Archive for the ‘Future of real estate’ Category

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Real Estate Ruins –

April 21, 2011

 

Real Estate in Ruins

As I was driving through a luxurious Orlando neighborhood recently, I noticed a number of homes that were obviously in foreclosure. The signs were everywhere including the overgrown lawns, the newspapers piled in the driveway and the general look of decay.

It dawned on me that without proper love and care – the earth has a way of reclaiming what it once lost. The house was covered in vines which were starting to smother the home. It was at once appalling and then again, mesmerizing. I guess the old adage “it’s not nice to fool “Mother Nature” really can come true. You can lay down all the bricks and mortar that you need to make a mansion or a modest home but left untended, Mother Nature is going to take it back and do so with a vengeance.

So goes the state of real estate. Real estate in the US is in ruins! No one is tending the real estate market and no banks, politicians or even news anchors seem to be alarmed. Banks have just disclosed that they wrote one-third (1/3) fewer loans the first quarter of this year than in the past. That is an ASTOUNDING fact. While is sounds wonderful to have a 4.45% interest rate, it is meaningless if no bank is giving out loans. It’s catastrophic. Right now we live in a world full of smoke and mirrors. It’s all fake advertising. It’s all for naught.

Banks are getting richer and bank CEO’s are reaping huge profits but not on real estate. Our country must stand up for a call to action for loans to be written to credit-worthy customers. We are in the weeds and we are going to be in a hole so deep it will take decade(s) to recovery.

As real estate goes – so goes the economy. As an example, I had a client with a two-year old foreclosure BUT $100,000 down payment on a $200,000 house and I could NOT get him a loan. Why? Because the lenders said his foreclosure had to be past three years. 50% down is almost unheard of and yet we could not get this buyer a loan.

PLEASE, please won’t someone get serious about the condition of our economy and realize that without loans and without buyers – we have no real estate? The effect is deep and sinks to the core of all business. No real estate builders, no real estate materials (bricks, shingles, asphalt, etc.), no handymen, no appliances, no furniture…I could go on and on. The lack of sales is affecting everyone and it is affecting you whether you understand this or not.

Let’s get back to business. Let’s sell some homes. Won’t someone make a stand?

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Home Decorating – What’s in?

March 3, 2011

An interesting thing is happening in the world of real estate and home decorating. Everything old is new again. 

I am finding in this time of economic uncertainty that people are decorating their homes differently. I am seeing a lot of natural looking furniture, distressed pieces, color…in short an updated cottage style. COTTAGE is huge right now – you only have to look at the magazines on the racks to see that this look for home decorating is hot and here to stay. 

I think the trend toward this well defined look is a desire to feel AT HOME in our homes. I think it is an effort to buy something (affordable) and that makes us feel like we are back in grandma’s kitchen. This style of decorating is not about matching furniture and brown tones. It’s about COLOR and lace and older pieces of furniture that have been repurposed. You can call it a move toward green living or just call it a desire to save some green by buying gently loved furniture but cottage-style living is here to stay. 

Personally – I like it. The home with a cottage look has some personality. I like color. Pink is in and yellows, greens and blues are back. I love it – I think it is a decorating reminder that our house is our home and we need to make it look so. For many, it reminds us of sitting in our family kitchen and feeling the love. A house is not just bricks and mortar – it’s a place where families still eat around a dinner table and use tablecloths and laugh. It’s living life in a gentle and loving style.

For the record, I’m seeing this style in all price ranges. People are getting very creative and it’s all in the details. Chandeliers in bathrooms, walls in pink and blue, gentle loved and often scratched tables, lots of white. It’s all very interesting and intriguing.

Think outside the box and go bold. Start with color – you will be amazed how it will lift your spirits.

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Politics as usual – ugh

October 25, 2010

 

As real estate sales spiral to new lows – we have the election season in full swing. Everybody is right and everybody else is wrong. 

But I hope our newly elected officials wake up and realize that AS THE HOUSING MARKET GOES – SO GOES THE ECONOMY. It’s not just about job stimulus – it IS about fixing housing and it won’t happen overnight. 

Banks needs to reward GOOD borrowers with better rates in an upside down market. Banks need to AGREE to short sales where they will actually MAKE MORE MONEY than going through the lengthy foreclosure process. Someone needs to start thinking about solutions instead of highlighting the problems that seem unsolvable.  

May sanity reign and may we change the course of this country for the good. 

Read the following New York Times article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/business/25short.html?th&emc=th

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There is nothing to fear but fear itself…

February 7, 2009

As a student of history during my college years, one of my favorite subjects was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who in his inaugural address said “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

FDR brought our nation out of one of the most tragic crashes in history and restored American pride and self-confidence. He knew that to restore consumer confidence and control the “fear factor” would mean success for his Presidency but more importantly, for the American public. Fear can simply be a paralyzing force in our lives.

I find today that people remain fearful. Tonight, I just wanted to say…Don’t be afraid. We will come through hard times just as we have come through hard times before now. The market will correct itself, homes will not go empty and we will all live with a sense that nothing can wear us down.

I work with fearful agents, fearful owners, fearful buyers and it’s all so sad to me. Life is too short to be filled with fear about our future. We have a future, we have hope and we will persevere.

So hang in there real estate friends. It’s going to get better – I promise and this I believe!