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Alan May, Evanston, IL REALTOR® has illustrated the plight of a fair number of folks who have had their homes listed but not sold. Although his mythical home non-seller may be a little extreme, even almost best doesn't count when you want to sell your home. You have to be positioned as the best priced home in the best condition. Second place gets you another day on the market.
Via Alan May, Coldwell Banker Evanston, Illinois Realtor® (Chicago's Northern Suburbs): "Why, oh Why" you ask "is my house still unsold?" Well, Mr. & Mrs. Seller, there are many reasons. REASON (3 comments)
Mike-Calendar Index -- Triple Dip Is Indicated - 05/31/11 10:47 AM
The numbers are in and have been analyzed and verified. We are about to enter a triple dip for 2011. After starting the year with a strong January, we dropped 9.68% upon entering the dreaded February. Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, Washington's Birthday, and lots of snow were not enough to alter the fate of 2011. February was down 9.68% from January. Yes, February had only 28 days compared to January's 31. A strong March with a 10.71% gain on February and its 31 days looked like the recovery was at hand. But, April arrived and the unquestionable evidence of a double (0 comments)
The Bankerment is chasing its tail - 05/30/11 05:51 PM
The housing market doesn't seem any better today than it was a couple years ago. As a matter of fact, I think things are getting worse. There have always been, and there will continue to be families who have unexpected hardships. Whether medical, business, or domestic, things tend to happen. In the good old days, most people who suddenly found themselves unable to keep up with payments simply sold their homes and started over. There were always homeowners who lost their homes through foreclosure, but it was a relatively uncommon occurrence. With today's continuing drop in home values, an ever-increasing number (5 comments)
Are we now a nation of renters? - 05/29/11 01:05 PM
In an excellent post yesterday, Bryan Robertson made a convincing argument in favor of higher downpayments as the way to improve lending standards. His conclusion was that Americans have to decide between putting their money into homes or other things. I agree with Bryan's conclusions, but I fear that the American Dream has evolved to the point where home ownership may no longer be a priority. Many Americans have already made their decision between owning a home and having stuff, and it is evidenced by looking in their driveways. More important to Americans than their homes are/were the toys, most of (3 comments)
The Snow in Minnesota Should Be Gone Soon - 05/27/11 06:54 PM
There is a good chance that Minnesota will be snow-free before July. It doesn't look like we'll make it before June though. Like many other parts of the country, we have had an especially snowy winter followed by an especially wet spring. If you're waiting for the snow to melt before starting to shop for a new sidewalk to shovel, it's time to start planning your shopping strategy. The same bad weather that may have kept folks from buying a home has made sellers even more nervous. Many renters who delayed making a decision for independence from the landlord this (3 comments)
Move Your Business to Minnesota - 05/26/11 01:21 PM
Many corporations find themselves questioning whether their current location is beneficial to the sustenance of their business. Moving the company to a state with a healthier business climate is not unlike a family moving to a new home. Considerations like cost, location, educational opportunities, and the neighborhood are part of the decision. While no location is going to be number one in all aspects, there should be a preponderance of attributes favoring the final decision. Minnesota deserves a serious look for anybody thinking about moving the store. Consider the following: Strategic location. Yes, Minnesota is part of Flyover country. Fact is, (4 comments)
Freedom Days in Apple Valley - 05/26/11 12:14 PM
Said to be one of Minnesota's largest and most respected, the Apple Valley July 4 parade begins at 1PM. It will follow the traditinal route along Pennock Avenue to 145th Street, and west to Apple Valley High School. This is just one of the many community activities that contribute to making Apple Valley a great place to live, work, and play over its forty year history. (0 comments)
Happy 90th Birthday to my Dad - 05/25/11 05:52 PM
If I have any sales genes, they came from my father who was in the life insurance business from 1950 until just a few years ago. Edward Carlier Senior celebrates his 90th birthday today. He lives in Venice, FL, and it wasn't possible to be there today to help him celebrate. I called to wish him a happy birthday and no answer. After waiting a couple hours, I called again and he was home. He had been out running when I placed the first call. He ran four miles today, just a little more than the usual three that he runs (6 comments)
