Recent News

The Hidden Cost To Your Mortgage When You Open A Store Credit Card To Save 10 Percent

I did some (more) holiday shopping this weekend and as I stood in the checkout lines, I was repeatedly bombarded by cashiers to open a "free store credit card". "Would you like to save 10% on your purchase today?" "No, thanks," I said over and over, but not because I...

Dan Green Waxing On Real Estate And Mortgage Planning With InmanTV’s Joel Burslem

I recently gave an interview to Joel Burslem of Inman News, specifically for broadcast on InmanTV. Joel asked me a series of questions. What are some of the trends we're seeing in mortgage lending? In what direction will mortgage rates go in the future? Why did the the Subprime Tsunami...

Fannie Mae Gives Us 3 Reasons Why Now Is A Good Time To Buy Real Estate

For the first since the dotcom era, the words "March First" will be associated with excess and speculation. Effective March 1, 2008, conforming mortgages will carry new fees designed to shield Fannie Mae from further weakness in the housing sector. This news comes from Fannie Mae's lender-specific Web site. The...

Why Healthy Bodies and Healthy Marriages May Be More Relevant To Slowing Foreclosures Than Interest Rate Adjustments

As the largest sub-prime loan servicer in the country, Countrywide handles payments for 11.90% of the sub-prime market. That's a massive $120 billion worth of loans. The sheer size of that portfolio is why I am publishing the above chart. Normally, data from one lender wouldn't be enough for a...

Las Vegas Wasn’t Built On Winnings, or Why Today Is A Good Day To Cash In Your Chips In The Home Mortgage Game

It's well documented. I'm a bird-in-hand guy. If there's an opportunity today, I prefer to act on it rather than gamble for a better opportunity that may come tomorrow. I've learned -- often the hard way -- that tomorrow only comes sometimes but that today is always here. This is...

No Surprise : Foreclosure Rates Seem To Trend With Real Estate Speculation and Regional Job Losses

RealtyTrac published its Q3 2007 foreclosure statistics today and the data paints an interesting picture about the nature of home loan defaults. Of the Top 10 MSAs in terms of Foreclosures Per Household, eight represent areas in which real estate speculation was rampant in 2002-2006, and two represent areas whose...

Falling Prices And Adjusting ARMs : Real Estate Investors Have A Way Out

Unless you live on the moon, you've heard about the issues facing American homeowners with respect to mortgages. You've heard it on TV, in the papers, and on blogs. The good news is that relief is on the way (somewhat). Momentum to "help the homeowner" started with the states (Ohio),...

The Funny Thing About Opportunity Is That It Rarely Hangs Around For Coffee

I am a huge bird-in-hand guy. If there's something available now, I will almost universally take it instead of waiting to see if something better comes along. The only time I strayed from that rule was in the game of love and with respect to my wife. I hope she...

What Is Home Equity, And How Is It Made?

First, a definition: (Home Equity) = (Value of Home) - (Amount Owed On Home) There are two ways that equity is created: The homeowner pays down the principal balance on the mortgage. The home's value increases because of appreciation But just because both methods increase the equity position in a...

HELOC or HELOAN? It May Be Too Soon To Tell.

Okay, so you've seen me use this sort of graphic before. Published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, this Fed Funds Rate Future chart is an analysis of what action market players think the Fed will take at its next meeting. The Fed next meeting is a two-day affair...

How Kiddie Condos Can Offer A Return On Investment For College Student Room And Board Expenses

I almost wish I found this video sooner; not many colleges are going into session in October. But... if you have college students in your family and want to increase your exposure to real estate, Barbara Corcoran has some interesting things to say. Parents buying homes near college campuses is...

Markets Take A Breather Before Friday’s Job Reports

Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left their respective interest rates on hold, relieving some of the pressure on the U.S. dollar. Had rates increased, it would have increased the relative return of investing in euro- or pound-denominated instruments versus investing in dollar-denominated instruments. This would...

Why Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Should Be Wild Days For Mortgage Rates This Week

The last Fed meeting just finished up, but markets are already looking ahead to the next one, a two-day affair October 30-31. If you'll remember, in the immediate aftermath of the Fed's announcement to lower the Fed Funds Rate by 0.500%, mortgage bonds were the hit of the party and...

Foreign Nationals: Today’s Sign That Liquidity May Be Returning To The Market

I am working with a Dublin-based real estate developer, providing Irish real estate investors with mortgages for United States-based properties. A project on which we are currently working has been interesting in context of how the mortgage market is changing. When we started work on this Chicago-based condo building, the...

Interview with First Business: Will the Fed Cut Rates?

I interviewed with First Business anchor Anchor Beejal Patel this week. First Business produces news "shorts" that are syndicated nationwide. The story: "How would a Fed rate cut impact mortgage rates?" You all know my answer -- it's well-documented around these parts. I am a little embarrassed about having to...

What To Do If Your Home Is Losing Value And You Aren’t Planning To Sell

A few clients called me this week to share concerns about a declining housing market and how it would impact their long-term financial planning. "I need my home equity for retirement", one said. "What if foreclosures on my neighbors ruin my nest egg." Our ensuing conversation covers some basic facts...

How Sub-Prime and Alt-A Mortgage Markets Are Behaving Like NFL Draft Picks

Did you see the BNP Paribas press release last week that said it's halting withdrawals from some of its funds? My favorite part is how blunt the first sentence is below (bold added for emphasis): "The complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments of the US securitisation market has...

Once Again, Look Beyond The Headlines And Meredith Vieira’s Interviews For The Truth

I don't know what was stranger on The Today Show this morning: Meredith Vieira's back-to-back interviews with Jim Kramer and J.K. Rowling Jim Kramer looking like a fish out of water in front of a camera Watching Lester Holt and Matt Lauer (1) share the anchor desk and, (2) actually...

Unless You Watch CNBC During Your Lunch Break, You Missed A Must-Watch Video

Earlier this month, CNBC featured a segment on how sub-prime mortgages work. The shame of it, though, is that it aired at a time when the probable audience was already well-versed on the topic. This would be like holding a seminar on how to throw a baseball to the attendees...

Paying Down Your Mortgage Does Not Automatically Increase Your Net Worth

Mathematics is highly-relevant to financial planning. It helps us grasp concepts such as compounding interest, amortization schedules and return on investment. But, forget all of the complex equations. Basic math is all you need to get to the key point: (Net worth) = (Total value of assets) - (Total value...