Household Debt Service Lowest in Over 30 Years

(Oh, and I moved to a new company – see below) After years of American households taking on more and more debt, the Great Recession kind of kicked that trend in the gut.  One way or another, Americans started shedding debt.  They paid debt down, let their homes go into foreclosure, went bankrupt or simply...

Head of the CFPB in Jeopardy?

I saw this in Mortgage News this morning and simply could not resist: A lot of mortgage professionals think that the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is putting the industry in jeopardy. Looks like he’s giving himself the same treatment Wednesday. CFPB Director Richard Cordray will appear on Jeopardy! Wednesday. Cordray was an...

Vampire Foreclosures Sucking Life Out of Castle Market

OK, maybe they are just sucking the life out of the housing market.  But that sounds so much less exotic, and doesn’t fit in so neatly with our Halloween week theme. I thought you might enjoy this article from The Capitol Report via Marketwatch.com.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel...

Make Your Home Improvements Pay Off!

As an ex-appraiser I get the question a lot – if I remodel my (fill in the blank) will I make money on it? There are lots of articles out there on this subject, which purport to tell you what the best investment is that you can make in your home. If you’ve been reading...

How Do Homeowner Tax Deductions Really Work?

Folks ask me all the time how much of a difference buying a home will make to their tax bill.  I know how the deduction works, but there are a lot of ifs, ands, thens, buts and provisos. So, I recommend that they talk to their tax advisor to see how it will impact them....

All About Real Estate Agents…

  A policeman pulls over a speeding driver.  He walks up to the driver’s window and asks “May I see your real estate license?” The surprised driver responds “Don’t you mean my driver’s license?” The policeman says “No, not everyone in California has one of those.” How many folks have real estate licenses in California? ...

Let’s Get Mad as Hell

I just figured out what was missing.  We’re not getting mad enough. I work extremely hard to try to make my customer’s experience a good one.  Everyone else in the industry says that is their goal too, but real world experience seems to belie that claim. In our highly dysfunctional industry, miscues, missteps and mistakes...

What Experts Are Doing About Real Estate

If you are shopping for a home right now, are you enjoying the feeding frenzy?  (At least here in Silicon Valley…) We’ve all heard that investors were snapping up homes left and right, paying all cash, and pushing regular home buyers out of the market. Some of this money came from outside the country, but...

Foreclosures Finally Settling Down?

This is a quick update from one of my favorite sources for economic analysis, the Calculated Risk Blog. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rates declined in March Posted: 01 May 2013 03:09 PM PDT Fannie Mae reported that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in March to 3.02% from 3.13% in February. The...

Win the bidding war without overpaying

5 Keys to Making a Successful Offer Buying a home in Silicon Valley right now is not easy.  Listings are scarce and buyers are plentiful.  Most homes are selling very quickly with multiple offers.  Winning the bidding war can be hell…unless you know the keys to the most attractive offer.  Here they are: Be Qualified...