Proposal: Replace the Mortgage Interest Deduction with a Flat Homeowner Deduction

In our discussion on Sunday’s poll about whether government policy should be steering people into homebuying, I had an interesting idea that I thought was worth sharing with the whole class. The Problem There are numerous problems with the methods the government has used and is using to promote homebuying. One-time homebuyer tax credits just […]

Good Ideas that Home Salespeople Hate

There are two good ideas that have been circulating recently that would help keep the housing market from experiencing another dangerous bubble: End (or greatly scale back) the mortgage interest tax deduction. Require at least a 20% down payment for purchases. Here’s a recent article that covers the arguments in favor of ending the deduction: […]

Have You Given Big Banks the Boot Yet?

With the slimy moves, big fees, and generally anti-customer attitude of big banks, I find myself wondering who bothers with them anymore, and why? Over in the Weekend Open Thread, Pegasus points out a story in yesterday’s New York Times: U.S. Is Set to Sue a Dozen Big Banks Over Mortgages The federal agency that […]

The Sex Offender Bogeyman

One of the primary goals of many home shoppers is finding a neighborhood that is safe. That makes sense. No one wants to live in constant fear of having their valuables stolen—or worse, being assaulted. However, there is one specific “safety” criteria that makes little sense to weigh heavily in one’s home search: Registered Sex […]

Financial Closing Strategy: Is there a better time of month to close on a refinance?

A word from The Tim: This post is from long-time Seattle Bubble participant Tim Kane (a.k.a. “S-Crow”). As co-owner of Legacy Escrow in Everett, Tim brings a unique perspective on the closing table. Timing Closing? One question that frequently comes up when meeting with clients to sign loan documents is the question of “timing.”   Is […]

There is no such thing as “a great time to buy.”

With home prices off a third or more around Seattle from their hyper-inflated housing bubble levels, interest rates still hovering in the sub-five-percent range, and numerous economic fundamentals indicating a market more balanced than it has been in nearly a decade, has the perennial claim of home salesmen come true? Is now, finally, “a great […]

You Can’t Keep a Good Huckster Down

Someone forwarded me an interesting email yesterday. The spammy message apparently being sent to various mortgage brokers claims that “We’ll pay you for the clients you can’t do loans for.” Here’s some of the email copy (emphasis theirs): We coach people who are underwater in their homes. We don’t do loans, we don’t sell real […]