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Monir Mamoun's Blog

By Monir Mamoun | Agent in Morristown, NJ
  • 'Flopping' - a new type of scam in the housing market

    Posted Under: Home Buying in USA, Home Selling in USA, Foreclosure in USA  |  May 11, 2011 7:08 PM  |  1,281 views  |  2 comments

    fascinating article from Philly Inquirer about a new kind of mortgage fraud... "flopping" ... click on the title to read the full article

    'Flopping' - a new type of scam in the housing market

    May 10, 2011|By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer

    Although reports of mortgage fraud nationally fell 41 percent in 2010 from 2009, the continuing downturn in the housing market has fostered new ways of perpetrating it, experts say.

    Consider "flopping" - the intentional misrepresentation of housing value for purposes of illegal flipping.

    Here's how it works: A real estate agent or broker identifies properties with severely depressed values. These could be properties with mortgages that exceed the present values or they could be short sales or foreclosures.

    A property is valued using a "broker price opinion." The broker's "opinion" is a low-ball price, because his intention is to profit from a quick resale for a higher price.

  • No end in sight to foreclosure quagmire

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in USA, Home Buying in USA, Home Selling in USA  |  May 9, 2011 12:18 PM  |  944 views  |  1 comment
    Foreclosure crisis has already claimed 5 million homes, 3 to 4 million more to go in the next couple of years. Article from MSN. Here is the preview. For full article click on headline.

    No end in sight to foreclosure quagmire


    By Lisa Myers, Rich Gardella and John W. Schoen
    NBC News and msnbc.com
    updated 5/9/2011 7:28:34 AM ET

    Four years after a wave of rogue mortgage lending sent the U.S. housing market into the worst collapse since the Great Depression, the devastating flood of resulting foreclosures shows no sign of abating. In some ways, the problem is getting worse.

    House prices are falling again, forcing more homeowners “underwater” — owing more than their house is worth. Lenders’ shoddy document practices have brought widespread court challenges, slowing the process and leaving millions of homeowners in limbo.

    And the foreclosure crisis continues to weigh heavily on the fragile economy.

    “Right now, it’s the second-biggest drag on the economy after the surge in oil prices,” said Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

    Already some 5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure; estimates of future foreclosures range widely. Zandi, who has followed the mortgage mess since the housing market began to crack in 2006, figures foreclosures will strike another three million homes in the next three or four years.

  • Housing won't hit bottom until at least 2012, report says

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in USA, Home Buying in USA, Home Selling in USA  |  May 9, 2011 9:55 AM  |  980 views  |  No comments

    wow, incredible article from Seattle Post Intelligencer by Aubrey Cohen that brings to light more information from Zillow's chief economist. The outlook is rocky until 2012 he says. Preview here, full article link below.

    Housing won't hit bottom until at least 2012, report says

    Seattle-area home values have fallen farther, faster than those of the nation as a whole, according to a new report.

    Area values in the first quarter were down 32 percent from their peak in June 2007, compared to the nationwide drop of 29.5 percent from a peak a year earlier, Seattle-based real estate information company Zillow reported. Values fell 8.2 percent nationwide and 11.7 percent in the Seattle area from a year earlier.

    Zillow's home value index estimate was $259,200 in the Seattle area and $169,600 nationwide in the first quarter.

    One area where Seattle fared slightly better than the U.S. was in decline from the fourth quarter of 2010.

    Nationwide home values fell 3 percent in the first quarter from the end of 2010 -- the largest quarterly drop since the the fourth quarter of 2008, Zillow reported. Seattle's quarterly drop, 1.7 percent, was down from declines of 3.5 percent, 4.2 percent and 2.8 percent in the previous three quarters.

    "Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession," Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries said in the report. "With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by the end of 2011. We did expect substantial payback from the homebuyer tax credits, which buoyed the housing market last year, but underlying demand post-tax credit, as well as rising foreclosures and high negative equity rates, make it almost certain that we won't see a bottom in home values until 2012 or later."


  • Zillow index: accelerating real estate price declines

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in USA, Home Buying in USA, Home Selling in USA  |  May 9, 2011 9:24 AM  |  984 views  |  No comments
    Found a great article about fresh news from Zillow -- more mortgages are underwater and price declines are accelerating.

