I've received a few e-mails over the past holiday season, some asking if I disappeared. Yes, I read this and many other Blogs every week. I'm not hibernating. So here's what's up:
When people decide it's time to buy in the market this is a cool tool to use.
May I introduce the HouseMath 2.0 website. Last week, I e-mailed Kerill Sheynkman, the wizard behind this tool, if I could get his permission to blog about it. Some may have already seen the introduction to this over at Zillow Blog, but for those who haven't seen it I would encourage you to spend a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this great resource.
When you hit the "Analzye " button, your presumptions come to life. Please don't make fun of the $315,000 sales price for a home in Seattle that I used, it's for illustration only.
Below is a screenshot of financial analysis tools such as creating your reports in .PDF format.
Lenders are scrutinizing loans
One of the perks of being in real estate is that I enjoy discussing issues with the people who are actually conducting business. It encompasses a large sphere: from builders, to Ardell and loan officers.
A lot of discussion is taking place about lending right now and the struggles of the sub-prime market. Seems like the tune out there is changing quite a bit. Inman News has a lot on the plate this morning (check it out quickly before the articles go subscription).
From Inman News:
Bernice Ross on "The demise of the housing ATM"
Bradley Inman on "The subprime tsunami"
Mortgage Lenders Network being shut down (evidently failing to fund on 1,409 loans across the country)
I spoke with a couple loan officers early this week and the responses were that lenders were scrutinizing transactions more. For example, one broker mentioned that an underwriter actually dropped the value of an appraisal from x amount to x amount and required that interior photos be taken along with obtaining two new comp's (comparable homes). In another example, funding conditions came back with more hoops to jump through in terms of actually verifying borrower deposits and funds to close.
Before I forget, check out ShackPrices new mapping tools. Packed with innovative features. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Galen Ward, the wizard behind this great tool at a function a few weeks ago. I look forward to them rolling out some new features that are coming soon.