This week’s relevant links: Week of April 15th-19th, 2013

“The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets”.

Will Rogers


70% of lenders believe housing recovery is real

A new survey of bank risk professionals shows the originations space warming to the idea of expanding home lending

Q1 Consumer Outlook Survey showing Consumer Confidence in Real Estate

Prudential Real Estate, recently released results of its first quarter Consumer Outlook Survey showing that Americans’ sentiment toward real estate is growing increasingly favorable.

Renovate or relocate? 5 key questions to ask

A Seattle couple says “We essentially got the house that we would have ended up with 18 months later, but for a third of the cost”

FHFA Extends HARP by 2 Years, Through 2015

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has been extended for two years beyond its scheduled expiration on December 31

U.S. Land Gets More Expensive

“The world has just woken up and said, ‘We need land!’ ”

Bigger Loans Mean Tougher Requirements

Jumbo loans often come in three sizes: small, medium and large. The bigger the loan size, the tougher the lending requirements

Metro Areas Where Residents Most Likely to Feel Safe

There is wide variation among the largest metro areas in residents’ self-reported security. Portland #13 and Seattle #25

Housing Inventory Picked Up in March

Housing inventories picked up modestly in March, offering some hope to home buyers who are grousing about slim pickings

U.S. Economic Confidence Remains Steady

Americans’ confidence in the economy showed no change last week as the U.S. stock market’s rally slowed

U.S. Consumer Spending Continues Upward Trend in March

U.S. self-reported daily consumer spending increased to $89 in March from $83 in February and $80 in January. This upward trend in consumer spending has occurred despite the end of the payroll tax holiday and the start of the federal sequestration budget cuts

Teaching Empathy: The Ancient Way Is Now Cutting-Edge

emotional intelligence plays a role in a person’s success

Facebook Home and a mobile first solution for real estate

Ambitious because they envision a world in which every personal interaction we have digitally is piped through Facebook’s platform (shudder) and unique because they had the foresight and courage to re-imagine themselves as more than just a “website”

Covered by homeowners insurance? Don’t be so sure

You’ve no doubt noticed that premiums have gotten pretty pricey. Rates have climbed 69% over the past decade to an average of $1,000 a year.

Americans See Best Quality Jobs Market in U.S. in Five Years

Twenty-six percent of Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job — the highest since March 2008

First look: Inside a $135 million home

CNNMoney gets a first look at one of the the most expensive homes for sale in the U.S.; a 25-acre Dallas estat

Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Decline for a Second Week

Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell for a second week, reducing borrowing costs as more homeowners seek to refinance into less expensive loans.

U.S. City Wellbeing Tracking

Explore results by U.S. metropolitan area for overall wellbeing, diabetes, obesity, frequent exercise, frequent produce consumption, city optimism, and the uninsured

Reverse Mortgages: Sometimes, Remorse

Let’s face it, the reverse mortgage is not for everyone

The Future of Home Values – Taking a Closer Look at Price-to-Income Fundamentals

Home values have been increasing steadily across the nation since they hit a bottom in October 2011. Since October, they are up 6.5 percent. Just over the past year, home values have appreciated by 5.8 percent. This rate of appreciation is higher than the historical average of around 3 percent

Support FHA’s Efforts to Expand Responsible Lending

Today, the FHA is the dominant source of mortgage financing for borrowers with low down payments and those without high incomes or inherited wealth

Housing inventory, buyer demand are market drivers

JPMorgan Chase ($49.31 0%) expects home prices to rise 7% in 2013. That level of continued confidence is driven by tighter-than-normal inventory, robust demand, high affordability levels, and a stronger economy

Why Positivity is So Essential in the Workplace

a growing body of evidence demonstrates that a positive mindset can not only affect our attitudes toward work, but the outcomes which follow

How to sell more homes this Spring

Here’s the deal: home inventory is low, mortgage rates are still amazing and consumer confidence is looking up. Mix ‘em altogether and you have a sizzling hot seller’s market.

