david saks: Disclosure Requirements : What Are They ? - 04/06/08 05:53 AM
We all know that lenders and settlement agents have disclosure obligations.  What are some of them at the time of the loan application and the loan closing.
The Special Information Booklet.
Lenders have to provide of copy of the special informational HUD booklet to every personthey receive or prepare a loan application for. The booklet must be given at the time the application is received or within three days after.
This booklet also provides your borrower with information about settlement costs and explains RESPA, The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act provisions which include an explanation line-by-line of the Uniform … (0 comments)

david saks: Counseling : Providing Clients With Good Advice - 03/30/08 09:23 AM
What does real estate counseling invlove?
Do you provide your clients with competent adivce? Does your advice reflect sound, professional judgement?
How can we counsel our clients to choose among the many alternatives they face?
What do we have to furnish our clients with to make informed decisions?
Many thanks for your thoughts.

david saks: Subdivision and Development : Separate or Related ? - 03/30/08 09:07 AM
It's been said that subdivision is the splitting of a single property into smaller parcels.
It's also been said in the same breath that development will involve the construction of improvements on a parcel of land.
We also know that improvements are made off-site on public lands which include electricity, water and other municipal services.
New homes and their additions with their improvements are made on-site, that is, on individual parcels of land.
We believe that subdivision and development are related, but could they be distinctively different from one another and considered independent processess which must occur apart from each other?
How do … (0 comments)

david saks: Property Management : Whose Responsible ? - 03/30/08 08:45 AM
We know that a property manager is usually a person or company hired to maintain or manage a property on behalf of another, usually the owner.
But when we hire a property manager is the owner actually relieved of the usual day-to-day tasks required to manage a property, such as collecting rents, making repairs, finding new tenants or evicting bad ones, modifying or constructing space for tenants or maintaining the property?
What do we have to insure as owners that our investments are being protected?
Isn't the most fundamental responsibility of the property manager to protect your investment, maximizing your … (6 comments)

david saks: Kemmons Wilson and Me - 03/30/08 08:07 AM
I was sitting here sipping some iced tea and thinking about Kemmons Wilson, you know, the man who started out with a popcorn stand in front of the theater when he he was a kid and went on to become the founder of Holiday Inns in 1953. I was a year old then.
I grew up hearing about Kemmons and his accomplishments, almost daily as a child.
One of the greatest days of my life came when the phone rang, in 1990, and it was Kemmons. He called to congratulate me about a Memphis City Council honor I had just received. Kemmons asked me … (1 comments)

david saks: What Is A Brokerage ? - 03/30/08 07:15 AM
Is a brokerage just the business of bringing people together in a real estate transcaction, or is it more like a business characterized by a high degree of intensity which combines the components of a multi-platformed community into one full service entity?
Seems that the larger a brokerage is the more important training and retaining becomes.
What is the process of becoming a better brokerage?
I think it's understanding the business and all of the intricate processes, some sophisticated, some simple, that are the foundation of it's very existence.

david saks: What Is The Real Estate Business ? - 03/30/08 05:39 AM
Often, when we hear others talking about real estate, and even considering a career, what do they think about?
Do they think about becoming a broker and running their own brokerage?
Do they think about becoming a salesperson and working for a brokerage?
Do they think about becoming an appraiser, mortgage broker or banker, title agent, real estate attorney or what of many other options available allowing them to specialize within our profession?
What is the real estate business to you?
Is it a world revolving around negotiation and transaction all the time?
Is it commercial leasing?
Is it working with … (5 comments)

david saks: Do High Property Taxes Reduce the Risk of Price Decline ? - 03/30/08 05:12 AM
Could it actually be that there is a low risk of home price decline in Chattanooga, or other Tennessee towns and cities, because, like Memphis and Shelby County, they have high property taxes ?
In other words, could high property taxes make it more difficult to stay in step with appreciation and create some unbeknownst condition of equalization?
Other factors such as foreclosure, tax liens, divorce, bankruptcy and crime influence price decline. High property taxes seem to keep prices stable, to a degree.
I'd like to see a nationwide study or moratorium on the impact of ad valorem assessment and … (2 comments)

david saks: TRAPPED - 03/30/08 05:01 AM
The trap has sprung.
When the Fed lowered the lending rate it might have signed a death sentence for the economy. For cash-strapped homeowners, they're worst nightmare could happen. They're going to refinance their mortgages at bargain rates again, thanks to the Fed's beneficence, and think that they can cut their payments in half. Low documentation and low downpayment scams are going to resurface their ugly heads for new borrowers. Those who take the bait are in for a nasty surprise. While many Americans have started to worry about falling home prices, borrowers who jumped into so-called option and hybrid … (4 comments)

david saks: George Washington - REALTOR® ? - 03/30/08 04:42 AM
I wanted to share a letter with you that George Washington sent to his stepson, J.P. Custis
A moments reflection must convince you of two things: first, that lands are of permanent value; that there is scarcely a possibility of their falling in price, but almost a moral certainty of their rising exceedingly in value. And, secondly, that our paper currency is fluctuating, that it has depreciated considerably, and that no human foresight can, with precision, tell how low it may get, as the rise or fall of it depends upon contingencies which the utmost stretch of human sagacity … (4 comments)

