cmps: Mortgage Rate "movers" for the week- 11/3/08 - 11/02/08 12:10 PM
Welcome to November! As we start the first business week, there are a number of economic reports out this week that will affect mortgage rates.
The biggest report this week will be Friday's important Employment data. As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the Unemployment Rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month, since the health of the labor market is perhaps the single biggest factor in the performance of the economy. Also this week, the ISM manufacturing index and the Construction Spending report will be released on Monday. ISM Services is scheduled for Wednesday, and Productivity will come … (0 comments)

cmps: What's going on with Mortgage Rates this month?? - 10/29/08 03:58 AM
The activity in MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) markets - and other financial markets - has been very unusual this month. The Fannie Mae Required Net Yield has already made two round trips from about 5.70% to 6.60% over the past few weeks, displaying a level of volatility rarely seen. Under normal market conditions, the vast majority of the significant rate movements are the result of fresh economic news. This month, however, it has been common to see large rate movements unconnected to any news announcements, for reasons I'll discuss below.One reason is that the credit crisis has forced many investment funds and … (3 comments)

cmps: When was your last meeting with a Strategic partner? - 10/28/08 08:06 AM
When was the last time you had a cup of coffee with your strategic partners?
For me, as a Mortgage Professional, my strategic partners (SP's) are other Realtors like yourselves, but also CPA's, Financial Planners, and Title Agents. All of them help my business grow, and I am also helping them. However, a 'planning' session every few weeks helps keep me in front of them...and also helps me find out what kind of referrals they are looking for.
Today, I found out that my Financial Planner has a new program that seems tailor-made for folks who are just getting 'started' in … (2 comments)

cmps: Get yourself "elected" by your clients - 10/27/08 03:52 PM
I'm SO excited.....1 week until all those awful election ads are OFF my TV. I'm not even sure I remember the "good old days" of just ads for items to buy!!!
Can you imagine if we had to move homes & finance them the way folks are trying to get elected? But wait...some still do! I just had a client today who told me someone else was trying to 'win business' by slamming me.....not by providing their own GFE or a better rate....but just by saying they would match mine! Then they tried the old "we're a bank so we MUST be … (2 comments)

cmps: Ready for Winter yet? - 10/26/08 04:02 PM
As I'm sitting in front of my fireplace planning out another week....and hearing the weather report telling me to expect a 35-degree low for tomorrow morning, I'm starting to think about getting ready for winter. Not just the "last lawnmowing, cover the plants, get out the Christmas Lights" planning, but the "get the holiday excuses for less business ready" planning.
Don't get into the trap that 90% of our brethern get into......of using an easy excuse of "holiday blues" to not make the phone calls, or follow-up meetings, or just plain getting lazy. Have you started your business plan for 2009 … (4 comments)

cmps: How your Loan Officer makes customers MORE satisfied - 10/25/08 08:19 AM
In the current economic situation, improving the relationship between loan officers and mortgage customers is critical to customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study(SM) released this week.
The study measures customer satisfaction in four key factors of the mortgage origination experience: application/approval process; loan officer/representative or mortgage broker; closing process; and problem resolution.
The study finds that customers have higher levels of satisfaction and are more committed to their lender when the loan officer takes the uncertainty out of the mortgage origination experience by setting expectations, proactively communicating and maintaining personal contact with … (0 comments)

cmps: Where We Are in the Current Real Estate Cycle- and What It Means - 10/24/08 02:22 AM
Real estate has been in the news just about every day as housing prices have "fallen". There are all kinds of opinions about what's going on and where this is all heading. But these opinions are just guesses and do not take every piece of the puzzle into consideration. History has shown us that the economy goes up and down all the time, and real estate has long coincided with these fluctuations. Economic cycles of all kinds (stock, macroeconomic trends, housing, etc.) are known for a tendency towards extremes and that market corrections have a way of over-reacting which is exactly … (0 comments)

