The continuing effects of the government shutdown.

After my last blog about the government shutdown and real estate world, the effect has continued to interest me.

This week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have loosened up on the rules for the banks to approve mortgages. Before, Fannie and Freddie required that borrowers must verify their incomes with the IRS before being able to close on a mortgage. However, due to the government shutdown, the IRS has been having trouble getting through all of these verifications.

Now, Freddie and Fannie have decided to allow the lenders to do loan the money without waiting for the IRS to verify. To me, this raises some red flags and some banks agree. Many of the lending banks are concerned about the lack of IRS credibility for borrowers that claim to be making x amount of money from self employment income sources. For an economy that already has a low-risk attitude after the recent fiscal crisis, some lenders may decide to wait until the shutdown is over.

Wells Fargo, who originally said that they would wait until the shutdown was over to continue mortgage applications, has decided after Fannie and Freddie eased up on the rules that they would continue to push applications down the line without IRS verifications.

What this could mean for the economy is interesting. The risk is high, and after the bubble bursting and the real estate market taking a catastrophic hit, why would you cut down on procedures on an already sensitive market?

Just my thoughts, share yours!

This month in real estate…

Last month, Marketing Director, Kristina Skalak and Broker In Charge, Joe Salvo, traveled to Washington DC to promote Seabrook Island at the Ideal Living Resort and Retirement Real Estate Expo. Some 900 registrants from the metro area signed up to attend and about 50 other communities from the South East were represented.

It was a great opportunity to talk “one on one” with folks who are getting ready to retire to our part of the country. One thing quickly became clear, but not a surprise, to us as attendees visited our beautiful Seabrook Island booth. The big draw is our unbeatable combination of our Ocean Beaches, Privacy and proximity to Charleston.

They spent hours in very detailed discussions with attendees and came back with hundreds leads from potential Seabrookers with whom we will follow up. There is nothing better than face to face contact with prospects and we will be doing more of these shows in the coming year, while adding the new Seabrook Island branding messages at the same time.

In the meantime, the number of sales on Seabrook Island will grow for the fifth straight year in 2013. Right now Joe projects it to be up about 15-20% from 2012, with some 140+ closed sales versus last year’s 119. This is great progress from the low of 79 at the depth of the national recession in 2009 as we move toward getting back to annual sales of 200 plus.

That’s all for now!
Thanks for reading!