Category Archives: Economy
There has never been a better time to buy a second home. I am even watching my spending these days, eyeing fractional ownership if it has all the right locations. We are having a guest post soon from a fractional ownership expert to explain the do’s and don’ts. The problem is not buying, as we know, it’s getting financing. We recently re-financed our lot in the Hill Country at Walnut Springs, no thanks to Wells Fargo and were told to basically forget it. No one wants to finance land without a house on it because there is nothing to sell should you default. And when it comes to raw, open land in the country, things are a lot trickier.
Those of us in real estate know that when the housing market plummets, vacation places plummet the most. Second homes are most often discretionary purchases you wait on until you feel flush with cash.
Get this: Austin has an unemployment rate of only 6.7%. That could be why, except for South Padre Island, Austin now has the highest priced median homes in Texas: $194,600, according to the Real Estate center at Texas A&M University. Sales of existing single-family Texas homes in August were up 24 percent from a year ago, according to the most recent Multiple Listing Services (MLS) data compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. More than 21,200 existing single-family homes were sold, data showed. The median home price was $153,200, about the same as a year ago, and the state’s overall inventory was at 7.4 months.
“I Just Gave My Bank a Free Loan and Paid for the Priviledge of Doing It:” Equity Accelerator BS & More Dallas Real Estate News
Susan Knape of Dallas, Texas thought she was doing something smart: paying AHEAD on her mortgage. In fact, if you open your mortgage statement each month, I will bet you the paperwork is right there in the envelope popping out. I’m talking about the equity accelerator programs offered by JP Morgan Chase, Well Fargo, Citibank and many other banks — I see the offers in both my Citibank loans every month. This program is a way, say the banks, for you to be a good citizen… right? Wrong. It’s a way for them to make more money… all the deets and more on CandysDirt.com
This article in the Washington Post says that Baby Boomers are changing the face of suburbia and staying put, rather than retiring to the likes of Florida and Arizona, as their parents did, once they retire. The U.S. Census showed how rapidly America’s suburbs are growing — despite efforts to squeeze us into greener, urban multi-family residential cells and one family car — the Baby Boomers are staying put and, in some cases, buying vacation homes on the equity they’ve built in those suburban homes.
Here’s the deal. The economy is not cooperating, but we still want to enjoy life. I know so many families who want a second home to “create family memories.” Most families, like mine, are spread out all over tarnation. A second home is a great way for everyone to combine a vacation with a family visit. Our family did this for years at Drake’s Island, Maine, and we are trying to do it for our kids with a shared-ownership ranch in the Hill Country. As hard hit as the second home market is right now, buying and maintaining a home outright is still costly. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales are really soft in the Hamptons, which Wall Street usually flushes with money. And no one in their right mind thinks they’ll be flipping it for a profit.
I am not trying to sell you a house, and I could really care less who buys, who sells, unless it’s my home and my home is not on the market. But I worry about the housing market and the national news about it that keeps dragging us down. This week, the stock market was lousy because of poor jobs and housing reports. Our local market is holding up in the storm, and I have told you about some amazing transactions this week. I’ve also said that I worry that Bob Shiller, one-half the duo of the Case-Shiller twenty city index report that we lap up like the froth on a latte, is creating a generation of home-ownership phobics. Well, now someone else (sorta) agrees with me.
Hello, my name is Candy Evans, and I am an open-house addict.
FYI this weekend is National Open House Weekend. Now I hope to make open house info a regular part of my new CandysDirt.com blog when it’s up and running. But truthfully, I’m kind of torn by the whole open house concept. Did you know the National Association of Realtors says that nearly half of all home buyers visit open houses during their home search? With the recent gloomy sales data streaming in, NAR has (wisely) declared this weekend Realtor Nationwide Open House Weekend. Not sure if they declared it a must to have vino and brewskis on hand, too.
Case-Shiller Says Double Dip Is Here, D.C. Only Market Showing Improvement: Dallas Down 2.5% From First Time Home Credit Daze
If you bought your home in 2002, on average spread across the U.S., your home has not gained a wink of value from that price nine years ago. That’s the latest from those good folks who bring us the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index and have now confirmed the Double Dip is documented.
Because the ranks of the world’s millionaires rose by 12%, for a second year, according to research at Boston Consulting Group as reported in Bloomberg:
“The number of millionaire households increased to about 12.5 million, the Boston-based firm said in a study released today. Singapore millionaires rose by almost 33 percent after jumping about 40 percent a year earlier. The U.S. had the most $1 million-plus households, with 5.2 million, followed by Japan and China.”
The wealth came, said the article, from improvement in the equity markets, the stock market, not from wealth creation such as new companies that create new jobs. That to me is a bit troubling. Trickle down, yes, but what we need now is job creation. Two things to be gleaned from this: one, here are your buyers for palatial real estate, how are you going to reach them? Two, if you are not on the internet and mobile and trying to sell multi-million dollar properties, you are missing 7.3 million households. Because those folks are looking at homes in the U.S.