With The Holidays Here, Industry Leaders Share What They Are Grateful For

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Industry leaders are sharing their thoughts as 2022 winds down and they are expressing gratitude despite challenges in the current market. Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, Michigan, said he appreciates the mental stimulation of navigating a tough market because people are forced to get creative in finding solutions for customers. “Your company, your teams, you get to try to figure out how you can help people or how you can improve your company. It’s actually a much more fascinating time than when you’re in a super boom and all you can do is talk about rates and payments,” Banfield said. Banfield had just sat down with The Mortgage Note to talk…

You Can Get A Mortgage At Walmart

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at Lenders One Cooperative are planning to open branch locations at select Walmart stores in seven states. The company, established in 2000, is a national alliance of independent mortgage bankers, banks, and credit unions managed by a subsidiary of Altisource Portfolio Solutions. President Justin Demola said in a recent interview with The Mortgage Note that opening branches inside Walmart stores makes sense for their members and customers who will have access to lending services in the same place they shop. “Walmart is an interesting opportunity for us and our members,” Demola said. “The timing has lined up nicely. This project started almost two years ago when the mortgage market was buzzing. Interest rates were super low…

6 Million US Homes Are Worth $1M Or More

U.S. home prices have broken another record: 8% of homes (6 million) are now worth $1 million or more, according to a new report from Redfin. That is nearly double the share from before the pandemic when the share was only 4.8% (3.5 million). The Bay Area has the biggest share of million-dollar homes, with nearly nine out of 10 properties in San Francisco and San Jose making the list. This isn’t surprising given its long history of being the most expensive place to buy a home in the U.S. Anaheim, CA, saw the biggest increase, with its share of million-dollar homes jumping to 55% from 27% two years ago. California dominated the top five, following up with Oakland (55.1%),…

CEO: Working With Professionals In Person Is Important When Buying Property

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of Comey & Shepherd in Cincinnati says there is something to be said for working with realtors and mortgage lenders in person at a time when it seems like more and more of the home buying process can be done from a cell phone. Scott Nelson collects data about what is happening in their market, where the median buyer is 47 years old with a $98,750 annual income. His realtors have been helping people navigate the process of looking for a home through the market’s changes in Ohio, where potential buyers who would use a traditional mortgage are losing out due to a high percentage of cash offers. Nelson estimates that 30% of home purchases…

Falling In Love With Homes To Have Your Heart Broken? Here’s Some Advice

By KIMBERLEY HAAS This Valentine’s Day, if your heart is broken because you keep falling in love with homes to lose them to other buyers, you are not alone. Cindy Flynn, Director of Corporate Services at Comey & Shepherd in Cincinnati, Ohio, said buyers in her market are currently submitting an average of eight offers before landing a home. Although buyers are getting a thicker skin, Flynn said, the process is still an emotional one. She suggests keeping an open mind, a positive attitude, and faith that this spring there will be more inventory available. “I hold true to the idea that everything happens for a reason,” Flynn told The Mortgage Note in an interview. “There are other fish in…

Is Home Ownership More Affordable Than Renting? It Depends.

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A report released this month suggests that despite rising home prices it is more affordable to own a median-priced house than to rent a three-bedroom property in a majority of the United States. ATTOM’s 2022 Rental Affordability Report used fair-market rent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and sales deed data in 1,154 counties to find that home ownership will be more affordable in a majority of the country again in 2022. Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer at ATTOM, said home ownership still remains the more affordable option for average workers because it takes up a smaller portion of their pay when the math is…