Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The New Trend of Homeowners in the Bay Area

An interesting new buying trend I’m starting to see around the Bay area is a segment of homeowners are still trading up even in a declining market. While I find it rather unexpected, I believe the local conditions make such a move both feasible and favorable.

First, by trading up, these homeowners are opting to sell their homes at either a small or negligible loss so they can purchase a property in a prestigious neighborhood at a steep discount. These are usually million dollar neighborhoods with a few distressed homes that are being sold for 30-40% discounts, even steeper drops than more modest and affordable neighborhoods. Often, they are able to get such a home for little more than what they paid for their current home. Similarly, townhouse homeowners are able to trade up to single families with a bit of financing lifting and foresight.

While taking a loss is hard for anybody to stomach, I commend these homeowners for using this situation to get into a home that otherwise would have remained out of reach even in times of easy credit. The calculus is cold and brutal. For a loss of around $30-100K, they’re able to save $300-500K on a prime property when trading up. This is not for the faint of heart.

Meanwhile, another group of homeowners are trading up by actually going against the prevalent trend and moving out into the suburbs. Out there, they can easily buy a home twice as large for half the price. Plus, many of the homes are nearly brand new, having sat empty since the housing bust. This is possible as the telecommuting culture is pretty mature in the Bay Area and many technical workers don’t ever have to show up at the office, negating the enormous burden of high fuel costs and enormous amount of time spent in traffic each day.

Of course, the first strategy is predicated by a belief that home prices in California are not about to revert back to the national median. As for the second, it’s a great way to hedge against further price declines since prices in the suburbs are already at the national median.

Top 10 Deal Breakers & How To Avoid Them

Your have found the home of your dreams, started packing all your things and have mentally moved in when suddenly a challenge arises that could put a serious wrench in the home buying process. In today’s market, finding the home is only the start of a transaction that can have many stumbling blocks along the way.

Here are the top 10 deal breakers buyers and sellers encounter that can impact the sale of a home:

1. Fixtures and Personal Property Pitfalls

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen deals fall apart because of disagreements over silly stuff like who gets the fireplace screen, the wall sconces or the appliances. For some buyers and sellers it can be difficult to distinguish between personal property and fixtures that come with the house. I once had a seller try to take a dish washer, like the buyer wouldn’t notice?

How to avoid it- Disputes over fixtures and personal property are common. It is important to educate yourself about the difference between attached appliances and personal property but there are times when the lines get blurred. Wall mounted flat screen TVs are frequently an issue. If something is really special to a homeowner, my recommendation to the sellers is to remove the item before you put the house on the market. Have a beloved chandelier? Replace it before you start showing the home with an acceptable alternative. If this isn’t possible, exclude it in MLS listing along with frequently confused items like that flat screen TV, and make sure it is excluded at the time the offer is written as well. Buyers should have their Agent investigate and include any items in the offer that are important to them.

2. The dreaded ex-wife/husband

There may be many reasons to dread an ex, but when it comes to selling a property, it can impact the sale of a home. Over the last 25 years I often see situations where the owners got divorced but he/she didn’t sign off. Finding this out late in the process can be problematic, especially when one of the parties no longer has a financial interest in selling the home. This scenario along with other clouds on the title can take time to clear. Bank owned properties often come with title issues such as unpaid garbage fines or back HOA dues that can impact your closing.

How to avoid it: Get a preliminary title report as soon as possible and if you are a seller be sure to disclose to your Agent up front if there are any potential claims on the title.

3. Buyers Buying “Stuff”

Your are a first time home buyers and you are moving into your new home. You don’t have a washer and dryer of your own and the local appliance store is offering a smoking deal – get a store credit card, and save 15% on the purchase of your new appliances! Sound like a steal? It might just kill your deal.

Time and again I counsel buyers not to make any major purchases before close of escrow such as a new car or major appliances, and time and again, some appliance store has a great “deal” that kills the deal. Any major purchase can impact your credit, and it can also impact your loan being funded too.

