Commentary of the Day


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September 2011 - The Possible 2012 Recession

Artizen agent Tom Bezanes brought this good article to our attention regarding a possible recession in 2012.  This article written by Gary Shilling explains how and why there might be another 20% drop in home prices across the nation.  Plunging Home Prices to Spark 2012 Recession 



April 2011 - New Math for Calculating Home Values?

Regardless of whether economists think the overall economy is improving, the fact is that home prices in most neighborhoods, especially Chicago, are continuing to fall.  There is no solution to the problem of falling home prices at this time.  A Band-Aid our legislators are considering is to redefine how appraisers will value homes.  The legislators believe that if we do not count distressed properties (for example, foreclosures) in the pricing analysis, prices should stabilize or move upward.  This band-aid will not work for several reasons.  The biggest reason this will not work is because if buyers know they can get a foreclosed home in the same condition as a home being sold conventionally, but for a fraction of the cost, who would pay more for the "conventional" home?  On paper, your home value may be more, but the reality is that no one would submit an offer for it at the inflated price.  It is true that home owners would be able to refinance their homes, but is that really a good idea?  Many would argue that refinancing the home in this market would only put home owners further under water and delay the possibility of selling and moving on with life...  New Math for Calculating Home Values? 



April 2011 - Foreclosure Fraud and Illegal Foreclosures

There is no doubt that loose lending guidelines, sloppy work, and fraud contributed to the housing collapse we are seeing across the United States.  The extent to which the fraud and negligence happened is only beginning to be uncovered.  And the problem isn't going away.  This article and 60 Minutes segment will help consumers to understand the inner-workings of how, why, and where many corners were cut in the home lending industry...  The Foreclosure Mess Isn't Going Away 


March 2011 - The Possibile Extinction of the 30-Year Loan

How might home buying change if the federal government shuts down the housing giants Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac?  30-year loans won't necessarily become extinct for everyone, but it would for many.  Instead of being the staple of the mortgage industry, it would be more of a luxury product with higher interest rates and fees for things we currently take for granted...  Without Loan Giants, 30-Year Mortgage May Fade Away



February 2011 - Surprising Insider Secrets for the 5 Stages of Buying Your First Home

Sometimes you just read an article relevant to your field of expertise and think, "Finally someone gets it!"  This article is great at dissecting what goes through a typical first-time home buyer's head prior to buying.  Reservations, actions, and motivations are addressed in this article.  Insider Secrets for the 5 Stages of Buying Your First Home


February 2011 - 10 Home Renovations that don't Necessarily Add Value...

There may have been a time when home improvements could be equated to greater equity.  That is true in some instances.  This guide may help you to focus where you should...and shouldn't invest your home improvement money if you're looking to build more equity.  10 Home Renovations that don't Necessarily Add Value


January 2011 - 4 Tricks & Traps Foreclosure Buyers Need to Know

They aren't necessarily tricks or traps as much as things buyers (and agents) should be aware of.  Experienced agents should not have a problem navigating these obstacles.  If you are an unrepresented buyer looking to buy a foreclosure on your own, don't even try it.  The risks are too great to go through the process without an agent.  Here is why...  4 Tricks & Traps Foreclosure Buyers Need to Know


December 2010 - Heating Your Home - Top 10 Mistakes

A client of Artizen Realty found this article useful and eye-opening.  Keep these tips in mind when heating your home!  Mistakes People Make with Heating


October 2010 - Buy and Bail - Go to Jail!

Several years ago, some lenders would allow buyers to purchase a second home without selling their current home (even if their financial situation was less than ideal).  The buyers would purchase a second home in the same area that was nicer than their current home and that cost much less.  After the closing, they would walk away from their old home.  The thought was, "Why would I continue paying for my home, which is less upgraded, and worth half of what it used to be worth when I can purchase a nicer home in my area for half as much?" 

This is fraud.  It became illegal too late. 

There is a new spin on this type of mortgage fraud.  It's called "Buy and Bail."  Read about it HERE.


September 2010 - Unexpected (and Costly) Home Repairs

There is a reason why loan officers recommend having a special reserve equivalent to 6 months of living expenses set aside for a "rainy day."  The issues mentioned in this article can come up unexpectedly and at any time!

5 Expensive (and Unexpected) Things That Can Happen to Your Home!


September 2010 - A Refinancing Recommendation

A couple of our past buyer clients called us this past week and mentioned that they were refinancing their home.  We were a little surprised at first considering that these people purchased only a year to a year and a half ago.  Their motivations soon became clear!  They were able to take their 5.75% interest rate and cut it to 4.375%.  Those rate cuts were possible because they originally had over 20% down and because their credit was good.  Upon hearing that news, we contacted our former buyer clients to inform them of the low rates.  ARTIZEN'S RECOMMENDATION IS TO AT LEAST CALL A REPUTABLE LENDER (or 2) TO HAVE THEM ANALYZE YOUR MORTGAGE.  The process is free and should not take more than 20 minutes.  Who knows...you may save over $50,000 over the life of the loan like 2 of our former buyers.  They lowered their payments by $150 per month! 



August 2010 - 5 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling (According to the Chicago Tribune)

I would like to thank Jennifer, a fellow friend and agent for this article.  With market times increasing and fewer homes selling, sellers want to know why their home isn't getting the attention they were hoping for.  Though situations like this are very complicated and involve multiple variables, many sellers fall short in the same places.  This article does a good job of helping sellers remove emotion from the selling process.  When this happens, better decisions can be made quicker.  This translates into a higher selling price in a declining market.  5 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling   


July 2010 - From Maximilian, Best & Worst Home Improvements for the Buck:

Home improvements and staging are often expensive.  Why?  The goal of a showing is to get a buyer to feel comfortable and to try to get them to imagine their life in your home.  Artizen's Staging Guide explains how to do this.  
This article from Yahoo! Real Estate makes it simpler...The Best & Worst Home Improvements for the Buck


July 2010 - From Maximilian, On Real Estate Radio...

Buyers looking to purchase in the next 90 days will find this show especially relevant!  This show is captivating if you can get beyond the 30 second intro.  I like that there is no "fluff" and that all of the topics are intelligently discussed, relevant, and concise.  I cannot think of another real estate commentary that has the time necessary to make connections and engage in a critical analysis of the week's issues.  Let me know what you think! 

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