I have been tossing this blog topic around in my head for some time now, just waiting for the inspiration to address it. Just minutes ago, today became the day.
Bank of America just announced they are suspending foreclosure actions in all 50 states. Don’t just take my word for it, click here for the full story. http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/08/real_estate/bank_america_50/.
Okay, now that you read the story, lets take a real indepth look at the situation… and we’re going to have to look way back!
I was fortunate to enter my Real Estate career in 2000. Business was good. Along came 9/11 and America pulled together as a nation. Values and home ownership were prevailing themes. With demand for new homes increasing and no end in sight, inflation and greed took over. Land prices skyrocketed. Development projects went to the higest bidder willing to pay the premium for quick response. The cost of building materials soared. Many predicted there was no end to the good times in sight. I believed them too, and had a lot of fun in the meantime!
Then one day, we look around and see that affordable housing had all but disappeared. Home prices had escalated over the capabilities of the typical first-time buyer. Rather than allowing market forces to adjust pricing THEN, along comes the mortgage industry to further facilitate the ever-growing “bubble.” Interest-only loans, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, and Stated Income Loans allowed buyers to continue paying even higher sale prices. If you could breathe and move toward light, you could be approved for a home loan with certain unscupulous lenders, even with them knowing you could not afford it.
Consciencious and Professional Mortgage Originators and Underwriters continued to use the established and acceptable lending criteria that were in place. Unscrupulous Mortgage Originators and Underwriters did not. Rules are rules only when they are being enforced and these guys knew no one was watching. Greedy investors lined up with money to lend. Increased rates for increased risk. Everybody wins! After all, the properties were increasing in value exponentially each year.
YEP! They sure were…until the first-time buyer segment of our economy put their foot down and said “NO MORE.” The first-time buyer’s inability to participate in the housing market was about to topple the very market that they had helped create. There were no more logs to place on the fire.
Fast-forward to “the wake-up-call.” Housing values dropped, and will continue to fall until the housing market is once again within the grasp of the first-time buyer. In my opinion Government has over-reacted with numerous new lending criteria initiatives. These initiatives are sound fundamentally, but a wiser path would have been to simply enforce the criteria that was already there. The fire was already burning down as a result of market forces, and government poured mass-buckets of cold water on it – and that continues to this day. Lots and lots of affordable housing options have now been created, mostly at the expense of the taxpayer.
Thankfully, the Greater Nashville housing market was not hit as hard as other areas of the country. I truly believe that is because of our accessibility to affordable housing.
At Ole South, our mission has always been to provide the very best selection of homes that address the needs of the first-time buyer. That mission is alive and well today! With brand new maintenance-free town homes starting at $89,990 and brand new traditional neighborhood homes starting at $119,990, we remain committed to keeping the Greater Nashville area an affordable place to live.
But that’s not all… We have become very good at building new homes for the “move-up” buyer, as well as the buyer that wishes to down-size and simplify their life. Learn more at www.OleSouth.com.
We’ve always worked with responsible lenders too! Ole South Financial, our SunTrust Mortgage Joint Venture, has made new-home ownership a reality for thousands of buyers and they are ready to assist you too! Give them a ring at 615.907.2296.
Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime we can be of assistance in any way. You can rest assured that our neighborhoods in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill will be your best new home value…guaranteed!
Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340. Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.