Homeowner Bailout Plan – Good, Bad or Ugly?

As a Realtor, I get asked lots of real estate questions. The question of the day is most certainly "What do you think of the Obama's Homeowner Bailout Plan?" And I have to say, it is not an easy question to answer. There are so many levels to the current housing situation, and effects from other areas of the economy that will certainly influence the direction of the housing market. But here are a few things that I do know: Too Many People Are Losing Their Homes Who Shouldn't: I have personally worked with a number of homeowners who got behind on their mortgages and tried to work with their banks to get caught up. Guess what? The banks … [Read more...]

First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit – Update

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 authorized a $7,500 tax credit for qualified first-time home buyers - those buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years. The homes had to be purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before January 1, 2009. Although the $7500 would be fully refunded when you filed your tax return - either as a credit to your tax bill or as a refund - the tax credit that had to be paid back over a period of 15 years or when the house was sold, whichever occurred first. For more details on the Bill, check out the National Association of Homebuilder's Summary at … [Read more...]

The Fed cut rates…why don’t mortgage rates follow?

In an effort to bolster the US economy, the Federal Reserve has lowered the prime rate several times over the last few months. But Fed rate cuts don't always translate into lower mortgage rates. Today, rates are falling, but that trend will reverse if investors conclude that the Fed's monetary stimulus, combined with Congress's promised fiscal stimulus, will bring unwelcomed high inflation. Rising inflation would bring higher mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are not determined by the Federal Reserve. Mortgage rates are actually determined by the investors who supply the capital to fund those rates. Mortgage loans are brokered by banks and … [Read more...]

Now, That’s Depressing!

Prices have declined, interest rates are low and there is a LOT of inventory to choose from. So why aren't more Buyers jumping on the band wagon? With all the negative press these days, who can blame them. I actually heard a news story that compared today's real estate market to the Great Depression! The Great Depression was a result of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 when speculators who were buying stocks on margin saw their overinflated profits turn into nightmarish losses. When buying on margin, you can invest $1 to buy $10 worth of stock. If the stock goes up, you can increase your investment ten fold. Unfortunately, if the stock … [Read more...]