Archive for October, 2012

What are Economists around the country predicting for the Housing Market in 2013

October 29th, 2012
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The Minnesota housing market has been on an absolute tear for over a year now.  If this month is any indicator, there is no apparent let up in sight.

In a “normal” year (something we haven’t seen for a very long time) the end of October presages the beginning of a long dark winter to come and most traditional sellers begin to consider taking their houses off of the market for the holidays.  The  desire to take advantage of the certainty of the lowest interest rates in a lifetime and the probable bottoming of house prices has buyers out in force and sellers, motivated to move on, are telling me that they are going to stand pat and hold out for a sale.

Barring the reverberations of a failure on the part of Congress to act in a bi-partisan manner  to avoid the looming ‘Fiscal cliff’, the consensus among most economists that I’ve researched is that the price bottom in real estate has been hit and real estate sales and prices will continue to rise. Read the rest of this entry »

The poet, Dylan Thomas wrote “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

October 22nd, 2012
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This weekend, 25 or 30 close family members and friends are coming over to my house for a celebration of life.  We’re going to look at photo albums and old family movies, have a potluck dinner, and reminisce.  At 2:36AM on Monday, I got a call letting me know that my mother had died.  She just sort of snuck out when no one was looking.

She went into hospice care back in July of 2010 after a fall that caused a compression fracture in her lower back. She was 85.  Then, the medical staff attending her gave her 2-24 hours to live.  After a couple of weeks of around the clock vigil with my sister and brothers, she opened her eyes and very matter-of-factly asked if there was some soup or something to eat because she was hungry.  She asked to be taken off of hospice as she wanted no help in determining how or when she would exit the world.  Read the rest of this entry »

Do you ever say yes and 10 seconds later wish you hadn’t?

October 15th, 2012
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Mark Twain once said, “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”  Whenever I violate this principle, God reminds me, in one way or another, that I have.

I frequently get calls from clients who want to meet me “after work” stating to me that they can’t take time off during the day.   By 5:30PM, I’ve already worked about 10.5 hours each day and I have a half hour commute home.  In most cases, I find that a gentle reminder to clients that most employers will grant an hour or two of PTO for such an important meeting is enough to get them in during business hours.  I, too, work. Read the rest of this entry »

“Just what is a QRM and what does that have to do with me?”

October 8th, 2012
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I completed my 8 hours of required continuing education last Saturday.  Three hours of the class was dedicated to understanding what has come to be known as the Dodd Frank Act.  The real title of the Act is The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which was enacted in July of 2010 in response to the meltdown of our financial system.  Buried deeply within is a requirement that mortgage lenders retain capital reserves equal to 5% on all mortgages that are not designated as QRM’s or qualified residential mortgages.  I doubt many people had ever heard about it until last night’s presidential debates.  What does this mean?  Read the rest of this entry »

Just about everyone involved in a real estate transaction these days has good reason to smile.

October 1st, 2012
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Home values are rising, rates are dropping, and the number of foreclosures is steadily decreasing. Builders have seen a dramatic uptick in the number of purchase agreements for new homes and buyers are getting the lowest rates in history.

According to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, in the Metro area there was a 6% increase in home sales for August 2012 over 2011; and an 11.5% increase in the median price of a home for the same month this year over last. Pending sales for the month of August are up 19.5% over last year. Read the rest of this entry »