‘Pre-qualified’ has become an empty phrase

Pre-approval of a borrower seeking a mortgage is much different from pre-qualification.

You can thank the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act for depriving the term “pre-qualified” of relevance to borrowers in search of financing their home purchase.

That’s not really a bad thing, but it does place a greater burden on borrowers to prove themselves worthy of a mortgage before they present an offer to sellers.

All pre-qualification means is Continue reading

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Rarely is real estate sales chosen as a first career

Heaven knows that real estate sales lacks the glamor of, say, school crossing guard, exterminator, barista or subway conductor.

Of course, there exist those brokers and agents whose social credentials rival Britain’s royal family and whose transactions involve properties in the double-digit millions from the outset of careers that have been their first choice.  But the rest of us have tended to select real estate for a second, third or fourth career when the economy or age has left us with few options.

Although many starting out in the industry may feel like second-class members of the community, Continue reading

Consensus erupts over trend toward renting

(Flickr photo by abrin523)

Beware the stampede of opinions about potential homebuyers.  Those views are trampling conventional wisdom by asserting that the American Dream is dead or dying.

Last week, momentum swelled around the idea that many folks are choosing to rent a home rather than buy one.  Such consumers fall into two groups: Those for whom it is their only option because of finances and those who lack enough confidence in real estate to risk a decline in the value of their property.

I don’t know that the herd of economists and analysts wiser than me is wrong, but the volume and consistency of reports about the decline of American Dream was remarkable.

(Most of the links below have appeared or will do so in my Weekly Roundup on Fridays, on the Service You Can Trust Facebook page, on Twitter or some combination.)

Just look at the drumbeat of evidence over the last couple of weeks — for example, what James Bullard, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis observed on Friday: Continue reading