properties on Neighboring Values

The banks are finally getting their foreclosure paperwork in order. They will start bringing larger numbers of distressed properties to market over the next six months. We must realize that this influx of discounted inventory will have an impact on the values of neighboring homes. How large an impact? According to RealtyTrac a foreclosure sells […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Pricing Is ALWAYS Local … Most of the Time

We understand that real estate is intensely local. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling a home, you should sit with a real estate professional familiar with your local area. However, that does not mean that what is happening nationally doesn’t apply to your market. What is taking place with home values is a […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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Will I Get More Money If I Wait?

Sellers in any real estate market are looking to get the best possible price. If you are looking to sell in the next year, today’s price may well be the best price. Home values stabilized somewhat in 2010. Many hoped that was a sign that values had bottomed out and we would see price appreciation […]

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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 […]