Americans outlook on housing defies overall economic pessimism

Consumers surveyed for Fannie Mae’s recent housing market update remain skeptical about the U.S. economy, while maintaining a sense of optimism about the overall housing recovery

7 Ways That Generosity Can Lead To Success

the most productive, high-achieving people are also the people who are the most giving and altruistic

Signs the Housing Recovery Has Moved Into Your Neighborhood

Just because all the talking heads are saying “housing is back!” doesn’t mean everyone is buying it. There’s a high degree of skepticism surrounding the housing recovery,

American Dream of … Renting? Survey Finds Shifting Attitudes Toward Homeownership

The MacArthur Foundation found that even though a majority of Americans still aspire to own their own home one day, they’re shifting their ideas of what it means to achieve the American dream

The Cleveland Indians, Sports Agents and the Art of Negotiation

“That is the key to a good negotiation — the effort and the preparation, not just the supposed outcome,”

Millennials: Not Destined to be Life-Long Renters

“Millennials have witnessed the housing boom and bust, but still believe home ownership is a good investment,”

Info Graphic:

Full Study:

RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Activity Falls to Lowest Level Since 2007

foreclosure activity fell to a six-year low, according to RealtyTrac’s foreclosure market report for the first quarter and March

Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners Honored with Multiple Awards at Cartus Broker Network International Conference

Cartus Broker Network is the nation’s leading network of more than 811 market-leading real estate firms representing approximately 3,000 offices and more than 109,000 agents. Cartus provides trusted guidance to organizations of all types and sizes that require global relocation solutions. Cartus serves 64 percent of the Fortune

Nine low-tech ways to manage your time more wisely

As entrepreneurs, we’re always busy. But where does it end? When you get more successful, do you think your schedule will magically get less busy and fill up with fewer obligations? Think again. Instead, you’ll have to get more done in less time. And unless you have a system, it may prove difficult.

For more opinions on today’s real estate issues, visit CBBain’s “In The Know” blog at

“Links” are edited each week by John Deely 


This week’s relevant links week of April 8th-12th, 2013

NewsLinks-Full“ Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation on how it shall be spent. ”

— Samuel Johnson


The Happiest and Unhappiest Jobs just released its new list of the Happiest and Unhappiest Jobs In America, Guess what job was first!

The home bidding wars are back!

The bidding wars are back. Seemingly overnight, many of the nation’s major housing markets have gone from stagnant to sizzling, with for-sale listings drawing offers from a large number of house hunters.

3 Groups of Buyers Who Are Buying Now

Want to expand your market niche and make sure you’re targeting the right buyers? According to several different recent articles, here are three buyer groups to watch.

Don’t Be Fooled By These 3 Real Estate Myths

As the real estate market significantly rebounds, some buyers and sellers are dipping their toes in the waters for the first time. Inevitably, they come into the market with assumptions about how it works

Vacation home sales surged 10% last year

A strong stock market, growing demand and limited inventory helped propel vacation home sales for the second year in a row in 2012

3 predictions from the National Association of Realtors’ top economist

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun was in Nashville Wednesday to speak to a group of real estate agents. Here are some forecasts from his crystal ball

Survey: 77% of Americans Believe Housing Crisis Is Not Over

Nearly eight in 10 Americans are unconvinced, according to the How Housing Matters survey conducted by Hart Research Associates

Average rate on 30-year mortgage at 3.54%

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages crept closer to their historic lows this week, a trend that could help the housing recovery strengthen

Servicers Bringing REO Management In-House

As inventories shrink and the REO landscape shifts again, the need for outsourced management decreases

2012 Vacation Home Sales Up, Investment Dips but Stays Elevated, Prices Rise

Vacation home sales improved in 2012, while investment purchases remained elevated for a second consecutive year

King County house prices jumped almost 20 percent over year

The median price of single-family homes sold leapt in March to $392,000. A severe shortage of homes for sale is driving the jump

Portland’s real estate market; it’s back, baby

I know I’m not the first to say it — and I hope I don’t jinx anything — but it sure seems like Portland’s real estate resurgence has taken hold

Top Places To Retire Rich

here’s a new list of 25 top retirement places for those who want a certain high-end retirement lifestyle, regardless of expense

Rising Home Prices And Falling Unemployment: Don’t Trust the Numbers

The nation’s unemployment rate fell this morning to 7.6%. That’s good news…right?Home prices are rising smartly around the country. That’s good news…right?Wrong…on both counts

