Archive by Author
Posted on 27. Feb, 2014 by Marc Courtenay.
As 2014 begins a bureau created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will set new rules concerning mortgages. Lenders will be required to verify and inspect borrowers’ financial records. The rules discourage lenders from allowing borrowers to carry total debt payments totaling more than 43 percent of the person’s annual income.
Posted on 17. Feb, 2014 by Marc Courtenay.
Housing affordability isn’t looking too promising as 2014 begins. If you listen to the National Association of Realtors the opportunity to be a homeowner hasn’t been this affordable in a long time. If you review Figure 2 below you’ll get the impression that American housing is now extremely affordable and the typical household can easily make the monthly mortgage payment on a home. Thanks to historically low interest-rates, fixed rate mortgages have become more affordable for some American families and many analysts expect that this cheap credit will fuel another housing boom.
Posted on 17. Jan, 2014 by Marc Courtenay.
The year 2013 will go down in the record books as a good year for both owners and managers of residential income properties. As I wrote recently in an article titled, It’s Tough to Afford to be a Renter These Days, “Housing affordability doesn’t look too promising as 2014 begins. If you listen to the National Association of Realtors the opportunity to be a homeowner hasn’t been this affordable in a long time.” If you’re looking to sell a home, 2014 may be a good year though probably not as good as 2013. But if you’re looking to buy, 2014 will likely be a better year than 2013.
Posted on 16. Dec, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Has the housing market begun to plummet due to rising interest rates? Are rental housing values about to crash? Those who read my articles know I’m frequently asking the questions that rental property owners and managers should also be asking. The answers are vitally important during these uncertain economic times. As of November 27, 2013 the yield on the 10 year Treasury bond sits at 2.74%. This is the benchmark interest rate impacting home mortgage rates, and it’s been stuck around this level for months.
Posted on 18. Nov, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
If you’re a potential buyer or a former owner, you’re darned if you try to own and darned if you’re currently an owner. Unless you own a rental home or a multi-family residential income property, the days of buying a house and expecting the price to automatically rise with demand aren’t here yet.
Posted on 07. Nov, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
One of the most frequent complaints I here from property owners who don’t live in the same area as their properties is how hard it is for them to find a trustworthy, dependable property manager. “Why is so difficult?” I usually reply. The owners often answer that it’s been there experience that when the property management firm knows you’re not local (and especially if they’re from out-of-state) they don’t give them the same level of service.
Posted on 10. Oct, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
As I’ve anticipated for weeks the Federal Reserve said on September 18th that it would continue buying bonds at an $85 billion monthly pace for the time being. The Fed is concerned that a sharp rise in borrowing costs in recent months could hurt the housing market as well as the rest of the economy.
Posted on 23. Sep, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Are you ready for a shocking statistic? The latest psychological data and anecdotal evidence is that a large percentage (some studies show it’s over 50%) of the general public in the U.S. is willing to tell lies. Sometimes people call them “white lies”, others rationalize them as “half truths”, but a lie is a lie. Depending on which organization or school of psychology I’ve contacted, I’ve learned that somewhere between 10 and 15% of the population in America are classified as sociopaths.
Posted on 30. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Recently I was perusing one of the online realtor association sites. There was a page lamenting that homes above a particular low price range weren’t selling. Alarming titles like “Shock Treatment May Dial in Price Reductions” suggest that home prices are often priced too high when put on the market. Is the next phase of the housing recovery lower prices? Perhaps so, depending on the area of the country and the number of foreclosed homes that are entering the supply of houses for sale.
Posted on 23. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
First let me encourage you to listen to the free online webinar on a topic for property managers. Online rental expert Pierre Calzadilla (Manager of Trulia Rentals) provides practical tips about the effective approach to filling vacancies that you can apply to your business right away. Pierre covered the following: The top trends driving today’s […]
Posted on 17. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
First impression matter as much as ever! Curb appeal still can make a big difference when it comes to attracting quality residents. Don’t believe me? Do what I did and interview rental shoppers. Location and the area of town is one of the “Big 3 Criteria” for prospective residents. Affordability was also one of the 3 biggies. Then I asked prospects, “How important are the exterior looks of the rental property?”
