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The Glue That Holds Your Social Network Together? It's Not Your Blog; It's Your Database, and What You Do With It. - 10/31/08 12:57 AM
A Xerox sales executive stopped in unannounced yesterday. I'm not in the market, but I offered him a cold bottle of water and my sympathy. Anyone trying to sell capital equipment to mortgage brokers in this market deserves some sympathy. I rarely turn away someone who's trying to sell me something. Successful salespeople in any industry--yours included--know a lot of people. I try to remember that it's not about me. It's about them. It's about who they know that I'd like to know. Case in point is the young fellow on the right. Donte' Ormsby (12 years later) is my web (23 comments)
Golf Fundraiser Honors Amphi Panthers' HS Coach at Tucson's Westin La Paloma Resort - 10/29/08 11:04 PM
Vern Friedli coaches winners. There's no other way to explain it. That's the coach on the left, honoring Jon Volpe of Nova Home Loans. Like many in the room last Friday, Jon played football for Coach Friedli. If you're in the mortgage business, you'll recognize Jon as the #1 loan originator in the nation three years running. He's a winner, and he credits his coach. The room was packed with winners! At lunch, I had the privelege of sitting next to Mike Bates, bronze medalist (1992 Olympics) in the 200 meter event. He went on to become an All Pro kick (8 comments)
It was Sunday afternoon, and I was driving home from a child's birthday party. As I turned the corner by Chase Bank, here was a group of people protesting the way the bailout has gone. If you subscribe to my blog, you know that I opposed the bill that authorized more than $700 Billion dollars to "rescue" the economy. Nothing in that bill required the banks who got the money to put it back in circulation. The result is that while 2,500 mortgage holders (families, investors, speculators--the lot) are being foreclosed each week, the "rescue" money is being used (19 comments)
"Your past and your future belong solely to you whether you take responsibility for them or not." Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads - 10/27/08 01:42 PM
It's the opposite of the entitlement mentality. It's pure capitalism, and the opposite of socialism. It's the philosophy of personal responsibility. You'll see it encapsulated in the bumper sticker: If it's to be, it's up to me. I love the convenience of Google! The closer we get to this election, the more I find myself googling the founding fathers of the United States of America, and reading what they envisioned for their experiment in democracy. It wasn't an experiment in social sameness. That came later, in the twentieth century. The dove is not the symbol of our nation, nor is our national (13 comments)
Will International Events Trump a Stabilizing Economy in the Election? - 10/27/08 01:13 AM
Banks aren't lending the $700 Billion from the Fed. They're using it to buy up other banks, so mortgage rates won't move much in the next week approaching the election. The biggest stabilizing effect comes from the price of oil, down tonight in the futures market to less than $64. Who would have believed this a month ago? The US Treasury's 10 year bond closed on Friday with a yield of 3.65%. (Yield goes lower when demand is high.) Compare that with the yields in the Bloomberg chart on the left. What does that mean? It means that worldwide, the (15 comments)
What Me Worry? I'm Going To Have A Great Day! Let's Do That Together in the Rain. - 10/24/08 07:58 AM
The DOW futures are down the limit before the open--more than six percent. General Motors is saying that bankruptcy is not an option for that venerable company. Right! The Wall Street Journal is predicting a bloodbath in the markets. I won't let it matter in the course of my day! Okay, call me a Pollyanna, but I'm telling you that the most important thing in my life this morning is my mindset! We choose to act or react. Choose to act today. We choose to be optimistic or pessimistic. Choose to be optimistic. We choose the things we think about. Focus your (36 comments)
Do You Have a VA Loan on Your Home? Refinance is Now Allowed to Purchase Loan Limits! - 10/24/08 12:11 AM
Here's what it says today on the United States Department of Veteran Affairs website: "On October 10, 2008, the President signed S 3023, the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008. The maximum guaranty for cash-out refinance loans has been made the same as purchase loans - they are no longer limited to $36,000. In addition, cash-out refinance loans may now be made up to 100% of the appraised value of the home." If you thought that you were stuck, and that a cash-out refinance wasn't available to you, this is great news for you. Click my profile link below for my (9 comments)
What's Working Now? VA Loans for Purchases in Tucson. - 10/23/08 11:55 PM
VA Loans are the hot thing for buyers in and around military bases like the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base here in Tucson. Prices for homes are very, very affordable right now, and rates are down! And VA Loans just got better! On October 10, 2008, the President signed S 3023, the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008. Click HERE to check out the improvements. Are you a veteran? Have you been assigned to DM? Are you making your landlord rich by making his/her mortgage payment each month? Call me to schedule some time to talk. No pressure, just straight talk. You'll (2 comments)
Buy My '51 Woody for $110,000 and I'll Throw In My Timeshare in Kauai, HI - 10/20/08 02:28 PM
The Rotary Club of Tucson sponsored it's second annual Tucson Classics Car Show. My friend Bob Shaff, past president of the club, got me involved last year. I particularly like the old "woody" cars, and that's what I was looking for when I found Frank Kalbaugh. That's him on the right, standing in front of his 1951 Mercury Woody. Frank is a real estate broker who knows how to put a deal together. The little sign on the back window next to Frank's right elbow announced that the car is for sale, and I just had to ask!
