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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Listing Contract Basics

Details of a Listing Contract

Obviously the name of the seller and the property address will be included in the listing contract. There are many other things that are included, too, and you should be aware of them.

Price and Terms of Sale

When setting the terms of sale, the main thing you are concerned with is the price. You should have a basic idea of what your home is worth by keeping track of other sales in the neighborhood. Plus, you have probably interviewed at least two real estate agents and they have given you their own ideas. Exercise great care in determining your asking price, making sure not to set it too high or too low. In addition to the price, you will disclose what personal property, if any, goes with the house when you sell it. Personal property is anything that is not attached or fixed to the home, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and so on. There may be some item that is considered "real property" that you do not intend to include in the sale. Real property is anything that is attached to the home. For example, you may have a chandelier that has been in your family for generations and you take it from home to home when you move. Since the chandelier is attached to the house, it is considered "real property" and a reasonable buyer would normally expect it to go with the house. The listing contract should make clear that it does not, and your agent should also enter this information with the Multiple Listing Service.

Real Estate Commission

In most areas there is a "customary" percentage that real estate agents expect to earn as a commission. Usually, it is six percent of the sales price. In some areas it can be as high as seven percent. However, just like anything else in real estate, this amount is negotiable. When completing the listing agreement, you and your agent will agree on the amount of the real estate commission. The listing contract also specifies when the commission is earned. If a buyer presents an offer that meets your listing price and terms, the agent has effectively earned the commission. If a buyer presents an offer and you reach agreement on price and terms through counter-offers, the agent has also earned his or her commission.

Multiple Listing Service

Your listing contract should specify whether or not the house will be listed with the local MLS (multiple listing service). It is definitely in your interest to have the house listed. This is because your sales force is automatically multiplied by however many agents are members of the local MLS. If your house is not listed, then you only have one agent working for you instead of many.

Agency Duties of a Listing Agent

The listing contract will specify that your agent is acting as a "seller's agent." This means that, in the sale of your house, they are working for you and only you. However, there may be times when your listing agent has a client who wants to buy your home. For that reason, there is a little "wiggle room" in the listing contract. If your agent also represents the buyer, the listing contract should specify that they provide an additional disclosure that details their duties as a dual agent. The contract also provides permission for your listing agent to act as an agent for others on other transactions. They can continue to list other properties, and represent buyers looking at other homes.


A lockbox is a basically a padlock with a cavity inside where a key to your home can be placed. Only someone with an electronic key or the combination can get into the lockbox and access the key. Having a lockbox available at your house makes it easy for other agents to get access to your house. Without the lockbox, agents representing buyers would have to set appointments to meet you or your agent at the house so they could gain access and view the home. This would be inconvenient. Since almost every other house does have a lockbox available, if you do not allow one most agents will simply not show your property. You will miss out on lots of potential buyers.
The listing contract specifies whether you allow a lockbox or not. It is locked into place, usually on the front door and cannot be removed. Only other agents can access the key that is located within the lockbox.

Resolution of Disputes

There are times when you and your agent have a disagreement that you cannot resolve by yourselves. Maybe the agent did a poor job or misrepresented something. Maybe your agent was really doing their job correctly, but you did not understand. Perhaps the agent will have a dispute with you.  The listing contract specifies what methods will be used to settle such disputes. You can choose to accept binding arbitration, which is usually a lot cheaper than hiring a lawyer and going to court. Usually, matters that can be dealt with in a small claims court are excluded from having to go to binding arbitration.
 You are not required to sign or initial the binding arbitration clause. This would leave you free to hire an (expensive) attorney and pursue disputes in civil court instead of binding arbitration. However, we are not recommending one choice or the other, as giving legal advice is not part of the services we offer.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Listing Commission Issues

Listing Commissions and Related Issues

Are Commissions Negotiable?

In most areas there is a "customary" percentage that real estate agents expect to earn as a commission. Usually, it is six percent of the sales price. In some areas it can be as high as seven percent. However, just like anything else in real estate, this amount is negotiable. When completing the listing agreement, you and your agent will agree on the amount of the real estate commission.

