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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Today’s Real Estate News 7-20-2011


I need some help from my awesome friends. At Stewart Title Spokane we’re looking for some title or escrow horror stories (no names please -john doe, brand x, etc. is sufficient). Using those, we thought we may be able share what we think could have been done to solve (or to prevent) the problem. So send your best stories to acarollo@stewart.com, and we’ll use what we can!

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

Mortgage Lending the Old-Fashioned Way
The Washington Post | July 19, 2011
James Didden’s bank has never sold a mortgage. Not to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Not as part of a federally insured package. And definitely not to Wall Street.  (A great story about a community bank, and community banks in general. ~Anthony)

In June, Fewer For-Sale Signs on Homes
The Wall Street Journal | July 19, 2011
The number of homes listed for sale in June eased slightly from May and was down by nearly 16% from one year earlier.

Searching for Parents in the Housing Market
The Wall Street Journal | July 19, 2011
There are an endless number of questions about the housing market these days. But one is easily overlooked: Where have all the new moms gone?

Mortgage Applications See Biggest Increase in 4 Months
Reuters | July 20, 2011
Applications for home mortgages surged last week, racking up the biggest increase in four months on a flood of refinancing demand as interest rates remained low, an industry group said on Wednesday.

U.S. Risk Rule Could Raise Mortgage Costs: Study
Reuters | July 19, 2011
New rules under consideration by U.S. regulators could raise mortgage rates and reduce loan availability as the direct cost of making the home finance system safer, a government report said on Tuesday.

More Firms Bet on Incoming Wave of REO
HousingWire | July 19, 2011
The past few weeks of acquisitions and deals among REO asset managers shows more bets are being made that a long-awaited supply of these properties may finally be hitting the market.

Survey Uncovers “Optimism” Among Counseled Distressed Homeowners
DSNews.com | July 19, 2011
A number of government and industry studies indicate housing counseling increases the odds a distressed borrower will receive a loan modification or workout plan, and in many cases, counseling brings with it better, more sustainable terms.

Freddie Mac: Double-Dip Less Likely
TheMReport.com | July 19, 2011
On Monday mortgage giant Freddie Mac published its monthly Economic and Housing Market Outlook, revealing a recovery in the rental sector and diminishing possibilities for a double-dip recession, with home sales expected to rise above the same for last year by as much as 3 to 5 percent.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Top 6 Real Estate iPhone, iPad, and Android Apps
Real estate mobile apps continue to grow in popularity and selection. So which real estate mobile apps rank the highest? Inman News releases a special report.

Move Inc. Acquires SocialBios
Move Inc., the operator of Realtor.com, has acquired a social search platform that will help real estate professionals aggregate all of their disparate social networking profiles onto one page.

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

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-19-2011


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

Study: Tax Credit Had ‘Fleeting’ Effect on Housing Markets
The Wall Street Journal | July 18, 2011
Critics of last year’s $8,000 tax credits for home purchases routinely argued that the credits were unlikely to do more than offer sellers the chance to boost their sale price by the amount of the tax credit.  (I would be surprised if anyone can point to a situation where the seller actually raised the price because the buyer was getting the tax credit.  {That’s not to say the TC hasn’t been fraudulently used in a variety of situations.}  Certainly the benefits of bringing 2-4 years worth of first time homebuyers forward into 2009-2010 were short-lived. ~Anthony)

Obama Administration Not Planning Another Big Housing Program
The Washington Post | July 18, 2011
The Obama administration has no plans to introduce another large-scale program for relieving the troubled housing market, despite the president’s recent admission that his past efforts have not solved the problem, according to a senior administration official.

Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Rises More Than Estimated,
Bloomberg | July 19, 2011
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders improved in July from a nine-month low as executives turned less pessimistic on the outlook for sales.

U.S. Housing Starts Probably Rose in June as Industry Struggled to Rebound
Bloomberg | July 19, 2011
Housing starts in the U.S. probably rose in June for a second month as the industry struggled to recover in the face of foreclosures and rising unemployment, economists said before a report today.

Freddie Mac Says Housing Sector Unlikely to See Double Dip
HousingWire | July 18, 2011
Despite uncertainty about the debt ceiling and an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly higher than 9%, Freddie Mac said the housing market is unlikely to experience a double dip.