How to avoid it: If you are a buyers wait on appliance purchases, new car purchases, furniture and more until the loan has been funded and the escrow is closed. Put all  those credit cards away until the paperwork is recorded.

4. Failure To Disclose

“But Greg, I didn’t know I had to disclose that the hill behind the house next door came down last spring. It didn’t impact my part of the hill.” I have had to fight with sellers to get them to disclose certain facts about their home, but it is almost always better to over share when it comes to disclosure. Inevitably, a neighbor is going to tell the prospective buyer about the sliding hill, the formerly moldy basement or about the meth lab around the corner.

How to avoid it: When in doubt, disclose, disclose, disclose. Did I forge to mention disclose? Problems always seem much bigger when they are uncovered by a buyer after they are in contract.

5. Appraisal Nightmares

We went through a period of time when appraisals always magically came in at the offer price. For the most part, those good old times are gone. Appraisals are common deal breakers, and in many transactions, you don’t just have one. Review appraisals of the first appraisal are commonplace these days.

How to avoid it: Make sure the lender has a qualified appraiser. When possible, have your Agent accompany the appraiser on the inspection. Be prepared in advance that the purchase price may have to be renegotiated or a higher down payment may need to be brought in if the appraisal comes in low.

6. Who Owns What?

You as a buyer think you are getting a 10,000 square foot lot, only to find out that the fence is built on the next door neighbor’s property. Or the seller think they own the driveway, but it is really an easement on property owned by the cranky old neighbor next door. Lot lines, shared driveways, and fences are common stumbling blocks in a transaction.

How to avoid it: Review the preliminary title report with your Agent carefully. Legal descriptions aren’t always easy to read, but take the time and effort to do so carefully. Have a title officer walk you through the title report to explain anything unusual. If needed you should go to the city/county authorities to review the items on file. If you are concerned about the lot boundaries, hire a Civil Engineer or a Surveyor to perform a survey. While surveys can be costly, not knowing the actual boundaries can be costlier. If you are only concerned about one side of the property have the Surveyor perform a partial survey for just the side in question.

7. No permits

In many areas, unpermitted additions or remodels have become serious deal killers. Many cities and towns have implemented pre-sale inspections to fill their dwindling coffers.

How to avoid it: If city/town inspections are required, get them in advance, correct any required issues, and get your clearance. Some municipalities don’t operate on the swiftest timeline, so start as early as you can.

8. Unexpected inspection findings

I have worked with an inspector that other agents called the deal killer and honestly, he was. But he was also a lawsuit saver. When you are paying hundreds of thousands if not multiple millions of dollars for a house, you should know what you are buying. I call inspection periods the second negotiation phase of the deal. Inspections are common deal breakers when agreement cannot be reached over repairs. I remember I once almost lost a deal when the home inspection uncovered numerous foundation cracks in the crawl space. Amazingly enough, I was able to hold it together, the price was renegotiated and we were able to close the deal.

How to avoid it: If you are a seller get inspections before the property is actively on the market. Buyers will probably still get their own, but at least you can resolve serious problems that may send a buyer running in advance. Repairs almost always cost a seller less if the buyer knows about it before they write their offer.

9. The lender changed the rules

This may be hard to imagine, but sometimes you are ready to rock and roll, you got your loan pre-approved, not just pre-qualified, you are in contract and everything looks great until- poof- the lender changes the rules. Suddenly you can’t meet the lender documentation requirements. This would have been helpful to know in advance.

How to avoid it: Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to avoid it other than working with a reputable mortgage broker or lender with a solid record of closing transactions. If you are the buyer, I highly recommend that you leave your loan contingency in place until the loan is funded. If market conditions don’t permit this, make sure you are aware of the ramifications if the loan doesn’t fund.

10. The bank doesn’t care

If the property being purchased is a short sale, the bank is pretty much in charge and they simply don’t care about your timeline. I have heard of people celebrating two and three year anniversaries of working on a short sale. Although most banks have made tremendous efforts to improve and streamline the short sale process when it comes to short sale timelines, anything goes, or better yet- who knows?!

