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WWL: Checking in on Real Estate
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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With rock-bottom mortgage rates, and a successful federal incentive plan, it's the perfect time to buy a house.


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48:59 minutes (23.51 MB)
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With rock-bottom mortgage rates, and a successful federal incentive plan, it’s the perfect time to buy a house. So, are you?

The Mortgage Bankers Association says the average 30 year fixed rate loan is about 4.97 percent, and mortgage applications have jumped 50 percent from where they were early this summer. Other news is encouraging, too. New housing starts are at the best pace in more than nine months, and the National Association of Realtors says the “worst of the housing crisis is over.”

So, why such slow overall growth in the housing market? Home sales dipped 2.7 percent last month, leaving Wall Street scratching its head about the recovery.

Today, where we live, we’ll conclude our Tuesday series on housing with a look at the real estate market in Connecticut and nationwide, the trends we’re finding, and your stories.

Are you looking to buy a home now? Looking to sell? Does it feel like it’s getting back to normal in the world of real estate?

Today's program originally aired on September 29, 2009

Related Content:

Appraisal Real Estate

Most of the most successful real estate agents don’t have college degrees. The experience can help you because being a real estate agent is owning and running your own business.

However, selling houses is easy. They sell themselves. The hard part is you have to go out and get your own clients. You have to sell yourself to them, and trust me its a lot harder then it sounds. You have to find people who are willing to let you sell their house and convince them that you are somehow better then the agent that’s sold every other house in their neighborhood, and who has billboards all over the city.

Being well connected and having good networking skills are more important then sales skills

Be prepared to pay out thousands in marketing materials, billboards, ads, signs ect without getting anything in return for a while. You can always work for a well established agent as their buyer’s agent for a while. This is probably also your best shot.

Right now the real estate market is pretty bad, and agents are having a very tough time. During them boom the number of real estate agents increase nation wide by over 50%. Supply and demand have decreased but the number of agents really hasn’t, I think they are kind of in denial, but my point is that a usually competitive market is 10 time more competitive.

Also being an agent does not come with company benefits like healthcare. You will have to purchase that on your own and individual policies are very expensive.

appraisal management


Can't get mortgage b/c of new Fannie Mae rule re: pending litig.

We are more than qualified financially to buy the $142,000 condo we put an offer on, but can't get a mortgage because there is a new Fannie Mae rule.  This rule affects banks that could eventually sell the mortgage to another bank.  In our case, the condo association is listed as co-defendant in 2 foreclosures.  The condo association is not at fault and simply listed routinely in these cases, I've been told.

But the banks are considering this as "pending litigation" and won't give us a mortgage.  7 banks have turned us down because of this.

The condo association did not disclose this on the resale certificate in the condo documents, presumably because in the past it was a non issue.  But the new rule predates their nondisclosure and it has materially affected our ability to get a mortgage.

Plus, if WE can't get a mortgage, it will be extrememly difficult for everyone else to get a mortgage for the same reason.

Apparently, there are a few banks that don't sell their loans and we might be able to get a mortgage from one of those banks.

It also seems to me that this will negatively affect condo prices due to a reduced number of buyers being able to get loans or come up with cash.

I would appreciate comments from the guests from the 9/29 Where We Live broadcast and anyone with any information that might be helpful.


Listener Email from Susan

As first time home buyers, my fiancé and I have been looking for a house since last January. We’ve made offers on 4 houses (that we didn’t get) and in each case, the house went for above the asking price. We’ve found that any place under $250,000 in move in condition in a decent neighborhood usually goes within a week or two of coming on the market. Also, all other things being equal as far as credit rating, financial stability, the banks will take the offers from the buyers who have the biggest cash down payment. It really seems that this $8,000 credit has created a feeding frenzy within a certain price point, and we’re hoping that the senate will approve an extension of this program so that we’ll be able to find and close on a house before the program ends.

Listener Email from John

I'm an appraiser, and I'd like to point out that John from Granby only saw an appraisal problem when his more recent appraisal came in lower. My experience has been that the assumption is almost always that the lower appraisal is the one that is faulty.

I have been in situations where I would perform an appraisal that the borrower would disagree with, often based on there having been a prior appraisal for a higher value. When provided with the prior appraisal, I would often find problems with that report (poor comparable selection, incorrect factual data, etc.) that had artificially inflated the value.

My point is that no one ever seems to complain or look too closely at the appraisal when the value comes in unexpectedly high, and that the appraisal is considered "faulty" only when the value isn't high enough to support the loan request.

CT Appraiser since 1984