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Mortgage Mania - Part 5 in a continuing series

June 8th, 2007 · 3 Comments

If you have been following the Mortgage Mania saga on 3Oceans which looks at how fallout from the increasing numbers of homes bought with subprime loans are going into foreclosure, you might enjoy this tidbit from an article posted on Inman News on Tuesday. . .

Speaking via satellite to the International Money Managers Conference in Capetown, South Africa on Tuesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke forecasts a slowdown on the nationwide housing industry as a result of tightening lending restrictions.

Excerpt from article:

“Tighter standards in subprime lending — along with bad publicity that may keep eligible borrowers from applying for loans — will continue to restrain demand for housing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told international bankers Tuesday.”

Click here to read the complete article.

We are seeing it here as well. A couple of loan instruments that were available to an investor that I work with a couple of months ago are now gone. That hasn’t prevented him from being able to buy that million dollar fixer upper, but the increased carrying costs of his purchase are cutting into his profit, making “deals” harder to come by.

If you have been planning to purchase a home, and you are now finding that you qualify for less, or that you can’t qualify, post a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading . . .

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Tags: Real estate

Realbird’s RealKi Becomes Inman Wiki

February 1st, 2007 · 3 Comments

Realbird, the Bay Area-based MLS search provider, launched a real estate Wiki about the same time that Zillow made its big December 6th announcement, which also included a Wiki.

Industry wikis have yet to take off, at least in real estate, but now that Inman has acquired Realbird’s Wiki, that might change. Real estate professionals have been reluctant to contribute content to Zillow’s wiki for at least two reasons:

  1. They remain eternally suspicious of Zillow’s intentions and are skeptical of making a contribution to a site which they believe will turn on them.
  2. There’s currently no way of getting attribution for contributing. (”What do we Realtors want? Linkbacks! When do want it? Now!”) We may be happy to add to the body of knowledge out there, but we want some credit for it. The crude and simple way around this is to put a link back to our own site within our post, but the efficient Zillow cops tend to pick that up pretty quickly. (Drew, are you reading this? :) )

Inman’s foray into the Wiki space may overcome the first, and for the time being the Inman Wiki does allow for author attribution — see, for instance, the post on my broker, Alain Pinel Realtors, which clearly marks yours truly as the author. (Note to self: need to update this entry to reflect the fact that the VP of Marketing has just left. Done.)

From a consumer perspective, the big problem with an industry wiki is neutrality, an illustration of which is another entry on Alain Pinel Realtors. This one is pure marketing bumph, lifted word-for-word from our corporate-speak-ridden 1.0-era brochure-ware web site. Given the article’s attribution of Inman itself, I have to assume this article was simply copied in order to seed the wiki.

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Tags: Inman News · Real estate · Realbird · Zillow

RE Blogger dinner at Inman Connect

January 3rd, 2007 · 3 Comments

Planning on going to Inman Connect in New York next week? Several of us were thinking it would be fun to have an RE blogger dinner one night. Looking at the schedule, Monday night after the 6:30pm to 8:00pm reception seems like the only time that will work.

So, plan on joining us at 9:00pm for a late dinner; venue to be announced. So we can get a good head count, please . I’ll compile an email alias for the group so we can stay in touch at the conference. Please spread the word through your various blogs as well.

If you have a restaurant suggestion near Times Square that could handle a group of ~30, please let me know.

There’s a pre-Inman event as well that may be interesting.

So far the following folks are coming:

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Tags: Inman Connect · Inman News · Real estate

Different management, same tune

October 30th, 2006 · No Comments

Responding to Alan Dalton’s Zillow-skewering at the recent convention of the California Association of Realtors, Brad Inman of Inman News had this to say:

Money quote to Realtor audience: “Don’t let anyone demean your value by suggesting that you should be threatened by new sources of information.”

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Tags: Alan Dalton · Brad Inman · California Association of Realtors · Inman News · Real estate · Realtor.com · Zillow

Electronic transactions and peace in the Middle East

October 29th, 2006 · 3 Comments

At the recent convention of the California Association of Realtors, Brad Inman, President and CEO of Inman News Features, spoke about how technology has been changing the business of real estate. Inman’s a pretty sharp character, and he “gets” technology in real estate in a way that many industry leaders don’t.

Here’s what he had to say about electronic transactions:

Uh, Brad…next time you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, let me know…we’ll do all the paperwork electronically, and the first and only time you’ll have to put a pen to paper is when you sign the closing documents at the title company. Alas, California law still requires mortgage documents to be signed the old fashioned way.

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Tags: Brad Inman · California Association of Realtors · Electronic signatures · Inman News · Real estate · Technology