Tag Archives: Washington Post

Real Estate Today 9-20-2012

10 best states for first-time homebuyer help
MSN Real Estate | September 2012
Achieving the American dream has long been associated with owning a home. Yet for many of today’s would-be homebuyers, economic uncertainty has called that dream into question.  (OK experts, here is your chance to shine!  What great programs do we have available to first-time homebuyers in the Northwest? ~Anthony)

Some Markets See Inventories Cut Nearly in Half
RealtorMag | September 19, 2012
The number of homes for sale in the last year is falling the most in California, with eight of the top 10 biggest drops in inventories in the last year from metro areas in the Golden State. Many California metros are also seeing asking prices on the rise in the last year, too. (One NW area metro makes the list – which one is it?)

U.S. Banks on High Alert for Cyberattacks
Columbus Dispatch | September 19, 2012
A financial-services industry group warned banks yesterday to be on heightened alert for cyberattacks after Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. experienced unexplained outages on their public websites.

U.S. May Have Paid $1B in False Claims
The Washington Post | September 19, 2012
Report finds HUD may have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgage aid to homeowners who did not qualify for the help.

Housing Recovery Nuanced at the Local Level
The Wall Street Journal | September 19, 2012
Today’s existing-home sales numbers from the National Association of Realtors, paired with today’s Census data on housing starts and a boost in builder confidence from earlier this week, paint a picture of housing on the mend.

Meet the New Boss: Big Data
The Wall Street Journal | September 20, 2012
At more and more companies, the hiring boss is an algorithm, as jobs that were once filled on the basis of work history and interviews are left to personality tests and data analysis.

Incomes Fell or Stagnated Last Year
The Wall Street Journal | September 19, 2012
The income of the typical U.S. family fell or was flat in almost every state last year, with the drop particularly steep in places where the economy has been hit hard by the housing bust.

Real Estate Investors Plan to Purchase More Homes in U.S.
BusinessWeek | September 20, 2012
Almost two-thirds of U.S. residential real estate investors plan to buy as many as or more homes in the next 12 months than they have in the past year even as prices rise, according to a survey released today.  

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Today I’d like to hear from real estate investors (or their agents):  What sectors provide the best opportunities?  What advice do you have for a prospective first-time investor?  What your personal market outlook for investment real estate?  (Both residential real estate and commercial real estate) 


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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Real Estate news


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Real Estate Today 8-28-2012


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 Today 8-23-2012


You’ll find some great reading this morning including Ted Jones’ view of real estate investing in college towns, a couple of good articles on the effect of short sales on home prices and the overall market, and a warning on the coming fiscal cliff from the Washington Post.  The article that most surprised me?  Fannie Mae REOs not getting to market. 

Fannie and Freddie Short Sale Change; LO-Realtor Comments; Specified Pool Primer
Mortgage News Daily | August 22, 2012
Statistics can be useful, sometimes not. On the “useful” side, the MBA will release its weekly mortgage applications index for the prior week. But how many of those retail applications actually close?

College Towns for Investing
Ted C. Jones Blog | August 23, 2012
With an estimated 14.4 million college students, University and College towns are fertile rental markets. But with the housing bubble and the lowest interest rates in 50 years, investing in rental housing in these locales can be lucrative.

New FHFA Short Sale Cap May Equal Big Losses on Some Second Liens
HousingWire | August 22, 2012
The new $6,000 limit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage servicers will be allowed to pay out to second-lien holders is on par with some values but well below others.

CBO: Recession Likely if ‘Fiscal Cliff’ not Averted
The Washington Post | August 22, 2012
The U.S. economy is hurtling toward a recession if Congress fails to avert a series of tax hikes and budget cuts by January, the Congressional Budget Office said, warning that a fiscal impasse would have consequences even more dire than previously forecast.

Will Short Sales Hit Home Prices?
The Wall Street Journal | August 22, 2012
A new relief program for distressed homeowners may have unintended consequences.

