Thursday, May 24, 2012

Housing and Economic Forecast Brightens
Housing and Economic Forecast Brightens
RISMEDIA, Thursday, May 24, 2012— Positive underlying economic factors are helping relieve a pent-up housing demand, according to a presentation at a residential real estate forum at last week’s REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says there are many improving factors that are helping home sales. "Historically high housing affordability conditions, ongoing job creation, a solid stock market recovery, rising rents, a larger pool of qualified renters, a pent-up demand and improving confidence are drawing buyers to the market," he says.

"Smart money, largely from investors responding to low home prices and rising rents, is chasing real estate, and we could see a potential surge once the broad perception of homeownership changes to that of an appreciating asset," Yun says. "We just finished the strongest first quarter for home sales in five years, pending contracts are pointing to a strong second quarter, and the favorable conditions are helping the economy recover from an unusual slowdown in household formation in recent years with more young people now leaving their parents' homes."

Despite a minor gain in total home sales last year, owner-occupied sales fell. "A recovery in investment- and vacation-home sales and a high proportion of all-cash deals are hiding the current dysfunctional mortgage market," Yun says. "Tight mortgage credit is holding back a stronger recovery. Banks are hoarding cash, possibly from regulatory uncertainties and lawsuits."

Home sales had been basically flat from 2008 through 2011. Yun forecasts 4.6 to 4.7 million existing-home sales in 2012, up strongly from 4.26 million last year, and additional improvement in 2013 with sales rising to the range of 4.7 to 4.8 million.

Mortgage interest rates are projected to rise gradually and then average 4.9 percent in 2013 -- still historically favorable. "The pressure of rising rents on consumer inflation could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in 2014, which might be good for home sales. Refinancing would fall and bank staff would be able to focus more on mortgage origination for home purchases," Yun says.

Inflation currently remains under control with the Consumer Price Index rising about 2.4 percent this year and 2.8 percent in 2013.

Yun expects the Gross Domestic Product to grow 2.4 percent this year and 3.1 percent in 2013, adding 2.2 million jobs this year and 2.5 million in 2013.

Housing starts, which have been well below the long-term average of about 1.5 million, are expected to rise to 770,000 this year from 610,000 in 2011, and to continue growing to 970,000 in 2013. New-home sales are seen at 400,000 this year, up from a record low 306,000 in 2011, and rising to 530,000 in 2013. "With a growing population, we could see housing shortages in 2014 or 2015 if builders don't increase production," Yun said.

A sustained decline in housing inventory -- both for listed homes and "shadow inventory" of those with seriously delinquent mortgages -- is the biggest factor affecting home prices, with broadly balanced conditions developing in much of the country. Yun says the median existing-home price is likely to improve modestly this year, rising just over 1 percent, with a gain of about 3 percent forecast for 2013.

Yun's forecast assumes no adverse Washington policy or tax changes affecting homeownership. He adds there would be significant economic fallout if there is no new budget compromise by the end of the year.

Raven Molloy, Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., offers her personal assessment on one residential trend. "Internal migration in the United States is at a 30-year low, and has been declining since the 1980s," she says. "The widespread nature of the decrease suggests that the drop in mobility is not related to demographics, income, employment, labor-force participation, or homeownership."

Most short-distance moves are housing related, such as needing a larger home, while most long-distance moves are job related. Younger households move more frequently.

Her research shows the downtrend in mobility has been a fairly steady trend over time, with no sharp drops coinciding with the housing market downturn or economic recession. Although renters move much more frequently than homeowners, the aging of the population may be a factor in the general slowdown.

Molloy notes that migration out of states with many underwater homeowners has not fallen more than in other states. However, other research shows that local moves are lower for underwater homeowners.
Migration within the U.S. remains higher than it is within most other developed countries.

Molloy says the link between migration and macroeconomic performance has received relatively little attention. "High levels of migration may reduce commitment to the provision of local public goods or corrode social ties in other ways, in which case lower mobility might raise aggregate well-being and possibly economic output. This is an important topic for future research."

Earlier NAR research found homeownership helps to foster stable communities and economic well-being.

For more information, visit

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Eddie Murphy needs a new home!

    Eddie Murphy, you are cordially invited to move the mountains just north of Atlanta! We love humor here! Call me today and we'll get you a nice quiet place in the mountains, but not that far from all the action in Atlanta!