Trepp Report: Commercial Real Estate Pay-Offs Rebound
TheMReport.com | July 18, 2011
On the heels of two consecutive months where the percentage of commercial realpay-offs fell, June is seeing a jump in the percentage of loans paying off on their balloon date, according to the Trepp June Pay-Off Report.

JPMorgan Chase overhauls troubled mortgage unit
MSNBC | July 18, 2011
JPMorgan Chase & Co is putting on a kinder, gentler face as it overhauls a unit that negotiates with borrowers whose homes are headed into foreclosure.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Bill Calls for Extending Jumbo Loan Limits
A bill has been proposed to extend the conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie by another two years in order to sustain a recovery in residential real estate.

Are Couples Staying Together for the House?
A new study from the American Economic Review shows a correlation between declining home values and falling divorce rates.

 

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

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-18-2011


If you could send just one message to the US Congress, what would it be?  Let me know what you think!

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

Cordray Drafted for Head of Consumer Agency
The Washington Post | July 18, 2011
President Obama will nominate former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sidestepping Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, who envisioned the agency and spent the past year setting it up, the White House said Sunday.

Big Mortgages Are Back
The Wall Street Journal | July 16, 2011
Low interest rates are driving high-end home buyers to supersized mortgages at a pace not seen since the housing boom. But the deals may have a limited shelf life.

Congress Tees Up Crucial Votes on Debt Limit
The Washington Post | July 18, 2011
A bipartisan effort in the Senate to allow President Obama to raise the federal debt ceiling in exchange for about $1.5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years gained momentum Sunday, as leaders agreed they would have to act in the next two weeks to avert a potential default by the U.S. government.

Prime Mortgage Requirements: Then vs. Now
DSNews | July 15, 2011
Last year, banks seized more than one million properties. RealtyTrac says over the same 12-month period, the number of foreclosure filings – including default notices, auctions, and repossessions – was a record 3.8 million, even though major servicers halted foreclosures during the last few months of 2010.

One in Four Private Citi Modifications Redefaulted as of 2Q
HousingWire | July 17, 2011
Roughly 25% of the mortgage modifications Citigroup completed through its own private programs redefaulted over the past two years, the bank’s Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said Friday.

Home Sellers Over Inflating Home Prices
TheMReport.com | July 15, 2011
Current home sellers may be over inflating the price on their home, and may be in the dark about what their home is really worth these days, according to recent Zillow analysis.

Moody’s Mark Zandi Calls For Government Support Of Housing
DSNews | July 15, 2011
Five years into the housing slump, and home sales remain weak with prices falling again in many parts of the country as foreclosures and short sales are ramping up.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Short Sale Fraud Rampant, Investigators Say
Last year, short sale fraud comprised half of all fraud investigations among mortgage companies and is expected to cost lenders more than $375 million in losses this year alone.

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

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-15-2011


As a follow-up to yesterday’s discussion question, here is an email response I received from a COMMERCIAL agent:
“Mostly I see excessive deferred maintenance, properties generally show very poorly: Broken glass, non-functioning elevators,frozen or inoperable fire sprinkler systems, leaking roofs which quickly renders the improvements demolition material.  As a point of interest, I’m traveling the SE coast and am witnessing many,many vacant and eroding comm’l/ind. bldgs.”

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

9 Reasons to Buy Investment Property Now
Asset Preservation, Inc. | June, 2011
J. Paul Getty famously said, “Buy when everyone else is selling and hold when everyone else is buying.” Many commercial brokers believe that present market conditions provide an unprecedented buying opportunity to lock in significant real estate investment returns. Despite the opinion of some real estate professionals, however, many investors remain on the fence.

CFPB to take over 1,500 RESPA violation cases next week
HousingWire | July 14, 2011
The Department of Housing and Urban Development settled with two mortgage companies this week suspected of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, but next week, reams of pending cases will transfer to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Short Sale Fraud Plagues the Housing Market
CNN Money | July 14, 2011
In this latest twist on short sale fraud, scammers have found a way to rip off mortgage lenders by tens of thousands of dollars — sometimes in a matter of hours.

Sales of Small Firms Are Up
The Wall Street Journal | July 15, 2011
More small-business owners sold their companies in the second quarter, but there’s gloom surrounding the transactions

Plan B Emerges on Debt
The Wall Street Journal | July 15, 2011
A backup plan to cut the deficit and keep the U.S. from default gained momentum on Capitol Hill as Obama and congressional leaders took a break in negotiations to see if they can reach a deal.