Analysis: Investors Driving Recovery as Activity Surges | August 22, 2012
A recent analysis from John Burns Real Estate Consulting suggests that investors may be the biggest driving force in the housing recovery.

Nearly half of Fannie Mae REO unable to reach market
HousingWire | August 22, 2012
Only half of the previously foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae are either on the market or being prepared for sale. The remaining properties are currently locked away in some step of the foreclosure system.
‘Luxury’ Foreclosures Soar
RealtorMag | August 22, 2012
For the past two years, foreclosure activity has been increasing on higher-end homes at a faster pace than lower-end homes, says Daren Blomquist with RealtyTrac, a company that tracks foreclosure housing data.

Based on the lead article (second paragraph), I have a reader who asks: Do real estate agent readers feel that 40% of their contracts do not close?  If it’s not 40%, what is the number?  What about lenders and
purchase applications vs. refi applications? (In the just for fun category,
I also enjoyed the very first paragraph of that same article.  It made me smile. ~Anthony)

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Real Estate news


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Real Estate News 8-6-2012

Are you on Facebook?  We’re having a little Facebook competition based on number of LIKES on our office Facebook page.  Please take a minute and LIKE our Facebook page to tell the world how amazing you think Stewart Title of Spokane is!

Company dedicated to hiring veterans
KXLY | August 5, 2012
Nearly 14 percent of veterans after September 11 are unemployed in Washington state. But a Spokane company is working hard to change the statistic. (Great story about a local company doing what they can to put these folks to work.  I love it. ~Anthony)

How Long Does It Take To Close A Mortgage?
Mortgage Report | August 5, 2012
The influx of new loans has not just lenders at capacity, but title companies and appraisers, too. It’s rendered the “30-day close” somewhat of a rarity. It’s tough to close a loan in 30 days anymore — especially with the amount of paperwork that can be required.  (Some good insight here for a consumer.  I’d like to know if you think it’s an accurate picture of what it takes for a 30 day close. ~Anthony)

Wealthy Home Sellers Capitulate, High End Prices Drop
USA Today | August 4, 2012
Even the rich aren’t immune to the pressures of the housing market. Prices for homes listed at $1 million or more have fallen 20% this year, according to RealtyTrac.

Jobless States: The Top 10
The Washington Post | August 3, 2012
Here’s a look at the top 10 states with the highest unemployment rates.

Why Buffett Is Betting Big on Housing
The Wall Street Journal | August 3, 2012
What does Warren Buffett see that no one else does? He just made an outsize bid on ResCap loans, the latest example of his bet that the housing market represents a great investment opportunity.

Is the Real-Estate Rebound for Real?
The Wall Street Journal | August 3, 2012
The numbers point to a lasting recovery in the housing and commercial-property markets. Here’s how to invest wisely.

Zillow and Other Sites Broaden Their Mission to Include Businesses
The New York Times | August 5, 2012
For the first few years of its existence, the only thing Zillow cared about was getting people to come to its real estate Web site to snoop on the market value of neighbors’ homes and other properties. Over 34 million visitors a month now do so.

To Rent or Own: How Consumers Decide Between the Two | August 3, 2012
In a study to examine what factors would drive a person to rent or own in their next move, Fannie Mae found that a mix of demographics and attitudinal drivers were key, while negative housing events appears to do little to thwart would-be buyers.



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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

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

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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Real Estate news


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Real Estate News Today 7-31-2012

Among the Stewart Title offices across the nation, we’re having a little Facebook competition based on number of LIKES on our office Facebook page.  Please take a minute and LIKE our Facebook page to tell the world how amazing you think Stewart Title of Spokane is!

The Difference Between Excellent and Perfect
The KCM Blog | July 31, 2012
Why does a buyer or seller look for a real estate professional in today’s new market reality? There’s plenty of information readily available for them to look at and analyze as they’re going through the process.

