Category Archives: Real Estate

S.O.S. Get Our Banks Back to Lending in Real Estate

If you believe that the Real Estate Market here in Columbus, Ohio is stagnant, you are not alone.  What is worse, is that it is not only a local, but a national issue.  Data from the Mortgage Brokers Association (right) indicate lending has hit an all time low.  Not only that; there are indications that the banks are still making a profit, not on loans but on "tradeable assets like government bonds".

This has to stop.  It is hurting our economy and frustrating many who want to buy and sell homes.  Probably this current lending hiatus is the safest option for mortgage institutions to take right now.  They are being really conservative because of the changes they are facing especially from the Dodd-Frank Act and the changes coming to Fannie and Freddie.  

This is my cry to resolve these issues and bring back some normalcy to the lending environment.  The environment we are currently in is only creating frustration, apprehension, and stagnation.  Hope is needed.

Why I Am Always Going to Own a Home

I had a friend point out to me the Columbus Underground thread on James Altucher's blog on Why I Am Never Going to Own a Home Again.  My friend's concern is a possible change in attitude on homeownership.  I really feel, not because I am a Realtor®, that there will be a market again for people who want to own homes.  I think there is some justified cynicism right now about homeownership.  I even feel that people should read James Atucher's blog post and really seriously think if homeownership is the right move for them.  There are so many myths and rights of passage surrounding homeownership that we forget to ask, "Can I be a homeowner?".  There is so much responsibility in homeownership that everyone should explore this question before they set foot in my office or even in front of a mortgage loan officer.

In this blog, I am going to explore the reasons Why I Am Always Going to Own a Home.

  1. I love drewtoothpaste's comment on Columbus Underground "My home isn't an investment, it's a golden ticket to the land of no more landlords."  Amen, drewthoothpaste!  When my husband and I decided to look for a home we were so tired of:
    • the boring apartment white walls.  I swear there is a special dull, apartment white color sold for the apartment managers.  One that conveys no life or warmth or comfort.
    • smelling the neighbor's diners and hearing the neighbor's conversations.  I mean there was no private space what-so-ever.
    • lack of neighborly responsibility.  We were robbed in the middle of the day.  We were the middle apartment of 3.  The neighbors on both sides were home at the time and "heard" nothing.  I can hear your conversations through the wall and you cannot hear pounding and a huge "CRACK"?!
    • not having a plot of land to garden.  It is our fondest hobby to garden.  We love trying new things and watching them grow.  
  2. Spectacular neighbors.
    • Always concerned about how we are doing.  
    • Watching our house like it is their own while we are gone for periods of time.  
    • Offering help while we are on vacation.  
    • Waving to us as we leave or come back home.
    • Having block parties to just have fun.
  3. The Subdivision.
    • Has a great park in the middle.
    • Kids playing outside so you know parents are comfortable here.
    • Great school systems.  We live in a subdivision where students attend either Dublin or Worthington Schools.  
  4. Responsibility.
    • Home maintenance is a pain sometimes when it happens unexpectedly; but, it is the care that we give to the home that makes us proud.
    • Lawn maintenance is a balance of learning what you can take care of versus what you should let the professionals do.  Nothing beats a wonderful lawn and a beautiful garden that you put in yourself.
    • Paying the mortgage and watching time whittle away the interest into payments on the principle.  
  5. Investment in the Home; Stomp out the Transient Lifestyle
    • Money is not everything.  Yes, cash is king; but, my home is my own to do with as I see fit.  I'm a renovator.  I grew up in a home that was under constant renovations.  I love the process of taking old warn out styles and updating the home with the latest home fashion.  Yes, it is home fashion because nothing stays the same for long.  What is in today will be out sooner than they you can say 2012.
    • Nothing can make a home like paint.  It is the cheapest form of renovation there is and it can work miracles to the home's feeling – warmth, comfort, coziness, brightness, calmness, etc.
    • Think about it.  If you could throw a little extra cash on the principle on the home each month and own the home sooner, you will have no one to evict you.  You own the home and land.  What more can I say?
  6. Be a Part of the Community
    • Putting down roots has never felt so good.  It has taken me 11 years to understand what putting down roots in a community means.  It will be hard to convey this concept through words.  But, knowing that you are part of something bigger than yourself can be very satisfying.  You are growing the future for the area whether passively or actively.

Please never feel pressured into buying a home because it is "a great investment of your money", "I have too because {insert reason here}", "it is what I ought to do".  This, my friend, will lead you down the path to folly, horror, despair, The Money Pit, and Why I Am Never Going to Own a Home Again.

I hopefully have touched on the meaning of homeowner pride; the sometimes elusive and misunderstood nature of being a land owner and the associated responsibilities versus paying a landlord.  However, another Columbus Underground quote that resonated in me is "to each their own".  I'm not saying that what I have written will touch a cord in everyone's heart and change the minds of the people who think homeownership is a concept too outdated for them.  Homeownership, despite the press releases that you read from NAR or the past government's push for more homeowners, is NOT for everyone.  It is for those who want to be responsible, community oriented, and embrace change

3 Bright Fireworks are Brewing in Real Estate

Hear that slow rumble in the background?  That is the issues with Real Estate popping to the surface.  

Let us see, we have:

  1. Realtors® urging regulators on the Dodd-Frank act to narrow the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) down payments to products that are not traditionally safe, well documented, and properly underwritten.
  2. The Rental Pool skyrocketing to new soaring heights.  Many, many more people are renting than in the 1990's; but, we did have that housing bubble with lots of people with now poor credit renting due to short sales and foreclosures.
  3. Finally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants your input on simplifying the mortgage disclosure.  Get your vote in before July 5th so you can be a part of the simplification.