TEAM EMPOWERMENT MORTGAGE CHATTER: Nov 10; Americans Still Believe in Value of Homeownership; Housing is Key in 2012 Elections; Real Estate Prices Continue Slide; Federal Gov’t Properties Hit Auction Block

“Advertising is the ability to sense, put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.” – Leo Burnett: was a renowned 20th century advertising executive




Last week, Fannie Mae released their National Housing Survey for the third quarter of 2011. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. Each quarter, we like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting. Here they are for the most recent report:

Most Important Reasons to Buy a Home

The study shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, are:

  • It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  • You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
  • It allows you to have more space for your family
  • It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)

When we talk about homeownership today, it seems that the financial aspects always jump to the front of the discussion. There is no doubt that families must justify a home purchase from a financial point of view today. However, the reasons they actually buy are the same reasons our parents and grandparents purchased their home – to create a better lifestyle for their families.

The Home as an Investment

Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what they said on this issue:

  • 64% of the general population (and 69% of homeowners) believe that homeownership is a “safe” investment.
  • 55% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.
  • 68% think that now is a good time to buy a home

Rent vs. Buy

We are always interested in the difference people see in renting vs. owning.

  • 63% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home
  • 70% of renters think that owning is superior to renting
  • 96% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience (4% see it as a negative experience) while 83% of renters see renting as a positive experience (15% see it as a negative experience)
  • 97% of homeowners live in a single family residence while 53% of renters live in a multi-unit building

Bottom Line

Even in these difficult times, Americans still realize the value of homeownership both from a financial and social standpoint.


Nearly seven out of 10 Americans — even more so for the millennial younger generation–say that candidates’ positions on housings will be very important to them in the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, according to a new survey by Move Inc. of 1,000 adults.

Survey respondents identified the following top housing priorities for the next president’s first 100 days in office:

  • Helping home owners avoid foreclosure;
  • Keeping interest rates low; and
  • Making more affordable mortgage credit available.

The survey also found that four out of five Americans say a strong real estate market is key to an economic recovery.

“After four years of living in a housing downturn, American voters clearly want answers and are looking to our elected leaders for solutions,” Errol Samuelson, chief revenue officer of Move, Inc., said in a statement. “Our survey found that while some people may be frustrated or pessimistic, 27.3 percent of Americans still plan on buying a home. The survey illustrates candidates who share the concerns of the American people and make housing a top priority will win their confidence.”



U.S. single-family home prices declined on both a monthly and annual basis in September — the second straight month that property data firm CoreLogic reported a decline in both measures.

CoreLogic’s price index fell 4.1 percent year over year and dropped 1.1 percent on a month-to-month basis in September, according to a company report released today. That follows a 4.4 percent annual decline and a revised 0.3 percent monthly decline in August.

Excluding distressed sales, defined as short sales and real estate owned (REO) sales, the national index fell 1.1 percent year over year in September and fell a revised 2.2 percent year over year in August.

In a statement, Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said the company expects “declines to continue through the winter.”

“Distressed sales remain a significant share of homes that do sell and are driving home prices overall,” he added.

Among the 10 most populous metropolitan areas in the country, all but two saw index declines in September: Washington, D.C.; and New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. When distressed sales were excluded, half experienced index declines.

As in August, 38 states experienced year over year index drops in September. Eight states and Washington, D.C., saw index rises of more than 1 percent. West Virginia led the way with a 7 percent annual rise.

At the other end of the spectrum, Nevada was the only state to see a double-digit index drop in September, down 12.4 percent. When distressed sales were excluded, 33 states and Washington, D.C., saw flat or rising home prices.

The index incorporates 30 years of data for repeat sales transactions, and “price, time between sales, property type, loan type and distressed sales.”



The federal government is trying to unload some real estate, and your buyers can now start the bidding in online auctions on various government properties, including residential homes in sought-after areas.

GSA (the U.S. General Services Administration), which assists federal agencies with unloading properties that they no longer need, is selling government properties through its online auction site,

The auction site includes all types of property for-sale, ranging from residential homes and vacant land to commercial buildings, warehouses, and even historic lighthouses. You can use the site to search by property type and state.

“In addition to giving the public an opportunity to bid on government assets, the disposing of unneeded properties is helping to create a more sustainable government by reducing the federal real estate footprint,” writes Ralph Conner, director of GSA’s Office of Property Disposal Utilization, in a recent blog post announcing the auction site.

Recently, the site auctioned off a former U.S. Coast Guard Admiral’s 3,000-square-foot home in the Seattle area suburbs for $635,000. The home featured views of Lake Washington, Mount Rainer, and the Seattle skyline.

Last year, President Obama directed federal agencies to get rid of unneeded government properties in an effort to curb costs. The goal is a $3 billion in savings from government properties by Sept. 30, 2012.


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