The mayonaise that binds the GOP salad - 05/24/11 12:08 PM
Yesterday marked the official entry of another obscure ingredient in the race for the right to lose the 2012 election for president. Regardless of affiliation, many agree that the Republican candidate in 2012 will be a symbolic honor. It will be little more than a notch in someones resume when they re-enter the job market the day after the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of next year. With notable lack of fanfare, Tim Pawlenty threw is stocking cap into the ring yesterday. He hit the ground walking, as he tried his best to give an inspirng speech to (5 comments)
Buyers ask, "When should I buy?" - 05/23/11 12:53 PM
There are a few fortunate folks who are able to buy a home today, but they're not convinced that this is the best time. Many of them are ready to declare independence from the dictator who is affectionately known to them as Mr. Landlord. They want a yard and another bedroom and a dog. They wish they had some control over what they can do to the place they call home. They might want to paint the walls colors that scream independence. Other folks still have some equity in the home that they own, but it's lost a lot of value. (0 comments)
Why Some Agents Focus On Everything But Thier Own Business - 05/22/11 01:07 PM
This agent has responded to the public exposure of his errors with some criticism of the folks discontent with his uncredited borrowing of other agents' creative work. He seems a little bitter, but he is now writing some original stuff. Matthew, welcome to the world of creative blogging! Given the possibility that my comments to his post may get lost in the mail, it is repeated here: "Matthew, when you see something that drags your profession's already tarnished image down further, it becomes an obligation to call out the offender. I'm glad to see that you have finally posted something original (3 comments)
Minnesota Legislative Update (very short) - 05/22/11 11:23 AM
The Minnesota legislature has a huge task to avoid again this year. The budget must be balanced with no carry over deficit. This is mandated by the state constitution. Also mandated is that the session will end tomorrow. There is a sense of urgency and a unified purpose among the folks chosen to represent the people of Minnesota. Well, not really. Yesterday, the most prominent item on the agenda was passing a requirement for a constitutional referendum on gay marriage. Some folks feel that it's important that gay marriage is made illegal in Minnesota, hence the importance of this referendum. One (2 comments)
Is beer a good investment? - 05/20/11 04:29 PM
I just read an article in Motley Fool by Matt Koppenheffer, a staff member who has some credentials as a stock picking investor. The closest listed qualification relative to housing or real estate on his Motley Fool profile is that he once caulked windows. OK, he once served pizzas, maybe delivering them to houses? The article, Attention America, We Are Terrible Homebuyers, Koppenheffer explains why stock is a better investment than a home, and why it's important to look at the potential profit or loss when you buy a home. The self-proclaimed expert on housing has somehow come to the conclusion (0 comments)
Does anyone understand health care pricing? - 05/19/11 01:20 PM
One of the challenges to all self-employed persons is the high price of health insurance and health care. The alleged health care reform brought to us by our federal government is really a health insurance mandate, requiring just about everyone to contribute to the sometimes bigger than banks health insurance providers. While giving a boost to the health insurance companies in the form of additional customers, the plan did nothing to address the prices charges by actual providers. Pricing in the medical business makes airline fare pricing seem simple. My last trip to the clinic was partially covered by insurance. Apparently, (1 comments)
Fish without a license in Minnesota - 05/17/11 11:32 AM
The weekend of June 10-12 is designated as Take-A-Kid-Fishing weekend. As long as you're accompanied by someone age 15 or under, no license is needed on those three days. This is an annual program that is an opportunity for folks who are not already hooked on fishing to introduce themselves and their kids to the sport. There are loads of places in Minnesota to fish, and many opportunities to fish without a boat and without burning hardly any gas to get there. In Apple Valley, there are four lakes with public shore fishing or pier access. Lakes Keller, Farquar, Alimagnet, and (6 comments)
Just because there's a 50 foot wall of water headed for us doesn't mean we will drown? - 05/16/11 08:11 PM