How to avoid it:The best way to save a deal when a bank is involved is to make sure you as the buyer have appropriate expectations about the process. Work with an Agent who has experience with short sale transactions and learn about all the pitfalls of working with a bank. You might also want to read my other blog that I posted 3 weeks ago 5 Most Common Complaints of Short Sale and REO Buyers ( and How To Avoid them ).

One of the best ways to avoid killing a deal- Work with an experienced and reputable agent to help guide you through the process of the entire home buying/selling process to make sure you are properly prepped goes a long way to holding deals together.

Happy Buying and Selling in 2011!

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Five Things Potential Home Buyers Don’t Know

Zillow Mortgage Market Place’s most recent survey indicates that there are many aspects of the home buying process that continue to elude prospective home buyers. Here are some of the more surprising results of the findings, along with five things home buyers don’t know, but should:

Mortgage rates vary daily

A whopping 55 percent of prospective home buyers don’t realize that mortgage rates, which are determined by a slew of factors, can – and do – change daily (and sometimes more than once a day if certain economic reports are released.) To get the best rates, you have to monitor them (watch the movement of the 10-year Treasury bond; that’s your best indicator.) and shop around. After all, a change in a rate of a mere .125% to .25% could mean thousands of dollars in savings each year.

Lender fees are negotiable

When you apply for a mortgage, the bottom line is that you’re going to have to pay lender fees. And these fees — from origination fees to credit report fees to appraisal fees and more — can add up quickly. But the good news — and what 34 percent of prospective home buyers don’t know — is that fees not only vary from one lender to the next, but that they’re negotiable. All the more reason to shop around for different mortgage rates from various lenders.

FHA loans are available to all buyers

More than two in five (42%) prospective home buyers think that only first-time buyers qualify for an FHA loan, a mortgage insured by the Federal House Administration. That’s not the case. In fact, these loans are available to all buyers who meet eligibility requirements. Among the key benefits: minimal down payments, relaxed credit score requirements, low costs, and attractive interest rates.

Interest rates on ARMs don’t always reset higher

While interest rates on 5/1 ARMs do commonly increase after 5 years, rates could decrease. Prospective home buyers may not realize this because so many of us — some 57 percent, in fact – simply don’t know how adjustable rate mortgages work. FYI: the interest rate on this product is made up of two parts — the margin, which is fixed percentage; and the index, which goes both up and down with the general movement of interest rates.

Pre-qualified doesn’t mean much

Just because you’ve been “pre-qualified” for a loan doesn’t mean you’ve secured financing,  yet 37 percent of prospective home buyers think it does. When a lender “pre-qualifies” you, they simply approximate how much you can afford, but don’t run your credit or request any sort of documentation to verify the information you provide. It is not until a lender has approved your loan application without conditions that you’ve got a firm commitment.

Source: Zillow.

Should You Rent or Buy?

Consider these factors before you make a big move in 2011.

Downsizing is a big part of many baby boomers’ retirement plans, but the flat housing market and still-shaky economy have put many moving plans on hold.

2011 isn’t expected to bring higher home prices, so now may be a good buying opportunity, housing experts say. Still, renting may be an attractive option if money is tight or if you’re not sure where you’d like to plant your retirement roots. A third of respondents in a recent Fannie Mae housing survey said they would be more likely to rent their next home if they moved.

Here are some factors to consider as you weigh whether renting or buying is best for you.

Four Reasons to Rent

An easy trial: Renting a home or apartment is an ideal way to test-drive a new community. You get the flavor of a new location without the financial commitment of home ownership — and you can always buy later. Vacationing where you may want to retire is another smart way to audition an area.

Flexibility: If something changes in your life, such as an unexpected job relocation or family needs, or if you just plain don’t like your new neighborhood, it’s a lot easier to walk away from a short-term lease than a home you own.

Less maintenance: Renting means you relinquish many of the responsibilities of home ownership. If something breaks, you can call your landlord instead of hiring a costly repairman.

