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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Real Estate News 6-29-2012


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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare: What It Means, What Happens Next
Forbes | June 28, 2012
The  Supreme Court’s decision today leaves in place a highly complex law, many of whose most expensive provisions kick in in 2014. Here’s what to expect

After Foreclosure, ‘Octomom’ Still Believes in Homeownership
The Wall Street Journal | June 28, 2012
Nadya Suleman, the mother famously known as “Octomom,” is working to raise funds for a new house.

Nunziata: It’s a Great Time to Refinance Your Mortgage
CNBC | June 28, 2012
According to eMarketer, an estimated 92.5 million adult Internet users will use online coupons in 2012 to save hundreds of dollars per year. Yet nearly four million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers could stand to save hundreds of dollars per month refinancing their home mortgages under new programs that were not available until just a few short years ago. 

Most Borrowers Still Wary of Reverse Mortgages
The New York Times | June 28, 2012
The bureau, in a report released Thursday, said that the number of reverse mortgages had fallen since a peak before the financial crisis, but that the agency was seeing renewed interest.

Fed’s Fisher Says Housing Market Has `Bottomed Out’
Bloomberg | June 28, 2012
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said he believes low mortgage rates have helped bring an end to the slump in U.S. housing.

‘Dead’ Listings Get a New Life
RealtorMag | June 28, 2012
The big drop in inventories of homes for-sale is helping once-expired listings finally get sold. Sellers are finding relisting their properties may offer them more luck now than a few months ago, real estate professionals report. 

Are Appraisers ‘Scared’ to Report Rising Prices
RealtorMag | June 28, 2012
Real estate professionals and mortgage loan officers say that appraisers seem to be reluctant to report price appreciation occurring in numerous spots across the nation, and it’s complicating sales transactions, The Real Deal reports. 

Rental Market Attracting Residents Despite Price Increases: Survey
DSNews.com | June 28, 2012
The rental market appears to be doing more than just sustaining its health. After surveying property managers, TransUnion found that increasing prices aren’t keeping tenants away.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

 

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Real Estate News Today 6-28-2012


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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax
Yahoo! News | June 28, 2012
In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court decided to uphold his signature health care law’s individual insurance mandate in a 5-4 decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal wing of the court.  (Love it or hate it?  Most folks seem to feel strongly one way or the other. ~Anthony)

Mortgage Seizures Create ‘Very Serious Concerns,’ Sifma Says
The Wall Street Journal | June 27, 2012
Wall Street’s largest lobbying group is objecting to the use of eminent domain by municipalities to seize mortgages packaged into bonds so the loans can be shrunk to aid homeowners who owe more than their properties’ values.

After Years of False Hopes, Signs of a Turn in Housing
The New York Times | June 27, 2012
Announcements of a housing recovery have become a wrongheaded rite of summer, but after several years of false hopes, evidence is accumulating that the optimists may finally be right.

Government-Backed Loans Went to 6,300 Delinquent Taxpayer
The Wall Street Journal | June 28, 2012
More than 6,300 homeowners who owed millions of dollars in federal taxes received government-backed mortgages in violation of a federal policy, according to a report by a federal watchdog.

Provo, Raleigh Ranked as Best U.S. Business Cities
Reuters | June 27, 2012
Provo, Utah, the home of Brigham Young University, displaced Raleigh, North Carolina, as the best U.S. city for business in a new ranking released on Wednesday.

House to Add Student Loans, Flood Insurance in Highway Bill
San Francisco Chronicle | June 27, 2012
U.S. House and Senate negotiators are finalizing agreements to combine a multiyear highway bill with a one-year freeze on government subsidized student loan interest rates and a reauthorization of flood insurance programs.

Are Banks ‘Hoarding Foreclosures’?
RealtorMag | June 27, 2012
Recent housing surveys are showing an uptick in home prices, particularly in cities in warm-weather “sand states” that had been hard-hit during the housing slump, such as in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, and Tampa. But some housing experts worry that the lift in prices may be temporary due to banks “hoarding foreclosures.”