    28% of homes with mortgages are underwater

    By Inman News, Monday, May 9, 2011.

    Inman Newsâ„¢

    An index maintained by listings and valuation portal Zillow.com shows U.S. home-price declines accelerating during the first three months of 2011 to post a cumulative drop of 8.2 percent from a year ago that left more than one in four homes with a mortgage underwater.

    To read the original article click here

  • Outrageous Clients

    Posted Under: Home Buying in USA, Home Selling in USA, Agent2Agent in USA  |  May 4, 2011 10:58 AM  |  471 views  |  No comments
    Very interested to hear stories from agents out there as to the most outrageous clients (or wanna-be clients) they have ever had... the ones who really got their goat.

    For me, I remember a guy who kept spouting racist comments every other sentence, virtually signaling me for approval for his outrageous comments. I did not... and could not even bring myself to refer him out to another agent. Blech!

    Any more stories about outrageous clients? Bad behavior, illegal activity, general unsavoriness? Vent people vent!
  • Rent vs Buy Trulia analysis!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in USA, Financing in USA, Rent vs Buy in USA  |  May 4, 2011 10:00 AM  |  638 views  |  No comments

    Fantastic article from Huffington Post analyzing a Trulia study on where it's better to Rent than Buy... cool!

    Where It's Better To Rent A Home Than Buy: Trulia

    Of the 50 most populated cities in the United States, New York remains the city where it's better to rent than buy. The Big Apple's competition? Fort Worth, Texas.

    That's according to the recently released Q2 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index by Trulia, an online real estate resource. The site compares rent of a two-bedroom apartment with median list price of a home to create price-to-rent ratio. Using that ratio, they divide cities into three groups: (1) cities where it is beneficial to buy a home; (2) cities where the choice should be made on a case-by-case basis; and (3) places where renting is much less expensive.

    According to Trulia's release, buying a home has become more affordable than renting an apartment in 80 percent of major cities. Besides New York and Fort Worth, only in Kansas city is renting the preferable option. Right behind those cities are Memphis, Los Angeles and San Francisco,.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the majority of cities where buying makes sense are located in the Western United States. Las Vegas comes out atop the buy-here rankings, followed, in order, by Phoenix, Arlington, Miami and Mesa (Ariz).

    Taken by itself, the price-to-rent ratio doesn't completely explain why a high-rent, foreclosure-addled city like Miami lands in the buy-here sector, while a city with low rents like Fort Worth is the second most friendly rentable city. As always, caveat rentor.

    Below is the graphic visualizing the rent-to-buy ratios of fifty metropolitan cities:

  • Rent vs Buy part two - Trulia analysis!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in USA, Financing in USA, Rent vs Buy in USA  |  May 4, 2011 10:00 AM  |  529 views  |  No comments

    Fantastic article from Huffington Post analyzing a Trulia study on where it's better to Rent than Buy... cool!

    Where It's Better To Rent A Home Than Buy: Trulia

    Of the 50 most populated cities in the United States, New York remains the city where it's better to rent than buy. The Big Apple's competition? Fort Worth, Texas.

    That's according to the recently released Q2 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index by Trulia, an online real estate resource. The site compares rent of a two-bedroom apartment with median list price of a home to create price-to-rent ratio. Using that ratio, they divide cities into three groups: (1) cities where it is beneficial to buy a home; (2) cities where the choice should be made on a case-by-case basis; and (3) places where renting is much less expensive.

    According to Trulia's release, buying a home has become more affordable than renting an apartment in 80 percent of major cities. Besides New York and Fort Worth, only in Kansas city is renting the preferable option. Right behind those cities are Memphis, Los Angeles and San Francisco,.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the majority of cities where buying makes sense are located in the Western United States. Las Vegas comes out atop the buy-here rankings, followed, in order, by Phoenix, Arlington, Miami and Mesa (Ariz).

    Taken by itself, the price-to-rent ratio doesn't completely explain why a high-rent, foreclosure-addled city like Miami lands in the buy-here sector, while a city with low rents like Fort Worth is the second most friendly rentable city. As always, caveat rentor.

    Below is the graphic visualizing the rent-to-buy ratios of fifty metropolitan cities:

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