Purple HouseThe OREF Residential Sale Agreement provides at Section 10 (Licensed Professional Inspections) that: “Buyer shall promptly provide a copy of all reports to Seller only if requested by Seller.”

This provision, or one very similar to it, has been in existence for many years, going back to the time when sellers didn’t want to know the results of UST testing, and so declined to permit it be performed. Continue reading “Buyer Professional Inspection Reports – Should Copies Be Turned Over To Sellers?”

iStock_000010654155SmallBackground. Not long after the housing bust and collapse of affordable mortgage lending, the “new subprime” became the FHA, that government home loan program insured by the Federal Housing Administration, offering downpayments as low as 3.5%.[1]  According to the online site, Bankrate: Continue reading “Pssst! Wanna Get 3% Down Conventional Loan Today?”

housingBackground. Upon the closing of a real estate transaction in the U.S., a Federal law, known as the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (“FIRPTA”) may require a portion of the seller’s proceeds be withheld, if the property is located within the United States and the seller is a “foreign person.” Continue reading “FIRPTA Update: Withholding Requirement Increases To 15%”

Chart02RMLS™ reports that for closed sales: “It was still the strongest January for closed sales since at least 1992— edging even over the 1,843 closings posted for Portland in January 2005.”  ~RMLS™ Market Action Letter  for January, 2016 Reporting Period

Here are the numbers, hot off the press from RMLS™: Continue reading “January Highlights for Portland Metro Residential Real Estate Market”

Question Mark (2)BackgroundOn October 7, 2015, the City of Portland amended its Code to address what it believes is a shortage of available housing units for rent.  What is unique about this move is that it is directed not only at Federal or State subsidized rentals, but all rentals, whether they fall into the category of “affordable housing” or not.  Continue reading “Is Portland’s New Renter Protection Ordinance Unlawful “Rent Control”?”

Chart02The RMLS™ stats for May, 2105 are in.  If you’re a seller it’s great news.  If you’re a buyer, it means you’ll need equal doses of patience, skill, and luck, to find exactly what you want. Here’s a recap: Continue reading “Portland’s May 2015 Housing Stats”

Decision“Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?”  ― Frank HerbertHeretics of Dune

Just to refresh memories: Continue reading “The CFPB – Are We There Yet?”

Fotosearch_cb008926[1]I have been critical of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) for many things, but providing good easy-to-understand information is not one of them.  The CFPB, or the “Bureau,” as they like to call themselves, reminds me of the stereotypical Catholic School nun, who was a great teacher…until you crossed her – and then she’d whack you across the back of your head with a stiff wooden yardstick. Of course, today, the Bureau’s version of the wooden yardstick is a huge fine, public humiliation, and a finger-wagging threat not to cross them again. Continue reading “HyperLynx: Fundamentals of Purchasing a Home”

Scales of JusticeSection 25 of the OREF Residential Sale Agreement sets forth Seller and Buyer remedies for breach.  They are materially different.

  • If the Buyer refuses to close without a legal reason, the Seller’s sole remedy is to retain the earnest money deposit. This means that if the Seller, in reliance on the belief that the Buyer will be closing on a certain day, makes arrangement to move, and perhaps even purchases another home, incurs financial damages, he or she can only recover the Buyer’s deposit.  If that amount is less than the Seller’s actual damages – too bad.   Is this fair?

Continue reading “QUERIN LAW: “Seller Remorse” And Buyer’s Right Of Specific Performance”

whiplash“24% of all purchase loans have a debt-to-income ratio greater than the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage rule limit of 43% [of debt to income], a new series high.“  ~Mortgage Risk Index-March 2014 Release, AIE’s International Center on Housing Risk

Hmmm. I thought the CFPB was the new sheriff in town, protecting the Little Guy from the villainous Big Banks. Isn’t that why it created the Qualified Mortgage or “QM” rules?  Wasn’t QM that safe harbor, giving peace and comfort to lenders who stayed within the guidelines deemed “safe”?  Wasn’t a debt-to-income ratio[1] over 43% deemed “risky”?  And for those lenders foolish enough to stray outside of the QM box, they became subject to the draconian Ability to Repay, or “ATR” rules, which, if violated, gave borrowers the right to sue lenders for giving them loans they should not have taken out. Huh? Continue reading “Housing Risk In 2015: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again!”