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Which Designation Matters Most? - 03/31/12 08:36 PM
NAR, The National Association of Realtors®, provides many programs and services that assist members in increasing skills, proficiency, and knowledge. Designations and certifications are an opportunity to both display to clients what you've accomplished as well as expand your own experience and skillset. So, with a finite amount of time to grow your business and an alphabet soup of designations, including: ABR, CCIM, CIPS, CPM, CRS, CRE, GREEN, GRI, SIOR, SRES, e-PRO, RSPS, SRF, etc, which designation matters most in your business? And, Why does that designation matter or what has it made available to you for achieving success? Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal (4 comments)
WoodLawn Is Not Hyde Park - 03/30/12 04:12 PM
For those that are not familiar with the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Chicago, the neighborhood that UofC is located in is called Hyde Park. The neighborhood directly to the south of the university is called Woodlawn and to the east of that area is Jackson Park Highland and then South Shore to the south. In the landrush that was 2003 to 2007, many Chicagoans branched out to identify nice housing in peripheral areas at better prices than 'hot' area prices. Woodlawn was definitely a beneficiary of the migration 'around' Hyde Park as prices rose like a jet-fueled rocket. From gut-rehabbed (3 comments)
6 Secure Jobs - Surprise, Nothing Real Estate Related - 03/29/12 08:06 PM
Lori Michelle Ryan recently put out an article about 6 secure jobs based on Laurence Shatkin's new book, ""150 Best Jobs for a Secure Future". In the book, she summarizes Mr. Shatkin's top 6 secure jobs. Given that security was the basis for the ranking, it shouldn't be surprising that nothing Real Estate related made the list...or should it? "During tough economic times, workers experience multiple levels of stress related to layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and a myriad of other issues. Most employees just want to ensure their jobs are secure," said Lori Michelle Ryan. "During economic downturns, these fields tend (6 comments)
Avoiding Deal Death With 3 Actions - 03/28/12 06:35 PM
As unexpected 'Spring-like' weather is penetrating the Midwest, many are wondering, How Do I Avoid A Lender Killing My Deal. Although a couple weeks ago this topic was brought up by a Realtor client who was struggling to keep their deal in life-support and out of cardiac-arrest, the post is being brought back to life and reincarnated
Just this past week, we've had conversations with 3 successful Realtors in the Chicagoland market who have experienced recent transactions coming to an early death due to lender requirements, some of which involve appraisals. One agent who asked that he not be quoted (2 comments)
Zillow Forecast Points Downward - 03/27/12 05:29 PM
Last week, Zillow said the 100 economists it polls for its quarterly survey on the real estate market had revised downward their expectations for home prices this year. Nationally, home prices are forecasted to drop 0.7% in 2012 which is more than the 0.2% predicted at the end of 2011. For 2013, home prices nationally are forecasted to increase 1.4%, which was a revision downward from the 1.8% forecasted by economists when they were surveyed at the end of 2011 regarding future outlook. Only time will tell... Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy (6 comments)
Sale Prices Decline In Northern Illinois - 03/26/12 06:29 PM
Based on information reported last week about sales prices in Northern Illinois, some counties experienced bigger drops in prices than others. The median selling price last month dropped almost 16% in Lake County and 13.7% in McHenry County from year-earlier comparisons. In Cook County, sales rose 9.5%, to 2,441 homes sold but the median price of $125,000 was down 12% from a year earlier. So, volume rose but prices fell. Economics 101. Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy
Evanston Shows Housing Strength, Chicago Doesn't - 03/25/12 05:14 PM
Even when the general media is reporting less than exciting news, that doesn't mean some pockets of strength do not exist. Take Evanston for instance, a relatively small area just north of Chicago, right along Lake Michigan that appears to have hit bottom sooner than Chicago and has been rebounding faster. Granted, Chicago is much larger than Evanston and is much more diverse, but averages are averages and a decent basis for comparison.
