Friday, April 27, 2007
Rumour from the mortgage grapevine has it that regional Dana mortgage brokers who sent funded files into Dana Capital in the last several months have not been paid their commission, or are being paid only in trickles as the beleagured company tries to re-organizes itself.
Yes, there appear to be a considerable number of unhappy (read: fed up) Dana Capital brokers out there!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
In case America's real estate agents haven't figured it out yet, they need a new spokesperson because the one they have, Mr. David Lereah, has lost credibility.
After consecutively denying the existence of a housing bubble in 2005 and 2006, then later retracting and insisting in 2006 that a "soft landing" surely awaits the American housing market, then going back on his previous market hype to forecast a down year in 2007, but one that will still grow at historic levels over 2006 results, to then in February 2007 insinuate a recovery for the American real estate market, to today - forecasting a real estate market recovery only sometime in 3rd quarter 2007 following devasting news that existing home sales declined 8.4%, the worst sales performance for the real estate industry in 18 years.
By now it should be obvious to prospective American homebuyers, future home sellers, economists, mortgage lenders and even realtors themselves that the N.A.R. cannot be viewed as a trusted advisor any longer with respect to the real estate market. It's motivations are completely and utterly duplicitous. There is no interest in sharing with the public full and unfettered, objective housing market data.
The N.A.R. continues in April 2007 to promote the idea that today is no less a "great time to buy" than it was in 2006 or 2005 - despite completely different real estate market growth patterns, rising inventories, declining home values, declining home prices and heavily restricted real estate market financing conditions, not to mention completely different economic circumstances, not the least of which is the all-but-decapitated U.S. Dollar!
It's about time for people to quit their bitching and come to accept the National Association of Realtors for what they are. The N.A.R. is simply a pseudo-public relations organization for realtors whose sole motivation is to sell property and earn commissions on the value of that transaction. The N.A.R. is constantly trying to sell. Once that relational vector becomes well understood by the American public and the mainstream media, it might call into questions some of the assertions made by it's President, posterboy spokesman Mr. Lereah and its 1.3 million members.
Some realtors have been in the industry a long time and have worked their asses off, surviving by referrals through the roughest of markets. Before you select a realtor, I recommend you ask them what they did from 1989 to 1999. Many have obviously proved themselves, demonstrating strong business ethics, and have chosen to help people objectively. They know the ins and outs, and are even more fed up with the N.A.R. than the lay person.
But the majority of realtors, I submit, are unlicensed or poorly licensed, poorly trained, inexperienced, opportunistic, self-centered, easily corrupted, and dead-focused on earning that 6% commission check. To hell with convention, business ethics and regard for your fellow man, they want that commission check! How else are they supposed to make payments on that f*** off huge Hummer they drive around town with their realty website and cell number painted all over it?
Realtors are basically all about a business transaction. Many prefer to portray themselves as some sort of societal counseling service for America: to go that extra mile to "help you and your family find that perfect dream home - just for you. It's all about you".
Realtors want the transaction done and they want their freaking money! Period. And all of the stupid questions you ask, repair demands, price offers and counter-offers during price negotiations are nothing but Tourette's-inducing irritations obstructing the path to THEIR commission check.
The mere idea that the N.A.R. is somehow of help and "looking out for the interests" of prospective homebuyers and homesellers is so ridiculous anymore, it no longer is funny. It's infuriating. Ask the thousands of subprime homedebtors about their realtor experience. They'll tell you, and in detail, exactly how helpful they were in getting that loan to secure their dream house.
If there is a positive to the 2007 U.S. housing crash and David Lereah's repetitive PR goofs (read: lies) as to the U.S. real estate market's true condition, it is that some daylight might now expose the N.A.R. charlatans for what they really are, and might convince more Americans to show vigilence when selecting a realtor - or even first determining whether a realtor is even needed!
Remember today's quote: "There is no way to spin this news" - David Lereah, National Association of Realtors, April 24, 2007.
