Wednesday, January 23, 2013
If you are looking to build in NW Indiana this year, we'd like to get to know you. Frankly we're only going to build a few homes this year and we want to find the right relationships. Let's meet and get acquainted and then decide if we want to build together.
Steve and Julie Dalton
Green Pointe Homes
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
That's not what this post is about, but thought I'd just throw it out there. Today I'm speedblogging my way around all my sites, less than one hour was the goal.
We've talked politics, running, reading, writing, mortgages, home building, and technology. What else is there? I'm out there and transparent, posted a photo this morning of the sunrise and plan to take one of the sunset tonite.
But for now, keep moving and head on over to the grand-daddy of them all, the site that makes me a little bit of money and gets the most traffic day after day. Northwest Indiana Politics
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
I highly recommend Rob and his team, call him today, or go to Rob Rud Mortgage Banker.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Hello REALTORs it's time to stop, drop, and roll. It's not 2008 anymore, and homes aren't all fire sales. You need to change your language, your attitude, your pricing, your approach ... or get out of the business because right now you're just hurting all of us.
I was talking a bit on twitter with Dave Woodson, a social media guru and consultant with businesses that actually believe in growth. He got me thinking about the state of our industry right now. We seem to have a lot of the wrong people and not very many of the right. Let me be frank, and this won't go well for a lot of real estate professionals out there:
- You aren't worth 7%, or 5% or even 3% of the sale of my home. If my home sells for $200,000 do you seriously think that signing a couple pages of boilerplate contract is worth $6,000 or $10,000 or more? I know I get access to your MLS, but you have heard about Zillow and the internet right? I'm betting that sign, that continually leans to the side in my front yard, cost you $150. I'm betting your MLS membership is about $1,500. So you're telling me that you need to make $10,000 for watching me sign your documents, when in all actuality someone else sold my house to the new buyers?
- If all you're going to do is talk in inside baseball recession language, you're only hurting the sale of my home, property values in general, and your own income. When you say things like "let's make a low ball offer and see what they do" or "no one is getting approved for mortgages right now" or "we can list it there, but it will have to be reduced before we'll get any showings" ... you show me that you don't really understand selling. I want my home sold, if all I needed was an order taker I'd have someone in Pakistan handle it. The recession is over, housing is in full recovery, and rates are at historic lows ... pull your head out of the sand and start selling at full price!
- You don't really understand mortgage finance, as a matter of fact it so confuses you that you just hand me and your other customers off to the few remaining lenders in a now over-regulated mess. Sure you told me that the rates were 4.5% yesterday, but do you even know what makes up that rate? Do you know anything about mortgage approvals or how long it takes to get one, or even what real closing costs are now that President Obama fixed housing. (ie. closing costs are now double 2008) It's time you sat down and listened to one of the survivors, things are a lot different and you need to know what you're doing.
Due to Mitch Daniels' tax caps, most homes have seen property taxes plummet in NW Indiana, and could go down even more this year.
FHA is still out there, meaning that buyers can buy with as little as 3.5% down payment. And frankly if they don't have the money today, they will by the time you and your little "offer" game are over. Show them how to save, show them how easy it can be to buy right now at 4.5% interest rates. If they have a 580 credit score, hold their hands and get them to 620.
I'm sorry, I really am because the last great fight I had with a real estate professional ended up with she and I not talking for many years. But I was right then, and am now. You aren't worth more than I will make selling my house or even close to $10,000. In many ways your industry like the mortgage industry is so over-regulated that you resemble amateur attorneys more than anything else.
Sell please, sell with everything you've got.
I once had a old and wise builder tell me "Steve, a realtor is someone who sees an inevitable bus collision about to happen, and throws themselves in front of it just in time" ... Create something that isn't there now, or you really will have become the buggy whips of 2011.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
First, homelessness is up a bit in the last couple years in Northwest Indiana, including Valparaiso for those that think we don't have any.
Second, eliminating Spring Valley's homeless program and turning the units into low rent units may be good for the market and even good for the tenants ... I am curious where we think the homeless will now go? Partly my own fault since I haven't been attending the coalition meetings. Seriously where?
