Are Municipal Bonds the Next Big Unknown Unknown?


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In the financial crisis of today, to use a popular maxim of Donald Rumsfeld’s invention, “there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns.” Some major unknowns have surfaced to become economic hurricanes reeking havoc on financial markets worldwide, such as the failure of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But what unknown unknowns are still lurking under the surface, waiting to be discovered, buried in the media headlines, that could have an equally devastating effect on the economy and real estate markets across the country? One such potential dangerous unknown unknown that hasn’t received very much press attention recently is the current lack of financial stability in the municipal bond market.

Municipal bonds are sold by cities and municipalities across the nation to fund large real estate and infrastructure construction projects. They offer investors a tax free stream of income and offered by brokers around the nation as a low risk way to receive income without increasing the investor’s tax burden. Well, it turns out that the municipal bond markets now are starting to sound like a familiar story. Municipalities across the nation have taken advantage of low interest rates over the past two years to fund construction projects. However, about a one third of these funds were borrowed using a variable rate of interest. Now the municipalities are having trouble paying back their investors.

Lender’s Pact – Unveiled

mac.jpgFreddie Mac has forged an agreement with three major mortgage lenders which would enable funding for large home loans or those that reach almost half a million dollars. Freddie and Fannie Mae are two of the government-backed lenders who have been doing damage control after billions of dollars of losses in the sub-prime lending financial crisis they have been forced to deal with. The deal seems to be forged with Mac and those big-time lenders with no news yet from the avenue of Mae whether they would be following suit. This paves the way for large homes that would otherwise have to be foreclosed allowing more funding to alleviate and even prevent it from happening. This is one more event in the long period of recovery that would be needed to amend the broken housing market which is hoped to start rebounding this 2009.

First time home buyers, not buying

sale.jpgPeople who have been wanting to purchase a house for the first time are getting wet feet due to disturbing news and trends that can be seen all over the internet. When house prices started falling, many jumped on the bandwagon and started buying only to end up loosing their investment early in the fight. Others who were cautious faired well for they got the time they needed to see the trend which showed the sharp drop in new house prices and the accompanying mortgage foreclosures that followed. This prompted more prospective home buyers to halt their plans whilst they waited for the rut the market was in to clam down. Those who were facing foreclosure are advised by many experts to take advantage of bailout options offered by lenders and other financial institutions rather than to loose everything all together.

Old yet Charming

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Metropolitan areas like New York are known for architectural gems that have stood the test of time. These gems also get put up for sale by owners who might have lived there for their whole lives. These properties have a certain charm that would appeal to those who fancy and are fanatics of the architectural world. Some buyers prefer location, some prefer convenience, but nothing beats a house with character. Such properties are listed on the web site NY Daily News in the Real Estates section where they have tools that could help you quickly go through listings making the search process easier and les laborious. There are also similar sites in most metro area news agencies so be sure to check them out first before setting out on the town.

Mortgage Rates Drop – Refinance?

By all means for interest rates are at their lowest and with other government incentives in place to make the process fool-proof(or so they claim) you may just manage to get off foreclosure row in case you have been uncertain of your financial future. Just be sure you have a proper plan on hand to manage the help you get for mess it up again and you stand to join the 1.5 million homes that have already gone up to foreclosure, and that’s only for the first half of this year, who knows how much more would be added to the figure as the economy tries to recover.

Making it Personal

Moving a house and moving property both are complex activities. Moving house requires at least a few weeks advance notice on all sides for a smooth and successful transition from place to place. Coordination and organization are key things to see in this activity. Moving a property, meaning selling a house, townhouse, or condominium, is equally trying. We know that this requires organization, research, and a lot of time and effort.

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Marketing your property is a key activity in making a successful sale. You can have all the plans, all the desire in the world, but really if you do not market your property well, this will not reach the best possible buyer with the best possible price. On February, using Valentine’s props can help your marketing efforts. Nicely arranged flowers and sweet items make a house personal and gives buyers a view into life in that place. These small, inexpensive, easy, and personal touches go a long way towards success.

Eppraisal

eppraisal.jpgAnother newcomer to the real estates market, the internet-based appraisal system allows you to get the best possible appraisals for your property from realtors. Get information from public records regarding properties and get the ho-down on its history. It is nice to get news from time to time for the bad news regarding the housing market just keeps on coming with no end in sight. Innovation is helping struggling buyers ,sellers along with realtors on the internet in hopes of getting small successes in the gloomy state real estate has been in the past few months. The real estates market hit a 12-year low where there are more houses than people are buying. Those who choose to buy are either holding off till the gloom fizzes out or till predictions get prices down to the lowest they will ever be. Check out Eppraisal.com to get a feel on how people are banding together to help themselves and to find the latest trends in the real estates market.

Scammers capitalize on hope


Hope is a good thing, but it can also be exploited by scammers who capitalize on this to make bogus offers and steal money from honest folk. Imagine having a bad credit rating, and in dire financial straits. You suddenly get an email from a bank saying that you’ve qualified for a loan application. Your heart jumps, and for the first time in a long time, you feel happy. The email asks you to go to a site, fill out a form that asks for your Social Security number and other information, then asks you to pay a processing fee. At this point you’re not thinking straight, so you just and pay the amount asked. And then you wait. And wait some more, but you do not receive any reply. Be careful with operations like this, and always think twice before committing any information and money over the net.

Housing and Mortgage Woes????

floriex.jpgEven some of the most exclusive properties in Florida have gone up for sale as with the purchase of the vacation house owned by movie producer Sidney Kimmel by a former president of Goldman Sachs, Mr. John Thornton. The price, not much, $81.5 Million dollars, who says we’re in recession? This home sale was followed by the sale of the property owned by Venezuelan Banker Victor Vargas for a whopping $70 Million Dollars in what has become the most expensive real estate deal of all time. Many more exclusive homes in the area went up for sale which may be due to the fact that Florida is under strain from the housing crunch, but who’s counting. These exclusive properties were listed for less than a month and were sold as fast as if there were no financial crisis plaguing the economy. Other such exclusive properties, such as those in New York didn’t fare well with cuts to their sales price by as much as 5%. This may be signs that even the rich and wealthy are feeling the pressure of the money woes currently plaguing all fronts of the country. Well.. Just a Little teeny tiny bit.

Short Sales – Easy Way out of your Mortgage, sometimes (Part 1)

shrtsls.jpgThe practice has been known for a long time but is seldom chosen by lenders as a solution for property owners who are facing foreclosure. The process has a house being sold for less the amount of money that is owed with the lender swallowing the little loss in the sale (that’s why they don’t like it!!). If you happen to mortgage holder, it is very much cheaper than having to settle for a foreclosure but as said, the practice has almost been forgotten during the long boom in the industry. But now, there may be no choices for all sides are set to lose a lot if they do go into foreclosure. Foreclosure entails a lot of taxes, legal fees, insurance (to prevent the property from becoming worthless) and the increasing cost of maintaining the said property till it goes up for sale again to another buyer.