Cut-Rate Listing Commissions

With the advent of the web, a lot of agents are offering "cut-rate" commissions. Most of the time, lower commissions are tied to a lower level of service. If all you want is to be listed with the Multiple Listing Service and a sign in the front yard, then a cut-rate commission may be right for you. If you want an agent who will actively promote your property to other agents and spend money on advertising, then you probably are not going to get that level of service with a reduced commission. At other times, the lower commissions are offered when you agree to tie in to other services offered by the broker, such as agreeing to use a specific lender, escrow, settlement, or title company. The broker (not the agent) will probably have some type of ownership or profit participation in those businesses. The problem with agreeing to tie in to these other companies is that they do not have to be as competitive in pricing their products or services.
Another common practice when you see an ad for a reduced commission is that the compensation is lowered when you agree to buy your next home through the same agent or broker. Usually, the reduced commission is not really being offered on the sale of your existing home but on the purchase of your next one. The ads are usually unclear on this.
As a result, when you see an offer for a lower commission, you should analyze what you are giving up by accepting such an offer. It probably will not be readily apparent in the advertisement. Be sure to ask lots of questions.

How and When Listing Commissions are Earned

Your listing contract specifies a listing price. Your agent's job is to bring a "ready, willing and able" buyer to present an offer. If you reach agreement with the buyer, then the agent has done his job and earned the commission. Once the sale has closed, the real estate broker gets paid from the proceeds of the sale. If the buyer proves unable or unwilling to conclude the sale, the house is placed back on the market and the agent has to begin earning his or her commission all over again.

However, if the seller backs out or does not accept an offer that meets the price and terms of the listing agreement, the listing broker has still earned the commission. They may want to be paid, even though you did not actually sell your home. Therefore, it is very important to carefully consider every detail when completing your listing contract and accepting an offer to buy your property.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Want to set your home price yourself?

When Your Selling Price is too High, Beware!

Meeting With Realtors

So you've decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with three local listing agents who've been hanging stuff on your front doorknob for years. Each Realtor comes prepared with a "Competitive Market Analysis" on fancy paper and they each recommend a specific sales price. Amazingly, a couple of the Realtors have come up with prices that are lower than you expected. Although they back up their recommendations with recent sales data of similar homes, you remain convinced your house is worth more. When you interview the third agent's figures, they are much more in line with your own anticipated value, or maybe even higher. Suddenly, you are a happy and excited home seller, already counting the money.

But which Realtor do you choose?

If you're like many people, you pick Realtor number three. This is an agent who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is an agent that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is an agent that is willing to start out at your price and if you need to drop the price later, you can do that easily, right? After all, everyone else does it! The truth is that you may have just met an agent engaging in a questionable sales practice called "buying a listing." He "bought" the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other agents recommended. Most likely, he is quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to eventually talk you into lowering the price.
Why do agents "buy" listings? There are basically two reasons. A well-meaning and hard working agent can feel pressure from a homeowner who has an inflated perception of his home's value. On the other hand, there are some agents who engage in this sales practice routinely.

Behind the Scenes

Whichever the case, if you start out with too high a price on your home, you may have just added to your stress level, and selling a home is stressful enough. There will be a lot of "behind the scenes" action taking place that you don't know about. Contrary to popular opinion, the listing agent does not usually attempt to sell your home to a homebuyer. That isn't very efficient. Listing agents market and promote your home to the hordes of other local agents who do work with homebuyers, dramatically increasing your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks your home should be a flurry of activity with buyer's agents coming to preview your home so they can sell it to their clients.
If the price is right.
If you and your agent have overpriced, fewer agents will preview your home. After all, they are Realtors, and it is their job to know local market conditions and home values. If your house is dramatically above market, why waste time? Their time is better spent previewing homes that are priced realistically.