More to invest: If you sell your current home and rent instead, you can invest the sale proceeds to boost your retirement nest egg.

Four Reasons to Buy

It’s a buyer’s market: While the sluggish housing market is painful for many sellers, lower prices in many areas make it a good time to buy. The NAR (National Association of Realtors) expects prices to stay flat in 2011.

Low mortgage rates: If you need to borrow to buy a home, mortgage rates are at historic lows.

Tax advantages: Under current law, most homeowners can deduct property taxes and mortgage interest, which lowers your overall tax bill.

Build equity: The housing market may not move much in 2011, but many properties can be snapped up for bargain prices. If you plan to stay put, you have time to build equity as the housing market rebounds. Historically, home prices rise over time, so a purchase at today’s lower prices can be a great investment if you plan to stay in the home for many years.

National Association of Realtors spokesman Walter Molony says a recent survey by his group found “a preponderance of baby boomers buying single-family homes.”

You also can borrow against the equity in your home using a home equity loan or line of credit, and the interest paid may be tax-deductible, too.

Other Considerations: Before moving to your next home, you may need to sell your current property. Depending on current prices in your area and when you first bought the home, you may have to sell at a loss.

“We’ve seen three years of declining prices, and it’s flat this year, so for some people who purchased, especially if they did so during the housing boom, it will take longer to get back where they started from,” Molony says.

For a ballpark estimate of your home’s value, try online services such as Zillow.com or Yahoo! Real Estate. For a more accurate assessment, contact a local real estate agent for an analysis of your home and the most recent sales in your neighborhood.

If you lost your job or had credit troubles during the recession, be prepared to face stricter lending retirements when you shop for a mortgage. Before you start looking, make sure you understand your credit standing. If it lacks gusto, make some improvements before you approach lenders for a mortgage.

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Could the Mortgage Deduction Get Chopped?

As the U.S. government looks under every rock for more spending cuts, here’s an intriguing thought: What happens if Washington takes this opportunity to take down the tax break on mortgage interest?

 “We believe there is a growing risk that the mortgage interest deduction could fall victim to the deficit reduction mantra,” MF Global said in a research note.

We know fiscal asceticism is the new black, but Congress doesn’t have the guts to take on the popular mortgage tax break, which defenders say makes the cost of homes within reach for Americans. The real-estate and mortgage industries also would fight tooth or nail if the deduction moves to the chopping block.

“At this point, we view this more as a headline risk than a real threat,” MF Global said in its note. “Yet curtailing the mortgage interest deduction has been part of President Obama’s budget proposal and it was one of the bi-partisan deficit reduction commission’s recommendations. So we cannot rule out these threats.”

True, everyone from the International Monetary Fund to the Tax Policy Center to the White House fiscal commission have called for the U.S. to cap, redesign or simply get rid of the deduction. The IMF called the mortgage tax break  “expensive and regressive.” But this comes up every few years or so, before everyone realizes it’s impossible to hack away at a cherished part of the tax code.

Critics of the mortgage tax break says the country simply can’t afford to turn down billions of dollars a year for federal and state coffers. The mortgage deduction also may push people to take on risky mortgage they can’t afford, say critics, and isn’t equitable because the deduction applies to taxpayers who itemize their deductions – and benefits higher-income households more.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has shown increasing alarm over the possibility of eliminating the deduction over the past months. Last year, the NAR declared eliminating the deduction would decrease home values by as much as 15 percent. The NAR also asked its 1.1 million members to contact their senators and congressmen and voice their concerns over the potential of eliminating or altering the deduction.

As a Homeowner and a Member of the NAR I sent the following letter to my congressmen asking for his support to urge Congress to preserve, protect and defend the mortgage interest deduction before they whittle it down at the expense of other more expedient budget cuts.

Consider the consequences if homeowners and buyers lose the time-honored and cherished mortgage interest deduction. This tax deduction built the dream of homeownership in America. The bottom line is you may well lose personally, and for certain so will your business if it is eliminated or significantly reduced in any way.

