News Alerts, Aug. 15, 2013: Real Estate Plus

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    News Alerts, Aug. 15, 2013: Real Estate Plus

  1. Mortgage News: GOP blasts Obama's call for government mortgage guarantee

    "Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee dismissed President Barack Obama's call for continued government guarantees in a reformed mortgage system."

    The article offers a few pros and cons of each side in the debate.

  2. It's a wrap: Subsidized housing campaign saves nearly 1,000 homes - Portland Business Journal

    "The city of Portland is declaring victory in its six-year campaign to preserve subsidized housing for some of its poorest residents."

    "Without intervention, the contracts would have expired by this year, leaving some 1,000 elderly widows, disabled seniors and other extremely low income renters at risk of losing their homes as landlords converted the properties into market rate apartments."

  3. How Can Organizations Establish a "Green Persona"? | Commentary content from National Real Estate Investor

    Site's post description: Through coordinated activities and initiatives and coordinated multimedia awareness campaigns, organizations can encourage and generate the ongoing behavior that will ramp up sustainability success and establish their own "green persona," says Geoff Kasselman, LEED AP. Kasselman is digital Media and communications committee chair with the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, president of the Chicago-based commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm Op2mize, and a member of NREI's Sustainability Board of Advisors.

  4. 'Empowerhouse' Breaks Ground in Energy-Efficient Living | Realtor Magazine

    Site's post description: What if homes weren't just energy efficient, but had virtually no carbon footprint? Well, that goal has become a reality in a cutting-edge Habitat for Humanity home outside of Washington, D.C. The first super energy-efficient "passive house" was constructed using ultra-thick insulation — it's practically airtight.

  5. Why Baby Boomers Are Moving to Hipster Neighborhoods -

    "The migration of baby boomers to cities, which started in the 1990s but slowed during the recession, is now regaining steam."

    The stats really show it.

  6. Good Versus Bad Debt? I Don't Care When Investing

    This is a keeper, but BE CAREFUL!

    "...misconception is that all debt is bad, and must be avoided at all costs. Many people will tell you stay away from debt at all costs, while others will say good debt is okay but stay away from bad debt. Most people define bad debt as debt that uses depreciating assets or no assets as collateral. Car loans, credit cards, student loans, retail goods like TVs, furniture, exercise equipment all would classify as bad debt. My personal philosophy; I don't care what is used as collateral, if I can use debt to invest and make me a higher return than the debt costs me — I will."

    You will note that this agent/investor goes in with equity and holds reserves.

  7. For This August Recess, Members of Congress Go Home Prepared | National Apartment Association

    "...forward progress towards reform of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) was made prior to the recess, albeit not in the exact form we would like. In rapid-fire succession, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing and then full Committee markup of the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act or PATH Act. The legislation, which passed the full Committee on a party-line vote, would radically alter the housing finance system as we know it. Among other things it would wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years and implement occupancy and rent restrictions on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans with affordability requirements. This latter item would mark the first time FHA programs have ever had such restrictions."

    "Our more overriding concern is that the bill fails to acknowledge and account for critical distinctions between single-family and multifamily finance, leaving the well-functioning multifamily mortgage market vulnerable. In other words, multifamily is included with single family in all proposed changes to the GSEs and FHA. Despite this overriding focus on single family, the apartment industry continues to weigh in heavily with the Committee and members of Congress generally. The next stop for the PATH Act is the House floor where there is potential for changes to the legislation. Meanwhile, on the Senate side, the Banking Committee appears to be going in a much different direction than the House Financial Services Committee, which could make for a very interesting Conference Committee negotiating process should we get that far this year."

  8. New York Food Waste Recycling Expands to Multifamily Properties | Multi-Housing News Online

    Site's post description: Earlier this summer, the city of New York kicked off its Organic Food Waste Recycling Pilot Program, the goal of which is to divert food waste generated in the city to recycling facilities, rather than out-of-state landfills. The city recently expanded the program to include a number of large multifamily properties.

  9. Quicken Pitches ARMs as Borrowers Balk at Higher Rates - Bloomberg

    Site's post description: Quicken Loans Inc., the online home lender that jumped last year to No. 3 in U.S. originations, is pitching more adjustable mortgages as rising rates put an end to the refinancing boom.

    "The trick for borrowers is whether they can move or refinance before those rates head back toward their historic levels, which exceeded 5 percent as recently as 2007, or save enough in the meantime.

    'Good Fit'

    "There are some audiences for whom refinancing into ARMs are a good fit," Gumbinger said. "If you are within a handful of years to retirement age, you only need a mortgage with a handful of years of a fixed rate."

    "The most dangerous ARMs aren't available in the market anymore, he said."