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Douglas Zeller's Blog

By Douglas Zeller | Broker in El Dorado County, CA
  • 3 Reasons to Start Using Video Email

    Posted Under: Tech Tips in Jackson, Agent2Agent in Jackson, How To... in Jackson  |  April 17, 2014 9:00 AM  |  743 views  |  No comments

    Video email can help real estate agents make a lasting impression on prospects. Here are three reasons why you should consider incorporating video into your email campaigns.

    1. It improves communications, keeps clients invested in a relationship with you, and lets prospects get to know the agent on a personal and professional level. 
    2. Video messages can be added to automatic email campaigns.  Agents can give monthly market activity updates, for instance, on the same day each month via video email, then track open rates and clicks. 
    3. With such tools as BombBomb, which integrates with Realtors Property Resource®, agents also can attach market data to their videos to reinforce their messages.

    Source: "3 Reasons to Send Prospects Video Email," RISMedia (April 10, 2014)

  • Fee Increases Delayed for Fannie, Freddie Source: The Hill

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Jackson, Home Selling in Jackson, Financing in Jackson  |  January 18, 2014 2:22 PM  |  300 views  |  No comments
    Rep. Mel Watt took the reins on Monday as regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Watt stuck to his plan to delay an increase on fees charged by the government-sponsored enterprises. Watt has stated he is concerned about the impact of a fee increase on the availability of mortgage credit.

    Read the full story





  • How to Identify a Healthy Housing Market

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Jackson, Home Selling in Jackson, Property Q&A in Jackson  |  August 5, 2013 12:21 PM  |  601 views  |  No comments

    Houston-based real estate consulting firm Metrostudy uses "drive-bys" to help it gauge the health of the residential market in different U.S. metro areas.  Employees drive through newly built—or still under construction—housing developments from Texas to Florida and begin observing. 

    If there are toys on a house's front lawn, for example, that is a good sign that a family has moved in.  Another positive sign is if a garden hose is attached to the side of the house.  Not only is the home occupied, it also has an owner who cares about his or her property. 

    Among the bad signs are the absence of curtains in the windows, a high number of empty lots, and newly completed but clearly vacant houses.  Metrostudy researchers say these are indicators that a developer may have badly overestimated demand and could soon be saddled with inventory. 

    Brad Hunter, chief economist of Metrostudy, is projecting double-digit increases in new-home prices for the remainder of 2013.  He sees the speculative excess mostly gone from the market.  In 2014, though, Hunter forecasts that new-home prices will increase only 6 percent as interest rates continue their upward climb.  He concludes, "Mortgage rates could pose a challenge to affordability."

    Source: "To Figure Out Where Real Estate Is Headed, Start Driving," Business Week (Aug. 5, 2013)

  • Housing Recovery Increasingly Prices Out First-Time Buyers?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Jackson, Rent vs Buy in Jackson, Property Q&A in Jackson  |  July 28, 2013 2:37 PM  |  833 views  |  No comments
    In the past 30 years, first-time home buyers on average represented 40 percent of sales and they accounted for more than 50 percent in 2009. As key contributors to the health of the housing market, troublingly first-time buyers have accounted for only about 30 percent of home sales over the past year. Higher mortgage rates, financing issues, and competition from investors who pay in cash are all factors that have created a drop. 

    Read the full story
  • 12 Turnaround Housing Markets

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Jackson, Agent2Agent in Jackson, Home Ownership in Jackson  |  June 18, 2013 8:23 PM  |  600 views  |  No comments

    Kiplinger Personal Finance recently singled out 12 metro areas’ housing markets as faring the best in 2012. Kiplinger attributed strengthening economies, below-average unemployment rates, and increasing buyer confidence as turning these metros into seller’s markets. 

    The 12 metros are:

    • Phoenix
    • Provo, Utah
    • Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Fla.
    • Minneapolis
    • Akron, Ohio
    • Youngstown, Ohio
    • Seattle, Wash.
    • Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Boise, Idaho
    • San Jose, Calif.
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Tucson, Ariz. 

    “I was really surprised to see some of the cities that ended up on the list,” says Pat Esswein, associate editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. “Provo, Utah, and Salt Lake City surprised me, but these are cities that had very little boom or bust. They plugged along, their economies are growing and their populations are rising. They also have relatively low rates of unemployment.” 

    Source: “Rising Home Prices: Coming Soon to Your Town?” RISMedia (June 17, 2013)

  • Despite 'Improvement in Loan-mod Defaults', report raises alarms!

    Posted Under: Financing in Jackson, Foreclosure in Jackson, Home Ownership in Jackson  |  April 28, 2013 9:25 PM  |  689 views  |  No comments
    The report, from the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or Sigtarp, said there was an “alarming rate” of homeowners who were defaulting after receiving a permanent mortgage modification. 

    The report says data show that the longer a homeowner remains in HAMP, the more likely he or she is to redefault out of the program. This is true of almost any mortgage-modification program.

    But the report raises broader questions about whether mortgage modifications have been worth the costs, and against what yard stick success in any such program should be measured.

    There are plenty of faults to find with HAMP. Officials struggled to ensure taxpayer money wasn’t wasted, so they required lots of documentation. That created new headaches: banks rejected borrowers that they said provided incomplete forms, while borrowers routinely complained that banks lost their paperwork. In an interview last year, Shaun Donovan, the housing secretary, said it was a “fair criticism that programs initially were too complicated and had too many restrictions.” 

    Read the full story
  • Mortgage Rates Move Back Down This Week

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Jackson, Financing in Jackson, Rent vs Buy in Jackson  |  February 9, 2013 12:19 PM  |  688 views  |  No comments

    Average mortgage rates stayed steady or inched lower this week, which “should continue to aid in the ongoing housing recovery,” Freddie Mac says in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

    The following are the national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 7, according to Freddie Mac:

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.53 percent, with an average 0.8 point, holding the same as last week. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.87 percent. 
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.77 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 2.81 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.16 percent. 
    • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.63 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.70 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83 percent. 
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.53 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.59 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.78 percent. 

    Source: Freddie Mac

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