Monthly Archives: September 2012

Real Estate Today 9-17-2012

Agents Only: I came across an article that really caught my interest and I’m just dying for lots of agent feedback on this one.  Take a look at the lead article today and after hearing the author make her case, tell me: Is it critical that you have IDX listings on your website?  If you do a whole lot of other great marketing outside of your website, I think she makes a pretty compelling case.  Or not?  I’m not an agent and would love your feedback.

Listing search of diminishing value for agent websites
Inman News | September 13, 2012
There was a time when having a place on my website where homebuyers could search for homes for sale in my market was important, maybe even essential, for lead generation.  But is that as true today? Doesn’t everyone have listings on their websites?

The Seven Deadly Sins of Real Estate Investing
Business Insider | September 10, 2012
Ok, maybe they aren’t physically deadly – but they are possibly catastrophic to your business. If you are concerned about the health of your investments, make sure to steer clear from these seven sins.  (Great points made here for any real estate investor – veteran or novice. ~Anthony)

Loan to Help Firm Buy Foreclosed Homes
The Wall Street Journal | September 16, 2012
Waypoint Real Estate, a major investor in foreclosed homes, has secured a $65 million loan from Citigroup to help add to its portfolio of properties.

GSEs Ease Mortgage Buyback Rules on HARP
HousingWire | September 14, 2012
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac eased some guidelines for lenders refinancing mortgages, including new relief from buying back the loan, according to an alert sent to lenders.

A Condo Was Sold, Until It Wasn’t
The New York Times | September 15, 2012
Horror stories abound across Foreclosure Nation. But once in a while, a new one comes along to remind us just how dysfunctional our mortgage market is. (While this story is amazing, what is more amazing is it’s not that unusual!  Short sales can be a minefield. ~Anthony)

Consumer Bureau Chief: We Don’t Want To ‘Freeze’ Mortgage Lending
The Wall Street Journal | September 14, 2012
Under pressure to craft new mortgage-lending standards by January, a new consumer regulator says he is taking time to make sure those regulations don’t make it more difficult for consumers to buy homes.

4 Errors Home Shoppers Should Avoid
RealtorMag | September 14, 2012
Real estate professionals say they keep seeing buyers make the same mistakes over and over again in a home purchase.  (Great advice here for any buyer. ~Anthony)

Fannie Mae moving REO management in-house
HousingWire | September 17, 2012
The use of third parties to help Fannie Mae sell its REO properties is coming to an end. Fannie Mae notified remaining vendors that the government-sponsored enterprise will transition all REO sales work completely to Fannie Mae’s in-house teams over the course of the next several months. 

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Real Estate news


Real Estate Today 9-14-2012

We’ve heard that the Fed announced it is initiating QE3 (Quantitative Easing, 3rd time around).  Below are two great explanations of what QE means to us as consumers. (The article from NPR was well-written around the time of QE2).  In effect, the Fed is printing money to push into the economy, and it’s highly debatable as to whether it helps or hurts. ~Anthony

Quantitative Easing, Explained
NPR | October 7, 2010
It’s one of the more impressive financial phrases out there — impressive for the distance between how boring it sounds and how dramatic it actually is.

Your questions: Quantitative Easing explained
ABC News | September 14, 2012
The US Federal Reserve has announced it will pump more money into the economy by using so-called “quantitative easing”.  The move, designed to accelerate economic recovery, is perhaps the central bank’s biggest action since its unprecedented intervention during the 2008 financial crisis.

Trulia: Buying a home is 45% cheaper than renting
HousingWire | September 13, 2012
It’s more affordable to buy a home than to rent in the 100 largest metros in the nation. That’s the case if you plan to stay in the home for seven years, which is the average time Americans traditionally live in a home before moving. (Is this close to true in our market? I’ve no idea, but would love to hear from anyone that knows. ~Anthony)

MBA Economist: First-time Homebuyer Pipeline in Growth Mode
HousingWire | September 11, 2012
The August jobs report showed a definite lull in the American economy, but recent home price and sales improvements are setting the stage for an even stronger housing market in 2013, according to Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

7 Neighborhood Need-to-Knows for 21st Century Home Buyers
Trulia | September 11, 2012
The 21st century is in full effect. And that means a couple of things for savvy home buyers who are in the process of vetting prospective neighborhoods. Investigating neighborhood basics like school districts and such is no longer tricky or difficult: there are ample resources online giving detailed information about schools, scores and even parent reviews.

