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Real Estate Today 8-28-2012


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Lots of great information brought to you by the humble crew at Stewart Title of Spokane.  The distressed home market is trending down, the apartment boom may be ending, and check out the two good homebuyer articles at the bottom.  Plus today you get bonus reader feedback!  Thanks for reading and feel free to forward to a friend.

Return of the Jumbo Mortgage
The Wall Street Journal | August 27, 2012
For home buyers eager to snap up luxury homes at low interest rates, lenders are bringing back the supersized loan.

Why Home Prices Are Rising: The ‘Distressed Share’
The Wall Street Journal | August 27, 2012
Tuesday’s measure of June home prices from the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index is likely to turn positive when compared with one year ago for the first time in two years, according to a forecast by Zillow Inc. (The S&P Case-Shiller did in fact turn positive, see S&P Case-Shiller: Home prices up across the board ~Anthony)

Consolidation of Small Banks on Rise
The Washington Post | August 27, 2012
Shrinking profit margins, tepid loan demand and low interest rates are placing pressure on small and medium-sized banks to merge. (This it true, but sad to see.  We need both the large and the small to serve all sectors.  Consider this quote from the article: “Whereas large national banks have little trouble hiring more accountants and lawyers to manage compliance with new regulations, community banks find it difficult to absorb those costs.” While we are in a recovery, that doesn’t mean it’s a recovery for all.  Still rough seas out there. ~Anthony)

California Enacts Law to Levy Heavy Fines for Blight
HousingWire | August 27, 2012
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday forcing owners of foreclosed and vacant homes to maintain the property or face up to a $1,000 fine per day of violation.

Trulia vs. Zillow: The Battle for Online Real Estate
CNBC | August 27, 2012
Trulia is the latest website daring the public to buy its shares, hoping to raise $75 million in the very competitive world of real estate listings.

As Housing Recovers, Will Apartment Boom End?
CNBC | August 27, 2012
The latest reports on new and existing home sales seem to indicate that the housing market is beginning to find its footing again. While most believe the recovery will be slow, U-shaped, and bumpy, the free fall appears to be over for both sales and prices.

Homebuyers: Do you know what you are buying?
Real Estate Settlement Observer | August 27, 2012
While this would seem to be obvious, purchasers should pay close attention to exactly what they are buying.  I am not referring to inspection issues, I am referring to something that seems obvious, but does occasionally come up as a problem. Here are some real scenarios where an individual bought something that was not exactly what they were expecting. (Worth noting: The author is in the East Coast market and mentions the buyer getting a location survey.  We don’t get many home buyers in Spokane wanting to pay for a location survey but it’s not a bad idea. All solid advice here. ~Anthony)

Top 5 homebuyer regrets
Inman News | August 27, 2012
In life, and in real estate, there are decisions that, if we had them to do over again, we might do x, y or z differently. But all in all, we are not too upset about how things turned out. “C’est la vie,” as they say.

Feedback from a local mortgage broker on yesterday’s edition:

Survey article about disclosure and privacy – It is IMPOSSIBLE to provide an accurate quote to an online request.  Yes, I know plenty of online lenders keep providing quote forms and replies but that’s solely a marketing gimmick. Consumers demand online and anonymous (the privacy issue) quotes but it’s not possible.  Even with a full loan application and credit report it is sometimes difficult to provide an accurate quote. 

The truth? We can provide 100% guarantee on the FEES involved with a transaction because those don’t change (per law) – but there is FULL flexibility in rate and points until such time as the loan is locked. And that doesn’t happen until full application. 

So the trouble consumers get themselves into is relying upon the low fee, low rate quote from Zillow or other online lead generator and then the rate changes once the application is submitted and approved.  That rate change often times far outweighs any fee differential between two lenders. 

Truth – consumers can’t get a valid and accurate quote unless they have made a full loan application and paid for the credit report. And that’s the law.  And the process of applying is so painful that it’s rare anyone does fully apply at more than one lender.

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News Today 7-12-2012


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It’s a hot mess
The Washington Post | July 12, 2012
Investigative reporter Jeff Rossen and his team set up hidden cameras during a heat wave. They rented a house in New Jersey and had three certified A/C experts inspect they system. It was in excellent condition. Then an A/C expert set up a common, easy-to-fix problem: a simple broken wire that shuts the unit down. He said he would charge less than $200 to fix it. (Would any of my agent or contractor friends like to take a shot at this one?  To avoid getting scammed, what would you suggest different than what this reporter says? ~Anthony)

Housing Passes a Milestone
The Wall Street Journal | July 11, 2012
The housing market has turned—at last. The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing “experts” that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.

Home Price Gains at Risk in Distressed Markets
Inman News | July 11, 2012
Asking prices for for-sale homes nationwide have risen in the last four out of five months, but the biggest market gainers also have foreclosure backlogs putting those increases at risk, according to a monthly report from real estate search and marketing site Trulia.