david saks: How Would You Invest In Today's Market ? - 03/30/08 03:09 AM
 Hepplewhite Side Cabinet                                                                                                        
When the federal funds rate started to drop, and struck new lows in 2003, we were well into a strong and healthy stock market recovery. The federal funds rate stayed around 1% long enough to set off a boom in low-cost mortgages and in home prices. Home buyers soon discovered that their ordinary paychecks could now buy fabulous homes. People with cash in savings learned their money earned next to nothing.
Interest rates on home mortgages dropped so fast that the National Association of Realtors' housing affordability index showed that almost anyone could buy a house somewhere in America, … (6 comments)

david saks: The Saks Equation : Part I - 03/23/08 07:03 AM
I appreciate any discussion of Broker Price Opinion and how it may affect opinion of value as opposed or in colligation with an appraisal. I greatly value your thoughts.
Before a property is sold at foreclosure, auction or tax sale I don't know whether or not an appraisal would be necessary in most cases. Please correct me if there are exceptions.
Perhaps when financing a short sale the appraiser would step up to the plate because an appraisal, performed by a licensed appraiser, is an opinion of value for a subject property utilizing a concept of market which … (0 comments)

david saks: RESPA : Where do we draw the line ? - 03/23/08 06:46 AM
We all know that RESPA prohibits the payment of anything considered a kickback.
I suppose a kickback could be considered anything which is an unearned fee for any real estate settlement service as well.
Basically, if no service is rendered there can't be any fee provided. 'Who actually performs the service' is the real question were looking to answer. In general, the payment for anything of value for a referral for settlement of any services provided by the entity providing the service such as an attorney, a surveyor, a title company or title searcher, a mortgage broker or lender, … (0 comments)

david saks: Objection - 03/23/08 06:37 AM
What is objection?
Do we open ourselves up to objection voluntarily if we engage in the commercial promotion, sale, or distribution of anything ?
We've all had the feeling that when we speak up or criticize some level of professionalism, or otherwise, in our companies that we're at risk of being ostracized or shunned by our colleagues. There's the pervasive, lingering paranoia of a vote against, a refusal to endorse, or the refusal to assent.
Objection comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, towns, provinces and communities. And we've all been privileged to some exclusive group that has a … (0 comments)

david saks: Megan's Law - 03/23/08 06:12 AM
Megan's Law is federal legislation that promotes the establishment of any state registration system which maintains residential information on every person who has kidnapped, committed a sexual crime against a child, or has committed a sexually violent crime. Megan's law also affects a licensee's duty of disclosure. Some states may require that a licensee request that a customer sign a form indicating where the customer may obtain information about the sex offense registry. A licensee may also be required to disclose information regarding a released offender if the licensee is aware that officials have informed the public that … (5 comments)

david saks: Investing Equity ? - 03/23/08 05:58 AM
I'd like to discover more, and hear more, about risks that may be associated with any loan progam that would invest the equity in your home to defer mortgage payments? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing before? 
Seems that any financing arrangement that relies on investing equity would have some potential probability of being exposed to peril. On the other hand, if this is a venture undertaken without regard to possible loss or injury to the collateral or security pledged for the repayment of a loan there may be merits.
I greatly appreciate and respect your feedback.

david saks: Ethics and Albert Schweitzer - 03/23/08 05:46 AM
I wanted to share a quote with you from the late Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
Dr. Schweitzer defined ethics as follows:
"Ethics is a name we give to our concern for good behavior. We feel an obligation to consider not only our own personal well-being but also that of others and of human society as a whole."
There are always benefits to be derived from ethical behavior. When a customer or client believes that you have worked in a professional and honest manner in their behalf, and have protected their interests, they will refer others to you. We … (3 comments)

david saks: Eviction - 03/23/08 05:28 AM
As we all know, whenever a tenant breaches a lease or improperly retains leased premesis a landlord regains possession through legal action undertaking the exercise of the actual eviction. What about the responsible, innocent tenant? Once a foreclosure notice has been processed and the landord has constructive notice,
I believe the landlord has an obligation to provide notice to the tenant of the notice of foreclosure. Perhaps the landlord could be held accountable if the tenant has not been notified in a timely manner and, in addition, the landlord would be assessed fines and penalties commenurate with relocation fees. I … (2 comments)

david saks: Does the Need for An Appraisal Exist at a Foreclosure Sale? - 03/23/08 04:24 AM
Does the need for an appraisal exists in a foreclosure auction, tax sale or other lien or default associated consequence which brought the sale about? When would a foreclosure require an appraisal? Wouldn't a broker price opinion satisfy a basic need to determine a reserve price by narrowing comparative sales data? I understand that sales comparison, cost approach and income approach are all important and that the three approaches may serve as checks against each other. Since the condition of sale is affected because of foreclosure, which is a principal factor for making an adjustment in value under … (5 comments)

david saks: Broker Price Opinion : What It Is / What It Isn't.... - 03/23/08 03:57 AM

An appraisal, performed by a licensed appraiser, is an opinion of value for a subject property utilizing a concept of market which may rely on locality and other factors, and principles which determine valuation, such as supply and demand, competition, change, surplus inventory, usage and balance which examines the nature of the equalization of factors which either oppose each other or move together.
Since the appraisers judgement and experience are relied upon in the process, an appraisal may be considered an opinion. Another expression used in the definition one must consider most important to the process is value. Since … (6 comments)

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