Did you know that there is a huge difference between PreQualifed and PreApproved, and that over 90% of sellers and the real estate agents that sell their homes demand a PreApproval!  As well did you know that most major banks and institutions never allow the better of the two, PreApproval Letter!  Even if they pull your credit […]

Aug 15, 2017

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Did you know, young buyers are more qualified today than their parents were, and here’s what to know! Money is half the cost for Millennials than it was for their parents.  A $50,000 loan then is the same cost per month as a $100,000 loan now (simple math on lower rates).  Also, the percentage of […]

Jun 13, 2017

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  The market rate Trump Bump is fading, and that’s good for housing…actually! With the average cost of money at $500 a month per $100,000 in mortgage balance, each 0.125% of a rate is only a messily $8.00/mo on that $100k (or $80.00/mo on 1 million). So, in essence, the actual rate has very little […]

Jun 06, 2017

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This award says it all for Anthony Marinaccio.  It’s a reflection of his knowledge at closing loans in the Chicagoland Market! Up against 700+ other mortgage companies, Anthony personally made it to the top amongst 15 for Best Mortgage Brokers in Chicago!  Expertise.com is a site designed to cut the fat!  They awarded Anthony as […]

Jan 24, 2017

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If you are ready to start the process of buying a house, it’s important to take some time to do a little homework first. The steps to buying a house are not complicated, but you need to know what they are in order to make wise decisions along the way. Here are some home-buying tips […]

Dec 05, 2016

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Buying a home is exciting, but the deal isn’t done until you’ve secured a home mortgage. For many people, a mortgage broker may be a better option than dealing with their local bank. Keep in mind, most local banks will offer one or two programs, while a mortgage broker may have a broader range of […]

Jul 22, 2016

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Anthony Marinaccio, Senior Vice President of Residential Mortgage Lending Key Mortgage Services, named in Chicago Agent Magazine’s Who’s Who in Real Estate 2015 – Read Anthony’s Full Article in Chicago Agent Magazine Who’s Who of 2015.        

Jul 15, 2015

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On June 30, 2015 Fannie Mae released some major improvements to their guidelines. Download the changed Fannie Mae Guidelines here.  The biggest change that helps homebuyers is the new no equity in departing home guideline that will help a ton of buyers get out of an old home with no equity requirement (even if the […]

Jul 08, 2015

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The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) promise to change how banks present disclosure materials on August 1, 2015. Prepare your loan officers and bankers with the following sample forms, FAQ sheets, webinars and other resources designed specifically to help bank officials meet compliancy by the August 1 deadline. […]

May 18, 2015

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When you want to own your own home but don’t have the capital required to do so, a mortgage is your best option. A mortgage is a type of loan that allows you to have your own home and thus be a homeowner. After being approved for a mortgage, the homeowner slowly pays off the […]

Apr 13, 2015

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Having an experienced mortgage loan officer in your database can be a lifesaver. If you haven’t yet had an experience where an experienced loan officer seemed to pull a rabbit out of a hat and saved a deal that was dead, you will one day. Good loan officers know at the outset whether someone can […]

Apr 07, 2015

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What it means to be pitched Par Rate. The definition of ‘Par Rate‘ when dealing with a residential mortgage is the base interest rate you qualify for relative to all of the following factors: fico credit rating, down payment percentage amount, type of home (single family, condo, townhouse, etc.), type of mortgage product (fixed vs. […]

Apr 02, 2015

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If you’ve been thinking about refinancing your mortgage or are preparing to buy a home, you may or may not have heard about the new mortgage rules that took effect January 10 of this year. In 2010, as a response to the housing crisis of the last decade, Congress wrote the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform […]

Jan 14, 2014

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  Just in time for buying and selling season to settle down slightly, we predict mortgage rates to be (drum roll, please)…about the same as they are now. Yes, mortgage rates in general will be on a steady pace for the next couple months and they will appear to be stuck in this range for […]

Nov 05, 2013

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You remember that nice couple just a few years ago that wanted to buy home but their lender declined them? Did they tell you the lender said they just didn’t yet make enough money to qualify for the type of home they wanted and decided to wait until they earned more? Sure you do, everyone […]