We must speak loudly and clearly with one voice to ensure the further recovery of our economy and the housing market and educate every legislator about how much the mortgage interest deduction matters to us.  Therefore, I urge everyone to take action to Preserve, Protect and Defend the mortgage interest deduction.  No economic recovery is possible without a vibrant housing market.

Please Take Action Today!

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Fed Cracks Down On Mortgage Servicers, Banks

Immediate changes coming to the foreclosure industry. Lenders being held accountable for improper foreclosure process. ALL foreclosures starting in 2009 to be examined for infractions and owners given compensation….and/ or their homes are to be GIVEN BACK TO THEM.

NOTE: the AG Robo-Signers settlement will be in addition to this…so, more changes coming to the foreclosure process.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Office of Thrift Supervision released enforcement action against 14 major bank/servicers in the form of consent orders.

Bank of America , JP Morgan Chase , Ally Financial, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Citibank, HSBC, MetLife, PNC, U.S. Bank, Aurora Bank,   EverBank, OneWest Bank and Sovereign Bank will all be hit with no fewer than 16 new requirements for mortgage servicing and loss mitigation.

These 16 new requirements are more or less what the requirements were always thought to be…. forcing the servicers to improve on foreclosure documentation, oversight, and chain of ownership. Additionally, lenders are required independent reviews and a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure. The action prohibits dual tracking, when one arm of the bank pursues foreclosure while another pursues modification.

Another detail, servicers (banks) will also be held accountable of their third-party vendors, including lawyers, who provide foreclosure services. No more…”that was an outside company we hired…we had no idea they were doing X”. Banks must comply within 120 days of the order. Most of the big banks have already implemented many of these ‘new’ requirements. The second we get an official copy of these 16 new requirements we will publish them.

And now the really interesting news….

Penalties are coming… “The Federal Reserve believes monetary sanctions in these cases are appropriate and plans to announce monetary penalties.”

And…. The OCC also says the enforcement actions, “do not preclude determinations regarding assessment of civil money penalties.”

In other words, we are talking about potentially huge penalties and judgments from the civil claims.

As part of this new enforcement the banks will be required to engage an independent firm to review foreclosure actions from January 1, 2009 through December, 2010 to assess whether foreclosures complied with federal and state laws and whether there were in fact grounds to foreclose.

You read that correctly, all foreclosures that happened between 01/01/09 and 12/01/10 will be reviewed by (hopefully) independent firms looking for infractions.

And what happens if (when) infractions are found….?

If borrowers were harmed by the foreclosure process the banks will have to remediate the borrowers in some way. Remediation could include monetary damages and even the borrower getting the home back.

Imagine all the folks who lost their homes to foreclosure that will be filing claims. Lenders will be required to create a system where by anyone who feels they suffered financially can submit a claim.

Click on this link to watch the video from CNBC News: CNBC Video on Fed Cracks Down On Mortgage Servicers, Bank

Source:  Real Estate Insiders News By: Tim and Julie of Harris Real Estate University.

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$100 Million Home Purchase is Most Expensive in U.S.

If $1 million seems like a lot for a home, try $100 million — the final price paid by Russian investor Yuri Milner for a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the purchase is “highest known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S.” and is a sharp contrast to the median home price in the U.S. which hits at $177,200 (at this writing), and even above Los Altos Hills home values that are presently a whopping $2,064,000. The sale was first reported to be $70 million by TechCrunch, which is still a remarkable price.

Milner’s new 25,500-sq ft home in Los Altos has views of San Francisco and is within driving distance of many Silicon Valley tech companies, including one of Milner’s investments, Facebook. But despite his new purchase, the 49-year-old founder of Digital Sky Technologies (DST) doesn’t plan on moving to California anytime soon. His primary residence is a home in Russia that he shares with his wife and two children.

