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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Real Estate News Today 4-30-2012


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

Fannie, Freddie Leader’s Mortgage-cutting Dilemma
San Francisco Chronicle | April 29, 2012
Ed DeMarco, the man who oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is still mulling whether to allow permanent principal reductions on mortgages owned or guaranteed by the taxpayer-supported entities.

Shielding the Family Business
The Wall Street Journal | April 27, 2012
The Tax Court has just blessed a technique that owners of closely held businesses can use to pass assets to heirs with a minimum of taxes and complications.

Short Sellers Seeking to Avoid Foreclosure will Get Faster Replies from Banks
The Washington Post | April 29, 2012
For the estimated 11 million homeowners burdened with an underwater mortgage, a federal policy change could be good news. Starting in June, if you decide to do a short sale to shed your mortgage debt load and avoid foreclosure, you may not have to wait for months to hear back from your bank after submitting an offer from a potential purchaser.

Surge in Investor Purchases Gave Home Prices Boost in February
DSNews | April 27, 2012
While Radar Logic reported home prices in February showed a month-over-month increase, the real estate data provider sees this trend as possibly being temporary, considering that warm weather and investment buying helped to drive up sales.

Stripe Your Lawn Like the Major Leagues.
The Wall Street Journal | April 30, 2012
Today’s ballpark grass patterns have become as intricate as the game itself. From simple stripes to checkerboard, plaid and diamond patterns, for creative groundskeepers fields are a canvas on display for millions watching in the stands and on TV.

How Car-Centric is Your City? Public Transit Ranked
USA Today | April 26, 2012
How easy would it be to leave your car behind or not even have one? A new ranking of U.S. cities, based on their public transit systems, offers a clue and perhaps some surprises.

3 Housing Trends Emerging This Spring
RealtorMag | April 27, 2012
What can home buyers expect to face this selling season? An improving housing market has made it a different picture in many areas compared to recent years, housing experts say. A recent article at Bankrate.com notes some…trends taking shape in the housing market this spring. 

NFL Stars Join in Initiative to Revive Blighted Neighborhoods
DSNews.com | April 27, 2012
The United Athletes Foundation (UAF) is working with two nonprofits to create an initiative that utilizes the influence of star athletes to help revitalize blighted communities.

Did you happen to do any open houses this weekend?  I’d love to hear how things went: how was traffic, what was the attitude/outlook of your visitors, how was traffic at new construction vs. resale?  Talk to me at acarollo@stewart.com or on my blog.

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 4-26-2012


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

How the Web Is Ruining Real Estate
RealtorMag | April 2012
Experts in real estate technology argue that online media is causing real problems for practitioners and consumers and how they connect with each other. What are these issues, and what can you do about them? (Agree or disagree?  Let me know at acarollo@stewart.com Many thanks to the Spokane Association of Realtors for passing along this gem! ~Anthony)

Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back
The Wall Street Journal | April 26, 2012
A new development is catching home buyers off guard as the spring sales season gets under way: Bidding wars are back. From California to Florida, many buyers are increasingly competing for the same house. Unlike the bidding wars that typified the go-go years and largely reflected surging sales, today’s are a result of supply shortages.

Donovan: No Fannie, Freddie Reform ‘Any Time Soon’
HousingWire | April 26, 2012
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said the Obama administration doesn’t plan to introduce Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac reform “any time soon.”

Fed Cuts U.S. Growth Forecast for 2013 and 2014
The New York Times | April 26, 2012
The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, on Wednesday dismissed proposals to escalate the Fed’s economic stimulus campaign as “reckless,” arguing that the costs would be high and the benefits uncertain.

Facing Scrutiny, Builder Horton Changes Course on Mineral Rights
The Wall Street Journal | April 26, 2012
Home-builder D.R. Horton has ended a policy of keeping mineral rights in North Carolina. As we’ve written, the company, the nation’s largest builder, has been keeping the right to drill for natural resources under homes it sells nationwide for years.

Costco: Want a mortgage with your 60 rolls of toilet paper?
HousingWire | April 26, 2012
Costco the one-stop-bulk-shop haven, offers everything you need in a home: Furniture, flooring, groceries and 60-roll toilet paper packs. Now Costco is going to help you finance your home, too. (Be assured I’m not a fan of doing business this way. But if Costco is hopping into the mortgage business, that’s certainly newsworthy. My favorite line? “And while grocery store banking is certainly convenient (car loan with your granola bar, anyone?) there are definitely some drawbacks. Namely, the complete lack of personal service.” ~Anthony)

Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Lows…Still
The MReport | April 26, 2012
Debt crises in Europe once more left interest rates for mortgage loans near record lows.

