First of three podcasts presenting an overview of the material presented at an in-person buyer seminar. In this episode: evaluating and selecting your real estate agent and loan officer.
The dog days are done. All of us who make a living in real estate are anticipating the Fall Market, and hoping that there will be one. We’ve had a nice run of very positive sales figures in the last few weeks. How much of that will continue into the Fall? How much of the activity we have seen is due to the Obama Administration’s $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers? There are many unanswered questions as we look toward the end of the year.
Most writers and colleagues are unanimous that the tax credit should be at least extended past its current expiration date at the end of November. Some go so far as to advocate for broadening it to all buyers, not just first timers.
For Baltimore, a recent trade article regarding commercial property was ominous. Baltimore was listed as one of the ten most likely markets to see a second meltdown in commercial real estate because of rising vacancy rates and more inventory, without a pickup in accompanying economic activity. As September arrives, we have many questions and concerns for Autumn. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that things go better than the doomsayers expect.
Second of three podcasts presenting an overview of the material presented at an in-person buyer seminar. In this episode: searching for the right home and writing the offer to purchase.
Last of three podcasts presenting an overview of the material presented at an in-person buyer seminar. In this episode: the period between contract signing and settlement day.
First in the Mortgage Financing series of podcasts. In this edition, guest podcaster Richard Pazornik of SunTrust Mortgage talks about the loan application process, how to prepare for it, and what to expect.
Second in the Mortgage Financing series of podcasts. In this edition, guest podcaster Tom Latta of Prosperity Mortgage talks about the choice of loan product, downpayment options, and other sources for financial assistance.
The stakes have gotten higher in the last few weeks. We’ve had a series of positive news releases; statistics are showing a strong turnaround in the housing market. Here are a few more… sales volume in my one real estate office nearly doubled in July ’09 over July ’08. We’re now at the point where in a few weeks the traditional Autumn selling season will begin, and the questions start to rise: will buyers come back after their summer vacations? Will we see continued support and recovery in the housing market on a sustained basis, or was the spring surge in sales simply a function of long pent-up demand bursting out briefly because of the $8,000 tax credit?
Economist Robert Shiller, he of the Case-Shiller Index, is a gloomster at this point. In a recent interview with CNN Business Correspondent Poppy Harlow, Dr. Shiller gave all sorts of reasons why the current uptrends in housing might be a mirage that will melt away in the desert heat of August. This interview, given before last week’s unexpected good news on slowing GDP losses and slight drop in unemployment, was based in part on the common wisdom of what these reports were supposed to be, not on the surprising results they actually gave. Which, in my opinion, only goes to show that economists have a tendency to trust their own predictions much more than anyone else does.
Certainly there are tough times ahead. But, there is a growing sense that the worst is behind us, and that is something that I believe is true. Now is the time for renewed investment in real estate, and for first time homebuyers to get in there and grab that $8,000 credit. Like “Cash for Clunkers,” its a government rebate that is working to give short-term and immediate stimulus to a devastated segment of our economy. It should be renewed to last into next year.