Trump Institute for Real Estate: Austin’s newest “class!!” Check Us Out!

Posted on July 28, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- Building Wealth, -- On MY Calendar, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market, -- Uncategorized, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , , , |


By Molly Malone

What a great bunch of people I was able to spend this opportunity with.  And what a great opportunity at that. I’m fortunate to be able to see many of these folks again soon since we have all committed to more classes, which we are all very much looking forward to.

What a diverse group of people as well!  Our group consisted of a retired doctor, a high school math teacher, successful entrepreneurs, husbands and wives, realtor, commercial developers, engineers and marketing professionals to name a few. One thing’s for sure though, we all had a few things in common: motivation, common sense and the desire to build wealth…and we will, I’m sure of it. =)

Thanks for checking out my blog!

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Austin Real Estate Sales Breakdown by MLS Area – June 2008 YTD

Posted on July 15, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market | Tags: , |

Austin Real Estate Sales Breakdown by MLS Area – June 2008 YTD

posted by Molly Greaves for your education…

It seems like everyone is talking about how BAD the real estate market is, but how bad is it really? People like Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki seem to think this is a chance of a lifetime to get into real estate.  With that said, as a soon-to-be real estate investor, I am particualarly interested in the local Austin market.  I did some research and found this great blog below, which I thought you would find helpful.  Steve has a lot of great information on his site, and his information can be found on my Blogroll as well. 

Article written by Steve Crossland, MPM of Keller Williams of Austin

July 14, 2008

Below is the breakdown of year-to-date home sales in Austin by MLS area. This is for houses only, no condos, townhomes, etc. I’m often asked, “how is the Austin real estate market?”, to which I reply, it depends on which market you are talking about. There are multiple “markets” and sub-markets in Austin. Here are some summary points I gleaned from the stats.

* Of the 42 Austin MLS areas tracked below, all but 1 have fewer sales Jan-Jun 2008 compared to 2007. The only area with more sales than the same 6-month period last year was the UT area with 26 sales YTD this year compared to 24 last year.

* 28 of the 42 Austin MLS areas have higher average sales prices for 2008 than the same period last year. That’s 2/3 of Austin’s MLS areas experiencing price increases for average sales price.

* 24 MLS areas saw an increase in both average and median sold prices.

* 27 of the 42 Austin MLS areas saw an increase in average price per square foot on homes sold.

* Of the 24 MLS areas that saw an increase in both average sold and median sold prices, 21 of those areas also showed an increase in the average sold price per square foot. This means half of all Austin MLS areas have experienced price increases in all three of the main metrics that indicate price appreciation. These areas generally tend to congregate around Central Austin. 14 of these areas are within a 20 minute drive of downtwon. 7 are east of IH35.

* 7 of the Austin areas saw a decrease in all three metrics of avg, median and psf sales prices. Those areas were 8W (Eanes West), EL (Elgin), LN (Lake North), LS (Lake South), MA (Manor), SC (Far SE Austin) and W (West Austin). It’s interesting that, with the exception of area LN, all of the areas with triple drops are either way above or way below the Austin average and median sales prices. This jives with what we know, that both the upper and lower ends of the market are slow.

* 7 of the 42 MLS area saw a decrease in the Days on Market, meaning homes are selling faster in those areas than a year ago. Most areas saw an increase in days on market, indicating slower sales.

This chart will take you directly to Steve’s site, where you can finish the article, and also see how your particular area is doing…

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U.S. proposes plan to help troubled mortgage giants

Posted on July 14, 2008. Filed under: -- Economic Week In Review | Tags: , , , |

U.S. proposes plan to help troubled mortgage giants

Officials would get power to inject billions of federal dollars into Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac through investments and loans.

Monday, July 14, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department announced steps Sunday to shore up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose shares have plunged as losses from their mortgage holdings threaten their financial survival.

The moves also are intended to send a signal to nervous investors worldwide that the government is prepared to take steps to prevent the credit market troubles that started last year from engulfing financial markets and further weakening the economy and housing markets.

The Fed said it granted the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the authority to lend to the two companies “should such lending prove necessary.” They would pay 2.25 percent for any borrowed money — the same rate given to commercial banks and big Wall Street firms.

The Fed said that should help the companies’ ability to “promote the availability of home mortgage credit during a period of stress in financial markets.”