Dropping Your Price...Too Late

Later, when you drop your price, your house is "old news." You will never be able to recapture that flurry of initial activity you would have had with a realistic price. Your house could take longer to sell. Even if you do successfully sell at an above market price, your buyer will need a mortgage. The mortgage lender requires an appraisal. If comparable sales for the last six months and current market conditions do not support your sales price, the house won't appraise. You deal falls apart. Of course, you can always attempt to renegotiate the price, but only if the buyer is willing to listen. Your house could go "back on the market."
Once your home has fallen out of escrow or sits on the market awhile, it is harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers will think you might be getting desperate, so they will make lower offers. By overpricing your home in the beginning, you could actually end up settling for a lower price than you would have normally received.

Realtors Talk to Each Other

Plus, remember those two conscientious agents who got aced out of the listing? If your listing agent routinely engages in "buying" listings, he has probably aced out scores of other agents in the same way. Being human, Realtors talk to each other. If they don't like your listing agent, not as many of them will be showing your home. In short, you may have ended up with an agent who was good at selling you, but not good at selling your house. And you're going to pay them a commission for it.
It is human nature for you to want the highest price for your home. However, when you choose the agent who promises what you want to hear, it often leads to stress and frustration. Most of the time, it will take you longer to sell your home. Possibly, you will end up selling at a lower price instead because of the time on market and the factors listed above.
Or maybe as a result of reading this article, you will choose one of the "good" Realtors in the first place. They are out there, you know.

Hi, I am Gary Tippner. I am an out of the box thinker. Just think of me as "Comfort Food" delivered fast. I am not like most other agents. I am easy going, and not aggressive in the way that turns people off. I am more of a diplomat that can also offer safe haven and shelter from 'the natives' that are not always friendly. Visit

Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified.

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Happens When You Walk Away From Your Home?

The penalties largely revolve around your credit record, which admittedly gets blown up in the near-term. For a few years you can likely forget about qualifying for a mortgage or a car loan. When lenders are ready to take a chance on you again, you'll have to pay for the privilege, with stiff interest rates due to your default history.

What Happens to Scores

Many watch their credit score go from a pristine 800 to like 685, dropping every time you missed a payment. Credit-scoring firm FICO estimates that someone with a 680 score would see that number sink to between 85-100 points more after a strategic default, and someone with 780 could crater another 140-160 points.

Now that the previous home was auctioned off in December, she can start slowly rebuilding her credit, a process that should take about seven years.

Strategic default isn't a decision to be taken lightly, of course. If everyone did it, the housing market -- and the banks -- would be in much worse shape than they already are.

The following are some of the issues to keep in mind:

1. Look to it as a last resort, not a first option. Your financial troubles could be alleviated with a simple refinancing, especially since 30-year mortgage rates are near record lows of below 4 percent. If the banks are hesitant to rework your loan, look into the number of government programs designed to keep you in your home, which can be researched at

2. Location, location, location. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding foreclosures, which affect both the length of the process and what you could be liable for in the end. In so-called 'non-recourse' states like Arizona, California and Texas, a lender cannot come after you for any deficiency (for instance, if your mortgage was $300,000 and they're only able to sell the property for $200,000). In other states they can pursue the difference, in theory - which is why some homeowners opt to file for bankruptcy, to free themselves from those potential obligations as well.

3. Use the interim to save like a demon. If you're in a state like New York or Florida, which require a judicial review of every foreclosure, it might be a couple of years before you actually have to pack up. In the meantime, be extremely disciplined about stockpiling cash. That will help you with a down payment for a rental, to pay for a car in cash if you need to, or to clear up other debts you might have. "Save money as if you were still paying the mortgage," says Archer. "If you don't, then you'll run out of both time and money, and then you'll be in a real tough spot."

4. Know the tax implications. Historically, if you have a debt that's forgiven, the canceled amount is considered taxable by the IRS. In the wake of the housing bust, though, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was drafted to spare you those taxes. That legislation expires at the end of 2012, though - so if it's not extended, you could potentially face a tax bill for the difference.

5. Talk to a professional. A bankruptcy or real-estate attorney can help you through a very tricky process. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, for instance, has a searchable database of lawyers at

"Strategic default is not an easy decision, and there's a cost either way"

I am not a lawyer, nor tax advisor, please speak to one or both asap.