cmps: Homeowners Have Options for Handling Mortgage Arrears - 10/22/08 04:00 PM
The following is part of an article which was featured in Newsday, and written by Patricia Kitchen. The subjest matter is worth repeating here....and of course, if you have any questions, or know someonw who might need guidance along these lines, PLEASE call or e-mail me!
While the government's $700-billion bailout of financial firms does not include retroactive mortgage loan relief to help stave off foreclosures, there are actions homeowners can take to handle mortgage arrears and the legal action that can follow.
The most important step consumers can take is to talk with their mortgage servicers early in the process … (0 comments)

cmps: Home Market Data for Maplewood, MN.- September 2008 - 10/20/08 04:59 PM
The following data on tear-over-year home sales for Maplewood, MN. is courtesy of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. I hope it can help you as you gather data about home listing or selling!
Ramsey County, MN                 2007             2008           Change               2007            2008             Change
New Listings                                    80                  59          - 26.3%                806               667             - 17.2%
Closed Sales                                    29                  43         + 48.3%                303              254              - 16.2%
Average Sales Price        $218,173     $193,267          - 11.4%      $228,439    $205,886               - 9.9%
Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale*
                                                    93.6%          92.7%           - 0.9%            94.7%        92.6%               - 2.2% Average Days on Market Until Sale**
                                                          123               147        + 19.6%                 135              … (0 comments)

cmps: Home Market Data for Mahtomedi, MN- September 2008 - 10/20/08 04:32 PM
This information on year-over-year home sale information for Mahtomedi, MN. is courtesy of the Minneapolis Board of Realtors "Hot 100" list. I hope it can help you as you look at home listings!
Washington County, MN        2007           2008           Change           2007           2008           Change
New Listings                                  18                13          - 27.8%             162             158            - 2.5%
Closed Sales                                    7                 11         + 57.1%               75               52          -30.7%
Average Sales Price       $327,080   $329,545          + 0.8%    $314,240   $338,424         + 7.7%
Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale*
                                                 94.8%         96.6%          + 2.0%         95.0%        92.9%          - 2.3% Average Days on Market Until Sale**
                                                        88              224       + 155.3%              … (0 comments)

cmps: Some extra "rescue" in the Rescue Bill - 10/20/08 04:21 AM
Within the 451 page Rescue Bill that was recently passed in Washington are nearly 100 tax code changes that directly affect individuals and business owners, including education deductions, sales tax, energy credits, and even new disaster aid. Other tax breaks, which were due to expire, were extended, including property tax deductions, the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, and the shield for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The property tax provision, set to expire in 2008, has been extended to 2009, and allows up to $500 ($1000 for joint filers) in deductions in addition to the standard property tax deduction - even if … (1 comments)

cmps: Seller's Alert! 10 Common Mistakes that sellers make (pt. 1) - 10/15/08 03:52 PM
Selling yourhome can be an exhausting experience. Last minute walk-throughs, inconvenient calls, price adjustments and the concern of being 'stuck' with two mortgages to pay at one time are real concerns. If you are not completely prepared, you could end up osing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
The difference between a profitable, smooth home transaction and a break-even one is a miserable experience and often seperated by a thin line. In the majority of cases, it comes down to the know-how of the professionals you work with. By utilizing the knowledge of a qualified Realtor and Mortgage Professional, you'll ensure a quick, … (0 comments)

cmps: My own "welcome back" - 10/13/08 09:06 AM
I've been away from writing for a while...while I've been concentrating on building up business at my new office in Maplewood. What have I missed writing about since my last blog???
* over 1/2 of Minnesota Mortgage professionals leaving the industry
* going from over 4700 licensed Minnesota Originators to around 1900
* going from 83 lending institutions to 37
However, some things have not changed! People still need good, honest, qualified help when they are looking to buy or refinance a home. People are still looking for good rates, and to be able to trust who they work with. They are still looking … (0 comments)

cmps: Market Conditions in Mahtomedi, MN - 06/11/07 08:10 AM
The MAR 100 was reported today, and here's what it shows for the Mahtomedi, MN. marketplace through May of 2007-
                                                        Mahtomedi, MN.
                                2006        2007        Change              2006        2007          Change
New Listings-             22         26            18.2%                 81           93               14.8%
Closed Sales-              7          14            100%                  34           38               11.8%
Ave. Sales Price-   335,400  329,007     -1.9%            406,171    314,009        -22.7%
Ave. Days on Mkt. b/f sale    154                                                   146
Current Inventory is 50 Single-Family/Detached and 25 Townhome/Condos
Better numbers that those for White Bear Lake, which is down 2% for the month and up just 6% year-to-date.
If you have questions about other Twin City areas, feel free to contact me at , or go to my website at … (0 comments)

