Weekly Recap (07/18/11-07/23/11)by Tim Manni
Especially if you’re trying to sell your home these days, you’re going to need all the help you can get. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, a lazy real estate agent will get you nowhere fast.
Quality agents have a firm grasp on their local market and are well connected in their industry.
“A bad agent, on the other hand, can cost you time and money–not to mention become a source of unneeded frustration,” writes HSH.com contributing writer Lynnette Khalfani-Cox.
If you read an article called “I helped cause the financial crisis, and I’m sorry,” you might have come away afraid to refinance a mortgage or buy a home ever again. This entertaining tale was told by a 22-year-old subprime loan officer who worked in the business for nine months before fleeing. The bad news is that some of what Ken Kupchik writes about did happen at other companies besides his. The good news is that a repeat performance is highly unlikely.
The big bank bailout is largely over and done–we hope–and now comes the conclusion that it was a success.
Financial columnists Alan Sloan and Doris Burke write in the Washington Post that:
The bailout, by the numbers, clearly did work. Not only did it forestall a worldwide financial meltdown, but a Fortune analysis shows that U.S. taxpayers are also coming out ahead on it–by at least $40 billion, and possibly by as much as $100 billion eventually.
Last month we told you about the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) that was designed to provide substantial mortgage relief to those in 27 states and Puerto Rico. EHLP will provide interest-free loans to those struggling to make their monthly payments due to unemployment, underemployment, illness or injury.
The thing is, there’s only a few days left to apply! Struggling borrowers have until Friday July, 22, 2011 to apply.
Fewer and fewer of us are buying homes.
That’s not a surprise.
What’s a surprise is one alleged reason for our falling homeownership rate. According to a new study from the Mortgage Bankers Association, “Sharp declines in house prices served as a catalyst for the 2007 meltdown in mortgage and capital markets and the downturn in the global economy.”
This reasoning confuses cause and effect. Falling home prices were the result of the erosion of mortgage norms, NOT the cause of a mortgage meltdown.
If we didn’t make it clear enough last week, June’s employment report cemented the fact that consistent economic expansion is still a long way off.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed last week that while the Fed would continue to keep a close eye on the markets, their plans for ending their extraordinary supports from the market would continue as planned, despite current economic conditions.
Bottom line: While the soft economy may not bode well for GDP growth, it continues to provide great opportunities for homebuyers and refinancers.