Distress Claims $181 Billion in Commercial Real Estate Sector
DSNews | July 14, 2011
Distressed commercial real estate in the United States stood at $181.1 billion in June, according to the analysts at Delta Associates. That tally includes properties in default, in foreclosure, and lender REO.

Freddie Mac Authorizes HUD Unemployment Program
HousingWire | July 15, 2011
Freddie Mac directed its servicers to fully participate in the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, which provides mortgage assistance for the unemployed.

US Homeownership Rate Could Fall Further
HousingWire | July 15, 2011
The U.S. homeownership rate could fall another one to two percentage points if credit conditions and the economy remain in the same crisis mode exhibited in 2009, the Mortgage Banker’s Association said Thursday.

Foreclosure Time Decreases in Three West-Coast States in June
DSNews | July 14, 2011
Despite a recent trend in increasing foreclosure times, the average time it took to foreclose properties in California, Arizona, and Nevada decreased in June 2011, according to ForeclosureRadar.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

1 Million Foreclosures Delayed Until 2012
Foreclosure processing delays are causing a huge backlog, which likely will mean an estimated 1 million repossessions will be pushed back until next year. What does this mean for the housing recovery?

What Does the Future Hold for Jumbo Loans?
Conforming loan limits on government-backed mortgages are set to expire in October, which has many worried about the higher costs this could mean for buyers.

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

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-14-2011


As you show REO properties, what are some of the most glaring or alarming property damage issues you encounter?  Check out the question on our Facebook page , or if you happen to be on LaunchPad, see the LaunchPad discussion.

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

As number of foreclosed homes grows, so does mold
NPR | July 13, 2011
As huge numbers of foreclosed homes continue to work their way through the real estate pipeline, another problem is blossoming — mold.  In most homes, as residents go in and out and the seasons change, natural ventilation sucks moisture up to the attic and out through the roof. It’s called the “stack effect.” And in many parts of the country, it’s driven by air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter.

Moody’s potential downgrade of US would impact GSEs
HousingWire | July 13, 2011
Moody’s Investors Service placed the triple-A bond rating of the U.S. government on review for possible downgrade.  The credit ratings agency also placed on review for possible downgrade the triple-A ratings of financial institutions directly linked to the U.S. government, namely the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bonds the GSEs issue, however, will not be impacted by any downgrade as Moody’s does not rate those securities.

Bernanke: Fed ‘Prepared to Respond’
The Washington Post | July 14, 2011
The Federal Reserve is prepared to take new action if the recovery falters, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday, raising the possibility of resuming un­or­tho­dox methods of trying to pump money into the economy.

Two Big Banks Look Local to Sell Foreclosures
HousingWire | July 14, 2011
Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase made a change to how they resell their inventory of foreclosed homes late last year, which could bring more business to minority-owned real estate firms.

CFPB to Consult Small Businesses Before Finalizing TILA-RESPA Mortgage Disclosures
HousingWire | July 14, 201
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it will spend the next few months accelerating its work on regulations associated with the agency’s proposed mortgage disclosure forms, while also reviewing several mortgage-related rules proposed under the Truth-in-Lending Act that have yet to go into effect.

Ranching, Wetlands Collide in North Coast
The Wall Street Journal | July 14, 2011
The construction of a long-sought highway bypass around this small town in Mendocino County has spurred a unusual dispute over whether ranchers should be allowed grazing rights in an area set aside as wetlands.

Moody’s Downgrade Warning Pressures U.S. on Debt Deal
Bloomberg | July 14, 2011
Moody’s Investors Service raised the pressure on U.S. lawmakers to increase the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit by placing the nation’s credit rating under review for a downgrade.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Top 5 Markets for Investment Potential
Rents are climbing and rentals are in high demand, which has prompted more investors to take advantage of low home prices and jump into the rental business. Find out which markets housing experts say will likely offer the best returns.

Single Women: A Growing Force in the Housing Market
Unmarried women continue to make up a growing segment of home buyers and are buying homes in record numbers.

Study: Larger Loans Spend Longer in Default
The time it takes for a home owner to be foreclosed on may be directly tied to the size of the potential loss that the bank might face.