The limestone 5-bed, and 9-bath house, pictured above, sits on 11 acres and includes indoor and outdoor pools, a full wine cellar, and outdoor tennis court. Previously owned by Fred Chan, founder of ESS Technology, and Chan’s wife Annie, this enormous piece of Los Altos Hills real estate was designed in 2001 and completed around 2009. The home was never publicly listed for sale, and Chan reportedly accepted a $50 million note on the house. The Chans currently reside in Hawaii.

While the purchase won’t create a jump in normal home sales, it may be an indicator of a rebound in the luxury home market. This should give hope to Candy Spelling, who listed the Spelling Manor for a whopping $150 million in March 2009. Although only 4.7 acres, the Spelling Manor lists 56,500 square feet of “elegant living” including a billiard room, two-lane bowling alley, and arcade room as well as indoor and outdoor pools.

Source: Business Insider

When Will Housing Finally Hit Bottom? Housing Recovery On The Horizon?

Have you noticed that the national focus on the housing crash has subsided….

…Its almost like Americans have simply come to accept that home prices continue to crash with no clear end in sight. Housing news no longer makes the headlines…almost makes you start to believe that the housing crash is over.

Not even close.

The real bottom line question is…when will home values stop falling…and start leveling off?

Based on an expert panel of 111 leading housing economists there won’t be any sort of bottoming until…2013. Home prices at the national level are now less than 1 percent away from establishing a new post-crash low. Obviously, more home value loss pushes more homeowners underwater. It’s expected that this year there will be 20,000,000 homeowners underwater, 40% of all homeowners with a mortgage.

What will the historic continued erosion of home value value lead to? A huge increase in REO Listings. Also reported today, the Federal government confirmed that January home prices nationally have fallen to the lowest point since May 2004 and they are 16.5 percent below the April 2007 peak during the housing boom.

The Federal Housing Financing Administration found that prices fell 0.3 percent from December to January and for the 12 months ending in January, U.S. prices fell 3.9 percent. Robert Shiller, co-founder and chief economist of MacroMarkets, the firm conducting the monthly survey of experts. The survey is based upon the projected path of the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index over the coming five years.

“This uninspiring view must be influenced by the persistently weak market fundamentals – high unemployment, supply overhang, an unabated foreclosure crisis, and constrained mortgage credit”

More from MacroMarkets:

“Many more experts are now projecting a double-dip after witnessing the double-dead cat bounce that came in the wake of expired government stimulus programs. In December, only 15% of our panelists were projecting that a new post-crash low would materialize for national home prices. Now, just three months later, almost 50% foresee a double-dip happening this year, and not a single panelist expects national home prices to recover to the pre-bubble trend in the coming 5 years”

The table below summarizes the panel’s March projections for home prices for the coming 5 years.

Expected Home Price Changes By Year

S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index

(Mean of all Panelist Responses)

Year-over-Year Cumulative

Year (Q4 vs Q4 Prior Year) (Q4 vs Q4 2010)

2011 -1.38% -1.38%

2012 1.26% -0.09%

2013 2.72% 2.67%

2014 3.19% 5.98%

2015 3.42% 9.64%

Source: MacroMarkets Home Price Expectations Survey, March 2011

Underwater Mortgage Crisis Lingers

On Tuesday, data released by CoreLogic Inc., a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, stated that nearly 23.1% or 11.1 million of all U.S. residential mortgage properties were underwater in the 4th quarter of 2010. The figures stood even higher than the 22.5% or 10.8 million households’ loans that were underwater in the preceding quarter.

The total amount of underwater mortgages was $751 billion in the fourth reported quarter, up from $744 billion in the earlier quarter, but down from $800 billion in the year-ago quarter. CoreLogic used data related to 48 million properties with a mortgage (85% of all mortgages in the U.S.) as the base.

In December, home prices had fallen to its lowest point since the housing bust. This was the driving factor behind the 3% rise in underwater mortgages during the quarter. Additionally, about 2.4 million borrowers’ home value was merely 5% more than the loan value (close to underwater).

