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Moratorium slows foreclosures...but can that last?

by Jeremy Larkin

I wish I could say YES, but I'm afraid the answer is NO. First let's look at recent efforts to curb the foreclosure tidal-wave.

Oh Crap........

As many are aware, foreclosure filings dipped in November by 7%, most likely due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae-imposed Moratoriums designed to give lenders and borrowers more time to sort through loan modifications or other means of staving off the foreclosure wolves.

In addition to the moratoriums, the following factors also aided in slowing filings:

  • New Laws - Many states requiring lenders take greater action to avoid foreclosures such as  requiring contact with borrowers earlier in the default process.
  • Loan Modifications - I mentioned recently that I had contracted with a company whose' chief aim was to be the "middle man" between lender and borrower to put in place some type of modifcation to the loan to keep them in the home.

So why will they go back up? Because we are simply treating the symptoms, not the disease. 

According to a recent report on the subject, more than 1/2 of the homeowners who received loan workouts in the first half of 2008 are ALREADY behind again!

The disease is the following: We were living  above our means, typically on credit borrowed from our homes, now our homes are worth enough, home sales are down, and suddenly we are out of work. It is a vicious cycle.

The symptom is foreclosure, whether it be on a home or a car or a ski-boat.

For what it's worth, the states with the highest foreclosure rates in November were (surprise, surprise) Nevada, Florida and Arizona.

What does this mean locally? Tough to know, but what we DO know is this: Most people who took out risky ARM mortgages took them out in 3, 5 or 7 year increments. Well I'm no math wiz, but this summer's foreclosure boom was exactly 3 years from the peak of the market.

One wonders what could happen in 2010 (5 years) and 2012 (7 years).

The good news for St. George / Southern Utah is that, frankly, it is one of the best places to live on the entire planet and numerous magazines and independent groups will corraborate that statement.

A place like Mesquite, Nevada (sorry folks) could see some real trouble as Randy Black shuts down casinos and hundreds of laborers leave for greener pastures.

A question to all: How do we treat the disease?

Need a Vacation from my Vacation!

by Jeremy Larkin

Departing from Real Estate talk today!

Am I the only one who feels that way about vacations? We spent last weekend at the Disneyland Resort with my parents and the bulk of my siblings with their kids. Was it a blast? YES...I will tell you right now that I am a Disney Maniac in every way.

Many people of course don't like the crowds, the prices, the works. I understand that, yet I can tell you that 1 day at Snowbird Ski Resort will cost you $80 for a lift ticket, and 5 hours of frustration at an up-scale golf course the same.....and they don't even have Mickey, the Matterhorn or Churros (which will set you back $3 each).

Yet I have to laugh at the fact that once you are there, you happily spent that $3 because it is part of the experience. Did I mention the turkey legs and chimichangas from the little carts?.........

Of course I still always leave that place so exhausted that I have to seriously consider taking a few days off just to recover! I told my wife that we should do 3 days there, then spend 4 more in Maui sleeping on a lounge chair.

That said you should all go to Disneyland during the Christmas Holidays which they consider all of November and December. The "overlay" they put on the park is absolutely intriguing. It is SO extensive that they shut down the Haunted Mansion for a whole MONTH just to put on the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, then another month to take it down!

Christmas music is playing everywhere and the general decor, colors and holiday lights just add to the already amazing MAGIC that Disney provides! 

My 3-year old Eli was the "MVP" of the trip. He LOVED such rides as the Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain and actually CRIED when he wasn't tall enough to get on California Screamin' and Indiana Jones!!  I was probably 16 years old before I dared step onto a legitimate roller coaster......wuss!

Happy Holidays and please tell me about your favorite Disney experiences. Also ask me about what I like to call my "insider's guide to navigating the parks..." my family and friends can vouch for it!

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Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
435.767.9886
Fax: 435-359-5085

St. George Real Estate - Your premier destination for St. George,Utah Real Estate Listings, Home Values, MLS Search, REO/Foreclosure Info &  St. George Real Estate Statistics.  Serving St. George, Santa Clara, Ivins, Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville & more! Specializing in REO/foreclosure properties, frustrated Sellers, First-Time home buyers, and Investors. Looking for the most LOCAL St. George, Utah real estate information available? Your search is over!