Home Owner Satisfaction Remains High

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, January 23, 2012

Nearly three out of every four home owners say they are satisfied with their purchase – and the No. 1 reason for their satisfaction is pride they feel about owning a home, according to HomeGain’s 2012 National Home Ownership Survey.
In addition to pride, home owners also said they enjoy the freedom and control they have to make improvement and upgrades to their home.
Of the 1,400 home owners surveyed nationwide, satisfaction was found to be highest in the Northeast at 77 percent, followed by the Southeast at 73 percent, the West at 71 percent, and the Midwest at 68 percent.
“The HomeGain 2012 National Home Ownership satisfaction survey shows in spite of declines in the values of homes nationwide, satisfaction among home owners remains high at 72 percent,” said Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.
Of the 28 percent of surveyed home owners who indicated they are dissatisfied, price depreciation was cited as the primary cause. Other reasons for their discontent include property taxes, homeowner association fees, and maintenance and repairs.
Noteworthy survey statistics:
  • Home owners who paid less than $75,000 for their home were the most satisfied at 77 percent.
  • Home owners who paid more than $800,000 were least satisfied at 69 percent.
  • Buyers who purchased a home via short sale had the highest satisfaction rate at 83 percent, followed by foreclosed home buyers at 79 percent.
  • New-home buyers had a satisfaction rate of 73 percent, and existing-home buyers had a satisfaction rate of 71 percent.
  • Home owners ages 55-65 were the most satisfied at 76 percent. Home owners between 18 and 25 had the lowest satisfaction rate at 45 percent.
By Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine

Antiquated Laws Make Foreclosures More Likely

Many states have laws on the books that make it difficult for home owners to avoid foreclosure, says a new report by the National Consumer Law Center.

The center identifies these state laws as some of the most antiquated and unfavorable to home owners.

  • Fast track foreclosure. In 30 states and the District of Columbia, mortgage holders who allege that home owners have fallen behind on the payments can bypass the courts and move directly to auction off homes. To defend against the action, home owners must get a judge to review the claims and stop foreclosure.
  • No direct notification of foreclosure proceedings. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, there is no requirement that home owners be personally served with a foreclosure notice.
  • No requirement to find solutions other than foreclosure. In every state but California and Connecticut, mortgage holders can move directly to foreclosure without discussing the issue and other potential solutions with the home owner.
  • Eleventh-hour payments can be ignored. In 29 states, a mortgage holder has no legal obligation to stop foreclosure even if the home owner comes up with enough money to bring the mortgage current, including paying penalties and fees.
  • Big penalties are legal. In every state but Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a mortgage holder who claims a home owner has fallen behind in payments can immediately impose default fees and costs that reduce the chances that the homeowner can catch up by making the payments owed.

“The bottom line is that most state laws are not part of the foreclosure crisis solution today; they are a big part of the problem,” say John Rao, attorney and co-author of the report.

Source: National Consumer Law Center

Target Stores Feel Housing Pain

Among the losers in the housing downturn are Target discount department stores.

Target sells twice as much home-related goods as Wal-Mart and its sales, as well as its stock price, have been feeling the pinch.

Since the housing bubble burst in 2007, sales of home-goods at Target declined more than 20 percent.

“The fact that [home goods] were such a strong core and magnet department certainly had a powerful impact on customers and investors alike,” says Chris Ohlinger of Service Industry Research Systems, Inc.

He believes that housing has now hit bottom and Target will begin to recover–a process, he says, that will take two years.

Source: BusinessWeek.com, Damian Joseph 

JPMorgan Chase Freezes Foreclosures!!!

“In what may the biggest sign yet that banks are getting serious about attacking the nationwide wave of home foreclosures, giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) announced on Oct. 31 that it is sharply ramping up its efforts to restructure the loans in its massive mortgage portfolio. For the next 90 days, JPMorgan will not place any new homes into foreclosure. “

See this BusinessWeek article  HERE

Foreclosures Dip But Remain High

Daily Real Estate News  |  March 13, 2008

Foreclosures in February were down 4 percent from January, but the rate of foreclosures remain high year-over-year. The February rate was up 57 percent from February 2007.

“The year-over-year increase this February was significantly higher than the 19 percent year-over-year increase in February 2007, indicating we have still not reached the peak of foreclosure activity in this cycle,” says James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, which markets foreclosed properties.

The 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates were, in order, Nevada, California, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, and Tennessee.

The 10 states with the most foreclosures were, in order, California, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, Colorado, and Nevada.

Source: RealtyTrac (03/13/2008)

Luxury Market Keeps Moving Strong

Daily Real Estate News  |  March 10, 2008
People with money who can afford to pay big prices for houses continue to do so even though the housing market may be slow for buyers with lesser resources.

Ron Baron, founder of the Baron Funds investment company, last year paid a record $103 million for an ocean-front property in East Hampton, N.Y. He is currently building himself a mansion on the site.

Wall Street financier Philip Falcone recently paid $39 million for a 27-room Manhattan townhouse that was once owned by Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione.

On the West Coast, the 29-bedroom, 40-bath former home of William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies is on the market in Beverly Hills for $165 million, which might be the highest asking price for a home in U.S. history.

“For the ultraluxury market to take a hit, there would have to be serious financial woes that went a lot deeper than what we’re seeing now,” says Rick Goodwin, publisher of Unique Homes, a magazine and Web site about luxury properties. “If they’ve got the money, it’s not going to be a hardship to fork over cash for a $10 million house.”

Source: BusinessWeek.com, Prashant Gopal (03/07/08)

These Cities Are Made for Walking

Daily Real Estate News  

Foot experts at the American Podiatric Medical Association have chosen the best and worst walking cities in American.

More than 500 U.S. cities were evaluated and ranked on 14 walking criteria, including the percentage of adults who walk to work and the number of parks per square mile.

Here are the 10 best cities for walking:

Cambridge, Mass.
New York City
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Chicago
Washington, D.C.
San Francisco
Honolulu
Trenton, N.J.
Boston
Cincinnati, Ohio

Here are the 10 worst cities for walking:

Oklahoma City, Okla.
North Las Vegas
Gadsden, Ala.
Davenport, Iowa
Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Enid, Okla.
Laredo, Texas
Springdale, Ark.
Clarksville, Tenn.
Lafayette, La.

Source: The American Podiatric Medical Association and Prevention Magazine (03/04/2008)