cmps: Not to be a (home) alarmist, but... - 06/11/07 05:54 AM
did you know that home security systems may actually attract burglars? Shocking, but true.
Each year, Americans spend more than $18 Billion on professional alarm systems. Unfortunately, according to security consultant Walter Shaw, some of those systems may actually be attracting burglars. Shaw, a former burglar, contends that when thieves see a house with a security system sign on it, they know it typically means that the house actually has something of value inside...which makes it a better target for them to consider breaking into.
In addition, Shaw notes that determined thieves can actually use those security system signs to their advantage. First, … (4 comments)

cmps: NAR Housing Forecasts-deflating numbers (?) - 06/08/07 08:52 AM
It seems that the National Association of Realtors forecasts over the past few months have actually backpedaled, based on the newest 2007 forecast released on June 6th. In January, former chief economist David Lereah came out with the predictions on the top left side of the graph below. In April, those numbers, as well as a projection forward, were revised downward by new chief economist Lawrence Yun. Wednesday, Mr. Yun again adjusted downward, as seen below (sorry...I did the best I could on a graph!)
*The January report did not make predictions for 2008.
Why does this report matter to us in the Real … (0 comments)

cmps: Some other consumer ideas about "flipped" homes - 06/08/07 07:53 AM
In continuing my thoughts from yesterday regarding looking at a home that may be a quick "flip"- the expression "quick and dirty" might have been invented to describe some of the methods used in turning properties around for resale. Not to say that all or even most investor rehabs are shoddy, but it is something to bear in mind if you are interested in buying a home you suspect may be a flip.
This is the time for a really thorough home inspection. Pay extra if necessary to have the inspector crawl through the attic, basement, and crawl spaces. You want … (0 comments)

cmps: Checking in on buying a "flip"- - 06/07/07 05:33 AM
You can almost spot "Flips" from the listing sheet. They tend to be among the smaller homes in an area and the listing sheet highlights "new carpeting, new appliances, and/or fresh paint". Sometimes a major selling point is that a buyer can "rent to own." And the houses are almost always vacant.
These tend to be telletale signs of an investor owned home that was bought with the idea of doing a quick fix up before reselling or "flipping" the property.
Some investors buy a house and rent it out in its original condition for a year or two before doing a rehab, … (3 comments)

cmps: "Bridge Loan" woes! - 05/30/07 10:20 AM
Had an interesting situation come up in Minnesota today....wondering what anyone else might have seen-
Clients wanted to purchase a new home and close on June 15th. They have an approved buyer of their current home who is self-financing, with a certified letter from a trust showing income, and a letter from the trustee (an attorney) approving releasing funds to purchase the home. However, they want to close that purchase on June 30th.
The 1st clients have plenty of income, and 700+ credit (that I verified), but Fannie lenders...heck...all lenders...are not willing to approve anything but a same-day sale as I've been calling around. With … (3 comments)

cmps: It STILL makes sense to buy instead of renting! - 05/29/07 05:49 AM
Nearly a full third of households are still renting...but if you are one of them, you could be paying a hefty price. Additionally, the children of the baby boomer generation are close to or at the home buying age, but these "echo boomers" could mistakenly decide to put off the purchase of a home because of all the noise about a "bubble" in home prices.
Is there a "bubble" here in Minnesota? The simple answer is "no". Even if interest rates move a bit higher, it won't be enough to cause a statewide slide in home prices. The key to a healthy … (1 comments)

Loren Johnson, CMPS

Loren Johnson


White Bear Lake, MN

More about me…

Address: 190 Hickory St., Mahtomedi, MN, 55115

Office: (651) 226-4363

Mobile: (651) 226-4363

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Thoughts about Mortgages, the Real Estate market, how customers should be treated, and mabye sports!



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