The Collected Works of Author and Blogger Larry Roberts

Archive for March, 2015

Tens of thousands of delinquent mortgage squatters may be awarded free housing if attorneys prevail with their statutory claims. "In law, unjust enrichment is where one person is unjustly or by chance enriched at the expense of another, and an obligation to make restitution arises, regardless of liability for wrongdoing," according to Wikipedia. In terms of delinquent mortgage squatters, they are clearly being enriched at the expense of the lender who provided a loan in good faith on the assumption the loan would be repaid with interest. Our real estate finance system functions because lenders believe they will get their money back either through repayment or foreclosure if the borrower becomes delinquent. If lenders didn't have this assurance, they simply…[READ MORE]

Curbing the power of NIMBYs at local government is essential to providing more housing to alleviate shortages in California. California house prices are high relative to the rest of the nation for two reasons, one fundamental, and one not. First, California wages are higher than most of the rest of the nation, so people who live in California qualify for larger loans and use those loans to bid up prices -- the fundamental reason. Second, California has a chronic shortage of housing, which forces buyers to compete with each other for the available housing stock -- a reason that is not fundamental, but political. The market for housing in most of the United States is much more stable, and house…[READ MORE]

Historically, properties in this market sell at a 25.7% discount. Today's discount is 34.9%. This market is 9.3% undervalued. Median home price is $258,200 with a rental parity value of $398,400. This market's discount is $140,200. Monthly payment affordability has been improving over the last 12 month(s). Momentum suggests improving affordability. Resale prices on a $/SF basis declined from $171/SF to $171/SF. Resale prices have been falling for 3 month(s). Over the last 12 months, resale prices rose 4.5% indicating a longer term upward price trend. Median rental rates increased $8 last month from $1,743 to $1,751. The current capitalization rate (rent/price) is 6.5%. Rents have been rising for 12 month(s). Price momentum signals rising rents over the next three…[READ MORE]

Wealthy real estate investors will move their money out of ultra-high-end properties when better investment opportunities become available. Rising mortgage rates hurt properties priced under $1.5 million directly because rising mortgage rates reduce the amount financed buyers can borrow and bid. What most people don't realize is that rising interest rates (not necessarily mortgage rates) hurts the ultra-high-end real estate market too. The market for properties priced over $1.5 million depend less and less on mortgage financing and more on the opportunities the wealthy have to park money and preserve asset value. The cash buyer of a $5 million property isn't affected by mortgage rates at all, but that buyer is greatly impacted by the desirability of competing asset classes…[READ MORE]

Sometimes people who feel they have something to say communicate far more by their actions than their words. Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. She recently wrote about her experience obtaining a loan modification, and it contains many valuable lessons for anyone considering following her path. Riding the loan modification merry-go-round What it takes to climb out of a credit mess by Bernice Ross, Feb 16 When you or your clients find yourself in a financial mess due to circumstances beyond your control, you have a number of options. Do you walk away from your home when your mortgage exceeds its value? Do…[READ MORE]

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