Rents for Single-Family Home Flatten as Investors Saturate the Rental Market

Trulia’s Chief Economist reveals the latest findings from the Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor to review how rents for single-family homes in the markets where investors have been buying and renting out homes

In Just Three Months, Shanghai’s Land Prices Double

That does it. China‘s real estate is officially a runaway train

Are There Too Many Homes in America, Ctd

Yet, we still have a ways to go before we can expect there to be more homes for sale each month, than there were the same month last year

Hiring slowed to 88K jobs in March; unemployment rate drops to 7.6 percent

The U.S. economy will face the brunt of massive federal spending cuts just as growth in private sector jobs is plunging, according to government data released Friday

Real Estate Matters | Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year loan

Bob Vila’s 5 ‘Must Do’ Tasks for April

Spring is officially underway, and while our focus has swung toward outdoor projects, it’s not all daffodils and sunny skies for homeowners this season

Construction job growth hits 7-year high

While today’s job’s report was disappointing on nearly all fronts, there was one bright spot that shone through the dismal numbers: sustained construction-job growth

Get Ready for Big Bidding Wars This Spring

With tighter inventories of homes for sale, buyers are finding increased competition through bidding wars. But the bidding may not be between only one or two other buyers — more bidding wars are popping up where dozens or even hundreds of other buyers are all competing for the same property

Obama Administration to Banks: Ease Up on Home Loans

The Obama administration is making a push for home loans to be more available to those with weaker credit, adding that the housing recovery is leaving too many potential home buyers behind — particularly young professionals — who can’t qualify for financing

List of Improving Markets Holds Steady in April

After seven months of gains, this month’s list of improving housing markets remained mostly unchanged in April, holding at 273 metros, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index. The list reflects metros from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia

Fragility continues to threaten housing recovery

The latest data from the Obama Administration revealed important progress in the housing rebound, but much like the last scorecard, it continues to warn that the overall recovery remains fragile.

Before Becoming a Landlord, Add Up Costs

One of life’s luxuries is being able to afford a vacation home. But don’t underestimate its true cost—especially if you plan to rent it out



For more opinions on today’s real estate issues, visit CBBain’s “In The Know” blog at

“Links” are edited each week by John Deely 


This week’s relevant links: Week of April 1st-6th, 2013


“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”

― Joseph Addison


GenY is finally in a mood to buy (houses)

A generation that’s about 90 million strong, Millennials (or Generation Y) form the largest demographic wave in the nation’s history


Home Prices Seen Making Stronger Gains in 2013

the first three months of the year have shown the conditions that produced last year’s gains are just as strong


Homeowners, Name Your Price

A real-estate site tests the magic number that might convince an owner to move; listing an Arizona home on a whim


CoreLogic: Completed Foreclosures at Lowest Level Since 2007

Data from CoreLogic shows 54,000 homes were lost to foreclosure in February of this year, a 7 percent decline from January’s downwardly revised 58,000


DataQuick Reports Improvements for Housing, Questions Sustainability

Although prices are improving and foreclosures are declining, there’s still room for economic uncertainty to “dampen” housing activity, according to DataQuick’s Property Intelligence Report


Increase in Consumer Sentiment Surpasses Expectations

consumers have expressed improved prospects for economic growth


Is California’s Wild Housing Market a Sign of a Bubble?

California is the comeback kid of the housing recovery


A Look at Case-Shiller, by Metro Area

The composite 20-city home price index, a key gauge of U.S. home prices, was up 8.1% in January from a year earlier. Seattle-8.7%, Portland-8.3%


Trulia: Buying Beats Renting Despite Rising Home Prices

To buy, or not to buy, and instead to rent? That, as ever, is the real-estate question


Housing recovery starts to look like a boom

Portland steamed along in the middle of the pack, posting 8.3 percent home price growth, slightly ahead of the 20-city index of 8.2 percent


Buy or rent? 10 major cities

Seattle’s land comes at a premium: The area’s residential communities are hemmed in by the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Range, as well as the Puget Sound.