Private Island Homes
Yahoo! Real Estate | April 25, 2012
Taking up residence in the middle of an ocean, lake or river isn’t for everybody. But for anyone who yearns for a property line that laps to shore, options abound. Architecturally expressive abodes for the aesthetically inclined, secluded dwellings for the nature-loving set, spacious compounds for the party minded, and unforgettable retreats for families are just the beginning. (This contribution comes to you courtesy of my 15 year old daughter Emily.  She’s a peach.  (:-)  I love you Emily! ~Dad)

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 4-26-2012


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

U.S. Homeownership Hits Record Low: Gallup
HousingWire | April 25, 2012
The 62% of Americans who say they own their own home marks a new low since Gallup began tracking self-reported homeownership in 2001.

On Refinancing, We Might Need to Wait
The Wall Street Journal | April 25, 2012
Should the Obama administration’s new slogan on housing be, “Well, I guess we’ll have to wait a little bit?”

Geithner Says Economy Faces Risk From Europe Crisis, Iran
Bloomberg | April 25, 2012
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the U.S. faces risks from the crisis in Europe while the confrontation with Iran has helped drive up oil prices.

Dodd-Frank’s ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Was Intended to Be Broad
American Banker | April 25, 2012
One of the most important regulatory decisions currently facing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is how to define the characteristics of a “qualified mortgage.” This decision will have an enormous impact on the mortgage markets, and will ultimately determine the types of mortgages generally available in the United States, and the minimum qualifications for those seeking to obtain a home loan.

Lenders Launch Lobbying Effort Over Definition of ‘Safe’ Mortgage
Fox Business | April 25, 2012
Mortgage lenders have launched at frenzied round of lobbying over one of the major issues confronting financial regulators in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis — the new legal definition of a “safe,” desirable mortgage.

Housing: Bottom, Reversal or Just Noisy Numbers
CNBC | April 25, 2012
Unemployment has been easing, mortgage delinquencies falling, and affordability is off the charts. That means housing should be bouncing back with verve and vigor this Spring, except it’s not.

Thirteen Ways to Sell Your Home in 2012
24/7 Wall Street | April 24, 2012
The traditional spring-summer home-buying season has begun. The national housing market remains brutal, affected by high inventory, high foreclosure rates and a historically high level of underwater mortgages. Without a doubt, it is a buyer’s market. But is there anything sellers can do to get the best price for their house and in the shortest amount of time?  (There are some worthwhile points made in here for sellers. ~Anthony)

Detroit Weighs Plan to Let Vacant Homes Burn
Realtor Mag | April 26, 2012
A series of arson fires in Detroit is setting dozens of vacant buildings and homes ablaze. Firefighters, meanwhile, have a controversial proposal on the table: Let the vacant homes and buildings burn to help trim city costs, MSNBC.com reports. (This seems worse to me than tearing them down.  If you read the article you’ll see that Detroit currently has a huge arson prolem.  This seems to translate into “If you’re sick of looking at that vacant house across the street, torch it and no one will stop you.” ~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 4-25-2012


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

Millions More U.S. Homeowners to Rent, Pimco’s Simon Says
Bloomberg | April 24, 2012
The U.S. homeownership rate may fall two percentage points to 64 percent, below historic norms, amid about six million additional foreclosures and tight lending standards, according to Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Scott Simon.

Housing Market may be on Rebound at Last
The Los Angeles Times | April 24, 2012
The housing market’s long, cold winter may finally be heading into a springtime thaw. New datashow price declines easing in big cities, sales of new homes improving nationally and foreclosures in California dropping to levels not seen since before the start of the credit crunch nearly five years ago.

REITs Spring an Unnerving Surprise
The Wall Street Journal | April 24, 2012
During the decade leading up to the downturn, some small investors put their money into a special type of real-estate investment trust, ones that aren’t traded on an exchange but promised steady dividends.

Home Prices at Near Post-Crisis Low
The Washington Post | April 24, 2012
New data show a U.S. housing market that is continuing to struggle but is perhaps nearing a bottom, with new home sales falling and prices remaining near their post-crisis low. The latest survey from S&P/Case-Shiller noted basically stagnant prices from January to February.