As shown below, the Lakeshore sub-market of Evanston, which is just south of Northwestern University, is even stronger and more desirable than the Evanston market at large....actually (0 comments)
Economics 101: Prices Down, Sales Up - 03/24/12 02:46 PM
Granted, it has been a while since I last sat in an economics class, but I faintly recall one or two principles of economics. When prices goes down, buyers typically show up. This past week in Chicago, it was announced that the median selling price dropped 13.5% to $165,000 from $190,750 as 607 condominiums were sold last month and that was a 4.3% increase in volume from a year earlier. Also announced last week in Chicago, the median sales price was basically unchanged having only dropped 0.5% and no surprise, there was little to no increase in the number of homes (2 comments)
Illinois back in Top 10; This time for Shadow Inventory - 03/24/12 10:28 AM
But wait, there's more.....housing data that is. CoreLogic estimates that for every two homes for sale across the country, there is one in shadow inventory. They're defining a shadow inventory as a distressed property that is not listed for sale. Furthermore, three states -- Illinois, Florida and California -- account for more than half the 1.6 million homes in the nation's shadow inventory. So, there you have it, once again, Illinois is ranking in the top 10 of a category that it really wishes it wasn't in. Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy (0 comments)
Computers Can't Call Clients, Only You Can! - 03/23/12 08:15 PM
Computers Can't Call Clients, Only You Can! Your computer (and the internet) can allow you to do an awful lot of things, but your computer can't call and connect with your client. Calling and Connecting Counts! Client Reactivation - Your voice and your personalized message via the telephone let your past clientele know that you care about them. A simple phone call shows that you care in a way that an email or a post card cannot. Client Tracking - Yes, a reminder email or an email marketing campaign can prompt a client but calling nd re-establishing your presence yields information (5 comments)
Is The CDPE Worth It? - 03/22/12 03:00 AM
Hearing one Realtor mention in conversation that they recently completed the CDPE education program, I asked them, "Is the CDPE Worth it?" For those that may not be familiar with the acronym CDPE, it stands for Certified Distressed Property Expert and is offered by the Charfen Institute, an idea conceived by Alex Charfen. As indicated on their website, "A Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) has a thorough understanding of complex issues in today’s turbulent real estate industry and knowledge of foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners. CDPEs can provide solutions, specifically short sales, for homeowners facing market hardships. Homeowners regularly proceed (1 comments)
Young and Indebted - 03/21/12 04:13 PM
Being young doesn't mean you're debt free! Americans in their 20s on average are carrying debt loads of $45,000, according to a survey released Monday by PNC. In its first PNC Financial Independence Survey, the financial services company found that, at different stages in their 20s, individuals might owe from $12,000 to $78,000. So what accounts for all that debt? Education loans were the most frequently reported type of debt. Then, you guessed it, followed next by credit card, car loans and mortgages. The survey noted that the debt burden could get heavier quite quickly. The interest rate for the U.S. (5 comments)
FHFA Says Illinois Is Third From Last - 03/20/12 09:13 PM
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says that Illinois ranked third behind Florida and California for the most home mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were seriously delinquent or already in foreclosure at the end of 2011. According to their report issued Monday, Illinois has 74,028 mortgages that were at least 90 days past due or in foreclosure. This represents 5.3% of all residential mortgages backed in Illinois by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Furthermore, 42,000 were delinquent for at least a year. Another 12,471 homes were bank-owned at the end of last year.The FHFA report noted that nationally, (0 comments)
Shrinkage Could Shift To Enlargement - 03/19/12 08:09 PM
The incredibly shrinking house could shift towards enlargement as millenials move out and get an apartment, or better yet, a house, and homeowner sentiment begins to climb out of the doldrums. A 2011 survey by the National Association of Home Builders showed that average construction costs for a single-family home declined to $184,125 from $222,511 in 2009, mostly because the finished area of homes had declined, to about 2,300 square feet from 2,700 square feet. On an price per square foot basis, the cost is nearly unchanged, from $82/SF vs $80/SF. So basically the whole drop in house price was attribule (0 comments)