Seattle house prices take seasonal dip

House prices in the Seattle area edged down in January for the second straight month, but year-over-year they are up 8.7 percent


US rate on 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.57 pct.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up this week but remained near historic lows. Low rates have helped drive the housing market’s steady recovery


S&P nears record as home price surge lifts stocks

Rising home prices and orders for manufactured goods drove stocks up from the opening bell


Coldwell Banker recognized for training platform

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC was named one of the top 10 companies “for ongoing excellence in learning and development” by Chief Learning Officer magazine


Zombie Homes on the Rise?

Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries weighs in on how much of a problem zombie homes really are across the country


Home Decor When Money’s No Object

Prices are increasing but are still ‘on sale’ throughout most of the country when compared to 2007 prices


Homes ‘On Sale’ Across the Country [INFOGRAPHIC]

The NAR reported total sales were up 10.2% from February 2012, but conventional sales are probably up closer to 25% from February 2012, and distressed sales down


Should Your Buyers Increase Their Offer?

Limited inventory and a very strong demand for housing has created an environment where bidding wars are commonplace in today’s real estate market


House of the Week: And the Winner Is…

Four new properties vied for the title of “House of the Week.”  Watch this video (or see the slide show) to find out which home readers chose as the latest top abode


Oregon home permits jump 27 percent

The number of single-family home permits issued in Oregon jumped 27.4 percent in 2012


After You Read the Listings, Your Agent Reads You

EVERY saleswoman will tell you that the customer is always transparent


Housing market surge may wane in time

The outlook for housing continues to remain positive, with economists predicting a sustainability that may last for years


Lending data reveals no debt crisis

Home mortgage debt fell to $9.4 trillion at the end of 2012, down from a record of $10.6 trillion in 2008


 Big Predictions for Housing for Next 2 Years

Home sales are projected to post some big gains in the next two years, according to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly economic outlook


New Database Allows Americans to Post Mortgage Gripes

Americans have a lot of gripes when it comes to mortgages


A New Senior Moment

Zumba classes, sushi chefs and kilns in the crafting room: the newest generation of 55-plus communities caters to active—and demanding—retirees


For more opinions on today’s real estate issues, visit CBBain’s “In The Know” blog at

“Links” are edited each week by John Deely 


This week’s relevant links March 18th-22nd, 2013


“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

John Steinbeck 


Prices to Skyrocket if Rates Stay Low for Two Years / Housing `Never Been More Affordable,’ Burns Says

Potential home buyers can purchase a 34% more expensive home today than they could at the end of 2008.


10 Easy Ways To Decorate Tricky Spaces, Corners And Nooks

Every house has awkward spaces that defy decorating


Commercial Real Estate Forecast Update: 2013-2014

Commercial real estate continues to improve at a moderate pace


Boomerang buyers return to market after foreclosure

Borrowers who lost homes to foreclosure during the housing bust are starting to buy again


5 best markets to sell a home

When homes are put up for sale in Oakland, they don’t last long. In February, houses were on the market for an average of just two weeks before they were sold, according to


Global Luxury Market Is Booming

The international luxury real estate market appears to be relatively immune to economic headwinds


The 10 Priciest Real Estate Markets in the World

New York is the lone U.S. city to land in the top 10 most expensive residential real estate markets in the world, according to a new report from Knight Frank


Seller’s Market Emerges This Spring: Are You Ready?

The inventory of homes for sale has reached its lowest level since 1999, which is helping home prices to rise in many markets, says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of REALTORS®’ chief economist


Pocket Listings Heat Up: Good or Bad?

Pocket listings — off-market listings that are marketed directly by the seller’s real estate agent or broker — are growing in number, according to news reports


Home architecture style: Regional or not?

Home architecture styles tend to vary by region and even by state within a region in the U.S. Specific styles of homes can also be unique to one city or state


For-Sale Inventory Continues to Fall, But Shortages May Be Easing

In the top 100 major metropolitan areas, we counted homes listed on Zillow within three price tiers (bottom, middle and top) on Feb. 24, 2013


Chinese finding U.S. real estate a bargain

Beijing lawyer Ying Guohua is heading to the United States on a shopping trip, looking not for designer clothes or jewelry, but for a $1 million home in New York City or Los Angeles


Real estate agents see return of foreign buyers

Canadian investor Arthur Wong is buying condos in Las Vegas and Phoenix like a shopper at Costco: In bulk, with slashed prices