Other than a few blind folks supplemented with rose colored glasses, we all know that the housing industry is not in a good way. Yes, there are a few investors and builders putting up apartment cocoons for the previous homeowners, but that's not a sign of progress. There are a couple problems that are being vaguely addressed by government, and a few more being ignored. The programs to "keep people in their homes" are working very well to provide free property managers for shadow inventory while banks move the vacant stuff. That is helping the banks a little, but nobody will (0 comments)
Turn $1,000 into a million in fourteen months - 05/15/11 12:08 PM
Sunday television is all about religion. It begins with early morning spiritual programming, and later political programming that is enough to make an atheist pray that none of them will be (re)elected. Of course, we all know that someone has to win, and the winner will be bad out of the gate, or (s)he will eventually learn the trade. It's enough to consider voting for the world's worst candidate, whoever that may be. Ultimately, they all turn out the same anyway. Now, here's the potential investment idea that follows from data presented today on one of the political programs. It seems (4 comments)
Minnesota Legislature is tackling the important issues? - 05/14/11 12:02 PM
With nine days remaining in the 2011 legislative session, our representatives are really busy prioritizing their workload. In an effort to get down to the wire, when they can use a few accounting tricks to shove the budget deficit into another year, a Minnesota senate committee senate passed a new bill of momentous importance. If it becomes law, the bill will allow Lutsen ski resort to run the Poplar River dry if needed to supplement the 114 inch annual snowfall with artificial snowmaking. As reported by KSTP news reporter, Leslie Rolander, the bill will now move to the full senate for (2 comments)
It's not what we say... - 05/12/11 09:58 PM
This came to me via a Facebook friend with sense and sensitivity that I can admire but never equal. I would like to comment on the clip, but I don't think I have anything worthwhile that could possibly add to it.
Buying your first home is not something to rush into - 05/12/11 09:26 PM
Are you thinking about declaring your independence from your landlord and buying your own home? It's probably a wise decision, but not one that should be made in haste. Do your homework and plan thoroughly. You're likely to never make a single financial commitment as large as your home purchase. My home buyers' orientation and strategy session is a good way to begin your buying journey. It's a personal planning session conducted in my Eagan office. It takes between one and two hours, and it's free. We cover the basics like how to use the internet to narrow your choices, some (0 comments)
How's Your Landlord? - 05/11/11 04:54 PM
It's been a while since I posted anything about one of my favorite people, your landlord. You know, the guy who just raised your rent and scolded you for not following all his rules. Landlords are renters' favorite people, I guess. They must be your favorite, because you're making their mortgage payment for them. And, yes, there is probably a huge tax deduction for the interest on the mortgage. And, no it's not your deduction, it's your landlord's. You make the payment and he gets the deduction. Your landlord is happy this month, because the rent increases are helping him pay (0 comments)
It's Groundhog Day in the Minnesota Capitol - 05/10/11 04:19 PM
This is not news, at least it's not any different than any other May in Minnesota. I guess it's unnews. The legislature is mandated to end its session at the same time each year. In 2011, the annual meeting of the dolittles will end on May 23. As tradition has it, they are still in the name calling stage, and they have already taken a brief recess to go to their individual cabins and put their docks in the water. In another week, the elected officials will take on an additional role of slopping together another stopgap budget. They will do (0 comments)
Deciding to buy a home is not a financial decision - 05/09/11 11:25 AM
Much of the media and public attention to housing is focused on economics and the economic health of the industry. The by-product of the spewing of sometimes questionable data is that influences some folks' home buying decisions. They are making a decision to correct a lifestyle deficiency based on whether some home builder had a good year, or if banks have sold more foreclosed property last month. They hear that home values are going up or down, mostly down. They are concerned that buying a home today may not be a good investment. Unless you are a professional landlord or house (5 comments)
BOA's new short sale addendum - 05/07/11 11:46 AM