21% of 2011 Illinois Housing Sales were Foreclosures - 03/18/12 05:49 PM
According to RealtyTrac, more than 26 percent of all Illinois home sales in the fourth quarter 2011 were bank-owned or in some stage of foreclosure. Hence, distressed real estate sales were still a noticeable piece of the real estate action. According to data from Irvine, Calif.-based firm, there were 7,537 foreclosure-related sales in Illinois during the fourth quarter. That period was an increase of 15.3% over the prior quarter 2011 and 21.8% increase from the fourth quarter of 2010. Nationwide, sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned accounted for nearly one quarter (approximately 24%) of all fourth-quarter sales. (0 comments)
Just this past week, we've had conversations with 3 successful Realtors in the Chicagoland market who have experienced recent transactions coming to an early death due to lender requirements, some of which involve appraisals. One agent who asked that he not be quoted said, "I had a good contract for my seller on a condominium which was listed for about 15 days and we received an offer over list price, but there were no other sales in the building for (0 comments)
Some More Good Foreclosure News - 03/15/12 05:00 PM
According to the National Foreclosure Report issued by Corelogic indicated that foreclosure activity improved in January 2012 compared to a year ago. The number of completed foreclosures fell 13% year-over-year in January. This decline has been seen by many market pundits as an overall drop in default activity. Specifically, there were 69,000 completed foreclosures in January 2012, up from 65,000 in December and down from 80,000 last year. Furthermore, our country had 1.4 million homes, or 3.3% of all homes, in foreclosure inventory during January. According to an article in Housingwire.com, " States with the highest foreclosure rates included Florida (11.8% (0 comments)
What IF Appraisers Had To Go To 'Law School'? - 03/14/12 09:18 PM
Always interesting what topics come up when you get several people from the same industry together for dinner and drinks. This evening, at the conclusion of a day of advanced education (not to be confused with continuing education), the instructed invited all of the out-of-town real estate appraisers to get together for dinner. For those who haven't been to Chicago, this is a nice informal get together and opportunity to get away from the week-long classroom days of advanced education topics being held this week in Chicago which can make minced meat out of your brain. In the course of dinner, (1 comments)
Chicago Jobs Foreshadow Growth - 03/13/12 04:30 PM
Based on a survey completed by Manpower Inc., Chicago employers plan to hire more workers or at least not reduce current staffing levels for the second quarter 2012. Manpower interviewed 140 Chicago-area companies and found that in the period from April through June: • 19 percent said they will hire more employees. • 8 percent plan to reduce payroll. • 71 percent plan to maintain their current staff levels. • 2 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. Crain's Chicago Business reported that "Those numbers yield a net employment outlook of 11 percent. That compares to the first quarter of (1 comments)
Mortgage Write-Downs Targeted At $10 Billion - 03/12/12 06:39 PM
In case you didn't hear the news, those in need may finally be getting some relief. As noted in a recent housingwire.com article, "The attorney generals and the Justice Department, as well as the Obama administration officials want the principal reductions to happen sooner rather than later. And they built in the higher incentives to urge the servicers to cooperate." In regards to the top five servicers, there is a commitment to achieve $10 billion in principal reduction credits under the agreement.
Why is this important? Because there are 11.1 million underwater borrowers in the fourth quarter, which is up (0 comments)
What IF There's 10% Further To Fall? - 03/11/12 09:32 PM
Yesterday, I noted that Fitch Rating's Sustainable Home Price (SHP) model indicates further declines in home prices. "The agency revised its Sustainable Home Price (SHP) model to fall an additional 9.1% nationally before arriving at a level that is supported by market fundamentals," noted an article in Default Servicing News. Indeed this is not good news and even could spell a disastrous increase in short sales and strategic defaults...but I'm just speculating at this point.
If Fitch is right, what do you think will happen?
Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy (3 comments)
Fitch Ratings Says 9.1% Decline Still To Come For Housing Market - 03/10/12 07:15 PM
Fitch Rating's Sustainable Home Price (SHP) model indicates further declines in home prices. "The agency has revised its Sustainable Home Price (SHP) model which show that residential property values are now on track to fall an additional 9.1% nationally before arriving at a level that is supported by market fundamentals," noted an article in Default Servicing News. Contrary to many belief's of the prosperity preachers, Fitch stresses that it is still a long and difficult road ahead to get back to pre-recession levels. Fitch notes that home prices are falling nationally. Home price movement in some regional markets is still quite (2 comments)
Is It A Stop Sign Or A Coast Sign? - 03/10/12 01:25 PM
Unfortunately, it should not come as a surprise in today's time-starved world, but nonetheless it did. I learned today that this is not a Stop sign.
It is more commonly known as a Coast sign. Yes, that is right. In Chicago, they have renamed these lovely red with white trim signs to Coast signs. Granted, I don't suspect Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is going to make an announcement any time soon, but be forewarned. Next time you see a car approaching an intersection with one of these Red with White trim 'Coast' signs, you'll know that they there almost zero probability (0 comments)
Is That A Pedestrian Crosswalk Or A Hit And Run Waiting To Happen? - 03/09/12 06:52 AM
Everyone has seen those pretty white and yellow lines painted at intersections that are generally accompanied by a white, yellow or orange flashing signal for pedestrians to pass to the other side of the street. Real estate professionals spend a disproportionate amount of their time in the car traveling between appointments....so they are more aware of those 'painted lines' at traffic intersections. Have you noticed that those pretty white and yellow lines at a traffic intersection are not painted in the shape of a bulls-eye? Unfortunately, in some cities it seems that drivers do see it that way.
Take for (3 comments)
Crosswalks Are Not Treated Equally - 03/07/12 08:22 PM
Just when you thought that similar things should be treated the same, I found that it isn't the case when it comes to crosswalks. Yes, those darling white lines painted at intersections for pedestrians passing from one side of the street to another are not considered equal. Take for instance Chicago. For anyone who has walked across a street in Chicago, you know that drivers do not regulalry slow down to grant pedestrian right of way. Of course, I'm not talking about what the Rules of the Road say you should do, I'm talking about what is commonplace amongst drivers. In (3 comments)
Gen X 50% Underwater - 03/06/12 08:21 PM
"Gen-X parents appear less interested in having it all. Instead of trying to fit a family into their work life, they are more likely to try to fit work into their family life," James Chung, of Reach Advisors, a New York-based strategy and research firm focused on emerging shifts in the consumer landscape. While wealthy boomers might brag about how much they paid for something, Gen-X likes to talk about how much they saved. As stated in Hemispheres magazine this month, "The emphasis on hearth and home may come from what little of it Gen-Xers found in their own childhood years. (2 comments)
YOU can have Michael Jordan's #23 Estate For $29MM - 03/03/12 10:25 AM
Obviously this is not your everyday listing, but then again, Michael Jordan was not your everyday NBA player. Earlier this week, famous #23 listed his mansion in Highland Park, Illinois for $29 million. For those few who need a refresher, MJ, as he was affectionately known in Chicago, led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles, was the league MVP 5 times. a 10-time All-NBA First Team (1987-93, 1996-98); All-NBA Second Team (1985); Defensive Player of the Year (1988); Nine-time All-Defensive First Team (1988-93, 1996-98); Rookie of the Year (1985); 14-time All-Star; All-Star MVP (1988, '96, '98); One of 50 Greatest (0 comments)
Fannie Mae REO inventory drops 27% in 2011 - 03/02/12 07:51 AM
Year-end inventory of foreclosed residences held by FNMA (Fannie Mae) dropped for the first time in since the great housing recession of the 21st century. In 2011, REO inventory dropped 27% to approximately 118,500. Given that 23% of the REO inventory held by Fannie Mae is located in California, followed by Florida at 11.5%, this is definitely a good sign, provided new foreclosure filings and repossessions don't ramp back up the REO inventory levels.
Also of note, Fannie Mae SOLD more REOs than it took in. More specifically, the report indicated that in 2011, Fannie Mae acquired nearly 200,000 properties (1 comments)
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