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Lisa Lundt's Blog

By Lisa Lundt | Agent in Henderson, NV
  • New Nevada legislation protects distressed homeowners

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Henderson, Financing in Henderson, Foreclosure in Henderson  |  August 5, 2013 6:21 PM  |  290 views  |  No comments

  • Real estate statistics; it’s not always that simple

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Las Vegas, Financing in Las Vegas, Foreclosure in Las Vegas  |  March 18, 2013 11:22 AM  |  230 views  |  No comments

    You might have seen the recently run story on MSN.com, “Housing recovery boom, bust states”. This top 5 list of best and worst states for market recovery awards Nevada the dubious honor of #1 “bust” state. The criteria for rankings on these lists are the number of delinquent mortgages, foreclosures, and the number of mortgages being issued to home buyers.

    Although it makes sense to take these three factors into consideration when ranking the health of a real estate market, using just these three criteria in my opinion is too simplistic of an approach that does not really reflect what is actually going on. This list points out that the number of new mortgages in Nevada is fairly low, while the mortgage delinquency rate is the highest in the nation and the foreclosure rate is near the top

    What this story DOESN’T say is that cash is king in Nevada real estate, and there is a significant number of buyers who don’t need new mortgages. Prices in our market are still low, which has attracted a large number of these cash-toting buyers who are snapping up homes often as soon as they hit the market. Sales are so brisk in the Las Vegas area that we actually are experiencing a shortage of inventory for the level of demand, and prices ARE increasing. Although the mortgage delinquency rate is high (which is unfortunate for the home owners who cannot keep up with their payments), combined with the foreclosures the cold, hard fact is that these homes represent a pool of inventory that eager buyers are waiting to purchase with their cold, hard cash.

    Is Nevada real estate still experiencing problems? Of course it is; to deny the fact that a large number of families are still losing their homes would be a lie. But to exclude the fact that their homes are being snapped up by new buyers who don’t need mortgages tells only part of the story, and leaves the rest of the nation thinking that all is doom, gloom and despair in Nevada.

    The moral of this story is to not believe everything you read, especially when writers try to explain complex issues without considering all the facts.

  • Banks Unfairly Foreclosed On Homeowners

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Las Vegas, Financing in Las Vegas, Foreclosure in Las Vegas  |  March 15, 2013 4:53 PM  |  198 views  |  No comments

    This past week saw several news agencies reporting that as a result of a review of mortgages, several big banks have uncovered hundreds of cases of improperly foreclosed loans.

    Over 700 active military members lost their homes due to the improper handling of their delinquent loans. According to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, lenders cannot foreclose on the properties of active duty members without court approval, yet many military members on duty overseas were receiving news that they were losing their homes without the due process assured by the Act. Several thousand more had been overcharged on their loans.

    Perhaps more frightening is the news that about 20 home owners who were never late and never missed payments still lost their homes, and also those who had reached agreements with their lenders for loan modifications but still lost their homes because the lenders didn’t honor those agreements.

    For years, lenders have been giving assurances to regulators that, although their foreclosure procedures may have been flawed, they rarely seized the home of borrowers unjustly. These recent numbers indicate the problem is bigger than the lenders either knew, or admitted to.

    The lenders are quick to point out that the number of unjust foreclosures is actually an incredibly small percentage of the total (two banks alone reviewed a total of about 2 million files), but is it really acceptable that they violated federal law and caused families the pain and anguish of unfairly losing their homes? Is it permissible to say “Oops, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take your home away from you but oh well, you are part of what I consider an acceptable risk” especially when that risk is the result of breaking a law? To make matters worse, insiders claim that the lenders recently renegotiated more lenient terms for the payment of a portion of their penalties. It’s rumored that now, instead of getting credit for the amount of assistance a lender gives a borrower, they will be getting credited for the entire amount of the mortgage. For example; a borrower owes $150,000 and is given a reduction of $20,000. Under the old terms, the lender would receive credit of $20,000 against its share of the nearly $6 billion assistance penalty. Now, however, they will receive the full $150,000. It doesn’t take a great deal of mathematical prowess to realize that the lenders walked away with a MAJOR concession if this is indeed the case.