Oct 07, 2013

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Everyone likes to know what the future will bring. There’s a certain comfort in predictability. Sure, an adventure of any sort can get be exciting but certain things shouldn’t be left to chance. For example, if you want to take a trip somewhere that you’ve never been, don’t you want a map/plan? At least directions […]

Sep 17, 2013

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Some loan officers, rookie ones, will take any and all loan applications they can, package them up and ship it off to their underwriter to essentially see if there’s any possible chance the loan can be approved. This really happens. When a potential borrower applies for a mortgage loan, a loan officer can smile, take […]

Jul 22, 2013

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You’ve been in this situation before or know someone who has, right? A seller accepts an offer and just a few days away from closing the attorney calls and says he doesn’t yet have the closing papers. After a couple of phone calls you find out that the deal fell through; the buyer didn’t qualify […]

Jun 27, 2013

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The Internet certainly has its advantages. It seems that most anything can be researched, scoured and discovered simply by logging online and typing in a few keystrokes in Google. And if the Internet has helped any industry more than the real estate, I’d like to know. Real estate agents can post their client’s property on […]

Jun 13, 2013

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Have you ever thought about being a landlord? Or have any of your clients mentioned to you the possibility of investing in real estate? If they did, you certainly jumped at the opportunity and went shopping for possible deals on behalf of your new-found investor. But do you have other clients that might like to […]

May 16, 2013

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There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. It happens all the time. Even if someone spent a considerable amount of time evaluating a situation and coming to a conclusion, sometimes things change during the course of events and the original plan must be scrapped. That can happen with a mortgage application as well; but when […]

May 02, 2013

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As a listing agent, you know what to expect when an offer is presented. You review the offer with your clients, perhaps counter or accept it as written, and set a closing date. You notice your buyers have a letter from their mortgage company stating their application has been received, reviewed and pre-approved. But sometimes […]

Apr 11, 2013

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Whether it’s an unfinished loft in South Loop or a diamond-in-the-rough single family home in Naperville, buying and fixing up a property can be a real money maker.  The listing for such a property always lures in extra buyers when the possibility of finding a property that, with just a little touch-up, can be worth […]

Apr 02, 2013

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Developers creating a brand new condominium project from the ground up or existing structures extensively remodeled have their financing in hand.  Their bank decided to finance the developer’s newest, latest project and soon a brand new set of sparkling condominium homes for sale somewhere near Lincoln Park will reach for the sky.  At least that’s […]

Mar 20, 2013

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Sometimes people have problems finding enough money for a down payment and closing costs.  Even though many strive to put 20 percent down to get the best rate and to avoid private mortgage insurance, sometimes they fall short; right when their perfect dream home happens to be listed.  But buyers don’t always have to wait […]

Mar 15, 2013

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You just got an offer on your Hinsdale property listing.  This single family home was only on the market for six weeks but your sellers needed a quick sale and you complied, pricing the home just right.  Naturally, the buyers order an inspection to make sure your listing is in top-top shape.  But it’s not […]

Mar 05, 2013

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An inspection is part of any prudent purchase.  Sellers could get an independent property inspection performed before listing so there are no surprises. And buyers should always have a property inspection after any offer is accepted.  Prudence pays.  But when an inspection indicates repairs are needed or the seller and buyer agree to specific property […]

Feb 26, 2013

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Sell now before rates go up, because those same buyers today will not qualify for the same loan amount a year out! Win-Win, Sell-Sell! Past Blog Reminder: A couple years ago when rates were around 5.375 percent, someone making $50,000 per year might qualify to borrow about $230,000.  By putting 20 percent down, that’s a […]

Feb 22, 2013

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You know you’ve seen one.  A preapproval letter given to you by the buyer’s agent proving, or attempting to prove, that the buyer is qualified and has applied for a mortgage to buy your client’s Trump Tower condo.  But you’re a little suspicious.  Or should you be?  What can you look for in a preapproval […]

Feb 15, 2013

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What’s in store for us this year with appraisals when home values slightly increase due to the shortage in inventory, sellers will know they can get a little more for their home and multiple bids usually hike that price. So, will it appraise?  Submit your best and final! Now don’t get me wrong as I am not admitting to […]