Chase Analysts Expect Home Prices to Rise 12% by 2016
HousingWire | July 11, 2012
JPMorgan Chase analysts expect national home prices to rebound 12% over the next four years.

How Much Money Do You Need To Invest In Real Estate?
San Francisco Chronicle | July 11, 2012
Thanks to the continued mess in the housing market, prices on all types of real estate are getting lower and lower. Those low prices have made it easier for average people to add these assets to their investments.

California Homeowner Bill of Rights Signed Into Law
DSNews | July 11, 2012
The Homeowner Bill of Rights so far consists of a series of related bills containing provisions that prohibit certain practices by lenders that have been attributed to the state’s foreclosure crisis.

Has Housing Hit Bottom on Your Street?
The Wall Street Journal | July 11, 2012
There’s a growing consensus that the U.S. housing market, as measured by broad national indicators such as home sales, home construction and prices, has hit bottom. It may not get much better soon, but it probably won’t get much worse, either.

So How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?
Ted C. Jones Blog | July 10, 2012
When completing my Master’s degree at Texas A&M, we had an outstanding professor whose favorite axiom was “When you make more money you are simply broke at a higher level.” There was a lot of truth in that statement, but unfortunately, most Americans will not get any raises when they retire as they have not saved enough. So how much do you need to save to retire at the same standard of living?

Regarding the short sale risks discussion we’ve had going on, another response came in yesterday that I hadn’t considered: ”
Other risks to Buyers is in waiting for the (short sale) approval process and if that approval never comes, buyers may miss out on taking advantage of the current climate (low low interest rates).  If while waiting, rates go up even ¼ % and lender never approves the (short) sale, any perceived savings in a short sale transaction will be completely gone with higher interest rates for buyers property they ultimately purchase.”

This is Anthony talking again.  Please understand I’m not saying short sales should be avoided. I’m simply suggesting buyer/seller/agent awareness of the risk potential.  There are still GREAT values out there in short sale situations.  Just think and plan ahead and overcommunicate. 

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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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News Today 7-9-2012


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We had lots of comments regarding the “Eminent Domain” discussion last week.  Instead of reprinting them in an email, I’ve posted them in the ‘comments’ section at the bottom of the July 6, 2012 blog post.  You can read them here: https://avcarollospok.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/real-estate-news-today-7-6-2012/  Thanks to all who took the time to respond!

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

If Housing is Recovering, Where are the Construction Jobs?
The Washington Post | July 8, 2012
The housing market appears to be on the mend, as new home sales, construction spending, and new home construction have all improved in 2012.

Closer to a Bailout? FHA’s Mortgage Delinquencies Soar
CNN Money | July 9, 2012
The mortgage market appears to finally be stabilizing — as long as you ignore loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

Brace Yourself, Real Estate Prices Are Going Back Up
Bloomberg | July 8, 2012
House prices, after falling for more than five years, are rising again. All the major sales-price indexes show that there have been modest national increases in recent months, even after adjusting for seasonal patterns.  (So tell me, is it too early to call?  Are housing prices in your market going up?  Do the actual sales prices from your MLS support this article?  ~Anthony)

Number of the Week: Has Housing Bottomed?
The Wall Street Journal | July 6, 2012
The signs of a bottom in the housing market are piling up, and after Friday’s employment report we can add construction jobs to the pile.

First-time Homebuyers Struggle with Tough Market
The Denver Post | July 8, 2012
The stabilizing housing market is becoming a curse for first-time homebuyers.

More Red Flags on Reverse Mortgages
Reuters | July 6, 2012
Consumer advocates, government regulators and watchdogs have been warning seniors for several years about the risks associated with reverse mortgages. Now, the red flags are being hoisted significantly higher.

What To Expect From The Housing Market In The Remainder Of 2012
San Francisco Chronicle | July 7, 2012
The root of the global financial crisis and resulting recession could be summed up in one word: housing. Fueled by cheap credit, shady-style mortgages and over-inflated home prices, the resulting speculative bubble popped hard and sent home prices into a tailspin. Those falling prices ultimately exacerbated all the rest of the problems facing the economy, and there are several long-term consequences from the recession.

How Agents Are Investing in Their Business
RealtorMag | July 5, 2012
Real estate professionals are investing in a number of tools to expand their reach to customers. 
 