Mortgage Defaults at Lowest Level since 2005?

Default risk on home loans is now at its lowest level in seven years, says a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

The professor of finance and real estate and the Dykema Professor of Business Administration, says that under current economic conditions, investors and lenders should expect defaults on loans currently being originated to be about the same as mortgage defaults in early 2005.

Capozza’s UFA Default Risk Index registered 128 during the first quarter of this year. This means that homeowners are 28 percent more likely to default on their loans than the average of loans originated in the 1990s—but still much less likely than the worst years of the economic downturn from 2006 to 2008. The peak level of 362 was set in 2007.

“Our baseline macro scenario is based on consensus expectations and has real GDP growing at 2.5 percent for the next two years and core inflation at 1.6 percent. We believe that surprises are more likely to be on the upside than the downside of this consensus,” said Capozza, who is a founding principal of University Financial Associates, a risk-management firm that forecasts mortgage and consumer loan performance.

“Upside surprises for the macro scenario would reduce defaults relative to this baseline. Currently, record low mortgage rates and accommodative monetary policy are helping to support the housing market and reduce defaults relative to what would otherwise prevail.”

The UFA Default Risk Index measures the risk of default on newly originated prime and non prime mortgages. The analysis is based on a “constant-quality” loan, which has the same borrower, loan and collateral characteristics. The index reflects only the changes in current and expected future economic conditions, which are much less favorable currently than in prior years.

How Foreign Investors are Pouncing on American Housing

How Foreign Investors are Pouncing on American Housing

Home Prices Start to Rise, Sales Trend Higher: Housing Recovery Underway

For the first time in 18 months, home prices in February rose higher. With a median price of $171,881, prices in the 53 cities surveyed by the RE/MAX National Housing Report rose by 1.1% over February 2011.  (ed: 1.1%? ..... geez this is actually news...)

Home sales were even higher, up 8.7% from one year ago. With a positive sales trend of 8 straight months above the previous year, it’s looking like 2012 will witness a very strong home-selling season, RE/MAX reports. As a result of reduced foreclosure activity, inventory continued a downward trend for the 20th straight month, 22.4% lower than the housing inventory in February 2011. (at least sales are up)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Why Schwab Thinks the Housing Market Has Bottomed

Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, says we're near a bottom in the housing market, leading her to predict the economy will improve steadily this year rather than to sag in the first half as many economists expect. So now might be the time for investors, who are fleeing mutual funds and the stock market in general, to buy equities.

Sonders' biggest gamble is her view that housing is indeed near its low point after declining for five years. There's been an uptrend in new- and existing-home sales, housing starts and builder confidence. Lennar Corp.(LEN), the nation's third-largest homebuilder, said the housing market is beginning to stabilize. Lower home prices and interest rates are making it more affordable for consumers to buy homes.

While there remains a glut of inventory in the housing market, Sonders believes we are nearing the point in the chart of housing data that we will look back on and realize it was the low point. The recovery will be driven by local economies, with certain regions leading others. Desirable locales, like California 'touristy' cities.

That said, the recovery in housing will be a slow and gradual one, similar to how Sonders sees the recovery in the overall economy playing out.

While most economists are planning for the European debt crisis, among other things, to curb growth in the U.S. in the first half of 2012, Sonders disagrees. She points out that the U.S. has reduced exposure to the eurozone, from which we derive a small portion of U.S. GDP. Additionally, she believes the European Central Bank isn't getting enough credit for its long-term refinancing operation, or LTRO, by which it's injected liquidity into the market.

Assuming there's no major negative catalyst in Europe in the near future (again...), a la the collapse of Lehman Brothers here in the U.S. in 2008, Sonders thinks the U.S. economy will continue to improve and show growth throughout the year, albeit at a moderate pace.

There is a $1.2 trillion spread between bond and equity mutual fund investing, an unprecedented level. Investors flocked to bonds in 2011 as European worries and a U.S. downgrade caused them to take risk off the table and seek safety in bonds. Because of the wide spread, as we enter 2012, Sonders is biased toward investing in stocks rather than bonds.

