Author: Carrie B. Reyes

Be an industry advocate: reverse mortgages

Do you think reverse mortgages should receive more regulatory oversight? Yes. (66%, 31 Votes) No. (34%, 16 Votes) Total Voters: 47 Share your experience with reverse mortgages with other readers in the comments section below. What do you know about reverse mortgages? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants your knowledge to help them draft new regulations governing this potentially volatile loan product. The CFPB is seeking information from the public on: factors influencing consumers’ decisions to get a reverse mortgage; how consumers use reverse mortgage proceeds; long-term outcomes to reverse mortgage borrowers; and the market dynamics and business...

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first tuesday case in point: Can local zoning weed out medical marijuana dispensaries?

City may not ban medical marijuana dispensaries Facts: A business operated a medical marijuana dispensary (MMD) in a city where MMDs were prohibited under zoning regulations. The city filed a nuisance complaint against the MMD, seeking to shut it down. Claim: The city claimed the MMD was a public nuisance since it violated local zoning. Counter claim: The business claimed the city could not shut down the MMD since the zoning regulation prohibiting MMDs is unenforceable, as it violates state law. Holding: A California appeals court held the city could not shut down the MMD since MMDs are authorized...

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We learn from China about speculation

Do speculators help or hinder a recovering real estate market? Hinder. (57%, 75 Votes) Help. (43%, 57 Votes) Total Voters: 132 China’s 2010 policies to curb real estate speculation are likely triggering a housing slowdown in China, one that continues to decelerate today, suggest some economists. These policies include limiting multiple home purchases, requiring 30% – 50% downpayments, prohibiting home purchases by buyers who are new city residents (to discourage rural flight) and calling for banks to police the ban by refraining from lending to speculators. The speculator ban was implemented to keep real estate prices enticingly low for end users, buyers who will occupy the home for the long-term as their residence. With investors restrained from the SFR market, it is argued more affordable housing will be available for occupants. Prices will not be driven up by third-party speculators who by design sandwich themselves between the seller and the end user solely for profit from the temporary position of holding title. Critics suggest putting the muzzle on speculation has cut a crucial participant out of the market, with the unintended side effect of destabilizing the entire economy and pushing it into a freefall. By some estimates, home prices in China have sagged by at least 20% over the last year, with the construction industry similarly crawling to a halt. Related article: China’s California syndrome Despite this, the Chinese...

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Green-certified homes produce more green

Do energy efficient features increase a home’s selling price? Yes. (51%, 27 Votes) No. (49%, 26 Votes) Total Voters: 53 Does a green-certified home really pay off? A recent UCLA study considered homes sold in California from 2007 through early 2012. Of the 1.6 million homes sampled, 4,321 sold with Energy Star, LEED or GreenPoint ratings and certifications. Controlling for factors such as location, when the home was sold and its amenities, the study found these energy-efficient, green-certified homes sold for 9% more than non-certified homes. The payoff was greater in areas where green efforts were already supported by...

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What is the greatest concern voiced by today's buyers?

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from POLL: What is the greatest concern voiced by today's buyers?

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from POLL: Which neighborhood features are most important to homebuyers?

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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