Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Freddie Mac eliminates traditional appraisals

Freddie Mac announces they are going to eliminate traditional appraisals as of Sept 1, 2017 for new home loans.
I am firmly against this. As we all know, the online value system are generic and many times grossly wrong. Each home is unique in style, level of function and degree of care. These items can vary the value up or down 50% or even more.
First, I agree that it could be used in the initial decision making process. But not the loan.
Secondly, before the government got involved, appraisals were half the price.
And lastly, appraisals don't add 10 days to the contract.
I see this as an opportunity for computer geeks to manipulate the market data. Mortgages are usually the largest debts in this nation and around the world.
This could put our nations economy in jeopardy, because that's a lot of risk on a promissory note from a skewed data source.

Buying and want an appraisal?
Call me
Curtis Rudolph Realtor®
813-240-6054 cell/text
Charles Rutenberg Realty

Curtis Rudolph Realtor, Charles Rutenberg Realty
Details were extracted from an article written and produced by Information, Inc.
For the full article, go here

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Attention renters, rates are about to drop!

If you are a renter, relief is on it's way. Rental rates have been at an all time high for a few years now. However, if you are a landlord, I see trouble ahead. 

This is my opinion of the buying, selling and renting of real estate for 2015.
Mortgage interest rates are about to climb, according to all the rumors coming from the new Fed Chairwoman, Janet Yellen. They've been near zero for many years to help stimulate our wobbly, but growing economy.

Many home owners were hit hard when the economy tanked. Homes were forfeited to the banks and hedge fund conglomerates were gobbling them up and renting them back to those that were displaced. 

                             It's been 8 years since the peak and 4 years since the bottom. 

Most hurt during the great recession have recovered financially and have been trying to time out re-entering the market to get the lowest rate as they heal their credit and rebuild capital for a downpayment. 

              That time is now as interest rates are wobbling around a once-in-a-lifetime low. 

However, everyone seems to be sitting around and not taking action. This holding back is causing a pressure cooker situation of buyers. 

When the Fed says "let them rise", the pressure cooker full of buyers will surge to the market buying up the inventory. New homes entering the market will sell at top dollar as the rates rise and inventory will be low.

Where did these buyers come from?  
                                  These buyers were all renting!

Rental homes will flood the market as these buyers leave that market. 
Vacant rentals, cost owners a lot of money.
They would rather slash the price, then let it sit empty. 

I expect this to occur now through June and then go crazy through the summer and fall. 
If you are buying, buy now! Rates may never be this low again in our lifetime. 
If you are renting, buy now! Rates may never be this low again in our lifetime. 

Or if you can't buy, be willing to negotiate to stay or find someone willing to accept your price. 
Don't be scared! The landlord would appreciate the reduced rate more than a vacant rental and pray for a new tenant. 

Buying, selling or renting in the Tampa bay market?
I do that!

Curtis Rudolph Realtor®
813.240.6054 cell/text
Realty Direct Tampa

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Buyer beware! Rising interest rates will do opposite of what you think!

Traditionally, when mortgage rates go up, the price of homes go down. However, unlike history, raising interest rates this time will do the opposite. Interest rates have been so low for so long, it's become expected and has caused buyers to take the wait and see approach.

Mortgage rates are near historical lows. Freddie Mac reported last week that a 30 year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.66% and a 15 year fixed rate mortgage rate averaged 2.98%. 

                                          In my opinion, we won't see rates like this again in our lifetime.

Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve continues to hint that she plans to raise its target federal funds rate the middle of this year, which will cause mortgage rates to rise. Many economists predict that a 30 year fixed rate mortgage will average 5% by the end of the year. 

This move by the Fed will cause a surge of buyers that have been sitting on the fence to jump into the buying game. 

                                                           The laws of supply and demand will prevail. 

Current inventories will be purchased and new supply will be less than demand, causing a sellers market. Sellers can ask what they want, because there will minimal competition.

The Fed is asking the markets to be patient when asked the timing, describing it's approach to picking the time to raise the target rate. So, buyers beware! The clock on a low mortgage rate is ticking!

Homebuyer's need to move fast if they want to get a low price and a low interest rate, according to In my opinion, affordability may decline as much as 10% this year. So, get in the game! 

Buying or selling a home in the Tampa bay area?
Call me today!
Curtis Rudolph Realtor®
813.240.6054 cell/text

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Was Janet Yellen appointed to finalize the redistribution of wealth?