    Comedian Murphy's Estate on Brink of Sale
    By Joan Verdon
    RISMEDIA, Friday, May 18, 2012— (MCT)—“Bubble Hill” — the former Englewood home of comedian and movie star Eddie Murphy that has languished on the market since 2004 — may finally have a buyer.
    click the link below for the whole article...

    Foreclose Activity is DOWN in Georgia (except Atlanta)!

    Mary Lynn's Note: This backs what I've been saying - that foreclosures are not what they used to be. Non-judicial states like Georgia have gone through their greatest inventory. It's like when a dam breaks, it's a deluge at first and then it's just a trickle. We are in the trickle time now and that means that are not as many foreclosures which is GOOD NEWS for the Sellers who don't have to compete with prices (they won't get bailed out for) and for the Buyers because they can go back to rational negotiations and still get great prices because the foreclosure deluge already lowered all the prices.
    All this equals a stabilizing market so long as they don't mess it up again??? I'm trying to keep a watchful eye for my Clients. The glare in the face financial happening right now is JP Morgan???
    Not in chronological order, just points:
    1) Obama says JP Morgan Chase is one of the best managed banks
    2) JP head Perry resigns
    3) Vatican has a bunch of money-laundering firings - this info which has all 450 resignations, firings, retirements, etc.

    1. 2/09/12 (VATICAN) Institute for Religious Works (IOR aka “Vatican Bank”), 62 year oldMonsignor Emilio Messina, the Archdiocese of Camerino-San Severino Marche investigated on money laundering by Italian officials.
    2. 2/09/12 (VATICAN) Institute for Religious Works (IOR aka “Vatican Bank”), 49 year oldFather Don Salvatore Palumbo of the socially popular parish of San Gaetano
    3. 2/09/12 (VATICAN) Institute for Religious Works (IOR aka “Vatican Bank”), 37 year oldFather Horace Bonaccorsi of Catania, already tried and acquitted in Sicily for money laundering offenses recycling money through accounts at IOR
    4. 2/09/12 (VATICAN) Institute for Religious Works (IOR aka “Vatican Bank”), 85 year oldFather Don Evaldo Biasini of Rome. Father Don Evaldo Biasini is known as the “Don of Cash”.

    4) JP Morgan closes the Vaticans account 
    5) 5 days ago it comes out that JP Morgan has a $2 billion dollar loss that is then $20 billion dollars
    6) Two days ago - the latest is they are expecting 50% of their trading to fail...

    Hang on and let's see who is going to swallow up JP Morgan or if this Administration will chant "too big to fail" and bail them out. Looks like there is another banking shift happening small and big. I HOPE IT'S A GOOD CHANGE FOR A CHANGE!

    Regardless, it's a good time to buy - prices are down, interest rates are still down - there is still EXCELLENT INVENTORY and GREAT DEALS!! Call your favorite REALTOR today!

    U.S. Foreclosure Activity Shifting Eastward
    RISMEDIA, Friday, May 18, 2012— RealtyTrac®, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, recently released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for April 2012, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 188,780 U.S. properties in April, the lowest monthly total since July 2007.

    April foreclosure activity decreased 5 percent from the previous month and was down 14 percent from April 2011. One in every 698 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

    “Rising foreclosure activity in many state and local markets in April was masked at the national level by sizable decreases in hard-hit foreclosure states like California, Arizona and Nevada,” says Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. “Those three states, and several other non-judicial foreclosure states like them, more efficiently processed foreclosures last year, resulting in fewer catch-up foreclosures this year.

    “In addition, more distressed loans are being diverted into short sales rather than becoming completed foreclosures,” Moore continued. “Our preliminary first quarter sales data shows that pre-foreclosure sales — typically short sales — are on pace to outnumber sales of bank-owned properties during the quarter in California, Arizona and 10 other states.”

    Non-judicial foreclosure activity down, judicial foreclosure activity up
    Combined foreclosure activity in the 24 states with a non-judicial foreclosure process and the District of Columbia decreased 7 percent from the previous month and was down 29 percent from April 2011. More populous states like Arizona, California and Nevada drove the overall decreases in non-judicial foreclosure activity, but 14 of the 24 states and the District of Columbia posted month-over-month increases in foreclosure activity. Still, only seven of the non-judicial foreclosure states posted annual increases, including Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota.