MBA: Multifamily/commercial mortgage originations swell 25% in 2Q
HousingWire | July 31, 2012
Multifamily mortgage originations helped commercial/multifamily origination volumes grow 25% in the second quarter from the year-ago period, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly survey.

Subprime Auto ABS Grows As Lenders Chase Margins: Credit Markets
Bloomberg | July 30, 2012
Sales of bonds tied to payments on subprime car loans are accelerating at the fastest pace in five years as investors seek high yields amid speculation the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at record lows until mid-2015.

U.S. Housing Recovery Tested as Economy Tempers Optimism
Bloomberg | July 30, 2012
While orders for new homes are rising at the fastest rate in two years and housing may be a net contributor to the economy’s expansion for the first time since 2005, slowing job growth, tight inventories and a backlog of foreclosures threaten to put the brakes on a comeback.

How Forgiveness Fits in Housing-Fix Toolkit
The Wall Street Journal | July 30, 2012
Policy makers are wrestling with a dilemma about the overhang of mortgage debt from the housing bust: to forgive or not to forgive?

Some at Fed Are Urging Pre-Emptive Stimulus
The New York Times | July 30, 2012
On the eve of the Fed’s policy-making committee meeting, members who favor more stimulus argued that the likely path of the economy was enough reason for action.

Congressional Leaders Near Budget Deal to Keep Government Running
The Washington Post | July 30, 2012
Temporary spending agreement would keep it running for the first half of the next fiscal year.

Is Housing Recovery Real? Not Everyone Is Convinced
NPR | July 31, 2012
Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.

Yesterday we had an article about a company that is customizing the term of their homes loan to fit the clients desires.  We had two responses that I wanted to share from loan officers:

From CL: I do this all the time….I give them an excel sheet that lets the customer design their own.  They can change the principal monthly amount and see how much sooner than can pay off their mortgage based on their own timeline and needs.  VERY effective and also shows them sometimes the cost is not worth the expense of a refi unless they want rate bragging rights!!

From DB: It is currently is available!!!
1.       Borrowers on home loans do not have prepayment penalties today on the vast majority of loans.
2.       Borrowers can make additional Principal payments any time therefore,  reducing the loan balance, therefore retiring the loan at any point in time they desire. 
You just made you designer loan.
3.       We currently offer, 10, 15 20, 25, 30 and 40 year loans, with no prepayment penalties, the ability to pay extra every month, every other month, once a year,  etc….
4.       We offer the borrowers various amortization schedules so they can set the payoff date—VERY few ever follow through, they drop back to the easiest payment so they can do whatever with the “extra” cash.

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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

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


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Real Estate News 7-19-2012

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Washington to unveil voter registration on Facebook
KHQ | July 17, 2012
Facebook users in Washington state will have something else to brag about to their online friends: that they registered to vote on Facebook. (I doubt that this will increase voter fraud as it is not much different that the current online voter-registration that Washington has.  However, when a business advertises on Facebook, they can do incredibly targeted advertising,  Look for Facebook to begin allowing the option of targeting your ad campaign to “registered voters”.  Political advertising is very lucrative and if they are given the opportunity to gain a share of that market, they will make a run at it. ~Anthony)

Brett-led groups buy buildings on Havermale Block
Journal of Business | July 19, 2012
A pair of real estate investment groups headed by Spokane sports team owner Bobby Brett recently bought two three-story buildings, a one-story former garage structure, and 27,600 square feet of parking in the historic Havermale block downtown, says Chris Batten, a commercial real estate broker involved in the transactions.

U.S. Bank Passes on Overheated Commercial Property Markets
HousingWire | July 17, 2012
Top-ten mortgage originator U.S Bank is passing on commercial real estate opportunities in certain markets at risk of overheating because of new construction.

Bernanke Warns Against ‘Fiscal Cliff’
The Washington Post | July 18, 2012
Fed chairman reasserts his bleak assessment of economic growth.

