Racism in Real Estate?

The New York Times has an op/ed exploring the racist roots of contracts for deed, which are making a comeback. Contracts for deed make price inflation possible, and appear to be quite prevalent in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. The transactions don’t require an appraisal or inspection to justify the loan amount. The article is worth a read, if only to acquaint yourself with this—shockingly still in effect—practice.



Are You a Transactor Or a Revolver?

I imagine you weren’t sure you were either. However, banks have you pegged as one or the other, and it contributes significantly to your ability to secure a mortgage. A transactor pays off credit card bills each month, or makes more than the minimum payment. A revolver—the less desirable of the two monikers—generally rolls balances over from month to month, making the minimum payment expected. The Washington Post has a good piece on how the banks categorize prospective borrowers.



Should We Abolish the 30-Year Mortgage?

Edward Pinto, codirector of the Internal Center on Housing Risk at the American Enterprise Institute, has a piece in Forbes admonishing that the 30-year mortgage should disappear. His primary reasons are that it fails to accrue wealth for most disadvantaged Americans. And, that it creates burdensome debt for older homeowners. You can read the article here.



Is Spring the Best Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate?

As the weather warms each year, historically, the real estate market experiences a surge. Forbes has some thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of buying or selling in the Spring. The article explores how the increase in inventory is countered by an increase in competition, and much more. If you’re considering a transaction, you can read the full article here.



16-Year Low for Mortgage Delinquencies

MarketWatch reports that 30-day delinquencies reached a 16-year low in March. Overall delinquencies in March were at their lowest since 2007. And, the number of homes in foreclosure was at its lowest since October 2007. Data provider Black Knight provided the numbers, and the article can be found here.



Luxury Housing Markets Reach Plateau

Yahoo Finance has an article about the top 1% of housing markets in the U.S., and how those markets have leveled off. They cover The Hamptons, NY, and Greenwich, CT, Aspen, CO, and the Westside and Downtown Los Angeles, CA are all covered. Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel said, “The last four or five years have all been about the luxury market. Now we’re leveling off a bit.” Read more here.



Virtual Reality in Real Estate

Virtual reality, or VR, allows the user an immersive visual experience. When applied to home buying, it offers a prospective shopper—who could be in another country—the ability to tour the home from anywhere, and at any time. 3D photography was a big technological leap for the industry, and with the addition of VR over the coming years, will completely change the buying process. The Tennessean, an offshoot of USA Today, has a worthwhile piece here.


Virtual Reality