    Combined foreclosure activity in the 26 states with a judicial foreclosure process decreased 3 percent from the previous month but was still up 15 percent from April 2011. Foreclosure activity decreased on a month-over-month basis in 14 of the judicial foreclosure states but increased on a year-over-year basis in 15 of the judicial foreclosure states.

    Foreclosure starts down nationwide, but up in more than half of states
    After three straight monthly increases, U.S. foreclosure starts — default notices or scheduled foreclosure auctions, depending on the state — decreased 4 percent from March to April. A total of 97,665 properties started the foreclosure process for the first time during the month, down 2 percent from April 2011.

    Despite the overall decrease in foreclosure starts, 26 states posted monthly increases in foreclosure starts, and 27 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts. States with the biggest annual increases in foreclosure starts included New Jersey (180 percent), Utah (179 percent), Indiana (49 percent), Pennsylvania (44 percent), Florida (43 percent), and Michigan (42 percent).

    Bank repossessions decrease for third straight month
    Bank repossessions (REOs) decreased on a monthly basis for the third straight month in April, down 7 percent from March. Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 51,415 U.S. properties during the month, down 26 percent from April 2011 — the 18th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in REOs.

    REO activity decreased on an annual basis in 37 states and the District of Columbia, while 28 states posted monthly drops in foreclosure activity. States with the biggest year-over-year decreases in REO activity included Nevada (71 percent), Arizona (70 percent), Washington (67 percent), California (52 percent), Virginia (47 percent), and Maryland (47 percent).

    11 of 20 largest metros post annual increases in foreclosure activity
    Eleven of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas based on population documented annual increases in foreclosure activity, led by the Florida cities of Tampa (59 percent) and Miami (38 percent). Other cities with increases included St. Louis (29 percent), Chicago (26 percent), Philadelphia (24 percent), and Atlanta (21 percent).

    Among the 20 largest metros areas, cities posting the biggest annual drops in foreclosure activity included Seattle (54 percent), Phoenix (44 percent), San Francisco (34 percent), Washington, D.C. (30 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., (30 percent), and Los Angeles (28 percent).

    The metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates among the 20 largest were Riverside-San Bernardino (one in every 213 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Miami (one in every 273 housing units), Atlanta (one in every 298 housing units), Phoenix (one in every 313 housing units), and Tampa (one in every 315 housing units).

    The 11 cities with annual increases in foreclosure activity were all in the Midwest, South or on the East Coast, while six of the nine cities with annual decreases were in the western states of California, Arizona and Washington.

    Nevada, California, Florida post top state foreclosure rates
    A 15 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure starts helped Nevada post the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in April: one in every 300 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Despite the monthly increase in foreclosure starts, overall Nevada foreclosure activity decreased 67 percent from April 2011.

    California foreclosure activity decreased 30 percent from April 2011, but the state still posted the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate: one in every 351 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

    Florida foreclosure activity increased 26 percent from April 2011, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to third highest in the nation. One in every 364 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

    The top 10 foreclosure rates among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more were all in Nevada, California and Florida. Stockton, Calif., led the way, with one in every 213 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month. Seven other California cities had foreclosure rates in the top 10, along with Las Vegas at No. 7 and Miami at No. 9.

    A 44 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity dropped Arizona’s foreclosure rate — one in every 377 housing units with a foreclosure filing — to fourth highest among the states, while a 21 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity helped Georgia maintain the nation’s fifth highest state foreclosure rate — one in every 398 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

    Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Illinois (one in 418 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Utah (one in 419), Michigan (one in 487), Ohio (one in 525), and Wisconsin (one in 547).

    For more information, visit

    Builder Confidence Rises Five Points in May

    Builder Confidence Rises Five Points in May
    RISMEDIA, Friday, May 18, 2012— Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes gained five points in May from a downwardly revised reading in the previous month to reach a level of 29 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This is the index’s strongest reading since May of 2007.

    “Builders in many markets are reporting that buyer traffic and sales have picked back up after a pause this April,” says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “It seems we have resumed the gradual upward trend in confidence that started at the beginning of this year, as stabilizing prices and excellent affordability encourage more people to pursue a new-home purchase.”