The Economics of Middle Age
Real Estate Today Blog | September 13, 2012
Economics can be a confusing subject, and as we age, the definitions seem to change! (No news here, this one was a just for fun bonus! ~Anthony)

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Spike in Washington foreclosures among highest in nation
Q13 Fox News Online | Septembner 13, 2012
A spike in foreclosed Washington homes outpaced much of the rest of the United States in August, according to a new report by foreclosure data company RealtyTrac.

Backyard houses catch the eye of City Council
The Seattle Times | September 10, 2012
The Seattle City Council is considering a moratorium on small-lot houses — houses built in the backyards of other houses.


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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Real Estate news


Real Estate Today 9-13-2012

The “Back to School” mentality is one we see almost every year, at least in Spokane.  We seem to see a little annual bump in the fall as folks wrap up summer and want to get moved before the holidays.  This year it seems even more dramatic.  What about your market?

Is Real Estate Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?
The KCM Blog | September 13, 2012
(A good, simple graphic. ~Anthony)

Hey, Ben Bernanke, How About A Return To Normalcy?
Forbes | September 12, 2012
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is holding its regular meeting September 12 – 13.  Because there have been two terrible jobs reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) since the last FOMC meeting, expectations are high that the Fed will announce that it is going to “do more”. (While Forbes says “No!”, Bloomberg says “Go!” with Bernanke Should Do the Right Thing and Not Say He’s Sorry  If you want my opinion?  The less manipulation, the better. Let the market recover on it’s own. ~Anthony)

Back-to-School Mentality Drives Housing for Fall
REALTOR Mag | September 12, 2012
Forty percent of real estate agents and brokers say the end of vacation season will likely bring a refocus on real estate and a primary driver behind fall home sales, according to a recent survey. ERA Real Estate has dubbed it the “back-to-school mentality” for the real estate market.

Aggressive Start for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Boston Globe | September 12, 2012
The new federal agency charged with enforcing consumer finance laws is emerging as an ambitious sheriff, taking on companies for deceptive fees and marketing and unmoved by protests that its tactics go too far.

More Opting Out of Banking System
The Washington Post | September 12, 2012
In the aftermath of one of the worst recessions in history, more Americans have limited or no interaction with banks, instead relying on check cashers and payday lenders to manage their finances, according to a new federal report. (This is interesting to me in that it’s a much higher percentage than I would have expected.  Why do you think folks go to a check casher or payday lender instead of a bank or CU? ~Anthony)

Why Waiting to Sell Your Business Might Backfire
The Wall Street Journal | September 12, 2012
Millions of small-business owners may be delaying retirement to their late 60s or 70s and beyond, in hopes of riding out the sluggish economy and a slump in the sales value of small businesses.

Well-to-do Get Mortgage Help from Uncle Sam
Reuters UK | September 13, 2012
Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the microprocessor, the personal computer and the iPhone, is a model of private enterprise at work. But not when it comes to getting a mortgage.

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In case you missed them, check out these two blogs that are all reader-generated feedback:

Real Estate Advice to Sellers From the Pros
Real Estate Advice to Buyers From Industry Pros

Thanks for reading our real estate news and please send us any feedback, comments or articles of interest!

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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Real Estate news


Real Estate Today 9-12-2012

We have some great articles to share this morning,  Who knew there was a federal program to provide terrorism insurance for businesses much like flood insurance does for homes?  And will we see QE3?

Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Seller Happy
Realty Times | September 10, 2012
The good news is that keeping a seller happy isn’t that hard. They just wanna know what’s going on and that their agent cares. Is that too much to ask? Here are sixteen things you can do to keep your seller happy with you. And a happy-with-you seller just might be a great source of future business! (There are some really simple ideas in here that would take no more time or energy than an agent already spends. ~Anthony)

Terrorism Risk Insurance Vital to Commercial Real Estate Market
RealtorMag | September 11, 2012
“Terrorism continues to be an unpredictable threat to our nation, and as the leading advocate for property owners, REALTORS® know that American businesses must have adequate terrorism risk coverage,”

Firms Flock to Foreclosure Auctions
The Wall Street Journal | September 11, 2012
Buying foreclosed homes, renovating and renting them out is morphing from a largely mom-and-pop business into the next big thing on Wall Street.

