real estate: “The New Subprime, What Does that Mean?” - 03/29/14 05:50 AM
“The New Subprime, What Does that Mean?”   One announcement after another from lenders reducing credit scores. Just last week one lender will now go down to 540 and the other at 550 for FHA loans.   Before everyone starts going crazy that we will be heading for another mortgage and real estate meltdown, get that out of your heads. There are situations that warrant a mortgage for a client with lower credit scores.   Dave (his actual legal name), purchased a home in 2003 with a girlfriend. The relationship went bad and his girlfriend moved out, however she had his … (27 comments)

real estate: “Even After Bankruptcy, Banks Cause Much More Harm” - 03/03/14 11:19 AM
“Even After Bankruptcy, Banks Cause Much More Harm”   When someone goes through bankruptcy and there is real estate included, the ability to be able to get a mortgage in the future has many variables. The shortest distance between two points is usually and FHA mortgage.   There are some basic guidelines. There are a number of variables that I will not get into this post, but as mentioned here are the basics:   1) You must wait 2 years after the BK.   2) You must have re-established credit, preferably 3 accounts that show up on the credit report and a minimum … (52 comments)

real estate: Just being a People Person isn’t Enough - 01/31/14 06:52 AM
“Just being a People Person isn’t Enough”     When it comes to mortgages or any other business.   As I have already shared in a couple of previous blogs, that I am looking to hire  2 additional loan officers. Unfortunately, the quality of those applying has not been good enough to get my attention.   A couple of the resume’s made the point, that they are a “People Person”. I wonder what the rest of us must be. I have heard many in the real estate industry use the sale terminology. I want to let those who use this statement know, … (20 comments)

real estate: “Home Ownership Still a Priority for Renters” - 07/31/13 08:39 AM
“Home Ownership Still a Priority for Renters”
I have been in Florida the last couple of days, on the trip down, I was sitting across the aisle from this lady. I happen to notice that she was looking at a real estate magazine. I asked her if she was looking for a home. No, she said just dreaming about owning a home.
She told me that was not in the cards for a while but would be in a couple of years. After about 10 minutes into the conversation, she asked me what I did for … (15 comments)

real estate: Liquidating Stock Accounts to buy Multi-Family Homes - 05/29/13 06:42 AM
“One Investor Decides to Liquidate Some of His Stock Account and buy Multi-Family Homes”
This investor has done this before and his timing seems to be very good. He cashed liquidated $200,000 at the beginning of the year and has been buying 3-4 family homes. We have now closed on the 6th property and there may be one more to come. From the numbers that he has shared with me, the return on investment is really amazing.
I am not suggesting folks clean out investment accounts, but a diverse portfolio that includes real … (15 comments)

real estate: “Print Marketing is Not Cost Effective for Me” - 05/28/13 10:54 AM
“Print Marketing is Not Cost Effective for Me”
The last time I did any print marketing was over 10 years ago and I wish I would have stopped even before that. For a number of years I would do direct mail pieces to folks I didn’t know and didn’t know me.
I used professionals to design the pieces they guaranteed 1-2% results. I designed my own, same types of results 1-2%. We purchased lists that were for specific zip codes, broken down by various categories, those that owned real estate and those that didn’t … (10 comments)

real estate: “Rating Agency Says Real Estate Overvalued by 10%” - 04/28/13 05:17 AM
“Rating Agency Says Real Estate Overvalued by 10%”
I recently read an article where Fitch, the rating agency, declared that real estate was overvalued by 10%. Mind you this is one of the companies that gave subprime loans an A to AAA rating. Statements like this are completely misguided.
It is so difficult to understand that they could possibly make a statement about overvalued real estate. The question that I have, overvalued compared to what? Does some real estate get sold for more than it should, of course, but there must be a good reason. … (15 comments)

real estate: Some Folks that Blog about Real Estate have NO Clue - 02/06/13 10:46 AM
“Some Folks that Blog about Real Estate have NO Clue”
The author of the article below says that the interest tax deduction should have been eliminated completely, it actually was for folks making over $110,000 per year. He also says that Dodd-Frank didn’t go far enough. Are you kidding me…
This guy is talking about how to avoid another housing bubble? With suggestions and thoughts like he shares in his post, we won’t have to worry about if, but rather when.
This housing recovery is very fragile, with unemployment numbers not getting better, with gas prices … (12 comments)

real estate: “The Impact That Zig Ziglar and Steven Covey Had on ME” - 01/07/13 10:12 AM
“The Impact That Zig Ziglar and Steven Covey Had on ME”
In the early 70’s I was taking a commercial real estate seminar in Cleveland of all places and two of the three presenters were Steven Covey and Zig Ziglar. At that time, I really had no idea who these guys were, I am not kidding. Can you imagine spending a week with them…
The first thing that I learned from these two guys was, I have a lot to learn. The sad part of it was, at that time in my life, I figured I knew everything, so a great … (8 comments)

real estate: Real Estate Scammers Alive and Well - 12/06/12 05:46 AM

“Real Estate Scammers Alive and Well”