Feb 08, 2013

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If your buyers are interested in something quaint around Grant Park, like a nice condominium at Aqua or Metropolitan Tower, they’re not alone.  Chicago-area condos, while still in recovery mode might just be ready for uptick in sales.  And as you and your buyer shop for that perfect condo, remember; condo financing has a few […]

Feb 05, 2013

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Your listing presentation went well.  Very well.  In fact, you got an exclusive on this sure-to-be-a-full-price-offer condo and can’t wait for it to hit the Chicago MLS.  You prepare for your first open-house and your lender offered to help with some flyers about financing and monthly payment options.  And your lender also informed you they […]

Jan 31, 2013

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When it’s so cold outside that fire hoses freeze while putting out a fire, you know that this time of year real estate sales are, well, glacial.  It doesn’t matter if your seller lives in Hinsdale, Naperville or Lincoln Park, sometimes it’s…just…slow in the dead of winter. But you still tell your buyers that it’s […]

Jan 29, 2013

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“U.S. mortgage lenders will get an additional year to implement new appraisal standards for higher- risk loans after regulators revised the Dodd-Frank Act measure to address concerns raised by financial firms”. Creditors issuing loans at above-average interest rates that don’t meet the “qualified mortgage” standard will need to get written reports by certified appraisers who […]

Jan 15, 2013

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  “Confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed in December for the eighth straight month, reaching its highest level in more than six ears and adding to signs the real-estate market is aiding the economic expansion.   The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence increased to 47, the highest since April 2006, from a revised 45, the Washington-based group […]

Dec 18, 2012

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“Farmland values in five Midwest states rose 13 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as record corn and soybean prices spurred demand from farmers and investors, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said. Higher commodity prices and crop insurance more than offset losses from the worst drought in 56 years, boosting farm income […]

Nov 15, 2012

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Prestigious Award Presented by Chicago Agent Magazine and Chicagoland REALTORS® CHICAGO, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Key Mortgage Services Inc. was honored as the Lender of the Year at the Chicago Agent annual Agents’ Choice awards ceremony, hosted by Chicago Agent magazine. Hundreds of Chicagoland real estate professionals voted for Key Mortgage in the magazine’s annual survey. The award winners were announced […]

Oct 26, 2012

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Great article from NPR…heard this on the drive in this AM. “Today, buying a house may once again look like a sound financial option, at least in many parts of the country where markets have stabilized, mortgage interest rates are extremely low, and rents are moving sharply higher. “If you are in a stable place and you […]

Oct 16, 2012

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FHFA Announces New Standard Short Sale Guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Programs Aligned to Expedite Assistance to Borrowers  “Washington, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new, clear guidelines to their mortgage servicers that will align and consolidate existing short sales programs […]

Aug 22, 2012

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WANT MORE ATTENTION ON YOUR CLOSING DAY? Pick a non-common date to close.  Most common industry dates: 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th…. Pick dates like: 3rd, 8th, 14th, 18th, …they are less common for the industry, meaning fewer funds being wired to title, less closings for attorney’s and less funding for lenders. Simple things like this will cut […]

Jun 14, 2012

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Residential Closing Checklist for Buyers By: Gregory Braun Residential real estate closings can be frustrating. Challenges can arise at any of the many steps required for a successful closing, making residential real estate closings anything but routine. Today, buyers find closings increase their stress levels more than ever due to dramatically more stringent lending requirements […]

Jun 06, 2012

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Laurie Goodman,  a highly respected mortgage analyst,  presented at a Senate hearing on mortgage refinancing yesterday.   Attached is her testimony.   She focused on the problems with HARP 2.0. As she put it…”the largest banks have been given the opportunity to extract monopoly profits on HARP refis”….READ IT….DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER! “We believe that a broader refinancing plan which allows the […]

Apr 26, 2012

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By: Carrie Bay 04/17/2012 Beginning June 15, real estate agents working with distressed homeowners whose loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should expect to receive a decision on a short sale offer within 30-60 days. The GSEs issued new guidelines Tuesday that fall under the Servicing Alignment Initiative rolled out last fall and aim to bring greater transparency […]

