March 6, 2017
- TWC Asset Management Co. finally received a long awaited favorable judgment for accusations regarding the truth of the failure of international real estate investors. A New York Court of Appeals determined the United Stated financial crisis was the cause of their loss of investment, not the guidance of TWC Asset Management Co.
- A New Jersey Court mandated property owners to help with environmental investigation costs due to an environmental concern partly deriving from the couples property.
- Property owners cite the Pokemon Go developers for their recent increase of trespass. The software company, Niantic Inc. urged a California judge to dismiss the case; however, the judge refused.
March 3, 2017
US News & World Report quoted me in 6 Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent. It opens,
Selling a home has become easier over the years with online services to help the seller set a price and advertise, but most homeowners still hire a real estate agent.
While many agents have deep experience and know their markets intimately, newcomers abound – people looking to cash in when the market is hot and may not even work at the job full time. So experts advise homeowners to look carefully for an agent with the right combination of experience, knowledge, work ethic and personality.
What is a Realtor? Typically an agent is someone licensed by the state to sell real estate, while a broker is a manager of a team of agents. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the industry’s main trade group, which requires members abide by certain ethical standards. Experts suggest sellers use agents who have received more than minimum training required in their state.
“In California, the requirements for a real estate salesperson’s license are very low, basically, three classes and a test,” says Bryan Zuetel, a real estate attorney and broker in Orange County, California.
“Almost any agent can get a listing, enter the property into the (multiple listing service), create some flyers, hold open houses and fill in blanks on the contract forms,” Zuetel says. “However, most agents do not understand, but should understand, the complex contract terms, implications of an unhappy party in the transaction, legal requirements for the numerous disclosures, appropriate negotiations during the escrow period, conflict resolution via mediation or arbitration, and the remedies under the contract.”
Do your homework. Law professor David Reiss, academic program director at The Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Law School, says it’s important to check out a prospective agent with previous sellers.
“Some real estate agents are great at pitching themselves but not great at marketing homes once they have the listing,” Reiss says. “Getting recommendations from friends and relatives will give you information that the agent herself or himself would not provide. Do they return phone calls promptly? Are they creative problem solvers? Do they educate themselves about the pros and cons of the home and (comparable properties in the area)?”
- Ben Carson officially holds the title of the 17th secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, immediately starting his reign at the helm of the housing agency. His first day comes a little more than a month after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, and the industry is ready to make up for lost time.
- The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report that examines the characteristics and roles of syndicators in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) market. Syndicators award tax credits to investors of Housing Credit developments, acting as an intermediary between the developer and investor. According to the GAO report, the 32 surveyed syndicators have raised more than $100 billion in Housing Credit equity since 1986, helping to finance more than 20,000 properties and about 1.4 million units placed in service through 2014.
- Last Friday, purchases of new U.S. homes in January were slower than forecast, signaling an increase in mortgage rates may be giving some potential buyers pause. Sales climbed 3.7 percent to a 555,000 annualized pace, Commerce Department data showed Friday.
- Looking Forward: Enterprise’s Policy Focus in 2017. Enterprise works with partners nationwide to build opportunity, to create and advocate for affordable homes in thriving communities linked to good schools, jobs, transit and health care and lend funds, finance development and manage and build affordable housing, while shaping new strategies, solutions and policy.
- A new report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) finds a shortage of 7.4 million affordable and available homes for extremely low income (ELI) renter households, who are those with incomes at or below 30 percent of area median income.
- Homeowner spending on remodeling is expected to see healthy growth through 2025, according to Demographic Change and the Remodeling Outlook, the latest biennial report in the Improving America’s Housing series released by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
March 1, 2017
TheStreet.com quoted me in President Trump Grades Out Well in the Eyes of Financial Advisors. I was a contrarian voice in this story:
President Trump has been in the office for a little over a month, and love him or hate him, financial industry specialists seem fairly bullish on his performance from an economic point of view.
That’s the takeaway from a single question posted to a handful of highly-respected U.S. financial advisors – “how would you grade President Trump’s economic performance one month into his term?”
All the advisors contacted by TheStreet stated, in unison, that it’s very early in the Trump presidency, and that events can change on a dime when it comes to key consumer financial issues like jobs, the stock market, gross domestic product, the housing market, and consumer spending.
But the reaction from virtually all the money managers in touch with TheStreet.com was positive, with a healthy share of As graded out. Here are those grades, and why wealth managers are, for now at least, putting. Trump at the head of the class:
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David Reiss, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, N.Y. – “I give President Trump a first term grade of C- for the housing market. He has indicated that he wants to roll back Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it created. That will have a negative impact on homeowners who are protected by Dodd-Frank’s Qualified Mortgage and Ability-to-Repay rules. Trump started the process of rolling back Dodd-Frank with a vague executive order directing Treasury to review financial regulations. If Trump decides to completely gut the homeowner protections contained in Dodd-Frank, his grade will plummet further as predatory lending rears its head once again in the housing market.”
With media mavens, political activists, and even Main Street Americans squaring off over one of the most controversial Presidents in history, the outlook from financial specialists — with the exception of Reiss — on the economy is a bullish one, even if it’s only a month or so into the Trump administration.
- This paper, titled Blockchain for Commercial Real Estate, talks about how blockchain technology can be applied to real estate transactions to save costs on fees, speed up transactions, and provide additional security.
- This paper, titled Non-Banks and Lending Standards in Mortgage Markets, The Spillovers from Liquidity Regulation, shows show that greater liquidity in Ginnie Mae (GNMA) backed secondary mortgage markets has led to a higher market share and more relaxed standards for nonbanks and lenders with less deposit funding.
- The major cities of the world have attracted a flurry of interest from out-of-town (OOT) home buyers. Such capital inflows in local real estate have implications for affordability through their effects on prices and rents, but also for construction, local labor markets, the spatial distribution of residents, and ultimately economic welfare. This paper, Out-of-Town Buyers and City Welfare, We develop a spatial equilibrium model of a city that features heterogeneous households that make optimal decisions on consumption, savings, labor supply, tenure status, and location.