The Biggest Growth Spots in the Next 20 Years
RealtorMag | June 27, 2012
Small to mid-sized cities will likely be the “biggest winners in the housing market two decades from now,” predicts Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. Some of these cities will be near large metro areas while some may be more distant and include small to mid-sized cities in college towns too, Humphries adds. (Guess who makes the list?  Whoop whoop! I love this town. ~Anthony)

Educational moment
I’ve seen several articles lately (including the one directly above) that use the term “exurb”.  It’s a new one to me, so I looked it up.  Here’s the definition: “a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families”
(from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exurb)

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

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Real Estate News Today 6-27-2012


 

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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Orbitz Thinks Mac Users Have More Money. Sooner or Later Hackers Will Too
Forbes | June 26, 2012
Orbitz Worldwide has come to the conclusion that Mac users surfing its site would likely go for a higher-end hotel and decided to cut to the chase: it is experimenting with displaying different, and more expensive, hotels for users searching from a Mac, instead of a Windows desktop, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  (This is fascinating to me.  Thanks to a wonderful reader in Seattle for passing this along! ~Anthony)

Small Business Owners, Avoid These Five Crippling Branding Mistakes
The Washington Post | June 26, 2012
These lessons from TOMS Shoes, Apple and Virgin should guide the way as you mold your company’s reputation.

A Look at Case-Shiller, by Metro Area
The Wall Street Journal | June 26, 2012
Home prices showed fresh signs of stabilization in April, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes. A key gauge of U.S. home prices was up 1.3% in April from the previous month.

Why Home Prices are Rising Again (According to Case-Shiller)
The Wall Street Journal | June 26, 2012
It wasn’t hard to see this coming: Home prices rose in April after a spring that brought more buyers chasing fewer homes.

Biggest U.S. Banks Curb Loans as Regional Firms Fill Gap
Bloomberg | June 26, 2012
The biggest U.S. banks are extending less credit amid a faltering economic recovery as regional lenders step in to fill the gap. 

S&P Says U.S. Faces 20-percent Risk of Double Dip
Reuters | June 26, 2012
The United States faces 20-percent odds of a return to recession, rating agency Standard & Poor’s said on Tuesday, although it said a slow recovery remains the company’s baseline forecast for the world’s biggest economy.

Agencies Set Mortgage-Servicing Rules for Military
BusinessWeek | June 27, 2012
U.S. regulators released rules for mortgage servicers that are designed to help members of the military get information needed to sell their homes or modify loans when they are forced to relocate.

Economists Predict Where Home Prices Are Heading
Realtor Mag | June 26, 2012
A majority of more than 100 economists and real estate experts say that home prices will likely bottom by 2013, according to the Zillow June 2012 Price Expectations Survey. 

Top 10 cities for retirement
Chicago Tribune | June 14, 2012
Deciding where to retire presents an exciting challenge. The best cities for retirement need to offer appealing amenities — good quality of life, ample health care options and plenty of things to do — on a fixed-income budget. (Another article that names Spokane, WA as a great place to retire! This was sent to me by a retirement-savvy Spokane reader. ~Anthony)

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

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Real Estate News Today 6-26-2012


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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Retire Here, Not There: Washington
SmartMoney | June 25, 2012
Forget Seattle. Here are four less expensive places to settle down in the Evergreen State.  (Guess which communities made the short list? Spokane is one of them! ~Anthony)

Mortgage Refi Boost May Be Short-lived
HousingWire | June 25, 2012
The refinancing surge on government-backed mortgages may run out in August, bank analysts said Monday.

Avoid Fireworks at the Family Summer Home
The Wall Street Journal | June 25, 2012
A jointly owned property comes with a host of issues that need to be spelled out and formalized to avoid any family squabbling down the road.

New-home Sales Rise
The Washington Post | June 25, 2012
Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years.

Senate Bill Would Drive Up Flood-Insurance Premiums
The Wall Street Journal | June 25, 2012
Vacation homes and commercial properties in flood-prone areas could see their flood-insurance premiums more than double over a four-year period under a bill poised to clear the Senate this week. (We may finally have resolution and certainty for an extended period on flood insurance.  It sounds like we’re close anyway. ~Anthony)

5 Projections of Where the Housing Market’s Headed
RealtorMag | June 25, 2012
Real estate markets across the country are inching their way to a slow recovery after bottoming out, according to several real estate economists who spoke at a forum hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

SEC stops $100 million real-estate based Ponzi scheme
HousingWire | June 25, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against a man accused of running a $100 million real estate based Ponzi scheme in Utah.

