According to the AAA nearly 35 million Americans will journey at least 50 miles from home during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, a final farewell to summer before the long march to the next holiday at the end of November. But ironically Labor Day wasn’t always a weekend of leisure nor is it an original American holiday.
Buying a home involves a lot of steps and they can seem complicated, but really it’s just about the details. So what we’re going to do today is to actually illustrate the visual of all the steps that have to happen as you go through the process of buying a home.
The first step is that you get pre-approved for financing
This step makes sure that you get all your ducks in a row and you get all your supporting documents to your lender so that you know that your mortgage will be in place once you have found your perfect home, it sends a strong message to a seller that you are ready, willing and able to buy their home.
Second to Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest purchaser of mortgage backed securities is where you will find Freddie Mac. Each month Freddie publishes a variety of insightful industry reports. One of those reports is called the Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market IndexSM (MiMiSM). In this report various data points are weighted to determine the health, both current and trending of 50 major US real estate markets.
This month Freddie Mac described the Raleigh housing market in May as ‘weak and declining’.
According to the report, Raleigh’s MiMi score of -3.44 for May is below North Carolina’s market index of -2.91, a score categorized as “weak and flat” because, as opposed to Raleigh North Carolina’s score only moved a fraction of a point from three months ago. But it is important to note that although it is weak, it is still 1.95 points above its all-time low of -5.39 reached in November 2011.
But like all real estate professionals, I know that all real estate is local. That’s why I take my data from my local board of realtors who do an excellent job of producing and assembling the data for its Real Estate Market Trends for Wake, Orange, Johnston and Durham Counties.
As a self-professed data geek, I eagerly look forward to its publication each month for the prior month because the reports contain invaluable market data.
Cancer, transmission repairs and mortgage loans; none have the same impact on our lives but in the right context each can create financial nightmares.
When faced with the prognosis of the first two we rarely hesitate to seek second opinions. Yet for some reason when it comes time to financing the single largest investment that a person will typically make in their lifetime, the thought of a second opinion rarely occurs.
Surprisingly, since the so-called mortgage meltdown of 2008 mortgage fraud has risen exponentially, so much so that the FBI has a dedicated Mortgage Fraud unit within its White Collar Crimes Division. The increase has been attributed to four primary reasons:
1.) Decreased Mortgage Originations
2.) Tighter lending guidelines
3.) Increased Accountability by Lenders to Washington
4.) Reduced Profit Margins on Mortgages
Mortgage Fraud isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem and it can often involve numerous licensed professionals such as loan officers, realtors, attorneys and often willing borrowers acting as straw-buyers. When these professionals are involved in fraudulent behavior the FBI has assigned it a special category called Fraud for Profit. Fraud for profit is exactly what it sounds like; it occurs when people collude to commit fraud for the sole purpose of lining their pockets and it generally takes a quasi-criminal enterprise to pull it off. It is not uncommon for this type of fraud to cost banks millions and can devastate entire communities making it one of the worst types of mortgage fraud. Eventually everyone involved, including the willing borrowers wind up either in jail or on the lam. The worst examples can even involve elected officials as in the case of the former Mayor of North Miami Marie Lucie Tondreau, a/k/a “Lucie Tondreau”.
It has been said that July 4 is the most important of secular American holidays. If not for the inclusion of pyrotechnic displays, contemporary observation of our nation’s birth typically looks like any other summertime gathering.
This Fourth of July Independence Day don’t just wave your American Flag and eat a hotdog! (although these are not bad ways to enjoy the holiday!)
As you enjoy this most patriotic of American holidays please make sure to take a moment to thank a current or former member of the armed services or if they are deployed, thank their spouse!
Also – remember that the North Carolina State Police are stepping up enforcement this week with numerous Driving While Impaired checkpoints so if you are planning on enjoying adult beverages make sure that you designate a driver or captain if you are boating.
Here is a list of Raleigh area Independence Day celebration festivities. Continue reading →
Who knew that there were so many undocumented chickens living in the shadows just waiting to spread their wings and fly?
I for one did not know the answer to that until today and I think the authorities in Garner were equally surprised to learn that as well. Last week I willfully became a member of a growing community of scoff-laws in Garner who have been illegally keeping what have been coined as ‘outlaw hens’ in defiance of the town’s outright ban on chickens within the town limits.
Since the end of the Vietnam war America has had an all-volunteer professional armed services. As a result, the conflicts that have been waged since have been done so by an overwhelming minority of the country, yet all freedom loving persons around the world have benefited from their sacrifice.
Many, like me have never lost a loved one in service to this great country yet we will enjoy many activities this Memorial Day weekend and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s important to take moment to give thanks to the Unknown Soldier who paid the highest price for your freedom and mine.