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Will You Save Money if You Buy a Home Now?

June 24, 2015

When I read $217,726: That’s What You’ll Save (Give or Take) If You Buy a Home Now, it made me think. I recently received a call from a past seller who has been renting for the last 2 years. Her life situation has changed, and she is saving money and paying off debt before buying a home again next spring.

Of course, she wants to know what the real estate market will look like in the future. It’s a very common question, and I wish I had an answer. The best I can do is watch the trends in our local market. It’s true we’re affected by the national economy, but as Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Groups Investment, said, “Real Estate is local. You can have an opportunity in the midst of chaos.”

The best advice I can give is to be truthful with yourself when examining your own situation. Speak freely with your real estate adviser. They can help walk you through those decisions, without making the decisions for you. Only you can determine what is best for you and your family.

Job Interview Questions

April 24, 2015
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A Glassdoor study of tens of thousands of interviews found the 50 questions you’re most likely to be asked in your next interview:

1. What are your strengths?
2. What are your weaknesses?
3. Why are you interested in working for us?
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
6. What can you offer us that someone else can’t?
7. Why was there a gap in your employment between these two dates?
8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
9. Are you willing to relocate?
10. Are you willing to travel?
11. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
13. What is your dream job?
14. How did you hear about this position?
15. What would you accomplish in the first 30/60/90 days on the job?
16. Discuss your resume.
17. Discuss your educational background.
18. Describe yourself.
19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
20. Why should we hire you?
21. Why are you looking for a new job?
22. Would you work holidays/weekends?
23. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
24. What are your salary requirements?
25. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
26. Who are our competitors?
27. What was your biggest failure?
28. What motivates you?
29. What’s your availability?
30. Who’s your mentor?
31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
32. How do you handle pressure?
33. What is the name of our CEO?
34. What are your career goals?
35. What gets you up in the morning?
36. What would your direct reports say about you?
37. What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
38. If I called your boss right now and asked him what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?
39. Are you a leader or a follower?
40. What was the last book you read for fun?
41. What are your co-worker pet peeves?
42. What are your hobbies?
43. What is your favorite website?
44. What makes you uncomfortable?
45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
46. How would you fire someone?
47. What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
48. Would you work 40+ hours a week?
49. What questions haven’t I asked you?
50. What questions do you have for me?

Were you asked any of these questions in your last job interview?

Waiting for Marriage?

April 10, 2015

 Delayed Marriage Equals Delayed Homeownership?

This article from RISMedia says people are getting married later, and buying their first houses later as well. In my experience with single people, they often go ahead and buy their first house without waiting to get married.

So I’m taking a poll:

How old were you when you bought your first house? Did you wait until you got married? Are your friends waiting to buy a house until they get married, or are they buying a house first? Or are they renting instead?

Baby Boomer Home Sales

December 22, 2014

This is an interesting article from the National Association of Realtors. They analyzed areas across the country looking for housing markets that would be most likely to see an increase in home sales to baby boomers. Boise is right there at the top of the list! What’s even more interesting is that we’ve started to see it happen already.

Top Metro Areas Poised for Uptick in Baby Boomer Home Sales

Idaho Housing Summit

December 20, 2014

This is a summation of what Lawrence Yun had to say last week at the Idaho Housing Summit. In addition he mentioned that he wished the rest of the nation had a job creation report as good as the Boise valley. Yeah Boise!

An Interview with NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun

Good News for Underwater Homeowners

November 17, 2014
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I found this in my email today. This is a good thing for anyone who is still underwater on their home. Pay attention to your situation and get it refinanced if the time is right for you:

FHA Refinance of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions: Program Extension

Today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2014-23, FHA Refinance of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions (Short Refi): Program Extension, which extends the expiration date of the program through December 31, 2016, and reiterates the permitted use of proceeds from government entities and instrumentalities of government to extinguish a portion of a borrower’s negative equity.  All loans originated under the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Short Refi program must close on or before that date. All other provisions announced in ML 2010-23, and amended in ML 2012-05, remain in effect.

FHA’s Short Refi program supports refinances for borrowers who owe more than the current value of their home.  It also plays an important role in helping to align property values with mortgage obligations for sustainable, long-term homeownership.

Quick Links and Resources

·        View today’s FHA Refinance of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions: Program Extension Mortgagee Letter 2014-23 at  http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/letters/mortgagee

·        Mortgagee Letter 2012-05—FHA Refinance of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions: Program Enhancements at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=12-05ml.pdf

·        Mortgagee Letter 2010-23—FHA Refinance of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=10-23ml.pdf

·        Contact the FHA Resource Center:

–       Visit our online knowledge base to obtain answers to frequently asked questions 24/7 at www.hud.gov/answers.

–       E-mail the FHA Resource Center at answers@hud.gov. Emails and phone messages will be responded to during normal hours of operation, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday on all non-Federal holidays. 

–       Call 1-800-CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may reach this number by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

What on Earth is a “Zombie” Foreclosure?

October 16, 2014
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No, this isn’t a Zombie Foreclosure. It is an awesome picture though! Photo Credit: Photommo on Flickr

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Halloween.

Zombie properties are houses that are either in foreclosure or foreclosed, but can’t progress past that point. Perhaps the bank has stalled on the process, or has foreclosed but the title is clouded and they can’t sell until it is clear. “Dead” properties like this are a drag on society. The county is not receiving the taxes owed them; the home remains vacant, not being maintained and not going up for sale, affecting the value of properties around it. It can’t become a productive member of society (so to speak) by paying taxes and HOA dues because ownership is unclear.

I called the Ada County Tax Assessor’s office yesterday to get more information on the “zombie” inventory of foreclosure properties in our area. I was told they don’t know anything about that, and couldn’t tell if there was such a thing in our county. I’d love to know how companies like CoreLogic find out this information. Hey Title Companies, do you know?

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