Morning Roundup (5/13/2024) — Feeling The Squeeze

Good Morning! Today is Monday, May 13. Graduates walked out of Duke University’s commencement ceremony ahead of Jerry Seinfeld’s speech as college disruptions continue. A man died two months after he became the first person to receive a kidney from a genetically modified pig. Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin are under an air quality alert because of Canadian wildfire smoke. The Mortgage Note Reports Feeling The Squeeze: Property taxes and insurance costs are going up, but are they enough to force homeowners into foreclosure? Writer Erin Flynn Jay has the story. Rate Locks Rise: Purchase lock counts rose year-over-year in April for the first time since 2022, an encouraging sign in the tough market. Affordability Tool: Zillow Home Loans launched…

Guest Post: How Long Should You Hold Real Estate Before Selling It?

By ALEX CAPOZZOLO  It is anyone’s guess exactly how long you should hold real estate before selling it. No one has a crystal ball. But the time you choose to sell can significantly affect your profit. Many factors influence this decision, and understanding them can help maximize your return on investment. Here’s a straightforward guide to figuring out the best time to sell your property. Consider Market Conditions The state of the real estate market is a crucial factor. In a seller’s market, where demand exceeds supply, you can often secure higher prices. Conversely, during a buyer’s market, higher inventory might force you to sell for less. Keep an eye on local market trends and economic indicators to time your…

Opinion: Latest UWM Allegations Show Mat Ishbia Puts the ‘I’ in ‘Team’

By JARED WHITLEY Nearly a decade ago, former Michigan State basketball player — and future United Wholesale Mortgage CEO — Mat Ishbia wrote an op-ed for Inc. Magazine, explaining how his business success was an extension of his strategy on the court. Ishbia wrote that his approach is “creating teamwork.” “Be a thumb pointer, not a finger pointer. When adversity strikes, pointing your finger at someone else doesn’t solve anything. Instead, be accountable; point your thumb at yourself and get better,” he wrote a decade ago. But today, critics say, the embattled Ishbia is using lawsuits and market leverage to get his way. Instead of leadership and teamwork, Ishbia’s tactic is a top-down, “my way or the highway” approach to…

Op-Ed: More Than A Place To Live, CCRCs Plan For The Unpredictable

By CHRIS BARSTEIN Homeownership: the American Dream.  For so many adults, our homes not only fulfill the dream, they also are our most significant single purchase and our greatest investment. They’re where we build lives, families, and memories. Then, it happens. We age and, almost without warning, that dream starts to become a burden. This time of year, as winter sets in over much of the country, many older homeowners dread snow removal and heating bills. Regular upkeep and repairs get in the way of quality time and bigger projects are an expense that could be spent in other ways. What to do next can seem an overwhelming proposition. In an ideal world, retirement-age adults have a plan for where…

Predictions: Rate Cuts Unlikely This Week

By PATRICK LAVERY Seven weeks ago, the 2023 slate of policy meetings for the Federal Open Market Committee concluded with members voting to leave the key interest rate unchanged for a third straight time. However, anyone hoping that 2024 will begin with some movement in a downward direction is likely to be disappointed this week. Despite a seemingly positive economic outlook that has the stock market soaring to record highs, the experts seem to agree that there will be no change made when Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell emerges from the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. The stability, so to speak, of the Fed’s policy interest rate has been mirrored somewhat in the housing market recently. According to Freddie Mac,…

Opinion: HUD Homeless Count Fails To Connect Dots On Supply And Displacement

By EDWARD PINTO On December 15, HUD released its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) homeless and housing inventory counts (HIC) conducted in January 2023. The key finding was that homelessness reached a record high as the 2023 annual count increased 12% and 18% respectively from 2022 and 2017. The average rate of homelessness per 1,000 population in 2023 was 20. The PIT is calculated for the 381 local and state Continuums of Care (CoC), which HUD uses to track homelessness. The hundred-plus page report had lots of data along with a handful of anecdotal references to burgeoning housing purchase and rental costs. However, it contained precious little insight as to the steps needed to address our burgeoning homeless problem. Conspicuous in its…

Guest Post: Essential Tax Tips For Homeowners

By DAVE HEISTEIN Dealing with homeowner tax deductions can seem tough, but it’s key to making the most of your home financially. In this article, we’ll make taxes easier for you to understand. From breaking down various tax deductions to highlighting tax considerations for home improvements, we’re here to simplify these complex topics.  Understanding Homeowner Tax Deductions As a homeowner, you’re entitled to several tax deductions that can help you save money. Let’s break down five key tax deductions. Mortgage interest deduction: This allows you to deduct the interest paid on mortgage debt up to $750,000 ($375,000 if filing separately). To claim this, you need to itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). It’s important to compare your itemized…

Opinion: A Looming Commercial Property Crisis Exists

By DESMOND LACHMAN Rudi Dornbusch, the late MIT economist, famously observed that economic and financial crises take longer to arrive than you can possibly imagine, but when they do come, they happen faster than you can possibly imagine. Next year, Mr. Dornbusch’s warning could again prove to be prophetic as far as the commercial real estate sector and the regional banks are concerned. To be sure, four years on since 2020’s Covid pandemic upended the commercial property market, we have yet to have a full-blown financial crisis. However, next year could be the year when the commercial real estate market and the regional banks unravel at a faster pace than we thought possible. At the heart of the commercial property…

Opinion: All Mortgage Loan Originators Should Be Qualified To Originate Loans

By SCOTT OLSON This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Bank of America $12 million for reporting false mortgage data. CFPB’s Press Release on the action stated that BofA “Loan officers routinely falsified forms about mortgage applicants.” In response to this action, the Community Home Lenders of America issued a statement renewing its longstanding call for all mortgage loan originators to be licensed. Despite the fact that Section 1402(a)(2) of the Dodd-Frank statute requires that all mortgage loan originators must be “qualified,” the CFPB still does not require loan originators at banks to meet any of the SAFE Act requirements that apply to all non-bank mortgage loan originators. Why is this relevant to the BofA action? The CFPB press…

OPINION: Who Is Suzanne Okun?

BY JARED WHITLEY To steal from Detroit rapper Eminem, “Will the real Suzanne Okun please stand up? Please stand up? Please stand up?” Because she’s strangely hard to find. According to a 2019 biography posted in the industry publication Scotsman Guide, Okun was “a successful executive with more than 25 years of success in the financial-marketing and mortgage industries … [with] a proven record of increasing volume while improving efficiencies and encouraging interaction.” But, interestingly, no photo of her appears with her biography, no relevant social media accounts were publicly available, and several phone numbers associated with her were either wrong or no longer in service. While going off the grid is unusual, what industry observers find even more odd…