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 7-3-2012


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

The Real Value of Homeownership…It’s Not Monetary
The KCM Blog | June 27, 2012
There are numerous media sources reporting the advantages and disadvantages of homeownership. Every expert (from international money managers who have hundreds of billions of dollars of assets under management to local and national real estate experts) has chimed in on the subject. (This author does a fantastic job of putting in writing what so many of us feel.  Is the real value of home ownership all about the money?  Or is it stability and family?  It’s worth reading and passing along to anyone who questions whether they should invest in a home for themselves. ~Anthony)

Storm Damage? 6 Ways to Avoid Contractor Scams
Fox Business | July 2, 2012
The derecho storm that hit Ohio and the mid-Atlantic states Friday night brought winds in excess of 70mph, tore down power lines and trees, and left millions without power in the sweltering heat. Now, millions of American families will be faced with the task of filing insurance claims to get their homes, cars and property repaired. (My only alteration to the list would be #2.  There are LOTS of reputable contractors out there that are not on your insurance companies “approved list”.  I would certainly ask any contractor for 2 or 3 references that you can persaonally call and verify the quality of thier work.  Do I have any contractor friends with other feedback? ~Anthony)

Giants and Jets Sue to Block Mall in Meadowlands
The New York Times | June 22, 2012
The Giants and the Jets filed a lawsuit on Friday to block the proposed American Dream shopping and entertainment mall in the Meadowlands, which they contend will threaten their ability to successfully hold games at the nearby MetLife Stadium.

Is Cloud Computing Safe Enough?
The Washington Post | July 2, 2012
Power outages from Friday’s storms have some in Congress questioning the pace of moving to the cloud.

Office Sector Shows Sluggish Growth
The Wall Street Journal | July 2, 2012
San Francisco saw office rents rise faster than any other U.S. market in the second quarter, but the pace of growth in occupied U.S. office space slowed slightly, according to a report from Reis.

U.S. Home Prices Rose in May
Reuters | July 2, 2012
CoreLogic‘s home price index gained 1.8 percent from April and was up 2.0 percent from a year earlier.

California Homeowner Bill of Rights Passes, Sent to Governor
HousingWire | July 2, 2012
Two central provisions of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights passed the California State Legislature Monday. The bills will travel to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, where other provisions of the bill also await approval. Brown has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the legislation.

Don’t Lose Your Home Betting On Housing Stocks
Forbes | July 3, 2012
In recent weeks investors have received some positive signs for the housing market in the form of new home sales, housing starts and existing home sales for the month of May, but as most people know one month does not a trend make.
 

Anthony Carollo

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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 6-21-2012


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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  

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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 6-14-2012


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

Foreclosures Up for First Time in 27 Months
Reuters | June 14, 2012
Foreclosure starts rose year-over-year in May for the first time in more than two years – though they fell on a month-to-month basis – as banks resumed dealing with distressed properties after a mortgage abuse settlement earlier this year, data firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

Short-sale Fraud a Problem for Investors, Mortgage Servicer Says
HousingWire | June 13, 2012
More effort should be made to prevent short-sale fraud so that investor returns are maximized, said Gagan Sharma, chief executive of Titusville, Pa.-based servicer BSI Financial.

Housing Shows Glimmers of Hope
Chicago Tribune | June 14, 2012
Though some might consider it one of those “when pigs fly” moments, homebuilders have begun raising their prices.

Housing Recovery Seen; Will Credit Be The Spoiler?
NPR | June 13, 2012
Amid all the economic uncertainty over the credit crisis in Europe and slow job growth in the U.S., one sector may be looking up. The U.S. housing market is finally showing more signs of recovery, according to a report being released Thursday by Harvard University.

Americans See Biggest Home Equity Jump in 60 Years: Mortgages
Bloomberg | June 14, 2012
Home equity in the first quarter rose to the highest level since 2008 as homeowners taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to refinance their loans brought cash to the table to pay down principal.

Housing Prices May Soon Start to Increase
The Boston Globe | June 13, 2012
Harvard center forecasts uptick across country.

U.S, economic outlook darkens ahead of vote
Reuters | June 13, 2012
The U.S. elections in November will be contested against the backdrop of an economy growing more slowly and creating fewer jobs than thought only a month ago, a Reuters poll of economists suggests.

Can Eminent Domain be Used to Take Over Mortgages
RealtorMag | June 13, 2012
In a controversial move, a mortgage firm on the West Coast is pushing lawmakers in California and other states to use eminent domain to take over underwater mortgages. Eminent domain is a power that can be used by government to get a court order to seize property — not loans — for the public’s interest, like to extend a highway or construct a school. (One can only imagine the repercussions if this were to be allowed. ~Anthony)

Inventory of For-Sale Homes Falls 20% From Year Ago
RealtorMag | June 13, 2012
The number of homes on the market continues to become a shrinking pool. Inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops dropped 20 percent in May compared to year-ago levels, according to data from REALTOR.com of 146 markets.

Realtors: Where’s the data?  Is our local inventory up or down?  Listing prices?  Closed sales prices?  What is YOUR market doing?

 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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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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