    “While home building still has quite a way to go toward a fully healthy market, the fact that the HMI has returned to trend is an excellent sign that firming home values, improving employment and low mortgage rates are drawing consumers back,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The pace of this emerging recovery could be stronger were it not for the significant impediments that the market continues to face with regard to builder and consumer access to credit, inaccurate appraisals, and more recently, rising materials prices.”

    Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

    Each of the index’s components rebounded from declines in the previous month. The component gauging current sales conditions and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers each rose five points in May to 30 and 23, respectively, with the traffic component hitting its highest level since April of 2007. The component gauging sales expectations in the next six months rose three points to 34.

    Three out of four regions registered improving builder sentiment in May. This included a six-point gain to 32 in the Northeast, and five-point gains to 27 and 28 in the Midwest and South, respectively. The West posted a two-point decline, to 29.

    Realtors Raise Awareness at Real Estate Rally

    Realtors Raise Awareness at Real Estate Rally
    RISMEDIA, Friday, May 18, 2012— An estimated 10,000 Realtors® converged on the grounds of the Washington Monument yesterday morning to make their voices heard on behalf of homeowners, real estate investors, and those who aspire to homeownership.

    At the Rally to Protect the American Dream, Realtors® from every state in the country joined invited members of Congress the demonstrate their commitment to preserving access to homeownership and robust real estate investment.

    “Realtors® know that homeownership is an investment in our collective futures, and we’re here today to protect the American Dream of homeownership,” said National Association of Realtors® President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “Homeownership and investment in real estate impacts families, communities, small businesses and the nation’s economy in a very meaningful way. Today, we’re proud to be showing the country that homeownership matters.”

    In the current economic and political climate, Realtors® are working to ensure that people who want to own a home or invest in real estate and can responsibly afford to do so will continue to have the opportunity to do that. Toward that end, Realtors® are advocating better access to affordable financing, reform of the secondary mortgage market, improved liquidity in residential and commercial lending, and preservation of the tax benefits associated with homeownership.

    Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) addressed the crowd of Realtors® at the event.

    “I commend the National Association of Realtors® for keeping the issue of homeownership at the forefront when we talk about our economic recovery,” said Rep. Hoyer. “Stabilizing the housing market remains a central issue for Democrats, who understand we will not have robust economic growth without a vibrant housing market and that access to homeownership remains a critical component of the American Dream.”

    Sen. Isakson said, “Homeownership always has been, and remains to this day, a part of the American dream. It is the biggest and most important investment that the average American family makes, and that’s why we should remain focused on the value of the housing market and the important role it plays in our country. It is my hope that this rally encourages Congress and the president to move forward with policies that are supportive of housing, which is vital to job creation and the recovery of our economy.”

    The rally was part of NAR’s week-long Midyear Legislative Meetings, during which Realtors® and guests meet with members of Congress, federal regulators and industry experts to address pressing real estate issues and public policies in support of private property rights, homeownership and housing issues.

    Copyright© 2012 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission.

    Big Hitters: 2012 Major League Baseball Homes for Sale

    IF THEY WERE SMART, THEY WOULD BUY A NICE HOME ($500,000)  IN THE MOUNTAINS HERE IN NE GEORGIA/SW NORTH CAROLINA!!! And they would still have a lot left over!!! If you see Walt, Barry, Adrian, Jonathan, Matt, John, Jamie, Nomar, Reggie or Mark - tell them to give me a call - I have just the place for them. Clint Eastwood was just here (Young Harris, GA) filming for his up-coming baseball movie - Trouble With The Curve - so we're already baseball friendly!!!

    Big Hitters: 2012 Major League Baseball Homes for Sale
    RISMEDIA, Saturday, May 19, 2012— The biggest names in baseball have now departed Florida or Arizona and headed north for the regular season. The rigors of a 162-game season can be tough for anyone, but a bad real estate market can be a big strike out for athletes who are more likely to be moving on to other cities and homes because of trades, retirement, or finding a state with low taxes. Throw in the fact that most of these guys are young with multi-million dollar homes, selling that big fancy home can be as difficult as hitting a Mariano Rivera cutter. For baseball players, hitting a home run is a lot easier on the baseball field than it is when it comes to real estate. Here are ten former and current players who are trying to hit a home run off the field.

