Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And The Sky Did Not Fall!!!

I certainly don't have the answers for fixing our nation's financial difficulties, but I'm glad the first rushed 'rescue' bill did not pass. It appears there was not such a huge urgency after all as the stock market plummeted yesterday and then rebounded a good ways back up today.

I think everyone in power needs to think this through carefully and listen to the varied 'experts' and then hopefully craft a bill that makes good sense. Or better yet, maybe they can undo or modify the accounting rules that caused the banks' balance sheets to plummet in value and liquidity to shrink in the first place.

In the meantime I've sold 2 properties in the past 10 days and in conversations with other Realtors I find they are selling also. And yes, these buyers are getting mortgages. We are even seeing multiple offers on some of the properties now. It's been my belief for some time now that our housing market in this area of Michigan has bottomed and that we are bouncing along that bottom and it's just a matter of time before we begin to see the market start to edge up.

Monday, September 15, 2008

KISS Approach in Real Estate

Keep It Simple-- One-stop-shopping is desireable in all walks of life. It is especially valuable when buying a home. With Real Estate One you can find all the necessary services under one roof. We have our own mortgage lender, our own title company to handle the title search and the closing, and our own insurance company for your homeowners insurance. With an integrated operation, there is far less likelihood of an issue arising at closing time.

It stands to reason that obtaining all of your home-buying services from one source makes the process easier and less burdensome for the consumer.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Need to Get Rid of "Stuff"?

When it's time to move, we all realize we've been hanging on to stuff we no longer need and now we suddenly want to get rid of it fast. This can at times be difficult to do.

Putting good smaller items on the curbside the day before trash pickup can be simple - seems there's always someone to pick up useful items for their den or garage. This is actually my favorite method of recycling! I love seeing an eager soul jump from their car to snatch a tricycle or lamp or small table, knowing that my castoff is still useful to someone.

For other items or when the weather is just too nasty for putting stuff outside, try these resources:

Friends in Deed at 734-484-7607 They were recently willing to take mattresses and bedding which is very hard to give away and not welcome out on the curb.
Purple Heart at 734-728-4560
Dawn Farms at 734-485-8725
Dr.Raymond Molano at 734-429-2737 who I've heard will take clothes (often hard to find someone to take)
Salvation Army at 734-668-8353 or 734-761-7750

In fact, if you are even thinking of moving, start that clearing out process now - it's less to do when the actual move comes up! Need any other help with your move? Do call me at 800-923-3245. I've lots of resources for all the moving issues!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Furnished Rentals - Hard to Find!

I've spent many hours trying to find a short-term furnished rental. A filming crew is coming to Ann Arbor to stay for 4-5 months and needs a fully furnished place to stay. They are willing to pay $2500-3000 per month.

I may have found a good opportunity for them, but I had no idea just how difficult it would be or how many emails and phone calls I would be making to accomplish this.

One of the many real estate challenges we come across in this line of work! You have to like challenges to do this job!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Government Bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is good news for the real estate industry. This will have the effect of stabilizing the mortgage industry. It's also anticipated that in the next week or so mortgage interest rates will drop some, possibly as much as 1/2 percent, thus adding a little stimulus to our real estate market. Our current average mortgage rate is 6.35% for a standard 30 year fixed rate loan.

This takeover and the ensuing trimming of operations and expenses won’t help struggling borrowers to refinance, but it will guarantee mortgage money availability for qualified borrowers. And it's also possible that some of the borrowers' costs associated with financing will go down.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a critical role in the mortgage market. They buy mortgage loans from banks and package those loans into securities that they either hold or sell to U.S. and foreign investors. That allows traditional lenders like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual to make more loans.

Together, Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee about $5 trillion in home loans, about half the nation’s total. But an alarming number of those loans started going into default, draining the companies’ financial reserves and sending a chill through credit markets worldwide. As investors grew more skittish, borrowing costs started rising.

By placing Fannie and Freddie into a conservatorship, the government is promising investors that the companies’ debt is as safe as the Treasury Department’s.