Friday, July 8, 2011

The gov't should let me fix the real estate industry

The gov't should let me fix the real estate industry. Here's how:'

1. First, I would make whatever banks have to service whatever loans they grant. No passing them off to Greece or Iceland.

2. Second, I would start adding one per cent a year or every second year to the down payment amount people would have to pony up, till everyone had to have at least 20% down. However, I would make savings for a down payment a before tax saving, as long as it was in a certified down payment account. The interest on the account would also be tax free.

3. HELOCs would only be allowed if the bank was able to certify that the funds were actually used for home improvements. No rolling in car loans, trips, boats, credit card payments etc. or taking out cash for something unrelated to the house.

4. Only certified appraisers would be allowed to appraise. No broker price opinions. No bank rules for appraisers.

5. No gov't bailouts for banks, no gov't guaranteed loans like FHA except for low income housing. Low income housing only for those with low incomes, who would be able to 'rent-to-own' by adding a down payment amount to their rent each month.

6. Get banks out of the real estate business, because they are artificially depressing prices. As long as they can do foreclosure sales & short sales & the gov't makes up the difference between what they are owed & what the house sells for, there is no incentive for the banks to allow prices to settle into a normal supply & demand mode.

Mary's Funny Real Estate Stories

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply.(Actual reply from FHA): "Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin." Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows: (Actual response):"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France, in 1803 the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella. The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus's expedition...Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our loan?"The loan was immediately approved.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mary's Funny Real Estate Stories

This is from a realtor with 30+ years of experience. She says this is the first time she has been truly speechless in all that time. She had a referral from an old client that a lady wanted to sell her rental condo. Realtor picked up the owner & they went to look at the condo, which was supposed to be vacant. When they opened the door, they heard noises, & found the lady's husband naked with his secretary! The realtor & the lady backed out of the door, as the husband was saying the classic words, "But Honey, I can explain...". Realtor didn't get the listing, because now the husband is living in the condo as part of the divorce settlement!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Phoenix Market Update

Phoenix area gains 7,200 jobs from January 2010 to 2011 - - The Phoenix area added 7,200 jobs during the past year, ranking it 26th among 372 metropolitan areas across the nation. A total of 266 metro areas gained employment between January 2010 and January 2011, according to new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ninety-three suffered declines, and 13 were unchanged. Peoria enters talks on development near sports complex - Plans are in the works for a four-star hotel, a three-story parking structure, retail shops, restaurants and luxury lofts on what is now a city-owned 17-acre parking lot west of the spring-training ballpark. The Peoria City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to accept a development proposal submitted by Osage West LLC, a partnership between local developer Mike Oliver and Osage LLC, a business arm of the Oklahoma-based Osage Nation. Read article: Real estate: It's time to buy again - Metrostudy is finding an extraordinary reversal of the new-home glut that helped sink prices just a few years ago. In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, a total of 78,000 houses are now either vacant and for sale, or under construction. That's less than one-fourth of the 343,000 units in those two categories at the peak of the frenzy in mid-2006, and well below the level of a decade ago. "If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months," says Mike Castleman of Metrostudy. "We'd see an incredible shortage. And that's where we're heading." Read article: Free Stuff from FREE Pickup of books, paperbacks, videos, CDs, sheet music, for VNSA Charity Book Sale FREE Tips on Home staging your house for better showings FREE Tips for First Time Home Buyers FREE Tips for First Time Home Sellers FREE The 10 Things Most Often Cited on Home Inspections FREE Info on 180 day rule for foreign home buyers FREE Info on FIRPTA Rules for foreign investors FREE Info on what Canadian buyers of Arizona Real Estate need to know. FREE shopping, golf, sports, Arizona Living info FREE info on Great Canadian Picnic, & Canada Cup Golf Tournament FREE Market News from Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Desert Dwellers Realty GREEN Master of Real Estate, GRI, CRS, ABR, CSSR, SFR, CRMS, CIPS