The argument has been made that as the government pours money into the system, inflation will drive the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. Most investors know that typically when bond yields increase, stocks will fall.
That's not the case in a deflationary environment. With excess production in the U.S., Sonders makes the argument that we are more likely in a deflationary environment -- with more goods available than we have the money for -- than an inflationary one. Thus, any move by the Fed to eventually tighten monetary policy and raise interest rates likely won't put downward pressure on the stock market.

As more money is shifted toward equity investments, cyclical stocks will be the ones that benefit the most. Sectors like industrials and materials are where you'll want to consider to be investedin. Defensive stocks, like utilities and consumer staples, will be left in the dust despite offering decent dividend yields.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kitchens Sell a House

It's a tool used by house flippers all across the nation. Stagers know its power. Real estate agents push its importance. What is this not-so-well-kept secret of real estate? A kitchen can sell a house.   A kitchen is the heart of a home. Think about where everyone stands around and talks when not sitting. What people really notice 'how nice' something looks.

Monday, March 12, 2012

9 Rich-Kid Stocks Bucking the Terrible Economy

Most of the world's wealthiest people have no conception that the rest of us have been living in a gut-wrenching recession for the past three years. Just look at their spending: $400 for skin-tight, ripped blue jeans, $68 for a rubber mat to perform the ascetic practice of yoga, $9,000 for diamond earrings that look like chandeliers, and $100,000-plus for a car when the average American home sells for $260,000.  

Investors have taken note of this as shares of many luxury-goods purveyors are up by double-digits over the past three months.
For example, the leisure-goods sector, as tracked by Morningstar, has risen 16.7% over the past three months and an annual average of 45% over the past three years, so the latest rally could be sustainable.
So why fight it? Consider it an investment opportunity and buy stocks that have benefited from what is a consistently strong trend: wealthy people, especially the noveau riche, paying up for name-brand goods.
A key factor for most of the luxury-goods sellers, and what bodes well for their futures, is that demand for brand-name, and what some call "aspirational" goods that suggest wealth, is booming in emerging market countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, in particular.

Here are nine stocks that are benefiting from demand for their expensive products or services:

Wyndham Worldwide (WYN)
Company profile: Wyndham is the world's largest operator of time shares, rentals and luxury hotels.
Share performance: up 31% in the past three months; 28% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 68%.
Investor takeaway: Morningstar found a unanimous eight "buy" ratings for its shares in a survey of analysts. The company has been taking care of shareholders as it set aside $600 million for share buybacks in 2011 and has the potential to reduce total shares outstanding by more than 15% over the next several years. It has also increased dividends per share more than three-fold since 2008," Morningstar said.
Company profile: Lululemon is a specialty retailer of upscale women's athletic apparel. Its original focus was on yoga clothing but it has expanded its offerings to include a wide range of sports as well as comfort wear. The company has a $6 billion market value. Most sales are through its 140 company-operated retail stores. Customers are willing to pay up to $150 for a jogging skirt and $68 for a yoga mat.
Stock performance: up 7.7% in the past month; 36% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 133%.
Investor takeaway: Goldman Sachs added Lululemon to its "conviction buy" list Jan. 4, with a $64, six-month price target (then a 37% upside). The bank said: "We believe LULU still offers one of the most compelling growth stories in retail, with continuing brand, sector-leading annual sales, growth of over 30%, and substantial runway still ahead."
But there's no doubt that its success will attract competitors, and the formidable Nike(NKE) is making a move on the sector.
From a totally different angle on its appeal, Morningstar says Lululemon "could attract interest from strategic buyers or private equity firms at the right price, given that the retailer has no debt, attractive growth prospects, and a strong free cash flow position."