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the department is seeking expedited authority from Congress both to expand its current $2.25 billion line of credit to each company should they need to tap it and to make an equity investment in the companies if needed.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a central role in our housing finance system and must continue to do so in their current form as shareholder-owned companies,” Paulson said Sunday. “Their support for the housing market is particularly important as we work through the current housing correction.”

The companies own or guarantee more than $5 trillion of home loans — about half of all the mortgage debt that is outstanding in the United States.

Treasury’s plan also seeks a “consultative role” for the Fed in any new regulatory framework eventually set up by Congress for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The White House said in a statement that President Bush directed Paulson to “immediately work with Congress” to get the plan enacted.

Investors may not be as sanguine, however, said Chris Johnson, an investment manager and president of Johnson Research Group in Cleveland. Stocks of financial institutions “are going to get clobbered,” he said. “It is a situation where regulators and the government are trying to play catch-up, and that means everything is not discounted in the stock prices yet.”

The Dow Jones industrial average on Friday briefly fell below 11,000 for the first time in two years, and Johnson expects shares of investment banks and regional banks could fall as investors react to the developments.

The announcement marked the latest move by the government to bolster confidence in the mortgage companies. A crucial test of confidence will come today, when Freddie Mac is slated to auction a combined $3 billion in three- and six-month securities.

Fannie Mae was created by the government in 1938 as a way to give more Americans the chance to own a home by giving financial institutions an outlet to sell mortgage loans they originated. That freed up cash for more home loans. Fannie Mae moved from government to public ownership in 1968; Freddie Mac was started two years later.

Sunday’s announcements are likely to raise anew criticism that the government should have moved sooner to rein in the two companies, especially since investors assumed they would be bailed out if they got into trouble.

The government denied it, but what was seen by investors as an implicit guarantee of support allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to borrow at rates only slightly higher than the Treasury and lower than what their banking competitors paid.

“This really blows away the notion of an implicit guarantee,” independent banking consultant Bert Ely said of the Treasury’s plan to ask Congress to allow it to make equity investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “It suggests a greater concern about how these companies are doing. It says the problems are deeper.”

The Fed’s offer of money is viewed as a temporary backstop until Treasury can get its plan in place.

Paulson’s goal is to get his plan attached to a sweeping housing-rescue package. The Senate and House have each passed bills, and a final package has to be hammered out. The centerpiece of the legislation is to help strapped home-owners avoid foreclosure, but it also contains provisions to revamp oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Confronted by record foreclosures, the Fed is also ready to give home buyers more protection from the types of shady lending practices that have contributed to the housing crisis.

Chairman Ben Bernanke and his central bank colleagues were expected to approve a plan today that would crack down on dubious lending practices that have hurt many of the riskiest borrowers.

Proposed rules made public in December would restrict lenders from penalizing risky borrowers who pay loans off early and bar lenders from making loans without proof of a borrower’s income, among other measures.


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Real Estate Survival Guide–Top 10 List For Buyer’s and Seller’s In Today’s Market

Posted on July 10, 2008. Filed under: -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market | Tags: , , , , , |


survival guide




by Molly Greaves


I thought this was important for you to know. MONEY did a “House Rules” article for those of you that areeither buying or selling in today’s market, since the real estate game has CHANGED. To WIN, you’ve got to learn the new rules. So here they are:

Summary and Points From June 2008 MONEY MAGAZINE


       1.  You cant time the bottom; you can pick a great house.

Face it, the house you buy today will likely be worth less next year. That gets some thinking about the bottom. Resist they say. It’s harder than you think, but this is the best buyers have had in 2 decades, with inventories up and mortgage rates low. Pace yourself, find a great place, and drive a hard bargain. Ignore the asker’s selling price and bid 10% below what comparable homes are selling for.

       2. One reason to buy now: Mortgage Rates.

Homes are plentiful, and will remain so, but financing will be getting more expensive. Yep. True, the Fed slashed interest rates, but FIXED mortgages don’t directly follow the Fed. They reflect the bond’s market expectations about inflation, which remains a concern. The 30-year, now at 6.1% will likely reach mid-6% by December and 7% in 2009.   Today a $250,000 loan would set you back $1,500 a month. At 7%, a $1,500 payment gets you only a $225,000 mortgage.

       3.  Another reason to buy: Rates on Big Mortgages. 

Mortgages in amounts higher than $417,000 usually run a 1/5 of a percentage point above conventional products. But investors are shunning jumbos, which they claim now average 7.2% and are unlikely to drop this year.