Thursday, March 24, 2011

1 in 5 Canadians wants to buy US Real Estate

20% of Canadians want to buy US Real Estate
- With the Decline in Value of American Real Estate, Leger Study Shows 20 per cent of Canadians Would Consider Purchasing a Home or Property South of the Border
- Men Are More Likely Than Women to Purchase a Home in the U.S. (29 per cent Versus 16 per ce
Mar. 24, 2011 (Marketwire Canada) --
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- As many Canadians return from south of the border after the March Break, a new survey from BMO Bank of Montreal shows they may have been doing more than visiting theme parks and beaches. The survey conducted by Leger Marketing reveals that one in five Canadians would now consider purchasing property in the United States.
In the study, Canadians indicated that both lower prices and the strong Canadian dollar have added to their interest in purchasing property in the U.S. and growing their assets.
Overall housing prices in the United States have fallen by 30 per cent over the past four years. However, prices in regions that are traditionally destinations for Canadian snowbirds have dropped even more. For example prices in Tampa have dropped 44 per cent, Phoenix, fell 54 per cent, Las Vegas, 57 per cent, and Miami, 49 per cent.
"Now, with the American economy and employment gaining strength, home sales should pick up and put a floor under soft prices," said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We expect prices to rise over time as the overhang of unsold homes eases."
He adds that beyond this year over the long term the U.S. greenback should strengthen as well. This would provide an opportunity for capital appreciation for Canadians who purchased U.S. property at a low price while the Canadian dollar was high.
The Leger survey also revealed:
Men are more likely to consider purchasing a home south of the border, 29 per cent in comparison to 16 per cent of women.
Regionally, those in Alberta (31 percent), British Columbia (28 per cent), and the Prairie Provinces (27 per cent) are most interested buying property in the U.S.
BMO Mortgage Specialist, Laura Parsons, advises that if the funds to purchase your property are not readily available, consider for example a homeowners line of credit. "By speaking with a BMO Banking Representative, they may be able to set up a line of credit against your current real estate assets. You can then use this to finance your property in the U.S. and give you a realistic spending budget."
Another option is for customers interested in purchasing U.S. properties to finance the new purchase with a U.S. based financial institution. Customers can visit a branch of BMO Financial Group's U.S. subsidiary Chicago bank, Harris Private Bank, which has branches in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin. "Staying within the family can save a lot of time and headache," adds Mrs. Parsons. "Alternatively, seek out Canadian banks that are already established in the U.S. and in the area you are looking to purchase in."
BMO offers the following tips for Canadians interested in purchasing property in the U.S.:
What states and neighbourhoods fit your needs?
Since you are responsible for property maintenance, consider how easily you can access your property from your Canadian home throughout the purchasing process and after acquisition.
Consider flights and airlines, if you can fly there direct, and the cost.
Research and even ask locals about the community to ensure it suits your needs.
What to consider when financing the purchase with a U.S. based financial institution?
It is important to be aware of the differences in mortgage financing and how interest is charged in the U.S.
Furthermore, understand the impact of penalties and withholding taxes if and when you decide to sell your home in the U.S.
Do you understand the status of the property?
Understand the terms of the property. For instance, is it labelled as short-sale or on foreclosure?
The status of the property can have a variety of implications. Be sure to consult an expert before making any buying decisions.
How will you use your property?
Is your purchase for investment or lifestyle purposes? This will affect where you buy and how you hold the property. Also, understand the options available and what will benefit you in the long run.
If your purchase is for income purposes, keep in mind that renting your property means added responsibility. Research the possibilities of increased utility usage, property management needs and the vacancy rate in the area to ensure you're prepared. Investment properties can be subject to taxation in two countries, so make sure you speak to a taxation specialist.
How much time will you spend south of the border?
Consider how many months of the year you'll be living there so that your purchase reflects your lifestyle.
Be aware that there are rules regarding the amount of time you can spend in the U.S. before being considered a U.S. resident and subject to paying income tax.
Internet Address:
Source: CCN )
Canadians: Want to know more about buying a home in Arizona? Call or email for free info on the following:
*Register for frequent MLS updates on your new Arizona Home
*180 day rule for foreign nationals
*FIRPTA tax rules for selling your home in the USA
*Difference between using Escrow and a lawyer for conveyancing
*Disclosure issues
*Shopping, Golf, Sports, Critter Report, Arizona Living
*Market News from
*Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor 602-738-6597
*Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Desert Dwellers Realty
GREEN Master of Real Estate, GRI, CRS, ABR, CSSR, SFR, CRMS, CIPS

What do older buyers want in a home?

What do older buyers want in a home?

As many older Americans choose to remain in their homes as they age, they will become more concerned about issues related to mobility, home safety & care-giving options. To address these concerns, the MetLife Mature Market Institute has published the MetLife Aging in Place Workbook-- Your Home as a Care Setting, a free guide to help individuals & families assess potential care needs, determine whether assistive devices are needed, identify potential care sources & understand costs. The workbook also includes a list of organizations & government agencies that can provide additional assistance. The free publication is available at

Want to know more about buying a home in Arizona? Call or email for free info on the following:
*Register for frequent MLS updates on your new Arizona Home
*Difference between using Escrow and a lawyer for conveyancing
*Disclosure issues affecting Phoenix Home buying
*Shopping, Golf, Sports, Critter Report, Arizona Living
*Maxiemize Lifestyle with PhoenixAreaCanadianRealtor
Mary Maxie, Associate Broker, Desert Dwellers Realty
GREEN Master of Real Estate, GRI, CRS, ABR, CSSR, SFR, CRMS, CIPS

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Vacation Home Sales on the Rebound

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Vacation Home Sales on the Rebound