Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why The Double Standard?

We've all seen the clips over the last week; auto executives getting skewered by Congress for flying private planes and making exorbitant bonuses. It certainly makes for dramatic sound bites despite the fact that it completely misses the mark when it comes to what's really ailing the auto industry. However, these auto executives generally displayed a shocking lack of preparation and planning. It's not unreasonable for Congress to demand that the auto industry show a solid plan for how any bailout money would be spent. But where was this same demand for accountability and planning when Washington earmarked 700 billion dollars for the housing industry? Has anyone demanded that these CEOs fly coach or give up their outrageous bonuses? Have we demanded to see their plan for future solvency? Why, despite almost daily examples of ineptitude or greed, do lenders still avoid having to show accountability and competency?

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Great News For Detroit!

Forbes recently published results from the Urban Land Institute, which named the best (and worst) places to invest in commercial real estate in the coming year. The top five cities are:

San Francisco
Washington DC
New York
Los Angeles

And scraping the bottom of the barrel? The Motor City! Motown! Hockeytown! This kind of news has become so predictable that I've actually started reading these kind of lists from bottom to top.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HUD Announces RESPA Changes

On Monday, Housing & Urban Development published its final ruling on the much discussed proposed RESPA changes. The new rules are intended to make it easier for consumers to compare terms on loans offered by different lenders and limit the ability of lenders to offer final terms that are far different from initial estimates given to potential borrowers. After much debate, thankfully (and I know some of you have disagreed) HUD appears to have dropped the proposed script to be read at each closing.

Congress has 60 days to decide whether to block its implementation or allow the changes to go into effect. Some provisions will then go into effect immediately, but HUD won't require loan originators to start using the new standardized Good Faith Estimates and HUD-1 settlement statement until Jan. 1, 2010. Companies can chose to follow the new rules during the preceding 12-month transition period.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

5 Dumb Housing Questions

construction home
Why are we still building?
Do we simply have too many houses?
Where do foreclosed families go?
Why not offer foreclosed homes to poor people?
How long can a house sit before its not salable?

See this MSN article

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Say What?

I am a Notary Public, not a Notar Republic.

The plural is Notaries Public, not Notary Publics.

There is no such thing as a Quick Claim Deed. It's called a Quit Claim Deed.

An Apostle is a religious figure. The legalization of a document under the Hague Convention is an Apostille.

You do not get your notary, you become a notary or you get your notary commission.

You don't do a notary, you notarize a document. Unless you're dating a notary, then you might very well do a notary.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Free Rice

Whittle away the time, sharpen your vocabulary, and help feed the hungry. What more do you want?

Free Rice