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Many of you may have seen the article in Fortune last month saying how Denver had gone from one of the best real estate markets to one of the worst – all in a matter of 10 months.

I received several calls from clients, all in a panic. I said the article was totally false and misleading, and walked them through why. However, I was much too lazy (and busy) to spend the time to articulate, in written form, why it was incorrect.

Fortunately, John Renchook wrote a great article outlining these facts. Check it out http://insiderealestatenews.com/2010/04/denver-no-5-on-case-shiller/

One of the key errors in the Fortune article was using faulty data. Any time you use data that does NOT come directly from the MLS or Tax Assessor, you are bound to have errors – at least in my opinion. The MLS IS THE MARKET!!! Reporters often don’t understand that. It would be like reporting financial and stock news without checking the NYSE/NASDAQ, etc for the accurate data. Dumb – and misleading.

That is why I never read the news for real estate – it is often wrong! I am out IN THE MARKET EVERY DAY, plus I get updates and statistic summaries through the MLS. Rarely does what I see and experience get reported in the news.

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I was recently doing my usual door-to-door through a neighborhood with fairly strict covenants. I came up to two neighbors, said hello and introducted myself, and they replied very sternly: “You don’t live here, do you?” A bit taken off guard, I tentatively replied, “No.” She said, “Good! There are these Realtors on the HOA board and I think it is a conflict of interest. What do you think?”

Well, I personally live in a neighborhood with no covenants – on purpose. So I am a little biased. But nevertheless, I have come across instances where real estate agents put themselves onto HOA boards to server their own agendas.

And I guess that is my point: obviously, someone has to be on the board, and in a perfect world, the community rotates its members through so that everyone contributes, and the more people that serve the more the community is represented.

However, in past experiences I have seen both Realtors and non-Realtors get elected to a HOA board to serve their own personal agenda. So I am not going to lay blame into my fellow Realtors exclusively.

To my knowledge, their is not a specific, legal reason why real estate brokers shouldn’t/can’t serve on their own HOA boards. However, when disputes arise, it seems to me that the Realtor is now caught between two fiduciary duties – the HOA and clients (if they don’t sell homes in the neighborhood than this is a non-issue).

What I have seen is real estate agents get on HOA boards to a) get business; b) push their own agendas and opinions. The result is that members of the community get upset and a backlash ensues. I have seen this on more than one occassion, and in more than one state!

So, who am I to say what is right or wrong, it is definitely a personal opinion, however, you’ll never see me on an HOA board!

p.s. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t support and assist in my community – it just means I think it is a potential conflict of interest and I can better serve in other ways.

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This was just forwarded to me by John Jarvis, a  mortgage broker with First Source Funding in Parker. 

I am posting this for two reasons:  one, if you are a potential seller, you really need to understand that IT IS VERY TOUGH RIGHT NOW, not only must you sell the buyer, but you really have to sell the appraiser and the lender that the purchase price accepted by both parties is reflective of current market value – or there is NO LOAN!  No loan typically = NO SALE!

If you are a buyer, this is less important, however, it does demonstrate the increased attention to insure the property is accurately valued.

New FHA- Appraisal Guidelines

 

Revised FHA Appraisal Guidelines in Effect
for Appraisals Done after April 1, 2009

Last Updated March 26, 2009

 

I wanted to reach out to you to keep you informed of some revised federal guidelines that outline 10 things that appraisers must do or provide for all FHA appraisals done after April 1, 2009:

1. The Market Conditions Addendum (Fannie Form 1004MC/Freddie Form 71).

2. At least 2 comparable sales within 90 days of appraisal date.

3. A minimum of 2 active listings or pending sales in addition to the 3 closed comparables.

4. Bracketed listings using both dwelling size and sales price when possible.

5. Adjust active listings to reflect the List To Sales Price Ratio.

6. Adjust pending sales to reflect contract sales price when possible.

7. Include original list price and any revised list prices.

8. Reconciliation of adjusted values of active or pending sales with adjusted values of closed comparable sales.

9. Absorption Rate Analysis.

10. Known or reported sales concessions on active and pending sales.

FHA also is restating its warning that…”Direct Endorsement Lenders are reminded that if the appraiser they selected provides a poor or fraudulent appraisal that leads FHA to insure a mortgage at an inflated amount, the lender is held responsible equally with the appraiser for the integrity, accuracy and thoroughness of an appraisal submitted to FHA.”

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“In life, the microphone passes your lips but once…you had better be ready to sing.”   – David Foster

If you are an American Idol fan, then you already know that season 8 opened with a flash of this quote on the screen.  I love American Idol, and I love this quote, because it is a real life example of people giving their best effort, taking big risks (or not), and laying it all out on the line – in front of the whole country.

It takes real courage to put one’s self out and make it through to the end of American Idol.  Whether you are a fan or not, I am sure you can appreciate the journey that many of these contestants are riding.  I love watching the show, not only for the entertainment value, but also to ask myself where I am “going for it”, or NOT – in my own life.

p.s. My personal favs out of the top contestants are Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert – I think these guys can really sing.  I like Megan too – she probably can become a good recording artist, whether or not she wins the contest.

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