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  1. I do the appraisal measurements and photo's for a 3rd party company We work with local banks and Fannie Mae. What we provide them is overall measurements of the structure, an interior schematic of the property, photo's of each room and photo's of all the HVAC equipment. I don't look for minor blemishes but will look for obvious items that need repair. I also ask the homeowner about any improvements they have made in the last 5 years. Things like updated kitchens and baths, new flooring, roof etc.. add value.
  2. I have been keeping more cash then usual because I'm thinking about buying a new car. My work vehicle is a 2013 Honda CRV but it only has 80,000 miles on it and has had no problems. I'm not convinced that the market won't take another big dump so I've moved most of my investments to 75% cash, 25% stock index funds.
  3. Will there be a housing crash, of course! When and where? Who knows. We are starting to see signs in New York City and San Francisco as people are moving to the suburbs. If you're a conservative living in Seattle your probably starting to look elsewhere. Conversely, if your living in the Hampton's your seeing an all time high in housing prices. Real estate is local and what you might see in one area might not be a national phenomenon. Or, we might get hit by an asteroid and all the survivors are living in caves.
  4. There was a thread on here awhile back about tracking expenses. Some people thought it was a waste of time. I have always believed it was a good idea to know your spending habits and where you can cut back if necessary.
  5. "Since the collapse of the economy in 2020, 16 large companies have suspended their match so far, including Tenet Health THC, -1.56% (119,660 active 401(k) participants), Marriott Vacations Worldwide MAR, -3.68% (9,715 active participants), and Amtrak (18,780 active participants). (Active participant data are for 2018 from the Labor Department’s Form 5500.)" https://www.marketwatch.com/story/employers-start-to-suspend-their-401k-match-2020-04-21#:~:text=Since the collapse of the,Amtrak (18%2C780 active participants).
  6. It's always been an interesting topic to look at 401K's and IRA's. They used to preach the three legged stool of income streams- Pension, Social Security and Savings. For most people pensions have gone away and with Covid, companies have started reducing or eliminating the 401K matches. That leaves what? Social Security and whatever savings a person is disciplined enough to put away. There is an interesting group of regular posters on this board that seem to have that discipline to put money away, probably because of past actions that got us here. I worry a bit for the next generation that might not have that discipline.
  7. If you are about to buy a house don't give your loan officer a heart attack by going out and buying a new car.
  8. Some people like to track every penny because they're anal. Others like to track because it gives them a good basis for retirement to have a realistic look at their monthly spending patterns.
  9. Whenever first time home buyers come to me I send them to a "good" loan officer for an initial conversation. (You can talk to friends or co-workers who have recently purchased to see who they were happy with). People can often qualify for a much bigger loan than they are comfortable with. The best idea is to decide how much your realistically able to afford each month, and still have a life, and that will determine the price of the house you can afford. Your credit rating will be part of what determines the type of loan you can get FHA or Conventional loan as well as the down payment. (FHA generally has a lower down payment requirement but many banks also have a 3% down conventional product).
  10. From our weekly update the Brokerage supplies- New Listings, overall, are still down about 20% over last year. In a recent NAR Flash Survey, more than 3 in 4 potential sellers (77%) said they were preparing to sell their homes following the end of the stay-at-home orders in their states.
  11. My partner and I have sold 5 AB&B properties for one group that has 20+ properties. We will see if their business rebounds this summer or I imagine we will be selling more of their properties.
  12. We made our weekly pilgrimage to Sam's Club yesterday. Finally no line to get in at 11:00 AM. We tried to pickup some Ramen soup for the kid but they were still out. No TP, we didn't need any, but wife was happy they finally had dinner napkins. I had to pickup a couple of prescriptions and the counter looked like a tellers cage in Vegas. Thick Plexiglas separating you from the clerk. The clerk was wearing a mask and then proceeded to put on latex gloves. I though I was about to get a Prostate exam. 😲
  13. According to most reports in 9 months we'll be doing this all over again with next years Flu season.
  14. I received an e-mail from my preferred lender at Leader one. A few excerpts- LeaderOne is no longer allowing loans to be locked with Government financing with a credit score under 640. This is a big change for us, as we have helped many clients with scores as low as 580. In fact, it seems that many lenders are raising their minimum FICO scores for FHA loans to as high as 660, which would prevent a large section of borrowers from accessing an FHA loan. A new normal I guess.
  15. I'm not a NJ expert so you would want to verify this- Qualifying for an FHA Loan After Foreclosure To qualify for an FHA mortgage loan, you must wait at least three years after the foreclosure. The three-year clock starts ticking from the time that the foreclosure case has ended, usually from the date that your prior home was sold in the foreclosure proceeding. Generally, the home is "sold" at the Sheriffs auction. The high bidder, usually the bank, is awarded a Sheriffs deed. Most states have a statutory redemption period, in MN it's 6 months but it looks like 1 year in NJ. During the redemption period you have the right to buy the house back from the high bidder for the amount they bid. If the house isn't underwater we work with sellers to sell the house during this period. I would just call and talk to a local lender to find out what their dates are? Some lenders have tighter rules than what FHA publishes.

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