If that is the really case, Mr. Lereah, then perhaps you're no longer as useful to he N.A.R. as you used to be?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The following article in Bloomberg paints a pretty bleak picture as to the state of the U.S. housing market. Even a well-educated woman with a Master's Degree - smart, intelligent, hard-working can fall victim to financial illiteracy, greed and ignorance too.
If there can be one take away from this article, it might be never to sign anything, ANY-THING, without reading it, reviewing it, fully understanding it and ALSO accepting the consequences of it.
How has the United State of America regressed from a nation of industrious, rugged individualists into to a country of overgrown children - financially incompetent, greedy, self-centered individualists who, only after realizing the folly of their delusional decisions, look to the a parental federal government to take away other people's money, in order to lift them out of a financial deathpit of their own making?
Don't answer that question. I don't want to know the truth anymore...
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Well, it's about time!
I mean, when you're financially strapped and upside down on your home mortgage, there's absolutely nothing wrong with raising your heavy hand and asking for a little help.
Those California homedebtors microns away from going postal due to pending foreclosure and bankruptcy should be relieved to learn that H.E.L.P. will indeed be arriving!
Home Experts for Loan Preforeclosure, that is.
A stellar organization of H.E.L.P.ers will soon be opening offices all over the country in the coming months, including lovely, sunny, everyone-wants-to-live-here, 15%-home-value-growth-is-in-the-bag-for-2006-because-Gary-Watts-said-so-California.
What fantastic news for those strapped homedebtors! When you're in deep financial trouble, it's just great for someone to take the time out of their busy day to bend down, extend a hand and lift you out of the cesspool of real estate hopelessness.
I mean, just read what the article has to say about these unfortunate souls:
"There is a burgeoning of news items of home owners having to sell their properties as rising tide foreclosures of the collapsing subprime mortgage market. These generalities and statistics often obscure the real human tragedies that lie behind such stories. HELP works to make sure people can stop foreclosure, and raise funds against their properties to settle with pressing creditors."
Well, a great many of these human tragedies could have been avoided with a little financial literacy, a whole lot less stupidity, and greed by the dolts who signed the dotted line, ......but let's not get into that now.
This development is super-duper, and I don't want to sour the moment.
Gee, I wonder who these Experts are, and where they have been for the last 5 years prior to the train derailment that is the real estate industry as we are coming to know it?
You know, far be it from me to ask a dumb-ass question here, but could it be...I mean, is it just possible that these so called freaking "Experts" are the same kind of goofball "Experts" that got you into this f'ed-up financial suicide mess in the firstplace?
Unfortunately at this point in the game, it's not like the upsidedowners have a Disneyland-long line of ethical, real-estate professionals to turn to for help right now.
"No, I get by with a little help from my friends. I get high with a little help from my friends. Could it be anybody?......"
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
In an effort to convince the nation that yeah, real estate agents do add value to a home transaction, the California Association of Realtors will commence a new radio and internet advertising campaign costing approximately $2.3 million dollars entitled:
"California Realtors (R), We Get It."
The internet ads take you to a website called: www.yourpieceofcalifornia.com where it is explained ever so clearly the top reasons to use a REALTOR (R):
- REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics—a set of obligations that often go above those mandated by law. Known as the REALTOR® Code of Ethics (bwahahahahahaaha), these principles embody a strong commitment to fairness, integrity, and moral conduct in business relations. Under the Code of Ethics, REALTORS® put the needs and well-being of their clients above anything else. (But not above that holy 6% commission check!!! Bahahahaha! Oh man, you C.A.R. guys are killing us! Good one!)
