We found this little piece in The New Yorker, and couldn’t resist sharing. It’s a pleasant little satire on the trials and tribulations of home ownership and home buying in the New York area. To be sure, we find it doubtful that you consider your home the house of your nightmares but there’s enough in here that carries the satirical ring of truth that we think it can resonate (at least a little) with every homeowner. For those of you who aren’t homeowners yet, don’t worry — it’s not just satirical, it’s also a little hyperbolic. Enjoy!
Well, we promised it, and we like to keep to our word, so — now that it’s Autumn, here’s your first Autumnal post. Today we’re focused on taking care of those chores that need to be done before winter sets in. We found this great checklist at demesne.info, that not only covers “in and around the house” and “in the yard and garden” fairly comprehensively, but also provides a bonus checklist covering emergency preparedness and getting your car ready, as well.
A while back, this blog covered the rapid increase in foreign investments in the U.S. housing market. With all of the recent news regarding (and never mind the news, the actual ups-and-down in) the Chinese stock market, it’s worth revisiting this state of affairs. RIS Media seems to be of the opinion that said volatility is likely to increase demand for U.S. real estate by Chinese nationals. But it also adds the need for extra caution amongst real estate professionals, to ensure that the volatility still leaves these foreign investors in a stable position.
Bloomberg Markets interviews Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist for Zillow, and she makes some interesting points, particularly in light of Yellen’s speech today outlining a case for interest rate hikes this year. One of the key points is understanding the importance of regionality. We get national numbers, but, say, a 0.25 point increase would have a vary different impact in frothy markets like San Francisco than it would in say, Philly. Similar regional arguments apply to renter sentiment.
In the wake of the recent sub-prime mortgage scandal, everyone is understandably nervous about repeating the past. Recent data indicates that, in fact, sub-prime lending is up significantly (20.4% for HELOCs, 29.5% for home-equity loans, and 30.5% for first mortgages). However, it seems unlikely that there’s cause for concern. Although those percentage increases are large, the number of overall sub-prime loans is very small. Only 146,000 of the 3.3 million mortgages year-to-date were issued to borrowers with a credit score below 620.