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How the Housing Crisis became the Credit Crisis... "The Perfect Storm"... real estate version !

On Saturday Mornings, I usually begin my real estate weekend by driving about a total of sixty miles or so... visiting various open houses, or dropping in and visiting friends who are either past clients, or folks in my Top 33 Advocate Referral Group.

While I make the rounds, I usually listen to NPR... National Public Radio.  If I start early enough, I listen to those two Car Talk nuts from MIT, and then some silliness called "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me."

This afternoon, just after "Wait Wait"... the NPR series "This American Life" aired a program titled The Giant Pool of Money .  I must tell you that I was just blown away by this incredibly comprehensive story that unwound and took apart... piece by painful piece... the horror that began as the Housing Crisis, and slowly over a period of about four years... evolved or deteriorated (take your pick) into what we've been calling "The Credit Crisis."  (Did anyone else happen to hear it ?)

Over the next week I am going to take this entire program... which featured many blow-by-blow recitals of the various stages and happenings of this mess... and break it down into a story and terms I can better share and make sense of myself.

As a Professional Realtor, I have always prided myself on what I thought was my fairly comprehensive degree of knowledge concerning mortgage finance programs, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA qualifying guidelines, and my knowledge of mortgage and closing documents like the 1003, credit reports, FICO scores, VOD's, VOE's, appraisals and LTV's, and the HUD-1.

I must say... that during this program, I learned so much about what really happened to create this mess... and learned it from a pretty knowledgeable group of industry insiders who along the way... found themselves smack-dab in the middle of it.

I am kind of curious, though.  How interested do you think Realtors would be... as far as learning more about the in's and out's of what made all this happen ?  Will anyone be interested ?  Or will this just be another example of this Realtor going overboard about deciphering both the Mortgage Crisis and the Credit Crisis ? 

Wanna know more ?  Please give me some opinions, and ask whatever questions you have.  Maybe between our answers we'll come up with some good ideas.

Comment balloon 17 commentsKaren Anne Stone • May 10 2008 08:49PM

Comments

WOW karen, I have to say I do not drive 60 miles in a day! Thanks for the post, it gives me a different perspective on how everyone works differently

Posted by Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California (Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002) almost 10 years ago

Karen - I haven't heard of this but will check it out.  I'm also very curious as to your perspective and look forward to you breaking it down.

As far as, "I am kind of curious, though.  How interested do you think Realtors would be... as far as learning more about the in's and out's of what made all this happen ?  Will anyone be interested ?  Or will this just be another example of this Realtor going overboard about deciphering both the Mortgage Crisis and the Credit Crisis ? "  If they aren't, they should be.  It's incumbent upon every Real Estate Professional to know everything they can about the Industry.  That's that.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) almost 10 years ago

Jean:  I am always glad to share.  I think that part of me was what got me into my nine years of junior high school teaching before I became a Realtor.  Yes... everyone works differently, and I think when each of us shares "our" way... we can all learn and adapt.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Karen ...I heard a good part of this today and my husband was talking about it yesterday.

It definately puts some perspective on the situation and everyone should be interested!

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Jason:  There are all types and degrees of Realtors doing business.  Sometimes when I start talking mortgages, or mention the current crisis, I get the response of "Oh... I never get into mortgage financing or payments specifically.  I let my loan officer do that.  Besides, my broker says I should just turn them over to the office loan officer."

What a mistake I feel that is.  How in heaven can a "real" Realtor advise a client to commit to buying a home if they are not able to explain to them beforehand what the payments with be... along with the high-lights of the in's and out's of all the financing involved ?  So... I very much agree with you.  I just wondered how many others agreed with me... :)  Oh, by the way... if you are a Bill Parcells fan... the graphic word for this post turned out to be "tuna."  LOL.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Hi, Karen-Anne:

It sounds really interesting to me.  I really don't feel like I understand it all ... so I will be waiting to read your "report."  How on earth are you going to remember all that?  Did you record it as you were driving along or is there a link somewhere so that we can listen to it, too?  If so, please post the link in your series.  Thanks!

Posted by Jan Evett, Broker Associate, 20 years+ in real estate (The Premier Property Group LLC) almost 10 years ago

I would be interested - I am so tired of every one pointing the finger at every one else it might be very interesting

Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 10 years ago

The "giant pool of money" has become a puddle.  I'll be following your future posts on the subject with great interest!

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne....I would be interested as it would give me a story to tell and of course knowledge is power but most of all it can be shared.

Posted by Pam Winterbauer, "Providing Blue Ribbon Service" (Pam Winterbauer Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Hi Karen Anne... Sounds like you and I are on the same NPR listening schedule!  It was an excellent program today and I am sure that you will do a great series of posts on it all.  I'll be seeing you onthe radio next Saturday! :) 

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne,

I didn't hear this program, but I am anxiously awaiting your breakdown of the information.  It is to our benefit, as professionals, to know as much as possible about the options that are out there for our clients.  Thanks!

PS - I called you the other day and left a VM.  Call me when you have time.  ;)

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) almost 10 years ago

Hi Karen, I will be interested in reading what you write; however, I'm more focused on the future, and survival at this point.  How is your Tomato Project going?

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne:  I definitely want to hear more.  I've been reading books and researching on what happened, because I fear there is much worse to come when interest rates invariably rise. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne,

I look forward to your blogs on this subject.  Is gas cheaper in TX?  60 miles in one day?  You are a great realtor!  Happy Mothers Day!

 

Posted by Adele Irving - Easton Area Homes (Prudential Patt, White Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne, I hope you had a great Mother's Day! 

I enjoy Public Radio too..

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) almost 10 years ago

Hi Karen,

Sounds like it was interesting show.  It is always interesting to know the history behind why things are happening.  At the same time, it is extremely important that we make ourselves look forward in order to take our business's forward.  Maybe your story could include a little of both.  This is what happened, but hey cheer up.....you've just got to work a little harder for your business now....Like driving around 60 miles on a Saturday morning.   I look forward to reading your posts. 

 

Posted by Sondra Meyer:, See It. Experience It. Live It. (Star View Real Estate ) almost 10 years ago

Ironically, I had heard about the giant pool of money before.  The NY Times's Floyd Norris had a couple of articles about excess liquidty looking for a higher yield.  He too mentioned Greenspan and super-low interest rates as a driving factor and described the global pool of money as "sloshing around the economy."  With interest rates very low.  It was a real problem. Investors had excess liquidity and they wanted to make some money!  They couldn't. The money had literally NO PLACE TO GO - there was simply too much of it.  I had some bonds that matured at that time and couldn't find a place to stash the cash that made any money at all. For anything but high-flying energy stocks - many of which I thought were overvalued, not much was working and interest rates on "safe" instruments weren't even touching the inflation rate (even though that was low.) So if you had money to invest, it felt like you were losing money.  I guess it was natural that some people would go to more high risk to juice up returns.  The trouble was the extent of the problem.  My small amount didn't add to the problem.  I didn't go into any of this stuff. Stayed as far away as possible. Its the VOLUME that created all the troulbe. A little might have been nutritious for investors - but too much of anything is always bad.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) almost 10 years ago

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