The answer? (25 comments)
Unique Photos for Listing Agents: Hire an Aerial Photographer on the Cheap: 2 of 2 - 10/17/08 11:38 PM
Part 1 explained how Aerial Kite Photography is done. Part 2 is about the usefulness of aerial photography, and the answer to the question all of you are asking: "How much does it cost?" (Not much. We'll get to that in a moment.) This is the photographer's home on the eastern flank of the Tucson Mountain range, and a perfect illustration for this post because it's for sale. Look how much you can learn about the property from the aerial views in combination with elevation shots like the one below. Here's the thing: elevation photos don't show much about the property itself. Every (26 comments)
Call To Action: Call Your Congressman and Demand Disclosure with the Bailout Dollars - 10/17/08 07:25 AM
So you've never called, written or emailed your congressman? If you want the real estate market to open up again, you'd better change that habit. Congress responds to pressure at a local level. So far, the bailout plan lacks the same transparency that sank so many titans on Wall Street. Demand disclosure. Demand transparency. Let them know you're serious about this or it won't happen. If you want a blueprint, let me refer you to an upstate New York organic farmer named Sandy Lewis. Sandy worked on Wall Street for 26 years, from '64 to '90. He's written a fantastic opinion (15 comments)
Now Vs. The Great Depression: No Comparison! Count Your Blessings. - 10/16/08 08:39 AM
Paula Swayne (AR) in Sacramento wrote a post based on a Charles Schwab Co. analysis of today's economy, and she put a link to the Schwab article in her post. (Thanks, Active Rain, for making it so easy to communicate!) I followed the link, and found this chart. We ought to have stuff like this on billboards in every city in the nation! Count your blessings! I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as your Tucson expert. (71 comments)
Unique Photos for Listing Agents: Hire an Aerial Photographer on the Cheap: 1 of 2 - 10/15/08 10:37 PM
My friend Chuck Park is a renaissance man. With a degree in fine arts from the University of Arizona, a career behind him as a Tucson fire fighter, and a new career using a camera and a kite, you might say that Chuck is pretty diversified. Flying is Chuck's thing. The walls of the Tucson home he shares with wife Laural are decorated with his paintings. I particularly like the watercolor paintings of historic aircraft done at the Pima Air Museum. Chuck is an aerial photographer. He works for Pima County, but real estate agents hire him as well. (Pricing IMHO is cheap! (10 comments)
Now More Than Ever--Support Your Referral Partners - 10/14/08 03:44 PM
The joke came by way of the internet, and I have to admit that I laughed. Financial Planner: "A guy whose phone has been disconnected." Cash Flow: "The route your money takes as it disappears down the toilet." Then I got to thinking. My financial planner is a trusted advisor who not only manages my retirement portfolio, but also refers business to me, as I do to him. I wondered "What is he going through right now?" "What can I do to support and reinforce the good relationship we enjoy?" The answer came to mind immediately . I can tell the (40 comments)
It's My Listing, But I Can't Confirm the Price ($55 Million) or My Seller's Name (Jon Winkelried of Goldman Sachs) - 10/11/08 06:59 AM
Goldman Sachs President & COO Jon Winkelried is looking for a buyer for his 5.9 acre Monomoy property on Nantucket Island. The New York Times ran an article yesterday announcing the sale, reporting that "Mr. Winkelried's listing agent confirmed a memo sent to members of the Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers saying that the property was for sale. She would not confirm that Mr. Winkelried was her client." Two paragraphs later in the Times article, I read "The property is being offered for sale privately and isn't being listed with NAREB members..." Okay. I'm confused. He has a listing agent, but this is (6 comments)
Ya Gotta Eat Here! Shea's Cafe' & Bakery in Galloway Township, NJ - 10/10/08 11:16 PM
State Route 9 runs the vertical length of New Jersey. Before there were Interstate Highways, the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike, there was Rt. 9. The New York Road. It runs through some of South Jersey's prettiest countryside. Passing through Galloway Township, north of Ocean City, the New York Rd parallels a now-defunct railway. The restored railway station, however, lives on, and it's home to the best breakfast I've eaten in twenty years. No lie! It's called Shea's Cafe' and Bakery. (Click the link for more info!)
