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Author Archive: Irvine Renter

2015 was touted as the year of the boomerang buyer. Lenders and realtors prepared, and the financial media wrote the invitations, but the boomerang buyers failed to arrive. Many people criticize the financial media for running negative stories that "talk down the market," but realistically, the financial media doesn't have the power to move markets, and when they report an uncomfortable truth without the sugary spin, some people complain. When it comes to financial news, people only want to read good news, news that reinforces their belief in the correctness of their investments and reaffirms their faith in lifelong financial prosperity. Thus we have an entire branch of media that only presents good news. Any news that isn't positive must be…[READ MORE]

Many people sell when prices rise high enough for them to retire, move up, or extinguish their debts. Many people imagine the property ladder as a progression from a condo near work, to a house in the suburbs, to a mansion by the beach. Many people buy entry-level housing, and when prices rise high enough for them to pocket a 20% down for a larger property, they participate in the move-up market. If their income grew while they lived in their entry-level home, the step up can be quite luxurious. If their income didn’t go up much, they are probably better off refinancing into a lower-cost mortgage and staying where they are. The housing bubble severely disrupted the housing market.…[READ MORE]

I was going to write a real estate post to get back into the swing of things, but I decided instead to write about my vacation experience. It was more inspiring for me. I hope you enjoy it. My grandfather just celebrated his 99th birthday. Based on what I observed, he seems like he still has many more to come. He has clear memories of his life, he recognizes people and interacts, he still has tremendous hand strength, and he comments on how you just have to "keep going." At 99 I don't know how many more years he has left, so I try to go back and see him at least once a year. My wife and son are…[READ MORE]

Whether or not "responsible" homeowners lost their homes depends on how you define "responsible." A common theme in the financial media is that people lost their homes during the housing bust due to unemployment, probably because it's easier than acknowledging the bad loans and borrower profligacy. During the Great Recession (2008-2009), American businesses terminated more jobs than they created -- by a wide margin. More than 7 million people lost their jobs during a two-year stretch. I recently noted that US lenders completed 6,324,545 foreclosures over the last ten years. Does that mean the foreclosures were caused by the unemployment? To some degree, this is certainly the case. I bought a foreclosure from an unemployed construction worker in Las Vegas.…[READ MORE]

A house is worth no more than a buyer is willing to pay and no less than a seller is will to accept. Motivation of the Other Party Professional poker players spend hours studying people’s reactions to try to elucidate the cards their opponents are holding. In poker if players can determine what their opponents believe about the strength of their hands, they gain a significant advantage over the other players. If you know the motivations of the other party in a negotiation, you can respond by concealing your own motivation in hopes that the other party will either raise or lower their pricing to come to you. This is not deceitful; it is sound negotiating practice. The risk of…[READ MORE]

How much is a property worth? Is it whatever two parties agree to? Is value established by recent nearby comparable sales? Negotiating the sale of residential real estate is no more difficult that negotiating for any other product of service that doesn't have a fixed price; however, due to the colossal cost of houses, the process is more important financially than negotiating for other big-ticket items like automobiles. A mistake made while buying or selling a house could cost as much as a new car; sometimes such mistakes could pay for many cars. Skilled negotiators can obtain favorable pricing and terms without the assistance of a broker, but the novice who is inexperienced at this process often will not. Novice…[READ MORE]

Mortgage equity withdrawal is a bad idea that often leads to disaster. I have often wondered if I had made different decisions during the bubble if I would have been caught up in the frenzy. Although I don’t believe I could have fully ingested kool aid, I probably would have behaved like most of my cohorts and increased my loan balance. I consider those who did this with fixed rate financing and still managed to lower their payments as the sly ones. That is as far as I would have gone, but I probably would have taken some of the free money. The conditions that spawned the rally of The Great Housing Bubble are gone, and we will not see…[READ MORE]

Historically, properties in this market sell at a 9.5% discount. Today's discount is 16.0%. This market is 6.5% undervalued. Median home price is $534,900 with a rental parity value of $639,600. This market's discount is $104,700. Monthly payment affordability has been improving over the last 5 month(s). Momentum suggests improving affordability. Resale prices on a $/SF basis increased from $421/SF to $424/SF. Resale prices have been rising for 11 month(s). Over the last 12 months, resale prices rose 7.4% indicating a longer term upward price trend. Median rental rates increased $25 last month from $2,708 to $2,733. The current capitalization rate (rent/price) is 4.9%. Rents have been rising for 12 month(s). Price momentum signals rising rents over the next three…[READ MORE]

  Over the last few days, I wrote about my family history in Ancestral Call, my youth in Community of Elders, my teenage years in Coming of Age, and today I conclude with a little perspective on life and an expression of one of my deepest desires. You never know what will happen when you put something out in the Universe. Maybe my dream will come true. Chasing my entitlements When I was thirty years old, I found myself repeating mistakes and causing myself more unhappiness. I met some people who were happy and showed freedom of heart in the midst of the pressures of daily life. I wanted that for myself, so I joined their group and spent eighteen…[READ MORE]

  Having grown up in a community of elders with a long heritage, I have a deep connection to my old home town of Adams-Friendship, Wisconsin. I lived there throughout a blissful childhood until my family moved away when I was eleven years old. I struggled to adapt to my new environment always feeling like an outsider. In my Junior year of high school, I hatched a plan to go back to Wisconsin to have the high school experience I felt I was denied in Arkansas. I went home to come of age. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwIGZLjugKA It was 1985, my thoughts were short my hair was longCaught somewhere between a boy and manShe was seventeen and she was far from in-betweenIt was…[READ MORE]

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In Memoriam: Tony Bliss 1966-2012
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