- As members of C.A.R., California REALTORS® have access to confidential legal counsel, innovative marketing tools, and an extensive repository of market data. (Market data which you will not share with the consumers because its so C.A.R. IP-ish, right?) With these resources, REALTORS® are equipped to help you make important decisions throughout the home-buying or –selling process, such as how much home you can afford or what information you must disclose to the other party. (Wait a minute. REALTORS (R) have been convincing thousands of homebuyers to sign up to non-standard mortgages in order to buy more home than they could really afford. Are you sure what you are claiming here is true?)
- Among the top skills REALTORS®’ bring to the table is the ability to negotiate a favorable price. REALTORS® are knowledgeable about the small repairs and improvements you can make to enhance the “salability” of your home. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the median price of a home sold using an agent is 16 percent higher than a home sold without the guidance of an agent. (Hmmm, so why utilize a REALTOR (R) real estate agent if I am buying a home? You forgot to address the other side of the transaction that affects your duplicitous profession. As a buyer I don't want to pay 16% more for a house plus 6% commission. That's 22% of b.s. money down the drain. You know what would be impressive? Convince me that by working with a realtor one can negotate price decreases of at least 17% every time to cancel out the efforts of the seller's realtor! Sorry, but this item 3 is crap in terms of explaining REALTOR value to the buyer.)
- Your REALTOR® acts as your advocate during each step of the transaction. Whether evaluating buyer proposals or preparing counteroffers, your REALTOR® saves you time by serving as a liaison between you and the other parties of the transaction, prepares and reviews necessary paperwork, and guides you through the process to make sure everything is handled appropriately. (Such as encouraging you to not make insulting, low-ball offers for overvalued homes, and hand carrying you as a prospective buyer to "recommended" mortgage brokers and appraisers that will knock down the pins and help close the sale - all in an effort to secure that holy 6% commissions)
- REALTORS® are well-versed in up-to-date market data, such as inventory levels, time on market, and ratios of list-to-sold prices. Backed by education and experience in the real estate industry, your REALTOR® and can help you leverage this market information to aid in your decision-making process. (Here's a news flash for REALTORS(R): All of this information is now available on the internet at Zillow, RealtyTrac, Foreclosure.com, etc., - and anyone with a brain and a pulse can decipher the amount of leverage available to them on a given. But even if one chose to hire a realtor anyway, how do any of the above items consistute a value-add worthy of 6% commission based on the home sale value? The rancid truth is, none of them do.)
Nice move, C.A.R. Tip of the hat to you.
I mean, it is wise to go on the offensive at this stage, since Americans who are, or will be, losing their homes are about to start calling out so-called professional mortgage brokers and real estate agents by name in the press. Yes, those who cajoled them into signing the dotted line of subprime and Alt-A mortgages back in 2003, 2004 and 2005 will likely start to receive that free word-of-mouth advertising on national TV! Sheer bliss for any a real estate professional!
But how will those that are undergoing home foreclosure, bankruptcy and homelessness view these new ads?
The answer? Well, it doesn't matter to real estate agents. You see, they have their money. They've been paid already - and can move on to the next sucker.
The idea that agents must act ethically in all transactions, or lose their professional reputation and potential future customer base, is a myth. If the Housing Bubble of 2006/2007 has taught us anything is that there is almost always a greater fool, until it's too late. So the "we're always ethical" line is just bullsh*t.
Real estate agents are sales people who do not care whether a home sells at price x or price y, as long as either price x or y is a high price, because their sales commission is a factor off of the final sales price.
But it is good for the C.A.R. to respond with something to counter the growing national disgust for real estate industry professionals as the U.S. housing market, the participative businesses within it, and it's customers proceed to financially unravel during the course of 2007 and 2008.
As far as the ads go, though - Great Stuff!
We're all waiting with bated breath I can tell you!
And there was much rejoicing!
Yes, some sweetness to life can be found, even during a colossal Orange County California real estate industry meltdown!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
So exactly how much will it cost to rescue those financially illiterate cretins who were so-called "bamboozled" and "hoodwinked" into sub-prime mortgage loans by mortgage brokers and realtwhores in order to purchase homes that they could otherwise never afford?