    As these players prepare for the upcoming season or whatever is in store for those who are retired, they also have a lot on their plate off the field. For these ten current and former players hitting it big between the lines is very important, but striking a big deal off the field with their home sale is also part of the game.

    Walt Weiss
    This former Rookie of the Year, All-Star and World Series champion had a successful 14-year Major League career from 1987-2000. He played for four different teams and had over 1,200 hits. He spent the middle of his career with the Colorado Rockies from 1994-1997. His home in nearby Castle Rock, Colorado is now up for sale and valued at $3.999 million.

    The highlight of this home is the large baseball diamond in the backyard and the indoor batting cage. With perfectly manicured grass and dirt around each base, Walt has a state-of-the-art ball diamond with a big league feel to it. In his backyard! The property is set on 73 acres and is 10,668 square feet. With multiple swimming pools, a full basketball court and a beautiful mountain view, this house is an outdoor delight. There are six bedrooms and eight baths along with a seven-car garage. The batting cage on the inside of the home tops it off.

    Barry Larkin
    While he called Cincinnati home his entire life, Larkin—formerly of the Cincinnati Reds—currently resides in Orlando, Florida in a $10.9 million mansion that is up for sale.

    This 14,500 square foot home is built on 2.8 acres on the amazing Lake Chase. The fun here begins outside as there is a lighted tennis court, outdoor basketball court, four-boat dock and a three jet-ski dock. There is also a full outdoor kitchen with a theater and fireplace. Moving inside, there are 13 bathrooms and six bedrooms. Among the activities on the inside is a disco lounge, private gym, pool, spa, full bar and a stage room. One of the best aspects of this house is the view of Lake Chase at sunset and nightly fireworks from Disney and Universal which can be seen from almost anywhere on the property.

    Adrian Beltre
    Entering his second season in a Texas Rangers uniform, Adrian Beltre remains one of the best third basemen in the American League. Beltre spent his first seven season in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His home in Bradbury, just 30 minutes outside of Los Angeles, is valued at $19.8 million.

    The mansion is situated on 4.16 acres with 16 bathrooms and seven bedrooms. It is located in the gated community of the Bradbury Estates. This Mediterranean-style home has a circular driveway with a breathtaking entry-way consisting of a 35’ painted ceiling. The inside has a rec room with a batting cage. There is an eight-car garage, a private pool and a spectacular view of the city. The home also has a 2,500 square foot guest house with three beds and two baths. Outside, there are golf greens, a tennis court and a basketball court.

    Jonathan Papelbon
    After spending his first seven Major League seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Jonathan Papelbon is now entering his first season in Philadelphia with the Phillies. The four-year $50 million contract Papelbon signed over the winter means his home in Boston is up for sale. The $3.1 million pad on Beacon Street is located real close to Fenway Park.

    This penthouse, located in downtown Boston is 2,500 square feet with marble and hardwood flooring as well as custom cabinetry. This four-bedroom, three-bath also has a nursery with two seats from Fenway Park included. The kitchen is filled with the finest appliances and copper fixtures. There is access to a roof, via an elevator where there are two deck tops. One of the decks has a hot tub overlooking the Charles River Basin and the downtown area.

    Matt Cain
    As one of the most dominating pitchers in the National League, Matt Cain helped lead the San Francisco Giants to the 2010 World Series Championship. His home in downtown San Francisco has a listing price of $1.795 million.

    With floor-to-ceiling windows and some amazing views of the bay, this four-bedroom and three-bath home is 2,815 square feet. It offers a kitchen that has been completely updated along with a solarium. The home, built in 1968 is located in the Diamond Heights area and has been completely remodeled on the inside. However it might be too late to purchase this home. Several Bay Area agents report that Matt has accepted an offer of $1.8 million for the home - $5,000 over the asking price.

    John Smoltz
    This eight-time All-Star selection spent 20 of his 21 full seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He won the National League Cy Young award in 1996 and was a World Series champion in 1995. He spent his final season with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 2009. His $7.2 million home in Milton, Georgia is now up for sale.

    The mansion is set on 22 acres, and is a dream for anybody interested in sports. Smoltz loves to golf so there is a full 18-hole golf course in his backyard. There is also a baseball diamond, fishing pond, jogging trail, basketball court, football field and tennis court. Upon entry into the 18,265 square foot home, it only gets better. There are 10 bedrooms and 14 baths along with six fireplaces and an eight car garage. The views of the property from all corners of the house are outstanding.

