Archive for the ‘Hope for 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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Real Estate Mind Games

August 21, 2010

 

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton

 

Real estate today is moving and changing in new directions. To be a winner in today’s real estate world, you have to put the past behind you and move toward the future. You have to be an agent that wants to win and then sets out to figure out what it will take to make transactions matter.

It’s all a mind game and you must have a winning mindset. If you don’t – you are doomed to fail.

I am constantly reminded how tough our economic climate is and how bad home prices have fallen. But I am also reminded that we are not the only generation to have financial challenges. Many of our grandparents and parents suffered greatly during the “great depression” and they think we are all being a wee bit dramatic. I know it is tough out there but I also know that opportunities exist to those who don’t give up and keep moving toward a goal.

Will real estate ever be the same? No. But how can we expect it to remain the same? It’s changed for good and I don’t think that is all bad news. It’s just our reality and it is time we deal with it. I heard today that nearly a quarter of Americans think their home is going to fall in value this year and yet I also heard that nearly a quarter of Americans are going to put their homes on the market the first sign of change.

Be the change – start thinking about winning in a hard market. What have we got to lose because our days are full of opportunities! Keep a positive mindset and be prepared to WIN. I believe it for you.

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Will work for a home? Unemployment affects housing.

June 1, 2010

It’s almost summertime and the market is starting to turn. It’s great news for some but not so great for others.

According to a study released Friday by NeighborWorks America, 58 percent of homeowners who’ve received assistance through its national foreclosure counseling program reported the primary reason they were facing foreclosure was reduced or lost income.

NeighborWorks was created by Congress in 1991 as a nonprofit organization to support local communities in providing its citizens with access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. In January 2008, with the foreclosure crisis raging, Congress implemented the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program and made NeighborWorks the administrator.

The organization says that over the course of the NFMC program, the percentage of homeowners who’ve cited wage cuts or unemployment as the primary reason they were facing foreclosure has steadily increased.

In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent.

These steady increases parallel the nation’s unemployment rate, which until the November 2009 employment report, had marched upward since October 2008.

“With unemployment numbers not likely to dip below nine percent in 2010, our report proves what many already believed to be true. Unemployment and reduced income are having a devastating effect on our nation’s homeowners,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

So what does the future hold for real estate? Well as you can see a lot depends on the ability to create jobs in today’s world. WE NEED WORK and we need for Congress to act now to shore up  unemployment numbers. This could be a long recovery for our nation – but we WILL recover and we will go back to work.

I look forward to that day.

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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!