AMG is Almost Five, And I’m Still Here

Birthday Cake

This blog is approaching its five year anniversary on Feb 1st, 2010. As I think about the coming milestone I wanted to share with you some changes that have been occurring on the back end recently.

At one point I used to update this blog on a daily basis.  There was a time when I used to be on the cutting edge of breaking news, information and home financing tips. However, I’ve slowed down a bit over the past few years. For starters I haven’t been even been in the industry since 2008, so you can understand why I haven’t been around. Aimee has been the primary blogger and for all intent and purpose was the “Arizona Mortgage Guru”.  She’s fantastic as a blogger, broker and everything else. However, things have not worked as we had hoped. In fact I’ve already made a few changes around here if you haven’t already noticed.

The first big change is this blog is no longer Aimee’s. It is now back in my (Shailesh’s) hands. So, I guess you can call me the “Arizona Mortgage Guru” again (but you don’t have to if you don’t want to). There are a number of reasons for this but I really can’t go into the details here right now. If you really want to know lets have coffee and I can tell you in person.

The other change to this blog is that I am blogging as a mortgage commentator not  a mortgage professional or broker. Since I was in the mortgage industry for a while and have intimate knowledge of the industry I can still share a lot about the industry. In fact I continue to follow the changes and events in the industry so I have expertise that I can share. Most importantly though, for better or for worse, I’m not tied to the industry. Hence am able to voice my personal opinions and thoughts freely.

There are more changes coming. I will be sure to update you as I make them. In the mean time continue to use this blog as a resource for all your home financing needs.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Omer Wazir

Will You Be My Valentine?

Real Estate Blog Carnival

The Real Estate Blog Carnival rolled into Arizona this weekend and boy did we have a lot of fun. In fact with Valentines day coming up love is in the air.  It is no surprise that this weeks’ blog carnival is heavily influenced by cupid. With over thirty submissions this week my weekend was certainly occupied reading, evaluating and expanding my horizons. In many ways all these blog submissions reminded me of the valentine cards people send back and forth. So, who do you think is my valentine this week? With apologies to my husband Shailesh of course!

Here is how I divided them up:

It's Not You It's Me“It’s Not You Its Me”- I certainly don’t want to name names here, but there were about 15 or so submissions that for one reason or another I just didn’t connect with. It didn’t have the electric vibe I would expect. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were perfectly well written and in fact some were very technical. However, for one reason or another it just didn’t give me the butterflies. So, we had to part ways and believe me when I say it’s not you it’s certainly me!

“Let’s Stay in Touch” – There were 10 or so posts which I was certainly intrigued by and that made me stop and think. In other words I gave them a second glance. However, I’m certainly not ready at this point to say I would like to move things in any other direction other than at a professional level.  I could see us as casual acquaintances and I would love to subscribe to their blog just to learn from them. So, let’s stay in touch.

How Does Italian Sound?“How Does Italian on Friday Sound?” – There were three posts in particular which caught my eye for sure and defiantly are worthy of further conversation.  In “Buyers Psychology in Today’s Market” , Cece Blase provided a great analysis of buyer behavior. Everyone talks about a buyers market but, how many really know how to take advantage of it? Also, understanding the psychological disposition in this kind of situation is very helpful as well.

Dan Melson, in “Military Housing Allowance and Loan Qualification”, wrote a great technical guide for those receiving housing allowance. While his article was geared towards those in the military it can certainly apply to anyone who receives a housing allowance such as those in the clergy etc. Take a look at this one. You’ll learn something and be better for it.

Over analyzing the market can paralyze buyers and sellers and make fools out of both. Jonathan Dalton, our very own local real estate agent extraordinaire makes this point by using tell us that “You Can’t Outrace the Sunset”.  When you price a house with an expected “x” percentage fall in prices, guess what there is a chance the next house on the block will sell for less than yours. It’s because your “realistic” price is now a comp for the next sale and if the next guy does the same thing, then the market spirals down faster.  Just read Dalton’s take, he does a great job making this clear to readers.

You Look Good in My Sweatshirt“You Look Good In My Sweatshirt” - We would definitely work together in many settings and I liked the  styles of these posts.  I am a sucker for practical guides and people who get to the point right away. That is why I liked the users guide to selecting contractors and resolving any issues when dealing with contractors written by The Smarter Wallet. The posted titled “Home Improvement Contractor Problems: How To Resolve” is a great starting guide for those homeowners seeking to embark on a major home improvement project and need to seek the services of a contractor.

Loan modifications are a joke and I want to thank William Doom for emphatically say so on his post.  He provides a five step process to guide consumers seeking to do a loan modification. The best rule he gives is not to work with those loan modification companies, because as we’ve experienced here in Arizona, they’re a joke!

“Mom, Dad, This is…” – In the end it’s about honesty, authenticity and trust. What better Mom Dad This Isway to reinforce this than by pointing out that those seeking to short sale their homes should be really up front about it from the very beginning. It’s pretty clear that not being up front about it only hurts the chances to quickly sell the home .  In her inaugural post at Rain City Guide Courtney Cooper makes a radical suggestion: honesty.Her post “Short Sale Listings: Leaving Out Key Details Is Like Telling A Lie.. “ is a great read and very insightful on how sellers should approach this difficult topic.  Honesty eh? Now that is something mom and dad can appreciate.

Have a great Valentines week everyone!

Sign of the Times: Divorce Rate Drops

Marketwatch had an interesting story on how divorce rates have fallen during this economic recession. The article appeared this weekend and quotes a Phoenix area family law attorney Bonnie Booden:

Hitched to the economy
Divorce rates drop as couples realize it’s cheaper to stay together
By Marty Orgel

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The recession and economic turmoil is creating a new class of casualties: Married couples who can’t afford to get divorced. In these tough times many people are finding it’s cheaper to stay together, even when they can’t stand each other.

“The reason that the economy has such an enormous impact on divorce is that most people in the middle-income brackets are getting by on whatever income they have. They’re just getting by,” said Bonnie Booden, a family law and divorce attorney in Phoenix.

A major factor in the divorce downturn, Booden said, is divorced couples have to establish two separate households with current funds — a prohibitive factor when you’re looking at divorce in tough economic times.

Booden said one out of every two clients is seeking consultations because they can’t afford to get divorced. They want to know what other options they might have.

“I tell them about the process, about the cost, and what a reasonable outcome might be. And once they hear the cost, and especially how you have to duplicate two households on the same money that currently funds one household, they try to think about some other options,” she said.

Who knows maybe something good will come out, as couples stick “around” and weather the storm together.

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