Apr 19, 2012

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Mortgage Interest Rates spiked, mainly because of the evident consumer confidence in the market. Home sales will increase and listing times will decrease, if you list to sell! A 1.000% INCREASE in rates to the average buyer is relative to a $50,000 decrease in buying power. Sitting on the fence will only decrease your potential […]

Mar 20, 2012

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  This will be effective with all FHA assigned Case Numbers dated @ 4/1 or greater… ALL COLLECTIONS will be required to be paid off if they exceed $1,000.00 in total or they MUST go into a payment arrangement.  It will then require a payment history with at least 3 months of verified payments to […]

Mar 02, 2012

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Beginning April 1, the up front mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) will increase to 1.75% from 1% of the base loan amount.   FHA buyers will pay an additional $750 up front fee for every 100K borrowed.   In addition, the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) will increase between .1% and .3%. Now may be a great time for FHA buyers […]

Feb 28, 2012

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Fannie Mae has recently integrated an online portal where real estate agents submit their buyers’ offers.  Offers on Fannie Mae owned REO‘s are no longer to be submitted to the listing agent; allowing for documentation purposes to avoid miss-communication to all parties.   Many agents have already submitted an offer for a buyer through this process to find they are spending a […]

Feb 24, 2012

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  “Attached is a story from the Chicago Tribune that you should know about and discuss with / forward to all the agents in your office.  Currently, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 allows homeowners to exclude the amount of the loan forgiven in short sales and foreclosures.  This means that, following a […]

Jan 19, 2012

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    I will now be able to close loans when a borrower will start a job after the date of the note: Future income must be documented with a formal offer/contract from the new Employer stating all pertinent information (start date, salary, etc.) and be non-contingent.  It must be signed by the employer & […]

Jan 18, 2012

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NOTE FROM MY INVESTORS: Determining the Maximum Loan Amount for Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Mortgages Correspondent lenders are reminded that Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Mortgages must have the proper maximum loan amount calculated to be eligible for purchase by the majority of mortgage investors. To assist correspondent lenders, attached is Freddie Mac’s worksheet for Determining the […]

Jan 11, 2012

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DIRECTLY FROM FANNIE MAE “During the weekend of March 17, 2012, Fannie Mae will update Desktop Underwriter Version 8.3 to implement enhancements to DU Refi Plus (HARP) The following enhancements will be made in DU to expand eligibility. Maximum LTV ratio for DU Refi Plus loan casefiles is being removed for DU Refi Plus fixed-rate […]

Jan 03, 2012

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In an effort to continue stabilizing home values and improve conditions in communities experiencing high foreclosure activity, Acting Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Carol J. Galante will extend FHA’s temporary waiver of the anti-flipping regulations.   With certain exceptions, FHA regulations prohibit insuring a mortgage on a home owned by the seller for less than […]

Dec 23, 2011

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Baird & Warner is done chewing on the surface and ready to spit out the launch of their new online home buying search tool.  With more profound lifestyle search options, B & W will give buyers better results in their online home buying and searching experiences. Utilizing feature settings going beyond the direction buyers want their home to face (North, South, East or West,) […]

Dec 19, 2011

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Last night Brookfield Asset Management announced the purchase of Prudential. Here is a copy of an early press release from Brookfield: Brookfield acquires Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services Brookfield Residential Property Services, a Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) affiliate, announced that it has purchased Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, or PRERS, from Prudential Financial […]

Dec 07, 2011

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On “October 24, 2011, the government’s FHFA announced its revamped HARP refinance program. HARP is “the mortgage for underwater homeowners”; an appraisal-less refinance for loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It’s the conforming mortgage equivalent of the FHA Streamline Refinance. Since the FHFA announcement, this website has logged 1,727 HARP Refinance requests via […]

Dec 06, 2011

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Freddie Mac launched a sales promotion for its inventory of foreclosed homes in select states. Under the HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion, HomeSteps will pay up to 3% of the final sales price towards the buyer’s closing costs and a $1,000 selling agent bonus for initial offers received between Nov. 15 and Jan. 31, 2012. Freddie Mac […]

