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Blog, Guest Articles, Legislation and Policies, Real Estate News

What Obama’s Re-Election Means for Housing

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Election Day has come and gone and regardless of who you voted for, there will be consequences on the domestic housing market.  This article is courtesy of Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at —– Refinancing, new mortgage regulations, and the mortgage interest deduction all won on Tuesday. But the best shot at more principal reductions might have been lost. Throughout the 2012 presidential... 

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Realtors fault low appraisals for sluggish housing market

October 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The fact is, when I do a listing presentation, I always explain to my sellers that there is a difference between “market value” and “appraisal value.”  Market value represents what a ready, willing, and able buyer would pay for a property.  Appraisal value is self-explanatory.  Because buyers are actively in and out of properties and not merely dependent on MLS photos, I... 

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Updates to FHA Condo Cert Guidelines

September 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Federal Housing Administration has agreed to soften the requirements for condo communities to receive certification for federally-insured mortgages.  The policy update is a boon for both Phoenix condo buyers and condo sellers. Buyers will benefit from easier access to mortgage money, while sellers will benefit from a larger potential pool of buyers.  It’s worth noting, however, that the... 

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IRS Cracking Down on Real Estate Gifts

September 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I read an interesting post on the American Express OPEN Forum small business website that asserts the IRS has requested sales records from all states in order to cross-reference transfers of gifted real estate with tax filings to ensure the gifts were properly claimed.  Penalties can include huge fines (1/3rd the value of the property!) or even criminal prosecution. Read the full article here. This... 

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Will I Be Able to Finance the Purchase of a Phoenix Home?

March 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Will I Be Able to Finance the Purchase of a Phoenix Home? The question of financing a home purchase in Phoenix – or anywhere else – has gotten a bit more complicated in recent months. It seemed that a few years ago, the only qualification for any mortgage was that prospective mortgagees have respiration and a pulse. Today, with a nationwide slump in the housing market and a wave of defaults... 

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Has Phoenix real estate hit bottom?

August 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As always, opinions are a dime a dozen. Even the most knowledgeable ‘experts’ on our housing market are divided on the status of our market. Most believe that we’ve either hit, or are very close to hitting, the bottom. Some have speculated that there’s a huge number of foreclosures that are still working through the system that will act to reduce prices further.

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Loan modifications are failing — thanks to the banks, er, the government!

August 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Whenever I talk with homesellers who are in dire straits – without sufficient equity to sell and/or in immediate risk of falling behind on payments – the first thing I advise them to do is consult with their lender(s) to try to structure a loan modification.  I encourage them to be honest with their lien holder(s) and let them know, point blank, that they are no longer able to keep up... 

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Fannie and Freddie to Step it Up

October 14, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

According to REAL Trends, Fannie and Freddie notified bond traders last week that each company needs to purchase $20B per MONTH in underperforming mortgage securities.  Their efforts are separate from the $700B bailout deal that was ratified last week.  It will be interesting to watch the 2 companies, themselves laden with under-and-non-performing debt, bloat up even more on subprime paper…   Hopefully... 

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Just say “NO WAY!” to School District Unification Plans

October 3, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

There are several school redistricting plans that are coming up for vote in November.  If approved, the plans would unify 76 elementary and high school districts into 27 K-12 districts throughout the state, including 34 districts that would be combined into six districts in Maricopa County.   The Plan were drafted by the Arizona School District Redistricting Commission, which was created by state... 

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$20M Federal Grant for Phoenix Real Estate Foreclosure Market

October 2, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The City of Phoenix will receive about $40M from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act to bolster the hard-hit Phoenix real estate market.  The funds are almost double what was expected, which is really not a good thing, as the funds are based on need.   The grant will be applied across a number of initiatives at the City’s discretion, and could range from buyer assistance of foreclosures to... 

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