As per CoreLogic’s report, Nevada had the highest rate of underwater mortgage. About 65% of the mortgaged home property in Nevada was underwater, followed by 51% in Arizona, 47% in Florida, 36% in Michigan and 32% in California. However, there were just nine states that had less than 10% of their total mortgaged home property underwater.

When a mortgage is underwater, the homeowner cannot refinance the loan and has almost no alternative but to continue making payments with a hope that the property will finally regain its original value. But with high levels of foreclosure and unemployment, home prices are further expected to fall by another 5%-10% this year.

With further declines in home prices, the biggest rises in underwater mortgages are expected in Alabama, Idaho and Oregon as they have the largest number of properties that are close to underwater presently.

Moreover, underwater mortgage slows down home sales. Homeowners, who would have otherwise sold their houses, will now wait for the home prices to rise before selling. Also, at times the mortgage providers do not allow the borrowers to sell their property at lower price than owed on the mortgage.

Further, many banks require about 20% of the home value as down payment, which again makes it increasingly difficult for the home owners to sell their property. However, Obama administration is planning for a 10% down payment requirement on loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

At present, underwater mortgage is one of the menacing problems confronted by the U.S. financial markets. Despite the introduction of Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) by the government in 2008, underwater mortgage problem has not diminished.

Currently, state attorneys general are trying to resolve issues related to improper mortgage foreclosures with various large mortgage providers such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corporation.

We believe that until underwater mortgages fall and foreclosure mess is resolved, the recovery in the housing and mortgage markets will remain very slow.

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Is NOW a good time to become a Real Estate Agent?

New Real Estate AgentsIf you are an individual who has considered getting into the Real Estate business, you have probably asked yourself a hundred times, if NOW is a good time to become a licensed Realtor. Everyone around you is probably telling you NO, but if you asked any successful Realtors, they would probably tell you different.

If you asked any successful Realtors they would tell you that NOW is in fact the perfect time to become an agent. How is this possible you might ask? Upon asking many successful Realtors if NOW would be a good time to become a Realtor, they would presumably tell you that if you can survive and make money in this market, when the market takes a turn for the better, you will reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in during the not so easy market.

Keep in mind, if you are considering getting into the market now, you will have to work much harder than you would, and you will have to affiliate yourself with a Company that can offer you the Management support, the training, and the high tech products and services that the Consumers want these days. As a new Agent, training and Broker Manager Support should be at the top of your list because this will be the key to your success.

Many of the agents, who have been in the Market since it was at its peak will most likely tell you to reconsider Real Estate and not get involved at this time. The truth is this market has taken a toll on these agents, causing a lot of them to give up, finding new careers or an easier ways of making money. Back in the 1990’s, it seemed like properties sold themselves, and agents just got buyers in the door, people would come to them. Now days, the agent has to seek out the client, put in actual work, so to speak. Most of them are not used to this, and just don’t put in the effort they should and consequently they end up out of the Business.

Being an agent takes a certain type of person. You have to keep a positive attitude no matter what kind of market it is. I know that becoming a Realtor in this Market can work for a new agent. Being educated on the market conditions and the high tech products and services that the Consumers want will help you to become a successful agent, if not now than when the Market picks up again. Hard work in this business really pays off, no matter how rocky the real estate market may be. Just like in a good market, you only get what you put into it.

Therefore, if you are considering becoming an agent, simply because you think it’s a lot of money, for so little work then now is not a good market for you. You have to be willing to put in the hard work in order for it to payoff the way you expect. Even in a good market, the harder you work, the more successful you will be. I often remind my Fellow Agents and Broker that Real Estate is the highest paying hard work and the lowest paying easy work.

The “Market” should never determine how successful you will be in any given market. Don’t let the media and all these news reports on the Market scare you. Take all the necessary training classes and speak with your Broker or Manager anytime you start to feel frustrated. If you work with the right Company you always have the support that you need right at your finger tips.

So the next time you ask yourself , if NOW is a good time to become a licensed Realtor, the answer to this question is YES! Take a chance and reap the benefits of this lucrative Business that we call Real Estate. I did!

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