    Are we really surprised though? It’s ironic that the “bad guys” in this situation just seem to receive slaps on the wrist and then are rewarded with financial concessions. Ever since the entire mortgage crisis started, the lenders have been given incredible latitude by regulators (not to mention an awful lot of taxpayers’ dollars to bail out the results of their hasty, poor business practices) and despite the outcry of an enraged public, it looks like it’s just business as usual.

    Here are links to just a few of the news stories:



  • The salad days are over… if you are a buyer in Las Vegas!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Las Vegas, Home Buying in Las Vegas, Home Selling in Las Vegas  |  January 10, 2013 11:03 AM  |  138 views  |  No comments
    I don’t mean the side dish many of us enjoy with our meals. No, the Las Vegas area as a buyer’s market is what I mean. The days when buyers called the shots and named their prices are far behind us, and we are now well on our way to being a seller-dominated market.

    We’ve been publishing “Top Deals” on our web page for many years, sifting through the Multiple Listing Service for properties that we deem to be good deals based on price (excluding short sales and foreclosures from our search.) Back before the real estate bubble, we were using $100/sq.ft. as a bench mark and came up with several hundred matches. When the real estate market crashed, the number of properties that came up in our searches jumped dramatically, to well over 1000. When the mortgage robosign fiasco arose and many banks temporarily halted foreclosure procedures, the numbers dropped by a few hundred for awhile but began edging up again. We tightened our search criteria to limit the area somewhat to south Las Vegas & Henderson, and reduced the price to $85/sq.ft in order to come up with the more reasonable few hundred.

    This week, when running our search, I was utterly amazed to see there were only 42. FORTY TWO! Just for the heck of it, I expanded the search to our original $100/sq.ft over the entire Las Vegas area, and found 563. Although I’ve been seeing prices gradually rise and competition for homes increasing, seeing these numbers demonstrated to me just how far we’ve come since the darkest days of our real estate woes.

    The biggest challenge we Realtors sometimes face is when folks don’t realize that our real estate market can change in the proverbial blink of an eye. Back when the real estate bubble burst, many sellers thought they would still be able to get the fabulous prices that homes were commanding during the height of the frenzy, and were frustrated to learn that their homes were dropping in value rapidly. Now, we are seeing buyers who remember the stories of homes that were selling for amazingly low prices, tales about desperate sellers eager to accept low offers just to get out from under their shrinking home equity. Unfortunately, these buyers are too late; those days are over, and the numbers show it. Buyers are returning to real estate and their eagerness for Las Vegas homes is slowly but surely driving up the prices, along with the decreasing number of distressed properties (ie short sales, foreclosures and auctions) that have in the past kept home prices low.

    This is not to say that it’s too late to buy a home. Mortgage rates are still near historic lows, and home prices are still dramatically below what they were several years ago. Good deals are still around, but those “screaming deals” we used to see are becoming as rare as snowstorms in Las Vegas in the summer. Buyers who are realistic about home pricing are still benefiting from the comparatively low prices of homes, especially combined with the extremely low interest rates we’re seeing.

    Sellers, on the other hand, are likely to be rejoicing. The market recovery means that home owners are seeing their equity increase, in many cases going from an underwater situation to breaking even or even slightly ahead. And, for those who have owned their homes long enough, prices today may net a tidy profit over what they originally paid for their properties.

    If you are thinking about buying, please remember that prices are increasing, and we don’t foresee this trend to be reversing. NOW is the time to take advantage of low interest rates and still-low real estate prices, before both go up and home ownership becomes more costly.

    If you are a home owner thinking about selling, now can turn out to be the best time. Buyers are clamoring for homes; demand is high and homes often sell shortly after they come on the market.

    Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, give us a call and let us show you how acting NOW in our unique market can work for YOU!

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