Job Gains Need to Be Wind Under Housing’s Wings
The Wall Street Journal | July 18, 2012
Housing–long the intensive-care patient of the U.S. economic recovery–is finally showing life just as other sectors look winded. But the progress might be short-lived if the labor markets don’t pick up steam.

Is Housing Back From the Dead?
BusinessWeek | July 18, 2012
Could it be? A housing bottom? Have we finally worked through the worst aftershocks of the biggest asset bubble in recent memory? After a four-year slump, the U.S. housing sector finally appears to be recovering. For real this time.

When Foreclosure Affects Children | July 17, 2012
Parents going through foreclosure may see it as a nightmare, a broken promise of the American Dream. Many might try to hide the stress and the effects of foreclosure from their children to keep them from worrying. However, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) are saying that children may actually suffer because of foreclosure more than anyone.
(If you know me well, you know that I love kids and I hate child abuse. That said, the researchers in this study have essentially pinned an increase on child abuse on the real estate industry by suggesting that foreclosures are tied directly to child abuse.  It seems to suggest that if foreclosures go up and child abuse goes up, then the one must be the cause of the other.  I believe that other socioeconomic factors are probably associated with child abuse, which in turn exacerbates the situation. One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. Read the article yourself and tell me your thoughts. ~Anthony)

Is Instagram Real Estate’s Next Frontier?
RealtorMag | July 18, 2012
The Instagram app makes it easy for amateur photographers with smartphones to create works of art.  Some real estate firms are taking advantage of the app’s popularity and using it to accentuate their listings. 


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

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


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Real Estate News Today 7-18-2012

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A borrowers guide to the mortgage application
MSN | July 2012
A mortgage application’s purpose is to help the lender decide whether to lend money to the borrower. But the industry-standard Uniform Residential Loan Application, also known as Fannie Mae Form No. 1003, is more complicated than that straightforward intent might suggest.  (This author provides a good overview of the 1003 loan application.  The comments below the article are pretty good too, some good thoughts and a few chucklers. ~Anthony)

U.S. Economic Fears Shift Back Home
The Washington Post | July 17, 2012
For much of the year, economists worried about the impact of the European slowdown on the U.S. Now, analysts say the fast-approaching “fiscal cliff” poses the biggest threat.

The Economy Stinks, But Housing Keeps Picking Up
The Wall Street Journal | July 17, 2012
As the broad economy continues to struggle, the housing market — one of the most beleaguered pockets of the economy for years — continues to exhibit signs that the worst is in the past.

How to Hunt for Talent on Social Media
The Washington Post | July 16, 2012
Many employers now use the sites to vet applicants. But they can also be used to actively seek out promising candidates.

Treasuries Rise Before Bernanke on Slower Growth Bets
Bloomberg | July 18, 2012
Treasuries rose, pushing 10-year yields toward a record low, before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke starts his second day of testimony to Congress amid speculation the U.S. economic recovery is faltering.

Fighting back against lowball home appraisals
MSN | July 2012
Record-low interest rates are a boon for homebuyers and homeowners seeking to refinance. But low appraisals are making it difficult or even impossible for some borrowers to take advantage.  (The author provides what seems like some good information but I wonder: Is it realistic? ~Anthony)

Ten Apps Every Homebuyer Should Have
Fox Business | July 18, 2012
When it comes to staying organize and efficient during the home-buying process your best tool might already be in your pocket: your smartphone. Whether you are buying a house, getting a mortgage or doing some remodeling, here are 10 must-have real estate apps.

Homeownership: The American Dream
The KCM Blog | July 18, 2012
As a real estate professional, it’s important to understand, and remind yourself, that homeownership really is the American Dream and your job is be the guardian and guide to make that dream a reality. This is especially important in a market where some people may be misinformed about the benefits and possibilities of buying a home.  (I’ll say it again, the folks at KCM write a wonderful blog.  If you’re in the real estate industry, this one is worth reading. ~Anthony)

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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

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


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