June 5th, 2011

Weekly Recap (05/30/11-06/04/11)




Videos: Staging your home before you sell

We all know how tough it can be for those trying to sell their homes these days. The massive inventory of distressed real estate and vacant properties have brought home prices way down and have given potential homebuyers plenty of options to choose from.

Sellers these days need to use every trick in the book to sell their properties. That’s why we recently published such articles as “5 outside-the-box secrets to help sell your home,”7 ways to beat the short sale competition,” “Want to sell? Get a prelisting home inspection,” and “7 ways to doom your home sale.”

But in an effort to provide sellers with even more information–and in a different format–to get them at least one step ahead of the competition, created a series of videos on how to properly stage your home before you sell


Think you have what it takes to flip houses?

I know at least some of you are seeing these dreadful housing reports on falling home prices and bloated housing inventories and saying to yourself, “Maybe I can cash in on a great deal. Maybe I’ll buy a home for cheap, fix it up and sell it for a profit.”

While I can’t blame you for recognizing an opportunity to snatch up even one of the great deals this county’s real estate market has to offer, I have to warn you that flipping houses isn’t easy and it isn’t a way to make a quick buck. Sure, prices certainly make the opportunity more enticing, but buying, fixing, managing and reselling a property for profit is not for everyone…


Government wants to simplify mortgage quotes

The newly-formed Consumer Finance Protection Bureau wants to revise the good faith estimate (GFE) form that lenders use to explain your mortgage terms. It’s asking consumers to choose one of two forms, neither of which is likely to please lenders.

Telling the public how much mortgages actually cost has been the subject of an epic battle between the lending industry and federal officials. The latest GFE went into service in January 2010–after 14 years of development! Of course, once the new form was released the first step taken by lenders was to haul the government into court in an effort to stop it, an effort that was thrown out…


A stumbling economy brings lower mortgage rates

Even with the unofficial start of summer past us, we should still be in the midst of a busy homebuying season.

But by now most of us are aware of the economy’s persistent issues preventing the real estate market from being anything close to busy, or in other words, normal. Unfortunately for the masses, it is fairly clear that the economy has officially downshifted from a reasonable growth rate at the end of 2010, and present trends don’t suggest any imminent uptick.


So, while a stumbling economy means fewer jobs and fewer dollars to spread around, it also means lower mortgage rates


Lenders say there’s a staff shortage…I say ‘hire someone!’

For those who have not noticed, the housing mess is old news. You could argue that it started in April 2007, that’s when property values were at their peak, 19.8 percent higher than today. Or you could go back a year earlier, to April 2006, when the Association of License Law Officials was meeting in Jacksonville.

It was at the Jacksonville meeting–a time when the real estate market was boiling with good news–that one speaker said…


Be sure to review our VA content this Memorial Day

First off, I’d like to start off by wishing everyone a happy Memorial Day. As we take some time today to honor the men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we hold so deep, we also want to make sure we take some time to think about those who are currently serving at home and abroad.

I wanted to use this opportunity today to remind you all of the information and resources we have published on for our veterans. One of the small ways this country honors those who serve is to provide them with cheaper access to home loans.


VA mortgages are available with little to no money down, and VA refinances provide a great opportunity for veterans who hadn’t taken out a VA loan to start with…

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About the HSH Blog's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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