Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Role of Lifestyle Trends in Searching for a Home

By David Marine, Senior Director, Consumer Experience, Coldwell Banker

The video below is a segment we did with NBC’s LXTV Open House. If you’re not watching Open House on the weekends, you should absolutely check it out as it’s one of the freshest and interesting real estate programs out there. But anyway, Coldwell Banker Real Estate was the first real estate company to launch a lifestyle search feature on a real estate website. We didn’t just do that to be cool and be the first (maybe that was part of it), but the main reason was because there’s a significant trend among real estate consumers that shows their lifestyle is a major player in the home or neighborhood they choose to live in.

Take a look at the video and see how lifestyle trends are playing a bigger role in the search for a home:

Begin your Lifestyle Home Search Now! Have some fun with it! Make it a family project!

Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4%

Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4%

By Nick Timiraos

Associated Press
Despite low rates, mortgage applications fell last week.
What if the 30-year mortgage rate fell below 4% and few people cared?

We may not have to wonder much longer. The average 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.94% for the week ending Wednesday, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey released on Thursday.

Reflecting both tight credit standards and anemic demand, applications for mortgages actually fell last week, according to a separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday. The MBA said overall mortgage application volume was down by a seasonally adjusted 4.3% from the prior week.

Many borrowers can’t refinance today because they don’t have enough equity or they can’t qualify under lending standards that are far tougher than when they initially obtained their mortgages.

Rates also haven’t fallen as much as might be expected, given recent drops in banks’ borrowing costs, because banks are short-staffed. To manage volumes, they’ll sometimes raise the spreads between their borrowing costs and the rates that are offered to consumers.

Refinance applications were down by 5.2% from the prior week, while home-purchase apps were down by 0.8%, according to the MBA.

More troubling for the housing market is the fact that home-purchase applications were down 12% from one year ago—a signal that worries about the economy and potential home price declines are keeping borrowers on the fence, even though mortgage rates have probably never been this low.

Freddie Mac says the rates are the lowest since its survey began in 1971, and academic research suggests that rates for 30-year mortgages were as low as 4%—but not any lower—under a loan program for war veterans in the mid-1940s. Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, spoke to the problem facing policy makers’ inability to help consumers benefit from low rates in a speech last week in Sweden. Falling home prices “have disrupted the transmission of monetary policy,” he said, resulting in “a situation where the availability of credit is more important in many cases than the cost of credit.”

Low rates could give more urgency to a recent push by the White House to fix an administration effort that allows homeowners to refinance their mortgages if they owe more than their loans are worth. The program is open to borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Clearly getting more money into the hands of homeowners who would spend it could help to fuel GDP growth,” said Mr. Rosengren.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Rates

Buy vs. Rent? Check our First Time Homebuyer resource center.

Two Coldwell Banker University Courses Earn CRS Approval

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Sept. 26, 2011) –

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC today announced that its Coldwell Banker University BOO$T and Previews International Properties Specialist courses are now approved for elective credit by the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS). Coldwell Banker is the first real estate company to offer proprietary learning courses with CRS accreditation. Together, these Coldwell Banker University courses account for one-half of the 32 elective credits required for the CRS designation. Coldwell Banker University courses are offered exclusively to members of the Coldwell Banker network.

CRS was created to attract and retain Realtors® seeking the knowledge, tools and relationship-building opportunities needed to maximize their income and professionalism in residential real estate. In 2010, CRS designees earned nearly three times more than non-CRS residential Realtors earned.

“Real estate professionals everywhere are looking to get the upper hand on the competition,” said Budge Huskey, president and chief operating officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate. “Coldwell Banker University’s unique relationship with the Council of Residential Specialists strengthens our course offerings in a way that is unmatched in our industry.”

BOO$T is a high-accountability program designed for experienced Coldwell Banker sales agents that promotes best-practice sharing, networking and working smarter, not harder. Agents are trained to target prospecting activities, maximize value propositions and enhance careers through the use of cutting-edge technology.

Previews International Properties Specialist is an interactive certification program providing the core foundation for working with the affluent market. Agents are introduced to Coldwell Banker Previews and trained to attract and retain affluent clients while exceeding the needs of both buyers and sellers.

“Both the Council of Residential Specialists and Coldwell Banker University share a common commitment to bring quality education to real estate professionals,” said Mary Beth Ciukaj, the Council’s education director. “This partnership brings the CRS designation that much closer to Coldwell Banker professionals throughout the country.”

To be eligible for elective credit toward the CRS designation, courses must:

Be part of a real estate brand’s formal training program
Be fully developed and owned by the brand
Be at least three hours in length
Have an organized and developed curriculum that is at the medium or advanced level with defined learning objectives and student materials

13,780 Homes Sold Yesterday


To all those who have declared the real estate market dead, we want you to know that over 13,780 houses sold yesterday, 13,780 will sell today and 13,780 will sell tomorrow.

That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales had increased 7.7% over the month before and 18.6% over the year before. According to the report, annualized sales now stand at 5.03 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, well over 13,000 homes sell every day.

We realize that these numbers are below the record for homes sold in 2006. We also know that we may never see those numbers again (and that is probably a good thing). But to say that the current real estate market is dead or that houses are not selling is totally inaccurate. We have over 13,000 pieces of evidence to prove that.