Third, the men's shelter came under some attacks last year for daring to let homeless men put up tents in the back, next to a railroad track and an asphalt plant. Because we'd prefer they go ... where?
Thought please ....
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tightened Lending Standards
In an effort to return to more prudent underwriting, Fannie Mae has announced that it is tightening lending standards for adjustable rate and interest-only mortgages. Starting on June 19, home buyers who acquire an ARM with an initial fixed-rate period of five years or less will have to qualify at the note rate plus 2% or at the fully indexed rate. Because few consumers are choosing ARMs in the current market, the immediate impact of this change should not be substantial; however, ARMS will become more popular as interest rate levels increase. As for interest-only mortgages, Fannie Mae is structuring this option for borrowers who are in a position to choose it as a financial management tool rather than as a tool to make their monthly payments more affordable. To be eligible for interest-only loans, borrowers must demonstrate the ability to qualify for the loan when the interest-only feature ends and the payment is based on principal and interest. The borrower must also have a credit score of at least 720 and have 24 months of reserves at a minimum. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae has also announced the retirement of seven-year balloon mortgages as a standard mortgage product. More information is available in Nation's Building News.
Helping Distressed Home Owners Reenter the Housing Market
In separate news, Fannie Mae is making it easier for distressed borrowers to purchase new homes in the future. Changes described in its Announcement SEL-2010-05 are designed to reward owners who worked with their loan servicers when they experienced difficulty repaying their mortgage debt. Under Fannie's new policies, home owners who avoided foreclosure by exercising pre-foreclosure solutions such as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, short sale or pre-foreclosure sale will not have to wait so long to qualify for a mortgage to buy another home. For example, after a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, home owners currently have to wait four years, but the new policies allow those who make a downpayment of 20% to get back in the housing market within just two years; under extenuating circumstances, such as the loss of a job, they will only have to put 10% down. Fannie Mae says these changes are aimed at addressing the needs of the housing market following the recession. The moves should also help home builders, mortgage lenders and Realtors by contributing to the ongoing housing recovery. For more information on either of the above items, please contact Steve Linville at 800-368-5242, x8597.
P.S. If you are getting serious about building a home, it's time to talk to our sister company Green Pointe Homes. Affordable newly built homes in Northwest Indiana starting under $200,000 right now! Call today. 219-465-8352 Steve Dalton
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The coffee creek saga (read the rest here - this is only a partial post from Northwest Indiana Politics)
In what has become the longest running slow motion car crash in Northwest Indiana developments, once again coffee creek in Chesterton is in the news. The Times reports that a bank is Illinois is owed $12 million by the developers and is suing for default.
I have some personal experience with this development, and a whole lot of dismay that a terrific idea has been so thoroughly destroyed by small minded and petty leaders. Some highlights, and feel free to add your own recollections:
- Sand Creek was originally the private course for one of the steel mills, I think US Steel
- Sand Creek was at some point developed for housing, and things went bad back in the 80's
- Sand Creek was sold off to NIPSCO under a for profit non regulated unit called Lake Eerie Land Company. The realtors who were marketing the site were essentially pulled in house and Lake Eerie Land began purchasing more land adjacent.
- In the mid-90's a movement which is alternately called neo-urbanism or new urbanism rose up, and Lake Eerie Land designed a substantial project adjacent to Sand Creek Country Club which would feature a downtown, lifestyle mall, hundreds of homes, and live work style community. Coffee Creek would eventually win numerous national awards for planning and design, but the market in NW Indiana wasn't quite ready.
- Local home builders were always thought to be too small and too normal, so they were overlooked and under-utilized, the Coffee Creek marketers kept thinking that it was going to have to be a big builder or group from Chicago. One entire section of Coffee Creek was sold to the Carpenters Union as a fully developed neighborhood investment, for roughly 5 times its actual value and it was actually never fully developed.
- Ultimately it became whispered knowledge that the realtors, now in house, for Coffee Creek paid some incentives to get the Carpenters Union to buy this bad investment, and some of these guys ultimately went to jail. Still the project sat with roughly a dozen homes on 1,000 acres. No retail, no lifestyle center, no neo-urbanism.