 

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Join My List

Find me on:     LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook

Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

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Real Estate News Today 6-25-2012


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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Low Appraisals That Don’t Reflect Rising Markets are Ruining Deals
Los Angeles Times | June 24, 2012
Real estate professionals say appraisals sometimes come in thousands of dollars below the price that home buyers and sellers have agreed upon. (A timely article considering the appraisal discussion we’ve been having. ~Anthony)

Senate Set to Approve Flood Insurance Bill
The Hill | June 23, 2012
After years of delay, the problems plaguing a bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program are receding.

Housing Experts Offer Ideas on the New Normal in Wake of Downturn
Los Angeles Times | June 22, 2012
What’s considered normal in light of the housing downturn? Home price appreciation of 3% to 5%, 1.6 million household formations a year, and a 65% homeownership rate, according to three economists who offered their housing outlooks Friday at the annual National Assn. of Real Estate Editors conference.

Insight: Wells Fargo’s Mushrooming Mortgage Risk
Reuters | June 22, 2012
The new center of U.S. mortgage lending is a nondescript office building in the American heartland, far from the California subprime lenders and the New York investment banks that drove the housing market into a bust.

Can the Economy Get Healthy Without a Housing Recovery?
Time | June 25, 2012
This spring has been filled with disappointing economic news, but one bright spot has been the possible bottoming out of the housing market.

Tax Rules for Renting Out Your Vacation Home
The Wall Street Journal | June 23, 2012
The tax treatment of summer-home rental income is more complicated than you might expect. Here’s what you need to know. 

More Agents Encounter the Unexpected in Showings
RealtorMag | June 22, 2012
More real estate professionals say they are getting an unexpected surprise when they arrive at foreclosed homes: The homes aren’t really vacant. Squatters are living there and it’s led to some awkward — and even dangerous — encounters, they say. 

Small REO-to-rental investors need financing
HousingWire
In developing strategies for neighborhood stabilization, two issues predominate: the growing need for affordable rental housing and returning vacant foreclosed properties to productive use. At the confluence of these discussions are policy ideas such as REO-to-rental strategies that would convert the inventory of foreclosed properties into affordable rental housing.

How to Use a Self-Directed IRA to Buy Real Estate
Fox Business | May 8, 2012
Difficult economic times have spurred non-traditional methods to save for retirement, and many people are using a self-directed IRA to purchase non-traded assets like real estate. (If you have buyers who would like to buy investment property using their IRA but are not sure how to put it together, this article is a good start. ~Anthony)

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Join My List

Find me on:     LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook

Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

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Real Estate News Today 6-22-2012


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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Larry Ellison to Buy Island in Hawaii
The Wall Street Journal | June 21, 2012
Larry Ellison, the billionaire chief executive of Oracle Corp., was identified Wednesday as the buyer of the bulk of the Hawaiian island of Lanai. 

McMansion Creep: Homes Rising in Size
The Wall Street Journal | June 21, 2012
Big homes are back in style. That’s the headline from the American Institute of Architects‘ first-quarter Home Design Trends Survey.

Bidders Get Feisty Over Foreclosed Homes
NPR | June 21, 2012
For-sale homes in California are sparse, even in areas with high foreclosure rates. It has led to buyers like Jennifer Bryant, who is willing to throw money at just about anyone willing to sell her a house.

Home Sales Report Brings Mixed News
The Washington Post | June 21, 2012
The nation’s fledgling housing recovery, if you can call it that, has bumbled along in fits and starts, each step forward usually followed by a step backward, each piece of good news littered with caveats.

Courting the Chinese Buyer
The Wall Street Journal | June 21, 2012
Buyers from China are pouring billions into residential property—and developers are courting them with everything from feng shui to lucky numbers.

