Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long and Foster starts inauguration rental business

If you are interested in renting your home or need assistance in finding a rental property please contact me for more information.

Long and Foster starts inauguration rental business

Washington Business Journal - by Mara Lee Staff Reporter

Long and Foster has entered the inauguration rental business, offering renters and owners a professional intermediary to avoid fraud or payment conflicts.

Its Website ( has gotten more than 1,500 hits, according to Juli Verrier, a spokeswoman for the company. No leases have been signed yet.

The agents will be paid 25 percent of the owners’ draw, Verrier said.

Selina James, vice president of property management and leasing services, said she doesn’t know how much money the project will bring in.

Because there are more than 1,000 hotel rooms still available in the region, it’s possible the demand for residential rentals has been overhyped, she acknowledged.

“It’s so hard for us to gauge right now,” she said. “When we’re going to see whether this has a lot of meat is right after Christmas.”

No leases have been signed yet on any of the 70 properties listed. Of those, 25 are in the District. A few are as far away as Frederick, Md., and West Virginia.

Using informal rentals is not a way to save money, for sure. Prices are high on the site -- $1,000 a night for one-bedroom condos in some cases -- and most owners are looking for at least a four-day rental.

James said the value to the firm and its agents is making contacts in the community. “It gets their name out,” she said.

And she said her own goal for the project is to protect visitors and owners from bad actors. She said she’s heard some advertisers on other websites have taken pictures of homes that aren’t theirs.

She wants the visitors to this inauguration to have a good experience -- and hopes Long and Foster, the region’s largest realty company, can be part of that.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Treasury's New Plan - 4.5% Mortgage Rates

This plan is in review and has not been passed, but I thought I would share with you some of the actions the government is working through to stabilize the market. Stay tuned for more information and lock in these low interest rates while you can. Contact me for more information on purchasing or selling your home.

Treasury's New Plan - 4.5% Mortgage Rates
Homeowners may soon enjoy mortgage rates as low as 4.5 percent if the Treasury Department has its way.
According to The Wall Street Journal's on-line addition late Wednesday, the department is discussing a plan that would use Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to push banks to make mortgages available at more than a full percentage point below the current levels for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.

The plan under review might lower rates to the 4.5 percent range and would be in addition to a program announced last week wherein the Federal Reserve will purchase up to $600 billion of debt either issued or backed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. That program is already having an effect on mortgage rates which have dropped and caused investors to pay more attention to the stocks of banks and home builders.

Probably in response to the earlier new program and the lower rates, mortgage applications jumped a record 112.1 percent as seasonally adjusted over the previous week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Journal reported that the government would encourage banks to issue new mortgage loans at lower rates by offering to purchase securities backed by the loans at a price equivalent to the 4.5 percent rate; funding the program by issuing Treasury debt at 3 percent.

Under the Treasury Department proposal, the low rate would
only be available to those purchasing a home, not for refinancing. Borrowers would have to qualify for a conforming mortgage that could be guaranteed by one of the government sponsored enterprises or the Federal Housing Administration. To qualify for those types of loans borrowers must be able to document their income and have sufficient income to make monthly payments.

The government hopes that this plan will increase the demand for homes and stabilize housing prices. Both of these factors are considered by many economists to be key to improving the current economic situation. It may also help a bit with the other primary housing concern - preventing foreclosures - as it may make it easier for homeowners in trouble to sell their homes and get out from under delinquent mortgages. In many cases, however, such an avenue will not be available to homeowners because so many lack any equity.

The Treasury Department plan is only in the talking stage and may not be ready until after President Bush leaves office on January 20 at which point it would be necessary for President-elect Obama to sign off on it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mortgage Interest rates drop below 6%

So the first blog entry is not about an exciting feature in Prince George's County, but this will be coming to you shortly. I felt the news of the mortgage interest rate drop was very important to share with would be buyers. Acting now and locking in your interest rate can save you thousands of dollars, provide you with a lower mortgage payment and even more purchasing power.

30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall Below 6%

Associated Press (Washington Post)
Saturday, November 29, 2008; Page F05

Rates on 30-year mortgages sank for a fourth straight week, falling below 6 percent for the first time since early October, and are heading lower because of the government's massive new effort to aid the U.S. housing market.

Further drops are likely, analysts said, reflecting the market's positive response to the programs the Federal Reserve and the Treasury unveiled this week to fight the financial crisis.

The Fed's move to spend up to $600 billion buying mortgage-backed securities owned or guaranteed by mortgage-financing titans Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae caused rates to immediately drop by a half-point. Economists say the new Fed program should help keep rates low as the government increases efforts to battle the credit crisis.

Freddie Mac reported Wednesday that rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 5.97 percent this week. That was down from 6.04 percent last week. It was the first time rates have been below 6 percent since they were at 5.94 percent the week of Oct. 9.

Freddie Mac's survey is normally collected from Monday through Wednesday and released on Thursdays. This week, it was put out one day early due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Since some lenders reported their rates Monday, this week's rates don't reflect the full impact of the Fed's dramatic action.

Rates on other types of mortgages were mixed this week.

For 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, which are popular with people who are refinancing, rates averaged 5.74 percent, up slightly from 5.73 percent.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages dipped to 5.86 percent, compared with 5.87 percent. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 5.18 percent, from 5.29 percent.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome to DC Living Exposed

Welcome to your information highway on living in the DC area. I am a local real estate agent who thrives on staying ahead of the curve and being known as the resourceful one. I will use this blog to communicate to you all about the area real estate market as well as fun and exciting news and events in the DC Metropolitan Area. I will look to highlight neighborhoods and some of their unique features and activities as well as spice it up with some highights on things that make the DC area the unique setting that it has become.

The area is one of the most culturally diverse places I've ever lived and I have lived many places. That is what is so fascinating about the area. There are wonderful restaurants, museums, boutiques, special events and more that allow you to experience cultures near and far. I will be sure to highlight some of these through out the blog.

The first blog entry will be an invitation to explore Prince George's County's newest scene. Stay tuned for more information and Happy Holidays to all!