The new Fed chairman, Janet Yellen has spoken and the world listens.
Janet spoke the other day about how the markets don't like surprises. Unlike all of her predecessors, she has chosen to release her plans continuously in bits and pieces, to smooth out the typical market reactions rather than the normal few times a year.

Can you and how do you capitalize on this new softer approach?
Think of it this way, it's the same message, but in slow motion. This constant information delivery idea will soften the knee jerk reaction to every word she delivers, reducing the fire drills, that are the common responses to the stock market.
She said she is not going to touch interest rates until mid 2015.
In other words, she said she is going to touch interest rates in mid 2015.
What should you do, knowing that this is coming?

If you are planning to buy a home, now is the time to get in the game and this is why I recommend taking action now.

When interest rates climb out of the near Zero zone, two things will occur.
#1 Your buying power will be reduced as the mortgage interest rates climb. The cost of the money will go up, reducing the principal purchase power of your dollar. In other words, you will have to reduce your purchase price.
#2 The raising of interest rates will cause a surge to the market to buy. Everyone waiting for the interest rate bottom, will surge to the market and gobble up available homes for sale. This will tilt the balance of supply and demand. Supply will plummet and demand will overpower supply, forcing a rapid increase in the price of a home.
These two actions will have a synergistic result. Your buying power will go down and the prices of homes will go up. By mid next year, you'll look back to today and say, why didn't I just do it?

Let me inject some conspiracy theory into this.
Was the timing of the 2015 interest rate change and price pop appointed?
Consider this. Our current administration ran on a slogan of change and redistribution of wealth.
When the stock markets were crashing, the wealthy pulled their money out and started buying real estate. Mostly from middle class American's who were hit the hardest in the economic melt down.
The word on the street is this was a 5 year plan. Buy at the bottom, rent them out and sell in about 5 years when their initial investment is nearly 100% paid for by the middle class that rented them.
Institutional, hedge fund buyers started gobbling up real estate at or near the bottom between 2010 and 2011. In 2015, the 2010 purchases will be reaching there 5 year mark.
Is it just a coincidence that home prices will pop around the same time by these rising rates?
If this happens as I expect it will, the poor will still be poor. Middle class will have lost most of their net worth to the wealthy and the wealthy will get much wealthier.

Real estate has been the commodity to make the wealthy, wealthier. Why not you?
If you are buying, selling or renting, I do that!
Let's get to work!

Curtis Rudolph Realtor®
813.240.6054 cell/text
Realty Direct Tampa

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Real estate agents and ethics

I love real estate!
I like the challenges, the people and I especially like making people happy.
Unlike most agents, I represent all sides of real estate. Listings, sales and rentals. Uniquely, I cover the entire Tampa bay area too.
Today, I had my ethics questioned by another agent and I take ethics very personal.
Today's blog is inspired by that event.
It had to do with a rental.
Rentals don't pay much at all and that's why so many agents don't do them. "It's not worth their time". When I hear a real estate agent say this, it really pisses me off. What they are saying is their time is worth more than yours!
I see it as, you have a need, I have a solution. So they don't pay enough to cover the gas some of the time. Whatever! I accept them because, I enjoy the busyness they give me and the people I get to meet along the way. Many give referrals, which is the greatest thank you!
I am working with about 20 rental clients, 10 buyer clients and about 5 listings at all times. With all this going on at the same time, I occasionally find a home that more than one client likes. Today was one of them and is the basis for this blog post.
I have been working with a rental client for about 2 month's. We've seen many homes together over the last 8 weeks. I have them on an auto search, whereby they receive emails from me automatically by my MLS auto search system.
This client of mine saw a listing and did a drive-by. They called to say they liked it and wanted to take a look inside and will most likely put in an application.
I informed them that I had already had another client of mine just apply for it and unless their application is declined, that the property was already taken. They really loved the home anyway and I didn't want someone else to get it, since I had 2 interested parties.
So, I contacted the listing property manager and asked if they would email my second client an application as a back up, should the first client be declined. Gladly they emailed it.
After my client completed the application, they emailed it back to the rental agency. The receiving agent informed them that there was an application already on this property, but they had another home coming available that was similar but was not going to be on the MLS.
The reason an agency doesn't put a listing on the MLS is to save them from paying another agent the $25 to $200 finders fee for a rental.
So, I called the rental agency and asked why they were steering my client away from the property they wanted to a property that I would not be paid on. She said that I shouldn't have sent them the second client!
I explained I sent my second client to them as a back up to the first. So that one or the other received the rental that they both loved. She basically said, sorry about your loss!
I told the rental agency that I was going to inform my client that they are steering them to another property merely to save from paying me the finders fee.
Angrily, she replied that I was being unethical!
I was being unethical?
The bottom line is I want my client to find the perfect place to call home. A place they feel safe. And it is my responsibility as their agent to see that they get a great deal and that they are treated fairly and within the law. Getting paid is secondary and a consequence for achieving the primary goal.
An agency that chooses not to list the property on the MLS is doing the owners of the properties they represent an injustice. The MLS will produce a buyer almost instantly, saving the owners month's of the home sitting vacant and month's of dead end maintenance expenses and its self serving motivation is to save the property manager a few dollars at the property owners expense.
Shame on you!

