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Posts made in December, 2008

  • Reverse Mortgage Psychology

    December 17, 2008 /
    Dennis S. Pearce /

    Remember when interest rates were bouncing around the 6-7% mark, and homes were flying off the shelves? And remember how buyers in that wild market would forgo inspections, write offers on the hoods of their cars, and painstakingly draft impassioned letters of introduction to sellers, pleading for clemency in the life-sentence of homelessness the market was imposing on them? We've all watched the steady deflation of the confidence that accompanied those times, to be replaced by the looming grey cloud of indecision and angst. However, the reality is that rates have fluctuated less than 3 points in the past 8 years (2000-2007)- all the way back as far as 2000, when we reached a high that year of 8.52%, right around the time the DotBombs were imploding, and the country was talking recession. The lowest we've seen since then was June of 2003, when rates briefly bottomed at 5.23%. Throughout the next 4 years, the lowest point was a short stop at 5.45% in March of 2004. The remainder of that timespan was spent hovering between the high 5's, to the high 6's. On the surface of it, there are a few obvious reasons for the mental shift; the subprime collapse, Wall Street's subsequent malaise, an…Read more

  • Risk & Reward

    December 11, 2008 /
    Dennis S. Pearce /

    As 2008 winds to a close, I feel compelled to do a little reflection and projection. From a Real Estate perspective, it has been a challenging year. Historically, we've not seen such froth in the economy as a whole as we've witnessed in the past 12 months, since the Great Depression.  This hyperbole has become a staple for 6 o'clock news reports; in fact, if there has been any consistent theme to sum up the year, I'd think a heading along the lines of "Great Depression: the Sequel", would encapsulate the general media mood, and the extent of most reporting on the subject. However, there are a few key points that have gotten lost in the rush to spill red ink on the headlines. Just this past week, I finally saw a new piece in the PI that touched on the opportunities this market presents for first-time buyers. Another point that's frequently forgotten in all the talk of recession is the amazing fact that we've never seen the unique set of factors currently in place: low interest rates paired with a buyer's market. Recession typically is accompanied by high interest rates- the last big one in the eighties saw rates over 18%! We're looking at a realistic…Read more

  • Jesse Moore & Lisa Bender: 5-Star Real Estate Agents indeed!

    December 10, 2008 /
    Dennis S. Pearce /

    We think a lot of ourselves here at Pickett Street, but it's always nice when others validate it in the form of an award or designation! It's with great pleasure that I announce that two members of the Pickett Street team have been selected by Seattle Magazine as 5-Star Real Estate Agents, Best in Client Satisfaction for 2008. My business partner, Jesse D. Moore, and our fellow associate, Lisa Bender, have both been selected among this year's honorees. What exactly does this mean? Seattle Magazine says it best: Experts say that at least 90 percent of homebuyers rely on real estate agents for advice and guidance. But with more than 14,000 Seattle residents holding real estate licenses, how do you find someone who knows the market, represents your interests and operates with an emphasis on integrity and service? Seattle magazine can help. For the fifth year, the magazine has formed a partnership with Crescendo Business Services, an independent research firm, to find out which real estate agents have most consistently wowed their clients. This past May, Crescendo surveyed by mail and phone, 29,000 Seattle area residents who had recently purchased homes. An additional 250 surveys were sent to mortgage and…Read more