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The Economy is Primed

by Desi Sowers

Feels like Fall is definitely in the air - it's a brisk 51 degrees outside as I write this update!

The Economy is Primed

Ten of Virginia's 15 major employment sectors saw growth in Q2 2009.  In July 2009 CNBC named the Commonwealth the Top State for Business for its economic growth, affordable cost of doing business, talented workforce and other factors.

The surge in business means more competition for homes and future price appreciation.

Remember, with home loan rates still low as well as a juicy tax credit for First Time Home Buyers that is going to expire on November 30th, it makes sense to get off the fence if you've been considering a home purchase .  Or do you have a family member, neighbor, friend or coworker who might benefit from getting some good home loan advice?

I'm always glad to get your referrals, so simply let me know who I might be able to help.

How Full Is The Glass Anyway?

by posted by Desi Sowers

How Full Is The Glass Anyway?

We all know the economy will get even better and that we'll all look back at this time in history with a whole new perspective. In fact it's already improved from just a year ago! What keeps us strong and keeps a nation from failing is hope fueld by optimisism.

"The optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true." - James Cabell, American novelist and journalist (1879-1958)

What is optimism? It is a belief that things in our past were good for us and taught us lessons even if they were hard. It is also the belief that things will be better in the future.

Contrasts between optimism and pessimism: Optimism breathes life into you each day. Pessimism drains you. Optimism helps you to take needed risks. Pessimism plays it safe and never accomplishes much. Optimism empowers those around you. Pessimism drags them down. Optimism inspires people to greater heights. Pessimism deflates people to new lows. The only way that optimism and pessimism are the same is that they are both self-fulfilled. We choose to look at the world the way we want. Have you ever met a successful pessimist? Become an optimist and see your world change before your eyes. Remember, the glass is always half full -- we're halfway there!

"What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway." - Kent M. Keith

Washington Report: Home Valuation Code of Conduct

by posted by Desi Sowers

With Congress due back on Capitol Hill after Labor Day, the legislative fight over Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's controversial appraisal rules is heating up.

Bipartisan legislation that would put the “Home Valuation Code of Conduct” (or HVCC) on hold for 18 months has steadily gathered support in the past month, and now has 54 co-sponsors.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors continued its grass-roots lobbying push for the HVCC moratorium bill in key congressmen's home districts during the August recess. The association has been an outspoken critic of the HVCC rules, arguing that they produce deal-killing lowball appraisals, encourge the use of low-paid appraisers unfamiliar with local conditions, and have raised the cost of valuations for consumers.

Home builders, appraiser and mortgage brokers also have opposed the rules, which took effect May 1.

In late August, new FHA commissioner David H. Stevens weighed in on the issue with the first public comment from HUD. Stevens said FHA, which now accounts for about one-third of mortgage market volume, does not plan to adopt the HVCC. FHA has its own detailed, long-standing guidelines and standards covering appraisals and appraisers.

But in a statement provided to Realty Times last week, Stevens said FHA believes that some of the core principles of Fannie's and Freddie's guidelines are good.

“We do like the HVCC's separation of influence in ordering the appraisal from those who financially benefit from the outcome,” he said. Though FHA won't use the HVCC language in its rules, the agency is “considering changes” that “may incorporate some” of the HVCC's principles.

FHA's goal “is to get (these) changes into the marketplace in the near future,” Stevens said in his statement. That suggests that FHA will soon be coming out with new guidelines on home valuations that will affect lenders, realty agents, appraisers and consumers.

No details on what changes FHA is contemplating were available last week.

Complicating the issue for anyone hoping to avoid HVCC problems by opting for FHA loans is the fact that many of the largest FHA originators now follow HVCC procedures for all new loans, including FHA.

That, in turn, will put more pressure on supporters of the moratorium bill co-authored by Mississippi Democratic Congressman Travers Childers and California Republican Gary Miller.

Time is running short for getting that legislation through the House and Senate this Fall -- even with 54 Republicans and Democrats signed on in support of the bill - because Congress's schedule is jam-packed with bigger, more prominent issues such as health care and energy.

Written by Kenneth R. Harney
August 31, 2009

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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