Mortgage Putback Threat Reduced for Lenders Under New Rules
Bloomberg | September 11, 2012
The U.S. overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, seeking to reduce the threat that banks will have to buy back flawed mortgages from the two firms, laid out new rules designed to spur lending and ease the housing crunch.

Sellers’ Remorse Hinders Housing Market
The Wall Street Journal | September 11, 2012
The combination of the sharp decline in home prices since the housing bust and record-low mortgage rates have brought housing-affordability indexes to record highs. And with rents rising, home price-to-rent ratios—the housing equivalent of a price-to-earnings ratio for stocks—are at their lowest levels in more than a decade.

New York Homebuyers Face Risk of Fannie Rate Penalty: Mortgages
BusinessWeek | September 12, 2012
Edward J. DeMarco, the overseer of taxpayer-supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said the firms need to increase the fees they charge to guarantee mortgages in states where it’s costlier for them to deal with bad debt.

Fed Seen Starting QE3 While Extending Rate Pledge to 2015
Bloomberg | September 12, 2012
The Federal Reserve is likely to announce a third round of bond purchases tomorrow, according to almost two-thirds of economists in a Bloomberg survey, while also extending the duration of its zero-interest-rate policy into 2015.


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And one article a little more local…

Seattle Listing Offers Homes Fit for an Officer
The Wall Street Journal | September 11, 2012
The U.S. Navy and a subsidiary of developer Forest City Enterprises are selling a collection of homes at the former Fort Lawton in Seattle that were used by the military for more than a century.

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Real Estate news


Real Estate Today 9-11-2012

September 11 Retrospective
Seattle Post Intelligencer | September 11, 2012
(A photo series remembering September 11, 2001.  Where were you that awful day?  I had just bought my coffee in a local bagel shop in Corvallis, OR to meet with two friends who told me the news as soon as I sat down.  I’ll never forget it. ~Anthony)

Fraudulent appraisals fuel many mortgage repurchase demands
HousingWire | September 10, 2012
Audits by Quality Mortgage Service indicate that many demands by financial institutions that lenders buy back mortgages are based on fraudulent appraisal schemes in an attempt to increase the success of repurchase claims. (If found to be true, this is an incredible story. Every lender today sees the effect of mortgage buybacks on processing, underwriting, and loan approval. I am frankly surprised but I wonder: Are my lender readers surprised? ~Anthony)

10 tax tips for home sellers
Inman News | September 7, 2012
The IRS has recently issued a helpful list of 10 tax tips all homeowners should keep in mind when selling a home. (An easy to understand primer on issues for sellers to consider when selling a house. ~Anthony) 

Middle-income Workers on Brink of Another Decade of Wage Stagnation
The Washington Post | September 10, 2012
With high unemployment rate, there is little pressure on employers to raise wages, report says.

Smaller Banks Now Under Fire for Foreclosure Abuses
RealtorMag | September 10, 2012
After a landmark mortgage settlement against the nation’s largest banks earlier this year, the U.S. state attorneys general are now investigating smaller banks for alleged foreclosure mishandlings. 

Consumers Cautious on Housing Recovery: Fannie Mae
HousingWire | September 10, 2012
Respondents to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey expect home prices to edge up in the next year a percent or more, as they increase their cautious view of the housing recovery while remaining skeptical of the overall national economy.

Low-Wage Earners Struggle to Attain Home Ownership
RealtorMag | September 10, 2012
A study shows that most of the new jobs created post-recession have been low-wage jobs, which doesn’t bode well for helping to lift the housing market. 

4 Real Estate Social Media Communities
EverythingPR | September 11, 2012
When it comes to real estate, interest is skyrocketing; between home owners, home buyers, home sellers and real estate professionals, the real estate market’s online presence is growing like no other. Whether you’re looking to connect with a real estate pro, meet other housing market

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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Real Estate news


Real Estate Today 9-10-2012

Last week we talked about the Spokane Valley home that was vandalized as it sat vacant.  We received some excellent feedback from readers about how to better secure a listing from vandalism.  Check it out!

