Friday, February 19, 2010 Has Launched!

We are proud to announce that has launched. The site allows users to search the lowest price per square foot homes by areas or neighborhoods throughout the DFW metro. We'll be adding more areas and neighborhoods over the next few days.

It's FREE to use and you can create your own login and password to save your most recent searches and post to the forums. Check it out and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

HUD Attempting To Derail Owner-Financed Home Sales.

By Troy Corman,

Despite a slow economy and tightening of credit in business and home lending, the big hand of big government is proposing to destroy owner-financed home sales. It's amazing how out of touch bureaucrats are when it comes to the economy.

Today, American property owners can self-finance the sale of up to five homes a year without a mortgage originator license. The new proposal by HUD called the Safe Mortgage Act would allow owners to only sell a home that the seller actually occupies - otherwise, he or she would have to get a mortgage originator license.

If this act passes, it will essentially dismantle private market competition, while eliminating an entire segment of home buyers. This will surely put more downward price pressure on an already shaky housing recovery.

Many properties in need of extensive repair don't qualify for traditional mortgage financing from banks and lenders due to property condition or age. Also, some individuals have situations which prevent them from qualifying for a traditional mortgage. With tighter lending standards, a luke-warm economy, and a huge pipeline of foreclosures, I don't see how eliminating a huge segment of home buyers will help housing recover.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

New Home Buyers - You Have 2.5 Months To Get $8,000.

By Troy Corman,

The clock is ticking for first-time and move-up home buyers who want to take advantage of the free government money for qualified home purchasers. The original deadline of November 30, 2009 has been extended to April 30, 2010. That is the date home buyers must have an executed contract signed by all parties involved in the sales transaction. The next requirement is that the sale must be closed by June 30, 2010.

This could get dicey for procrastinators, as the big banks who have lobbied Washington to muscle out the independent mortgage industry, can sometimes take twice as long to get mortgage loans closed - especially when most of the deals will probably all occur during a six to eight week time frame. Also, lookey-loos and those that suffer paralysis by analysis will likely find attractive homes at attractive prices gone by the time they decide to make an offer.

As a reminder, income limits have been increased for this latest version of the government tax credit refund. Singles with modified adjusted gross incomes of up to $145,000 can qualify although phase-outs begin at $125,000. For couples filing jointly, the credit begins phasing out at $225,000 and modified adjusted gross incomes above $245,000 do not qualify.

Also, home owners who have lived in their current principal residence for 5 years can qualify for up to a $6,500 credit.

The credit:

* Applies only to homes used as a taxpayer's principal residence.
* Reduces a taxpayer's tax bill or increases his or her refund, dollar for dollar.
* Is fully refundable, meaning the credit will be paid out to eligible taxpayers, even if they owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax owed.

The credit is claimed using Form 5405, which you file with your original or amended tax return.

Many ask me if I think the refund credit will be extended. Honestly, I don't think so. With tax payers and tea party constituents exhausted with big government's continued waste of hard working American's tax payer dollars, I would be very surprised if the credit was extended into a 3rd act. Democrats and liberals are running for the exits from the Obama camp, and are likely to toot the horns of fiscal constraint to save their own political hides. That's why I would be very surprised if the tax refund will have the political support to continue beyond the April 30 executed contract deadline.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stately Mansions Of Swiss Avenue Covered In Snow.

Photos by Troy Corman,

A morning run to Benny's bagels on Skillman turned into an impromptu photo shoot. I love these classical estates on Swiss Avenue. They just don't make 'em like they used to. See the gallery on my facebook page.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fannie Mae Offering 3.5% Of Final Sales Price Back To Owner-Occupant Home Buyers.

WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) announced today that people purchasing a Fannie Mae-owned HomePath® property will receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price to be used toward closing cost assistance or their choice of appliances. The offer is available to any owner-occupant who closes on the purchase of a property listed on before May 1, 2010.

"Attracting qualified buyers to the market and reducing the inventory of vacant homes is critical to stabilizing neighborhoods and helping the market recover. Many families are taking advantage of the federal homebuyer tax credit to buy a new home so this is a great time for Fannie Mae to offer some additional help," said Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management. "Homebuyers have the option to choose between financial assistance toward closing costs or new appliances for their home."

Properties eligible for this incentive are listed on and most listings include detailed property descriptions, photographs, community and school information and more. In addition, many Fannie Mae-owned properties are eligible for special HomePath Mortgage and HomePath Renovation Mortgage financing which offers homebuyers an opportunity to purchase with as little as 3 percent down.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Are banks holding on to commercial foreclosures?

By Troy Corman,
Everyone was expecting fire-sale prices on commercial real estate. But it doesn't seem to be happening on the grand scale some were predicting. Many commercial properties that have been foreclosed on are being leased instead of being sold at fire-sale prices.

“All the banks are taking haircuts (losses) now, but in stages,” one banker stated. “Most banks don’t have the capital to absorb sizable losses all at once, so they are holding onto their commercial real estate to stagger the losses.”

The smaller the bank, the harder it is to absorb the loss from selling depressed properties.

The FDIC only allows banks to hold on to properties for 5 years, although banks can request extensions. During this period, banks must offer a plan to dispose of their real estate assets.

FDIC real estate assets are growing as the FDIC continues to take over insolvent banks.

Most large assets seem to be gobbled up by the REITS, which have a clear advantage over individual investors.

However, individual investors are having some success financing assets of up to $3 million through the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs, like the 7(a) and 504 loans.
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Monday, February 1, 2010

Texas Home Sales Volume And Prices Up in 2009-Q4

February 1, 2010 - Austin.
Release From Texas Association of Realtors Summarized by Troy Corman,

The Texas A&M University Real Estate Center has released data that show that Texas' sales volume increased 16% from the fourth quarter of 2008. The average home price also jumped 2.35% to $143,400 from $140,100 in the previous year.

Jim Gaines, Ph.D., and economist with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center said, "while figures throughout the first quarter of 2009 were positive compared to 2008, they were particularly positive in October and November, which makes it clear that the first-time homebuyer tax credit is having an impact in Texas. The increase in median price also stands out, particularly compared to national figures, which are down substantially."

Texas also enjoyed a decrease in the number of homes of inventory on the market. It dropped from a 6.6 months' supply to 6.5 months. The Texas A&M Real Estate Center typically uses 6.5 months' supply as a target point for a healthy, balanced market.

To view the Texas Quarterly Housing Report for 2009, visit

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