The Market from ALL Angles

Another successful RE/MAX Gateway Real Estate Exchange


I was at a lunch with business leaders across the Washington Metropolitan Area and we discussed various challenges we were having within our businesses and what our opinions were on what was to happen going forward into 2010 – here is what we discussed:


First and foremost, everyone is blessed to be in DC – others around the country are bleak with no hope. 


  • People at Rosenthal Automotive are concerned about economy
    • November was a really bad month for car sales – feels like November in first two days of December


  • Mike Jacoby at Broad Street says the commercial real estate market is flat and will stay there for the next few years.  One bright spot is that the Route 28 corridor’s vacancy rate had dipped.


  • Johnson and Strachan, the insurance company is taking a hit because of the following areas:
    • Renewals / expiration vales are down – payrolls are down, valuations on companies are down, house values are down so their revenues as a result are down. 


  • UBT – a copier sales and service team say in their opinion the economy is flat/stable – not terrific just like their business but they expect slight growth anticipated in 2010


  • Roofers are on a roller coaster this year but will probably be down at year end – the market is a race to the bottom in pricing but they remain cautiously optimistic.  John Francis on NVRoofing believes it will be a long recovery over the next 5 years. 


  • Jeff Nay of Sandler Training say there is still a lot of business is out there – need better skills and better systems to eat others lunches today.  Get educated and trained and you will survive in today’s market – especially in D.C.


  • Derek Coburn of Washington Financial Group who specialize in wealth management – money is in Bonds – not Stocks right now they are not afraid the market will crash and that the market will come down.


  • RE/MAX Gateway spoke about the following topics:
    • Inventory is down
    • Buyers are there but $$ are down or flat
    • Tax Credit for Home Buyers was extended
    • MBS end in March
    • HVCC is keeping $$$ down
    • Foreclosures are hitting market 2nd Quarter of next year
    • FHA raising down payment requirements this year from 3% – 3.5% and perhaps to 5% down next year
    • Credit is tightening up
    • If we continue to lose jobs it’s important to keep in mind that every 6 job lose results on 1 foreclosure.


Next year will be an interesting year in residential real estate with the Government getting out of purchasing Mortgage Backed Securities, the Home Buyer Tax Credit ending, and a supposed flood of foreclosures coming on the market the second quarter next year and the impact that will have on housing prices.  Stay tuned!


We then introduced Keith Barrett of Champion Title & Settlements, Inc. to discuss the new regulations going into effect April 5, 2010.


General Short Sale Guidelines under HAFA




Eligibility for Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP):

1. Property is borrower’s principal residence

2. First lien mortgage originated on or before Jan 1, 2009

3. Mortgage is delinquent or reasonably foreseeable

4. Unpaid principal balance less than 729, 750

5. Mortgage payment exceeds 31% of gross income


Not guaranteed but must be in place


In the event modification process above does not work out, every potentially eligible borrower must be considered for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA)


The percentages of loan modifications that default are greater than successes where people remain in their homes – there is a huge opportunity here folks!!


General Information:


Effective date April 5, 2010


Servicers must execute participation agreement for non-GSE Mortgages prior to end of the year.  If already participating, must follow HAFA guidelines.


Servicer has 30 days to contact borrower regarding short sale or deed in lieu


Borrower then has 14 days to respond


Prohibits servicer from reducing commission as stated in listing agreement


Doesn’t protect settlement companies and their fees – it’s unfortunate.


Suspension of foreclosure while under consideration for short sale


Short Sale Agreement under HAFA:


Termination date of not less than 120 calendar days after agreement signed


Agreement is available on line


Release of liability for borrower for cancellation of default


Allowable transaction costs


Roles and responsibilities of servicer and borrower, upkeep of property, pay a portion of their monthly payment until closing.


Borrow must submit offer/request for short sale approval within 3 days of receipt. Servicer has 10 business days to approve/deny short sale from when contract and request for short sale approval submitted. At this time, we are not aware of any penalties given if there is no response by bank by the deadline.




$1500.00 for relocation expenses paid to borrower


$1000.00 paid to servicer


Investor paid $1000.00 for allowing up to $3000.00 to be paid to subordinate lien holder, which lien holder must forgive the debt and release liability


Again, there is opportunity here – don’t miss out!


We had discussed if the government had given everyone $100,000.00 vs. bailing out everyone would be in a better position today versus the situation we are in today with all of the debt the government is in.


Inventory levels continue to shrink:

5,074 Active resales in Northern Virginia

1.9 month supply of homes

1.9 month supply of rentals


Our market is strong for sellers with equity!  Get them on the market today.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!


Now, go sell something!

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