Fannie, Freddie Ease Short-Sale Rules For Military
The Wall Street Journal | June 21, 2012
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have agreed to allow military members who are ordered to switch bases and who are still current on their mortgages to sell their homes through a short sale — one in which the homeowner sells the home for less than the outstanding mortgage amount.

Regulators Set Foreclosure Compensation
The Wall Street Journal | June 21, 2012

U.S. bank regulators said banks could be forced to pay up to $125,000 per customer to compensate borrowers who were subject to foreclosure-processing errors. 

White House threatens to veto HUD budget cuts
HousingWire | June 21, 2012
The Obama administration said it would veto a bill that would cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development budget by $3.9 billion from last year.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Join My List

Find me on:     LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook

Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

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Real Estate News Today 6-21-2012


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Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

5 Biggets Mistakes Home Buyers Make
RealtorMag | June 20, 2012
Some home buyers fall for common pitfalls when purchasing a home. How can you help make sure your clients don’t fall for one?

Building the Great Outdoors Room
RealtorMag | June 20, 2012
Home owners seeking to maximize living space are turning to the outdoors, treating it like another room in the house.

CFPB to Combine RESPA/TILA Mortgage Disclosures After QM
HousingWire | June 20, 2012
The consolidation of federal mortgage disclosure forms mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act won’t occur until the qualified mortgage rule is finalized, meaning finalization of the new forms won’t arrive until 2013.

Home Prices in the West Are Rebounding as Inventory Shrinks
The New York Times | June 20, 2012
The overall value of homes in 20 metropolitan regions tracked by Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index remained unchanged, and prices are still sitting at their lowest point.

Court Rules Against MBA in Loan Officer Compensation Case
HousingWire | June 20, 2012
A United States District Court has ruled against the Mortgage Bankers Association in a case that will determine how loan officers are classified when it comes to standards of pay and overtime compensation.

Many Americans Escape Poverty By Sharing Homes With Families or Friends
The Washington Post | June 20, 2012
Millions of economically pressed Americans cushioned themselves against the recession by doubling up in houses and apartments, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday. Michael A. Fletcher JUN 20 Census Bureau says number of adults living with others jumped 11.4 percent between ‘07 and ‘10.

Fed Extends Program to Lower Rates
The Washington Post | June 20, 2012
The Fed said it would extend “Operation Twist,” a program that seeks to reduce long-term interest rates, through the end of the year. The decision highlights how the central bank, the Obama administration and Congress are struggling to make a major dent in unemployment, three years after the economy officially started growing again.

Housing Starts May Be Up But Don’t Expect A Construction Recovery Just Yet
Forbes | June 20, 2012
Builders are beginning to amp up plans for new homes. The number of building permits jumped to the highest level in nearly four years, according to figures released this week by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

The appraisal discussion continues.  Excerpts from responses I received:

An agents response:
Mortgage underwriters seemed to have been handed all the blame from the sub-prime lending days.  The result today is that many seem to go out of their way to avoid blame that may occur from a default down the road.  As for appraisers using foreclosures and REO properties as comps, that would seem natural as these two types of sales have been setting the “basis” for home values as we listed the homes, so why not consider them as comps to sell them? 

A loan officer response: 
Yes we are afraid of our own shadow. We as lenders are NOT confident in what our investors will require post-closing and further we are trying to avoid push backs from the agencies FNMA/FreddieMac.  No question, it’s a difficult time for ALL of us, we do not want to underwrite in this manner.  Trust me,we do not enjoy the level of post-closing re-underwriting (second guessing) that’s occurring today.  We cannot afford to buy back too many loans. (go to your Board and ask for a million or two at 3-4% for 30 years—They will NOT be happy) My underwriter, Operations Supervisor and myself each have 30 years of experience, and yet we simply don’t know what to expect.  Several lenders I know are simply withdrawing from the business because of excusive regulations, costs and fear.

Another loan officer response:
In the last three years I have had NO appraisal issues in WA or CA, until this week.  We’re probably 50/50 on our Conventional v FHA loans so no problems on either. I’m betting you are only hearing from the people with “problems,” and that it’s not that widespread. At least my experience in two states would indicate the problem isn’t that big.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Join My List

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

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