Housing Downturn Spurs a Boom in Foreclosure-to-Rental Conversions
The Washington Post | April 25, 2012
Gene Richards is a lifelong Vermonter, but on a recent weekday afternoon he found himself back on Florida’s west coast, scouting foreclosures to add to the collection of rental properties he has amassed in the wake of the housing crisis.

 

Economy’s recovery caught between opposing forces
USA Today | April 25, 2012
For the past two years, forecasters have overpromised, as bullish predictions for 2010 and 2011 fell short. Last year’s hoped-for recovery soon faded in the fallout from Japan’s earthquake, coupled with Washington’s flirtation with defaulting on the national debt.

Starbucks to open 6 stores in Disney theme parks
Fox News | April 24, 2012
Starbucks is about to perk up “the happiest place on earth.” (Lest we forget it’s all about location, location, location.  (:-) ~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 4-24-2012


 

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

 

March 2012 Existing Home Sales Show Significant Decline in Inventory from March 2011
Ted C. Jones Blog | April 23, 2012
The big story for March 2012 existing homes sales was the significant decline in the inventory of homes available for sale (where the months inventory contrasts the current supply, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, to the sales rate). 

 

Raines: Don’t Blame Homeowners, Government for Housing Bust
The Wall Street Journal | April 23, 2012
The former chief executive of Fannie Mae, in a rare public appearance Friday, argued that government policies weren’t the main cause of the housing bust, and that the government shouldn’t stop pushing to expand home ownership. (As I have said here before, we’re all at fault in the housing crisis.  Mr. Raines disagrees. ~Anthony)

 

Fed Likely to Stay the Course, Even as Economic Recovery Appears Mixed
The Washington Post | April 23, 2012
At the start of the year, the Federal Reserve was a dour pessimist— even though a range of economic indicators were starting to suggest that the nation’s recovery was finally gaining enough momentum to sustain itself.

 

FDIC Expects Healthy Deposit Insurance Fund by 2018
HousingWire | April 23, 2012
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board expects bank failures to cost the fund $12 billion over the next five years, down from $88 billion in losses between 2008 and 2011.

 

Tablets are Expected to Replace PCs as Primary Computing Device
Los Angeles Times | April 23, 2012
A paradigm shift may be coming to the digital lifestyle. Instead of the PC being the center of the personal computing universe, consumers will be opting for tablets as their primary computing device and relying on cloud storage to access their content across their devices, according to a new report.

 

What Should New Dodd-Frank Mortgage Rules Say?
The Wall Street Journal | April 23, 2012
Get ready for another spat over Dodd-Frank mortgage lending rules. It’s been more than a year since regulators unveiled the first set of proposed (and yet-to-be completed) mortgage rules resulting from the 2010 financial overhaul law. Now a new consumer regulator is hashing out a separate rule that will define what kind of loans mortgage lenders will be able to make.

 

Multifamily Capital is Plentiful for Those Who Need It Less
Multifamily Executive | April 5, 2012
After spending a couple of days with multifamily players in Las Vegas at the Apartment Finance Today Conference, “Meet the Money,” from April 2–4, we’re convinced that worklife behind and beneath the giddy headlines is anything but giddy. (OK I’m sure many or most of you don’t care about multifamily housing financing.  But I thought the bullet points this author has on the current state of the economy are right on. ~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 4-23-2012


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

Regulators Examine Bank Overdrafts Reaping $31 Billion
The Houston Chronicle | April 21, 2012
Two years after regulators gave Americans more power to manage overdrafts of their checking accounts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reviewing bank practices to determine if the crackdown went far enough.

House Shoppers Find FHA Loans Cost More
Indianapolis Star April 22, 2012
Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration — often called “FHA loans” — have long been an option for home buyers who don’t have a lot of cash for a down payment or whose credit is less than optimal. For that reason, FHA loans became vastly more popular after the implosion of the subprime mortgage market. (This is a very misleading headline.  One might easily assume it so suggest that FHA mortgages cost more than others.  However if you reasd the article, it simply tells the story that FHA loans cost more now than they used to. ~Anthony)

Moody’s Predicts Tougher Times for Some Homebuilders
HousingWire | April 19, 2012
Homebuilders with good liquidity can expect double-digit growth rates in 2012.  Not that the housing market is particularly robust, but larger companies are taking market share from less-prepared homebuilders, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service.

