Thursday, February 24, 2011

Detroit property high on search list?

The NAR has put out some startling news that puts a positive spin on the market, for a change.

Yet, it is hard to believe. They claim that the 2nd most search city on is (Are you ready for this?) none other than Detroit.

I can understand Chicago being on top of the list, even with its snowiest February in more than 100 years. My thinking is this is because a number of area residents got so fed up with winter that they would consider selling, and want to compare area home prices. Still others who live within the city limits of Chicago are not happy with the actions of the soon-to-depart Mayor, and are looking to move out of the city and in to the suburbs or perhaps beyond.

But Detroit?

The only thing I can figure is that with houses there being priced so low, and with the banks paying next to nothing for Certificates of Deposit and other investments, a number of people are looking at buying and holding properties in the Detroit area for a few years. They figure somehow the city will be rebuilt or at least be brought back to life somehow.

Meanwhile, this is the sort of information that the NAR should be putting out. It reminds people that consumers are using their sites and continuing to search for properties. This is much better than the damage they do by actually releasing the "home sales are down x% compared with last month and last year" stats they seem to constantly do. Those only reinforce the belief that the market is bad. Not that it is great, but people within the industry need to keep a positive slant at all times.

VA Loan Mess Exposed

It's bad enough that even the largest of banks have added to the mortgage mess. Now the word comes out that Wells Fargo, Wachovia, and SouthTrust caused problems on some VA Loans resulting in a settlement just announced for veterans:

It turns out this settlement was from a class action suit filed 2 years ago. So the veterans who have served our country get some money back, finally. That's the only good news out of this story.

But hold on. This raises some important questions:

1) How does the government, consisting of people we elected, let this happen? Why did the bank executives receive their millions of dollars in bonuses from the government "bailout" more than one year before veterans who have served received a settlement pittance?

2) Why is this story not all over the media? How come I found out about this via an article in the Army Times?

3) If this lawsuit was filed 2 years ago, how much did the law firm receive from this settlement or via other means? Sorry, but my hunch is that the amount they were paid took away from the pittance the veterans are getting.

4) Are you, the reader, outraged over the quote from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Co-President Cara Heiden of “We hope that by settling this matter, we can demonstrate to veterans our steadfast commitment to doing right by them.”?

Some commitment. Two years later, a class action suit gets settled. If Wells Fargo was "commited to doing right", why did it take this LONG to pay out?

Time to say this still again. The next time the banks mess up the mortgage industry, let the government pay back the outstanding loans. Let the banks struggle for themselves. Please don't make the same mistake again. They penalized the mortgage holders and helped those who screwed them. Keep this in mind the next time you vote to elect someone to office.