The news came out yesterday regarding the largest donations to local political races.There surely may have been more critical elections locally, but I can’t remember one.Financially, one can’t argue that the monetary donations help the candidates – but what is the potential risk for those getting big donations, perception-wise?In Albemarle, the candidates have raised at least $150,000 – for Board of Supervisors seats, salaries for which area minute fraction of the amount raised.Â Local politics should not be subject to partisan politics – but they are divided by the type of donors.Â This is true – for the amount of time and effort the Supervisors put in, they’re underpaid.
Date Archives October 2007
They might be dropping the Fed Funds rate – so what?
The WSJ’s Development blog has a good Q & A today about the Fed Funds rate.Whenever the Fed debates dropping the rate, inevitably buyers and sellers will ask me – that will help the market, right?……Â The interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage tracks the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (at yesterdayâ€™s close 4.383%….Â Lenders typically set their base mortgage rate around two percentage points higher than the 10-year bond yield….So if you want to know the direction of mortgage rates, you need to get a sense of where bond yields are headingLet’s not discount the psychological impact of buyers and sellers hearing that “rates have dropped.”Â The perception that “rates are lower” may have a real impact on the local real estate market, whether they’ve dropped or not – particularly because nearly 40% of our active inventory (in Charlottesville/Albemarle) is priced above the $417,000 threshold that indicates “jumbo loan” territory.That said, rates really aren’t high at all (look at March 1982, or March of 2002).
Rumors of Albemarle Place’s demise are greatly exaggerated
Following up on the great discussion at Cvillenews about the rumors of the demise of Albemarle Place …If it were to become a park, there isn’t much surrounding residential density from which to draw pedestrian traffic.View Larger MapDoes that look pedestrian-friendly to you?Online, the location looks ideal for “walkability” – 74 out of 100, even. That is, until you actually drive here and see that in crossing Emmet Street one is literally taking one’s life into one’s hands. Rumors were out as early as June (and probably earlier) that Whole Foods was moving to the K-mart shopping center, but the Daily Progress has an informative article this morning on the status of Albemarle Place saying that things are moving along quite well, thank you. Also, don’t miss the debate about next week’s BoS election there as well.
Tuesday links 10-30-2007
Close the UVA library to the public. Please don’t infringe on the virgin ears of students…. The real esate/blogging landscape is changing every day.Foreclosure maps from the Wall Street JournalHomegain charges less:Today, HomeGain announced that, due to current and forecasted real estate market conditions, we have reduced the referral fee for AgentEvaluator to 27% for all regular members and to 22% for our Platinum and Gold Club members. This reduction equates to 10 and 12 percent savings, respectively,for HomeGain real estate agents who close a transaction as a result of a match with a HomeGain consumer.Most “energy conservation” initiatives fall short because they don’t address dysfunctional human settlement patterns, the root cause of excess consumption.Ask 500 People.
Rah Virginia Mil
From the HooK.recent report in the Virginian-Pilot finds that UVA has not expelled a single student for anything other than infractions of the schoolâ€™s vaunted Honor Code in the past five years.Â The Pilot story, written to explore safety in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, compares expulsions at the various state universities.Â While UVA topped the tally with 115, tiny honor-infused VMI, with 67 expulsions, appears to have the highest rate.It’s nice to see my alma mater represented well.Â The honor code at VMI was and is simple: “a cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.”And apparently still enforced regularly.
Are you willing to martyr yourself to the industry?
This is but one of the many ways that Realtors’ production volumes will be impacted – downward.I’ve noted the following letter before but feel it’s warranted to revisit – This is but one of the reasons for the shift enumerated in this letter (h/t Blown Mortgage), including but not limited to this:The key reason the Subprime problem exists as it does today has to do with the wanton disassociation of risk inherent in the machine that churns out Subprime loans….Â Just think about itâ€¦if you were a 20-something making mortgage loans in California using someone elseâ€™s balance sheet and being paid per loan (with no lookback to performance of the loan), how many dubious loans would you underwrite?The above is going to change….Â Non-scientifically, what will happen to the local market if 20 percent of all buyers are removed from the market?My prediction is that there will be at least a 15%-20% decline in the Realtor membership next year; (the agent bubble may be bursting) might there be a correlation between the reduction in Realtors and buyers that will lead to equilibrium?…Â A good blog works about as well as anything.What if we replaced “company” with “industry”?The real estate industry – and real estate blogs – may very well be in working their ways through the de-commodification phase of their respective evolutions.
10 ways to make your home greener
From the Washington Post.Surveys show that homeowners like the idea of using less energy and resources, but they often balk at the upfront cost, Weissgerber said.Â “The first thing they say in focus groups we’ve done is, ‘This is expensive.'”Not everything makes sense financially at this point to all people,” he said….Â But, he said, saving energy will be on everyone’s minds as electricity and natural gas grow more expensive….Â Buyers are actually budgeting now – and they’re taking utility bills into consideration when making offers.Here are the Top 10.I’m trying to find the best companies in the Charlottesville area who do the above-mentioned improvements.