Look carefully at the tripod standing under the overhang. I (8 comments)
I have a problem with US Treasury Secretary Paulson. It's the same problem I have with candidate Barack Obama. For all their lip flapping, neither is the least bit open and transparent. Both seem certain that they know what's good for us, and equally certain that we (the masses) don't know what they know. The lack of transparency in financial risk is the reason no one will buy debt (commercial paper.) Until openness and transparency return to the system, lenders and real estate agents will be sidelined for the most part. It's not the cost of money that's holding us (12 comments)
Please Welcome My Friend Brad Duecker, Old Pueblo Appraisals, to Active Rain! - 10/09/08 02:46 PM
Brad Duecker (pronounced DEE-KER) hates to make cold calls. Don't we all! But he contacted me by email yesterday through Active Rain, and I called him. (I don't mind cold calling.) Brad and I set an appointment for this morning first thing at my office, and by the time we were done enjoying each other's company, Brad had become the newest member of Active Rain! Appraisers have been slow to see the necessity of social networking on the internet, and I'll bet that before tomorrow morning, Brad will be the featured member (Appraisers) for Pima County. He immediately saw the value of (17 comments)
Unintended Consequences: Globally Coordinated Rate Cut Raises Mortgage Rates - 10/08/08 09:41 AM
That's the DOW performance this morning there on the left. News of the globally coordinated cut in interest rates initially propelled the market higher, only to see them fall again. That's usually good for lenders, agents and buyers of real estate. Lower market, lower mortgage rates. Right? Not this time. The banks are raising rates. The 10 year bond yield, which more or less predicts moves in 30 year fixed interest rates (not always) rose this morning as traders began to sell bonds in anticipation that this multi-government "fix" might not work. Here's the reason. This isn't a crisis of fundamentals in (12 comments)
DOW Shills for Jack Daniels. Sometimes You've Just Got To Laugh! - 10/07/08 09:28 PM
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the mix of advertising and news items. You don't suppose the guy in the left with his head in his hands could use a little Jack Daniels, do you? Today started of well enough, with the futures up substantially at the open. So what happened? Another huge insurance company, Met Life, is writing down assets because it invested in... (drum roll please) mortgage backed securities. There's a shocker. Now where's Jack? I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as your Tucson expert. (14 comments)
Out Of Stocks and Into Real Estate? - 10/07/08 08:11 AM
This is an observation. It's not financial advice. I received a loan application from my website (www.mikeintucson.com) yesterday afternoon, and when I called the woman who applied for the purchase loan, she said this: "I'm getting out of the market, and I'm buying a rental property in the University [U of A] district." That's the first blip on my radar of a turn in buyer psychology. I began to comb the internet for data to see what factors push people out of the stock market, and where they go with their money when they leave. The most frequent answer is that money (17 comments)
Global Rate Cuts? What Rate Would Make You Jump In and Buy Real Estate? - 10/07/08 12:20 AM
October 6th, 10:00 p.m. I'm reading the financial blogs. Not the screaming fluff, but blogs with gravitas. (Thought that word was going away, did you? Ha!) Bloomberg. Fox Business News. They're speculating that the $850 Billion spending spree by our Congress won't do the job, and that globally, interest rates are coming down. I have two thoughts about that: Cheap money is no good if banks won't lend it to you. Blood thinning drugs can't help a patient with blocked arteries. Buying anything, and especially real estate, has a psychological component that negates the lure of cheaper money. We humans want to (8 comments)
3012 Massanutten Dr, McGaheysvile, Rockingham County, Virginia - 10/06/08 11:01 PM
Tucson has some magnificent homes. We also have a number of Tucsonans who split their time between the Old Pueblo and Washington, DC. If you're an agent who has the ear of one of these fine folk, here's a listing on the east coast that might interest you and your clients. I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.Think of me as your local expert.
