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Sam DeBord's Advice

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Sam DeBord wrote:

CNNMoney: Seattle Top City To Buy, Buying Beats Renting
This ought to get some reaction out of the Zillow rent-vs-buy crowd:Two researchers did study a study which was published on CNNMoney.  They compared the financial impact of a projection of real estate prices against a renter's saved money invested in the stock market.  They came to the conclusion that in many cities right now, buying beats renting.The research will certainly draw its critics (comments are open), but we appreciate Seattle being ranked in the number one position for being buyer-friendly.CNNMoney:  Seattle Is The Place To Buy
May 16 2011
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New Scam Based on "Produce the Note"

Response
If you read the entire post, you'd see that "scam" applies specifically to the attorneys in CA who are are being charged for taking upfront fees and not really pursuing any relief for the potential clients. 
May 15 2011
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Jumbo Mortgage Limits Backed by Fannie, Freddie To Drop Oct 1

Response
We agree on that in general terms, Dan, but there's too much causation being implied here.  In general, things will go that way, but there are a lot of other factors at play.  Implying that prices are definitely going down because of FNMA/FHMC's loan limit is a stretch.
May 15 2011
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Jumbo Mortgage Limits Backed by Fannie, Freddie To Drop Oct 1

Response
Buyers who are already planning on buying should be aware of the change, because their costs can significantly increase within a short period of time.  These are still the best rates out there right now.  When they're gone, lenders will adjust their rates to compete only with the other lenders still financing these loans.  Good investors make their money on these kinds of small margins.This one event is hardly enough to drop demand and send prices downward.  It certainly could contribute in a small way, but there are far bigger factors at work. 
May 13 2011
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Jumbo Mortgage Limits Backed by Fannie, Freddie To Drop Oct 1

Response
It applies to all homes, including waterfront homes.  These kinds of homes, in particular, are likely to push past those loan limits.
May 11 2011
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Lake Union Docks and Moorage: Seattle Waterfront Homes and Marinas
Moorage on Seattle's Lake Union houses a large percentage of the area's boats.  Because of the freshwater moorage and easy access to Lake Washington and Puget Sound, there are around 30 marinas from the ship canal to Lake Union, and Portage Bay.  These range from commercial fishing marinas to houseboat and recreational vessel moorage.Lake Union's shore is dominated by commercial spaces and marinas, so the number of waterfront homes with moorage is very limited.  One of the most-likely places to find a home with additional moorage is in the floating homes along Fairview Ave in Eastlake, and across the lake on Westlake Ave.  These floating homes live much like a regular single family home (permanent utilities and somewhat traditional house construction).  At the same time, most have a dock and slip right off the side or front of the home that allows for a runabout or ski boat to be moored.As for traditional single-family homes, there are a handful with their own waterfront docks on Lake Union.  Their rarity makes them particularly valuable.  Just outside of Lake Union's freshwater, a handful of homes along Ballard and Magnolia have docks on the canal, where the brackish water coming from the locks and the Sound is subject to tidal flows.In Portage Bay, there are just a handful of houses with docks.  Some of these homes are situated at the shoreline of a floating home marina, while others are standalone lots with traditional single-family shorelines.  The South end of Portage Bay is the closest to traditional freshwater waterfront homes that you'll find in the greater Lake Union waterway.Marinas/Moorage on Lake Union
May 10 2011
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The Zillow forums are not a court room. We do not determine what is "libel" and what is not.

Answer
I miss the good old days when we discussed real estate.
May 03 2011
(1)

Dunes Tavern & Conspiracy Center

Response
I thought this was Dunes' Tavern.  It's becoming the hall of grievances.  I'll check back in when it's happy hour again.
May 03 2011
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Forbes: Mercer Island is #2 U.S. City to Live and Learn
Forbes and Greatschools.org combined to study the best cities in the U.S. for educational and lifestyle qualities.  Based on school rankings, test scores, and availability of recreation activities, Mercer Island came in at the number 2 position.While many of the cities in the rankings had much lower median home prices, Mercer Island's $700k median was second only to Manhattan Beach, CA ($1.3 million).  Mercer Island real estate is certainly more expensive than many areas of Greater Seattle, but the locals know that they're paying for a high-quality lifestyle and superb educational opportunities.  Specifically cited in the story were Mercer Island students' outstanding SAT scores and extra-curricular activities including music, tennis, swimming, and water polo.  The island's 40 miles of trails and 400 acres of parks and open space make up a large portion of the 10-square mile island's environment.Top 10 cities to live and learn
April 28 2011
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Jumbo Mortgage Limits Backed by Fannie, Freddie To Drop Oct 1
Buyers of luxury and waterfront real estate should be aware of the upcoming changes in the government-sponsored jumbo mortgage limits.  On October 1st, the current jumbo limit of $729,750 will be reduced to $625,500 in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's attempt to scale back some liability.  The issue for buyers is that retail lenders will not be able to resell these larger loans to FHMC and FNMA any longer.  They'll either have to portfolio these loans in-house, or find another private source to sell them to on the secondary market.  This will very likely result in higher loan costs and rates to the borrowers.Although this only affects a small portion of the market, it's significant for a buyer of a $1 million property.  Their down-payment requirements for a gov-backed loan like this would now go from $270k to $375k, a substantial difference.  If they don't have that extra down-payment cash, they'll be forced to find a private lender.There are a good number of buyers in this price range that pay cash for their homes, but it will be interesting to see if those in the financed-transaction category make a big push this summer. 
April 27 2011
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