Thursday, September 20, 2007

Congressional "solutions" to subprime crisis

Sort of funny to be watching Washington Journal this morning with a couple congressman discussing solutions to the subprime crisis. Who has made the real estate closing process more confusing (with tons more paperwork) than our Congress? As I see it, the issue is an advertising issue...not so much anything specific to mortgage financing and legal documents themselves. And you really only need to understand the first two pages of a Note to see what your interest rate, change date and prepayment penalties are anyways.

Buying a property with a tenant

Nothing too tough here but I hadn't had one of these in a while and it was a good refresher:

--Get a lease assignment;

--Get the Seller's security deposit transferred to the Buyer at closing;

--Have the Seller warranty that he/she has abided by all relevant laws;

--If it's close, delay the closing until after the tenant's gone.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Foreclosure help from Treasury Secretary

Secretary Paulson was in town awarding grants to various community organizations. Not sure the significance yet but here's who got the $$:

About $1.6 million was awarded to Chicago-based nonprofits:

• National Housing Services of Chicago, $950,704.

• The CEDA Community Development Fund, $26,230.

• The Chicago Community Loan Fund, $585,060.

Sellers pay for inspections

I've heard and read about this suggestion. Why not? In other words shortly after you list your property have a licensed real estate inspector do a thorough inspection so buyers can review it as part of their purchase process. Have it out at open houses and maybe post it on the Web. Done in this fashion this is not in lieu of the Buyer's inspection pursuant to the terms of the contract...that said there's nothing that says the Seller can't pay for the Buyers inspection. These are $250ish and I think would add greatly to piece of mind and trust.

Of course if you have things to hide maybe not such a great idea...

Nothing like a seemless 45 minute closing...

I had one of these this week. Why aren't there more of these? It's not that hard...frankly it's just pure sloppiness on the part of attorneys, agents, title companies and lenders that we don't. It could have been my fastest closing ever except that I was signing mortgage docs for an out-of-state client and it takes a while to sign John Doe client by Peter R. Olson attorney in fact for two people

Agents dropping

Here's a piece about the unsurprising reality of fewer folks becoming real estate agents as the market surprise right. What do agents and mortgage brokers do when the market slows? I played golf with an agent and a mortgage broker this week and they said essentially market. Anybody else? It's got to be tough sledding for some people now.

Don't wait if you have mortgage problems

Here's a nice overview piece about options if you get behind on your mortgage:


--Seek help from your lender: seek a workout and loan term change;

--Get help from a loan counselor (Chicago has such a program);

--Sell your home;


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Government's role in the "subprime" crisis

Should our government be involved at all with the various homeowners and lenders who are getting hurt as more defaults and foreclosures come on the scene?

My initial reaction was absolutely not. Why should we be encouraging poor fiscal behavior? But I think I heard the best explanation yet this morning from old Barney Franks (D-Mass) on Washington Journal on C-Span this morning. He suggested that the reason to be bailing-out people is that essentially the brunt of this problem is in isolated areas...i.e. lower income areas. And I've seen articles about this where whole neighborhoods are wiped out. But his point was that we should be helping the "subprime" folks who are in trouble to help out the homeowners in these neighborhoods who ARE paying their mortgages. If we don't help the "subprime" crowd then the values of homes in these neighborhoods will just get hammered.

I thought it was a persuasize argument...