Racism in Real Estate?

The New York Times has an op/ed exploring the racist roots of contracts for deed, which are making a comeback. Contracts for deed make price inflation possible, and appear to be quite prevalent in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. The transactions don’t require an appraisal or inspection to justify the loan amount. The article is worth a read, if only to acquaint yourself with this—shockingly still in effect—practice.



Are You a Transactor Or a Revolver?

I imagine you weren’t sure you were either. However, banks have you pegged as one or the other, and it contributes significantly to your ability to secure a mortgage. A transactor pays off credit card bills each month, or makes more than the minimum payment. A revolver—the less desirable of the two monikers—generally rolls balances over from month to month, making the minimum payment expected. The Washington Post has a good piece on how the banks categorize prospective borrowers.



Is Spring the Best Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate?

As the weather warms each year, historically, the real estate market experiences a surge. Forbes has some thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of buying or selling in the Spring. The article explores how the increase in inventory is countered by an increase in competition, and much more. If you’re considering a transaction, you can read the full article here.



Luxury Housing Markets Reach Plateau

Yahoo Finance has an article about the top 1% of housing markets in the U.S., and how those markets have leveled off. They cover The Hamptons, NY, and Greenwich, CT, Aspen, CO, and the Westside and Downtown Los Angeles, CA are all covered. Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel said, “The last four or five years have all been about the luxury market. Now we’re leveling off a bit.” Read more here.



Is the Japanese Baby Crisis Driving Up U.S. Real Estate?

BusinessInsider.com has an interesting piece about how the Japanese are affecting U.S. real estate rates. Insurance companies are coming to the U.S. to find investments that make quality returns, because of the high number of payouts due to the aging of Japan’s population. The article has a good overview of the crisis, and how it may affect us, going forward.



Virtual Reality in Real Estate

Virtual reality, or VR, allows the user an immersive visual experience. When applied to home buying, it offers a prospective shopper—who could be in another country—the ability to tour the home from anywhere, and at any time. 3D photography was a big technological leap for the industry, and with the addition of VR over the coming years, will completely change the buying process. The Tennessean, an offshoot of USA Today, has a worthwhile piece here.


Virtual Reality