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about an alert sent to me by Nash Law Firm in which a required addendum from Wells Fargo creates a fiduciary duty of both listing and selling agents to the bank. Yesterday I received an update that indicates Wells is backing off from their position, sort of. Read the update here: UPDATE ON WELLS FARGO It seems that Wells claims the required short sale addendum is no longer being used. According to Nash, however, the Wells staff has not yet gotten the message. Bank of America has a similar addendum, and they have not indicated (0 comments)
Housing industry needs our help - 05/05/11 09:49 AM
As principal components of the housing industry, we have to share some of the responsibility to bring it out of depression. A couple years ago, the national association publicly recognized the reality that ignoring it was no longer an option. Many of us have been critical of the press for reporting the dismal facts about the lack of housing performance and the continued lack of buying activity. Collectively, we continue to wish away the fact that housing is depressed and going nowhere in the next several years or more. The media is not reporting good news about housing because the only (2 comments)
Can you suggest any innovative solutions to the housing depression? - 05/04/11 12:02 PM
For the last few days, I have posted several of my ideas for getting the American housing and lending industry to a reasonable level of robustness. My belief is that the number of first time buyers is limited, and that it will take a return to the market of owner occupants buying homes from other owner occupants to supplement the ranks of the current buyers. Without move up and downsizing buyers, the market will continue at its current low energy pace. As the housing market goes, so is likely the direction of the general economy. My suggestions included portable debt, incentives (0 comments)
Jay Beckingham, a Florida lender with years of experience and insight, has come up with another great out of the box idea that could help the housing and lending industries dig out of the hole of stagnation that has challenged the American economy for too many years. If you agree with him, if you like his idea, tell someone about it. Start with your government representatives and don't stop until somebody listens.
Via Jay Beckingham (Southwest Funding): I'm known to be the master of the obvious. We're missing a traditional part of our market. that being those sellers who became (1 comments)
Lenders, allow 100% plus LTV? Why not, you already are? - 05/03/11 03:45 PM
My post yesterday concerned the lack of improvement in the housing industry and what it will take to get America back to normal. The market today is dominated by investors and first time buyers, and that's not enough to support recovery. Yesterday, I suggested that underwater homeowners probably hold the key to substantial recovery. Somehow, underwater homeowners must become part of the housing market. Right now, only those who choose to walk away are contributing by adding to rental demand, and thus creating further demand for investment property. The rest are immobilized, and will remain where they are for a decade (2 comments)
Owner occupants buying homes from owner occupants - 05/02/11 11:32 AM
Yesterday, I wrote of the lingering stagnation of our housing industry. Much of the housing depression will continue until demographics change, but much can be done to raise the industry before then. We are in the midst of an unemployment level that just doesn't seem to want to improve. It is caused partly by the housing depression, especially the construction sector. To some extent, the unemployment problem is caused by the housing problem which is caused by the unemployment problem. Just like a four-way yield intersection, both seem to wait for the other to improve. The industry will not make significant (5 comments)
The best home listings in Apple Valley sell fast - 05/01/11 02:12 PM
According to data supplied by Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc., there are currently 315 homes listed for sale in Apple Valley. In the month of April, 65 offers were accepted, a quarter of which were listed the same month. Apple Valley has a good inventory of affordable homes for sale, and the best listings don't last very long. The unbest can endure months and years with the owner mowing around a for sale sign. My advice to potential sellers is to prepare and price your home for maximum attractiveness and quick sale. Don't price your home to leave room (1 comments)
The future of housing is still on hold - 05/01/11 09:23 AM
For a few years, we have been bombarded with statistics and opinions on the state of the housing industry. Look back a couple years and try to notice the difference. There are a few cosmetic changes, and a few substantive ones too. They all seem lumped into one small pile. It is easier to sell distressed property today than it was in 2009. Many banks have figured out that they need to make at least minimal changes to repossessed homes in order to get a higher sale price. It may be a little easier now than in 2009 for owners on (1 comments)
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