Company profile: Coach makes high-quality, brand-name goods, including handbags, leather accessories, business cases, footwear, jewelry, sunwear, travel bags, watches and fragrance products. It's seeing huge sales growth in China and Japan. Handbags sell for up to $420.
Share performance: up 16.6% in the past three months; 12% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 43%.
Investor takeaway: Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand wrote that, "even during the challenges of the recession, Coach's fundamentals were excellent, with three-year historical operating margins above 30% and returns on capital around 40%."
Free cash flow generation also has been high, historically greater than 20% of revenue. S&P Capital IQ has it rated "strong buy" with five stars, its highest rating. It gives its shares a $77 price target, a 23% premium.

Whole Foods Market(WFM)
Company profile: Whole Foods is the largest U.S. retailer of natural and organic foods and has about 300 stores, including ones in Canada and England. In addition to groceries, it sells environmentally safe household items; meat, poultry, and seafood free of growth hormones and antibiotics. It is sometimes derisively referred to as "whole paycheck" for its relatively high-priced goods.
Share performance: up 11.6% in the past three months; it gained 38% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 93%.
Investor takeaway: The company resonates with people who can afford to pay for what they perceive to be goods that represent health and wellness.
S&P Capital IQ has Whole Foods rated "buy." Morningstar analysts write that "Whole Foods generated over $800 in sales per square foot in fiscal 2010, significantly higher than that of the average supermarket," and note that it has no debt and the ability to fund new-store growth without borrowing.

Company profile: Daimler has some of the top luxury car brands in the world including Mercedes-Benz and Maybach (which it's phasing out). It also owns stakes in a wide range of other automakers.
Share performance: up 8.7% in the past three months; down 30% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 11.3%.
Investor takeaway: S&P has it rated "hold." But Morningstar says the company's "brand equity, combined with cost-cutting initiatives, gives it the ability to report strong profits as vehicle demand normalizes. Daimler's luxury brands are some of the most valuable in the world and give the company some protection against the cyclical downturns of auto sales."
And luxury-car sales are also on the rise. On Thursday, Daimler said its Mercedes-Benz cars division's global sales hit a record 1.36 million, a rise of 7.7% year-over-year. In the U.S., 2011 sales rose 13%, and German luxury-car rival BMW(BMW) had similar gains. In particular, it's seeing booming sales in Russia, Brazil, India and China.
Capital Research and Management (American Funds) owns almost 4% of its shares, more than double that of the next largest shareholder. The German company doesn't have significant U.S. analyst coverage.

Company profile: The Tiffany brand goes on fine jewelry it designs and makes as well as china, fashion accessories, timepieces, fragrances and gift items sold at its retail stores. Expect to pay $9,000 for a pair of "Tiffany Legacy" diamond chandelier earrings.
Share performance: up 7% over the past three months; up 8.2% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 39%.
Investor takeaway: S&P rates Tiffany "strong buy" with five stars, its highest rating with a $90 price target, a 36% premium. S&P says it has tremendous worldwide growth opportunities, especially in emerging market countries such as China.
"Assuming share buybacks under the company's $400 million repurchase authorization, we see earnings per share of $3.80 in fiscal 2012 and $4.20 per share in fiscal 2013," S&P said.
Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand writes that "exposure to the steady (wedding) engagement market makes Tiffany a stock to buy on short-term dips, such as the Japan crisis or a Europe blowup, and its long-term brand and strong balance sheet make it attractive when the market mood is dark."

Ruth's Hospitality Group(RUTH)
Company profile: Ruth's Hospitality Group is the owner, operator and franchiser of upscale steakhouses, primarily under the Ruth's Chris name. It has about 130 restaurants worldwide, about half of which are company-owned. Morningstar says the average check is $75. It's definitely a small-cap stock at a $190 million market value.
Share performance: up 28% in the past three months; up 8% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 46%.
Investor takeaway: Fidelity owns 14% of its shares, double that of the next highest investor. S&P, which doesn't rate it, said Wall Street analysts give it three "buy" ratings, one "buy/hold" and three "holds."

True Religion(TRLG)
Company profile: True Religion Brand Jeans is an apparel company that specializes in premium denims, with prices of up to $398 for one pair of girls skin-tight "distressed" jeans. Other products include: corduroy pants, skirts, shirts, shorts, jackets, blazers, hoodies and T-shirts.
Share performance: up 22% in the past three months and 55% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 38%.
Investor takeaway: Morningstar's review of analysts' ratings found three "buys," one "outperform," one "hold" and one "underperform." Columbia Wanger Asset Management owns 9% of its shares. They have an $894 million market value.