If you are buying, selling or renting, I do that. Call or text me and I would love to help.
Curtis Rudolph Realtor
813.240.6054 cell/text
Realty Direct Tampa  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Is Tampa Bay in the path of a Hurricane?

The 2014 Hurricane season officially launches today.
Will 2014 be a big year? A record year? A historic year? Or another lackluster year?
As I've traveled around, when I mention I'm from Florida, the response usually includes our horrible and dangerous hurricanes. Florida seems to have a reputation that Hurricanes are a reason not to live here.
Let's look at the numbers since I moved to Tampa in 1965.
We had a direct hit by a category 1 hurricane in 1969. And, that's it!
That's one in a half century! Based on the average number of hurricanes each season times the number of years, the Tampa Bay area has a 1 in a 1000 chance of being hit. God has given the Tampa Bay area mercy year after year!
The lack of hurricanes is another reason the Tampa Bay area is a great place to call home.

These are the names assigned to the 2014 Atlantic Hurricanes:
Hurricane Arthur
Hurricane Bertha
Hurricane Cristobal
Hurricane Dolly
Hurricane Edouard
Hurricane Fay
Hurricane Gonzalo
Hurricane Hanna
Hurricane Isaias
Hurricane Josephine
Hurricane Kyle
Hurricane Laura
Hurricane Marco
Hurricane Nana
Hurricane Omar
Hurricane Paulette
Hurricane Rene
Hurricane Sally
Hurricane Teddy
Hurricane Vicky
Hurricane Wilfred
Lord have mercy on us again in 2014!
Tropical weather, incredible beaches and rarely a hurricane is another reason to consider the Tampa Bay area for your next home.

Curtis Rudolph Realtor®
813.240.6054 cell/text
Realty Direct Tampa

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In search of a rental home? Look up!

The challenges facing the victims of the great recession go deeper than just trying to find affordable housing. 

During the great recession, millions of homes went into default. It takes a long time to go through the legal process. Some are just now going through the process.  
Many home owners were literally removed from their homes. Caught in the economic meltdown, they don't know where to turn. Credit damaged, they seek a rental home until they can rebuild their lives and credit scores.
Another consequences of the economic melt down, was new construction, all but ceased. 

Therefore creating "The perfect storm".

During the economic meltdown, the population has increased, while building new homes had ceased. This has created an imbalance of people verses residences ratio. 
Add to this, the non-existent and restrictive funding practices to a massive pool of people with damaged credit and you have the perfect storm. 
In nature, vultures fly above the earth looking for the weak and hover waiting for opportunities.
Home owners trying to seek shelter and not finding any. And institutional buyers, knowing the laws of supply and demand have raised rental rates to levels never seen in our lifetimes. You begin to seek desperate measures. 

In your desperation, look up. 

Human vultures read this news and find a way to capitalize on your desperation. There has been a massive increase in fraudulant ads on Zillow®, Trulia®,®, Craigslist®, HotPads® and others to find the weak and desperate. They give an awesome story about how they are looking for just the right person to rent their home and they don't trust using traditional sources to get the home rented. They say they don't list with a Realtor®, to save you money. In your desperation, these all sound good. Their stories are very compelling. They say to send the deposit money and they will mail you the keys. These homes are usually beautiful homes at amazing prices. Being desperate, you take a chance and mail the money. The human vultures swoops in and grabs the cash.   

It is becoming more and more important to use the services of a Realtor® when renting a home.

A good Realtor® will work day and night, 7 days a week, looking for a home for you and your family. They will spend countless hours searching and investigating the property to make sure it is legitimately for rent and if it is in foreclosure, explain what laws protect you when the property forecloses. A good Realtor® will do all this at no cost to you. They just ask that when you find the perfect home, you respect them and their time by using them to secure it for you. 

Curtis Rudolph Realtor®
813.240.6054 cell/text
Realty Direct Tampa