Dec 02, 2011

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A very close friend of mine sent me this video and I had to share it with the rest of you…    

Nov 29, 2011

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Last Two Weeks… Wow, a lot of confusing movement in the market last week.  Not only is it clearly due to the Government pulling out of diversified investments and bulking into Mortgage Backed Securities with intentions to drive rates down and create spendable consumer dollars, but day-to-day investor emotions played a MAJOR affect as well!  Expect […]

Oct 03, 2011

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Jobless claims jumped 11,000 in the September 10 week to an unexpectedly high 428,000. The prior week was revised 3,000 higher to 417,000. The Labor Department isn’t citing any effect from Hurricane Irene though last week the department said they did see the possibility of the small upward revision to the September 3 week. Though […]

Sep 15, 2011

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I know there is a lot out there about the new appraisal requirements that start to take place on Sept 1. Just to give you all a little color behind and what we have already done here to make sure we are compliant with it: UAD is simply the new format that all appraisals have […]

Aug 23, 2011

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FHA‘s increased loan limits are set to expire on 9/30 and while there is some hint these may be extended we need to proceed on the basis they will not! Our loan limits for the Chicago MSA will go from $410,000 to $365,000 for a SFR (those of you doing loans in Kankakee, Winnebego counties, […]

Aug 22, 2011

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“Geez!  I have been working some floor duty lately and I am getting run ragged by all these people that call in and just need/want to rent!” Is this you?  I have heard this quote from many, many realtors in the last few weeks, and every time I hear it a huge cash register goes […]

Jun 01, 2011

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Weekly initial jobless claims are still over 400,000 but they came down very substantially in the May 14 week to 409,000, for a 29,000 fall following the prior week’s 40,000 decline (prior week revised 4,000 higher to 438,000). Stock futures are rising in reaction to this report.  This will make mortgage rates increase….lock today.  

May 19, 2011

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Consumer confidence fell to a six- week low as the costliest gasoline in almost three years worsened Americans’ perceptions of their finances.  When consumer confidence is low the markets drop and this lowers interest rates.  “The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 46.9 in the period to May 8, the worst reading since March, from […]

May 13, 2011

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1. The number one rule of home staging is to depersonalize. If you do nothing else, you absolutely need to pack away anything that makes the house ‘yours’ as opposed to theirs. Your family photos may be precious to you, but to a buyer, they’re clutter. Clear off counters and shelves, pack away books and […]

Mar 02, 2011

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Twitter, tweet, chirp…whatever.  Why am I even doing this Twitter thing? Tweeting is for following and that’s pretty much it.  If you want to tweet to share your chirps then you need to add value that people want.  Many tweeters are here to gain linkback stats to their site because it helps drive SEO, rankings in search […]

Feb 03, 2011

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Consumer confidence is reflective of these figures; I do expect a small quick dip in rates.  Home Buyers closing in Feb and March will gain from this dip in retail sales.  Make sure your Mtg Banker is on watch. Here is a link I follow daily to project rate movement: HERE When it’s green rates are […]

Feb 02, 2011

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1. Funding is cheap The current economic climate sweetens the pot for people on solid financial footing. Should I spend $60,000 to renovate my house? “The Fed doesn’t want you to save — it wants you to put your dollars into circulation,” said Keith Gumbinger, mortgage market analyst at HSH.com. Today’s historically low interest rates […]

Feb 02, 2011

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Freddie Mac and Fannie pass the Buck on the Bill…$ Game Changer…once the government took over Fannie and Freddie tax payers now own the debt on $160 million defending mortgage finance companies.  The worst part is that $132 million went to defending two entities and their former executives over accounting improprieties that occurred years before […]

Jan 28, 2011

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So…Let’s think like a bank today.  What happens to the market when rates spike… it creates a sense of urgency to buy before the deal of the century is just a story and the lazy refi’ers get off their fence before there is no benefit. When rates go up who earns more interest on these […]

Jan 19, 2011

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Hi! So many people have the new tip and innovative way to sell any home, capture any buyer… the catch is that is costs money and eats away at a lot of your time. What’s the point of paying for marketing materials if you have to do all the work and figure out how to gain the […]

Jan 14, 2011

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