Real Estate

Halloween and living with your ghost

house genericTV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures may have glamorized the paranormal, but they may have also made us more aware about the possibility of other-worldly activity in our homes. Increasing reports of ghosts and other phenomenon are due in part to the proliferation of video cameras that document anything living or dead; however, it must be said that many videos asserting ghost activity are very good hoaxes created with readily available professional editing software. Regardless if you’re a believer or not, everyone has an opinion on haunted houses.


The problem of buying affordable homes

I talk to lots of people while at open houses. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that although some express concerns about increasing home prices and their ability to buy a home, many also express their exasperation with increasing rents. And although home prices and ability to get a mortgage are among top concerns for home buyers, according to Realtor Magazine (Top 6 Home Buyer Concerns,, August 24,2015); buyer apprehensions have not changed much over the years. There is always a group of buyers who fuss over home prices, down payments, and mortgages. So much so, that it seems as if it is a permanent part of the housing landscape.


The benefits of tricky reverse mortgages

You’ve seen the commercials promoting the benefits of the FHA reverse mortgage for seniors. If you’re 62 years of age or older and have equity in your home, it may seem attractive to get a mortgage that converts your home’s equity into cash and eliminates existing mortgage payments. However, the ads don’t tell you the entire story. In fact, the FHA reverse mortgage, also known as the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is probably the most misunderstood mortgage program available today.


Real estate drone use beginning to fly

house genericThe Bulletin of Photography Volume 15 (published in 1914) includes an article about Des Moines, Iowa real estate agents contemplating a “scheme” of photographing homes. The photographs were to make touring homes easier for busy clients; agents were to have four photographs per home in their exclusive portfolios. Real estate photography has come a long way since 1914. Today, home sellers expect dozens of high resolution pictures and even video to market their homes. In addition to the typical media array, some agents promote aerial photography to capture different perspectives of large estates, farms, and acreage.


Let emotional intelligence guide home sales

house genericWhen it comes to selling a home, the prescribed course of action is to set the right listing price and prepare the home to be shown. Real estate gurus proclaim these as the two most important items to making the most money from your home sale. And although these are widely accepted goals to getting your home on the market, recent research may actually counter the conventional wisdom about pricing and staging; while a new line of thinking suggests that you’re choosing the wrong agent too.


The problems of mortgage fraud

house real estateMortgage fraud may never go away, and frankly it seems as if the fraudsters are becoming increasingly creative and brazen. The 2014 LexisNexis 16th Annual Mortgage Fraud Report ( seems to agree with the sentiment, saying: “The reduced volume of consumers who are able to qualify for mortgage loans has led to a fiercely competitive and, in some ways, familiar Fraud for Profit marketplace… Ultimately, fraud and misrepresentation, especially in the mortgage application process, is likely to remain a serious and ongoing national problem.”


The facts of 'Bait and Switch' advertising

house genericThe Federal Trade Commission ( states in its Advertising FAQ's: A Guide for Small Business, “It’s illegal to advertise a product when the company has no intention of selling that item, but instead plans to sell a consumer something else, usually at a higher price…”, when describing “bait and switch” advertising.


Material facts and the need for disclosure

house genericProperty disclosure laws are mostly straightforward about making known the physical condition of a home that’s for sale. However, whether or not to disclose other material facts, that may include events that occurred in and around the home, is not always clear. Material facts about a home are often described as information that may sway a home buyer’s decision about the purchase or purchase price. Some of the more familiar material fact cases that are typically reported in the news include haunted homes and unruly neighbors. Yet, these two recent accounts have again raised the question and debate about what the seller and the real estate agent is obligated to disclose.


Love and the 'boomerang' home buyer

house genericThere is homeownership after a foreclosure or short sale. Home owners, who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sale during the housing downturn and recession, are apparently returning to the housing market in increasing numbers, such that their home buying activity is attracting economists’ attention.

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