    Jamie Moyer
    Not many 49-year olds find themselves in a Major League camp on the verge of making a big league squad, but that is what Jamie Moyer is attempting to do this year. Moyer is attempting a comeback with the Colorado Rockies, after missing last season with an injury. Moyer’s estate in Seattle is currently up for sale and priced at $5.35 million.

    This 7,100 square foot estate is set on nearly half an acre. There are seven bedrooms and five baths with three fireplaces. Built in 1933, the outside and inside of the home is brick. There are full length glass windows throughout and hardwood oak floors. The backyard is one of the highlights with a saltwater pool, bath house, croquet yard, batting cage and an outdoor pizza oven.

    Nomar Garciaparra
    With a .313 career batting average, Nomar Garciaparra is one of the best hitting shortstops in baseball history. He spent the majority of his career with the Boston Red Sox, before spending two years with the Chicago Cubs and three with his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent his final full season in Oakland with the Athletics. He grew up in Whittier, California and his childhood home is now up for sale. Priced at $595,000, this house has recently been put on the market by Nomar and his wife Mia Hamm.

    This Spanish-style home is 2,200 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths. There is a vaulted ceiling with wood beams in the living room. The master bedroom comes equipped with a hot tub and two large closets. The entire inside of the house has recently been completely remodeled. There is also a guest house that has brand new floors and brand new amenities.

    Reggie Sanders
    Outfielder Reggie Sanders played for eight different teams in his Major League career, the bulk of which were for the Cincinnati Reds. He is one of only six players in Major League history to have over 300 career home runs and 300 career stolen bases. His $2.195 million home is now up for sale in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    The 8,000 square foot mansion has six bedrooms and seven baths. Built in 1999, the home is situated on an acre of land in a cul-de-sac of a gated community. There is a spa, waterfall and pool in the backyard. There is a bonus room on the inside with a wet-bar. Also on the inside is a master-chef kitchen and a beautiful den with cherry wood cabinets. It is a split floor that separates guest wings from the family section. The home has various Spanish-style columns and designs throughout the house.

    Mark Teixiera
    First baseman Mark Teixiera spent his first five seasons with the Texas Rangers . He has won four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and was an All-Star in 2005 and 2009. After spending five seasons with Texas, Teixiera was with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for two total seasons from 2008-2009. He has spent the past two seasons with the Yankees. His estate has been on and off the market since he left Texas, but is now for sale and priced at $3.995 million.

    Located inside of Vaquero Golf Club in Westlake, Texas, this lakefront estate is 8,554 square feet with five bedrooms and eight baths. Also inside the house is a large master suite with a gas fireplace, private patio and hot tub. There is a game room, wet bar home theater and two-level office. Right next to the main home is a one-bedroom guest house. Outside, there is a large patio area with an outdoor kitchen and gas fire pit. A large pool in the backyard tops it all off.

    As these players prepare for the upcoming season or whatever is in store for those who are retired, they also have a lot on their plate off the field. For these ten current and former players hitting it big between the lines is very important, but striking a big deal off the field with their home sale is also part of the game.

    For more information, visit Top Ten Real Estate Deals.
    RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail

    Copyright© 2012 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission.

    Realtors® Rally Under the Shadow Of The Washington Monument

    Realtors® Rally Under the Shadow Of The Washington Monument 


    Yesterday was the Rally to Protect Homeownership in Washington DC.  According to the count by the National Park Service we were 13,000 strong on the grounds of the Washington Monument yesterday morning. 
    The rally was not just a chance to stand around idly to talk about the value of homeownership but part of the annual mid-year conference held in DC every year.
    Besides hearing from other Realtors® at the rally Sen. Johnny Isakson from (GA) and Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD) also spoke about the importance of homeownership to the American economy.   What they didn't say and might not have struck anyone but me was the Washington Monument is current closed due to a large structural crack.  No one can get inside to see the beautiful views of Washington DC from the top.  Thousands of visitors are turned away with no chance of getting inside the doors.  The same is now true with homeownership in the US.  There are thousands standing just outside the door of their new homes but they can't get in due to chagnes in mortgage lending and appraisal rules.