Posted on 11. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
If you look at the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index data released on June 25, 2013 it’s no longer a question that the trend for the price of an existing home is on the upside. Cities like San Francisco saw the largest year-over-year growth at 23.9%, while New York saw the lowest at 3.2%. Those rates compare with a 20-city average of 12.1%, the fastest annual pace in seven years.
Posted on 24. Jun, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Existing home sales in May were up 4.2% which is the highest level in over 40 months. Buyers were most likely motivated by a profound shortage of inventory in some areas as well as wanting to lock-in mortgage rates before they go any higher. Just in the past couple of weeks the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury bond, the benchmark for mortgage rates, has spiked up above 2.5%. No wonder the 30-year mortgage interest rates have leaped over the 4% barrier. Some are wondering is the Federal Reserve about to harpoon the housing recovery?
Posted on 05. Jun, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Those of us who bought our homes towards the top of the last housing bubble (2003-2007) are relieved to hear that the average price for houses is climbing steadily in most regions of the U.S. Yet for many the cost of buying a house is still making it difficult or impossible to become homeowners. Even though interest rates are still at all-time lows, it’s still tough to qualify for a mortgage.
Posted on 29. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
We just finished celebrating Memorial Day. It’s helpful for me to remember that’s the day when Americans honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. I want to pay my deepest respect to their memory and to their loved ones. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official, very significant federal holiday in 1971.
Posted on 22. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
As we all know it won’t be long until school is out and summer arrives. That is traditionally the beginning of the time that owners and renters are more likely to move to new locations. It’s also the time when the vacancy rate can fluctuate and the turnover rate increases.
Posted on 21. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Now that’s a title that should make all property managers very curious. Actually it’s the title of a webinar that was offered on Thursday May 9, 2013 and can be listened to at this link. These free webinars and podcasts should be a regular part of a property managers’ month.
Posted on 10. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Property Managers know how important it is to prevent problems with residents through careful screening procedures. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is as important in today’s society as ever. That’s why experienced property managers don’t cut corners when screening applicants.
Posted on 09. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Seldom has there been a better time to cultivate and “plant the seeds” for new clients for your property management business. The need for rental, single-family housing has never been greater, and the financial climate is most advantageous, so let’s get started!
Posted on 19. Apr, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Single family housing rents rose once again in the first quarter of 2013. Yet signs are beginning to reveal themselves that the seemingly endless months of rising rents may be coming to an end. The reasons are numerous but the biggest is a marked increase in the supply of rental units.
Posted on 05. Apr, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Believe it or not the housing industry is making a stellar comeback. After a collapse in residential construction during The Great Recession which began in 2008, new home construction is leading the housing recovery. The Commerce Department reported on March 19, 2013 that housing starts rose in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000.
Posted on 26. Mar, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Sometimes the owners of rental properties are too trusting for their own good. You, as the property manager, undoubtedly know what I’m referring to. But that’s why the owner hires you to begin with. They don’t want to have to deal directly with the resident-tenant, right? For this article I wanted to share a true story that demonstrates why it’s imperative to protect your clients from situations where the resident says something like, “We don’t need it in writing. I have great references and my word is as good as any document.”
Posted on 13. Mar, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
The home-buying market is on fire, especially for newly built houses. New home sales surged almost 29% in January compared to January 2012. This is the highest annual sales rate in four years according to figures released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, Feb. 26th. Existing home sales also rose in January 2013 by 9.1%. Ironically, even though new houses (new construction) cost buyers approximately 37% more for the same square footage as previously owned houses, it’s the new homes that are selling at the hottest pace.
Posted on 27. Feb, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
With all the media hype about the so-called looming fiscal cliff, it’s a good time of the year to remember how to avoid financial disasters and to do what we can to prevent losses. Property Managers with experience know how costly the process of eviction can be, as well as the expense of repairing damaged rental units that have been “trashed” by destructive former residents.