Company profile: Brunswick makes a wide range of recreational products, including Sea Ray, Boston Whaler and Bayliner boats, Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; fitness equipment, under the Life Fitness and Hammer Strength brands; and billiards and bowling equipment.
Share performance: up 22% in the past three months; down 3.4% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 54%.
Investor takeaway: The recession hurt boating industry sales across the board, but Brunswick stayed afloat, which means it can gain market share as competitors sink into oblivion. But the industry may never return to the glory days of 2007 to 2008.
Mutual fund firms appear to like it as Wellington Management owns 11.7% and Fidelity 10% of the company's outstanding shares. A Morningstar survey of analysts found five "buy" ratings, one "outperform" and three "holds."

Cascade Shores Real Estate, Nevada City - Cascade Shores Homes for Sale, MLS Listings

Cascade Shores Real Estate, Nevada City - Cascade Shores Homes for Sale, CA Grass Valley MLS Listings

How to rent your home in a few easy steps

For Your Clients: Renting Your Home in 5 Easy Steps
By P a i ge T e p p i n g

RIS MEDIA, June 15, 2010--A homeowner who is able to sell a property at the asking price has the potential to reap a profit, but what happens when you are having trouble getting your home sold? In today’s difficult market, many homeowners are taking advantage of renting out their homes, or individual rooms, in order to cover the bills.

According to Glenn Curtis, freelance financial writer and analyst, here are five easy steps that will help make the renting process easier and more profitable.

Study the market: Check local newspapers and with local Realtors to see what comparable homes/properties are renting for in the neighborhood. This should help you establish a fair rental price.

Prep the home: Renters may not take care of the home or its furnishings; therefore, the owner might consider removing breakables and personal items in order to avoid damage and potential arguments.

Find a renter: Consider advertising in local newspapers, in the brochures and bulletins found in supermarkets and on website classifieds. The idea is to try to get as many people to view the rental details as possible, so that you are left choosing your renter, rather than having to go with the only renter who expresses interest in your place.

Interview: Consider meeting with the potential renter rather than simply dealing over the phone. Knowing who will inhabit your home may put your mind at ease and help you weed out unsuitable candidates.

Spell out the deal: You should consider contacting an attorney (particularly one that specializes in real estate) to help see you through the rental transaction. The lawyer should be able to provide or help draft a rental agreement/contract. Consider any stipulations you want in the paperwork (like late fees, lease terms, payment due dates, etc.) and make sure the attorney includes those items.

Plus let a Property Management firm help you with some of this stuff and actually can make everything very easy and simple for you to handle.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Capital Economics expects the housing crisis to end this year, according to a report released Tuesday. One of the reasons: loosening credit. The analytics firm notes the average credit score required to attain a mortgage loan is gettting looser...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

List of Improving Housing Markets Expands to Nearly 100

The list of housing markets showing measurable improvement expanded by 29 metros in February to include a total of 98 entries on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released recently....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Home clearance sale coming from “desperate” sellers

Home clearance sale coming from “desperate” sellers

Home prices are already a third off their highs, but this summer could bring the real discounts.  Buyers are still cautious, and anxious sellers will have to price aggressively to get them off the fence.

-according to CNN Money

Monday, March 5, 2012

Unemployed Given 6 Month Mortgage Forbearance

Freddie Mac today announced it is giving mortgage servicers expanded authority to provide six months of forbearance to unemployed borrowers without Freddie Mac's prior approval and up to an additional six months with prior approval.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Housing Market Could Be Best In YEARS!

National Association of Realtors is calling this a substained recovery.

Meaning, we have seen consistently positive housing reports over the last 90 days.

Well... let's get our house ready. I guess.... but better just to be on the safe side. Besides we need to clean up this place and fix stuff. Never know. Plus, your mother is coming next month.
G.   ; )

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