    Shifting lending rules to a to a "one size fits all" mentality has kept thousands of qualified buyers from buying a new home.  Changing down-payment rules, increasing monthly mortgage premiums and reducing potential closing cost assistance are just a few of the changes FHA has put in place impacting most first time homebuyers. 
    Making sure that Congress understands the negative impact of changing the current mortgage tax deduction would have on homeownership is major concern to anyone who owns or hopes to own a home in the future.  Holding lenders accountable to do what was annouced by the White Houses as part of the $25 billion settlement in March 2012 should be a top priorty.

    Lenders have not stepped up to the plate to streamine the short sale process and assisting our military servicemembers with PCS orders.  Calls to lenders about new programs for assistance by my clients have meet with responses including "it takes time to roll out these programs" or "we are unware of any program changes."  Answers which continue to leave the financial future of homeonwers in the lurch.

    Hopefully the noice from yesterday's Realtor® Rally to Protect Homeownership was heard on Capitol Hill and the meetings that took place this week will spur lenders to do the right thing now.

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Bloomberg... Home Prices Rise in Half of U.S. Cities as Market Stabilizes...

    Home Prices Rise in Half of U.S. Cities as Market Stabilizes!?

    Mary Lynn's note: Forgive me as I rant, but I've had about enough of this - please keep your eyes and ears open and feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong...
    It is mostly foreclosures and it is the gov't banks who are making the profit. Read it for yourself, but when you get to the bottom and see the profit made by Fannie Mae, you will know whose prices have risen. Many seller-owners are still lowering their prices and still can't sell. Why? Buyers WANT foreclosures. 
    The change I see is the foreclosures are selling for more money - I've seen it in my own market. They are not slashing the prices to list and move the properties, like they were in the beginning. They don't have to - buyers want foreclosures - they have been hypnotized to buy from banks/corporations instead of people/human beings and believe they are getting a better deal because the word "foreclosure" is stamped on it. 
    It's simple economics - drop the prices, give away homes - get everyone hooked to buy from you and then you raise the prices, but everyone still thinks you're the best deal. It's simply psychology in marketing and it is being used on the masses. 
    Thus, Fannie Mae, etc. can slow down now and raise their prices, because they know it's a long-term "business" (real estate) they're in. As REALTORS we fought them for years to stay out of our business, but they found their own way in. The original problem still exists in full force, it's just increasing its own profit. How are they making MORE profit? A smaller decline in home prices - that's price increases, but they don't want you to catch on to that and admit that they are raising their own foreclosure prices to make more profit. That may wake up some buyers to start buying from human beings again. Surely, they can't have that.
    It was a hostile take over of the Real Estate Industry, they got all the people who have money left to chant "foreclosure, foreclosure, foreclosure - we want foreclosure" and now they are settling into ANOTHER profit maker caused by a problem THEY created and we paid for and are still paying for!
    THE GOOD NEWS is that as foreclosure prices rise, the human being seller will not have to reduce their price so low, but that still does not change the mass hysteria that has created buyers who only want foreclosures. I call it Zombie Real Estate. No matter how many times I tell a buyer that they are still only going to get a CURRENT FAIR MARKET VALUE for ANY property they remain under the FANNIE MAE spell. Now, at the beginning of the hostile take-over there were steals and deals, because many of the homes were builders brand new homes, but those are long gone. Now, you just get a trashed home, that the bank stole from someone that they loaned 3x the value of the property, to. And their reward??? $2.7 billion in 3 months!!! 
    I am PRO LOCAL BANKS and CREDIT UNIONS - can you tell? :)
    Here's the excerpt below - you do the math. They lost $6.5 billion in all of 2011 and in the first quarter of 2012 they have over a 3rd of that back already. They knew exactly what they were doing and they do now - I expect to see a continuation of the rising home prices, but it will be because a large percentage of the market is owned by Fannie Mae. These writers need to separate home sales/prices by corporations and human beings. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING! Corporations thrive on profits and human beings thrive in a republic with a free market and moral integrity. Okay, my rant ends now - start your own!

    Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest mortgage-finance company, today reported a $2.7 billion first-quarter profit after a $6.5 billion loss a year earlier, citing smaller declines in home prices as one of the reasons for improvement. The Washington- based company said that it won’t need Treasury Department aid to balance its books for the first time since it was seized by federal regulators in 2008.