For House Hunters, Mobile Apps Put Information at Arm’s Length
The Washington Post | April 20, 2012
Home buyers face no shortage of questions during their search for the ideal property: How many bedrooms does the home have? What are the schools like? When did it last sell? For how much?  The answers may be in your pocket.

Low-Ball Bidders No Longer Get a Steal
The Washington Post | April 22, 2012
It’s not something that economists routinely track, but it provides a rough sense of what’s happening in local real estate markets. Call it the low-ball index.

After the Bailout: Few Fans but No Fix for Fannie and Freddie
Reuters | April 23, 2012
In considering how to fix the ailing U.S. housing market, Republicans and Democrats in Washington have found a rare point of agreement: they would prefer life without failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Long & Foster Finding Success in Rebounding Housing Market
The Washington Post | April 20, 2012
Long & Foster finds success in a rebounding housing market: The homegrown company is not a passive recipient of the market’s good fortune. Rather, it made strategic adjustments in order to weather the housing crash.

Alternatives to the “F” Word – How to Avoid Foreclosure
RealEstate.com | April 21, 2012
Delinquent: No longer just a word to describe unruly adolescents. Full-grown responsible adults now bear the scarlet letter because, for one reason or another, they can’t make their mortgage payments. (I got this great article from an unnamed Realtor friend in Atlanta, GA.  Thanks friend!  I love it when my readers post great stuff I can use.  Keep it up everybody! ~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 4-20-2012


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

Voters in Spokane County appear to have passed Measure 1 to expand the Convention Center and the Spokane Arena seating.  Check out the Measure 1 website to see what the Convention Center will look like when done.

Multifamily Building to Beef Up 30% in 2012
HousingWire | April 19, 2012
Fannie expects multifamily housing starts to jump 30% from 178,000 in 2011 to 231,000 in 2012. And then to 278,000 the following year.

Mortgage-Tax Break Curbed by Housing Slump
Bloomberg | April 19, 2012
The cost of one of the country’s most expensive individual tax breaks is shrinking as the number of Americans who own homes declines and mortgage rates hover near historic lows.

Bank of America Leads Banks in Short Sales of U.S. Homes
Bloomberg | April 19, 2012
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank approved 5,276 short sales in January, topping JPMorgan Chase & Co., with 2,976, and Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest home-loan originator, with 2,788, according to a report today by RealtyTrac Inc. (I’m not harping on BofA since they in fact did the most, but these numbers they give us for short sales still seem incredibly low.  I would have thought the number of short sales approved in a month would be 10x as high. ~Anthony)

Fears Rise That Economic Recovery May Falter in Spring
The New York Times | April 19, 2012
Global finance leaders are meeting in Washington to discuss oil prices, unemployment and other issues putting a cloud over the global economic picture.

Cities With Least Realistic Home Prices
The Wall Street Journal | April 19, 2012
Home sales are down, Thursday’s data shows. Oddly, sellers seem to be raising their asking prices. (This is interesting in that they determined the most realistic asking prices based soley on the gap between the median list prices and the median sales prices for the market.  Is that the right measure? I suppose it’s as good as any? ~Anthony) 

Chicago Loosens Vacant Property Restrictions on Banks
HousingWire | April 19, 2012
City officials in Chicago, with an ear to mortgage lenders and servicers, decided that maybe its pre-foreclosure requirements for vacant buildings were a bit too strict.

New Figures Stoke the Home Inequity Debate
The New York Times | April 19, 2012
A little more light is being shed on a type of loan that has been stinking up bank balance sheets.

Big Banks: Now Even Too Bigger to Fail
BusinessWeek | April 19, 2012
Two years after President Barack Obama vowed to eliminate the danger of financial institutions that are too big to fail, the nation’s largest banks are bigger than they were before the financial meltdown.

Short Sales Start to Outpace Foreclosures
Realtor Magazine | April 19, 2012
Banks are agreeing to more short sales, and for the first time,  short sale transactions are exceeding foreclosure deals, according to the most recent housing data from Lender Processing Services (LPS) Inc. (Check out this quote from the article:  “Banks are realizing that short sale transactions usually sell for higher prices than foreclosures.”  No kidding?  Who knew? ~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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