Real Estate Advice to Sellers from The Pros

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Deal to Avert U.S. Fiscal Cliff Could Start With Alternate Tax
Bloomberg | September 10, 2012
An expansion in the reach of the alternative minimum tax is the element of the U.S. fiscal cliff with the largest immediate effect on taxpayers and the most bipartisan appetite for a solution, creating the possibility that lawmakers could use it to propel Congress toward a deal.

Investors Cash-in on Land Deals as U.S. Housing Picks Up
Reuters | September 10, 2012
From the outskirts of Las Vegas to the coast of California, stretches of undeveloped land in some of the most depressed housing markets in the U.S. are in high demand.

Housing on Mend, but Full Recovery Is Far Off
The Wall Street Journal | September 9, 2012
Home prices during the first half of 2012 posted their strongest gains in six years, the clearest sign that more U.S. housing markets have hit bottom.

Are Short Sales Really That Bad?
FICO Banking Analytics | September 7, 2012
Critics assert that since short sales do not cost the bank as much money as foreclosures, the penalty to a credit score should be less, commensurate with the financial impact on a lender.

Breaking the Home-Buying Habit
The Wall Street Journal | September 7, 2012
Just how many cheap homes should an investor buy?

Let’s Not Get Carried Away with Home Price Increases
The KCM Blog | September 10, 2012
There has been a lot of excitement about home prices over the last few months. Though we agree that the housing industry is in a full out recovery, we also believe that there will still be price volatility over the next several months. We must realize home sales are seasonal and that fact impacts prices.

Multifamily Market Posts Strong Gains
RealtorMag | September 7, 2012
In the second quarter of this year, the apartment and condo market reached their highest levels since the second quarter of 2005, according to the Multifamily Production Index, released by the National Association of Home Builders.

Here’s the Dirt: Housing projects sprout in CdA
The Spokesman-Review | September 9, 2012
Multifamily housing projects continue to be popular in Coeur d’Alene, with developers proposing two new complexes with a total of 160 units.


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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Real Estate news


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Real Estate Today 9-7-2012

Yesterday I asked Given the terrible vandalism on the Spokane Valley listing this week, what advice would you give to sellers who have a vacant property (of any kind) listed?”  I was thinking in terms of securing the property against vandals, but you may have thoughts you’d like to share for any seller.  I got a couple of great responses, but I could use a few more to round out my new blog post.  If you have seller advice you’d like to share, simply post a comment below.

4 Unexpected Mortgage Decisions Every Buyer Will Face (and How to Make Them)
Trulia | September 5, 2012
The financial end of home buying is, for many, the most intimidating piece of the entire experience. Why?  Well, most of us don’t sign 30-year financial obligations on a daily basis. Plus, the consequences of poor decision-making in this particular area stand out as particularly disastrous.

94% of Americans Blame Their Computer
Forbes | September 4, 2012
Computers are causing stress.  A lot of stress. In fact, a new survey commissioned by, a seller of memory upgrades, proves it.

Rural Affordable Housing Struggles With Oil and Gas Boom
HousingWire | September 6, 2012
Waves of highly paid oil and gas drilling employees into rural areas is causing strain on local governments to provide affordable housing for locals who can no longer afford skyrocketing rents, according to a government study released Thursday.

Eminent Domain Gambles With Local Mortgage Credit
HousingWire | September 6, 2012
Threats of withdrawn mortgage credit may deter local governments from accepting proposals to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain, not court rulings, according to one expert on the issue.

When Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Work for You
The New York Times | August 17, 2012

Even once you have connected with someone, social-media-networking takes considerably more time than face-to-face networking. I believe it takes seven quality contacts before you can start talking commerce, but I’ve read industry estimates as high as 21 meaningful contacts before you can close business. Here are the five steps I suggested for Mr. Lacher.

Complaints Against Lenders
The New York Times | September 6, 2012
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 23,500 complaints about mortgage lenders from last December through this past June, according to a recently released semiannual report. And, not surprisingly, just over half the complaints centered on the problems borrowers encountered when they were unable to make payments.

Housing Crisis Turns Some Ex-Homeowners Into Lifelong Renters
Aol Real Estate | September 6, 2012
You couldn’t pay Mark Williams to own a home again.  “Give me the money for it,” he said. “I’m still not buying a house.”

Five Star Panel Debates Home Rehab Options | September 6, 2012
“To repair, or not to repair.” That was the question posed to a number of panelists Thursday morning at the Five Star Conference and Expo.

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Real Estate news

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