Via Margaret Rome- Baltimore, Md.-HomeRome.com: (7 comments)
Silly Saturday Post with a Lesson: Let Yourself Be Three Again! - 10/04/08 11:49 PM
Grandpa learned a lesson the other night at the boardwalk with 1/10th of the clan of grandkids. Little Darlin' just turned three, and she was sooo excited to visit the boardwalk with "Grandpa Oso." Grandpa Oso was pretty excited himself. None of the little ones live in Arizona, and this was a treat. Little Darlin' was certain that she measured up to that line. She backed up, stood on her tippy toes, and said firmly "Look!" I didn't remember that the amusement park was this big, or that the Ferris Wheel was this high (140') off the ground. LD braved the Ferris (19 comments)
Buying an Investment Property? No One Is Willing to Sell You Mortgage Insurance - 10/03/08 08:00 PM
The REALTOR called me from a cruise ship. Our pre-qualified borrower--who has been waiting months for the market to fit his budget--finally decided to make the plunge and purchase a rental property in Tucson. His FICO score is 780. The buyer is a W-2 employee with more than 16 years on the same job. The asking price for the home he wants to buy is 70% of what he figured he'd have to spend. He planned on buying with 10% down and living with mortgage insurance. The REALTOR was on cloud nine until I told him that the borrower will have to (11 comments)
Unintended Consequences: The $700 Billion Bailout Will Further Depress Housing Prices - 10/03/08 09:30 AM
Think of it like this. You live in a neighborhood of 800 homes. Mr. Paulson buys up 40 of them. There goes the neighborhood! Under the present underwriting guidelines for every lender in the USA, the price paid for each house becomes the new comparable for the other 95% of the homes in your neighborhood. I read this on Bloomberg this morning in an article by Craig Torres and Eric Martin: Officials "have designed a financial bailout plan that is not only misdirected, but may further exacerbate problems in the housing market,'' says Eric Hovde, chief investment officer at Hovde Capital (13 comments)
Watch Out for Bicycles. A Memorial to the Memory of Francisco Sanchez - 10/01/08 10:50 PM
The memorial sits on the corner of 22nd Street just before you get to the railroad tracks. Francisco Sanchez lost his life on September 20th, 2005. With gasoline stubbornly hovering above $3.50 we're seeing more bicycles on the road, and they're not so visible if we're not looking for them. Add to that the habit of some to conduct the day's business on the cellphone while driving, and of others to use time behind the wheel to curl their eyelashes, and it's downright dangerous for bicyclists, especially on roads like 22nd Street in Tucson that have no bike lanes. I was (16 comments)
Please Welcome My Friend Mike Carsten to Active Rain! - 10/01/08 01:25 PM
Mike Carsten is almost a native of Tucson, having moved here from Toledo, Ohio seventeen years ago. (Please leave a comment, and then click the link to go comment on Mike's blog.) Mike is a captain in the Tucson Fire Department, and I've just hired him as a loan officer in my office. He found me on Active Rain! (What a great place this community is!) It turns out that Mike's brother in law is a Rainer as well--Kevin Wood with Realty Executives here in Tucson. I didn't figure that out until after Mike came on board. Some things are just (27 comments)
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