My wife and I own a beach house in Massachusetts, that we rent on a weekly basis, during the weeks that we don’t want to use the home.
We use two sites to promote the property. I got an inquiry from someone that wanted to rent our home for 4 weeks in January. During the winter months we get $2,900 per week.
The inquiry was from England and the normal process, I need to get a bunch of questions answered. One of the questions is a list of phone … (12 comments)

real estate: Bait and Switch is Alive and Well - 11/08/12 06:10 AM
“Bait and Switch is Alive and Well”
Ads and direct mail pieces that show interest rates below the real market, happen all the time. The reason this bait and switch stuff continues in spite of the people and companies that keep doing, is because they continue to find unsuspecting borrowers that respond.
At least once a week I am contacted by previous clients that ask, is this possible. Last week it was a 30 year fixed rate loan at 2.5% and no closing costs. One immediate tip-off should be, that the promotion does not show an APR, which is required … (13 comments)

real estate: The More Home Buyers Know, the Better We Look! - 10/30/12 05:04 AM
“The More Home Buyers Know, the Better We Look!”
I have been reading article after article about how poorly informed the consumer is. Sure there are some consumers that are not very knowledgeable about buying real estate or obtaining a mortgage, but certainly not the majority.
The majority of clients that are referred to me are much more knowledgeable, than folks that needed a mortgage a few years ago. I am delighted, as it will just make us look that much better.
I find that when I am contacted by someone after they have read one or many of my blogs, … (9 comments)

real estate: Jobs, the Key to Real Values, Going Forward - 10/04/12 11:01 AM
“Jobs, the Key to Real Values, Going Forward”
Banks are very sensitive to the unemployment numbers. If there was declining unemployment numbers, they would put a lot more properties onto the market and unload unwanted inventory.
No one really knows, how many houses are just sitting and not on the market, even though these house could be put on the market tomorrow. These institutions are afraid of just dumping inventory and hurting real estate values.
Here is a case in point. I owe two houses and a larger storage building in Plainfield, Ct. There is an empty … (10 comments)

real estate: House Passes Bill to Shore Up FHA Fund - 09/19/12 10:39 AM
“House Passes Bill to Shore Up FHA Fund”
The vote was 402 to 7, I’m not kidding, that was the final vote. Do you think they figured out that FHA, being alive and well, is what is needed to keep housing sales moving in a positive direction.
Don’t be surprised if FHA guidelines get loosened up, in the near future. The goal here is for FHA business to grow at a fast pace. There are always tradeoff’s, this will be one of the benefits to the consumer, as the lending process has been much too restrictive.
Another … (9 comments)

“Attorney Says She Has No Use for Mortgage Brokers”
When a loan closes that I was involved with, I will make follow up a call to my clients to see how everything went. I ask about all those that were involved in the transaction.
As I was having this conversation the client told me she was disturbed by a comment that the attorney made during the closing. She told me the attorney told her, “She has no use for mortgage brokers.” I asked her how this comment came about. She told me that when the attorney was going over … (6 comments)

real estate: I Can Speak Realtor, Can You Speak Mortgage Broker? - 09/07/12 06:44 AM
“I Can Speak Realtor, Can You Speak Mortgage Broker?”
I received an irate phone call from a Realtor, saying that she saw no reason to have to get an extension for a closing for one week. I let her rant about how much she knew and that she had told the buyer, my client of 20 years, that they should go to a local bank instead of using a mortgage broker in Connecticut for someone buying a home in Florida.
I put the phone down a couple of times, as she still had a bunch of steam going. When … (4 comments)

“Customer Satisfaction Surveys...
 What Do They Mean?”
I interact with clients all the time that are buying a home, and do my own customer satisfaction surveys. I always ask about their experience with the Realtor, with the home inspector, with the insurance agent, with the attorney or title company and with me.
Maybe it is because I have some extraordinary referral partners, but I’m not seeing the Realtor dissatisfaction that the article below talks about. For the most part I hear good things, but if I hear something that is negative, I will immediately bring it … (10 comments)

“How Long Before You Start Seeing Results with Social Media”
In May of 2011, I made a commitment to start my social media adventure. My friend, Eric Boucher was after me for a couple of years to start and kept saying it works, it’s what you need to do. My answer, sure I do.
I already had a very good mortgage practice, that was based on 100% referral, so what do I need it for? You talk about not paying attention, that was me.
Eric kept saying, start to blog, you will get a following, my response, sure I will. … (10 comments)

real estate: HOW TO GENERATE LEADS - 05/09/12 09:25 AM
“How to Generate Leads”
The article below addresses 5 tips for loan originators to generate more leads. However, these tips work the same for anyone in the mortgage, real estate and related worlds.
Take it from a late convert to social media, one year ago this month, I started my adventure. I have done almost 500 blogs. If you would have told me that was possible in a year, I would have told you, you’re crazy.
Originally, I thought I was doing it only to generate more mortgage business, yes that has happened, but I have gotten much … (4 comments)

“Single Family Home Rentals are a Growing Opportunity”
Probably not for the reasons that you are thinking. The last time there was the same type of opportunity, was the late 80’s and early 90’s.
In many parts of the country, real estate lost 50% of its value. There were many folks that lost their home, just like now. There are time periods that this happens. Many of these folks will want to become homeowners again. Many will rent homes, until they are able to buy again.
Many of these folks get into lease option agreements or just rent single family … (5 comments)