How about $US 120 Billion?
Thank goodness all of our nation's schools are leading the globe with world-class education!
Thank goodness all of our nation's roads have been completed - and let me say, smooth as a baby's bottom!
Thank goodess that Ben Bernanke has brought inflation under control!
And thank goodness that our nation's borders are secure, and that the war on that noun called "terrorism" has been won, because man, I was starting to get worried about the price of gas, which is now at a record $3.36 per gallon in Lake Forest, CA!
Thank goodness for all of that, because now we can drop everything we have been doing in our busy lives in order to experience the pleasure of raising taxes on those who saved their money and went without, in order to bail out nimrods who decided not to read nor fully understand a mortgage contract before they signed it, and who could not bring their consumer greed, arrogance and financial incompetence under control!
I guess, with Mr. Shumer's advocacy, every homedebtor in the country can just declare mental ineptitude and stop paying their mortgage!
I swear, if any such bailout plan passes Congress and is signed by moron Bush, then America has officially lost its way completely.
Friday, April 13, 2007
We're No. 1! We're No. 1!
...uhh, Hey, wait a minute guys, uhh...what are we celebrating again??
California March Foreclosures: 32,692
1 filing for every 373 homes, out of 158,000 foreclosure filings nationwide
California lenders, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents: Damn, you guys rock!
And you got paid!
Way to go!
How appropriate for Friday the 13th. See the recent article from The Desert Sun newspaper out of Palm Springs, CA:
"...despite a generally sluggish housing market in recent months, California continues to add 200 to 300 new real estate licensees every week, with some 560,000 licensees expected statewide by year’s end.
“At least it’s not 1,000 a week like it was a year ago,” said California Real Estate Commissioner Jeff Davi, who oversees a $43 million budget and 342 employees in five offices who currently regulate about 535,000 licensees across the state...
...Along with the boom in licensees has come a surge in enforcement action for those who break the rules, Davi said. The department is on pace for 9,000-plus enforcement cases this year.... Based on cases filed during the first half of its fiscal year, about 36 percent will involve criminal convictions, 21 percent will involve trust-fund handling or recordkeeping violations, and 10 percent will involve supervision and negligence violations."
Realtors, in case of emergency, break glass!
Transaction Survival Kit (Silver)
Member Price: $44.00
A Basic Necessity for Every New Agent
Sold separately, the items cost over $92.00.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Mr. Tomnitz was one of the few business leaders within the real estate industrial complex (REIC) with the cajones to just tell it like it is: 2007 "IS GOING TO SUCK" for America's homebuilders.
Funny quote at the time. But is anybody laughing anymore? I mean, Don was right on.
Holy crap! For America's largest homebuilder, this is one major sucker punch below the belt! And if this is what's happening to the big boy on the block in terms of building homes and flogging them to the nation, how will the smaller home builders cope?
And the most painful kick in the groin? The state of California - where orders fell 59 percent to 1,107 homes. California was also the market that saw the biggest dip in dollar value of orders, down about 57 percent to $533.5 million.
I don' t know.
Maybe it's the quadratic pastel tie that says "I don't give a damn what you think!".
A tip of the hat to you, Mr. Tomnitz. Good call.
Monday, April 9, 2007
It also suggests that it's ok to be a moron.
I'd much more prefer that We, the People, i.e. All Americans, take full responsibility for our actions for a change - even for the titanically stupid mistakes that cause us to lose our homes, sell our possessions and declare personal bankruptcy.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program of Americans who know how to live within their financial means.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
The Achilles' heel of the United States of America is not a lack of resolve to correct what is wrong and make it right, but a failure to utilize critical thinking skills and common sense.
Monday, April 2, 2007
No surprises here.
For anyone who in the future wishes to question the reasons why their 2008, 2009 and 2010 federal income taxes increased substantially, bookmark this story now.
Now, on to happy thoughts!