       4.  Don’t buy Cheap; buy good schools.

You probably know someone who got a great deal on a foreclosure, but don’t forget, that when you buy a house, you’re also buying into a neighborhood.

They say that foreclosures tend to be bunched in areas where residents and speculators alike took out exotic mortagages to get into homes they subsequently found they couldn’t afford. That’s not a recipe for stability. Prices & quality could both decline further.   They also add to also avoid developments that popped up in the past few years. They too are likely to have a lot of riskly loans and little equity. Instead, go for the areas with the highly rated schools. They generally fare better in downturns, and that pattern is holding today.

       5.  Make sure your agent has your interest at heart.

The real estate game has a built-in conflict of interest since the listing agent and your agent both get paid by the seller. And these days, more sellers are offering cash to buyer’s agents. So, make sure you’re not being steered to a house that’s better for your agent than for you.



1.     Get real about price.

Too many sellers set their price based on yesterday’s market. Big mistake. They say to have 3 area brokers prepare what’s called a comparable market analysis. It will list asking and selling prices of similar homes, as well as amenities and sizes. If there is little inventory in your price range, list for what others are asking for.  If there are a lot of homes like yours on the market , then look to generate buzz. Set an asking price 10% below what homes like yours have been selling for. That raises the odds of getting multiple offers. If your market is really frozen and you need to drop the price, make one large cut. No baby steps.


2.     Age your agent—especially if it’s you. 

Selling on your own in an unprecendented slowdown means you’ll have to work awfully hard marketing your home. If you aren’t prepared for that, hire a broker. Avoid newbies. You want an agent who has been through good times and bad and who also has a track record that you can verify with clients.


3.     Pimp your house, hire a home stager.

To sell today, you’ve got to glam up your home. A stager will help get rid of clutter (especially clutter you don’t see); rearrange furniture to create attractive focal points; repurpose underused rooms, turning, say, that makeshift bedroom in the basement into a rec room, and pick paint and curtains that make room seem spacious. A consultation could run $200. Completing the plan could cost $1,000 or more. It’s worth it. If you live in Austin, I can be your consultant if you’d like. I have experience doing this.


4.     Cash will make your home look even better.

Instead of offering a cruise or plasma, offer something that will make your home more affordable, such as paying part of the buyer’s closing costs. In the MLS description of your house that agents can see, let them know you’re offering a $1000 bounty or 4% commission to the one that brings in the purchase. It will mean more knocks on your door.


5.     Underwater? Learn to swim!

   About 1/3 of those that bought last year or in 2006 now have negative equity. If a job or family issues compels you to move, your options aren’t that great. But, here are a few. First, you may be able to pursuade your employer to make you whole on the loan. Second, if the rental market in your area is strong, you can become a landlord and wait out the stump. Third, sell for as much as you can and then raid your savings for the difference. Short sales, in which a bank agrees to take less than is owed and release you from your debt, is getting a lot of media these days. A bank will only usually consider one if you’re at risk for foreclosure. Even then, it may say “No, thanks.”

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PMI- Private Mortgage Insurance

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Insurance Help For YOU, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market | Tags: , , , , , |

By Molly Greaves

In a perfect world, you dont want to borrow more than 80% of your home’s value. If you do, you’ll end up picking up the cost of PMI. 

Look at how it can add up. Quickly too!

PMI for a $250,000 home with only 15% down: $57/month. Times that by 52 (amount of months you’ll need to pay it) and your total cost is $2964, according to Money Magazine in June 2007.

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Interview Your Realtor? Yes, of course.

Posted on July 6, 2008. Filed under: -- Investing, -- Moving?, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market, -- Top 10..., . More Resources For YOU! | Tags: , , , , |

By Molly Greaves

Once you start working with a realtor, I’m sure you’ll want the process to be as smooth and efficient as possible. That’s why after your realtor asks you questions to find out your needs and wants for your new property, you’ll need to interview her too, to make sure you have the right match for you. You’re going to want to be in the hands of a professional known in real estate if you want to close on a place more quickly. If you don’t click with a realtor, don’t feel badly moving on to the next; it’s all part of business. They’re going to make a hunky chunk of change from working with you, so you have the right to decide who you employ. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Also, do make sure that when you go in for your inital meeting, you carry an outline with you of what your needs and wants are. Make sure you spend a lot of time to make sure the list is complete with details that you have. You want to give a good enough description so you can attract the home of your dreams to you. You’ll also want to be most prepared so your realtor finds you something that YOU like, not what she likes or is hoping to sell. Equally important, you also dont want to waste time looking at things that dont interest you in the slightest. Time’s too precious, gas is too high.