Living small looms large amid real estate bust

To save money or simplify their lives, a small but growing number of Americans are buying or building homes that could fit inside many people’s living rooms


Some real estate agents feeling spring chill

upbeat sales agents are showing signs of nervousness as they confront sluggish growth and tough lending standards


Mortgages rates up on positive jobs report

After holding steady through much of February and early March, rates on fixed-rate mortgage loans rose this week in the wake of reports that suggest the economy continues to mend


Unemployment at lowest level in 4 years

The unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since December 2008 in February


Agent dragged into fair housing lawsuit over listing he didn’t represent

The plight of a Florida agent who was dragged into a fair housing lawsuit over the description of a property he did not represent has raised awareness among real estate professionals that they can be sued for the content of listings that appear on their websites, regardless of whether they are the author.


Housing Recovery ‘Fundamentally Strong’: Lennar CEO

Despite being headquartered in one of the states hardest hit by the housing crash, the CEO of Miami-based Lennar Homes said he is bullish both on the rental side of the business and the single family side


Jumbo Mortgage Divide Starts Shrinking

Even as mortgage rates begin to rise, the difference between conforming and jumbo loan rates is shrinking


Headwind to Housing Recovery? Foreclosures Flare-Up Again

Banks are repossessing fewer homes, in fact the fewest since March of 2007, but in some states that may be about to change, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure data and sale firm


New US Foreclosure Filings Rise in February: RealtyTrac

Foreclosure starts were seen on 71,488 homes in February, up 10 percent from the month before, though that was still down nearly 25 percent from a year ago.


Seven Must-Haves for Your Dream Retirement Home

Finding the right home for retirement, whether it means moving to a new location or renovating a current home so you can age in place, involves being realistic about your long-term physical needs, your financial resources, and what kinds of facilities are nearby to support you, financial and aging experts say.


Mortgage Credit Thawing

are banks and lenders starting to loosen up the purse strings


Mortgage rates edge back up: Freddie Mac

Fixed-mortgage rates rose from the previous week after remaining mostly unchanged


No Money? No Worries. Home Lenders Ease Up Rules

As housing heads into the critical spring market, credit is finally beginning to thaw. Lenders are increasingly approving low down payment loans, and government sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae is buying more of them


Foreclosure Activity Down 25% from Febraury 2012, Up 2% From January

The report shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 154,281 U.S. properties in February, an increase of 2 percent from the previous month but still down 25 percent from February 2012


Lack of available land squeezes homebuilders

For Arbor, Portland’s largest home builder, finding developable sites is the main obstacle to building even more


Seattle real estate market No. 14 for quick sales

Seattle is the 14th “fastest” real estate market in the country, based on the number of homes that sell in 24 hours or less


Good Mooring

Dutch rediscover the charms of houseboat living; gone are the squatter barges


Full Enclosure

The courtyard, one of the world’s oldest home styles, experiences a resurgence, aided by new technology and a growing desire to bring the outdoors in.


For more opinions on today’s real estate issues, visit CBBain’s “In The Know” blog at

“Links” are edited each week by John Deely 

Landover Mortgage

Adapting to the ever changing market…

Landover MortgageIt appears we are just starting to recover from the most long and difficult housing market any of us have seen.  No doubt most of us have financial battle scars but it is a relief to think it might be ending.  But, it’s still hard.  Better, but hard.

The past few months have brought to light our next challenge.  Financing a home is far different than it was in the past. These changes are understandable in light of what contributed to the economic problems in the first place.

Lately, we have seen transactions fall apart at the last minute not because of the borrower, but because the home did not fit the cookie cutter criteria lenders want as they invest in a long term loan.  Banks and lenders are not public servants but businesses, and their profit margins, i.e. interest rates, are at record lows, making their position understandable.

There is far more scrutiny on every detail, requiring extensions that put everyone in the transaction on edge.  Many have not adjusted to or understand the reasons for this.

As we embrace our slow ascent into a healthy market it may be time to educate ourselves and our clients about the process for buyers as they obtain financing.  Schedule time with your loan officer and compare the “then and now” differences in their industry.  We still have information that is not available easily and it’s our chance to again show our clients why they need us.