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

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-13-2011


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

Zillow ‘Zestimate’ Shifts, Prompting Howls
Wall Street Journal | July 6, 2011
On June 14th, Bill Trumbo, a 68-year-old retired financial analyst in Phoenix, Ariz., logged onto his bank’s online personal financial management account and found that his house in Phoenix had lost nearly $100,000 in value overnight. 

CFPB to Unleash Bank Examiners on Dodd-Frank Anniversary
HousingWire | July 13, 2011
More than 100 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau staff members are ready to contact the nation’s large banks when the agency’s regulatory authority kicks in next week.

Effort to Refinance Underwater GSE Mortgages Gains Steam
HousingWire | July 12, 2011
A bill from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), which would allow borrowers who are current but underwater on their Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to refinance into a lower-rate loan, gained more industry support but also stirred more concern from investors.

Ohio Representative Calls for Temporary Foreclosure Moratorium
DSNews | July 12, 2011
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, submitted a resolution (H.Res. 344) calling for a temporary foreclosure moratorium to the House Financial Services Committee Friday.

Why the Housing Tax Credit Failed
The Wall Street Journal | July 12, 2011
Today’s Journal takes a look at how the Obama administration is going back to the drawing board on housing.

REITs Prove Profitable in First Half of 2011
TheMReport.com | July 12, 2011
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are proving profitable, outperforming the larger equity markets for the first half of the year, according to data from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

12 Mortage Fraud Cases, Over $12M in Losses
TheMReport.com | July 12, 2011
Twelve defendants appeared in court around the country this week to answer for charges related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, and making false information to financial institutions, among others. The estimated combined losses for lenders and families: some $12.4 million.  (There are some great lessons here.  Do you think if the debt doesn’t show on title or on the credit report, then the borrower doesn’t need to disclose it on the loan application?  Think again.  If the loan officer has knowledge, the loan officer can be held responsible! ~Anthony)

Home prices, inventory levels trend up: Altos Research
HousingWire | July 12, 2011
Home prices and inventory levels are trending upward in many U.S. cities tracked by Altos Research, according to the firm’s latest Housing Market Update.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

6 Best Places for Business, Careers
Forbes releases its 13th annual Best Places for Business list, revealing which cities offer the most jobs and lowest costs of doing business. See which cities topped the list.

Gov’t Program Aims to Revive 6 Struggling Cities
The Obama administration and HUD announced a pilot program that will bring federal officials together with local officials to trigger economic growth in some of the nation’s hardest hit cities.

 

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

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-12-2011


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

Stewart Lender Services Announces Major Acquisition
DSNews | July 11, 2011
Stewart Lender Services announced Monday the acquisition of a majority ownership of of PMH Financial, a full-service REO outsource and subservicing company with an active inventory of $2.5 billion in real estate assets.  

The Top Markets for Rental-Home Investors
The Wall Street Journal | June 11, 2011
Housing markets that have seen the biggest plunges on home values have topped a new ranking of the best markets for rental-property investors.

Slim Summer Home Price Gains Expected to Reverse
HousingWire | July 11, 2011
JPMorgan Chase analysts stuck to their estimate of further declines in home prices ahead and warned against buying too much into the recent upticks in the busier summer months.

Foreclosure Sales Dip for Second Straight Month
HousingWire | July 10, 2011
Mortgage servicers completed 68,000 foreclosure sales on the courthouse steps in May, down 7% from the previous month and the second straight month of declines, according to the Hope Now alliance of insurers, counselors and lenders.

Servicers Expand to Assist Distressed Homeowners
DSNews | July 11, 2011
With delinquent mortgages at unprecedented levels, sheer market conditions command a staff the size of a small army dedicated to working with distressed borrowers.

Small, Medium Companies Turn Sour on Economy
Reuters | July 11, 2011
Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly glum about the chances of a pickup in growth in the U.S. economy over the next year, a survey published on Tuesday showed.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

10 Best-Performing Major Housing Markets
Find out which large real estate markets fared best during the first half of 2011, and which ones may have modest gains in the second half.

Which U.S. City Is the Most Expensive?
The cost of living is getting cheaper in the U.S. compared to its global counterparts, as the priciest city in the U.S. falls to No. 41 on a list of global metros.

 

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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