This will set the foundation up for a professional experience that will make the buying process easier on you and anyone else involved in the process.  

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Next up MoneySmart Mixers…The Realtor Edition

Posted on July 6, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market, -- Uncategorized, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , |

I’ve been tossing around starting a money groupnot an investment group—so I did some “market research” online to see what Austin already offered for it’s residents, and came across this group.  I’m going to their MoneySmart Realtor Mixer.  I can’t wait for all of the information, plus I’m sure I’ll meet some wonderful people.

July 11 from 10-12:30—you’ll need to register if you want to go. That’s probably because they need the lunch count.

MoneySmart REALTOR® Mixer Print
mpj042276100001.jpgAre you a real estate agent with LESS than 2 years of experience in the business?  Learn “the secret” for a successful career in real estate – how to generate consistent income and have fun.  Sandy Battise, an experienced mortgage lender wants to connect with a few motivated agents looking to move their career to the next level.  Many lenders avoid working with new agents, not Sandy.  She values your enthusiasm for starting a new career and wants you to be successful so she can be successful with providing mortgage services to your clients.  Here’s what to expect at the MoneySmart REALTOR® Mixer:  

♦  Tips from seasoned agents willing to share their expertise

♦  One-on-one assistance for creating your winning plan

♦  Advantages of working with a local mortgage banker

♦  Access to a creative tools to stand out from your competitors

♦  How to build and keep momentum to increase income each year

♦  How to receive unlimited checks for a lifetime for FREE business checking   account


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Donald Trump: The Trump Institute Is Coming To Town And I’m Registered!

Posted on June 16, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- On MY Calendar, -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market, -- Uncategorized, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yay, am I excited!!!

I attended Donald Trump’s The Donald Trump Way to Wealth Seminar 2 weeks ago, and now I’m going to the School of Real Estate.  I can’t wait. It’s Friday, Sat and Sunday only and boy will it be intense!! 

I’ve signed up for the Rich Dad Poor Dad’s seminar as well, and am also looking forward to that. I’ll start blogging what I learn if you’re interested!

Maybe I’ll even see you at the class!!!



The Seminar

Who Should Attend?

Everyone should attend, especially those who want to improve their lives through financial success with real estate investing and building businesses.

What You Will Learn at this Live EventThe Donald Trump Way to Wealth Seminar will introduce you to Donald Trump’s “secret recipe” for success – a combination of the right knowledge and the right mindset to create unlimited riches.

As you’ll discover, there are two great ways to create wealth – owning a business and investing in real estate. Donald Trump is a master of both, and his strategies for both have been packed into this Seminar.

When you attend The Donald Trump Way to Wealth Seminar, you will learn how to get wealthy with real estate and how to build a successful business.

How to Get Wealthy with Real EstateAre you drawn to real estate investing? At this exciting live event, you will learn about:

  • The Trump Way to get cash back when you buy a property
  • The Trump Way to find great deals in the hidden markets
  • The Trump Way to build your real estate empire, property by property
  • The Trump Way to get the government to rent your properties
  • The Trump Way to negotiate with bankers… and win big
  • The Trump Way to make terrific deals on real estate in a buyer’s or a seller’s market
  • The Trump Way to retire early on your investment income

How to Build a Business that Will Make You Rich

If your dream is to be your own boss, you will learn about:

  • The Trump Way to get people to jump-start your business
  • The Trump Way to structure your business for maximum profit and protection
  • The Trump Way to build your power team the right way
  • The Trump Way to finance your business without putting up your house
  • The Trump Way to stop paying high taxes
  • The Trump Way to build your retirement account quickly and live the lifestyle of your dreams
  • The Trump Way to be your own boss… forever

You can have all this priceless knowledge and much, much more.  But you must be willing to take action.  So don’t miss out – register now!


Due to the popularity of the program, seating may be limited.   Attendees must make advance reservations and arrive no later than 30 minutes before the start of the Seminar in order to take advantage of the available seating (doors will be closed promptly at the start of the Seminar.)  We encourage you to invite a guest to attend the Seminar with you, such as a family member,  a friend, or a business associate.

Not In Austin?

They hold Seminars in different cities every week. To find an upcoming Seminar location near you, visit the zip code search.

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